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An Ashburton Guardian Supplement

July 2013

SchMOOze Time Pages 2&3

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Dairy Focus July 2013

SchMOOze time for Mid Canterbury Dairy farmers from around Mid Canterbury gathered for an inaugural schMOOze in Ashburton recently, enjoying a night of fun before the hard slog of calving begins. Federated Farmers sharemilkers’ section Chris Ford said it was a chance for all farm owners, sharemilkers and farm managers to get together for a bit of fun. It was also a chance for people new to the area to meet others in the industry.

and hopefully we’ll have 200 along.”

have quieter calendars.

At the Ashburton racecourse earlier this month, the negative team of Mark Williams, Mark Saunders and Sean Kelly did their best to win over the crowd. For the affirmative, Jeremy Duckmanton, Natalie Davidson and Mark Frear had an easier job.

Chris is national vice-chairman of Federated Farmers sharemilkers section and he said the section was active, with members teleconferencing regularly to deal with issues.

Chris said it was important for people new to the area to make friends off the farm and there were plenty of people working in the diary industry.

Around 60 people attended, and had plenty of laughs as two teams of local personalities debated that “the South Island was the key to New Zealand’s future success”.

“It is really important for people to get off the farm. Everyone had had a hard two weeks prior to the schMOOze after dealing with snow so it was a bit of a reprieve.”

Chris said he hoped the schmooze would become an annual event. “Next year, we’ll do it later in the season

Calving is due to start at the end of the month and the event was aimed at a time of the year when dairy farmers

He said sharemilking remained an important pathway in the dairy industry and predicted many more sharemilking positions would be created in Canterbury as farmers involved in new conversions reduced their debt loading. “Sharemilking is not disappearing. In 10 more years there will be a lot in Canterbury as those newer conversions develop and some will want money out of their farms. What better way to get cash than sell off your cows to a sharemilker?”

An advertising publication of the Ashburton Guardian Opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Ashburton Guardian Publication date: July 23, 2013 Next issue: August 23, 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 Simon Fox

Cover Image: Federated Farmers sharemilkers chairman Chris Ford and Federated Farmers new field officer for Mid Canterbury, Angela Hogg.

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Dairy Focus July 2013


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Jeremy Duckmanton (left), Kiri Phillips and Rhys Roberts enjoy a drink.

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Dairy Focus July 2013

Nathan Guy tracks 2025 target I believe most farmers are environmentalists, and want to leave the land in a better state than they found it. Farmers are a competitive bunch and want to be the best across a wide range of indicators, including both environmental and economic. Farmers are there for the long haul - they are the custodians of their land. I’ve attended some important events recently that reflect this. A new water accord was launched this month by the dairy industry at Parliament by the Prime Minister and I. This strategy, led by Dairy NZ, outlines some ambitious goals around excluding stock from waterways (100 per cent exclusion by 2017), nutrient and effluent management, and managing water use. Contributed by Nathan Guy - Minister for Primary Industries


ne of my major goals as Minister for Primary Industries is achieving the “export double” – doubling our primary sector exports by 2025.

Our exports are worth around $30 billion a year, and the target is to grow these to $60b in 12 years. At the same time though, we need to have an emphasis on exporting goods that are produced in an environmentally sustainable manner that add real value. It should be clear to everyone that this is not a choice between the economy or the environment. It has to be both. There is a perception in some quarters of New Zealand media, and held by some political parties, that farmers don’t care about the environment; that farmers are short term thinkers, who care only about profit; and that farmers are the main polluters of our waterways. As a farmer myself, and as the Minister for Primary Industries, I completely refute these perceptions. Yes, there is a distinction between good and bad farmers. And yes a few farmers do act in a way that is not sustainable. But there are a few ratbags in any business, across any sector.

This is a great initiative that shows the sector is committed to sustainably managing its impacts on the environment. In June I was proud to attend the New Zealand Farm Environment Awards and to announce the 2013 winners, Craige and Roz Mackenzie from Mid Canterbury. The Government is also doing its bit to show global leadership by establishing the Global Research Alliance on Agriculture Emissions. This involves linking in climate change and agriculture scientists from over 30 countries in the search for alternative technologies and management systems that can achieve two global goals – increasing global food production by 70 per cent by 2050, and reducing the emissions footprint of that extra production. We are also in the process of the most significant water and RMA reforms in a generation. I am working very closely with the Environment Minister Amy Adams in this space. It is incumbent upon all of us to make sure that we are successful in telling the real story of how New Zealand farmers are dedicated to the sustainable management of our industry.

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Dairy Focus July 2013

Dairy giant dips toes into Synlait Federated Farmers believes the 7.5 per cent shareholding in Synlait taken by FrieslandCampina Investments Holding BV1, a subsidiary of Dutch Dairy Cooperative giant FrieslandCampina, could shake-up the New Zealand dairy industry.

While other investors have not meant much to Kiwi dairy farmers, FrieslandCampina most certainly will.

“While the monetary value is modest at around $24.15 million, the message it sends is powerful,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson. As a co-operative, FrieslandCampina’s revenues are similar to Fonterra’s. You could describe the investment in Synlait as a ‘toe-dipping’ exercise but clearly there is an underlying desire to get exposure to New Zealand liquid milk.

