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PAGE 25 CAREER DEVELOPMENT
What approach to take over mycoplasma bovis has been top of mind for many in recent weeks, firstly following the government’s announcement that it will continue with the eradication strategy, and secondly following the recent public meeting in Ashburton. That around 800 people turned up for the meeting shows just how important the issue is viewed in this part of the world. However, it wasn’t just Mid Canterbury people at the meeting. I hear of some people travelling from the West Coast, while there was at least one person from Golden Bay. From what I’m hearing, while not everyone agrees with the government’s approach they’ve decided to accept it, work within the strategy as best they can, and just get on with the business of farming. It seems like MPI has also come to the party, with better channels of communication being opened up with affected farmers, who up until very recently have been left in the dark. That’s not to say everything will be working perfectly, but improvements in both communication and the speed of compensation payouts will go a long way to alleviate the frustrations felt by many. It has also been good to hear that the government and opposition have
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realised that this is too important an issue to be turned into a political football, so they are working together to ensure the best result for everyone. That has to be a big positive as the only way farmers and the rest of regional communities that rely on the farming dollar will get through this is if everyone works together. What still remains to be seen is what sort of impact movement restriction notices have had on Gypsy Day. I’ve seen a few herds on the back roads in recent days being moved but I’ve also heard of some farmers with winter feed who have had problems getting stock into paddocks to feed on it. Work has been going on behind the scenes to work through this type of problem and again, you can only hope co-operation will bring about solutions.
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Innovation nothing to be afraid of Colin Williscroft
Innovation in agriculture is not something farmers should be afraid of, in fact it’s something they need to embrace if they don’t want to be left behind. That was the message that came through loud and clear at last month’s Agri Innovation Mid Canterbury event in Ashburton last month, where a series of speakers from both within and outside the sector shared their experience, expertise and views of the future with an audience of around 300 people.
Keynote speaker Roger Dennis said organisations that think long-term are proven to be more successful than those that don’t. PHOTOS SUPPLIED
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From P3 The half-day seminar, orgainsed by MHV Water with Andy Macfarlane as MC, aimed to share knowledge, while at the same time stimulate thinking to help add value to farming enterprises. Keynote speaker Roger Dennis, who among other things works with ForwardSight, a group that has worked with organisations like Beef + Lamb Genetics, PGG Wrightson and the Omega Lamb Project, spoke about the link between foresight, to strategy and innovation. He said organisations that think long-term are proven to do better than those that don’t, and to be successful businesses needed to understand where the world is going, at least within a 20-year horizon. While it was impossible to accurately predict what the future held, it was important to have, and be involved in, conversations about it, Dennis said, adding that volatility and uncertainty were two things that were not going to go away, so it was important to be as prepared as possible for them. He said some of the ways to
prepare the next generation for an environment that we don’t really know is going to look like involve education, collaboration, empathy and intuition. Dennis also looked at the increasing impact of technology on the job market, including the increasing role of robotics. Any job that was rule-based was under threat, he said. The other keynote speaker was Kaila Colbin, SingularityU New Zealand ambassador and TEDxChristchurch curator and licensee, who spoke on exponential technology and its impact on agriculture. The crux of Colbin’s address focused on the speed of change in the modern world, which is only going to increase. She said that speed should come as no surprise, as research into the “law of accelerating returns”, measured on a curve, showed the rate of change will continue to double in areas relating to anything information-enabled, which includes technology that could affect agriculture, such as future proteins or non-traditional forms of agriculture.
Kaila Colbin said using the past to predict the future would not work.
It was important that all aspects of the economy were prepared for that change, she said, including the regulatory,
market and investment sectors. “If you’re across things, they don’t come out of
nowhere.” While change provided huge opportunities, there was also a degree of terror that came along with it, Colbin said. That included the impact technology could or would have on future unemployment, and a flow-on of increased inequality because of that; an increased cyber risk with inter-connectivity, which increased vulnerability; and an undermining of trust because of those factors. Because of the degree and speed of change going on “you can’t use the past to predict the future”, she said. There were also areas of either disruption or opportunity, on-farm, depending on which way you looked at it. They included things like autonomous machinery such as tractors, improved satellite technology and imagery, and robotics. There were also improvements in industries outside agriculture that could have a big impact on the sector in the future, such as LED lighting. The improvement in the effectiveness of LED lighting was leading to the rise of indoor farms in other parts of the world and not only were they more productive
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and cheaper to operate than traditional farms, they had total control over the weather. That type of technology was only going to increase competition for products produced by traditional forms of food production, such as in New Zealand. Colbin also discussed “alternative meat products”, which were bio-engineered. “It sounds disgusting but they’re not targeting you,” she told the audience, adding that the real target for those products was industrial-sized caterers. Farmers could not afford to sit around and wait for things to happen, she said. Firstly, it was important to understand some of the changes that were happening and pay attention to what was going on. It was also necessary for New Zealand farmers to embrace their point of difference with their counterparts in other parts of the world, and to “go hard out telling a different story”. Going hand-in-hand with this was identifying unique market advantages and devoting more attention to where those opportunities lie, Colbin said. Former Foundation for Arable Research chief
Nick Pyke said disruptive technologies need not be feared.
executive Nick Pyke, who is now focusing his energies on future food opportunities for New Zealand but in particular
Canterbury producers, reinforced the idea of how critical it was to produce foods that people outside New
Zealand want to eat. “We tend to think about what we want to eat - but do they? “Don’t be constrained by current parameters,” he said. “Think about what we have and how we can take advantage of it.” That included water and soils that were not degraded, a temperate climate and the integrity of supply that political and economic stability provide. It was important that farmers did not take these advantages for granted, and instead capitalised on them, particularly with an eye on the future. One area that needed addressing was control of the value chain. Currently New Zealand arable food producers grow a wide variety of crops but in most cases someone else controls the value chain, he said, which was why there was a need to redesign that chain. “Currently only a small percentage is coming back to producers.” He called for a more consumer centric value web, rather than the linear approach that is currently the case. The current approach is not working for producers.
