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ATS News O C TO B E R/ N O VE M B ER 2 0 1 0

Dairy farming half a world away Picturesque Palouse a bread basket with challenges Innovation and timing key to arable longevity

From the CEO October heralds the beginning of the busy season—not just on-farm where many irrigators are gearing up again, but also on the social calendar. As the year end approaches and the weather warms up the number of events and invitations also grow.

Upcoming Events 21 October


Irrigation NZ Workshop 10am–12noon Irrigation NZ AGM (following workshop) Methven Heritage Centre

Pip Hume, Anita Body, Richard Rennie, Ele Ludemann, Tim Dale, Ian Hodge, Barbara Gillham, Annette Scott and Dr Rob Derrick

24 October


One of the first on the agenda is the Ashburton A & P Show at the end of this month. It’s a huge occasion for many in our district and ATS will again have a strong presence. In this issue Ashburton A & P Show vice president, David Bennett shares his thoughts about the importance of these events and his long involvement with the organisation.

Methven Rodeo Methven Showgrounds Methven

Victoria Rutherford and Noel Lowe

25 October

Canterbury’s busy Show and Cup week in November will be followed by the ATS Annual General Meeting on November 18. I would encourage members to attend this meeting to find out more about the business’s trading performance over the last 15 months - you may recall we held a special meeting earlier in the year to gain approval from Members to change our year end to 30 June. It is also an opportunity to hear about the future plans for your co-operative.

Labour Day holiday

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

Some other new ATS initiatives are featured in this publication. One is the new partnership formed between ATS and Property Brokers – Hastings McLeod, and another is the recently launched ATS Seed and One World Grain Market Report. Both are designed to provide members with quality information.

FAR Women in Arable Meeting Hotel Ashburton, 7pm Racecourse Road, Ashburton

Other topics covered in this issue include dairying in Denmark, arable farming in Dorie, and cropping challenges in the U.S North West. There are also plenty of useful and timely tips on stock, crops and irrigation and some practical safety checks for farmers following last month’s earthquake.

Canterbury A&P Show Canterbury Agricultural Park Christchurch

On that note, I hope everyone has come through the events of September 4 and the resulting aftershocks, safely and with minimal damage. It has been a stressful time for many and I’m sure the proposed events over the next few months will come as a welcome distraction.

Australian Agronomy Conference, Lincoln

Neal Shaw, Chief Executive

29 & 30 October Ashburton A&P Show Ashburton Show Grounds

9 November

10–12 November

15–18 November

Advertising Enquiries

Editorial Enquiries Our team welcome your contributions, enquiries and letters. Please post or email to: Chris Bristol GM Marketing & Business Development/Editor

Front Page Photo Rakaia Dairy Farmer Hayden Ferriman





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

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

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

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

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

pg2 Dairy farming half a world away

Dairying was always a natural career choice for Hayden Ferriman after a childhood spent on his family’s dairy farm near Rakaia

Contents 5

New partnership will add value


Opinion—Ele Ludemann


Avoiding costly irrigator damage



pg6 Picturesque Palouse a bread basket with challenges

Coming from the flats of Canterbury, the densely contoured Palouse region of Washington State in the US North West hardly appears to be ideal cropping country

Easy prevention for a major inconvenience

New grain market report welcomed

ATS Seed and One World Grain join forces

Show traditions hold modern appeal Few rural events are more evocative than A & P shows

Local fare for locals—everyday

2 1

Growing better brassicas


Spring monitoring key to good animal health

The Lake House Restaurant and Bar Quality feed crop high in energy and protein value

Riverside Vets

2 3

New option for local crops

2 5

A plan to grow


New home for renowned saddlery



Innovation and timing key to arable longevity


Farming for the long haul is all about riding out the lows to get back to the good times. It is also about innovation and timing

Ele is still recovering from the 26th of September

1 9

ATS and Property Brokers announce their new relationship


2 4 45

A new fertiliser is set to make its mark with local farmers this year Watson Contracting

Morrisons Saddlery

Budgeting an important farm tool CRS Software

Industry standard for mandatory water measurement Irrigation NZ

Effective additives improve growth rates Winslow Feeds

News at ATS Classifieds

Dairy farming half a world away



Dairying was always a natural career choice for Hayden Ferriman after a childhood spent on his family’s dairy farm near Rakaia. But he also wanted to travel, so when he met young Danish veterinary student Line Ulrich and the opportunity arose to work on a dairy unit in Denmark, he jumped at the chance. By Pip Hume

Hayden first traveled to Denmark in 2008, staying for nine months and returning to New Zealand for calving in 2009. A further stint followed, and he has recently returned again for calving back home. “Working in Denmark has been really interesting for me. The cows are housed all year round from birth to slaughter so the production system is completely different. But what I found a real eye-opener was how tightly controlled agriculture is over there. I know we sometimes struggle with compliance issues here but our constraints really don’t compare with what they have in Europe.” The Europeans are very environmentally aware, with the dairy and pork industries in particular being heavily regulated in terms of compliance. Dairy cow herd numbers are restricted to one cow per hectare of land farmed, and effluent management and nutrient run-off is very tightly controlled. Denmark is one of the top three dairy producers in Europe. The climate is similar to that of Southland, with most farms relying on rainfall, which is generally well spread throughout the year, and some gun irrigation on the lighter, sandy soils. The majority of milking sheds are parallel herringbones, with some rotary. The average herd size is 120 to 150 cows, although in a similar scenario to New Zealand smaller herds are coming under pressure and are being taken over or amalgamated into larger units. There are virtually no crossbred herds—the cows are either straight Jersey or Holstein Friesian. “The Holstein Friesians are big cows, weighing in at probably 650 to 700kg,” said Hayden. “The top cows are producing 13,000 litres per annum – about twice what they would do here. This is partly due to genetics and partly due to the housing and feeding regime—the cows are eating twice as much. Over here our cows wouldn’t be getting enough fuel in the tank to achieve that level of production.” The 400 cow stable where Hayden worked is a large herd by European standards, and also makes use of the most up to date technology, running six freestanding milking robots. Hayden commented that Europe is way ahead of Australasia in the introduction of this new technology, partly because their system of housing cows indoors is an ideal set up, and partly because of the more favourable economics there. Targets are set for each cow to achieve a specific number of milkings. If a cow isn’t achieving that number she will be collected up by the dairy staff and taken to the robots for milking. With cows being mated and calving all year round, calf rearing is an every day job. Cows are dried off around six to eight weeks prior to calving, depending on milk production, cow condition and calving date. A lot of cows are milked for 300 to 400 days, but once milk production and cow condition start to drop, they are dried off to a part of the stable where they are fed a different ration from the milking cows, to either put condition on or stop them getting too fat. The cows’ diets are heavily geared for production and are overseen by a nutritionist.

“The feeding side of things is a very high input system. The income per cow over there means they can justify high inputs that wouldn’t stack up here. Our pasture based system is much more economic,” said Hayden. The most prevalent animal health issues Hayden struck were cow lameness, which is a big problem, and fertility concerns. “They’re both issues we have expertise in dealing with here, so it was good to be able to transfer that knowledge,” he said. Staffing and human resources can be an area of difficulty in Denmark. There is a lot of manual labour associated with the feeding, bedding and maintenance of cows kept in doors, and the 400 cow operation in Denmark requires a similar number of staff to the 900 cow operation at home near Rakaia. This is another reason for the use of robotics becoming common in new milking stables. The 400ha farm area is not one block of land. Instead, it is made up of smaller pockets spread over a radius of approximately 20km. These pockets of land grow a variety of feedstuffs for the cows’ diets—grass, maize, silage, wheat, barley, rape seed and sugar beet. While there aren’t the problems associated with walking cows to the cow stable, transporting produce can be problematic. The Ferriman family, along with equity partners Chris and Carmen Hanrahan, farm two neighbouring properties near Rakaia, milking a total of approximately 2,100 cows on 500ha through 54 and 60 bail rotary sheds. There’s also a support block of about 200ha south of Hinds.

Hayden Ferriman

Mobile huts for calf rearing

Hayden’s block milks around 1,000 cows on 300ha and is irrigated via a centre pivot and roto rainers off a deep bore well. The property has been in the hands of Craig and Tina Smith while he has been away. “They’ve done a fantastic job. We’ve had a great calving and although it’s pretty wet we’re having a good spring,” said Hayden. “We’re targeting milk production for the season of 1,650 to 1,700kgMS/ha, which is pretty optimistic but we think we can do it.” Last month’s earthquake left the farm without electricity for 36 hours, but they were able to milk through the shed on the neighbouring property with the aid of a generator. Future plans for Hayden include working through the succession process and looking at various options for farm ownership with his family, and he is also looking forward to Line coming back to New Zealand for a year before returning to Denmark to complete her veterinary studies.

