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Brothers make

their own mark Over-wintering in Ashburton

Investment into

people the key

Dairy Futures help ease market


From the CEO

Upcoming Events

Another new year is well and truly upon us. This is often a time for putting the previous year behind us and focussing on new beginnings.

6 February Waitangi Day ATS will be closed Saturday 4 February to Monday 6 February. We will re-open on Tuesday 7 February.

Just as you take stock of where you are and where you are heading, we have also had a look at the ATS News and decided now is also a good time to make some changes. We have given the ATS News a bit of a revamp but have been mindful to not compromise the high quality content and information you have come to expect.

16 February

This edition of the ATS News continues to deliver valuable and insightful reading on a variety of topics. Our cover story features the Fleming family farming operation at Longbeach—a good example of family partnerships and successful succession farming. Also featured in this issue is Kintore Farm general manager, Nick Hoogeveen and his thoughts on investing in the dairy farms staff for their future growth and development. There’s plenty more farming information via our regular contributors on animal health, fertiliser and energy; an insight into years gone by thanks to our rural commentator Elle Ludemann; and profiles on a selection of ATS Card Suppliers.

Variable Rate Irrigation Field Day—Fairlie DairyNZ For more info:

21 February B+LNZ Farming for Profit Field Day For more info: Tom Fraser 03 321 8840

29 February

There’s also an informative article on the recently established Dairy Futures, its significance and potential for the future. And on a completely different note the spectacular Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake is the backdrop for an article on an Ashburton link to a local boating operation.

Meridian Energy in store at Ashburton ATS 10am–4pm For more info contact Tracey Gordon 03 307 5107 or 027 652 2133

Given this mix of information, there’s sure to be something to suit everyone and we hope you find the time to take a break to read them.

10 March Mayfield A&P Show Mayfield A&P Showgrounds

14 March Dairy Womens Network Financial Planning Workshop For more info:

Neal Shaw, Chief Executive

17 March Methven A&P Show Methen A&P Showgrounds

10 Contents ASHBURTON


Editorial Enquiries

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

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



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

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

Our team welcome your contributions, enquiries and letters. Please post or email to: Chris Bristol Nikki Craig Marketing Assistant/Assistant Editor

Advertising Enquiries:

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



Richard Rennie, Pip Hume, Ele Ludemann, Kim Newth, Ian Hodge, Anita Body and Dr Rob Derrick

Nikki Craig, Hayden Marshall, Pip Hume, Kintore Farms Ltd, Glacier Explorers, Jason McKenzie, Edgewater and Charlotte Mackenzie

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.

Craig, Colin and Grant Fleming

6 25

3 33

14 Features




2 Brothers make their own mark together Colin, Craig and Grant Fleming

9 Ele Ludemann Thoughts from across the rivers

5 Dressing for success Coulter Seeds

33 ATS Gift Shop

17 Generating electricity from water ATS Energy 23 Monitoring trace elements before winter VetEnt Riverside 27 Maximising your nitrogen returns Ballance Agri-Nutrients 31 Zinc, an essential component for good health SealesWinslow Ltd

21 Great escapes 2012 House of Travel Ashburton

6 Investment into people the key Nick Hoogeveen 10 Over-wintering in Ashburton Ashburton Marine 14 Dairy Futures help ease market shakes

25 New premises for the New Year Stocker Dairy Services 29 Relax at the water’s edge Edgewater Resort

34 News at ATS 36 ATS out and about 37 Classifieds


Brothers make their own mark together It is a rare thing to get two brothers working in happy union on the land. However Craig and Grant Fleming provide plenty of inspiration for any family tentatively wondering how they can manage the sometimes difficult business of farm succession, and keep everyone talking to one another. BY Richard Rennie

The brothers farm on family land at Longbeach on property established by their father Colin. Between them and their wives, Karyn and Susan, they own 450ha of cropping land, each in their own title, and share ownership of an adjoining 297 effective ha dairy unit. The brothers focus on crop production, particularly ryegrass seed which is enjoying steady returns and prospects as North Island demand ramps up following several dry years that have devastated pastures and demanded re-grassing. Ryegrass production is spread across around a third of the properties, with the rest split between wheat/barley and brassicas. Ryegrass yields have been consistent at around 2t/ha, with the best year at 2.7t/ha, while wheat averages out around 10t/ha. 2


The Eiffleton farms are on a mix of Temuka silt and Wakanui clay, reasonably deep heavy soils lending themselves well to cropping. “We try to keep things relatively simple, and one of the biggest advantages of getting on is that we can share gear between us, and get the job done across the farms pretty quickly,” says Grant. Buying benefits, including ATS purchases, also come with knowing what your neighbouring brother needs for his operation too.

the Flemings drop deep wells on both the dairy and cropping farms to compliment drain water take when water tables are lower.

One of the more recent challenges they have dealt with across the properties is the lower water volumes in farm drains that they have traditionally pulled irrigation water from. Improved irrigation efficiencies up stream, including borderdyke systems being replaced by spray irrigation, has explained this. This has seen

The dairy unit is an investment Colin admits he wondered about when the boys took it on back in 2000. “My Dad never told me what to do, so far be it for me to tell them.”

Prospects for cropping look steadier, and more positive after a couple of tumultuous years. Craig welcomes prices of around $420/t for feed wheat as sustainable, for both farmers and for their poultry-pig farming clients. Good dairy demand in recent years has also helped keep feed wheat prices firm.

However the relatively steady cash flow from the unit has proven a good balance to the topsy-turvy nature of arable returns over the past

decade, and integrates well with the other two properties. The 1100 cow unit was purchased from Tasman Agriculture, as a 164ha farm at that time, and the most recent land addition has been 30ha of adjoining cropping land last year. Starting dairying out proved trial by fire. The second year’s payout dropped to a paltry $3.60/ kgMS. Colin maintains there is nothing more sobering, or valuable than a tough first year in a new operation to focus the mind, and sharpen the pencil. The unit is run by sharemilker Ben and Mary Ann Stock, successful operators who have been with the family for seven years. Colin admits he has never known two brothers to get on so well, and being able to spread their resources has meant they can invest in good reliable equipment that won’t let them down at critical sowing and harvesting periods. That equipment includes a Class Lexion header sharing pride of place in the equipment line up. “I think what helps things work well here is that they each have their own land, but benefit from having that scale by working together and being able to have the best gear they can. Having the dairy farm between them is a shared interest. “ Colin notes a large part of success has come from strong relationships with staff and business associates over the years. Colin had the same married couple for 17 years, while the boys have two staff who have been with them for many years. “For me it has been most rewarding seeing things develop, and has given me the opportunity to explore a few other business opportunities beyond the farm.”

Plains farming brings rich life experience It is with mild bemusement that Colin Fleming looks back over the past 47 years at the changes he has seen not only within his family farming operation, but around the Ashburton district. He reckons he was smart enough to get off the

Eiffelton property he bought back in 1964 around the same time his first son Grant came back in 1985, leaving him to make his own mark along with brother Craig who returned a couple of years later. However it has not been about settling into a weekly bowls tournament and a pair of slippers in the evening for Colin.

opposite PAGE: Grant and Craig Fleming at the dairy


From top left: Craig and Grant Fleming with their Claas Lexion header; Craig, Colin and Grant Fleming; Anne and Colin Fleming enjoy cruising the island on his Honda Shadow

“I realise I was actually younger than the boys are now when they came back to the farm, and things have probably worked out pretty well in that regard,” he says.

“In a way I was probably a bit lucky. I was surrounded by these small 120 acre dairy units, and as they sold up I bought them, sometimes whether we could afford to or not.”

