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ATS News AP RIL/ MAY 2 0 1 1

Sharing a slice of high country paradise

Silver linings follow Aussie floods? A sport and a passion

From the CEO

Upcoming Events

February’s devastating earthquake has left its mark on all of us. There will be few who didn’t have family, friends, work colleagues and acquaintances in Christchurch on February 22. We extend our sincere sympathies to those of you who have lost loved ones.

11 April


Methven/Winchmore Pasture Plus Group, 10.30am–1.00pm For more info phone 021 242 5907 FAR Autumn Results Roundup Christchurch For more info contact FAR office 03 325 6353

Victoria Rutherford, Richard Rennie, Ele Ludemann, Ian Walsh, Anita Body, Pip Hume, Annette Scott, Dr Rob Derrick and Ian Hodge.

The repercussions of the earthquake are wide and far reaching, both emotionally and on a financial and practical level—although the two are obviously often closely related.

13 April


FAR Women in Arable, Ashburton For more info contact FAR office 03 325 6353

Victoria Rutherford, Pip Hume, Anita Body

14 April

Advertising Enquiries

If there is a positive to be found from this disaster, it is the community support shown by all New Zealanders, and especially Cantabrians. Many locals have opened their doors to friends and family; have lent a hand in the on-going clean-up; have donated food, clothing, toys, money and all manner of items lost by many; and have offered their skills and expertise. There is no quick fix when it comes to rebuilding Christchurch and the city’s infrastructure, and it’s going to take careful planning and necessitates forward thinking and a positive approach. It will also require plenty of support from neighbouring districts such as ours, and given our performance so far, I’m sure we will meet this challenge.

13 April

FAR Autumn Results Roundup Methven For more info contact FAR office 03 325 6353

20 April FAR Arable Y’s, Ashburton For more info contact FAR office 03 325 6353

Please contact the Marketing Department on: Tel: 03 307 5100 Email:

Editorial Enquiries

Silver linings can often be hard to find following natural disasters, and while our Queensland counterparts have had little to smile about following their devastating floods earlier this year, Richard Rennie’s article gives an insight into some of the good to come from that situation.

10 May

In a good news story, Steve and Jo McAtamney of Four Peaks share their passion for their farm and the high country walking and mountain bike track they operate. Other features in this issue of the ATS News include our regular column from rural commentator Ele Ludemann, the latest property trends according to Property Brokers, and profiles on ATS card suppliers Hinds Mechanical, Mitre 10 Mega and Ultimate Mobile.

Dave Jackson Entries close for the United Wheat Marketing Manager Growers Competition For more info visit or email

As always, there’s plenty of variety in this ATS News, and we hope find the time to enjoy the articles and information collated in this publication.

Neal Shaw, Chief Executive

FAR Women in Arable, Ashburton For more info contact FAR office 03 325 6353

15 May

Our team welcome your contributions, enquiries and letters. Please post or email to:

Front Page Photo

18 May FAR Women in Arable, Ashburton For more info contact FAR office 03 325 6353

Steve and Jo McAtamney





97 Burnett St Tel: 03 307 5100 Fax: 03 307 6723

91 Main St Tel: 03 303 2020 Fax: 03 302 8184

68 Elizabeth Ave Tel: 03 303 5440 Fax: 03 303 5430

PO Box 131 Ashburton Tel: 03 307 5100 Fax: 03 307 6721

DISCLAIMER: All information contained within ATS News is to the best of the author’s knowledge true and accurate. Opinions expressed are those of the author and not of Ashburton Trading Society. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice. This newsletter is issued as a helpful guide to members.

pg2 Sharing a slice of high country paradise

A unique mix of farming and tourism has allowed an entrepreneurial South Canterbury family to share a slice of their high country paradise

Contents 5

Silver linings follow Aussie floods?

The images of devastation and despair that accompanied the floods in Queensland were unmistakably horrific to anyone this side of the Tasman, although they have been somewhat surpassed by the earthquake in Christchurch

pg16 A sport and a passion

For four Mid Canterbury farming families, showjumping is their passion. How do they handle balancing the demands of a busy lifestyle and a challenging and engrossing sport?

ATS Seed


Opinion – Ele Ludemann


What’s happening in the Building Industry?


Small native pest poses challenge for farmers

Thoughts from across the river

Property Brokers


Big Plans for country garage

19 21

Kids Page


Hinds Mechanical

Lime and nutrient requirements for autumn sown cereals


Electricity Generation

2 5

Ask an expert

7 2 29

How to put a price on risk?

3 1

Enhanced Mobile Broadband

4 3 37

News at ATS

Graeme Burke

Mitre 10 Mega

Dairy Farm Review and Planning Ultimate Mobile


Sharing a slice of high country paradise



A unique mix of farming and tourism has allowed an entrepreneurial South Canterbury family to share a slice of their high country paradise. By Victoria Rutherford Five years ago Steve and Jo McAtamney opened the Four Peaks High Country Track to walkers, and more recently mountain bikers. Running 40km over the Four Peaks Range into the Fairlie Basin, the track utilises the station’s historic mustering huts which have been restored to accommodate visitors. Ten years ago Steve and Jo purchased the 10,000 acre Four Peaks hill country block to complement their 850 acre finishing block, Oregon, near Carew. They bought the Mt Walker homestead block of 200 acres near Te Moana, but found the property’s wintering capabilities didn’t fit. Instead they looked across to Fairlie and found Choubra, a 3,400 acre property at Clayton Settlement which ran straight off the Four Peaks hill country, giving much better wintering ability and access. Jo says it was when they began doing up the historic huts on the property that the idea of a track evolved. “We thought it would be really nice to share it, we really like it out there so we thought others might as well.” The huts were fairly dilapidated, and they knew restoration would be a big project. However, they were intent on making them comfortable for mustering and tramping purposes whilst retaining their original character and charm. “We rebuilt Pleasant Gully, the floorboards and everything had disintegrated. We took the tin off the outside and rebuilt the hut, then put the tin back on,” says Steve. One stone hut, Sutherlands, dates back to 1866 and according to author Mark Pickering in his book ‘Huts’, it is the oldest surviving one in NZ. “It was so close to becoming a heap of rubble, so we carefully and strategically poured slurry concrete into it,” says Steve, “and we got a stonemason to help restore the chimney back to its original condition— we tried to keep everything the same as the picture we had which is from 1940.” While two of the huts sleep six with caravans on site, the Devil’s Creek hut has been extended to sleep eight. Jo says the clientele are mainly New Zealanders, but they have had two or three groups of Australians come out and walk this season. “Some are trampers but many of them are our generation, just getting out with a group of mates and having a good time,” says Jo. “But in saying that we get all sorts. The oldest has been an 81 year old guy, he was part of a tramping club in Christchurch, he was amazing, the fittest of the lot too.” Evidently, the huts are well placed for walking, and there is even the chance to scale the 1587m Devils Peak on the second day.

Jo takes the packs and supplies to each hut, allowing the walkers freedom from carrying heavy packs. They tramp the track over three days and Jo picks up the supplies from the Devil’s Creek hut on the Fairlie side while they walk out. “They get a good variety, there are river beds, four wheel drive tracks and sheep tracks, some bush, open tussock, and alpine flora.” While Jo organises the visitors, Steve looks after the farming operation. Four Peaks runs capital stock, while deer, calves and lambs are finished on Oregon. There are 6000 half bred ewes, 400 Hereford and Angus beef cattle, 500 hinds and a Poll Dorset stud of 200 ewes on the hills.