Feeding housed animals requires an extremely high-input system

However, his immediate plan is to enjoy a Canterbury summer with time for socialising and some fishing. “I’ve had five winters in a row,” said Hayden. “It’ll be good to see a nice, hot Canterbury summer.”

The main milking stable houses 240 cows





ATS CEO Neal Shaw and Property Brokers—Hastings McLeod director Hamish Niles are pleased to announce their new partnership

New partnership will add value Two of Ashburton’s iconic businesses have forged a new relationship to benefit customers and to further grow their already successful entities. By Anita Body At first glance it may appear that ATS and Property Brokers—Hastings McLeod have little in common, but if you scratch the surface it becomes apparent very quickly they share many attributes and it is this commonality that makes this new partnership such a good fit. Both were established in Mid Canterbury and have grown to encompass a wider geographical catchment; they both enjoy a high profile and are well supported locally; and both organisations have loyal staff who have strong relationships with their customers and clients. ATS CEO Neal Shaw said the partnership is a “neat fit” for ATS. “ATS has been looking to strengthen the level of information it can provide to members regarding real estate.” “We believe that real estate is not our core business or our area of expertise, so we have entered into a partnership with a business that does have that expertise and knowledge,” said Neal. This means ATS can stick to its core business while also delivering value to its members. “For us, Property Brokers—Hastings McLeod is a company that we want to be associated with. There are a number of partners that we could have chosen but Property Brokers is the best fit for ATS—and vice versa.” Property Brokers—Hastings McLeod Director, Hamish Niles concurs. “There are many similarities between our businesses.” He said both ATS and Property Brokers—Hastings McLeod have dominant market shares built on strong customer relationships. The aim of the partnership is to give benefits to ATS members through good information and market intelligence.

The business is well placed to provide that information as it can draw on market analysis from other Property Brokers branches located in both the North and South Island. Locally, Property Brokers—Hasting McLeod also has a wealth of knowledge accumulated over its 38 year history. The business was established by Colin McLeod and John Hastings in 1972, and now has eight offices—Ashburton, Oamaru, Waimate, Timaru, Geraldine, Rangiora, Amberley and most recently, Greymouth. Market trend information will be regularly exchanged between the two organisations and this will be shared with ATS members. Both organisations will have reciprocal links on their websites, and Property Brokers—Hastings McLeod will also have regular editorials and feature property adverts in the ATS News with relevant information for members. Hamish said one of the benefits ATS members will receive as a result of the partnership is the ability to market their properties in the ATS News. “That means more targeted marketing from our perspective. We know the advertising is going target the appropriate group—the local farming community.” As an introductory offer, Property Brokers—Hastings McLeod is offering a $500 discount on the commission for the first 10 ATS member property listings before 31st December 2010. In addition to bringing value to all of their clients and members, Hamish and Neal say the other main aim of the partnership is to strengthen both brands and to grow the businesses. No business wants or can afford to stand still. ATS and Property Brokers—Hastings McLeod see working together as beneficial to their respective future growth plans.


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



Picturesque Palouse a bread basket with challenges Coming from the flats of Canterbury, the densely contoured Palouse region of Washington State in the US North West hardly appears to be ideal cropping country. By Richard Rennie The picturesque ridge lines provide images that are a photographer’s dream, and should make growing wheat a challenge. A group of Kiwi farmers and contractors soon found this is country that despite appearances supports crops on remarkably steep contour, with special demands on how it is managed. The 15th annual Cross Slot® No Tillage conference chose the region for this year’s venue, which coincides with recent moves by Baker No Tillage Systems to establish a greater presence in the area. While the conference focused on visiting farms using no or low tillage techniques, it was a valuable chance for grain growers from both countries to swap ideas and views on their industry, both within the farm gate and beyond.



The top soils in this ancient glacial region are generally rich and sometimes run as deep as 200m. However intensive tillage using conventional ploughing methods through the 1970s and 1980s hammered the region’s soils hard. The US Soil Conservation Service considered soil erosion in the Palouse to be among the most serious in the US with some regions losing up to 40% of their original topsoil after less than 100 years of farming. Even though the soils are deep and fertile, the productivity of crop land was steadily declining with soils becoming more acid, and an estimated 20 percent of the land eroding to the point that the subsoil was exposed. Progressive farmers in the region have looked to minimal tillage systems to help reduce erosion and rebuild organic matter and top soil.

Contour makes that need to become more sensitive to erosion even more critical. Much of the region’s cropping is done on land with slope between 10 and 30 degrees, but some properties have pushed that out as far as 50 degrees. Canterbury contractor and Cross Slot® drill agent Mark Scott of Methven was part of the visiting group. He was surprised at the intensity of the region’s contour, and farmers’ willingness to cultivate some challenging slopes. “I had expected bigger hills further apart, but the country is very undulating, with ridges as close as 100m apart and farmers had some interesting machinery for working on that sort of contour.” Combines and tractors typically had hydraulic systems to maintain stability, and massive quad track crawler tractors were not uncommon. Unlike the varied mosaic of crops that blanket the Canterbury landscape, Mark observed that wheat was by far the most common crop, with some barley and fava beans also grown. As with many sectors of US agriculture the Government plays a key role in setting croppers’ incomes, guaranteeing a floor price which at the

time of visiting was US$203 per tonne, just covering costs. The grain farmers visited were surprised at the level of inputs and yields the Kiwi farmers were getting off their properties. Side dressings of urea are rare in Palouse, as is spraying for rust, thanks in part to rainfall that varies between only 150mm–450mm per annum. Typical wheat yields in the Palouse region are often twice the national average, at 80 bushels per acre or 5.4 t/ha, but still well behind New Zealand’s average of 7.6 t/ha. Hybrid choices appeared to be limited and often farmers used chemicals not seen here for over 10 years.

The conference provided a great platform for idea swapping

“While the growers had impressive gear, their agronomy knowledge was lower, and they were keen to lift that. It appeared that much of the knowledge was held around the universities.” Considerable effort also comes from local soil conservation agencies to promote the use of no or low till cultivation (see accompanying article) which for some farmers had delivered a 30% boost in crop production and significant reductions in cultivation fuel and labour costs.

US arable future demands changes The Palouse region of Washington State is rapidly coming to an arable cross-road and must decide how it’s valuable but stressed top soil will be treated by generations to come. Despite the soil’s depth and natural fertility, 100 years of conventional ploughing has depleted that fertility in drier areas. Across the hilly region many ridges are left holding little more than unproductive clay while the rich top soil has been pushed into the “draws” or gullies below. Government intervention has played a big part in encouraging farmers to either retire land or, more recently, to change their farming practices in order to preserve the area’s soils. Production Ag Manager for Spokane County Conservation District, Ty Meyer, is the man tasked with the challenging job of carrying out Government conservation policy, and encouraging farmers to pick up new methods that often challenge conventional wisdom. His role has gained increased impetus as the region, like many across the United States, deals with how the Government will reduce the thousands of hectares previously locked up in the national Conservation Reserve Programme (CRP). For the past 20 years farmers have been paid to leave parts of their properties fallow, allowing land to revert and restore top soil resources. In total almost 14 million hectares, equivalent to all the farmed land in New Zealand, has been held under CRP. Millions of public funds have been spent to preserve and build the land resources, and Ty realises a return to conventional tillage techniques could see that money lost in a single season as soils once again become degraded.

A recent state initiative to provide loans to fund new minimal cultivation equipment should encourage farmers to change methods. Farmers can apply for loans for up to 10 years at fixed interest rates, and the economics prove that taking the loan and adopting the new techniques can still put farmers in positive cash flow. As valuable as such machines like the Cross Slot® drill are for preserving topsoil, Ty pragmatically notes that it is economics, not ecology that will change farmers’ minds.

Contour is a constant challenge for Palouse farmers

“We are now able to gather more data from those farms that have used drills like the Cross Slot® and show there is a $US15/acre advantage just by using a machine that reduces fuel, labour and maintenance costs.” Yields are comparable to conventional methods, dispelling a myth that minimal cultivation results in major productivity declines. He says the recent visit by Kiwi farmers opened the US croppers’ eyes to the impressive yields that can be achieved in Canterbury. He hopes figures of 10t/ha for wheat could be achieved in Palouse one day, but believes smaller steps building awareness of minimal tillage’s effectiveness needs to come first. “Your farmers already have a good grasp of the technology. They understand the operation and place for drills like the Cross Slot® and have moved on, to focus more upon crop agronomy, rather than focussing on what piece of equipment to use. That is where we should be getting to.”

