[19 April/Rural News]

According a report by the Ministry for the Environment, we are losing our productive land to houses. This was the most significant point Federated Farmers took from the new report. There was a 10 percent increase in urban areas from 2002 to 2012, and a 7 percent reduction in land used for agriculture. Federated Farmers Environmental Spokesperson, Chris Allen, said they knew soils were precious and seeing them covered with tarseal and concrete was frustrating. The report was a useful tool for helping farmers and land users see what the industry needs to keep working on according to Mr Allen. He noted that most of the data was six years out of date which was not acceptable or helpful. He added that they knew scientists were struggling to get successful bids for this type of research funding over the line.