Walkers enjoy Pleasant Gully Hut

Steve says they try not to supplementary feed the cows or older deer at all during the winter. “We only try to feed the young stock and all the sheep with supplementary feed to keep the costs to a minimum and utilise the high country through the summer.” “It is always a balancing act in getting the stock off the high country in the winter and when you put them out in the spring because most ewes lamb on the hill, and only the young ones down here. You don’t want to put them up there and lose them so lambing is reasonably late.” The calves are fed at Four Peaks until the spring, then sent out to Oregon to fatten to 540kgs. The deer weigh off at 110kg and lambs between 38 and 40kgs. All their 23 micron half bred wool is contracted through the NZ Merino Company to Smartwool, an American sock manufacturer. Steve and Jo’s oldest son Daniel manages Oregon, where in addition to fattening stock, they graze 900 dairy cows each winter. The old ewes and 1200 replacement hoggets from Four Peaks are also grazed over the winter months at Oregon.

Inside a hut on the trail

“It certainly makes it easier, but funding it is hard because you have the pressure of continually getting the jobs done out there which means enough staff to keep things going,” says Steve. “Costs have been escalating and the price for traditional stock hasn’t been there. If (the price) maintains and keeps rising it may become more viable but it is still marginal having blocks like that out there that can be converted to dairying.” While both Steve and Jo had grown up in the hill country, Four Peaks brought its own set of challenges. “When we did move to the hill in the first year we lost a few cattle to the (poisonous plant) Tutu,” says Jo. “We have certainly had our ups and downs,” says Steve. “The snow in 2006 was an extremely hard year.” “We were lucky that I had been storing feed like a squirrel for five or six years, so we had it on hand, and we had some very generous farming friends who ATS NE WS


Steve overlooking the farm

took a mob of our cattle and fed them for a few months. But it certainly has a big effect on the production of the fattening unit when you have to sell all the lambs prior to being fat.”

Mid and South Canterbury, and continue to play at club level.

Jo says the early snow on June 12 that year caught everybody out. Traditionally they had mustered stock off the hill by the shortest day, but it is now June 10 to be safe.

“Josh was in one of the pubs in Gisborne, and he was the only one in the gold jersey. He said he felt a little bit vulnerable until everyone had had a few drinks,” says Steve.

Cattle are mustered on horseback but there are still many places reached only on foot. Four wheelers and 4WD vehicles are also used.

When it comes to future endeavours, Steve and Jo have a few things in the pipeline including travelling to tourism show TRENZ in Queenstown as part of a local group to promote adventure in the Geraldine—Fairlie area.

“We usually stay up there for two nights in the huts, and take a week to muster them down,” says Steve. Often the boys are home to help, whilst Jo takes on cooking duties. While Daniel is close to home on Oregon, Josh is a head shepherd in Gisborne while youngest Matt is at the University of Otago. Dogs are a big feature on high country properties, and the McAtamneys are no exception.


Come the World Cup though, they might have a hard time working out where their allegiance lies as Jo’s brother is Wallaby coach Robbie Deans.

In the meantime, they are thoroughly enjoying the diversity tourism brings to their farming operation. “Quite often we meet people out there and have a yarn, they like to know about the farming side of it, and what it is like to work out here in an office like this,” says Steve.

“They all have their own dogs. Daniel and Josh have both competed actively in dog trials from young, I’d like to but I don’t get time. We are involved though, Jo is the secretary of Mackenzie dog club and previously of Geraldine, so she enjoys it too,” says Steve.

“The families are always interesting and the kids seem to want to be involved. A couple of times we have had groups when we have been tailing… they want to get in the pens and touch the lambs and sometimes they want to watch you working the dogs. (Seeing the farming) is a real bonus for them,” he says.

Rugby is a strong family theme too, with three of the boys’ uncles and a grandfather former All Blacks. They grew up involved in local competition in

For more information on Four Peaks High Country Treks visit or call (03) 6854848.


Members gather for the Grass Grub field day in March

Small native pest poses challenge for farmers Grass grub is a major pasture pest in New Zealand. The native insect affects most parts of the country and in particular areas with free draining soil which are readily found in Mid Canterbury. ATS recently joined with Nufarm and leading seed companies to host field days on how to control grass grub and what to consider when planting new pasture. Tim Dale, General Manager ATS Seed outlined the significance of local grass grub damage and highlighted the potential benefits included in presentations by attending seed companies. These included: • Clover root weevil damage and the new Ryegrass variety “Trojan”—NZ Agriseeds • The benefits of sowing “Advance” tall fescue in grass grub prone areas—Agricom • The new ryegrass endophyte U2 offering grass grub resistance being developed for commercial release—Cropmark Seeds • The importance of digging holes to check for grass grub numbers and depth along with Poncho and Gaucho seed treatment options— Bayer NZ Nufarm Territory Manager Mike Cox’s presentation included the some of the following facts and management tips. Larvae feeding on plant roots can cause extensive plant damage and the death of valuable pasture, with grass grub populations of only 15–50/m2 needed to destroy the feed for 1 ewe equivalent per hectare. In some years grass grub populations can easily exceed 1000/m2. Pasture damage shows as bare patches or grass “pulling” by grazing stock. In severely affected areas the turf may be rolled up like carpet because the roots close to the surface have been completely severed. Production losses often occur before damage symptoms are observed, so farmers need to be vigilant. Soil sampling from late January should be undertaken to determine population levels and enable timely decision making for control. Larvae are

found in the top 5cm of soil from late January/ February and generally remain in this zone for the duration of the 2nd instar stage (about 5–10 weeks) before moving down deeper into the soil for the 3rd instar stage. Diazinon 20G and Dew 600 are two of the most effective grass grub insecticides available. There are however several key factors essential in optimizing the effectiveness of these products. If conditions are not right for application (larvae too deep, long pasture cover, spray drying on foliage) then the level of control can be dramatically reduced. Surface applied Diazinon (Dew 600) only penetrates 2–3cm into the soil so it is critical this application occurs when larvae are small and feeding very close to the soil surface. Pasture should be grazed as short as possible to enable insecticides to contact the soil surface. These products are more effective when soils are moist prior to application. The spray (Dew 600) must be applied during rainfall or irrigation to prevent the product adhering to foliage. Once dried on foliage these products cannot be re-wet and will therefore essentially be ineffective. At least 12–13mm of rain or irrigation is required to “wash” the insecticide into the soil. Short pasture is important when applying the granular formulation (Diazinon 20G). This product can be applied when dry, with rainfall or irrigation (at least12–13mm) needing to occur within seven days of application. Soil types also contribute to insecticide success, and it is worth noting Diazinon persistence may be reduced in clay or heavy organic soils.


The ATS Seed Team Tel: 0800 BUY ATS (289 287) Web:

The two field days held last month were well supported by farmers who found them very interesting and informative. Tim confirmed ATS will continue this concept with future on-farm field days planned to cover key areas of weed and pest control, and forage production for farmers. ATS NE WS


