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What a difference a few months makes. It wasn’t that long ago that winter’s big wet was proving to be a major headache to many Canterbury farmers. Fast forward to this week and it is PAGE 4 a lack of rain that has many looking anxiously at the sky. DEER FEEDING FOR PRODUCTION It’s not across the board – I’ve spoken to some who farm in the foothills who still seem to be going okay in terms of soil moisture, but with NIWA predicting a warm dry summer for the region, access to irrigation will be critical for many. As Hydro Services’ Tony Davoren points out in his column this month, common law in Canterbury states that we are never more than two weeks PAGE 12 from a drought, so no one will be getting too worried just yet. It is part ALTERNATIVE PROTEIN DEMAND and parcel of farming in this part of GROWS the world. However, with no decent rain since October and none on the horizon, those farmers who were banking on a spring flush to propel them into a good summer are likely to have missed out. It’s not only the weather that’s been front of mind for those in the rural community recently. Not only is the farming year PAGE 28 getting into full swing, issues such as fresh water quality are never far away. WORKERS BANNED FROM QUAD BIKE So it was good news that the USE winner of New Zealand’s most

Colin Williscroft


improved river award was located in a dairy and irrigation heartland (see story facing face). It just goes to show that collaboration between farmers, the communities where they live and regulators can result in real achievements. Also in this month’s issue we hear from people on-farm and involved in marketing farm-based products about efforts being made to meet the market. One of the biggest unknowns in this area is what sort of impact alternative proteins will have on future demand for New Zealand’s agricultural exports. A recent Rabobank report suggests to ignore them would be foolish. As analysts point out in the story on pages 12 and 13, they are moving towards “centre of plate” in many of our overseas markets, so need to be viewed as potential serious competition – not just a passing fad.

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Award recognises team approach A North Canterbury river named as the country’s most improved is testament to innovative environmental work undertaken by farmers and their community, Federated Farmers says. The Hurunui district’s Pahau River was the supreme winner at the recent 2017 National River Awards, achieving a significant reduction in bacteria E coli levels over the past 10 years. The river runs through one of the most densely irrigated catchments in the country, yet E. coli in the water fell by 15.4 per cent per annum over the past 10 years. It had also demonstrated decreasing levels in nitrogen and phosphorous. Chris Allen, Federated Farmers water spokesperson, said the catchment approach taken to improve the river was obviously a factor, while the pursuit of innovative farm management practices was pivotal. ”Irrigation is becoming more sophisticated. It has so many attributes for onfarm. Farmers are increasing

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Colin Williscroft


productivity and at the same time, able to improve and manage water quality. ”Not for the first time we learn of another successful initiative where farmers are working with their community to address river issues. ”Having a targeted approach, catchment by catchment, is returning great results. It’s been proven to deliver sensible, practical and affordable solutions for the community and its farmers. ”Environment Canterbury acting chairman Steve Lowndes, who accepted the award alongside Amuri Irrigation Company (AIC) chairman David Croft, said it was always encouraging to receive an award recognising improved water quality

Receiving the award for New Zealand’s most improved river are, from left. Bill Bayfield ECan chief executive, Voray Croft, Steve Lowndes, ECan acting chairman, David Croft, Amuri Irrigation Company (AIC) chairman, and Andrew Barton AIC PHOTO CAWTHRON FOUNDATION chief executive. 

outcomes and the hard work that goes into achieving them. “AIC is to be congratulated for its move away from border dyke to spray irrigation, which is delivering multiple benefits. I’d also like to acknowledge the work of the Pahau Landcare Group, which early on identified the need to reduce the effect of border dyke bywash and runoff,” Lowndes said. “It’s good to see irrigation being used not only as insurance against drought, but also as a management tool helping to maximise

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productivity and to promote better water quality.” Croft said he was delighted the work of Amuri Irrigation shareholders had been recognised. “The award acknowledges that results and improvements can be achieved when a community works together,” he said. “One of the most powerful outcomes of this process from my perspective, is the fact that our local farming community has voluntarily embraced the need for change and invested in farm improvements of their

own accord. “We have worked in partnership with Environment Canterbury and others to make change happen, and that change has had positive results.” Speaking after the award was announced, Dr Morgan Williams, chairman of Cawthron Foundation and New Zealand Rivers Trust, said there had been a shift to more efficient irrigation techniques, and better farm management practices in response to tighter nutrient rules imposed by regional councils, which would be beneficial to water quality. “These changes, plus a commitment to riparian fencing and planting, have almost certainly contributed to the marked decline in E. coli. Science, goodwill, and hard work can help restore river health. “What’s happened in this catchment highlights the importance of taking a systems approach: setting nutrient rules, adopting more efficient irrigation methods, and pursuing innovative

4 2


Workshop provides insights into Colin Williscroft


to feed their own stock better and how they could best achieve that. Guest farmer Matt Canton, from Landcorp’s Mararoa Station near Te Anau, began proceedings by discussing how he approached feeding hinds, fawns and weaners. Canton said the core goal of the deer unit at Mararoa, (the property also carries sheep and Angus cattle), was putting as many animals on the ground as possible and finishing them on the station.

