New Zealand grain prices have fallen on the back of the dairy downturn, Guy Wigley, Chairman of Federated Farmers Arable Industry in New Zealand has said.

Wigley said that past 12 months have been a roller coaster for the New Zealand tillage industry, as life seemed to be dominated by the price of milk.

"The flow-on effect of the dairy downturn has seen prices falling to a point now that they are more than competitive with imported grain for the feed milling industry," he said.

And as a result, he said New Zealand's feed milling industry will be well placed to use more domestically produced grain in the future.

Speaking at a recent arable industry conference, Wigley said that more farmers have opted to store grain and this has helped dairy farmers in North Canterbury deal with the on-going feed crisis.

He also said that dairy farmers are key to the success of the New Zealand tillage industry going forward.

We encourage farmers to maintain long term relationships with dairy farmers where possible as their fortunes will inevitably return.

New Zealand grain harvest

Wigley continued to say that the New Zealand arable industry is well placed to tread water during these challenging times.

"On more cheery note, harvest 2016 has turned out to be average or better in most cases even though we suffered a particularly dry October and November 2015," he said.

He added that cereal crops received rain just in time to finish well, but the rain in late January was a problem is high value crops.

"However, it has done a lot of good when it came to establishing this seasons crops," he said.

Crop protection

Wigley also said that the New Zealand industry is working closely with the relevant bodies to insure than imported seeds are free from weeds that could potentially damage the Kiwi tillage industry.

"We are working with MPI (Ministry of Primary Industry) to get answers to our remaining questions related to the shipment and the auditing of the processes involved in its importation from the pre-border space through to the end milled product," he said.