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Winter 2017

Spotlight on our region’s rural sector

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2 Winter 2017

Growing career for Young Fruitgrowers’ By Lesley Wilson President HB Fruitgrowers Association

T

he Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association recently held the 13th running of the HB Young Fruitgrower of the Year competition. It was a hugely successful event with the 2016 winner, Jordan James taking out the 2017 title. The competition was the closest it has ever been, with .8 of a point between 1st and 4th.

This competition showcases the depth and breadth of the knowledge and skillbase of our young growers. It shows that a career in horticulture is a viable, valuable and rewarding option. Jordan hasn’t yet finished his apprenticeship but that is another goal to be achieved and he is now preparing for the NZ Young Fruitgrower of the year competition; we will be supporting him along the way. One of the highlights of the gala dinner for the Young Fruitgrower Competition was when the contestants were asked about innovations they had designed for their orchards. It shows that these young men and women are actively contributing and problem solving on a day to day basis. Horticulture is flourishing at the moment. The huge turnout at the National Horticultural Field Days is testament to this. It was the biggest field days yet, and attendance exceeded all expectations.

Third and overall speech winner Thomas Dalziel, First Jordan James, Second Anthony Taueki

Growers and service providers work as a team to make sure that the fruit and vegetables grown and sold to you, and around the world, are of the highest standard. It is an active industry, there is always something happening, this is what makes horticulture challenging. There is a lot of Horticultural development going on in Hawke’s Bay at the moment, new packhouses, replanting, and new plantings. Growers are using these good times to set themselves up for the future. Acting Hastings District Mayor, Sandra Hazelhurst, announced at the Young Fruitgrower dinner that

they would be doing all they could to protect horticultural land and that they, the Council, needed to do more with respect to guiding development within Hastings. I am of the firm belief that there is room for everyone on the Heretaunga Plain, houses, lifestyle blocks, and horticulture. We have advocated for this for years. We, the Association, are thrilled that Sandra and her team are showing leadership here.

Jordan James winner of the Hawke’s Bay Young Fruitgrower of the Year competition.

Hawke’s Bay is the hub of innovation in New Zealand when it comes to horticulture, it is an industry of which I am intensely proud and will advocate for, for years to come.

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3 Winter 2017

The working dog vs the professional cyclist By Caroline Robertson- BVSc Veterinarian at Vet Services (Hawkes Bay) Limited

O

f all of the continuing education lectures I have attended in my career on working dogs, one continues to stand out; comparing the food or calorie requirements of a working dog to those of an Alaskan sled dog and a professional cyclist. In various trials that have been carried out, the average NZ working dog runs 10-20km per day, (taking into account the time spent on the back of the qua-bike or truck) and it is estimated that at 50% of peak work the sheep dog requires 630-840 KJ/ Kg bodyweight, and at peak work or in inclement weather the requirement may be upwards of 1354 KJ/KG bodyweight. In comparison an average active Labrador requires about 410 kJ/kg bodyweight whilst an Alaskan Sled dog working in freezing conditions requires a staggering 5183 KJ/Kg bodyweight/day.

The true extent of how much we need to feed our working dogs becomes clear when comparing a working dogs requirement to a professional cyclist. It is estimated that a professional cyclist doing 6 hours/day for 10 days (3300km over mountains) requires an average 1353KJ/Kg bodyweight, very similar to our peak work sheep dogs requirements – think about the comparison- it is staggering!

Type

Activity

KJ/ Kgbodyweight/ day

Working dog

50% peak

630-840

Working dog

Peak or winter

>1354

Labrador

Active

410

Cyclist

Mountain course10 day/ 3300km

1354

Alaskan Sled dog

Extreme

5183

Trials have also been carried out to test different fat, carbohydrate and protein ratios in working dog diets. Those trials showed that active working dogs require a diet which is: • high in fat (improves endurance and reduces respiratory and heat loss) • low in carbohydrates (there is no known benefit from carbs in dogs diet, no benefit to carb loading before workout compared to humans, and the calories are better provided by fat) • high in protein >25% ME diet. In trials, protein levels of 19% saw an

occurrence of 8 times more injuries than those on a 24% ME protein diet. This is attributed to the lower protein content leading to increased muscle fatigue, increased incidences of stress fractures, and also bone stress and strain as a result of muscle fatigue as the muscle takes less of the pressure and overloads the bone. This correlates to what we often see in practice. So in summary, according to working dog trial work completed, the ideal diet for them is a high fat,

