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Dairy Focus APRIL, 2016

ATTRACTING

OUR YOUTH

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Farming Dairy Focus

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INDEX

COMMENT FROM EDITOR

Girl on fire

3

Effective collaborative funding 

8

Wagyu, an autumn income option

9

Game bird hunters need to get out and stake claim

10

BFEA winners praised for environment focus

12

MPI welfare move welcomed

14

Oliver! Great night of entertainment

15

Does anyone use cowslips? 

16

Pride in doing a quality job

17

Bank of China (NZ) to hold Agribusiness Investment

18

Gypsy Day

22

Increase efficiency with SmartECRs

24

CONTACTS Editor Email your comments to nadine.p@theguardian.co.nz or phone 03 307 7957.

Nadine Porter

RURAL REPORTER

Tweet us @farmjourno

They want time off to be with their mates and want to have some freedom within their work. North Island dairy farmer Stu Taylor recently told of his excellent employee relations where he actively encourages, mentors and supports the next generation. He looks at people’s specific skills and allocates tasks that inspire and grow the staff member so that they experience personal growth and satisfaction. It’s clear that while employment conditions are important, so is our perception and what we are telling our kids. It’s that perception that will encourage our youth into agriculture and keep them there. And it’s up to all of us to ensure that happens.

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The Government is often apt to push that the primary industry is going to need more skilled and un-skilled labour if it’s to meet its 2020 export targets. However, despite investment into our youth in exposing them to agricultural vocations, the sector remains largely untouched by new blood. So what is holding our youth back? Where is the issue? When you talk to teachers it becomes apparent that parents may be a bigger part of the equation than previously thought. The perception some say, even among farming parents, is that agriculture is somehow lower on the scale of vocations. Young Farmers has been a catalyst in attempts to try and woo our youth. They are doing superb work with their Goahead days, Teen ag clubs and their enthusiasm in trying to rectify a serious problem. Primary ITO must also be congratulated for the Primary Industry Academy introduced in some secondary schools. This programme enables those that might not be of a scientific manner to experience practical work on farm. Long hours and difficult rosters don’t help our youth.

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ATTRACTING OUR YOUTH

3

Girl on fire Casey Huffstutler has a pivotal role in an industry fighting back against poor employment rates among youth. Where once agriculture was an industry every family could relate to having someone employed in, today there are few keen on entering, yet along making agriculture their primary career. And Casey was one of those young women. Raised in Invercargill - the rural heartland of Southland Casey had very little contact with rural industries. Instead she set her sights on becoming an automotive electrician – not your usual choice for a female back in 1999. As the only girl in a class of two dozen boys she completed her certificate in Automotive Engineering and very quickly worked her way around various dealerships buying parts and managing service components of the businesses. Although a hands on type

Nadine Porter

RURAL REPORTER

Tweet us @farmjourno

of gal, Casey never considered working on a farm. It was never mentioned as a career option at secondary school and it was only through a relationship with a Te Anau basin farmer that she got her first taste of the land. Just one weekend was all it took for Casey to decide farming was her calling and so she began relief milking at Hedgehope every second weekend while retaining her job, now in Queenstown.

That first job and the wonderful experience she encountered at the hands of a very kind couple sealed her fate and she applied for a position as a farm assistant at Robert and Anna Kempthorne’s Te Anau dairy farm. Robert had not long won the Young Farmer Contest and he and his wife were in the process of conversion. It was a perfect opportunity and one that Casey was thrilled to accept. Although tough, Casey thrived and soon attended her first Young Farmer’s club meeting at Nightcaps where she promptly took on the role of secretary. The club offered Casey social interaction in what can sometimes be seen as an isolated environment. continued on P4

Casey Huffstutler.

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from P3 Surprised at what Young Farmers had to offer and the fact that she knew so little about the organisation or the young rural members, Casey was soon engaging in all sorts of activities including fencing and before long had worked her way to being the Otago Southland regional vice chairperson. A brief stint as a herd manager resulted in a broken collarbone and temporarily ended her agricultural career but soon she was to be offered a position that would see her undertake the role that would define her as the Young Farmers’ Upper North Island regional field officer. It was a big decision which encompassed her moving to the opposite end of the country but it was one that would see her engage in her passion – working with young people and sharing her experience of working in the primary industry. The majority of Casey’s job is around school engagement and youth development. She visits schools in the Waikato/ Bay of Plenty region and talks to teachers about the programmes Young Famers’ now offers youth and career pathways in agriculture.