Soil conservation is a strong future focus for Washington State





Thoughts from across the rivers The clocks went forward on September 26 and I am still resenting it. By Ele Ludemann It was bad enough when daylight saving started in late October, it’s even worse now the change happens a month earlier. It’s far too soon to get any benefit from postponing sunset by an hour in the evening to compensate for losing an hour’s light in the morning.

Towards the end of September we get sun rise at about 6:15, then daylight saving starts and it’s dark until after 7. Pushing clocks forward means the sun sets at around 7.15pm but the extra hour of light at that time of day doesn’t make much difference if you’re preparing and eating dinner.

People who agitated to extend the period of daylight saving can’t have realised that the sun rises and sets at different times throughout the year.

If clocks didn’t go forward until mid to late October the change would occur when we had about 14 hours of daylight with the sun rising at about 6.15 and setting at about 8.15. We’d get a lighter start to the day with more time and warmer weather to enjoy the longer evenings.

“Pushing clocks forward means the sun sets at around 7.15pm but the extra hour of light at that time of day doesn’t make much difference if you’re preparing and eating dinner.” The spring equinox occurs in late September meaning when the clocks go forward we’re getting only about 12 hours of daylight. If sunset moves from 6pm to 7pm then sunrise is an hour later too. Waking up in the dark is worse when the extra hour of light in the evening isn’t much use. For the first few weeks it coincides with dinner time and weather, in the south at least, is rarely warm enough to enjoy an extra hour of outdoor activities in the evenings. People further north don’t benefit from the long twilights we get down here and I accept the arguments in favour of postponing sunset to enable everyone to enjoy lighter mid-summer evenings. But the benefits don’t make up for the downside in early spring. Those supporting the extension of daylight saving said it would make evening leisure activities easier. It doesn’t make much difference in early spring but it does make early morning work harder.

“People further north don’t benefit from the long twilights we get down here and I accept the arguments in favour of postponing sunset to enable everyone to enjoy lighter mid-summer evenings. But the benefits don’t make up for the downside in early spring.” I always mean to prepare for the time change by going to bed 10 minutes earlier each week for the six weeks before it happens. That would mean by the time daylight savings was introduced my body would be in tune with the clock.

Ele Ludemann

Unfortunately it’s a good intention which I’ve never got round to putting into practice. So every year I have the same struggle to adjust my inner clock to the new time schedule. It’s like suffering from jet lag without having had the fun of a holiday. As one who values sleep as only those who’ve had young children do, this isn’t something I find easy. Knowing that I’m going through it three or four weeks earlier when the extra hour’s light in the evening isn’t much use doesn’t help.

opinion by:

Ele Ludemann Web:



Innovation and timing key to arable longevity Farming for the long haul is all about riding out the lows to get back to the good times. It is also about innovation and timing. The Kingsbury family at Dorie fit this formula well having a proven track record and the ability to forward think when necessary to grow their arable farm into the highly productive unit it is today. By Anita Body

Three generations of Kingsburys (from left) Lynn, Gill, Robin and Lisa with baby Fleur, Callum & Juliet



The 560 hectare property has a long cropping history and this has intensified over recent years as irrigation practices have developed and been adopted. When Lynn and Gill Kingsbury came to the farm in 1965 it was virtually undeveloped, predominantly brown top and without a cow in sight. Gill said you could see a lizard run from one side of the farm to the other. And the only available water was for stock from races. It was developed as a sheep farm, peaking at 4500 ewes, with a fair chunk of the land in lucerne until water came in the late 1970s in the form of borderdyke irrigation from their own well. It was at this time the Kingsbury’s formed their own dam to store water on their property—a move which has become commonplace now, but was decades ahead of the times. Today the Kingsbury’s are awaiting the completion of the Acton Irrigation Scheme which is an offshoot of the Barhill Chertsey Irrigation project. Three cumecs of irrigation water will be delivered to shareholders via the existing Ashburton District Council stock water races in the Rakaia Pendarves area which are currently being expanded. The Kingsbury’s had been expecting such a scheme for about 35 years. Back then Lynn was one of those negotiating for a lower Rakaia irrigation scheme which was expected to be between four and 10 years away. They certainly didn’t sit back waiting for it come to them and installed their own dam for border dyke irrigation. Later they introduced a Roto Rainer and gradually built that up to six about 12 years ago when farming and irrigation began to be intensified. Today the farm has three laterals which have displaced most of the Roto Rainer irrigators. The big changes and a move to more intensive cropping came about when their son Robin came home from university and an overseas trip and suggested the old irrigation system was inefficient and sheep weren’t paying. Robin said getting better irrigation in place gave them the opportunity to put in more crop and ever since the farm has progressed in leaps and bounds. “When I came home, Dad had a few niche crops like evening primrose. They were higher paying but also higher risk crops. That was the way to go and by then good irrigation meant we were able to make sure we could do more with less risk,” said Robin. So now the farm grows lots of vegetable seed. It devotes between 80 and 100 hectares to growing hybrid carrot, radish, red beet and bok choy seed. They’ve also trialled hybrid onions, spinach, cabbages and garlic and while some have been successful, they’ve also had their share of failures. Sometimes it’s a matter of persevering for a season or two depending on the weather, and sometimes the small trials will clearly indicate that some crops just won’t work. Garlic was one such example. Maize is grown for Five Star Beef and a local dairy farmer. The Kingsbury’s have been involved with Five Star since it began and have won its maize competition twice and were placed second last year. A number of traditional cereals are grown (about 150 hectares) including feed wheat, milling wheat and barley. Ryegrass for the New Zealand and overseas market is also another big crop—usually around 100 hectares.

Other seed crops include marrowfat peas, kale, white clover and other proprietary specialty bred grass seeds. These are usually on fixed contracts and can fetch up to double the value of common varieties on the open market. This year’s world wide oversupply of wheat and the oversupply of other crops including grass seed, clover, peas and radish, means demand has been dramatically reduced—by about 50 per cent by some seed companies. “This coming season will see the worst prices in the last 10 or 12 years for cereals and grasses. Virtually all are back in price except the vegetable seeds,” said Robin. The Kingsbury’s have secured reasonable volumes as regular suppliers, but will still have to grow other crops to fill the gap, such as more seed peas and beans. Ryegrass has also been cut back and for the first time in many years non-harvest grass is being grown for dairy grazing.

Over the years the Kingsburys have utilised border dyke irrigation, Roto Rainers and more recently, lateral irrigation systems

Grazing is usually an aside to the cropping operation and dairy grazers, along with a variety of other livestock, are there to clean up excess crop residue. Between 50 and 80 Five Star Beef steers are on farm from April to July and normally take the top out of old ryegrass paddocks, while store lambs are grazed on white clover regrowth in the autumn. Up to 300 dairy cows graze specially established green-feed crops between one cash crop and another. The farm has 1200 breeding ewes and 270 replacement hoggets which graze grass seed paddocks. They lamb out of season and lambs are sold on contract in October, by which time these paddocks are ready to be shut up for seed.

Traditional cereals are grown along with vegetable and seed crops

The Kingsbury’s have moved from Coopworths to a composite sheep bred for good fertility, easy lambing, high lambing percentages and good milk production. None of these traits relate to wool production – it is a by-product the Kingsbury’s have little interest in given present market trends. The family has a long association with the property and the district—Lynn’s grandfather started farming with 300 acres in 1888 and built it up to around 3000 acres by 1926 when it was divided between three of his sons. Despite this family history, it was still a tough decision for Lynn and Gill to take on the farm. They both had established professional careers—Lynn teaching at Lincoln University and Gill as a home science instructor and dietician.

Between 80 to 100ha is devoted to growing a range of vegetable seeds like red beet (pictured)

But it’s a move they’ve happily stuck with for over 45 years, and as they ready themselves to move off the farm and into town, it’s obvious this decision has been as difficult as the one made in 1965. This is where they have raised their three children (two daughters live outside the district) and it’s where they have firmly put down roots and become local identities. The pair have given much to their local community over the years, and both have been involved in many community and business organisations. Gill has only recently stepped down from her 42 year association with the Rakaia Pony Club, and Lynn has served on several local boards including the Electricity Ashburton Shareholders Committee and ATS in the 1990s. It’s now up to Robin and his wife Lisa, and their three small children to continue the family tradition and to move the operation forward.

