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Dairy Focus Dairy cusFo-


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??? HAPPY FARMERS Pages 14-17

HAPPY COWS, Page ???

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Dairy Focus


Farmers’ confidence low





A labour shortage is getting to farmers “gloomy’’ about the general economic outlook and their farm businesses making a loss. Few farmers expected economic conditions to improve in a Federated Farmers survey. Only 56 per cent of farmers were making a profit, 32.4 per cent are breaking even and 9.3 per cent are making a loss. Federated Farmers vice-

Tim Cronshaw


president Andrew Hoggard said the survey found the lowest level of confidence in the economy since 2009, when the Global Financial Crisis was emerging. “As with the wider business community, I think we’re seeing concern about the impact of global uncertainty and instability on our key export markets, with the likes of Brexit and USChina trade relations.” Only 5.1 per cent of nearly 1500 farmers surveyed in January expected general economic conditions to improve over the next year and 45.9 per cent expected they would worsen. The level of Andrew Hoggard says dairy and arable pessimism farmers have found staff recruitment is a five-fold particularly hard. increase from

about 18 months ago. Just over 40 per cent of farmers found it harder over the past six months to recruit skilled and motivated staff. “While that might reflect seasonal factors, it’s also driven by the generally tight labour market and immigration restrictions,” Hoggard said. “Dairy and arable farmers have found staff recruitment particularly hard.” He said meat and wool farmers continued to be the most positive about their profitability. “But dairy’s worsened – no surprise given the fall in dairy commodity prices and farmgate milk price forecasts in the second half of 2018 – and arable has also fallen slightly,” he said. About one third of farmers expected farm profitability to worsen over the next year with 18 per cent more optimistic of profit improvement. Farmers in most regions expected their debt to increase over the next year, with the exception of those on the North Island’s east coast. In line with the last four surveys, regulation and

compliance costs remain the greatest concern for farmers. However, concerns about climate change policy, the emissions trading scheme and the political situation have decreased. While there were international issues, most of the pessimism was resulting from government policies, said National’s agriculture spokesman Nathan Guy. He said funding removed for water storage projects, a costly rebranding exercise of MPI and slashed research and development programmes were hard on farmers. “Other potential headwinds adding to the unrest are proposed restrictions on hill country cropping, winter grazing restrictions, increased union access and the likely recommendation of the Tax Working Group to add a Capital Gains Tax to the family farm alongside a new suite of water and environmental taxes.’’ Guy said the primary sector was being punished by immigration policy and industrial relations reforms, such as the minimum wage in April, which were set to increase costs further.

GPS-guiding cow collars coming soon GPS-guiding cow collars that will allow farmers to shift and monitor their herds remotely will go on the marketplace in April. Agritech start-up Halter has been testing the technology on a farm in the Waikato for the past 18 months and is ready to commercially launch the collar. Halter chief executive and founder Craig Piggott

revealed the product update at the NZ Young Farmers Conference in Christchurch. ”We have just finished setting up our production line in China and we have had our first collars off the line come back. We are targeting April as our commercial launch. It’s all happening very quickly.” The Auckland-based company developed the GPSenabled collar which allows

cows to be guided around farm using a smartphone app. The technology also gives alerts when cows are on heat or calving, detects lameness and alerts farmers immediately and establishes virtual boundaries around farms to keep cows out of waterways. Piggott said the system used audio and vibration to train a cow. “The smartest cows only

take two hours to train. The farmer then has the ability to use the remote technology to shift the cows around the farm.” The solar-powered collars would reduce labour and infrastructure costs, he said. ”The collars can be programmed to bring the cows to the milking shed at certain times and identify cows on heat. The collar has

huge animal welfare benefits, especially on larger farms. If a cow stops eating because she’s sick or lame, she can be identified sooner.” Virtual fences save time by eliminating the need for farmers to erect temporary electric fences. The collars will have no upfront cost, but farmers will pay a monthly fee to use the software.



Retiring young farmers leave legacy Tim Cronshaw


Young Farmer of the Year champions Cole Groves and Dean Rabbidge are standing aside to let someone else take their seats on a board overseeing the competition. The long-serving duo are set to retire in July after first joining the board in 2014. Groves, 32, is an Ashburton dairy farmer who won the Tasman regional final in 2011, and Rabbidge, 33, is a sheep, beef and dairy farmer from Wyndham. Rabbidge won the Otago/ Southland regional final in 2013 and 2014 and after sitting on the board became its chairman from 2016 to last year. “The two achievements I’m most proud of are getting the new board structure over the line and developing a formal strategy for the contest,” he said. “I got a lot out of competing and this role has been a way for me to give back to the contest.” Groves started serving on the board during his time as chairman of NZ Young Farmers and was appointed for a second term in 2017. He said the new strategy launched last year had given the contest direction and would ensure the event showcasesd the primary industries. “I’ve made some really good friends through my involvement with the contest and grown my own skills at the same time.”

Dean Rabbidge and Cole Groves (right).

The contest board is made up of eight people, including four appointed members. Applications are being taken for the vacancies, opening on March 1 and closing on April 15. Groves said candidates did not need a lot of contest experience, but needed to understand the event and be passionate about helping it grow. “It’s hugely rewarding, but it is a big commitment. We have four face-to-face meetings a year, attend two regional finals and then spend a week at the grand final,” Rabbidge said. Applicants are not required to be NZ Young Farmers

members. NZYF contest board chairwoman Rebecca Brown said the contribution of Groves and Rabbidge to the board had been immense, driven by their desire to give back to the primary industries. “They have helped overhaul the contest to ensure it will continue to innovate, thrive and remain relevant,” she said. She said their departure was an opportunity for young people to broaden their governance skills and help drive involvement in the agrifood sector. Two successful candidates will be appointed following the competition grand final in July.


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Pamu’s increased profit pleasing State owned enterprise Pamu, formerly known as Landcorp, has posted a six-month profit after taxes of $29 million which is up from a year ago. Pamu’s result in the six months to December compares with the net profit of $21m made for the half year ending 2017. Chief executive Steven Carden said the increased half year profit was a pleasing result, reflecting good weather conditions and good trade terms for the company’s main products. “On an EBITDAR (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and revaluations) basis, which we use as a key measure of performance, the half year represented a loss of $3m compared with a loss of $6m in the prior period. The loss is largely due to the seasonality of Pamu’s operations since the bulk of livestock revenue is earned in the second half of the year.” He said the improvement reflected an increase in revenue of $5m offset by increased expenses of $3m

Tim Cronshaw


and a lower loss from equity accounted investments of $1m. The revenue increase was mainly from an increase in milk revenue of $4m and small increases in livestock and forestry. “Total operating expenses were up by $3m overall, which included costs relating to the massive Rural Connect broadband rollout across all farms, along with the impact of increased fuel costs and rent on the Wairakei pastoral lease in the half year.’’ Carden said he was pleased Pamu kept farm work and maintenance costs flat despite price rises in fertiliser, and increased harvesting costs as farms took advantage of good pasture growing conditions.

Pamu chief executive Steven Carden

“We also had higher calf rearing, animal health, and breeding costs in response to the threat posed by mycoplasma bovis. “This is a tribute to our on farm teams, who work hard to farm in a cost-effective manner.”

He said a fair value gain on biological assets of $51m was mainly from firm lamb prices, which was partially offset by an increased tax expense of $7m after a review of the tax treatment of Pamu’s long lived buildings. “For the 2018/19 financial


year, we expect to report EBITDAR of between $37m and $42m. However, as always, commodity prices and weather conditions can fluctuate and this will impact our final result, as would any unexpected currency fluctuations.’’




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A levy proposal for M. bovis has been presented to dairy farmers.

Dairy’s share of response to cost farmers Dairy farmers will pay 3.9 cents per kilogram of milksolids from their milk price to cover their share of the response costs for the mycoplasma bovis disease if a proposal levy is successful. A maximum of this amount would be removed each year from their milk price. Fonterra at this stage is forecasting a range of $6-$6.30/kg, excluding share earnings, for the 2018-19 season and other companies are around this mark. Farmer support is needed for DairyNZ to get the levy over the line. The proposed 3.9c/kg levy is the maximum cap. The industry good organisation says dairy farmers gave it their


Tim Cronshaw


support in 2017/18 to sign the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA) to represent them in biosecurity decision-making and to fund the dairy sector share of any biosecurity response through a new levy. Every dairy farmer supplying milk for the 2018/19 season has been sent an information pack this

month with levy details and a feedback form. Farmers need to give their feedback on the levy rate by February 28. At this stage it looks like the levy would be set at or near the maximum cap of 3.9c/ kg for two to three years and then reduce as response costs dropped unless another major disease arrived. If farmers refuse to pay the DairyNZ levy the Ministry for Primary Industries would step in and introduce its own levy under the Biosecurity Act. The levy amount and payback period would be at its discretion without input from DairyNZ. Under the levy structure, larger and higher milk producing farms would pay a

larger proportion than smaller farmers at a milksolid rate. DairyNZ says larger farms have a larger disease risk. The 32 per cent biosecurity contribution was negotiated by industry and the Government when the decision was made to eradicate M.bovis last May. Dairy farmers will foot 94 per cent of the industry contribution with beef farmers paying the remainder. The Government is paying 68 per cent of the estimated $870 million to contain the cattle disease. Beef+Lamb NZ is due to go to beef cattle farmers likely with a proposal to fund their portion through a cull fee per head. All dairy farmers will be exempt from the beef cull fee and will only be charged the

levy on milksolids. DairyNZ says it is unable to build reserves with existing farmer funding from a commodity levy to cover disease costs because commodity levy funds can only be used for activities described under the levy, which has been defined as biosecurity readiness activities only. DairyNZ says the phased eradication of M. bovis is looking achievable based on encouraging signs from the spring bulk milk testing programme and a calf rearing survey. Meetings to provide farmers with an update on the response and the levy were held in Darfield, Gore, Timaru and the West Coast last week.

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EDITORIAL COMMENT Our hearts go out to farmers and evacuated residents in the blaze zone of the Tasman district fires. This is a challenging time for them. The blaze began in Pigeon Valley on February 5 and burned through about 2300-2400 hectares. It’s hard enough dealing with the vagaries of farming, managing stock and growing food without being forced to cope with parched farms and orchards and weeks of heat and high winds that must be nearing drought. Add fire now to the stress on rural communities. The fire swept through farmland, forestry and smaller properties. Then there was the headache of managing or moving stock for owners evacuated from properties. Appropriately, a medium-scale adverse event was declared for Tasman district, unlocking more Government support for farmers and growers. A donation of $100,000 to the mayoral relief fund will go towards repairing damage done to homes and properties in the process of pushing back against the fires with an additional $50,000 pledged for rural support. While the latter funding won’t

Tim Cronshaw


compensate the losses incurred by the farmers, it will provide them with support from rural people they trust. Some people are calling the Tasman drought worse than the 2001 event. Amazingly, it was only a few months ago that we were marvelling at the wet spring. In some pockets

of Mid Canterbury it was the second wettest spring since 1867. Farmers know more than most that seasons change and that there are seasons within seasons. Dealing with the dry spell is not the exclusive domain of Tasman. Already, we are seeing countrysides crispen along much of the east coast of the South Island. Brown is the dominant colour if you fly over the Canterbury Plains. Rapid grass growth from the wet spring has wilted to rank pasture. Along roadsides, riverbeds and other farm margins all it takes is one spark of machinery against a stone to ignite a blaze. There’s no need to tell farmers this. They know all too well the hazards of fire.

The Pigeon Valley fire.

Dairy commodity prices nudge ahead Dairy commodity prices nudged ahead again at the Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction. For the sixth event in a row, prices have shifted upwards since December 4, in contrast to a December to May slide previously. The rise by 0.9 per cent will give dairy farmers confidence that commodity prices have stabilised, at least for now, and suggests that the payout is unlikely to drop further unless there is yet another turnaround.

Tim Cronshaw


Global dairy commodity prices lifted to an average price of $4753 a tonne ($US3271/t) at the February 19 auction. Prices increased for all

commodities except lactose which dropped 2.9 per cent and whole milk powder eased 0.2 per cent from two weeks ago. NZX analyst Robert Gibson said the overall direction of prices was in line with market expectations leading to the event, but the final results were not as bullish as expected. Whole milk powder prices slipped to $US3022/t from the previous event. Gibson said whole milk powder volumes were up 15

per cent on the previous event, and up 48 per cent on the previous year. Skim milk powder prices lifted 2.8 per cent to $US2580/t with volumes up nearly 10 per cent on the previous event and 46 per cent on the previous year. Gibson said skim milk powder prices had continued to increase which indicated strong demand. “Since the December 4 GDT event, when SMP prices started their rally, average GDT prices for SMP have


lifted from $US1970/t to $US2580/t – up $US610/t).’’ Anhydrous milkfat (AMF) increased 0.7 per cent and butter prices 1.2 per cent. Volumes were down for both commodities. Rennet casein prices lifted 2.7 per cent to $US5740/t and lactose prices decreased to $US998. At the auction 169 bidders bought 25,324t, compared with 23,326t of product sold at the last event. The next GDT event is on March 5.

