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Dairy Focus JANUARY 2017






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There are plenty of good stories to be told in the farming world. Stories of farmers and their families working with the land, mindful of the environment as well as their bottom line. I get angry at my Facebook feed when I see ignorant comments from people who’ve probably never driven down a shingle road let alone stepped foot on a farm proclaiming farmers are environmental vandals. To react, or not to react? Craig Hickman discusses that in his column this month (page 10). Lots of people want to tell those good stories – maybe not some city reporters – but most other media are

keen. There are specialist farming publications and daily newspapers who dedicate space to positive stories. Environment Canterbury is even telling their stories, keep an eye on your letterbox in March for their Ashburton Water Zone newsletter. It can be hard finding farmers who want or are comfortable with that exposure. Putting themselves in the public eye can generate feedback that is both positive and negative, and that negative stuff can be hurtful and untrue. It can make you a target. The morons who slashed the irrigator tyres at an environmental award winning Omarama farm this month have just made my job harder.

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Good work needs exposure Farmers may be less willing to stand up and openly talk about their good environmental work for fear of being vilified by social media activists, Federated Farmers national board member Chris Allen says. Ballance Farm Environment Award winner Richard Subtil had 44 tyres slashed on three centre pivot irrigators in January. It’s believed whoever did it is against irrigation in the Mackenzie basin. Allen, a Mid Canterbury farmer, said uninformed and emotional posts by keyboard warriors on social media were not helpful as communities tried to steer a way forward over some extremely complicated water issues. The tyre slashers could be compared to the anti-1080 protestors who threatened DOC staff for carrying out their role protecting New Zealand’s native wildlife, he said. Subtil and wife Annabelle were supreme winners at the Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Awards in 2015, taking awards for innovation,

Linda Clarke


integrated management, soil management and water quality. For more than a decade they have worked with local iwi and the Department of Conservation to promote the regeneration of the native longfin eel population in a stream on their property. Subtil is also a member of the Upper Waitaki Zone Water Management Committee, which develops plans for the environmental management of the Upper Waitaki basin. Fellow Ballance winner and Methven farmer Craige Mackenzie said on Facebook after the attack that the Subtils put significant effort into sustainable farming and the vandalism was deplorable.

Chris Allen.

“Sadly there are those who lose perspective and get carried away by the hype they see in the media and online.” Police say inquiries into the vandalism, which caused about $30,000 damage, are continuing. Allen said until someone was held to account then fellow famers could only speculate on the motive for the attack. But there was a risk farmers

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would be reluctant to share their good stories for fear of attracting unhealthy attention. He said the Subtils were a positive example of farmers happy to share their good management practices. The best way to promote good practices being implemented is for others to see positive role models using them and describing how effective the measures have been.

“The attack could make such farmers more reluctant to be open about their achievements.” Allen said clarity on water quality was needed and a collaborative effort to fix a problem once it had been properly identified. He said many Kiwis believed water quality was declining, but in his view it was not. “Yes, there are waterways that require attention and some are very local but New Zealand has good water quality in most of its rivers. “Our challenge is to improve the water running through the lower, more populated lands water that runs through cities, towns and highly productive farmlands.” IrrigationNZ CEO Andrew Curtis said blaming irrigation and dairying over all other sectors for water problems was not going to fix those problems and a collaborative effort was needed. The land and waterways had been highly modified over the past 100 years and all New Zealanders had benefited from the primary sector, he said.

Farming Dairy Focus

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Dairy farmer’s award recognises sup

Phil Musson has changed the way he farms.


Dairy farmer Phil Musson’s “can-do” attitude has won him the annual Working with Nature environment award from North Canterbury Fish & Game. A fourth generation dairy farmer from Springston, south of Christchurch, Musson has been recognised for his efforts to change his farming practices to make them more sustainable and environmentally friendly, while still farming profitably. Musson milks 400 cows on 120 hectares near the Selwyn River. The thing that sets the dairy farmer apart from his farming colleagues was his investment in the environment, specifically in a wintering-over feed barn. Being able to keep all of his cows in the feed-barn over the wet, cold winter has improved their welfare through improved “feed conversion” and protection from the elements. But crucially, this also allowed pasture to receive far more protection than that provided by traditional


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perb environmental effort

Glen Herud has a mobile dairy shed.