Lateral races are currently being expanded as part of the Acton Irrigation Scheme



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Irrigator damage caused by gale force winds

Avoiding costly irrigator damage Damaged irrigators account for a large and expensive number of farm-related insurance claims each year and are often a major inconvenience to farmers. But in many cases they could have been prevented. In 2009 FMG paid more than $900,000 in claims relating to damaged or destroyed travelling and pivot irrigators, and this doesn’t include related damage and liability claims for farm bikes, fencing or third-party property. Now that spring is here and the irrigation season is upon us, it is timely to remind farmers to take the time to check their irrigators, pumps, switchboards and other plant and machinery associated with irrigators before setting them going for the first run of the season.

“It always makes sense to check the paddock before setting the irrigator going. One handy tip is to store binoculars in the pump shed, and if something doesn’t look quite right, head out and walk the track.” It is always a good idea to take the time to walk the irrigator track before flicking the “on” switch, and this year it is even more vital following the recent earthquake activity in Canterbury. All it can take to potentially tip and damage an irrigator is a new dip in the track caused by a washout, a tyre punctured by a fencing iron left lying in the paddock, or an overgrown tree or hedge. And that’s in a normal year. This year Canterbury farmers need to be extra vigilant because the geography of their once familiar paddocks is likely to have changed. It always makes sense to check the paddock before setting the irrigator going. One handy tip is to store binoculars in the pump shed, and if something doesn’t look quite right, head out and walk the track. Often irrigator damage could have been prevented or minimised, saving the farms and businesses concerned a whole lot of money, time and hassle.

Following a few simple procedures and routines could help prevent this kind of headache happening to you. Just a few examples the team at FMG has come across include: • Parking a farm bike and trailer near the irrigator before setting the irrigator going, which then clipped the trailer on the back of the quad, ruining the trailer and damaging the irrigator; • Towing the irrigator to a new paddock without pre-planning the route and clipping some trees on the way, damaging the irrigator to the tune of $6,000; • Setting an irrigator going on uneven unsuitable ground, tipping the machine and requiring repairs of around $8,000 Keep an eye on the weather Last year over $250,000 travelling/pivot irrigator claims were weather-related, with wind and storms being the main culprits. It is useful to remember that if machinery can’t be moved out of the wind, irrigators should be parked so they’re downwind of and pointing into the prevailing wind. When gale or storm warnings are issued, farmers should also consider anchoring the irrigator with a heavy vehicle. Spring is here and the nor’west gales will soon be on their way, so now is a good time to ensure you and your employees are aware of the risks to your irrigator, and how to avoid them.


Alan Giles FMG Rural Manager
 Tel: 0800 366 466

FMG provides insurance cover for irrigation pumps, motors and electrical equipment, as well as travelling and pivot irrigators. For a more proactive look at your farm insurance talk to your local FMG Rural Manager Alan Giles on 027 476 7616 or 0800 366 466.





New grain market report welcomed Positive feedback has prompted a new jointly produced grain and wheat market report and expectations are it will be a welcome tool for local farmers. ATS Seed in collaboration with One World Grain will start producing the commentary report this month. It will be available on the ATS website home page, where readers will be able to either download and print at home, or read on-line.

• World ending stocks increased by 3MMT • NZ/US Dollar increasing

Tim Dale, General Manager of ATS Seed, is pleased to be able to offer this value adding service to Canterbury farmers.

FEED BARLEY $310–320

Initial copies of the report were distributed at the recent FAR International Conference which took place at the Ashburton Trust Event Centre in July. “The first report was a four page in-depth view of the global and regional markets. Feedback from attendees at the FAR conference was so positive we made an immediate commitment to deliver this kind of information regularly to our members whilst ensuring we created a format that was quick and easy to digest.”

LOCAL MARKET PRICING AND COMMENTS Canterbury Price Indications per tonne FEED WHEAT $330–340 MILLING WHEAT $330–340 There has been an increase in demand for Feed Grains from buyers in Canterbury and the North Island. Better prices and buyer inquiry has prompted growers to start moving surplus grain tonnages. The next few months will see some significant volumes delivered to end users. Dairy farmer interest in Feed Grain has not been so active immediately prior to publication of this report, with most users planning to reassess their requirements in October.

The report, which will be available fortnightly, will include four regular topics of interest to arable and mixed farmers: • A commentary on the global picture • An Australian market commentary • Data and graphs showing recent imported grain price trends • A brief local market commentary for wheat and barley Below is a condensed example of typical commentary on recent market conditions, both globally and locally. BULLISH NEWS • Australian WA season on the knife edge • World barley stocks down 40% (14.5MMMT) • Lower USA corn production

The team at ATS Seed is keen to hear your feedback on this market report so they can continue to support members with valuable information, top quality products and the very best customer service. Please contact Tim Dale on 027 272 9580 or email with your comments or suggestions.


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

BEARISH NEWS • Australian East Coast best growing season for a decade ATS NE WS


Show traditions hold modern appeal



Few rural events are more evocative than A & P shows, and many people through provincial New Zealand will have strong memories of their particular district’s show. By Richard Rennie Whether it is the scent of candy floss, hot dogs and livestock on a warm spring day, or the rush of excitement and thrill as a young child entering your calf or lamb into the Best of Show competition - the memories are intense, and thankfully can still be experienced throughout Canterbury. Given the changes experienced in Canterbury’s rural landscape it could be easy to think A & P shows as something of a bygone era, of a time when sheep far out numbered cows on the Plains and home baking was part of life, not a quaint rustic hobby. Changes on that landscape include dairying replacing many sheep and beef properties, while lifestyle blocks have brought a different type of rural personality into the country. Nevertheless A & P shows have endured, and indeed are thriving in this new rural scene, quietly nurtured by a willing army of volunteers who have turned to new and creative ways of keeping these rural community events relevant and interesting. The Ashburton A & P Show recorded very good attendance last spring, with visitors from across the Plains flocking to the event. They came not only to experience their rural roots up close, but to compete in some long standing competitions that are as strong as ever, despite the many changes during the show’s 133 year history. It was a record attendance that left Ashburton A & P vice president, David Bennett “quietly chuffed”, and looking forward to seeing if that record can be bettered again this year. David is part of that quiet army of volunteers who start planning the following year’s show almost as soon as the final piece of rubbish is picked up from the last one at the A & P showgrounds. His connections to the show go back to his childhood, with clear memories of helping his father ready their stud English Leicester and Poll Dorset sheep for the event. It is a tradition he has continued for the past 30 years – showing both breeds of sheep and in some years wool and grain. For him the role of organising behind the scenes is more rewarding than scooping ribbons on the day, and he speaks fondly of the relationships forged through many years of show involvement. “You start off because you share the company of like minded people, and initially you focus more on your own area of interest, but over time you come into contact with a very broad range of people with interests that are all brought together by the show.” David believes the formula for the Ashburton show is a long standing one requiring little change over time, and instead needs just a few minor tweaks to recognise the changes in the region in the past decade or so.

“We now include alpacas, converting some of the sheep yards to hold them, which have been a real draw card simply for their novelty in recent years.” The A & P Association has also recognised the strong level of interest amongst the business community in being part of the show. The blossoming of rural support businesses brought about by the dairy expansion keeps competition tight for space to display at the show. However the focus has remained on “keeping it rural” when it comes to choosing exhibitors and displays. David believes this keenness by town-based businesses to support the show is a clear signal that rural-urban links within Canterbury at least are stronger than ever, helping make Ashburton the provincial powerhouse it has become in such a short time.

David Bennett

Having the A & P president decide on a theme for every year’s show has helped keep that rural focus in place. Last year’s was Rural Contractors, providing an opportunity for a valuable support industry to showcase its varied and fascinating array of equipment. Ashburton A & P president, Sandra Curd has deemed the show theme this year to be “Land to Table”, and included in the programme will be cooking displays by renowned chef, Simon Holst. This theme will provide plenty of scope for the many artisan producers in the region to show how rich the region is for growing and producing a wide variety of food. The Ashburton A & P Association has established not only a strong network of volunteers to keep the show running smoothly, it also has year round arrangements that ensure the showgrounds provide a valuable asset for the whole community to enjoy. This includes working with the Mid-Canterbury Rugby Union, and leasing a building through the year. It all helps take the pressure off having to pray for perfect weather when fickle spring conditions can play havoc with even the best organised show. The A&P shows held in autumn at Mayfield and Methven share Ashburton’s popularity, but David sees them as a valuable adjunct rather than competition to Ashburton. “Holding those ones in autumn makes for a good balance with ours in spring, and each have their own unique features, with Mayfield’s pig racing becoming quite a highlight there.” David’s hope is the show is more than simply a day out with a hot dog for lunch. “We want to try and build a level of knowledge and education around what children in particular come and see here. Far fewer now grow up on land, and if they can come away having learned where food comes from and the people who produce it, then that has to be a good thing.” ATS NE WS




Local fare for locals—everyday The Lake House Restaurant and Bar has established a reputation for quality dining in a superb location, and it is a reputation new owner/managers Mike and Angela Kelly are keen to capitalise on. By Anita Body The couple are no strangers to the hospitality trade having around 30 years of experience. They are already known to many in the district following their time at Kelly’s Bar in Ashburton, and more recently they have spent the last 10 years in Christchurch owning and operating restaurants within the city. So coming to The Lake House has been a bit like coming home.

