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United we stand Staying focused on its values

Out of Africa,

into Canterbury for ATS staff

Grower unlocks Canterbury crop


From the CEO

Upcoming Events

This edition of the ATS News marks the end of another busy year and the beginning of a very special year for ATS.

6 December Christmas with ATS 6pm–9pm ATS Ashburton

ATS will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2013. Your co-operative has come a long way since the incorporation of the Ashburton Trading Society on 21 August 1963 and we plan to commemorate this very special milestone in a number of ways in 2013. You will have already seen the special anniversary calendar enclosed with this edition of your ATS News and other commemorations are planned for the year ahead.

ATS Christmas holiday shopping hours

Once again we have a bumper issue of the ATS News with a record 60 pages. There’s plenty of good reading and informative articles to suit everyone including features on our recently retired ATS Directors David Keeley and Richard Watson. Both share their insights and views on ATS and their time on the Board, and they also open their farm gates to talk about their farming operations.

We will be closed on the following days through the Christmas period: Christmas Tuesday 25 and Wednesday 26 December New Year Saturday 29 December, Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 January If members have any emergency requirements the Duty Manager can be reached on 03 307 5100 or 027 487 6865.

New Zealand’s Young Vegetable Grower of the Year Andrew Scott is also featured in this issue and he talks about his seven-day-aweek passion for horticulture. Not only does he spend his weekdays growing and harvesting vegetables for Hewson’s Farms, he also tends his own block at the weekend.


Also featured in this edition are two familiar ATS staff members— Arable Key Account Managers, Graeme Fulton and Steve Lawson, both originally from Zimbabwe. Both talk about leaving their homelands and share their African agricultural experiences. As 2012 draws to a close and we get ready to welcome the New Year, we would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and safe festive season and we look forward to working together in 2013.

Neal Shaw, Chief Executive



Editorial Enquiries

97 Burnett St Tel: 03 307 5100 Fax: 03 307 6721

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

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



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

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

Find ATS on Facebook 0800BUYATS

Advertising Enquiries:

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



Richard Rennie, Marie Taylor, Craig Trotter, Ele Ludemann, Alan Robb, Linda Clarke, Ian Hodge, Dr Rob Derrick, Mandy Casey and Anita Body

Charlotte Mackenzie, Steve Lawson, Ele Ludemann, Angela Watson and Stu Jackson

DISCLAIMER: All information contained within ATS News is to the best

Front Page Photo

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.

Andrew Scott, Young Horticulturist of the Year Runner-Up


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kids 8 14 Features




2 Grower unlocks Canterbury crop potential 4 United we stand 7 High producing cows susceptible to phosphorus deficiency 8 Staying focused on its values 13 Application to boost plants in tough seasons 14 Out of Africa, into Canterbury for ATS staff 17 I&P Society or Co-operative Company?

11 Ele Ludemann

19 High quality hay covers proven to last Peter May Ltd

49 ATS Kids 53 Christmas Essentials 54 News at ATS 56 ATS out and about 57 Classifieds

21 Don’t get caught with bloat this summer 23 Gas and Canterbury 27 Milk Urea 33 Soil testing—the key to determining your arable fertiliser needs 35 New Zealand’s deadly rays 41 Renewing extra paddocks— how do the numbers stack up?

25 Keeping the rural sector connected Ultimate Broadband 31 Delivering local news for 133 years Ashburton Guardian 39 Your Perfect Bike The Cyclery 45 Securing your greatest assets Masterguard Security


Grower unlocks Canterbury crop potential A quiet weekend spent tending the vegetable patch in late spring-early summer is a common past time for many in Canterbury. By Richard Rennie

But one local grower takes that “quiet weekend vegetable gardening” to a whole new level on his 100ha block off Thompson’s Track.

can achieve better economies for growing in a sector where, when it comes to export, we are competing with some very large scale players.”

New Zealand’s Young Vegetable Grower of the Year, Andrew Scott, not only spends his weekdays dedicated to growing and harvesting quality vegetables for Hewson’s Farms, he then turns his hand to his own block on weekends.

He also sees the Canterbury climate as a positive.

He has a passion for the business of growing quality vegetables and would not even categorise the time spent either at Hewson’s or on his own block as work. Andrew has some high hopes for his own enterprise, and some realistic views on the potential horticulture holds on the Plains. “I think the one thing we do have down here that is lacking in say a more traditional market garden area like Pukekohe, is scale. With the flat contour and ability to use centre pivots we



Without the humidity typical north of Taupo and good drying conditions for seed harvesting, Canterbury is blessed with the ability to grow a broad range of quality crops, for seed and for consumption. The potato pysllid disease that has ravaged yields in the north is at least being held at bay in Canterbury, something he attributes to the cooler climate and lower rainfall. As Operations Manager for Hewson’s, Andrew has first hand exposure to a broad range of crops, and attributes that experience as part of the reason for his recent win in the grower competition. Over the 1,600ha of predominately freehold

land, Hewson’s grow onions for export, potatoes, wheat, barley, grass and clover for seed. Other specialist seed crops include carrots and occasionally beetroot or radish. Unbeknown to many, Canterbury is the main source for the bulk of the global carrot seed supply, producing enough to supply every person on the planet with two carrots each. The cooler Canterbury climate is ideal for the 14 months carrots need to remain in the ground, minimising fungal infections, while the warm nor’westers aid seed drying at harvest. Andrew describes onions as a “tricky” crop to both grow and export profitably. The company aims to capitalise on a 10 week window in Europe when supplies there fall before the next harvest. “They don’t store well, and you are up against the big players there from Holland.”

FEATURE One option they are considering is growing onions for seed harvest. This also has its challenges, with the seed from the bolted heads needing to be harvested carefully by hand, while timing of irrigation and disease control can be critical to a successful crop. Potatoes form a staple, reliable income crop for the Hewson operation, and for Andrew on his own 100ha block. “Onions are just a bit too risky, but we are also growing radish, grass seed and even linseed.” His soil tends to be heavier than some of the Hewson country near Pendarves. “My land probably hangs on better over a hot dry year, but the lighter Pendarves country tends to warm up quicker heading into spring.” Considerable investment in storage facilities by the Hewson family sees a significant tonnage sorted and processed by the company, and he believes potatoes are a crop Canterbury does well. He points to the Canterbury McCain plant that runs at 100% capacity, and is regarded as the most efficient in its stable. The success of another Canterbury grower, Raymond Bowan with his Heartland potato chips has given some more profile to the region’s hard working growers. Andrew admires his paddock to party approach, turning spuds into chips and taking on the industry’s big players.

years, helping slow the competition for land use, particularly when it comes to leasing for potatoes. However the plans will also bring challenges for horticultural growers. To the north in the Manawatu, HortNZ, the industry lobby group has already submitted against Horizons One Plan. A key part of HortNZ’s submission plan is going to make changing crops on a seasonal basis more difficult, and possibly require resource consent. Ironically, rotating crops does as much to preserve soil quality and reduce run off as it does to maintain crop quality. “Here it could be the same. If we are going to get restricted on the nutrients we put on our crops, they will not reach their potential, and your ability to move between crops, or grow land productivity could be limited.” The company has already made significant technological investments in nutrient monitoring that determines how much nutrient is required by specific crops and, just as importantly, how much is left in the soil when the crop is harvested. “In many respects we are probably running ahead of the dairy sector on how we manage resources including water and fertiliser, we are making things as sustainable as possible already.” Monitoring of water use occupies a large part of Andrew’s time during the summer months,

above: Andrew Scott has a passion for the business of growing quality vegetables below left: Potatoes form a staple, reliable income crop

Distribution could one day be a future option, but he believes there are further gains to be made within the gate by continuing to focus on technology, and particularly on variable fertiliser application. At a personal level Andrew, with a background off a sheep and beef farm, enjoys the challenge new crops provide, and the demands that come with changing seasons. “In horticulture timing is everything. If you see a disease it is too late, and when you see a crop drying up it is also too late by the time you get right around it with irrigation, it will be gone. It is possible for grass to get dry and brown and then recover, but we don’t get that luxury with vegetable crops.”

Irrigation timing is as critical to successful vegetable production as quantity, with crops like onions unforgiving if left short of moisture.

with evapo-transpiration rates mapped against irrigation demands for specific crops, with data supplied through Aquaflex moisture strips.

Andrew notes the cost of irrigation schemes has seen dairying be the default option for irrigated land use in the past 10 years, thanks to a relatively better level of return, and its popularity has seen a proportion of growers leave for dairy conversions. On his own block he installed a centre pivot irrigator seven years ago, and it is just beginning to reward with increased crop yields.

He has the ability to switch irrigators on and off through his mobile phone, and receives text alerts if there are any problems.

However with regional authorities required to provide Land and Water Plans, the rate of conversions to dairying could slow in coming

For fertilising, the investment has included variable application, with every hectare mapped for its fertility, which then determine application rates via GPS mapping. Efficient and sustainable management of the resources within the farm gate remains a key focus for Andrew, both in his day job at Hewson’s, and on his own block.

above: Canterbury is blessed with the ability to grow a broad range of quality crops, for seed and for consumption ATS N E W S



United we stand “ATS was created for the benefit of its members; the more the members support ATS, the stronger it will be. United we stand.� By Marie Taylor



FEATURE “We don’t get every sale, but I believe we try the hardest,” says co-operative enthusiast and retiring ATS Board member David Keeley. David, who farms with his wife Ruth and family at Hinds and Lagmhor, has served on the ATS Board for nine years. He’s the chairman of another co-operative, the largest privately owned irrigation scheme in the country: Mayfield Hinds Irrigation Ltd, which supplies irrigation water to 33,000ha. At ATS we have kept to our core principles and that is a good thing, he says. What has changed is how the core principles are implemented. Generation Y don’t always have the same loyalty standards as older generations. “They want the best price and they want it now. We need to accept that is real.” Corporate dairy developments in Mid Canterbury have driven change too, such as their preference for a one-stop shop for dairy supplies. Relationships with ATS suppliers are a very important part of the co-operative’s business. “We promote their business to our members and we benefit from the good service and discounts they provide. Suppliers have to see an advantage, and our members have to benefit with beneficial pricing.” ATS is not about one person, he says. “It’s about what decisions and debates are held and how to make the ATS boat go faster. It is going to be quite hard to leave because it is a great culture, with a very strong management team and great board members. Everyone – the Board, management and staff are all trying to make ATS better. All the ideas are on the table and we go from there.” “I have a view on these boards: the dumbest question is the one that doesn’t get asked. You don’t want to assume anything. And you should never leave thinking “I wish I had brought that up”. David says he feels he has received more than he has given, and appreciates being involved in seeing the business develop. “I go away from the board meetings, and sit on the tractor and think about applying what I have learnt to our business.” “I would encourage anybody to have a go at stepping up into a leadership role.” His past experience includes chairing the Hinds School Board of Trustees and Lauriston Farm Improvement Club. He is continuing his role at the Mayfield Hinds Irrigation scheme, but is now going to focus on the big job back at home base. David and Ruth own 541ha at Hinds and 18 months ago purchased another 200ha. “Developing this property has been very rewarding.” Both sons, Jason, who is 26, and Glen, who is 23, are working in the family business now. Daughter Rachel, 29, a Rural Bank Manager in Timaru, is also involved in the farm. Ruth is heavily involved in the farm. “Everything has to be run past her.” She does most of the record keeping and bookwork, helps with feeding out, break-fencing, in the sheep yards and on the tractor.