Rather than solely thinking about yield, it was time to think more about earnings per hectare per day, Pyke said, which may involve rethinking traditional land uses. Looking ahead, Pyke said there was a need for more in-market work, so that New Zealand growers gain a better understanding of future markets and where food trends are heading. There was also a need for a more collaborative approach, he said, adding that there was an opportunity for New Zealand plant and animal based food to co-exist and work together. Like Colbin, Pyke said there will be an increasing number of what have been viewed as “disruptive” technologies emerge. They were not to be feared, rather “be part of them”. Trying new approaches was vital for the long term but not everything would work, he said. “We will fail in some things. Just accept that and move on quickly.” Perhaps the final word should go to Colbin. “The future is not out there fixed and waiting for us. The future is what we create.”
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Study focuses on innovation uptake An award-winning study from Massey University has found that getting farmers to understand and adopt the newest ideas and innovations from agricultural science, relies not only on the strength of the research, but also on the way farmers learn, and their learning environment. Agricultural extension involves educating farmers about how scientific research can be used to improve agricultural practices on farm. It typically involves knowledge-holders like consultants, academics and scientists, speaking at field days, seminars, or communicating through print or online newsletters. This model requires complex science to be transferred over short-periods of time and is often one-way, which can have mixed results in actual uptake from farmers. The study focused on an innovative agricultural extension programme that involved farmers aged between 35 and 70, who classified themselves as either existing users of herb pastures, new
The importance of group discussions were among key findings of the study.
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Head of the School of Agriculture and Environment, Professor Peter Kemp said new ideas coming from
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universities aren’t always understood by farmers and changes are slow to occur on farm. “From the production side of things, we had some theories of lamb finishing on herb-mix pastures and we were ready to start getting farmers involved in the trial, but we knew the difficulties in transferring this knowledge and successful adoption by farmers is relatively difficult due to the complex grazing management required in comparison to traditional pastures. “So we thought, why not engage with people from Massey who know about education to see how we can best explain that to farmers and help them think it through themselves and get them to the point where they might adopt it.” The programme enlisted the expertise within Massey’s Institute of Education to design learning experiences that the agricultural scientists could use to share their research. Those experts stayed on during the trials, improving the learning programme as it progressed by interviewing farmers one-on-one and in groups to see what learning methods were working and feeding those back into the programme to improve its effectiveness. Lead author Associate Professor Alison Sewell of the Institute of Education says from the outset it was clear the methods of traditional extension were based on outdated education theories. “Our new learning experiences were based on contemporary theories in education like socio-cultural approach and theory. For example, we worked to build learning communities between farmers and scientists, rather than short, one-way exchanges. While these communities have been proven effective for some learners, we didn’t know what factors might support or hinder farmers when they too were introduced to these more collaborative ways of learning.” They proved to be one of the programme’s greatest successes. Rather than ad hoc farmer
engagement in learning, or the use of off-the-shelf extension programmes, the promotion of farmers’ learning was embedded within a sustained learning community.” Sewell said the scientist-farmer learning community led not only to the development of respectful relationships, but the co-construction of new ideas about pasture management. “Scientists brought research and theoretical ideas, and the farmers brought practical knowledge. These communities promoted dialogue which not only supported learning but helped build farmers’ beliefs that they were capable of using new technologies.” Institute of Education’s Dr Maggie Hartnett said that while they expected learning communities to be successful, some findings were unexpected, and became novel ideas for use in agricultural extension. “We found a strong need for selfefficacy in the farmers, which is people believing they have the knowledge skills and abilities that they need to be successful at something. It’s a bit like self-confidence but it is much more specific to a particular domain of knowledge than self-confidence. It’s the belief you can do something or can’t do something based on either your own experience or something you’ve seen others do. “The farmers used different sources of information to make judgments of their self-efficacy, including their own personal success, as well as seeing other farmers succeed. “For example, they may have seen their neighbour succeed growing chicory or plantain, so they are more likely to say I can do this too. This can also work in the opposite direction for failure, but this wasn’t as strong with them. We put this down to the farmer attitude and because they’re all pretty capable farmers already.” Identified barriers to learning and practice change included issues of: trial-ability, complexity, compatibility and risk.
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Crop tops 40 tonne mark A Canterbury fodder beet crop has cracked the 40 tonne of dry matter per hectare mark and in doing so has become the biggest crop of its type in New Zealand verified by independent measurement. The fodder beet crop was sown in a four hectare irrigated paddock on Rick Daly’s Windwhistle pastoral operation near Hororata, with a Kverneland optima precision planter. This type of planter offers a much narrower row spacing of 37.5cm compared with the industry standard of 50cm, something both Daly and Ashburton based Wholesale Seeds chief executive Patrick Davis attribute to the bumper result. Davis said the narrower row width when drilling led to a much more efficient plant arrangement, with the canopy closing earlier, leading to more effective use of sunlight. This resulted in a more uniform crop, with no wasted space between the beet, leading to better crop coverage, with beet size consistent across the whole
crop. It was the first time Daly had opted for the narrower rows but he said the results spoke for themselves. Davis said Wholesale Seeds had been doing trial work on the effectiveness of narrowing the gap between rows for the past four years but this was the first time it had been applied commercially. “We were consistently seeing a 15 per cent increase in total DM yield in our own replicated trials, so we knew it would work.” He said although the narrower gap was important, there were other aspects to the Enermax crop’s success. Attention to detail was critical, with feet on the ground in-paddock every week
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Rick Daly and Patrick Davis with some of the 40 tonne per hectare fodder beet crop. PHOTO COLIN WILLISCROFT 050618-CW-004
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Daly said there was no disputing the weight of the crop, as it was not only verified by Canterbury Feed Assessment, the buyer of it was in the paddock when it was assessed and agreed with the measurement. This yield was not an aberration, with an average yield of 34 tonne of dry matter per hectare across 110ha fodder beet grown on the property. The farm where the crop was grown is part of the Windwhistle Pastoral Group, encompassing 750ha effective land, diversified across a number of farming sectors, including dairy, dairy support, beef, grain/arable, lamb and venison. There is also a contracting component, which utilises a Kverneland precision planter, with 16 rows and a 6 metre bar. Ashburton-based Wholesale Seeds manage about 7000ha of beet crop from North Canterbury to Southland. Their 11 full-time field staff manage crops from planting through to sale, with fodder beet a core part of the business.