That probably comes from his self confessed tendency to think outside the farming box, looking at inventive and new ways of building business and living life to the fullest.

He has to pause to think how many of those titles comprise today’s property that totals 450ha that sons Grant and Craig now own. This is in addition to the 297 effective ha dairy unit that milks 1100 cows, in the same district.

It is an attitude that saw Colin acquire a sizable chunk of Canterbury farmland, land that has proven to fulfil the promise made to him by a colleague years ago to be the “best investment you will ever make.” One of six children, he soon realised that if he wanted to get ahead and own his own land, he would have to work hard and take a few risks to acquire the capital to do so. His father’s heart attack at the age of only 49 not only saw Colin pull out of school early to help the family out, but gave him extra incentive to get started early on the road to farm ownership. The purchase of his first, and the family’s original farm back in 1964 at Eiffelton was the culmination of his hard work and ability to build up a successful hay contracting business. It had him baling over 70,000 square bales a summer around the Plains. “The contract baling really helped get us ahead. In those days there was plenty of work involved, things were more labour intensive than they are today.” He also invested with his brother in one of the Plain’s first auto header at a time when the machines were trailed behind tractors. Colin’s Massey 780 Special was the latest technology in 1958. “In those days no one had moisture meters so you never knew just what the levels were, you probably got away with a lot more than you would today, with more moisture in the bags.” His purchase of the 95ha Eiffelton property in 1964 was the first of several titles adjoining the farm.

Leaving the farm, he purchased a seed cleaning business in town for the next eight years, at the same time he was on the board of the local Loan and Building Society which later became Canterbury Building Society, today part of the new Heartland bank. Strong community support has underlined much of Colin and his wife Anne’s time in the district. Colin was instrumental in starting the ATS Longbeach Challenge five years ago. The annual mountain bike race along the coast and through Longbeach Estate has seen its entrant numbers grow to 700 this year. Through his Lions commitment the funds are split half between Lions’ charities and the local Longbeach School—this year the school and Lions will donate funds to the quake struck Central New Brighton school. He is proud of his long time affiliation with ATS, with his member number in the 400s marks him as one of the early customers when ATS started a year before he bought his first farm. Colin still sees plenty of challenge to keep life in Ashburton interesting. Monday afternoons have him in a cycling group enjoying a post-bike flat white at a cafe, while recent summers have seen him and Anne cruising the island on his Honda Shadow. During the week restoring a ‘quake damaged house is providing some DIY distraction.






Dressing for success At first glance it may appear Coulter Seeds are newbies to the seed treatment, mixing and dressing business—after all this is their first harvest. But nothing could be further from the truth. BY ANITA BODY

Craig and Carolyn Coulter have a wealth of experience between them. Craig has spent almost 30 years within the local seed industry with previous experience including the likes of Wrightsons and Stapletons. Carolyn has a quality control background primarily focused on the meat industry and has spent the last 18 years with AsureQuality. Both are locals, with Carolyn growing up in the Ealing area and Craig hailing from Ashburton. Together they bring a high level of expertise to the business and say they have a lot of good allround skills. The business was established in April last year, with the first Westrup seed dressing machine from Denmark up and running by 1 August. A second Westrup was installed before Christmas to help with the demands of a busy harvest. Craig and Carolyn decided to make the move into their own business because they felt there was an opening in the market place for a small to medium sized seed dressing business. This sized business allows them to treat each farmer as an individual— something they are continually striving to achieve. Sometimes in bigger organisations it’s easy to lose sight of individual client’s needs, but Coulter Seeds will not let this happen. “Farmers can always come and talk to us and we will listen,” they say. This is a real point of

difference for their business and it helps them achieve the highest quality product for each farmer’s requirements. above: Carlyon and Craig Coulter main image: Seed dressing machine

“The business deals with everything from rye grass, oats, barley and a variety of other seeds right through to an increasing number of brassicas…”

a day during harvest. “We can rely on them to do the job well.”

“Our main focus for our farmers is that the end product comes out at the highest possible quality to meet their needs. We make sure that it is dressed as best as it can be.” The business deals with everything from rye grass, oats, barley and a variety of other seeds right through to an increasing number of brassicas—which have increased in popularity and volume over recent years. In addition to the modern and reliable equipment the business operates, the staff of five have a great depth of knowledge and skill. Between them they have decades of experience. This is vital when operating a business 24 hours

Having a dedicated and skilled team is an important fit with the business’s philosophy of always meeting farmer’s needs to the highest possible standard. The business is located at Bryant Street, Tinwald and the site is ideally suited to their needs. Construction of a 1050 box shed has been completed and other expansion plans for the future are also being considered. It may only be their first harvest season, but Craig and Carolyn are in this for “the long haul”. They have been well supported by local businesses and farmers and with good crops and promising yields predicted they expect this harvest to be the first of many for their business.

Coulter Seeds Ltd 5 Bryant Street Tinwald, Ashburton

Tel: 03 308 2335




Investment into people the key As General Manager of the dairy equity partnership Kintore Farm Ltd, Nick Hoogeveen is passionate about supporting and mentoring his on-farm staff to foster their growth and development. BY Pip Hume




With a Bachelor of Commerce (Agriculture) majoring in Rural Valuation supported by a postgraduate Diploma in Computer Studies and Human Resource, Nick has much to offer. Nick spent his childhood on a Cambridge dairy farm until 1992, his last year of high school, when the family made the move to Southland. They had purchased a sheep property which was converted to dairy. Meanwhile, Nick began his dairy farming career, experiencing life beyond the family farm and completing his Ag ITO Cadet Scheme Trade Certificate in Dairy Farming. That was followed by four years at Lincoln, after which Nick and his wife Demelza took up a position as a Lower Order Sharemilker on the Southland family farm. During that time Nick and Demelza reared youngstock, leasing the heifers out to other dairy farmers as they came of age, and these dairy cows became their equity when they entered into a family equity partnership. In 2002, Nick and Demelza moved to Canterbury as dairy farm managers. In 2005 they took up the opportunity to move to the Kintore Farm Ltd property at Carew, selling out of the family partnership and purchasing an equity share in 2009. The approximately 465ha effective property is split by Trevors Road, and is run as two separate blocks, with a milking shed on each. The farms are relatively independent and each has a Farm Manager, although they do share some major plant and machinery, such as the two main tractors and the silage wagon. And while the farms are relatively separate, the managers are able to lend each other a hand if required. Calf rearing is a shared operation, and the 1680 cows are wintered on the 166ha effective run-off. Some wheat, barley and maize silage is also produced on the run-off. Nick has found the light, stony soils ideal for dairying under the five centre pivot irrigators. “On this country, all it takes is water—little and often is best,” he says. A self-confessed technology adopter, Nick is a Beta user for IQ Irrigation’s variable rate irrigation system. The two Farm Managers are responsible for the physical aspects of each block, managing the cows, their feeding and their own staff. Nick also provides the support, encouragement and

opposite page: Nick & Demelza Hoogeveen above, left to right: Simon Gibson (Coach Approach),

