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INSIDE

Under attack

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Linda Clarke

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SENIOR REPORTER

Farmers must feel like they are under attack at the moment. The Action on Agricultural Emissions reports last week and the soon-to-be announced national freshwater policy statements will have to be digested and distilled down to what it means on the farm. And for 93 farmers in the Ashburton River catchment, there is the added pressure of Environment Canterbury reviewing their water consents. On the emissions front, Government is holding a national consultation roadshow, so watch out for details. Ashburton’s will be on July 25 and they want your views. The freshwater policy will no doubt bring tighter rules around the use of water but farmers in this district are likely to be ahead of the pack with measuring, monitoring and efficient use already part of their licence to farm. The review of water consents

connected to the Ashburton River will be a chance for ECan to show it has learned lessons from a review debacle in the Dunsandel area. That was a drawn-out and costly affair and created bad-feeling. The regional council leaders have already fronted to two farmer meetings in the district and seem to be showing a more compassionate side. The council is acting on behalf of the community, which wants to see more water in the river, which has been over-allocated for a long time. The farmers who use that water applied for, and were granted, consents to use it and they have spent a lot of money on infrastructure. They know the water is precious and many have been working together in user-groups to use it efficiently. They are now being encouraged to swap to deep groundwater bore or access water through an irrigation scheme, and build on-farm storage. More cost. There are some key messages ECan needs to get out there: That the new consent conditions to be imposed (that give them less water) will make a big difference to the river, and that they will not go out of business. As the review rolls out, both sides need to come to the table with good intentions. And let the modelling data paint a picture we can all live with.

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Tackling climate change on-farm By Linda Clarke The only way to meet the Government’s proposed targets for greenhouse gas emissions is by reducing stock numbers, said Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury president David Clark. And that, he said, would cost the country tens of billions of dollars in lost production, with negative spin-offs for rural districts like Ashburton. Clark said farmers know they need to play their part in tackling climate change, but want the solutions to be based on sound science with all sectors of society making a fair and equal contribution. The Government is considering a proposal from the Interim Climate Change Commission for agriculture to come into the Emissions Trading Scheme as opposed to allowing the rural sector to manage its own way into the scheme over the next five years. The proposal is out now for public consultation. Government says it is keen to hear views and is running public information sessions

The Government is considering if agriculture should come into the Emissions Trading Scheme. ASHBURTON GUARDIAN

around the country. These will be in Christchurch on July 24, Ashburton on July 25, Lake Karapiro on July 26, Invercargill on August 1, Greymouth on August 2 and Nelson on August 7. If agricultural emissions are to be part of an emission scheme with financial obligations linked to emissions, then farmers would only pay for 5 per cent of their emissions initially. At

the current price of around $25 a tonne and with 95 per cent free allocation of units, it would be expected to cost farmers on average 1 cent per kg of milksolids, 1 cent per kg of beef, 4 cents per kg of venison and 3 cents per kg of sheep meat. Clark said methane, a short-life gas emitted by livestock, was a distraction in the discussion as the country continued to rely on fossil

fuels to power the transport sector, which had doubled carbon dioxide emissions since 1990. Clark is also worried the emission-reduction policy, along with new rules around freshwater, land use and banking, are undermining confidence in the agricultural sector. “Debt levels are high and farmers are struggling to be viable in business.” He said while farmers were changing practices to reduce methane and other greenhouse gas emissions, others in the community needed to look at their own households and work out what they were going to do to reduce carbon emissions. DairyNZ has joined with other primary sector leaders to launch an alternative proposal to work with Government to make changes on-farm over the next five years. Chief executive Dr Tim Mackle said the climate committee and the primary sector agreed that a farmbased mechanism was the best way to address biological

emissions, however their views differ on how to get there. “Bringing agriculture into the ETS at processor level amounts to little more than a broad-based tax on farmers before we have the knowledge, support and tools to drive the practice change that will reduce emissions. “The stakes are high. New Zealand’s primary sector contributes one-fifth of our GDP, generates one in 10 jobs and produces 75 per cent of our merchandise exports. We want to avoid shocks like the 80s and make any changes in a stable and considered way. “As an alternative we have put forward a proposed fiveyear work programme to build an enduring farm-level emission reduction framework and work with farmers and the wider rural sector to provide real options to reduce their footprint.” Three Mid Canterbury dairy farms are among those being monitored for greenhouse gas emission mitigation and DairyNZ is planning farm extension days to share what is being learned.

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New technologies will help, but efficie Farmers facing the difficult challenge of working out how to reduce their emissions without compromising profitability can access a new information hub just launched by the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre. The website www.farmingmatters. nz aims to equip farmers, growers and rural professionals with the knowledge they need to understand and manage on-farm emissions, says the centre’s director Dr Harry Clark, who is also a member of the Interim Climate Change Committee. Clark has been on the ground in Mid Canterbury, working with farmers who are monitoring the effect of changing practices to reduce greenhouse gases. The website provides information, including short videos, to help farmers understand the science and weigh up their options. The site will grow over the coming months from its current focus on methane, to include content on nitrous oxide and soil carbon as well as on adapting primary production to a changing climate. It is funded by the Government.

Within the next 5-10 years, it is likely New Zealand livestock farmers will be able to employ selective breeding, methane inhibitors and perhaps even methanogen vaccines to help reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. In the meantime, farmers wanting to make a difference need to know what their emissions are and where they come from, so they can examine every facet of their business for efficiency improvements that can maintain profitability while reducing emissions. That’s the message from Dr Harry Clark, director of the New Zealand Greenhouse Gas Research Centre. The centre’s new website www. farmingmatters.nz was launched after the Government signalled last week that it would implement farm-level accounting and pricing of agricultural greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. The site initially focuses on methane, which makes up 70 per cent of New Zealand’s agricultural emissions, but will soon expand to include information on nitrous oxide, another significant agricultural greenhouse gas, as well as strategies for adapting to climate change. “Methane belched out by ruminant livestock such as cows and sheep is a

Dr Harry Clark, director of the New Zealand Greenhouse Gas Research Centre and Committee. 

problem for New Zealand,” Dr Clark says. “While methane breaks down in the atmosphere a lot faster than

other greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, every tonne emitted is 28-34 times more effective at trapping heat than a tonne of carbon

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ency improvements remain key

d member of the Interim Climate Change PHOTO SUPPLIED

dioxide, over the first hundred years after an emission occurs. “Researchers here and overseas are therefore investigating a number of

technologies that might help to reduce methane emissions by livestock in the future.” Some animals emit less methane per unit of feed eaten than others, thanks to a smaller rumen (fore-stomach) with a distinctive population of microorganisms. Breeding for this trait could result in a potential emissions reduction of 3-8 per cent over 20 years. This research is well advanced in sheep, while work in cattle is just starting, Dr Clark said. Methanogen vaccines and inhibitors are also under development. Vaccines are being tested in the laboratory, with the goal of reducing methane emissions by 30 per cent. An inhibitor has already been developed in the Netherlands that demonstrably reduces emissions by at least 30 per cent. However, in its current formulation, it must be included in every mouthful of feed – less than ideal for New Zealand’s pasture-based livestock. New formulations and alternative products are being investigated. But until such technologies are available, Dr Clark encourages farmers wanting to further reduce their emissions to keep looking for small improvements in every aspect of their operation.