He said the key to carrying three different classes of stock was getting the timing right, and early on a focus on sheep and lack of understanding of deer led to a high death rate among hinds. However, a change to looking at the whole farm system and how everything fitted together led to a big turnaround in Mararoa’s deer unit, with it now sending away about 80 per cent of animals for the chilled 60-day September/October season, up from 30 per cent only three years ago. Northbank Station manager Adam Waite took the 40 or so people who attended the workshop on a tour of the 669-hectare property, which carried about 9760 stock units last winter, made up of deer, cattle and sheep. The property, which


Feeding deer at key times to optimise potential production was the focus of a deer industry regional workshop held at Northbank Station near Rakaia last week. Facilitated by agricultural consultant Wayne Allan and supported by members of the deer industry’s P2P Canterbury Advance Party, the workshop looked at different approaches around feeding weaners for growth. Throughout the afternoon members of the advance party, who came from around Canterbury and the West Coast, shared their experiences in how to best utilise a variety of feeds at different times of the year to get the best returns. Allan encouraged those at the field day to listen to those experiences and then consider when the opportunities were

Deer farmers who attended the regional workshop at Northbank Station earlier this week were given a tour of the PHOTO COLIN WILLISCROFT 281117-CW-044 property.

operates as a finishing unit and performs a core supply role to the processing and marketing operation of

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Mountain River manager John Sadler provided an update on the venison market, providing some insight into some of the company’s initiatives in markets like the US, Sweden and China. PHOTO COLIN WILLISCROFT 281117-CW-055

a border dyke system and contains older pasture types, while the area of the farm that has been developed has seen the removal of internal fences, tracks, treelanes and headraces to allow 311ha of irrigation under seven pivots. Although the plan is to

take a breather from the development to consolidate what’s been done thus far, Waite said the plan was to finish the job on the rest of the farm. “Two-to-three years down the track it should be fully pivoted,” Waite said, adding

that the increase in pasture production over summer far outweighed the investment. The cost of the redevelopment worked out at about $4700 a hectare for the irrigation installation, and a bit over $2000 a hectare for refencing, About 20 per cent of the refencing utilised existing wire and posts. Waite also talked about the pastures and crops sowed at Northbank to help achieve targeted liveweight gains in weaners, along with key issues he faced on-farm, which include sourcing sufficient weaners at economic prices, utilisation of summer feed surpluses and integration with other stock, and disruption on-farm from the pivot development programme. Mountain River manager John Sadler wound the

afternoon up with a market update. He began by discussing the increased importance of the United States market to the New Zealand deer industry. Growth in the US market began accelerating around 2010, he said. Before that time the US took about 5 per cent of New Zealand export venison but it was now up to around 26 per cent. The strong US market was a significant contributor to the strong prices being shown by the venison schedule, he said. One of the reasons for increased demand of New Zealand venison in the US was growth in the snack food sector, which included paleo diets and had become very trendy in recent years. Demand for products like bison and venison had

benefited from that, but those consumers were very fussy about what they bought. “It has to be natural and pasture-fed.” The other area of the US market that had driven demand for New Zealand venison was pet food. “Lots of companies are making pet food and they want different items in their range,” Sadler said. Venison is one of those. Pet food companies have been prepared to get into a bidding war to get what they want, with prices paid going up from $6/kg to $8-9/kg, and that’s meat off the bones, not prime cuts, he said. Increasing US demand was moving the venison industry’s reliance away from the September/October European season, which could only be a good thing, he said.


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A slow start to spring Data recently released by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) shows there were 92 fewer farm sales (a drop of 26.1 per cent) for the three months ended October 2017 than for the three months ended October 2016. Overall, there were 261 farm sales in the three months ended October 2017, compared to 271 farm sales for the three months ended September 2017 (-3.7 per cent), and 353 farm sales for the three months ended October 2016. In the year to October 2017 there were 1649 farms sold, 6.3 per cent fewer than were sold in the year to October 2016, with 45.9 per cent more finishing farms, 29.8 per cent more dairy farms and 30.0 per cent fewer grazing and 25.5 per cent fewer arable farms sold over the same period. The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to October 2017 was $24,982 compared to $25,974 recorded for three months ended October 2016 (-3.8 per cent). The median price per hectare fell 8.7 per cent compared to September.

The REINZ All Farm Price Index fell 5.7 per cent in the three months to October 2017 compared to the three months to September 2017. However, compared to October 2016 the REINZ All Farm Price Index rose 7.3 per cent. The REINZ All Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size, location and farming type, unlike the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors. Twelve of 14 regions

recorded decreases in sales volume for the three months ended October 2017 compared to the three months ended October 2016. Auckland recorded the largest decrease in sales (-18 sales) followed by Wellington (-15 sales). Compared to the 3 months ended September 2017, 7 regions recorded a decrease in sales. Brian Peacocke, rural spokesman, at REINZ said sales data for the three months ending October 2017 reflected

the difficult winter/early spring period, during which much of the country experienced record rainfall. “During October, the results of the post-election negotiations were finally revealed, the exchange rate bounced a few percentage points, the dairy payout showed signs of easing, the beef market remained strong, and early evidence emerged of the likelihood of record numbers of farms coming onto the market in the

main dairying areas of Waikato and Southland,” he said. The drivers behind that appeared to be a mix of succession planning/increasing age of farmers, frustration for some resulting from the climatic conditions and difficulties with labour, the inexorable increase in compliance issues and the awareness it is probably better to sell when the dairy payout is at a reasonably healthy level as opposed to when the payout is under pressure, Peacocke said. The low number of dairy farm sales around the country was reflected in Canterbury, with no recordable activity in the region, Peacocke said, however other sectors saw some sales. Good prices were paid for several well-located finishing properties in the region, while some grazing properties also changed hands. Canterbury also registered good results in arable sales, underpinned by another very strong sale in the Methven district at a little over $58,000 per hectare.