“All menus feature local produce and ingredients whenever possible. This heavy emphasis on local fare sees grainfed Wakanui beef, Canterbury lamb and Mt Cook Salmon regularly featured along with locally produced wines from Petrie’s of Rakaia and Wood’s Edge.” Since taking over the running of The Lake House, Mike and Angela have opted to grow and enhance the business in subtle ways instead of making big sweeping changes. This includes increasing the quantity of local produce on the Restaurant’s new Brunch, Lunch and Dinner menus, and extending opening hours. The Restaurant and Bar are now open every day (including public holidays) from 10am until late. There is no surcharge on public holidays. Diners can select quality dishes from a variety of options designed to suit varying tastes and appetites, from light snacks through to a hearty meal. All menus feature local produce and ingredients whenever possible. This heavy emphasis on local fare sees grain-fed Wakanui beef, Canterbury lamb and Mt Cook Salmon regularly featured along with locally produced wines from Petrie’s of Rakaia and Wood’s Edge. New head chef Stephen Danrell is keen to promote menus featuring fresh, in-season and locally sourced

produce. One such dish is the “Wakanui Blue”—a grain-fed beef steak from Wakanui served on Oamaru potatoes and finished with a blue cheese sauce. Mike and Angela say it is important the business stays true to its Mid Canterbury customer base and they deliver what the customer wants. And they’re confident they have got the mix right. They see The Lake House as being a quality, relaxed and accessible dining experience for all. That’s the main reason behind the changes they have made—the extended opening hours and the high quality control on all food and beverages offered, while still delivering a satisfying meal no matter what your appetite. The business also operates a free courtesy van service so patrons can be collected from their homes and dropped off again at the end of the evening. Part of The Lake House’s unique charm lies in its rural setting but this can be seen as a limiting factor for some and the provision of free transport has been introduced to overcome this perceived problem. Special events, functions and weddings can also be catered for at The Lake House. It has three function rooms (including one adjoining the main restaurant) and function menus can be made to suit a particular group’s individual needs. Plans are underway to create a new casual bar area for the summer—another move designed to encourage locals to make the most of The Lake House’s unique and beautiful location and to fully utilise this fantastic venue. Where else in Mid Canterbury can you enjoy a coffee, brunch or an evening meal over-looking a picturesque lake? Mike and Angela say it’s a pleasure coming to work each day in such a beautiful environment and it’s an environment they want others to make the most of and enjoy.

Head chef Stephen Danrell is relishing the chance to promote local fare on The Lake House’s menu


The Lake House Restaurant 10 Huntington Drive Lake Hood Ashburton Tel: 03 302 6064
 Email: Web:



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Growing better brassicas Farmers looking for a quality feed crop high in energy and protein value should take a closer look at brassica forage crops, especially if they have limited pasture quantity or pasture quality issues. By Tim Dale, ATS Seed General Manager Brassicas are particularly useful when feed is in short supply such as some summer, autumn and winter months, and are a good alternative in times of low pasture quality. They are great for finishing stock and are a good pasture management tool when grown prior to the renewal of crops and other stock feeds.

no-tillage regimes, crop residues are broken down by microbial activity which temporarily locks up nitrogen, which means it will not be available at the time of brassica development. This delay in nitrogen availability needs to be compensated for at sowing time.

At this time of year brassicas are also grown to provide a summer-safe feed.

“Pre-sowing preparation should also include careful weed identification so the correct herbicides can be selected. This is where advice from ATS Seed’s technical representatives can be particularly useful.”

As with any crop, planning is the key to success, and it is important to consider paddock selection and requirements. Some questions should include: • Which paddocks have poor-performing pastures, undesirable species and low legume content? • Fertility status—does this need to be addressed to ensure a good crop and successful renovation phase? • Is the chosen paddock in close proximity to a run-off paddock, supplementary feed source and water supply? • How easily will the paddock be subdivided? • Is the right farm equipment available for watering and subdivision? • What is the proposed crop sequence for this paddock? Pre-sowing preparation should also include careful weed identification so the correct herbicides can be selected. This is where advice from ATS Seed’s technical representatives can be particularly useful. Early workings should aim to stimulate weed germination, ideally about two months prior to sowing, and farmers should aim for a moist, fine, firm seedbed so the brassica seed can be planted at an even 1cm depth. If there is successful spray control of weeds and fertiliser applications are well considered, direct drilling of brassica crops is an option. Nitrogen is a key component in a direct drilling situation. Under

Brassicas tend to differ from other crops regarding some of their fertiliser requirements, and are sensitive to nitrogen and phosphorus status and boron deficiency may impact on plant health, especially in bulb brassicas.

Tim Dale, ATS Seed

The seed is particularly prone to germination injury if soluble fertiliser or boron is placed too near the seed, and it is worth remembering inappropriate levels of certain nutrients can induce animal disorders. On the flip side, using brassicas helps avoid parasites and pathogens which cause animal health problems such as facial eczema and ryegrass staggers. Brassicas are an excellent choice for farmers looking to provide a bulk high-quality feed to maximise stock growth rates. The crops will help increase the number of stock finished or maintained on farm, and this in turn leads to increased profitability. Brassica crops have the added bonus of providing a break from pasture, a reduction in pest levels and weed problems, and with fertiliser, can help to correct soil fertility problems, resulting in cleaner, higher producing pastures.


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

Talk to ATS Seed now for all your brassica seed requirements.



Copper deficiency in cattle can sometimes become more evident in spring

Spring monitoring key to good animal health At present the changeable weather and earthquake activity are certainly challenging our resilience and resolve. Disruptions to routines are generally not good for farming activities—and can affect all types of livestock. By Ian Hodge I am well aware that many reading this may well have suffered some serious hardship following the recent events and I am hopeful that your normal activities and routines can be re established as soon as possible. Farmers have always had an amazing ability to get up the next day and simply do what has to be done without complaining. This is an admirable quality for which New Zealanders are well known worldwide. Stock seems to have come through the winter reasonably well although some liver testing has shown some marginal copper levels, in cattle at least. Copper is readily antagonized by iron, sulphur, zinc and molybdenum in the rumen environment. Campylobacter vaccination should be part of a ewe animal health plan


Allan Piercy Managing Director Riverside Veterinary Services Ltd Ashburton Clinic, 1 Smallbone Drive 
 Ashburton Tel: 03 308 2321 Fax: 03 308 2118 Web:



Signs of copper deficiency are listless ill thrift and possibly diarrhoea. Liver tissue analysis either by biopsy or through slaughtered animals is a very good idea.

“Farmers have always had an amazing ability to get up the next day and simply do what has to be done without complaining. This is an admirable quality for which New Zealanders are well known worldwide.” With large numbers of cows in milk dairy farmers can now start to think about testing bulk milk for bovine viral diarrhoea virus. The initial test is a survey test to establish the likely prevalence of infection in the herd. In consultation with your vet you can then make decisions about any further testing that may be required. At this stage in the dairy season we often see calf scours getting worse. This may be due to the declining levels of protective antibodies in later calving cows (that were originally vaccinated

against Rotavirus) and calves not receiving adequate colostrum. Calf scours need to be treated early and aggressively. Maintaining energy intakes in scouring calves is essential and this is the reason why scouring calves should be given electrolytes replacement therapy and milk. The electrolytes and milk feeds should be separated by about four hours so the milk casein is able to be clotted in the abomasum. Farmers should now be aware the antibiotic combination products containing streptomycin and penicillin together have been withdrawn from use in food producing animals. Streptomycin was widely used in certain combinations in some products, and these are the products which have been withdrawn. We now have suitable alternative therapies for the conditions that responded well to those combination treatments. Please discuss these with your own vet as necessary.

