Dairy Focus APRIL 2018
INSIGHTS Pages 3-5
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t was great to get out on farm last week and attend the local Dairy Industry Awards winners field day at Rangitata Island. A good crowd turned up to hear those who won the awards share some of their knowledge and inspiration. They all came across very well – knowledgeable, good communicators and willing to share their ideas. If they are the face of the dairy industry of the future then it’s in good hands. Best of luck to all of them for the national awards in Invercargill next month. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been such a good month for those involved in the irrigation industry, although last week’s conference looked like it was going to be a good one. Although I unfortunately couldn’t make it, I’m sure one of the hot topics of conversation was the Government’s decision to cut Crown-funded loans for irrigation schemes. Although some schemes, such as stage two of Central Plains Water, won’t be affected, three others weren’t so lucky. That’s not to say those schemes won’t go ahead, but it’s a disturbing message for parts of rural New Zealand that need a reliable source
of water if they are to thrive in the future. As some of those involved with irrigation point out, these sorts of projects are not about increasing the dairying footprint. They have more to do with drought proofing and, despite what some might say, actually provide environmental benefits. Unfortunately, it seems that irrigation has paid the cost for some of the furore that erupted around water quality during last year’s election campaign. While he was in Mid Canterbury recently Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor spoke of the need for a break to regain some social licence. Let’s hope that’s all it is, because water supply is crucial for the health of dairy farms, both now and into the future.
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Award winners share their insights Dairy farmers from the central South Island last week to hear from the Canterbury-North Otago winners of this year’s Dairy Industry Awards. Share Farmers of the Year Daniel and Paula McAtamney hosted the day at Makaiwai, the property they farm at Rangitata. Also there to share some of their insights were regional Dairy Manager of the Year Will Green and Dairy Trainee of the Year Salem Christian. The McAtamneys, aged 30 and 25 years, are relatively new to the dairy industry, having only entered in 2014. Prior to that Daniel was a beef, sheep and deer farmer, while Paula was nursing. They attribute their success to their full involvement in their business, where they contract milk about 1150 cows on Rob Wilson’s 300 hectare Rangitata Dairies farm. One of the reasons they entered the awards was to learn and challenge themselves. “The competition process has enabled us to analyse our system and encourage our
drive for the future,” say the couple. “We are proud of what we have learnt and achieved, given the short time we have been in the industry,” Paula said. “We both grew up on farms and love working with animals, being outdoors and just being on the land.” The couple see their strong partnership as a strength of their business. “We are both fully involved in the business, both on-and-off farm,” Daniel said. “We bring a wide and varied skill set to our business which allows consistency, high quality workmanship and top performance.” Future farming goals include farm ownership.
Canterbury-North Otago Share Farmers of the Year Daniel and Paula McAtamney have only been in the dairy industry since 2014. PHOTOS COLIN WILLISCROFT 170418-CW-016
“We enjoy learning and challenging ourselves,” say the McAtamneys. Their vision is to operate their farm to a high standard, so they can be proud of their achievements and be recognised for that. They also want to build a solid equity base through
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farming and off-farm investments, to ensure they have a solid financial future. Along the way they want to continually expand their knowledge and have the courage to take on new challenges, while at the same time creating a balanced and a positive home life.
As well as being named Share Farmers of the Year the McAtamenys won the Meridian Energy Farm Environment Award, the Ravensdown Pasture Performance Award and the Westpac Business Performance Award. continued over page
From P3 The judges of the environment award noted the good systems and procedures the McAtamneys had in place to not only capture information and data relating to the environment and effluent management. Most importantly they had an excellent understanding of what was being reported, along with what they needed to do to improve on or rectify any issues. The couple’s knowledge of pasture management and utilisation also impressed the judges. “They had great records that were being utilised to make informed decisions to ensure the farm was the most efficient,” the judges said. “They also had a great understanding of feed requirements through the year and when supplements were needed to be put into the system. Policies were had been documented to ensure all staff were educated to perform any pasture-related decisions.” The couple also had a strong understanding of their current financial position and how they were performing compared to benchmarks, the business performance award judges said.
“They had a very clear business plan and could demonstrate clearly how they were going to achieve this. They were also very proficient in assessing potential opportunities and how they fit into their strategic plan.” Those at the field day also heard about the emphasis the couple put on communication and the steps they take to achieve their goal of having clear and precise policies and procedures in place that are easily communicated. To achieve that they utilise technology such as iMessage and iNotes, while also more traditional method, like whiteboards in the shed. Green, 28, the CanterburyNorth Otago Dairy Manager of the Year, spent three years working on his family’s dairy, beef, sheep and cropping farm in the UK, before entering the New Zealand dairy industry three years ago. He originally came to New Zealand to complete a one year industry placement as part of his bachelor of science in agriculture, which saw him working on a 3000ha sheep and beef farm in Taranaki. These days he is the farm manager for Kieran and Leonie Guiney on their 240ha, 830-cow farm at Fairlie.
Dairy Manager of the Year Will Green focuses on pasture utilisation 170418-CW-029 rather than production.
His vision for the farm does not involve a focus on production, instead it’s on generating profit and free cash for future investments, debt repayment and lifestyle. Green believes he is fortunate to be given a huge amount of responsibility in running the farm. As well as the day-to-day management decisions he is also in charge of creating the roster, time sheets,
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environmental compliance, health and safety compliance and staff recruitment. When it comes to the day to day running of the farm, everybody is expected to be able to complete all tasks. To ensure that’s possible, he has created a farm manual, along with detailed information about what each person’s responsibilities are. He is a firm believer in making sure staff are fully
involved in decisions on-farm, which creates a significant byin by staff. He is also not afraid to think outside the square when it comes to challenging himself and building his knowledge. A keen sportsman, he’s found inspiration in the thoughts of some of sport’s most influential leaders. From All Blacks coach Steve Hanson he’s come to realise that nobody is bigger
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Dairy Trainee of the Year Salem Christian didn’t let a broken wrist 170418-CW-036 stop him competing in this year’s awards.
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the ultimate goal. “Dairy farming is a great tool to build capital to make your dreams come true.” He said ever since he was six year’s old he wanted to own a farm and he’s making steps towards that. He recommends anything thinking about entering the Dairy Industry Awards in the future to give it a go. “The awards process have enabled me to benchmark myself against the best in the industry,” he said. As well as being named Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Manager of the Year, Green also won the TH Enterprises Leadership Award and the Westpac Financial Management and Planning Award. If that’s not enough, he was also a finalist in the recent Aorangi regional final of the New Zealand Young Farmers competition. The other presenter at the field day was Dairy Trainee of the Year Salem Christian, who was runner-up in the 2017 West Coast-Top of the South Dairy Trainee competition. Christian said the feedback from judges from that was invaluable in terms of his success in this year’s competition.