Casey’s job has been part of a re-definition in Young Farmers. Once a purely social organisation, dwindling members saw it re-define itself as a strong professionally focused brand that gives youth a pathway into agriculture as well as professional avenues to develop themselves. Led by Methven farmer

and former CEO of Young Farmers, Richard Fitzgerald, the organisation now offers vital Teen Ag clubs throughout schools as well as various intiatives in partnership with others to bring youth into the industry and keep them there. That has been no mean feat. Five years ago when Casey began working in the field for

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the organisation there were no Teen Ag clubs in her region and no engagement with urban schools about career pathways into the primary industry. Funded by DairyNZ and Beef and Lamb NZ, the Get Ahead programme is perhaps the single most important primary industry intiative to get our youth engaged

in a conversation around agriculture and part of Casey’s everyday job. Put simply the initiative is about inviting secondary school students to a day in which different careers in the supply chain are highlighted. Currently 10 days are held across the country. For Casey the days have been a major

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success with 130 students attending and the same number being turned away. While hard to quantify immediately just how much of a difference these days and other programmes like Career Champions – a programme that places those interested in the industry directly with someone in the supply chain - it’s

certain that it’s also tackling a wider issue of the rural/urban divide. Herself a former urban girl, Casey has found urban schools have been the most likely to embrace the Young Farmers’ programmes and that has sometimes been reflected in club demographics up North. One club she was involved in

ATTRACTING OUR YOUTH

had 50 members, of which only four were on farm. In her beloved Waikato/Bay of Plenty region she has taken Teen Ag clubs from nothing to 10 and over 200 members. But yet the issue of decline in youth taking up primary industry careers remains. Conversations with teachers has led Casey to her own

conclusions on why it remains difficult to attract youth. “Parents remain a problem. In some cases you hear that if a child is not good at anything parents will suggest going into the agricultural industry so how do we educate the parents?” Further to that how does the industry change the perception

5

of it being a throwaway career? Casey thinks reaching the parents might well be the answer. Currently she runs teachers days but now wants to see that widen to include parents.” “To do that we would need more funding, more people on the ground to speed things up.” continued P6

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Farming Dairy Focus

from P5 For now the work she is doing is slow and steady but is making a huge difference albiet not at the same pace the Government would like if it’s to meet its agricultural export targets by 2020. Alongside Young Farmer programmes a push has been made into secondary schools up and down the country. Ashburton College Agriculture teacher and passionate industry enthusiast Stephen Millichamp has been part of a successful Primary Industry Academy programme with Primary ITO. The school now has two options for students wanting to partake in agriculture as their primary industry career. Those with a science or commerce bent can take Agriculture as a subject but others who are more practically inclined can now become part of the Academy. “We are trying to encourage kids to get into the workforce either directly on farm or in support industries.” Half funded by Primary ITO the academy means students can work on farm for a day a week and can very quickly ascertain if this is the career pathway they want. “It’s not a dumping ground

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ATTRACTING OUR YOUTH

for students. We interview alongside Primary ITO to make sure they have a genuine interest in agriculture and don’t have behavioural problems” “Stephen takes them to 15 different farms and industries and nurtures them into employment. It’s something he loves having come off the land himself.” His passion is infectious as is the academy in the school. As students come

through the system they are now beginning to enter the primary industry workforce. However, unattractive

While the dairy industry has improved there is still work to be done, he believes. He also agrees with Casey’s view

We are trying to encourage kids to get into the workforce

rosters with little time for socialising can still be an issue for our youth, according to Stephen.

that parents, and in particular rural parents, seem reluctant to push their children towards the primary industry.

Specialist agriculture teachers within our secondary schools are a luxury, he believes, with many having to adapt from a science background to fill vacancies. Without that passion it can be difficult to translate the employment message. Would more targeted funding from Government help to create passionate agriculture teachers? “It might encourage more teachers to consider the field.”

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Effective collaborative funding Three FAR led crop research projects have received support from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF), cementing SFF’s role as the most effective collaborative funding mechanism for the levy funded organisation’s applied research activities. FAR CEO Nick Pyke says SFF is integral to the overall investment the organisation makes into cropping research to benefit New Zealand growers. “SFF is focused, industry led and outcome driven, and operates within appropriate, cost effective reporting structures.  Over the years, we have had considerable success in delivering benefits to farmers from SFF projects, with outcomes leading to the development of new extension groups and tools, significant changes in agronomic practices, and influencing policy. “For example, our very successful Women in Arable and Arable Ys groups grew out of SFF projects, as did ProductionWise® which

has since been introduced as an effective recording and reporting system on cropping farms. Other projects have led to changes in management practices around soil cultivation and pest and disease management, and in the case of a project on N management which

FAR projects investigating barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV), pests of stored grain and quick N tests have been granted funding totalwling around $640,000 in this year’s MPI Sustainable Farming Fund round. FAR will also be involved in a fodder beet agronomy project led by Plant & Food

impacts on wheat and barley yields. This project being funded by SFF will focus on identifying ways to reduce costly insecticide inputs by identifying BYDV tolerant wheat cultivars and understanding when wheat becomes tolerant of BYDV. Pesticide resistance

The aim of the final project is clearly spelt out in its title, Nitrogen: measure it and manage it

commenced over 10 years ago, provided some of the base information industry used to develop Good Management Practices for Nutrient Management last year. “For the return on investment to cropping farmers, MPI SFF is the most effective government research and extension fund and we would like to see further government investment redirected towards it.” Successful 2016 applications

Research; a psyllid biocontrol project led by Horticulture NZ; a bee health project with the Bee Friendly Farming Group and a forage diversification project with the Northland Legume and Forage Group. FAR CEO Nick Pyke says all of FAR’s project applications were drawn up with the intention of developing solutions for common, costly on-farm issues. “BYDV can have significant

