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Dairy Focus

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October 2013

Guardian ASHBURTON

Saving the rivers Matthew Hall steps down from water committee

Page 2

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2 Dairy Focus October 2013

Getting farmers, environmentalists and politicians to agree is a tough ask, but as Matthew Hall steps down from a three-year role, he is optimistic the Ashburton Water Zone Committee is in good heart.

Dairy Focus An advertising publication of the Ashburton Guardian Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Ashburton Guardian Publication date: October 22nd, 2013 Next issue: November 19, 2013 We welcome any correspondence to either: Linda Clarke, phone (03) 307-7971 email: linda.c@theguardian.co.nz Desme Daniels, phone (03) 307-7974 email: desme.d@theguardian.co.nz Designed by Ally Lamb, Simon Fox, Eden Kirk Williams and Cate Hogan

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Dairy Focus October 2013

3

Future-proofing our water Linda Clarke RURAL REPORTER

M

atthew Hall is hoping to do a little more fishing in the next year or two. With the Ashburton River at his door, he is optimistic the most over-allocated waterway in Canterbury will have more water in it in the next few years. More water in the Ashburton means the river mouth is open for longer and fish can migrate and spawn. Mr Hall has good reason to be optimistic. He is the chairman of the Ashburton Water Zone Committee, a group of smart and diverse community members charged with recommending important rules about water use and farming practices in Mid Canterbury. The committee is coming up to the end of its three-year journey, a huge mission and balancing act, satisfying environmental and economic aims within the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. Mr Hall is one of two community committee members standing down, a step essential in keeping the committee revitalised, he says. The committee’s makeup is unlikely to change until well into next year though, as it is crunch time setting limits for water quality and quantity in the Hinds Plains area. The nutriment limits affect how much fertiliser farmers can apply, impacting what and how they farm. The aim is to limit nitrates leaching into groundwater or other waterways and manage other environmental effects. Limit setting rules break new ground and the zone committee mandate is to encourage community discussion. Mr Hall is

rapt the community is engaged and wrestling with the issues, even if the debate gets lively at times. He knows not everyone will be happy with the outcomes, but farmers and town folk alike are keen to preserve or improve the environment. Despite the fact Mr Hall, a passionate fisherman, has had little time in the past three years to fish because of water zone work and other commitments, he says being on the inaugural committee has been an enjoyable challenge. He was a natural choice to lead the diverse group - a former trust manager and chartered accountant at Perpetual Trust (PGG) for 40 years dealing with farmers, and a Save the Rivers campaigner. It has been a lifelong challenge balancing his environmental interests with the push for more irrigation and economic growth. The same conundrum faces the zone committee so he is well practised. Also on the committee are dairy farmer and deputy chairman Greg Roadley, irrigation supporters Gordon Guthrie and Ben Curry, high country farmer Donna Field, and environmentalist Sheryl Stivens. Environment Canterbury is represented by former Government minister David Caygill, the Ashburton District Council by councillor and farmer Neil Brown, and rununga is represented by Arapata Reuben and Karl Russell. It concerns Mr Hall that he is the only urban representative on the committee and says it is important townies’ points of views continue to be heard when he steps down. Mr Hall’s family has had a bach at the Rangitata River mouth since 1924 and rivers and fishing have become a passion in his lifetime. He says the water zone

Water flowing through the Rangitata Diversion Race.

committee’s big three achievements have included a plan to raise the minimum flows in the degraded Ashburton River, a zone implementation plan with a huge 72 recommended actions around water, and the Hinds sub catchment plan (which should be out for final public consultation in February). The plan for the Ashburton River was first, with a set of rules designed to raise the minimum flow in the river to six cumecs by 2017. Mr Hall says this is achievable, “pinching a bit” from the stockwater system (which is Ashburton River water anyway), and the improved flows will be hugely beneficial for the river. “It will not keep the mouth open all the time, but a lot more than it has been. It needs nearer to 10 cumecs but six will keep it open for more time, and the longer it is open the more species can migrate and complete their lifecycle.” The community had previously spent 20 years, and a long series of workshops, trying to get community agreement on a plan to improve the health of the river. The river was over-allocated and clawing back resources is hard because people and their livelihoods can be affected,

which means great care is needed finding solutions and recommending change. Coming up with a zone implementation programme was also a big deal. It has 72 actions, recommended after public feedback, on river flows, biodiversity, water quality and quantity. The limit setting in the Hinds catchment will be another important box ticked, with limit setting for the rest of the district to follow. It is likely that the Canterbury Regional Council will set default limits through its Land and Water Regional Plan but a local community being involved in shaping its own realistic solutions will be hard to ignore. Mr Hall says the eyes of the country are on Canterbury, especially Mid Canterbury, when it comes to balancing the environment with farming for profit for New Zealand Inc. “The real ideal is if the local community and farmers show they can manage nutrient load limits to the best of their ability. It may take time to achieve targets but these wil be assessed and reassessed and we are just starating on the path that will get us there.” Almost all farmers were now using technology and science