farming methods. The soil and grass is protected from damage, pugging for instance, meaning that in the spring it produces more feed grown on-farm that is about 40 per cent up on traditional methods. The feed-barn uses hi-tech robotic sweepers to catch animal waste and stops it from reaching the groundwater


and rivers by diverting it and storing it in an effluent holding tank. This means there is no direct animal discharge onto pasture in the wet winter months, and in spring the effluent is used to achieve the best results for feed growth. Since the barn’s completion, Musson has managed to reduce OVERSEER Nitrogen

discharge on his farm to around 10kg per hectare, a fantastic result and a rate more commonly associated with a dry stock farm rather than a dairy farm. Other efforts by Musson included the fencing off a spring head on the farm and planting it out as a wetland. He also restored a section

of the Powell’s Road Drain (a tributary of the Selwyn River) outside his property with the goal of enhancing trout spawning in the area, and carried out additional riparian planting to control sediment run-off from his paddocks. Unexpected benefits from the completion of the feed barn and effluent holding tank have included reduced fertiliser costs, and increased feed production has meant that the farmer doesn’t have to buy in feed. All these measures have helped make the farm profitable, but also lifted animal welfare and environmental standards. Another dairy farmer also received an environmental award from North Canterbury Fish & Game; Glen Herud from Nature Matters Milk in Ohoka was highly commended for his environmental efforts and revolutionary approach to the traditional dairy farm model. Herud operates a mobile milk shed that takes milk straight from the cows, pasteurises it immediately

then it’s delivered to cafes and restaurants, all within a matter of hours. Nature Matters Milk has expanded to meet demand and Herud is ready to share the secrets of his success that enable him to get a return of around $32 per kilogram of milksolids. By being able to move his milk processing facility around with the cows he avoids a lot of the issues in winter of pugging and the resulting increase in sediment runoff. While it has at times been a regulatory struggle for Herud, he’s persevered through the regulatory layers of organisations like MPI, to come up with an accredited model that meets all food safety regulations. North Canterbury Fish & Game Chairman Trevor Isitt said the two dairy farmers had shown that thinking outside the square could reap rewards in both the environmental and financial sense. “They should be applauded by the community for the efforts that they have done.”

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Farming Dairy Focus

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It takes a village... No one is denying there are problems with water in New Zealand. But blaming one sector over all others – and then applying present-day values to historical issues - isn’t going to fix those problems.

Andrew Curtis


If we’re genuine about addressing water quality issues, redressing the loss of habitat and impact on social, cultural and recreational use and ultimately making our rivers and lakes ‘swimmable’ again, then it’s going to take a collaborative effort. Much like taking a village to raise a child. The current problems with our rivers and lakes are clearly evident. But let’s be honest with ourselves – our rivers didn’t suddenly start “vomiting slime” because cows moved in next door to them. There is ample evidence to show slime, dry patches and cyanobacterial growth were features of our waterways long before cows were a feature of our landscape.

It’s going to take a collaborative effort to address water issues, says Irrigation NZ boss Andrew Curtis.

Our rivers haven’t been in their ‘natural’ state for nigh on a 100 years. We’ve taken their braided paths and straightened them; we’ve constrained them with stop banks; we’ve drained the swampy bits that feed into them; we’ve mined them

for gold and gravel; we’ve introduced foreign species into them so that we might then have the pleasure of hunting for a nice fish supper. We’ve built factories and freezing works on their banks so we can discharge directly

into them and we’ve denuded them of their original plants so that we might replant exotic species more to our aesthetic liking. See what I mean by it’s not just dairying and irrigation to blame? All of us shoulder


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some responsibility for creating the problems; let’s all of us now look at what we can do to help fix them. I’m not going to shy away from the fact that one of my key drivers is finding a balance between developing our

economy and the protection and enhancement of our environment. There are those out there who will argue I’ve got it the wrong way around – environment should be first and foremost. But the reality is our economy needs farming.

It needs dairying and it needs irrigation. No matter where you live in New Zealand and no matter what you do for a living, at least some of your good fortune – be it income, equity growth in your property, lifestyle, recreation - is derived from the primary sector. It pays for roads, for infrastructure, for amenities, for improvements and for environmental management. And yes, it contributes to some of our freshwater problems. Farming, like most other industries, didn’t always do the right thing environmentally ‘back in the day’. But the majority of farmers in New Zealand nowadays do their best to protect what is essentially the source of their income – the environment. It isn’t the wild west out there like the activists would have you believe. Irrigating dairy farmers in particular operate in a highly legislated and regulated environment. They must adhere to nutrient limits and have auditable farm environment plans in place. They are held to


account. They also invest significantly in technology and infrastructure to support better environmental outcomes. This is progress – unfortunately it’s not progress you can see. Slime and driedup river beds on the other hand are very visible. As are paddocks full of cows and pivot irrigators. But blaming one for the poor state of the other isn’t helpful. It ignores volumes of science and research and rewrites swathes of history. It’s great to see New Zealanders reacting to the media coverage and ‘getting in behind’ our rivers. But unfortunately, the agendabased, emotional and often alarmist activism is doing little more than agitating the crowd. I get that it’s the role of lobbyists and activists to fight. But let’s not get drawn into this particular fight simply because we don’t like dairying - or ‘industrial dairying’ as it’s now called for whatever bizarre reason. Wouldn’t it be better if we took the agendas

and emotion out of the argument and started focusing on the things that will actually help fix our rivers? Things like science, collaboration, common sense, awareness and education. Activism has a role in bringing the issue to everyone’s attention, but it actually disempowers people from taking action… especially when ‘someone else’ is at fault. What our waterways need, on top of all the work being done by government, councils, Crown and research agencies, industry bodies, iwi and community groups, is for us to go back to the village mentality. That instead of singling out and picking on the ‘child’ – in this case, dairy farming – we work together to support it. That means acknowledging the good things it’s doing, encouraging and supporting change where it’s required and disciplining, through better legislation and regulation, when it’s doing wrong. Water is complex. Supporting each other to manage it more effectively isn’t.