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management strategies will also be included in the work. In the end we hope to develop a management strategy to support farmers in their BYDV management decisions.” Mr Pyke says the second project, investigating pests of stored grain, also has a very practical focus. “Last year, a preliminary survey of grain stored in silos around New Zealand found that a high percentage of

grain samples were infested with one or more species of insect or mite. This is despite many of them receiving some form of insecticide treatment. Internationally there have been significant changes in storage pest species and populations, the effectiveness of control practices due to insecticide resistance and stored grain management. Further surveys and resistance testing should give us a clearer understanding about what is happening in New Zealand silos, aid the development of improved methods for monitoring and managing stored grain, and identify alternative control options for insect pests.” The aim of the final project is clearly spelt out in its title, Nitrogen: measure it and manage it. This project will develop a simple Quick Test Mass Balance (QTMB) field guide that guides farmers through the process of deciding whether or not to apply nitrogen to a range of crops.

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Wagyu, an autumn income option Dairy farmers wanting to spread their risk and their income source have been driving strong inquiry for Firstlight Wagyu genetics this season. Firstlight Wagyu supply manager Peter Keeling says the company is well on track to meet its targets for both straw semen and bulls to supply dairy farmers for winter and spring mating programmes. “We are finding dairy farmers are keen to look at alternative income sources they can earn within their existing dairying business,” he says. “Crossing cows and/or heifers with Wagyu genetics ticks all the right boxes for them. They can lock in a high value four-day-old calf with a guaranteed buyer, at a premium that makes them a lot more appealing than the traditional bobby calf,” he says. Farmers can expect to be paid $200 per mixed sex AI calf, and $150 per naturally mated calf. They also have the option of rearing them to 90kg, and receiving up to $550 a head. The easy calving

Firstlight Wagyu supply manager Peter Keeling with Wagyu cross calves.

characteristics of Wagyu also add to the appeal for farmers wanting an option to traditional breeds when mating their heifers for the first time. From a marketing perspective the union between Firstlight Wagyu and dairy farmers is also a good match. Firstlight has found that

both Friesian-cross Jersey and Friesian dairy breeds can produce high quality marbled beef, and mating them with Wagyu sires provides an excellent source of highmarbling beef for which the breed is renowned. Firstlight director Gerard Hickey says market demand

for Firstlight grass-fed Wagyu is gaining momentum every year as the brand continues to quietly establish itself at the premium end of the world beef market. “We now have our own global sales force in place, with staff in the United Arab Emirates, California, Paris and

the United Kingdom.” In the United States, a strong beef market for NZ beef generally, Firstlight has developed its own niche with a loyal following in top end retail chains in cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. Shoppers are reaching out for the high quality grassfed marbled cuts that appeal to high income earning, environmentally conscious consumers. “Not a week goes by when we don’t have buyers or consumers tell us this is the best beef they have ever tasted. It is easy to market a product as good as this,” says Hickey. Peter Keeling says farmers opting for Firstlight Wagyu have the unique opportunity to participate in a supply chain that is intent on delivering a high value, high quality product - one that tells a genuinely “New Zealand” story with its grass-fed, antibiotic free, high quality brand. To learn more about Firstlight Wagyu call 0800-4-WAGYU (492-498) www.firstlightfoods.co.nz.

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Game bird hunters need to get out Fish & Game is reminding game bird hunters to get out and stake a claim this weekend for their favourite maimai, before the game bird season starts. ‘Pegging’ or marking up a maimai or hunting stand is part of the long tradition of game bird hunting in New Zealand. It requires hunters with existing maimai to stake their claim before 10am on Sunday, April 10. This rule applies in all 12 Fish & Game regions around the country. The rules for claiming a maimai cover hunters with an existing maimai and those wanting to claim a hunting spot for the first time. To reclaim their normal spot for the upcoming season, a hunter must first buy their 2016/17 Game Bird Licence, which comes with a separate licence claim tag. They can then “mark up” their maimai at any time before April 10. Mr Sowman says some hunters who’ve bought their licences will already have pegged their usual maimai or stand as they’re entitled to once they hold a current licence.

For other hunters wanting to claim an existing maimai for the first time can now peg any spot not already marked up. Mr Sowman says it is crucial hunters remember to check regional regulations for species, bag limits, season length and any other changes before heading out on Opening Day of the game bird season, Saturday May 7, 2016. He says for example, a number of regions are

now moving to introduce restrictions on how many shots that guns can hold. The three shot rule is in force for Auckland/Waikato, while Hawke’s Bay and Eastern are asking for voluntary compliance this season before the measure becomes compulsory in 2017. The rule has a conservation aim, encouraging hunters to choose their shots wisely and not shoot at ducks out of range

and decrease the chance of not recovering birds. A number of North Island regions have relaxed their regulations to reflect an improvement in their mallard populations. For example, Eastern Region’s mallard season for 2016 runs for an extra two weeks from last year, from May 7 to June 19, with a larger bag limit of eight birds. Wellington is also lengthening its season

by two weeks and raising the bag limit to eight birds per hunter per day. Wellington, Northland and Taranaki seasons run from May 7 to July 3 while Hawkes Bay goes to June 19.   In the South Island, where mallard populations are larger than in the north, the season for  mallards in all regions runs for nearly three months from May 7 to July 31, with bags ranging from 10 to 50.