Naish and Cass Massey, Nick and Melz Hoogeveen, Fred Matthews and partner Debbie McGee

systems for them to learn and advance as much as they wish. He has set up a spreadsheet based recording system to keep track of information such as cow numbers and changes, feeding, supplements in and out, and a weekly feed wedge. Nick says that it takes farm staff just a few minutes a day to keep the information up to date, and there’s a huge benefit in being able to produce graphs such as per cow production relative to budget and seasonal production relative to budget. “I’m keen for the Farm Managers to learn as much as possible about the financial aspects of running the farms as well as the physical,” Nick says. “Our systems are designed around objective measurement to give our farm staff the confidence that they can make informed decisions.” Another innovative approach which Nick has initiated is the electronic measuring of staff hours. He regards it as very important that staff hours are monitored to ensure that they don’t get too tired and have plenty of time to spend with their families. The roster is seven days on and two off during the early part of the season, changing to eight days on and three off. The farm business has also recently become involved with the Coach Approach—an innovative mentoring approach to help participants achieve their potential. The involvement of Coach Approach partners Simon Gibson and Corene Walker ensures that personal development is

ongoing and that each staff member is able to maximise the opportunities. One of the drivers for Nick is to be constantly challenged. He has always been an achiever, who would go the extra distance to get an above average result. He says that when he and Demelza went to Kintore Farm, the role was one he had to grow into. He has learnt a lot, and as he has grown, so too has the job. “There’s always something going on, more development, maybe the opportunity invest in more land,” Nick comments. In 2008, Nick won the Canterbury North Otago Region Farm Manager of the Year title for the Dairy Industry Awards. At the time it was a huge thrill, and more importantly, he feels it helped his confidence so that he became more assertive about progressing in the industry. Nick also feels that it has enhanced his reputation and given him the opportunity to become the employer of choice for good dairy staff. The couple is keen to invest in a financially secure future, and this led them to an equity partnership in the business two and a half years ago. With young daughters Mikayla, age four, and one-year-old Brianna, as well as another child expected in March, Demelza, is less physically involved on the farm than formerly. However, her role as a partner and sounding board continues to be just as important. Demelza completed a Bachelor of Science majoring in Soil Science at Lincoln and subsequently worked for Ecan, and her skills are complementary to Nick’s. “We work very well as a team,” Nick says. “We have complementary strengths and weaknesses and it’s still just as important to have Demelza’s input.” Also on hold at the moment is the Arab horse stud Demelza started in 2004. In 2008, Demelza’s small group of purebred mares was joined by the outstanding Australian colt Shaheen Al Saba. Demelza says that he is exotic, elegant, friendly and intelligent, and has already made his mark in New Zealand by winning two prestigious titles as well as siring a small number of foals due this season. The four year old stallion is currently in professional hands in the North Island, being produced for the show season.

far left: Aerial shot of Kintore Farm Ltd ATS N E W S





Thoughts from across the rivers Offering to help in the shearing shed before we were married was a mistake, not because of the work but because of the food.


Ele Ludemann

BY Ele Ludemann

My mother-in-law had a well-earned reputation as a great cook and what she produced for the shearing gang showed me the very high standard that would be expected of me when I took over the kitchen. Memories of those superb savouries, sandwiches, squares and biscuits, feather-light scones and sponges and delectable dinners, were still fresh in my mind a few months later when my farmer announced we’d be shearing the following week.

“Shearers and shed hands work long, hard days to a strict timetable and it’s the cook’s responsibility to have substantial meals ready when they stop to refuel at 9am, noon and 3pm.” I decided I wouldn’t even try to compete with my predecessor’s culinary delights but was reasonably confident I was capable of producing food of a reasonable standard. What worried me more than the quality, was the quantity and timing. Shearers and shed hands work long, hard days to a strict timetable and it’s the cook’s responsibility to have substantial meals ready when they stop to refuel at 9am, noon and 3pm. Even though I’d started preparations in advance I got up at dawn on the first day to prepare the morning smoko. Once that was in the shed I started preparations for dinner and while the shearers ate that I began attending to afternoon tea. By the time I’d cleared up I’d seen more than enough food but still had to get our own evening meal and do some baking for the next day.

When the last sheep went down the porthole on the fourth day I was happy to wave them off to the pub to celebrate. Although as I washed the last dishes I did note that my farmer was going to shout for the shearers and the shearers were going to shout for the shed hands but no-one was shouting for the cook. Shearing a couple of times a year wasn’t too bad but then the ag-sag of the 1980s hit. To get out of the deep financial hole we found ourselves in we started supplying old ewes for the winter kill which necessitated shearing every couple of weeks.

“The shearers were all kind enough not to make any comparisons between the meals I served and what they used to get.” As the third season of this approached and with a baby due, I decided I had enough and broached the subject of alternative catering arrangements. My farmer agreed to let the shearers look after themselves and next time they came they did. When I asked what sort of food they were having, my farmer replied, “You wouldn’t want to know.” He was right. But I did wonder if the shearers looked back wistfully to the good-old days because while the food they get is adequate it wouldn’t be anywhere near the quality or quantity that women of my mother-in-law’s generation used to provide.

The shearers were all kind enough not to make any comparisons between the meals I served and what they used to get. They were unfailingly polite and always said thank you, but even so I found it somewhat disconcerting to watch meals I’d laboured over for hours disappear in minutes.




Over-wintering in Ashburton The spectacular Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake at Aoraki Mount Cook is the summer home for Glacier Explorers’ Mac boats. But once the summer season ends, before the harsh winter weather sets in, the boats are transported to the carpark at Ashburton Marine for their annual servicing and routine maintenance and repair. BY Pip Hume



The arrangement works well due to the good relationship that has been built up between the two businesses. “We understand their requirements—we give the boats and trailers a good look-over when they arrive prior to winter and then liaise with Glacier Explorers over what needs to be done,” says Les Boath, who together with Dusty (Mike) Hurst coowns Ashburton Marine. “Ashburton Marine became involved initially because Suzuki contacted us and asked us to service the Suzuki motors used on the Mac boats—we are the closest to the glacier. The next closest marine workshop would be at Arrowtown,” he says. The environment is very hard on the motors. They are operating in a water temperature of around 2°C, which is tough on motors that run better hot, and the fine powder glacial flow is very abrasive. The company has changed to more robust four-

and picking them up. Instead, the operation is a complex and highly skilled one, involving the use of helicopters to lift the boats from the lake to the parking area. And to add to that complexity, while Mount Cook has its own B2 Squirrel, its one tonne lifting capacity is not enough to get the job done safely, so a B3 Squirrel, which has a lifting capacity of 1,300kg, is brought in from the Queenstown base. Denis Callesen, Tourism General Manager of Aoraki Mt Cook Alpine Village, comments that while there are obviously inherent risks in the lifting operation, there has never been an incident. “The pilots are very experienced and skilled in carrying loads—they do all the servicing for the Milford and Routeburn Tracks,” he said. “We’ve got good reliable people on the ground as well.”

clockwise from top: A Mac boat being airlifted out of the Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake; the Mac boats ready to be transported to Ashburton Marine; a Mac boat being prepared to be airlifted out of the glacier; Les Boath and Dusty (Mike) Hurst, co-owners of Ashburton Marine

The tourist season runs from early September to late May, depending on weather, access and lake conditions. The glacier lake freezes over in winter, so the first trips of the season cannot take place until it has thawed. The road into Aoraki Mount Cook is subject to snow, bringing also some risk of avalanche.

Once the lifting operation has been completed, the boats are trailered to Ashburton.

stroke motors, getting about 3,500 hours out of a motor before they start to have trouble with the exterior moving parts which are exposed to the water, such as the hydraulics and shafts. “With the boats operating in a remote location, it’s important that breakdowns are minimal. The Suzuki DF 150 and DF 175 outboard motors are high quality and fuel efficient motors,” says Les. “However, if a breakdown does occur, we’re on call. It’s a seven hour round trip but it’s essential for the business to be able to keep operating.” With the only access to the lake via a narrow 2km walking track, getting the boats out of the water is not as easy as driving a boat trailer into the lake

“With the only access to the lake via a narrow 2km walking track, getting the boats out of the water is not as easy as driving a boat trailer into the lake and picking them up.” The Mac boats are New Zealand made in Auckland. The double skinned polyethylene pontoons are formed as one integral piece with no hull welds or joins and are almost indestructible. The polyethylene is extremely durable and is almost maintenance-free, with no corrosion, rust or mould growth. The hulls are also designed to survive New Zealand’s extreme UV levels and have a low environmental impact because the polyethylene is fully recyclable and colour fast.