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Ready to take on the northerners Rangitata woman Eira LloydForrest is flying the flag for the South Island this week at a National Fieldays Rural Catch competition in Hamilton this week. Eight finalists are contesting the inaugural event, which replaces the Rural Bachelor of the Year contest. There are four young men and four young women taking part, although Lloyd-Forrest is the only Mainlander. While she’s taking it seriously - and with a $20,000 prize pool up for grabs that’s not surprising - that’s not the only reason why she’s taking part. “I’m going to have some fun and make some new mates,” she said. “It’s quite exciting.” Lloyd-Forrest was up at Fieldays last year watching the rural bachelors in action when she realised she wouldn’t mind giving something similar a go, so when the organisers opened the event up to women this year, she thought, why not give it a crack? “I’m not some massive feminist or anything but it’s 2018, so, you know, why
shouldn’t we (women) be allowed to take part? There’s plenty of us in the industry.” And she’s confident of being competitive. An assistant farm manager on one of the Pye Group farms, the 28-year-old has been farming for 10 years, working as a 2IC for the past four or five. As such she reckons she knows her way around enough aspects of farming to stand her in good stead across the three days of challenges that await her. Those challenges will test her skills in areas like fencing, dog handling, health and wellbeing, fitness, problem solving and cooking, along with ATV, chainsaw and tractor work.
Eira Lloyd-Forrest is the sole South Island finalist in the National Fieldays Rural Catch competition. PHOTO COLIN WILLISCROFT 290518-CW-017
Lloyd-Forrest backs her fencing skills, although given her years on dairy farms admits other contestants may have more dog handling experience. To reach the top eight she first had to complete an online application form, which
included what her ideal date would be, before a phone interview. Reaching the final means entering has already paid off for Lloyd-Forrest. Not only is her trip to Fieldays all-expenses paid, including flights and accommodation, all
finalists will be decked out in Red Band and Swanndri gear, and the event kicks off with a multi-day road trip where the contests will get to know each other. Event organisers say being a rural catch has many aspects to it. “Not only are the finalists a catch for any potential love interest, their rural skills and knowledge of agricultural business makes them a catch for any employer, business partner and the wider ag-industry.” Although Lloyd-Forrest has her eye on the overall title, along with the prize pool and “Golden Gumboot” that goes with it, there is also a people’s choice award, which people can vote for online. As the sole South Island representative, she is hoping for plenty of support from her fellow Mainlanders. Voting will be done through a link on the Fieldays webpage, which will be in the Rural Catch section. She will also post updates on her Facebook and Instagram pages so people can follow her progress.
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FARM ADVISORS FEATURE
Advisors a business investment There are a few things that need to be considered when selecting a farm advisor or consultant. Understanding the advisor’s role is critical. You are hiring them to provide you with accurate, reliable and timely information. They also need to be a good communicator. Remember, the role of an advisor or consultant is to supplement your knowledge so that you can make better, more informed decisions. The best farmer/advisor relationships are partnerships that exist on mutual respect. Farmers need to buy into what their advisors are telling them and act on that information. However, that does not mean farmers can abdicate decision-making. At the end of the day the buck will stop with the farmer. However, asking questions of an advisor or consultant should be part and parcel of the business relationship. Advisors vary in the expertise and experience,
so it’s important to do your research before hiring one. Look carefully at what their expertise is and consider how much it matches what you will be seeking from them. Choosing a consultant with the exact area of expertise you want can increase the quality of the work and may reduce the cost. It’s also important that an advisor will provide you with an independent, objective opinion. Consider whether the information they are supplying is based on research that can be documented. Don’t be afraid to ask around. The best advisors will probably be in demand. If they are good others will want to use them as well. Don’t let that put you off. Consider whether you will be able to develop a longterm relationship with your potential advisor. The longer you work with an advisor the better they will get to know you
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about regenerating soils but regenerating the thought processes and models around what we are doing in agriculture. It is also about our ability to understand what’s happening in the soil and how to implement practices and systems to get there. Creating a mineral balanced healthy soil allows plant roots to go deep into the soil for access to needed minerals. If farmers are to focus on soil health and soil fertility there has to be an understanding of what the impact of excessive nitrogen, soluble fertilisers, chemicals, seed treatments, insecticides and excessive tillage has on the productivity and profitability on their farms. Farming management practices over the past 40 years has impacted soil aggregation to such an extent that it has made the soils compacted, drought prone and chemical reliant. The use of soluble fertiliser has been one of the most disruptive practices in mainstream farming There is a real need to find out how we can improve the efficiency of plants to capture water and light and put that into productivity. To take agriculture to the next level we have to think differently about what’s happening in the fields, and to understand what contributes to the suppression of soil biology, soil health, soil fertility and the systems and practices necessary to restore it. With the understanding how important improving soils are to increasing productivity. Advertising feature
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FARM ADVISORS FEATURE
The Figured experts The beginning of a new financial year is almost upon us, after 12 months of hard work now is the best time to be thinking about the future. No doubt you’ll have plans in place to ensure your farm is as productive as possible, but have you considered whether you’re doing everything to ensure your farm is as profitable as possible? At MCA, we work closely with our clients to give them the advice and support they need to manage their businesses with confidence and control, we believe that the right tools and the right advice are critical to the success of any business. Which is why we are recommending our farming clients use Xero and Figured to keep a handle on the finances. The Figured and Xero platform makes it easy to keep up-to-date with your budget, and being an online system means that we can give you advice in real time, using up-to-date financial information. Figured gives us the ability to help you track farm
profitability in real time, build and manage a budget that is easy to maintain and most importantly ensures that you have the information to make good informed decisions from
anywhere at any time. At MCA we’ve helped many of our clients move across to Xero and Figured, so we know that the beginning of a new financial year is the best
time to do it easily, we also know that getting started with any new system can be a challenge, so we are offering complimentary training sessions for anyone who’s
interested in learning more about Xero and Figured. Just drop us a line and send us an email to arrange a time to come in and meet the team. Advertising feature
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FARM ADVISORS FEATURE
Farm insurance Vision Insurance (S.I.) Ltd is locally owned and supports local businesses. We also have branches in Christchurch, Rangiora and Nelson, and we are members of NZbrokers with more than 55 other independent businesses, making us the largest broking collective in New Zealand with over 140,000 clients across the country. Farmers are now becoming more aware of the importance of having the correct insurance covers in place to protect their business. If any were not aware, recent events in Canterbury and around the country with storms and flooding have highlighted the need to have the correct insurance cover in place and to have professional independent advice in arranging and discussing those covers. We have a rural background; we understand the needs of the rural client as well as the issues facing farmers. We realise the importance of establishing a relationship with our clients, and we endeavour to review our farming clients on a regular basis. Farmers know about farming, that is their livelihood, they often rely on stock agents and accountants for their advice yet many farmers still feel they are able to arrange their own insurance programme themselves
Health and Safety
We have a rural background; we understand the needs of the rural client as well as the issues facing farmers.