While the focus of the last Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA) review was on Fonterra’s financial redemption risk, Federated Farmers was concerned at the potential for supplier loss.

FrieslandCampina easily has the financial means to acquire more of Synlait later if it so chooses. Its cornerstone shareholding is to us more like a beachhead.

Sharing-up in Fonterra is currently done by buying those bank unfriendly highly priced shares. To us there has to be a change here. A modified “Friends of Fonterra” is how I put it in an opinion editorial.

It is also significant that even after the public float, Holland’s FrieslandCampina will have a strong shareholding alongside Bright Dairy and Food Co of China and Mitsui & Co of Japan. The prize is clearly Asia.

Having one of Europe’s largest cooperatives enter our market, albeit through a commercial shareholding, may just spark a discussion over how the domestic cooperatives will respond; Fonterra especially.

Fonterra’s current model is that all suppliers, save for some, either have three seasons to ‘share-up’ or go onto contract milk. Even with contract milk, you have to agree to share-up with Fonterra within six-years.

What is for certain, things have become very interesting in the dairy industry.” Willy Leferink - Federated Farmers dairy chairperson.


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Dairy Focus July 2013

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New ASB sponsorship will improve financial literacy ASB has confirmed it is a new gold sponsor of the Dairy Women’s Network (DWN). The partnership, which took effect on July 1, will boost the work already being done by the DWN to improve the financial literacy skills of the country’s dairy farming women. DairyNZ modelling shows there is an opportunity to improve the industry’s profitability by more than $1B per year, or approximately $1000 per hectare, by improving financial literacy and management capabilities. The industry body has also identified there is a significant range in profitability between dairy farmers, with a contributing factor being management capability. ASB General Manager Rural Mark Heer says ASB is looking forward to working with the DWN and its members to share financial expertise, help build financial capabilities and add value to farming businesses. “The Dairy Women’s Network acknowledges the value that women add to the industry and has created a fantastic forum to build and encourage business leadership, share knowledge, seek advice and find professional support in an ever-changing environment,” said Mr Heer. DWN executive chair Michelle Wilson said the network was thrilled to be working in partnership with ASB, which will work alongside its 4800 members in workshops, webinars and conferences. “Alongside our Prime Funder DairyNZ, which recognises and invests in several projects to help build the financial capability of dairy farmers, this additional support is a great opportunity for both ASB and our members to work together improving the industry’s financial management practices.” She added that the rapid growth experienced by the Dairy Women’s Network over the past few years signalled the changing face of the role of women in the industry and the significant contribution they make to its success – including effectively managing finances. “In reality dairying women are directors, managers and, in many cases, owners of multimillion dollar businesses which need people with sound financial and business acumen alongside the practical skills of farming and leadership capabilities.” The Dairy Women’s Network was established in 1998. Its purpose is to expand the potential of women in the business of dairying by providing leadership, inspiration,

learning and connection. The Network provides educational opportunities to its members through Dairy Days workshops, regional groups, conferences and other events. The ASB gold sponsorship follows a recent announcement in May that Ballance AgriNutrients had confirmed its prime sponsorship of the DWN. The DWN was also recently awarded a $180,000 grant from the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Sustainable Farming Fund to undertake a three-year project to develop the first leadership programme for dairying women.

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Dairy Focus July 2013


Synlait Awards soar About 400 farmers and industry representatives attended the inaugural Synlait Milk conference recently. International dairy industry experts including Hoogwegt International, part of Hoogwegt Group, FrieslandCampina, one of the world’s largest dairy cooperatives, the New Zealand listed A2 Corporation, Standard Foods Corporation, a major Taiwanese food company and Bright Dairy the second largest Chinese based food manufacturing company all attended. Presentations were made by Netherlands-based dairy consultant Mark Voorbergen, ANZ economist Con Williams and senior Synlait executives including chairman Graeme Milne and managing director John Penno.

Keynote speaker John Brakenridge, CEO of The New Zealand Merino Company shared with the audience his passion for repositioning New Zealand primary products from commodity to luxury items. Themed SOAR, the event aimed to enlighten and educate suppliers and rural professionals in order to lift the dairy industry to new heights. “To make more from milk we need to understand the complex global dairy market, giving our milk suppliers the opportunity to hear from and talk to leading global dairy experts and closes the gap between the farm dairy and market,” Mr Penno said. Following the day a gala dinner was held at the Ashburton Aviation Museum, hosted by television comedian Paul Ego.

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In another first, Synlait awarded a series of supplier awards. The top prize for best quality milk was awarded Raynham Dairies and their sharemilker Rhys Huddleston who received a Vodafone Smartphone and $7800 worth of Deosan Teat X Teat Spray for their achievements. “We are extremely pleased with how the conference was received and next year we look forward to seeing even more farm owners, farm teams and rural professionals at the event,” Synlait Milk supply manager David Williams, said. Synlait Milk acknowledged ANZ (gold sponsor), Hilton Haulage (silver sponsor), Vodafone, LIC and Deosan (bronze sponsors).