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The 20-year-old is in his third season in the dairy industry and is assistant manager on a 750-cow, 198ha property at Temuka. He almost pulled out of this year’s competition as he broke his wrist just before it started. However, after considering his options he decided that even if he couldn’t take part in the practical challenges, he would still benefit just going through the awards process. In the end, having his lower arm in a cast did not hold him back, as well as being named trainee of the year he also won the DairyNZ Practical Skills Award, with the judges noting his fencing skills shone through despite the cast. They also commented on his stock handling, while his communication skills were recognised by winning the Alexanders Communication and Industry Involvement Merit Award. Christian enjoys the challenges of farming and says it’s a great lifestyle. Future farming goals include farm ownership, although in the short-term he’s focused on working his way up through the dairy industry into a position where he is selfemployed and uses the skills he is currently developing.
Irrigation projects left out in the cold The Government’s decision to wind down future access to loan funding from the Crown for irrigation projects has disappointed many in the industry but by no means does it mean the end of the three most affected. The decision, announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson earlier this month and made in line with the Government’s coalition and confidence and supply agreements, means three projects in particular have been left out in the cold – Hurunui, Hunter Downs and Flaxbourne. Board members and farmer shareholders of the Hurunui Water Project have already said that they are determined their scheme will go ahead. Chief executive Chris Pile said without a reliable and consistent supply of water, the farming future, as well as the prosperity of the North Canterbury region, including the towns of Amberley, Waipara, Waikari, Hawarden and Culverden, is uncertain. “Water is fundamental to our community - it’s the
lifeblood of our region. As recent extended droughts have painfully shown, our livelihoods are tied to climate and the reliability of water supply. “This scheme is about drought-proofing and longterm resilience, not wide-scale dairy development as some commentators suggest.” Pile said the government’s decision was yet another hurdle in a long line of hurdles that the project has had to deal with. “But our scheme must continue for the good of our community. “Equally important is the environment. Hurunui Water Project’s scheme design means we don’t have to dam rivers, flood valleys or build more
intakes on rivers. “The project will use onplains storage, will not take low-flow river water and will ensure farmers manage their water supply efficiently and sustainably through the latest monitoring technology.” He said by collaborating with Ngai Tahu and the nearby Amuri Irrigation scheme, those behind the project are locating their storage pond on farmland instead of building dams and flooding native bush and ecosystems - meaning less impact on the natural environment. “This scheme is at the forefront of sustainable irrigation,” Pile said. “Modern monitoring technology will reduce water over-allocation and help ensure good environmental performance right across the scheme, while helping farms increase and diversify yields, reduce fertiliser and energy use, and reduce nutrient leaching into the soil and waterways.” Marlborough’s Flaxbourne scheme will also go ahead.
Scheme chairman Kevin Loe, speaking not long after the government’s announcement, said the government loan funding it had asked for was more about putting in place a structure that would enable more farmers to join it in the future, rather than its immediate future. Information about what was next for South Canterbury’s Hunter Downs irrigation scheme was less clear last week although a spokeswoman said an announcement was likely within days. It should be noted that while winding down irrigation loan funding, Robertson said the government was committed to honouring existing commitments to three other South Island projects, as long as two of them in particular meet their financial obligations with existing timeframes. He said the three commitments are for stage two of the Central Plains Water Scheme, which it was committed to; construction of the Kurow-Duntroon scheme, situated in Kurow; and construction of the Waimea
community dam, in the Nelson/Tasman region. Irrigation New Zealand, while welcoming the government’s honouring of its commitments to those last three projects, said walking away from the other three was disappointing. Chief executive Andrew Curtis said the Crown Irrigation Investments Briefing to Incoming Ministers papers pointed out that the socio-economic gain to communities from planned irrigation projects was more than $1.2 billion a year “With a number of these projects now being unable to access loan funding, this is a huge lost opportunity for these rural communities,” Curtis said. “The Hurunui Water Project, Hunter Downs and Flaxbourne projects all have local community support and also meet strict new environmental requirements around river swimmability and nutrient limits. “In addition to this they plan to undertake additional activities to help improve
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From far left – Irrigation New Zealand chief executive Andrew Curtis says denying irrigation schemes access to government loan funding is a lost opportunity. Middle – A reliable and consistent water supply, which on the east coast of the South Island often relies on irrigation, is critical to many communities. Left – Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor, who officiated at the recent opening of the Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation Scheme pipe, says there is still a place for irrigation projects in rural New Zealand. PHOTO COLIN WILLISCROFT 060418-CW-008
existing water quality. For example the Hunter Downs scheme was planning to augment river flows into the Wainono Lagoon, which will help restore this culturally and environmentally significant ecosystem.” Curtis said the water security that irrigation projects provide should not be underestimated. “Over the past summer we have experienced droughts followed by unprecedented wet conditions. This is indicative of the climate change impacts we can expect to see in the future.
“It is critical for rural east coast farming communities to have access to a reliable water supply in order to help them manage through these effects.” He said when farming communities experience significant droughts, it’s not just farmers who suffer. The rest of the community and local business also feel the effect. “Local councils see the value of investment in water infrastructure and recognise this as one of the most pressing issues for their communities.” Irrigation New Zealand
would like to see the merits of irrigation projects considered through the government’s Provincial Growth Fund, Curtis said, adding that irrigation projects build more resilient rural communities and provide significant community benefits. Robertson said the government recognised that year-round water availability was important for drier areas of the country and he did not rule out the Provincial Growth Fund as an avenue for funding. “Smaller-scale, locally run and environmentally sustainable water storage
projects could be considered on a case-by-case basis through the Provincial Growth Fund, due to the importance water plays in growing our provinces. Smaller, local schemes will help more of our vital regions better prepare for increasingly recurring events such as drought.” Agriculture and Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor, speaking at the recent opening of the Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation Scheme pipe, said despite the government’s announcement, it would be
wrong to say that irrigation projects had no future here. “It’s not the end of irrigation and its development in New Zealand,” he said, “but it’s time to take a break and a breath and regain the social licence.” “We’ve got to get better managing environmental issues.” The primary sector needs to strive for value over volume, O’Connor said, which meant large-scale irrigation schemes needed to be environmentally and economically viable to ensure better outcomes for all New Zealanders.
