Page 1

An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Supplement

FOCUS Issue 34 - March 15, 2011

And the winner is . . .

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www.ats.co.nz


2

Contents Page 3

Team building

Page 4

Controlling mastitis

Page 5

Pasture checklist

Page 6

Fuel storage

Page 10

Sire proving

Page 11

Dairy award inalists

Page 18

Plea for stability

Page 19

Cause of lameness

Page 20

New dairy needs

Page 21

Quake and weather

Page 22

Male outlook

Page 23

New boss needed

Page 24

New partnerships

Bridging rural-urban divide The Federated Farmers dairy council meeting held last month brought home many truths to the dairy industry which is continuing to go from strength to strength on the back of increasing payouts. It was interesting to see Federated Farmers raise the tough questions on how dairying was perceived by the wider public who seem to have become increasingly detached in understanding how farms operate. I was impressed at how Federated Farmers put part of the ownership back on its own to bridge the rural-urban divide by reminding them of their responsibilities when it came to issues such as animal welfare and their use of natural resources. As dairying expands with dozens of conversions in the pipeline around Mid Canterbury, I have always felt farmers and milk companies have become a larger target as the public grow more anxious about the natural resources required to support the everexpanding dairy industry. It was encouraging to see the Federated Farmers dairy council take these issues seriously through discussion which re lected just how aware they were. At the conference Synlait CEO John Penno spoke bluntly about the public’s perception of dairying as in relation to its expansion. His message was clear and simple: it was time

An advertising supplement of the Ashburton Guardian

FOCUS

Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Ashburton Guardian Publication date: Next issue:

dairy farmers started listening to those concerns. His statement that members of the dairy industry had to front up as soon as something went wrong struck a chord with me. Lance Isbister Ashburton Guardian After all how can the public rural reporter truly trust any industry which goes into damage control- and refuses to discuss anything on an issue the public sees as negative. Take inductions for example, it seemed to me that the dairy industry took too long to form a united voice in response to the concerns voiced by the public, which I believe only perpetuated uncertainty. Instead of one strong industry voice explaining why inductions were used on farm, the information was managed too delicately and too late through media channels. I believe it is imperative for the dairy industry to front up to negative issues when they happen as it is a vital part of building trust with a public that needs to know the facts. Mr Penno was right on the money when he said companies needed to take responsibility when they have done something wrong just as readily as when they take credit for when they do something positive.

We welcome any correspondence to either: Amanda Niblett, phone 307-7927 email: amanda.n@theguardian.co.nz or

March 15, 2011 April 19, 2011

Lance Isbister, phone 307-7953 email: lance.i@theguardian.co.nz

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3

Building an effective team Lance Isbister er Rural Reporter, Ashburton Guardian n

Dairy farm employers and employees learned how to build an eective team through a DairyNZ Workshop held at Hotel Ashburton last week. DairyNZ consulting of icer Kim Red presided over the informative and interactive session, where there was a good turnout of Mid Canterbury farmers. Ms Reid outlined the importance of communication between team members who she said had a shared responsibility to work eectively towards a common goal. She said that rust was one of the foundations to building a good team as it gave employees the con idence to work together with the support of others in the team. Ms Reid said it was important to hold regular sta meetings, which kept everyone in the loop and gave them

the opportunity to communicate openly. She said regular sta meetings eectively kept everyone on the same page and enabled them to be more aware of what they were trying to achieve together. She said trust could be hard to earn but easy to lose and it was important that both employees and employers were consistent and followed through in what they said in order to build trust. Attendees worked in groups to identify potential problems which could impact on a farm team’s progress toward achieving their goals as well as possible solutions. They also discussed issues they had experienced on their own farms regarding communication breakdowns and how they had dealt with the situation.

PHOTO LANCE ISBISTER 100311-LI-010

Dairy farmers brainstormed through scenarios on how to best introduce a new staff member to the rest of the team. From left: Abid Alomari, Raul Allawan, Robert Aragus, Graham Wells and Shannon Keoghan.

The language barrier between immigrants and other sta was a common issue identi ied by farmers at the workshop.

PHOTO LANCE ISBISTER 100311-LI-003

DairyNZ consulting officer Kim Reid explains how dairy farm employers can get the best out of their teams through positive reinforcement and inclusion of team members.

On the other hand Ms Reid said managers may not have clearly communicated the instruction to the employee in the irst place and needed to think about the employee, their skill level and if they had the necessary knowledge and training to carry out the task.

One solution oered was to ensure the employee understood the instruction by asking for feedback on how they would carry –out the task.

“Time taken to instruct employees clearly and well, will save you time in the long run,� Ms Reid said.

Another farmer said a diagram of the instruction could be more relevant and better understood by some employees which responded better to instructions visually.

Many of the farmers in attendance were keen to involve employees in challenging tasks as it gave them a sense of accomplishment when they carried it out properly and were more self-reliant, which saved the employer time.

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4

Controlling mastitis Ian Hodge, BVSc. MACVSc. c. td Riverside Veterinary Services Ltd

With three months or more to go before the end of the season there is still plenty of time to make inroads in to mastitis control.

will present your action plan for group discussion. At the end of the course you will have a very good appreciation of mastitis on your own farm and will be more able to implement on-going control measures.

Bulk milk somatic cell counts of 180,000 or less are acceptable and at this level the cost of mastitis will be minimal as long as the clinical case rate of mastitis is low. Bulk milk somatic cell counts of 200,000 or more will be costing many more dollars than you probably realise from lost production and the costs associated with treating clinical mastitis.

Initially, a series of pilot courses were run in the North Island to “test drive” this course. Whangarei dairy farmer Brent Farrell took part in the Northland pilot course. A dairy farmer for 23 years Brent said the course contained very valuable information and he learned things he hadn’t previously known.

Control measures at this stage of lactation are aimed at reducing mastitis infection pressure in the herd so that the potential for the spread of mastitis at milking time is minimised.

“It made us more aware of what needed doing and increased staff motivation to keep the cell count down as the course really showed us the cost of mastitis on our farm,” he said.

It may not be possible to dramatically reduce the bulk milk somatic cell count late in lactation but the rate of clinical mastitis can be dramatically reduced.

teamed up to provide a mastitis management course for managers.

Do you know exactly what mastitis is costing you at this stage? Are you able to identify the key risk factors for mastitis on your farm?

The course is designed to provide core information about the disease mastitis, the key risk factors and the costs associated with mastitis.

Agriculture ITO and the PureMilk Mastitis Consultancy Service have

A trip to a dairy farm to carry out an assessment is also included. At this visit

To keep on top of mastitis it’s a case of keeping track of somatic cell counts. you will gain valuable information about milking management and risk factors which contribute to the development of sub clinical and clinical mastitis. Following the irst day you will carry out an assessment of your own farm and put together an action plan for controlling mastitis on your farm. About one month after the irst meeting you

His participation in the workshop has directly resulted in an increase in the quality of his milk. “Our somatic cell count has gone down by ifty or sixty thousand,” he said. Steve Crane ield, a PureMilk Consultant, has written the course with the aim of providing practical effective and obtainable solutions. For more information about enrolling in these courses please contact Agriculture ITO.

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5

Pasture checklist Set your pasture up for autumn and winter • Complete winter/autumn feed budget to set targets for average pasture cover (APC), cow condition and supplements • Apply nitrogen especially if after a drought or dry summer, to encourage tillering. Refer to DairyNZ Farmfact: Nitrogen use after a dry summer: 7-4 • Monitor post-grazing residuals and aim to graze milkers to 1500-1600 kg DM/ha (7-8 clicks on the rising platemeter) or 3.5-4 cm compressed height • If dry, avoid frequent over-grazing, especially on new pastures i.e. grazing lower than 1400 kg DM/ha (6-5 clicks on the rising platemeter).

Plan your programme for pasture renewal • Identify underperforming paddocks using the DairyNZ Pasture Condition Score Tool and use the actions suggested by the tool to establish a plan for each paddock • Calculate the economic return from pasture renewal using the DairyNZ Pasture Renewal Calculator • Plan to ill any feed gaps arising from pasture renewal e.g. supplements, nitrogen, cull early • Aim to have new pasture sown by early March • Select the right endophyte e.g. AR37 for black beetle and porina protection • Select the right cultivar e.g. diploid vs. tetraploid, late vs. early lowering • Do not mix cultivars with different heading dates in a paddock. Consider sowing the farm in cultivars with a range of heading dates (e.g. half the farm sown in early heading cultivars, the other half in late heading cultivars) • Ensure endophyte in seed is viable (get the seed certi icate) and minimise planting time and the time the seed is out of cool storage to keep the endophyte viable.