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Federated Farmers has supported the government’s plan to ensure the net benefit test is robustly applied to prospective overseas buyers of rural land.  Associate Finance Minister David Parker and Minister for Land Information Eugenie Sage last week signalled a strengthening of New Zealand’s overseas investment regime by issuing a new directive letter to the Overseas Investment Office. Parker said the letter set out new government policy covering overseas investment in rural land but did not change the rules regarding the acquisition of significant business assets. “The existing directive is too loose,” Parker said. “It only applied to very large farms more than 10 times the average farm size.  “In practice this meant restrictions in sales generally applied to sheep and beef farms over 7146 ha or a dairy farm more than 1987 ha. “This new directive ensures authorised purchases will provide genuine benefits.

This directive letter is the first step to strengthening the overseas investment regime

“Too often we see investors buy a New Zealand farm, and then use existing systems, technology and management practices which don’t substantially add anything new, or create additional value to our economy. “We want to make it clear that it is a privilege to own or control New Zealand’s sensitive assets, and this privilege must be earned. We campaigned on these changes and they won’t come as a surprise to potential investors,” Parker said. Federated Farmers Vice-President Andrew Hoggard agreed. “If we’re going to have rules that the sale of productive land to overseas buyers should bring employment, public access, additional development or other benefits over and above those a domestic buyer would bring, they should be robustly applied, and follow-up checks made that undertakings given actually happen,” Hoggard said. The federation was pleased the government has announced it intends to boost the Overseas Investment Office’s resources to enable them to effectively perform these roles, Hoggard said, adding that it was





David Parker. Overhang not included

also a plus that the new directive is broader and simpler in its application, taking in all rural land larger than five hectares (other than that used for forestry). “But equally we’re pleased the government is not closing the door on overseas investment in our primary sector. History has shown that foreign expertise and money can make a positive contribution to New Zealand, especially as a number of overseas owners become New Zealand citizens and, along with their families, make an ongoing positive contribution to New Zealand society.          “As a nation highly dependent on overseas trade we also need to ensure that our domestic policies do not undermine our international efforts to continue to break down artificial barriers to trade in overseas markets. “Farmers and others will watch with interest to ensure the new directive is applied fairly, and not unnecessarily restrictively.” The new directive letter will come into force on December 15, 2017. All applications being assessed by the OIO at, and from, that date will be subject to the new directive letter.   Applications that have not been determined by December 15 will be given a fair opportunity to make additional submissions under the new approach. The Overseas Investment Office continues to accept and process applications, and both Ministers and the OIO are making decisions on applications. “This directive letter is the first step to strengthening the overseas investment regime,” Parker said.   “We will be introducing legislation to ban foreign buyers of New Zealand’s existing houses before Christmas and other work to strengthen the Overseas Investment Act is under way.”


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Ploughing preparations go well for The World Ploughing Championships were held in Kenya late last week, with five Kiwis in Kenya for the event. Prior to the event New Zealand team manager Alan Wills provided a report on the team’s preparations in Kenya.

New Zealand team members, from left, Bob Mehrtens, Alan Wills, Malcolm Taylor and Ian Woolley, with Kenyan friend Alex, centre, take time out from practice at the World Ploughing PHOTOS SUPPLIED Championships.

Hello from the highlands of Kenya. After unofficial practice finished everyone was part of the World Ploughing Organisation programme. We finished practice with a few runs for each plough in a stubble plot. Both ploughs have been putting up good bold 13” furrows and I can report there is a degree of satisfaction as to where we are at this stage. Ploughing in Kenya creates a level ploughing field for everyone. It is different and there are issues around steel boards, new plastic boards that haven’t been run in. The arrival of containers, fitting provided tractors to ploughs and the availability of narrow wheels have provided challenges for most teams. It

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would be fair to say some countries took the logistical issues too lightly. Your New Zealand team arrived early, as did our container, so we have been able to concentrate on what it takes to get two ploughs going well. Malcolm soon found that a couple of Bob’s mole boards had changed shape during the journey. Probably because of the heat in the container. Those two boards now have a steel band full length along the top. That steel band was twisted in the shape that Malcolm wanted. Another board of Bob’s had become almost convex in the middle. To put that right took Bob right out of his comfort zone but his comment to Malcolm was “do it”. A 3-metre length of 4x2 was located as was a gas torch. The

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New Zealand team in Kenya 10-hour round trip. We were taken to Lake Bogoria to the north. Once there, we headed out around to side of the lake. Pink flamingo were everywhere but because the lake was running at a high level, the tarsealed road was under water. The alternative high-level road was very rough and steep. Progress to the end of the lake was slow but once there we were able to see some boiling hot water pools - a la Rotorua. On the return trip one of the 20 seater buses punctured a transmission oil reservoir, so we had to abandon that vehicle and spread those passengers amongst the other eight buses. Sunday’s trip south involved climbing to an altitude of 2350m to a resort town and plenty of souvenir sellers. We spent some time in the Rift Valley, a significant piece of geography in the African Continent that stretches from Israel to South Africa. Some of the things we’ve noticed over here are that the people we have met are very welcoming and positive, with the women in particular, always

There are always plenty of observers looking on when alterations or running repairs to equipment is necessary.