“We all meet quite regularly and make family decisions about the farming operation. I’m really lucky because I get along well with the family.” Making succession successful is a focus for David and Ruth. “It won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight. We are keen to make it work with the next generation to make sure everyone benefits.” “My best days are still on the farm. I have to pinch myself every day. To have the privilege of working with your family is hugely satisfying.” Another lesson from ATS comes into play here. “One thing I have learned from Gary Diack, ATS’s first Independent Director, was that strategy comes before structure. Structure is only a vehicle.” The family used an independent facilitator to run a programme for the family, taking them through a process of a vision, goals and strategy for the family business.

“One thing I have learned from Gary Diack, ATS’s first Independent Director, was that strategy comes before structure. Structure is only a vehicle.” “The vision needs to be agreed by everybody, then once we have set that up, we set up a structure to best carry out the strategy.” They have the bases covered with a farming company, partnership and trust, each of which will be used over time to fit the strategy. Each family member was interviewed separately by the facilitator. “It was a fantastic process, but it took a bit of time and demanded honesty from us all.” David is the third generation on their home farm Stonehaven, which his grandfather bought in 1924. It’s halfway between Hinds and Carew. There they grow 20% grass seed, 20% wheat and 60% winter feed on free-draining soils ideal for wintering stock. Of their seven neighbours, five are dairying. “We are trying not to be dairy farmers because dairying is not a passion of ours at present.

above: From left, Jason, David, Rachel, Glen and Ruth Keeley main image: David is the third generation on their home

farm Stonehaven

However, we do graze a large number of dairy cows and finish lambs during winter.” “It’s quite a simple system that we run and we believe it is a very restorative system. We think it is environmentally friendly, as yields are going up, and our farm is getting stronger.” “The soil is our lifeblood and we want to farm so that yields next year or in 10 years are better than what they are today. That is part of the challenge. Our organic matter levels are hard to shift but they are improving.” The new farm is 22km away at Lagmhor, and has very good soils where they are growing a mix of arable, vegetable and feed crops. Both farms are fully irrigated using pivots, apart from the corners where the pivots don’t reach. The challenges they face on the farm include improving water reliability. Although they have a 6ha pond, which takes five days to fill, it holds enough water for only three days of irrigation at full demand. The same challenge applies to the irrigation scheme as a whole, in storing enough water from the shoulders of the season when evapotranspiration is lower, to provide for the middle of the season when demand is high, David says. “We have enough water; but it’s not always in the right place at the right time.” The regional plans around nutrients are going to be another big challenge, and has the potential to limit the flexibility and diversity that our mixed farms and district is famous for. “If we farm profitably, it will make succession planning much easier. It is really hard when you’re not profitable. If you’re profitable then people want to be part of it, otherwise it is seen as a drag and a chore rather than an opportunity.” “I used to say to the kids: I don’t really care what you do. Just find something that doesn’t feel like work and grab hold of it. I love farming and it doesn’t feel like work.” ATS N E W S





High producing cows susceptible to phosphorus deficiency Phosphorus deficiency in spring calving dairy cows is increasing on many Canterbury and Otago farms. By Craig Trotter

This increase prompted a new survey to measure the phosphorus levels in blood plasma this spring, and to identify the risks to freshly calved cows. Vetlife was successful in obtaining funding from the Sustainable Farming Fund for the project involving 16 farms from Mid Canterbury to Central Otago. The project aims to ensure high producing cows receive sufficient phosphorus to match their requirements through the season and minimise the potential for future deficiency problems.

spring. This will help farmers decide if they need to supplement phosphorus in their cows.

these have been broken down into two types; Northland and North America PPH.

There are two main causes of the phosphorus deficiency in the region’s cows.

Typically the symptoms seen on farm last season characterised North American PPH are as stated above.

The first is the appearance of creeper cows in herds typically grazing fodder beet, and the second is Post-Parturient Haemoglobinuria (PPH), seen on several eastern South Island farms last spring. PPH is relatively uncommon in New Zealand but does appear sporadically in high producing dairy herds.

Blood analysis from these cows and their herd mates showed clinical phosphorus deficiency. The cows with clinical signs of the deficiency had Haemoglobinuria (red water). Their herd mates showed signs of a pica, which is a craving to eat non-food things like chewing rocks from laneways, electrical gateway tapes and alkathene.

From each farm 20 recently calved cows were chose in early August, and blood samples taken for analysis of phosphorus, calcium and magnesium concentrations.

Cows lose body condition rapidly, and can drop from body condition score five to three in only a few days. Affected cows also have blood in their urine, which we call red water.

Another 20 recently calved cows were sampled in early September, with the August calving cows sampled again.

PPH is usually seen two to four weeks into lactation and typically in dairy cows three to six years old.

Samples of all feed eaten by the herds were taken for analysis of phosphorus and calcium content along with expected feed intake information.

All the cows received di-calcium phosphate spread onto pasture or silage as a preventative measure to reduce further issues.

Creeper cows are most often seen two to three weeks into lactation and appear as rather sprightly downer cows.

These will be matched with known requirements of phosphorus and calcium for cows during winter and spring.

Cows were typically slow to recover with initial body condition score losses remaining through the season.

They appear to be alert but struggle to pick themselves off the ground and usually respond well to supplementation.

This information will help build a diet sufficiency programme, available for all farmers to measure diet phosphorus content through winter and

There is an historical incidence of PPH occurring under New Zealand pastoral dairy systems;

In the next edition of ATS News, we will summarise of the main findings of the survey. We’ll also have more information on the on-line computer programme, so watch this space!

Downer cows were treated with a phosphorus supplement and responded quickly.




Staying focused on its values ATS has stepped up its level of service in the past few years says Richard Watson. By Marie Taylor

Retiring after 12 years on the ATS Board, the Methven farmer says ATS has changed its business focus during that time to meet the needs of the growing dairy sector. Richard says ATS has become a much more complex operation now, moving from its main market of servicing the arable sector to a wider perspective.



FEATURE “Dairy farmers require a different level of service to cropping farmers, and that has changed our business. In response to that demand we have put more reps on the road, and established the freight free option.” Opening the Methven and Rakaia stores has helped farmers in those areas tremendously, he says. “I am five km from the Methven store, and it’s a marvelous thing for me.” Previously it took a trek into the Ashburton store to collect supplies. “ATS’s mission statement is lowering the costs for our farming community, so putting reps on the road and a free freight service might seem like it is contradicting our mission. But these moves reflect the value of service to the farmer which makes their operations more efficient.” Richard has enjoyed his time on the Board, saying others could follow in his path by serving on the local school Boards of Trustees, or take the Federated Farmers route. There are many opportunities for leadership training within Federated Farmers. Ideally directors need a solid understanding of governance, but the most important attributes are a commonsense approach to decision making and an ability to work collectively for the benefit of the co-operative. Richard is enthusiastic about his time on the board and pleased to have others taking over from him. “I made a conscious decision to retire because 12 years is long enough. It is time for someone else to give some input.” Besides, he and Pam are getting to a stage where they would like to do a bit of travelling. With two of their three children in Australia, now’s the perfect time. Back at home in Methven, Richard and Pam farm their 200ha Bingley property, an arable and winter lamb finishing operation. They own two other blocks totaling 170ha which are leased out. Of this leased land 100ha is irrigated, with a 430m lateral, and has been converted to dairying. The Bingley property is all cropped, with about 2,000 lambs bought in for finishing from February/March through to mid-November. There’s a bit of dairy grazing as well. About 25% of the farm is cropped in wheat, 25% in barley and 25% in ryegrass. The remainder is made left: Richard is enthusiastic about his time on the board BELOW: Watson sisters, Sarah and Emily, brother Henry is

currently in Perth, Australia

up of a bundle of options including a paddock or two of cocksfoot, peas and perhaps radish.

above: Richard and Pam Watson

Kale is grown for grazing the sheep or dairy cows. The sheep are wintered on greenfeed oats, as well as the previous year’s ryegrass crop. In spring, lambs graze the new ryegrass crop before it is closed up for seed.

15t/ha, but they need a lot of nitrogen and water to do it.”

The aim is to keep the operation simple, growing crops Richard is familiar with, and which will integrate well with the lamb finishing system.

“We are noticing that once a lot of arable farmers put water on they convert to dairying.”

“We were one of the early farmers to buy store lambs on a reasonably large scale when we started in the early 1980s. Then lambs were worth $5 each; it seems a long way from paying $100 now.” While this year the lamb returns have gone against them, overall lamb finishing is very complimentary to arable farming. Richard runs the farm by himself apart from a few staff during harvest and a strategic contractor or two during peak times. This traditional dryland property, which Richard’s grandfather bought in the 1920s, is becoming a rarity in the Canterbury these days. The farm is largely Mayfield clay loams, which are free draining and very productive. This is considered good cropping land and to that extent, is least in need of being irrigated, he says. The farm runs out into a small amount of very light Hororata soils where he grows kale. “We have irrigation all around, but I have chosen to invest in extra land rather than irrigate our existing dryland properties. We are still hopeful that at some point we will be able to irrigate them.” Richard concedes his view, that investing in extra land is better than irrigating existing properties, which is probably contrary to the current thinking of most farmers. He estimates that one year in three they suffer financially from the dry. “We would love to irrigate here, but to irrigate 200ha would effectively be a further $2million investment in the farm. I am 59 and to take on the additional debt has to be thought through pretty carefully.” But as a dryland unit, if crops are sown on time, this farm can produce reasonably well. “As a dryland farmer you have to keep reminding yourself that the cheapest crops to grow per unit of yield are the ones sown on time.” “Where we used to grow seven tonne/ha, now the wheat varieties have the potential to gross

“Farms like this probably can’t grow to 15t/ha, but they can grow 12-13t/ha, and the 2t/ha difference is only paying for irrigation.”

