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Dairy Focus JULY, 2014

The face of the future Pages 4-5 Stacey Hendricks: Passionate about post-graduate research.

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Farming Dairy Focus

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Fred Hoekstra

Grant Davies

Chanelle O’Sullivan

A good surface on dairy farm tracks can limit lameness in cows.

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Housing quality can become an issue as staff change farms.

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Page 24

COMMENT FROM EDITOR

t’s hard to believe we are on the countdown to Christmas again, but it’s great to have the shortest day behind us and more daylight hours ahead. We’ve also had the warmest June on record, and so long as you’re not living in Northland it’s been a kind winter. In this edition we meet Stacey Hendricks, a young woman from Geraldine, who is one of a new breed of kids off dairy farms with their eyes firmly fixed on a bright future in agriculture. We talk to Steve Adam, who along with his wife Barb have covered all the basics in designing and building effluent-disposal systems. We discover that the notion of producing milk in a test tube is nothing new and is

Michelle Nelson

RURAL EDITOR

not likely to present a threat anytime soon. Regular columnist Chanelle O’Sullivan looks at the trials and tribulations of on-farm accommodation, and Federated Farmers newly appointed dairy section chairman Andrew Hoggard introduces himself and DairyNZ’s strategy and investment leader Bruce Thorrold looks at the cost of production between Kiwi and Californian dairy farms.

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Suppliers hear about milk’s journey A bout 300 farmers and rural professionals attended the second annual Synlait Milk conference this month, with the company’s suppliers gaining a better understanding of where their milk goes after it leaves the farm. International guest speakers at the conference included representatives from multi-national dairy product marketers Hoogwegt Australia, Danone and New Hope Dairy and paediatric nutrition specialist Mead Johnson. Synlait milk supply manager David Williams says the conference proved its worth in giving farmers and those who take their product to the international market a better appreciation of each other. “Connecting to our customers helps suppliers understand that their efforts to produce a high quality product really make a difference. “Meeting people from international dairy companies, talking to them face to face

Synlait Milk chairman Graham Milne addresses the conference, which brought the company’s suppliers closer to the markets for their products.

Asian market for dairy. After the conference delegates attended a gala dinner, where Synlait’s topperforming suppliers for 2014 were recognised.

and better understanding what motivates them and the consumers of their products is hugely worthwhile for our suppliers, whether they

are farm owners, managers, sharemilkers or young farm workers,” he said. ANZ chief economist Cameron Bagrie, Sealord chief

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• Winners included Jimmy and Alesha Quay, who are contract milkers for Todd Enterprises, Oxford, who won awards for both most improved somatic cell count results and most improved milk quality. • Lovett Bros Ltd of Ashburton who won best milk quality. • SC and SJ Rossiter of Rangiora who won for lowest somatic cell count. • Aaron and Francis Coles, who contract milk for NZSF Rural investments (No.1) Ltd at Orari, who won Synlait’s inaugural environment award.

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Dairy cows’ nitrogen-use research bug S tacey Hendricks wanted to be a vet, but a workexperience stint changed her mind. Now a post-graduate student at Massey University, Ms Hendricks says school didn’t present her with all the options. “I enrolled in vet but I changed my mind two weeks before the course started. I did some work experience with a vet – much as I enjoyed it I felt I’d already been doing most of it – mum and dad have really good animal husbandry skills and I’d learnt a lot from them. “I realised I didn’t want this to be my career – I didn’t want to babysit cows all the time, I thought there are a lot of animal diseases that could be dealt with by better farm management.” “When you come out of school I think you’re quite tunnel visioned. “School doesn’t give you all the information. When I was at school agriculture wasn’t presented as an academic subject – it certainly wasn’t perceived as a subject for

Post-graduate research in nitrogen use is exciting for Stacey Hendricks, but that’s not where she expected her career to go, writes Michelle Nelson.

Michelle Nelson

RURAL EDITOR

academically gifted students. “We were directed toward certain subjects and occupations – usually medicine, nursing or vet if you’re academically inclined. The idea of doing research was never introduced to me at school.” Ms Hendricks stuck with the idea of going to Massey, but instead enrolled to do a Bachelor of Science – majoring in animal science and agricultural science. “I’ve tried to integrate the two, but it’s not something I thought I would do when I left school.” Ironically her choice was the one her parents had prodded her toward in the first place.

They were city dwellers who emigrated from the Netherlands to go dairy farming in New Zealand, moving up the ladder from management to farm ownership, eventually settling in Geraldine, where the children went to school. Under-graduate scholarships paid for her study and living expenses, and after her graduation last year and a stint in Europe, Ms Hendricks is back in Palmerston North – this time enrolled in a two-year master’s

degree programme centred on research. Winning two inaugural scholarships has enabled her to continue her studies. She was awarded the $10,000 Lois Turnbull Postgraduate Scholarship, and was jointly awarded the Brian Aspin Scholarship, adding an additional $5000 to her bank balance. “For my thesis I will be looking at the relationship between dietary nitrogen and urinary nitrogen in cows – what goes in and what comes

out – to see whether it can be manipulated. “There’s been quite a bit of study done on this overseas, but we can’t rely on that because it applies to mixed ration diets, not pasture. “If the cow can utilise dietary nitrogen rather than excrete it, there would be environmental and production benefits. It may be that nitrogen can be partitioned through the cow to utilise it in milk more efficiently. “The main thing is to get a better understanding

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strikes

Stacey Hendricks

of how nitrogen is utilised in the cow. The project I’m looking at is about changing the composition of nitrogen without looking at feed and pastures.” Ms Hendricks will use a historical data set, created from research at the Lincoln University Dairy Farm by Dr John Roche and the team from DairyNZ. “There’s no way I could have done this as a masters project without this data. “It gives me the chance to do an in depth project and John

Nitrogen in equals nitrogen out of cows, but Stacey Hendricks’ research may enable that to be tweaked.

and his team may finally get the research to publication.” Ms Hendricks is concerned about the dwindling numbers of people doing post-graduate study because of funding issues. “I’m fortunate to be in a field that has a lot of

options and attracts money for scholarships, but it is shortsighted to stop funding – we need post-grad students to keep moving ahead as a country, and for knowledge to be passed on.” While a PhD is on the

cards, Ms Hendricks is looking forward to pulling on her gumboots and applying what she has learned. “I’m definitely driven by research, I’ve realised I’m definitely academically inclined – I enjoy reading but I also enjoy the

practical elements of farming and working with farmers. “At the moment I hope I can work in a field that allows me to interact with farmers and help to improve productivity and the environmental footprint of the industry.”

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Farming Dairy Focus

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Milk – no beating the real thing T he prospect of a breakthrough in testtube product said to be like milk has not got New Zealand farmers shivering in their Red Bands just yet. “Milk is much, much more than collecting up the constituent parts and running it through an industrial process as if it’s cola,” Federated Farmers dairy chairman Andrew Hoggard says. Proving nothing is new, 102 years ago the New York Times reported “No need for cows now”, when German scientists created a synthetic milk-like product using vegetable matter. That promised much like we are hearing out of Ireland but didn’t go very far, very fast. “You cannot beat the real thing proven by millions of years of mammalian evolution,” Mr

Hoggard said. “The reality is that we are only just starting to grasp the natural qualities and versatility of milk. The sum of what comes out of a cow is a lot greater than its constituent parts. “One of the farming websites I read, recently outlined the huge possibilities we are discovering with milk. It said the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences found milk has a highly geometrically ordered structure when being digested by us. “This could not only spur on completely new milk products but revolutionise the way drugs are delivered, with milk perhaps used as a carrier. “Farmers also know there are milk alternatives derived from soy, almonds, coconuts and even hemp. “We also have the other milk-producing ruminant animals like goats and sheep. “It doesn’t send a shiver down to my Red Bands just yet. I know it takes much more than a factory and a

Champagne has vigorously defended the use of that word and we need to do the same with milk. This stuff isn’t milk and must not be called milk.

collection of chemicals to produce that amazing health tonic we call milk. “The problem we have in New Zealand is a fixation that milk must be cheap as chips. We don’t value it as the complete healthy food milk is or the effort and care it takes to produce it. “Good animal husbandry and good environmental

practice takes effort, skill and of course, money. “If dairy can take a leaf from the way the wool has been compromised by synthetic alternatives, then we should not be calling this test-tube product milk at all. I don’t care what they call it but if it isn’t from a natural process then it isn’t milk to me. “Champagne has vigorously defended the use of that word and we need to do the same with milk. This stuff isn’t milk and must not be called milk. “If anything what this test-tube product proves is that we seem to be moving further and further away from understanding the huge effort which goes into quality primary food production. What next? A five-course cordon bleu meal in a pill like in the Jetsons? “I genuinely think the public will have an issue with ersatz products because when it is said and done, you just can’t beat the real thing.”