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11

and stake claim

“Clearly season length and bag limits for different species vary, so hunters must be aware of these regional differences and make themselves fully familiar with the rules and regulations that apply to the area they’ll be hunting in,” Mr Sowman says. “Southland for example, offers a bigger bag limit for opening weekend than for the rest of the season.” And hunters in all regions are again urged to take advantage

of the longer season for upland game birds, including pheasants and quail, which runs from May 7 to August 28 in many regions. Where can I find all the ‘pegging’ rules? These are found in the First Schedule section of the Game Bird Hunting Guide supplied free with your licence. You can also find information on pegging and other topics in the hunting pages of Fish &

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Game’s website: www.fishandgame.org.nz Do the pegging rules apply equally to private and public land? No, you need to claim your maimai on public land but not on private land (but you may still need a licence). If you do not have landowner permission to hunt on any land (private or public) then the pegging rules are irrelevant - you shouldn’t be there.

On public land that I have a permit to hunt on, can I hunt from someone else’s maimai? Yes, any stand not occupied by the claimant within one hour after the opening hour of hunting (7.15am in a number of regions where hunting begins at 6.15am). The hunter who has tagged or pegged the maimai only has the ’first rights’ privilege of occupying it, then it is open to any other licensed hunter for

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the remainder of the day. When am I allowed to “peg” a hunting spot? If you ‘pegged out’ a spot in the previous gamebird season you can reclaim the same spot any day, from when the licences became available March 17 until before 10am, on pegging day, Sunday, April 10. After 10am on pegging day, any licenceholder can peg any spot not already pegged. I pegged a spot last year but hunted elsewhere at the last minute and someone else now wants to peg it. Can they? No. You have the opportunity to re-peg the position before 10am on pegging day. Can I peg up a new maimai on the other side of the river from an existing pegged maimai but it is only 70m away? No, not if your maimai position is within 90m of the existing maimai, then unless invited to be closer by the other party, you cannot peg it up. Even if your maimai is more than 90m away but another person’s safety is at risk, you should shift. Hunting safely is paramount.

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BFEA winners praised for enviro Portobello sheep and beef farmers Brendon and Paula Cross have been named Supreme winners of the 2016 Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards. At a Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on April 15, 2016, the couple also collected the Otago Regional Council Quality Water Management Award, the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award and the Farm Stewardship Award in partnership with QEII National Trust and the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust. Brendon and Paula farm 200ha Roselle Farm and 618ha of leased land on the Otago Peninsula. Their breeding operation runs 4900 stock units on 613ha effective, with sheep making up 95 per cent of the stock units farmed. BFEA judges described their business as a “successful farming operation that incorporates the complexities and challenges of farming in a semi-urban environment”. Despite the mostly steep hill contour and exposure to coastal winds, the farms achieve good

stock performance. “Brendon and Paula seem to have struck a balance between maintaining aboveaverage production while enhancing and protecting the environment”, judges said. Their farming operation is underpinned by “welldeveloped business planning and an extraordinary commitment to community and building relationships”.

the iconic Hereweka-Harbour Cone. “The contour of the land and limitations of lease agreements influence the type of pastures present on each unit and how they are best managed,” judges said. “There is little opportunity to forage crop on the properties but the farms are achieving good animal performance on the existing

Brendon and Paula Cross, Supreme winners of the 2016 Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

They are both committed to a vision of a better understanding of rural life and work for urban people

The Cross family has strong historical ties to the area. Brendon took over Roselle Farm in 1995 after the death of his father Ron. His mother Annette still lives on the farm. In 2001, Brendon and Paula, a teacher, expanded the business by adding the first block of lease land. They now lease four properties within five kilometres of Roselle Farm, including two blocks adjoining

unimproved pasture species.” Judges noted the long-term and effective use of external advice, genetics, monitoring and recording to improve stock performance. The couple became involved with the Sheep for Profit programme early on, using a structured plan for stock improvement that has helped them lift their lambing to 139 per cent last season. continued over page

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2012 Hilux SR5

• Auto • 79,000km

*Operating Lease offer applies to new Toyota Hilux 2WD PreRunner (GTDFU, GTDTU, GTDFS, GTDTS, GTDTL) leased from an Authorised Toyota Dealer between 1 March 2016 and 30 June 2016, and is subject to stock availability. Offer is based on a 36 month / 45,000 kilometre Non Maintained Operating Lease. Monthly lease amount ex cludes accessories. Offer includes on road costs and initial registration. An initial rental is payable in advance. Offer available to GST registered business customers only, is not transferrable or redeemable for cash, and is not available in conjunction with any other offer. Lease offer is subject to Toyota Financial Services normal lending criteria. For full Terms and Conditions ask your Toyota dealer or visit our website, www.toyota.co.nz