From stud rams to special pets…. no matter how big or small your animals, whether they’re treasured pets or earning valuable income for you, at Vet Services Hawke’s Bay you know we treat them with the same care and commitment that you do.

low carb, high protein diet such as is provided in premium working dog foods which is ideally fed within two hours after work. Food for thought – and just be thankful you have no Alaskan sled dogs on your farm work dog team! There are a number of premium working dog foods on the market, some deliver what the working dog will need and some don’t. Please make sure you talk to your vet about the most suitable food for your team of dogs.

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4 Winter 2017

An example of success is recognition of water for rootstock survival through Plan Change 6 (Tukituki).

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Working towards environmental sustainability By Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman

T

he use of water, land and labour are all essential to continued growth in horticulture in Hawke’s Bay, one of the most important growing regions in New Zealand. Environmental sustainability is vital, so Horticulture New Zealand, in conjunction with NZGAP, is supporting growers to identify and adopt good management practices to reduce environmental effects, and supporting science to identify risks and solutions. We represent growers at all levels of local and central government and in Hawke’s Bay particularly, there are a number of plan changes and water conservation orders in play that are likely to impact on the ability to grow fresh fruit and vegetables.

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Horticulture New Zealand, working with Pipfruit NZ and the Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers Association, has actively supported grower involvement in regional and district planning processes for many years in Hawke’s Bay, covering protection of precious versatile land, operation of land for farming purposes, and water quality and quantity. It is our job to first identify what growers need, then to provide the technical support and expertise to achieve good outcomes. An example of success is recognition of water for rootstock survival through Plan Change 6 (Tukituki). Currently, we are working with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and growers preparing for water quality and quantity plan changes for the Heretaunga Plains foodbowl. There

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The Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme celebrated 10 years in July.

is also an application lodged for a Water Conservation Order on the Ngaruroro River that we are working with growers on. On the labour front, the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme celebrated 10 years in July and this is a great scheme for horticulture and the communities that benefit from horticulture. We have worked with government over that time to increase the number of RSE workers as horticulture grows and subsequently, demand for seasonal labour grows. RSE workers are essential at the peak times of pruning, picking, packing and processing our crops. One of the main successes has been the difference the scheme has made in the Pacific through not only wages being taken home by workers, but also through training conducted in New Zealand transferring skills such as out-board motor repairs and house building/repair. Another big success factor has been RSE employers and New Zealand communities offering support back in the Pacific Islands, for example, rebuilding villages destroyed by cyclones. This is simply a fantastic scheme that sees everyone involved in it being a winner: the workers, the Pacific islands and New Zealand employers and communities. We are also active in schemes to get New Zealanders into permanent work, including working with Corrections to enable Hawke’s Bay growers to employ people coming out of Hawke’s Bay Regional Prison. This involves a process of training inside and outside the wire to achieve a robust employment experience. Horticulture is growing rapidly and we are keen to participate in any initiative that gives us access to stable, permanent employees who want to learn skills and be part of a thriving industry for years to come.