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2 8

Farming Dairy Focus

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Cash cows

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ew Zealand’s regional economies are milking the dairy industry, taking $14.3 billion in 201314 – a 40 per cent increase in earnings – DairyNZ figures show. The regions earned about $14.3 billion from dairy farms in 2013-2014, taking the lion’s share of national dairy earnings. In total, it’s estimated the New Zealand economy earned $17.6 billion from dairy exports that year. DairyNZ’s chief executive Tim Mackle says its recent Economic Survey shows the industry contributed about 31 per cent more than the previous year and injected much of that back into growth, farm spending and jobs. “Our latest survey shows the financial value that dairy farmers bring into each province, helping grow residents’ wealth even if they are not dairy farming themselves,” Dr Mackle says. Dairy’s boost to rural economies is consistent with the national trend.

Dairy cows are major contributors to the economy’s wellbeing.

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New Zealand’s dairy export revenue is expected to rise in the future, reaching $18.4 billion by the year ending June 2018

National dairy export revenue soared by 30 per cent to 17.6 billion in 2013-14, a Situation and Outlook 2014 report from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) says. New Zealand’s dairy export revenue is expected to rise in the future, reaching $18.4 billion by the year ending June 2018, based on a modest rise in domestic production, increasing international dairy prices, and a depreciating NZD, the MPI report says. DairyNZ’s 2013-14 estimations shows New Zealand’s top provincial

billion with increased total kg/MS and a higher pay out ($7.85/kgMS). • Dairy employees, not farm business owners, numbered 5842 in 2012-13. • That is 2.2 per cent of total regional employment. • There were 696 owneroperators and 341 sharemilkers in 2012-13.

Where cows are treated like queens

performer in dairying is Waikato, retaining its top spot from the previous year and earning $3.8 billion, followed by Canterbury with $2.77 billion, Southland with $1.72 billion then Taranaki with $1.44 billion.

Canterbury impact A DairyNZ survey shows Canterbury economy pocketed an estimated $2.7 billion from dairying, through its hardworking cows, farmers and the staff employed in 2013-14.

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Farming Dairy Focus

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PMR GRAIN SYSTEMS

New technology, new advantages in Hinds if there is existing grain storage or if it needs to be added; and if the customer wants to use palm kernel or minerals for example. The PMR team will then install and maintain the chosen equipment. PMR strives to install only the best quality equipment, which will last many years and provide optimum performance. ”We want to do the job once and do it right”. Other areas of PMR business involve customers from Auckland to

“ Skiold SK2500 Disc Mill

PMR Grain Systems has just secured the dealership for the Skiold brand of disc mills, from Denmark. Unlike roller mills which crush or flake grain, a disc mill grinds it. Skiold therefore provides a great option in preparing cattle feed, so farmers can customize to suit their own needs. The disc mills are also ideal for pig and poultry. The SKIOLD disc mill is the result of several years of product development and testing. The object was to develop an all-round mill for grinding grain and crops; and that with low power consumption, quiet running and minimum dust levels. At the same time the mill should allow automatic adjusting of the grinding degree during operation according to the required fineness and structure of the specific feed mixtures for different animal groups or species. Also it was the object to develop a compact mill that fits in easily, even in existing plants. The grinding takes place between two discs consisting of a number of segments produced in tungsten carbide. This is the same material as is used for producing cutting tools in the engineering industry. Thus, quality- and pro ductwise, the SKIOLD disc mill meets all the demands made by today’s largest and most professional animal producers as well as commercial feed millers. PMR also supplies Wakely roller mills from Ireland as well as bulk storage, meal silos and flexible auger feed delivery systems. PMR know the importance of customer relationships and start with on-site consultation with each customer to find out the specifics of the farms setup. Whether it is a Herringbone or Rotary milking shed;

We also supply complete feed mills designed for the small or large farmer so why not start milling your own grain today and benefit from the savings Need a new pencil or centreless auger we stock a large range of grain augering equipment at great prices

The SKIOLD disc mill is the result of several years of product development and testing. The object was to develop an all-round mill for grinding grain and crops; and that with low power consumption, quiet running and minimum dust levels.

Invercargill. Owner Paul Whitbread, who set up the company eight years ago, has over 30 years’ experience in the grain storage, handling and drying industry. Both here and in Britain. Paul started working from home in Geraldine and has since relocated to a new purpose built premises in Hinds. PMR now have 11 staff and are currently seeking more as there is a consistent demand for their services. The inconsistent summers we have had lately have meant there is a greater need for grain drying in the Canterbury region. PMR can supply all manners of grain drying systems including hardwood drive over floors, continuous flow driers and portable batch driers as well as in silo solutions. With season instability a drying system is a good investment for the future proofing of Dairy feed and other crops.

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rain has become a vital ingredient in the New Zealand dairy industry. Mid Canterbury business PMR Grain Systems which specialises in grain storage, handling and drying has expanded to provide services to cater to the dairy sector.

CROP STORAGE AND HANDLING SYSTEMS

FEED SYSTEMS NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH PMR PMR are pleased to announce that they are now able to supply total dairy feed systems through our supplier GSI into both rotary and herringbone dairy complexes. PMR offer

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The range of products include bulk storage silos, hopper bottom silos, roller mills, flex flo coreless augers and grain augers. WAKELY ROLLER MILLS PMR are pleased to be able to supply the Wakely Roller Mill. Wakely Engineering have been manufacturing Roller Mills for the last 30 years and manufacture mills from 1.5tph through to 30tph plus.

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Good tracks help ease lameness Fred Hoekstra

L

VEEHOF DAIRY SERVICES

ast month I showed you some evidence that stones are not the likely culprit of making cows lame. Coming back to my original question where I asked to be shown some real evidence of stones being a cause of haemorrhage – well, I still haven’t been convinced. I am thinking up ways to show more evidence to prove my point and I will keep you informed on that one, so stay tuned. So if stones are not the cause of the bruising, why does it make a difference if we improve our tracks? Most farmers tell me that after they have spent money on their tracks they have fewer lame cows.

It is also scientifically shown that bad tracks and bad animal handling increase lameness. That seems pretty good evidence that stones are the culprit of bruises. Or does it? I don’t believe so. There is more to tracks than the stones on them. As I said in an earlier article, I believe that the main contributors to lameness in New Zealand are nutrition and stress. So how can a bad track cause stress on cows? Well, there are a few things that I can think of. First, if cows don’t flow well because of bad tracks then the likelihood for pushing cows is greater. I know you don’t have to have bad tracks to push cows, and many of you have had experience with people who push cows even on good tracks, but pushing does cause stress. Cows are “flight” animals – their instinct tells them to run from trouble. Can you imagine what it must be like for a cow when they can’t get away fast enough? That is stress.

