DairyNZ, the industry organisation for New Zealand dairy farmers, put the national break even price forecast for the industry at NZ$7.78kg/MS (€4.41) in its latest update – an increase of 27c.

More worryingly for the sector, that cost number is significantly above the projected $7.31kg/MS average payout for the coming season.

With exceptionally high input costs already putting the country’s farmers under financial pressure, and the forecast showing no sign of relief, there is plenty of frustration in the agricultural sector in New Zealand coming into the general election.

Voting in that election began on Monday of this week and continues until Sunday 14 October.

Opinion polls taken in advance of the voting suggested that the opposition centre-right National Party will win the most parliamentary seats, while failing to gain an overall majority.

That would leave them needing the support of at least one of two smaller parties further to the right on the political spectrum.

The National Party is campaigning on a platform of making farming less stressful and cumbersome, including a policy to review methane targets for the sector.

Ahead of the vote, a rural and farmers campaign group calling themselves “Groundswell” drove their tractors the full length of the country, with the message to reduce the burden of regulation on the farming community.