He says efficiency gains already achieved across the sector mean that New Zealand’s total agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are no longer going up.

The centre’s new website www. farmingmatters.nz

“Not all farms have the same potential to further reduce emissions,” he said. “Some farmers have already done what they can. Others are limited by their unique climate, topography, markets and infrastructure. But there are a number of steps they might like to consider – and every small step is a step in the right direction.” These could include getting more production from pasture to reduce reliance on imported feeds, trialing alternative forage crops, reducing animal numbers but increasing productivity per animal, achieving greater longevity in the breeding herd or flock and applying nitrogen fertiliser using precision technologies. Dr Clark says there’s no one size fits all solution and individual farmers are in the best position to figure out how

they might be able to reduce their emissions without compromising profitability – particularly as the framework for managing farm-level emissions takes shape over the coming years. The new Farming Matters website aims to help by addressing some of the existing myths and misunderstandings about agricultural greenhouse gases and climate change and communicating the very latest advances in emissionsreduction technologies and practices. The site uses short videos and simple graphics to help explain the science and associated issues. “Ultimately, New Zealand’s emissions-reduction targets and ongoing response to climate change will be the outcome of a range of complex interacting factors, not just science and technology,” Dr Clark said. “Our goal with Farming Matters is to ensure farmers have the information they need to weigh up their options and take steps towards reducing farm-level greenhouse gas emissions.” The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of the Ashburton Guardian Co Ltd or any employee thereof

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Two years since M. bovis detected Lydia Pomeroy is the Ashburton regional manager for the mycoplasma bovis eradication programme. She says the district has faced an immense challenge. This month marks two years since M. bovis was first detected in New Zealand, kicking off the largest biosecurity response we’ve ever seen. While the entire country has been affected, Ashburton has been the worst hit district, and it has faced an immense challenge dealing with this disease, and the effort to eradicate it. There have been 26 Confirmed Properties in the Ashburton District – as at the first half of this month five are still under restrictions. Twenty-five properties in the region under a NOD restricting movements, and 80 under Active Surveillance. Nationally there have been 178 Confirmed Properties in total, and 106, 991 cattle slaughtered. The decision to eradicate by Cabinet and industry, and supported by Federated Farmers, the Meat Industry Association, DCANZ and

a range of other industry organisations, was a tough call, but we believe the right one for the long-term interests of New Zealand farmers. The impacts of allowing M. bovis to spread throughout New Zealand were clear: $1.3 billion in lost productivity in the first 10 years, insidious animal welfare issues, and needing to make major and difficult changes to our approach to cattle farming. However, the challenge of eradicating this disease was immense. There was no playbook to work from; designing an eradication programme while implementing it has been a challenge, and the impact on affected farmers can’t be under-estimated. The two reviews into what caused the backlog of traces (animal movements off Confirmed Properties) before Moving Day have

given us concrete ways that we can improve our systems and processes, and achieve eradication more effectively. We are sorry for the impact that the surge had on those farmers affected, and now we’re focused on getting testing completed and decisions made so they can get back to farming free from restrictions as soon as possible. As recommended by the reviews, we’re also focused on getting decision-making power down into the regions, to make sure that our people on the ground can make quick decisions to deal with the challenges in front of them. The Ashburton Regional Advisory Group, chaired by Ashburton Mayor Donna Favel is also a positive step forward. It is there to bring together regional leaders who can take on the ground steps to support affected farmers. Farmers with concerns about

Lydia Pomeroy. PHOTO SUPPLIED

their situation can bring them to this forum for them to be discussed, and solutions found. The new Federated Farmers Farm Assistance Teams are also hitting the ground, providing support and advice to farms under Active Surveillance. These farms

have an exceptionally low risk of having been exposed to M. bovis, but they do need to be tested to check. While they’re not under controls, it is still a stressful and challenging time, and it’s excellent to see rural people stepping in to help support them. The genetic analysis of the bacterium that we’ve found so far indicates that it all comes from a single strain, introduced in late 2015, early 2016. M. bovis is not widespread, it is a slow-spreading disease and we are confident that we can eradicate it. M. bovis is a horrible affliction for animals and it takes an enormous personal toll on those that care for them. For the 178 farmers and their families that are affected around the country, the cure may well be worse than the disease. For the 23,000 other farms in New Zealand, it’s important that we take the necessary steps to stop this disease spreading, and ultimately eradicate it from New Zealand.

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Help coming for surveillance group Farmers under active surveillance for Mycoplasma bovis will be offered one-onone farmer-to-farmer help through Federated Farmers’ new Farmer Assistance Programme (FAP). The programme aims to relieve stress on farmers by talking through the process and answering any questions in farming language. Hororata dairy farmer Jodie Loos is one of the six women providing advice across dairy, beef and sheep/arable/dairy grazing operations. “I think the farmer assistance group is a muchneeded link in the chain when it comes to farmers dealing with M bovis. Hopefully we can help give some clarity around the testing process and next steps, should your farm be in the small percentage that go from surveillance to restrictions. “We’re here to work with and on behalf of farmers and be the person in the farmer’s corner. All of us on the assistance team are either dairy support, dairy