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DIRA submission worth a read Back in June of last year I had real fears the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA) review was going to become a political football rather than a serious look at what was best for the dairy industry and our country. At that stage Shane Jones had launched a blistering attack on Fonterra, its chairman and its performance. Winston Peters doubled down, giving Jones his full backing, and Jones renewed his attack in September. I can only assume Fonterra had read my earlier column on how to deal with criticism because their public response was perfect: They said nothing. Without fuel, the attacks lost steam and the focus shifted away from Fonterra to more responsive targets, and this is an excellent result because Fonterra’s DIRA submission is good, really good, and it deserves to be judged on its merits and not be used as stick to beat the company with. I would urge all dairy farmers to read the

Craig Hickman

Fielder, for example, contracts millions of litres for local supply and even has Fonterra do the processing for them. The open entry rule essentially requires Fonterra to accept all new suppliers so long as they are no further away than the furthest farm already being collected. Given Greenpeace’s “too many cows” campaign and the public backlash over the 5000 cow dairy conversion in the MacKenzie basin, this should be a no-brainer. Imagine if Fonterra could refuse to allow you to be a new supplier unless all your waterways were fenced and best practice riparian planting had been followed. We could be on the front foot with environmental compliance at a farm level rather than playing catch-up. This review is the chance for our Government to allow the dairy industry to move forward with confidence; I hope they use the opportunity to do what’s best. The time for cheap political point scoring is over.

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submission; you can find it on the FarmSource website under the “news” tab. You don’t even have to read the whole thing, the letter from chief executive Miles Hurrell sums it up nicely and Appendix A gives nice detail if you want it. I think the rest of it is there to keep the lawyers happy. If I can read and understand it then I’m sure the ministers and officials will have no problems. DIRA came into being in 2001, allowing the formation of Fonterra which achieved one part of its dual purpose, to establish a large scale exporter of dairy products. The second purpose of DIRA was encouraging competition and protecting dairy farmers and domestic

Regulated milk supply is being used to make product for export.

consumers. The two big issues I wanted to see addressed in this review were access to regulated milk and the requirement for Fonterra to accept all new suppliers, known as open entry. The regulated milk supply, where Fonterra is required to supply milk essentially at cost to competitors while they get their own supply going, was intended to foster domestic competition. Instead this milk was, and still is, used to make product for export.

Off the top of my head I can think of four expoliticians heavily involved with dairy companies. They knew DIRA would allow them to compete internationally with Fonterra and gain a foothold overseas without the expense of first establishing their own supply chain. There’s plenty of milk being supplied at cost to ensure domestic competition and no need to continue subsiding a competitor’s export ambitions. Goodman






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Understanding rotation lengths New Zealand farms have reputations as lush, green properties that grow enough grass to enable cattle to be fed on pasture alone. However, increasing temperatures have reminded farmers they should never take pasture for granted. Indeed, in this day and age an unprepared farmer will struggle to fully feed his herd on pasture, instead relying heavily on palm kernel and urea to either supplement the pasture, or boost its growth. A far better option for both the farm and the farmer’s pocket is to learn better pasture management skills - so grass gets the opportunity to grow to its full potential and animal health problems can be averted. A key component of pasture management is getting rotation length right. Rotation length is the time it takes for cattle to go around the farm, grazing a planned area per day, and return to the first paddock grazed. Here are some points to consider when establishing a suitable rotation length:

David Law


Rotation length should be adjusted according to the speed at which grass is growing. At times of the year when growth rate is quick, like spring, rotation length should be quicker so the cows can keep up with the grass growing ahead of them. If cows are leaving more than the planned excess after grazing (residual) then areas need to be dropped out for silage. If the established rotation length is showing the cows are leaving less than desired residual behind, then the diet needs supplementing with extra feed in the form of silage, hay, crops or meal and the rotation needs lengthening. While growth rate is slow it

Keeping on top of grazing rotations keeps cows well fed.

is pointless to give cows more area, which in turn speeds up the rotation and gives even less time for grass to return to the desired pre-graze level. In times of slow growth more supplements can be fed on a daily basis to extend the rotation length to match up with the growth rate. To establish an ideal rotation length: Establish ideal pre-graze level (eg 2800 kilograms of dry matter (DM) a hectare) Establish ideal residual level (eg 1500kgDM/ha) Subtract the residual from the pre-graze to give

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the available drymatter (eg 2800kgDM/ha minus 1500kgdm/ha equals 1300avkgDM/ha). The available drymatter divided by the daily growth rate (eg 65kgDM/ha per day) gives the ideal rotation length for the growth rate: in this case, a 20-day rotation. Establish herd demand by taking feed required by cows and multiply by number of cows (eg 18kgDM/cow x 450 cows = 8100kgDM.) Then take the available dry matter of 1300 avkgDM/ ha and multiply by the total area available to graze per

day (eg. 6ha) to establish allotted feed for the herd per day (1300kgDM x 6ha = 7800kgDM). The daily herd demand of 8100kgDM/day, minus the available 7800kgDM/day, leaves a deficit of 300kgDM. My conclusion here is that to maintain a 20-day rotation at target levels, 6ha of grass and 1.5 bales of silage are required (one bale being 200kgDM). As pasture growth rate reduces, the rotation length will need to be increased; even in dry periods, the grass still grows. The role of residuals remains incredibly important. If you reduce residuals and graze your farm to the ground, it is important to note that the residual will act as a blanket to protect soil drying out. As we move from drought conditions to rain and new grass growth in the autumn, pasture management practices are subject to many variables – and a little bit of measuring and planning does make life easier.



Helping reduce nutrient losses IrrigationNZ recently released a new guide to using fertigation which could help change how we use irrigators in the future. Fertigation is the application of nutrients via irrigators and it’s increasingly being adopted as a good environmental practice overseas. By applying nutrients through an irrigator small quantities of fertiliser can be applied at a time, resulting in more uptake of nutrients by plants and less leaching into groundwater. The guide was developed following a fertigation masterclass session we held last year to discuss fertigation best practice. IrrigationNZ also organised a study tour to Nebraska in September for 25 of our members to look at new irrigation technology and practices. Our tour group included farmers, irrigation designers, farm consultants and irrigation scheme representatives. Fertigation was the most common way they applied fertiliser on irrigated farms

Steve Breneger


in Nebraska. It saved time on farms, and allowed more precise fertiliser application and also reduced risk. One story we heard about was from a corn farmer who paid off the cost of a fertigation system in one season when they had very heavy rain. This meant he lost his crops but he hadn’t applied fertiliser yet so he didn’t waste his fertiliser too. Fertiliser is one of their biggest farm expenses. Using fertigation is seen as a way to limit the movement of nutrients beneath the root zone of the crop and we saw some research indicating that plant uptake of nutrients through fertigation is very high, so using fertigation

A mobile fertigation system allows small amounts of fertiliser to be applied by an irrigator along with water.

could potentially reduce nutrient leaching significantly. The new guide covers how to use fertigation and it’s targeted at farmers and it is also helpful for service industry representatives who need to understand how to design and use fertigation systems. It explains the terminology and options available and the pros and cons of these as well as some pitfalls to avoid. Fertigation can be used to

apply a range of nutrients however some of the nutrients shouldn’t be mixed and applied in one dose so there is advice on that. Currently, fertigation is used in many places worldwide and is resulting in nutrient savings but it’s rarely used in New Zealand except in horticulture. Everything else has changed on farms over the past few generations but we are still using a 60 year application method for fertiliser.

Pamu, IrrigationNZ and Ballance Agri-Nutrients are working on a project to test the use of fertigation and measure nutrient use and losses which will provide some data for Overseer. Although the project has only started running this summer it’s already showing that overall fertiliser use has been reduced while pasture production remains good. Within a few years the cost of installing the fertigation system will be paid off, and Pamu expects to save costs as a result of the change. As part of the project a Master’s student will be engaged and supervised by Lincoln University. They will calculate nutrient losses from the fertigation trial over the next two summers. There are also a handful of farmers out there – including some from our tour – who are already steaming ahead with their own plans to use fertigation. So it’s all change on the farm for the better. Steve Breneger is technical manager with IrrigationNZ


Dairy Focus


Minimising heat stress of cows Tempertures have been very high over the summer months and people are enjoying their summer holidays with long days at the beach, waterskiing and swimming. At home we turn on the air conditioning or have a fan blowing through the night to help us sleep. We enjoy temperatures of 20-25 degrees, and I am amazed how many people believe that to be the same for cows. The optimum temperature for a dairy cow is between 5-15 degrees. It does depend on the humidity, but when the temperature rises above 15 degrees a cow is starting to feel warm. The reason why this is so much lower than for people is because a cow’s rumen produces a lot of heat as it is digesting food. As external temperatures rise, it is not unusual to see cows congregating around a water trough - just standing. Somehow this gives them a measure of relief or minimises the effect of the heat on them. It doesn’t take long to find

Fred Hoekstra


cows panting in the paddock or in the holding yard. When you have cows in the yard you can often feel the heat radiating off them. Heat stress has been shown to have a big impact on lameness. The heat itself is stressful but also the dehydration that often goes along with it. Dehydration does damage to the soft tissue in the body and this can occur within a few hours. It is important to do whatever we can to minimise the heat stress on our cows. Shelter in the paddocks would be great but often trees give minimal shade for the cows to stand in - that’s if we have trees for them. It is hard to supply enough

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shelter for cows but there are many other things we can do including: provide more water troughs in a paddock, on tracks and by a cow shed. One thought is to seal off the meal troughs in a cowshed and fill them with water if you don’t feed meal any more. This would help cow flow in the shed and it would provide water for all cows. Even the less dominant ones will have an opportunity to drink as much water as they want without being pushed away. Milk production will also improve when the most important nutrient is properly provided for.


Some other suggestions are to make sure the longer walks are being walked in the cool of the day. It can be tempting to have cows closer to a shed overnight, so you don’t have to get up quite so early to get them in in the morning but this is not so cow friendly when we have such hot weather. Having sprinklers in the yard to cool cows down is very helpful. It needs to be said that it is better to use slightly warmer water as cold water is too much of a shock to the system. Misters in the cow shed are also helpful alongside fans to

suck out all the warm air in order to cool cow sheds down as much as possible. This will also help keep fly populations down, which is another considerable stress factor for cows in the heat. Undoubtedly there are other things we can do to make the cows’ environment more cow friendly. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either but the benefits to them are enormous and therefore the benefits to you as well. I would be interested to hear how you are managing the heat stress with your cows and how the heat is impacting lameness rates.



Farmers embrace drone technology Moving stock has just got easier with the release of a drone from a New Zealand company that can be adapted to make it bark like a sheepdog. The latest drone, by DJI Ferntech, has new features to assist Kiwi farmers in their daily operations, including an audio option. DJI Ferntech spokesman Adam Kerr said a siren feature with a loudspeaker on the Mavic 2 Enterprise model had the audio ability to add barking noises. “We have already seen success stories from farmers who have added sirens to larger Phantom craft. With the Mavic 2 Enterprise, DJI has now provided a superior tool which not only integrates this siren feature into a loudspeaker, but you can now record any audio you please to play back at a sound level able to be heard from hundreds of metres away.” He said farmers had embraced drone technology over the past two years to help with jobs that were dirty,

Tim Cronshaw


dangerous or dull. The latest model was designed to make farming operations more efficient and safe. For farmers to fully use drones for shifting stock, they needed to be modified with a siren. A port on top of the drone allows the addition of accessories, such as loudspeakers and spotlights. The Mavic 2 model also has a 12 megapixel camera with optical zoom that can capture video footage. Farmers have been using them as an eye in the sky for checking stock, examining troughs and assessing hard-toreach fence lines. The addition of a zoom for closer inspection, spotlight for low light operations and

A drone made by a New Zealand company can be adapted to make it bark like a sheepdog.

a loudspeaker, able to be customised, makes operation easier than before. In cold climates, selfheating batteries help the drones perform in sub-zero temperatures.

Bay of Plenty farmer David Rowlands said the drone had made his days a little easier. “We use [it] on our farm to carry out stock surveillance, especially around lambing and calving time. We can fly up to

our mob and see if there are any sheep or cattle needing assistance in no time at all,” he said. Kerr said farmers were using the craft and reducing their risk of injury.


Download the app onto your phone and start reporting.


Dairy Focus


Irrigators dive into Nebraska water

At the Nebraska University Extension Centre trial farm the group could see corn growing reach new levels.

Attending a Cornhuskers football match was an off-farm highlight for the touring party.