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www.guardianonline.co.nz

13

onment focus

2016 WINNERS from P12 Judges also praised the Cross family’s strong environmental and conservation focus. Brendon and Paula were instrumental in the establishment of the Otago Peninsula Biodiversity Group, and Brendon is currently chairman. “They are both committed to a vision of a better understanding of rural life and work for urban people,” said judges. “This is reflected in their involvement in many of the local community activities and the access they provide to children and students to visit and learn from the farm.” QEII National Trust covenants have been placed on two blocks of regenerating native bush, and another area recognised as a habitat for the seriously endangered Jewelled Gecko is to be predator fenced and planted with support from the Gecko Trust. A BFEA Supreme-winner field day will be held on Roselle Farm on Wednesday, May 18, 2016.

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Supreme award, Otago Regional Council Quality Water Management Award, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award, Farm Stewardship Award in partnership with QEII National Trust and New Zealand Farm Environment Trust; Brendon and Paula Cross, Roselle Farm, Portobello. PGG Wrightson People in Agriculture Award, CB Norwood Distributors Agri-Business Management Award; Marty and Lynette Deans, Lonestar Farms, Barewood Station, Pukerangi. Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, Massey University Innovation Award, WaterForce Integrated Management Award; James and Matt Dicey, Mt Difficulty Wines Ltd, Bannockburn. LIC Dairy Farm Award; David and Robyn Balchin, Springpark Farms, Clinton.

NICK’S PETFOOD LIMITED “We’ve been in the industry for the past 15 years.”

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2 14

Farming Dairy Focus

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MPI welfare move welcomed The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) welcomes the initiation of consultation by the Ministry of Primary Industries on the proposed animal welfare regulations for care and conduct and surgical and painful procedures. New Zealand’s reputation as a country with strong outcome focused animal welfare frameworks is important to New Zealand dairy companies, and to the dairy industry as a whole. Based on an initial review, the proposals appear to represent a positive move to reinforce New Zealand’s animal welfare system, which is already recognised as world leading by the global animal welfare charity World Animal Protection. The proposed regulations would provide further clarity of minimum standards expectations, and enable MPI’s compliance team to use a greater range of tools to enforce compliance. The dairy industry Strategy for Sustainable Dairy Farming sets a target for 100 per cent compliance with New Zealand animal welfare standards, and individual dairy companies have reinforced expectations of compliance in their farmer supply contracts. Dairy farmers are supported to achieve good animal welfare outcomes through the work of DairyNZ in developing, and promoting, industry best practice guidance.

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

15

Oliver! Great night of entertainment If you’re looking for a fabulous night of entertainment off the farm for the entire family get your tickets now for Variety Theatre Ashburton’s production of Oliver! One of the most popular musical’s ever created, Oliver! is based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. The musical takes audiences on a wild adventure through Victorian England. Join young, orphaned Oliver Twist as he navigates London’s underworld of theft and violence, searching for a home, a family, and - most importantly - for love. When Oliver is picked up on the street by a boy named the Artful Dodger, he is welcomed into a gang of child pickpockets led by the conniving, but charismatic, Fagin. But when Oliver is falsely accused of a theft he didn’t commit, he is rescued by a kind and wealthy gentleman, to the dismay of Fagin’s violent sidekick, Bill Sykes. Caught in the middle is the warm-hearted Nancy, who is trapped under Bill’s thumb,

but desperate to help Oliver, with tragic results. With spirited, timeless songs like As Long as He Needs Me, Food, Glorious Food, and Where is Love, Oliver! is a musical classic made all the more fabulous by the 60 strong cast of Mid Canterbury actors including

the enormously talented Ethan Green. A student in his final year at Ashburton Intermediate, Ethan will play the Artful Dodger where his stunning vocals will be on display. Well known South Canterbury director Alice Sollis will take the helm while

experienced musical performer Matt Van Den Yssel will take on the role of vocal director. Jessie Thomson will choreograph the production while Fiona Maginness directs the live orchestra. Variety Theatre Ashburton president Leen Braam was excited at the depth of talent

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One of the most popular musical’s ... Oliver! is based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

for the show and said it was the type of musical all the family would enjoy. He advised those interested in going to buy tickets sooner rather than later as it was a popular show and he expected they would sell out well before the event. Tickets are on sale from the Ashburton Trust Event Centre for just $55 per adult and $32 for children under 15, or online at www.eventcentre.co.nz. The show begins on May 20 and finishes eight days later. So book now for a great family night off-farm!