We can’t change the past, but we can at least do our best to help prevent more farmers having the same experiences

farming, or sheep and beef. We understand the stresses and aim to help guide those who need it.” The FAP is being trialled in Mid Canterbury for three months and will focus on farms that are going under active surveillance. As at July 19, there were 81 farms with active surveillance status in

the district. The advisors will talk farmers through the process and if requested can help them prepare for the very low probability that the active surveillance progresses further to a Notice of Direction or Restricted Property. “It is important for farmers to remember that 95 per

cent of farms under active surveillance are cleared as M bovis free,” Loos said. Preparation includes getting NAIT records up to date and ensuring all contracts are in writing (e.g. stock sale agreements, grazing agreements, etc). Farmers can be linked to other resources and help

where needed. “If this trial is able to add value and help relieve farmer stress, it will be rolled out across other regions. We can also take what we learn from the trial to further inform the M Bovis programme from a farmer perspective.” FAP co-ordinator Jessie Chan-Dorman said the group should be up and running by the end of July; all the advisors have both corporate/ compliance and farming experienced and are receiving extra training. “The FAP team have been working closely with MPI, Rural Support Trust and the industry bodies to make sure we are not duplicating our efforts, and are filling gaps where necessary to add value,” she said. “We are very aware there are some farmers that have had terrible experiences dealing with the M bovis eradication programme so far. We can’t change the past, but we can at least do our best to help prevent more farmers having the same experiences.”


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It’s time to be pragmatic I was visiting family in Sydney recently and, having thoroughly annoyed everyone with my lack of enthusiasm for shopping, was sent packing to the pub where I’d arranged to meet a couple of Twitter friends from Wellington. Over the course of a few pints Hadyn, who was there for a Sony product launch, asked me how my politics had changed since I’d been on Twitter. He asked me this because I am a white, middleaged male who votes to the right and the majority of people who follow and interact with me tend to vote to the left. Maybe the third pint is the charm because I didn’t even hesitate with my answer: “I’ve become far more pragmatic,” I replied. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s being exposed to other people’s points of view, or maybe it’s plain old cynicism, but I no longer reflexively defend the blue team. I’m more inclined to acknowledge when the Right does something silly or just plain dumb, though I’m far more likely to tweet about

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it when the Left mucks up because the reactions I get from the partisan lefties on twitter are hilarious. I’m also far likelier to praise the red (and green and black) team if they get something right, or accept that they’re committed to doing something I don’t like and I just have to do the best I can to work with it. As farmers, we don’t like being told what to do with our land, our animals, and our businesses. We get grumpy and we tend to stick our toes in and fight, to let the people telling us what to do that we don’t like it and they can just bugger off. It’s part of who we are and, since Fonterra is a farmer-owned and farmer-run

co-operative, it’s also who Fonterra have been since its inception. Submissions have just closed on the Zero Carbon Bill and, like it or not, it will pass into law. We knew this government was committed to this legislation when the Prime Minister stood up and declared that climate change was her generation’s nuclear free moment. You don’t have to agree with her, but you do have to accept that she’s got the will and the numbers to make it happen. I’m very pleased to see that, like me, Fonterra have a new found pragmatism. They could have reverted to type and pointlessly fought the government over this legislation; instead they have chosen to support the Bill and will seek to have some amendments, such as setting methane targets at the lower end of the scale, made at select committee. I suspect that given their recent announcement to not install any further coal burners and to embed sustainability at the heart of the co-op,

Fonterra are well ahead of the curve as far as meeting the targets set in the Bill go. I’m pleased too to see the Shareholders’ Council, who I have been critical of in the past, standing shoulder to shoulder with the board in a joint press release about their submissions on the Bill.

As farmers we don’t like being told what to do with our land, our animals, and our businesses.

That press release highlighted the common ground they shared, their differences are there if you care to read their separate submissions, but those tensions are quite rightly being kept private between the council and the board rather than being aired publicly. The Bill will pass, but

having the support of New Zealand’s largest company will certainly make things a lot easier for the government. I can only hope the various ministers acknowledge the goodwill Fonterra are trying to build. Fonterra’s board’s first duty is to the health of the co-operative, and the biggest threat I see at this point in time is the government’s failure to adequately reform DIRA. The current government certainly went further than the previous one in making changes to DIRA, but they went nowhere near far enough. I understand that being pragmatic is about give and take, I just hope Fonterra have built up enough goodwill with the present government for them to start giving too. The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of the Ashburton Guardian Co Ltd or any employee thereof

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Take stock over calving Calving is always a good marker to take stock of the current situation on-farm as well as forecast how it will track over the next three months. Calving doesn’t come without challenges and there are a few things you may want to consider as you look back over the past month: ƒƒ Has calving and cow recovery been easy so far? ƒƒ What percentage of cows have had retained afterbirth? ƒƒ How many cows have presented with clinical milk fever? ƒƒ How well fed are your cows? What is their Body Condition Score (BCS) at the moment? Metabolic issues, including milk fever and retained afterbirth, present clinically in only around 10 per cent of cases – so for every cow that presents with a clinical metabolic problem, there are 10 times as many cows that are affected sub-clinically. In broad terms, the largest driver behind metabolic problems is a calcium/ magnesium imbalance.

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A lack of calcium translates to poor muscle energy, leaving cows with insufficient energy to clean herself quickly after calving. Even sub-clinically affected cows will retain cleanings and fall victim to an infection that will need treating – creating a barrier for the cow to get in calf easily. Calcium is also a carrier for all minerals, so a deficiency in calcium will affect the uptake of everything else the cow is being given. The addition of lime flour to the cows’ diet and a calcium bullet down the throat is a great way to keep their calcium levels up. Farmers should also look at whether their cows’ nutritional needs are being

met through pasture and supplementary feed. If you don’t have a rotation plan, you can expect a problem down the track. The DairyNZ Spring Rotation Planner is a great resource to help you work out your rotation length. You will find it on www. dairynz.co.nz The online calculator will help you work out the ideal round lengths during the period between the planned start of calving (PSC) and balance date, when pasture supply equals demand. It’s important to get rotation length correct. For example, if you are grazing cows at 20 days when the correct rotation for that time of year is 35 days, they are grazing nutritionally deficient feed. They are filling up on immature grass that won’t sustain their nutritional requirements. To support your cows’ nutritional needs, it is critical that you have a trace element programme in place. Cows are expected to calve, milk and get in calf all in the space of three months,

and they need everything we can throw at them to survive these three massive challenges in such a short period. And if cows are already low, a daily trace element programme may not be enough in the first instance. You may need to give them an additional boost of copper, cobalt and selenium via injection, preferably at least 30 days before the planned start of mating. Waiting any longer means you will have to use a copper bullet down their throats, a far more expensive option. If you don’t invest in a trace element plan you will end up giving that money to the vet

to fix the resulting health problems or end up culling cows because they are empty. And with monthly milk testing for M. bovis, there is enough evidence to show that a cow in less-than-optimum health has lower immunity, resulting in a higher chance of testing positive for higher antibodies. The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of the Ashburton Guardian Co Ltd or any employee thereof