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Dairy Focus July 2013

Assurance framework in place


he New Zealand Livestock Transport Assurance (NZLTA) programme came into effect earlier this month.

Meat companies and the livestock transport industry have worked together on the project, to satisfy their New Zealand and international customer needs. The NZLTA programme was inspired by the meat processors’ need for greater assurance that all livestock are transported safely and efficiently and meet Code of Welfare requirements. At this stage NZLTA membership includes AFFCO New Zealand, South Pacific Meats Ltd, ANZCO Foods (CMP and Riverlands), Ovation New Zealand and Silver Fern Farms, which represents a significant proportion of New Zealand’s processing capacity.

is aligned to the Red Meat Sector Strategy in which recommendations to adopt best practice and for collaboration amongst stakeholders are prime objectives.

The NZLTA group has established an assurance framework that will support both the meat and livestock transport industries to work in a co-ordinated approach, in what is a highly specialised and critical aspect of the food supply chain.


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Dairy Focus July 2013

Mineral supplements boost cows as well as colostrum


ineral supplements for dry cows are known to build up nutrient reserves ahead of calving, but studies also suggest a direct link between supplements and the quality of colostrum which is essential to set up calves for their best start in life. The studies, by Penn State University and funded by the Animal Health Commission of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in the United States, showed a marked difference in colostrum quality when fat, protein, lactose and total solids were measured. The lowest samples were so poor that calves receiving those colostrum samples as a first feeding could not have obtained enough nutrients to get them off to a good start. Among the best were samples from cows fed dry cow minerals. “Minerals and vitamins fed to dry cows directly impact colostrum,” says Ballance’s Jackie Aveling, an Animal Nutrition Manager. “In addition to ensuring cows are replacing their trace element and vitamin reserves ahead of calving, the use of a molasses block like Crystalyx

Dry cow can influence colostrum quality.”

of colostral immunoglobulins.

Calves need 3-4 litres of colostrum (approximately 10 per cent of their birthweight) within the first 10 hours to provide the newborn calf with sufficient antibodies to protect the calf from blood poisoning/ navel infection or scours. New Zealand studies have shown only 50 per cent of calves will naturally get this amount of colostral protection under New Zealand conditions.

“For dry cows, supplements build up reserves promoting a strengthened immune response to help withstand challenges post calving. By aiding rumen performance and digestive efficiency, Crystalyx Dry Cow helps ensure a good appetite post calving, which in turn promotes better lactation, and enables the animal to replenish its body reserves in preparation for mating. In particular, feeding supplements helps to maintain optimum blood magnesium levels, so reducing the risk of milk fever.

In calves the principal role of colostrum is to provide immunity against infection and disease, such as scours. Mrs Aveling says the Penn State study also showed a wide variation in the immunoglobulin content of colostrum sampled. Again, the cow’s diet ahead of calving can contribute.  Attention to nutrition ahead of calving will pay dividends in the health of both the cow and her calf. At Parma University in Italy a study confirmed that feeding Crystalyx Dry Cow precalving increased colostrum protein, fat and total solids content and significantly increased colostrum yield and more than doubled the yield

“For calves, the benefits are a better start in life, especially for calves being raised as replacement heifers.” Local farmers continue to see the benefits of Crystalyx as part of their winter management programme, with Northern Taranaki farmer Kevin Ingram saying the product is “another tool in finetuning outcomes for the season.”  

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Dairy Focus July 2013

New dairy industry strategy sets ambitious agenda


airy farming groups in New Zealand set out a clear and ambitious agenda today for sustaining the development of their industry and addressing community and global expectations for continual improvement in on-farm environmental practices. A new dairy industry strategy, Making Dairy Farming Work for Everyone, launched recently by the Prime Minister and Minister for Primary Industries, is aimed at enabling farmers to build economically sustainable businesses alongside a strong focus on environmental actions. One of the first actions from the strategy is a new dairy industry water accord with commitments and targets to enhance the performance of dairy farming as it affects freshwater. The new strategy has been developed by industry body DairyNZ, in partnership with the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ), the Federated Farmers of New Zealand dairy section and the Dairy Women’s Network. It sets out 10 objectives including proactive environmental stewardship and wise use of natural resources, providing a world-class on-farm work environment and ensuring talented people are attracted to the industry.  Research to develop innovative technologies and solutions is also a key objective. DairyNZ chairman John Luxton says milk production in New Zealand has grown 47 per cent in the last ten years and reached 1.7 billion kilogram of milksolids in 2012.