Use supplements wisely • Dispose of known culls before starting to feed out supplements. Make culling decisions early and ensure culls are it for transport before they leave the farm. Refer to DairyNZ Fit for Transport poster • Purchase supplements based on cents/MJME eaten • Test all feeds for quality including purchased meals; supplements need to be at least 10.5 MJ ME/kg DM • Minimise supplement wastage when feeding out e.g. for silages: excellent stack management, no silage spilled loading the wagon, silage fed onto fresh pasture so the entire herd can feed at once • If feeding PKE have enough bins of reasonable size and avoid over illing. Find more information on feed budgeting and wastage of supplement in the DairyNZ Facts and Figures for Dairy Farmers booklet or dairynz.co.nz/farmingresourcecentre.

Manage cow condition • Condition score herd every 2-3 weeks, scoring at least 70 cows • Focus on the cows that are below the BCS target – feed/dry off to achieve BCS and feed cover targets • Consider OAD in separate herd to protect young, thin cows by reducing the energy needed for walking, maintain feed intake • Autumn pasture is not as ef icient as high quality supplements (grain, PKE, maize and pasture silage) and therefore cows take longer to put weight on pasture-only diets than pasture plus supplements (supplements fed to meet requirements above maintenance) as shown by the table below.

Secure Your Feed Pricing Early This seasons harvest in so sooner rather than later for Canterbury has not yielded as their requirements until harvest planned which has contributed 2012. to rising local feed grain prices. Methven Advanced Feed Ltd. Cropping farmers are holding can offer forward contracts for onto their grain waiting for a all forms of dairy feed and calf higher price. The Australian feed for next spring. Also talk to grain harvest has been greatly us about pricing of rolling your affected by adverse weather own grain and blending it with which has meant the North other additives and products. Island mills are looking south Protein Testing for supply. This has meant more demand on South Island feed grain. All these factors combined with increased local demand has led to climbing feed grain prices. We recommend that farmers who have not contracted to do

Methven Advanced Feed Ltd. has recently installed a protein tester for grain coming in and finished feed going out. The advantage of this future service will be that dairy clients will have a more accurate picture of what they are feeding their cows. Currently, nutritionists are basing their formulations on assumptions. Protein levels in wheat for example ranged from 10 to 14.5% during sampling for calibration of the protein testing. This information will help make more accurate decisions on what to feed. For farmers that roll their own grain, this service will be an advantage to help to decide whether they need to add addition protein or not. Advanced Feed Production Manager, Bryan McGirr at the Blending Plant- called 'just in time' milling, the plant utilising computer controlled equipment, is capable of making large volumes of rolled grains blended with proteins and minerals in a short time. 'Just in time' milling means very quick turnaround from order to delivery

Dry-off time based on body condition score and time to calving Cow BCS

Rising 3 year old BCS

Autumn pasture

Autumn pasture + supplements fed above maintenance

3.0 3.5 4.0 4.5 5.0

3.5 4.0 5.0 4.5 5.5

160 130 100 70 Calving

120 100 80 60 Calving

Add value to PKE, Add value to your investment in cereal grains Trough Feeding in the Paddock with Advanced Feeds Forage Balancer range of based on PKE / CMS (Condensed Molasses Solubles) with options to blend rolled grains increases PKE digestibility significantly when compared to straight PKE. To better balance your herd’s nutritional requirements talk to Advanced Feeds to see how we can maximise your return on the supplementary feeding of your shed fed grain.

Pricing for PK+ from $355.00 per tonne bulk ex Timaru excl GST Pricing for Forage Balancer from $395.00 per tonne bulk ex Timaru excl GST Pricing for Forage Balancer from $393.00 per tonne bulk ex Methven excl GST David Mills Ph 027 299 8131 Email: david@advancedfeed.co.nz Stuart Robertson Ph 027 299 8134 Email stuart@advancedfeed.co.nz

Office 03 302-8211 0800 FEED 4 U (0800 333 348) www.advancedfeed.co.nz


FuelSystems... Storage

6

Ashburton Guardian Advertisting Feature

Southfuels – the efficient and reliable option. The Southfuels business is focused on servicing the South Island rural, contractor, commercial and industry customers. It is our aim to provide the most efficient and reliable bulk fuel and lubricant delivery service in the South Island, and at a consistently competitive price. Southfuels carry a full range of the highest quality fuels, oils and lubricants: • Low sulphur diesel • 91 octane unleaded petrol • Specialist oils and greases Our call centre is based in Hornby in Christchurch. Our friendly telephone staff can take your orders and help with any enquires between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. We have a team of four sales representatives. They are committed to you in all aspects of your fuel, lubricant and fuel storage requirements. Lubricants Southfuels can supply a full range of quality oils and Lubricants delivered FREIGHT FREE to your door for orders exceeding 20L. Phone the call centre or your local sales representative to place your orders. Fly Buys Southfuels is the only bulk fuel distributor to offer Fly Buys points. Southfuels – proudly supporting Fuel for Schools! Fuel for Schools is an innovative primarily rural focused sponsorship programme operated by Northfuels and Southfuels. The programme can help fund the ever increasing costs of running Primary, Intermediate and Secondary Schools throughout New Zealand. How it works, 2 Easy Steps... 1. New and Existing Northfuels and Southfuels customers can nominate a school of their choice 2. Once nominated the school receives sponsorship of 1 cent for every 2 litres of bulk fuel delivered Fuel for Schools is a very easy way of supporting your local school and the best part is it won’t actually cost you anything.

This is our way of supporting our rural customers and giving something back to the fuel users and communities that support us. “So, jump on board - we’re doing it for the kids” What is Fuel for Schools? Fuel for Schools is an innovative primarily rural focused sponsorship programme that provides all Primary, Intermediate and Secondary Schools throughout New Zealand with an exciting new way to raise additional funds. Who is operating Fuel for Schools? The Fuel for Schools programme is operated by Northfuels in the North Island and Southfuels in the South Island. When does it start? The Fuel for Schools sponsorship programme officially started on November 2nd 2009. When does it end? The Fuel for Schools programme does not have an end date. This provides an ongoing opportunity for New Zealand Schools to register for the programme, support and promote it, and ultimately keep raising much needed funds. Who can be involved in Fuel for Schools? • All Primary, Intermediate and Secondary schools throughout New Zealand, but primarily focused around rural schools • All bulk fuel users How does Fuel for Schools actually work? 3 Easy Steps... • Schools need to register on-line for Fuel for Schools Sponsorship • New & Existing Northfuels and Southfuels customers can nominate a school of their choice • Once nominated the school receives sponsorship of 1 cent for every 2 litres of bulk fuel delivered Why would we want to nominate a school? • It is a very positive and easy way of supporting your local community and school • It will help ensure that kids in rural communities continue to have access to the best learning resources • The programme is funded out of our sponsorship budget so it does not affect the fuel price on the day

How many schools can we nominate? A customer of Northfuels or Southfuels may nominate one School only. How much money can a school make through Fuel for Schools? The school receives 1 cent per 2 litres of bulk fuel that is delivered by Northfuels or Southfuels to the bulk fuel user. How does the school actually get paid? We will issue a cheque on a quarterly basis to the school. How do existing Northfuels or Southfuels customers nominate a school? This is really easy; • Go online to www.southfuels.co.nz click onto Fuel for Schools link • Simply enter the appropriate school, electorate, & your account details, or: • Download a school nomination form and fax to 0800 nominate (0800 666 4628) What if we are not an existing Northfuels or Southfuels customer? This is also really easy, and the farmer or bulk fuel user has several options available to them. • They can sign up a direct account on-line. • They can charge their bulk fuel purchases through either PGG Wrightson or RD1 Do fuel users receive any additional benefits from Northfuels or Southfuels? Yes. Northfuels and Southfuels are the only bulk fuel distributors in New Zealand to be part of the Fly Buys programme. Fly Buys points are available on all bulk fuel and lubricant purchases. What if we want to talk about fuel pricing? For many bulk fuel users the biggest issue when purchasing fuel is reliability of service. However some users will want to know the price or receive a formal quote. New or existing customers can simply contact our friendly and helpful call centre team or contact a local PGG Wrightson or RD1 store.