Richard says Mid Canterbury would be nothing if it wasn’t for irrigation. “Dairying would not be here if it wasn’t for irrigation. Any opportunity to irrigate has to be looked at with excitement.” Looking ahead though, the biggest challenge farmers in Canterbury face is nutrient management he says. The proposed draft nutrient rules in the Canterbury Land and Water Plan will stop any major land use changes in their tracks he says. It was a big shock to see that a 10% shift in nutrient loss over a three year average will initiate resource consents under the plan. “It’s going to be a can of worms.” This will make any form of land-use intensification difficult and will be a major challenge for establishing new irrigation schemes, he says. He’d like to see some workable solutions on the issue. That’s his take on farmer co-operatives too. He was part of a grain co-operative set up in the 1980s, but it disappeared in the 1990s. So he turned his attention to the other community owned and controlled farming co-operative, ATS. “I wanted to see that it stayed focused on its mission and that we kept our feet on the ground.” He’s happy with its progress in that time. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with the Board, the management team, and staff at ATS.” Now his question is: what do farmer co-operatives do when they have matured? Many New Zealand farmer co-operatives were set up in the late 50s and 60s with very clear objectives. At that stage of business, the strategy was clear, but as time goes on and many of the initial goals have been achieved, he sees the co-operatives acting more like corporates. Richard believes for ATS to continue to be competitive it must continue to expand. However at the same time it must ensure ATS also remains the leader in cost-competitiveness in the wider Canterbury area. ATS N E W S


For all your fencing requirements In cl ud in g: fencing plans to installation Dairy conversions—from 10–500 head Custom built cattle yards Hay & calf rearing sheds

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Thoughts from across the rivers A statue of a gaucho on horse-back presides over the square outside the Mercado de Liniers. It is, our guide says, the only one of dozens of statues in Buenos Aires which honours a worker. By Ele Ludemann

It isn’t, however, just a monument to the past. Gauchos still play an important role in Argentinean farming and 200 immaculately groomed horses work in the mercado, one of the world’s largest cattle markets.

Liniers handles about 13% of Argentina’s cattle and sets the market for the whole country. Weights and prices are conveyed by fibre optic cable to a central computer and are available instantly on the market website:

Stock arrive overnight from up to 500 kilometres away. They are checked by a vet and weighed then walked seven blocks from the scales to the market and sorted by size, quality or weight.

All cattle at the market are sold for slaughter. They must be at least 300 kilos and have to be sold the day after they arrive. That means all stock has to be sold on Friday.

The 34 hectare sale yard is criss-crossed by raised walkways which enable auctioneers, buyers, brokers and visitors to get a good view of the animals below.

Prices for the pens we watched went from 8.5 to 10 pesos a kilo (about $2.20), live weight. The broker gets 4% of the price and .04% goes to the market which is jointly owned by 55 livestock broker agencies.

A bell ringing for about five minutes signals the start of an auction. As each pen is sold cattle are taken by men on horse-back to be weighed manually and electronically. Both weights must agree because stock is sold by price per kilo. Although the stock agents and buyers in our party didn’t speak Spanish, they understood the body language, winks and nods which mean the same all over the world. They noted how quiet the cattle were and put this down to the fact they were worked with horses which needed little, if any, guidance from their riders. The experienced New Zealand sale-goers were also very impressed by morning tea— large slabs of steak and chorizo, (spicy sausages) cooked on the asado, the wood-fired barbeque.

The day we were there 8,500 head of cattle were up for auction. That’s a big number by our standards but well down from the market record for a day’s sale of 42,000. The yarding mostly comprised traditional British breeds—Hereford and Angus with a smattering of shorthorns. All were prime, of outstanding quality, which had the eyes, and mouths, of the cattlemen with us watering. We were in Argentina as part of the 300-strong Air New Zealand All Black entourage to watch the test against the Pumas. Being part of a capacity crowd of 52,000 in La Plata as the All Blacks won the inaugural Rugby Championship was an amazing experience.

above: The ringing of the bell to signal the start of the


main image: Mercado de Liniers handles about 13% of Argentina’s cattle and sets the market for the whole country

Ele Ludemann

But as holiday memories go, the trip to Mercado de Liniers, was at least its equal. ATS N E W S





Application to boost plants in tough seasons offers full BioGro certification for organic farmers requiring a plant booster alternative. Economically ComCat application stacks up well. Allan points to the average of 15% dry matter gains in fodder beet crops resulting in a return seven times the $110/ha application cost. “Having ATS take on ComCat is very encouraging, and winning the feed competition for the second year running has really lifted awareness. “Think of it as insurance. You may use it one year and not get a significant benefit from it because that year was a good growing one anyway, but out of eight growing seasons you may only get one year like that and over the rest it will certainly pay its way,” he says.

A treatment that arms plants to cope with a tough growing season provides insurance some Canterbury growers testify as the best crop insurance they have ever bought. by RICHARD RENNIE

It is insurance now available to all ATS clients wanting peace of mind their valuable pasture and commercial crops are protected against the inevitable challenges growing seasons bring, and also delivers increased crop yields regardless of the season’s challenges. Ashburton vet Allan Piercy has spent several years building an understanding of an exciting new treatment agent ComCat, and is welcoming the faith ATS is placing in it by deciding to stock it. Allan agrees ComCat has tended to fly “under the radar” for some time as he quietly built up commercial results to validate its use in pasture and crop applications, and increasingly the results cannot be ignored. “This year we saw the first and second prize in the Winter Feed Competition going to farmers who had used ComCat on their crop.” The winner and ATS shareholder Darryl Butterick had a yield 33% ahead of the average in his fodder beet. “Darryl’s results were one out of the box, but they were grown in a higher stress, borderdyke environment, and it is when the crop is under stress ComCat really kicks in. Typically you would see an increase in bulb crops of 10–15% in yield after using it,” says Allan. ComCat was developed when researchers in South Africa began screening wild plant species for hormones that could help improve crop resistance to stress and boost productivity. The relatively recent understanding of hormones including brassinosteroids underpins a large

part of ComCat’s development. The first brassinosteroid was only isolated in 1979. They have since been proven to promote cell expansion and provide protection to plants during chilling and drought stress. Many other protective responses have since been proven to require a brassinosteroid component. The early lab trials with ComCat revealed while it only slightly increased the germination rate of seeds, it had a significant effect on root system establishment resulting in healthier, more robust seedlings. Allan likens ComCat to vaccinating against the flu, providing a level of protection that may or may not be called upon during the growing season. For this reason plants treated with ComCat and exposed to stress during their growing season tend to exhibit greater yield gains than if they had a generally good growing season. In those non stress years it will also improve photosynthesis efficiency and growth vigour as a result. ComCat effectively switches on the plant’s immune response to stress, and for that reason is used in minute quantities. “Timing is important for you are turning on all the plant’s protective genes, too much and the plant will over-respond. Trials have also shown ComCat changes plant physiology to result in significantly improved keeping qualities for vegetables in treated crops.

above and top left: Lucerne untreated vs treated (bottom and top right)

ComCat product is avaliable through ATS stores

The application is also organically certified, and ATS N E W S



Out of Africa, into Canterbury for ATS staff Two key ATS staff are now well established in the local community after moving here from Zimbabwe, but they both retain a strong love of their native country, and hope that it will one day be restored to its agricultural potential. By Richard Rennie

To pick up your life and move to the other side of the world on 90 days notice is something few could imagine doing. But for thousands of Zimbabweans working on the land last decade, that is exactly what they had to do if they valued their safety and often their lives. ATS Arable Key Account Manager Graeme Fulton and his family had to make that move 15 years ago after being served with an official letter to vacate the farm. Yet despite the upheaval it bought upon him and his loved ones, he still speaks fondly about his homeland. It is a fondness tinged with regret that it may not achieve its full economic potential for maybe another generation. What makes that regret even more poignant for Graeme is his knowledge that Zimbabwe was once a great food exporting country, capable of feeding its own population and sending millions of tonnes of fruit, vegetables and meat across its borders to Zambia, South Africa and Namibia. But what was once the bread basket of Africa is now more basket case, importing food from those very countries it once traded with so prolifically. Graeme worked in a profit share partnership with a land owner on a property north of Harare near the town of Shamva, producing a variety of 14


crops that typified what was possible in a country endowed with rich soil, a benevolent climate and good infrastructure. “Typically you would get a very even climate, with temperatures up to 30°C during the day, dropping down to around 20ºC at night, and only a few days where you might wear a jersey in the morning until it warms up, it’s a very easy climate to live in. Canterbury certainly was tough when we first arrived here after that!” It is these conditions that allowed for a variety of crops to be grown. On Graeme’s farm this ranged from tobacco on the lighter sandy country, birds’ eye chillies to supply Israel, bananas for local and exported consumption, and 700 head of Brahman cattle for beef production. A major grass crop was Rhodes grass, with blades similar to rye grass it grows a metre high and is valuable for hay production and growing seed for export to Arab countries, and local use. It also played a valuable role as a rotation crop with tobacco, keeping eel worm numbers at bay. Behind the crop and livestock sectors sat valuable infrastructures, often not so different from the grower co-operatives enjoyed in New Zealand, including ZTA, the Zimbabwe Tobacco

Association, that operated “just like Fonterra” for tobacco growers. “The pity is you go there today and these organisations are just a shell of what they were. Much of the land that has been returned to the locals, it has been chopped down into what are essentially lifestyle blocks, with a few cows or goats on them.” The strong, large scale corporate and family operations that founded the grower groups are now absent. Many of their members often fleeing across the border to Zambia, a country enjoying a Renaissance in its agriculture after experiencing similar disruption to Zimbabwe, thirty years earlier. “I only hope that over time Zimbabwe becomes what it once was, a bit like what has happened in Zambia,” says Graeme. From Zimbabwe to South Africa and back again... Graeme’s workmate at ATS, Arable Key Account Manager Steve Lawson has found his background with an agri-chemical company invaluable for his job, but getting used to plants and weed species in a cool climate proved a challenge. However one of the challenges for Steve when he also farmed in Zimbabwe could not be dealt with using agrichemicals. Steve spent three years


working, five managing and then six years leasing a farm in Zimbabwe where baboons, wild pigs and guinea fowl were constant threats to crop growing. The main crops were tobacco, maize along with beef cattle. “During the night the baboons would disappear, but then the wild pigs would come out. We used to say you needed to plant four seeds, one for the crop, one for the baboons, one for the guinea fowl and one for the pigs!” Men would guard the crops around the clock to keep the two and four legged pests away. Steve’s time farming in what was originally Rhodesia included the period when control was being wrested off the Smith government that had declared the country a republic in 1965. Guerrilla warfare against the white government saw

him living in a warzone. Compulsory military service demanded regular call ups to protect their district. Seeking opportunities for better schooling for his children, Steve eventually took the family to South Africa, where he worked at White River near Swaziland, growing avocados, ginger and guava. Avocadoes were exported, taking advantage of a seasonal window before Israeli crops made the market, while ginger and guava were for local trade. After 10 years he and his family returned to Zimbabwe, where he spent eight years with an agri-chemical company. “However many farmers were forced off their land, and with that we lost customers. The exchange rate also played havoc, the Zimbabwean dollar devalued hugely, and you simply lost money through that, it made life expensive.”