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“Twenty-one per cent of New Zealand’s grasslands are now used for dairy farming. With over $13 billion in dairy exports in 2012 and a $5 billion contribution to national Gross Domestic

Product, our industry employs 45,000 people. The Government has a Business Growth Agenda and we are right behind that in terms of working with them to continue to grow our export contribution to national prosperity. The work we are doing together through the Primary Growth Partnership is a big part of that. “But the size and scale of our industry demands that we have a new plan for farming competitively and responsibly. And that is what this new strategy is all about.” John Luxton says dairy farmers in New Zealand now produce enough milk to provide dairy products for 165 million people. “Dairy farming has a great opportunity over the next decade as markets and economic power shifts to our advantage. New Zealand is well positioned as the biggest supplier of traded dairy products to the large, rapidly growing economies of Asia. Supply can’t keep up with demand. Global dairy markets offer significant growth and value creation opportunities over the next decades including providing world class career opportunities.

for conversions of land to dairying. “The new water accord is an industry programme of selfimprovement with targets, actions and commitments. We will also report publicly on progress through an annual, independently audited report,” he says. Federated Farmers’ dairy chairperson, Willy Leferink says farmers will also be working on water quality projects at the catchment and community level as regional councils set out about putting policies in place over the next few years around the country. “In some places we expect we will have to go above and beyond what is in this water accord as we work through

water quality projects at the community level. As dairy farmers we have to lift our game on water quality if we want to meet the aspirations we have as an industry while still earning the respect of the rest of the community. This strategy and the new water accord are putting that commitment down on paper for all New Zealanders to see.” For more information and to download a copy of the Making Dairy Farming Work for Everyone strategy, its background supplement and the new Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord visit www.dairynz. co.nz

“We are a small player on the world scene at only two to three percent of global supply but with demand growing at around three percent each year, that’s still a huge opportunity. We are talking about food and there is very little that has a greater human imperative than food.” DCANZ chairman Malcolm Bailey says the new water accord, launched together with the new strategy, is supported across the industry and sets national environmental benchmarks for dairy farming covering stock exclusion from waterways and riparian, effluent, nutrient and water use management. It also sets outs new industry standards

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Dairy Focus July 2013

App makes for easier herd management M

ore mobile apps to make farming easier Dairy farmers have been quick to get their hands on a new tool to help make calving easier this season, with more than 2000 downloads of LIC’s new MINDA Calving smartphone app since it was launched last month. The app, for Apple iOS and Android devices, allows farmers to add calving details into their herd records from their smartphone or tablet – taking away the need to carry pen and paper, and giving them the ability to record events as they happen. LIC’s general manager of Farm Systems, Rob Ford, said the response has been awesome and plans are already underway for more smartphone apps. “Two thousand downloads in less than a month tells us how keen farmers are for this sort of mobile technology, and we’re just as keen to give it to them so they can expect to see more coming out over the next year.” To help guide future plans for apps, the farmer-owned co-operative has been encouraging farmers

to have a say on what app should be next, with seven options to vote on at the National Fieldays last month and on Facebook. Rob said each of the seven options received a fair share of farmer votes but an app for animal details was the clear winner, so that’s what farmers will see next. “This next app will provide farmers with a good chunk of their MINDA herd records on their mobile device, taking this important information out of the office and putting it in their pocket. “They’ll be able to look up and review a range of cow information and history, such as production, mating, health, BW and PW which is all important information to take into account when making on the spot decisions. “This should lead to better, more informed decisions being made, and it’ll save time too, because farmers will be able to make the call on the spot - from the paddock, in the shed, wherever.” Rob said the co-operative will work with farmers through the development process of the animal details app, to seek



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their feedback and further define what information they want included and how it should be presented. “For us, we’re all about developing apps that make farming easier and more efficient and involvement from farmers is crucial to that, to ensure we always deliver something that they will want to use.” All going well, Rob said the animal details app should be ready later in the season and results from the farmer vote will also help to guide plans for more apps in the near future, “Farmers have told us they want apps to review information and record more events, such as health treatments, movements (cull, death, sell, and purchase), matings, body condition scores, pasture covers and tag information. “We’ll use the feedback to help define our plans, but we’ll also balance it with the need for a development programme which has realistic timeframes and allows us to deliver apps at a relevant time in the season.”

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Dairy Focus July 2013

Does your cow have the winter blues? A

t this time of the year we trim quite a few cows that have been dry for five or six weeks. Most of those cows have haemorrhaging in their hooves. I was on a farm recently and the haemorrhage was quite severe. How can that be physical damage? Those cows have been on soft ground for a long time and they are still showing significant haemorrhaging. A cow’s hoof generally grows at a rate of 5mm per month, which means that if the sole of the claw is about 7mm thick, the whole sole is almost completely replaced. Some farmers may think that if the corium (live tissue) is damaged before drying off, it may take a few weeks to heal up before it starts growing a healthy hoof because the physical forces of have been minimised. This may be true, but when you have a lame cow that has a major under run then it usually takes three or four weeks for the corium to heal and begin to grow healthy hoof to the extent that it is strong enough to be walked on comfortably without any haemorrhage present. If the cow is not lame to start off with then the corium should grow good healthy hoof a lot faster, yet when you follow the haemorrhage down by making the sole a bit thinner, then the haemorrhage is still being formed 5-6 weeks into the dry period.

deep in mud. They can’t lie down and be comfortable so they spend a lot more time standing. Don’t underestimate the effect this stress has on a cow. I know that there can be issues from a management point of view but it still needs to be addressed and minimised as much as possible. That may well need to be addressed at sowing time. Cows need a place to lie down other than the paddock where the winter crop is planted. If there is bad weather coming (and what winter does not have bad weather?) the cows at least can lie down and rest. If there are no dry, sheltered places maybe there should be an area left in pasture. I can hear some of you thinking that I am not realistic. Maybe I’m not, but we do need to look after our cows. Even if it costs money, we still have a moral obligation towards our animals. However, if you look after your cows, your cows will look after you. If you don’t look after the cows during the winter time, then you will pay for it later on in the year.