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6 Winter 2017

FEMP - an easy process for Gray Brothers A

n easy process that didn’t unveil any surprises – that’s how the Gray family feel about their Farm Environment Management Plan (FEMP). Trading as Gray Brothers Ltd, Leicester and Margaret Gray farm in partnership with their sons Callum and Phillip and their wives Sarah and Juliet. They run Waimarino – a 1009ha sheep, beef and cropping business on Fairfield Road on the Ruataniwha Plains between the Tukituki and Waipawa Rivers. Waimarino carries about 15,000 sheep and beef stock units and grows a range of crops, including maize under contract, lucerne, peas, green beans, sweetcorn and carrots. About 360ha is under pivot irrigation, with another 32ha watered by a hard hose irrigator. It is Class 1 land and 95 per cent of the soil is Hastings silt loam (the rest is Argyll silt loam). The Grays are required to have an FEMP under Tukituki Plan Change 6. They always appreciated the advice of Thomas Taylor, their Ravensdown account manager, so their first choice to do their FEMP was Chris Tidey from Ravensdown’s environmental team. Ravensdown is one of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s approved providers. “Chris was taken around the property to look at the planting and fenced off areas

protecting the waterways. There is still a small amount still to be fenced.” “We had a good discussion around the kitchen table when Chris came out with the draft report and then again when he brought out the finished product.” Phillip says a couple of cropping aspects were corrected from the draft to the final copy and while their cropping regime is often a moving target on Overseer from one season to the next, the report captured a moment in time. “I haven’t heard of anyone who has had to change their farming policy as a result of their farm environment plan. Just tweaking.” The Grays have an 8ha winter feed block on the property. Although the overall farm fell within Plan Change 6 perimeters, the Grays have applied for and been granted a separate resource consent to operate the block. There were two aspects in their favour for easy completion of the FEMP – the farm is flat meaning there is not much runoff and they already lower stock numbers in winter. “We leave the lighter grade cattle, the rising one year olds, on the soil in the winter and move the R2s to the winter feed block. The R3s leave the system anyway.”

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Most of the information required for the plan was readily available through existing nutrient management plans and concepts such as the McCain’s and now New Zealand GAP standards. “We had to show we were continuing to fence off creeks and drains,” Callum adds. “But overall, we were better than we thought we were going to be. You just never know. It was an unknown really.”

The Grays agreed apart from cost, there were no negatives from completing the report. “You want to know you’re doing things correctly,” Leicester says. “We have been the caretakers of Waimarino for 112 years and we continue to do our level best to maintain and enhance our environment for future generations.”

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Tukituki Plan is HBRC’s first catchment-specific plan, paving the way for land management in Hawke’s Bay. Farm Plans, Nutrient Budgets and Resource Consents Farmers are working closely with Farm Environment Management Plan (FEMP) providers in the Tukituki catchment. The sector is ramping up ahead of next year’s May 2018 deadline, when the new rules kick in. The beauty of a Farm Plan is that it helps give direction and priority to specific farm tasks, such as nutrient budgeting, stock exclusion and planting. It would pay to start developing your Farm Plan now, as it will help you to know if you’re likely to need a Resource Consent. For a full list of Farm Plan providers, head off to hbrc.govt.nz search #FEMP.

0800 108 838 06 835 9200 MORE AT WWW.HBRC.GOVT.NZ, SEARCH #TUKITUKI

Farm Plan Providers These are the Farm Plan providers currently approved by HBRC: Colin Stace colin.stace@opus.co.nz 021 526 030 Peter Taylor peter@thecatalystgroup.co.nz 022 152 9434 Emma Buchanan info@soter.co.nz / 027 438 7055 Christina Finlayson farm.sustainability@ballance.co.nz 0800 222 090 Lilian Sherman lilian@irricon.co.nz 021 378 308 Colin Tyler colin.tyler@ravensdown.co.nz 021 529 146 Lachie Grant lachie.grant@gmail.com 021 526 478


8 Winter 2017

Successful blueprints and growth opportunities By Con Williams, Rural Economist, ANZ

I

f you’re looking for inspiration then it’s difficult to look past some of New Zealand’s smaller primary sectors, such as manuka honey, pipfruit, kiwifruit and viticulture.