He followed family to Canterbury, but like Graeme still appreciates the potential his homeland offers to feed a burgeoning African, and global, population. “The facilities and infrastructure in place were as good as anywhere in the world and it may only take a change in the political situation for it to improve.” Meantime Steve has been instrumental in organising agricultural trips starting next year for ATS members. He took a travel agency course through correspondence, and ATS has offered keen support for his offer to host tours to his homeland. These will take in South Africa, and Zimbabwe, including visits to game reserves and Victoria Falls. “I still love going back there, and there is a lot of good will in Zimbabwe from people across all races, it is still an easy place to feel relaxed in.”

Local travel agent relishes Africa tour opportunity Ashburton United Travel managing director Kevin Crequer says he was lucky enough to spend two weeks in Africa earlier this year helping ATS’s Steve Lawson check the arrangements for next year’s tours. “Steve and his wife Terry have put a lot of time and effort laying the framework for these tours and those lucky enough to be on the trips will certainly have a unique small group experience,” says Kevin. He spent time doing everything the groups will do on their trips while there. “I am more than happy with what has been arranged. Highlights in Zimbabwe and

Botswana would have been Victoria Falls, walking with the Lions and game drives in Chobe National Park where we saw ‘The Big Five’ on our first day.” He says in South Africa it was the two legged animals that stood out. “We were made more than welcome on all the farms we visited and they are all looking forward to meeting and spending some time

with their NZ counterparts in May 2013.” A lot of the accommodation is in small lodges or B and Bs. “When word got out that there was a bunch of Kiwis next door the neighbours would come over with food and drink, fire up the barbie and the party seemed to go on all night!” Kevin said he was eagerly anticipating Steve’s next project. ATS N E W S





I&P Society or Co-operative Company? New Zealand co-operatives (other than credit unions) are a mixture of societies formed under the Industrial & Provident Societies Act (1908) and limited liability companies registered under the Co-operative Companies Act 1996. By Alan Robb


A quick look at the listing of New Zealand’s Top 40 co-operatives ( will illustrate this. Some questions which may arise are as follows. What’s the difference between the two forms of organisation?

There is no real difference between an I&P society and a co-operative company. Both are based on the principle of mutuality. Each exists to benefit a member by providing quality inputs at the best price or by marketing your products for the best return. Share capital supplied by a member is not an investment but an equitable contribution to the resources needed - the benefit comes to the member by transacting with the society or company. The more you support it, the more you benefit by having your needs met. Is one of the Acts better than the other?

The present I&P Act has been amended a few times since it was passed in 1908 following New Zealand’s becoming a Dominion in 1907. Many new laws were passed in 1908 to reflect the fact that the country was no longer a colony of Great Britain. The 1908 I&P Act replaced the 1877 Act of the same name, and that in turn had replaced the 1866 Act. That very early Act had been based on an 1852 Industrial & Provident Act in Great Britain which was the world’s first Industrial & Provident Act. Those who know of the importance of the Rochdale Equitable Pioneers Society and its contribution to the co-operative movement will be interested to learn that it was the 1852 Act

Rakaia n


which gave that co-operative legal status. ATS is in good company as an I&P society! The Co-operative Companies Act 1996 is distinctive in that it was drafted by co-operators for co-operators and could appear at first sight to appear more relevant for today’s circumstances. That is not strictly true because it is the constitution or rules of the organisation which can play a key role in determining whether the co-operative adequately upholds co-operative principles and values. (The other equally important factors are the commitment of members and the calibre of the directors). Both I&P societies and co-operative companies should ensure that their rules are kept up to date to protect the organisation against attacks from those who would seek personal enrichment by demutualisation. The rules should provide a mechanism for removing members who act against the reputation or interests of the cooperative and for redeeming the capital of those who have ceased to be transacting members. In my opinion the rules of ATS, adopted in 2010, are of a good standard. Can I&P Societies and Co-operative Companies work together?

There is absolutely no reason why this cannot happen. It already does in the Foodstuffs Group. Foodstuffs South Island Ltd is a co-operative company. Its sister, Foodstuffs (Wellington) Cooperative Society Ltd is, as the name suggests an I&P society. Each operates independently in

its geographical area but both, together with Foodstuffs Auckland Ltd, jointly own Foodstuffs NZ Ltd to represent the three co-operatives’ interests on issues of national or grocery-specific importance. If a merger were proposed between an I&P society and a co-operative company a decision would have to be made as to the form the new entity should take. Many factors would impact on the final decision; they are beyond the scope of this comment. The most important thing in such a situation would be to ensure that co-operative principles and values were enhanced and not weakened. In the world as it is today co-operatives globally provide a saner and more responsible business model than the alternative. Alan Robb is an independent financial consultant and specialist on co-operative governance and management. ATS N E W S





High quality hay covers proven to last Wind can be a destructive force in Mid Canterbury. Nor’westers sweep down from the Southern Alps, shift soil, spook stock and rip corrugated iron from shed roofs. By Linda Clarke

What chance then does a simple hay cover have of withstanding the elements? A good one, if it’s made by Peter May Ltd. Peter May Ltd sells many high-quality hay covers, which protect valuable bales of hay from deterioration. A new strong-hold hook trialled successfully over the past winter promises to make life easy for those whose job it is to tie the covers down. You don’t have to be a boy scout to figure out how the stronghold hook works. There are no knots, which makes it easy to tighten covers after the stack has settled, or after a big blow. Peter May Ltd uses Maxlite™ fabric for the covers, which come in a standard 3.6m x 25m rectangle or double width 7.2m x 20–30m. The fabric is made in Japan especially for New Zealand’s UV conditions; however, it is not the sun which is a problem here, it is the wind. Marketing Manager Toni May said fibres came under stress when a cover or tarpaulin was allowed to flap in the wind. “The key to ensuring the hay cover gets the most of out life is now well you tie it down.” Keeping in mind the need for ease, economy and proven results, Peter May Ltd sourced stronghold hooks and attached them to their four-metre long ropes which come clipped and spliced. The hooks grab onto the bale’s twine and can be fixed and retightened without having to tie a knot.

It makes tying down the hay cover a considerably quicker and easier job. The system was trialled by a Mid Canterbury farmer to make sure it worked. “We wanted to make sure the hook would not crack under pressure, could survive the elements and was easy to use,” Toni said. The Maxlite™ fabric has also proved its worth. Peter and his staff have been using the fabric for 15 years. They are repairing only mouse-holes in covers that are eight years old and still going strong. While hay covers are in demand all year round, Peter May Ltd is preparing for summer customers looking for everything from sail shades and lateral awnings to umbrellas and blinds. A new range of cantilever umbrellas is expected to be popular because of its ability to withstand the district’s pesky winds. These umbrellas have been tested in wind tunnels and have great positioning flexibility; they can also collapse to a single pole. “There are lots of new things, like drop blinds and outdoor heaters, which can be used to combat weather changes.”

above: Peter and Toni May main image: Peter May Ltd’s premise on Alford Forest Road

Another side of the business that continues to grow involves marquee and event hire. Whether you are expecting 80 or 250 guests for a birthday or a wedding, Peter May Ltd have marquees to fit the bill. Toni has also created a one-stop shop for everything that might be needed in the marquee, from chairs and tables, to glasses, cutlery, linen and even a luxury restroom. A separate showroom features an elegant table setting, all available to hire, along with information on their marquee packages. Peter May Ltd has been on Alford Forest Road, just along from Placemakers, for 30 years now. During that time the factory has expanded, with custom-made products developed especially for local conditions. Visit their website and Facebook page for more about their work with photos, information and advice.

Peter May Ltd 151 Alford Forest Rd Ashburton Tel: 03 308 8893 ATS N E W S





Animal Health

Don’t get caught with bloat this summer Bloat is a serious and costly disease that can affect all ruminants. The disease is costly because bloat can rapidly kill animals, and it can lead to a chronic condition where animals are not producing to their full potential. By Ian Hodge

There are two types of bloat: frothy (primary) bloat and gaseous (secondary) bloat. Frothy bloat is the result of the formation of stable foam in the contents of the rumen. The gases that make up the foam are mainly carbon dioxide and methane produced from the fermentation of rumen contents. Frothy bloat commonly occurs when clover, Lucerne and immature ryegrass make up the majority of the diet. These feeds are high in protein and soluble carbohydrate, and low in fibre. These factors increase the risk of frothy bloat. After the froth accumulates in the rumen, gas pressure builds in the rumen and the animals are unable to “burp” the gases out. The pressure in the rumen rapidly increases making it difficult for affected animals to breathe. If left untreated, death from heart failure and or asphyxiation will follow within a matter of hours. Frothy bloat can be controlled in the early stages by adding fibre (hay or straw) to the diet. This changes the composition of saliva which in turn assists with breaking down the entrapped bubbles in the rumen. Adding fibre to any ruminant diet is more important that we may realize. The rumen depends on a good source of fibre for correct function of both the organisms within the rumen and the muscular walls of the rumen.