A busman’s holiday has convinced Ashburton farmer Charles Ross that he should lower his farm’s nitrate loading by introducing fertigation after seeing it in action in Nebraska. Ross was among 25 irrigators, farm and environmental consultants and irrigation scheme and service leaders who went to the United States on a five-day trip last year organised by IrrigationNZ to find fresh ways to improve environmental management in New Zealand. Among the irrigation innovations the group saw was fertigation – the delivery of small amounts of liquid nutrients to crops through centre pivot and linear irrigation systems. Ross says he is impressed by fertigation and some of the new irrigation technology the group viewed. “I will be looking at fertigation as a way to lower our nutrient loading, and I also want to control all the pivots on our property from a cellphone as soon as possible.” Darfield farmer Paul Jarman is another member of the group excited about the prospects for fertigation at his family property, Essendon Farms. “The potential for introducing fertigation in New Zealand looks promising, as we are under a lot of pressure here to make our use of nitrogen more efficient.’’ He says fertigation will bring environmental benefits because nutrients, particularly

Tim Cronshaw


nitrogen, and water can be applied more often and in smaller amounts from centre pivot nozzles. “Most of us hadn’t had much to do with it and there’s probably a little bit in New Zealand probably with horticulture and hydroponics, but this was with mainstream broad acre farming.’’ Applying fertiliser from the centre pivot will save tractor movements over paddocks, he says. Jarman says he can see it working for growing grass for dairying and for growing crops at Essendon Farms. Start-up costs do not look to be overly expensive, he says. Other eye-openers for him were new nozzle designs, precision agriculture technology and track tyres with tread for both directions of a centre pivot. The tyres cause less rutting and have just landed in New Zealand. Jarman says the Nebraskans were quite innovative in trying to protect groundwater. A large corporate dairy farm with 115 centre pivots was bought through irrigator levies or taxes and retired so water could be returned to streams or left in the ground. Fertigation is often used in

The tour group meets local farmers at a barbecue in Imperial Nebraska.

Paul Jarman likes the look of fertigation and is keen to try it at his farm. PHOTOS SUPPLIED

Colorado and Nebraska. Trials by the Irrigation Research Centre in Yuma and the University of Nebraska have shown that fertigation reduces the amount of nitrogen that is applied, while providing more consistent yields. The group visited the world’s largest irrigated farm show, the University of

Nebraska’s Water for Food Global Institute, research farms and research trials and irrigation schemes. MHV Water chief executive Mel Brooks says the trip would encourage collaboration within the irrigator sector. “I know there are opportunities that will deliver improved environmental and economic results in both the short and longer term,’’ says Brooks. Jarman found it interesting to hear about the history of Nebraska from experts. “Nebraska was one of the states which was devastated by the dust bowl storms in the depression and farming families had to leave the land. After the depression they started to adopt better land management practices to keep their top soil. They also invested in irrigation systems and the state is now very productive.’’ By 1932, 750,000 acres of farmland was abandoned in Nebraska because of soil erosion and dust storms. On “Black Sunday” in 1935 strong winds blew an estimated 300

million tons of topsoil from the prairie states as far as the east coast and Washington, turning the sky black in its path. More lately, Nebraskans have experienced some of the problems that New Zealand farmers are putting their heads together to solve. Nitrates entering groundwater are a major concern for its farmers. However, the state has managed to turn a trend of increasing nitrate levels around in many areas. IrrigationNZ says farmers are investing in a range of farm and catchment based solutions such as augmenting rivers and managing aquifer recharge projects. The widespread move from surface flood to centre pivot irrigation has been a key part of reducing nitrate losses to groundwater. The trip wasn’t all work and no play as the group found time to cheer on the Cornhuskers football team at a college match along with 90,000 other fans, and visit the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.


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Dairy Focus



Dairy team sharing the benefits of A taste of hardship in their early years has motivated John and Kelly Nicholls to help their team work towards dairy farm ownership, writes Tim Cronshaw.

John and Kelly Nicholls know how hard it is to buy a first farm. They did it the hard way, scraping a deposit together and ignoring advice to call it a day when a 100-year drought squeezed their finances. They persevered through the tough times and capitalised when fair winds arrived. Now, with the comfort of a dairy farm group behind them, the Christchurch couple are doing their best to support their team and guide some of them into an equity stake in a farm. No one ever said that dairy farming was easy. Kelly is in the kitchen preparing lunch at the Hinds clubroom of the Southern Rugby Football club. Her sleeves would be rolled up if she wasn’t wearing a Rylib Group-branded dress. The group is their jointly owned company of six farms and employs about 30 fulltime staff. Next door a presenter is plugging their team for answers in a team session

Tim Cronshaw


with notes scrolled on a whiteboard. Alongside this a nearby screen is fittingly headed The Challenges. Underneath, words are underlined in bold such as time, resource, discipline and new ideas. Perhaps 20 team members, casually attired or in their work clothes, are scribbling down notes studiously. Kelly looks on approvingly. This get-together comes at no small cost to her and husband John, the latest director addition to the boardroom of large dairy cooperative Fonterra. She says the bill will be small change compared with the value they get from reinvesting in their team. “When we say people are

our biggest asset we are not paying lip service to that. This is part of our training programme at Rylib Group based on the Lean principles. If you look at Toyota their Lean principle is the ageold thing to try and find efficiencies so they can add more time with their families. We have a policy of be home by 5pm for all of our guys. We are a family values based business at the end of the day and not a corporate dairy farming business.’’ If everyone becomes more efficient 15 minutes a day that adds up to more home time, she says. “Anybody that wants to train, whether it be in the dairy industry or not, we have a training regime of go and do it. If you pass we pay and if you fail you pay. We don’t mind spending money on personal growth because that investment gets returned back. For an industry which is inherently quite high on staff turnover we are proud of our turnover numbers and we do believe we treat our people very well.’’

The couple are the only shareholders of the group, but they have created equity opportunities for the right people. Two of their farm managers have 10 per cent equity in two of their farms with another manager likely to take on the same investment. Another manager, who was with them for 15 years, has bought them out of their North Island farm. “We want young people in some sort of ownership that never would have had the opportunity to do that. If they weren’t in generational farming how on earth would they have ownership and land? We had an opportunity to get ahead, but it was just very, very hard work and a lot of risks. We had an appetite for risk which didn’t worry us so much at that point, but it’s not to say it wasn’t a long hard slog – it certainly has been.’’ In 25 years they have gone from a zero to a $100 million plus business. A year after their first child was born in 1995 they bought Kaiwaiwai, a 205ha sheep farm




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Nicholls’ early hard yards in Featherston, and converted it to dairying, building up the herd to 440 cows. The euphoria of that was short lived as drought in just their second season brought them back to earth. They were advised to cut their losses and go bankrupt. That wasn’t an option, says Kelly. She went back to work in Wellington and this paid the wages for a manager and parttimer and they hired a nanny and worked “every hour that God gave us’’. Over the next three years they drew virtually nothing from the business, pouring any surplus into attracting top people and developing their business model. Only after getting through these tough times did they set about expanding, initially buying a neighbouring 71ha block in Featherston. Added to this was another 140ha, which they deconverted, improving the irrigation system, splitting it up, and selling parcels off. Their initial entry into farm ownership would be

Rylib Group leadership team members (from left) Sheldon Price, Ariana Tune, Kelly Nicholls, John Nicholls and Murray Bowden.

unrepeatable today. After returning from travelling in 1992 and with only 10 pounds and backpacks on their back they looked for work. John became a fertiliser representative and Kelly was in sales, initially in tropical plants and later travel, with both progressing into management when they came across the opportunity to buy Kaiwaiwai. Approaching the bank

manager, they told him they had a $50,000 deposit. That might have been a “little stretch of the truth’’. John was raised on a sheep farm, completing an agriculture degree at Massey University and working on cropping farms in England where he met Aucklandborn Kelly. If they have any regrets looking back on the past few decades, it’s that they could have got their life-work

balance more in line. That is why they are so adamant that their team is home as close to 5pm as possible to spend more time with their families. “It’s something that John struggles with to this day. We have just had our first grandchild and he says gosh I missed out on so much so we are trying to change that for our team. You learn and get wiser. We have done well and have enough and we want our people to do well too.’’ On their first farm in the Wairarapa John made the decision to wrench himself from hands-on milking to build the business. Kelly says John started looking at the business, not in the business, the day he walked away from the milking shed. “He also did the Rabobank Executive Development Programme course overseas and that was a big trigger for him looking at structures and ways forward that were bigger. We always knew that we wanted to do the best we could and start a footprint

we could be proud of for our generationals moving forward,’’ Kelly said. John realised that he needed to get out of the shed, employ top people to run the day-today aspect of the farm so he could focus on driving the business to produce the results they needed to get into a growth position. The change of focus was the catalyst for them to begin buying their other blocks in Wairarapa. But their growth really picked up when they moved to Canterbury. They bought Ma Taua and Fairmont Farm in MidCanterbury after selling Kaiwaiwai in 2005. On a roll, they added Delarbe Farm in Hinds in 2008 and Hauroa to their portfolio in 2009, bringing their total milking platform to 865ha producing 1,700,000 kilograms of milk solids. The investing pattern continued in 2013 when they took on the 340ha Haslett Block, a sheep farm which they converted into twin dairy farms, each milking 780 cows.

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Dairy Focus

Two years later they bought and converted 214ha, now known as Akitu Dairies, which milks about 820 cows. By the 2017/18 season the combined six properties of 1275ha produced 2,500,000kg of milk solids. The decision was made early to live off-farm and base themselves in Christchurch with their children Ryan and Libby - the inspiration for their company’s Rylib name. Their office is on the same site as the family home on the outskirts of the city. Stepping back from the farms also allowed their managers to run them without feeling the owners were breathing down their necks. “It’s very easy to say you trust somebody or trust something but to let them go and do that means that you do,’’ Kelly said. “We have got good simple systems and these guys are really good at implementing them and adding value to them and teaching them.’’ Weekly farm reports are sent to the office by the managers and, at a monthly meeting, metrics are compared with other operations. The wider group’s goal is to be the top two per cent for business performance among


Akitu Dairies manager Sheldon Price.

dairy farms nationwide and their environmental footprint to be minimal’. A waste initiative they have begun includes branded shopping bags and they no longer bury rubbish on farms. The couple have found each other’s strengths are complementary and they work well as a team even during the tough times. When they didn’t have support they had to lean on each other. They also found they could identify opportunities and grasp when they were in the right time at the right place. When they bought a small block up north and the centre pivot couldn’t reach the

Rylib Group co-owner Kelly Nicholls.

corners, they sold them to a vineyard and that money helped them move south. When they bought their first Mid Canterbury farm, Ma Taua 15 years ago, they traded surplus irrigation shares. Among their strengths, John is intuitive about water, which has been a big part of their growth, and is financially savvy, while Kelly leans towards the people-side and she likes to give, see them grow and do well. They believe in giving back to the community. Hundreds of flu jabs are given free to local people surrounding Hinds. Having a healthy, strong community

around them is worth the cost. Hinds School’s local lamb and calf day is sponsored by them and they have been known to help people in need. They support their staff who perform various voluntary duties in work time. There are leaders on school boards and rugby clubs and volunteer firefighters among the group and one of them is involved in search and rescue locally. If someone is missing in the bush for a week he is off work for a week and paid. Giving back is the right thing to do, says Kelly. They also hold their own in-house performance awards each year. Invited to the weekend are their managers and assistant managers and their partners, as well as their bankers, accountants, lawyers and sponsors who, last year, made a hefty contribution towards awards. Awards go out to the top achievers for farm of the year, nearest to budget, six-week incalf rate and farm pride. The farm pride category is judged on their farm, environmental footprint, waterways, farm aesthetics, and even the cleanliness of their utes and is worth $2500 from sponsors and another $2500 from John

and Kelly. Healthy competition is encouraged, but not at the expense of sharing information. Manager Sheldon Price, 38, runs his team at Akitu and a herd of 840 crossbred cows at peak milking. He is also part of the leadership team. Price says he enjoys working for the Nicholls, who have acted as mentors for him. He likes the way they do business and their values are in line with his and his wife’s. “They are very generous as long as you are doing a good job and [support] progression. We have just bought into our farm. Once again, through their generosity, they helped us into it.’’ He has been dairying off and on for 20 years in between a five-year building stint. His goal is to own a farm or take on a larger share. “There are plenty of opportunities at Rylib too. Rylib is still in a growth stage. There’s nothing stopping us from being innovative,’’ he says. The farms are run in line with Rylib standards including milksolid targets and sustainable stocking rates. He led the farm’s conversion