The Tasman Glacier Terminal Lake began forming in 1973, and is now approximately five kilometres long and up to 200 metres deep, with lateral moraines rearing up 200 metres on either side. The lake is expanding all the time, causing a more rapid melt at the terminal face as icebergs melt and ‘calve’ from the terminal wall of the glacier.

With safety of paramount importance, Denis comments that aluminium hulls would be unsuitable in this environment, where the boats can come into contact with icebergs, because of the risk of holing. Fibreglass is also unsuitable, due to being subject to cracking.

As the glacier melts down in height as well as length, debris originating from within the glacier is accumulating on top of the ice river, providing rock falls as the ice melts away from underneath. It’s a dynamic environment, and while the moraine rubble on top of the glacier can be a surprise to many, it acts to insulate the ice below, protecting it from the sun’s rays and assisting in the preservation of the glacier.

Glacier Explorers began its Tasman Lake operations in the early 1990s, and is now in its fifth season under the current ownership. With four boats in the water and two retired boats on hand in case of breakdowns, the company caters for around 20,000 tourists a year.

Denis comments that very few glaciers terminate into glacier lakes, and even fewer of these are accessible to the general public. “By using a boat, we get close to the towering ice cliffs and huge floating icebergs. The boats provide a safe way to inaccessible areas of New Zealand’s largest glacier.”

The wide, flat and stable pontoon hulls can carry between nine and thirteen tourists on each trip.








Dairy Futures help ease market shakes The shaky nature of New Zealand’s geography has increasingly been reflected in the global economic landscape of the past three years, compounding all the usual risks of farming like weather, the dollar and interest rates. BY Richard Rennie

National Bank economist Con Williams assures farmers the impression of a wobblier economic world is more than simply a gut feeling. He says the volatility in currency and in market returns over the past 10 years is twice as great as that experienced in the 20 years before that. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the dairy sector where global supplies have become more closely linked to global grain prices in the northern hemisphere, in turn affected by weather and economic policies.

Futures cover dairy’s “new normal” The 2010 global dairy recovery was sparked by prices surging upwards in response to a grain shortage in Russia, causing fears of a cattle feed shortage, and pulling milk prices up with it. Global stocks of dairy products are historically low, in 14


part thanks to the reduction of subsidies on European milk production, and growing demand effectively wiping out the historical mountains of dairy products once held from subsidised over producing nations. It is in this environment the New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) launched Dairy Futures just over a year ago. Essentially a futures contract is an agreement on price today for settlement of that contract at a future date, usually either to exchange physical product or a cash equivalent. Futures are tools used to manage price risk in the physical market to supply a physical amount of product at a future date and at a future value. Futures do not need to be sold to an end user of the product as the future may be settled in cash by the seller, and be purchased/sold many times before settlement by the purchaser. Futures allow price certainty for

the seller. The value of the future is determined by the current market price and where the market is expected to move before settlement. Dairy Futures have exhibited extraordinary growth in interest within the dairy sector, celebrating 10,000 trades in late November. NZX head of derivatives Kathryn Jaggard said the second part of the growth in Dairy Futures trade had been almost exponential, surging from 5,000 to 10,000 trades in only six weeks. Based on her extensive experience on the London futures exchange, Jaggard says the current volume of 140 lots a day is something to be proud of, and puts the trade well on its way to achieving greater mass and liquidity. The trade in Dairy Futures has been buoyed by offering futures across whole milk powder (WMP), skim milk powder (SMP) and anhydrous milk fat (AMF).

months. Its fortnightly auction system ensures global prices are not only transparent, but are current. Dairy Futures trading allows companies to have the flexibility of time and price setting, based on their own beliefs about where the market is likely to go over that time. It offers greater security and simplicity over one on one forward contracts, with its standardised contract conditions and NZX as the third party providing security of payment without the complications of credit checking and risk. Kathryn hastens to point out that the futures market will not remove volatility from the market but are a tool to help allow and acknowledge that volatility. Farmers dealing with the day to day vagaries of farming, and now topsy turvy global market prospects are in a good position to appreciate the value of Dairy Futures, even if they are not trading in them. “Dairy Futures provide a good forward view of what is expected to happen in the market—I appreciate a lot of farmers may think that is something they cannot change anyway, but extra information is helpful in making more informed decisions about expenditure and expectations.”

A NZ solution for NZ product Farmers will also appreciate New Zealand as a premium dairy centre for the world, and accounting for 50% of WMP trade makes it a place to base such financial instruments, rather than London or Chicago. For anyone unfamiliar with financial instruments, Dairy Futures may initially appear to inhabit an esoteric world removed from the hard daily yards that go with getting milk into the vat. However the creation of an exchange for Dairy Futures here in New Zealand represents a step towards an agri-financial hub that may not eliminate the “new normal” of volatility for farmers, but certainly makes managing it easier for their co-operatives and processors.

Predictability out of volatility An example of Dairy Futures ability to provide some certainty is best provided with an example. Suppose a dairy processor knows it requires a minimum of $US3500/t of WMP to operate successfully in the coming season. It may be concerned this price is likely to drop as the season advances, so it goes into the futures market and sells a contract for a specified future month that covers a portion of their season’s production for $US3500/t. During the season the processor’s concerns are realised, and the WMP price drops to $US2800/t at the time the future was to be settled. The processor will sell his WMP to buyers at that spot price of US$2800/t. However it can also buy back its Dairy Futures contract at US$2800/t (the current market price) making a profit of $US700/t. Because it sold its Dairy Futures contract for US$3500/t, and the market price is now US$2800/t the US$700/t profit in the futures market cancels out the $US700/t loss incurred

by selling in the physical market at the lower spot price, effectively setting price in advance at US$3500/t. Alternatively the WMP market may have risen to US$3800/t, meaning they have lost US$300/t on their futures contract.. The benefit is that price certainty in advance is achieved, with participants not trying to beat the market, rather trying to take volatility out of it. Of course the market requires two sides to function – the dairy processors wanting to maximise what their product will be worth in the future, and companies seeking milk ingredients at the lowest possible price. A key to Dairy Futures operating is having clear market signals on what current prices are for the physical products they represent.

Being developed here by NZX has meant the dialogue between NZX and the dairy industry about what exactly was needed has been closer than what may have come with a large exchange on the other side of the world when developing the market. “Given New Zealand provides the bench mark for physical prices globally, it would be a pity to see the benefits from those products’ futures instruments go overseas. It is a big endorsement for a small exchange like NZX to be participating in an instrument enjoying so much growth, and so related to what this country does so well.” With over 100 trades a day already, Kathryn is confident based on what she has seen on overseas exchanges.

GDT provides compass

“Unlike a share float futures are not limited in number, so there is no pent up demand for limited supply creating liquidity from the outset. Derivatives markets take time to build from a small base as participants become familiar with the products and how the market works. Dairy Futures are tracking extremely well.”

Fonterra’s Global Dairy Trade (GDT) provides the current price signals needed.

Interest is also now being shown in forestry and beef futures.

Criticised by some when launched in 2008 for revealing too much information on product prices, today the dairy ingredients trading platform has grown to include United States. In April Australian processors Murray Goulbourn will also be offering lactose futures.