4x2 was rammed on its edge into the head stock, and with a strop attached to the other end and a pillar. It was twitched up with the ratchet as Malcolm applied heat to the board. Suddenly, the offending bulge went back the other way. The pressure was left on overnight and when released in the morning everyone was happy with the result. The board though, does carry a burn scar.

One of the challenges will be to get the skimmers going more effectively. The unofficial grassland practice had a good sward of reasonably long grass. Fairly tough wiry stuff, a bit like fescue. Our observations are that the official practice and the match plots won’t be as challenging in that respect. During the week Alison, Jenny and Vicki went to a tortoise sanctuary just out

of Nakuru. A tortoise is land based as against a turtle which lives in the sea. The job of the sanctuary is to return injured tortoises to health, protect them from a loss of their environment and to encourage them to breed. The girls were told that the eldest tortoise was a female, 379 years old and going through menopause! Saturday and Sunday were bus trip days. Saturday was a

immaculately dressed. Blues and reds seem to be favoured colours. There are very few speed restriction signs on the roads. They do however use judder bars or bumps as they are known here to slow down traffic. Buses and trucks are restricted to 80kmh. We have seen very few women in the driver’s seat. I can recall seeing only two in the week we have been here.

The New Zealand team at the World Ploughing Championships in Kenya is Alan Wright Team manager Malcolm Taylor Coach Colin Millar New Zealand Board member Ian Woolley Conventional competitor Bob Mehrtens Reversible competitor

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Farmers need to tell their story Farmers need to improve the way they communicate with consumers about what they produce and the methods they use to achieve that that, a Silver Fern Farms field day was told recently. Ashburton Forks farmers Chris and Anne-Marie Allen hosted the day at Annadale, their 360-hectare property, where they produce 5500 lambs annually, while also carrying 350 R1 and 350 R2 cattle through to finishing. The Allens were the 2016 winners of the SFF Plate to Pasture awards, a competition that recognises the lengths farmers go to on their farms to meet the needs of consumers. The couple aim to produce quality animals for when the market and consumers demand products – particularly around the shoulder production periods when in-spec livestock is hard to find. They have been on market visits, including a Plate to Pasture European market tour earlier this year, to better understand consumers and markets, while they have also

Colin Williscroft


taken courses to further that understanding. Anne-Marie said it was important for farmers to grasp just how important it was to connect with markets and part of that was being able to tell their own story. “We’re (farmers) not very good at telling that story. It’s not widely understood how to do that. “Farmers need to get so much better telling their story.” A key focus of the Plate to Pasture Awards is customer focus, SFF’s Justin Courtney told those at the field day. “It’s not about how you farm. It’s about consumers and what they are asking and farmers who understand that.” The Plate to Pasture Awards

Chris and Anne-Marie Allen, (far right), showed about 70 people around their Ashburton Forks PHOTO COLIN WILLISCROFT 221117-CW-336 property as part of a recent field day. 

are run over two rounds. The first round is judged across a range of criteria, taking into account all stock supplied to SFF over the previous year. Those criteria include specification and presentation, farm assurance, direct supply, shareholding, and supply volume and timing. The second round is an onfarm assessment of regional final winners conducted by a

panel. The assessment covers business goals and strategy, consumer focus, financial management and performance, physical management and performance, environmental sustainability, and people and communities. Those at the recent field day, including Leicester and Margaret Gray, representing 2017 Plate to Pasture winners

Gray Brothers from Central Hawkes Bay, heard the Allens talk about their property, goals and business focus. The field day included a tour of the property, with the Allens providing a running commentary on how the farm is managed, along with insights into some of the dayto-day challenges they face, before proceedings wound up with a barbecue lunch.

12 2


Alternative p Alternative proteins are on the verge of becoming mainstream and ‘stealing’ growth from traditional meat products as they play a growing role in meeting consumer needs and preferences, according to a recently-released global research paper. The report, Watch out … or they will steal your growth, by agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank, examines why alternative proteins – including plant-based meat substitutes, emerging insect or algaebased products and lab-grown meat products – are starting to successfully compete for the “centre of the plate”. Report author, Rabobank global sector strategist for animal protein, Justin Sherrard, says it is the “growth” – rather than the current market size – of alternative proteins that is of greatest significance. “The strong and persistent drivers supporting the current growth of alternative proteins

is set to continue for at least the next five years,” he said. “And as such, alternative proteins have the potential to capture a material share of animal protein demand growth in the European Union, and an increased market share in the US and Canada.” And this momentum – along with increasing interest from start-up companies and investors – is also likely to see the market share of alternative proteins grow and become more established in other mature markets, including New Zealand, Sherrard, a Netherlands-based Australian, said. “Three of the strongest demand drivers for alternative protein products are essentially those that are ‘pushing’ consumers away from regular animal protein consumption, namely concerns around health, animal welfare and sustainability,” he says. “That said, there are also a number of ‘pull drivers’, such

Domestic market penetration of alternative proteins and substitute foods in New Zealand will lag behind EU and US, PHOTO SUPPLIED Rabobank’s Tim Hunt said. 

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proteins on verge of mainstream as curiosity to try new products, convenience and personal nutrition.” And with alternative protein companies adept at tapping into these drivers, Sherrard said, market share growth is set to rise, particularly for meat substitutes – the most mature of the alternative protein products. There are also opportunities for insect or algae-based products, and labgrown meat products, but in many cases inroads still need to be made to gain consumer trust and regulatory approvals. “Rabobank’s initial projection is for the market of alternative protein products to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8 per cent in the EU, to reach a level of between 200,000 and 250,000 tonnes by 2022.” Based on these growth rates, and the outlook for relatively flat consumption growth of traditional meat products in the EU, Sherrard said alternative proteins could represent one-third of total EU protein demand growth in the next five years.