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Monitoring shows improving picture National river water quality trends released by Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) last week reveal that for all river water quality parameters monitored over a 10-year period, more sites were improving than deteriorating. The encouraging national picture has been welcomed by scientists and local government who pointed to freshwater ecosystem management practices as likely contributing to the progress. Trends analysis was led by Cawthron Institute freshwater group manager and ecologist, Dr Roger Young. He described the overall picture as encouraging and said, “Looking back from 2016 at a decade of data, for every monitored parameter, more sites showed evidence of improving water quality, than degrading. “My hope is this could represent a turning point in New Zealand’s river health story. “While this analysis gives us cause for optimism, water quality is just one indicator of river health and there
Monitoring has shown that New Zealand’s river water quality is improving.
is still more work to be done. While all parameters show there are more sites improving than degrading, there are still degrading sites for all parameters. In order to continue further improvements, we need to invest in freshwater ecosystem management, routine monitoring, and further research and innovation,” Young said. The National River Water Quality Trends (2007 to 2016) released by LAWA
follows a similar 10 year analysis released in 2015 by National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (Niwa). Compared with the 2015 report, a change in the trend of nitrogen is particularly noteworthy, with significant progress in the number of improving sites compared with the number that are deteriorating. LAWA and Otago Regional Council chairman, Stephen Woodhead, said the LAWA trends analysis is about
looking at what’s happening in New Zealand’s waterways overall. “The LAWA website makes environmental monitoring data from all of New Zealand’s regional and unitary councils freely available, and this 10-year trend analysis looks at all of the river water quality information at a national level. “It’s important to have a national picture of river water quality trends so we know how we’re tracking. I invite
all of New Zealand to get behind the effort to improve this trend picture further,” Woodhead said. Local Government New Zealand regional sector chairman, Doug Leeder, welcomed the National River Water Quality Trends. “A great deal of resource has been dedicated to freshwater management. This is a sign that positive actions by central and local government, landowners, businesses, iwi, and communities are making a difference. “Councils will continue to monitor and research their regions, to better understand their unique problems, and work towards solutions that will contribute further to improving the national trend,” Leeder said. The trends are based on analysis of the comprehensive data that’s freely available on the LAWA website. Regular water quality monitoring by New Zealand’s regional and unitary councils, supplemented with Niwa data, means there’s water quality information for nearly 1500 sites.
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MOVING DAY FEATURE
Hard work to restrict mycoplasma bovi By Geoff Gwyn Moving Day signals the start of a new season for farmers around New Zealand as thousands of sharemilkers hit the road heading to new farms with cows, equipment and families in tow. Here at MPI, we’re working hard to protect against the further spread of the bacterial infection mycoplasma bovis. There’s no doubt it’s been a tough job and this newspaper’s readership will well understand. I want to take this opportunity to first of all thank farmers in the deep south for their help, inspiration and support in dealing with this response. Your input and
perseverance during some difficult and unsettling times has been invaluable – and there’s still a lot of work to do. Secondly, I want to give farmers some news they can use with respect to minimising the spread and processing compensation claims.
We know that M. bovis spreads by animal to animal contact, which means Moving Day presents some risk. By taking the right simple precautions, farmers can help make sure Moving Day goes smoothly and their communities are protected.
There’s some excellent, farmer specific advice out there and I’d encourage readers to check out Dairy NZ’s website for details. In a nutshell the advice is: check the biosecurity status of the grazing property, make sure the boundary fences are secure and, of course, have
Ministry for Primary Industries Response Director, Geoff Gwyn says complying with Nait when moving animals is a PHOTO SUPPLIED bottom-line in stopping the further spread of mycoplasma bovis.
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MOVING DAY FEATURE
complete Nait records. There’s also a handy check list covering the essentials, including: ■■ Preparing stock for transport ■■ Transporting stock ■■ Standing stock before transport ■■ Is your animal fit for transport? ■■ Transporting stock to slaughter
MPI’s website also has a dedicated M. bovis page offering advice for farmers, rural contractors and transporters, with information about on-farm hygiene and the all-important Nait scheme. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, complying with Nait when moving animals is a bottom-line in stopping the further spread of M. bovis. If you’ve got any
questions about this please ring our toll-free support phone number 0800 809-966. Compensation to affected farmers is a hot topic right now and that’s totally understandable. As you’d appreciate, we’ve got plenty of applications to work through and we need to be consistent, fair and equitable with the public purse. At the same time, we’re keen
to ensure that affected farmers are back on their feet as soon as possible. We’re encouraging farmers who are having trouble with the application process to work with their farm advisers on their claim. We’d like to have the process as streamlined as possible, so farmers won’t need multiple points of contact. If farmers have any questions about the process,
it’s better for them to contact us first rather than submit an incomplete application that might need to be reprocessed. Good luck to those readers who will be taking part in Moving Day, here’s hoping for a happy and profitable new season. Geoff Gwyn is the Ministry for Primary Industries response director
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MOVING DAY FEATURE
Managing dairy farm changeovers Changing farms this coming May/June requires extra special precautions because of mycoplasma bovis. There are some simple precautions sharemilkers, contract milkers and farm owners can take to minimise the risk of bringing it on farm: You are a farm owner, looking to bring on a new contract milker or sharemilker: ■■ Ask where any incoming stock are coming from. ■■ Ask for bulk milk M. bovis test results of the source herd(s) if available. ■■ Ask if the stock have been mingling with other cattle – can you get any information about these other herds, such as bulk milk testing results? ■■ Ask about the health of the incoming stock – including calf health, mastitis, pneumonia, ear infections, swollen joints. ■■ Ask if the NAIT recordings have been completed for all cow, calf,
cattle movements. ■■ Set aside land where new animals can be kept, separate to stock already on farm, for seven days for quarantine purposes. ■■ Check to see that all equipment coming on farm is clean and dry. ■■ Inform the incoming
sharemilker or contract milker about any M. bovis tracing by MPI that has been carried out on the farm, and any instructions given by MPI that may affect how the herd is managed. You are a sharemilker or contract milker, shifting
onto a new farm: ■■ Buy animals from as few different farms as possible. Ask for the bulk milk M. bovis test results of the 2017/18 herd if available ■■ Supply the farm owner with any M. bovis test results you may have. ■■ Ask if the herd has been
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mixed with any other animals in the past 12 months, including at wintering. Ask if it is possible to get the bulk milk M. bovis test results of that herd. ■■ Ask about the health of the cows and calves on the farm during the 2017/18
MOVING DAY FEATURE
FEDS’ TOP TIPS FOR MOVING DAY: Selection of stock: ■■ Cows must be fit and healthy ■■ Cows must be able to stand evenly on all four legs ■■ Cows must be acting normally and if not, please call the vet ■■ Body condition score must be at least 3.0 Prepare stock for travel: ■■ Precondition cows. This is important for those travelling long distances ■■ Stand all cows off green feed for a minimum of four hours and up to 12 hours
season – including calf health, mastitis, pneumonia, ear infections, swollen joints. ■■ Complete all NAIT movement recordings. ■■ When bringing new animals onto the farm, keep them separate from others for seven days and
to empty themselves ■■ Feed these cows straw, hay or baleage with free access to water. Communication: ■■ Book your stock transport in advance ■■ Ask for an estimated time of arrival of the truck to pick up the cows. This allows time to get the cows in and stand them off for the recommended minimum time (at least four hours). This may mean getting them in the night before
check them for signs of ill health. ■■ Clean and dry all incoming machinery and equipment. ■■ Ask if the farm has been subject to any tracing from MPI for M. bovis. Information kindly supplied by DairyNZ
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Ways to save energy on-farm Variable speed drive
Energy efficiency measures can help your dairy farm stay competitive by increasing your production while shrinking your carbon footprint. There are several areas where you could make substantial savings on electricity use in your dairy shed. Use our dairy farm energy efficiency tool to find out how efficient your farm is compared to similar farms â€“ and how much you could save. Go to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority and have a look at the dairy farm efficiency tool.