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three years ago, while still milking at the former Hazlett farms. The entire farm was regrassed and refenced with lanes and shed built in about six months after the Nicholls took possession. The cows average 500kg of milk solids and are milked in a 54-bail Waikato rotary with cup removers, teat spraying and automated feeding of grain and palm kernel. They are fed to condition in the shed with more feed allocated for lighter cows to even out the herd. Akitu has five centre pivots with sprinklers in the corners. Price says each farm is run with the same feeding system – pasture based with supplements of mainly grain and palm kernel through the lactating season. Empty rates average about 10 per cent throughout the farms, and the focus is on the six-week in-calf rate and they aim for anything more than 78 per cent – better than the industry average. All the farms have ground moisture probes linked with irrigation systems and some of them have variable rate irrigation with effluent also going through the pivots. Large ponds provide plenty of effluent storage capacity


The Nicholls are big believers in happy cows.

with solids distributed every two years or so on parts of the farm which don’t get pivot-spread effluent. All the data is collected to provide accurate effluent and fertiliser records. Price is responsible for the nutrient audits required by the regional council and these passed with auditing As. Much of the farm data is accessible by smart phone. Even though the clubrooms are 10km from Akitu, he can dial up to keep track of soil

moisture and ground water levels, tap into the cowshed remotely and, when the tanker arrives in the evening, can monitor milk flows and milk quality. His goal is to win Rylib’s farm of the year award. He’s come close before, but the competition is strong and now that Akitu is maturing he feels he will be in a strong position to achieve this. Over the last five seasons the Nicholls have seen the best and – by recent standards - the

worst of the dairy payout. They got their management team together as soon as it became apparent that the payout was heading south during the 2014-15 and 201516 seasons when the milk price bottomed out to $4.40 a kilogram of milksolids and then $3.90/kg. Every business line out of the gate had to save $50,000 and they made it their goal to get through the low without job losses. Kelly went back into the office and they brought their cost structure down to $3.30/ kg so it was a period of belt tightening for everyone. By the same token, when the milk price was at $8.40/kg in 2013-14 team members were getting travel vouchers to take their families on holidays in the islands. “We didn’t have the luxury of a paycheck and Christmas bonuses and branded utes – we were living on the smell of an oily rag and working every hour we could,’’ Kelly said. “So we want it to be different for these guys and it to be family friendly.’’ A healthy problem they have now is getting their assistant farm managers into manager roles. The couple do not discount adding further farms


to their portfolio in the future in order to do this. But this comes with a few provisos. Future land purchases have to meet their personal environmental, nutrient and water standards, support happy people and happy cows and be blueprint right. Any new farms must also be profitable so that their owners can operate remotely and give them enough time so John can continue to hold directorships in other companies, devote time to his new Fonterra director role and give them space to fulfil their personal goal of travelling and spending time with family. This is where their leadership team becomes important so moving forward they can shoulder some of the over-arching duties. Their children will of course be involved in progressing Rylib Group but they would like their key team members also to be beneficiaries and advancing the group when they move aside. Surrounding themselves with quality people at the top of their game, who they trust to make the right calls, will ensure their legacy lives on after them.







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Dairy Focus


Keeping a tight rein on managing herds when they are on winter crops pays off.

Plan for good cow condition Good herd management during the feeding of winter crops is the major driver for maintaining and reaching target body condition scores (BCS). A herd’s BCS has an impact on its productive and reproductive performance. Cows in good body condition are better able to withstand cold as the fat layer beneath the skin acts as an insulating layer. Cow condition must be planned for before winter, and farmers should check out the DairyNZ body condition scoring guide on its website for advice on how to do this. Cows that are in poor condition going into winter will require higher feeding levels than cows that are in good condition. If a cow is clean and dry and there is little wind or rain, cold stress is rare until ambient temperatures fall below -10°C. The factors that increase the risk of cold stress are low temperatures, wind, rain, and mud, low condition scores and

Cows that are in poor condition going into winter will require higher feeding levels than cows that are in good condition

low feeding levels. In poor weather allow for decreased utilisation and increased demand. A combination of strong wind and rain is the trigger to provide shelter and/or increase feed allowance. Depending on the BCS of the herd, and the weather situation, wet and windy conditions require an additional 0.5 to 3 kilograms of dry matter a cow per day. See DairyNZ for a guide on how much extra feed is required in certain weather situations. Sudden increases of fodder beet as a percentage of the diet can lead to animal health risks, especially during the transition period. Additional feed required should be

allocated through other sources. For better use of a winter crop reduce wastage from cow trampling by moving the fence once or twice a day rather than offering a few days feed at a time. A winter crop is grazed more efficiently when long, narrow breaks, rather than wide breaks, are offered because less of it is trampled. To ensure that all cows have access to the crop, there should be 0.7 metres of feed face per cow. If the paddock has a short feeding face, consider splitting the herd by condition score, and feeding both ends at the same time, rather than running the animals in one larger herd.

Good practice management can reduce losses of sediment by 80-90 per cent. If there is a waterway in the paddock, always feed towards it. If the area cannot be fenced off, graze it quickly in dry conditions, and ideally graze last. Fence off any temporary streams that appear while you are grazing the paddock. Back fence stock off land that has already been grazed to reduce treading damage. Treading damage seals the soil surface, resulting in more water run-off moving across the soil, which increases the loss of sediment and nutrients. If permanent water troughs are unavailable due to back fencing, provide transportable troughs for stock drinking water to ensure cows always have access to water. Permanent troughs result in more soil structure damage, as limited back fencing can occur, but no set-up is required and water does not usually freeze in pipes when it is frosty. Portable troughs cause

significantly less soil structure damage, as back fencing can occur. They can allow multiple herds to be set up in a paddock with only one permanent trough. The disadvantage is that some set-up is required and they need to be moved regularly and water pipes can freeze when it is frosty. If portable troughs are not an option, it is still recommended to put up a back fence, but you will need to be strategic about where it is put so that cows can gain access. Make sure staff understand contingency feeding plans for different weather situations, especially if the owner is going away. When checking cows on crops it is important to look out for lameness, injury, loss of BCS, mastitis health issues caused by crop consumption such as red water, bloating, wobbly or down cows. Also look out for slipped or early calved cows, frozen troughs/ pipes and empty troughs. - Source: DairyNZ

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Dairy Focus


SOUTH ISLAND AGRICULTURAL FIELD DAYS MARCH 27-29, 2019 • KIRWEE The South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) promises to be bigger and more diverse than ever. Well known as an event for farmers and contractors to see the latest agricultural machinery, this year it features something for the whole community with an expanded lifestyle section and a Tractor Pull competition.



Field days a huge opportunity The South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) are all about serving the people who want to view farm machinery and look at the latest agricultural equipment. One of the oldest and largest agricultural events in the South Island, the SIAFD goes back more than 65 years. Held every two years, thousands from the farming community throng to the event, held this year from March 27-29 at Kirwee. Without a doubt, the attraction for them is to see the latest agricultural machinery. SIAFD organising committee chairman Rodney Hadfield says interest in this year’s event has been strong and virtually all exhibition sites have been sold. He says the field days provide a huge opportunity for people in the agricultural industry to network, meet customers and view new machinery. “It is an event for people who are really ready to make financial decisions and spend their money. We want them to come to our event and get their field days deals.” The event brings together farmers, manufacturers, retailers, and technical experts. Power Farming Canterbury dealer principal Geoff McCabe says the company has doubled the size of its site at this year’s SIAFD. “The field days are very important to us. They are a great place to show off our machinery and we showcase our new gear that people haven’t seen before,” he says. “People come from far and wide to the field days to look at machinery. They are very important for customers because they get the chance to compare all the brands.”

The field days gives farmers and contractors the chance to see the latest products and exchange ideas with machinery dealers and manufacturers.  PHOTO SUPPLIED

Trevor Goodeve is with Canterbury manufacturer Taege Engineering Limited, and he says SIAFD provides an invaluable opportunity. “Because it is in our own area, we can get feedback from our customers on the machinery that we design, build and develop. This ensures we are able to work directly with those farmers and contractors to improve our business.” The timing of the event at the end of March directly helps Taege Engineering showcase its new equipment and set up its winter machinery build programme. At the last event the

organising committee introduced a lifestyle section on a trial basis and its popularity has led them to expand it this year. Lifestyle section coordinator Michaela McLeod said there would be more than 100 lifestyle stalls. “They will showcase a wide variety of products – from garden sculptures and outdoor furniture to jewellery, clothing, art, plants and food products. Some of the noteworthy stalls include Vege Pods, Container Pools Canterbury and Mt Hutt Pods.’’ “Local producers including Kirwee Bees will also be

participating, and we will also have a food court in the lifestyle section with Funky Monkey Bars showcasing their jungle gyms and play equipment next door.” This year will be the first time Tractor Pull has been held at SIAFD since they moved to their new home at Kirwee. Tractorpull NZ Inc general manager Vaughan Coy said the first two days of the field days would be practise days for teams and the competition would be held on the final day. “We will have three classes of competitors – standard, modified and pre-1985. Already a number of people

have said they will bring their modified tractors from different parts of the South Island, so it should be an exciting event.” Coy said tractors in each of the three competition categories would pull a sled that weighed a percentage of its weight, which would mean tractors of different horsepower ratings could compete against each other. Entry forms for the event are on the Tractorpull NZ website. There is a 15 tonne weight limit on all entries. Tickets to SIAFD are $20 per day and can be bought at the gate. Children have free admission.


Dairy Focus


Field days a huge undertaking Many of the volunteers preparing the Kirwee site for the South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) are, somehow, fitting in this work in between harvesting crops. The next month or so is a busy time of the year for farming yet, with the exception of a salaried secretary, the March 27-29 event is run entirely on the good-will of farmers. Committee chairman Rodney Hadfield is fielding phone calls on the combine harvester while raising grass seed and barley crops. He said a team of 22 committee members from Waikuku, Lincoln, Springston, Kirwee, Dury, Sheffield and other Canterbury districts are putting in a lot of their time to make the event a success. Hadfield is on his second term as chairman of the committee which runs the field days every second year and has been a volunteer for 16-18 years. The field days were a lot of work, but each volunteer would say it was rewarding. “You meet a lot of people

and we catch up with a few people too. The volunteers probably couldn’t do it every year and we would have to have a full timer because it’s a busy time of the year with the harvest. Once every two years is ok though.’’ Hadfield wouldn’t be too bothered if snatches of rain interrupted the event which regularly attract 30,000 visitors over the three days. “If it rains a wee bit it’s better because [farmers] can’t do any harvesting so they come to the field days. They tend to turn up and come around a second day.’’ The satisfaction for the volunteers comes from putting on an event that farmers value for the insight it provides them on the latest farm and agricultural machinery. The machinery comes with GPS controls, sensors and the latest technology. This is the third field days held at the Kirwee site. Previously it was run at Lincoln. Hadfield said the tractor pull would make a welcome return to the field days.

The event would be a crowd puller with each team pulling a sledge and trying to make the winning distance. “We are having the tractor pull this year and we haven’t had it for 10 years. Now that we have our own site we have more area to run it. The first couple of years with a new site we had to get everything

organised.’’ He said visitors would notice more trees planted and the extra shingle tracks put in the site would make it easier to negotiate the field days if it got wet. Over the next 50 years the trees would grow to provide shade, shelter and boost the site’s appearance, he said.

The only permanent buildings at the Kirwee site are an office and storage building. The 600-odd exhibitors put up marquees for the three-day event which are all dismantled once the last visitor leaves. Hadfield said the field days had changed over the years, but organisers remained true to the goal of providing an event for exhibitors to display their machinery to farmers and contractors. Good sales were made during the event and inquiries followed up afterwards often resulted in other sales, he said. “All the major brands are there and they have bigger sites this year to display their machinery. “This year they have wanted more area.’’ Exhibitor space was virtually sold out with more mid-sized sites added and they were close to full capacity, he said. At the last event a lifestyle section was added and this will be repeated next month with more exhibitors showing their wares.

Stainless steel tanks the way to go If you have yet to replace your old mild steel tripod fuel tank and you are attending the South Island Field Days at Kirwee, a visit to Petrotec Services at site 782 should be on your must do list. They are suppliers of the Fuelcon range of stainless steel farm tanks. When considering replacement options for your fuel tank some of the key points to keep in mind are: cost-effective standards approved tanks, a ladder that incorporates a platform or a safety bar option, the tank fuel type embossed on

the side of the pump box by the lockable nozzle, a vent filter and fuel filter. A stainless tank will last across the generations and eliminate rust or corrosion due to the material of manufacture. It will be durable and easy to clean. No need to paint, no rust or pitting. The vent filter and fuel filter will assist in preventing moisture build up, diesel bug, dirt or water contamination therefore keeping fuel clean. Single product storage or split combination tanks are available and will allow for flexibility of

storage options. Whether you require a diesel, petrol, diesel/ petrol or diesel exhaust fluid (DEF/Ad Blue) combination, an above ground gravity-fed, or an on ground pump option. Stainless steel is a viable longterm option worthy of serious consideration. Petrotec Services are also suppliers of the Fuelcon range of steel trailer tanks and commercial tanks. As well they are agents for the Everlink fuel management system and Logitank containerised bulk storage and dispensing solutions.  Advertising feature

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Drummond & Etheridge will have Free delivery to Christchurch area. a complete showcase of John Deere technology products on site at SIAFD. The John Deere technology suite contains not only the highestachieving GPS receiver in the market and easiest display to operate, but also includes multiple virtual tools to help you collect, manage, and utilise infield and machine data wirelessly. Some of John Deere’s virtual tools include: • MyOperations – an app allowing the farmer or contractor to manage his machinery and maps in one place. • MyJobs – an app for live management of staff and jobs. • MyMaintenance – an app to keep track of service schedules and repairs These apps allow customers to keep track of operations on the go and are synced with John Deere’s suite of online tools – D&E also partner with several third party companies that allow growers to capture data from applications that have previously been near-impossible



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We will present what RTI has to offer and bring along other industry experts to answer your questions.