to better manage nutrients, and adopting good management practices, he said. The challenge will be that no one lets the industry down. Improving water quality and quantity is no quick fix and Mr Hall says goals can only be set five years out, 10 at the very most, and need to be reviewed as the landscape responds. Nature adapts, he says. He looks back to 150 years ago when Mid Canterbury east of the main road was swamp and west tussock. Man has modified the landscape so much that the swamp now needed to be irrigated, while in the upper plains water is drawn from rivers to irrigate farmland. He says Mid Canterbury is years ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to irrigation, with water-delivery systems like the Rangitata Diversion Race, storage and efficient spray irrigators. While water was a renewable resource, it still had to be used sustainably and future energy generation and piping will continue to be important enhancements. “Environmentally we have a way to go. We are well ahead with farming but our environment has been a bit neglected.” Mr Hall worries about letting down both fellow environmentalists and farmers he has worked with over the decades. He has been careful to balance both and says the integrity of committee members has played a huge part in that. Despite their different agendas, there have been no big dust-ups. In fact, they respect each other as people doing a hard job for the benefit of generations to come. “I think we have made a difference. We have built a path and we are moving forward on it.”

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4 Dairy Focus October 2013

Potential for NZ expertise Nathan Guy

MINISTER OF PRIMARY INDUSTRIES

L

ast month I was fortunate to be invited to address a conference of agriculture ministers from across the Americas in Argentina. While there I took the opportunity to visit Uruguay and Paraguay – countries with real potential. It is important for New Zealand to diversify our markets and what we export. Latin America has a population of about 600 million people and is rapidly growing, which is creating real opportunities for New Zealand. A key message I pushed throughout this trip was that we see ourself as a collaborator rather than a competitor in this part of the world. Where New Zealand can assist these countries is not by exporting more produce because they are all pretty much self-sufficient in food production. What we can offer is Kiwi agricultural “know how� and product expertise. Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay have much in common. They are all massive beef and grain producers. They have large tracts of grasslands in varying stages of development and in most places fertile soils that can grow some of the best soybean crops in the world. One drawback is having had foot and mouth disease. They are now managing it with vaccines, which has restricted access into some overseas markets. The dairy industry in this region offers considerable potential for

We can’t feed the world populaĆ&#x;on, but we will conĆ&#x;nue to add value through innovaĆ&#x;on, niche products, branding and selling the New Zealand story.

Nathan Guy, Minister of Primary Industries gets up close with a 1250kg hereford bull at a Uruguay ranch.

growth. For example, Paraguay only produces eight litres of milk per cow per day. This could be due to tropical pastures with low digestibility, or a lack of high producing dairy genetics. The same is true in Brazil where they have 200 million cattle and about three-quarters are hand milked. The sheep industry is also undeveloped but offers huge potential. Merino or corridale sheep are ideally suited to the mountainous Andes and meat breeds for the plains. The sheep flock numbers are small (about 700,000 in Paraguay) which creates supply chain issues, a lack of processing plants and the domestic population not used to eating lamb like we are used to. New Zealand companies are exporting products into these markets and doing a great job. Products like electric fences, animal and pasture genetics, animal health products, milking machine and meat processing technology are in demand. Some of our research facilities and universities are also involved in

collaborative projects in these countries. Some of you might be wondering if New Zealand is selling its comparative advantage to our future competitors? My response is that we live in a global economy that is becoming more open all the time. We can’t feed the world population, but we will continue to add value through innovation, niche products, branding and selling the New Zealand story. Overtime we will move more product lines out of commodities into superior value added lines. We will continue to sell large amounts of protein into Asia, but

clearly the biggest opportunity in Latin America is through joint ventures and selling our products to their farmers. The proceeds of these sales flow right back into our economy. This is happening already in Chile where we have a free-trade agreement in place. Since 2007 New Zealand companies and individuals have invested $630 million in Chile. We have a strong reputation in this part of the world for our agricultural expertise. We should be proud of this and maximise the opportunities it brings. I saw some of this first-hand earlier this year when I was fortunate to travel to Mexico, Columbia, Chile and Brazil with

Prime Minister John Key and a trade delegation. During that visit I invited Colombian farmers to visit New Zealand to understand more about our agricultural systems and technology. As a result, 170 Colombian farmers recently made a successful visit here. Building closer links with international agricultural leaders is hugely important to New Zealand. That’s why the Government is now funding four places a year for a new study tour to New Zealand. This will be funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries and supported by Federated Farmers.

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Dairy Focus October 2013

5

Second wind highlights vulnerability M

id Canterbury Federated Farmers leaders are repeating calls for farmers to have generators if their business relies on electricity. President Chris Allen, dairy section chairman Hamish Davidson and field officer Angela Hogg are urging farmers to ensure they have access to generators should the power go out again. The windstorm on September 10 and last week’s foothills gales cut power to many dairy farmers and some could not run their cowsheds or water pumps. Ms Hogg said Federated Farmers and the Rural Support Trust received and made over 90 calls in the first 36 hours after the September storm, most involving dairy farmers. “Four weeks ago, my knowledge of generators was what you see on TV in war-torn countries, outside the medical tents. Now I can tell you that a 50-bail rotary will need at least a 60KVA just to start and that you will need another 30KVA at least to get the shed fully operational,

Last Monday’s gales brought trees down and caused electricity outages throughout Mid Canterbury.

add on the 250KVA for your 100W submersible water pump and you will be good to go. Milking will continue, stock will have adequate access to water and the farm shouldn’t suffer long-term business interruption.” Ms Hogg said too many businesses did not have sufficient generator access and animal welfare issues could be huge. “One farmer I spoke to told me he had to drop $33,000 (before pay-out revision) of milk, the sufficient generator will be costing $22,000. Pretty easy maths, don’t you think?”