Three out these four are an important part of the local Hawke’s Bay economy and its future prospects. Each have a different background story, but many appear to have found a successful blueprint to deliver higher and more consistent returns to all sector participants. This creates an environment for reinvestment, attracting new sources of capital to fuel growth and new employment opportunities. Common facets of successful blueprints include the application of best practice, applying new innovations and technologies, market-based payments to producers, trademarked IP and integration between supply chain participants. Combined with traditional sector strengths and New Zealand’s favourable climate, this delivers product premiums

well above the competition. This typifying true ‘value-add’ by demonstrating customers’ willingness to pay more for their products. Each sector relies on slightly different strengths though and faces its own challenges. In the pipfruit sector, where Hawke’s Bay is the centre of New Zealand activity, accounting for two-thirds of the growing area, cash returns have been averaging an impressive 15-20% over the past five years. This has been driven by the sector moving to a more consolidated vertically integrated structure. This has created better control of supply from orchard through to end market. It has improved quality standards, allowed longer-term supply arrangements to be built with larger scale retailers, driven more consistent volumes through post-harvest facilities maximised utilisation and improved access to capital allowing reinvestment back into new ‘club’ varieties that are trademarked and are more favoured (due to sweeter taste and red colour) by higher returning

Asian markets. This is delivering higher and more consistent returns to industry participants. On orchards there have been many other changes to orchard design and wider adoption of best practice management techniques. This has further boosted yields and improved productivity. The next phase of growth is expected to push the national crop back toward the mid-600,000 tonne mark by 2020 taking earnings to +$1 billion. A high proportion of this growth will be ‘club’ varieties that now make-up approximately 40% of New Zealand’s supply. This combined with New Zealand’s focus on higher quality standards and ability to meet strident phytosanitary measures has created brand presence and exclusivity delivering significant price premiums. Asia is where the real growth opportunities lie. Indeed a consumption increase of just 0.80 kg/capita across non-producing pipfruit markets such as Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and Malaysia equates to New Zealand’s current export supply of fresh apples.

Sector challenges remain in the form of: competition from the likes of Chile and China; retailers holding considerable sway; biosecurity and pest/disease risks; non-tariff barriers that create substantial impediments to trade in some markets; and capacity challenges to growth in the form of having enough seasonal labour and sourcing rootstock/trees. But many of these appear manageable with the competitive edge the sector has created expected to keep the industry blooming and benefiting the Hawke’s Bay economy through new investment, employment and business opportunities.

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10 Winter 2017

2017 – A very different year Issued: 27 July 2017 By Georgina Griffiths, MetService Meteorologist Describing 2017 so far

When meteorologists ‘zoom out’ from the day-to-day weather map, and instead concentrate over time scales of weeks to months, the underlying flavour of the growing season can be identified. This information is both useful to the grower (to explain why the season went as it did), and the forecaster (who uses this knowledge, coupled with computer models, to forecast what is coming next). It often all boils down to two things: the first is prevailing wind flow over a season, while the second is the frequency of lows or highs on the weather map. Since New Zealand is a land of hills and mountains, most of our rain is orographic (caused by lift over the land). And some regions, like Hawke’s Bay, enjoy foehn warming when the winds come down off the ranges. For example, when Hawke’s Bay suffers frequent south-easterly winds, we all know we’re in for a wetter and colder spell. The reverse is true under prevailing northwesterly conditions, of course. Sometimes wind flows are less important, if the weather map is going to be clearly dominated by frequent low pressures,

or blocking Highs. Obviously, one weather system encourages rainfall, while the other impedes it.

“2017 has been a year of extremes. There has been very little that has been ‘normal’ about the year so far,” commented MetService meteorologist Georgina Griffiths.

The first quarter of 2017 (January – March inclusive) ran very stormy, with much lower pressures than usual across New Zealand, and in particular over the South Island. Northwesterly winds were common across Hawke’s Bay through until about mid-February. Not surprisingly, Hawke’s Bay ran drier and somewhat warmer than usual over that period – although temperatures were not as warm as were seen to start 2016. However, the second quarter of the year (April to June inclusive) saw a complete, and rather dramatic, switch to prevailing Highs sitting over the south of the South Island. This persistent ridging over