RURAL TENANCY INSPECTIONS SPECIALISES IN PROVIDING Tuesday October 3rd 7pm Culverden Hotel Thursday October 5th 7pm Blue Pub Methven Tenancy Inspection Services Tuesday October 10th 7pm Railway Tavern, Rakaia Cleaning Tuesday October 17th 7pm Geraldine Heritage Hotel Property Management Advise on Insulation MethINCLUDE Testing TOPICSand COVERED Inspections - Why do them? CONTACT US WITH3 ANY ENQUIRIES 3 Meth Contamination and testing REGARDING TENANTED PROPERTIES.

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Dairy Focus


New products at SIAFD MyMilk a stepping stone to Fonterra

Sebco diesel stations, Blue stations for AdBlue® and Waste Oil Tanks are proudly manufactured in Ashburton by Fuel Storage Systems Ltd and are ideally suited for New Zealand conditions. The company has been distributing their Sebco products all over New Zealand to the farming and industry sectors since 2007. Their products are New Zealand’s number one choice for fuel storage and dispensing. End users all over the country are impressed with the products that make meeting compliance issues and dayto-day fuel handling easy. These units are designed to ensure the cleanest possible fuel is pumped efficiently to protect expensive engines. The Sebco diesel stations come in sizes from 1300 litres to 4800 litres, and are the only EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) approved plastic bunded diesel storage tanks in New Zealand. This makes them fully HSNO compliant in New Zealand, a hugely important issue in today’s safety conscious and regulated environment. Their tanks are even featured on the front of Worksafe NZ’s “Above Ground Fuel Storage on Farms – Good Practices Guidelines”. See their website for more details.

As well as diesel stations, Sebco also manufacture a range of Waste Oil Recovery Units and Blue Stations. Sebco continues to develop products, striving to meet the needs of an ever changing market. An example of this is the latest addition to the oil recovery line-up. Sebco has just introduced the Sebco 1000l Commercial Oil Recovery unit. This is a little brother to the 2000l version that has been popular with commercial users. The 1000l unit is designed for farmers and smaller commercial users of oil. It is a fully bunded system designed for clean storage of used oil ready for recycling. Sebco will be at the upcoming South Island Agricultural Field Days in Kirwee in March. It will be displaying a good range of products and are looking forward to seeing new and existing clients. For more information visit the Sebco website or phone 0800 473 226. Advertising feature

Fonterra-backed company MyMilk is changing the face of dairy, offering a fresh pathway for farmers looking to establish a foothold in the industry and an eventual stake in Fonterra. This initiative has quickly gained traction in the South Island with more than 110 farms already signed up. Based on a strong belief that the co-op model is the best fit for Kiwi farmers, members supply MyMilk for up to five years before having to purchase shares in the co-operative. This flexibility gives farmers time to establish their business so that they can become a fully shared farmer of the Co-operative in the future. MyMilk’s role is to provide farmers with this stepping stone and help to develop their relationship with the co-op. The pathway for entry into MyMilk include those farmers that may be looking at converting a farm or

farmers who are thinking about their supply options and looking to change their milk processor. Get them into their first dairy farm or those farmers that are looking at taking over the family dairy farm. MyMilk prides itself on offering farmers a personalised and tailored service. The focus for MyMilk is to continue to find ways in which to add value to MyMilk suppliers. This is where MyMilk’s connection to Fonterra enables farmers’ access to the skills and resources of the cooperative. Advertising feature

Are you thinking about your milk supply options? Are you thinking about investing in your first farm? Are you thinking about converting? Is your family looking at succession? To find out how we may be able to help come and see us at SIAFD, site 170

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We’ve got dairying covered Adding modern technology to a farm dairy is widely recognised as one of the most effective ways to increase efficiency, improve productivity and manage your cows. New, exciting and fully integrated management tools from Waikato Milking Systems provide an enhanced level of performance and automation that will help you make more of the opportunity you have. Know your cows individually, know what they’re producing milking by milking, know if they’re sick - take action immediately. Waikato Milking Systems is receiving a high level of enquiry from South Island farmers keen to come and talk to our team about the company’s technology at the upcoming South Island Agricultural Field Days at Kirwee. Mark Craig, Waikato Milking Systems’ South Island sales manager said that current issues facing the industry suggest there will be a good turnout of farmers

seeking management systems that will enable them to gather valuable herd information they can translate into higher production and greater profit. Since its introduction late 2018 Waikato Milking Systems NaviGate Dairy Management System has attracted interest from farmers globally and given the diversity of South Island farms in particular, we’re

anticipating a significant level of interest at Kirwee. NaviGate Management systems, are easily retrofitted into most farm dairies and provide insights which enable greater efficiency and production. Craig said with the new milk cooling regulations, farmers are obligated to review this aspect of their dairy to ensure compliance. There

are significant savings to be made from selecting the right cooling solution. Cooling milk accounts for 30 per cent of the total energy costs of the farm dairy. “We’ve got a range of cooling options that will ensure farmers economically meet industry standards and save the ongoing operational costs thereafter.” Farmers interested in

upgrading their current dairies will have the opportunity to discuss their options including electronic cup removers, pulsation and cluster options. “We are anticipating a higher level of interest in our range of power saving variable speed vacuum and milk pumps drives. When combined these products offer improved efficiency and a further opportunity to reduce operational costs.” Craig said that aside from promoting new and existing products, Waikato Milking Systems’ (site 271) is a place to discuss your farming goals, a place to work through a plan whereby we can help you grow the production and profit of your farm, a place where you can talk to people who know and understand your business. “Waikato Milking Systems’ offers a complete dairy solution, including milk cooling and effluent - we’ve got you covered,” Craig said. Advertising feature


Dairy Focus


The best ballcock

Preparations on track Organisers are happy that preparations are on track for the South Island Agricultural Field Day (SIAFD). A non-profit organisation runs the event with a committee organising the exhibition for the rural community every second year. Trade sites are close to being completely booked out for the event being held at Kirwee, near Christchurch, from March 27-29. The field days are a story of success. The event has been the result of hard work by young farmers since 1951. About 175 members have served on the organising committee and several hundred others have worked during the field days providing the hands-on approach needed to prepare for and run successful events. Organisers aim to provide a venue where machinery and other services

can be demonstrated to the rural community. The event also provides a vehicle for senior Young Farmer Club members of the Christchurch district to acquire practical organisational and business skills. SIAFD objectives: • To organise a professional exhibition that is an interface between the agricultural service industry and its clients. • To provide satisfaction to both parties in order to get return business. • The co-operation of machinery firms is vital to its success of the field days which moved to its permanent home near Kirwee in 2015. • Organisers said the revamped field days website had made it easier for trade exhibitors to register for a site online.

The SIS ballcock was a concept of Ray Collins. I have shot ducks on Ray’s farms for over 40 years and we have shared many (at times somewhat crazy) engineering projects. Ray processes designs in his mind and with the ballcock I couldn’t picture his design in my mind. So he made one. We made five, then we made 10, then we made 50 – now we do runs of a 1000. Ray has had a lifetime of frustration with ballcocks that prompted his comment “make the best ballcock in the world”. They are all made from 316 marine grade stainless steel. They have no internal parts – the sealing face is on the exterior. Our design is so simple your children, your wife, your bank manager would able to understand how the SIS valve works. A farm in our area has 300 troughs, this property has 20 per cent of ballcocks fail every year, that is 60 a year, of those 60 at least 10 per cent of those will be less than a year old. An independent trial showed at 52 psi with 50mm pipework to the ballcock gave a flow rate of 13 cubic metres per hour. We are now five years into producing ballcocks and not one has failed. Many thanks to Ray Collins, Ross

We are now five years into producing ballcocks and not one has failed

Symes and Terry Nelley. These farmers gave me access to their properties for the development process. Ray Collins gets free ballcocks for the rest of his life.  Advertising feature


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Biosecurity, it’s everyone’s business Cleaned and disinfected footwear is an important and highly visible first step that sets the tone for biosecurity at your farm gate. Good footwear hygiene lowers the overall biosecurity risk across a range of pests, weeds and diseases, and gets people thinking about the risks they pose to your business before they step on your land. But, according to footwear hygiene company Jacson3, the process to clean and disinfect footwear has to be quick, easy and visible to be successfully adopted in everyday practice. Master this, director Rusty Knutson said, and footwear hygiene will get done every time, by every person coming on to the farm – without owners or managers having to tell people to do so. “Tromping through dirty footbaths and over dirty disinfection mats or swiping a dirty brush over your boot won’t help protect our landbased industries. Sure, they’re cheap – but when they’re dirty and not used properly, they’re simply not effective. And with the bending, wobbling

and regular refilling that’s required, odds are that without the right equipment, cleaning and disinfecting footwear won’t be done consistently or for long,” Rusty said. Launched in June 2018, Jacson3 specialises in footwear hygiene, offering a unique range of professional, purpose-built tools. “Like everything on farm, you need the right tools for the job, and footwear hygiene is no different particularly when it comes to embedding this important practice in your team and with your visitors.” The PE Boot Cleaner This German-designed and manufactured boot cleaner is a robust, point-of-entry solution. Rusty said it’s the professional and permanent way to ensure all footwear entering a property is thoroughly cleaned. “The PE Boot Cleaner is a small investment in a longterm solution. This sturdy unit makes cleaning expectations clear and sends a strong signal about the importance of biosecurity to your business,” Rusty said.

The addition of Jacson3’s venturi blending pump introduces disinfectant into the water lines, making cleaning and disinfecting even faster. The Jacson Cube® Designed and manufactured in New Zealand by Jacson3, the Jacson Cube® won the 2018 NZ Biosecurity Awards innovation category. Rusty said this compact hygiene station is light-weight and designed to improve existing clean and disinfect footwear protocols. “It’s particularly useful for rural professionals, contractors and those who move frequently between properties, but also for farmers and growers as a point-of-entry or farminduction solution.” He said this completely self-contained unit fits a broad range of footwear hygiene protocols, depending on an organisation or individual’s requirements. Both units are exclusively available through Jacson3. Call (07) 846 0575 or visit www. Advertising feature

Jacqui Humm and Rusty Knutson have launched Jacson3, specialising in unique, purpose-built tools to make footwear hygiene, fast, easy and visible.




Dairy Focus


A milestone year

Invest in protection

It’s a momentous year for CRV Ambreed. This year the company celebrates its 50th year in business as a leader, innovator, and major contributor to the success of New Zealand’s dairy industry. Mark Duffy, South Island sales manager, says without the long-term support of our breeders and progeny test farmers CRV Ambreed would not exist today. “It’s an incredibly proud time for our team who have always been passionate and committed to improving the livelihoods of dairy farmers in New Zealand,” says Duffy. “Now part of one of the largest artificial breeding companies in the world, we’ve come a long way in the last 50 years.” The company was set up by a small group of like-minded farmers in 1969 under the company name Animal Breeding Services Ltd with an initial focus on genetics for the beef industry, importing French Charolais sires, that were then crossed with Hereford and Angus cattle. In 1970 the founders began operating out of a bull centre on the outskirts of Cambridge and changed their focus to produce dairy semen for the NZ market. At the time, It was the first privately owned company in NZ

Rugged Valley seat covers have been used and abused in the roughest testing grounds by fishermen, hunters, tradies, sparkies, four-wheel drivers and weekend enthusiasts. Hard working Kiwis tend to give their vehicles a tough time, both on the demanding worksite and on the weekend. Tried and true, Rugged Valley seat covers have survived the heaviest punishment and have been put to test in harsh New Zealand conditions. Rugged Valley seat covers are 100per cent waterproof, tailor made to fit your specific vehicle right here in NZ. Utes, trucks, vans, tractors, excavators, quads and ATVs, we’ve got you covered. From Mercedes vans, to the latest model Mitsubishi Triton, or your faithful ol’ Suzuki Jimny for the farm. Rugged Valley is attending the South

to operate a licensed artificial insemination (AI) centre. With the backing of CRV’s world-leading research and innovation, herd recording, animal evaluation indexing and expertise in dairy cattle development, CRV Ambreed has led the way in innovations in genetics, including Fertabull, a unique three sire per straw beef product in 2007, New Zealand-proven sexed semen in 2008, and genomically selected bull teams in 2011 to give dairy farmers access to elite young sires prior to their fouryear proof. In more recent years, CRV Ambreed has introduced homozygous polled (hornless) genetics, which will produce calves that will not need costly and time-consuming de-budding, and launched the lown sires team, new environmentally sustainable genetics with low MUN. Today, CRV Ambreed distributes about 1.5 million straws of semen each year to domestic and export markets from its CRV Bellevue Production and Logistics Centre. “As a business, our goal is to help dairy farmers achieve their best possible herd. A herd they love to milk, and we’re looking forward to the future, proudly leading the way to create better cows and help make life better for farmers and the industry,” says Duffy. Advertising feature

Island Field Days, where you can find us at Site 883, we would love to have a chat. We will let you in on our Field Days Discounts, and hard-wearing NZ made products. Now stocking the PVC moulded SandGrabba Floormats, vehicle specific designed to trap the mud. All with a five year guarantee. No need to be precious that you are damaging the automotive cloth, or your leather interior. Jump right on in. Time to protect your seats and floor from your lifestyle, and future proof your resale value? Not attending Field Days, that’s okay, we still have you covered. Shop online at Or, call us to invest in your protection 0800 478 443. 