Mr Davidson said dairy farmers without access to adequate generator power when the lights went out needed to make arrangements now. “Being able to push a button and go, is a dream. Also these events showed that we need to be serious about not only electricity for milk, but more importantly stock water.” Mr Allen said the need for a generator was one lesson learned. “If you don’t enjoy the stress while waiting for power to be restored . . . do something about it with an alternative power supply.”

He said farmers should also talk to their irrigation-machine suppliers about the wind tethering required and wind limits of their machine. “There are some differences between manufacturers’ recommended tethering, and action now should save heartache in the future. I have heard of some innovative, successful solutions to secure pivots in the hours before the wind, from heavy rollers to hay bales.” Grain section chairman David Clark said farmers should burn tree-waste heaps as soon as

possible so they are not caught out by a restricted fire season, limiting fires to stubbles or permitted fires only. “Granted, everyone is flat stick with normal spring workloads, but please be aware that we need to get this work done prior to summer, or alternatively plan to leave the clean up until autumn.” He also reminded farmers they were liable for any costs of outof-control fires. • Their full comments are available in this month’s Federated Farmers newsletter.

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8 Dairy Focus October 2013 concentrations have never exceeded the MAV. Why do the concentrations vary so much? The nitrogen system in soil is complex, and there are many factors that affect the amount of nitrogen that is leached from the soil, including:

Map highlights nitrate risk areas

A

new nitrate risk map shows red danger zones at Tinwald and a vast chunk of the farmland in north-east Ashburton District. The map is a result of data collected by Environment Canterbury, which has teamed up with the Canterbury District Health Board to provide information about the risk of nitrate contamination in groundwater used for drinking. The authorities say people drinking from private wells should have their water tested. Community supplies are scrutinised regularly, but private wells should be tested for nitrate which can cause blue baby syndrome in bottle-fed infants up to six months old. Changed farming practices have been blamed for increasing nitrates in groundwater throughout Mid Canterbury and the latest map shows low-risk areas along the Rakaia and

Rangitata rivers, and high risk areas from Tinwald to Willowby, near the coast at Wakanui, at Fairton where wastewater from meatworks is discharged, and almost all of the Dorie-Pendarves area. The rest of the district is yellow, at moderate risk. The Ashburton Water Zone Committee says while the data is “coarse”, the map is to alert people to the fact that if they are on their own wells, there is potentially a risk and it would be prudent to have drinking water tested. A report accompanying the new risk map says scientists did not find any large point sources between Dorie and Pendarves and concluded that nitrate concentrations above the maximum acceptable value were due to overall farming practices. Low-risk areas are unlikely to change, but moderate areas could become high risk because of land use intensification.

The Ministry of Health sets the maximum nitrate concentration at 50mg/L (or nitrate nitrogen concentration at 11.3mg/L) to protect against methaemoglobinaemia (blue bottle syndrome) in bottle-fed infants. This level is not known to harm healthy adults. Nitrate concentrations vary across the district though and people with their own well are

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Farmers and land managers can decrease nitrate leaching losses from their land and are under pressure from new rules governing land use and input application. ECan says testing is the only way to detect nitrate, as it is tasteless, odourless and colourless. A common misconception is that boiling water will remove nitrate; it will not. Using bottled water is recommended for pregnant women and bottle-fed babies in the red areas. Laboratories test for nitrate and E coli and cost from $11 to $35.

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DAIRY BUSINESS CENTRE (NZ) LIMITED Concentrate Supplementation – Improving Productivity and Profitability

CONAL HARKIN MAgrSc – ASSOCIATE NUTRITION CONSULTANT DAIRY BUSINESS CENTRE (NZ) LIMITED)

Dry-matter intake of grazing dairy cows in New Zealand is often restricted in order to manage pasture quality, which always has a negative effect on potential milk production. Low post-grazing residuals undoubtedly result in good quality, leafy regrowth, however, the extra time spent searching and grazing into the lower horizon of the sward may prevent cows from reaching their true milking potential. Time spent grazing to very low residuals is time lost increasing dry matter intake and rumen fill. Increasing the energy density of the diet and keeping cows fully fed is the key to improving productivity as fully fed cows are far more efficient at using nutrients for milk production than underfed cows used to control pasture quality. It may be argued that poorer pasture quality may result from higher postgrazing residuals, however, it may be more profitable to manage pasture quality through other methods without restricting milk production.