Better tracks make for a faster walk for cows which gives them more resting time.

Second, another stress is caused by not getting enough resting time. No, I am not suggesting resting areas along the tracks with an umbrella and a cafe. I am saying that when the tracks are bad, the cow flow is slower. This means that cows take longer to commute to and from the cow shed and as a consequence will spend less time in the paddock resulting in less time for laying down and resting. It is scientifically proven

that there is a strong correlation between resting time and lameness. Just look at a well-fed herd in the paddock. What are the cows doing? They graze, lie down, drink water or socialise. Look at cows on the track or in a holding yard. What are they doing? They are walking for long periods of time and standing still in the yard. Both of those behaviours are unnatural for cows to do for the length of time that we

force them to do it. That is stress. So, if we improve the tracks, we improve the cow flow, resulting in more resting time. For example, if you could take 10 minutes off each walk then you have given the cows 40 minutes more each day for lying down, because cows walk four times a day if you are milking them twice a day. Of course, this is not the only reason why we have lame cows, but it is certainly an important factor.

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Business profile

www.guardianonline.co.nz

13

The place to talk about stock feed W

ith well over 150 years in the stockfeed business James & Son has the right combination of experience and good old-fashioned values to meet your needs. The company’s New Zealand chief operating officer Greg Pillar explains why you should take a closer look at what James & Son could do for your business. “We’ve been in New Zealand for just over 10 years, and have bases around the country,” Mr Pillar said. “We have a rep based in Christchurch covering the upper South Island, and two based in Timaru covering Mid and South Canterbury. “We also operate in Australia, Argentina and the United Kingdom. “The company was established in 1850 in the UK and is still operated by the same family today. “We specialise in manufactured moist feeds and using co-products from food manufacturing. We use a wide range of locally sourced and imported ingredients

Brent Haywood, Canterbury and West Coast Field Representative.

which we blend to required specifications. “We have a history of using animal nutritionals throughout our own business but we also work closely with other nutritionists and advisers to offer the best solution for farms. We aim to work with those people – not against them. “Our main focus throughout New Zealand is the dairy

industry, however, we do supply a lot into the dairygoat industry, and to specialty calf rearers and beef units. “We are very proactive. When we get new customers onboard we meet them on their farms to discuss the feed options and look at the best options for their systems to get the best results. We match the feeds to their ability to use them, we also advise

them on how to implement the new feed into the system and use it correctly, safely and economically. “All of our reps fully understand the products we deal with on a day-to-day basis. We pride ourselves on ensuring that if you come on board with us, a, you are going to do it safely and, b, you are going to make money because we don’t want clients that are

going to buy something off us today and tomorrow turn around and say they’ve made nothing or it’s actually cost them money. “We want to ensure that you get a return on any money spent – if customers are not making money there’s no point in them doing it. “We pride ourselves in sourcing and manufacturing what people want. “If farmers are already using nutritionists or advisors we try to give them options to go back to their experts – at the end of the day they’re making the call because they are already paying those people for that service. “We also offer that service without charging for it – but we are more than happy to work in with people. “We give everyone the options – go through all the scenarios of what we know works, then it’s up to the nutritionists or adviser to make the decision.” • To find out more about James & Son visit www. jamesandson.co.nz Brent Haywood (027 902 2299) Canterbury & West Coast Field Representative

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Farming Dairy Focus

2 14

www.guardianonline.co.nz

Results now going Heartland’s way Grant Davies

I

A BROKER’S VIEW

t’s been a long and sometimes rocky road, but Heartland New Zealand Limited is now starting to produce the results expected when the merged entity was formed three years ago. Heartland has accomplished a lot in three years, most notably achieving its banking licence from the Reserve Bank in December 2012 and subsequently changing its name from Heartland Building Society to Heartland Bank. The company continued its run of positive news in June, providing an update on its recent Home Equity Release or reverse mortgage acquisition, which is progressing ahead of expectations. It also announced good

progress in the ongoing sell down of legacy noncore property assets. This announcement comes on the back of Standard & Poor’s raising Heartland’s long-term credit rating to BBB and the bank producing solid earnings growth. Standard & Poor’s noted when upgrading Heartland’s credit rating that the company’s business position “strengthened over the past three years upon the bank’s transition toward its niche markets and away from noncore assets”. The focus on niche markets, such as vehicle finance, invoice financing, livestock financing and reverse mortgages, has served Heartland well. Heartland’s niche markets are considered to be at the riskier end of the lending spectrum, although this means there is less competition from the larger trading banks, and means Heartland can maintain higher margins. The larger trading banks – the big four Australasian banks – all have credit ratings of AA- reflecting their higher-

Photo: Tetsuro Mitomo

Heartland Bank in Ashburton.

quality asset base and more stable long-term outlooks. Heartland still has some non-core property assets to dispose of, but the progress looks positive and the company “does not expect earnings to be affected by these assets”. The NZX-listed bank will report its full-year profit in August. Expectation is for net profit after tax to be in

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the region of $35 million this year, putting Heartland on a fairly attractive forward price to earnings ratio of 12 times. The forward gross dividend yield of 8.8 per cent will also be attractive to investors. The share price hit all time highs of 99 cents recently after being as low as 43 cents in early 2012.

an authorised financial adviser at Hamilton Hindin Greene Limited. This article represents general information provided by Hamilton Hindin Greene, who may hold an interest in the security. It does not constitute investment advice. Disclosure documents are available by request and free of charge through www.hhg.co.nz.

FinD out how to eARn A higheR RetuRn thAn BAnK DePoSitS • Written by Grant Davies,

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seminar fixed interest returns high yielding shares. Hamiltonon Hindin Greene has a proud historyand of providing quality investment 10am tuesday 24, 2010 atthethe advice to Kiwis forAugust over 100 years. As one of few hotel remainingAshburton wholly NZ ownedby andMonday operated broking firms,23, HHG2010. is committed to providing their RSVP August Phone 307 7127. best investment advice. Bookclients nowwith tothe avoid disappointment! Call Grant Davies today to find out how he can help you grow your investment portfolio

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www.guardianonline.co.nz

15

Is your house deal up to scratch? Chanelle O’Sullivan

FACE TO FACE

H

ave you moved recently? Were you able to get a good look at the inside of your new farm accommodation before signing on the dotted line and moving in? It seems as though many people find themselves in this position, with no chance to check out the state of their new house before June 1. To me, that sounds terrifying. I’m certainly not speaking for everyone when I say this, as personally I have been lucky in the way of farm accommodation but boy, I have seen some pretty horrendous photos lately of the inside of farm accommodation that a family is expected to live in. Everything from cat faeces

on the carpet, mould growing rampantly in different rooms, rotting carpet, broken toilet seats, holes in walls, and I even heard of a case where raw sewage was leaking into the garden. Although these are at the extreme end of the problem – and just dealing with cold, poorly insulated and draughty houses can be stressful – when you have a young family to keep healthy and some of these issues, such as black mould can be more sinister than they first appear. If you find yourself in a situation with a house that is not up to standard, do you know the process you should follow to get this remedied? At first, if the manager or owner is approachable and on farm, I would take note of the issues the house has (keep in mind working appliances, too) and talk to them about it, perhaps offering some solutions to the problem - an HRV system, dehumidifier, insulation installed etc. Your next option would be to write a formal letter

Having a warm, comfortable home should be an important part of a farm worker’s salary package.

addressing the person who is in charge of the housing on your property, stating the issues and potential solutions as above, remembering to keep the letter polite and formal, make sure it is dated and keep a copy. Keeping the communication open and pleasant is

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important as this could build upon or breakdown the initial foundations of the relationship. The employer/manager then has 14 days to come up with a plan for the situation. If they disagree or nothing has been done by this time, you are able to take the next step,

which would be to apply to the Tenancy Tribunal, who will assess your claims and may order for work to be done. There are some great templates at the link below to help you write letters and make you aware of each other’s responsibilities. Also a couple of tips for employers – if you can, why not suggest the initial or follow-up interview be held at the prospective employee’s current address? This will allow you to get a look at how they treat the inside and outside of a property. If you can’t organise this, take a sneak peek in the vehicle they showed up in, it should give you a quick insight into what kind of person they are (though with having a toddler myself, I would be mortified if someone took a look inside mine!) Good luck, and don’t put up with conditions that the employer themselves wouldn’t live in. This link will give you all the information you need http://www.dbh.govt.nz/

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Farming Dairy Focus

2 16

www.guardianonline.co.nz

Good news for dairy cockies competi Bruce Thorrold, DairyNZ’s strategy and investment leader for productivity, looks at the core of competitive advantage – cost of production.