the lower South Island has produced an extremely dry period there. In contrast, intermittent wet easterly events have meant an unusually wet few months over the north and east of the North Island, including Hawke’s Bay (Figure 1). However, the impact of these southern Highs hasn’t stopped at rainfall. During autumn and early winter, we have seen intense (large) wintry Highs cross New Zealand, often centred over the southern South Island, but also extending onto the North Island. These have produced intermittent cold and frosty conditions. In 2017, temperatures have run much colder than last year (Figure 2), with frequent and fairly ‘even’ switches between cooler runs and warmer spells seen since autumn (Figure 3). This is caused by fairly frequent switches between southerly, and northerly, air flows. Hawke’s Bay has suffered cooler than usual air temperatures in the autumn and early winter period, through a combination of intermittent winter Highs, and onshore easterly winds.

Looking ahead – Late winter and early spring

Figure 1: Rainfall accumulation plot for Napier, showing just how very wet this year has been (red line), both in comparison to average (black line), and to the last three years.

The long-range forecast shows low pressures prevailing across the New Zealand region for the remainder of July, with periods of unsettled weather on the cards for Hawke’s Bay. This is a real change away from the persistent southern High, and marks a move towards more mobile weather systems across the country. August looks likely to see a real mixed bag of weather maps - including some of those gale-force westerlies that have been more or less absent during the autumn and early winter period. Looking ahead to spring (September to November), MetService commentary has consistently noted that the Tasman Sea low pressures systems are likely to rule the roost initially, before the Southern Ocean storms fire up later on. The strength of the Southern Ocean storminess (southwesterly winds) will be key for late spring temperatures, with a flow-on effect for spring growth, in Hawke’s Bay.

Figure 2: Napier temperature anomalies (or departures from average) for the calendar year 2016. Note how warm the year was, overall!

Figure 3: Compare this to the Napier temperature anomalies (or departures from average) for 2017-so-far (data 1 January to 17 July 2017).

You can catch our latest thinking about winter weather patterns at www.metservice.com/rural/monthly-outlook, including monthly forecasts of regional rainfall and temperature. If you sign up to the Monthly Outlook at www.metservice.com/emails, you will receive FREE long-range intel and forecast maps. MetService Meteorologists are also happy to answer horticultural questions on Twitter and Facebook. You can find us at MetService New Zealand on Facebook and @metservice on Twitter.


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12 Winter 2017

Volumes steady overall, prices variable

D

ata released on 20 June by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 25 more farm sales (+5.1%) for the three months ended May 2017 than for the three months ended May 2016. Overall, there were 514 farm sales in the three months ended May 2017, compared to 473 farm sales for the three months ended April 2017 (+8.7%), and 489 farm sales for the three months ended May 2016. 1,790 farms were sold in the year to May 2017, 1.4% more than were sold in the year to May 2016, with 32% more finishing farms, 20% more dairy farms and 20.3% fewer grazing farms sold over the same period. The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to May 2017 was $27,212 compared to $26,683 recorded for three months ended May 2016 (+2.0%). The median price per hectare fell 4.1% compared to April. The REINZ All Farm Price Index fell 2.4% in the three months to May 2017 compared to the three months to April 2017. Compared to May 2016 the REINZ All Farm Price Index rose 4.6%. The REINZ All Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size, location and farming type, unlike the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors.

Nine regions recorded increases in sales volume for the three months ended May 2017 compared to the three months ended May 2016. Waikato recorded the largest increase in sales (+23 sales), followed by Otago (+16 sales) and Southland (+14 sales). Compared to the three months ended April 2017, 10 regions recorded an increase in sales. “Sales figures for the three month period ending May 2017 reflect a steady tone in the rural market as the productive portion of the season tapers off, albeit sales prices are giving mixed signals. In spite of an oversupply of rain and resulting crop and pasture management difficulties in some areas, most regions have benefitted from favourable autumn conditions,” REINZ Rural Spokesman Brian Peacocke says. “As early frosts and snowfalls signal the approach of winter, confidence within the rural sector continues to build in anticipation of improving incomes during the forthcoming season. Demand for quality properties and the shortage of supply remains constant.” Points of interest around New Zealand include: • Grazing – Particularly strong activity in Northland, steady in Hawke’s Bay

