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Dairy Focus NOVEMBER 2016


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House of Hearing CLINIC


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Farming Dairy Focus

Dairy Focus




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Linda Clarke


It’s been an eventful past week or so. A devastating earthquake, heavy rain, wind, hail and thunderstorms – and all just when the drought in North Canterbury seemed to be breaking and dairy farmers were starting to see a brighter side of life. In typical fashion, rural communities have come to the aid of other rural communities, sending manpower in the form of expertise and muscle to help restore some sort of working order. Dairy farmers have taken in other dairy farmers’ cows or accommodated their neighbours’ herds so at least cows could be milked. Further afield farmers have packed up non-perishables and sent them to where they are needed most. While the world was focused

on three cows stranded on an “island” after surfing the quakes, more practical people were getting things done. Dairy service businesses were getting platforms working and making sure milk could be stored safety; dairy processors were doing their best to get tankers through. The big picture is that the roading network will take months to restore and this may test the resolve of some. It has been six years since Darfield district farmers felt a similar force from Mother Nature and they were among those offering to help. The service industry was just as quick, drawing on lessons learned from 2010. Another rise in the GlobalDairyTrade auction was a positive and even if Fonterra’s new forecast of $6kgms sticks until the end of the season, no-one will be flashing any cash around. DairyNZ says 25 per cent of farmers are still not making enough to cover their working expenses. Farmers are a stoic lot and a lot can be learned from tough times. Hang in there.

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Smart farming starts with data Linda Clarke

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Dairy farmers are being encouraged to embrace “smart agriculture� by using technology to farm more sustainably and improve the environment. Methven farmer and technology expert Craige Mackenzie says precision agriculture, or smart agriculture, is about measuring, monitoring and using resources like water and fertiliser at the right time and the right rate. This approach has helped him reduce water use by 30 per cent and by measuring soil moisture levels he knows that no water has left the root zone during the growing season for three years, meaning there has been no nutrient leaching. continued over page

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Farming Dairy Focus

From P3 Through electromagnetic mapping, he knows the texture and water holding capacity of his soils and can variably apply fertiliser and irrigation to match the soils’ requirements. It can be hard to be green when you’re in the red, Mackenzie says, but the investment is worth it. Government is also paying attention to this modern way of farming with a precision agriculture technical advisory group from the private sector being set up to advise decision-makers. Mackenzie and his wife Roz farm Greenvale Pastures, a 200ha intensive irrigated arable operation growing a range of seeds; another 320ha is part of their dairy enterprise, Three Springs Dairies. With daughter Jemma, they founded Agri Optics NZ, an agri business dedicated to supplying precision agriculture services and tools. They have won major awards for their work over the past years to address modern-day farming challenges including water use and nutrient management including 2016 International Precision Ag farmer of the year.

Mackenzie, invited to speak to farmers and guests at the Canterbury A&P Show recently about a future vision for the industry, says precision agriculture is not for the elite. It is for everyone. It is for dairy farmers, cropping farmers, beef and sheep farmers and all farmers who now have nitrate leaching and water limits. Mackenzie studied farming’s carbon footprint as a Nuffield scholar in 2008 and says precision agriculture is the fastest way to reduce farming’s carbon output; it also reduces water use and fertiliser use. He uses technology, including apps on his smartphone and tablet, in-field sensors and software on his computer, to analyse data and help make decisions. “As a farmer if you know now many kilograms of nitrogen you need to grow a tonne of wheat or the feed requirements to produce a kilo of milksolids, then you are doing precision agriculture but maybe you don’t realise it.” He said that realisation was the start of a journey that would transform the way they farmed. The Mackenzies started on their journey by converting from borderdyke irrigation to


Roz and Craige Mackenzie.

guns, then variable rate centre pivots providing real-time water application data. At November 9 this year, he had yet to turn on his irrigators. Information gathered from soil moisture sensors, natural rainfall and a very good weather forecasting service meant he knew for certain his crops and pasture were not short of water. Their fields have also been


mapped for soil texture and harvest yield. The property has been divided into 35 zones that receive precisely what they need, saving on inputs of water and fertiliser. Mackenzie says they are really starting to rely on connectivity and have recently installed a $1000 digital gateway that allows 1000 devices to be connected within a range of about 15km.