T

here has been much discussion lately about the United States dairy industry and the competitive threat posed to New Zealand dairy farmers. The US dairy industry covers a huge range of farm sizes and costs of production. The lowest cost of production is achieved by the largest farms – and these are mostly in the west. Total US milk production is four times New Zealand’s, but the large farms are so big that 540 US dairy farmers produce the same amount of milk as 11,000 New Zealand farms. These farms are hugely business-oriented, often family-owned, with low capital requirements and a growth mentality. These are the farms New Zealand needs to have broken into quarters based on profit per ha (before interest

and tax). These quarters (25 per cent) are shown in Figure one for the 2012-2013 season. Clearly, there are large differences in cost of production between the New Zealand groups. The low profit 25 per cent average is $5.71/kgMS in COP (cost of production) while the top 25 per cent average is $4.12/kgMS. The same interest cost across all four New Zealand quartiles has been assumed. So the top 25 per cent of Californian are what we benchmark against. Figure one compares the Californian dairy farms (average and the most profitable 25 per cent) with New Zealand dairy farms. The graph shows two costs. COP is the cost associated with the farm system and inputs (including wages or

Figure 1. Comparison of costs (all in NZ$/kg MS) between California and New Zealand dairy farms. To compare with the US, the New Zealand dairy industry has been broken into quarters based on profit per ha (before interest and tax). These quarters (25 per cent) are shown for the 2012-2013 season.

management) and COP plus interest and rent (including the cost of interest on debt and rent). The average cost of production in the US (2012) was $NZ10.45/ kg MS for a herd of 183 cows. Costs are

much lower in California, due to lower feed costs and economies of scale – averaging NZ$7.76/kg MS from 2176 cows2. The top 25 per cent of Californian farmers have an even lower cost of production

($6.26/kg MS) due to the relentless cost control and efficiency that top farmers all over the world exhibit. New Zealand dairy farmers also have a range of systems and costs. Clearly, there are large differences in cost of

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www.guardianonline.co.nz

17

ing against the United States farmers Home sweet home: Dairy cows in a barn system farm in the United States.

from 2012. Since then, feed costs in the US have come back by about 15 per cent – grain prices have fallen further but the prices of by-products and lucerne have yet to follow. A 15 per cent drop in feed costs translates to 70-90c/ kg MS for these Californian farms. This shifts the top farmers to be cost- competitive with the lower 25 per cent of New Zealand farmers on COP and with the second quarter of New Zealand farmers when rent and interest are included.

The good news

production between the New Zealand groups. The low profit 25 per cent average is $5.71/kg MS in COP while the top 25 per cent average is $4.12/kg MS. The same interest cost across all four New Zealand quartiles has been assumed.

So the top 25 per cent of Californian farmers have COP only 50c/kg MS higher in 2012, than the least profitable quarter of New Zealand dairy farmers. The gap narrows further when interest costs are added. US farmers have interest costs

much lower than New Zealand farmers, due to the much lower capital cost of their businesses ($5-15/kg MS). With interest and rent included, the top US farmers are cost-competitive with the third quarter of New Zealand farmers. These figures are

The US farmers who are the largest, most profitable and most motivated to increase production are now competing directly on cost of production with the less profitable New Zealand dairy farmers. These US farmers have plenty of scope to increase production, if prices are favourable. “Having met these farmers – competing with them without a good cost advantage looks like hard work,” says Mr Thorrold. However, there are three

pieces of good news. There is still daylight between the top half of New Zealand operators and the best US farmers on the fundamental cost of production (COP) for turning sunshine into milk. While debt is an issue in New Zealand and he milk price rises needed by dairy businesses – the large capital bank of equity on farms is a buffer against volatility. It’s clear what it takes to get all New Zealand dairy farmers producing large volumes of milk at a COP around $4/kg MS. Focus and demonstration farms in Southland, Canterbury, Bay of Plenty, North Waikato and Northland all show how a focus on pasture management, reproduction and people is central to low costs and high profits. Low costs haven’t been achieved by lower production – these farms use supplements in a way that adds to the core profit and production from the grass base.

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18 2

Farming Dairy Focus

Effluent feature

www.guardianonline.co.nz

Maximise your waste water with a spin separator

HYNDS hypond, stone trap and storage pond.

F

or farmers wanting to re-use wash water for irrigation, Rainer’s new spin separator would be a great solution. This spin separator separates the effluent liquid and wash down water from the contained solids, down to 80 microns. The system processes dairy shed washdown at the rate of 22 litres per second. There are many benefits to the farmer: • The separation process has minimal moving parts which makes for low maintenance and very low running costs. • The separated liquid is saturated with oxygen during the process which allows aerobic bacteria to thrive and destroys anaerobic bacteria.

The oxygenation also eliminates odour in both the fibre and the liquid. • If required the liquid can be recirculated for washing yards down either with a flood wash system or hose system that meets NZ Dairy Standards. Damp, separated, fibre solids may be dried and can be easily spread on pasture within a short time. • The system can be adapted to existing farm systems and takes little space. • Once liquid is processed it can be stored and used in existing irrigation systems. As the spin separator can be added easily to existing infrastructure and doesn’t take a large area, farmers can ‘plug and play’. Advertising feature

Weaping wall solid seperation bunker, pond in the background and pump station with Mono pump.

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Effluent feature

www.guardianonline.co.nz

19

Effluent warrant of fitness

B

arbara Adam is a career changer with a difference. Just a few years ago she was a bank manager – today she is issuing warrant of fitnesses for dairy effluent systems. The Dairy Effluent Warrant of Fitness programme offers a full assessment of your farm’s effluent system following a prescribed method by a trained professional. Barb first got involved with a series of trials on the West Coast. The assessment can take up to three hours, but can be

tailored to fit around farming activities. Assessors will ascertain whether the requirements of the farm’s effluent consent are being met, and look at the nutrient budget to check nitrogen loadings. As part of the process Barb assesses all catchment areas, with particular attention paid to stand-off areas and feedpads. The depth and rate of water applied with irrigators are also in the spotlight. “DairyNZ are promoting warrant of fitness

We sit down and do the exercise using a dairy effluent calculator which can estimate up to 95 per cent probability, using historical data going back 20 years over rainfall and snow events accreditation for effluent best practitioners,” Barb said. “We look at the whole system from when the effluent comes off the yard and goes into the paddock.” “We sit down and do the exercise using a dairy effluent

calculator which can estimate up to 95 per cent probability, using historical data going back 20 years over rainfall and snow events. But like anything, it’s only as accurate as the data you put in – you have to know details like

how much water you use to wash down and how long you irrigate for. Farmers receive a full report, which highlights any areas of concern and suggests remedies. When wearing her assessor’s hat, Barb declares a conflict of interest and hands any work done by EACS over to another trained professional. To find out more about this programme. www.effluentwof.co.nz

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2 20

Farming Dairy Focus

Effluent feature

www.guardianonline.co.nz

Solving your effluent problem A locally-owned and operated company is a one-stop shop for your dairy effluent disposal systems. Barb and Steve Adam set up Environmental & Civil Solutions (EACS) in Ashburton last winter after a four-year stint in Westport. “We design and build effluent systems,” Steve said. “When I started I was the first in the country designing and building equipment, there still aren’t many people who do the whole job. “A lot of people do bits, there are often four or five sub-

contractors involved, it’s very piecemeal, which makes it difficult to get accountability when something goes wrong. And we’ve seen some things go wrong. “We do everything except hook up the electricity.” Steve said farmers sometimes make the mistake of putting in effluent systems that will have to be replaced in three or four years’ time. “Some farmers are only going for the level the regional council has been imposing, but then they find out the barrier is going up in a couple of years.