How can you explain that from a physical damage point of view? The evidence again points to the problem coming from the inside and the cause is more likely to be from diet and stress. A lot of the cows are on winter crops and for most that meant a major change of diet. The stress levels are also increased when cows are ankle

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Dairy Focus July 2013

Ian Hodge, BVSc. MACVSc. Riverside Veterinary Services Ltd

Milk Fever

Cows are vulnerable to the effects of low levels of calcium in their blood from two or three week’s pre -calving until a month or so after calving. Even after that, especially when in oestrus, cows can suffer similar drops in blood calcium and develop milk fever. Milk fever or post- partum paresis is due to an absolute deficiency of calcium in the blood stream. Under normal conditions calcium levels in the blood are regulated very precisely by two hormones called parathyroid hormone and calcitonin. Vitamin D3 also takes part in the regulation by enhancing the absorption of calcium from the intestine. Cows with milk fever typically become weak initially and slightly depressed. They have slowed blink reflexes, dry noses and may be constipated with moderate rumen bloat. If you had a stethoscope you would notice an increasing heart rate and weaker, less audible heart sounds. If left untreated, these cows can quickly go down largely because of generalized muscle weakness (paresis). Cows that have true milk fever will rapidly

deteriorate. They regurgitate food and often inhale it back in to their lungs, they develop severe bloat which causes pressure on the diaphragm and makes breathing very difficult. The heart muscle is also affected by low calcium levels and becomes weak leading to lowered blood pressure and changes in the rate and rhythm of the heart. If they are left untreated, these cows will die. Treatment of cows with milk fever involves rapid calcium replacement and is usually given via a large vein. Some calcium solutions are stronger than others and so should be given with care. Very rapid infusions (squeezing the bags) can result in heart failure and death. Many Vets will attest to the fact that often a considerable amount of calcium is required to get cows back on their feet. Giving one bag or bottle may not be enough in severely affected larger cows. Giving high doses of calcium at one time should be done in consultation with your Vet.

fever lose the ability to regulate their body core temperature. Most metabolic solutions available are mixed i.e they contain calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, vitamin B12 and glucose. The important thing to note is the concentration of calcium in the solution. The strong solutions are often 37.5% calcium and others around 25%. Giving the strong solutions should be done with care as they can result in heart failure and death if given too quickly. Milk fever is a disease where the clinically affected cows are the “tip of the ice-burg” and there may be many more cows in the herd with marginal serum calcium levels. Other conditions such as prolapsed uterus and retained placenta are often associated with low calcium levels. If these are a problem in your herd this spring please contact your Vet clinic without delay.

In cold weather it may be prudent to slightly warm any fluids given to cows because cows with milk

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Dairy Focus July 2013

Soil fertility in scienticfic spotlight

United States, its multi-year farm bill now going through the houses of congress is costed at US$1 trillion. The European Union’s newly settled budget of around a trillion Euros will see four per cent of it going to direct farm support; last year that was worth around 68 billion of our dollars.  Almost all of what our Government spends in a single year.


hat makes New Zealand agriculture special? Perhaps the answer was delivered by Trade Minister Tim Groser at this year’s Fieldays in Hamilton.  He delivered a fantastic speech based on ANZCO’s Sir Graeme Harrison’s description of agriculture being “New Zealand’s Silicon Valley”.  Farmers would add Hollywood too.

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New Zealand agriculture did not get this way by being conventional, when overseas, conventional farming is still dominated by subsidies. In the

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agriculture with innovation at its centre will become tomorrow’s economic backbone. As I head for Ashburton and Federated Farmers 2013 National Conference, I can look back upon some great strides that Federated Farmers has made over the past year. Membership is growing despite drought then rain then snow.  Policy wise, organisations from government to private businesses want our input; that included Google on its Project Loon balloon powered internet. As a human activity agriculture has an impact on the environment. We don’t deny that but then

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Dairy Focus July 2013

again, so does the act of just being alive. Last month, a television news show became convinced that a cull of swans on the Manukau Harbour for aircraft safety was due to their Waikato habitat being wrecked by ‘intensive agriculture’.  The associated images did not look good when a voice-over suggested the messy brown water of today was clear a decade ago.  If we’d been asked, we would have pointed out the area that these swans supposedly fled from was a mature farming area devoid of ‘intensification’. Inadvertently, the show said the lake had apparently been home to 12,000 black swans.  Yes 12,000 large waterfowl.  If thousands of birds on a single shallow lake in North Waikato is bad what about what lurks below, like introduced Koi Carp?   These fish look like goldfish on steroids but are really an aquatic combination of possums and rabbits.  In 2007 in another North Waikato lake, Lake Waikere, they estimated there were 466,000 adult carp in that lake with a combined biomass of 851 tonnes.  As single cow generally weighs about half a tonne, the biomass of carp in that single shallow lake is mind boggling.  Their pressure is made much worse by thousands of water fowl living ‘on top’. Waikato Regional Council’s Koi Carp programme is fantastic but is wrongly invisible.  It points to the way water is impacted by what lives in and on

top of water, every bit as much as what flows into it directly through urban wastewater or indirectly, from farming run-off.


precious nutrients better is great news for our balance sheet, the environment and the wider economy. It means we can grow better quality pasture applying nutrients when and where they are required. 