Enable the pump to change speeds to match demand for pressure from the system. If more cows are connected to the milking cups, the speed of the pump is increased to match the demand for vacuum and vice versa as cups are taken off cows. VSDs also reduce animal stress during milking, somatic cell count (SCC) and motor wear and tear as the pump is run at lower speeds. Potential savings: 10 per cent to 15 per cent.
This is the best place to start as it accounts for about a quarter of your dairy shed electricity bill and has the highest potential for savings. Through a combination of clever technologies and tweaks to the way you run your shed you could save up to 75 per cent on your water heating costs. There are three main technologies to help you improve water heating efficiency.
Your dairy shed is the best place to start when looking when thinking about how to conserve electricity on-farm.
Heat recovery Heat recovery technology can cut dairy shed electricity bills by up to 30 per cent. Recovering the heat
produced during the milk chilling process provides an additional source of energy which can be used by your dairy shed hot water heating system, reducing the amount
of electricity needed. Payback on investing in heat recovery technology typically takes two to five years, although it can be less than a year for large farms.
Insulating your milk vat could increase your refrigeration capacity at minimal cost, and save you money. Find out how much you could save with the EECAâ€™s milk vat insulation savings calculator. Potential savings: 3 per cent to 6 per cent. Information kindly supplied by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority
Farm fuel storage Keep cosy
With recent changes to legislation around on-farm fuel storage, now is the time to make sure all your storage vessels and tanks meet the prescribed requirements. Worksafe is auditing farms to ensure these new requirements are being met, ensuring a safe environment for all concerned. New health and safety legislation now puts the onus fair and square on the PCBU (person conducting business or undertaking) to make sure their property and equipment is compliant and does not pose a risk to staff, contractors or visitors. If you are the main farmer/ contractor it is your responsibility to have your yard/equipment safe and compliant for all users, from users who are filling vehicles to those who are filling your tanks. Ed Harrison, Managing Director of Sebco Fuel Storage Systems Ltd is often asked questions regarding
compliance for fuel storage. Safe separation distances is a common topic that often needs clarification. Other common questions include bunding requirements, data plates and safe filling practices for fuel tanks. Sebco have a free fuel compliance guide available. You can contact Ed on 0800 473 226 for your free copy. He will be able to assist you to make sure you are doing all you can to meet the compliance laws. Sebco are experts in fuel storage, based in Ashburton, they manufacture fuel tanks for farming and industry all over New Zealand. Their tanks are fully compliant and are even featured on the front of Worksafe NZ’s “Above Ground Fuel Storage on Farms – Good Practices Guidelines”. See their website www.sebco.co.nz for more details. Advertising feature
Keep cosy with RD Petroleum this winter. RD Petroleum (RDP) is a familiar sight for farm and rural residents around the South Canterbury region, however nowadays urban residents also enjoy the same excellent customer service for which RDP is known for in rural communities, through their home heating diesel. RDP began its home heating diesel delivery service to the lower South Island’s main urban centres of Christchurch, Timaru, Dunedin and Invercargill a number of years ago. Customer demand has continued to increase year upon year, and RDP has responded with specialised improvements to its delivery equipment. The trucks that deliver RDP’s home heating diesel in each urban centre are drawn from the company’s extensive vehicle fleet. This means they have the latest communication and GPS tracking
technology on board, so the operations team always know where they are and how far away they are from their next delivery stop. RDP’s home heating diesel trucks come equipped with a speciallydesigned 60m hose, through which the diesel is pumped from the truck into house tanks. The length of the hose allows the trucks to access tanks without having to enter the property, avoiding damaging the driveway. RDP is the place to go if you require diesel conveniently delivered to your home and as a loyal RDP customer you’re offered discounted pricing and can become eligible for value-added benefits. For the residents in Otago please feel free to give RDP’s local territory manager Lyndon Knight a call on 029 201 3722 or phone 0800 44 00 14. Visit the RDP website at www.rdp.co.nz Advertising feature
Dairy’s future up for discussion Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor and Minister for Climate Change James Shaw are in good company at this year’s DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum in Hamilton being held next month. The forum, on May 8-9 at Mystery Creek Events Centre, is hosting speakers from across the dairy spectrum – bringing together leading political and economic views, and discussing sustainable farming, future food and farm practices. DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle said this year’s Farmers’ Forum will set the sector up for the future and discuss how the new strategy, Dairy Tomorrow, will be achieved. “The forum will explore where dairy is headed. Understanding our sector’s future from a range of viewpoints is so important, as the political, economic and environmental outlooks, as well as our markets, drive what we do daily on farms New Zealand-wide,” Mackle said.
Minister for Climate Change James Shaw.
“The dairy sector is dynamic and challenging, and as we plan for the future through the strategy it’s a great time to discuss and debate all the issues and opportunities we face.” The two-day event is expected to attract more than 700 farmers and brings together influential leaders and commentators. Minister of Agriculture
The DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum 2018 will be held on May 8-9 at the Mystery Creek Events Centre, Hamilton. Speakers include: ■■ Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor ■■ Minister for Climate Change James Shaw ■■ Economist Cameron Bagrie ■■ Futurist Roger Dennis ■■ Future of food specialist Julian Cribb ■■ Mental health campaigner Mike King. The forum is free to levy-paying dairy farmers and their staff. Registrations are essential. Visit www.dairynz.co.nz/ farmersforum. Those who can’t attend in person can view live video footage via the DairyNZ Facebook page: https://www. facebook.com/DairyNZ. Damien O’Connor will discuss the future of dairy farming from the government’s perspective and priorities for food production, while Minister for Climate Change James Shaw will discuss the sector’s opportunities for climate change and greenhouse gases. Farmers can also submit a question to both ministers for a Q&A session on day one
(questions can be submitted when registering to attend the forum). Additional speakers include future of food specialist Julian Cribb, economist Cameron Bagrie, future thinking, strategy and innovation leader Roger Dennis, mental health campaigner Mike King and a wide range of dairy sector leaders. A panel discussion of dairy
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company leaders will look at what the Dairy Tomorrow strategy will mean for farmers. Day one of the forum looks at what is driving change in the global markets, the changing political environment, the implications for New Zealand dairying and how the sector can adapt. On day two, the focus shifts to the farm, looking at new technologies and techniques to help farmers respond to the sector’s challenges and opportunities, along with tips, tools and advice for boosting farm businesses. Farmers can choose from eight workshops. “The forum is also a good opportunity to find out more about new research and projects, and discuss them directly with the researchers and project leaders,” Mackle said. The forum is free to levy paying dairy farmers and their staff. Registrations are open and essential prior to the event. To view the full programme or register, visit www.dairynz. co.nz/farmersforum.