A recent research trial conducted by Lincoln University, and partially funded through Dairy Business Centre (NZ) Ltd’s dairymasters™ Tertiary Scholarship and Industry Development Programme, compared the traditional pasture-only New Zealand dairy farming system, targeting post grazing residuals of 1480 kg DM/ha, with other farm systems. Increasing post grazing residuals to 1760 kg DM/ha combined with concentrate supplementation (average 3.5 kg DM concentrate/cow/day) increased milk solid production from 1857 kg MS/ha/year to 2457 kg MS/ha/year. Body condition score at drying off also increased from 4.4 to 4.8. Both supplemented farm systems compared in this trial produced higher margin over feed costs and body condition score at drying off compared with unsupplemented systems. A greater milk response to concentrate supplementation was seen at high residual and it is likely that improved nutrient absorption was responsible, as more constant rumen fill allowed cows to use the extra nutrients provided more efficiently. Data for all four farm systems compared in this trial are displayed in Table 1 below. Results clearly show that unsupplemented cows did not have the extra nutrients available to reach their milk-production potential or to maintain body-condition score.

The significant response to concentrate supplementation was a result of increasing individual cow performance and increasing milk production per hectare through stocking-rate adjustment. Increasing stocking rate in the supplemented farm systems was necessary to avoid pasture wastage. In terms of milk production, a greater effect of supplementation may be expected in mid and late lactation as the production of unsupplemented cows will drop off, while supplemented cows reach a higher peak and hold production for longer. The benefits of maintaining higher body-condition score throughout lactation and at drying off are likely to have major benefits for maximising peak production and improving reproductive performance.

University Research Dairy Farm and is continuing for a second full lactation, jointly funded by Lincoln University and Dairy Business Centre (NZ) Ltd. It is expected that concentrate supplementation will further increase milk production in the second year as those cows are heavier and in better condition than their unsupplemented counterparts. This should allow them to partition more of the extra nutrients provided towards milk production than in the previous year. For more information on the research trial and results contact the Ruminant Nutrition team at Dairy Business Centre (NZ) Limited.

This research highlights the potential productivity gains achievable when cows are not restricted and fed a more balanced diet and the arising profitability potential from tweaking an existing farm system. This research trial was conducted from July 2012 to May 2013 at Lincoln

Table 1. Milk Production and Body Condition Score for Different Farm Systems

HR+ = High residual plus concentrate, LR+ = Low residual plus concentrate, HR = High residual, LR = Low residual, PGR = Post grazing residual, MOFC = Margin over feed costs, BCS = Body condition score Note: Supplemented cows consumed, on average, 1.22 t concentrate/cow/year

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10 Dairy Focus October 2013

Ostertagia still No. 1 target D

espite cooperia getting rock star attention among its parasite peers, the perennial worm ostertagia is one farmers need to stay tuned in to. Zoetis veterinary adviser Dr Clive Bingham says cooperia has had lots of attention lately and can present more of a problem for some farmers than it did 10 years ago. This is partly due to the more intensive, single-stock class systems being run today, particularly for dairy grazers and bull-beef operations. “Yes, it is more of a problem, but we really can’t afford to take our eye off ostertagia,” he said. Cattle will typically develop a good level of immunity to cooperia after only a few months of exposure. Immunity to ostertagia does not develop as quickly, and even cattle up to two years of age can be significantly affected by it. Ostertagia can have a greater impact on animal health at

significantly lower numbers than cooperia, and coming into spring can be a prime period when ostertagia larvae, that have been dormant over winter, reactivate as conditions become more favourable. Work conducted by AgResearch has established that oral drench treatments are the best way to treat cooperia infestation. However, Dr Bingham believes more work needs to be done to determine the best method of administration for dealing with ostertagia. Dr Bingham points to work done by Egerton which shows that higher doses of ivermectin are required to kill ostertagia when given orally compared to by injection. A product’s ability to kill parasites is not only related to the drug concentration at the site of action but also the period of time that the parasite is exposed to an effective level of that drug.

Farmers need to stay tuned for cattle parasite Ostertagia.

Using long-acting products like Cydectin Injection and Cydectin Pour-On result in a high concentration of Moxidectin within the Abomasal mucosa for a long period of time. This is an

important consideration when treating encysted L4 Larvae of ostertagia. When developing drenching programmes for cattle, the differences in how a parasite

feeds and its location in the digestive tract should be considered. For grazing heifers or bull calves weaned in summer, oral combination drenches could be administered through the

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Dairy Focus October 2013

Dr Clive Bingham recommends farmers stay vigilant in regards to ostertagia.

autumn to cover off the cooperia risk. Ostertagia can then be controlled with the longeracting injectable or pour-on endectocide products (Cydectin

or Dectomax) going into and out of winter. A similar approach can also be taken for beef weaners. At this time of year, you are looking at beef weaner animals over 240kg live weight, and

there are safety aspects that need to be considered when it comes to orally drenching animals of that size. Using a drench that has persistent activity against

production-limiting parasites such as ostertagia also means cattle don’t have to fight ingested infective larvae. Instead, protein and energy that would have been used for

this can be saved and used for improved productivity. The persistent-acting products also allow more time between treatments without impacting on growth rates. An important factor on a busy farm. Dr Bingham is also encouraged by latest research coming out of Lincoln University indicating the potential to reduce drench usage, and maintain cattle growth rates. “One of the biggest problems developing, under intensive grazing systems, is a build-up of resistance in worm populations and a lack of refugia. “Lincoln’s work has been to analyse weight gain in grazers. Those animals not meeting weight targets get drenched, while those that are, don’t get drenched.” This system provides the opportunity to maintain populations of worms that are not exposed to drench as often and therefore less likely to become resistant to it. “There is no single growth rate figure on such a system to stick to, every farm will be different in terms of weight targets, but it does show some real promise for maintaining drench effectiveness through refugia.”