FuelSystems... Storage

7

Ashburton Guardian Advertisting Feature

CRT fuel – the easiest way to arrange your bulk supply

The easiest way to order your next delivery of bulk fuel is simply to ring 0800 666 626 and discover the CRT service difference for yourself. CRT Fuel supplies rural and commercial operations throughout New Zealand with bulk diesel and petrol, and provides solutions for many different types of fuel storage situations. CRT also supplies the Challenge network of Kiwi-As service stations throughout the country – appropriately enough for a business whose parent co-operative is 100% owned by New Zealand farmers. As well as competitive pricing and service that sets the benchmark, CRT Fuel is able to offer fully HSNO compliant petrol and diesel storage tanks and knowledgeable, experienced technical field staff who can assist with your fuel requirements. CRT Fuel was originally established 30 years ago to handle the distribution of bulk fuel to the South Island rural market. Since its inception, the business has gone from strength to strength. “The fact we’re steadily increasing our customer base says a lot about the way the market is viewing us,” CRT Fuel general manager Mark McHardy says. “Once we’ve secured a new customer they stay with us, which shows the service provided by our drivers, territory managers and the rest of the customer services team is first class.” CRT Fuel now has a bulk fuel national distribution network delivering to rural and commercial customers via its experienced tanker drivers who operate a fleet of more than 30 tankers from 11 ports. CRT Fuel’s territory managers can supply all the information on services, compliance and storage or for more information you can go online at www.crt.co.nz Simply click on the CRT tanker on the home page. The handy online fuel ordering system gives customers the flexibility of ordering at any time of the night or day, and locating the right person to talk to is easy using the regionalised map. If you’re not sure or you want to place an order over the phone, call the CRT Fuel customer services team on 0800 666 626.

Introducing CRT Fuel territory manager Daniel Reeve Daniel joined CRT earlier this year having previously worked in the automotive industry. He covers the area from Rangitata to Kaikoura and is able to offer advice and provide bulk fuel, lubricants, fuel equipment and compliance solutions to both farming and commercial customers. If you would like to speak to Daniel please contact him by calling 0800 666 626, 027 644 4435 or via email daniel.reeve@crt.co.nz


8

Humate and Humic

Substances

Pathway to Sustainablity Humic substances are natural occurring materials, they are not processed, but are found in soils, compost and mines.

on top of coal and are naturally occurring materials. They are the natural humiďŹ ed remains of organic matter.

Humic substances arrive from micro-biological activity on the bio-matter and the bio-matter was at one time a living material and then gets broken down by micro-organisms.

Humic substances have been associated with coal deposits, they are not coal but have been derived from coal. They are oxidised material exposed to weathering and oxygen and microbial activity, the result of having been reverted back to humic substances.

Soil organic matter is the total of all naturally occurring carbon based matter found in soils that were once living, and the process of the breakdown from recognizable bits and pieces of plants, to dark coloured humus is called humiďŹ cation, somehow it then reorganises itself and goes though a series of phases of secondary synthetisation reaction called condensation reactions. This is a scientiďŹ c supported principle of trying to deďŹ ne the process from which they come from, and is the end product of the carbon cycle. The humiďŹ cation process is as far as carbon can get. HumiďŹ cation is the natural process of changing organic matter such as leaves into humic substances. Humic substances are in humus but humic substances and humus are different things.

BeneďŹ ts of humic substances Humic substances are renown for there ability to, s$ETOXINGWATERANDSOILS s3TIMULATEBIOLOGICALSOILACTIVITY s)MPROVENUTRIENTUPTAKE ESPECIALLY phosphorous, sulphur, and nitrogen s2EDUCETHENEEDFORNITROGENFERTILISATION s2EMOVETOXINSFROMBOTHSOILSANDANIMALS s#HELATESOILNUTRIENTS s3OLUBILIZEMINERALS s)MPROVESOILSTRUCTURE s!CTASASTOREHOUSEOF. 0 3AND:N s)MPROVEWATER HOLDINGCAPACITYFORBETTER drought resistance and reduction in water usage.

How does it all get started As described previously humic substances are natural occurring materials that are not processed and are found in soils and compost, but there is another way to receive the beneďŹ ts of humic substances, Humate. Humate’s are mined from the Leonardites deposits

ALL THREE ASPECTS IMPACT SOIL FERTILITY While conventional soil fertility programs focus on N, P, K. The balanced fertility approach considers not only the full spectrum of CHEMICAL elements necessary to optimise pasture or crop yields, but the BIOLOGICAL and PHYSICAL factors that impact production as well.

Physics Biology

Finely ground coal has very little humic substances because it has not been subjected too oxidation and micro-biological activity and is not soluble. Humic acids, Fulvic acids and Humin are all fractions of humic substances. Humic material is subjected to different extraction techniques and processes with the resultant product of humic acids and fulvic acids from humate material. Humic substances, the natural dark-brown component of soil have been around for hundreds, or even thousands of years, yet they can be destroyed in less than 50 years by some agricultural practises. The global movement away from chemical to biological agriculture has some of the best scientiďŹ c minds developing sustainable practises to utilise these amazing substances. So why are sustainable farmers using these products and how does this beneďŹ t and effect their farming operation?

Nitrogen Management Carbon held in natural soils is very stable, conventual fertilisers rapidly age soil components resulting in acidiďŹ cation of soils and destroying humic material with soluble nitrogen. Urea is very effective at destroying humic substances. Farming practices with high urea applications burn up the humus substances resulting in loss of organic matter, nutrient holding and water holding capacity which results in more water requirements, more nitrogen needed to sustain production, loss of more organic matter and ďŹ nally leaching of nitrates and nutrients into water systems. Humic substances stabilise nitrogen, up to 35 % of the soluble nitrogen applied to soils is retained in a biological form and preventing it from leaching and is available for future requirements. Mixing soluble nitrogen with Humates enables up to 35 % less having to be applied which has both economic and sustainable environmental positives with no loss in production, in most cases improved performance results.

Chemistry Numerous scientiďŹ c results show how humic substances improve nitrogen utilisation and impact overall quality by increasing the efďŹ cientcy of fertilisers when blended directly with fertilisers, which has both economic and environmental signiďŹ cance.

Barley Test Fertilizer

Tissue Analysis Nitrate ppm

Plans/row

Yield bu/acere

Total N%

16-20-6 68 47.3 1.275 4.4 15-22-5 84 47.6 945 4.8 10-10-5L 96 53.5 1.025 4.7 There was a 12 percent increase in yield in the barley test, despite the fact that the leonardite-treated crops had relatively low nitrate nitrogen. The signiďŹ cant yield advantage was attributed to increased tilling.

Potato Test Fertilizer

Tissue Analysis

SpeciďŹ c Gravity

Yield bu/acere

Cwt. Bu/acre Nitrate ppm Total N% 820 4.7 16-16-8 1.095 162 270 10-10-5L 1.096 1.600 5.2 134 224 The potato test plots reveal that a 95 percent increase in plant-tissue uptake of nitrogen was possible even though 35 percent less nitrogen was applied with the leonardite fertiliser combination.

Sugar Beet Test Fertilizer

Seeding

Yield

Emergence Tons/acre Sucrose% Sucrose lbs./acre 5-45-5 175 8.873 17.0 3.010 10-10-5L 140 10.925 15.9 3.474 Sugar beets treated with the fertiliser-leonardite combination yielded 23 percent more tonnage per acre and 15 percent more sugar per acre.

Some of the Healthy Soil products available PHOSPHATE. Guano - 11.5 % Phosphorus. A fossilised seabird phosphate. Citrate soluble and slow release phosphate with Ca Silica, and trace elements all available (insoluble but available) PHOSPHATE. Life Phos – 11.85% Phosphorus. A prilled rock phosphate with microbes, ďŹ sh and seaweed. HUMATE. A carbon source to improve fertilizer efďŹ ciency and nutrient release. Humate powder, Humic liquid, Fulvic Liquid, Carbohydrates. MYCORRHIZAE. BIO SOL VAM (Vesicular Arbuscular Mycorrhizae) Fungi. All seed should be sown with these amazing microbes, only requires 2kg per tonne of seed. The mycorrhizal fungi attach themselves to plant roots sequestering moisture and nutrients. They can unlock, retrieve and transport phosphorous. Free up copper, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. Also they are the frontline defense against soil borne diseases and pathogens. SOIL AND BIOLOGICAL NATURAL STIMULANTS. Liquid ďŹ sh fertilizer, compost liquid extract, stubble digesters, humic acid, fulvic acid, bio stimulants, seaweed and microbial foods, fertigation. ANIMAL PROBIOTIC AND NUTRITION SUPPLEMENTS HEALTHY SOILS LIQUID FISH and the famous FOLIAFEED. Others have tried unsuccessfully to copy, but cannot even get close in terms of value and nutrients.