2 16

Farming Dairy Focus

www.guardianonline.co.nz

Does anyone use cowslips? Fred Hoekstra

VEEHOF DAIRY SERVICES

Does anyone use cowslips and what are your thoughts? This is a question I saw on a forum the other day. It is quite interesting what sort of responses farmers gave. Some thought they were wonderful, some thought they were too expensive, some couldn’t make them stick on for any longer than a few steps and some were making comments like “just make sure you don’t have any lame cows”. This last comment is very easy to say but most farmers I know haven’t got easy answers to their lameness issues, but I better not get side tracked. Claw blocks are life savers for many cows. Without them there would be a lot more cows going to the works. This is as long as the

blocks are put on correctly and, unfortunately, I have seen many instances where they weren’t. Sometimes we come across cows that have a block put on the sore claw and so it is obvious that some people just don’t understand how claw blocks work. The idea of a block is to glue it underneath the healthy claw so that the sore claw is being relieved from carrying any weight therefore it can heal up much faster. You should see an immediate improvement in the way the cow is walking if the block is correctly applied, because she is experiencing a lot less pain. A block should last for three or four weeks. There are a number of different blocking systems available now, but my preference would be for the Demotec FuturaPad which uses a wooden block as opposed to the shoe design and the main reason for that is because they are very easy to work with, are nowhere near as weather dependent in the time they need to set (cold and hot days) and, most

importantly, we can position the block much better on the foot. There are several other very good systems available such as the Wopa or Bovi Bond blocking systems that also use a wooden block. Often you find with the shoe type blocks that they sit too far forward and this makes the heel part of the block wear too fast or they even collapse in that part of the block. The cow has no choice but to walk on the heel of her foot which puts an enormous amount of strain on the tendon that is keeping the pedal bone down. This can cause such considerable stretch in some cases that there is a degree of

lasting injury. The Demotec Easy Bloc system has minimised this effect with their shoe design so is a good choice if you prefer that style of block. With a wooden block you can place the block as far back as you like. Obviously you don’t want put it too far back either. The back part of the block should be flush with the heel of the cow. It doesn’t matter at all if the toe is sticking over the front as long as the heel is flush. This way the block will wear much more evenly and that is much better for the ligaments. The block should also be flush with the inside

of the claw and needs to be as flat as possible and not on an angle. Just remember that the block is there to support the weight of the cow. That can only be achieved if the block is placed nice and square and not too far forward. The price of a block is often challenged and it does pay to shop around as there can be big variations in the prices of the same products between retailers, but even if blocks were sold for $100 each they still would be cheaper than a lame cow. For more information or to discuss the various options available call Veehof Dairy Services Ltd Ph: 0800 VEEHOF (833463).

BY BYLINDSAY LINDSAY

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Ashburton: 25 McNally, Ashburton 7700. Phone (03) 307-2027 Ashburton: 25 McNally, Ashburton 7700. Phone (03) 307-2027 Timaru: 81 Hilton Highway, Washdyke 7910. Phone (03) 688-7042 Cromwell: 9 Rogers St, Cromwell 9310. Phone (03) 445 4200 Timaru: 81 Hilton Highway, Washdyke 7910. Phone (03) 688-7042


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ADVERTISING FEATURE

17

Pride in doing a quality job Williams Fencing has a reputation for quality, economical and on time fencing. Ryan Williams is exactly the type of lad you want on your farm to do your fencing. The owner of Williams Fencing Ltd might be just 23, but he already has six and a half years of fencing experience behind him. Always a man of the land, Ryan knew from an early age he would end up having a career in the agricultural industry, so when the opportunity came up to work for Morgans Fencing when he was 16 he jumped at it. His lifelong love of the outdoors stemmed from living on a farm in Greenstreet and he thrived in the variety of situations he found himself fencing in. So last year it seemed natural to begin his own business and now a year later he is looking to expand and take on a second post driver. The success of Williams Fencing comes down to Ryan’s personable easygoing nature and his penchant for never leaving a job without it being anything other than perfect. He prides himself on doing a quality job and those that have hired Ryan say that his care on the job makes him a top fencing contractor. Williams Fencing Ltd not only does rural fencing but also lifestyle,

commercial and residential fencing as well in high and low country. Recently he has completed a lot of deer fencing for North Bank Station – and loves the diverse works he undertakes. From post and rail fences, stock yards to new conversions Ryan has done it all and offers competitive rates and a job well done.

Always a man of the land, Ryan knew from an early age he would end up having a career in the agricultural industry

When not toiling away Ryan likes to play rugby for Southern and also holds his pilot’s licence. A local lad, he loves the Mid Canterbury rural community and understands that customers want a quality job done on time - something he strives to do in every situation. So if you need a fencing job make sure you call Ryan and Williams Fencing Ltd on 027 931 6403.

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2 18

Farming Dairy Focus

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Bank of China (NZ) to hold Agribusines Bank of China (NZ) Limited is holding an inaugural ChinaNew Zealand Agribusiness Investment and Trade Conference in Auckland next month.

The conference, to be held on May 25, aims to showcase New Zealand agricultural technology, products and services to a visiting Chinese agribusiness delegation interested in investing in New Zealand. New Zealand primary industry and agricultural companies will have a unique opportunity to better understand access to China’s burgeoning 1.3 billion middleincome consumer market, including potential to establish trading partnerships with 70 visiting Chinese agribusiness representatives. The New Zealand Government has set the ambitious goal to increase exports from 30 per cent of GDP to 40 per cent of GDP by 2025 – creating new jobs and businesses in the process. Agribusinesses will be a critical component in reaching its target. Prime Minister John Key is currently visiting China to discuss upgrading the existing free trade agreement between the two countries, which will further boost twoway trade.