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EFFLUENT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT FEATURE

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Migrating odour issues Odour from farm dairy effluent is increasingly an issue as herd sizes grow and urban boundaries get closer to operating farms. Odour issues can also be a regional council compliance concern and management of odour is often referred to in effluent consents. Sources of odour include ponds, tanks, solids separation systems, sludge piles, feed pads, and silage stacks. Effluent application, the desludging of ponds and muck spreading operations also release odour. If your regional council receives a complaint about an odour, the council will come out to your farm and assess the situation. Infringement / abatement notices may be a potential consequence. Identifying the issue and source If a neighbour complains about an objectionable odour or you notice some issues yourself you must investigate further. This is not generally a problem that disappears

quickly. Often the main culprit is the effluent storage pond although it does pay to check that there’s not a problem with effluent stored in the main lines. If you’re satisfied that the issue is the storage pond itself, try and diagnose the type of smell using the table below. You can also tell a lot about a pond from its colour. ƒƒ Hydrogen sulphide = rotten eggs ƒƒ Methyl mercaptan = decayed cabbage, garlic ƒƒ Ethyl mercaptan = decayed cabbage ƒƒ Dimethyl sulphide = decayed vegetables ƒƒ Ammonia = sharp, pungent ƒƒ Volatile organic compounds = varies between compounds - solvent type/ putrid/sickly What is causing the pond to smell? Odours from ponds are caused by a mixture of gases. The type of pond and the way the pond is operated and maintained impacts on odour

production. These gaseous compounds are produced all the time but usually at low levels that are not an issue. However, occasionally they get out of balance and produce an ‘odorous’ episode. There are a variety of reasons for this, these include overloaded or shock-loaded pond systems and seasonal climatic conditions . Keeping the neighbours happy If you are planning an

activity you know will generate some odour, such as spreading a large solids pile or desludging a storage pond, consider these handy tips: Schedule effluent activities from Monday to Thursday to avoid odour immediately before the weekend. Spread effluent in the morning to take advantage of warming conditions which help disperse the odour. Avoid spreading when the wind is blowing towards the neighbour

Let the neighbour know when you are planning some activities. If they know they are likely to be more accommodating (and appreciative of your thoughtfulness). They may be planning an outdoor event in which case you might be able to reschedule spreading to another day. Note - it can take a couple of days for the odour to disperse after spreading. Source: DairyNZ

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EFFLUENT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT FEATURE

11

Managing the risks Ponds – we’ve effluent ponds pose got them covered Effluent ponds are often a known risk on farms and there are several ways to manage this risk. Recommended pond safety features include fencing and escape ladders. All ponds should be fenced off with a netting fence to prevent stock and children from accidentally falling into the pond. Locked gates are essential and electric fences can also be used. All ponds should have at least one permanently placed ladder or alternative escape means in case a person falls into the pond. You can have a life buoy available in the area too. Pontoons should have anchor points to improve stability. Warning signs can be used to keep people out of the area but direct communication with people is important too. Talk with farm staff, contractors and visitors about the effluent pond risks. Farm rules for effluent pond safety control should state who is allowed in the pond area and can stipulate that no one is to enter the area alone. That way, you can keep non-swimmers out of the area and ensure there is always at least two people inside the fence when working in the area.

It’s important to identify risks like effluent ponds and do the planning to avoid accidents. Make sure anyone coming on the farm knows the risks around the effluent pond, especially people who will be going in that area of the farm. Make sure your communication is appropriate for your audience, which can include children, farm visitors, contractors and family. Source: DairyNZ

Since forming in 2007, Aspect Environmental Lining (AEL) has become a leading supplier within the New Zealand geomembrane installation field. Directors Craig McMillan and Greg Terrill have collectively over 50 years’ experience in the lining industry, and have been involved in installations throughout New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific region. AEL staff are full time geomembrane installers, and have experience with the installation of all recognised geosynthetic lining materials. From our North and South Island bases AEL can supply and install pond linings for any agricultural, horticultural, industrial or residential application, no matter the size or location. The most commonly used lining material is HDPE which has been used successfully in lining projects in New Zealand since 1982. HDPE liners are recognised as one of the best options for applications that require UV, ozone or chemical resistance. As independent installers with vast industry experience you can

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EFFLUENT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT FEATURE

13

The silage silver bullet Silage is both friend and foe in dairying. On one hand it is a nutritious, economic feed, on the other it can spoil quickly and it creates highly corrosive run-off. Farmers are generally well versed in producing this nutritious feed for their herds, but are increasingly seeking assistance with managing its complex storage requirements. Nigel Hodges of Darfield’s Rural Building Solutions (RBS) says along with their quality dairy sheds, demand for their concrete silage bunkers is really growing, and the reason is clear. “Our bunkers not only store grass and maize silage in best condition, they also minimise run-off issues” says Nigel. Silage leachate is one of the most potentially contaminating wastes generated on a farm. It is considered to be up to 200 times stronger than raw domestic sewage, 40 times stronger than dairy shed waste and 8 times stronger than piggery waste. (Source: Otago Regional

Nigel Hodges, Director of RBS

Council Silage & Compost Guide Sheet) Environmental compliance measures mean the possibility of contamination of

PHOTO COURTESY BUSINESS RURAL

waterways and ground water sources must now be removed. Silage bunkers isolate the feed pile and direct the run-off to a central point

where it can be diluted to the appropriate level for land application. Thus a problem by-product becomes re-captured nutrient. “Correct location and construction of silage bunkers is key to compliance”, says Nigel. “We always do site visits to identify the optimum position of bunkers, also taking into account the future plans, minimum clearances to dairy, and the farm as a whole.” Due to the corrosive nature of the leachate, RBS bunkers are specially constructed with specific additives so the concrete surface is protected and does not get eroded. “Our combined 230 years of concreting experience has allowed us to refine the process and achieve the right result”. Another feature of RBS bunkers is having the walls lean out slightly at the top so that even when the silage shrinks in the stack, it maintains contact with the walls. It is important to minimise the air gap that could otherwise form here and

result in spoiled silage. Client feedback shows that RBS silage bunkers are very successful. Recent construction of two 50m long, 15m wide open-ended bunkers indicates storage capacity of 500 tonnes per bunker. The quality of the maize silage is reported as “very good and no waste!!” Also “This is definitely the way forward and we even capture all our ensiling runoffs in a tank – these issues are going to compound in the future.” “The build went remarkably well, I am very happy with the end result” “Silage can be complex” Nigel notes, “but concrete’ bunkers really can be the silver bullet – resolving storage, environmental, spoilage, wastage and cleaning issues all in one go”. If you are considering silage solutions, have a chat with Nigel about your options now, on 0274 270 557 or nigel@ruralbuilding.co.nz Advertising feature

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14

Dairy Focus

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EFFLUENT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT FEATURE

Get farm waste, recycling sorted

If you live in the countryside ...