“In line with their processing partners, meat producers need to recognise what is driving these substitutes, and do what they can to tap into the desire for healthy, sustainable and novel products delivered through a supply chain that consumers trust,” he said.

Options for industry response

“In the US and Canada, alternative proteins are forecast to grow at a slightly lower rate of 6 per cent to reach 165,000 to 200,000 tonnes by 2022,” he said. “In terms of the projected market share for alternative proteins in the US and Canada it is a different story, however, with it expected to make up just 2 per cent of total protein demand growth over the next five years, largely due to the strong growth prospects for traditional protein products.”

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tralia) though, local food industries are “not at the pointy end of the trend towards substitute food”, Rabobank’s general manager of food and agribusiness research in Australia and New Zealand, Tim Hunt, said. “Rabobank believes that domestic market penetration of alternative proteins and substitute foods in New Zealand and Australia will lag behind that in the EU and US, where current market development efforts are focused,” Hunt said. “Similarly, their adoption in the emerging markets that

we export to are also likely to lag – with most consumers still trading up to traditional protein products, like red meat and dairy, rather than embracing meat ‘analogues’. “That said, the trends in New Zealand and Australia often eventually follow what unfolds in the EU and US, and it would be a waste not to learn from the experiences of producers in these markets.” Emphasising the naturalness of traditional food products is a useful strategy, he said, but in many cases isn’t likely to be enough in itself.

On an international level, Sherrard said, animal protein companies servicing the EU and US markets have several options to help avoid stagnating sales, or worse, in these regions. “These include investing in product innovation to improve the health benefits of their products, managing animal welfare, and improving the sustainability and transparency of their business operations and supply chain” he said. “Alternative proteins are not the only answer to the question the market is asking right now. But right now they are the answer that is attracting the most attention.”





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14 2


Farmers heed new requirements Farmers across Canterbury have heeded strict land use consenting requirements designed to improve water quality in the region. “Earlier this year, we began a rigorous, targeted campaign to ensure that every farmer knew of their responsibilities, and how to approach them,” said Nadeine Dommisse, Environment Canterbury’s chief operating officer. “Today, more than 90 per cent of these farmers have taken the action required. This will have an enormous impact on water quality in the years to come,” she said. Under the Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan, many farms now require a land use consent to farm.  The consent ensures that a farm is meeting its environmental responsibilities, including adhering to nitrogen loss limits. Eighty of the 1000 farmers contacted have yet to either act or advise ECan of their progress. These farms received formal warning letters last week. Farmers were required to

work out their nitrogen losses to determine whether they needed a land use consent. Many require the services of a farm consultant to do so, and are on a waiting list for their nitrogen budget to be completed. Dommisse said ECan was aware of those on waiting lists and they will be exempted from the compliance visits to take place from early next year. “We know that it takes time to complete a nitrogen budget, and we would rather these were done well.  What’s most important is that farmers are taking the necessary steps required towards gaining their land use consent, whether that is implementing good management practices, determining the nitrogen budget, creating a farm environment plan, or applying for consent,” she said. From December, resource management officers will start visiting farmers who have yet to either act or advise Environment Canterbury of their progress. “We’ll be visiting anyone

ECan chief operating officer Nadeine Dommisse says most Canterbury farmers have taken action over land use consenting requirements. PHOTOS SUPPLIED

who has not yet taken action or contacted us, because we are very serious about those who are not on track. Next year, we’ll start looking at issuing abatement notices to those who have still to take action.”

Farmlands has secured a deal on a very limited number of Toyota Hilux 4WD Single Cab Chassis Manual Utes (tray not included) for a very special price of $31,295 RSP +GST +ORC. The bare essentials ute for you to make into your new farm workhorse.





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16 2


PNG’s focus now on agriculture Papua New Guinea is an emerging country, having gained independence from Australia in 1975. The mining of oil, gas and gold has allowed the government to provide free education to its people. Another benefit has been the development of hydro power plants, which have enabled Papua New Guinea to host many events including The Pacific Games in 2015. Agriculture development is now their number one priority as they work to become selfsufficient through rice, grain and animal feeds as they are all value added products. Joint ventures are encouraged by the government to great result. The commissioning of a world-class feed mill, capable of producing 1000 bags of pellets an hour, in partnership with Australia and Singapore businesses has been a great success. Dairy farms jointly owned with Israeli partners, have made PNG self-sufficient in milk and milk products. Hydroponic farms for

Combine harvester and grain drying equipment. PHOTOS SUPPLIED

vegetables are now being developed in populated areas and New Zealand is a preferred source of skilled labour and consultancy services. Another new venture in its early stages, is construction of

a potato farm and associated snap-frozen chip factory, currently gaining momentum near Mt Hagen, in the western highlands of PNG. We are now seeking an accomplished, enterprising individual, to fill the role of

Manager/Supervisor for Potato Farm and Snap-Frozen Chip Factory – Papua New Guinea – Based in the western highlands of Papua New Guinea, near Mt Hagen, The position becomes available in February to March of 2018. We will supply a new European house, car and return airfares for family, on a negotiable basis. The successful applicant will be responsible for: • Factory design and machinery purchase • Oversight of potato growing by local workforce • Supervision of nucleus estate of 600 Ha of potatoes Competencies advantageous to successful candidates include: • Previous production or factory management experience • Agronomy skills, particularly relating to potato crops • Demonstrated ability to lead an infield team Interviews can be held in New Zealand or Papua New Guinea by negotiation. Email CV and cover letter to: Applications close December 31, 2017.

general manager. This will be a widely varied role including overseeing the farming of potatoes, supervision of construction and the purchase of factory machinery and the training of local staff in the production of frozen potato

chips, will also be required. This position is ideally suited for a hands-on person of any age, who wants a challenge in life. 