Check out the web site www.healthysoils.co.nz for more information on our products .

If you have an interest in Biological farming or wish to know more about our system or information on our products please call Don Hart 0274 320 187.


9

Humate and Humic

Substances Humic substances and rock phosphates The stimulatory effects of humic substances have been directly correlated with the enhanced uptake of macronutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and sulphur and micronutrients Fe, Zn, Cu and Mn. Humic substances enhance the uptake of minerals through the stimulation of microbiological activity. Humic substances actually coat mineral surfaces, which aid in the solubility of otherwise insoluble compounds by dissolving, complexing, and chelating the dissolved nutrients. Humic substances can improve the effectiveness of rock phosphate causing the release of PO4-anions and CA2+ cations from hardly soluble rock minerals because high total acidity and its ability to complex and chelate the resulting solution and to stimulate the microbial metabolism. Research has also conďŹ rmed that combining rock phosphate with humate can increase the available phosphate analysis from near zero to over 10 %.

Calcium Calcium and humic substances make a powerful combination. Many of the beneďŹ ts of calcium overlap with the beneďŹ ts of humic substance along with their biological stimulation and chelating capacity. Humate and a dry lime source work as well if not better than other chelated calcium products, because the humic substances are known to complex both cations and anions, creating a synergistic effect, resulting in the combination, is greater than the individual ingredients. Humic substances

are responsible for kelation of calcium holding these in a bio-available form.

Conclusion and pathway to sustainablity The conventional tools of chemistry have not been able to explain why these materials work in the complex soil ecosystems.

Humic substances also chelate iron, zinc and copper and complex with many other trace elements. Elements typically found in natural phosphate minerals such as zinc and copper, are known to suppress pathogens and encourage the growth of beneďŹ cial organisms.

They have all the qualities of humus, but are not humus, and are available as humate in dry powers or humic acids and fulvic acids in liquids. Because of their ability to improve fertiliser efďŹ cientcy, humic substances are best utilised as part of a total fertiliser program blended into fertilisers. Humates, humic acids and fulvic acids are powerful biological tools which the beneďŹ ts should result in. s"IOLOGICALRELEASEOFNUTRIENTSFROMOTHERWISEINSOLUBLE materials s2OOTGROWTH s.UTRIENTUPTAKEFROMLARGERROOTMASS s2ESPIRATION s0HOTOSYNTHESIS s-INERALBIOAVAILABILITYANDSTABILISATION s.ITROGENSTABILISATIONANDFERTILISEREFlCIENCY s$ISEASERESISTANCE Humic substances are critical components of water and soil ecosystems. The vast agronomic and environmental importance of these materials is just beginning to be appreciated. The ecological and plant-nutritional beneďŹ ts provide sufďŹ cient justiďŹ cation for using these extraordinary complex eco-minerals.

D.L. HART 25.2.2011

Don Hart standing in a wheat ďŹ eld that had no fungicides or insecticides applied and recieved less than 90kg N/HA, demonstrating the beneďŹ ts of soil heatlh.

HEALTHY SOILS principal objective is to offer a range of products and services that can restore the MINERAL and MICROBIAL balance in the soil, thereby reducing the need for high analysis fertilisers and chemicals. Also to optimise fertiliser and nutrient availability is increased with all essential soil nutrients, not just NPK, with balanced solid mineral programs and specific liquid bio stimulants and microbial food. Including - a comprehensive SOIL or PLANT SAP test analysis, interpretation and recommendation. “We can not solve the problems of today using the same thinking that we used to create them�. Albert Einstein.

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10

Role of males under spotlight Marking 50 years of sire proving scheme The males behind some of the best females in the world will come in for a bit of special attention this year. It’s 50 years since a scheme began to select and prove elite dairy bulls that would go on to sire cows which were more productive, generation by generation. That this was achieved is evident in the genetic gain Kiwi farmers enjoy today – far greater than their international counterparts; genetic gain translates to money in the bank for individual farmers, the dairy industry and the New Zealand economy. The dairy industry’s sire proving scheme began in 1960 and, 50 years on, LIC is celebrating the achievements and the people behind them – New Zealand dairy farmers. Fifty years of Sire Proving will be celebrated at 2011 Fieldays and the publication of a commemorative book. LIC Communications Manager, Clare Bayly, said the book was being developed and the farmer cooperative wanted to include the memories of farmers “who were

involved in the early days of arti icial breeding and sire proving. “Many of the farmers from the 1950s and 1960s may no longer be actively involved on the farm, but their memories will be ‘gold’ and we want to ensure those recollections and photographs (where possible) are included in the book to ensure it is a true celebration of New Zealand dairy farmers and farming.” Clare Bayly is asking farmers who either recall the challenges of the pre-AB days (when bulls were responsible for generating the following year’s income), the early days of AB, or who were members of the Sire Proving Scheme to contact her. Key points: • The New Zealand dairy industry has one of the most effective ways of proving dairy sires in the world – it’s called the LIC Sire Proving Scheme and it celebrates 50 years in June 2011. • The farmer co-operative wants to contact farmers who were actively involved in the early days of arti icial breeding or sire proving.

Any one of these young bulls, in LIC’s current Sire Proving Scheme, could be tomorrow’s champion.

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NZ Dairy Industry Awards 2011 Canterbury/North Otago regional Ď?inals Hotel Ashburton March 30, 2011 Mid Canterbury once again has the honour of hosting the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards Canterbury/North Otago regional inals after ive years.

A common theme among people who have competed in the NZDIA for the irst time is that they learn plenty about their own business after putting it under the microscope to identify its strengths and weaknesses.

The Christchurch earthquake may have signi icantly damaged the original venue the Hotel Grand Chancellor, but not the spirit of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA).

Competitors also see the NZDIA as an excellent opportunity to broaden their network, which can lead to further opportunities as they move up in the industry.

The NZDIA celebrates the endeavours of that unsung workforce which is such a major driver of the country’s economy. This year is particularly unique as the NZDIA has evolved and taken on a dierent format to re lect the changes in employment, partnership and ownership structures in dairy farming. It’s these options which have laid out clear pathways of progress, and attracted so many young people who have speci ic goals to grow within the industry. This structure has in turn ensured the continued strength of the dairy industry in encouraging farmers to perform to their potential, drive the industry forward and lay the foundations for future

generations to forge their own paths. The NZDIA has become an intricate part of driving the ambitions of dairy farmers as it enables them to take an indepth, critical look at how they run their business.

Those who win their respective categories will go on to compete in the national inals held in Queenstown on May, 14. Tickets for the Canterbury/North Otago regional awards dinner can be purchased from Carmen Ryan on 03 307 8203 or e-mail carmen_ ryan@westpac.co.nz

Over the next six pages the Ashburton Guardian introduces the six Canterbury/ North Otago regional inalists of each of the three categories. The NZDIA Canterbury/North Otago regional awards dinner will be held at the Hotel Ashburton on March 30.

The judges’ feedback gives competitors a dierent perspective on how their farm is managed as well as where they can improve.

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Dairy awards - Dairy trainee Matt Parmar

Matt Parmar is a herd manager and second in charge of 1000 cows on 520 hectares in Hororata. Matt was originally a chef in Christchurch, before he met his future wife, who was a dairy farmer at Lincoln and introduced him to the industry. When the restaurant closed, Matt was keen to become fully involved in the dairy industry as he enjoyed the relaxing lifestyle of working outside and milking cows. While he said it’s been a steep learning curve, Matt’s a keen learner with a strong work ethic. This is his third season working for Leon and Bronwyn McKavanagh and his irst time competing in the dairy industry awards. In the next two years Matt has a goal to work his way up into contract milking or sharemilking and is keen to gain more knowledge through the NZDIA while also widening his network of contacts in the industry.

Lisa Avery Lisa Avery is the second in charge of 350 cows on 160 effective hectares in Oxford and has worked at lower-order sharemilker Kyle Grove’s winter milking operation for less than a month. She has a target to produce 430 kgMS per cow through the winter milking season this year. She irst became involved in dairy farming when she was on her overseas experience in the UK where she also winter milked for three months. When she returned to New Zealand she was eager to continue dairying and learned almost everything she knows now from her former employer Nick Palmer. In the next ive years she aims to be a sharemilker while gaining plenty of experience and making the most of her opportunities along the way. She competed in the NZDIA last year which she sees as a valuable competition in which she can hone her skills as she looks to eventually own her own farm.