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Exports firing on most cylinders A robust import programme by Chinese buyers, combined with a weather-affected New Zealand season, were the perfect ingredients for the short-term rally in the first quarter of 2018, according to a new Rabobank report. The report, Dairy Quarterly Q1 2018: Turn the Pressure Down, says the export engine is firing on most other cylinders, as production growth expanded across all other regions. The engine has been running on most cylinders since mid-2017. However, weather risks have now been extended beyond New Zealand. Europe battled a cold front, Australia had localised bushfires and there are drought conditions at play in Argentina. “The peak period of milk production in the Northern Hemisphere still looms as a pressure point for the global market in Q2 2018,” Emma Higgins, Rabobank analyst – dairy, said. “However, Rabobank does not see the Northern Hemisphere peak milk flows
Rabobank dairy analyst Emma Higgins does not expect peak Northern Hemisphere milk flows to PHOTO SUPPLIED overwhelm the global market in the second quarter.
completely overwhelming the global market. EU milk production growth started 2018 on a high note, but is also expected to trend lower throughout the year.” Previous expectations for the extent of pressure on global markets to come in the second quarter of 2018 have moderated, with a global
rebalance looming in the second half of the year. The European Commission does not intend to purchase any skim milk powder (SMP) at the fixed intervention price in 2018, instead focusing on clearing the 375,700 tonnes of intervention SMP stocks, which will continue to pressure SMP prices and
likely divert milksolids to other product streams. Farmgate milk prices continue to weaken in the first quarter (albeit from a high base), and more downward pressure is expected, according to the report. Meanwhile, the risk of higher feed prices is emerging. In New Zealand, milk
production is winding down quickly, the report said, which meant it would be unable to make up for ground lost earlier in the season due to drought conditions across some key dairying regions. It noted that farmers will currently be weighing up decisions about feed availability and whether to dry off early. “As a result, Rabobank expects monthly milk production volumes to trail year-on-year comparisons for the remainder of the season, finishing down 1 per cent for the full season.” According to the bank’s latest rural confidence survey, New Zealand dairy farmers are cautiously optimistic about their own farm business expectations over the next 12 months – but more than 50 per cent are expecting conditions to remain the same. Almost half those surveyed are anticipating spending more on farm working expenses like feed and fertiliser over the closing months of the season compared to last season.
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FEEDING OUT FEATURE
Saving time with a multi-feeder A Duncan AgMech MultiFeeder is proving to be an extremely versatile addition to the Rathgen family’s farming operation in South Canterbury. It allows them to feed out silage, baleage and fodder beet with ease. Chris Rathgen and his siblings and parents farm a total of 1400 hectares of dairy, beef and cropping on five properties near St Andrews. They purchased the new Duncan AgMech 5B MultiFeeder last spring. They previously used conventional silage wagons for their feedout operation. “We have been putting our high-quality fodder crops – lucerne and red clover – into baleage,” Chris says. “It was very slow using a conventional bale feeder. We had to try and break up the bales with the silage wagon and it was slow.” They chose the Duncan AgMech 5B Multi-Feeder because it was well built and offered good capacity. “We could get five bales of baleage in at and it offered
■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Duncan Multi-Feeder handles baleage and fodder beet with ease.
the versatility of putting fodder beet through as well. We wanted to be able to do baleage, straw, fodder beet and silage in one wagon. We put all those products through it over the summer.” The Duncan AgMech 5B Multi-Feeder is designed to handle all types of material, including chopped silage, square bales or rota cut round bales. It places the feed in a neat row on the ground. Chris is extremely pleased
with the performance of the Duncan AgMech and says its ability to handle both bales and fodder beet saves a lot of time. “It has a flat floor and does not have to bring the fodder beet up and over and drop it down, so there is minimal risk of damaging the feeder floor,” he says. “The scales on the front have been great. When transitioning onto the fodder beet we can get our weights
9,000kg capacity 14m3 cubic capacity Hydraulic elevator for feeding into troughs Full steel ﬂoor Wide ﬂotation tyres Feeds out everything - rounds, squares, pit silage, fodder beet, maize
right so we don’t get any acidosis with the cows. Some of the fodder beet wasn’t as clean and had dirt on it but it handled it really well.” The Rathgens can put the baleage straight into the wagon, which chops it and feeds the product out consistently. The AgMech 5B Multi-Feeder can feed out both sides, as well as into troughs. “We have probably done about 80 tonnes of baleage so
far with it and about 20 tonnes of fodder beet,” Chris says. “We are saving an hour a day when we use it for baleage, straw and fodder beet. We really like the tilt wall, which we can extend if we want to put fodder beet onto a feed pad. We have extended the sides up to put more silage in, which means if we are feeding on a feed pad it saves doing another half load.” Advertising feature
■ Feeds out round bales of silage, hay and straw ■ 4, 5 and 6 bale versions ■ Fixed elevator or twin shredder models available ■ Wide ﬂotation tyres ■ Optional side loader available
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FEEDING OUT FEATURE
The winter diet Over the winter months, a cow’s nutritional requirements are largely driven by her demands, such as maintenance, pregnancy or weight gain. These requirements have to be consolidated with what’s available from the feed to provide a balanced diet; this is especially crucial over winter as it helps achieve targets while also setting up the animal for the following season. It’s common practice to consider complementary feeds such as balage or silage, which is ideal to support rumen function as a fibre source. When it comes to winter crops, there’s an additional aspect to consider – minerals. Cows that graze on crops or bulbs ingest a great deal of soil along with the crop. This is highly relevant as the iron in the soil interferes with the uptake of copper. And copper, among other things, is vital for foetal development. What’s more, iron can also tie up other essential minerals that are necessary for daily functioning. To ensure a complete balanced diet don’t forget iodine. It is typically low
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Farmers not milking employees It makes a nice change to see a coffee chain in Wellington being excoriated on social media for raising the price of a flat white by 10 cents in response to the recent increase in the minimum wage. I’m used to seeing dairy farmers get a kicking for everything from the price of butter to the imagined harsh conditions we subject our employees to. If anything was going to distract people from a $6 block of butter, it was going to be a $6.10 cup of coffee. When I started dairying in 1996 I had no idea what the minimum wage was, Google tells me it was $7, and my first job in the Waikato gave me two rostered days off per calendar month. This wasn’t necessarily the same two days every month, sometimes it could be the first weekend and then next month it could be the last: working 40 or 50 days straight was by no means uncommon. When the farm owner at the time suggested that getting a full day in lieu was a bit generous as I only worked
ELBOW DEEP @dairymanNZ
half a day on the public holiday, I readily agreed. I’d given up my $36,000 job in Wellington to move to the outskirts of Hamilton and start again as a dairy farm assistant and I was happy for the opportunity. I was only paying $40 a week rent for a sprawling four-bedroom house; this meant that despite the $10,000 cut in salary I was better off financially than when I was in Wellington. Despite the roster, I was also happier and healthier than I had been in years, and in my opinion nothing beats watching your kids grow up in the country. None of this is to say that these practices should persist today, just that they are part
Dairy farmers could never try to pass on costs of production like coffee shops can.