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Farming Dairy Focus


Didymo at Opihi By Denzil Paterson In 1900, my family bought a bach on Butler’s Road, at the Opihi River and subsequent generations have enjoyed spending weekends and holidays at the river. I was born in 1944 and by the age of four, I had started learning how to fish. In those days, the river was crystal clear. You could put your hand in and scoop out a drink of cool, clear water from any part of the river, from the headwaters to the river mouth. Picnickers would be found all along the river, swimming, fishing, or relaxing under the many shade trees that lined both banks. There was all sorts of vegetation both in and near the water. Watercress was abundant in the water along with penny weed, with its very fine root structure providing a great place for cunning trout to hide. Broom, foxgloves and willows lined the banks providing shade in all but the hottest part of the day when the sun was directly overhead.

Native grasses provided soft places to sit and fish all day and stands of plumed native toi-toi made great places for games of hide and seek. Generations of these plants had grown here for thousands of years. Their roots played a large part in filtering the water throughout the entire river catchment. As a child and young man I was amazed by the intricacy and density of the root systems. It held the soil in place on the river banks, even during the worst floods. Many varieties of trees, from weeping willows to kahikatea, cabbage trees and manuka would shade the river making it difficult for algae to take hold. Then there were the rocks and stones, from large boulders to tiny sandy fragments. They played a vital role in this incredible natural filtration system that had been working perfectly to keep our waters clear and pure since the beginning of time in New Zealand. In the mid-1950s, it was decided by the Catchment

Board to put in stop banks. They brought in bulldozers and ripped out the trees and rocks, scarring the river and releasing all the sand and sediment which had built up from the ice age. If that were not enough, a spraying programme was introduced, killing all the vegetation in close proximity to the river. I vividly recall meeting my rugby coach as he was spraying the Opihi riverbank. He aimed his sprayer at a small broom bush siting on the river’s edge, its branches overhanging in the water. As soon as the spray hit the bush a large fish which had been resting in the shade raced away. Within weeks that bush was completely lifeless, as were all the others along that stretch of river. On the evening of December 16, 2016, I went for a fish in the Opihi. What I found there was an absolute disgrace. The riverbanks were completely denuded of any shade-giving vegetation. The banks were bare. The water was so thickly polluted with didymo, is seemed the




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river was being strangled. Worse still there was very little river left. The trickle that remained could barely be called a stream. Water levels

were so low, no doubt caused by farmers taking water to irrigate crops and pastures. There was no point in casting a fishing line into



that, so I went for a walk instead. Upstream, I came upon a tributary which was also choked with didymo. This tributary was fed by a

secondary tributary, which to my surprise was crystal clear. What, I wondered, had caused this little stream to remain free of the dreaded rock snot? It didn’t take long to figure it out. The little tributary was surrounded by vegetation and lining its banks were trees of all descriptions, providing allimportant shade. It had been spared the “improvements” foist on the main river by over-enthusiastic engineers and water catchment board officials. It still had its ecosystem of rocks, stones, gravel and sand filtering its water. When I spotted small fish in the water, I realised there was hope, but only a glimmer and only if action was taken quickly. It seemed to me there are two distinct problems that interacted upon each other, ensuring the eventual destruction of our beautiful river systems. The first problem is the disappearance of all the vegetation which holds the river together. Shade trees prevent the growth of algae in the river. Algae find


it difficult to thrive in shaded areas. Didymo is an algae. If we replant the riverbanks with a full array of native vegetation, we are offering that glimmer of hope to this ecosystem that it will eventually recover. The second problem is the disappearance of water. In recent years, farmers have been systematically draining water from the river, in the mistaken belief the water would always be there and these resources were there for the taking. The result is once full rivers have been reduced to trickles. In taking so much of the water, they’ve ensured that the riverflow is greatly diminished and the previously plentiful nutrients present in the river are no longer there. Once the nutrient levels drop to very low levels, as they are now, it creates ideal conditions for didymo to grow in epidemic proportions. It also makes it almost impossible for the river to successfully filter the waste produced by dairy farming. There is no doubt that farmers need water, but I

question whether there isn’t a better way for it to be equitably distributed. This is a precious resource that belongs to us all and it’s our responsibility to look after it now and plan for future generations to still be able to enjoy the benefits of clean, fresh water for years to come. If a dam was built upstream of the Opihi outlet, water could then be pumped back upstream for farmers to use. It may seem a bit redundant to let the water flow right past the farms where it is needed then pump it back up river. The reason is simple. The river requires volume along its length in order to be able to effectively act as a filtering ecosystem. The smaller the volume of water, the more concentrated the pollutants become and the less effectively the river can act to clean itself and its water. If the water was passed through a small turbine, enough power would be generated to run the pumps required to get water upstream to the holding ponds of the farms which need it.