Nicholas Rodgers

Nicholas Rodgers has just moved onto a farm in Coldstream after working on an Onyx Enterprises farm where he milked more than 700 cows on more than 260 effective hectares where the target for production was around 300,000 kgMS. The Coldstream farm he now works on is a recent conversion and over the next three months Nicholas will milk 600 cows and prepare the property for winter-milking 1000 cows and a new manager who will start in June. Nicholas was originally a sous chef who worked in an Auckland restaurant and was irst introduced to the dairy industry through his wife who worked on a dairy farm in Pukekohe. He irst started working on a farm near Foxton where he milked 1200 cows. Nicholas was keen to further his knowledge in the dairy industry through the NZDIA and this is his irst year competing. When he irst started dairy farming he wrote down his goals which included becoming a manager within ive years, which he is well on his way to achieving.


13

Dairy awards - Dairy trainee Joshua Grant Joshua Grant farms 450 cows on 119 effective hectares at Greenpark near Lincoln as a trainee. His roles on the farm see him in charge of animal health and pasture management among others on James and Ceri Burke’s 50:50 sharemilking operation. Joshua is keen to take on more roles and responsibilities as he aims to move up in the dairy industry as a sharemilker and eventually be in a position to buy a farm. He irst started working in the dairy industry on a 370 cow farm near Culverden and then moved onto a Sea ield farm where he milked 750 cows. This is his irst year competing in the NZDIA and said the dairy industry offered plenty of support and opportunities for people who could gradually work their way up. He is keen to continue farming near Lincoln where he sees plenty of potential for dairying to expand in the future.

Dean Borland Dean Borland farms 610 cows on 175 effective hectares in Coldstream where the target for production is 275,000 kgMS this season. His duties include milking, shed hygiene, shifting irrigation, pasture management and running the farm when the second in charge is absent. Dean worked in shipment in Christchurch on a contract rate-basis. When the recession hit in 2008 fewer containers came in, but he realised the bulk of the containers he moved consisted mostly of farm products. He saw plenty of potential in dairy farming and was put in touch with dairy contacts his father, an agriculture scientist knew. Dean is hoping to develop new farming strategies and meet potential mentors through the NZDIA and sees the competition as an opportunity, which can’t be passed up. He is keen to build up his reputation by making his name known in the dairy industry and has a goal to be a herd manager within the next two years , moving onto sharemilking and eventual farm ownership.

Obbie (Abigail) Vickers Obbie Vickers farms 530 cows on 155 effective hectares near Winchmore and aims to produce 212,000 kgMS this season. Her role as an intermediate dairy assistant sees her shift irrigators along with many other farm duties including milking. Last season she started as a dairy assistant on a smaller farm of 480 cows. This is her irst year competing in the NZDIA and wants to get a taste of the competition to see how she compares against other dairy farmers. She is eager to learn about pasture management, which she said dairy farmers do best. Obbie plans to make the most of the many opportunities offered by the dairy industry to train and learn as much as she can as she works her way up in the industry. Her long term goal is farm ownership and she is keen to learn about organic farming systems, which she would like to employ on her own farm in the future.


14

Dairy awards - Farm manager Dion and Kristie Gordon Dion and Kristie Gordon oversee four properties near Dunsandel where they milk a total of 3600 cows on 987 eective hectares. They have a production target of 1,520,000 kgMS this season. Kristie works part time as an MRI technician and also manages the farms’ human resources, which include 20 sta, while Dion’s role as operations manager sees him monitoring the farms’ expenses among a range of other duties. Dion has achieved a bachelor of agriculture from Lincoln University and worked his way up through the industry since. This is Dion’s third season working on the extensive property and the irst time he and Kristie have competed in the NZDIA. The Gordons have learned plenty through the NZDIA process so far, but originally entered to broaden their network in the dairy industry and learn more. The couple are keen to continue growing their equity and farm on the same scale they are now.

Hamish and Jill Johnson Hamish and Jill Johnson farm 550 cows on 134 eective hectares in Kakahu near Geraldine where they contract milk. They have a production target of 723,000 kg MS this season. Jill takes care of the business’ administration and human resources and Hamish is involved in budgeting and forward planning. Hamish earned a farm management degree from Lincoln University and irst became involved in dairy farming before he went on his overseas experience to the UK in 1999. Jill was raised on a sheep and beef farm and met Hamish in London while she was also on her overseas experience. They returned to New Zealand soon after and became involved in the dairy industry together in 2009. This is the irst year the couple have competed in the NZDIA and see it as a good opportunity to focus on their business and understand what they do well and what they can improve on.

David Lansdown David Lansdown farms 1050 cows on 314 eective hectares at Longbeach and is aiming to produce 425,000 kgMS this season. He has been employed on Synlait properties for the last eight years and has worked his way up to farm manager. Wife Jenny works part time as a registered nurse, but also specialises in sta management and the administration of their contract milking business. David’s duties include the day to day aspects in running the farm, preparing farm reports and managing invoices. David sees the NZDIA as a good chance to benchmark himself against others in the region. This is the irst year he has competed in the NZDIA and believes it’s a good opportunity for them to showcase their business and get feedback on ways in which they could improve. Over the next ive years he aims to improve his skills as farm manager and increase their equity to give them more options in the future for large scale sharemilking.

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Dairy awards - Farm manager Nick and Kylie Marriott Nick and Kylie farm 650 cows on 190 effective hectares near Clandeboye where they aim to produce 210,000 kgMS this season. Kylie focuses on the bookwork and calf rearing while Nick manages the day-to-day running of the farm which includes pasture and stock management as well as other duties. The couple come from Ashburton and worked in town, but were keen to start a family in the country. It is their ifth season working on the property and are in an equity partnership in Alfresco limited. This is their third year competing in the NZDIA and are keen to get their name out in the dairy industry and also want to meet new people through the experience and measure themselves against other dairy farmers. They are hoping to be sharemilking in the next couple of years to build up their own business.

Ben and Kerri-anne Eason Ben and Kerri-anne Eason farm 1150 cows on 288 hectares in Rangitata and are looking to produce 495,000 kgMS this season. Ben looks after the day-to-day running of the farm as the manager, while Kerri Ann does the bookwork on herd records, time sheets and feeds the calves in spring. Ben has been dairy farming for the past 13 years and Kerri-anne was introduced to dairy farming as a relief milker in 2000 when she was working on the Taieri Plains. This is the Easons second year competing in the NZDIA and found they had learned a lot from the experience last year as it gave them an outside perspective on their business. The couple aim to go contract milking in the next two years and are eager to continue building their knowledge in dairy farming, while achieving a comfortable lifestyle for their family.

Michael and Susan Woodward Michael and Susan Woodward farm 2000 cows on 622 hectares at Tiparita on a Synlait property. They have been in a managerial role on the farm for the last two seasons. Susan grew up in New York State in the United States on a 400 cow dairy farm and was impressed by New Zealand farming systems and started forging her career in New Zealand in 2005. Michael grew up on a goat farm near Pukekohe and studied at Lincoln University where his passion for dairy farming was ignited. This is the third time the couple have competed in the NZDIA and ind that they have learnt plenty of valuable things each time. Through the NZDIA they want to perfect their farm management by learning what they can from the judges’ feedback as they strive to be industry leaders. They aim to be sharemilking in ive years time and be in the position to buy a farm in 10 years’ time.

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Dairy awards - sharemilker/equity Greig Moore Greig Moore farms 1237 cows as a lower order sharemilker on a 332 eective hectare property at Maheno near Oamaru. This season he aims to produce 525,000 kgMS. He is in charge of the day to day running of the farm, which include sta and pasture management as well as looking after animal health. Greig grew up on a farm near Waimate and this is his third season on the current property Maheno Farms in which he has ive per cent stake in the corporate operation. He is seeking to learn more about his business through the NZDIA, which he believes will be valuable in benchmarking himself against other dairy farmers. His future goal is to invest more in the farm to gain a greater shareholding as he works his way toward 50:50 sharemilking.

Enda and Sarah Hawe Enda and Sarah Hawe farm 1100 cows on 280 eective hectares at Wester ield as lower-order sharemilkers for the Johnson family who own the farm. This is their second season on the farm and their target is to produce 505,000 kgMS this season. As sharemilkers Enda’s duties include the hands-on farmwork such as milking and shifting irrigation and Sarah manages the accounting and human resource side of the business. Enda was raised on a dairy farm in Ireland and earned a degree in agricultural science before he came to New Zealand in 2005. The Hawes are keen to analyse their business through the NZDIA to have a better understanding of where they want to go and how they want to get there by monitoring their performance. Enda said the NZDIA provided them with the opportunity to network with other dairy farmers and get their name out among the industry.