of our very recent history and today’s employers are people like me who came up through those systems. Helen Kelly used to name and shame dairy farmers on Twitter.
She would find an ad on the internet and analyse it; time off, hours worked, hourly rate and, quite frankly, it was embarrassing. Sometimes she was wrong, but most of the time she was
exposing some pretty oldfashioned employment ideas like annualised hours and the value of accommodation as part of the package. Times have changed very quickly and poor employment practices amongst farmers are becoming less and less common. I noted the increased minimum wage with interest, but knew that no action was required on my part as each of my employees earn well in excess of that, and I am writing this column on my regularly rostered three-day weekend. Unlike coffee shops, dairy farmers aren’t in the position to pass the costs of production on to consumers. We have to farm smarter and spend our money where it will have the most impact on our profitability. Over the years we’ve come to realise that a happy, stable workforce is money well spent, it’s rarely a place to look to for savings. As for coffee, nothing can beat two teaspoons of Nescafe Classic in a travel mug at 4am in the cowshed.
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In perfect balance for success Waikato’s Te Raparahi Trust is in the enviable position of yielding some of the country’s best milk, following a three-year programme to balance the soil biology on its four dairy farms. Good management and the correction of the biology means the farms now have a balanced “bio-circle”, a phrase coined by Forward Farming biological consultant David Law. “Every farm is a bio-circle,” Law said. “Every key area flows in and out of other key areas. What’s in the soil goes into the grass. What’s in the grass goes into the cow. What’s in the cow goes into the effluent pond. What’s in the effluent pond goes into the soil.” Te Raparahi Trust chairman Phillip Samuels oversees the trust’s four dairy farms - Te Harore a Kapu, Tokopuhi, Materoa and Papatangi - comprising 1350 cows over 480ha in Tokoroa and South Waikato. Since enlisting the services of Law and Kiwi Fertiliser soil fertility advisor Alastair Dagg, alongside AgFirst farm consultant Mark Macintosh, Materoa has achieved number one ranking for milk quality at supplier Miraka, and number three for somatic cell count (SCC); Tokopuhi and Papatangi are also ranked seventh and eighth respectively for SCC. “I think we are in a good position for the future,” Samuels said. “We have longterm planning at the forefront of our minds in everything we do.” Five years ago, the farms were in a very different state: animal health issues were rife, and the effluent pond at Tokopuhi was so heavily crusted farm staff could walk on it.
Kiwi Fertiliser soil fertility advisor Alastair Dagg, Te Raparahi Trust chairman Phillip Samuels and Forward Farming biological PHOTO SUPPLIED consultant David Law have worked to ensure soil biology on the trust’s farms are balanced.
Samuels was also uneasy at how much nitrogen was being applied. “When we started, we were chucking on 300 to 375 units of nitrogen as urea, at the recommendation of our fertiliser company,” he said. “When I stood back I thought, this isn’t right; I wasn’t happy with the way we were headed.” Law applied Slurry Bugs – aerobic, or “good” bacteria – to the effluent pond, which cleared the crust. “The biology was working,” Samuels said. “But the crust
eventually returned, and we realised we needed to take a whole-farm approach.” Dagg said it took two-tothree years to correct the soil balance, a large part of which was applying lime and dolomite to correct the soil’s calcium/magnesium balance. Dagg now applies potassium sulphate, sulphur, boron, ammonium sulphate, cobalt, selenium, copper and zinc, in addition to compost and humates, to maintain soil balance. The farm now boasts a balanced bio-circle: the soil
environment enables the biological inhabitants to function properly, converting and transporting nutrients and suppressing diseasecausing organisms; grass is more nutrient-rich, tasting sweeter to cows and encouraging better feeding; cows are healthier, with more efficient digestion and therefore greater milk production; and effluent ponds are dominated with good bacteria, digesting solids and preventing crust from forming. The farms’ animal health
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issues have also been resolved, and N application has been reduced to around 100 units. “Our goal is to get down to 38 to 40 units; it is a big target to achieve but I think we can do it,” Samuels said. He said taking a holistic approach is non-negotiable for the trust. “Production has never been up there for us. Reducing costs, making our system more efficient, and leaving a legacy for the future is, by correcting the bio-circle and getting the ecosystem working as one big cog.”
The single-most important concept for farmers to understand
What every farmer wants
What gets transferred?
Every farmer is in business to make a decent return. To have that healthy bank balance, you need to be producing enough milk, which is the by-product of your cows being healthy and productive.
• Nutrients get transferred: balanced or imbalanced • Organisms get transferred: both beneficial and disease-causing • pH levels get transferred: helpful or detrimental
For your animals to be healthy, your grass needs to be plentiful and nutrition-rich
3 things to grasp about this transfer of biology: 1. The transfer is unavoidable 2. The transfer can either work for you or against you 3. Every farmer chooses the state of his farm’s Bio-CircleTM
Your Soil is a grass-growing factory Just like a typical factory, your soil is filled with workers. Within 1m2 of soil live trillions of beneficial organisms: bacteria, fungi, protozoa, nematodes, anthropods, and earthworms. These organisms are labouring to make tonnes of healthy grass for your herd. Without this underground workforce, nothing grows. Here are some of the crucial things they do: Mineralise nutrients into plant-available forms Release nitrogen and nutrients for plants to use Increase nutrient retention Suppress disease-causing pathogens Detoxify the soil by degrading toxic materials Improve the accumulation of organic matter Produce plant-growth hormones Ensure root architecture is correct and extensive Enhance soil structure to improve water flow
The single-most important concept to understand...