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Sheep set-stocked on an Aber HSG and clover mix are putting more energy into PHOTO SUPPLIED meat production, while reducing their methane emissions.

Win-win for farmers High performance ryegrasses, bred through an innovative and awardwinning forage improvement programme, are making their mark in New Zealand. The new ryegrasses provided by Germinal New Zealand, are offering animal performance and environmental benefits to New Zealand farmers with their Aber High Sugar Grass (HSG). Bred at the Institute of Biological Environmental and Rural Science (IBERS), the ryegrasses contain significantly higher levels of sugar, or water-soluble carbohydrates, than conventional ryegrasses. This has been verified by independent NZ trials, where data is showing a significant increase in the sugar content of the new ryegrasses compared with many other conventional counterparts. Aber HSGs also offer a higher metabolisable energy content than standard diploid ryegrasses. Higher sugar means more energy and this is significant in the way it helps ruminant livestock improve their conversion of grass protein into meat and milk, according to Sarah Gard, Germinal’s trials and product development manager. “Our grasses create a better balance of energy and protein in the rumen, allowing the microbes responsible for the breakdown of forage to operate more efficiently, so more protein is converted to milk and meat, and less is excreted into the environment.” She said independent New Zealand data has shown a 10 per cent increase

in autumn milksolids from cows fed Aber HSG. A Southland-based trial run by Abacus Bio demonstrated lambs grazing Aber HSG finished 17 per cent faster and 19 per cent heavier than lambs grazing a standard New Zealand ryegrass. “Reducing the amount of nitrogen that is excreted means less impact on the environment, specifically in terms of a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, including methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia.” In New Zealand, the release of methane gas from ruminants amounts to one-third of greenhouse gas emissions, Gard said. “New Zealand data has shown a 9 per cent reduction in methane emissions from sheep fed on the Aber HSG variety AberMagic when compared to a conventional diploid variety. Similar research has also shown rumen ammonia to be significantly lower in cows grazing Aber HSG. “This science has already been recognised in the UK, where livestock farmers involved in the Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose supply chains are encouraged to use Aber HSG varieties to improve production efficiencies, animal performance and reduce their carbon footprint,” Gard said. “Grass that improves the performance of livestock while reducing their carbon footprint offers New Zealand farmers a real winwin; it’s a modern solution to today’s farming challenges and technology that requires no notable change of system.”

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18 2


Event highlights Ecotain research Scientists and industry experts held an event last week to discuss the latest findings about Ecotain, a plantain cultivar that research has found significantly reduces nitrogen leaching. Representatives from Agricom, Lincoln and Massey universities, and Plant & Food Research, met at Marshdale Farm in Oxford to discuss the research and practical applications of Ecotain onfarm. Agricom has been working alongside researchers at Lincoln and Massey universities and Plant & Food Research to discover how Ecotain can function in pasture systems to reduce nitrogen leaching. Their research found that Ecotain reduces nitrogen leaching from the urine patch in four ways: it increases the volume of cows’ urine, which dilutes the concentration of nitrogen; it reduces the total amount of nitrogen in animals’ urine; it delays the process of turning ammonium into nitrate in the urine patch; and it restricts the accumula-

Presenters at last week’s Ecotain event at Oxford included, (from left), Agricom science lead Glenn Judson, general manager New Zealand Forage David Green, and New Zealand sales and marketing PHOTO SUPPLIED manager Mark Brown.

tion of nitrate in soils growing Ecotain. In Agricom’s nitrogen management system NSentinel 4, these four mechanisms of activity are referred to as dilute, reduce, delay, restrict. Massey University’s Professor Peter Kemp presented his team’s preliminary research findings on the farm-scale im-

pact of Ecotain at last week’s event. He said their findings showed a reduction in nitrogen “hitting the ground” of at least 30 per cent. Kemp and a team of researchers are in the middle of a two-year trial measuring the nitrate reducing capabilities of Ecotain on dairy cows at the No. 4 dairy farm in Palmerston North.

Cows are grazing three paddock types: ryegrass/clover, Ecotain/clover, and Ecotain. The paddocks are hydrologically isolated, where drainage from each paddock is collected and analysed for its reduction in nitrate levels. “The 30 per cent figure is a minimum reduction achieved from the dilution of nitrogen

in the urine, where the bioactive compounds in Ecotain are such that they create a diuretic effect in livestock,” Kemp said. “If you were to add to that scenario the additional nitrogen-reducing capabilities of Ecotain, you would likely get an increased reduction in nitrate leaching. Some of the lysimeter studies from Lincoln University have shown a reduction in leaching from the urine patch by as much as 89 per cent. “For now, I’m very comfortable saying that Ecotain facilitates a reduction of nitrate leaching from the urine patch of at least 30 per cent.” Agricom science lead Dr Glenn Judson said last week’s event allowed members of industry to hear about the collaborative research behind Ecotain, see its practical applications at work, and ask questions. “We have had a really positive response to Ecotain so far and it’s been nice to see excitement in the industry that finally we may have a tool to solve nitrate leaching from livestock farms,” he said.