Chris Morrissey and Lucy Rust Chris Morrissey and Lucy Rust farm 520 cows on 155 eective hectares in Winchmore where they are lowerorder sharemilkers. They have a production target of 217,000 kgMS this season. Lucy looks after the health and hygiene of the cows, while Chris handles the pasture management among other day-to-day duties. Chris irst became involved with dairying when he was in high school and his friends asked him to help out on their Hauraki farms in the weekends. At the time he didn’t think of dairying as a career choice, but after working in Dunedin where he met Lucy they were keen to do something dierent. This is their irst year competing in the NZDIA. They want to gain more insight into their business through the NZDIA as well as meet other like-minded people.

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Dairy awards - sharemilker/equity Hayden and Jessie Dorman Hayden and Jessie Dorman farm 750 cows on a high input winter milking farm in Dorie. They aim to produce 438,000kg milk solids this season as they work towards 50:50 sharemilking. Jessie has an academic background and works fulltime for DairyNZ and is also the Federated Farmers’ national dairy section sharemilkers vice chairperson. Jessie joined Hayden on the farm last season and entered into a sharemilking contract with farm owner Willy Leferink. Her administration experience has complemented Hayden’s knowledge of farming, which he has accumulated over the years after being raised on a farm. The couple look forward to meeting like-minded people and industry leaders through the NZDIA as well as benchmark themselves.

Shaun and Joanne Back Shaun and Joanne Back milk 1350 cows on a 355 effective hectare farm in Mitcham where they equity sharemilk in partnership with the Mitcham Group. The couple have a target to produce 545,000 kgMS this season. This is the second year the couple have been farming on the Mitcham property, which is a recent conversion. Joanne looks after the administration side of the business and Shaun is in charge of pasture management and the farm’s staff. Shaun worked as a bank manager for eight years before moving on to manage the farm at Lincoln University. They see the NZDIA as a good opportunity to review their farm systems and achieve a high pro ile within the industry. They have already had success through the NZDIA previously, when Shaun won dairy farm manager of the year when they farmed in Otago. The Backs’ ultimate goal is to own an 800 cow dairy farm by generating as much cash low as they can.

Fonterra still seeks rivals’ powder for online auctions Wellington – A leading North American dairy lobby, the Milk Producers Council, has conceded that Fonterra’s big regular online auctions of milkpowders and other dairy products may be providing a reliable global benchmark for international dairy markets. Executive of the council John Kaczor said the auction re lects international buyers’ current decisions to accept future deliveries at committed prices. “It perhaps could be considered one of the more reliable indications of international supply and demand.” The globaldairytrade auctions, which trade some 600,000 tonnes of Fonterra products a year, have run up sales of $3.2 billion since they were launched in July 2008. The auction has more than 300 registered bidders, in 58 countries, but Fonterra has so far had little success in persuading northern hemisphere dairy giants to also sell products online. Fonterra has just published draft rules, developed with global dairy irms including Arla Foods and FrieslandCampina, to govern the opening up of the online auctions to outside companies. The Auckland-based co-operative is seeking feedback from industry.

Gary Romano, managing director of Fonterra trade and operations, said the draft rules had been released to allow industry participants and stakeholders to offer suggestions and feedback. “All parties are keen to be open and transparent so that globaldairytrade moves to the next phase of its development with continued wide support from the global industry,” he said. US-based DairyAmerica and Australia’s Murray Goulburn also “had input” into draft rules for opening up the auctions, Fonterra said, “although no company has yet committed to offer product”. Fonterra managing director global trade Kelvin Wickham said when the company stepped up its auctions to every two weeks last September that the move highlighted globalDairyTrade’s success as an online trading platform. “With a more frequent pricing signal, market participants will be able to have even more con idence they have up-to-date information on the current balance of supply and demand,” he said. Fonterra said that it expects to sell 530,000 tonnes of product — about 24 per cent of its New Zealand production — during the current season.

Rob and Debbie Mackle Rob and Debbie Mackle farm 560 cows on 140 effective hectares in Lauriston where they aim to produce 238,000 kgMS this season. Rob manages pasture and animal health and Debbie does the bookwork. Before they turned to dairy farming Debbie worked in a bank and Rob did live cray ish exports. The couple have worked their way up through the dairy industry since and are looking to become farm owners in the next couple of years. This is their sixth season on the property and their ifth time competing in the NZDIA. The Mackles entered the NZDIA to expand their network and make the most of the opportunities offered through the event for personal and business growth.

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Some stability would be nice Willy Leferink k ry Vice president Fed Farm Dairy

What a few weeks it has been. On New Year’s Eve we had a wish that 2011 would be less eventful and more stable than 2010, other than for the Rugby World Cup.

we will lose the battle. We, as a society, are under the in luence of Boston Legal and other similar soaps have become so besotted in where to put the dot in a sentence that we do not see the picture any more.

Someone had a different mind and got their way. While we are mourning about the after effects of the Christchurch earthquake and have our ideas of how we get this city back to its feet, the world has moved on and rid itself from long term dictators still solid in their seat on the same new year’s eve.

The time has come that the kids in the big cities put their X box or Play Station to one side and become part of society again. It will need some smart marketing to achieve this, but I am sure it can be done.

Even the DOW in America is lifting week after week and somehow maybe the Americans can get themselves out of the hole they fell in when Lehman Brothers collapsed. It is amazing to see the increase in whole milk powder prices and other commodities over the past couple of months, which makes us now probably the best paid dairy farmers in the world. There are cynical individuals in this country that give us an impression that we are not part of the developed world anymore, but when it comes to food production we are world class.

So much for the plea for a less volatile 2011. world wants safe food. It also helps that we have a company at the forefront of the dairy industry that lives and breathes our food safety values.

With no disrespect to the other dairy companies, Fonterra is slowly emerging as the global leader in There are very few countries that dairy. In Europe, Asia or America Fonhave a rigorous system on food safety terra means quality dairy from New like us and it pays dividends when the Zealand. Whether it is the “clean and

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green” perception of New Zealand’s image in foreign eyes or that we are a worthy trade nation, the main reason that we sell currently is that we produce safe, quality food ingredients which attract big dollars. So let’s take pictures while it is going so well, but make sure that we are in an even better position when we look at those pictures in a couple of years. To stay at the forefront we have to educate a hell of a lot more people in the agricultural sector than today. In Brazil more than 5000 students study agriculture right now, whereas we have around 150 to 200 agriculture students. Brazil has set a target to be the number one dairy exporting country in the world in 10 years’ time. They have met every other target they set in the past 10 years, so let’s not get complacent about where we are today, but make sure that we are still at the forefront in 20 years’ time. Local issues like nutrient management and animal welfare issues, can be resolved as long we live the outcomes we negotiate with the rest of the community in time to come, but if we are not going to put some real horsepower into educating students with some real science subjects and focus less on accounting law and art,

In the middle of February we had the Federated Farmers’ Dairy Council meeting in Ashburton. The irst day we took the opportunity to showcase Mid Canterbury and its challenges around water for irrigation. In the council meeting itself we discussed a whole raft of issues affecting the dairy industry from contract milking agreements to how to be successful in dealing with regional and district plans and issues around the Dairy Industry Regulation Act. This is particularly important for those who supply Fonterra as Trading Amongst Farmers is coming to the forefront. To those involved, do not hesitate to ask questions if you do not understand the issues. On a local note I would like to congratulate all the contestants that take part in the NZ Dairy Industry Awards competition. This competition is becoming better every year. I am sure that the judges will have a hard job determining the individual strengths and weaknesses for the overall outcome, but to me the participants are all winners. By opening up your own business for scrutiny you will have a real hard look at yourself, dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s and on top you will learn a lot from all the other contestants in how they approach issues and problems. Unfortunately the venue for the awards evening had to be shifted from Christchurch to Ashburton because of the quake. All the best to those involved and we encourage everybody to attend the awards evening to celebrate the cream of the crop.