Colin and Adrian Cameron on their Warrnambool farm

Silver linings follow Aussie floods? The images of devastation and despair that accompanied the floods in Queensland were unmistakably horrific to anyone this side of the Tasman, although they have been somewhat surpassed by the earthquake in Christchurch. By Richard Rennie The Brisbane region suffered the greatest loss of life and gut wrenching damage, at an estimated repair cost of $A30 billion. Whilst also inflicting damage in New South Wales and Victoria, the slower passage of flood waters there have brought some smiles to the faces of pastoral farmers who have been pulled from the brink of financial ruin by the warm summer rains, after almost a decade of dwindling water supplies, feed and farm returns. The silver lining in a summer of clouds has been supplement reserves replenished and grass growth kicked off again. Vegetable growers have not been so fortunate, with creeping flood waters destroying most of the Queensland and Victoria tomato and potato crops and around half of Queensland’s sugar cane plantations. Simone Smith, dairying journalist for The Weekly Times based in Victoria says it may appear to be business as usual for anyone looking in on the state’s dairy industry, post the February floods. However while farmers are farming on in typically stoic fashion she says the impact of floods has still been enough to knock Australia’s estimated milk volume for the season down by at least 100 million litres, from around 9.2 billion to 9.1 billion. This is thanks to some pasture damage, cows having to be dried off to avoid mastitis, and interruptions to milkings. Dairy Australia reports the full impact of the floods still remains unclear as the season begins to wind up. “Longer term though, if you talk to anyone in the northern parts of Victoria, they have more water than they know what to do with, and are not used to having their full allocations and access.” She says in 6


the northern districts of Victoria including Shepparton, production is driven by the seasonal availability, with good rains driving the cost of production well down after two seasons of high costs and lowered returns had pushed operators to the wall. Only six years ago Shepparton was being promoted to Kiwis as an area to consider for dairying, only to be hit by dry weather that saw herd numbers drop by up to 15%, and some farmers switch to grain production. Simone says the worst damage here and in other flood hit areas is relatively minor, including infrastructure, particularly to race ways, irrigation channels and dairies. Some farmers however have shifted properties temporarily because they cannot milk in their dairies due to flood damage. Fonterra reported around 30 farmers affected in this way and has offered access to interest free loans to help ease the impact. Lucerne crops have been wrecked on many properties and regrassing is being carried out where flood waters have been sitting the longest. One dairy contact in Shepparton said foot rot and lameness were a real problem with high humidity and muddy, damaged races a greater problem than usual because of the lack of maintenance over previous tight financial years. “It is bad in places, but certainly not the end of the world. Farmers have generally been able to stock up, with up to three years’ worth of supplement hay or silage.” This combined with good ground water and irrigation dam reserves will help keep any future dry impact at bay for at least another four to five years. Farmers looking to

Flooding in Victoria

increase their herd sizes again face a dilemma however—cow prices are beginning to soar on the growing demand and tight supplies resulting from heavy culling over recent dry years.” “You could expect to start paying up to $A2000 per head—they are not cheap,” she says. Overall, any decline in milk supply out of Australia is expected to only further reduce already tight global supplies for dairy products, while competition between large processors in Victoria remains intense. This will step up further later this year with the arrival of GDP milk processors commissioning a plant in Shepparton. Despite the broad devastation across crop type and area through New South Wales, there do not appear to be any major benefits flowing across the Tasman to grain growers here in Canterbury. Federated Farmers vice chair for grains Hew Dalrymple says even without the floods global grain supplies were already tight,

Colin and Adrian Cameron

exacerbated by the Russian drought that is expected to have sucked 25 million tonnes from global export markets. Meantime the floods have meant any crop that is down-graded to feed grade is more than likely devoted to feeding stock within Australia, after losing their own supplement or pastures. “The price of milling wheat is high already, we were all going to do well over the next few months anyway, regardless of what happened, but any crop loss with good prices is a blow to those Australian farmers.” Good rains in those areas around northern Victoria where dairying production was devastated by drought in recent years now has farmers there ramping up production, and storing any grain at hand to help that, says Hew. He said grain growers here were already looking at contracts for up to $450/t for feed grain in coming months, offering good returns after some tough years.

Unseasonal summer welcomed by ex-pat farmers Colin Cameron reckons the closest he got to a real summer this year was when he crossed the ditch to visit family back home, with consistent and very welcome rain continuing right through February on his Warrnambool farm. The ex-Waikato farmer, wife Adrian and children Zane and Louise made the move to the Moynshire district near Warrnambool eight years ago. They committed to running a low cost, all grass system for their 300 cow herd, quite different from the typical grain fed systems most Australian farmers use for dairying. Their relaxed approach to dairying right from the start paid off early on. As with much of Victoria, their region began to experience consistently hot dry summers from November to March in the years after they settled. Colin’s low cost approach sees him lightly stocked and allowed him to harvest sufficient hay and silage to get through all the dry summers. The only exception was two years ago, when he forked out $A130,000 for hay trucked all the way from Adelaide. This year the barns are creaking again with supplement harvested off the Cameron’s 252ha property that supports 300 milkers.

“We have managed to put away around 500 round bales of hay and 800 silage bales. We could have made more but it simply did not stop raining enough to make more,” says Colin. February alone experienced down pours totalling 150mm, a big proportion of the annual rainfall in a region averaging around 880mm pa. He emphasises farms only an hour north of them were hit harder than those in the Warrnambool district, losing fences, feed and pastures to floods. Meantime the rain has pushed along a stagnant property market, with a nearby dairy property recently selling for $A10,000/ha. Colin has seen as many Kiwis come in as have left in recent years, some heading back home after making good capital gains, others because they miss it. His farm has become very much a family affair, with son Zane owning 50ha across the road, and daughter Louise also working on the farm. “Probably my biggest regret is that I did not do it when I was younger,” he says.





Thoughts from across the rivers The motorbike roared into the yard and stopped. A few seconds later its rider limped into the house and said, “I’m beggared.” By Ele Ludemann That wasn’t the exact adjective employed but let’s not let a single letter get in the way of a true anecdote. Whether it’s spelt with an e or a u, the word has the same meaning and it is broad— covering everything from fatigue through financial ruin to imminent death. In this instance the farmer was rather overstating the case—he’d pulled something in the back of his leg while chasing a lamb and although there was no doubt it was painful and inconvenient, there was no danger it would be fatal. Overstatement isn’t usually a problem with farmers who tend more towards the laconic end of the communication spectrum. Getting a bit dry means drought is about to be declared and it’s a bit damp could be the prelude to a flood warning. A reasonable lambing or not a bad harvest indicates record crops and prices weren’t bad could be a modest admission that the speaker’s stock set a record at the sale.

“Overstatement isn’t usually a problem with farmers who tend more towards the laconic end of the communication spectrum.” Understatement isn’t necessarily a bad thing but under explaining can lead to misunderstanding, which is. Rather than the contemporary complaint of too much information those of us who live with farmers often find ourselves suffering from too little information. Late one week my farmer announced we were shearing on the following Monday. I correctly translated that as a request to cook for them, did what was required and breathed a sigh of relief when the busy day ended. It was only when he came in late and explained he’d been getting in sheep for the

next day that I discovered that when he’d said, “We’re shearing on Monday,” he meant we were shearing on Tuesday, Wednesday and possibly part of Thursday as well. Under explaining is also a problem when the farmer is teaching someone a new skill, although sometimes that is not all the farmer’s fault. A young Englishman—the son of friends of a friend—came to work on a New Zealand farm. The farmer gave him a quick introduction to the motorbike and realised the knowledge divide was greater than he’d realised when the young bloke’s first question was, “What’s a clutch?”

“Under explaining is also a problem when the farmer is teaching someone a new skill, although sometimes that is not all the farmer’s fault.” The stereotype New Zealand farmer is the quintessential, strong, silent bloke and perhaps one of the reasons men of the land tend to be men of few words is that they spend a lot of time with animals. Communicating with four-footed friends is best done with short, clear commands, although there is also room for misunderstanding there too. A farmer had a new pup from a renowned dog breeder on trial. It came with two pages of explanations of the this whistle means this and that one means that variety. After a couple of days the pup went back to the breeder. When asked what the problem was the farmer replied, “I need a dog that speaks English.”

Ele Ludemann

opinion by:

Ele Ludemann Web:





What’s happening in the Building Industry? In January there were 29 consents for new constructions in the Ashburton District with a total value of $3.6 million. February had 31 with a value of 3.7 million. Within the rural sector there were 17 consents for new dwellings or new construction ranging from workers accommodation, farm sheds to milking sheds etc. The total value of these consents was in excess of $2.1 million for January and $3.1 million for February. There is still a move towards the ecofriendly logburners with several consents for this type of change.