direct with an insurer. With the varied changes now hitting the insurance market the role of an insurance broker is becoming more important. We are kept up-todate with various changes that the insurance industry is undergoing. Arranging your insurance is one thing – when you have issues with an insurance company over a claim you want to have an insurance professional on your side, that professional is your insurance broker. – By James Macfarlane Advertising feature
Who are Compliance Partners? Compliance Partners is your local employment and Health & Safety partner providing businesses and farmers peace of mind for compliance. We partner with you for every step of your health and safety journey, helping you to get it done! We are about keeping it super simple. We are also the local provider of occupational health services to help monitor your workers’ health to keep them well while they are at work – including drug testing.
Where are we? We’re local – we have offices in Ashburton and Timaru and service from Christchurch to Oamaru, mountains to the sea. Usually we are out and about and can be found visiting you at your farm! For a free, no-obligation chat about how we can help your farm, contact us on 0800 BIZSAFE or visit our website at www.cp.org.nz.
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Innovation brings peace of mind A leading treatment for worm protection in sheep has its roots firmly based in New Zealand, with a history of development, trials, production and support all built with the New Zealand farmer firmly in mind. This year marks the 12th since the Bionic capsule was launched on the New Zealand market, and its place as the go-to solution to optimising ewe health appears as healthy as the sheep industry itself. As lamb prices surge past $7 a kg and ewe values surge to $180 a head in yards around the country, farmers are increasingly seeking quality solutions to help optimise those per head values through improved productivity per animal. BIONIC has helped contribute to that productivity growth by enabling ewes to maintain body condition score post lambing, delivering heavier lambs thanks to better milk production, and lower worm loadings on spring pasture. But the success of the Bionic capsule has been no
Veterinarian Richard Sides said BIONIC worm control technology helps counter the slackening of a ewe’s immune system that occurs prior to lambing. PHOTO SUPPLIED
overnight arrival. Today’s design incorporates almost 30 years of trials and experimentation to develop one of the most challenging devices, a controlled release, twin active capsule, capable of delivering effective worm control for 100 days. The greatest challenge in developing Bionic was developing a capsule that could accommodate twin worm control actives.
This ultimately resulted in Bionic containing Abamectin and Albendazole in a tablet form to deliver a constant level of lethal compound exposure for 100 days, providing a better kill rate for worms, compared to a single shot treatment. Delivering an exacting amount of the combination over a set period required a highly precise delivery mechanism, something Boehringer Ingelheim achieved by partnering with quality pharmaceutical company Argenta. The partnership with Argenta has proven invaluable in helping automate and scale up BIONIC production. Despite a 35 per cent decline in total sheep numbers since BIONIC was launched in 2005, demand has grown
strongly as more farmers have recognised the value of a long acting, twin active worm control. The technology and the science behind BIONIC history, and proven track record on the farm, is also recognised by veterinarians who work alongside some of New Zealand’s highest performing sheep farmers. Boehringer Ingelheim technical veterinarian Richard Sides said BIONIC worm control technology helps counter the slackening of a ewe’s immune system that occurs prior to lambing. “Parasites become more invasive, stifling milk production and appetite, and causing a loss of body condition. As well, increased parasite egg production spreads high numbers of larvae, which in turn increases later infection of lambs and impacts upon their growth rates. “BIONIC controls this whole process, allowing farmers to concentrate on the optimum feeding of their sheep”.
Recent trial work in ewes (not selected for conditionscore) has shown BIONIC treated ewes are 3.2kg heavier on average at weaning, and give an average 3.1kg more lamb liveweight weaned per treated ewe. The addition of cobalt maximises the amount of vitamin B12 produced by the ewe, and in turn fed to the lamb via her milk. The selenium dose in the BIONIC capsule is sufficient to last for up to 250 days. Combined with the slow release twin drench actives, BIONIC delivers an “onboard” health maintenance combination to hard working ewes as they progress through the most stressful time of the year. “BIONIC comes with a history of development and innovation, with New Zealand farmers’ needs firmly in mind, backed with sound science and the support of livestock veterinarians. They have the confidence in it to recommend the capsules as a valuable component in any effective animal health programme”
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Eco-sourced planting has advantages What does the term “ecosourced” native plants mean? Does it matter if plants are “eco-sourced”? Eco-sourced native plants are ones that are grown from seeds or cuttings taken from native plants that are naturally occurring in a particular place. For instance, at the recent planting day at Wakanui, the native plants were grown from seeds collected in the Wakanui area. The seeds were collected, plants grown and then planted out – this ensures the same genetic material is re-planted in the same ecosystem. This is a really good thing to do when there are naturally occurring native plants in the area. It preserves and perpetuates the original genetic diversity of that particular ecosystem. Over tens of thousands of years, plants and animals become fine-tuned to their environment through the process of natural selection. Eco-sourced plants keep these genes and means that the new plants are genetically similar to the original ones, rather than bringing in
FOREST AND BIRD
characteristics from a different place. For instance, the cabbage trees that are native to the coast near Wakanui will be slightly genetically different to the ones that are found near Mt Somers; the Wakanui ones may be more salt-tolerant and the Mt Somers ones may be more cold-tolerant. We should keep the salt-tolerant genes at Wakanui! Restoration projects that have a nucleus of naturallyoccurring native plants should always use eco-sourced plants. There are many nurseries that specialise in eco-sourcing. They can be contracted to collect seed from the original plants and grow on the plants ready for planting out. This does take some time – at least
Cabbage trees from different localities will have different genetic characteristics: eco-sourcing is important when PHOTO SUPPLIED undertaking a restoration project
a year for seeds to germinate and grow to a sufficient size for planting and this time period should be factored in when planning a restoration project. It is not as important for farm or garden planting projects to use eco-sourced plants. If there are no existing native plants from which to
take seeds or cuttings, using non eco-sourced plants is fine. But it is always a good idea to use plants that would have naturally occurred in the area – not all natives grow in all places. For instance, there are many native plants that grow on the West Coast that don’t naturally occur around here – let’s stick to what naturally
would have grown here. I have quite a few wind grasses in my garden (Anemanthele lessoniana). These lovely big tussocky grasses are native to the Rakaia Gorge area, which is not far from where I live. However, the ones I have originally came from a friend’s garden in Christchurch, so they are definitely not ecosourced, but the species once would have been found here. So when you are planning a native garden, farm planting project or native forest or wetland restoration, consider what plants to use and where to get them from. Farmers, if you have natives that are naturally occurring on your property, call up a nursery to propagate plants for you using the original plants, rather than buying in plants of unknown origin. And gardeners, while ecosourcing isn’t as important in a garden, it is still best to use plants that would have once grown in the area. I can recommend wind plants as reliable, hardy and attractive native grasses!