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19

Looking at the cause of lameness Fred Hoekstra ra es Veehof Dairy Services

Cows start the milking season with thick soles and wear them down over time during the season. The soles become so thin that it is very easy for stones to penetrate into the sole. This is an explanation that a group of international researchers, vets and hoof trimmers got for the reasons of lameness at the Lameness in Ruminants conference in Rotorua last week when the question was asked “what causes lame cows in New Zealand?”. We did a hoof trimming trial last year where we trimmed nearly 1500 cows and compared them to another 1500 cows that were not trimmed. To get two even groups of cows we needed to measure all the back claws on height difference. With height difference we mean the difference in sole thickness between the inner and the outer claw. As the sole on the outer claw grows thicker and the sole on the inner claw stays the same there is a height difference occurring. We found that 82% of cows had 3mm height difference between the inner and outer claw in at least one of their hind legs. A 3mm difference doesn’t sound like much but it is actually quite substantial.

The difference in height between the inner and outer claw may be a factor in lameness.

All the cows were divided into two similar groups when comparing age, breed and height difference. The irst group were trimmed preventatively and the second group was the control herd.

Cows were 30 per cent less likely to become lame if they were trimmed compared to if they were not trimmed. If the outer claw is too thin already then making it even thinner should create problems whereas we found quite the opposite - where hooves were thicker, trimming them had a positive effect.

Preventative trimming entails the trimming of the outer claw to the same height as the inner claw as it is taught according to the Dutch method. That means that the outer claw was trimmed thinner. The theory is that if the outer claw is higher it will carry a greater proportion of

the weight of the cow. Creating more even weight bearing between the two claws resulted in a lower lameness incidence for the irst 110 days.

We presented this paper at the conference in Rotorua and it created quite a discussion because it was so controversial to the current prevailing thoughts on the causes of

lameness in New Zealand. This needs further investigation to enable us to have a more comprehensive understanding of the causes of lameness. It will be important for animal welfare and economic reasons. With our trial we only looked at the effects of trimming the hooves and how that in luenced the risk of lameness in dairy cows. We had not looked at the effect it may have on the in-calf rate and milk production. We are looking at setting up a similar trial which would include these potential effects.

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20

Setting up a new dairy Murray Hollings gs td DairyCool Ltd

Our hearts go out to those who have lost loved ones and property in the recent Christchurch earthquake. A number of factors should be taken into account when selecting a refrigeration company to complete and design a new dairy farm refrigeration system Remember the refrigeration system is protecting a valuable asset and a single failure in this area can amount to many thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

Aspects to consider are: • Correct design and sizing of the system a standard milk silo cooling system will need to be able to cool the milk from a silo entering temperature of between 15 and 18 degrees C. to a storage temperature of 5 degrees within the legal criteria of 10.30am for the morning milking or 7.30pm for the afternoon milking. • Future growth should be considered to allow the recommended refrigeration equipment to be utilised in an expanding operation. • Snap chilling systems are more elaborate and may be necessary where the milk entry temperature is likely to exceed

18 degrees (the maximum legal milk entry temperature to milk silos) or where long milking times make the above requirements unattainable. These systems will also futureproof your dairy against anticipated tightening of dairy company cooling standards to bring New Zealand’’s standards into line with those overseas. These may be glycol or water based depending on the level of milk pre-cooling required.

time it takes to cool milk to under the bug growth temperature). • After sales back up service is probably the most important factor in selecting a refrigeration service provider as milk left for too long in the event of a refrigeration breakdown will result in a downgrade of the milk quality or be unable to be collected by the dairy company. • 24 hour service from a local base is a must and generally those specialising in dairy farm refrigeration will carry the correct spares and have the training to ef iciently repair and have your refrigeration running with minimum delays.

• Heat recovery systems reduce the electricity consumption in the dairy and add value to the ‘bottom line’. There are two main options available, the economics of which depend on the situation although it is generally accepted all farms will bene it from heat recovery. • Site Layout is important from the point of view of ease of installation, ef iciency and reliable operation of refrigeration equipment. Your refrigeration company should be able to assist you in the planning of the milk silo and refrigeration layout. • Reliability and Durability of refrigeration equipment is an important consideration when choosing equipment for a dairy operation. There is a trend towards using less robust air

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conditioning components as a cost saving measure and this likely to lead to compromised reliability and lifespan of refrigeration equipment. • Operating efϐiciency can apply to the design of the equipment and also the way it is set up and commissioned. This aspect has a large impact on running costs and the time it takes to pull the milk down to storage temperature (milk quality is directly related to the

• Regular Maintenance Programmes ensure refrigeration systems are running at peak ef iciency, reduce the incidence of breakdown and extend the service life of equipment. Service programmes should be regular (annually), scheduled and provide a service report detailing the results of the service. Your dairy refrigeration is a critical component of your dairy operation and is best left to experts who are able to design, install, service and maintain your dairy refrigeration.

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21

Quake, weather and other news Ray Mayne ne d Ray Mayne Hose and Fittings Limited

It has been a very dif icult time recently here in Canterbury. It is really not easy to put the happenings in Christchurch out of our mind – and neither should we. We are the lucky ones - we are alive.

The farmer is not the one who is doing the best out of all of this, yes farm gate prices are getting better for many products, and I believe these prices should increase even more. Consider the farmers’ costs that are continuing to increase, fertiliser and fuel are the main culprits. Electricity costs for irrigation are never going to get cheaper.

To see the devastation to “our city” and to imagine what it must be like for those people who have lost immediate family members and friends is impossible for the rest of us to comprehend.

The New Zealand Dollar vs. US Dollar could also become a concern. At the time this article was written, the exchange rate was at US0.73, down from levels in excess of US0.76. I have always had a feeling that if our dollar fell below US 0.75, then a more signi icant fall could be very possible.

There are times when we have shed tears just seeing what has happened and trying to come to terms with the enormity of the whole thing. The rebuilding process must begin as soon as practically possible to get at least some positivity for our area. In the meantime – for the rest of us – life goes on. Harvesting to be completed and winter crops to be drilled. The weather gods have not really been kind to us either. The week prior to Christmas was a real knock to any chance of having a reasonable harvest. To see crops simply being hammered by strong nor’-west winds and unbelievable drying conditions was soul destroying. Even though there was in excess of 50mm of rain directly after Christmas the damage had been done. Crops have

They’ve frozen the price of milk why not freeze butter and cheese prices too? never recovered from that week. Since beyond me. I personally have not got a then the weather patterns have been problem if I have to pay more for milk frustrating at best, especially mediocre etc. I hope that means that the dairy days when nothing was able to be done, farmer is getting more for his product yet the crops were ready for harvest. also. Prices are getting better but there is still a way to go, especially so if those crops are still only average and the farmers have to wait many months for any payment. I see recently where there has been a freeze put on milk prices at the supermarket, why this is necessary is

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What about butter and cheese prices, should those prices not be frozen as well. What about meat prices at the supermarket? The price of lamb is at a point where it should have been some years ago, and the prices in the supermarket have certainly got dearer, should there be a freeze put on those products also?

Yes a fall in the NZ/US rates would be good for exports. On the down side however, goodness knows what this would mean to our fuel prices. That is not going to help with transport costs etc. The general unrest in the Middle East dramatically affects the price of oil and leads inevitably to nervousness in most exchange rates. So, interesting times ahead. We in the South Island need a change in our luck. We have had way too many tragedies in the past six months to last us a lifetime. As many people have said since February 22, keep safe and look after the ones we care about most.