He says they are looking for better environmental outcomes and building a better reputation for food quality . . . while remaining profitable. “We have the opportunity to lead the world and improve water quality in rivers and groundwater with precision agriculture. It is not a silver bullet but will be a major tool going forward.” Using the new technology


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Craige Mackenzie discussing precision agriculture with Economic Development and Science and PHOTO MICHELLE NELSON 241014-MN-040 Innovation Minister Steven Joyce.

means farmers need reliable and fast broadband and Government says it is doing its part to improve internet access so farmers can be connected to the technology that will help them. Communications minister Amy Adams says $2 billion has been committed to infrastructure and while Government was putting in

internet dishes and towers, it was up to farmers to tap into the technology that would help them. When that infrastructure work is finished, New Zealand will be the fourth best connected country in the world, behind Singapore, Japan and Korea. Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy

agrees and says rural communities could be turbo charged by the use of precision agriculture, through an increase in productivity, improvements to the environment and more sustainable farming practices. More importantly it would help New Zealand leapfrog Ireland in the quest to be the world’s most sustainable

farming country. Farmers in Ireland are “working with nature” as part of a national sustainability programme called Origin Green and its 18,000 dairy farmers all belong to the Sustainable Dairy Assurance Scheme which sets out requirements for best practice in animal health and welfare, land management, biosecurity, safe farming practices and production of safe milk. Guy says New Zealand farmers needed to measure and monitor much more to meet challenges around nitrate leaching and water quality if they wanted their social licence to farm to continue. DairyNZ also supports precision agriculture and general manager of research and development David McCall says technology tools are important for dairy farmers to regain their competitiveness after a difficult two years with low milk prices. Things were looking brighter, but about 25 per cent of dairy farmers were still not making enough to meet working expenses and interest rates. DairyNZ was working with them. “Our goals are threefold. We want dairy farmers to know there is support

available to them, we want them to survive 2016 and prepare for a more prosperous future.” McCall said the organisation had seen the toll it had taken on people and balance sheets and was proud of their resilience. It had forced the industry back to pasture-based feed systems. “People have been talking about this being a back to basics approach. But it is not. It is moving forward with way more precision than we have been.” This was where technology and precision agriculture would help with feed and pasture, and how limited resources like water and nitrates were absorbed. Farmers could also help return to profit by locking in the gains they had made by cutting costs over the past two years. They had reduced costs by 16 per cent yet milk production had only fallen 1.5 per cent. “We have been through unprecedented pain. We are not there yet, there is still a tail in this thing but the signs are brighter.” “Farmers have responded with efficiency gains and are resilient, now lock in the gains.”







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A family commited to producing the Pete Gilbert and his sons may not have bred the perfect jersey cow, but they must be close to it given the number of ribbons they won at the Canterbury A&P Show recently. The Gilberts – Pete and Anne, and sons Nick, Michael and Luke – run Glenalla Stud, which has been breeding jerseys since it was established by Pete’s great grandfather about 100 years ago. Pete says the breed has changed since the stud began keeping records in 1928, with jersey cows becoming bigger and able to produce more milk. They are still smaller than other cows, but have retained their easy-going nature, and easy handling in the milking shed and at calving time. The Gilberts won ribbons at the Canterbury show for intermediate champion jersey and reserve champion, senior champion jersey and reserve champion, supreme jersey and intermediate all breeds champion. Pete was stoked with the all-breeds championship, a first for the stud, but he credits the work to his three sons.

Linda Clarke


Michael Gilbert checks his Jersey is standing so the judges can see her best features at the Canterbury PHOTOS LINDA CLARKE 101116-LC-016 A&P Show.