“We like to think we can help farmers future-proof their systems – if you don’t put the money in the right place you are putting your business at risk. “We work with farmers to develop the best solution for their particular requirements – no two farms or systems are the same. “We like to build bigger than

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what is required so that when regional consents expire you won’t have to build another pond. To do this we look at plans for expansion, this is where our expertise comes in. We understand processes but we know what to look for to future-proof systems. Whether you are considering

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Let our experience in the industry be part of your farming success We are in our 6th year of designing and building exceptional dairy effluent systems. We understand the problems that farmers have with compliance so much that our systems go beyond compliance to industry best practice. Our quality control is second to none because we do everything ourselves, for you. No need to organize each aspect of the job, we do it all! We are backed by some terrific suppliers who will go the extra mile to make things happen. Give us a call if you are planning on upgrading your system, we are happy to visit your farm to have a straight up, no BS discussion about your dairy effluent. That visit is

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Farming Dairy Focus

2 22

Effluent feature

Stirrers, the vital ingredient

Slurry or effluent?

W

hy are stirrers so important? Well it’s all about oxygen and day light. Ample oxygen supply and exposure to day light in a waste-water pond system is the key to rapid and effective dairy effluent treatment and anaerobic (good guys) bacteria bug growth. Without sufficient oxygen being present, bacteria are not able to quickly biodegrade the incoming organic matter. Your pond will stay stagnant creating a build up of sludge on the bottom and produce quite a stink every time it’s is disturbed. Plucks Engineering Ltd are the inventors and developers of the famous in NZ Enviro Saucer (coneshaped pond). Continuing with their usual innovation, about 6 years ago they developed Plucks range of Effluent Pond Stirrers. This brought a whole new thinking to how a farmer could, and should, look after their effluent ponds. It involved not only stirring 24/7 to keep the ponds biologically active by supporting oxygen and daylight input, but keeping most of the solids in suspension all the time as well so they can be pumped out any time. They achieved all this with only 1.1kW of electricity per stirrer.

www.guardianonline.co.nz

M

att Lovett provides farmers with efficient and effective slurry spreading throughout Canterbury. This locally owned and operated business has top of the line gear. Large tankers (28,000 & 24,000ltr) have the capacity to spread as much as a million litres each in a day, provided there are no hold ups. With a filling time of 4-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the slurry, getting the job done is quick and efficient.

Plucks have continued to develop their range for stirrers, where they have just released to the market a new range of their stirrers that retain the very low kW motors and huge blade under the surface. However the new models are now powered through an in line planetary gear box/motor combo, supported by two 40mm steady bearings that do not need greasing for life and a new style of anti-snag blade. The stirrers arrive on the farm ready to be quickly assembled and afloat in any pond in just a few minutes, complete with under frame blade protection to ensure that your stirrer cannot damage your plastic liner. Advertising feature

Pluck’s ADR 500 Effluent Screening Plant

Over the past three years, they have looked at a lot of effluent handling systems. Cleaning ponds on a regular basis works well and is the simplest. Waiting until the pipe is blocked is not effective. Regular maintenance means that it is easier to empty ponds, saves time and money. The dribble bar technology has more than halved the recovery time

of paddocks after the slurry has been applied. Having the dribble bar has made the splash plate a thing of the past over night, with no 4 week stand down period. Accompanying the tankers, the Storth Mega Mix Stirrer has a huge mixing capacity, playing an important role in breaking down thick crusted ponds. It’s capable of pumping a massive 20,000 litres a minute. Every pond has a different nutrient value. Effluent is an effective organic fertiliser which can maximise the growth of grass as good as, if not better than chemical alternatives – an advantage which is already on the farm. Owner/operator Matt Lovett has the knowledge gained by working with farmers first hand. Use your slurry for what it’s worth, it doesn’t have to be a problem. Advertising feature

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www.guardianonline.co.nz

23

Get your contracts sorted quickly Matt Jones

STAFF MATTERS

E

ver hired a neighbour, or a mate to work on your farm? Have they been employed as an employee or as a contractor? Why is it important to know the difference? Contractors and employees have different rights in the workplace. When hiring casuals, temps and part-timers you must clarify their position and employment category before they start work on your farm. To prevent any potential problems I suggest that you get a clear employment contract in writing from day one. While it’s tempting to have a verbal agreement if you know the person, it’s best to get everything formalised properly at the time of

hiring. If there are any future grievances taken against you a casual agreement between you both just doesn’t cut it. Even a one-page document such as a well-written employment agreement will suffice and ensure you have some protection in the event of any issues down the line. So much rides on whether a person is an employee though, regarding challenging dismissal, health and safety requirements, accident compensation, payment of wages and hours worked, to holiday rights and statutory redundancy. At Agstaff we are often asked about how farmers can distinguish the difference between employees and contractors. You need to be clear about this categorisation when dismissing a person’s services/employment in the correct way in your workplace.

Contractor termination

Quite simply a contractor can be terminated subject to the terms of his or her contract.

I suggest that you get a clear employment contract in writing from day one

Employee termination This is more tricky: a staff member who is clearly an employee can only be terminated if it can be procedurally and substantively justified. So how does a farm owner or manager distinguish between an employee or contractor? If questioned it’s up to the Authority or Employment Court to determine the “real nature” of the relationship between both parties if in question. After specific factors are considered they will also take into account the intention of the persons involved. Here’s a sticking point though, just because all parties have expressed in the written

documentation that it is an employment relationship, this doesn’t make it concrete. This is another factor to consider hence the confusion with the employee vs contractor puzzle.

What does the Employment Court authority take into account?

Oral and written terms of a contractual agreement. These are undertaken among everyone involved and include how the relationship operated in practice. Views and statements of each party. This takes into account their understanding of said relationship. Evaluating control. This is the degree of control the employer exercises over the person’s farm work and the way it has been carried out in your workplace. Evaluating integration. Are the duties that are undertaken on the farm an integral part of the business? Does the farm worker carry out tasks alongside various

others who are employees? To the outside are they represented as an employee, an example being when a person uses a farm vehicle with your business name on it? Evaluating fundamental/ economic reality. Is the person operating in your business on their own account such as providing their own equipment, tools and own staff as required? Do they profit from these efforts in any way, or carry any degree of financial risk at all? These criteria are all taken into consideration. The less control and financial responsibilities a person has, coupled with more integration and representation they have carrying out core duties, the more likely they are to be a staff member or an employee. If you get the categorisation right, the termination process should be clear and above board for all parties so there are no grey areas around dismissal. • Questions about staff terminations? Phone Agstaff today.