“The upswing in rural construction activity has been mirrored by the increased farm sales activity.” In the residential there has also been an upswing in builders buying sections for spec builds. This is partly being brought about by the price reductions of sections in both the Braebrook Subdivision on Tuarangi Road and the Elmwood Subdivision on Carters Terrace & Thomson Streets in Tinwald and also the former Tekau site on Allens Road. Sections in these subdivisions can now be purchased from $130,000. We also understand from some local building supply merchants there has been an increase in plans being priced and these range from smaller spec houses to pole sheds in the rural and a couple of other larger domestic dwellings. The upswing in rural construction activity has been mirrored by the increased farm sales activity. Late last year we commented that the economic fundamentals of buying a dairy farm had never looked better. Now in the past month we have seen considerably more buyer interest in the rural sector with several contracts signed including one farm which has been on the market for two years receiving three offers on the same day. Earthquake Repercussions

has caused renewed interest from investors looking at residential property. There is also good interest in renting farm cottages or houses and this is an excellent way to achieve some extra income on the farm. The commercial market has also been getting the overflow from Christchurch mainly for temporary space but some will end up long term as things evolve. There will also be some new building activity here with several older commercial properties going to need some remedial work especially façades and verandas. Employers will be under some pressure to ensure their workers are housed in environments that are as safe as they can be in the event of any further earthquakes.

“The commercial market has also been getting the overflow from Christchurch mainly for temporary space but some will end up long term as things evolve.” The demand for services, construction materials and building and earth moving equipment will be felt for a long time. Given Ashburton and Timaru are the closest commercial centres (of scale) to Christchurch, Mid and South Canterbury contractors will be in huge demand. Local property demand is likely to grow off the back of this economic activity. There has been an amazing relief effort from various sector of the community with people giving their time, money, food, machinery, etc. which just reinforces what a great region Mid Canterbury is to live in.

Properties for Sale: Ashwick Flat Road, Fairlie Dairy run off/Conversion Price By Negotiation 253 ha Harewood Road, Oxford Dairy Conversion/Support $5,700,000 plus GST 203 ha Anama Station Road Beef Fattening/Dairy Grazing $3,750,000 plus GST 259 ha


Property Brokers—Hastings McLeod 324 East Street, Ashburton Tel: 03 308 8209
 Fax: 03 308 8206 Web:

The earthquake has stimulated activity in Mid Canterbury primarily in the property management sector with residential rentals being snapped up. This ATS NE WS




Hinds Mechanical, corner James Street and State Highway 1

Big plans for country garage The new owners of Hinds Mechanical Services have big plans for the small business, and are already well on their way to achieving the first of their goals. By Anita Body Ian and Alison King took over the business in February and found one of the most common requests from locals was for a WOF service. So both Ian and the premises are in the throes of gaining certification, and once it’s gained locals, farmers and contractors will be able to drop off their vehicles without having the hassle and down-time of trying to get to town.

“Hinds Mechanical Services will concentrate on the servicing and repairs of everyday vehicles, agricultural vehicles and machinery, and commercial vehicles.” This approach to the business is part of the couple’s “open door” policy. They want to help and meet the needs of new and existing customers. To do this they want to hear what people would like in the way of products and services so they can best work towards meeting these needs. Their vision is to run the business as a country garage. This means Hinds Mechanical Services will concentrate on the servicing and repairs of everyday vehicles, agricultural vehicles and machinery, and commercial vehicles. With 12 years of mechanical experience in a variety of workplaces, Ian is well placed to offer this level of service. Originally from Wales, Ian was a self employed mobile mechanic for four years before moving to New Zealand with Alison three years ago. His early work experience saw him employed by New Holland and a regular garage in his spare time. For the last three years he’s been employed by an agricultural contractor north of Levin and he’s worked on a variety of agricultural equipment and machinery from harvesters to tractors, as well as earthmoving gear, utes, cars and trucks.

Alison has also worked as a mechanic after completing a course when she was 20, and more recently has worked on dairy farms in the North Island. While she too was born in Wales and most of her family still lives in the UK, her immediate family moved to New Zealand in the mid 1990s and live in the North Island. She also has an aunt and uncle in the Ashburton district, and it’s these connections which in part led to the couple and their young baby daughter, Sophie, moving south. The pair had seen the business was for sale on TradeMe and Alison was charged with taking a closer look while on holiday in Ashburton. Ian quickly followed the next weekend and the decision to take on the business and move was made.

Alison, Ian & Sophie King

“Their vision is to run the business as a country garage.” “We could see the potential the place had and really just went from there,” said Ian. The fact the business has a State Highway 1 frontage and a house next door, were big selling points. Ian’s previous job saw him working long hours away from home and now he gets to work closely with Alison and see Sophie during the day while also building up a business for their future. In the short term the business has had tidy up and new signage is on its way. Further down the track Ian and Alison would like to re-introduce a small store in the front shop area stocking everyday consumable such as oil and batteries. While they have plenty they want to achieve, they are taking one step at a time. Establishing a reputation for providing quality, reliable and quick turnaround service for their customers is their first priority.


Ian & Alison King Hinds Mechanical 4 James Street Hinds Tel: 03 303 7822 Email:







A sport and a passion For four Mid Canterbury farming families, showjumping is their passion. How do they handle balancing the demands of a busy lifestyle and a challenging and engrossing sport? By Pip Hume Competing in any sport at a high level is incredibly demanding; on time and on resources. Equestrian sports are particularly so, with both horses and riders needing outfits, transport, housing, health and fitness requirements and attention to the myriad of details that contribute to success. In New Zealand, most young riders start off with Pony Club, learning the basics across the range of equestrian sports along with how to care for their ponies. Pony Club competitions offer an ideal training ground with opportunities to participate in team events, representing their local club, area, province, island, or even to compete against other young rider teams internationally. Adults and more accomplished young riders compete in competitions run by Equestrian Sport New Zealand (ESNZ) which governs the equestrian disciplines of showjumping, eventing, dressage, endurance and para-equestrian. ESNZ competitions are run at local, regional, provincial and national level, culminating in March with the biggest horse show in the Southern Hemisphere—the Horse of the Year Show at Hastings—for those lucky enough to qualify. In the past New Zealand showjumpers have not featured amongst the top contenders at Olympic Games and World Cup level. However, our young riders have been very successful at international level, with both Pony Club and ESNZ Young Rider teams taking out top honours across the equestrian disciplines. Currently we have a strong contingent of showjumpers based overseas competing successfully at top level. These riders all spent their early years traveling the showjumping circuit with their families. The showjumping season runs from September through to the end of March—the business end of the season coinciding with what is also the busiest time of the year for most rural families. There’s a great deal of travel involved, and many equestrian competitions run over several days at a time, with early starts and late finishes the norm.

Mike, Gendie and Annabel Askin

The Askin Family Mike and Gendie, Annabel, George, Henry and Lucinda Mike and Gendie Askin farm 557ha at Lowcliffe. Originally a sheep, beef and cropping property, the Askins have in recent years introduced dairy support into their system, and are currently converting half of the property to dairy. The property is irrigated with pivot irrigators supported by water storage ponds. The four Askin children are all involved with horse sports—Annabel and Lucinda on the showjumping side and George and Henry with polo. Gendie is very involved with the farm, and is also the “horse manager”, looking after stable management, working out feed and exercise schedules, making sure competition entries are organised, arranging farrier and vet visits and generally keeping everything on track. Life in the Askin house is always busy, and this season the dairy conversion has made things even more hectic than usual. The culmination of the season will be a trip up to Hastings to the Horse of the Year in March, where Lucinda has two ponies qualified for the Pony of the Year.