and Manawatu/ Wanganui, with a continuation of the recent solid levels of sales in Canterbury and Otago; • Horticulture – a continuation of solid activity across the board in the Bay of Plenty during May, with a surge of sales in Gisborne; very quiet throughout the other traditional areas of Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Marlborough;

one forestry sale being registered in Hawke’s Bay. Real Estate Institute of New Zealand For more real estate information and market trends data, visit www.reinz.co.nz. References to May refer to the period from 1 March 2017 to 31 May 2017.

• Forestry – good returns from woodlots and plantations have resulted in an upturn of interest and sales activity in Nelson, Canterbury and Otago; a quiet month in the North Island with just

Your Hawke’s Bay Rural & Lifestyle Specialists

Experts in our field contact us for a no obligation appraisal Paul Evans

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Mobile 027 533 3314 Email paul.evans@farmlands.co.nz

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Anne Wilson Mobile 027 271 8551 Email anne.wilson@farmlands.co.nz

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14 Winter 2017

Charging for water would open a can of worms

F

ederated Farmers is worried talk of charging for commercial water use will take the country down an irreversible path of taxing ourselves unnecessarily, increasing prices and limiting economic growth.

uses. But no one has calculated what effect this would have on the economy, or on ordinary Kiwis.”

The Green Party plan announced at the weekend to charge a 10 cent a litre tax on bottled water and to charge for other commercial water uses, like farming, could end up costing New Zealanders billions.

About 60 percent of water consumed in New Zealand is used for electricity generation. Adding just 1 cent a litre charge to the water used by the Manapouri power station alone would require passing on a cost of $160 billion dollars to New Zealand electricity users (that’s 65 percent of the total value of our economy).

“We understand why Kiwis hate seeing our water bottled and sent offshore, with barely more than a couple of people employed locally to do it,” Federated Farmers water spokesperson Chris Allen says. “But, charging for every litre used does not make this problem go away. In fact, it is likely to put cost burdens on our people, our taxpayers and our communities which are simply unsustainable,” Chris says. The main problem with this policy is where does it end? “The Greens and Labour have both talked about charging for commercial water

We’ve crunched some numbers based on water consent applications and:

About 9 percent of consented water takes are for ‘industrial’ uses, which would add $24 billion in costs at 1 cent per litre of water used. People connected to domestic drinking water supplies would pay an extra $18 billion, including commercial users working with domestic water supplies.

The price of milk and meat would go up for domestic consumers and make our exports less competitive.

The price of fruit and vegetables grown for the domestic market would increase meaning that domestically grown produce would be unable to compete with imports.

“Basically if we go down this path, we will all pay more, for everything. It’s like a tax on living,” Chris says.

Source: Federated Farmers

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15 Winter 2017

Rural Women New Zealand

R

ural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is an integral part of the rural landscape, members join RWNZ for friendship, support and learning opportunities. RWNZ offer scholarships and bursaries to assist rural students to access education opportunities. RWNZ connects with the rural community through social events, fundraising and as an authoritative voice on rural health services, education, rural environment and social issues.

RWNZ supports and nurtures talent, and encourages members to grow their skills through roles within branches and provincials and progress into leadership roles in their communities.

Entries now open for the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Awards for 2017

The RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Awards is a showcase for the success of women operating businesses in rural locations and contributing to their local economy and community.

The competition has evolved over the years to promote entrepreneurship and encourage innovation in the use of technology in remote locations. Winners of the awards have included women lifestyle publishers, honey producers, native nursery operators, physiotherapists and adventure-tourism providers.