Any excess power could be sold to the national grid and proceeds used to fund more regeneration of native bush. I don’t profess to be an expert in these matters and I’m sure that there must be many very qualified people working on the problem. The trouble is, I don’t see any action which has resulted in successful containment of didymo in New Zealand. The experts must be too busy doing more studies. Greenpeace has announced they’re taking on Fonterra over this and similar problems. If history is any indicator, they will spend years fighting each other over who’s to blame for what. Meanwhile, the problem keeps getting worse. Surely it would be a lot simpler to get them all together, roll up all their sleeves and get to work putting the native bush back where it belongs. We have nothing to lose by returning native flora to our rivers and streams. In fact, I believe we have everything to gain.

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To react, or not to react? One of the interesting things about being on a social media platform like Twitter is watching different groups interact and seeing the different ways they deal with potentially negative situations. Fonterra run an excellent Twitter account that happily engages with farmers and consumers alike, I’ve seen them come back to answer a question a few days after it was asked because they were researching the answer. They promote the good stories, both their own and those of farmers, and ignore the inevitable dairy criticism that comes their way. Fonterra will happily provide facts and references but they tend not to engage in debate. The Green Party are also very good at maintaining that discipline; if for example a Green MP should suggest homeopathy as a viable cure for ebola they will not even attempt to defend it. In fact they won’t even mention it on social media despite the storm of jokes and baiting. There may be a link to the single press release that addresses

Craig Hickman

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the situation, but like Fonterra there is no public engagement on the embarrassing issue. While I’m sure there are spirited discussions behind the scenes at both Fonterra and The Greens they rarely spill over into the public arena, because to engage publicly just fans the flames of a negative story and keeps it visible for longer. So when Greenpeace NZ ran a series of advertisements targeting the dairy industry I was surprised to see DairyNZ lodge a complaint with the Broadcasting Standards Authority. I can guarantee you that Greenpeace were delighted with the news. A series of ads that were preaching to the converted and designed to put money

in Greenpeace’s coffers were suddenly being talked about in print, TV news and social media. When DairyNZ inevitably lost the case the

whole thing gained fresh legs, Greenpeace openly goaded DairyNZ on Twitter and happily and publicly rubbed our noses in it again and again.


Of course an appeal has been lodged so more free publicity will be had. The better strategy is to concentrate on what we are doing well and where we are headed, litigating is only ever an option if you’re sure of a win. There are plenty of good farming stories out there; I watch videos on social media of dairy farmers all over the country confidently drinking water from the streams that run through their properties, quite rightly proud of the effort and expense they’ve gone to to maintain the environmental integrity of their farms. Those men and women are the farmers we should all aspire to be like and the ones I’d like to be reading about in the mainstream media, not that our lobby group picked a losing fight with another lobby group. As individuals we’ll continue to promote our good stories to those we can reach, but I’d like to see our voices amplified rather than drowned out by a side show that, ironically, we’ve paid for ourselves.

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Farming Dairy Focus


We have to phase out fossil fuels By Michelle Nelson Coal Action Network Aotearoa (CANA) brought their message to Mid Canterbury this week – it was informed, loud and clear. New Zealand, as a country is obligated to act under the United Nations Paris Agreement, to phase out the use of fossil fuels. It is not a choice – our elected government officials signed the agreement. And for a very persuasive reason. As a planet, we are in trouble. The warnings, which have been issued since the early 90s are playing out in plain view. There is no more room to deny the facts; global warming is a fact. Last year was the warmest year on record; the third consecutive warmest year on record. Ninety-seven per cent of the world’s leaders now agree that we must act now; some scientists believe we’ve left our run too late. Faced with the extreme weather conditions we’ve faced

CANA protestors chained themselves to the gates of Fonterra’s Clandeboyne plant.

across the country recently that may be difficult to comprehend; snow on the hills in summer, deluges of rain and gale force winds – but that is exactly what climate change is, according to CANA activist Cindy Baxter. She works for a group of European scientists who evaluate government action on climate change. Along with the weather

messages we, as Kiwis, have been delivered, other parts of the world have also experienced unprecedented weather conditions, with snow in Spain, and king tides swamping out Pacific Island neighbours to mention just a couple. Baxter says fossil fuels have been one of the main drivers of climate change for many years.



And her arguments are convincing. She has been researching climate change for almost 30 years. People like Baxter are often derogatively tagged as “greenies” and accused of scaremongering. But like it or not they often represent those among us who are prepared to face the truth, and the wrath of the sceptics.