What happens to the general waste and recycling on your farm?   Burning rubbish used to be a common waste disposal method for farms. Burning general waste contributes to greenhouse gases and often results in toxic ash which can pollute soils.  Burying waste produces leachate when percolating water and other liquids pick up heavy metals and decomposing organic waste. Uncollected leachate can contaminate both water and soil. According to a global assessment by 17 scientists in five countries nearly one-third of the world’s farms have adopted more environmentally friendly practices while continuing to be productive. The researchers analysed farms that use some form of “sustainable intensification,” a term for various practices that use land, water, biodiversity labour, knowledge and technology to both operate farms and reduce environmental impacts like pollution, soil erosion, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here in Canterbury environmental practices are assessed via farm environmental plans, audits and land use consent processes. How you manage your farm waste is important. Fortunately it has

…it’s likely that you are reading this because you have some problem with your septic tank, funny smells or the fact that it’s just not working properly. Our Bio Tab 1T septic tank treatment can quickly, efficiently and economically fix these problems NATURALLY. One tablet can make a world of difference and to maintain a healthy septic tank, add another tablet every three months for an ongoing efficient, odour-free septic tank, operating as it was designed to. If you are farming, on a lifestyle block or otherwise unable to connect to a sewerage system, then a septic tank is the common and practical alternative. Septic tanks need care and like all biological systems are sensitive to conditions in their particular environment. Sometimes, due to toxic chemicals (chlorine for example) entering the

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never been easier to avoid burning or burying farm waste with a collection service available locally. Envirowaste  provide a farm service for general waste and co-mingled recycling. This includes a visit to the farm by Deidre Nuttall to ensure the service is customised to your farm’s requirements. Deidre can provide information that will help your farm workers understand what resources can be put into the co-mingled bin and what to put in general waste. This will make your job so much easier over time and avoid the delays and extra work associated with compliance issues. Call Deidre 027 549 0904 and book a suitable time, or flick Deidre an email on deidre.nuttall@envirowaste.co.nz

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septic tank, the bacteria responsible for the waste treatment die and the process can actually stop working. A Bio Tab 1T treatment can start things up again and avoid costly alternatives such as the need to pump the septic tank out. The Bio Tab solution is well proven, and is NATURAL and SAFE to use. There are no messy hazardous liquids to mix – all you need to do is flush the tablet down the toilet! You will be very impressed with the effectiveness of this technique for fixing septic tank issues. Buy online for just $85 – www.biotreatment.co.nz  Advertising feature

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EFFLUENT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT FEATURE

15

Charlies Takeaways Rakaia Robson Environmental Services Ltd. purchased Charlies Takeaways in July 2014. We pride ourselves on providing an efficient and professional service. Our company specialises in liquid waste removal and disposal. We are proud to own 17 vacuum trucks ranging in tank capacity from 3000 litres to 10,000 litres, a 20,000 litre tractor drawn tanker, dry muck spreaders, a front end loader, stirrers, a water jetter with drain camera, port-a-loos, a 13,000 litre potable water tanker and 15,000 litre trailers, enabling us to remove 25,000 litres of waste per load. Our primary work consists of removing farm effluent from ponds, saucers, wedges, weeping walls and spreading it on land, along with emptying septic tanks, grease traps, sumps, interceptor pits and disposing of waste at a certified treatment plant. We supply and install septic tanks and pumps. With branches in Rakaia and Christchurch, we cover

from the North Canterbury area, down to Ashburton and beyond. Our resource consent

allows us to spread product on land should we need to take it away from your property. We are 100 per cent family

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16

Dairy Focus

EFFLUENT AND WASTE MANAGEMENT FEATURE

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We clean, clear it, and get rid of it Locally owned and operated by Darryl and Kylie Burrowes since 2004, Allens Ashburton is a liquid waste disposal company based right here in Ashburton. We service all of Mid Canterbury and are Ruralco/ ATS suppliers and that gives members a 10 per cent discount on all servicing. We have a great, reliable team who supply prompt and friendly service. The boys are well trained and clean up after themselves! We have two powerful vacuum trucks, a jetting truck (high powered waterblasting), a CCTV camera and a drain machine also. If you are bunged up, blocked up, overflowing, or just plain full then Allens Ashburton can clean it, clear it and get rid of it for you! If you need your septic tank cleaned and serviced, dairy, or any farm, effluent sorted, or even your residential drain unblocked just give the POOCRU a bell! We specialise in sucking! Call Darryl direct on 0274 333 563 or track us down on Facebook, flick us a message and let the POOCRU help you! Advertising feature

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17

New pond safety rules a concern The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) is consulting on proposed new requirements for owners of dams or storage ponds. INZ has met with officials to discuss the proposal and gather more information about how they could work. We are concerned that the proposed regulations cover small ponds and dams that virtually never present a practical risk of flooding events yet could impose significant costs on the owners of dams and storage ponds. The proposed regulations would apply to dams or ponds which are less than four metres high and hold 30,000m3 or more, or are above four metres and hold 20,000m3 or more. This would result in a very large number of farm storage ponds being captured by the legislation, even if they are on plains where any spill would quickly become shallow water. For owners of dams that meet the above criteria, the minimum they would need

Elizabeth Soal

IRRIGATION NZ

to do would be commission a recognised engineer to undertake a Potential Impact Assessment on the dam or pond. This is estimated to cost around $5000. If the engineer considered the impact assessment of a dam/pond failure was medium or high then an expensive dam safety assurance programme and annual audit would be required. The proposed assessment criteria concern us because they appear to result in a bias toward higher potential impact classifications than are practically justified. This results in substantial costs whereas the expense should, in our view, be focused toward those dams that have

significant potential impacts. Even for quite modest sized ponds, the costs of preparing a dam safety assurance programme could range from $6000 to $30,000 with an annual audit cost of around $5000. You can read more about the proposals online at www. mbie.govt.nz/have-yoursay. Consultation closes on August 6. We encourage affected dam and pond owners to prepare a submission on this. The new regulations