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So what’s the plan? My wife and I, along with an estimated 800 other concerned Cantabrians, which includes farmers as well as town folk, although one would have to say more farmers than townies, as you would expect, went to a meeting at the Hotel Ashburton recently about “where to from now with mycoplasma bovis?” In my opinion it was a good meeting in respect of explaining some of the issues that face both farmers and those given the job to eradicate this micro-organism. Frustration flowed as to the MPI response time and communication issues with farmers and equally some frustration as to the Nait tracking systems and how some, a small section, of the farming community wasn’t completing the required paperwork for tracing. Everyone agreed the Nait system is not an efficient system and, as the Minister of Agriculture admitted a “clumsy system”. Hopefully that will be sorted out ASAP. I must say that when I went to the meeting
I thought eradication was not the best method and the government should have accepted the disease was here and let the farmers get on and control it. However, on reflection I wonder if they really and truly believe eradication is possible maybe this should be the road we travel down. Like any misfortune, whether it is being located in the red zone for the earthquake, the middle of a 100 year flood, or a 100 year drought, most of us have the feelings “thank God that’s not us!”. However for those that are caught up in the middle of this ongoing nightmare, life is very difficult whether you are on a notice of direction
(NOD) or actually have proven to have the disease and are seeing your life’s work put on a truck and taken away for slaughter. I believe that we, as a community, and the government of the day need to make this time as bearable as possible. As one farmer said to me “its times like these really that you find out who your true friends are”.
Where to now? So what’s the plan from here? All I heard at the meeting was how sorry everyone was that things had not all gone to plan but I expect that’s fairly normal for such an event and isn’t that all we hear in connection with the earthquake? I did hear them say this is a 10-year plan and if that’s the case, $1 billion is not going to be enough. What all farmers need is some assurance that the largescale cull etc is the correct method of control. Maybe we should have locked down all known herds and young stock that have
the disease until we re-test the milk from these in midOctober after calving and when the cows are under some stress and just see how farreaching this disease is. If all herds are locked down on movement control then this is also going to control further spread until we know whether the cat is out of the bag or not and then act as needed. One farm I was on last week
South Island Rural Team
Absent; Rodger Letham, Jude Livingstone, Michael Robb
that is having cows culled at present believes MPI is maybe killing M. bovis resistant cows. Is there such a thing? I have no idea but maybe it is worth considering. All in all I didn’t hear a thing about how to manage the disease because if you have it, your cows are killed. So it seems the plan is to carry on as we are, kill where necessary and hope it all turns out roses.
WE DON’T JUST SAY TEAM. WE GUARANTEE IT.
When you list your farm with our rural team, there are Property Brokers’ team members across the country working alongside them to get you the best result. That’s because every one of them has signed a binding agreement to work together to sell your property. It’s a New Zealand first for the rural real estate industry that means we put your best interests first. Which is exactly where they should be. Find out more at propertybrokers.co.nz/rural
Hastings McLeod Ltd / Buller Real Estate Ltd / EV Arthur Ltd Licensed REAA 2008 Rangiora 03 313 8022 Ashburton 03 307 9176 Rolleston 03 929 0306 Darfield 03 929 0306 Timaru 03 687 7166 Oamaru 03 434 3347 Westport 03 789 8777 Greymouth 03 768 7145
As far as the rural real estate market goes, it really is too soon to measure what effect it will have on sales or values. If eradication was not the option the government decided to take, I believe real estate would carry on as normal now eradication is being pursued I am not sure how this will affect us. One thing is for sure time never sits still and looking down the barrel of a good payout this year and everyone talking about $7/kg/MS next season Iâ€™m sure sales will happen and life will continue but just at what level is at this stage unknown.
Right â€“ Around 800 people packed into the Hotel Ashburton late last month to find out the latest about mycoplasma bovis. PHOTO ANDREW FALLOON
FORESTRY AND TREE MAINTENANCE FEATURE
New rules to protect environment New plantation forestry regulations will better protect the environment while improving productivity within the forestry sector, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. The new National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry came into effect last month. Jones said they will provide a nationally consistent set of regulations to manage the environmental effects of plantation forestry activities undertaken in New Zealand’s 1.7 million hectares of plantation forestry. “Forestry is our third largest primary industry but its efficiency has been hindered by variation in planning rules across New Zealand’s multitude of councils. Many large forests cover multiple council boundaries, resulting in different rules for the same forest. “From today that forest will be governed by one set
A nationally consistent set of regulations to manage the environmental effects of plantation forestry activities in New Zealand have been introduced.
of rules. “Greater certainty around the rules should encourage more investment in the forestry industry, providing a boost for regional economies. The regulations also create a consistent operating environment for any plantation forestry established under the One Billion Trees programme. The standards are based on existing good practice
standards for the forestry industry and include three risk assessment tools developed to manage the environmental impacts from forestry, covering the issues of erosion, wilding conifers and fish spawning. “The benefits of these tools are that the restrictions on forestry activities are related to the environmental risk rather than which council area a forestry operation is in.
“The regulations cover eight core plantation forestry activities: afforestation, pruning and thinning to waste, earthworks, river crossings, forest quarrying, harvesting, mechanical land preparation and replanting. Councils may apply stricter rules for these activities in specific circumstances to manage locally significant or sensitive areas,” Jones said.
The standard was developed jointly by Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry for the Environment. It was gazetted in August 2017 with a delay in commencement to May 2018 to enable councils and foresters to understand their responsibilities under the regulations and put in place processes to meet these responsibilities. Foresters and councils have been supported in this process through a series of regional workshops. These were attended by more than 600 foresters and council representatives throughout New Zealand. The National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry will be reviewed in 12 months’ time to ensure they are being successfully implemented.