They are prepared to stand against a threat which looms large over our future, both in New Zealand and of the rest of the world. Baxter points to conflict, global displacement and famine, as a consequence of climate change. Under the Paris Agreement, we, as a country, are obligated to reduce global warming to “well below 2°C and aim for 1.5°C”. “There’s plenty of scepticism about the ability to achieve this, but I believe there hasn’t been a huge amount of science on it,” Baxter said. The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) special report (due out in October) is also doubtful. “But we do know though, that if all governments do what they have pledged, it will take us to a 2.7°C of warming,” she said. “If we stick with the status quo, then we can expect that figure to ramp up to 3.7°C. And that spells chaos, not only for humanity, but also the rest of our means of production.

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Farming Dairy Focus



Improving your work environment Dairy infrastructure can have a major impact on milking efficiency and the comfort of cows and milkers. Upgrading an existing dairy or installing a new dairy are big projects that often require a large outlay. A decision to change the dairy should be based on a genuine need for improved infrastructure, says DairyNZ. It should be financially viable and support the achievement of the farm’s goals. Generally a change in the milk harvesting system cannot be assessed in isolation from the rest of the farm business. A major upgrade or a new dairy is not ‘just a shed’ but has implications for the whole farm system. The motivation for undertaking a major change may come from a number of sources such as: Current system may be working well but may be too small to cope with future goals i.e. milking more cows, employing more or less labour. Current system may not be working well i.e. the milker

is idle or flat out, dairy is too cramped, or it takes too long to milk. In this case it is possible that the extra capacity released by the increased efficiency of a new set up could be used to help generate funds to pay for the investment. Sometimes the motivation for change may be a combination of both – for example, milking may be taking too long and extra income may be needed to cover increasing expenses. Other reasons for seeking changes include the desire to improve the working environment to get benefits like: Reduced OSH risks. Improved attitudes to the milking job and farming in general. More time to spend on management tasks or being able to attract (and keep) high calibre staff to take over the day-to-day operational tasks. If you are planning a new dairy it makes sense to draw up a wish list first. This initial planning is the first step in

sorting out priorities. Once the ‘must-have’ priorities have emerged, financial analysis of the cost implications can begin. Decisions on upgrades need to be analysed in terms of the impact proposed changes will make to milker and cow comfort - some things may be worth paying more for. Building a new dairy is a big undertaking. Most farmers are not project engineers and have plenty of other work to do on the farm. A project manager is a valuable asset on many dairy construction projects, however it is important to ensure yours is reputable and experienced in all aspects of dairy builds. It is their responsibility to make sure that things happen on time and the desired result is achieved. Also make sure you employ a builder with experience in dairy construction. Visit other farmers’ dairies, preferably during milking, for ideas and feedback on the performance of different products.  – DairyNZ


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These sheds are made to be easy to install with the middle piece of roof iron having been left off for easy Hiab onto your concrete pad. A 50mm overhang has been allowed to fit over your concrete pad so that you have no leaks.


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Quality, service, integrity Ullrich Aluminium produces a vast range of aluminium products for marine, industrial, commercial, domestic and designer applications. Ullrich Aluminium is among the advance guard of a new technology. Improvements in aluminium metallurgy, quality, and finish promise to revolutionise this industry. From our engineers building water towers and boats in their spare time, to our draughting personnel using CAD tools to design new profiles in extrusions, we believe that our product is still in its infancy, still exciting, and a sunrise industry if ever there was one. At Ullrich Aluminium we believe in good old fashioned service. Many of our employees, including key personnel, have been in the company in excess of

10, 15 and 20 years. You won’t find that level of experience elsewhere. That quality of accumulated knowledge guarantees good service and product knowledge. Our sizable client base can attest to that. The company motto Quality, Service, Integrity means exactly that. Quality control with continuing improvements, unrivalled service with a money back guarantee and integrity in the market place. Ullrich Timaru supplies Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury and North Otago with extrusion, aluminium sheet, tread plate, Ulltraclad cladding, Ulltra sign, ladders, mobile platforms scaffold, planks and a wide range of fastenings, sealants and tools.



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YOUR ONE STOP SHOP FOR FARM SHEDS AND TIMBER SUPPLIES Now you can grab your Farm Shed Buildings from the same place you get building gear for your farm. Right here at your local ITM Store. You can be sure you’re getting a building that’s spot on for what you want, because you have a hand in the farm shed design. Simply choose either Gable or Lean-to Pole & Rafter design, then tailor the plans to suit. Extra height, another bay, wider - whatever you like. Just talk to our sales staff and we’ll help you through the process with our handy order form. Once the

plans are approved we’ll deliver materials onsite, ready for you to install.

