The NZ Government’s big decision around Mycoplasma Bovis was either to continue attempting to eradicate or move to managing the presence of the bacterium. The Government has chosen to continue to attempt to eradicate, noting that the current estimates of eradication costs are smaller than the estimated costs of managing the bacterium. No country has yet successfully eradicated the disease, but the Government doesn’t want to regret not trying. There is still the risk that a greater spread of the bacterium than assumed will switch the sums more in favour of managing the bacterium’s presence. Spring testing (results in December) will give further information on which to assess the probability of success of eradication.
The revenue impact on the dairy industry as a whole is not clear cut. The potential loss in dairy production could be partly or completely offset by higher dairy prices. For beef prices, the size of the cull needs to be put in context with the usual (high) cattle slaughter figure.
Nathan's bold predictions and his ability to call it as he sees it sets him apart from other New Zealand rural economists. In particular, his controversial, but ultimately successful $6.00/kg MS 2016/17 milk price forecast is case in point.
He has a natural talent to distil complex issues and translate them into user-friendly formats for diverse groups, including farmers and financial markets participants. Nathan brings unique perspectives and thought leadership to the country's rural and broader export sectors.
Nathan joined ASB as the Rural Economist in 2013, having cut his teeth at the New Zealand Treasury. He hails from the Kapiti Coast and studied at Massey University where he graduated with a Master of Applied Economics.
Nathan's expertise lie in dairy and other commodity markets, trade economics and economic forecasting. He's a leading GlobalDairyTrade auction and NZX dairy derivatives commentator and he also authors ASB's monthly rural publication, Farmshed Economics.
He's a proud Hurricanes and Wellington Phoenix fan, and will gladly discuss at length the Hurricanes Super Rugby 2016 victory.