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have been in development for a number of years. IrrigationNZ has previously raised our concerns that applying guidelines used to assess large dams is inappropriate for smaller on farm dams and ponds and will create unnecessary costs for farmers. We know from talking with our irrigation scheme members that many of their shareholders have small dams and ponds which will be affected by the proposals. Many non-irrigating farmers who

have effluent ponds or flood capture dams could also be caught by the new regulations and they may be unaware that changes are proposed which will affect them. The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of the Ashburton Guardian Co Ltd or any employee thereof


18

Dairy Focus

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Fonterra reduces reliance on coal Fonterra has announced it will not install any new coal boilers or increase capacity to burn coal at any of its 32 sites around New Zealand as part of its drive toward sustainability. The move reduces its reliance on coal and shaves 11 years off its coal target, chief operating officer for global operations Robert Spurway said. Fonterra’s wider sustainability targets include: ƒƒ Reducing emissions by 30 per cent across all its manufacturing operations by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050; ƒƒ Reducing water use by 20 per cent across manufacturing sites by 2020; ƒƒ A tailored Farm Environment Plan for every Fonterra farmer by 2025; ƒƒ 100 per cent recyclable, reusable and compostable packaging by 2025; ƒƒ Powering its Stirling site in Otago with electricity rather than coal.

Fonterra wants to reduce its reliance on coal.

“One of the emerging themes in our strategy review is that sustainability will be at the heart of everything we do. As part of this, we want to step up our efforts to help New Zealand transition to a zero-carbon economy,” Spurway said. “Our farmer owners are

already some of the most efficient producers of milk in the world. We need to match them in making sure our manufacturing operations and wider supply chain are as efficient as possible.” Spurway said getting out of coal is not as easy as flicking a switch.

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“Transitioning Fonterra’s sites away from coal requires a staged approach. We’re determined to go as fast as we can but there are a number of practical challenges we have to overcome. “For example, right now New Zealand’s energy infrastructure in some

parts of the country simply isn’t set up to handle our requirements. Either there aren’t alternatives to coal available or, if there are, they are not at the scale needed. “There are also cost challenges. Transitioning to cleaner fuels will require additional investment and we need to balance this with remaining competitive. It’s right to take a staged approach. “We know we can’t do it alone,” Spurway said. “More can be achieved through partnerships and businesses working together, like the Climate Leaders Coalition and Sustainable Business Council, to find ways to achieve a zerocarbon economy.” Fonterra’s manufacturing operations are on track to meet its targets to reduce emissions by 30 per cent across all its operations by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050. Fonterra has 32 manufacturing sites across the country, of which about 40 per cent of its current processing energy is from coal. The rest is from natural gas, electricity and wood.

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19

Get up close to winter beet South Island farmers are being urged to turn a chilly chore into an opportunity when they shift dairy heifers and cows on fodder beet this month. “Break feeding can get a bit tedious by this stage of the season,” said agronomist Kris Bailey. “But you’ll never get a better chance to see how well your current winter grazing system is working.” And that means a better result this time next year, because any fixes can be noted well in advance of the busy spring sowing season. “Once spring starts, there’s often so much going on it can be hard to remember exactly what worked, and what didn’t, during winter. “If there are issues, they will be very evident at the moment and it’s fast and easy to take a photo with your phone or make a note in the diary as you see them,” said Bailey, who works in the pasture systems team at Barenbrug Agriseeds. Green leaf (or lack of it) is a key example. Leaf yield and holding

Agronomist Kris Bailey says there is no better time to review what’s worked (and what hasn’t) this winter.

PHOTO SUPPLIED

ability are closely related to protein content in fodder beet and as it is generally a low protein crop, with known

implications for animal health, the more leaf, the better. “There can be a big difference between beet

varieties. Robbos, for instance, had much greener leaf which tested last year at 24.5 per cent protein. This

is significantly higher than several other commonly used cultivars. “So something as simple as changing which beet you sow this spring could mean a better nutritional balance for cows or heifers next winter.” The same goes for soil pugging, loss of sediment and soil P. With so much focus on winter grazing practices, there’s no better time than now to scope out which paddocks are best for beet next season, he said. Contour, size, slope, critical source areas (CSAs), soil type, stock access, water access, grazing pattern and nutrient loss buffer zones cannot be changed once the crop is in the ground. But they are all easy to identify at present, and there are lots of excellent resources available to help farmers pick their most sustainable options for winter 2020, Bailey said. For more detail on best practice winter grazing, visit www.dairynz.co.nz or www.beefandlamb.co.nz.

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20

Dairy Focus

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CALVING FEATURE

Tips to survive calving season Calving is a stressful time on dairy farms but a bit of planning and TLC can go a long way to surviving the season, says health and safety consultant Jane Fowles. Her company, Compliance Partners, has been running a series of workshops around Mid Canterbury for workers involved in calving to share survival tips ranging from mental wellness to slow-cooker recipes. The hour-long workshops also included some words of wisdom from Pup Chamberlain, who shared his own mental health journey as well as talking about five ways to wellness that are important in everyone’s lives, but especially at calving time. Fowles said long hours and a lack of sleep were issues for staff at calving. “The first week of calving everyone is good. People have a plan, they feel good and have meals in the freezer. But by week five, they feel like it will go on forever.” She said people who were tired were at higher risk of injuring themselves and were often not eating properly. “And if they go into calving with mental health not as good as it could have been and they are really pushing themselves, then things can often topple over.”

Cut this wellness reminder out and put it on your fridge. 

Workshop tips were around keeping fatigue under control, sleeping well, eating nutritious food and the dangers of using drugs and alcohol to get by. Fowles said slow-cookers were useful tools and could be filled with soup and kept in the shed during the day for easy access by those on calving duty. She said communal meals were also a good idea as well as taking turns to make a large meal that could be shared.

“If you make a big stew it is great on the first night, but you are sick of it after a few days.” Getting together with other people was also good for morale, she said. Fatigue was a problem and people needed to turn off distractions like Playstations and Facebook when they came home from work and needed to sleep. “Your bed is for two things:

PHOTO SUPPLIED

sleeping and loving.” Fowles said the seven workshops around the district were run free by Compliance Partners to celebrate its 5th anniversary. She was pleased with the response with up to 30 people at each one. The workshops were also a chance to connect with neighbours and enjoy free food prior to the busy calving season, she said.