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2 24

Farming Dairy Focus Advertorial

www.guardianonline.co.nz

New tool for fight against BVD Z

oetis is pleased to be expanding its portfolio of livestock vaccines with the release of Ultravac BVD. Ultravac BVD provides farmers with the ability to protect their herds against the multiple strains of BVD (bovine viral diarrhoea) found in New Zealand. Ultravac BVD ensures a high level of protection against BVD transfer from mother to foetus which is a critical pathway for the disease that makes it particularly difficult to control. At least 60 per cent of cattle in New Zealand have been exposed to the BVD virus and estimated losses in dairy herds amount to about $150 million for the industry, about $220 per infected cow. Lowered conception and milk production and increased abortions are among the causes of these losses. Zoetis market development manager Dr Wayne Clough says increasing numbers of farmers are becoming aware of the impact BVD can have

in financial and animal health terms. “There has been a decade of research done now evaluating the impact of BVD. There have also been major advances in how we can detect it in herds. When it comes to protecting a herd from BVD, Ultravac BVD has a number of features that make it particularly useful.” The four-week to sixmonth window available to deliver Ultravac BVD’s second “booster” shot makes it a flexible vaccine to administer, easily fitting into stock treatment programmes for either dairy or drystock farmers. Its ability to be injected under the skin, rather than into the muscle makes it “cow friendly” and easier to administer. The 30-day in-use shelf life is significantly greater than competing vaccines, minimising wastage of vaccine. It means the second booster shot can even be administered from the same pack as the initial shot.

Dr Clough said Zoetis plans to work closely with veterinarians to help them increase farmers’ understanding of BVD and how it can impact on their farming business. This will build on the already considerable work done by the

BVD Steering Committee that has outlined control measures every farm needs to try to reduce the incidence of BVD infection and transmission. • Ultravac BVD is now available from veterinarians nationwide.

Ultravac BVD is the latest weapon against bovine viral diarrhoea. It helps protect against the virus transfer from mother to foetus.


www.guardianonline.co.nz

25

Entries sought for top farmer award T he South Island’s top farmers have just two weeks remaining to get their entries into the Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year award. Nominations and entries for the competition close on August 1. With a top prize of a $20,000 travel grant and four special-category prizes of $5000 each, all entries that make the finals stand a good chance of walking away with a substantial reward. There is also the additional benefit of a free independent assessment of their business as part of the judging process. Lincoln University Foundation Trust Board chairman Ben Todhunter says one of the attractions of the competition is that size really doesn’t matter and is not one of the criteria for judging. “We’re looking for leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship,” Mr Todhunter says. “These can be found equally in a small family-owned farm business as within a large commercial

Winemaker Peter Yealands was last year’s Farmer of the Year.

agricultural entity.” Mr Todhunter says entries can be made directly by farmers or by others nominating them. “Traditionally it has been very hard to get farmers to put their own hand up and say ‘I’m a top-notch farmer’ but when they’re nominated by others that seems to take the tall-poppy factor out of it and they’re more willing to let their nomination go forward. “The foundation is particularly keen to receive nominations or entries from innovative farmers at the beginning of their careers. “We want to reward those

who have just started this journey, as well as show-case people who have already made it. “Emerging top farmers might not win the overall competition but could well be up for one of the other prizes and, more especially, they will benefit from the analysis and experience that entering provides to enhance their business, so that they might be an overall winner some time in the future.” Winners of the South Island Farmer of the Year competition receive the $20,000 travel grant to go overseas to look at other

farming practices, examine new technologies and innovations and enhance their farm business. In addition, the foundation offers four special category prizes of $5000 each: The BNZ award for Human Resource Management: Recognising commitment both on-farm to building a happy and productive team, and off-farm, through the strength and depth of relationships with suppliers, customers and the other people who interact with the farm business. The Silver Fern Farms ‘Plate to Pasture’ award: Given to the finalist who shows the best focus on customer needs and service by showing how they plan their farming operations around what will eventually end up on the consumer’s plate. The Lincoln University prize for Technology and Innovation: Best use of innovation, technology and/ or new systems resulting in increased productivity. The Farmlands Co-

operative Prize for Resource Use Efficiency: Recognising excellence in the efficient and effective use of the natural resources of the farm, and the physical resource inputs needed to generate a high level of production on a sustainable basis, resulting in an excellent long-run return on capital. “The prizes are noteworthy,” Mr Todhunter says, “and the learning and ideas that stem being a finalist, together with the contacts that entrants make with other top farmers across a range of farming sectors, make this competition an extremely satisfying experience, both in the short term and in the longer term.” Judging will occur during September and October with the finals at Lincoln University in November. The competition is open to any form of primary-production farm business including agriculture, horticulture, viticulture and aquaculture. Nominations and/ or entries can be made at lincolnuniversityfoundation. org.nz

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2 26

Farming Dairy Focus

www.guardianonline.co.nz

It’s time There’s a new face at the helm of Federated Farmers’ Dairy Industry Group – Andrew Hoggard.

M

Andrew Hoggard thinks New Zealand’s primary industry groups need to let the public know about how well each industry is contributing to the economy.

y name is Andrew Hoggard and I am the new Federated Farmers dairy industry group chairman and that’s not the only change. Being a North Islander you may get a slightly different perspective on things as I farm with my wife and two children near Feilding in Manawatu. That’s of course the region which gave us that planning beast called One Plan. At Federated Farmers’ national conference recently, we heard from political leaders from across the spectrum. One common theme that annoyed me and the farmers around me was this notion that New Zealand is doing the wrong thing in the marketing of its agricultural products. 

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www.guardianonline.co.nz

27

e to stop politicians playing ‘farmer’ That we are not adding value and are just doing cheap and nasty commodity products thanks to industrial farming practices. Oh, and the primary industries are like putting all our economic eggs in one basket.  Now where have I heard that before? First, this view that the marketing of agricultural products is somehow the domain of political parties is just wrong.  Heck, used-car salespeople are more trusted than politicians! Another thing that grates with me is that certain political parties will use policy to encourage farmers to do things as they see them.  When deciding on the stocking rate for my farm, I sought out the advice of my farm consultant, accountant and banker and not my MP.  If it’s a bunch of politicians making decisions about what products Fonterra makes and sells, then what on earth are Fonterra shareholders like me paying all these highly paid executives for?

When deciding on the stocking rate for my farm, I sought out the advice of my farm consultant, accountant and banker and not my MP.

Government is meant to be there to assist with market access and making sure the rules are abided by. It is a bit like the referee on the rugby field but some politicians want to captain the team as well. Farmers like me hope they will have fiscal policies which don’t drive up inflation and that instead of trying to take over the industry, they stick instead to sensible regulations instead.  The management and the owners of these agricultural businesses are the ones who make the big decisions and they don’t make them based on some nudge-nudge winkwink from a politician.  They make them based on long held knowledge of markets and products and because it makes sense and it’s what they believe is the best way to get

returns for their shareholders. If you want a reason for why used car salesman are less trusted than these wannabe political dairy barons, look at Fonterra. According to politicians Fonterra’s strategy is “let’s make heaps of cheap crap.”  Actually, it is the complete opposite but hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of theory.  At the last strategy update for suppliers that I attended, the chief executive Theo Spierings spoke and his message was all about “turning the value wheel” as he called it.  This means increasing the amount of value add products.  Now these products may still be viewed as commodity products but there is a big value difference between a premium brand commodity

and one that isn’t. It would surprise me greatly if these various politicians and selfappointed experts who opine in print and on radio don’t comprehend this.  This is Fonterra’s strategy but I guess they just choose to ignore it because it doesn’t fit their theoretical narrative. The other thing with this narrative that annoys me is that it implies the country is investing everything into the dairy industry forsaking all else.  That nothing else in the New Zealand economy can progress because dairy is hogging every resource. Less than 12,000 dairy farmers are certainly putting their all in but that shouldn’t stop the remaining 4.49 million Kiwis from doing what they want to do. The dairy industry isn’t stopping any other industry or business from succeeding. In fact we welcome it. New Zealand dairy has a competitive advantage since we have that ideal mixture of rain, good temperature and even better people. Put

this together and you create a world-leading industry. Given the need for technology on-farm these days, there is no reason why our industry can’t be the launching pad for many tech companies. This shouldn’t be a question of the dairy industry or something else, it should be the dairy industry and lots of other industries.   This does all raise the question about what our leading agricultural companies and co-operatives are doing in explaining their strategies and their visions to a wide audience.  Hell, Federated Farmers cannot do it alone.  More importantly, what it all means to a supermarket operator in Mangere to a ballet dancer living in Wellington.  Judging by what we heard at conference, I think it’s quite clear that more needs to be done.  Getting the public fully on our side will help shift those politicians from trying to referee the game as well as playing it.