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12 Dairy Focus October 2013

Following the golden rules Ian Hodge VETENT RIVERSIDE

B

ulk milk somatic cell counts in dairy herds can begin to rise or fluctuate widely at this stage in the season. In all sheds, herringbones or rotaries, the fundamental principles of good milking management apply. Cows should be teat sprayed twice daily. The golden rule is to spray every side of every teat on every cow every day. Teat spraying has been shown in controlled trials to reduce the incidence of mastitis in herds by 50 per cent. Cups should be removed gently from cows by kinking the long milk tubes close to the cluster to allow complete vacuum drop.

If automatic cup removers are installed their function must be checked by a certified milkingmachine tester. Cup-removal technique is important in preventing reverse milk flow and possible introduction of a new infection into quarters to which the cups are still attached. This is particularly important in herds with significant teat end damage. Cows should be milked out to 95 to 100 per cent consistently. Under milking is common and can predispose to new infections. Over milking must be avoided especially at higher vacuum settings in herringbone sheds, and where there is teat end damage. Always ensure there are enough people milking the cows, especially in long herringbone sheds so that cows are not left â&#x20AC;&#x153;dry milkingâ&#x20AC;? for long periods of time.

Follow good management practices in the milking shed: cows should be teat sprayed twice a day.

Under milking, or delays in the start of milking, may indicate a problem with the milking machine. The liners are critical to the milking process and to teat health and in this way have an

impact on the bulk milk somatic cell count. Many liners I have seen are incorrect for the shells in use and for the herd, and are causing widespread teat end damage. Liners need to be compatible

with the shells and with the cows and to the vacuum set in the shed. All these factors will have an impact on the way the liner behaves inside the shell. Perhaps, most importantly, is the point at which the liner

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Dairy Focus October 2013

13

Milking time.

collapses relative to the teat end. The bore of the liner and its capacity to draw the teat into the liner, especially at high vacuums, is also important. Liners are under different tensions in shells because shells

are all different lengths; low tensions will result in poor milk out and teat-end damage and high tensions will lead to teat wall and teat-end damage. The vacuum level in a shed is very important. The vacuum has

to draw milk away from the cows through considerable lengths of pipe work with differing diameters. In herringbone sheds the vacuum is required to take the milk to a level above the cows.

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In rotary sheds the vacuum will be required to take milk away from the cows but the milk line may be below the cows or at the same level as the udders. Consequently vacuum levels differ for sheds. Most important

is the milking vacuum or the vacuum as tested in a liner whilst it is milking a cow. Vacuum set incorrectly will have a major effect on teat-end damage, speed of milk out, teatwall health, cow comfort, liner function and somatic cell count. Finally, the pulsation rate and ratio in the shed are both critical to good milking. Pulsation is dependent on the pulsators which are either electronic or mechanical. Pulsators create a milking cycle which consists of liners open and closed, depending on vacuum, in a timed sequence. If any of the lengths of these sequences are incorrect you will end up with a milking or teathealth problem. If you are struggling with a fluctuating bulk milk somatic cell count or with high numbers of new infections you should contact your own vet without delay. Alternatively contact The PureMilk Mastitis Consultancy.

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The Dairy Effluent

SPECIALISTS Environmental and Civil Solutions owner Steve Adam has set out to help farmers with their efďŹ&#x201A;uent management problems. Going into its ďŹ fth year, Steve initiated the business after managing a civil engineering company in Waikato. After 15 years in the civil engineering industry, Steve recognised the need for a dedicated efďŹ&#x201A;uent business because there was â&#x20AC;&#x153;nobody out there really doing all of it and doing it wellâ&#x20AC;?. He and his partner Barbara recently relocated from the West Coast to Rakaia with the encouragement from their Canterbury farming clients who saw the need for an organisation who could take care of every aspect of Dairy EfďŹ&#x201A;uent. Operating throughout the South Island, Environmental and Civil Solutions Ltd can design and build the ideal efďŹ&#x201A;uent solution for any dairy farm,

offering a wealth of expertise in both the rural and civil engineering sectors. When Steve is called in to look at a farm, he starts with an assessment of the property, assessing it against the new code of practice for dairy efďŹ&#x201A;uent.

Because of my civil background I know how things work,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I also understand dairy farming and the environmental issues they have to face, I can come up with really good practical, simple and reasonably inexpensive solutions to them.â&#x20AC;?

Discussions on the solution or solutions with client cover cost effectiveness, efďŹ ciencies, and time frame. Steve sometimes ďŹ nds more than one option for his clients as no two farms are the same and he understands that an incorrect or outdated system can mean reduced income, health problems or environmental issues for the farmer. EACS can custom build a new dairy efďŹ&#x201A;uent system for a new dairy conversion or can help farmers upgrade their existing system in the most cost-effective and efďŹ cient way.

EACâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S efďŹ&#x201A;uent systems can include lined storage ponds to match the herd size, solids traps and separators, pipelines, surge chambers, in-ground tanks, pump stations, electronic control and automation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We can design and construct the right system for you and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just use an off-the-shelf package. We use tried and proven componentry from reputable suppliers,â&#x20AC;? Steve says.