Mid Canterbury - proudly backed by BDO BDO Christchurch would like to announce that as of 1st July 2018 we are proud to have a new office presence in Ashburton in the new Tavendale and Partners Centre located on Cass Street. Being already involved with a significant number of rural and commercial businesses in Mid Canterbury, the extension of our business presence into Ashburton is a natural transition and an indication of our commitment to the region. Our team offers broad expertise and has a full service proposition including Agribusiness & Business Advisory Services and Audit. Key expertise in: Financial Statements, Financing, Cashflows, Governance, Outsourced Administration & Secondments, Succession Planning. Find out how we can help you. Please contact us at: Ashburton@bdo.co.nz Key Contacts: Frazer Weir: 027 453 5831 Rod Hansen: 021 823 875 Simon Wing: 021 867 585
Martin Veitch: 021 689 907 Phillip Roth: 027 227 8918
Audit | Tax | Advisory www.bdo.nz
FORESTRY AND TREE MAINTENANCE FEATURE
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Forest Owners Association president Peter Weir says Shane Jones’ forestry advisory group has the right mix of forest industry background and experience to take the industry forward into potentially vast expansion in the decades ahead. “Government by itself can’t achieve planting an extra half million hectares of trees in the next 10 years, and all segments of the industry have to work together to reach that target. It is clear that Shane Jones appreciates this.” Weir said the appointment of Warren Parker as the group’s chair will provide leadership with his crucial forest science, conservation and commercial experience. “Dr Parker’s previous CEO role in Landcare Research and current chair of the Conservation Authority, will count just as much as his immediately previous position as CEO of the forest research body Scion. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the minister’s Billion Tree plan, will entail both extensive conservation planting and indigenous tree planting.” “Dr Parker will understand the
We have been around since 1999 supplying the forestry industry with the gear they need to get the job done, clothing, footwear, PPE, wire rope, rigging, Oregon chainsaw and harvester products, Oleo Mac and Makita power equipment plus heaps of hardware and consumables for logging! We also offer a number of
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costs and issues of this work. But he will also clearly comprehend the need for most, though certainly not all, of the trees to comprise current commercial species. “Radiata pines easily outperform indigenous trees with their quick carbon capture abilities, and, under the proposed carbon averaging in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme regime, such trees will provide early cashflow and a healthy economic return for landowners with no harvest liability. Douglas-fir and Redwood are also outstanding for long term carbon sequestration and income.” Weir said there is strong Maori representation on the advisory panel as well, which he said represents recognition of the growing and crucial participation of Maori as landowners and forest workers. “Dr Charlotte Severne stands out as leading the way for iwi to develop their forest and associated land interests. She chairs the Lake Rotoarira Forest Trust which is a long way down the track to developing Maori forestry as a long term, sustainable, profitable and integrated land use.”
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FORESTRY AND TREE MAINTENANCE FEATURE
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Based in South Canterbury and established in 2003, Sinclair Logging operate (but aren’t limited to operating) from the Rakaia River to the Waitaki River and the Mackenzie Country, with our three crews. With our modern fleet of diggers, bulldozers, 20 tonne forwarders and the reliable and rugged Madill 2250C feller buncher, we have the right equipment to tackle any tough terrain and operation required. We are contracted to Forest Management Ltd, and pride ourselves on our neat and tidy workmanship
and site clearance, saving time and hassle for farmers and landowners. Farmers and landowners often comment on the tidy site we leave behind, largely due to using the forwarders. We have a strong commitment to health and safety and we are always looking for experienced staff to accommodate the growth of our business and add depth to our dedicated team. For enquiries, phone Russell Sinclair on 0274336725 Advertsing feature
Leading-edge Since opening the Timaru office in May 2017 PF Olsen has been offering a unique, value-added service to Canterbury forest owners. The approach is to apply leadingedge, best-practice forestry management in a down-to-earth practical and personal way. Henry Morris, a born-and-bred Cantabrian, heads up the local team and is ably supported by fourthgeneration Cantabrian Nick Scott and team in Christchurch. Founded in 1971 by Peter Francis Olsen, the company manages some 340,000 hectares of forests and 6 million tonnes of wood harvesting per year (New Zealand and Australia). “The size and reach of PF Olsen provides many benefits including excellent access to international log markets and the latest thinking on how to maximise forestry returns. We are also working closely with the government on the Billion Tree Programme, and can help farmers get the best out of this opportunity.” Last year PF Olsen introduced a new international log trader to Primeport (Pacific Forest Products). This disruption resulted in a stepchange increase in log prices which flows straight to clients’ bottom line. Since starting operations in Timaru, PF Olsen has organised the
Henry Morris, PF Olsen Timaru Manager.
shipping of more than 60,000 JAS m3 of logs to international markets, mainly China. This, along with a general rise in log markets means Canterbury forest owners are getting great returns from harvesting. It is also improving the financial returns from new forestry projects – especially if you factor in the improved cashflow from carbon. Depending on the productivity of the site, and distance from sawmill/ port, internal rates of return are forecast around 6 to 9 percent for new forestry projects. Advertising feature
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FORESTRY AND TREE MAINTENANCE FEATURE
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Trees can make a big difference in the garden, providing privacy, shelter, summer shade and fruit if planting an edible variety. They are also a wonderful way to soften and transform unsightly spaces or views. Early winter is the best time for planting as the temperature is moderate and there is frequent rainfall. This timing also ensures the tree has enough time to establish a good root system before summer. Before you get the spade out, have a think about where you want your trees to go in the garden and what you want them to achieve i.e. be purely ornamental or provide shelter, fruit or privacy. Think about the size the tree will eventually grow to and keep that in mind when choosing varieties.
We have FIVE Daltons Tree Planting Packs to give away valued at over $80. Each pack contains 2 x Daltons Garden Time Compost, 1 x Daltons Premium Planter Tabs, 1 x Daltons Premium Tree and Shrub Fertiliser and 1 x Daltons Organic Bio-fungicide Granules PLUS a pair of comfortable, versatile Red Back gardening gloves from Omni Products www.omniproducts.co.nz.