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The best investment you can make in tomorrow is a good night’s sleep. Dreamwool has been delivering on that promise since 1978 with the original Wool Underquilt and now through its range of natural wool filled mattresses. Using Merino Wool and other natural products you will sleep more comfortably on a mattress that breathes, free of hot synthetic foams and fillings and adhesives. Being the only mattress in New Zealand to use Merino Wool, Dreamwool are using plenty of it in your mattress to make you more comfortable. Using up to 7.5kgs in a queen size mattress and even more in the larger sizes Dreamwool mattresses are cooler in the summer and warmer in winter. Using Merino Wool for its softness and resilience and greater fibre density in the mattress we enhance the comfort by using only the best fillings and support underneath. With natural rubber latex in generous layers and with Micro-coils and Danish made Micro Pocket springs our mattresses work in unison with your body supporting and comforting you all night long. Breathing and controlling the bed micro-climate natural products work better. Choose between our Pocketspring ranges, Euphoria, Paradise, Heaven or Icon. Or Natural Latex mattress range, Revolution, Evolution and Original. Made with the purist latex in the world and filled with luxurious layers of Merino Wool.

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Dairy Focus


Innovators in the dairy industry PPP Industries Ltd is a proudly owned New Zealand company that has been designing, manufacturing, and installing innovative agriculture equipment for over 50 years. Whether our customers be fellow New Zealanders or off-shore clientele, we make it our business to ensure our customers are supplied quality livestock equipment that can help them achieve healthier, more efficient, and more profitable farming operations. When it comes to experience, look no further. PPP proudly installed New Zealand’s very first in-shed dairy feed system back in 1967. Since then, we have made continuous adjustments and introduced new features to our products, ensuring they are kept up-to-date with stateof-the-art technology. PPP has a nationwide team of dedicated installers and after-sales dealerships, ranging from Kaitaia down to Invercargill, guaranteeing prompt after-sales support.

enable the use of powder, the system supports powder or pellets

PRESS SCREW SEPARATOR (PSS) FEED SYSTEMS Standard HB feed systems come equipped with our new evolution dispenser or with our advanced patented Experto Feeder (type “Experto Feeder” into Youtube for a video demonstration). Options for both systems include mineral and molasses add-ons. The Experto development also allows for the integration of EID readings in HB sheds. PPP offers a wide range of general spare parts that are used in most feed systems, and these are offered at very competitive prices. Rotary systems come equipped with high back stainless feed trays with anti-robbing bars and tray supports that ensure a quality robust product is supplied. The system can also be fitted with platform dispensers for

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Australian dairy farmers consider the Skiold Disc mill to be one of the most reliable machines on the market. Whether you’re milling for small-scale farming operations or commercially, this machine does it all. With the advantage of milling grain to a higher standard than other milling systems as well as fewer maintenance requirements

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Dairy Focus



The 1080m2 composting barn on Tony and Fran Allcock’s dairy farm in Ngahinpouri.

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The roo con mo On com hav pro ess wit and red

“We cow Usi bar kno effi one env

Composting barn pays off. An investment in the future returns dividends today.


f you ask Fran and Tony Allcock if they’d invest in an Aztech Dairy Barn again, they would answer “heck yes!”

“Building a composting cow barn has allowed us to better feed the herd, control our environmental footprint and look after our pastures,” says Tony

ours provides us.” Tony says they approached several design and build companies, but Aztech Buildings were the clear market leader. Construction began in early December and was completed by late January. Dr Sue Macky from Dairy Production Systems says that properly designed and managed covered cow management facilities and cow housing can have a significantly positive effect on dairy farm profitability.

“The only drawback being a poorly Shifting to a composting barn has required a fundamental shift of farming designed or ill managed system negates any advantages, and in fact can cause system for the Allcock’s. They moved more harm than good. Good design from a typical grazing system to one where the cows spend part of every day and management requires knowledge of dairy cows that is too often lacking in in the barn and part grazing outside, New Zealand,” she says. weather dependent of course. Tony tells us the girls are pretty choosy about Aztech Buildings has grown up with the how they spend their days now. On a Dairy Housing industry in New Zealand, particularly rainy day, “I had a bugger innovating as the industry has matured. of a job trying to get them out of the It is this developed knowledge of the barn!” sector that enables them to solve the complex design challenges, as well as Under the old system, production the simple ones, new entrants to the varied between 88,000 and 99,000kg industry might not even consider. milksolids per year. Since making the change, production was 128,000kg in A major challenge to overcome in a the first year, 134,000kg in the second composting barn design is the need for year and 147,000kg in the third year. a ‘four seasons’ barn. Aztech have to The target is 180,000kg. ensure temperature reduction in the summer, and consistent temperature “We haven’t increased our cow control in winter to maintain an even numbers,” says Fran, “we’ve just taken advantage of the gains a system like

The bee Ind cow spa dri dow dom the

temperature barn all year round. Cows can’t stand the heat nor extreme cold and will drop production in tough conditions. Often not picking up production to the same levels before the inclement weather or hot conditions. Aztech delivered the solution with a combination of clever design and product innovation. A composted floor coupled with a precisely calculated roof pitch and a well thought out roof ridge ventilation system means that Tony and Fran can trust that a consistent year round temperature can be achieved. Air in the barn, without any ventilation, will accumulate gases like ammonia, carbon dioxide/monoxide, hydrogen sulfide. Moisture can be retained and will reduce the life span of the bedding material. Simon Clare, one of Aztech’s dairy specialists says what you don’t want is a badly designed barn that retains moisture. “Cows can breathe out 15 to 30 litres of water per day, that has to go somewhere. Bedding material, regardless of what you use, needs to be long lasting and hygienic.” Once the bedding has seen out it’s life, Tony says they use it as a commercial fertiliser substitute. “We experimented initially, but now, other than a little P and N on our maize, we use our compost exclusively on our pastures.” He also explains that while the cost of


The Allcock’s barn uses a combination roof overhang and roof pitch which contribute to maintaining a sustainable moisture level. One of the key product innovations comes from Futura Steel Systems. They have developed a steel box beam bird proof roofing system. Bird proofing is essential for helping to reduce contact with disease as the birds aren’t roosting and messing everywhere. This also reduces feed loss to hungry birds. “We didn’t just design the barn for the cows, we also had the staff in mind. Using our experience across the many barns we’ve built in the past, we know what helps with workflow and efficiencies. We also know that noone wants to work in a dingy, smelly environment,” says Simon. The bedding area and feed face have been carefully calculated to ensure Industry Best Practice and to maintain cow comfort. By providing adequate space for each cow to move around, drink, feed, and most critically to lie down without threat, means lower dominance cows suffer less stress and therefore feed conversion is increased.

Tony says that at the end of the day, if the cows are losing less energy to heat stress, eating more and converting it efficiently, then they’re onto a winner. “We find our day to day farming more enjoyable, and less stressful not having to be held hostage by the weather.

Fast Facts Location: Allcock’s Farm, West of Ohaupo

haven’t increased “We our cow numbers, we’ve just taken advantage of the gains a system like ours provides us. To find out more about how Aztech Buildings can deliver a profitable dairy structure for your farming business, get in touch.

Structure: 60m x 18m, steel members with timber purlins. Feeding: The five metre race is wide enough for a tractor and feed wagon to be driven down to fill up the feed troughs. Cow comfort: The housing area for the cows is open with no cubicals and uses wood chips to cover the floor 500mm deep. 7.7m2 of space for every cow in the herd. Design and Build: Aztech Buildings - Using more than 20 years of experience in building dairy housing. Steel supplier: Futura -

0800 114 116


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Tony and Fran with their ‘Big-Az Mootel’ signage.


Would we do it all over again? Heck yes!” Herd: 280 Freisian X

spreading the compost is higher, it’s still offset in the savings of not buying fertiliser at the same levels pre barn.


Cows munching down on a mixture of maize and grass silage.


Dairy Focus


Lanolin based product a winner Prolan a lanolin based industrial lubricant and corrosion inhibitor made here in New Zealand has many uses within the agricultural and industrial sectors for preventing corrosion and lubricating machinery. Commercial operators as well as farmers have found Prolan Enduro Heavy Grade when applied to a vehicle chassis is excellent as a rust preventative on 4WD, fertiliser loaders, truck, bus and motorhome chassis. In fact, it works that well that many vehicle-testing stations are recommending a coating of Prolan to prevent corrosion. A spray of Prolan on moldboards and ploughing equipment prevents rust and keeps them clean and in good condition. It is the unique ability of the lanolin in Prolan that penetrates into metal components that prevents corrosion. Prolan saves the life of machinery exposed to air and moisture whilst out in the field or during storage. Around the workshop and for general maintenance

Prolan Enduro Heavy Grade coating being applied to Landrover chassis to stop rust. PHOTOS SUPPLIED

Prolan’s Enduro Medium Grade works well as a general lubricant – penetrating into seized bolts – chains and other moving parts. Prolan is so versatile it replaces many other workshop lubricants and is used to stop squeaks as well as to prevent rust long-term. Farmers and contractors have noticed that

Prolan stays on once applied saving repetitive maintenance. For example an orchard mulching contractor found by applying Prolan to his flails on his machine he saved time on repeat applications, instead of lubricating daily he used Prolan once a week for maintenance. A coating of Prolan Enduro Medium

Grade is excellent on a quadbike chassis as it prevents corrosion caused by manure and salt. With the added benefit that a coldwater blast will not remove the Prolan coating, it stays on preventing corrosion and keeping the frame in top shape. In the Prolan product range

there is also an anti-seize grease, which is very popular for assembly of components. A small smear of Prolan grease applied to bolts or pins when assembling equipment ensures they can be undone years later. It also minimises parts replacement as these can be removed easier instead of by force which results in breakage if no anti-seize has been applied. The Prolan product range is made up of natural NZ wool lanolin, which ticks the boxes for environmentally friendliness and biodegradability - safe on the environment as well as the user. Prolan saves time, work and money. By simply applying a spray of Prolan to farm machinery and equipment it lasts a lot longer and increases its resale value. Visit us at the Southland Agricultural Fieldays site 912 near the eastern entrance and see how “sheep n a can” really works or visit our website Facebook: Prolan New Zealand.  Advertising feature

Stop Rust with “Sheep n a Can” ‘Lanolin Natural Long-lasting Protection’ Available from Farmlands, Anzor Fasteners, Ullrich Aluminium, Drummond & Etheridge FREE CAN with any Field Days purchase on presentation of this ad.