“Farmers should now be aware the antibiotic combination products containing streptomycin and penicillin together have been withdrawn from use in food producing animals.” There has been a reasonable amount of Campylobacter abortion around in ewes. Typically ewes abort near term and the lamb is often in a state of decomposition. Ewes do not often die, but fertility can be affected. This is a preventable disease and vaccination should be part of your annual animal health plan. Finally, best wishes to all those affected by the recent earthquakes. If we can assist in any way please give us a call.

Boron deficiency can have a major impact on brassica crops, showing up as Brownheart (above right)

New option for local crops A new fertiliser is set to make its mark with local farmers this year, just as crop planting gets into full swing. Article supplied by Ballance Agri-Nutrients The product, cropzeal DAP boron boost, is a compound fertiliser which contains nitrogen, phosphorus and boron, all essential elements for crops such as kale and fodder beet. Importantly, the nutrients in cropzeal DAP boron boost are all impregnated into the granules, rather than being blended together. This has distinct benefits when the fertiliser is used, said Peter Ayers, the Ballance technical sales representative for Ashburton. “Traditionally, starter fertilisers for brassica crops have had boron blended in, so you have granules of DAP and granules of boron. This provides the crop with the boron it needs, but it doesn’t offer as much control as we’d like over the distribution of boron through the crop.” “By actually incorporating the boron into the DAP granules, the problem of product segregation is overcome and there will be a much more even distribution of boron when the fertiliser is applied.” Boron is needed to prevent disorders such as brownheart. Soil testing will reveal whether soil boron levels need a boost. Cropzeal DAP boron boost contains sufficient boron to address the level of deficit typically found in New Zealand soils, and in cases where boron deficiency is extreme, extra boron can be blended with the product to meet requirements. “If you haven’t organised soil tests for your kale or fodder beet crop yet, then don’t put it off any longer,” said Peter. “Ideally, you want to have everything ready so that you can sow fodder beet by mid October and kale by late October or early November.” “Once the soil’s warmed up, then the earlier you can get your crop in the ground, the better your yield will be. By planting a crop of kale in early November,

rather than early December, you can gain an extra three tonne per hectare of yield. That’s well worth having.” Planting early means that by the time the long, warm days of summer arrive, your crop has more leaf area, so it can capture all that additional sunlight, and accumulate more heat units (thermal time) which are both key drivers of brassica crop yield. A later planted crop accumulates less heat units and has less leaf area, so doesn’t increase as quickly. Why boron? You probably know that your crop needs boron, but do you know what it does and why it is so important? One of the roles of boron is to help stabilise cell walls and cell membranes, providing structural integrity to the plant and creating an environment ideal for cellular functions. Boron is also associated with the movement of sugars around the plant and, crucially, with the development of fruits and seeds. The consequences of insufficient boron are dramatic—cell membranes become leaky and the contents ooze out into the surrounding area, creating the visible damage associated with disorders such as internal cork of apples and brownheart of swedes and turnips. Bud and flower drop increases, and so the productivity of fruit, nut and seed crops declines. Not only does crop quantity decline, but so does quality, meaning significant potential for economic damage. Anyone who would like soil tests organised for their crops, or who would like to learn more about cropzeal DAP boron boost, can contact Peter Ayers on 027 464 2972.

Ballance Representative Peter Ayres says incorporating the boron into the DAP granules gives better control of the element’s distribution throughout the crop


Nicole Bowis 027 677 4499 Anna Bedford 027 499 7617 Peter Ayres 027 464 2972 Tel: 0800 222 090 Web:





Part of Watson Contracting’s expanding fleet

A plan to grow Diversifying into fine-chop silage is the next step for Mid Canterbury baling and cartage contractors Watson Contracting. By Pip Hume When David and Josephine Watson took over from David’s uncle John Watson two years ago, they put in place a plan to expand the business while staying focused on customer service and attention to quality—two areas which provide the base for any successful business.

“We work hard to keep in touch with both sides of the equation, sourcing product from growers and delivering the product where and when it is required and making sure the price is right for both sides.” “We always wanted to grow the business and also felt that we needed to offer the full range of silage solutions to our customers so we have added finechop silage to our business,” explained David. “Attracting new customers and then struggling to service them didn’t appeal to us. We wanted to make sure we could keep our promises, so we’ve invested in the machinery up front so that we have the capacity to service new customers.” “Silage and straw baling is very time sensitive—there’s a fairly short window of opportunity so although we are expanding into fine-chop silage, we plan to stick with our core business so that all our gear is available when it is needed and not away doing cultivation or other work at critical times,” David said. “We work hard to keep in touch with both sides of the equation, sourcing product from growers and delivering the product where and when it is required and making sure the price is right for both sides.” Watson Contracting employs around 16 staff during the season. They try to create a small tightly-knit team, who support and help each other out as needed. The business runs a good fleet of late model tractors, balers, forage wagons and trucks, and having a well-equipped workshop is also another

plus, meaning that servicing of the equipment and minor repairs can be carried out without the worry of outsourcing and potential delays impacting on the business. Balage and straw can be baled in 3 x 3 square bales, 4 x 3 square bales, and in rounds. And of course the new forage wagon is available for fine-chop silage. Roles within Watson Contracting are evolving quite dramatically as the business expands. David is the Managing Director and Operations Manager, and also oversees the strategic direction of the business. “My role has become more about managing the business so I have to resist the temptation to play with my toys.”

“Watson Contracting has invested in more machinery to service their customers so they are now in a position to take on more business. “

The Watson family have concentrated on offering a range of services for their customers

Along with caring for an active three year old, Josephine provides support as and when needed, helping with tasks as diverse as driving a truck or picking up some more twine from town. “Last year the season and the weather really conspired against us and we were not always able give the service we wanted to. Sometimes in this industry it simply comes down to just doing your very best…and getting the job done”.


Watson Contracting Line Road Methven

Watson Contracting has invested in more machinery to service their customers so they are now in a position to take on more business.

Tel: 0800 248 240

“We are really passionate about providing a quality product, delivering a great service and surpassing people’s expectations. Many of our customers are also in our social group and are personal friends, so we need to be able to look them in the eye and know that we have done their work to the very best of our ability.”





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The new premises on Ashburton’s Racecourse Road

New home for renowned saddlery Ashburton’s long established and renowned saddlery business, Morrisons Saddlery & Feed has a new home in a very fitting setting. By Pip Hume Morrison’s now operates from newly refurbished premises at the Ashburton Racecourse, in the old “tote” building which has been completely stripped and renovated. Staff and customers alike are enjoying the spacious layout and natural lighting featured in the new and attractive premises.

an international reputation as a stockist of the specialised equipment required for standardbred horses and is able to source almost any item a customer requires.

Proprietor Chris Morrison is a qualified saddler who has worked in the industry for over 30 years. He was initially apprenticed to long-established Ashburton business Patchings in 1974. Patchings celebrated its centenary while Chris was working there, but sadly has since closed its doors.

The canvas horse covers manufactured by Morrisons Saddlery are sold to customers in Australia and the United States as well as throughout New Zealand.

“The canvas horse covers manufactured by Morrisons Saddlery are sold to customers in Australia and the United States as well as throughout New Zealand.” In 1981, Chris set up in business on his own operating as Tinwald Saddlery and in 1999 took up an opportunity to purchase the Saddlery Division of Peter Cates Limited. The two businesses merged, operating from the Peter Cates building on West Street until the recent move. Morrisons Saddlery undertakes all kinds of saddlery repairs as well as manufacturing and repairing horse covers. The business also carries a comprehensive range of equestrian supplies including saddlery, horse feeds, supplements and off-the-shelf veterinary products. The dedicated team of four staff have all been born and bred around horses and are able to answer all sorts of queries regarding horse care and equipment. Chris’s life-long passion for harness racing has led to the business focusing on servicing that industry. While Mid Canterbury is a stronghold of harness horse breeding and training, Chris has customers from much further afield. He has built

“Our motto is, ‘We have got it—from a sulky to a rubber band tongue tie’,” said Chris.

The Morrisons Saddlery truck is a familiar sight on Canterbury roads between Amberley and Oamaru as it visits stables and training establishments on a regular basis delivering harness, equipment and any other requirements.

“The dedicated team of four staff have all been born and bred around horses and are able to answer all sorts of queries regarding horse care and equipment.” “We visit most of our racing customers on a monthly basis, dropping off anything they need. The local stables let us know what they want and we get it to them. We do mail order and website sales throughout New Zealand too, through our website,” explained Chris. The truck can often be seen at harness race meetings where Chris sometimes has a starter. “I like to keep a horse in training myself,” Chris said. “It’s my hobby—I like to get out there first thing in the morning and get the horse worked—but one horse at a time is enough.” Racing has become a family affair, and on race days Chris is often helped out by his son John, who has inherited his father’s interest in standardbreds. Chris’s daughter Kerryn is also involved in the horse industry, working for industry giant The Saddlery Warehouse at its Cambridge branch.