Other successful strategies to control frothy bloat are anti-foaming agents like anti-bloat oil, paraffin oil, detergents, pluronics, alcohol ethoxylate products, and rumensin. These products are readily available. The alcohol ethoxylate products are useful because they tend to have a prolonged period of action. Rumensin will reduce methane production and will reduce the overall numbers of protozoa in the rumen that remove antifoaming agents from plants. Rumensin will also reduce the total numbers of bacteria in the rumen and this has the effect of reducing stable foam production. Bloat oils can be sprayed on to paddocks directly after the dose has been accurately calculated. The spraying should occur shortly before grazing and may need to be re-applied after rain. Strip grazing may help better utilise sprayed on products. Water trough treatment with bloat oils and rumensin is very common but can be affected by water intake. Cows and sheep may not drink enough treated water under certain conditions. Many farmers I have spoken to have said that the application of salt to pastures or the use of salt blocks can help control bloat. Interestingly we see very little bloat in herds that are grazed close to the ocean!

Free gas bloat is different to frothy bloat. The cause of the gas accumulation in free gas bloat is usually some physical obstruction to the passage of burped air. Such obstructions could be turnips, potatoes etc. or lumps and bumps that have grown to obstruct the oesophagus. Free gas bloat is common in calves around weaning. In calves we often need to make long term holes in the rumen to allow the escape of gas over a few days. Treatment of frothy bloat, in animals with severe distension of the rumen, is an emergency. Stabbing on the LEFT hand side with a double bladed bloat knife is a very good idea. Make sure you know the landmarks for stabbing—ask your vet. Treatment of free gas bloat involves a vet passing a stomach tube to move any obstruction and to allow the passage of the free gas. Relief is often instant in these uncomplicated cases. So this spring and summer don’t get caught with bloat. Be prepared. A robust prevention strategy using water treatments, rumensin and fibre, in consultation with your vet, is a good place to start.

VetEnt Riverside Ashburton 03 308 2321 Timaru 03 687 4445 Mayfield 03 303 6042 Rakaia 03 302 7931

VetEnt Lincoln Leeston Halswell

03 325 2808 03 324 3575 03 322 8331 ATS N E W S


Wishing all ATS d n a e f a s a s r e b mem s Merry Christma





Gas and Canterbury The use of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) is one of the fastest growing sources of energy for New Zealanders and unlike natural gas, is widely available in the South Island. By Richard Rennie

While natural gas is piped directly from Taranaki gas fields through the North Island network that suffered the catastrophic rupture last year, LPG comes bottled, stored as a liquid and burnt as a vapour for use in heating, cooking and water heating. The main source for LPG gas in New Zealand is through Taranaki’s Kupe field, now superseding the pioneering Maui field and supplying around 90,000t of LPG, or 55% of the country’s demand. The future of LPG as an energy source is looking very secure, thanks in part to the potential of another big gas field, Pohokura, to supply up to 200,000t per year. LPG can also be imported from Australia. Part of its appeal as a fuel lies in the relative ease with which it can be transported and stored as a liquid—in that liquid form it is around 250 times denser than when it is a gas, meaning a lot of energy can be stored in a relatively small volume. The beauty for South Islanders is LPG’s portability, without any developed South Island gas fields the gas can be moved in bottle form for use in industrial, home and business applications. A key agricultural use for it in Canterbury is for fuelling grain drying heaters, and last summer broke all records for demand.

Michael Keen, Retail Manager for ATS supplier Arthur Cates Limited in Ashburton, said the lingering wet conditions that made harvesting such a nightmare after Christmas had pushed LPG gas demand well up. It had eclipsed all but two of the highest demand periods the company has ever experienced in over 45 years of supplying gas on the Plains.

spaces quickly through central heating.

The use of LPG for farm home heating and cooking is not a huge one, but growth is “slow and steady”. It is a demand Arthur Cates meet by supplying 45kg cylinders in a door to door service around the Mid Canterbury region. Michael said there were literally “thousands” of customers on gas in the region, with strong boom years of growth in dairying driving a lot of that growth.

Tracey Gordon, Key Account Manager for ATS Energy said having two gas suppliers aligned with the co-operative should provide shareholders with confidence about the gas as an energy alternative.

The instant heat gas delivers is well suited to the heavy demand placed on hot water systems by farm workers having a shower after work, often all wanting hot water in a short period of time. A new entrant to the gas market in Canterbury is Nova Energy. Nova Energy’s National Field Operations Manager Russell Walsh says LPG gas is best suited to provide a number of services around the home, including instant hot water, highly efficient gas cooking and an ability to heat large

Installation costs will vary depending upon difficulty, but many building companies now install gas hobs and continuous flow water heaters as standard. New Zealand’s use of LPG as an energy source is growing rapidly at a rate of 7%pa, with the country consuming over 180,000t a year.

“Both are established in the energy sector, and ATS Energy is able to provide advice on energy usage and costings for anyone considering a new farm house or home on a subdivision – LPG is a clean, affordable and efficient alternative to the traditional energy sources in Canterbury.” To learn more call ATS Energy Key Account Manager Tracey Gordon on 0800 BUY ATS (289 287). Tracey Gordon ATS Energy Account Manager Tel: 0800 BUY ATS (289 287)
 Mobile: 027 652 2133 ATS N E W S





Keeping the rural sector connected Internet access is a bit like driving a car. When you press or turn the key, you expect it to work. By Linda Clarke

Ultimate Broadband is all about keeping customers connected, when they want, for as long as they want, whether they live in the town or remote country. The company is run out of Christchurch, but owneroperators Mike and Joanne Smith are focused on improving services for rural customers, traditionally short-changed by the lack of infrastructure outside of urban centres. Mike learned his trade with Telecom a decade ago, but saw the special requirements and lack of services available for rural customers and branched out on his own. He started Ultimate Mobile, and then Ultimate Broadband with the rural sector in mind. In Mid Canterbury, Ultimate Broadband uses the new fibre-optic network laid by EA Networks (formerly Electricity Ashburton), RBI wireless (the Government-funded rural broadband initiative) and Ruralnet wireless to connect customers to the internet. Mike says there are few corners of the district that cannot be serviced, from high country river gorges to the seaside coast. He said customers outside urban centres have traditionally struggled with choice and pricing options when it comes to finding an internet service provider, but times and technology have changed. “They got a raw deal usually, but with RBI, EA’s fibre network and now our Ruralnet wireless, there are not many areas in Mid Canterbury we can’t reach.” Multiple technologies and good partners meant customers could build a connection from scratch or swap from a less reliable provider.

Farmers need reliable connections for the many smart farming website tools they use, from checking weather and news updates, ordering irrigation water and sending data that would traditionally have to be done by hand. Within properties, cow sheds could be wirelessly connected to home offices, workers’ cottages or mobile devices in the paddock. When a potential customer rings, Mike or Joanne first establishes their location to determine the options available. The fibre-optic network (which EA has established in a big loop around the district linking its substations) is the first option, but if that connection is not available then Ultimate Broadband will find a solution from its RBI wireless or Ruralnet wireless networks. “It is all about asking questions and finding the best solution for their requirement, not just out-of-the-box solutions. We can get them connected, provide them with an email address, we make it work.” Another service rapidly gaining popularity is voice over internet protocol or VoIP, which allows customers to make phone calls using the same broadband technology they use for email, faxes and other data communication. Mike says an

above: Mike and Joanne Smith main image: EA Networks laying fibre

increasing number of clients are migrating from traditional copper-wire telephone systems to VoIP and reducing their phone costs considerably. The technology is improving all the time and modern VoIP devices have simple, user-friendly interfaces. Mike says they don’t expect their clients to be IT experts, so when problems arise they deal with them quickly. Many can be sorted remotely; and while Ultimate Broadband is based in Christchurch, it has Mid Canterbury contractors who can be on the scene if required. He said customer service is key and going the extra mile is what his business is known for. A 24-hour, seven-day-a week answer service means clients have ready access to help. Mike says the company’s core business and focus is its rural customers, who are spread all over Canterbury and the rest of the country, with rapidly growing numbers in Mid and South Canterbury.

Ultimate Broadband Parklands, Christchurch Tel 0800 000 945 or 03 929 0020



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Milk Urea Time in the North Island has allowed me to become reacquainted with milk urea (MU) figures which have been available to Open Country Dairy suppliers for the last two and a half years. Milk urea levels are also being determined by Fonterra and are apparently available on request to suppliers. By Dr. Rob Derrick

Some of the protein consumed by a dairy cow is degraded to ammonia by the rumen microbes. The microbes then use this ammonia along with fermentable carbohydrates to produce microbial protein, a valuable source of good quality protein for the dairy cow. Excess ammonia which cannot be used by the rumen microbes is absorbed across the rumen wall, transported to the liver and converted to urea. This urea then circulates in the blood with some of it being recycled in the saliva and the excess excreted in the milk (where it can be detected and reported as milk urea) and urine. Milk urea is one easily measured indicator of how the dairy cow is utilising dietary crude protein. American data reports MU levels of around 21 to 30mg/deciliter as normal for cows fed a well-balanced diet. Testing of bulk milk urea concentration in Australasia found level of MU to vary between 8.5 and 37.2 mg/ dl. If MU levels are high this can indicate that cows are possibly wasting feed protein and excreting nitrogen into the environment. If levels are low, it is possible that there is not

enough nitrogen or protein available for rumen microbial production and subsequently milk production and milk protein yield. High levels of crude protein in lush pasture will increase the amount of protein consumed and consequently the amount of ammonia produced in the rumen. If there is insufficient fermentable carbohydrate available for the rumen microbes to utilise this ammonia, high milk urea levels may be the result.

“Changes, rather than absolute levels, can be useful to indicate how the diet may be fine-tuned for cost effective performance.� Milk urea levels are influenced by factors other than nutrition, including the age and breed of the cow, the stage of lactation, bodyweight and milk production as well as sampling time. However, if you regularly monitor the MU values for your herd, it is possible to monitor the effect of changes in feeding and feeding

management in your herd. Changes, rather than absolute levels, can be useful to indicate how the diet may be fine-tuned for cost effective performance. The evidence is inconclusive but high MU levels have been correlated with reduced fertility—pasture fed cows may be able to handle high protein diets better than those fed a total mixed ration. Conversely, low MU figures may indicate additional urea fertilisation of paddocks or direct feeding of higher protein supplements like Rumatain High Protein with 35% crude protein would lift milk production. Much of the information relating to the level of urea in milk reported in the USA refers to milk urea nitrogen (MUN). It is important to understand which measure you are using as MUN measures the nitrogen content of the milk urea only and consequently is greater than MU. To convert MUN to MU, simply divide by 0.466. The range of SealesWinslow nutritional products are available through ATS. ATS N E W S









Delivering local news for 133 years With 133 years of experience, the Ashburton Guardian is solid proof that their six day a week publication keeps delivering valuable news to their readership. By Linda Clarke

The Guardian has reshaped its core business of news-gathering, expanded its monthly rural publications and launched a new online presence aimed at capturing anyone who wants to know anything about Ashburton. A new-look compact daily paper replaced the traditional broadsheet version last month. and advertisers can also have the option of online adverts. Facebook and Twitter add to the paper’s social network reach.