She maintains Dairy Futures are a great story for New Zealand, one with real potential for agricultural graduates to combine their knowledge with financial skills, and have an opportunity to help grow this sector.

This is because futures exchanges rarely settle for actual product, rather for a cash price at the end of the future’s period.

The GDT platform is regarded as a key indicator for market movements and sentiment over future

“I think in five years time we may realise just what a phenomenal success it has been, for dairying and for New Zealand.” ATS N E W S






Generating electricity from water

Energy Tracey Gordon ATS Energy Account Manager Tel: 0800 BUY ATS

Around 80 per cent of New Zealand’s electricity is generated from renewable resources, like hydro, geothermal and wind, one of the highest proportions in the developed world. Some of our most iconic landscapes are at the heart of this energy production, particularly our hydro lakes. New Zealand’s hydro schemes include the Waikato, Waitaki, Clutha, and Waiau rivers. These power schemes were built over many decades— the Waitaki scheme was developed between the 1930s and 1980s. Hydro generation makes electricity by converting the water’s energy flowing downhill through penstocks and turbines into electrical energy via an alternator. The Waitaki scheme works by storing water in lakes Tekapo, Pukaki, Ohau and Benmore. Tekapo water flows through two power stations into Lake Pukaki, from lakes Pukaki and Ohau down through three power stations into Lake Benmore, and through three more stations from Benmore to Aviemore to Waitaki. Most of the water in Tekapo and Pukaki comes from West Coast rainfall blown across in strong nor’westerly winds. The air picks up moisture over the Tasman Sea, the Southern Alps force the winds up cooling the moisture which is released as rain on the West Coast and into the

alpine range. This rainfall fills rivers feeding into the top of the Waitaki hydro lakes. In the winter this westerly moisture mostly settles on the Alps as snow that melts and runs off in the spring, but the spring and summer filling of the Waitaki lakes comes mostly from West Coast rain and strong nor’westerlies. There’s a strong tendency for the Waitaki lakes to fill in late spring and summer, and empty as rainfall freezes as snow during late autumn and winter. There’s also variance in weather patterns leading to dry and wet year outcomes. Sometimes the Waitaki hydro lakes are full and the easterly farming regions are in drought, other times the reverse, but it can also be that both are wet or dry. In some countries hydro lake storage is able to buffer several years’ worth of inflows, but New Zealand’s lakes are much smaller and depend on seasonal inflows. To manage this, hydro generation companies utilise up to 80 years of recorded rainfall records to carefully estimate future rainfall—it’s a best

Mobile: 027 652 2133

estimate but Mother Nature sometimes provides more or less. Hydro stations are designed with spillways to release excess water. Spill events are relatively infrequent, but a normal part of operations. Hydro scheme and storage designs take into account economic, social and environmental factors. An economic consideration is the increased cost of the dam (creating storage) compared to how often the storage is used. These factors dictate constraints on the use of lakes and are managed as consent limits under the Resource Management Act. In dry periods, any reduction in hydro generation due to low inflows is made up from gas or coal based thermal generation, which is more expensive. In wet seasons hydro generation is a higher proportion of total generation. For those who purchase power at a fixed rate over several years, their price factors in wet and dry. Those using power based on spot market prices are exposed to the variations in inflows.



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Great escapes 2012 Whether you’re planning a break across the Tasman or a trip of a lifetime to Europe and the United Kingdom, the team at House of Travel Ashburton can facilitate your dream holiday. Their collective depth of experience in the travel industry is a real advantage when it comes to sorting out where to go, how to get there, and what to see. BY Kim Newth

If you’re thinking about an overseas holiday in 2012, then House of Travel Ashburton is ready and waiting to help you add wings and an itinerary to your plans. Maxine Whiting recently became the sole owner operator of House of Travel Ashburton, after having worked alongside previous owner Kay Haines for 23 years. As a member of the original HOT Ashburton team, Maxine is an experienced professional who has travelled extensively. She has accumulated a vast knowledge of many destinations, having most recently visited the Cook Islands and Samoa.

“Maxine Whiting recently became the sole owner operator of House of Travel Ashburton, after having worked alongside previous owner Kay Haines for 23 years.” A real highlight for her in 2010 was travelling to Oman and experiencing the Middle East. Last year she also took a small group to Singapore to support the Silver Ferns at the World Netball Games. “I’m lucky to have Anna Schmack who is another extremely experienced consultant. It means we can share what we have learned over the years with our clients and take the hassle out of holiday planning,” Maxine says. The other consultants at House of Travel Ashburton—Nathan Bartlett, Mandy Reid and Aimee Mangin—also travel regularly to broaden their own experience and to further enhance the team’s collective expertise. Places they have visited recently include Bali, China, Australia (Victoria, East Coast), Phuket and USA/Canada. 21 ATS N E W S

Popular destinations for Mid Canterbury clients include UK and Europe, Australia and Phuket, Thailand. This year House of Travel is again planning to offer a month-long UK & Ireland Farming Tour, similar to one that it organised in 2010; this will be an outstanding farming and sightseeing experience. Within Europe, Croatia continues to be a popular destination. A favoured holiday choice is also to go river boat cruising from Amsterdam to Budapest, or on the rivers of France. House of Travel Ashburton has an annual expo on UK/Europe travel but welcomes your enquiries any time concerning your global travel plans. Typically, clients planning breaks to more distant places stay away for longer and so welcome some expert guidance on how best to plan their six or eight week holiday. “We can make all your arrangements from booking the airfares, arranging your rental car reservations and giving you some fantastic ideas for touring options.”

any hassles or problems. If you need advice on what to do once you’re there, the team are just a phone call or email away. “We are proud to offer this commitment to care and service—we’re with you all the way,” Maxine says. House of Travel Ashburton, which has been operating on East St since 1987, invites you to drop by with your enquiries or make an appointment at a time that is suitable to you. Hours: Weekdays 9am–5pm; Saturday 10am–12pm. below: House of Travel Ashburton owner operator Maxine Whiting

For short breaks, 10-day packages across the Tasman—or to the Pacific Islands—remain as popular as ever. “Cruises are another growing market. People are enquiring about everything from around the world options to Mediterranean cruises. People often want to incorporate some sort of cruise into their other travel plans too.” One of the big advantages of booking with House of Travel Ashburton is that the team offer total support—before, during and after your holiday. They are happy to advise you in the event of House of Travel Ashburton 196 East St Ashburton

Tel: 03 307 8760 ATS N E W S



Quality Hay Covers— made to measure 25m x 4m, 25m x 3.6m in stock or made to measure. Available in colours: Olive, Green, Blue, White. Three year UV Warranty

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Tel 03 307 2354 22



Veterinary VetEnt Riverside Ashburton 03 308 2321 Timaru 03 687 4445 Mayfield 03 303 6042 Rakaia 03 302 7931 VetEnt Lincoln 03 325 2808 Leeston 03 324 3575 Halswell 03 322 8331

Monitoring trace elements before winter Autumn is an important time of year for animal health and management. BY Ian Hodge, Vetent Riverside

It is important to make sure your herds and flocks are prepared for the autumn/ winter period by monitoring trace element levels in blood and liver samples, and by discussing appropriate parasite prevention strategies with your vet.