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Selecting your tree Choose your tree early in the season to get the best selection available. It’s important to select strong, vigorous looking, young trees, avoiding any older trees that may have been in a planter bag or pot for a couple of years.
Fruit trees and shelter belts If you are clever with your planting, you should be able to have a year-round supply of fresh fruit. To do this, plant a few varieties that crop at different times of the year. With a lot of fruit trees, particularly pip and stone varieties, new plants are available from late May till late August. They prefer to grow in a site with welldrained soil, full sun and protection from cold winter winds. Planning a shelter belt? You could use edible trees such as feijoas, bay trees, or guavas for something different. They
become multipurpose by providing both shelter and some fruit on the sheltered side. As your shelter trees grow, clip them regularly; this will make them bushy and dense so that they block the wind.
Tree planting steps: 1. Prepare the site well; soil should be dug over thoroughly, breaking up clumps and adding generous amounts of compost to the existing soil. 2. Dig a hole twice as wide and deep as the container the tree came in. 3. Add generous amounts of compost to the hole and mix in well. 4. Make a mound at the bottom of the hole and place the tree’s root ball on this to encourage drainage. 5. Backfill with a mixture of compost and existing soil, ensuring that the tree is
placed at the same depth it was previously growing. 6. Water thoroughly to ensure the soil is in firm contact with the root system. Stake the tree for extra support if it’s tall or prone to rocking in strong winds. 7. Add a good layer of mulch around the tree (but not touching the trunk) to retain moisture, add nutrition and suppress weeds. Be careful of planting any trees in proximity to water pipes. Over a period of time, roots grow far as they anchor the tree and spread for nutrients and water, and this could cause pipe damage. Products to try: Daltons Garden Time Compost, Daltons Garden Time Planting Mix, Daltons Premium Planter Tabs, Daltons Mulch and Grow. Visit www.daltons.co.nz for more information and advice.
Email email@example.com with Daltons Tree Planting prize pack in the subject heading, or write to Tree Planting Pack giveaway, Box 77, Ashburton.
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY: • You must provide a gardening question for the Daltons experts to answer. • Please include your address and phone number in email and letter options! • Giveaway entries must be received by July 2. For more information on Daltons products visit www.daltons.co.nz
All questions supplied are entered into the draw to win a Daltons prize pack, but the Guardian reserves the right to choose which questions and answers will be published. Daltons post the prize to our lucky winner.
Industry backs up and coming talent South Canterbury rural business advisor Justin Geary is the latest in a growing line of younger farmers and industry professionals to benefit from a deer industry scholarship. At the recent national Deer Industry Conference, held in Timaru, Geary was presented with a cheque for $2500 to help cover the cost of his Kellogg Rural Leadership course, during which he completed a research project on the NZ venison appellation - Cervena. “We try to pick a recipient from the area that we think will, in due course, give back to the industry in a constructive and positive manner,” said David Morgan, national chairman of the Deer Farmers Association. Morgan, who farms at Raincliff, was himself a recipient of a scholarship from the trust, going on to become chairman of the local Deer Farmers Association branch, before being elected to lead the national body. Geraldine deer farmer and transport operator, Kris
All smiles: local rural business advisor Justin Geary (left) receives a $2500 scholarship from David Morgan and Graham Peck, chairs of the national and South Canterbury and North Otago Deer Farmers Association respectively. PHOTO SUPPLIED
Orange, is another former recipient of the scholarship. He’s since also chaired the local DFA branch and is now a board member of Deer
Industry New Zealand. Geary said he was delighted to have received the scholarship. “I had funded my Kellogg’s
six-month course including three intensive residential sessions, two at Lincoln and one in Wellington, totalling 17 days and completion of a major project or study in between. It costs approximately $7000. Besides his work as a rural business advisor and director with New Zealand Farm Management, Geary runs beef and other dry stock on 80ha at Fairlie. Previous roles include senior agribusiness manager with Westpac Bank and sales manager with Ravensdown fertiliser co-operative. Morgan said trust funds have also helped fund young deer farmers through the Deer Farmers Association’s Next Generation initiative.
course all myself, so this is a great help and very much appreciated.” The Kellogg Rural Leadership programme is a
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The view from Australia Winter has arrived and the thought of irrigation is far from anyone’s mind. Temporarily I’ve been soaking up some Australian agriculture press while I’m on grandparental duty in Melbourne. There is not much too different in the press really – the weather dominates discussions and farming forecasts, a bit about crops we don’t/can’t grow and animal stories. While I’m not experiencing the onset of winter in Canterbury, I do smile listening to the discussion about the cold weather here in Melbourne and across Victoria. Admittedly June 1 started out pretty chilly – a 3 degree start with some frost further inland and across Gippsland. Like us, Victoria has come out of a very warm autumn, where in some places it was the fourth-warmest autumn on record. And autumn rainfall totals have been below average across Australia and in this area very much below average. I read with interest at the
start of June the predictions from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). As “farmonline” reported there is “little cause for optimism for parched grain growers looking for winter rainfall to replenish bone-dry soils”. The BOM is predicting most areas to have a less than 30 per cent chance of exceeding median rainfall through the winter. Here and in central NSW to the north, this will have a significant effect on grain production and pasture growth. That’s not good for dairy farming in Gippsland (to the east of Melbourne) and Warnambool to the west. Ironically, in the Warnambool area some farmers were
devastated by a bush fire in March that destroyed winter feed crops, hay and sheds. Worse still, much of NSW which is currently badly impacted by drought has the
lowest chance of receiving median rainfall – just a 20-25 per cent chance. Not dissimilar to North Canterbury just a couple of seasons ago. BOM climatologists
attribute the pending conditions to “no major climatic driver, such as an El Niño or an Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) positive event”. Take for example the
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Southern Oscillation Index plot, which shows a very much neutral state and is predicted to remain neutral. Here in south-east Australia it means some more local factors will influence the climate – like below average pressure over the Tasman Sea that will likely weaken the westerlies that bring rain to southern Australia and a “ridge of high pressure will mean that fronts that often deliver rain to southern Australia will slip to the south of the Australian landmass”. However, just like our climatologists, they have ‘dangled a carrot’, suggesting there is a slight glimmer of hope for grain growers and that ‘the dry winter pattern was not necessarily the beginning of a dry spring’. Although the forecast is also for hotter conditions than normal, the pasture growth may benefit from the slightly warmer temperatures and what little rain falls. It will be interesting to see what the New Zealand predictions are for the winter and early spring.