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Dairy Focus www.guardianonline.co.nz

28

40,000 cows say Competition they prefer a Redpath to capture NZ clear roof shelter

farming life

… if cow’s could talk

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ural Women New Zealand is inviting people to get creative by writing short stories and taking photos and videos to showcase New Zealand farming life today. “We are running the competition in conjunction with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to tell the stories behind the primary products we grow on our farms,” Rural Women national president Wendy McGowan said. MPI will use some of the photos, videos and stories to promote the New Zealand primary industry brand and our rural values. “We encourage people to get their creative juices flowing to share the challenges and triumphs of farming and today’s sustainable business practices,” Ms McGowan said. “We hope to see entries that reflect our care of the land and our animals, and the skills and ingenuity of the

people that make New Zealand’s primary industries so successful.” Rural Women NZ also hopes the competition will highlight the opportunities for great careers that are available in the sector. The competition is being run as part of Rural Women NZ’s celebrations to mark the 2014 International Year of Family Farming. “Stories are powerful, and we have some great farming stories to tell,” says Ms McGowan. • There are five entry categories: Women and men at work on the farm; farm machinery and farm innovation; animals; children; rural communities. • Entries close November 1, and the competition is open to everyone. • Entry forms and further information can be found at www. ruralwomen.org.nz/iyff

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29 29

Growing your herd out... not just increasing numbers BY ROWAN O’CONNOR (TECHNICAL SALES REP), DAIRY BUSINESS CENTRE (NZ) LIMITED

A

s we pass the halfway mark for the winter season, we are giving farmers a timely reminder to start planning their strategy for maintaining heifer nutrition, as failure to give this enough thought can lead to poor production and subsequent losses of young animals in your herd. The primary limiting factor contributing to poor production is not reaching targeted live weight gains from birth, leading up to the first calving. By simply reaching targeted growth rates of 90% of the mature cow in your herd, milk production in the first lactation can be increased by 90kgMS per heifer (National average production 300kgMS/cow x 30%). A growth rate of 1kgLW/ day is the aim from the day the calf is born and is highly achievable. For example a calf born at 35kgLW growing at 1kgLW/day can be 215kg LW at 6 months old. There is some research that says 30% at 6 months will reduce excessive feeding pre-puberty.

However, most heifers have limited weight gains, and in some cases lose weight, during the first winter period. Thus by growing at 1kg LW/day during the summer, when grass is abundant and weather conditions allow for rapid growth, it will increase the chance of reaching the 60% target at mating (15 months). For a 500kg mature LW animal, reaching 40% at 6 months means it only needs to grow at an average of 0.37kgLW/day to achieve 60%, verse 0.56kgLW/day if she is only at 30% at 6 months. In previous seasons one of our mid Canterbury clients milking 1000 cows, and producing 585kgMS/cow per year, had their heifers producing at 60% (Dairy NZ average) of the mature herd. This equated to 150kgMS per heifer less than their mature herd. This season he has generated an increased milk income of $1050/heifer (150kgMS @ $7). This is due to the animal partitioning less of the energy to growth and more to milk production. There were no additional feed or costs needed to achieve this return in the first year of production. This farmer aims to feed high quality pasture,

brassica crop (from May), and ad-lib straw (always available) in conjunction with feeding ~0.6tonne of pellets per heifer: • August-End of November: 0.5 kg Starter Pellets / day • December-End of January: 2 kg Starter Pellets / day • February – August: 2 kg Finisher Pellets / day Farmers should feed a high quality feed pellet (not too exorbitantly priced), which has been formulated to maximise skeletal growth in calves while also providing minerals and trace elements to strengthen the immunity and maintain the general health of the calf herd. This feed should provide excellent sources of protein, energy, minerals, vitamins, and coccidiosis resistance. An investment of $ 540/ heifer could potentially return an income of $1,050/heifer (profit of $510/heifer) in

the first year, based on a $7 payout. In addition to this, heifers reaching targeted growth rates have higher conception rates, more condensed calving and less animal health issues associated to bullying by older bigger cows. To achieve target growth rates we need to be constantly weighing heifers to know the feed is working. By weighing regularly we can identify animals that are not reaching mature LW% and preferentially feed them. If the entire group is not achieving targets then this could indicate other limiting factors (minerals, worm burden or poor feed quality) and with this knowledge we can identify and eliminate the problem. If the animals are reaching targeted weights then both the grazier and owner have peace of mind the system is working. The importance of good

Target Live Weights Table Age 6 months 15 months mating 22 months (1st May)

nutritional feeding during the first three months cannot be stressed enough. Correct feeding will allow for maximum cell replication which will later result in a fully grown skeleton. Limiting growth during this period can stunt the growth of the animal for life. We understand that for some systems feeding pellets for a year is impractical or unnecessary, so long as targeted live weights are being met. Plan your feeding strategy well and consult a nutritionist to talk about the different responses expected from your particular herd. For more information on calf and heifer nutrition either talk to your nutritional advisor or contact the Ruminant Nutrition Consultancy team at Dairy Business Centre (NZ) Limited on 03 308 0094, email office@dairybusiness.co.nz. Advertising feature

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Farming Dairy Focus

2 30

www.guardianonline.co.nz

Bull figures stack up well H

erd improvement company, Liberty Genetics have released 10 years of breeding worth (BW) statistics on its jersey, friesian and crossbred bull teams. The numbers show that the BW values of its bull teams are ranking well against the other top sire teams in the country. Dr Dave Hayman, Liberty Genetics manager of genetic development, said, “On average, across our three sire teams there’s only around five BW difference between our sire team and other top performing teams. This includes NZ Animal Evaluation’s adjustments for young bulls.” Dr Hayman has overseen the company’s breeding programme since 2006. He said the most impressive statistics are for Liberty Genetics’ Jersey bull team, which show an average annual BW gain of $15 year-on-year over the past decade; a gain of 146 BW in 10 years. “Our team is right up with

Dr Dave Hayman has produced 10 years of Liberty Genetics statistics.

the top jersey teams in New Zealand with the average BW for our 2014 jersey bull team sitting at $243.” BW is the basis on which New Zealand ranks dairy bulls and cows based on their expected ability to produce profitable and efficient replacements. The traits included in BW calculations are: protein, milkfat, milk volume, liveweight, fertility, residual survival and somatic cell count. (source: nzael.co.nz) Dr Hayman says Liberty

Genetics’ BW improvements are impressive as its breeding programme is young compared to the industry, as it was only formed in 1998. “When it comes to BW gain, the cow population lags behind the bulls. Cow population gains have typically been around nine to 10 BW per year for the past 10 to 15 years. Whereas the New Zealand sire population has typically gained around 12 to 13 BW per year over that same period.