“Grazing ruminants are susceptible to trace mineral deficiencies during winter.” Grazing ruminants are susceptible to trace mineral deficiencies during winter. Copper and selenium in particular can become deficient as animals graze winter crops which may include brassica. Soil and plant levels of sulphur, zinc, iron and molybdenum often increase during winter and these substances can antagonise the availability of copper and selenium in grass and crops, and subsequently in animals. In lambs cobalt levels are often adequate as they tend to eat more soil during the winter. This may also apply to cattle, but regular cobalt injections do help animals maintain growth rates during the winter period. Your fertiliser programme will go along way to addressing some of these issues, but animal samples may also be required to assess the likelihood of your animals becoming deficient during the winter.

Liver biopsy is the preferred technique to assess trace mineral storage levels in animals. These can easily be done on live cows, sheep and deer. Taking these samples from ‘keeper’ animals may be more representative than taking them from cull animals at the freezing works.

activity (at least in sheep) this can become very significant.

Liver biopsy samples will give a longer term view of trace element status and help to answer the questions “How did my trace element programme for the past season work out?” And “What is the likely hood of my animals becoming severely deficient during the winter/ Spring period?”

Dairy cow pregnancy testing may be complete for some herds. The final pregnancy test which is usually carried out six weeks after the end of the bull mating period is critical. At this test all late pregnancies are required to be accurately aged for the purposes of meeting the strict induction code set in place by the dairy industry. Cows mated after Christmas will likely calve in October and November. You need to accurately know the calving dates of these animals so you can accurately induce them to calve early if required.

“Autumn is a time when soil temperatures and moisture levels are still conducive to rapid parasitic larval growth and development in the environment.” Autumn is a time when soil temperatures and moisture levels are still conducive to rapid parasitic larval growth and development in the environment. Animals can quickly become re -infected with larvae that their own cohorts have deposited in the environment. When combined with the “autumnal rise” in parasitic

Preventive anthelmintic treatments are the key to controlling parasitism, and a programme suited to you farming operation should be discussed and implemented in conjunction withy your vet.

Nitrate poisoning can often be a significant issue in autumn. Soil temperatures are still warm and plants readily take up nitrate from the soil. Testing crops for nitrate levels is important. This includes autumn saved grass, oats, brassicas etc. Every year we see totally preventable deaths from nitrate poisoning. You should preempt this this season and organise a nitrate testing kit from your vet.






New premises for the New Year “Moving away from being a back yard business to a better location and a more professional approach is just one of the goals for where we want to take our business,” says Cheryl Stocker, of Stocker Dairy Services. BY Pip Hume

Cheryl comments that to get through the difficulties, they had to keep their eyes on the long-term goal. “It is worth it in the end because we’ve got four times the area we had at the old building and our plans for the future can be accomplished from there with more space.” Amongst the challenges has been trying to operate a business while overseeing the building of the new premises, which has meant minimal family life for the past six months. It’s been very hard on the children, who grew used to taking their scooters to the new building and playing there during the weekends, while Cheryl and Shane worked.

“After 17 years operating from the workshop adjacent to our home, the business had simply outgrown that building.”

Shane and Cheryl Stocker have operated Stocker Dairy Services from their Leeston Street property in Ashburton for 17 years, servicing the dairy industry. With their team of 19 staff, they install Milfos milking equipment and service all brands of milking equipment, carry out dairy shed engineering and plumbing work, undertake milking machine testing and dairy shed maintenance programs and stock a full range of dairy consumables. Relocating into its new, purpose-built premises at West Street prior to Christmas was the final phase in a lengthy and sometimes stressful process. “It took us 17 months to find the right site, and another 14 months to get through the consents process,” Cheryl says. After having the February earthquake, and the delays added a couple of months to our time frame.” Moving in December had its difficulties for the business. The freight trucks were on strike in Auckland, which affected the installation of the carpet. “I can’t speak highly enough of our carpet installer, Skip-2-it Flooring Xtra, who worked through the night to get the job done for us. In fact, all of the contractors have been amazing— our builder Paul Cartney of Smith & Sons, the team at Ashburton Painters and Decorators, Laser Electrical, Greives Construction and Colourplus.

And special thanks to Ray Knight who has helped us with the design and building process and overseeing the whole project.”

Things are a little different on the home front now too. “I can’t just head across to the workshop now—at 3pm when the kids get home from school I turn into Mum, and if they are sick I won’t be at the office.”

“…install Milfos milking equipment and service all brands of milking equipment, carry out dairy shed engineering and plumbing work, undertake milking machine testing and dairy shed maintenance programs and stock a full range of dairy consumables.” With all the trials and challenges, Cheryl says that the move had to happen. “After 17 years operating from the workshop adjacent to our home, the business had simply outgrown that building. The new two story building has the main showroom, retail shop, workshop and office areas downstairs, with smoko facilities and provision for additional offices and a board room upstairs.

ABOVE: Cheryl and Shane Stocker ABOVE LEFT: Stocker Dairy Services new premises

As a special thanks for all the contractors and an official opening for their dairy farm customers, Shane and Cheryl are planning a function once everyone recovers after Christmas and the New Year.

Stocker Dairy Services 490 West Street Ashburton

Tel: 03 307 6388







Fertiliser Anna Bedford 027 499 7617 Russell Hamilton 027 677 4499 Michael Robertson 027 464 2972 Tel: 0800 222 090

Maximising your nitrogen returns There is no doubt that the use of nitrogen provides substantial economic benefits, including the establishment and stimulation of persistent and productive pastures, and the production of high-yielding crops, both for feed and grain. by Ballance Agri-Nutrients

The risk associated with applying a product like urea in adverse conditions is that a significant proportion can be lost to the air as ammonia, due to volatilisation. Volatilisation is caused by the actions of an enzyme, urease, produced naturally by soil microbes. The factors influencing volatilisation are complex and include: •

Soil factors: pH, cation exchange capacity (CEC), organic matter content, soil moisture;

Environmental factors: crop canopy cover, temperature, timing and amount of rainfall following application.

When urea is broadcast, up to 31% of the total ammonia loss can occur in the first day after application, if little (less than 10 mm) or no rainfall occurs during this time. Volatilisation is also promoted by the high soil pH that develops around urea granules as they break down; this effect is intensified at higher rates of application, where the granules are closer together, so volatilisation losses increase. Crop canopy has an effect on volatilisation too; a high amount of cover provides a wind break that slows the movement of ammonia away from the soil surface, allowing plants to absorb some of the released ammonia gas. However, different

crops vary in the density and rate at which canopy closure is achieved, which will affect their ability to suppress losses. Combating volatilisation with SustaiN Green

With these factors in mind, it is worth considering the use of SustaiN® Green when the conditions for applying urea are adverse. SustaiN Green is a urea fertiliser coated with AGROTAIN® nitrogen stabiliser, a urease inhibitor that slows the conversion of urea to ammonium. This allows more time for the urea to become assimilated into the soil and decreases volatilisation losses. Local research is now beginning to build a good case for the use of urease inhibitors in New Zealand under certain circumstances. Research carried out by AgResearch shows SustaiN Green can reduce ammonia volatilisation losses by 50% relative to urea (see graph below). Russell Hamilton, the Ballance representative in the Rakaia area, thinks using SustaiN Green under Canterbury conditions will be beneficial: ‘If there’s little rainfall after urea application, nitrogen losses will be significant. This is where SustaiN Green can

produce major benefits for farmers by producing more pasture, which means more milk for dairy farmers and increased live weights for sheep and beef producers. It also allows more efficient use of nitrogen in crops for cropping farmers.’ There are several situations in which choosing SustaiN Green is likely to offer economic and agronomic advantages. These include: •

When you are applying high rates of nitrogen

When crops are being side-dressed with surface-applied nitrogen (if urea is being knifed-in, ammonia volatilisation loss will not be an issue).