He said the advancement, through breeding, in their own cows plus careful selection of show candidates and good preparation all contributed to their stellar success at the show. Michael said they had put

more focus into selecting cows for this year’s show, concentrating only on desirable physical traits. The successful candidates were then taught to be lead and stand; depending on the cow, this can take three

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days or three weeks, or not at all for at least one of this year’s first picks. Michael said the seven milkers and two yearlings they eventually took to the show also had to get used to being

tied up as the cows were at the A&P showgrounds from Sunday night to the last day of the show on the Friday. The show is a family affair, with Nick flying home from Australia, where he is working



best jerseys JERSEY FACTS Jersey cows are typically brown in colour with black feet. Their milk has higher solids milk content. Jersey cows make up 10.1 per cent of the national herd of 4,997,881. Another 47.2 per cent are Jersey cross milking cows.


on a holstein pedigree stud in Northern Victoria. It has been a wet spring there and the cows are on the feedpad. The family stayed in caravans at the A&P showgrounds for

the duration of the event, with a family member keeping an eye on them at all times. Pete was also on official show duties – as senior vice president of the Canterbury A&P Show committee he had plenty of

hands to shake and ribbons to hand out, some to his sons. Breeding jerseys is a family passion, alongside the business of milking, and one now split over two farms, the family block halfway between Ashburton

The ability to carry a larger number of effective milking cows per unit area due to lower body weight, hence lower maintenance requirements, and superior grazing ability. and Methven and a recently acquired 174ha block at Rakaia. Pete split his Lauriston herd, sending about 300 to the new block Michael manages and buying in another 200 to milk in a rotary shed that is only


into its third season. Luke is in charge of the sales of stud stock and semen. There is no competition between the two milking units, just a family committed to a specialist dairy breed.


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Farming Dairy Focus


Dairy goat opportunities on offer The threads of dairying are becoming more varied as farmers look to non-cow options for farm milking platforms around the country.

Just as dairy and sheep are receiving more attention, milking goats have been building on a well-established platform of production as global market demand for the high value dairy products continues to exceed supply. Globally dairy goat products have been one of the rising stars in high value niche products, experiencing strong and ongoing growth. Intolerance to cow’s milk can be a common problem in some markets and goat milk provides a high protein, high calcium alternative. Bayleys country manager Simon Anderson said there were a lot of positives that lent themselves to goat farming, if a willing processor can be secured. “There are both environmental and market positives that go with this land use at present. With milksolids valued at about $18 per kg, and with costs of about $8 per kg, there is a good return there. The fact it can be generated off a property about an eighth the size of an average dairy farm

does make it an appealing option for farmers wanting to get a foot hold in farm ownership.” Bayleys Waikato rural consultant Mike FraserJones is marketing two larger goat operations that are attracting interest from both

marketed is described as a “Rolls Royce” unit. Hangawera Valley Goats located near Morrinsville comprises 41ha and includes 100,000 NZ Dairy Goat Cooperative Shares, milking 600 goats and producing 107,711kg of milksolids.

Some of the interest we are seeing has come about from the lower dairy payout, and the solid market foundations the New Zealand Dairy Goat Co-operative has established for goat milk products

existing farmers and investors considering other dairy options. “Some of the interest we are seeing has come about from the lower dairy payout, and the solid market foundations the New Zealand Dairy Goat Co-operative has established for goat milk products. It has been a very niche-focused, demandled development,” he says. One of the properties being


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against the strong per hectare returns the operation can generate off a relatively small footprint. “And you also need to allow for having good staff on a goat operation, they are not always the easiest to find in what is still a relatively small industry,” he said. The Waikato has long been a stronghold for dairy goats thanks to the ground-breaking work of the low profile dairy goat co-operative. The co-operative expanded its supplier base considerably between 2013 and 2015, taking on an additional 24 farm suppliers. More recently, the Manawatu has also become home to hundreds of dairy goats. Six farms in the province now supply the Ashburton-based dairy goat processor NZ Dairy Collaborative Group (NZDCG). Once the goats have been milked in the Manawatu, the raw product is trucked to Hamilton for drying at a specialist plant at Ruakura, then packaged in Ashburton. NZDCG spokesman Solomon Ling said after only little



Dairy goats are presenting opportunities for many farmers.

over a year in New Zealand the company was on a sound footing, having security of supply from the Manawatu herds and the capacity to dry

the milk in Hamilton. The company’s major shareholder FineBoon is China’s major infant formula goat milk powder brand owner.