Forward Farming helps farmers work with the Bio-Circle Effluent Management Remedial Advice Slurry Bugs Product
Slurry Bugs are aerobic microbes that eat pond crust and sludge. Slurry Bugs also convert pond nutrients into plant-friendly form, turning your effluent into an effective fertiliser.
Bio Circle the
Cow DX50 Dairy Sanitiser DX50 Water Treatment
Soil Testing Fertility Advice Fertiliser Recommendation Feed Quality Assessment
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to fertilisers. A balanced combination of 16 nutrients are needed to feed the soil biology and animals.
Farm Management Plan Feed Balancing Pasture Management Feed Budgeting
Your farm is a Bio-Circle
That simply means that every key area flows into and out of other key areas. What’s in the soil goes into the grass. What’s in the grass goes into the cow. What’s in the cow goes into the effluent pond. What’s in the effluent pond goes back into the soil.
To read more: fowardfarming.co.nz To contact David Law: 027 490 9896
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New leadership From the middle of next month, a new face will be at the helm of Dairy Women’s Network, with Jules Benton taking over as chief executive from Zelda de Villiers. Benton was recently general manager for Wolters Kluwer CCH New Zealand, a research and workflow solutions company. Prior to that she spent more than a decade consulting businesses to develop leadership capability, streamline processes and promote ongoing professional development and education. Network chairwoman Cathy Brown says Benton brings a wealth of experience in leadership, education and strategy development, which she says are key areas of continued opportunity for DWN and the dairy industry as a whole. “Jules’ knowledge, skills and experience are perfectly matched with Dairy Women’s Network and the role we play in continuing to provide unlimited opportunities for women in dairy,” Brown said. “She has decades of experience in managing multiple stakeholder interests and competing deadlines, as well as streamlining operations to ensure businesses and projects run effectively and efficiently. “We’re very pleased to announce her appointment and know she will be a great fit with the wider team and our members.” She also acknowledged de Villiers’ contribution to the network. “On behalf of the board I thank Zelda for her leadership over the past four years. She leaves the network in a very strong place and we wish her well in the future.” Benton said she is looking forward to working with the network and helping members make the most of the opportunities available to them. “When I saw the opportunity come up I knew I could really bring something to this organisation. I have a lot of experience in leadership development and helping people gain the skills and tools they need to do well at all stages of their careers,” she said. As CEO of the 10,000-strong membership organisation, Benton will
New Dairy Women’s Network chief executive Jules Benton has a background in leadership, education and strategy development. PHOTO SUPPLIED
be responsible for representing and championing DWN at an industry level and focusing on its next strategic step. “Dairy women are a driving force and make extraordinary contributions across all levels of the industry. I very much see this role as a partnership with our staff and members to ensure dairy women’s contributions are recognised and celebrated, and we’re driving some important conversations. “I think the New Zealand public hasn’t yet fully grasped the breadth of knowledge and skills women bring to the dairy industry, so I’m looking forward to continuing to build on the great work the network has been doing in this area and continuing to highlight those achievements.”
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Do stones really cause problems? Fred Hoekstra
VEEHOF DAIRY SERVICES
We recently held another hoof care expo and the theme was “Are stones really an issue for your cows?” It amazes me how convinced people are that stones can penetrate hooves and that bruises in the hoof are caused by stones. I often ask this question and I will do it again now. How do you know that stones really cause holes and bruises in hooves? The most common answer I get is “because sometimes the stones are still in the hoof ”. The problem with that is: I get stones stuck in the soles of my gumboots. However, this by no means proves that the stones are the cause of the grooves in the sole of my gumboot. So, if that logic does not work with
Vehoof’s head hoof trimmer Elbert Gargar at a hoof care expo last year.
my gumboot, why would it work with cows’ hooves? Therefore, what other evidence is out there to prove that stones are an issue? Noone has ever been able to show me with undisputable evidence that stones are an issue. Just because so many people believe that stones do cause problems with hooves does not mean that they do. Just because it seems like a possibility doesn’t mean it
happens. If stones are the cause of holes in hooves, why do the holes never go deeper than up to live tissue. A nail, tooth, or anything else sharp, goes all the way in, but a stone never does. Somehow a stone manages to go through a hard hoof, but when it gets to the soft tissue, where the going gets easier, it always stops! Is it possible that the hole grew down into the hoof because of unhealthy
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live tissue? Would that not explain why the stone only goes up as far as the live tissue because the hole doesn’t go deeper? What about the bruises? How come we get fewer lameness issues when we trim the hooves according to the Dutch method? With this method we make the outside claw thinner so that both the claws end up bearing the same amount of
the weight of the cow. If stones caused an issue for hooves, then we should see more bruising and lameness after we trim the cows than we do before the cows are trimmed, and we did formal research a few years ago that shows that not to be the case at all. Lameness goes down the hoof. How is that possible when you make a claw thinner and therefore more vulnerable? How can you still blame the stones? Understanding the causes of lameness better will help you to manage lameness better. Because there are so many negative effects from lameness it makes a lot of sense to spend time thinking about it and make management changes. The problem is much more complicated than stones. It is much more a cow comfort issue. When cows are being pushed, standing in the rain, waiting to be milked, being under-fed, and many other things, the stress levels go up and problems like lameness become more prevalent.
What if you could reduce your NPK fertiliser cost by 50%? BY NOW we all understand that applying fertiliser or growing almost anything increases your soil acidity or lowers the pH of the soil. All good farmers apply Aglime to correct this acidification, however the final target pH level for optimum nutrient availability is and always has been a moving target. The absolute building blocks of growth such as Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Calcium, Sulphur and Magnesium, are theoretically not even close to their peak availability at a pH of 5.5. The table below goes some way to indicate what the approximate nutrient availability is at various pH levels. As you can see below, a pH at 5.5 seems inefficient and illogical. However, at the pH between 6 and 6.5 availability increases exponentially and even starts peaking across many nutrients.
WHAT IS THE OPTIMAL PH AND WHY?
Your soil’s pH is one of the
key drivers in what nutrients are available to the plant. With a pH that is too low (sub 5.5pH) some real nasties like Aluminum and Manganese may be available and can heavily diminish growth or even kill crops. On the inverse, a pH near 7 or neutral, can be too high and limit the availability of Zinc and Manganese. The general consensus locally is that a pH of 5.5-5.8 is ‘good enough’, but the science just don’t back this up. 5
ACIDITY NITROGEN PHOSPHORUS POTASSIUM SULPHUR CALCIUM MAGNESIUM IRON
MANGANESE BORON COPPER & ZINC MOLYBDENUM
“One aspect that has baffled us for years, is the apparent disconnect between fertiliser application and the availability or efficiency of the very nutrient being applied due to soil acidity.“
Almost every element of a fertiliser is represented in the nutrient availability table to the right. When you are spending good money on fertiliser, you should be damn concerned if your advisors aren’t ensuring that the nutrient you are applying is at or near maximum availability. If they are not, you need to ask yourself why not, maybe they have a vested interest in selling more fertiliser? In the grand scheme of things, liming is relatively cheap, especially when you consider that a shift in pH could potentially double the efficiency of a fertiliser in both the short and long term. The table to the right indicates this point and goes some way to show how a capital investment in liming may affect your overall and ongoing annual fertiliser spend.