When rain is uncertain or you are unable to irrigate. Also, it may be convenient to use if you are running an irrigation system that will not cover a whole block in a single day, e.g. a rotor rainer, where you need to apply your urea in strips, as opposed to a centre pivot, where urea can be applied over the whole area

When you need flexibility for scheduling spreading contractors.

Cumulative ammonia volatilisation from urea versus SustaiN Green. Note that absolute losses will be dependent on conditions at application.


However, the hot, dry, windy conditions Canterbury farms endure can make the timing of nitrogen applications challenging, and in some cases questionable, when the environmental and economic consequences are taken into account. The demands of establishing new grass or growing crops mean urea is often applied when conditions—i.e. rainfall, wind, soil moisture levels—are not ideal.

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5 0










Independent, reliable and accurate pasture readings Pasture count provides you with:

• Average cover kg/dm/ha • Feed Wedge • Growth rates • Up to date technology • Savings on labour costs • The ability to benchmark your growth rates

• C-Dax calibration and set up Contact Details

Yoan Roberts 28


Mobile: 027 503 4064 E-mail:


Relax at the water’s edge In the heart of New Zealand’s southern lakes district is beautiful Lake Wanaka and nestled right at the lake edge is a very special place to stay—Edgewater. Wanaka and Central Otago are blessed with a dry continental climate that makes this area one of New Zealand’s most popular year round playgrounds. BY Kim Newth

on the resort’s all-weather tennis courts—before slowing down the pace at the spa and sauna on site. From the resort, it’s only a short walk to Rippon Vineyard—a premium grape grower and winemaker at Lake Wanaka—or guests can take the lakeside walk to Wanaka to explore the boutique shops. Local providers are available for wine tours of Cromwell, Bannockburn and the Gibbston Valley. Other outdoor options include jet boating on the Matukituki River, or cruising on Lake Wanaka. Wanaka has been voted one of the top 10 most romantic places on earth. With its dramatic

Whatever the season, Edgewater is the perfect base from which to explore the Wanaka region. Every room at this all-seasons luxury resort comes with a patio or balcony looking out over Lake Wanaka to the spectacular mountains beyond. Located right at the water’s edge of Lake Wanaka, Edgewater offers spacious rooms, suites and apartments. Each one-bedroom suite has a kitchenette and a generous lounge and dining area, while the spacious apartments have two separate bedrooms each with their own ensuite. These apartments have been thoughtfully designed to maximise guests’ privacy and comfort.

“Every room at this all-seasons luxury resort comes with a patio or balcony looking out over Lake Wanaka to the spectacular mountains beyond.” Outstanding New Zealand wine and cuisine, reflecting the flavours of Central Otago, is on the seasonal menu at Edgewater’s Wineglass Café. Savour the tastes of South Island salmon, Canterbury Angus beef, New Zealand cheeses and premium Central Otago wine—or sample the café’s delicious selection of signature baketo-order scones. The resort’s impressive alpine scenery can be appreciated from the outdoor terrace area. For ATS members, Edgewater offers a 10% discount* on accommodation, food and beverages. Whether for a weekend away or for a

above: Edgewater from a birds eye view right: One bedroom suite

longer stay, Edgewater is ideal for busy farming couples or families seeking a relaxing break or a base for some active Central Otago recreation.

“Outstanding New Zealand wine and cuisine, reflecting the flavours of Central Otago, is on the seasonal menu at Edgewater’s Wineglass Café.” “We are a four seasons’ destination. Our objective is to make your stay relaxing and enjoyable. No matter what time of year you come, you can be sure of a warm welcome. Whether you simply want to put your feet up and relax—or head out for some outdoor adventure—then we’re here to help you get the most out of your stay,” says Edgewater’s General Manager Leigh Stock. Lying more than 300 metres above sea level, 43km-long Lake Wanaka is prized by boaties and water sport enthusiasts alike. From here, visitors can also enjoy mountain biking, paragliding, or sightseeing by air. In winter, it becomes a hub for skiing and snowboarding. At Edgewater, guests can hire a kayak or mountain bike—or work out

mountain ranges and clear lake waters, this area was named in a book of dream destinations listing 100 of the world’s best places to get away to across the globe. The region has also been described as a hidden paradise for visitors. Intimate weddings are fully catered for at Edgewater, where the expert team can take care of every detail. As honeymoon destinations go, a romantic suite on the shores of Lake Wanaka sounds perfect. Whatever you want out of your stay, Edgewater’s team of experienced staff can guide and advise you. Independent and privately owned, Edgewater is a four star plus Qualmark graded property. *10% discount for direct bookings only

Edgewater Sargood Drive, PO Box 61 Lake Wanaka

Tel: 03 443 0011 ATS N E W S





Nutrition The range of SealesWinslow nutritional products are available through ATS.

Zinc, an essential component for good health Zinc is an essential component in over 300 enzymes throughout the body and has a key role in the immune system and reproduction. BY Dr Rob Derrick, SealesWinslow Ltd

The dietary zinc requirement of sheep and cattle is considered to be 25mg/kg dry matter eaten which is lower than the concentration usually found in pastures in New Zealand. Zinc deficiency is associated with loss of appetite, reduced growth rates, poor hair and wool texture and retarded sexual development in both sexes. However, zinc supplementation is not just about eliminating a deficiency. Zinc has been linked to improved immune function, skin integrity and improved hoof health (both when fed and when used in foot baths). Data from 13 trials suggested that chemically bonding of zinc and methionine in an organic complex results in improved absorption and benefits compared to inorganic zinc with respect to: •

Increased milk production (a 3.8% improvement with P<0.001 which is highly significant)

Decreased somatic cell counts (a 42.6% reduction with P<0.001)

Enhanced immune system (cows recovered more quickly when challenged with E. Coli) There is very little storage of zinc in the body and zinc is less available when the diet contains high levels of calcium so the late dry and postcalving period can be critical times for zinc supplementation.

Facial eczema will be familiar to many ex-North Island livestock farmers and is estimated to costs the NZ dairy industry about $100M/year. Outbreaks have occurred in the South Island and given the unusual weather we have been enjoying it seems pertinent to review zinc as autumn approaches.

complications from which can be deadly or necessitate early culling.

“Facial eczema will be familiar to many ex-North Island livestock farmers and is estimated to costs the NZ dairy industry about $100M/year.”

Zinc consumed at high levels inhibits the production of superoxide radicals by the sporedesmin which damage the tissues. High levels of zinc also inhibit the intestinal absorption of copper which catalyses the reaction which causes damage.

Facial eczema is caused by a fungus Pithomyces chartarum which only produces spores containing a toxin called sporidesmin during special humid weather conditions. If consumed, the spores release sporidesmin into the digestive tract from where they are absorbed into the bloodstream and become concentrated in the bile ducts and causes severe damage to the liver. Initial signs include diarrhoea and sudden milk production drop followed 10–14 days later by restless behaviour as cows seek shade and reduced appetite. Skin damage occurs because photosensitive toxins build up under the skin,

Trace elements are normally fed at mg/cow/day but high doses of zinc (15-20 mg/kg live weight of the animal) are required to substantially reduce the incidence and severity of liver damage suffered in an outbreak of facial eczema if delivered prior to or during outbreaks.