For the duration of a competition most horses and ponies, especially those who have traveled some distance, stay at the showgrounds in yards or stables. Attending to their needs is a fulltime job—feeding, watering, grooming and preparing, warming up and cooling down, and generally keeping them happy and healthy. As the level of competition grows, so too does this level of intensity. Most competitors choose to stay on the grounds with their equine partners, keeping an eye on their welfare and security, so having self-contained travel and accommodation in the form of a truck is essential. For families living in very close quarters for days at a time, it’s vital that the truck is well equipped—and packing the truck to go away to a competition is an art form! It’s not all hard work though. Family ties seem particularly strong where a sporting passion is shared and a lot of time is spent together, supporting each other, celebrating and commiserating. Showjumpers are a notoriously social crowd, and there are many long established friendships amongst the fraternity.



The Bell Family

Elizabeth, Candace and Ian Bell

Ian and Julie, Elizabeth, Candace and David “Horses have been a lifelong passion,” said Ian Bell, who has competed in the showjumping arena for many years. Julie is also an accomplished rider. Although she doesn’t currently compete, Ian says she does a lot of the work with their showjumper

Balmoral and she generally manages the horses on their farm at Dorie. Daughters Candace and Lizzie are also keen showjumpers, and although Candace now lives in Ashburton with her fiancé, her horses at still kept at Dorie meaning she still spends plenty of time at the farm. Lizzie works as a qualified Early Childhood Teacher at Dorie Preschool, and plans to travel overseas for six months during the off season. Home for the Bell family is a 420ha irrigated sheep and cropping farm. It’s a family operation and the hope is that son David (whose interests lie in farming, bush hunting and motorbikes rather than horses) will ultimately farm the property.

had to cope with the change in seasons moving from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern Hemisphere and the environment here is vastly different from where he grew up. In addition the pair is still settling into their partnership. Nevertheless, they recently notched up a 2* Grand Prix win and Susie is looking forward to competing at Horse of the Year. Andretti is a breeding stallion, with semen collected and transported for AI to outside mares, and Susie is grateful for Wayne’s help at collecting time. “I couldn’t do what I do without his support—in every sense,” she said.

Julie and Candace are looking forward to a trip up to the Horse of the Year Show, this year in the capacity of supporters and spectators.

Annabel Askin with Sea Spray (left); Susie Hayward with Andretti

Kate, Kimberley, Alan, Jayden, and Jaimee Bird

The Bird Family Alan and Kate, Nick, Mike, Kimberley, Jaimee and Jayden For the Bird family, life moves at a fast pace. A keen rider herself, with five children in the family Kate finds her time fully taken up with the farm, the family and management of the horses. This season has seen the two girls, Kimberley and Jaimee, enjoying a very successful competition season, while youngest son Jayden has also recently got a new pony.

Genevieve Scott with Vermont

Eldest son Nick is currently working on a dairy farm in preparation for going to Lincoln University, and his interests are (bush) hunting and motorbikes. Second son Mike, is in Year 12 at Ashburton College, and is more interested in computers and also enjoys Paintball. While the two girls are keen and competitive showjumpers, they also have plenty of other interests, both equestrian and non-equestrian, and are encouraged to take time out from the sport if they wish. The Birds farm a 260ha organic cropping property at Chertsey, where they grow a large variety of crops including linseed, barley, wheat, buckwheat, ryecorn, peas and carrots. They also run 500-odd ewes to clean up. Stop Press: Kimberly and Jaimee recently attended the Horse of the year competition in the Hawkes Bay and came away with seven major placing’s between them The Hayward Family Wayne and Susie, Glenn, Charlotte, Genevieve and Ben Scott The Hayward family’s Brackley Farm is located between Lauriston and Barrhill. The 234ha cropping and lamb fattening property is run by Wayne and his son Glenn. Susie has been involved with horses for most of her life, and she and daughters Charlotte and Genevieve are keen showjumpers—although Charlotte is not riding at the moment. Wayne and Susie imported their Holsteiner stallion Andretti from Germany in 2010. He hasn’t had a lot of competitive starts this season—he has

Ian and Julie Bell with Balmoral





s d i K S T A

April/May 2011

ge. Welcome to the ATS Kidstopa keep you busy over the holidays. Easter is coming! Here are some fun ideas

Sticker Dyed Easter Eggs

Parental supervision is reocmmended for young children.

Egg decorating couldn’t get much simpler than this method: all you do is apply stickers to your egg before dyeing to create cool shapes and silhouettes.

You will need: Food coloring and white vinegar Boiled eggs (white eggs if poss.) Paper towel Cooling rack / egg carton Newspaper Tiny stickers in different shapes


How to make them: 1. Cover work area with newspapers.


2. Place 1 Tbsp of white vinegar into a wide mouth cup (coffee mugs work great) and fill ž full with water, then add several drops of food coloring. 3. Use a separate cup for each color of dye. 4. Dry off egg completely with paper towel. 5. Stick tiny stickers on egg. Make sure that all edges are firmly stuck to the egg. 6. Dip the crayon colored egg into the dye and let sit for about a minute. 7. Let egg dry on cooling rack, about 5 minutes.



8. After egg is completely dry, peel off stickers. You will see white where the sticker had been.

The longer you leave the egg in the dye, the deeper the color will be.

9. If you like, dye egg again using a lighter shade (such as yellow) to fill in the white spaces.

Use crayon instead of stickers.



Easter Dot-to-dot Connect the dots using ‘a’ through to ‘z’ to complete the picture. Bring your completed dot-to-dot into any ATS store and receive a sweet treat.

Easter Egg Hunt How many words can you make out of:

EASTER EGG HUNT Each word has to be at least three letters long.

Did you find: A colour. The opposite of this. A number. The opposite of here. A planet. The opposite of those. A weapon. The opposite of messy. A rodent. The opposite of love. Something you drink. The opposite of west. Something you wear. The opening in a fence. What you chew with. Very, very good! What a squirrel eats. Another word for begin. To look at for a long time. Dirty old torn clothes. A place to act.

Easter Nests Ingredients:

Bakers chocolate or chocolate chips Corn flakes / muesli Mini eggs or jellybeans to decorate

How to make: 1. Melt the chocolate and then mix with cereal. 2. Using a muffin pan and baking cups, put a spoonful of the mixture in each cup and then use the spoon to make it roughly the shape of a nest. 3. Put them in the fridge for an hour and then decorate with the mini eggs or jelly beans.



Lime and nutrient requirements for autumn sown cereals With harvest hopefully over, it is time to turn to soil testing to determine the lime and fertiliser requirements for autumn sown cereal crops. By Jeff Morton, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Getting the soil pH to the ideal range is very important for cereal growth. A soil pH of 6.0 in the top 15cm of soil is ideal for autumn sown cereals. If soil pH is lower than this it can be raised by the application of lime. Lime needs to fully dissolve to take effect, and this usually takes 6–12 months, so planning your applications is essential. Generally it takes 1 tonne of lime per hectare to increase soil pH by 0.1 pH unit.

“Getting the soil pH to the ideal range is very important for cereal growth.” Where crops are being planted into land that has come out of pasture, there is nearly always enough nitrogen (N) in the soil to support the establishment and early growth of the crop. In this scenario, there is no need to add N fertiliser. However, if the land being used has been in continual cropping, N levels may be depleted, in which case N should be applied with the base fertiliser. Soil tests are useful for determining soil N status, and the results of these should dictate your approach to N fertiliser. Phosphorus (P) is essential for root growth and you should aim to have soil Olsen P levels in the 20–30 range for all phases of the rotation. If soil tests show a P deficiency, then apply additional P fertiliser over and above your maintenance requirements. Each extra 5kg P/ha will increase the Olsen P by one unit. Use a soluble form of P fertiliser, such as a cropzeal product, or a superten product. If you compare the Olsen P results of this year’s soil test with those of the previous year’s test, you will get an indication of how much P the last crop removed. Typically, applying 250–500kg of cropzeal 16N/ha/year will replace P losses from cereal crops.