Bank of China (NZ) Chief Executive Officer David Lei Wang says New Zealand’s economy is based predominantly on primary produce, and it enjoys a competitive international

reputation for expertise and innovation in the agricultural sector. The visiting Chinese delegates are especially interested in NZ’s worldleading agricultural technology.

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The growth potential for New Zealand agricultural industry is immense, says Wang, while innovators operating in the supply chain and logistics sectors are also substantial.

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19

ss Investment and Trade Conference

Wang acknowledges that trading with China, with its different social and business culture and legal system presents Kiwi companies with significant challenges but these can be surmounted by forming

relationships with key Chinese conduits. “We see part of Bank of China (NZ)’s role is to act as a bridge and connect local companies to the right kind of Chinese business partners,

The New Zealand Government has set the ambitious goal to increase exports from 30 per cent of GDP to 40 per cent of GDP by 2025 – creating new jobs and businesses in the process

whether from a distribution, strategic investment, production or marketing perspective.” “China presents great opportunities for New Zealand agribusiness to produce and export more, but companies here need the right partner to support them in making that first step. By hosting 70 Chinese agricultural companies here, we aim to introduce local agribusinesses to people who can potentially help them access the Chinese market and grow their business,” Mr Wang says. Bank of China will arrange match-making meetings for New Zealand companies with their Chinese counterparts

who have matching business needs. All face-to-face breakout meetings will be assisted by on-site translators. Despite China’s agricultural output being the largest in the world, it is set to become the largest importer of farm products – due to its arable land constraints, and housing over 20 per cent of the world’s population. China is forecast to import $US150 billion of chicken, pork and beef by 2020, while water constraints are predicted to significantly impact horticultural production. About 40 per cent of the global corn trade is imported by China, which is expected to become the world’s leading

corn importer by 2023. China’s Ministry of Agriculture is talking up the need for more imported lamb in the next five years in anticipation of domestic demand growth. “Food safety and health benefits, including growing demand for organic and gourmet produce, are increasingly important factors among China’s middle class; New Zealand’s reputation for clean, innovative and efficient production provides it a powerful competitive edge in a highly competitive international market,” Wang says. Supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and Chinese Chamber of Commerce in New Zealand (CCCNZ), the one-day conference will open with a keynote speech from Bank of China’s deputy chief executive, followed by face-toface break-out match meetings for New Zealand companies wanting to establish contacts, find distribution partners and/or discuss market entry requirements in China.

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QUALITY GALVANISED PRODUCTS VARIABLE WIDTH CRUSH SLIDING GATE

CALF TROUGH

This Variable width crush (Saracen self locking head bale and additional sliding gate pictured) is ideal for dealing with animals of all sizes and still provide full access to all areas of the animal. A tread plate floor angled on both sides ensures that animals keep their feet inside the crush when side doors are open.

HAY BASKET

$7900

$60

$100

HEAVY DUTY TOMBSTONE FEEDER

YEARLING FEEDER

This Heavy duty tombstone feeder is perfect for feeding out to larger beef animals, bulls or horned cattle. It comes in 3 sections, is open bottomed and weighs around 150 kg. Measurements: 2285 mm (7’6”) diameter, 670 mm high welded sheet metal base, 1150 mm high and has 12 feed spaces.

$850 FEEDER ON SKID

$1450 Riverdown Steel bring to you a large range of UK manufactured livestock feeding, handling and yard equipment.

$495 MULTI-PURPOSE FEED TRAILER

Hot-dip galvanized 4 tonne capacity Heavy duty wheels and pickup hitch Retractable drawbar Capable of holding; P.K.E, balage, fine chop or maize

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PORTABLE CRUSH - MOBILE YARDS

All products are manufactured from high grade steel sourced from the UK and Europe and HOT DIPPED IN GALVANISE. This process gives protection, inside and out, from corrosion, giving them the longest possible working life. Contact us for a personal and affordable solution to your livestock feeding and handling needs today!

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All prices are GST exclusive

Give Riverdown Steel a call on 0211 433 469. Email - riverdownsteel@gmail.com

www.riverdownsteel.com


2 22

Farming Dairy Focus

www.guardianonline.co.nz

GYPSY DAY FEATURE

Make sure your NAIT is up-to-date Don’t put your livelihood at risk when moving or selling stock over the Gypsy Day period; make sure you update your NAIT and TBfree details and record all animal movements.

NAIT data is used to trace the movements of potentially infected stock, both on and off farm, so the source of the disease can be identified and special TB testing programmes established to contain the infection. As long as your contact details and location are up-todate, OSPRI can call you when your herd is due for a TB test. Updating your details is quick and easy and a pivotal part of keeping TB under control. To protect your farming business, herd-owners should follow these simple steps when moving or selling stock this Gypsy Day: • Update your contact details with OSPRI’s NAIT and TBfree programmes. • Check the TB status and testing requirements of the area into which you’re moving cattle. • Correctly complete an animal status declaration (ASD) form when shifting stock and do not accept any animals onto your farm if they’re not

RU RO R AD AL S

SAFER RURAL ROADS

accompanied by a correctly filled out ASD form. If you’re in a movement control area, all animals must have a pre-movement TB test within 60 days of being shifted off farm. Record all animal movements in the NAIT system, including movements both off and onto the farm.