There is, as editor Coen Lammers puts it, definitely life in the old girl yet.

Guardian Farming, with its range of wellinformed and entertaining columnists, is now distributed into Selwyn and North Canterbury. Dairy Focus is circulated free to dairy farmers around the South Island.

In fact, he says, it is an exciting time to be in newspapers and the challenge for management is converting that intensive daily experience of reading the paper onto a screen. Many readers have no desire to read their news on an iPad, smartphone or computer screen; others can’t wait. Regardless of how they read it, regional news is big business. People want to know what is going on down the street or at their children’s or grandchildren’s schools. They want to see pictures of their neighbour or local shopkeeper; know how the senior cricket competition is shaping up, what’s hot in the shops or the price of prime lambs at the Tinwald saleyards. The internet hasn’t destroyed that, it has made it better. Central to the Guardian’s new online presence is web-editor Chris Oakley who started with the company in October. Photos, video and stories will all feature on the website

Recognising its huge rural base, the Guardian has also revamped monthly publications Guardian Farming and Dairy Focus.

They are ideal vehicles to tell the stories of the district’s innovative and hard-working farmers, and for those in the agricultural service industry to reach new clients.

above: Back: Brian Tiernan, Amanda Wright, Suzanna Macliquham. Middle: Emma Jaillet-Godin, Ashleigh Fraser. Front: Hayley Johnson, Desme Daniels and Julie Allen. main image: The Ashburton Guardian Management team—Erika Jury, Nikki Cameron and Coen Lamme

community,” Nikki said. “We are dedicated to adding value and offering broader advertising opportunities for the benefit of our readers and advertisers.” A familiar face to join Erika’s team is Desme Daniels. Desme is tasked with motivating and leading a dedicated team of sales consultants and executing the local sales vision.   

The Guardian remains one of the few independently owned newspapers in General Manager Nikki Cameron has been in the New Zealand. Bruce Bell, whose family bought top job for over a year and said the paper was the paper, is still an integral part of the team at proud of its long links to the community. the third floor office at Somerset House. Erika Jury joined the team earlier this year as It is easy for ATS members to become subscribers; Business Development Manager.  their subscriptions can be paid through their ATS “This new role was specifically created to allow a more strategic and commercial focus to how we interact and what we offer the business

accounts easily by providing their ATS number. Adverts and gift subscriptions can also be charged to ATS accounts.

Ashburton Guardian Level 3, Somerset House 161 Burnett St, Ashburton Tel: 03 307 7900

Email for subscriptions: General enquires: ATS N E W S






Soil testing—the key to determining your arable fertiliser needs Cropping is an intensive process and places high nutrient demands on the soil. Not only do rapidly growing crops require adequate levels of nutrients to meet their needs, but significant amounts of nutrients are removed when crops are harvested. Article supplied by Ballance Agri-Nutrients

To ensure you get the best economic returns from your crops, take the time to analyse your system with: •

Regular soil testing, to get an accurate measure of the nutrients that are available in the soil Rotation assessments, crop monitoring and regular fertiliser programme reviews.

Simon Lochhead, a fourth-generation farmer at Barrhill, on the south bank of the Rakaia, is a firm believer in the value of soil testing. The Lochhead property was one of the earlier ones in the region to grow crops, which are well suited to its good soil type (Barrhill silt loam). Today, the 340ha dryland farm grows wheat (120ha), barley (50-60ha), triticale (20ha), ryegrass seed (40-50ha), brassicas such as pak choi (15ha), pea seed (15-20ha) and clover on the remainder (about 20-40ha). One of the first crops sown after harvest is direct-drilled greenfeed oats, which are used for dairy grazers. Simon says it can be challenging finding a good break crop that fits their system and is profitable. Simon’s belief in the value of soil testing was reinforced by the two years he spent as an agronomist. As he says, ‘It’s much easier to manage your crop when you know what you have to start with.’The whole property is tested every two or three years, and he takes the samples himself,

taking at least two samples/ha to ensure accurate results (on average their Olsen P levels are in the range of 18-25).Serpentine super (300-400 kg/ha) is applied in autumn to the cereals, as magnesium levels on their property are marginal.

“Simon’s belief in the value of soil testing was reinforced by the two years he spent as an agronomist.” Deep N soil testing (0–60cm) is used to determine the level of N that is immediately available for plants, and Simon carries this out every spring, on a range of paddocks, making sure each crop is represented in the sampling process. Once the results are known, nitrogen is applied strategically through the season, almost all of it as n-rich urea. Simon says this is the most cost-efficient product for them, although they do use cropzeal 15P for their brassica crops. Ammonium sulphate is sometimes used at the start of the season if crops look like they are thin and need a boost, or after a particularly wet winter, to replace sulphur lost through leaching. One of the big issues on a Barrhill silt loam is manganese deficiency. This becomes yield limiting in wheat when the whole plant concentration drops below 15 mg/kg—symptoms include pale,

limp new leaves, which can also have grey/white flecks between the veins. Simon says that their wheat crops start to suffer as soon as their soils are up around pH 6. Managing this is a delicate balancing act, as barley and pea crops in particular prefer a pH at the higher end of the scale. The Lochheads approach the problem strategically, by liming after their wheat crop, when the greenfeed oats are sown in autumn. This gives the lime time to work before the peas or barley are sown in spring, 6–7 months later. Simon also applies manganese sulphate as a foliar spray (3–4 kg/ha) twice a year as a preventative measure, and has found that consolidating the soil well after spring crops emerge, by rolling, is also helpful. If you would like to more information on soil sampling and fertiliser strategies for your arable crops, contact your local ATS or Ballance representative, who will be happy to help you.

Anna Bedford 027 499 7617 Russell Hamilton 027 677 4499 Michael Robertson 027 464 2972

Tel: 0800 222 090 ATS N E W S






New Zealand’s deadly rays Anyone involved in the farming industry knows the hours farmers, workers and their families spend outside are huge. By Mandy Casey

This not only increases the risk of sunburn, but also of skin cancer which is why it’s vitally important we all take care to protect ourselves when outdoors. New Zealand holds the Rugby World Cup; however, we also hold the dubious honour of being a world leader of skin cancer. Skin cancer is our country’s most common cancer with over 67,000 cases each year. More than 2,200 people find out they have the potentially deadly melanoma each year. Our latest statistics from 2009 showed that 326 people died from melanoma in New Zealand. A frightening statistic is that men are more likely to get melanoma and more likely to die from the disease. A recent survey reports nearly one in two men said they had not applied sunscreen in the past 12 months and only 32% considered themselves knowledgeable about how to properly use it. Some misguided machismo maybe to blame: Nearly two thirds of men surveyed thought women needed sunscreen more because female skin is more sensitive to UV rays. This is not the case.

There may also be some misunderstanding about when we need to be SunSmart, as it’s not just on hot sunny days. Sunburn is caused from too much Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR). UVR is invisible—you cannot feel it or see it and it is not related to temperature. So you can easily get sunburn on a windy, cold or cloudy day if the UVR levels are high.

Between September and April, especially between the hours of 10am and 4pm, it is important to protect your skin from the sun… NZ’s spring and summer UVR levels are approximately 40% higher than at equivalent northern latitudes. Contributing to these high UVR levels are our clear skies and unpolluted atmosphere, as well as the depletion of the Antarctic ozone layer, which affects New Zealand in summer each year. Between September and April, especially between the hours of 10am and 4pm, it is

important to protect your skin from the sun while outdoors as this is when UVR levels are high. This is irrespective of whether it is cloudy or the temperature is cold. So how do we get more men to take more care when outdoors? Mothers, sisters and co-workers make it your mission this summer to get our men to Be SunSmart: •

Slip into some clothing that covers up more of your skin or slip under some shade;

Slop on plenty of broad spectrum SPF 30+ sunscreen and reapply every two hours;

Slap on a broad-brimmed hat or cap with flaps; and

Wrap on a pair of close fitting sunnies.

SLIP, SLOP, SLAP and WRAP—simple! Enjoy the summer months and avoid getting sunburn. Remember early detection is just as important as prevention! Check your skin regularly for any new or changing spot, freckle or mole. If you notice any changes, or something new, see your doctor. Sunscreen can be purchased from all ATS stores.











Your Perfect Bike Few things compare to the simple pleasure of riding a bike, be it for sport, fitness, convenience or fun. By Linda Clarke

And it’s clear plenty of Kiwis are hooked on cycling—a Ministry of Transport survey found that 1,274,000 New Zealanders cycle, roughly a third of the population. Most towns and cities around the country provide safe cycling lanes, and the national cycle trail project Nga Haerenga is nearly complete.

New Zealand Olympian Hayden Roulston.

Timaru bike shop, The Cyclery, is dedicated to keeping people on their two-wheelers as long as possible. The shop, on Timaru’s main Stafford Street, is owned by James Smith, and has a team of experts passionate about bike riding.

It’s a service not just limited to elite road riders. James says there are plenty of bike riders who suffer in silence about back pain, cramp, sore shoulders and numb butts.

James and wife Wendy bought The Cyclery three years ago, keen to run their own business. Their passion for riding has spilled over into their family life and now involves their kids - Oliver, nine, takes part in recreational mountainbike rides and races with James, and Sophie, five, is not far off joining them.

A bike fit at The Cyclery takes between two-three hours and is a thorough assessment including the rider’s goals and medical history. The process includes flexion tests and leg extensions, measurements of the leg, spine and ankle.