To deliver the event RWNZ partners with industry sponsors who also assist on the judging panel. If you are interested in sponsorship please contact RWNZ. RWNZ invite entries from innovative rural businesswomen with a track record of success in horticulture, agricultural, dairy, tourism or other rural sector. The four Awards for 2017: 1. Emerging Enterprising Rural Woman Award 2. Innovative Enterprising Rural Woman Award 3. Entrepreneurial Enterprising Rural Woman Award 4. Supreme Award: Enterprising Rural Woman Achievement Award for standout business success in the rural sector. Entries close 31 August 2017 and application forms are available on the web site https://www.ruralwomen.org.nz/ Marian Hirst of Bay Blueberries from Hastings won the Love of the Land Award in 2016, sponsored by Agrisea Ltd. Bay Blueberries is passionate about producing quality apples and blueberries in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner. It won the 2016 Ballance Farm Environmental Supreme Award for the East Coast Region. “Winning the Love of the Land, Enterprising Rural Women Award was

Winners 2016 from left, Helen Slattery of Slattery Contracting, Monique Neeson of ShearWarmth, Amy Dibley of Physio Direct, Lyn Neeson of ShearWarmth, and Marian Hirst of Bay Blueberries.

fantastic recognition for myself and the business, and industry as a whole,” says Marian Hirst. “The Award has raised the profile of women in horticulture, which will hopefully encourage more women into the sector.” Rotorua’s Amy Dibley of Physio Direct won the Innovative Enterprising Rural Women Award 2016, sponsored by HP and the Supreme Award, sponsored by ANZ Private. Ms Dibley, who grew up on a dairy farm in Ngongotaha, said she understood the physical demands of a rural life and believed everyone should have the right to health services, which was why she offered physiotherapy to

small communities. She is proud of her achievements after five years of working up to 70-hour weeks to get the business off the ground. Nine Physio Direct clinics are now located around New Zealand. “It’s been a tough five years getting the business to where it is and winning the Awards is recognition for all the hard work. Our business model helps attract physios into rural areas and the way we have developed that model has been quite unique.”

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16 Winter 2017

Farmers row their way to wellbeing A

group of Hawke’s Bay farmers have found the perfect way to ensure they get off the farm, improve their fitness and have a good time socially. Local farmers Rob Buddo, Allen Kittow, Gerry Steenkamer and David Sutherland belong to the Hawke’s Bay Rowing Club and have all noticed an improvement in their physical and mental health since picking up the oars. They were also part of a larger group from the rowing club who took part in the World Masters Games in April, supported by Farmstrong. Rob Budd, sheep and beef farmer and Chairman of Atkins Ranch, got into rowing about seven years ago after watching his children do it.

Rowing helps clear the mind The 56-year-old says rowing has been beneficial to his physical and mental wellbeing. “As a farmer I have a bit going on in my life and rowing is a real release. Rowing

Rob says he feels energised afterwards and has seen a huge improvement in his fitness, which helps with his farming. He says it’s also great to socialise with other people who aren’t farmers. “There are a few farmers in the rowing club but also people from other walks of life too. It’s healthy to not talk about farming all the time and to talk about other things. It’s really important to make sure you keep things in perspective”. Training on the Clive River in the lead up to the World Masters was intense.

“When our kids finished rowing there were a few of us parents who thought it would be fun to give it a go so we did,” Rob says. Rob has come a long way since then, winning a silver medal at the World Masters Games in his mixed double scull race.

forces you to focus mentally because it’s quite technical… it really helps you clear your mind.”

“Our coach Chris Morgan was the glue that held us together and made it happen… there was such a great sense of achievement to have competed at that level. It was fantastic.” Rob says it’s important for your wellbeing to get off the farm and take a break, rowing provides that opportunity. “When you’re a farmer, you’re in your workplace all the time and there’s always something that needs doing and that plays on your mind. “That’s why it’s absolutely imperative to get off the farm. It doesn’t have to be rowing, it could be cycling, rugby or anything.”

Social interaction key

Physical benefits from rowing

Fellow rower and crop farmer Allen Kittow (58) says his fitness and strength has improved greatly since he started rowing, Allen placed sixth in the final of the quadruple scull at the World Masters.

The 58-year-old says it’s crucial to have a break from farming.