“If you compare the Olsen P results of this year’s soil test with those of the previous year’s test, you will get an indication of how much P the last crop removed.” Superphosphate-based products also supply sulphur (S) in the quickly available sulphate form. In a normal winter, a typical application of cropzeal or superten will supply sufficient S for the crop. However, if the winter is particularly wet—like 2010 was—higher levels of S will be leached from the soil. This will leave lower reserves, so it will be necessary to apply a second dressing of S later in the season. This is best done by using n-rich ammo alongside or instead of n-rich urea, when N is applied at GS 32.

“If trace elements such as manganese are required, then they are best sprayed on to the crop in the spring at mid to late tillering.” On most South Island soils, there is adequate potassium (K) to meet crop needs, but with continual cropping and removal of K in straw, levels may become depleted and fertiliser K may be required. This can be either applied at sowing or with urea in the spring. If soil Quick Test Mg levels decline to 10, apply 20–30 kg Mg/ha/year.

contact ats to discuss your fertiliser needs and/or to arrange for advice from your LOCAL ballance TECHNICAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE:

If trace elements such as manganese are required, then they are best sprayed on to the crop in the spring at mid to late tillering. Other trace element deficiencies – e.g., copper, zinc and boron - are possible but rare. Trace element deficiencies are more likely if the soil pH is above 6.5.

Anna Bedford 027 499 7617

For more information on cereal crop fertiliser strategies, talk to your ATS or Ballance technical representative.

Tel: 0800 222 090

Russell Hamilton 027 677 4499 Michael Robertson 027 464 2972 Web:





Electricity Generation in New Zealand New Zealand’s electricity industry has grown in recent years since the splitting of the Electricity Corporation of New Zealand (ECNZ). At that time each electricity company was allocated generation and retailing portions of ECNZ. By Graeme Burke, Electricity Commentator Today electricity is almost entirely generated by what is known as “gentailers” - companies that own both the means of generation and the ability to retail it. Nationally this comprises the “big five”— Contact Energy, Genesis Energy, Mercury Energy, Meridian Energy and TrustPower. At regional levels there are others such as Todd Energy, King Country Energy and Bay of Plenty Energy, while other generators include companies such as Ballance Agri-Nutrients and Ravensdown that generate electricity as a by-product of their manufacturing processes. New Zealand obtains a large proportion of its electricity from well-established hydroelectric generation sites. Around 50-60% of annual electricity is generated from these sites depending on rainfall and snow melt. It is also the cheapest form of electricity generation, but as New Zealand’s demand for electricity grows, the proportion supplied by hydroelectric sites will drop now that major opportunities for future development have been completed. Hydroelectricity is one of the renewable sources of electricity generation—sources which are regenerated by natural processes in a relatively short time. Other renewable sources are shown in the graph below, along with non-renewable sources. GRAPH 1:

Geothermal stations include Wairakei which utilises steam from the local Taupo steamfields. Other stations are located in the Bay of Plenty and Northland, and further opportunities are being identified in other areas. Natural gas fields are located in the Taranaki area, both on and off-shore. A number of large fields contribute to the North Island’s gas supply and usage, including Huntly’s gas-powered electricity generation, used initially for firing the four dual-fuel (coal or gas) generators in the station but latterly for the station’s new, more efficient combined cycle plant known as “E3P”. Huntly also uses coal for generation at times of gas shortages but this is the only significant example of coal-fired generation and largely accounts for coal usage shown in Graph 1. Other gas-fired stations include Stratford in Taranaki, Otahuhu in South Auckland and Southdown in Westfield, Auckland. The only significant oil-fired station is Whirinaki near Napier. This back-up station is used when electricity spot market prices begin to soar due to hydro shortages, during transmission interruptions (e.g. the loss of a Cook Strait cable), generation failures, and similar events. Its operation is used to cap such prices. Bio-mass plants are small in number and size and are normally co-generation plants i.e. they operate as a component of another industrial process. They may also be fired on other fuels e.g. coal or gas. Wind farms are located wherever sufficient proven continuous wind strength is demonstrated and resource consent has been granted. Although wind is free, the technology associated with converting wind energy into electricity is expensive. Consequently it has only become economically viable when electricity prices have risen. Wind farms are located at Tararua (Manawatu), Te Apiti (Manawatu), West Wind (Wellington), Whitehill (Southland) and Hau Nui (Waikato) but other sites are under development.

From NZ Energy Data File 2010, Ministry of Economic Development website

Electricity generation from tidal sources has been talked about for some time and recently Crest Energy NZ gained approval to stage installation of up to 200 tidal turbines for power generation in the Kaipara Harbour. This is the first large-scale commercial approval for tidal power generation and it has the potential to play a significant role in the development of a new source of renewal energy in New Zealand. ATS NE WS


Sheds for all farm purposes Y es!

3 Bay e v a h e W Buildings T rm EXCL GS Kitset Fa FR OM




Three Lane covered drive-through for all seasons for easy and efficient access

Robert Murphy, Rural & Trade Rep Building Supplies Meet the Mitre 10 advisory team!

Ask an expert New Zealanders love to have a go at projects around the farm and home. By Pip Hume We are great at renovating and ‘do it yourself’ improvements, right through to building projects such as sheds. Perhaps it’s a part of our cultural heritage from our pioneering forefathers, or the sense of accomplishment which comes from acquiring and using practical skills and techniques, or the satisfaction of completing a project to a high standard and saving money. Perhaps it is a mix of these factors.

“With access to massive purchasing power nationally, Mitre 10 Mega in Ashburton has the biggest range of building materials in town, all under cover. “

This service is available for decisions around the home as well—whether customers are choosing new lights for the lounge, looking at a new colour for the bedroom, deciding how to update the bathroom or planning a new kitchen. Embarking on a simple or highly complex do it yourself project can be the cause of nervous moments and sleepless nights. Enthusiasm, willpower and hard work will take a project a fair way down the track towards completion. A good network of friends, neighbours and family to offer advice and provide a helping hand is a huge help. However, the expertise and knowledge to make good decisions are essential. This is where the expert staff at Mitre 10 can help.

Certainly the phrase ‘DIY—it’s in our DNA’ strikes a chord with many New Zealanders It’s one we are all very familiar with, as it is the tag line for Mitre 10—New Zealand’s biggest network of over 100 home improvement stores.

“Mitre 10 Mega is serious about the rural community. We’re committed to making sure people get the best solution as well as the best price.”

With access to massive purchasing power nationally, Mitre 10 Mega in Ashburton has the biggest range of building materials in town, all under cover. Trade supply forms a large part of the business, and Mitre 10 has strong, established links with the tradesmen of Mid Canterbury as well as a depth of experience in building projects.

The importance of being able to tap into expert advice from the planning stages right through to completion of a project can be the deciding factor in whether a project is successful or not.

“Mitre 10 Mega is serious about the rural community. We’re committed to making sure people get the best solution as well as the best price,” said Simon Lye, General Manager. “We regularly meet customers on-site to discuss projects such as a new shed or building, a replacement roof or a quote for fencing materials— our staff can act as a sounding board for ideas from the planning stages right through to helping with plans and Council consents—it’s a free, no obligation service that just takes a simple phone call to arrange.”

