Farmers wary of M bovis as 'Gypsy Day' begins

Drivers are being reminded to be patient over the next few days as heavy loads are shifted for the new farming season.

Today is 'Gypsy Day', where contracts for farmers and share milkers change and animals are moved.

Federated Farmers dairy chair Chris Lewis said it can be a slow process.

"I've noticed on my local rural roads trailers and cars, personal household goods, tractors on the roads, trailers carrying all the farmers' possessions," he told Newshub.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor says it might not be all plain sailing.

"Any movement of that number of stock is going to create a few challenges for farmers and landowners, the main thing being that we track and trace all of these movements."

Mr O'Connor says biosecurity awareness must be paramount this year, thanks to Mycoplasma bovis.

"Farmers have to check that their animals have been tagged, their movements are being notified… and that they've got a good relationship with the farmer and landowner that they're going to."

Mr Lewis said there's no excuse for not knowing how to do things now that M bovis is in the picture.

"The one good thing about being a farmer at the moment is we're getting lots of emails, lots of advice through the media, there's lots of comms on how everything should be done… There's an increased awareness around how doing things properly - making sure you've got the paperwork in order, making sure people have plans in place. There's been a lot more thought put into it this year."

He urged anyone who doesn't feel like they have enough information to look at the websites for Beef and Lamb, MPI and Dairy NZ.