Given what Waikato Regional Council is finding there and what Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has found working with NIWA, you have the distinct impression there are big gaps in our knowledge that makes me nervous about being forced into solutions. We need to be science led but we don’t seem to have all of the science to make the right policy decisions and that makes me nervous. 

The word smart underlines why Ravensdown expects it to generate $120 million a year in economic benefits to New Zealand by 2030. This should have happened years ago but realistically, it is only in recent years that we’ve seen a fusion of technology to make it possible. This truly indicates where farming is heading environmentally and economically.

At least one gap on the farmer side could be filled by a Primary Growth Partnership to get precision fertiliser application onto our hill country. This seven-year programme will start by gathering data from eight research farms to build the systems needed.  It involves Ravensdown, Massey University and AgResearch and will develop some truly cool science for the remote-sensing of soil fertility on hill country farms that will be combined with GPSguided aerial topdressing. New Zealand has been leading the development of using remote sensing in agriculture for over ten-years.  This project provides the opportunity to apply that technology directly to our farms improving hill country pasture productivity while reducing nutrient runoff to water.  Hill country soils, you see, can be incredibly variable even on the same farm.  This is why using

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Dairy Focus July 2013

Farm prices holding firm D

ata released recently by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 68 more farm sales (+16.7 per cent) for the three months ended June 2013 than for the three months ended June 2012. Overall, there were 474 farm sales in the three months to end of June 2013, compared to 512 farm sales for the three months ended May 2013 (-7.4 per cent). 1,501 farms were sold in the year to June 2013, 6.2 per cent more than were sold in the year to June 2012. The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to June 2013 was $19,716; a 12.3 per cent increase on the $17,565 recorded for three months ended June 2012. The median price per hectare fell 3.8 per cent compared to May. The REINZ All Farm Price Index fell by 2.6 per cent in the three months to June compared to the three months to May, from 2,968.49 to 2,9892.40. Compared to June 2012 the REINZ All Farm Price Index fell by 0.8 per cent. The REINZ All Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size, location and farming type compared to the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors. Seven regions recorded increases in sales volume for the three months ended June 2013 compared to the three months ended June 2012. Waikato recorded the largest increase in sales (+29 sales), followed by Auckland (+26 sales) and Northland (+11 sales). Four regions recorded

decreases in sales volume with Wellington recording the largest fall (-8 sales), followed by Nelson (-6 sales) and Southland (-3 sales). Compared to the three months ended May 2013 three regions recorded an increase in sales, led by Nelson (+2 sales). Enquiry in all farm categories is consistently strong in all regions, in contrast to the normal seasonal pattern in winter,” REINZ Rural Market Spokesman Brian Peacocke said. The limiting factor on farm sales is the availability of properties to meet demand, impacting on sales volumes in the latter part of the June quarter. In most regions farms that have been on the market for two to three years have now been sold.” In South Waikato dairy farms have been under strong competition. The final five Carter Holt dairy farms have been sold by tender with sharemilkers in place, with possession in midJuly. Notably these sales have occurred without Fonterra shareholdings. Strong regional demand has seen an increase in dairy farm values in Southland. The increased dairy payout, lower New Zealand dollar and continuing low interest rates are the key drivers of increasing farm confidence across the country, Mr Peacocke said. As a result, all regions are reporting a shortage of listings, with those farms available for sale are attracting very strong attendance at open days,

and multiple offers.” Grazing properties accounted for the largest number of sales with 48.1 per cent share of all sales over the three months to June, Dairy properties accounted for 13.9 per cent, Finishing properties accounted for 19.4 per cent and Horticulture properties accounted for 8.9 per cent of all sales. These four property types accounted for 90.3 per cent of all sales during the three months ended June 2013.

Dairy Farms For the three months ended June 2013 the median sales price per hectare for dairy farms was $29,555 (66 properties), compared to $34,850, for the three months ended May (90 properties), and $27,919 (47 properties) for the three months ended June 2012. The median dairy farm size for the three months ended June 2013 was 132 hectares. Included in sales for the month of June were 17 dairy farms at a median sale value of $19,631 per hectare. The median farm size was 169.5 hectares with a range of 56 hectares in Auckland to 764 hectares in Otago. The median production per hectare across all dairy farms sold in June 2013 was 729kgs of milk solids. The REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index fell by 1.7 per cent in the three months to June compared to the three months to May, from 1,7618.80 to 1,738.89. Compared to June 2012 the REINZ Dairy Farm

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Dairy Focus July 2013

Price Index fell by 8.0 per cent. The REINZ Dairy Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size and location compared to the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors.


three months ended June 2012. The median horticulture farm size for the three months ended June 2013 was six hectares.