However, the major markets for the powdered product include Arab states where it is accepted as a preferred infant formula option due to the product’s

easily digested formulation. At this stage the company is taking a low profile to its growth, ensuring markets are well established and capable

of earning a premium, rather than risking significant volume growth that erodes potential margins. In the future its plans include a joint venture drier operation. “Until that point we are not seeking any more suppliers.” Other regions are also eyeing the potential dairy goats may bring as an environmentallyfriendly, high-value land use option for pastoral country. Last year a report by Business Hawke’s Bay indicated the region’s dry, low humidity climate was well suited to goat farming, while the land’s good contour would lend itself well to an industry capable of creating 178 new jobs and bring $1.5 billion into the region. As environmental demands on conventional dairying increase, the prospect of housing cows for at least part of the year may have to be considered for containing nutrient losses. “With more farmers having to consider housing cows, housing goats may appear more affordable and manageable,” Anderson said.


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Dairy Focus


From calves to community, we care I often see farmers, mainly dairy farmers, portrayed as an uncaring profit-driven bunch with little interest in what’s happening outside their farm boundary. You only need to watch the news to see an animal rights group accusing us all of being complicit in animal cruelty, read The Herald to find an angry columnist insisting we’re single-handedly destroying New Zealand’s waterways, or open my inbox to discover that I personally am responsible for global warming. The truth is we do care but we’re not inclined to talk about it very much, even amongst ourselves. Tonight I’m taking the farm staff out to a dinner, partly as a thank you for the hard work they’ve done to date, but mainly because the farm I manage donates calves every year to the local rugby union and this evening is a celebration of that fact. A total of 70 calves have been donated this year to ensure Mid Canterbury rugby has the funds to keep junior rugby

Craig Hickman

Those of us that were out of danger willingly opened our gates to let the stock have a feed and a breather overnight before continuing on their way. We took what stock we could to keep them milking and gave what we could spare to those that had lost everything. The same thing happens in times of drought and will happen again with the recent devastating earthquake. We care what happens to our neighbours and fellow farmers. For every negative article I see reported, I think of the good the farming community quietly do for those around them. Despite the glee with which the demise of the dairy industry was predicted, farmers just got on with it and checked if their neighbours needed a hand. These people are the silent majority and they care deeply about what goes on both inside and beyond the farm, I just wish they’d stop being so damned quiet about it.

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solvent and able to encourage youngsters into the sport. Farmers donate the calves, local businesses donate prizes for the most weight gain, the local vet and silage contractor donate their time and equipment for weighing, the transport company trucks the calves for free and the stock agent waives his commission. All of this is done by volunteers and with little to no publicity, because we care about our community. I’ve been dairying for 21 years now, and every single farm I have been involved with donates at least one calf annually to IHC. I have never seen a farmer hesitate when the IHC volunteer comes calling, except maybe to apologise that

times are tight and it might only be one animal this year instead of two or three. Again the calves are transported at no charge, and again the auctioneers waive their commission. We don’t talk about it, it’s

not publicised, and we do it because we care about our community. I was in the Manawatu during the floods of 2004 when thousands of cows were suddenly on the road escaping the rising water.




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Farming Dairy Focus


Dairy farmers breeding more Dairy farmers are moving away from breeding bobby calves in favour of quality dairy/beef cross calves which are fetching record prices and in demand from rearers, finishers and the meat processing industry. Project manager for the Dairy Beef Integration Project, Doug Lineham, said four-dayold bobby calves are fetching between $20 and $40 on the bobby calf truck. “Contrast this to $150-$300 for quality dairy/beef bull calves and $70 to $150 for heifers on the open market. “New Zealand is suffering from a shortage of quality table beef – the national herd of beef cows is now below 1 million so the red meat sector is looking to the dairy industry to help it meet demand. “That’s a win-win for dairy farmers who, by simply changing their breeding strategy to include proven beef genetics, can treble their calf cheque.” Lineham said the sale of quality calves to rearers and finishers also avoids the stress


of putting bobby calves on the truck. “No farmer enjoys doing that; they would all much rather generate an animal which will go on to be reared.” Malcolm Ellis, general manager New Zealand Markets for LIC, said orders for beef straws is up more than 53 per cent on last year.