To see the results for yourself, get in touch today for a quote: 0800 303 980 • www.vlime.co.nz
FERTILISER EFFICIENCY AT VARIOUS SOIL PH VALUES
Overall Fertilizer Efficiency
pH = 6.5
pH = 6.0
pH = 5.5
pH = 5.0
vanRoestel, J. (2014, March). The Value of Maintaining a Good soil pH.
CAPITAL LIMING TO LIFT TO AN OPTIMAL PH OF 6.2 – 6.5
As a rule of thumb 1 tonne/ha of high quality Aglime will raise the pH by 0.1 pH unit. Therefor a 6 tonne/ha application is required to increase the pH from 5.7 to 6.3. To maintain the optimum pH of 6.2-6.5, maintenance applications of at least 500kg per annum will be required. The above rates are based on high quality Aglime, and not all lime is created equal. Ensure your Aglime supply has a Lime Equivalency or ‘As delivered’ Calcium Carbonate content of 90% or greater. The particle size should meet New Zealand Aglime standards of 50% passing .5mm and no more than 10% passing
2mm to allow good even spreading and consistent long term release into the soil. Consider solubility and ensure you are dealing with a limestone resource that has been proven to lift pH as expected. Talk to a few neighbors, they will know the history. Keep in mind we can mix your fertiliser(s) with Aglime prior to dispatch to make your annual applications even more cost effective. FREE SOIL PH TESTING
We have a full laboratory based at our Coalgate site and are more than happy to pH test your Soil free of charge. We also have loan soil probes and sample bags available.
Gold Label Sale a huge success Busy Brook holstein’s recent Gold Label Sale near Duntroon was a huge success, with a top price of $35,000 and a gallery bustling with holstein enthusiasts from across New Zealand and Australia. The vendors, Nathan and Amanda Bayne, offered 49 holsteins, which was a selection of some of the very best animals in their herd, made up of both North American genetics and highindexing New Zealand-bred cows. But the star of the sale was a six-week-old heifer calf. Busy Brook Doorman Hailstorm (Imp.ET), a six-week-old daughter of the two-time World Dairy Expo and Royal Winter Fair Grand Champion RF Goldwyn Hailstorm, EX 97, 4 SBC, was first into the sale ring. This one-off calf created much competition, with the successful bidder Peter Sherriff and family of Sherraine Holsteins of Kaiapoi for $35,000, a new record price for a calf in New Zealand. The Baynes were very pleased with how the sale went. “Getting a top price of $35,000 for Hailstorm was a standout moment for us, but overall we were very happy with the presentation of all the cows on offer - which is a real credit to the team working behind the scenes,” Nathan said. “It’s a big effort to put on a sale like this but well worth it when you see such an enthusiastic gallery of buyers who had travelled from around New Zealand, and some from Australia too.” PGG Wrightson Livestock national dairy manager Paul Edwards said it is very rare to see such an outstanding offering of dairy cows in one sale. “Nathan and Amanda’s breeding programme is world class and they offer a range of genetics because their herd is made up of both North American genetics and highindexing New Zealand-bred cows. “The buyers came from Northland to Southland and interest was strong across all lots, but in particular lot 1. To see a six-week-old heifer calf sell for $35,000 is a real credit to Nathan and Amanda. It was a privilege to run the sale for them as they are impressive operators and their approach is lifting the game for dairy breeding in New Zealand.” Results Top price of $35,000 went to Busy Brook Doorman Hailstorm (Imp.ET), a six-
Above – Amanda and Nathan Bayne, along with daughters Brooke, Sophia and Lilly-Grace with Busy Brook Doorman Hailstorm (Imp.ET), which attracted the sale’s top price of $35,000. Left – Holstein enthusiasts from across New Zealand and Australia attended the recent Busy Brook sale near Duntroon. PHOTOS SUPPLIED
Summary ■■ Thirteen cows average $7769
week-old heifer calf of the two time World Dairy Expo and Royal Winter Fair Grand Champion RF Goldwyn Hailstorm, EX 97, 4 SBC. Next price was $18,000 for lot 3, Busy Brook Wind Miss New Zealand (Imp.NZ) VG 85 on her first lactation. This fine uddered young cow is a direct daughter of the 2012 Canadian Cow of the Year and Royal Winter Fair and World Dairy Expo Grand Champion Eastside Lewisdale Gold Missy, EX 95, 27 SBC. She was purchased by Marshall Farms of Te Puke and was sold in-calf to Beemer. The same buyers also selected Karatane Windbrook
Rosa, VG 88 a top young cow bred down from Shoremar Can S Rosa, EX, a former New Zealand Royal Champion and full sister to the great AI sire Talent at $11,500. Third sale top price of $14,000 was paid by C View Trust Ltd of Hawera for Busy Brook HH Fav (ET). This rising yearling by Hothouse is from an EX Millenium dam with 4.2 per cent protein. The same buyers also selected Busy Brook SB May, another rising yearling with a BW of 226 by FM Beamer at $12,000 and Busy Brook HH Bailey, VG 86, at $10,000, a young cow which is A2A2 and has a LW of 411, along with
Busy Brook SB Faith at $9000 and Busy Brook SB Honey, with a BW of 225, also at $9000. Australian buyer Peter Fullerton returned to Busy Brook to purchase Busy Brook Free Dream, VG 87 at $12,000. This top young cow boasted 4.5 per cent protein. The Valendale herd of Taupiri were strong bidders throughout the sale. Their selections included the super smart yearling Busy Brook Impress Anna, backed by many gens of EX & VG dams, at $11,500, Karatane Planet Bettie, a VG 89 young cow from an EX Shottle dam, at $10,500 and Busy Brook Beemer Kay, another showy
■■ Twenty unjoined heifers average $7535 ■■ Four joined heifers average $4125 ■■ Six unborn calves average $4400 ■■ Two embryo packages average $4250 ■■ Forty-five lots gross $303,200 to average $6738
yearling at $8,100. James Ben-Canaan of Temuka paid $11,000 for Busy Brook MTL May, a bull dam by Lamont at $11,000. Winton breeder Jonathan Shupe paid $7000 for Busy Brook I Olive VG 88, which sold with AI contract interest.
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