Finishing Farms For the three months ended June 2013 the median sale price per hectare for finishing farms was $18,672 (92 properties), compared to $17,903 for the three months ended May (106 properties), and $18,851 (82 properties) for the three months ended June 2012. The median finishing farm size for the three months ended June 2013 was 58 hectares.

Grazing Farms For the three months ended June 2013 the median sales price per hectare for grazing farms was $13,831 (228 properties) compared to $13,443 for the three months ended May (235 properties), and $13,025 (205 properties) for the three months ended June 2012. The median grazing farm size for the three months ended June 2013 was 58 hectares.

Horticulture Farms For the three months ended June 2013 the median sales price per hectare for horticulture farms was $120,345 (42 properties) compared to $128,248 (36 properties) for the three months ended May, and $130,208 (31 properties) for the

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Dairy Focus July 2013

New HQ celebrates decade of progress Waikato-based Power Farming Group – Australasia’s largest independently owned farm machinery supplier – has opened a new multi-million dollar headquarters in Morrinsville for its New Zealand operations. The $2 million plus building was opened with an impressive celebration attended by farmers, rural contractors and Power Farming dealers from throughout New Zealand recently, and representatives of several of the company’s major overseas suppliers. Among them were Francesco Carozza Vice Chairman of the SAME Deutz-Fahr company of Europe, Paul McHale from McHale Engineering of Ireland and David Palmer of the European-based Kverneland Group. Power Farming Chief Executive, Bruce Nixon, says the new building is a significant landmark for a company with an outstanding record of success through some tough economic times. “It’s a celebration of the phenomenal progress of the company over the last decade,” he says. “It marks a line

in the sand about where we’ve come from as a group, and where we think we’re going.” Mr Nixon says the group has had its ups and downs over the last 10 years, but the trend generally has been strongly upward. In the last decade, the group has seen its sales revenue increase by more than 75 per cent to almost $400 million, its Australian sales have gone from virtually nothing in 2001 to more than $180 million a year, and earlier this year it opened a new $20 million purpose-built headquarters in Melbourne for its Australian operation, which now includes branches in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Australia now it accounts for almost half its business. Power Farming is the largest independent importer and distributor of tractors and farm machinery in Australasia. It sells almost 3000 tractors annually here and in Australia, it operates 14 wholly owned or joint venture retail centres throughout New Zealand and employs almost 400 people throughout both

countries. It has an outlet in Ashburton. Mr Nixon says its recent investment in new buildings in New Zealand and Australia, and its addition of major new brands such as Deutz-Fahr and McHale, signal the group’s optimism and confidence in the future and its determination to increase its position as a key player in the sector. “The Australasian tractor and machinery market is probably the most competitive in the world, and you have to work hard to prosper,” he says. “But we strongly believe that the future is very bright, because this part of the world is ideally placed to supply much of the rapidly rising demand for quality food in Asia. “We’ve recently added such brands as Deutz-Fahr tractors and McHale balers to create an impressive portfolio, so we can offer our customers a wide range of market leading brands. Our challenge in the short to medium term is to take these brands to their full potential and provide the support and backup the customer needs.”

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Dairy Focus July 2013

Contaminated Waste proves costly U

sing contaminated earthquake waste to build a farm track has proved costly for three Christchurch companies. Penalties in in excess of $150,000 were dumped on Canterbury Greenwaste Processors, Coutts Island Holdings and Kingsley Robert Kepple for dumping demolition waste on a Coutts Island site. Environment Canterbury spokesperson Brett Aldridge said the temptation for those in the demolition and waste industry to save costs and increase profits by inappropriate waste disposal is of great concern in the current Canterbury environment. “The penalties against Canterbury Greenwaste Processors, Coutts Island Holdings and Kingsley Robert Kepple for dumping and receipt 5000 cubic metres of contaminated waste to form a track at a Coutts Island site are important as a deterrent and to prevent a legacy of postquake contaminated sites,” Mr Aldridge said.

“The court has sent a very clear message that this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated. District Court Judge Kellar made the important points that appropriate disposal of demolition waste is critical to restoring the city and its surrounds, that the receiving environment for such waste must be lawful and appropriate, and that short cuts can’t be taken to avoid cost and conceal sites.”


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“The discharge conflicted with the Mahaanui Iwi management plan for an area we consider wahi tapu,” Mrs Williams said. “We appreciated the opportunity to express our kaitiaki role in an unprecedented way and we are happy with the outcome.” Judge Kellar imposed total fines of $153,625 and court costs of $13,569, a Canterbury record for this type of offending.

The waste had not been screened for contaminants and contained asbestos, electrical and computer parts, plastics, carpet, and assorted unprocessed material from the unsorted demolition of several CBD buildings.

• Herbage


Clare Williams of Ngai Tuahuriri hapu delivered a cultural impact statement during the court hearing.