“Farmers are certainly looking to diversify their spring income streams. We are seeing an increased trend to mate poorer quality cows to SGL hereford from day one. The resulting dairy beef calf will not only add the income diversification, but also only allow the superior cows to produce the next generation of


the dairy herd. This increased selection pressure has a significant positive effect on the rate of genetic gain.” CRV Ambreed’s sales and marketing manager, Mathew Macfie, reports a similar trend in demand for proven beef genetics. “There has been a tremendous upsurge in demand

this year, we had sold the same volume as entire last year halfway through the September and orders are flooding in. “We are selling out of some lines, but fortunately we procured wisely and will be able to fill all orders. “At CRV we are seeing a change in approach by farmers, and we see a huge, mostly untapped, potential around genetics – we believe genetics will improve the way we farm in New Zealand.” Demand for bulls on the ground is evident in the sales yards, with PGG Wrightson’s national genetics manager, Callum Stewart, saying they are “seeing an increase in demand for quality beef bulls across the country. Farmers have been getting between $250 and $350 for four or five-day-old bull calves this year and between $70 and $150 (sometimes more) for heifers. “We are selling yearling beef bulls specifically bred for the dairy market – short gestation, easy calving, low birthweight bulls which will generate a calf

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dairy/beef calves which will be in demand for rearing. “We’re seeing yearling bull prices lift by $200 to $300, but dairy farmers are getting that value back very quickly.” William Morrison of EziCalve Herefords, which breeds bulls for heifers and the dairy industry, said they are seeing “the strongest demand ever for quality bulls with Estimated Breeding Values, low birth weight genetics, good temperament and good health protocols”. The demand is also being seen by other breeding companies with Matt Crowther, programme manager for Firstlight Wagyu, producers of grass-fed wagyu beef, saying they were seeing strong demand again this season. “Beef genetics are starting to resonate with farmers and we are seeing a significant increase in the number of dairy farmers interested in the price certainty and connection to established markets that we offer for mixed-sex four-day-olds and weaners.”


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Farming Dairy Focus


Be careful irrigating after quakes Earthquakes and the weather – that’s our focus at the moment. Both can have a major impact on irrigating farmers, but their influence can be mitigated by good planning and management. Recently, we reminded irrigators in North Canterbury, Kaikoura and Marlborough to take care with infrastructure as they turned irrigators back on following the devastating earthquakes. Health and safety needs to be at the forefront of farmers’ minds as power cuts and surges, twisted machinery and damaged foundations can all contribute significant hazards as irrigation resumes. IrrigationNZ has re-released guidelines for managing irrigation safely postearthquake. The free resource can be found on our website http://irrigationnz.co.nz/ wp-content/uploads/INZPostQuake-Doco.pdf While farmers were keen to return to business as usual, professionals be needed in some cases to determine if infrastructure is safe to operate.

Andrew Curtis


The first thing is to check is the situation with your power. Despite power remaining off in many districts, irrigation pump sites and sheds should always be approached with caution. Beware of surface water around electrical hardware and fallen lines, loose wires and tilted or fractured foundations. Turn off mains where power has been cut unless it’s impossible to do so safely. The most important thing is to get an electrician to check the site properly before you turn power back on. Then check the physical structure of the irrigator, particularly pivots and linears. Look at the truss rod supports, for twists, broken

welds or any bending. The foundations should also be checked for structural cracks and to ensure any electrical connections are secure.” Finally, we suggested for those who didn’t need to irrigate straight away, leaving the irrigation bore pump off for another week. This will give aquifers an opportunity to settle and clear. We also reminded irrigators to only apply water when

necessary. With ongoing wet and relatively cold temperatures in many parts of the region, the need for early season irrigation has been reduced. Overall we’ve been happy to see the number of irrigators that have only just started up as it shows that more and more people must be recording rainfall, measuring soil moisture and paying attention to weather