From a business point of view, getting as many people onto bikes and keeping them riding, is key. The Cyclery has bikes for all occasions – from road bikes, to mountain bikes, hybrids and BMX – and James and the team can help you find what you need whether you are a speed demon or cruiser. Regardless of the bike, fitting it to your body is an important part of the process. James has recently returned from a three-day intensive training course in Melbourne where he learned bike set-up from one of the best in the business, Dr Andy Pruitt of the Boulder Science Medical Center in Colorado. Dr Pruitt is a world expert in bike-fitting and has helped big names on the professional road racing circuit like Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, Frank and Andy Schleck, Levi Leipheimer and

James says the Body Geometry bike-fit theory is based on medical science, making sure blood flows to all the right muscles and areas while the rider remains comfortable and sitting correctly on the bike. above: Dr Andy Pruitt and The Cyclery Owner James Smith main image: A bike fit for everyone at The Cyclery

“For some, riding is painful, but they don’t talk about it. Pain is usually the result of a poor fit.”

“Once we have that profile, we get the person into their cycling gear and onto their bike, on a windtrainer. There we look at seat height, hip angle, reach, hip-knee-foot alignment and many other things.” James said seat height adjustments of just a few millimeters could mean the difference between power and pain for a rider.

possible. Follow-up assessments are part of the service too. Pedal power has long been proven to improve fitness and health, save on fuel and bring a smile to people’s faces. “Everyone remembers their first bike, and you can have a lot of fun on them.” James said cycling had become increasingly popular with the over-50s and there were plenty of great recreational rides, including the Alps 2 Ocean and Otago Central Rail Trail close by. “The main thing is to get out and ride. Ride with friends or other people regularly and learn about your body and the bike. There are great benefits, from losing weight to saving money.”

“If it is not at the right height, it can lead to other issues that people might not be aware of like numbness, cramp and fatigue.” He said all riders are unique, but the aim is to keep them comfortable on the bike for as long as

If you want to learn more about the science behind Dr Pruitt’s bike-fit, go to www.

The Cyclery 106 Stafford St Timaru

Tel: (03) 688 8892 Email: Web: ATS N E W S






Renewing extra paddocks—how do the numbers stack up? Keen to get another paddock of new grass in the ground before Christmas, but hesitant about the economics and/or the practicalities? Turns out it could be much more feasible than you might think. article supplied by agriseeds

Much of the scheduled pasture renewal for spring 2012 is now underway. But this month there is often the opportunity on irrigated Mid Canterbury dairy farms to sneak in an extra paddock (or two!) via grass to grass. “We are often told ‘I can’t renew more paddocks, because I’ll run out of feed’ but if you have a number of underperforming paddocks our answer is maybe you can’t afford not to renew them,” says Agriseeds technical development manager Graham Kerr. “If this is the case, the real question is how do you renew extra paddocks, particularly at a high stocking rate?” The answer is pretty simple, he says: do the sums, and it can work out very economical to buy in extra feed to facilitate extra renewal.

extra to the renewal costs to purchase that feed, in case things are tight feed-wise. Even then the economics of renewal can stack up as the table shows.” For irrigated dairying, this renewal has some real advantages. •

Your December paddock will be the one that already performs most poorly in terms of existing yield. It’s not an asset at present—it is limiting your farm performance, now and in the future.

At worst, by spraying out and sowing new grass in December, you might forgo 2 t DM between now and March. But you’ll get that back—and then some—between March and May.

“With renewal you lose maybe five to six weeks’ pasture growth while a paddock is out of grazing, which is around 2 t DM/ha. So let’s add in $700/ha

That autumn growth will not only significantly exceed what your old paddock would have grown, it will (typically) provide feed with better ME (0.5 to 1 MJ).

Best of all, that paddock will keep growing more and better feed into the future.

The key to making this work is not to wait for surplus growth—few Mid Canterbury dairy farms ever experience a genuine feed surplus at high stocking rates. Instead, identify the paddock that would most benefit from grass to grass renewal in December; plan to feed supplement to cover the grazing that will not be available as a result of spraying it out and drilling new grass and clover; and organise a contractor to come and get the job done for you. There’s a handy on-line calculator available at the Pasture Renewal Charitable Trust website to help work out the numbers (visit www.pasturerenewal. and your friendly ATS team will be able to give you good local advice about timing and pasture cultivars.

Pasture renewal economics* Increased production from renewal of a poor paddock:

5 tonnes DM/ha/year [4–6 t is typical]

Percentage of DM production eaten:


Pasture to milk solids conversion factor:

14kg DM = 1kg MS

Milk payout:

$6/kg MS

So... Per hectare, the cows eat

4000 kg DM more pasture per year [80% of 5 t]

So they produce    

285 kg more MS per hectare [4000 kg÷14] per year = $1700 more per hectare [285kg x $6] per year

Less costs Costs (spray, cultivate, seed, fert, drill, etc)

= $932/ha

And purchase 2tDM @ 30c/kgDM

= $700/ha

Total cost


Outcome—you have paid for renewal in first year, and set up productive new pasture for years to come. *adapted from ATS N E W S


Helmack ITM Rural & Outdoor Timber • • • •

Poles Posts Calf Pens Calf Shelters

• Pump Sheds • Gates • Wire

Helmack ITM Rural & Outdoor Timber Cnr South Street and SH1 (behind Rural Transport)

Phone: 03 308 6444 or 027 433 4536



ATS Hinds Truck Stop The refreshed fuel stop, providing you with 24 Hour–7 Day convenience.






Securing your greatest assets

Masterguard’s one-stop security shop in Ashburton has a new look and a new location. By Linda Clarke

The business moved from tiny premises on Dobson Street last month to a new base at 120 Moore Street. Staff are reveling in the new space, which is at least twice the size. Owner-operator Nick Gibbs said the business was growing, along with the district. Customers range from commercial operators in the central business district to farmers concerned about stock and equipment on their rural properties. The new site means Masterguard can provide its full range of services—locks, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, building compliance, security alarms, alarm monitoring and guard response services—all from the one location. Nick says this sets Masterguard apart from its competitors and attracts clients. “They can have a single point of contact for all their requirements, rather than dealing with three or four different companies.” The new 100 square metre showroom means staff can set up demonstrations of Masterguard’s systems. Security measures include the latest in alarm and alarm monitoring solutions. In addition to standard alarm monitoring down a phone line, Masterguard can now also provide monitoring over IP, GPRS, GSM and Radionet, which provides clients with options even if they don’t have a phone line. Masterguard’s key-cutting service remains. Onekey systems are always popular and enables people to use one key on all locks and padlocks throughout a property or building.  Security keys work the same way but require authorisation before more keys are cut so that property owners know exactly how many keys have been issued for their farm or building. Also popular with rural customers are gate buzzers—a vehicle that passes through an electronic beam sets off a buzzer alerting farmers someone has come onto the property. “It is hard to keep track of what happens on rural properties. A beam across the tanker track or one across the house driveway lets people know who is coming.” Theft in rural areas is a constant problem. Thousands of dollars of machinery or fuel can be stolen undetected from isolated workshops; high tech cow sheds are also worth protecting. A monitored alarm system can alert owners to an incident, allowing them to initiate an immediate response.  By adding smoke or heat detectors to the security system, clients can be notified of a possible fire 24/7 allowing them to respond quickly and limit the damage caused. Nick said many farmers waited until it was too late to install security measures. “Typically once they have been robbed they come to see us. The message is, if you think you need security then you do.”

He said it was the same message for urban customers, especially with Christmas around the corner. While locking doors and organising neighbours to keep an eye on the place is a good idea, his best advice is get an alarm and get it monitored.

“The new site means Masterguard can provide its full range of services—locks, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, building compliance, security alarms, alarm monitoring and guard response services—all from the one location.” Fire protection of both commercial and private homes is another area of expertise. Masterguard’s technologies cover every hazard and include simple heat activated devices and cutting-edge smoke detectors. Automatic suppression systems can also be added. The business also sells, services, pressure tests and recharges fire extinguishers. Staff are happy to visit rural and commercial customer at their site to assess, supply and install the appropriate fire protection for their individual needs. Masterguard are also regularly in the rural areas of Canterbury servicing extinguishers on farms and commercial buildings. Another service is managing building compliance, ensuring fire alarms, emergency

above: The Masterguard team, Manager Nick Gibbs, Paul Hendry, Chloe Gliddon, Nigel Brough, Dale Leonard, Mike Sandrey, Mike Snowden and Marc Ramsey main image: The new Masterguard location at 120 Moore Street

lighting, mechanical ventilation and lifts meet standards required by the Building Act so that an annual building warrant of fitness can be issued. Masterguard can manage this entire process for clients including all monthly and annual inspections and supply all appropriate paperwork to the council at the end of the year. Nick said the new building had been accompanied by a rebranding of the business, including a new website and new logos on Masterguard’s fleet of security vehicles, used by its seven Ashburton staff. All the changes have made Masterguard a more visible force in the community.

Masterguard Security 120 Moore St Ashburton

Tel: 03 308 8546 ATS N E W S




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Login to see pricing, member only information and full weather forecasts

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Your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated. Please contact us on 03 307 5100 or with any enquiries ATS N E W S





Reindeer Cupcakes For the cupcakes For the icing 2 large eggs 1 tsp vanilla essence 110 g caster sugar 110 g soft margarine 110 g self–raising flour

To decorate

110 g butter, softened 250 g icing sugar, sifted 1 Tbsp water 1 Tbsp cocoa

Small pretzels M&Ms Mini M&Ms Snowballs


Heat the oven to 180oC. Beat together the eggs, vanilla, caster sugar, margarine, and flour. Line a muffin tin with cupcake papers, and half fill each paper with the cake mixture. Bake for 18–20 minutes. When done, the cupcakes will be golden and springy to touch. For the icing, beat the butter until crea my. Gradually beat in the icing sugar and cocoa, then beat in the water. Ice the cupcakes and as you go: Place a snowball on top for the face, a red M&M for the nose on top of that and blue Mini M&Ms above it for the eyes. Use pretzels for the antlers.