The spacious layout of the new premises is just one improvement enjoyed by Chris Morrison and his team


Morrisons Saddlery 32 Racecourse Road Ashburton Tel: 03 308 3422 Email: Web:





Many farmers find the idea of budgeting a daunting prospect.

Budgeting an important farm tool Creating a budget for your farming operation is vital if you want financial control. By Barbara Gillham Not only does it provide guidelines to help you organise and manage your finances, it also gives you the tools needed to project future cash flow and eliminate many of the ‘what if’ scenarios when making important business decisions. Unfortunately, many farmers see creating a budget and revising it regularly as a daunting task rather than an empowering tool which can make a big difference to the profitability of their farming operation.

used productively to analyse your financial position and plan your budget. In today’s climate cashflow is now without a doubt the key; and good financial management should be every farmer’s top priority.

“A regularly updated budget should be regarded as another farm tool, one that will enable you to make informed decisions.”

“While the physical management of the farm remains important, today’s priority is definitely ‘farm for cash’, and this means it is time for farmers to sit down and take action.”

Sitting down and taking action has nothing to do with taking it easy—it’s about stopping and giving time to maintaining a revised cashflow each month. Doing this could possibly be the most productive time a farmer can spend out of the paddock.

Someone with firsthand experience of this all too common attitude is Neville Prendergast. The managing director of Dairy Business New Zealand, Neville works from his office at the Dairy Business Centre in Ashburton. With many years experience working with and advising farmers, he agrees that for many budgeting is an issue they would prefer not to tackle.

A regularly updated budget should be regarded as another farm tool, one that will enable you to make informed decisions.

“Unfortunately, farmers are not always comfortable sitting down and working on a budget, they are hands on people often with a ‘she’ll be right attitude’. However, things have changed, especially over the last two years, and a budget for anyone’s farm business today is vital.” While the physical management of the farm remains important, today’s priority is definitely ‘farm for cash’, and this means it is time for farmers to sit down and take action. This may sound a little like a contradiction in terms, but could prove to be some of the best advice anyone can take, especially if that ‘sit down’ time is

No farmer would tackle any job on the farm without the right tools and equipment; and managing the financials is no different.

If budgeting is so important why do so many put it in the too hard basket? The most common reason is without doubt not knowing where and how to start the process. Perhaps the most obvious answer is to ask and seek advice. Your accountant, bank manager or a farm consultant like Neville are all people who want to see you succeed, so use them. Also, consider a farm accounting programme such as Cashmanager RURAL. These programmes are designed especially for farm accounts, they are simple to use and usually offer support and training if required.


CRS Software 32 Perry Street PO Box 692 Masterton Tel: 0800 888 707 Web:

“Whatever method you choose, if you want to make informed business decisions you need a budget, and if you need help it is prudent to seek advice,” said Neville. ATS NE WS




Industry standard for mandatory water measurement Upcoming mandatory regulations for water measurement will involve onfarm changes and additional costs for many farmers . By Annette Scott, Irrigation NZ Communications Executive Irrigation NZ (INZ), in partnership with MfE, MAF and key stakeholders from the Water Measurement Taskforce, is leading the development of a costeffective national, industry led water measurement standard and associated quality assurance programme.

The RFP process provides guidance and sets standards for the water measuring industry ahead of the introduction of National Regulations for water metering. To date a total 47 providers have been approved and these are listed at watermetering.

This will ensure the consistent installation and verification of water measurement throughout New Zealand. It will give certainty to the accuracy of water measurement and therefore future water management. The national regulations have been gazetted and come into force on the November 10.

This process is about ensuring water measuring suppliers are providing and installing equipment and systems which are accurate, reliable and cost effective for irrigators and other water users.

In order to ensure the on-farm changes are made in an efficient and cost effective fashion, INZ has been working towards the development and implementation of an industry standard for water measurement. INZ supports the national regulation requiring water takes to be measured as part of a wider programme to improve fresh water management. As the national body representing irrigation interest nationwide, INZ has proactively led the water measuring working party since its inception, believing that left to the regional councils it would have taken much longer to get the tools in place for optimal water management as they would have had the ability to only legislate measuring for new consents or renewals. In order to optimise water management in New Zealand water measuring is an essential part of the equation. It can’t be managed if it’s not measured. Now mandated, an industry standard is needed to ensure consistency nationwide. Included in the consistency has been the establishment of a system to register Approved Service Providers for water measuring service. This has been led initially by Environment Canterbury in association with the Water Meter Request for Proposals Panel (RFP).

As a result of the national regulations, 98% of water takes (greater than 5 l/s) are expected to be metered by 2016. Every major water consent holder in New Zealand is required to install water meters within two to six years, depending on the size of their take.

INZ has been working on an industry standard for water measurement

INZ is pleased the Government has taken a pragmatic approach to water measurement and allowed some areas, where water is plentiful, to be exempt for now. This will assist with regulation being realised in the timeframes set—all takes over 20 l/s need to be measured by 2012, over 10 l/s by 2014 and over 5 l/s by 2016. While there is a considerable cost to irrigators associated with long-term and accurate water measurement, with the average quality installation costing several thousands of dollars, water measurement is a necessary part of the future direction of irrigation. Farmers can learn more about water metering, its challenges and opportunities, at a workshop to be run by INZ at the Methven Heritage Centre on October 21.


Andrew Curtis CEO, Irrigation NZ PO Box 3872 Christchurch Tel: 03 379 3820 Fax: 03 372 3520 Web:



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Calf holding pens

Play houses

South Street, Ashburton Phone 03 308 6444 or 0274 334 536 34


BBQ tables

Horse jump rails and fences

Cattle Young Stock Blocks contain Rumensin to help against coccidiosis and improve live weight gains

Effective additives improve growth rates Many dairy farmers are familiar with Rumensin and Bovatec and are aware the active ingredients (monensin sodium and lasalocid sodium respectively) belong to the class of compounds known as ionophores. By Dr Rob Derrick Many calf rearers also appreciate the benefits of both products but beef farmers often have less understanding of these very effective additives which improve animal health and feed efficiency. Depending on the product, ionophores can be delivered as drenchable liquids, water trough treatments, intra-ruminal capsules and in-feed premixes. They can be supplied in cattle and calf feeds and now in Winslow Molassed Blocks. Ionophores are powerful compounds which should not be fed above the recommended rates or to dogs and horses for which consumption can be fatal. These naturally occurring compounds are particularly toxic to some bacteria and protozoa found in the rumen of cattle. Ionophores penetrate into bacteria cell walls and disrupt the flow of ions into and out of the cells. They are most toxic to bacteria which produce methane and break down protein. Methane is a gas which contains a lot of energy so a reduction in methane production can lead to increased feed efficiency. Reducing methane production also has the benefit of reducing bloat which occurs when methane does not escape from the rumen and is allowed to build up. Less breakdown of protein in the rumen can also improve protein supply to the animal. Ionophores have also been linked to a reduction in bacteria which produce lactate. Excessive production of lactate increases the risk of ruminal acidosis which reduces the activity of the fibre digesting bacteria needed to encourage maximum grass intake. Acidosis is normally associated with grain fed cattle but can be a problem when grazing stock on high quality pasture with low fibre levels.

Cows in early lactation invariably experience a negative net energy balance because they physically cannot eat enough to meet the demands of milk production. Using an ionophore before calving and throughout early lactation helps cows retain more energy for milk production or weight maintenance and improves immune response. Acidosis is more likely on young lush grass so early lactation is normally suggested as the best time to use an ionophore. Improvements in feed conversion may however be better on mature summer grazing so use throughout lactation could be justified. Bovatec and Rumensin are also coccidiostats in that they help control coccidiosis caused by Eimeria bovis and Eimeria zuernii. These organisms have a complex life cycle including a dormant stage on pasture. The bloody scour typical of coccidiosis is caused by large number of eggs (laid in the gut wall) hatching and destroying the intestinal wall, thereby reducing the animal’s ability to absorb nutrients. Calf feed typically contains an ionophore. Coccidial challenge is most likely in the first eight weeks after weaning off milk but can occur whenever animals are stressed. The Cattle Youngstock Block has been developed to help deliver Rumensin to calves moving onto grass following weaning off meal. Calves often experience stress when relocating and may still lack full immunity to coccidiosis at this time.