22

Shining light into male headspace Woman dairy farmers keen to get inside the heads of their male staff will get some valuable insights from leading author and social commentator Celia Lashlie at this year’s Dairy Women’s Network conference. The conference kicks off in Invercargill on March 23 and 24, with a world class calibre of speakers covering dairy women’s interests as diverse as high fashion to agronomy. Network temporary general manager Lynda Clark said with young males often playing a critical role in the dayto-day operations on large dairy farms, understanding their motivations and thought processes can go a long way to helping the whole operation run more smoothly. Celia Lashlie is well known for her bestseller He’ll be OK - Turning Gorgeous Boys Into Men, which sold to critical acclaim six years ago. This followed her irst book The Journey to Prison, Who Goes and Why. Her latest book The Powers of Mothers, Releasing Our Children is an attack on present approaches to dealing with at-risk children. It is a wake-up call to middle classes about what she describes as an appalling waste of children born “pure and full of magic,” only to fall into an endless cycle of imprisonment and abuse, often with authorities working against the best efforts of the children’s mothers. Celia Lashlie staked her claim to social advocacy when she became New Zealand’s irst female prison guard in a male prison, working at Rimutaka prison in the mid eighties. She was also manager of Christchurch Women’s prison for three and a half years. Since then she has garnered a pro ile as being a straight talking, no nonsense advocate for young males caught in repercussions of violent, uncaring relationships resulting in violence, addiction and often death. Her involvement in a 2001 project, the Good Man Project,was the catalyst

Celia Lashlie - explaining what goes on inside a male’s head. for her second successful book. She held discussions with dozens of boys’ classes, providing an insight to how young males think and act. “It gave me an insight to the pragmatism and intuition of boys, and a sense of how we might be able to harness these attributes and so make their journey through adolescence a little easier on both them and us.” With it came a burning desire to see these young males reach their potential, rather than end up dead in a ditch behind the wheel of a car with a system full of alcohol. Lynda Clark said farming families are well regarded for their ability to “adopt” young staff into their business and their lives, taking an interest that extends

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well beyond the formal boss-worker relationship. “This is more so now, with larger farms seeking staff from further a ield who are being taken out of their familiar area to a new region, without whatever support was there in the past.” She said dairying women with their own sons at home will also learn more from Celia’s insights, and that “we are probably doing a better job than we realise.” Celia’s time in the prison system meant she saw many young men whose decisions had dropped them in jail. She has emphasised the importance of adults to continue to work with young men to ensure they make the right choices. Bosses on dairy farms can have a lingering and positive effect on their young male staff, given they so often share the same boundaries, workspace and time with their staff, often in a family business context.

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Lynda Clark said the industry requires young men with the inner strength to handle the physical and mental demands that come with dairying, and that would only come from nurturing, engaged mentors within the family, and the industry. “There is a physicality to boys, and a degree to which they live outside their bodies for a great deal of the time, which in luences their behaviour, and is an area to consider in their management,” she said. The theme for the Dairy Women’s Network annual conference is Milk Fills the World’s Cup. A sampling of other speakers include: Designer Trelise Cooper, dairy industry leader Dr Helen Anderson, and CEO of Westland Milk, Rod Quin. To learn more about the Dairy Women’s Network conference visit: www. dwn.co.nz. There are still spaces and accommodation available.

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23

Fonterra looks for a new boss Wellington – New Zealand’s largest company, Fonterra Dairy Co-operative, is looking for a new chief executive after Andrew Ferrier announced he is to step down later this year.

Brian Gaynor of Milford Asset Management said it had been very dif icult to ind out much about how the company operated under Mr Ferrier. “Unlike most chief executives of the largest companies in other countries, he was very low pro ile, he was very understated and he was not wellknown in the investment and inance community as a result of this,” he said.

The board has been assessing internal candidates for nearly two years, and an international search began at the end of last year. Co-operative chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden said Mr Ferrier had indicated some time ago that he wanted to move on by the end of 2011, but his irst priority was to do what was right for the business. Mr Ferrier took the job two years after Fonterra was created in 2001 by the merger of the Dairy Board, Taranakibased Kiwi Co-operative Dairies and Hamilton-based New Zealand Dairy Group. Federated Farmers dairy section chairman Lachlan McKenzie said the decision had been a surprise, although chief executives in top jobs did not stay forever. “No question at all, it’s no mean feat to try and bring together three proud organisations together. The country is littered with mergers and acquisitions that haven’t gone to plan.” The tainted milk scandal in China involving Fonterra-controlled Sanlu Group, which resulted in the deaths of Garages and Workshops

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“It appears from the outside that the company is now very much a united company rather than one which was made up from factions from the two major co-operatives that merged to form it. That’s the one thing that he’s probably done.”

Fonterra’s CEO Andrew Ferrier is leaving but who’s going to replace him? babies, was the low point during Mr Ferrier’s tenure. On the other hand, Mr Ferrier could take credit for the performance of Fonterra’s pro itability and the returns to farmers, Mr McKenzie told NZPA. “We’ve had a global recession and things and we’ve still had a signi icant pro it, and we’re still having payouts, the money’s being paid out to farmers. “I don’t hear any signi icant grumblings among farmers against the CEO,” Mr McKenzie said.

The next chief executive would probably be seen much more in the business community, he said.

“We want this to be a long-lived company and to be around for the next generations to come and so we will not be wanting a CEO that puts that at risk.”

Mr Ferrier will continue living in New Zealand, but wanted the lexibility to spend more time with family, including in his homeland Canada, and to pursue other business interests.

Fonterra’s capital structure had evolved, with more lexibility now in the way farmers can own shares in relation to their milk production, and more change was likely.

He started his career in the sugar industry, including with the Tate & Lyle in Canada where he took charge of the British company’s North American operations.

Fonterra and the Government are also consulting on a proposal to offer the public a stake in the dairy giant, creating non-voting shares.

In 2000, he became CEO of Canadian building products supplier GSW, and was then approached to head Fonterra. -NZPA

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24

Partnerships and expansion Agricultural technology GlobalDairyTrade expands partnership announced Three of the giants in agricultural technology, LIC, All lex and Gallagher have joined forces to integrate solutions for farmers. LIC Farm Systems general manager, Rob Ford, said the collaboration is a response to farmer frustration at the growing array of farming technology which isn’t integrated between manufacturers. “Farmers are signi icant users of technology and as the range grows, so too their enthusiasm but the abundance of individual items, presents them with a dilemma of purchasing unique pieces of technology which doesn’t always integrate. “We’re changing that dynamic. LIC, All lex and Gallagher have an impressive array of existing, and potential technologies that when integrated, will deliver value and satisfaction on farm,” Mr Ford said. One of the irst areas of collaboration farmers will notice is around the introduction of compulsory animal identi ication for cattle later this year (NAIT). Gallagher’s marketing manager,

Mark Harris, said Gallagher will bringg its range of EID reading and weighingg technology to the partnership. “These have been designed to work seamlessly with All lex and other brands of NAIT approved EID tags. “Gallagher products are built in d New Zealand and have already gained a leading reputation for remarkable toughness, performance and ease of use in overseas markets with traceability schemes such as Australia, Canada, Uruguay and Europe.” All lex CEO Shane McManaway said they were committed to the partnership and bring to the table 56 years of livestock identi ication expertise backed up by a team in the ield that has unsurpassed experience in visual and electronic identi ication of livestock. He expressed con idence that together, LIC, Gallagher and All lex will offer a range of technology solutions that will utilise this electronic ear tag to add value and bene it to the farming business.

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Fonterra is expanding globalDairyTrade, the online dairy products trading platform, to allow other dairy companies to sell their products on the platform, and also intends to widen the range of Fonterra products for sale on globalDairyTrade. Fonterra trade and operations managing director Gary Romano said Fonterra has been working with a number of international dairy companies to develop draft market rules that will enable the initiative to happen. Major dairy producers Arla Foods and FrieslandCampina from Europe; California Dairies and DairyAmerica from the West Coast of the USA; and Murray Goulburn from Australia have had input into the development of a draft set of market rules that will govern multiple sellers using the platform, although no company has yet committed to offer product on the platform. Mr Romano said that when globalDairyTrade was launched in July 2008 it was envisaged that other sellers of dairy products would eventually join the platform. “GlobalDairyTrade is releasing the draft rules today so that industry participants and stakeholders have the opportunity to offer suggestions and feedback. All parties are keen to be open and transparent so that globalDairyTrade moves to the next phase of its development with continued wide support from the global industry.” Mr Romano said having other sellers on globalDairyTrade would add more volume and lead to even more reliable price discovery. At

the same time, it has the potential to attract more buyers, given the platform will offer products from different geographies, enabling better risk management. Fonterra will offer Milk Protein Concentrate (MPC) and Rennet Casein from the May 17 Trading Event. “Adding these products is in line with our plans to provide our customers with a wide range of products on a world class platform,” Mr Romano said. Details on Rules GlobalDairyTrade Manager Paul Grave said the draft market rules were based on the existing globalDairyTrade rules, but are extended to meet the needs of multiple sellers. “Major dairy producers and CRA International, the Boston-based Platform Manager, have had signi icant input into the development of the draft rules, and we look forward to reviewing the submissions from interested parties in due course.” The draft rules are available at www.globaldairytrade.info. “globalDairyTrade is the trusted price discovery mechanism for globally-traded dairy products. “Since launch it has also developed into a highly ef icient market with sales to date totalling $US3.2 billion. It currently trades around 600,000 metric tonnes of Fonterra products a year and has more than 300 registered bidders from 58 countries.”

Dairy Focus March 2011  

Ashburton Guardia - Dairy Focus March 2011

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