Methven Harvesting is a joint venture between Methven Contracting and Chris Woods Contracting Methven Contracting operates two modern 6m twin hopper drills, a Horsch Pronto DC and a John Deere 750A, utilising high accuracy Leica RTK GPS Auto-Steer.

Both our twin hopper drills provide customers with the option of placing fertiliser down the spout with the seed, which can dramatically boost yields. Excellent client references are available for drilling grain, grasses, brassicas, legumes, and fodder beet. Give us a go, you won’t be disappointed.

6m Horsch Pronto DC Drill

Minimum till & cultivated soil Seed, chemical, and fertiliser Combining seed bed preparation, consolidation, sowing and pressing 2-row disc system for the production of fine earth Unique packer concept for a good crop emergence in wet and dry conditions

6m John Deere 750A Drill

Direct drilling Seed, chemical, fertiliser, and slug bait World-proven drill technology that is engineered for the toughest conditions, but isn’t too heavy on your paddock Accurate seed placement Uniform depth control

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We operate throughout the Ashburton District and our clients range from farmers who have done the maths and can’t justify a modern reliable header of their own, through to farms where breakdowns, other farming commitments or the weather has caused delays and they need a hand. Claas Lexion 580 7.5m grain front Grass seed pick up Laser pilot auto steer APS threshing system On farm cartage available Long distance cartage can be arranged Augers available

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20 2


Playing rainfall catch-up? What a turnaround in the last six or seven weeks. Feast to famine when it comes to rainfall with very little or no rain through the region since October 11. Some would say “typical Canterbury”, others might lean on “law of averages”. Regardless, a nice 35 to 40mm would not go amiss right now. Common law in Canterbury is we are never more than two weeks from a drought. Drought we don’t have yet, but statistically the “law of averages” seems to be prevailing. This “law” we often cite is an erroneous generalisation of the law of large numbers, which legitimately states that the frequencies of events with the same likelihood of occurrence even out, given enough trials or instances. There haven’t really been sufficient outcomes (large rainfall events or rainless days) to bring the law of large numbers into effect this year. No matter, it hasn’t rained in earnest since around October 11 and nothing points to that

Tony Davoren


changing in the near future. Officially we are still in an El Niño Southern Oscillation neutral state – neither El Niño nor La Niña. Our weather and some other climate indicators in later October and November suggest La Niña conditions might persist for the rest of 2017 and into 2018. The sea surface temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean have cooled significantly and international climate scientists think it will continue to cool for the next three months – aka La Niña. The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) has been positive since July and the latest weekly measurement from Weatherzone on November 19 was 5.6.

If these climate conditions remain, the conditions currently being experienced will likely continue; i.e. north-easterly to easterly flow anomalies; and higher pressure than

normal to the south-east of the country. Remember 1988-89 – it was a very strong La Niña and the NIWA climate outlook for November to January indicates

similar conditions; i.e. Temperatures very likely to be above average (60 per cent chance); Rainfall most likely to be in the near normal range (45

Do you have your harvest equipment sorted? Flach & Le-Roy Crop Drying

Brandt Agricultural Products Brandt is a Canadian company still under private ownership with an annual turnover in excess of 1 billion dollars. Since 2005 we have represented their range of grain handling equipment which includes grain augers, conveyors, grainvacs and heavy harrows, and over those years we have seen continual improvements in capacity and design. New highest-capacity augers ever now in stock.

In-shed crop drying systems ex UK featuring timber drive-on ventilated drying floors, 40 stage Octagon modulating gas heaters, Typhoon fans. We can accommodate DIY installation or can fully install into your new or existing building. The floor size is custom-made to suit your requirements and can be used for machinery storage.

Grain Air Tubes Grain Air Tubes are a form of non-powered silo ventilation therefore making them suitable for silos both at a yard or out in a paddock away from electrical services. They hang down the centre of the silo from the roof and allow the warm air in the middle of the silo to escape via the roof vents or roof hatch. Silos in Canada have had recorded temperature drops of 17 to 20 degrees C using these simple but effective air tubes. NB. The time to install them is now before the new season’s grain comes in.

Never Spill Spout Another Canadian invention, the Never Spill Spout is a “full silo” alarm which is fitted to your auger and sounds when the grain reaches close to the top of the silo, allowing you to throttle back the auger and fill the silo without spilling any grain. It has a halogen light fitted so that the filler cap area is lit up at night. This is a very pro-safety device, eliminating the need to climb up silos – our farm recently had a visit from Worksafe and the inspector thought it was a fantastic device.

Scafco Scafco is a USA-based silo and accessories manufacturer who has their own in-house team of design engineers who have put together projects ranging from 1 silo on farm to huge grain storage terminals at various ports around the world. Flat bottom silos range in size from 21T to 32,000T and hopper silos from 3.6T to 1500T. Scafco can supply stirring silos, various types of aeration, spiral stairs, roof stairs, fans and other grain storage accessories.