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CALVING FEATURE

21

Slow cooker goodness for busy days There’s nothing nicer at the end of a working winter day than to walk in the door and smell dinner already cooking in the slow cooker, or crockpot. Just about anything can be popped in a slow cooker and left to its own devices for the day. Rosemary lamb shanks ƒƒ 4 lamb shanks ƒƒ 2T rosemary ƒƒ 1 onion, sliced thinly ƒƒ 1C gravy (brown onion packet mix is good) 1. Line the bottom of your slow cooker with the thinly sliced onion rings. 2. Lay the lamb shanks on top – sprinkle the rosemary over the top and add the gravy. 3. Cover and cook on low for about 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.

1. Cut the beef into 2-2.5cm pieces and season with salt and pepper. 2. Brown the meat in a dash of oil in a hot frying pan; this is best done in 2-3 batches. 3. With the last batch of meat, add the onions and curry paste and cook until fragrant. 4. Put the beef mixture into the slow cooker. Add garlic, kumara, coconut milk and stock, and cover with the lid. 5. Cook on low for 5-6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. 6. Stir in the peas and coriander, recover and continue cooking on high for a further 15-20 minutes. 7. Serve in bowls garnished with shredded coconut and accompany with steamed rice and prawn crackers. Chicken and mushroom casserole ƒƒ 500g chicken breast fillets ƒƒ 250g button mushrooms ƒƒ 250g cream cheese ƒƒ 1 packet French onion soup mix

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I’ve always fed high rates of milk to my calves – 8 L TAD to 4 weeks of age then 6 L OAD. The three things I’ve noticed since using Calf Xtreme are: 1. We no longer struggle with nutritional scours 2. The calves eat heaps more grass 3. We no longer get a post weaning check. (Stu - Edgecumbe) Calf no 17 at 28 days and about 2 weeks after weaning at 77 days of age

“Best calves I’ve ever reared. The difference in our replacements from last year is 10 fold, my bull calves 2 weeks younger than my brothers reached target weight earlier and the rearer picking up calves from us noticed such a difference he jumped on Calf Xtreme for 4000 calves.” Paul (Putaruru)

“All of our calves got Rotavirus this year. Our vet treated one and took dung samples to confirm what was causing them to scour. We doubled the dose rate of Calf Xtreme Plus and after 4 days we noticed that the coats started to improve and they have never looked back since. They were 139kg’s on 29 Nov.” Nick (Te Awamutu)

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Beef and kumara curry ƒƒ 1-1.5kg lean beef for casseroling ƒƒ 1t each salt and ground black pepper ƒƒ 2 onions, peeled and diced ƒƒ 3T Thai-style red curry paste 1. Grease the bottom of the slow cooker ƒƒ 2t minced garlic and place the chicken breast fillets in ƒƒ 2 medium, orange-fleshed kumara, first, then the mushrooms. In a bowl peeled and diced add cream cheese and French onion Calves reared using Calf Xtreme ƒƒ 400g can coconut soup. Mix well and then pour over 50,000 milk ƒƒ 1½ C beef stock the chicken and the mushrooms in the 40,000 ƒƒ 1-1½ C frozen peas slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 and a Calves reared using Calf Xtreme ƒƒ 2T chopped fresh half hours or on high for 5 hours. 30,000 coriander 50,000

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Dairy Focus

22

www.guardianonline.co.nz

CALVING FEATURE

Improved prospects for calf rearing Milligans Feeds, the wholly New Zealand owned and operated family business, is again set to tackle the upcoming calf rearing season head-on this year. After two strong growth years in the calf rearing markets of 2016 and 2017,

last year saw fewer calves reared due to the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak which led many rearers and finishers to opt out because of the highrisk factor of contracting this destructive disease. “There may be the odd farm still going through

a quarantine period this season, but most have been cleared and it should give some positive hope that calf rearing can pick up from where it left off a couple of years ago,” Milligans North Island regional manager Glen McKay said. Despite this disease and other issues, including variable global markets and fluctuating domestic farm gate milk and meat prices, both the dairy and beef industries remain buoyant, which is great for the NZ economy. “Milligans Feeds continues to work hard to produce the best products at competitive prices for the NZ market and has solutions to these problems with milk replacers to suit most farmers’ needs including our new lamb and goat kid whey milk replacers.” Milligans Feeds robot stacking another bag to be sent out.

PHOTO SUPPLIED

McKay says the company has carefully partnered with one of Europe’s largest animal milk replacer manufacturers with proven history of top quality and performance throughout Europe, to offer NZ farmers and rearers more options in the lamb and goat sector with specifically formulated whey milk replacers for NZ conditions. With the spring 2019 calf rearing season approaching fast, rearers should be proactive with their CMR pricing and purchasing to ensure they are getting the right product at the right price to suit their needs. “There are many CMR products on the market and choosing the right one can be a daunting process. “Milligans Feeds can help make things easier with a complete range of milk replacers including colostrum, whole and skim based, and also whey-based powders for calves, lambs and goats.” Understanding the product in the way it works within an animal is an important factor, especially the differences

between whey and casein proteins. Both are excellent at growing young animals but correct feeding is a key aspect in fully utilising their native functions, he says. “Talking to the experts before dismissing any product is recommended as you may be missing out on something good because of a lack of knowledge about it.” The Milligans calf milk replacer range this season includes ExcelPlus CMR, a premium CMR with added growth stimulating and immune health package; Classic CMR, its most popular powder; and GOcalf CMR, the economy choice, as well as Multi-Milk Replacers in two, five, 10 and 20kg sizes made from traditional whole and skim milk. This year the company will introduce GOlamb and GOgoat, full whey milk replacers that now complete a full range to suit every need. For more detail visit www.milligansfeeds.co.nz Advertising feature

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GOlamb WHEY and GOgoat WHEY Milk Replacers are whey-based milk replacers developed by Milligans Feeds in conjunction with our European partner in Holland specifically for rearing Lambs and Goats in New Zealand conditions.