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Tips to improve your home’s value Renovations, whether big (adding a new room) or small (new light fittings) can be a great way to increase the value of your home. Often, significant value can be added to a property through relatively minor changes. However, carefully choosing what kind of renovations to undertake is crucial. Carrying out unnecessary work can sometimes incur huge expense while adding little to the sale value of your home. Here’s a list of the top five renovations tips from realestate.co.nz that will add value to your home:

whether door, drawer or cabinet are noticed more than most people realise and new or cleaned handles can make a big difference at little cost. One addition to your kitchen that can really bring a modern feel is splashback glass, it has a very clean look and comes in a wide range of colours to suit any colour scheme.

Update the bathroom

is no reason not to. For more information on the subsidy head to: www.energywise. govt.nz/funding-available/ insulation-and-clean-heating

Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!

Add a Deck

The value this adds to your home cannot be overstated. Today, this is considered an absolute necessity by many homebuyers, in fact not having insulation can easily create the perception of an unhealthy home. With the EECA Energywise programme subsidising the cost of insulation, there really

If you have the room adding a deck is one of the simplest ways to increase the value of your property. A deck is one of the best ways to create the much-desired “indoor-outdoor flow”. They’re also great for entertaining, something potential home buyers will want to visualise when inspecting properties.

Refit the kitchen Prospective buyers know they’re going to spend a lot of time in the kitchen of any house that they buy. A tidy, modern looking kitchen can seriously improve the value of a home; when it comes to updating there are two options: replace or recover. The state of your current kitchen, budget and end goal will determine which is the right option for you. Whether you’re looking to replace or recover, your key targets are benches, cabinets, drawer fronts, skirting; handles,

As with the kitchen, the aim here is a modern appearance. A bathroom that looks old will instantly date the entire property in the minds of prospective buyers. Updating your bathroom needn’t be expensive or difficult; simply replacing the fixtures like cabinet fronts and faucets, as well as the lighting, can quickly modernise the entire room. Replacing stained grout will undoubtedly modernise the room. For those with the know-how, a DIY refit of the bathroom can be very cost effective.

Create curb appeal

The greatest house in the world is still going to be hard

to sell if you can’t get people in the door. As the saying goes first impressions last; creating curb appeal, or a desirable entryway is one of the best ways to add value or help sell your home. A prospective buyer’s first memory of the house is often the one that sticks and a little can go a long way in this area of the property. The first thing to do is make sure any garden or lawn areas are looking great; make sure they’re tidy, adding plants to the front of the home can really liven it up. Painting the entranceway is one of the best ways to blow the cobwebs off the front of the house. Painting the entrance door a bold colour can really make your house stand out, just be careful not to go for something too ‘interesting’. Renovations are something that cannot be undertaken without some serious planning, hopefully these tips will serve as a great starting point for those of you wanting to add value to your property.

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Farming Dairy Focus




Steel frames for sturdy sheds ProShed are the authorised distributors for Fair Dinkum in South and Mid Canterbury. We are a local company with local builders, dedicated to our region. We bring together over 50 years of master builders’ knowledge and experience. ProShed use only Registered Master Builders and licensed building practitioners to complete our construction work. Utilising the buying power and advanced quality systems of Fair Dinkum Sheds, one of Australasia’s largest cold rolled steel shed franchises, allows ProShed to manufacture steel buildings of the highest quality, at the best possible price. Using steel to create the frame of the building results in a building that is exceptionally stable. Steel is a superior construction material and the proper use of steel will produce a building frame that exceeds all building codes. Out of all the possible building materials, steel has the highest strength to weight ratio, resulting in a building frame that will not warp or crack. It is also resistant to weather-related expansion and contraction, which helps ensure that the materials used to create the rest of the building will not crack or buckle. Steel is also lighter than other types of framing materials making it easier to use. This, combined with our years of local experience and know-how, relentless attention to detail, and understanding of New Zealand’s building requirements, means there is no better shed than a ProShed; customised and built to your needs. Your ProShed is designed for maximum strength and practicality. We offer the maximum clearspan shed allowed in cold rolled steel for the South Island’s snow loadings (up to 24m x 7m high). All our sheds come with warranties and are ShedSafe Accredited. You benefit from using the Fair Dinkum product and accurate design and quoting using our Multibuild software. This building system is customisable to increments of just 10mm, with variable bay spacings, and a wide range of Colorsteel™ colours or Zincalume™ to ensure you get the look you are after. Built tough by the professionals, and designed to last, we never compromise on the quality of materials or attention to detail. We

deliver on time, and to budget, using only the highest quality components. Our relentless attention to detail, local knowledge and understanding of New Zealand’s building requirements, years of experience and “know-how”, means there is no better building than a quality, steel ProShed. ProShed can design and build your new family home, bach or workers’ accommodation, tailored to suit your requirements and our experience in building farm, industrial and

commercial sheds will ensure you get a shed that does the job and adds real value to your property. Our range can be modified by span, length and stud height, number of bays, size and positions of doors and colours. American and Quaker Barns are an affordable solution to style. More and more Kiwis are utilising these unique designs which make the most of upstairs space, turning them into a practical solution for that storage space, office, or alternative living arrangement. These are also widely used as double