About Liberty Genetics

“Liberty Genetics’ average BW gains of our bull teams continue to follow the bull population, gaining around 12 to 13 BW year-on-year. However, since we only got started 16 years ago, Liberty Genetics’ bull team look to be improving at a faster rate, which is quite an achievement,” said Dr Hayman. In addition to its stand-out BW gains in its jersey team, the BW statistics released by Liberty Genetics also show solid gains for its crossbred and friesian bull teams over the past decade. Liberty Genetics’ friesian bull team has had an average annual year-on-year BW gain of $13 over the past decade with a total gain of 131 BW. The average BW of its 2014 friesian bull team is $228. “The udder overall breeding value is a conformation trait many farmers are conscious of and we’ve made a consistent and steady gain in udder breeding value in all three teams,” said Dr Hayman.

• Liberty Genetics’ bull teams are made up of 80 per cent high merit young bulls and 20 per cent higher reliability proven bulls. • Nine per cent of Liberty Genetics’ young bulls are proven with BW rates on par with RAS list calibre. This is an industry leading graduation rate, with Liberty Genetics outperforming its market share by three times. • When Liberty Genetics formed in 1998, no other company was actively selling young sires outside of organised progeny testing. • Today, about 40 per cent of the industry is using the young sire model and/or hybrid teams that include similar ratios of proven sires. • The company is wholly owned by CRV Holdings, the parent company of Hamiltonbased CRV Ambreed.

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www.guardianonline.co.nz

31

Introducing CompliancePro H

ave you ever found yourself in any of these situations? • You see the council vehicle pull in the gateway and all you are thinking is “have I done everything I’m supposed too?” • To consultant…“I’ve had a visit from the council and now I’ve received this

letter…” • The data logger has been downloaded and you have been advised that you have well and truly used your consented allocation and

CompliancePro, designed to help you be 100 per cent compliant, all of the time by: • Use of CS-Vue™ software, which is an online programme (computer, smart phone, anywhere). • Administration of Compliance Management Reports received from councils. • Consulting expertise to assist setting up the correct triggers and alerts within

CS-Vue™ required for your consent to ensure full compliance. • Assistance if noncompliance occurs. • Advice on consents and what can be done to make compliance easier to manage. • Field technicians to monitor consent conditions. • CompliancePro features task calendaring, compliance signoffs, email or text alerts, document archiving and contact management tools. The Pye Group at Temuka have used CompliancePro and the online software for the past six months to monitor and manage all the Pye Group resource consents and say: “It’s important to have all your documents in the one place and be easily accessible, and that’s the beauty of CSVue. It provides the tool to make it easier to review and monitor all your consents, and even allows you to link similar consent conditions together to make it more efficient to engage third parties and record resulting information

for submission to ECan. By having the alerts function, it is less likely that you will forget about key requirements of consents until it is too late. We would certainly recommend it to other businesses.” CompliancePro maintains a highly accountable and visible record of consent compliance - no more lost documents (even when the manager leaves because they can never be deleted)

and to the right people. 9 Increased environmental performance. 9 Improved relationships with councils. 9 Decreased compliance costs. 9 Decreased legal and financial risks. 9 Improved operation in relation to industry best-practice guidelines. Advertising feature

The core benefits of consent holders using the Compliance Pro package is: 9 Increased accountability and transparency with an audit trail. 9 Documents accessible and centralised electronically online. 9 Alerts (email or text) to meet conditions on time

PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTING MADE EASY helping our clients achieve EXCELLENT results

Avoid the paper war and be compliant with ease! Track, manage and report your resource consent compliance obligations online.

WI N

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peers have recognised this fact for the second year in a row.”

192 Racecourse Rd, Ashburton 03 308 0287 or 0274 832 712

3

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Member of

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Member of

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PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTING PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTING MADE EASY MADE EASY

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Offices: 159 Alford Forest Road, Ashburton 32 Washdyke Flat Road, Timaru www.irricon.co.nz 0800 IRRICON

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Call 0800 IRRICON

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Improve your farming operations to meet industry best-practice guidelines

Environmental Award winners

the 2nd year in a row Toforachieve this we will always provide “We consider the excellence service, environmentin for all works we undertake workmanship in and are proud our NE NE Environmental Award winners a professional peers have recognised Hedge & Stump Removal 192 Racecourse Rd, Ashburton for thefact2nd for year the in a row this manner from our second year in a row.” 03 308 0287 or 0274 832 712 Farm Conversions highly experienced www.granthoodcontracting.co.nz Dairy Tracks - Lime or Gravel R 2 012 R 2 013 “We consider dedicated team the NE NE environment for all of operators and 832 works we undertake 192 Racecourse Rd, Ashburton 03 308- 0287 RD - or 0274WA RD - 712 AWA -A W W management” www.granthoodcontracting.co.nz IN NER 2 IN NER 2 and are proud our 2

Managed legal & financial risk

their contracting needs. helping our clients achie  Pond Construction and Irrigation Development  Hedge & Stump Removal  Farm Conversions CORE SERVICES Thecore services Tracks we offer to our clients are: Dairy - Lime or Gravel  Pump Hire DairyNZ accredited Effluent Pond Design and Construction Pump Hire  Wells & Galleries Wells & Galleries Pond Construction and Irrigation Development  Bulk Earthworks C O R E S E R V I C E S Bulk Earthworks Hedge & Stump Removal R 2 012 R 2 013 The core services we offer to our clients are:  Sub Divisions NE NE Sub Divisions Farm Conversions l enta  Site Works ental irNoEWRnAm iroWnAmRD Dairy Tracks - Lime or Gravel Effluent 2 0R1D - and Site R 2 01Pond Pump Hi DairyNZ accredited Construction EnvDesign EnvWorks 2 3 NE A -A  Tree Shear W W 2 IN NER 2 I NNER Transportation RD RD Wells & G Pond Construction and Irrigation Development - AWA - AWA  Transportation W W IN IN R2 R2 their contracting needs.

01

Compliance cost decreased

“Grant Hood Contracting Ltd’s

with superior value and a solutionwith to superior value and a solution to

2

Improved relationship with councils

“Grant Hood Contracting Ltd’s

01

Environmental performance improvements

“Grant Hood Contracting Ltd’s philosophy is to provide our clients with superior value and a solution to their contracting needs.

PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTING and Construction

provide our clients philosophy is to provide our clients  DairyNZ accredited Efflphilosophy uentis toPond Design

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Email or text message alerts to to the right people and on time

PHILOSOPHY

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Documents centralised online and easily accessible

our clients achieve EXCELLENT res The core services we offer toPhelping our clients are: H I L O S O P HP Y H I L O S O P H Y

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Accountability and transparency

C O R E S E RCONTRACTING V I C E S MADE EA PROFESSIONAL

01

It’s important to have all your documents in the one place. We would certainly recommend it to other businesses

then some, and the rate of take has regularly been exceeded. Managing resource consent compliance these days is just about a fulltime job in itself. Resource consents now have more conditions and a higher level of consent holder input, and let’s face it, when you are in the thick of calving, lambing, mating, making supplement feed, or just being farmers, making sure you are compliant with your resource consent conditions is not high on your list of priorities.

Bulk Ear Sub Divi

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ProFit Quick-fit TInes

NELSON

Brian Miller Truck & Tractor

03 544 5723

ALEXANDRA

Peter Watt Machinery

03 448 8490

BLENHEIM

Marlborough Tractor Services

03 572 8787

DUNEDIN

Power Farming Otago

03 489 3489

GREYMOUTH

Power Farming West Coast

03 768 4370

BALCLUTHA

Power Farming Otago

03 418 3393

CHRISTCHURCH

Power Farming Canterbury

03 349 5975

GORE

Peter Thompson Machinery

03 208 9179

ASHBURTON

Power Farming Ashburton

03 307 7153

INVERCARGILL

Power Farming Invercargill

03 215 9039

TIMARU

Power Farming Timaru

03 687 4127

Profile for Ashburton Guardian

Dairy Focus July  

Ashburton Guardian Dairy Focus July

Dairy Focus July  

Ashburton Guardian Dairy Focus July