“Our team can make it as easy as possible. They can help with everything around your home, from gardens, paint, light fittings, kitchens and bathrooms, heating—you name it. Just come into the store or phone and we will help you.” Mitre 10 New Zealand Limited is a New Zealand owned and operated co-operative. Its stores are run by owner operators, whose interests are focused firmly within their local communities. “Shopping at locally owned and operated businesses keeps your money in our region and our community,” said Simon. “With so many New Zealand-based companies having off-shore owners or investors, it’s important to support those whose interests are local.”

Rob Neal, Plumbing

Robert Murphy, Rural & Trade Rep Building Supplies

Jane Strong, Garden

Carol Waltho, Lighting

Debbie Lambert, Paint

Jill Barker, Kitchens


Mitre10 Mega West Street Ashburton
 Tel: 03 308 5199





The threat from dioxins is associated with oils previously used for frying—not this pure vegetable oil.

How to put a price on risk? With so many hungry people in the world it makes sense that by-products from human food production are utilised by animals to make high quality animal protein. By Dr Rob Derrick, Winslow Feeds For example, for every tonne of soya beans crushed to make soya oil, about 750kg of high quality soya bean meal is produced which is well utilised by pigs, poultry, calves and milking cows. The use of soya bean meal in animal feeds seems a no-brainer, but what if there is a risk associated with the by-product? Back in 1984 I worked on a farm near Queniborough in the UK. Queniborough has the dubious honour of being a BSE hotspot following the unusually high number of deaths of previously healthy local teenagers to “Mad Cow Disease” linked, allegedly, to the village butcher who seemingly was putting more than just steak and kidney in his meat pies.

“In the early 1980’s UK calf rearers could buy calf feed with superior protein specifications at less cost than standard calf feed based on vegetable protein.” Mad cow disease was devastating for the people affected but has not yet become the massive killer some experts had predicted. It does mean none of the Derrick clan can donate blood in New Zealand because of the fear that our blood contains brain destroying prions—probably a worthwhile precaution given the uncertainty of the disease. In the early 1980’s UK calf rearers could buy calf feed with superior protein specifications at less cost than standard calf feed based on vegetable protein. Later, when BSE ravaged their adult cows, farmers who had bought the lower cost option claimed they had not been informed of the animal protein component or the risks that it might pose—which to be fair wasn’t really understood. Fast forward to November 2004 when the use of recovered vegetable oil (RVO) was banned in European Community countries. The ban was instigated because in 1999 Belgian chicken was found to contain harmful levels of dioxins which were linked back to RVO added to their feed. Dioxins are a group of harmful chemicals which are increased by frying, they accumulate in the body and become concentrated

when fed to animals. RVO from restaurants can also contain minute fragments of animal protein unless filtered through ultra-fine sieves. BSE and foot-and-mouth were probably in the regulators minds when they banned the use of RVO.

“Dioxins are a group of harmful chemicals which are increased by frying, they accumulate in the body and become concentrated when fed to animals.“ At Winslow we use a little soya oil in some of our dairy and calf formulations. A few weeks ago we were offered some NZ sourced soya oil which on closer examination turned out to be RVO from North Island restaurants. Worryingly, in the information sent it was not labelled as RVO and on inquiry was loosely described as “reconstituted”. At about $700 per tonne cheaper than pure vegetable oil it is a tempting choice which apparently some feed mills have been quick to accept.

“I may be over-cautious, but I do not wish to expose our customers’ livestock to unnecessary risk and will stick with the pure vegetable oil.“ Waste cooking oil can presumably be utilised in bio-fuel production as it is in Europe so is not going to accumulate as unwanted waste if not used in animal feeds. This experience has made me realise how important it is that as feed manufacturers we make it clear exactly what our suppliers are offering us, that we clearly label what is in our manufactured feeds, and that customers make an informed decision if they wish to take the risk of the cheaper option.

The range of Winslow Feeds and nutritonal products are available through ATS.





Dairy Farm Review and Planning Planning ahead is always good advice in farming—whatever business type you are in. Planning in advance will often mean the difference between reacting to an animal health issue and preventing it entirely, by implementing a well-planned preventive strategy. By Ian Hodge, Riverside Vets Reacting to animal health issues is less profitable than preventing them. In many cases animals affected by ill health will have stopped growing at the time of diagnosis, and will take some considerable time to compensate for the lost growth and production.

In addition this autumn you may plan to maintain a regular trace mineral programme in heifers throughout the winter so that they are at top weights prior to mating in October.

Pre-empting such problems by thought and planning will be rewarded by continuous growth and development of stock. A good example is trace element supplementation. Giving production enhancing elements prior to periods of known deficiency will greatly aid the animals through these periods.

In the long term you might decide to plan to have the herd at body condition score 5 at drying off and in the same condition at calving. What proportion of the herd is currently above or below where you would like them to be? You may also be planning to reduce the incidence of mastitis and metabolic disease at calving next spring, and it would certainly be a good idea to include your vet in some of these processes.

“Pre-empting such problems by thought and planning will be rewarded by continuous growth and development of stock.”

“Animal health should be about planning and preventing because it is simply more profitable than treating an already sick animal.”

Review of what you did earlier in the season, or what happened this time last season is also a very good idea. You may have had to treat calves for Yersinia infection last year and this year decided to improve the milk feed period of the calf, and improve weaning weights and management so the disease was less likely to occur. Last season your calves may have been diagnosed with parasitism and this year you decided to shorten the drenching interval to prevent the development of such large numbers of infective larvae on pastures.

At Riverside we have developed a whole new approach to reproduction and mastitis management for dairy herds, and see value in review (to see where we went wrong last time) and planning (to make it better this time).

“Copper deficiency in early winter, or at any stage, is likely to be expensive in lost growth and production of any ruminant.” This autumn you may decide to supplement with copper earlier. By early supplementation you will prevent any primary or secondary copper deficiency from developing. Copper deficiency in early winter, or at any stage, is likely to be expensive in lost growth and production of any ruminant.

Animal health should be about planning and preventing because it is simply more profitable than treating an already sick animal.

Riverside Vets are ATS Suppliers allowing members to charge their membership to their ATS Card. Contact:

Riverside Veterinary Services Ltd Tel: 03 308 2321





Ultimate Mobile can provide solutions to enhance mobile coverage.

Enhanced Mobile Broadband Getting access to good, high speed, stable and affordable broadband is still a challenge for many rural New Zealanders. Hearing about the roll-out of super-fast broadband to city dwellers is a source of even more frustration to those who can still only get dial-up (“dino-dial”) internet access. By Pip Hume These days, high speed broadband is seen as an integral part of doing business in New Zealand and the world. And it’s not just the farm businesses that need the technology. All members of rural families and communities benefit from better access to information and greater social connections. Successive governments have been somewhat slow to tackle the issue of broadband access for rural New Zealand. One solution which has been available to a proportion of people living outside the main centres is mobile broadband, using a T stick. However, this technology can also be problematic, with limited signal strength in some areas causing unstable connections and poor connection speeds.

“Successive governments have been somewhat slow to tackle the issue of broadband access for rural New Zealand.“ Ultimate Mobile is a Canterbury-based business providing and improving mobile broadband connectivity solutions. Michael Smith has owned and operated the business for over 18 months, and having worked in Mid Canterbury for many years he has plenty of local knowledge and experience. “In Mid Canterbury the 3G network is a reasonably good solution,” he said. “Telecom has a good number of cell sites now, and the Vodafone coverage is very reasonable as well. However, in a lot of locations where coverage is not so stable there are other solutions which enhance mobile broadband connectivity to harness its full potential, and that’s where we come in.” These solutions include antennae—T-stick or 3G router (examples include rooftop and vehicle) which

can be used to make an average internet connection better and more stable. The focus of the business is on providing simple, fixed or portable solutions direct from the source, direct from the experts. “We specialise in providing the right products for the right solution,” said Michael. “We source our products across a number of major suppliers internationally, so we can access connectivity solutions for just about any requirement. We know how to make this technology work for our customers so we can give them the right advice as well.”