Check out www.milligansfeeds.co.nz for more information on the range and where to buy. BY MILLIGANS FEEDS

0 8 0 0 7 8 6 2 5 3 | f e e d s a l e s @ m i l l i g a n s . c o . n z | w w w. m i l l i g a n s f e e d s . c o . n z


www.guardianonline.co.nz

M RO nation F E es

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* GO bag design may vary from what is shown in this advertisement

A proud 100% New Zealand owned and operated family business based in Oamaru, South Island, Milligans Feeds is one of New Zealand’s leading suppliers of animal nutrition products. Having over 30 years’ experience in producing high quality, top performing milk replacers, Milligans Feeds has been the choice for generations. With the growing range of milk replacers and animal health supplement products, Milligans has you covered!

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24

Dairy Focus

www.guardianonline.co.nz

OUT AND ABOUT

Farming Families Day at the Races Rural life met a day at the races earlier this month when the second Farming Families Day at the Races was held at the Ashburton Racecourse

140719-HM-0282

Photographer Heather Mackenzie headed along for Dairy Focus to capture some of those in attendance.

Above – Ashburton Races Fashion Winner Willow Thomas and Craig Wiggins. 140719-HM-0115

140719-HM-0117

Above – Ashburton Races Winner Fashion in the Field boys Lincoln Thomas. 140719-HM-0285 Right – Cliff Dynes and Jim Cruickshank.

Above – Marty Larter and Fen Greer.

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OUT AND ABOUT

25

140719-HM-0135

Above – Antionette Archer, Loretta Dobbs, Penny Sparrow. 140719-HM-0130 Below – Hadley Edwards, Stacey McAllister and George Lumsden. 140719-HM-0131

Above – Joan Cocks and Lisa McPherson. Below – Kathleen Edge and Marie Smolenski.

140719-HM-0121

Above – Kate and Michael Templeton.

140719-HM-0144

Below – Jess Letham and Monique Smith. 140719-HM-0162

Above – Lianne Braam, Willy and Jeanet Leferink. 140719-HM-0165

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Dairy Focus

26

Motorcycles and ATVs have helped transform NZ By Neil Cushen Generally now considered a must, quad bikes were only introduced less than 40 years ago. The ability to go anywhere quickly on a farm and carry essentials to do a job has, for most farmers, been a godsend. The mobility of each farm worker and being able to cover vast areas of tough terrain has increased the efficiency of farms and driven up productivity. Farmers are a tough breed and need vehicles to match their needs and most have found their match with the available farm bikes, quads and side by side ATV’s. Farm bikes and ATV’s have joined the “Kiwi as” folk-lore along with No.8 wire and gumboots. We love them and they do a great job. Awareness is now rightly heightened about the risks of injuries. Safety is becoming endemic in

Farm bikes and ATV’s have joined the “Kiwi as” folklore along with No.8 wire and gumboots

good farm management and good management is becoming the norm. It is essential that all farmers and farm workers take the messages on board and the manufacturers continue with their safety improvements. We all want the benefits these indispensable machines have to offer whilst mitigating the risks to the riders. Productivity must include the safety and the welfare of all farmworkers and safety must always come first. We are improving but the figures suggest we still have some way to go. Advertising feature P

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ATVS AND MOTORCYCLES FEATURE

27

Electric bike an eye-opener By Duncan Humm Our hopes weren’t that high for Black Sheep’s sur-ron electric bike, but that quickly changed. Paddock raced it against an AG100, would say speed wise they were about the same, we swapped riders/bikes and had an even share of wins/losses, always close. Took it to a trail ride at Port Levy. Perhaps the biggest challenge of all, could it make it round the main loop at full speed on one battery? Climb big hills? Cope with slippery tracks/ rocks/big bumps and still be fast enough not to get bored? All of the above! Did main loop without holding back and wearing normal motorcross riding gear. Passed a few other bikes, got through a slippery creek and scrambled up a greasy hill many others were stuck on effortlessly. As I got to the top I heard a guy say ‘bugger me that’s an electric bike!’ Max speed on that loop

JOINING THE REVOLUTION, WHY?

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was 84km/h, which I got to by throwing it down a big downhill section to really test its suspension and brakes to the limit. Made it back to base with 20 per cent battery up my sleeve. General farm use, put it to work in my normal work day, would always get a day’s work out of it no sweat. Found it most handy due to its size things like fitting neatly down a spray tramline in my kale crop, picking up and taking home when swapping machines from our two yards (pick it up and throw on back of ute or quad it’s so light!). And also because we’re close enough to our local store,

PHOTO SUPPLIED

since it’s road legal classed as a moped I could boost up for a coffee, handy as don’t need a motorcycle licence to ride on the road, and rego is ~$100/ year! The headlight I found was pretty good in the dark, unfortunately didn’t have an AG to compare against. Wear and tear should only really be brake pads and chain/sprockets. Apparently any quality mountain bike brake pads fit so probably $75 to replace front/rear pads, chain I’d change to an o-ring for extended life. What I didn’t like about it: For farm use it needs more

109 Worcester Street, Christchurch Email: info@blacksheeptrading.co.nz

I’ve always been interested in the concept because of its environmental friendliness, potential lower running costs and ease of use. I’ve looked at a few other options but they had build quality issues with important bits not working and rubbish battery life, this bike seems to be more evolved, I’m not 100 per cent sure yet how practical it’ll be for on farm but I’m convinced enough to give it a shot. Nick Hoogeveen, Kintore Farms mud protection from mud flicking around a bit, dealer can source better guards, or would be easy to add some rubber here and there to improve (must stress this bike was configured as an urban commuter so bit harsh to expect it to cope with mud). Suspension, although it could handle rough stuff and high speed with ease due to it basically being higher end mountain bike gear it wasn’t as good at low speeds, probably could

adjust a bit to correct. For farm you will notice it doesn’t have a carrier, first rainy day in the workshop would be easy to crank up the mig and whip one up, some solid mounts where rear subframe attaches that a carrier could bolt on to easily, that would also improve rear mud splatter. All in all I was really impressed with what the SurRon could cope with.

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Your local Can-Am Dealerships: Your local Can-Am Dealerships: ASHBURTON - Ashburton Can-Am. 724 East St, Netherby, Ashburton. Ph: 03 307 4846 - M: 021 517 151

307 7517 4846 -- M: 021 533 517 141 151 ASHBURTON - Ashburton Can-Am. 724 East St,Washdyke, Netherby, Timaru. Ashburton. Ph: 03 688 TIMARU - Timaru Can-Am. 127 Hilton Highway, TIMARU - Timaru Can-Am. 127 Hilton Highway, Washdyke, Timaru.

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Profile for Ashburton Guardian

Dairy Focus | July 2019  

Dairy Focus | July 2019