Steve project manages the job and does all the work himself, from start to ďŹ nish. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I understand the process.

Each dairy farmer has unique requirements, with solutions and systems differing considerably from farm to farm. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are huge variations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it can depend on the topography of the farm, the ground conditions, climatic changes, and the size of the herd. Building

a system on the West Coast is different to building one in Canterbury just because of the high rainfall.â&#x20AC;? Steve has deliberately kept his company small in order to personally control every aspect of each project. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to help dairy farmers get it right ďŹ rst time.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I treat every job as a new project and I keep it like that. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m very happy with the way it is and my customers seem to like it, too. I enjoy what I do and I like working with the farmer â&#x20AC;&#x201C; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a satisfying job to go from start to ďŹ nish,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I offer a 100 % back up â&#x20AC;&#x201C; even 12 months down the track; if someone has a problem Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m there. When they phone EACS theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re speaking to the person who makes the decisions and can make it happen.â&#x20AC;? Our clients range from Synlait Farms, Fonterra to West Coast farms milking 150 cows with many repeat clients â&#x20AC;&#x201C; when they want to expand or buy another farm

Additional services and products. In addition to its rural efďŹ&#x201A;uent services, EACS also partners with other organisations and individuals for accurate Farm mapping and resource consents. EfďŹ&#x201A;uent application and compliance testing â&#x20AC;&#x201C; totally independent but â&#x20AC;&#x153;hit between the eyesâ&#x20AC;? honest reporting to just you, the famer EACS also supplies and installs ultrasonic water meters â&#x20AC;&#x201C; no need for breaking into those pipes anymore to install a meter! Compliant and veriďŹ ed EACS is also the manufacturer of Glockemann water ram pumps, which are ideally suited for use in a stream or creek to supply domestic or fresh-water storage. The Glockemann pump requires no power of any kind and operates using the ďŹ&#x201A;ow of the water.

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BEETS DELIVER ROI YEAR ON YEAR With 500 cows to feed, sometimes pasture isn’t enough to produce the high quality milk South Wairarapa dairy farmers, Bob, Christine and son Adam Scott are after. Which is why they looked to fodder beet as a supplementary feed four seasons ago, and it’s now become a solid part of their feeding regime. Based at Papawai near Greytown, they have been growing fodder beet for four seasons. It’s fed in-situ, as well as harvested and fed out from a mixer wagon. With several years’ experience growing the crop, the Scotts’ appreciate the importance of keeping weeds well controlled through the establishment phase. It’s key to getting the yield, and ultimately profit, out of the crop. Fodder beet has a long establishment phase, so removing competition from weeds is essential in getting the crop soundly established in those first eight weeks. The Scotts choose Bayer’s Nortron and Betanal Forte as the foundation for their herbicide programme. The two in combination take care of all of the key weeds likely to compete with fodder beet, such as Annual Poa, Chickweed, Fathen, Speedwells, Spurrey, Cornbind, Black Nightshade, Fathen, Furnitory, Shepherd’s Purse and Willow Weed.

Bayer CropScience Regional Sales Manager, Jeff Smith, has provided advice on weed control since the crop was first introduced to the Scott’s farm in 2009, and his advice still holds merit for them. Before starting their herbicide programme, good seedbed preparation is vital, followed by a robust weed controll programme. Any weeds present are removed, then the seed is sown by con-tractors, and adequately watered to gett germination started quickly.

representative over the busy spring period. There is one less job to worry about and they have confidence that the Bayer programme helps deliver the fodder beet yield they need for winter p g feed. and earlyy spring

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16 Dairy Focus October 2013

Do you score often enough? T

his is the question young entrepreneur Brenda Lynch is asking farmers throughout Canterbury. The 25-year-old Waikato University graduate has grown up on farms in the Waikato and in Mid Canterbury, and understands the impact that cow condition has on a farming system. Profitable dairy production relies on healthy cattle that convert feed efficiently into milk while maintaining good fertility. It is essential to regularly score the body condition of dairy herds to ensure optimum health for fertility, calving and milk production, and to facilitate changes in management where necessary. This is what Ms Lynch hopes to achieve by working with farmers around Canterbury. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from Waikato University, Ms Lynch was employed by DairyNZ as a research technician on the Pastoral 21 (P21) Farm Systems Trial. The P21 trial is investigating

the dairy sector. Ms Lynch has started a business called Dairy Condition Monitoring. Dairy Condition Monitoring aims to deliver accurate and useful body-condition data to enable farmers to make informed decisions for their farming system. Using body condition score (BCS) to manage targets and ensuring your herd is in optimum conditions at the right times could save you up to $100 a cow annually. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am looking forward to meeting a wide range of farmers and understanding their farming system while adding the benefit of regular condition scoring, helping them increase profitability on their farms,â&#x20AC;? Ms Lynch said. Dairy Condition Monitoring offers in-shed individual cow assessments and/or paddock assessments for any farming system. â&#x20AC;˘ If you would like more information or to discuss this article, call Brenda Lynch on 027 307 4040 or email Brenda@dcm.net.nz

Maintaining efficient milk production and good fertility levels is key to profitable dairy production.

farming systems that combine high production and profit with lower environmental impact. Ms Lynch was closely involved with the data collection and

analysis on the P21 trial. She developed her body-condition assessing skills and became an accredited body-condition scorer.