forecasts. However, there’s still a handful of irrigators going on days when its obvious water application isn’t required – we need to get everyone scheduling their irrigation well. Farmers need to record the sporadic rainfall we’ve been experiencing and monitor their soil moisture levels closely. Keeping a check on any predicted rainfall is also key. Not irrigating until you need to reduces operational costs and increases profitability. IrrigationNZ provides irrigators with resources to help them understand how to schedule irrigation. These include an understanding of soil water, climate measurements for irrigation, plant water use and how to use these to schedule your irrigation. IrrigationNZ released a Soil Moisture Monitoring resource book earlier this year to help irrigators work through these issues. This can be downloaded from the website www.irrigationnz.co.nz.



Poor trimming impacts production Can hoof trimming have a negative effect on a cow? If so, how would you know? I guess most farmers don’t spend too much time thinking about that. To me, it seems that hoof trimming is perceived as a job Fred VEEHOF DAIRY that “just needs to be done”. Hoekstra SERVICES Most people would say that it is better to trim a lame cow we want them to come right rather than do nothing at as fast as possible. The “as fast all, even if the person who is as possible” is the important doing the trimming is not well part. If we just want cows to trained. come right, then we may as The question that could be well leave them in a close-by asked is “if that is true, why paddock and give them some do we trim lame cows?” There rest. Most cows will come are many possible answers right by themselves. to that question - such as: “to However, it is the “as fast as help the cow to get rid of her possible” that is the challenge, pain” or “to let the cow come but if we aim for that, we right” or “to get the cow back will constantly look for ways to full production as soon as to improve. Also, if we get possible”. cows to come right as soon as Often cows improve after possible, all the other benefits trimming, sometimes right will follow –increased milk away or it could take a little production, better in-calf while. Thus, the conclusion is rates, lower treatment costs, drawn that the trimming must etc. So, the starting point have been good because the is the time it takes a cow to cow came right. I would like heal by herself, because if we to challenge this thinking. I decide to trim a lame cow the believe that the main reason goal must be to speed up the we trim lame cows is because healing process.

If it doesn’t there is no point in trimming her. If you could accurately measure the difference your trimming makes you could ask “what would be the minimum number of days that we would need to speed up the healing process by to make trimming worthwhile?”. However, we can’t say that because every cow is different and every lesion has a different grade of severity. So, when we trim a cow there should be an obvious positive result. Every day that a cow is lame longer than necessary she costs you avoidable money. The photo shows a cow’s hoof that was trimmed by a farm staff member. It was not done correctly resulting in a prolonged period of discomfort and unproductivity for this cow. Yes, she was worse off after the trim than before. The trimming cost the farmer considerably more money through loss of production and loss of body condition score and whatever other costs there may have been. Hoof trimming is a highly

Poorly trimmed hoof corrected.

Poorly trimmed hoof. PHOTOS SUPPLIED

skilled job that you don’t learn by watching someone doing it for a day. Even a one day hoof trimming course is never enough to make someone a good hoof trimmer, no matter who runs the course. An expectation like that is unrealistic. This means that getting a professional hoof trimmer to come in to trim your lame cows creates an opportunity

for the cow to heal faster and, as a result, minimise the effects of lameness on your farm and therefore make you more money. Another option would be to train yourself or a staff member up to the level where they could be close to professional standards by attending an advance training course and learning how to improve the healing process more effectively.



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2 16

Farming Dairy Focus


Around the traps Livestock action from the Canterbury A&P Show.