garages with massive storage capacity. These designs are fully customisable, so you could even turn one of the sides of your barn into an open carport, or verandah. Widths start at 9m. To achieve the highest quality finish we use only custom made flashing and trims, and the best material and specifications, including heavy duty cold rolled clearspan steel frame and components, the heaviest gauge framing, as well as heavy-duty .40 gauge roofing and wall cladding, and

residential grade aluminium joinery (no tin). Depending on your structure, you can purchase a kitset and do it yourself, or we can build it for you - and manage the complete process, from obtaining the building consents on your behalf to project completion. Our sheds are fully engineered for New Zealand conditions so are among the strongest sheds on the market. All ProShed buildings’ meet the NZ Building Code, requiring a 50-year durability statement and are made from NZ product.

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Farming Dairy Focus


What is preventative hoof trimming? I have been on farms where they had done their own preventative hoof trimming during the year. When I started doing my trimming I had to explain what I was doing and it turned out to be quite different from the way that they did it. This made me wonder how many people out there actually understand preventative hoof trimming and what its benefits are. Preventative hoof trimming is not cutting out white line cracks and any other issues that you may find in a claw. If anything, you will probably make things worse for the cow if that is all you do. If all lameness issues are caused by physical damage then it would make sense to cut out any deformities, but the problem starts on the inside of the claw, in the live tissue, not the outside. If the live tissue (corium) is unhealthy, then preventative hoof trimming will not heal it. But with preventative hoof trimming we can reduce the stresses on that corium enabling it to heal quicker. The ideal is to have both claws

Fred Hoekstra


on the one foot carrying the same amount of weight. If one claw is bigger (usually the outer one) it will carry more weight. This, in itself, is not necessarily a problem as most cows have a bigger outer claw than the inner one, but not all cows go lame. Most cows have laminitis as well but not all cows are lame because of that either, depending on how severe the laminitis is. A cow that has laminitis has all claws affected. If the outer claw is bigger and therefore carrying a greater proportion of the weight the corium is under more stress in that claw compared to the inner claw – this is why most cows are lame on the outer claw. So, the first step that any

preventative hoof trimming should entail is paring away the sole on the outer claw. This will reduce the weight and the stress on the live tissue in that claw. If we trim a cow that has a white line issue and we open it up, exposing the corium without taking the sole down, then there is a good chance that the

corium will prolapse because that claw is still carrying too much weight. This obviously creates more problems for the cow than benefiting her. I know it sounds simple and straight forward but it takes skill to achieve that balance. Both claws need to be level and flat, but on the other hand they are not allowed to

get too thin either. That is why it takes more advanced training and time to become more proficient at hoof trimming. If you are keen to learn to become a better hoof trimmer then contact Veehof Dairy Services on 0800 833 463 to find out what training options are available to you.

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Turning gold into white butter Fonterra and its global ingredients business NZMP has developed a new white butter product to meet growing demand from manufacturers in the Middle East market. Although Fonterra’s butter is renowned amongst Middle East consumers for its famous golden appearance thanks to grass fed cows, a niche segment of manufacturers prefer white butter as a processing ingredient for their food products. These Middle Eastern food manufacturers have traditionally sourced butter from grain fed cows which produce dairy products with a pale colour. Fonterra’s Dairy Foods Category Director of NZMP, Casey Thomas, said Fonterra seized an opportunity to respond to customer needs by developing a high quality white butter ingredient through an innovative manufacturing process where they are now able to reduce the golden appearance of the butter without impacting its quality.

White commercial butter specifically made for the Middle East market, compared with the golden PHOTO SUPPLIED consumer butter.

“While our yellow butter already sees great success in this market, we saw an opportunity to tap into this

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new area for customers to use in a variety of applications such as spreadable jar cheese, recombined cream cheese,

and could soon be used in ice cream.” NZMP General Manager of Middle East and Africa

They (Fonterra) are now able to reduce the golden appearance of the butter without impacting its quality.

Santiago Aon said the innovative approach was already seeing strong results. “Our customers have had positive feedback about the white butter – it is performing to our expectations as a high quality ingredient for food businesses across the Middle East region.” The product is now available in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Bahrain, Turkey and Pakistan. Future plans include launching the product in Egypt, Algeria, Morocco and even South America.

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Farming Dairy Focus


Dairy Industry awards enter judging Entrants in the Canterbury/North Otago regional New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are preparing for visits by the judges over the next six weeks.