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18 Dairy Focus October 2013

International year excites Rural Women R

ural Women New Zealand is excited to play a key role in organising a programme of events to celebrate the United Nations International Year of Family Farming in 2014. As a member of the steering committee that will liaise directly with the UN, Rural Women NZ has hosted the first meeting in Wellington to start the planning process. Convened by Organic Systems and Adams Harman, others taking part in the meeting included DairyNZ, Horticulture New Zealand, the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association, Young Farmers, Beef+Lamb NZ, Federated Farmers and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Family farming has been the backbone of New Zealandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rural economy for more than a century, and Rural Women New Zealand has led advocacy and growth for farming families and rural communities since 1925,â&#x20AC;? says Rural Women NZâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s national president, Liz Evans. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re very keen to mark this UN year and showcase the ongoing importance of family

It might have been just an old tin hut storing farm chemicals a couple of years ago, but for Erna and Allan Smith it was their farming home for the first few years of their marriage. With sons Graeme and Kerry, the couple take stock of the farm that has been home to five generations of their family.

farming for all New Zealanders. For most provincial areas, economic prosperity is still dependent on the results of

food production and innovation achieved by families.â&#x20AC;? Rural Women NZ has teamed up with family farming

ambassador and 2013 Landcorp agricultural communicator of the year Doug Avery to run events in rural and urban centres

throughout the country next March and April. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We want to celebrate family farming past, present and future,â&#x20AC;? says Mrs Evans. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also a great opportunity to link town and country.â&#x20AC;? Rural Women NZ will hold events across New Zealand including seminars, hands-on workshops and a photo and video competition, as well as entertainment and market-day stalls. Other rural organisations are welcome to join forces with Rural Women NZ, ensuring a programme of activities that will offer something for everyone. A further meeting with participants from a wide range of family farming organisations and those who work with them will be held in Wellington in November. The aim of the UN International Year of Family Farming is to stimulate sustainable agriculture from the perspective of combating poverty and hunger, and rural development based on respect for the environment and biodiversity.

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Dairy Focus October 2013

19

Good hoof trimming takes practise Farmers practise hoof trimming at a Veehof Dairy Services workshop.

Fred Hoekstra VEEHOF DAIRY SERVICES

L

ast month we talked about some of the things you as a farmer can do to minimise lameness on your farm by looking at preventative hoof trimming. This month I would like to look a bit more at what you can do once the cow is lame. In reality, this is often the only time a cow is trimmed in New Zealand, so effectively most farmers are acting as the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff when it comes to lame cows. Trimming lame cows is always reactive management and trimming cows only when lame doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t make good business sense, but you now have a lame cow and she needs to be treated. What do you do to help this animal? Obviously just looking at the hoof is not going to fix it so more is needed. Assuming that the cow is lame in her claw then by trimming her well we can usually help her tremendously. The principle of good hoof trimming is that we need to reduce the weight bearing of the sore claw and let the air get to it. A cow is most commonly lame on her lateral claw because the lateral claw is often overloaded when the cow is walking or standing still on a hard surface (refer to last monthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s article). So, in this case, we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t just level the two claws to the same height, we actually trim the lateral claw thinner so more weight is transferred to the medial claw. The more weight we can get off the lateral claw the more rest this claw is going to get. Rest is one of the most common pieces of advice you hear from your doctor and it is also effective for lame cows. Some people worry about making the lateral claw thin. It feels like you make the cow even tenderer when she has a sole thickness not much more than that of a piece of paper. We are trying to reduce

the weight on the claw with a thin sole. If we make both claws thin, we are possibly going to end up with a problem. However, cows are resilient. Having thin soles is not necessarily a problem unless we make them walk long distances over rough tracks. If we have made the lateral claw thin and yet we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a lot of height difference between the medial and lateral claw we can artificially raise the lateral claw by gluing a wooden block under the medial claw. The other thing we need to do is let the air get to the wound. We do this by opening up the wound. We trim away all loose horn so that live tissue is exposed. Try not to make the claw bleed because it makes it a whole lot harder to see what you are doing and the healing process takes longer. The principle is straightforward but putting it into effect requires a lot of practice and instruction.

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20 Dairy Focus October 2013

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started on my own 21 years ago selling from the back of a van calling on farmers around the Ashburton District selling a range of tools, filters, grubber points and much more. The business grew over time to having a building in Dobson Street erected with an area to sell second hand farm machinery and a range of new items as well. I have been involved in parts and machinery since 1976 which has given me a good knowledge of different makes of equipment. We are agents for Rata loader attachments, Redback Chain Harrows and The Taupo Hand. We make a range of cradle hay bale feeders, stationary or on wheels and cattle ramps. Our cattle ramps are very popular with features such as enclosed sides so cattle run onto them well. They can be moved around with front-end loaders, have good width and are not too

steep, being three metres long. We also make one on wheels as well. We attend the local A & P Shows, as well as going to the SI Field Days and will be going to the Gore Field Days next year. It is very important to get out and about to display our products.