Reindeer Food

Fun Farm Word Find boris lily wheat grass seed dairy arable pig farm g




f w























t b

l a d l r v i w o c

daisy trevor tractor cow sheep la mb ats dog bull



















































1/4 Cup Oatmeal 1/4 Cup Red and Green Glitter Plastic Bag Ribbon





















































Measure 1/4 cup of oatmeal into a plastic bag. Measure 1/4 cup of red and/or green glitter into the bag with the oatmeal. Tie off the bag with a piece of ribbon. On Christmas Eve, sprinkle the reindeer food on your lawn while singing the poem below:

e t r a c t o r a a

i s b m i s i r y s

l l u b d s h e e p

e c i d e a y e e r

y e a l o r d b l f

y l a a y g l m a r


Santa Letter

Visit ATS Kids at to download your Santa Letter. Post to: Santa Claus, Santa’s Workshop, North Pole 0001

Reindeer Poem Sprinkle on the lawn at night The moon will make it sparkle bright As Santa’s reindeer fly and roa m This will guide them to your home ATS N E W S


n i g n i r u o Col n o i t i t e p com



Age: ATS Nu mber: 50


• There are two age groups and two prize packs allocated per age group: age 4–7 and age 8–11. • Please ensure the family ATS number, age and name of the entrant is submitted with the entry. • One entry per child only. • All entries must be received by ATS no later than 4.30pm, 21 December 2012. • Finalist artwork will be displayed in the ATS Ashburton Customer Lounge and winners will be announced on 14 January 2013.

• ATS reserves the right to publish all entries and details of the winners. The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Once the judging has taken place, winners will be notified by telephone. • The prize is not transferable or exchangeable and ATS reserves the right to change the prize to the same or equal value at any time if the prize becomes unavailable. No responsibility accepted for late, lost or misdirected entries.

Additional copies can be picked up from any ATS Store or downloaded from



Christmas Gift Baskets and Bouquets Made to order, compliment your flower arrangement and incorporate a special gift, wine, chocolates, aromatherapy or toys. Christmas wreaths, table centre pieces and flower arrangements for any occasion.


| | | |

03 308 3342 03 308 3035

85 Harrison St Ashburton



1 2


1. Let’s BBQ Wooden Box With the wood box presentation, this is the perfect gift for the BBQ enthusiast containing three Wild Appetite BBQ Sauces. $27.00


2. Chrome holder containing four Wild Appetite BBQ rubs

$27.00 3. Three superb Wild Appetites Neatly displayed in a gorgeous black gift box. $30.30

4. A beach, bach and BBQ tin BBQ tin containing sauces, dressings and BBQ rubs. $60.50

christmas essentials


Deli and Deco


1. Dome for platter. $37.10 2. A three-tiered 33cm diameter footed platter to really show off your favourite cake or dessert. $72.30 3. A 23cm trifle bowl for that Christmas Day Trifle. $33.40

Apple Shortcake


Tiramisu Log

Two layers of light shortcake, perfectly browned and filled with pure apple filling. $42.00

Made with the finest cream on a biscuit base and topped with our delicious range of, peach and passionfruit, delightfuly strawberry, boysenberry or tangy lemon and lime curd. From $46.80

Layers of coffee flavoured tiramisu cream over chocolate sponge sprinkled with chocolate shavings. $23.70


Cheese knife sets

Viva La Fluro Range

Perfect for Christmas treats. $10.80

A fun and energetic collection of candles and diffusers, from $12.90

Summer colour with Scanpan

Utility knives great for picnics and outdoor living. $6.80

Naturals Christmas Diffuser SET

hamper & gift baskets

Gift baskets made to order to suit all ages, occasions and budgets.

Wild Clove and Cinnamon Reed $15.20

spotty serveware

Full range of serveware from $20.90 Disclaimer: Products available through ATS Stores, members price as pictured. We cannot guarantee availability of stock on all pictured items.



News at ATS ATS, Celebrating 50 years Next year will mark the 50th Anniversary for the Ashburton Trading Society Ltd. It has been quite a journey since its incorporation on 21 August 1963 and a number of commemorations are planned to mark this significant year in the history of your cooperative. The first is the special anniversary ATS calendar which you will have received with this issue of the ATS News.



Ashburton A&P Show Winners ATS Member Prize Winners: $150 Gift Basket Winner—Rose Harrison 8–13 yrs Gift Basket Winner—Logan Marshall 8 yrs and under Gift Basket Winner—Sam Kingsbury

Remember to keep an eye out for more celebrations to come throughout this momentous year.

ATS and HRL bringing ewe livestock Results Board: Guess the total wool weight of the Merino hoggets:

ATS Website Check out the new ATS website. It has recently been revamped and has a fresh new look and feel while still being packed full of valuable resources and information. Members will find the ability to easily view and use the website from mobile devices and via a revised login called My ATS (easy to follow instructions are available online). Another change is the removal of The Blackboard which appeared in the previous website. Instead, members will find news and information in an easier to read format no matter how the site is accessed. To view the new revised website visit or see page 47 for more information.

Winner—R. McArthur (19.5kg) Guess the total pen weight of four Southdale hoggets: Winner—Vern Thomas (248kg) Guess the amount of sheep droppings in the jar: Winner—Geordie Pavey (1011)

Ag Journalism Awards


A long-term, regular contributor to our ATS News has received national recognition for his journalism skills.

Christmas with ATS

Richard Rennie won the inaugural Beef + Lamb New Zealand News Award at this year’s New Zealand Agricultural Journalists and Communicators Awards. The new award recognises excellence in the coverage of breaking or hard news stories. Richard’s entry included a portfolio of articles which appeared in the NZ Farmers Weekly.

Join ATS and selected Card Suppliers for a special evening of shopping with one-night only deals on Thursday 6 December between 6 and 9pm. You will find exclusive offers for members, including fabulous discounts, deferred payments and much, much more.

The key objectives of the awards are the encouragement and recognition of excellence in agricultural journalism. Ten awards were presented—nine for journalism and one for photography.

It’s also an opportunity to get together and celebrate another successful year with nibbles, and refreshments at ATS Ashburton. Don’t miss this great opportunity to save while shopping at your leisure.


ATS defibrillator on-site

ATS Hinds Fuel Stop Don’t forget the conveniently located Hinds ATS Truck Stop this Summer. The new look truck stop has recently been refreshed and is ready for the busy season ahead. An additional diesel bowser has also been installed. Don’t forget, the Hinds ATS Truck Stop only accepts ATS Mobil Cards. If you don’t have a Mobil Card or would like more information, please contact 0800 BUY ATS (289 287) today.

ATS Ashburton has recently installed a defibrillator on-site. This life saving equipment is used to treat sudden cardiac arrest by delivering a short, powerful electric shock to the heart, helping the heart to regain its natural rhythm. Each year more than 1000 New Zealanders will suffer a heart attack outside of a hospital according to St John statistics. Many of these people have no prior symptoms and get no warning. Less than 5 - 8% will survive without immediate treatment. Dialling 111 and performing CPR are always important but the use of a defibrillator can increase the chance of survival by up to 40%. Defibrillators are designed to be easy to operate, with automated talking instructions to help the users. For more information contact Peter Jacob on 0800 BUY ATS (289 287) or visit

Let ATS take the hassle out of Christmas shopping

How about a gift basket?

Gift wrapping

Stuck for ideas?

Let ATS create the ideal gift basket full of lots of goodies. We can create gift baskets to suit all ages, occasions and to fit your budget— all beautifully presented.

When it comes to gift wrapping, ATS staff are professionals. Each gift purchased from us can be beautifully gift wrapped to suit every occasion.

Let ATS take the hassle out of the gift purchasing with ATS vouchers. ATS vouchers come in all denominations and are an ideal gift that allows freedom to choose from our fantastic range in store.

Posting date reminder NZ Post Christmas posting dates within: New Zealand* Standard Post

Wednesday 19 December


Friday 21 December


Friday 21 December

Australia Economy

Monday 3 December


Monday 10 December

Economy Courier

Friday 14 December


Monday 17 December

Rest of the World** Economy Courier

Monday 10 December


Wednesday 12 December

**Economy & Air posting dates were at the end of November *Please be aware that delivery targets are a guide only, and NZ Post does not guarantee items reaching their destination within these times. Delivery to and from rural and/or remote areas may take longer.

Looking after your health and safety needs ATS maintains a good Health and Safety plan which is continually being updated and improved. Recently this was recognised when ATS was awarded a certificate from ACC for achieving Tertiary Level requirements for the ACC Workplace Safety Management Practices. The Tertiary Level is the highest level that can be achieved through ACC and rewards our business with discounted ACC levies and ensures we have a robust Health and Safety scheme. To find out more about discounts on ACC levies please refer to the ACC website ATS N E W S











ATS out and about Ashburton A&P Show 1. Zara Stock & Olivia Studholme / 2. Ryan Watt, Robert Furrer, Guyon Cameron and Isaac Smyth / 3. Will & Hugh Saunders / 4. Alan & Anna Reith / 5. Corbin & Brooke Bennett / 6. Karen & Tracey Bennett / 7. Derek Prebble & Lester Tarbotton / 8. Rebecca Farr & William Hay / 9. Neil Allen, Ian Porter & Eddie Oakley 56





Bells Auto Electrical For batteries, air conditioning and absolutely everything auto electrical.

Quality Hay Covers

• • • • • •

Furniture Cushions Auto Interiors Sail Shades Hay Covers Carpet Binding

• Caravan Squabs • Outdoor Sun Blinds • PVC Bin Covers • And more…

Pre Inspection & Regular Cleaning contracts Dairy Housing Domestic Housing Industrial Commercial We clean to a standard,not a price PO Box 133 Ashburton

4 Watson Street, Ashburton

Phone: 03 308 5222

115 Main South Road, Tel 03 307 2354 Tinwald, Ashburton



Tel: 03 307 2656



KOR N E R K I DZ East St, next to Dick Smith 307 0456


John Deere Tractors

Ashburton’s leading computer company.

from $6.95

144 Moore St Ashburton Ph: 03 308 5077 Fax: 03 308 3401

Giggling Doll $26.95




Ph 0274 399 322 MOTORHOMES




An ideal time to book your


Accessories Sales Service Fibreglass Repairs Servicing of all makes & models

177 Alford Forest Road Ashburton Tel 03 308 58 42 Fax 03 308 5842

SPIDERBAN 0800 556 778 308 0051 ATS N E W S





Experience South African farming life first hand 20th May to 6th June 2013 United Travel are proud to be able to offer this exclusive opportunity for ATS members to experience the real South Africa. Join a small group of 8–12 like-minded people for a truly unique experience. The 16-day farm tour scheduled for May 2013 will include: • Victoria Falls • Personalised Farm tours • The Royal Ag Show • Diamond Mine Tour

• Game drives and cruises

This is a fully inclusive tour—flights, accommodation, meals and entry fees are all included in the package price.

Call us now to find out more about this unique opportunity.

Experience S you’re meantouth Africa the way to…

ATS News December 2012  

ATS News December 2012