• Quadbike + vehicle chassis • Fertiliser loaders • Boat motors & trailers • Machinery & tools South Island Site 912 Eastern entrance Ph: 0800 776 526



Cooling compliance considerations We are often asked a simple question: My farm is noncompliant, what should I do to comply with the milk cooling regulations? The answer to this question can be wide and varied depending on a number of factors and for this reason each and every situation and dairy operation needs to be looked at on its own merits. To provide the best and most suitable options, we would need to know the following: • What is the current milk entry temperature into the milk silo? Is this the worst case? • What are the peak milk volumes and flow rates for both morning and afternoon milkings? • What refrigeration capacities are currently employed on the respective milk silos? • What are the milk silo fill preferences i.e. which silo is filled when and with how much milk? Where the current compliance is marginal, we may recommend energy

Murray Hollings


saving products such as milk silo insulation wraps or electronic expansion valves as these will improve compliance by reducing losses and improving refrigeration performance. These products also provide tangible and significant energy savings and a reasonably short payback on capital employed. Where farms are significantly non-compliant, more capital will need to be spent to increase the refrigeration capacity employed. Some farms will be able to comply with a simple upgrade of the refrigeration equipment cooling milk in the milk silos. This may require the addition of units (where a single unit does a base and side wall

of a milk silo) or replacing a refrigeration unit with a larger, more efficient unit. Many farms however, will require the milk to enter the milk silo(s) at a significantly lower temperature. Most medium to larger farms or those with warmer than usual milk entry temperatures will be in this position. The best options for these farms will depend on several factors including:

Available power during milkings (and cost to upgrade if inadequate) • Whether the farmer wants to futureproof the operation for future tightening of the regulations When deciding on your best solutions for Snap-chilling, keep the following in mind: • Tank water storage systems have been superseded by much

more effective and efficient snap-chilling systems Glycol is being discouraged for direct milk cooling due to contamination concerns Glycol is also being discouraged through milk silos (instead of conventional refrigeration units) Conventional refrigeration systems are more efficient at cooling milk in milk silos than glycol and provide redundancy in the case of a glycol system breakdown Storage systems are by nature less efficient and more expensive than direct cooling systems.

OUR ADVICE Install a modern, packaged water chiller to directly cool the milk prior to entering the milk silo and utilise refrigeration units (new or existing) on the milk silos. Murray Hollings is the owner of Dairycool



Snap-chilling milk to storage temperature range using water (no risk of glycol milk contamination) • Packaged ‘plug and play’ systems • Stainless steel evaporator • Simple installation and operation

• Energy-saving high tech design • Heat recovery (heating hot water using the heat removed from the milk) 45 Robinson Street, Ashburton Phone 03 307 8903

• Low maintenance • Cost-effective and won’t break the bank Contact Lee Gilbert today for all your dairy farm cooling systems enquiries on 027 334 4365.


Dairy Focus


When effluent hits the fan Kliptank started building effluent tanks in 2007 when dairy effluent systems in those days were antiquated and had not been keeping pace with development in the rest of the dairy technology sector. Ten years later and Kliptank has revolutionis ed the effluent industry. Using modern waste water treatment processes to help farmers get the most value out of their effluent – increasing milk production, lowering farm costs and ultimately improving farm profitability. The main innovation that propelled Kliptank to be the industry leader is the Klipjet Aeration and Stirring system which uses effluent pumps to mix the tank hydraulically. Not only do Klipjets minimise sludge build-up and prevent crusting, but our studies on the soil and grass irrigated by our treated effluent have been proven to: • Increase dry matter • Improve herbage quality • Improve soil condition and health • Increase worm count • Correct soil pH • Fixate volatile nutrients into the soil • Reduce pathogens • Reduce odour • And most importantly of all – cows prefer eating the grass Come and talk to us at Stand 324 about an effluent solution that is right for you.  Advertising feature


Farm owner Dave Stephens showcases his Kliptank and Klipjet treatment system. 




Minimise toxin Hidden cameras Minimise toxinrisk risk Hidden Add title cameras Globally there is a rapidly increasing interest in mycotoxins. One of the certainties in life is that mould spores are never too far away. Given the right conditions, spores become established as moulds and they in turn can, under certain conditions, produce toxic compounds known as mycotoxins. Recent international surveys for the presence of mycotoxins have turned up wide ranges in results from different regions. The most comprehensive of the examinations are indicating that mycotoxins are present in greater than 80 per cent of feedstuffs for animals at some level with many feedstuffs having multiple mycotoxins present. The focus on mycotoxins for both animal and humans is increasing globally. In particular at present, recent drought conditions in Australia have given rise to increased scrutiny regarding mycotoxin contaminated feedstuffs. With the increasing level of interest on mycotoxins around the world, considerable research has gone into developing enhanced testing methods, which have in turn provided science with better tools to research the phenomenon that is mycotoxins. This means for dairy producers on the farm that the understanding of


I tS a us 2 e e s 1-4 e 4 m C Co Site

the challenge is growing, allowing for development of suitable strategies to minimise risk to their herds. With over 500 identified toxins, accurate analysis becomes very challenging. Traditional methods are more qualitative. Although they are a little less expensive, they can really be thought of as confirmation tests. They are often restricted to single toxins, with comparatively lower levels of accuracy. More modern methods increase both the accuracy of analysis, and also allow for multiple mycotoxin analysis in a single test. The 37+ Programme from Alltech allows for analysis of 44 different toxins in a single test, to a very high degree of accuracy. Furthermore it allows for analysis in complete rations, not just single ingredients. It is important to keep monitoring raw materials for mycotoxins as analytical capability grows, even more so in a world where so much is traded internationally. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. – Nigel Meads

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Mycotoxin control is critical Safeguarding the health of your animals starts with the quality of your feed. Produced by moulds, mycotoxins affect animal performance and producer profitability in a number of ways. Effective mycotoxin management is about seeing the whole challenge. From the farm to the feed mill and from risk assessment to feed management, the ALLTECH® MYCOTOXIN MANAGEMENT programme helps safeguard the health of your animals, the quality of your feed and the security of our food supply.

Your animals are your business. Protecting them is ours. | 0800 822 322

We know well the pains of rural copy WeAdd know well the pains of rural Newknow Zealanders. helpofsafeguard We well theWe pains rural New Zealanders. We help safeguard you from theft, trespassing, New Zealanders. We help safeguard you from theft, trespassing, disgruntled workers and exyou from theft, trespassing, disgruntled workers and exemployees and help you disgruntled workers andmanage exemployees and help you manage current employees use of employees and helpwith you the manage current employees with the use of surveillance cameras. current employees with the use of surveillance cameras. All cameracameras. footage is timed and surveillance All camera footage is timed and dated. So if you have is antimed incident All camera footage and dated. So if you have an incident you canSogoif to thehave datean and catch the dated. you incident you can go to the date and catch the thieves you canin gothe to act. the date and catch the thieves in the act. Latestintechnology, thieves the act. high resolution Latest technology, high resolution images all people captured on Latestoftechnology, high resolution images of all people captured on surveillance. you have an incident, images of allIfpeople captured on surveillance. If you have an incident, the police canIfcome and download the surveillance. you have an incident, the police can come and download the camera footage ontoand a USB stick. The the police car come download the camera footage onto a USB stick. The courts convict thief, youstick. get toThe camera footagethe onto a USB courts convict the thief, you get to sleep easy. courts convict the thief, you get to sleep easy. Have peace of mind knowing your sleep easy. Have peace of mind knowing your system covered withknowing a three year Have is peace of mind your system is covered with a three year warranty. No extrawith charge. Now that’s system is covered a three year warranty. No extra charge. Now that’s service. No extra charge. Now that’s warranty. service. service.

FARM PACKAGE PACKAGE –– FARM FARM PACKAGE – NATIONWIDE, with with NATIONWIDE, NATIONWIDE, with smartphone and internet internet access. smartphone smartphone and and internet access. access.

Up to four cameras can be connected Up to four cameras can be connected forUp multiple monitoring e.g. to fourarea cameras can be connected for multiple area monitoring e.g. driveway, fuel tank, tool shed e.g. and milk for multiple area monitoring driveway, fuel tank, tool shed and milk vat. driveway, fuel tank, tool shed and milk vat. The unit will hold one to two vat. The unit will hold one to two months of information rewriting The unit will hold onevia to atwo months of information via a rewriting hard drive Earlyvia footage is months of system. information a rewriting hard drive system. Early footage is hard drive system. Early footage is

automatically deleted and replaced automatically deleted and replaced with new footage, thereby always automatically deleted and replaced with new footage, thereby always providing a full hard drive always of current with new footage, thereby providing a full hard drive of current information. providing a full hard drive of current information. information.


Registration capture is our specialty Registration capture is our specialty with excellent results day and Registration captureboth is our specialty with excellent results both day and nightexcellent with footage being viewed via with results both day and night with footage being viewed via the internet and smartphones. night with footage being viewed via the internet and smartphones. Seasonsand Security Ltd has been theAll internet smartphones. All Seasons Security Ltd has been installing security systems on farms All Seasons Security Ltd has been in installing security systems on farms in rural Newsecurity Zealandsystems for 19 years and isin installing on farms rural New Zealand for 19 years and is an approved licensed theis rural New Zealand forinstaller 19 yearsforand an approved licensed installer for the Ministry of Justice. an approved licensed installer for the Ministry of Justice. Ministry Find us of at Justice. Site 171 at the South

Find us at the Find at Site Site 171 171 at at the South South IslandusAgricultural Agricultural Field Days! Island Field Days! Island Agricultural Field Days! 

Advertising feature Advertising feature Advertising feature


Dairy Focus


Maximum build quality We offer a very well made and robust product from our UK supplier IAE.UK, who is the United Kingdom’s leading manufacturer of agricultural, equestrian and fencing equipment This UK company and has 50 years of experience in dealing with standard madeto-measure custom work, and you are guaranteed maximum build quality with excellent value for money all steel products are galvanised in our stockist’s own galvanising plant. Their commitment to research, development and the investment in the most up-todate laser, robotic and profiling machinery ensure that all products are manufactured to the highest standard. Our main core selling area is Canterbury, although we are getting a growing number of sales into the North Island as well as more enquiries and sales now throughout the South Island. Being located at Rolleston means we provide our clients calling in to view our products. Our central location very beneficial to freighting cost, leading to a huge saving for our clients. At Riverdown Steel our role is to get what the client wants at the price range that is suitable for the product needed. We always appreciate an opportunity to help.

Top: Canterbury Crush Delivery. Above: The Titan feeder. PHOTOS SUPPLIED

The most enjoyable part is when a person sees our product and mentions the strength and quality of our product range as well as the pricing being very competitive. Being the first company to go to for great friendly service and product range is what we are striving for. I am only a

phone call or email away from helping you with your decision making. Two years ago, Riverdown Steel introduced the Saracen Squeeze Crush to our range, which today is the best value squeeze crush in NZ. We are getting a good sales spread across NZ and the sales are

still growing. The Saracen Squeeze Crush is manually operated and has adjustable side panels designed to accommodate different sized animals giving variable internal dimensions from 790mm down to 275mm. Side panels have baffle plates at the rear to eliminate leg

traps. A sliding rear gate: can be opened from either side of crush and features a retractable lintel for added safety. My choice is the use of the vet access area which creates a safe working area to allow the operator to walk from one side of the crush to the other. On the operator’s side, there are two half doors and on the opposite side is a full height door. All doors can open fully either inwards or outwards. This winter we are bringing to you an upgraded version of the feeder on skids the Titan Feeder. This rectangular feeder on skids is the ideal cattle feeder that can be used indoors and out. The skids allow it to be easily transported via a forklift and so can be moved around depending on your needs. This feeder is fully galvanised and built to last year on year. Its dimensions are 3000mm (L) x1370mm (D) x 1400mm (H) Quality is a timeless value and we believe that our product pricing represents both good value and quality. We look forward to discussing future needs and how to fit the pricing into a well thought out budget. At Riverdown Steel we like to make things happen that have a good outcome for the everyone involved.  Advertising feature



The full access cattle crush has a flat floor to encourage easy calf training. Two full height side doors on each side (hinged from each end) allows full access with no obstructions to the animal’s flanks. Side doors extended to meet floor. from

The Saracen Squeeze crush features a self-closing ‘Automatic’ bail which is activated by the animal’s forward movement. The head bail is easily adjusted allowing seven alternative widths between 100mm and 250mm.




AUTO HEAD BAIL The head bail is a self closing yoke design activated by the animal’s forward movement. Release handles fitted to both sides. Fully sheeted baffle plates to eliminate leg trapping. Adjustable width yoke with 7 settings between 100mm and 250mm. Lugs and short coupling rods included to fix to yards.



Come and see us at South Island Agricultural Field Days MARCH 27-29 2019, KIRWEE. We are in the middle section site 272-273

TITAN RECTANGULAR FEEDER We’ve listened to BUILT TO LAST your feedback.


It’s totally reengineered.






Feeder is manufactured in two sections bolted together. 2135mm (7’0”) diameter x 1450mm high x 670mm deep welded base, 20 feed spaces. May need some selfassembly.

$670* *All prices exclude GST

610mm deep base, 1520mm wide. Has 24 feed spaces - 326.5mm between feed spaces Sold flat packed. Units have corner bracing for added strength. Mitred corner sits flush, giving even more strength and helps the unit to sit square in conjunction with the bracket when animals are feeding.

$1250* HEAVY DUTY TOMBSTONE FEEDER 2285mm (7’6”) diameter x 1195mm high x 545mm deep welded base. Formed into 12-sided shape, rather than one continuous circle. 12 feed spaces. Manufactured in three sections bolted together.