The other “big” story is in an area that sparks emotional responses in New Zealand as well – animal welfare. Here in Australia it concerns the live sheep trade to Middle East. In April the 60 Minutes television programme released some footage from Animals Australia that appeared to show overcrowding on a live
sheep export vessel heading for the Middle East. Not surprisingly the “. . . has hit the fan” and now a criminal investigation has been launched into entities involved because it seems they did not follow protocol(s). The numbers can always be presented to make it seem pretty bad – of the 69,000 on
board something like 1741 (they think) sheep died on the 23-day voyage, about 2.5 per cent, and mostly it seems from heat stress. The fact they can’t confirm the number that died despite a formal investigation suggests a messy operation! Something else that caught my eye was Elders’ NZ
rumours persist! It is only a few years past that Elders exited the farm services market in New Zealand. Although a purchase of PGG Wrightson from Agria Corporation, who last year started to sell its stake in the trans-Tasman and South American business, is denied by the managing director Mark Allison, one can only smell a rat (you know, be suspicious)? The capital markets here have reportedly been following his travel moves in New Zealand and South America, and it is suggested Elders is now one of the few potential contenders still likely to bid. Watch this space I guess. Finally, how about those strawberries - a worldwide market report shows consumers are increasingly choosing strawberries over other traditional fruit as the popularity of fresh fruit and berries climbs. The global strawberry market amounted to 9.2 million tonnes in 2016, with China consuming 41 per cent of them.
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Management issues or horse issues? Jenny Paterson
BSC ZOOLOGY AND BIOLOGY
When you really think about it in actual fact horses have very few issues. While there are other causes, for the most part the ‘issues’ that people have with their horses boil down to management – in other words the way the horse is being kept and fed. We all kind of grew up with the idea that paddocks of grass are good for horses but things have changed. We now understand that all grass is not equal! It is the way that people talk about it that transfers the issue onto their horse and now he becomes the problem – we too did this for years.
Here are some examples: • He is a head flicker
Pony with grass-induced laminitis and a head flicking horse – both are management problems rather than ‘horse’ problems and both respond to exactly the same diet adjustments.
• He is high maintenance • He is being resistant or naughty • He has sacro-iliac issues • He is right brained • He is insulin resistant, has equine metabolic syndrome or is prone to laminitis • He is a spooky horse • He has attitude or is aggressive • He needs an experienced rider • The horse is hormonal • He gets sunburn/mud fever The list goes on and on.
Come to find out more often than not, all these horses really have is a bio-chemistry issue caused primarily by certain mineral imbalances which can be relatively simply resolved by adjusting their diet. It goes without saying that other aspects of their management, including dentistry, saddle/tackfitting, trimming/farriery, your horsemanship skills are equally as important and deserve equal scrutiny.
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It has taken us a long time to work out that efforts and resources are better allocated to fixing the way the horse is kept, in particular his access to grass, rather than at fixing the horse. Forever trying to keep the horse right while he is on an unsuitable diet is an uphill battle and far more expensive in the long term. You will be amazed at how many issues are actually diet related. Whilst ‘diet’ encompasses
everything your horse consumes the problems usually originate from his pasture grass. Hence, the term grass-affected. Meaning there is one or multiple aspects of your horse’s forage and feed that is adversely affecting his health, movement and behaviour. Go to www.calmhealthyhorses. com for more information on your horses diet and how to manage it for better results.
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Hair salons take sustainable approac Some hair salons are going to great lengths to recycle and reuse their waste. Award-winning Lower Hutt hairdresser Shazly Rasheed has just opened her new salon, and she is determined it won’t damage the planet. Shazly’s Salon opened recently in the redeveloped old Central Post Office building on Lower Hutt’s High Street, becoming the region’s first purpose-built environmentally sustainable hair salon. Born and raised in the Maldives – low-lying islands in the Indian Ocean – Rasheed knows first-hand the impacts of global warming. “I’ve seen whole communities shift from the island they lived on because of the sea level rising, and I’ve seen tides coming through the streets in the Maldives, damaging people’s homes and livelihood,” she said. The salon is as environmentally friendly as she could make it, Rasheed said. The mother of two is motivated by a desire to protect the planet for future
generations and to offer a healthier service. The building was an empty shell before becoming a salon, so Rasheed was able to have her say in everything. Hutt City Council’s eco design team gave advice on the most eco-friendly insulation and lighting. It is well insulated, has energy-efficient LED lighting to reduce power demands, and water-saving devices have been installed. As well as using organic products, the new salon recycles everything, from food scraps to tin foil to hair. Rasheed says it has been an incredibly long, but educational experience. There are other environmentally friendly salons, but this is the first
purpose-built to be so. Rasheed hopes to encourage other hairdressers to follow suit and strive to become sustainable. “It is really big in Europe and increasingly so in America,” she said. “It will be really nice to see the industry in New Zealand heading that way. If everyone can do a tiny little bit, such as recycling, it all helps to make a difference to the wider community.”
Food waste collection proving popular
Emptying the six-litre food waste kitchen caddy and putting out the 23-litre food waste on rubbish collection day is the new routine for Papakura residents. Since the service started in the district in March - more than 100 tonnes of food scraps have been diverted from landfill. This volume is equivalent to the size of 20 African elephants or 65 family cars. After food scraps are collected, they’re taken to one of
the commercial compost processing plants the council uses – either Envirofert in Tuakau, or EnviroNZ at Hampton Downs in northern Waikato. Using large-scale processing techniques, the waste is turned into compost within 12-16 weeks, which is then used for agriculture and farming across the upper North Island. During hot composting processing, billions and billions of naturally occurring micro-organisms get to work, 24 hours a day, seven days a
week - no pay, no employment contracts - just lots of food scraps, water and air - it’s a natural composting process. Not only is the process significantly faster than people’s backyard composting, (which is also encouraged), it can be used to dispose of meat scraps, bones, citrus and anything else that home composters often don’t put in their domestic compost. People are encouraged to wrap smellier items such as meat scraps in newspaper or
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tissue, or even keep them in the freezer until collection day so that the collection bins don’t get smelly and attract bugs. Food scraps are full of valuable nutrients for plants such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and are also rich in carbon, a valuable resource that should not go to landfill. Moreover, when the food waste is placed into landfill it
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