Dr Rob Derrick 605 Main South Road, State Highway 1
Winslow, Ashburton
 Tel: 03 302 6200 0800 00 77 66

Ionophore use improves growth rates in growing and intensively finished cattle so extended use of the blocks could be worthwhile.

Fax: 03 302 6203

Please note there are subtle differences between individual products so it is important to see manufacturer’s details for specific claims.


Email: office@winslowltd.





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News at ATS Sponsorship

AGM Notification

With the recent earthquake events in Canterbury and the impending clean up, volunteer services have played an important part in helping communities get back on their feet.

The 47th Ashburton Trading Society Annual General Meeting will be held on 18 November 2010 at the Hotel Ashburton.

ATS are proud to lend their support to volunteer groups such as the Ellesmere Search & Rescue group, who make up part of the LandSAR organisations which span the length and breadth of New Zealand.

Nomination forms are available from ATS Reception, downloadable from or telephone (03) 307 5100 and to have one sent to you.

LandSAR Ellesmere Search and Rescue train search dogs to track missing people in all areas of Canterbury, but their abilities are by no means confined to the bush. The tracking skills of search dogs are often called on by police to help with a growing number of searches in the urban areas, often concerning people suffering from psychological disorders such as Alzheimer’s. The LandSAR organisation has over 2500 trained search and rescue volunteers who are organised into 62 search and rescue groups operating in seven regions throughout New Zealand. To find out more about

Staff Profile—Christine Taylor, Membership Services

LandSAR please visit

If you have been to any ATS event this year, you might have had the pleasure of liaising with the friendly face of ATS’s Membership Services, Christine Taylor. Christine has been with ATS for nine years, with five of those spent in front shop retail and four within customer services. She says her recent branch out into membership services is proving her most favourable yet. “Our members are the heart of our society and excellence in customer satisfaction is my goal every day.”

Ashburton A&P Show Come along and enjoy the country hospitality of the ATS member’s marquee at the Ashburton A&P show, to be held Friday 29 and Saturday 30 October 2010. The theme of this year’s show is “Land to Table”, and ATS will again be providing complementary lunch and beverages for ATS members in a prime ringside position. So come on down and enjoy this annual Mid Canterbury rural event with ATS. Remember—bring your ATS card for admittance!



She thrives on the busy and friendly atmosphere that comes with interfacing with members and staff, within and outside of the society. As a fourth generation member of a Canterbury farming family, Christine understands the necessity and importance of knowledgeable, efficient and reliable Customer Service, paramount in a member-driven business such as ATS. “My new role as Membership Services is extremely important to me and I always look forward to meeting and welcoming prospective new members.”

Winners—ASURE Accommodation Group The winners of the June & July ASURE Accommodation Group Packages valued at $120 were Martin & Alison Fleming and Arthur & Rosalie Watson.

Instore Days Meridian $5000 credit winners

Neal Shaw and Meridian’s John Bianchet with $5000 meridian credit winners Graham Thomas and Mike McGuire.

Neal Shaw and Meridian’s John Bianchet with Meridian $5000 credit winners Penny & Mark Saunders and Shannon, Ben and Alice Johnson.

Longbeach MTB Coastal Challenge

Gumboots Galore!

Summer is fast approaching and with it comes the fourth annual ATS Longbeach MTB Coastal Challenge, to be held on the 28 November 2010 over some of Mid Canterbury’s premier coastal farmland.

ATS Ashburton was recently named the number one nationwide rural store for sales of Skellerup Gumboots—Skellerup Footwear’s largest category.

With races to suit all ages and abilities, the Coastal Challenge is a great family day out. The mountain bike tracks traverse three farms south-east of Ashburton, including the historic Longbeach Estate. The event was started in 2007 by the Hinds and Districts Lions Club, and with funds raised donated to schools within the local community, the Coastal Challenge has fast established its place in the Mid Canterbury events calendar. For more information on the Coastal Challenge or to download an entry form visit Alternatively, you can pick up an entry form any of the three ATS stores.

Skellerup Area Sales Manager Peter Lindsay provided Ashburton Staff with morning tea as a thank you and the ATS/Skellerup “gumboot games” were run in store, with members who successfully putted a golf ball into a gumboot being eligible for a draw to win a pair of Red Band gumboots. The winners were: Roger & Jude Henderson Daniel Stackhouse Doug Philpott Brett & Aimee Dann Derrick & Julia Manning Lyndon & Joanne Moore

Southern Cross Representative at ATS on Wednesday 20th October Bernie Brady of Southern Cross will be available to meet with ATS members at the Ashburton store and discuss their health insurance queries. To make an appointment to meet with her, please phone 03 968 70107 and or email

Peter Lindsay, Skellerup Footwear & Jenny McLauchlan



News at ATS

ATS out and about Alison Kingsbury & Heydon Sparks with a Stihl Electric Hedgetrimmer from Betacraft

Winner of a hot air balloon voucher Chris Allen with Peter Lindsay from Skellerup Footwear

Bob O’Reilly presents Simon Lochead with a $100 ATS voucher for winning the seed bag weight competition (28.5kg) Bruce Smith with Castrol prize winners Chris & Ruth Sheppard

Lester Chambers with Ross Tait, winner of the 42’’ TV from Syngenta

Jim Lattimore with Lester Chambers, winner of a set of golf clubs from Orion Crop Protection

Allan Lilley with Michelle Lill, RX Plastics Instore Days winner 2010

Trish Burrowes & Debbie Cabout, McPhersons Consumer Products winner

Trish Burrows and Robert Verrall with a Barkers gift basket from Lynn River



C LASS I F I E D S FOR SALE Large Freeman Bales Pasture rye corn silage; last unit load left. $60 each +GST. Tel Mark 03 303 6566

Silage Large Round Bales Individually wrapped spring silage; 69 bales in total, east of Tinwald. $75+ GST each, or offers for the lot. Tel 03 307 8862 or 027 2121 682

Frizzell Ltd Electronic farm scales from $695.00; well depth meters from $285.00; weather stations from $124.00; irrigation monitoring equipment from $195.00; farm weigh bridges from $3,800.00 (all prices plus GST). If it’s farm electronics you are after contact Frizzell Agricultural Electronics for the best price. We also have a wide range of crates and platforms for scales, plus irrigation monitoring and farm security systems. For free information on our wide range of products contact Alastair Frizzell on 03 318 1333, or your local contact Viv McLachlan on 03 302 7065 or 027 506 6434. or

Blackout Generator 230V 50Hz 6KW (Max 6.5KW) Electric start 7hpDC 12 V socket @ 8.3 Amps, also twin power sockets, on castors, $1,800. Tel Steven 03 307 0699

Honda Motorbike 1980 XR 200 Twin shocks; has been sitting idle for a couple of years with only occasional use; goes well. Tel 03 308 8614 or 027 433 5566

Kidz Korner Build up your train set with our economical new “Thomas compatible” wooden train system. Come in and check it out—trains from $4.00, track pairs from $4.95. JUST ARRIVED IN - Children’s brightly coloured mugs @ $12.95 and we are now stocking Schleich farm and wild animals. Free gift wrapping and 10% discount to ATS members. East Street, Ashburton Tel 03 307 0456

RETAIL Kawasaki 2001 KLX 125 Excellent working order, has had new piston. Great condition $2500.00 Firm. Tel 03 302 7312

EON Pour-On FREE portable Gasmate BBQ when you buy 2 x 5L or 1 x 20L packs of Eon pour-on. Eon contains the active ingredient eprinomectin, specifically engineered for use in cattle. Offer ends 31/10/2010 or while stocks last.

John Deere 922 Flexfront I would like to trade or swap for a rigid front, possibly 920. In good order. Tel James Freeth 03 302 5656 or 027 589 7376

Calf Bedding Woodchip calf bedding; quantities on hand. Samples are available per request Tel 03 303 6205 or 027 485 6206 Or 0800 CALF BED


Tru-Test Buy an XR3000 or ID3000 indicator plus any load bars and choose from a Sony 40” LCD TV or a Husqvarna 45cc, 18” Chainsaw. OR buy a DR3000 or EziWeigh2 indicator plus any load bars and choose from a Sony Home Theatre System or a Makita 18V Cordless Drill! Promotion ends 30 November 2010.

OUTLAW Pour-On Buy 1.25L of Outlaw pour on and receive a FREE Sony digital photo frame. Promotion ends 31 October 2010 or while stocks last.

Diesel Irrigation pump suitable to run Roto Rainer 250 40m head/57psi @27litres/second required. Also wanted—hose trailer for angus 5 inch hose. Tel 027 457 6694

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

ATS News October/November  

The October/November edition of the ATS News

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