Twelve people have entered the dairy trainee of the year category, 19 in the dairy manager of the year category and eight in the share farmer of the year category. Judging gets under way on February 14 with finalists in all three categories decided after another round of judging ending March 10. Regional winners will be announced at a function in Christchurch on March 22. Regional competition organisers Melissa and Justin Slattery, national sharemilker/ equity farmer winners in 2015, say the function is open to entrants, sponsors, supporters and anyone interested, with all tickets sold to the event going into a lucky draw to win a helicopter flight with All Black great Richie McCaw. The Slatterys have been balancing organisation for the competition with the arrival of a new baby, milking 520 cows and working through the logistics of moving back to the Waikato at the end of the season to run their own farm. Melissa said it had been an eventful past few months,

starting with the 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake on November 14. “We were very lucky that our cow shed wasn’t affected. We were out of power for a day and once that came on it was business as usual.” Others in the area didn’t fare so well and the Slatterys helped neighbouring farms while cowsheds and other farm infrastructure was repaired. “Cows were shifted around to new farms and we were helping with that. But we know Kaikoura was a lot worse off . . . we count our lucky stars that apart from a big shake up and a fright, and an interrupted week, that was all we had.” She said the quake had put paid to plans some in that area had had of entering the dairy awards, but numbers overall were three up on last year. It was a good response, considering many dairy farmers were keeping a tight rein on costs. While recent increased forecast payouts were light at the end of the tunnel, the awards were a great way for

2016 Dairy Trainee of the Year runner-up Karl Wood.

2016 Dairy Manager of the Year runner-up Hamish Kilpatrick.

dairy farmers to analyse their businesses in tight times. “Everyone is in the same boat. You need to keep

reviewing opportunities and making goals, and thinking ‘where to from here’. That is a good reason to enter.”

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section 2016 Dairy Manager of the Year winner Thomas Chatfield.

2016 Share Farmer of the Year winner Mark and Jaime Arnold.

2016 Dairy Trainee of the Year winner Nicholas Bailey.

2016 Share Farmer of the Year runner- up Michael and Susie Woodward.


The Slatterys have been 50-50 sharemilking cows for Norm and Sandra Williamson at Culverden for the past three

seasons. They have achieved one of their own personal goals by buying 106ha in the Waikato and will be moving


there when the season ends with around 300 cows. Awards general manager Chris Keeping said many


of the entrants would have used their summer holidays to prepare for the 2017 competition.

There is no on-farm judging component in the dairy trainee competition. Instead entrants participate in a short practical session covering everyday farming tasks and an interview. The time allowed for on farm judging is two hours in the share farmer of the year competition and oneand-a-half hours in the dairy manager of the year competition. It is up to each entrant to determine how best to cover off the judging criteria, so it is important that entrants make the most of that time and plan well. “This is where time spent planning over the summer will really pay off,� Keeping said. The first regional winners will be announced in Hawkes Bay on February 27, while the Southland/Otago region is the last to name its winners on March 25. All 33 regional winners will progress to a national final in Auckland on May 6. Tickets for the Canterbury/ North Otago event are available via dairyindustryawards.co.nz

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Farming Dairy Focus


Charlee’s ride to a better life Farmers and other rural folk between Hinds and Invercargill are being asked to keep an eye out for a special contingent of moped riders in February. The Hinds Hogs, led by Ian and Alison King, are a group of 13 moped riders on a fundraising drive for young Charlee McLachlan, who will travel to the US with her family in April for lifechanging surgery. Charlee was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a condition that affects the left side of her brain and body, when she was two and a half years old. She struggles to keep up with her twin sister Jorja, but surgery available in the St Louis Children’s Hospital could give her more freedom. The procedure, a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), and the family’s associated living and travel costs for around six weeks, will cost around $160,000. The Kings became friends with the twins’ parents Anna and Duncan when they also lived in the Hinds district. The couple now farm in North

Charlee McLachlan’s friends and family are hitting the highway on an epic moped ride to raise PHOTO JAMIE ADAIR 131216-JA-144 money for her to travel to the US for life changing surgery.

Otago but they have remained firm friends with the Kings. Hinds is home to several moped enthusiasts who will begin the 550km trip to Invercargill on February 10. The route is basically Hinds

to Fairlie then down through the Mackenzie to Cromwell where they will stay the night, then down to Frankton the next day and on to Invercargill! The moped numbers may

still grow, with another seven riders “maybes”. The bikers will be travelling at around 50km/h and raising money for Charlee at the same time through sponsorship. The contingent will be

backed up by supporters in vehicles, who will provide transport for the homeward journey. The family has been overwhelmed by support since they started fundraising last year and say the surgery will help Charlee lead a normal life. Joseph Parker has been among those to help, donating a pair of signed gloves that are being sold on Trade Me. Local livestock firms and transport companies have also banded together to hold a stock sale at the Waiareka saleyards in Oamaru, with proceeds going to Charlee. They are also auctioning off a 2300-litre fuel tank with 1000 litres of diesel; both have been donated to aid Charlee. The McLachlan family have set up a Facebook page, Charlee’s journey to SDR, which contains a link to more information about the moped ride and other fundraisers. Alternatively contact Anna by email at charleessdr@ gmail.com for a registration and sponsorship form or call Ian on 021 0290 5347.

Profile for Ashburton Guardian

Dairy Focus - January 2017  

Dairy Focus - January 2017