“Rowing is quite a peaceful form of relaxation and it’s flexible because if there’s nobody around you can row on your own… it’s great to know you can get away for a couple of hours and have something else to think about”. Allen says the group appreciated the support from Farmstrong. “There are a lot of challenges as a farmer and Farmstrong is doing a great job supporting the rural community. Sheep and cattle farmer Gerry Steenkamer is the only one of the group who rowed as a youngster. He got back into rowing about three years ago after chatting to Rob at a party. He made it into the World Masters’ single scull semi-finals. “It was amazing to be out there competing with people from overseas and there was great camaraderie.” He says as a farmer he doesn’t have a lot of contact with people.

“It’s important to take your head away from your business every now and then. I’ve also seen a huge improvement with weight loss and I feel a lot stronger,” he says. “It’s easy to get bogged down mentally so it’s helpful to have something different to think about… my son even commented that he noticed I’m thinking more clearly these days.” And it’s not just farmers noticing the benefits. NZ Police Officer and hobby farmer David Sutherland loves the physical and mental benefits of rowing. “I’m desk-bound a lot in my role, so the exercise is great and it’s important to have another interest away from my job, it’s a good distraction,” the 56-year-old says. He’s been rowing for about five years and made it to the semi-finals of the double scull at the World Masters Games. There’s also another benefit for David. “I get free farming advice from Rob, Allen and Gerry. As a hobby farmer, those guys are wonderful for advice and guidance”.

“I’m on my own a lot of the time so rowing has been great for meeting new people.”

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17 Winter 2017

The 2017 World Masters Games rowing squad back row, left - coach Chris Morgan, Duncan Barr, Mark, Debbie Sunnex, Billy Vanderpeet, Lesley Thomas, Carina Burgess. Front Greg Vanderpeet, Alan Kittow, Jerry Steenkamer, Rob Buddo.

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18 Winter 2017

Staying off the menu By Andrew Burtt Chief Economist Beef + Lamb New Zealand

that individual farmers also need to stepup and speak-up- it certainly adds weight to the consultation process. Some farmers in the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council (HBRC) area may need to apply for a resource consent to feed winter crops as they fall under the HBRC’s definition of a feedlot; this is an area of land on which animals are kept and fed for more than 15 days in any 30-day period.

A

fter successive dry summers, we really can’t complain about all the rain, but the wet weather brings its own set of management challenges. While many farmers I have spoken to have gone into winter with plenty of feed on hand, utilisation has been back, simply because of the sodden soils.

Management of these areas is key to the resource consent process, with emphasis being placed on possible groundwater contamination, surface run-off and their proximity to buildings and public roads.

In its monthly internal report, Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s Economic Service tells us that going into winter, pasture covers across the eastern North Island were higher than they had been for many years, although feed quality was variable. As the recent drought has meant stock numbers are back, regaining pasture quality before spring – without compromising on the nutritional requirements of pregnant stock – maybe a challenge for many farmers. So far scanning results have been mixed and while ewes went into mating in excellent condition thanks to an ideal autumn, this has not necessarily been reflected in conception rates. Winter is often a good time to catch-up on paperwork and consider some of the

To see whether these requirements affect you contact the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council. Irrespective of regulatory requirements, completing a Farm Environmental Management Plan (FEMP) is a great place to start to incorporate environmental factors in your day-to-day management decisions.

issues that will impact on the business in the year ahead. Environmental regulations will affect us all at some stage. Farmers need to be aware of what is happening within their districts and engage in the regulatory-setting process. As the saying goes-if you are not at the table you will be on the menu.

B+LNZ has a highly-skilled environment team who are experts at sifting through policy and determining exactly how regulations will affect sheep and beef farmers. They really do have your backs when it comes to setting policy and will advocate on behalf of the sector. But experiences in other regions have shown

B+LNZ run regular workshops to help farmers put these plans together and feedback we have received has been very positive, with farmers finding them to be a useful management tool. These are designed to get dirty in the farm trucknot stashed in the bottom drawer. Now the shortest day is past, I hope the rest of the winter is kind and we can look forward to a productive spring.

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