“However, in a lot of locations where coverage is not so stable there are other solutions which enhance mobile broadband connectivity to harness its full potential, and that’s where we come in.” Cell phone coverage can also be subject to the problems of poor connectivity and calls dropping out. Ultimate Mobile also carries a selection of connectivity solutions to enhance mobile coverage for those on the move or on the farm. These vehicle antennae vary in size from on glass patch models through to bonnet-mounted high gain models. They can also design a voice coverage solution for the home or farm site and again Ultimate Mobile can put customers in touch with the right solution for their needs. The business has a strong focus on providing excellent service and support—and part of that is to provide customers with the best advice based on years of experience.

Michael Smith owner of Ultimate Mobile


Ultimate Mobile 1 Unit 3 92B Russley Rd Christchurch Tel: 03 336 0111 Web:





News at ATS ATS Supports United Wheat Growers 2011 Wheat Competition

ATS News Colouring Competition Winners

The popular United Wheat Growers annual Wheat Competition has been introduced for the 2011 season with support from ATS.

Thanks to all those children who entered the December ATS News Colouring Competition. With over 50 entries it was a difficult decision for our judges. The winner of the 4–7yr old category was Flynn MacKenzie and the winner of the 8–10yr old category was Rosemary Taggart.

Crops harvested in 2011 are eligible for entry. Judging will take place in Autumn 2011 with presentations and prize giving taking place at the Federated Farmers Grains Conference in June 2011. Entries are invited across three classes of wheat from growers across New Zealand. If you have harvested your crop and would like to enter please contact Nikki Craig on 03 307 5109 or

Peel Forest Montessori Preschool Children’s day at Peel Forest has become an annual ‘Family Fun Day’ and was again a great success! A large crowd turned up from Peel Forest and surrounding areas, including a number of visitors from Christchurch. All children enjoyed free activities which included, bouncy castles, face painting, pony rides, visits from local people with a fire engine and a vintage tractor. There was also activities set-up inside the preschool grounds by the Montessori Preschool staff including art, carpentry and playdough. The Outdoor Pursuits Centre in conjunction with the preschool ran the ‘Great Kids Challenge’ which was well supported, the entry fee for this was split 50/50 and donated to the Christchurch earthquake fund. ATS sponsored this event by providing prizes for those children who took part.

Rosemary Taggart winner of the 8–10 year old category, being was presented with her prize by Card Suppler Key Account Manager Kyle Koke

Peel Forest Montessori Preschool Children

Adria provides IPads for Stores IPad computers will be installed in the Methven and Rakaia Stores within the next month for member use. They have been donated by Adria Crop Protection for members to check the weather and view the ATS website.



Trish Burrowes with Flynn MacKenzie, winner of the 4-7yr old category

Grass Grubb On Farm Field Days ATS Members were hosted at John and Rachel Jefferson’s Hinds farm and Michael and Michelle Copland’s Seafield farm in March. The successful field days highlighted how to control grass grub and what to consider when planting new pasture. Tim Dale, General Manager ATS Seed confirmed ATS will continue this concept with future on-farm field days planned to cover key areas of weed and pest control, and forage production for farmers.

ATS Retail Bruce Smith ready to set off on his postie bike

Postie Challenge Members gather at John & Rachel Jefferson’s Hinds farm

ATS Spray Hardware salesman Bruce Smith has taken part in the 2011 Postie Bike Challenge. The challenge involves riding a Honda CT110 postie motorbike 1700kms from Cape Reinga to Wellington, raising funds for camp Quality along the way.

Summer Photo Competition Winner

Mayfield and Methven A & P Show

Congratulations to Sarah Holland who won a Canon Power Shot camera from Kingans Kodak Express for her summer holiday photo.

A & P Shows are an integral part of the annual calendar for our rural communities. At the Mayfield show ATS was proud to sponsor the 3rd prize for All Breeds Terminal Sire Ram Hogget at the recent Mayfield A & P Show. Congratulations go to Ryan Carr (1st), Paul Ross (2nd) and Norman Carr (3rd).

Sarah Holland, with ATS Marketing Manager David Jackson



News at ATS

ATS out and about Above: The Islands Came to ATS Ashburton in March, with ATS and Ballance running a promotion to win an Island holiday.

Left: Members enjoyed an island style spit roast at ATS Ashburton

South Island Field Days



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Very good tidy condition Price $600ono Tel Martin Williams 03 303 6581

Specialising in... Furniture Auto Trimming Motor Bike Seats

Portable Cattle Yards Portable cattle yards, ex Rakaia Engineering, as new. Excellent for small holding or life style farm. Yards have 7 rails and consist of: 1 x head bale  1 x 2.4m race  1 x vet gate  1 x race gate  2 x 1.8m gates  2 x 3.0m gates  1 x 3.4m gate (extra strong)  Very easy to shift and assemble.  Photos available. $4,600.00 +GST for the lot Tel (03) 3088741 (leave message) or (027) 6794310

Ute Covers Boat Covers Pool Covers

PVC Covers Hay Covers Carpet Binding

Insurance Claims Plus much much more!

TINWALD CANVAS & UPHOLSTERY LTD 115 Main South Road, Tinwald, Ashburton Phone/Fax 03307 2354 Email

Kidz Korner Want to give an Easter gift to a special child? But don’t want to add to the chocolate pile? How about a wind-up rabbit or chicken? Or so many other lasting gift ideas at Kidz Korner. East Street Ashburton. Ph 307 0456 ATS Supplier.

Frizzell Electronic farm scales from $780.00; Well depth meters from $285.00, weather stations from $149.00, Irrigation monitoring equipment from $195.00, Farm weigh bridges from $3800.00 (all prices plus G.S.T.). If it’s Farm electronics contact Frizzell Agricultural Electronics for the best price. We also have a wide range of crates and platforms for scales, plus irrigation monitoring and farm security systems. For free information on our wide range of products contact Alastair Frizzell on 03 318133, or your local contact Viv McLachlan on 03 3027 065 or 0275066434. or

Winter Cow Grazing Available Up to 600 cows, includes straw Lismore Area Tel 0274 344 041


WILTSHIRE Purebred Ram Lambs

Do you know we offer rural services such as: • Whiteware & Home Appliance repairs every week • All Farm & Domestic services every week • Heat Pump installations and maintenance as our customers require. • Cowshed, Irrigation and all emergency repairs anytime—24hrs a day 7 days a week!

Ideal easy care sheep. No shearing, crutching or dagging. Resistant to worms and flystrike. $350 plus GST Tel 03 303 6235 or 027 380 5075

WANTED Shearing Shed 3 stand, raised board Tel 0274 347 342

Electrical services delivered to your door step!

Call us today to find out when we are in your area… 308 9008 or visit


Win a chance to dip into a barrel of prizes! Purchase over $200 of Tru-Test Group products from April to July and go in the monthly draw to stake your claim on more than $8000 of prizes. See instore for details.

Advertising Enquiries Please contact the Marketing Department on: Tel: 03 307 5100 Email: info@ats.

Allflex Purchase 200 or more official tags and you can purchase an Allflex Tag Pouch for only $12+gst. Normal Retail $40 +GST Exclusive offer to ATS. Offer ends 30 April 2011

Tux Buy ANY Tux 40kg pack and get $10 off plus a free pocket knife! Offer valid between 1st-30th April 2011. While stocks last.

ATS News April 2011  

ATS News April 2011

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