We have a full range of Morris oil available, ie chain bar lube, vintage oils, hand cleaners, oil for putting on mould board for ploughs. Mower and rake tines are in demand at this time of year and we have a wide assortment of after-market tines and blades for

all types of machinery. I carry out plant valuations for people wanting to dispose of machinery or for estates, sons or daughters taking over the family farm. I believe in keeping good stocks so our clients donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go home empty handed. We will freight

parts all around New Zealand. At present I am President of the Mid Canterbury Vintage Club and a member of the Rakaia Lions. The Vintage Club keeps me busy with tractor treks, day outings to look at old time machinery and also businessâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s around the district.

We like to carry a large range of Bale silage fork tines, a variety of grubber tines whether they are vertical or horizontal 25mm & 32mm. Good selection of maxi till tines to suit Klongskilde, Knverland, Hubbard, and Clough. Also in our points selection we stock Sunflower, Salford, Duncan Vibroflex, Simba, Yeoman, Campbell, Knverland and Ransome and a good supply of cast points. We dismantle Duncan grubbers and drills, Clough ploughs and also carry some Conner Shea chisel plough and drill parts.

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Dairy Focus October 2013

21

It’s all about your team A

series of DairyNZ events in Canterbury and North Otago will give farmers who manage staff the opportunity to share information on how they can get the best out of their team.   The first workshops, next month, will also include expert advice covering topics such as running engaging meetings, giving effective feedback and managing successful performance reviews. Events are in Ashburton on November 7, Papakaio on November 12, Timaru on November 13 and Culverden on December 5. Ashburton 50:50 sharemilker Kenneth Pottinger is one farmer who values his staff and knows first-hand the value of building his own people-management skills. This is Kenneth and wife Catherine’s first season as 50:50 sharemilkers. They milk 570 cows

on the 155 hectare (effective) property and employ two staff. Before his current role, Mr Pottinger honed his peoplemanagement skills as a farm manager and then contract milker. One of the first steps he takes with new staff is to take them through the goals of the business. “We sit down with them and explain our goals, not just for the farm for that particular year, but our long-term goals including financial, physical, farming and family,” says Mr Pottinger. “We also talk about where we feel their roles can lead our business and what we can do for them and if they are willing to come on that journey with us.” He is also big on reducing fatigue. “It’s important to identify when people are tired to minimise mistakes that can occur when they are tired.

Mid Canterbury sharemilker Kenneth Pottinger will be talking about people management at a DairyNZ workshop in Ashburton on November 7.

“It is about putting good systems in place and following those systems.” The DairyNZ regional leader for Canterbury/North Otago, Virginia Serra, says there is no right or wrong way to manage staff and each farmer employs his or her own methods.

“These workshops are about getting farmers, like Kenneth, to share their ideas on managing an effective team. “These workshops are also aimed at helping farmers build their leadership skills so they can attract, retain and inspire top people to work for them.”

• To register contact Catherine Ibell, regional events coordinator, at catherine.ibell@ dairynz.co.nz or phone 03 321 9002. • For more information visit dairynz.co.nz/events.

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22 Dairy Focus October 2013

Sharemilkers’ award turns 25 T

he New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards is holding a special event to launch the 2014 awards programme and kick-start celebrations marking the 25th anniversary of the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year competition. “It’s a pretty special celebration, as the sharemilker competition is the longest-running dairy farming contest. It’s also pretty cool that the fundamentals around why the contest is held – to support sharemilkers and help them progress in the dairy industry – remains at the heart of the competition,” national convener Chris Keeping says. The event is being held in Stratford, Taranaki, as the sharemilker competition was first held in Taranaki with the region’s inaugural winners announced at an event in the town back in 1977. Taranaki representatives also

won the first New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year competition in 1990. Those winners, Kevin and Diane Goble, are still farming in the province and will speak at the event. “In researching the competition’s history we have come across some wonderful people that have played instrumental roles in the competition’s development and evolution. Many of them will be at the event.” Mrs Keeping says one of those people, retired Taranaki dairy farmer Murray Cross, had the initial idea for a sharemilker competition. “Murray was involved with Federated Farmers and had the idea for a contest to showcase what sharemilkers had to offer prospective employers. He likened it to a ‘window to show their wares’.”

Mid Canterbury dairy farmer Richard Pearse, national winner of the Dairy Industry Awards farm manager title last year, on wash-down duty.

She says the initial idea wasn’t well received but, after more consideration, it was set in motion. The launch event today is being attended by past regional

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Dairy Focus October 2013

23

DairyNZ and Beef+Lamb field day

David Keeley talks to farmers about his stock wintering system. PHOTOS TETSURO MITOMO 151013-TM0-021

About 50 farmers attended a combined DairyNZ and Beef and Lamb field day at Hinds last week, where farmer David Keeley shared his experience grazing dairy cows over the past 20 years. The top-performing large-scale wintering system was the ideal venue for farmers to pick up tips about crop selection and wintering dairy cows. Mr Keeley said their objective was to generate sufficient return to not want to convert to dairy farming. Among his working principals is to have longterm return clients, “both parties and cows are happy”. 151013-TM0-009

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Tuesday November 19

Soil Testing Health Issues for Farmers Dairy Sheds Irrigation Energy Solutions

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Dairy Focus, October 2013  

Ashburton Guardian

Dairy Focus, October 2013  

Ashburton Guardian