Dairy Focus


A blown hose, shouldn’t blow your harvest. ENZED® has the largest range of the industry’s best hose & fittings, to minimise your downtime. Our products and service can be applied to a wide range of agricultural applications, and with a comprehensive product portfolio that includes PVC Air Seeder hoses, SAE medium pressure hydraulic hoses, thermoplastic hoses and quick couplings. As an ENZED customer you can be confident that any untimely breakdown will be repaired or replaced quickly and efficiently. An ENZED HOSE DOCTOR® is on call 24/7 and with the introduction of our Connected program you have real time connectively between you and your HOSE DOCTOR every step of the way. ENZED is keeping you Connected.

For more information, chat to your local ENZED ENZED® Christchurch 108 Hayton Road Wigram Christchurch 8042

ENZED® Blenheim 51 Grove Road Blenheim 7201

ENZED® Otago 301 Vogel Street Dunedin Central 9016

ENZED® Southland 93 Clyde Street Invercargill West 9810

ENZED® Nelson 125 Vickerman Street Nelson 7010

enzed-siafd-agriculture flyer.indd 2

0800 4 ENZED

7/02/2019 2:53:30 PM



South Island Agricultural Field Day 23rd - 27th March, 2019

Don’t let a blown hose, blow your harvest. enzed-siafd-agriculture flyer.indd 1

7/02/2019 2:53:29 PM


Dairy Focus


Vibra Screen an innovation winner Almost one year on from winning the INZ innovation award the Rainer Irrigation effluent Vibra Screen has been selling well with enquiry and installs throughout the country. It took the team at Rainer Irrigation over three years of development to achieve what they set out to attain which was an award-winning product with results and performance to simplify dairy farmers’ lives. The level of separation makes dispersal through existing irrigation infrastructure easy whether it be sprinklers, centre pivots, VRI or Roto-Rainers. It was a journey getting the product to where it is today. We were getting frustrated with having to repair existing products that were not reliable with the repairs and maintenance costs per season for the clients very high. We have managed to create a cost-effective system that works with low maintenance and operation costs. With having some units out there operating for over four seasons we have got some real data on maintenance costs which are impressively low! The design briefing was to build a product that sells itself, meaning it was reliable, easy to install on existing infrastructure and can handle the varying inconsistencies of effluent throughout the year. As there are only four

springs coupled with a commercial vibrating motor producing movement, there are only six components that move resulting in low maintenance and power consumption. The screened liquid had to be less than 1mm to allow problem free dispersal via the smallest irrigation valves and nozzles on a pivot. We have had our first production Vibra Screen operating for over 4000 hours with no repairs having to be done, the farmer is very happy with the reliability and the results of the separation. Maintenance for the screen is minimal involving a simple wash/hose down of the screen bed once a fortnight. Clients have the option to automate this cleaning procedure with an optional automated wash bar, further reducing labour input. With the solids taken out it has created options for the green water.

Benefits: 1. Analyse the liquid and determine its nutrient content to be combined with the farm’s fertiliser budget. 2. Save money on your fertiliser budget. 3. Recycle green water as yard wash, saving 20 per cent of dairy shed water use. 4. Inject green water into the irrigation mainline saving labour expense.

5. Full control over application due to uniform distribution of the irrigation being used with no issues with blocked nozzles. 6. Return on capital outlay will pay for itself in less than five years. 7. Low running cost as the pump to supply the effluent to the Vibra Screen ranges

from 4.5 - 7.8Kw. Lot smaller than current pumps up to 11 – 15Kw. 8. FEP – Stream line your farm environmental plan. We will be showcasing the Vibra Screen at the upcoming South Island agricultural Fieldays in Kirwee next month along with many of our other products and services Rainer has to offer.

VS1200 Vibra screen installed at a Coldstream dairy farm complete with bunker and green water pond. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Rainer Irrigation representatives Graeme Pile (left) and Mike Bowler (second from right) receive the Irrigation New Zealand’s (INZ) innovation award from John Faulks of PHOTO SUPPLIED Southern Wide Real Estate (right) while INZ executive Andrew Curtis looks on.

Come and see us at the SIAFD. Sites 419/420



6 L/s

Normal’ dairy waste

9-15 L/s

No. of cows

600 +


Normal’ dairy waste

4-11 L/s

No. of cows

< 500

Cnr Robinson & McNally Streets, Ashburton Phone 03 307 9049 Email


Dairy Focus


A large range of cultivation parts McMullan Enterprises has been operating for 26 years offering a range of rural supplies for farmers and contractors. We carry a large range of cultivation parts from sweep, reversible points and springs and tines to suit a vast range of equipment. Cast points are stocked for Sunflower, Salford, Vibroflex, Coil Tine Grubbers, Mowtown to Clough Maxitills. Our range of cattle ramps are popular as they are solidly built with enclosed sides so cattle walk on to them well. They can be moved around with front end loaders, have good width and not too steep. Our range of cradle hay feeders are very popular with sheep, beef, deer and dairy farmers. Sheep farmers use them for fattening lambs and dairy farmers use them all year round in dairy laneways or for sick cows

I believe in carrying good stocks of most things as I don’t think farmers should have to be told we will post it out

and colostrum cows. Mower and rake tines were in demand at this time of year. The business has a wide assortment of after market tines and blades for all types of machinery. We sell Morris oils and greases. A very large range of Bare Co products which will be on display at the field days. Also in stock is a range of ripper points to fit onto subsoilers like Sumo, He-va, Panerator and Aitchison. Buck rakes is another item which have been popular for firewood blocks, branches, silage

and general farm use. Our buck rakes have conus 2 heavy duty tines which are 1250 long. We have found them to be very strong. We keep a large range of silage and bale fork tines with the different types from curved to spoon and standard available. A large range of P.T.O. shafts from 450mm to 2.0 metres in length, chain, dee shackles, tractor linkage balls, drawbar pins, top links and implement jacks from light to heavy duty. 

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5 $17

M FRO 0 75



Bare Co Tractor Seats (black or blue)




PTO Shafts, sizes 450mm up to 2M.

Produced by a local Canterbury engineer, our buckrakes are a must for any farmer. These are 2.4m wide heavy duty 1.25m tines.

Heavy Duty Quick Hitch. 28ml pin. Only one available.




IC $95 E 0



Round bale feeder

IC $75 E 0

Feeders – 2.0m - 2.5m sizes available

Full range of Bare-Co accessories available


Cast Points. Suit Salford/ Sunflower, Duncan, Vibroflet, Mowtown. 10% Discount for February/March.

126 Dobson Street, Ashburton - Phone: 03 308 2059 | Mobile: 0274 326 847 -

All prices exclude G.S.T



New milking schedule pays off

Hayley Hoogendyk was New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year at last year’s Dairy Industry Awards.

A mid-January heatwave prompted Hayley Hoogendyk to pull afternoon milking from 2pm to 11.30am as part of her twice-a-day milking schedule. Her morning milking time was retained at 5am. The one-week trial was extended to the end of the season. Hayley went back to the old twice-a-day milking pattern at the start of the new season, when heat stress issues were no longer an issue. She is managing Aron-Amy Farm in Kairanga, Manawatu, a 200-hectare property owned by Craig and Raewyne Passey with 520 cows in two herds. “In the first few days of the heatwave, we were crashing from 1.8 to 1.6 kilograms of milksolids per cow per day (kg MS/cow/day), but after we pulled the afternoon milking time back to

11.30am, it went back up to 1.8kg,” says Hayley. “We didn’t see any negative effects on the quality of the milk, and there was no change in the somatic cell count (SCC), so we were happy.” During the trial, the cows ate a small amount of grass - or crops such as turnips between the two milkings, plus a similar amount of palm kernel extract during the second milking. They ate the remainder (80 per cent) of their daily grass or crop allocation while in their night paddock. Hayley now aims to keep the cows’ day feed quite tight during summer seasons. “We found that the less digesting of food they do during hot days, the better, as digestion raises their body

Hayley Hoogendyk

temperature.” Cows moving themselves between the paddocks, shed and shady areas not only saved time, it minimised lameness issues in the herd. Life became more enjoyable for Hayley, her team and their families too. “It had been taking us an hour to get the cows up to the shed, then another hour to push them away afterwards because they didn’t want to leave its shade.” Instead, the cows moved themselves by their own

free will to a nearby shady paddock between milkings, while Hayley and her staff carried out other on-farm jobs and maintenance, saving staff time. “We’re definitely keen to do it again depending on how hot each summer season is,” says Hayley, who was New Zealand Dairy Manager of the Year at last year’s Dairy Industry Awards. “Many people don’t like change or trying something new, but I think you’ve just got to look at your animal and staff welfare. This approach is good for both. Happy cows and happy people, it’s achieved all of that.”

Cows moving themselves between the paddocks, shed and shady areas not only saved time, it minimised lameness issues in the herd.

Hayley has attended a DairyNZ Milksmart event in the past. Her redesigned milking schedule reflects the range of benefits farmers could also enjoy by using the Milksmart approach on a farm at any time of year: • Quality time and staff work/life balance. • Quality milk with no loss in production. • Improved cow health and wellbeing. • Overall time savings. • Labour and feed cost savings. Check out milking for details. - NZME


Dairy Focus


A game changer for farmers Having the ability to monitor individual cow health and heat status is fast becoming a game changer for New Zealand dairy farmers. Mating is such a crucial time of the farming calendar and using technology to increase submission and conception rates or move to full artificial insemination is a reality for Putaruru farmers James and Rosie Pelham of Acer Properties. The couple purchased an Allflex monitoring system in August 2018, and they have never looked back. “We chose Allflex over competitors because it was proven technology and we preferred the software. It also needed to work with our Protrack drafting gates and we knew this system was working well with the gates,” explains James. The system was originally purchased to improve the mating side of their operation. The goal was to take the time commitment off James and Rosie, and use the reliability of the collars to

identify cows that are on heat. It also gave them the confidence to use short gestation semen and make the move to full artificial insemination. “We sold the bulls we would have needed to use and this money helped to pay off a part of the system.”

the Protrack gates working in with the monitoring system to draft out the cows that are on each morning. Before the system was installed, they used tail paint. “We check the software in the morning before milking to see how many cows are on, and then check it on our mobile

We chose Allflex over competitors because it was proven technology and we preferred the software. It also needed to work with our Protrack drafting gates.

The Pelhamsmilk 600 cows in an equity partnership near Putaruru in the Waikato. They are a high input farm and saw monitoring technology as a way to make changes to their mating process to increase their days in milk. James and Rosie are happy with the submission rates coming through and enjoy the ease of automation with

James and Rosie Pelham showcasing the new SenseHub collar.

phone throughout the day to keep an eye on health alerts and rumination patterns.” An additional benefit of the system has been the health side of the collars. They’ve detected health issues before they have become visible, such as mastitis. They are also a great back up for fresh cows that are slower in their post-calf recovery.

The data can help identify if some cows need to stay in the colostrum herd longer, rather than applying the blanket 4-day rule. This helps to ensure that individual cows are recovering properly and perform better throughout the season. This is also the case for cow nutrition and James has noticed a visible change in the rumination graph as the grass changes, he’s been able to make adjustments to rations to help with this change. Allflex monitoring systems are set up in a number of different plans to allow for both business growth and an increase in data confidence. The next step for the Pelhams is to upgrade to the group-monitoring plan, just to get a bit more information. They have been happy with the current plan this season and the collars in general. “We’d recommend it. The system does everything it says it can do and with the savings around mating by using short gestation semen and selling bulls, it will easily pay for itself.”

Both Farmlands and Centre for Dairy Excellence are distributors of Allflex monitoring systems in New Zealand and work with Allflex specialists up and down the country to ensure farmers install the right system for their operation. Options include both cloudbased and desktop software with the choice of eSense ear tags or eSense neck collars. Plus, three package options from starter to advanced. The system won the innovation award for dairy herd management at the 2017 World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin and monitors thousands of dairy cows globally. Outperforming other systems in health and rumination monitoring, SenseHub™ by Allflex Livestock Intelligence is quickly becoming an established system in New Zealand, with a large uptake in both the North and South Island. Supplied by Allflex Livestock Intelligence


No bull required. Makes sense.


Not all electronic heat detection systems are created equal. That’s why it ‘makes sense’ to use the technology you can trust to maximise your farm’s potential. The award-winning SenseHub™ technology by Allflex is unrivalled in its field.

The most powerful livestock monitoring system ever created. Modular cow monitoring solution.

Reproductive, health, nutritional and wellbeing status.

Facilitates the move to full artificial breeding.

Give our specialist team a call today Austin Heffernan (NI) 027 563 2282 Jeff Hill (SI) 027 585 4400 Ashleigh Ulrich (SI) 027 556 7779 Andy Irvine (SI) 027 535 0934 or visit Winner Dairy Herd Management Innovation Awards at the 2017 World Dairy Expo.

SenseHub™. Makes Sense.


Dairy Focus



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Dairy Focus | February 2019  

Dairy Focus | February 2019