“There is very little storage of zinc in the body and zinc is less available when the diet contains high levels of calcium…” Unfortunately, although zinc is relatively nontoxic to ruminants, the amount of zinc required to prevent facial eczema is close to the level likely to cause toxic effects which include anorexia and reduced milk production. Managing zinc supplementation at these higher levels requires co-operation between the farmer, advisor/veterinarian and the feed company. ATS N E W S





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News at ATS ATS Sponsorship ATS remains committed to supporting many community projects and this is an important part of our philosophy. Our support takes a variety of forms, including the donation of goods, services or by providing financial assistance with requests coming from a variety of community organisations, including charitable and sporting. Our policy is to support the farming community in which ATS operates as we receive many requests. Over the past few months ATS has supported a range of activities in a variety of ways including:

ATS Longbeach Coastal Challenge ATS supported this successful fundraiser event attracting 688 competitors and raising over $15,000. These funds were donated to the Central New Brighton School to rebuild its senior playground which was damaged in the earthquakes and to purchase stationery for pupils in 2012.

Ashburton Women’s Golf Tournament ATS was proud to support the Ashburton Women’s Golf Tournament producing the biggest field ever with 32 teams and a total of 128 women. Congratulations to the ATS team who took out first place.

Mid-Canterbury Child Cancer Foundation ATS provided soft toys for those children in need. If your community group is interested in sponsorship, please fill in a Sponsorship Application form. This can be picked up from any of the ATS branches or downloaded from

top: Longbeach—the start of the ATS Longbeach Coastal Challenge above: Women’s Golf Tournament—the ATS Team Nola Hydes, Jenny Senior,

Pam Watson and Katrina Glass, winners of the Ashburton Women’s Golf Tournament

Customer Service Team Providing ATS members with exceptional service is the aim of the ATS Customer Service Team. ATS’s growing membership has led to the expansion of the Customer Service Team. New faces include 2IC Adele van Noord, Paula Annand, Melisssa Broome and Kiley Clayton. These team members are well supported by knowledgeable and experienced staff members Nicky Hogg (Customer Service/Logistics Manager), Christine Taylor (Membership Services), Michael Broadfoot (Customer Service Representative) and Julian Kershaw (Receptionist). The Customer Service Team has responsibility for retail sales, Membership Services, energy and fuel enquiries, Ballance fertiliser orders and bulk purchasing requirements—in fact just about all aspects of ATS’s business (excluding administration and account queries). The Customer Service Team also arranges free on farm* delivery for all retail purchases including bulk product deliveries. This free service operates between Culverden and Oamaru. The team, led by Nicky Hogg can assist members with all product, purchasing and order placement enquiries. Their aim for first point resolution to solve all members’ queries straight away, means members only need to deal with one person. * Terms and conditions apply. PHOTO: From back left: Christine Taylor, Michael Broadfoot, Nicky Hogg, Julian Kershaw. From front left: Paula Annand, Melissa Broome, Kiley Clayton, Adele van Noord



ATS supports United Wheat Growers 2012 Competition The popular United Wheat Growers annual Wheat Competition is once again being held with support from ATS. Crops harvested in 2012 are eligible for entry, with judging taking place in the autumn of this year. Presentations and prize giving will take place shortly after. Entries are invited across three classes of wheat (milling, feed and biscuit) from growers across New Zealand. If you are growing wheat and would like to enter please contact Hayden Marshall on 03 307 5117 or

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d four from ATS an n o lt Fu e m Grae ndergast, rs—Bede Pre d local farme Webster an all, George 00 ,0 7 $ Clint Marsh r d ove e have raise ir u g a M y b rl n a K datio Cancer Foun for the Child rowing g ir heads and shaving the facial hair.

er and soon n in late Octob cal The idea bega they knew it lo fo ted and be re la ca es as es d ar ng le bo chal came on ily and friends businesses, fam sponsors.

Celebrating the Year of Cooperatives ATS is supporting the New Zealand celebrations of the 2012 United Nations International Year of Cooperatives. The international aim for the year is to advocate, educate and celebrate the values and spirit of co-operatives.  The NZ Coop Association aim to achieve these goals by - Commissioning and promoting a research project - Promoting information to the wider NZ public on cooperatives

r, , George Webste with n, Karl Maguire n lto ee Fu Gr e e m Su t ae en Gr PHOTO: rgast pres d Bede Prende Clint Marshall an the cheque

- Partnering with Victoria University of Wellington for a cooperative research conference—“ Building a better world: the role of co-operatives and Mutuals in Economy and Society The official New Zealand launch will be held at Parliament on the 15th February. As a supporter of the year ATS will be using the logo (see below) and including information on cooperatives within our publications and will keep shareholders informed of activities which you can be involved in. For more information visit

Relay for Life ATS has entered two teams in Relay for Life to raise funds for the Cancer Society. The event is to be held on 24-25 March 2012, from 4pm until 10am and will see relay teams walk continuously around the track at the Ashburton Showgrounds. The aim is to have at least one team member on the course at all times while the other members of the team camp out and offer support. Relay for Life is a chance to celebrate and remember those who lost their lives to cancer and fight back against the disease that affects one in three New Zealanders. If you would like to donate and support the ATS teams in Relay for Life or you would like to enter a team, visit

Proudly supported by ATS ATS N E W S












ATS out and about 1. Adeline and Alan Brown at Christmas with ATS / 2. Ladies enjoy the festivity at Christmas with ATS / 3. One team embraces the Christmas spirit at the Ashburton Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Golf Tournament / 4. Sandy and Emily Smith at Christmas with ATS / 5. Zara Stock enjoys the childrens entertaiment at Christmas with ATS / 6. Children enjoy the great day at the ATS Longbeach Coastal Challenge / 7. The ATS Team competing in the ATS Longbeach Coastal Challenge / 8. Erin Porter, Merril Hogben, Lyn Small & Judy Grant ready for a great day at the Ashburton Womens Golf Tournament / 9. Siblings enjoy Christmas with ATS evening / 10. Trish Burrowes & Susanne Frost, winner of Christmas with ATS 36






Bells Auto Electrical Valentines Gift Baskets and Bouquets

For batteries, air conditioning and absolutely everything auto electrical.

Made to order, complement your flower arrangement and incorporate a special gift, wine, chocolates or aromatherapy. P F E W

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03 308 3342 03 308 3035



For your farm truck we have a huge range of tail lights, headlights and indicators—non genuine at lower prices.

Sail Shades

Made to suit your size and colour requirements

Specialists in AUTO RECYCLING for all your panels, parts and tyres

Tinwald Canvas & Upholstery Ltd

PHONE 308 8634

Ph 0274 399 322 COMPUTING

Ashburton’s leading computer company. 144 Moore St Ashburton Ph: 03 308 5077 Fax: 03 308 3401 Email:

115 Main South Road, Tinwald Ashburton

40 Robinson St, Riverside Industrial Estate, Ashburton

Tel 03 307 2354


Electronic Farm Scales from $780+GST Well Depth Meters from $285+GST Weather Stations from $149+GST Irrigation Monitoring Equipment from $195+GST Farm Weigh Bridges from $3800+GST For free information on our wide range of products contact Alastair Frizzell on 03 318 1333, or your local contact Viv McLachlan on 03 302 7065 or 027 506 6434 or

Phone: 03 308 5222

85 Harrison St, Ashburton


4 Watson Street, Ashburton


Metal dog crate for trailer / truck

Holden Commodore 2000

Measures 1670mm long 1450 wide 830 high and 900 from back door to middle of wheel arch. Offers.

191,000km White, 5 door, station wagon. Six cylinder, 3800cc, automatic. Selling as upgrading. New warrant. Owned for just under two years, never missed a beat. Very reliable car. Economical and doesn’t burn or leak oil. Serviced every 10,000km. No mechanical problems.

Ph: Mindy 027 221 2627 or 308 8914

Ph: Hayden Jacob 027 374 1191



ATS News Febraury 2012  

ATS News Febraury 2012

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