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How to cook that meaty treat You can’t go wrong with a barbecue, whether you’re feeding workmates or family and friends this summer. From sausages and steak, to kebabs and whole hot hams, there is a meat for all tastes when barbecued on a hot grill, says Netherby Meats owner operator Mike Hanson. If you’re planning a Christmas Day barbecue, you can add some fancier offerings, like Cumberland sausages or venison patties. But most times, keeping things simple and fresh, is best. Netherby Meats is open Monday to Saturday all summer so if the hungry hordes arrive without warning, there is time to act. Hanson says their Cumberland and Lincolnshire sausages have won awards and were popular with the customers, while their precooked beef sausages offered taste and value for money. Alongside the traditional beef mince patties were venison and pork options. When it comes to steak, butchery staff are happy to recommend their marinated

options as well as other cuts, like thinly cut rib eye. “We do offer advice on how to cook meat on a barbecue. If you are going to cook steaks, let the steaks warm up to room temperature covered with cling film, heat the barbecue to a good

Irrigation has been developed around efficiency – and water is driving the great GDP in this district – not dairying.

temperature, oil and season the steaks before placing on the barbecue on one side then a few minutes on the other side. It should feel soft when it is cooked. Take the steaks off the barbecue and let them sit for a

short while before eating.” Hanson said legs of ham cured by Netherby Meats were also popular, as menu items for feeding a crowd or vacuumpacked as gifts. The ham can be eaten cold or heated and glazed.

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He said many customers were heating their hams under barbecue hoods instead of in ovens, creating a barbecue talking point when the meat was served with fresh buns and salad. Leftover ham is best kept

Order your hams for Christmas today Traditionally cured and cooked with an old fashioned recipe here on site.


Staff meat packs for Christmas Phone




in the fridge, under a damp tea towel sprinkled with a bit of vinegar. Special ham bags are also available at Netherby Meats. Hanson said bags or tea towels helped preserve the meat; he advised against using any plastic for storage.

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2 18

Farming Dairy Focus


The ideal auger for dairy farms


Using an auger is still the cheapest, simplest and quickest way to shift grain on-farm. There are many Brandt augers in use at feed sheds on dairy farms all over New Zealand, they can not only shift grain, but also palm kernel. Manufactured in Canada, Brandt PTO-drive grain augers combine top quality features with a simple, easy-touse design at a competitive price. With no belts, a hazard has been eliminated and maintenance is minimal, as such they are considered to be the ideal auger for use on dairy farms. Brandt augers come with a oneyear warranty, manual winch, bucket spout, polyhopper, supercharged intake which gives a 20 per cent increase in capacity over a standard intake, quick-detach tow hitch, one-piece square tube undercarriage (welded not clamped), heavy duty heat-treated double sprockets to increase durability and performance along with a premium powder-coat paint finish, and all for a similar price to other augers which don’t have some of these features. Minimum horsepower requirement is only 40hp, and being road-legal width they are easily transported from one farm to another behind a ute. Brandt PTO-drive augers will give many years of reliable, cost-effective grain handling. They’re in stock now.

Ideal dairy farm grain auger • • • • •

Brandt 8” PTO-drive Grain Augers Simple direct drive, no belts Supercharged intake In stock now, priced to clear


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2 20

Farming Dairy Focus


Cobra easier to use than pods Southland farmer Bevan Jones recalls that when his 400 cow farm was converted to dairying in 2011, their effluent system included pods and four lines which he used for a few seasons. “We had four different lines and a lot of time was involved in moving them around every day and it was also hard to get a good even coverage of the paddocks and avoid circles. We tried to speed things up by towing a couple of pods but they’re heavy and that didn’t work very well.” Bevan visited the Hi-Tech Enviro Solutions site at Fieldays and saw the Cobra Travelling Raingun and decided to get one on trial. “I was told I might need a bigger pump to drive it but we tried it with the existing one and it worked really well, it was a lot easier to use, so we bought it. “It’s easier to transport around and use than the pods and the coverage is great. We don’t get any crop circles and get a really nice light skim on the paddocks.” Bevan says they use the


We haven’t had any problems with it since we’ve had it - it just gets a clean and grease but otherwise just keeps running. It saves a lot of time and everyone enjoys using it

Cobra from around September each year and try to get it going every day for five days and then maybe have a week off.

“We’d be running it four out of every seven days – it doesn’t have much down time. “We haven’t had any problems with it since we’ve

had it – it just gets a clean and grease, but otherwise just keeps running. It saves a lot of time and everyone enjoys using it.”

The King Cobra Travelling Raingun in action

Profile for Ashburton Guardian

Dairy Focus - November  

Dairy Focus - November