Inspection by Environment Canterbury compliance staff in March 2012 revealed a farm track some 1000 metres long by 10 metres wide, and half-a-metre deep comprised of mixed demolition waste. The waste was delivered by Canterbury Greenwaste Processors to the farm property owned by Coutts Island Holdings, which used it to build a farm track.

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VIEW Saturday 22 Dec 11.00 - 11.30am

WEB ID AU28278

WESTSIDE 3 2 Russell Avenue 41 Galbraith Street DDI: 03 7687145 WEB ID WEB ID AU28267 2 1 Packed with wow factor in the bracket This home has undergone an amazing EASTSIDE Mobile: 021 250 9714 you can afford, 125 this inviting transformation. Freshly paintedgareth@propertybrokers.co.nz inside, Williampermanent Street OPEN HOME OPEN HOME gareth@propertybrokers. 2 2 material home isThis well positioned on an three bedroom new carpet and drapes, upgraded freshly redecorated established 646m2 section. A beautiful bathroom and gorgeous new kitchen. co.nz home is close in on the eastside of View Byfirst Appointment new kitchen and sunny open plan to the post office, This home is ideal as a family Ashburton, handy $289,500 OFFERS OVER $265,000 living spaces willCountdown, appeal to families. home or investment property. park and central VIEW Saturday 22 Dec 11.00 -All 11.30am VIEW Saturday 22 Dec 10.15 - 10.45amWEB ID AU28278 Ashburton. three WEB bedrooms are ID AU28283 Located near Hokitika in arguably one of the West Coast’s stronger farming 54ha bush = 250.4ha total freehold spacious and sunny and have largeareas. 183ha milking platform, 13ha rougher grazing, WESTSIDE WESTSIDE in wardrobes. 2built Russell Avenue 41140,000kgms Galbraith Street 3 Average production last 4 years 131,000 kgs, has done over 3 area. New pastures, drainage and improved fertility in recent years. previously. 36 aside View Bywith Appointment Packed wow in the bracket This home has undergone an amazing cow shed with meal feeders, 4 bay hay shed, fertiliser bin, 2factor bay implement shed, calf shed and 2 hay sheds. Soil type: alluvial silt loams plus some heavier, electric 1 permanent 1 you can afford, this inviting transformation. Freshly painted inside, 3 fencing, bore water, fertiliser inline with Ravensdown recommendations, summerhill stone comfortable homestead with matching sleep-out plusdrapes, workers cottage. material home is well positioned on an new carpet and upgraded OME OPEN HOME 2 A 646m2 to section. and gorgeous1new kitchen. Property presents an excellent opportunityestablished for those looking make thebeautiful step into1 farm ownership with good scale and genuinebathroom future potential. new kitchen and sunny open plan This home is ideal as a first family NEW LISTING living spaces will appeal to families. home or investment property. 2 OFFERS OVER $268,000 $225,000




S WONDER MAKE ME YOURS Price: $3,495,000 Land Area: 250.4 hectares VIEW Saturday 22 Dec 11.00 - 11.30am WEB ID AU27928

www.propertybrokers.co.nz OPEN HOME

EASTSIDE 3 14 Wakanui Road 1 Be impressed with the presentation and enjoy the lovely character and OPEN HOME 2 warmth this home has to offer. Recently renovated and redecorated to a very high standard including OFFERS $268,000 aluminium windows, gas hot OVER water and heating and replacement of the WEB ID AU27928 roof. EASTSIDE View By Appointment 14 Wakanui Road 3 Be impressed with the presentation 1 and enjoy the lovely character and warmth this home has to offer. NEW LISTING Recently renovated and 1redecorated to a very high standard including aluminium$299,000 windows, gas hot water OFFERS OVER and heating and replacement of the roof. WEB ID AU28267 View By Appointment EASTSIDE 3 125 William Street 1 This freshly redecorated three bedroom home is close in on the eastside of NEW LISTING 1 Ashburton, handy to the post office, Countdown, park and central Ashburton. All three bedrooms are OFFERS $299,000 spacious and sunny and haveOVER large built in wardrobes. WEB ID AU28267 View By Appointment EASTSIDE 125 William Street 3 This freshly redecorated three bedroom 1 home is close in on the eastside of Ashburton, handy to the post office, 2 Countdown, park and central Ashburton. All three bedrooms are spacious and sunny and have large built in wardrobes.


VIEW Saturday 22 Dec 10.15 - 10.45am

WEB ID AU28249 WESTSIDE 3 53 Elizabeth Street 1 A sunny and warm North facing front unit with easy care grounds. This two 1 bedroom unit has been well cared for since new and now offered to the market for the first time. A handy Allenton location close to the Domain $225,000 and Hospital. WEB ID AU28249 View By Appointment WESTSIDE 53 Elizabeth Street 2 A sunny and warm North facing front 1 unit with easy care grounds. This two bedroom unit has been well cared for 1 to the since new and now offered market for the first time. A handy Allenton location close to the Domain and Hospital. View By Appointment WEB ID



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Profile for Ashburton Guardian

Dairy Focus - July 2013  

Ashburton Guardian

Dairy Focus - July 2013  

Ashburton Guardian