“ •

As long as your contact details and location are up-to-date

Farmers can complete all of these steps by simply calling OSPRI on 0800 482 463. OSPRI helps protect and enhance the reputation of New Zealand’s primary industries. It currently runs the NAIT and TBfree programmes.

COWS CROSSING Tenancy Inspections

SAFER RURAL ROADS

Do your cows cross the road?

SAFER

You need to use crossing mats, warning signs and lights. You need to think about the safest place and time to cross. Lastly, clean up after your cows - it can get slippery! SAFER RURAL ROADS It’s your responsibility.

Offering initial & routine inspections on tenanted houses, taking the hassle out for you! Call Lucy Smith Methven to Ashburton and South

027 445 2317

Call Rebecca Smith Chertsey to Christchurch

027 313 2270

rtil@xtra.co.nz | www.rtil.co.nz

Gamechanger. Rugby player Scott Barrett is not one to take his eye off the ball, either in his sports career or while finishing his Degree at Lincoln University. With his sights set firmly on his future, Scott made the wise decision to get Lasik treatment at Laservision Eye Clinic Merivale - freeing him from the hassle of wearing glasses or contact lenses. If it’s time you kicked your eyesight issues into touch, call us now for a FREE ASSESSMENT to find out if Lasik treatment is right for you.

Call 0800 52 73 71

w w w.ashbur tondc .gov t .nz

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Scott Barrett


www.guardianonline.co.nz

GYPSY DAY FEATURE

before Gypsy Day

23

TIPS FOR GYPSY DAY Selection of stock: Cows must be fit and healthy Cows must be able to stand evenly on all four legs Cows must be acting normally and if not, a vet must be called Body condition score must be at least 3.0 Prepare stock for travel: Precondition cows. This is important for those travelling long distances. Stand all cows off green feed for a minimum of four hours and up to 12 hours to empty themselves. Feed these cows straw, hay or baleage with free access to water. Communication: Book your stock transport in advance Ask for an estimated time of arrival of the truck to pick up the cows. This allows time to get the cows in and stand them off for the recommended minimum time (at least four hours). This may mean getting them in the night before.

We build for industries. Starting with the primary ones. At Calder Stewart we’ve never forgotten where we

build - matched to your exact farming needs.

started, building quality farm buildings for the Kiwi

We pride ourselves at being a Rural Design &

farm industry. And over the course of the last 55

Build specialist and have gained a considerable

years of involvement, we’ve developed something

reputation in meeting the needs of many a farmer

of a knack for it. Our dedicated team’s expertise

over the years. Let us put our expertise to work for

in constructing custom woolsheds, covered yards,

you; call your nearest Calder Stewart Construction

wintering sheds and state-of-the-art dairy sheds

Representative today and see how we can deliver

ensures practicality, quality and a professional

a farm building that suits.

Over 55 Years Farm Building Experience A Rural Design and Build Specialist Premium Grade Construction Materials Used Durable & Rugged Design is Standard Best Value-for-Money in the Industry

Donald Sutton 211 Alford Forest Road, Ashburton

(03) 307 6130

To learn more visit our website:

COMMERCIAL•INDUSTRIAL•RURAL

www.calderstewart.co.nz


2 24

Farming Dairy Focus

ADVERTISING FEATURE

www.guardianonline.co.nz

Increase efficiency with SmartECRs According to the farmers who use them, Waikato Milking Systems’ SmartECRs (electronic cup removers) are the smartest pair of hands and eyes in the farm dairy.

Uniquely tuned to the flow rate of each cow, SmartECRs remove the cups at the end of milking, preventing overmilking and its associated impact on udder health and incidences of mastitis. The cup removers are just one technology in a range which can be installed as a stand-alone unit or integrated with the comprehensive range of Smart components into new builds, or retrofitted into existing farm dairies. The ability to upgrade – as the budget allows or in line with advances in technology – enables you to future-proof the farm dairy, giving you the reassurance that your farm dairy will always keep up with innovations in technology. SmartECR works with Vortex, Waikato Milking Systems’ flow sensor technology. Together they provide accurate end of milking identification and minimal vacuum drop during milking. Vortex triggers the end of milking and blocks the vacuum to the cluster prior to the cups being removed. Clever software in the

SmartECR caters for an almost limitless array of milking routine parameters enabling you to tailor a variety of settings to suit your herd and individual preferences.

The ability to upgrade ...enables you to futureproof the farm dairy

Since Waikato Milking Systems introduced the SmartECRs they have become market leaders in New Zealand and overseas. Often referred to as a “one man milking system”, Smart ECRs are robust, reliable and – most importantly – very simple to operate. Waikato Milking Systems’ premier cup remover, SmartECR, enables an efficient and consistent milking routine.

Profile for Ashburton Guardian

Dairy Focus - April 2016  

Dairy Focus - April 2016