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per cent chance); and soil moisture levels and river flows most likely to be in the below normal range (45 per cent chance). The slow start to irriga-

tion and the La Niña conditions with not too much north-westerly weather, high groundwater levels and reliability will get us through this season without the issues of

the 2015-16 and 2016-17 irrigation seasons. However, the NIWA climate outlook indicates river flows in the below normal range – for the alpine rivers (Rakaia,

Waimakariri etc.) that would be expected with La Niña conditions when easterly to north-easterly flow is the norm. This might be a season

to judiciously utilise any Coleridge-stored water as the season progresses – it might be a valuable commodity in late summer and autumn.



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22 2


Almost time for a break Where did that go? It seems like only yesterday when we were sitting down to last year’s Christmas dinner and I just can’t believe where the year went – and holy hell what a year! The first quarter of the year was a busy time in real estate. However being busy doesn’t always turn into successful sales. Then the great rains started and we saw floods, washouts and drowned crops, just to mention a few of the issues. I think too many people prayed for the rain to stop because now it has and it looks like the dry is coming. I guess we have average rainfalls for reason – it has to level out somewhere. This season has seen excellent returns for lamb, beef, venison, the prediction of a good dairy payout and even the arable boys are starting to smile. I must say I don’t like the Global Dairy Trade auctions that take place every two weeks, as it almost seems all hope or doom and gloom ride on these results. Record sales in the Methven and Wakanui areas seem to

Chris Murdoch


indicate that everything is flying but on closer scrutiny unless you have strong neighbours wanting to purchase and you are under the $5 million dollar mark the market is still very sticky and large scale dairy is really struggling. So even though the payout to date is looking strong, it still hasn’t turned into sales. There seems to be several reasons for this and they range from banks’ stress tests, Fonterra taking back its 50c/kg/MS loan, the extra requirements now needed to meet the environment requirements for dairy, the new government and the unknown stance it intends to take on things like water tax, OIO consents, etc.

Wet weather and flooding during winter made life difficult for farmers and their stock. PHOTO ASHBURTON GUARDIAN

Right now it seems that most of Canterbury is for sale, along with Southland and the central North Island. On reflection for the year, it’s not the things that you think

will have an effect on yourself it’s those things that come out of the blue and this year is no exception, with several people whom I know well passing and several others who are fighting

serious health issues. I must admit this year I am looking forward to Christmas and a bit of a break to prepare for whatever 2018 may have in store.

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Actellic 50EC (liquid)






A broad spectrum insecticide for use in grain and grain stores. Active ingredient: 500g/litre pirimiphos-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate.


Rate: Grain mixture use 8ml/tonne of grain and dilute with sufficient water to obtain uni-form distribution. Pack size: 1L & 5L

Actellic Dust ®

INSECTICIDE GrainMaster SuperSmoke should be used to disinfest empty grain stores and silos before filling with grain treated with Actellic Dust or Actellic EC. Active ingredient: 100g/kg pirimiphos-methyl and 50g/kg deltamethrin. Superior control of stored grain pests.

For use in grain for human or animal consumption to control established infestations or prevent infestations. Active ingredient: 20g/kg pirimiphos-methyl in the form of a dust.

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Rate: Bulk grain use 200g/tonne of grain and meter into the conveying system to ensure even distribution. Pack size: 10kg & 20kg

Collect your AgRewards points from selected products. Look out for the AgRewards stickers on packs. Visit to find out more. For more information contact Orion AgriScience Ltd. Freephone: 0800 674 6627 ® GrainMaster, SuperSmoke and See no weevil are Registered Trademarks of Orion AgriScience Limited. ® Actellic is a Registered Trademark of Syngenta Limited. GrainMaster SuperSmoke is approved pursuant to the HSNO Act 1996, No. HSR 101001. Actellic Dust and Actellic EC are registered pursuant to the ACVM Act 1997, P3591, P3590. Approved pursuant to the HSNO Act 1996, No. HSR 000196, HSR 000197. See for registration conditions. See for approval conditions.

24 2


Collection bins great for the farm Do you have on farm collection bins for co-mingled recycling and waste to landfill? Join the growing number of farmers who have invested in tidy, efficient bins and services following a personal visit to your farm to see what your needs are. Being able to mix together clean recyclable materials including cardboard, paper, cans, and plastic containers and bottles, into one bin is so easy and really reduces the amount of waste that goes into rubbish skips. Call Deidre and ask her to pay you a visit and help you to reduce your waste and increase your recycling. It’s so easy once you have the right bins and help is only a phone call away. Her contact details are Deidre Nuttall, Envirowaste, 0800 240 120, deidre.nuttall@ Are you looking for meaningful lasting gifts for someone special? How about a bokashi bucket, a worm farm or a deluxe model Hungry Worm Bin? Or, if you live in an area with hosing restrictions, consider

Sheryl Stivens


a rainwater tank or barrel, so rainwater can be harvested and used over the summer months. It’s amazing how a small shower can top up your rainwater barrel and how well your garden responds to fresh rainwater. Buy durable long lasting gifts that keep giving. Do you have electrical items, televisions and computers gathering dust in your garage? Did you know you can drop off any electrical items for recycling at the Ashburton Resource Recovery Park? From Ashburton they are sent to the marvellous team at Kilmarnock Enterprises in Christchurch who love recycling electronic waste. Kilmarnock provide jobs for people with disabilities

Tinwald School pupils, (from left), Carter Rose, Zac Moore and Aden Molloy have been using Envirowaste compost to grow PHOTO SUPPLIED broccoli in gardens at the school. 

and is recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading social enterprises. By leveraging strong business practices to provide social value they are creating a new kind of economy that uses business for good. The Kilmarnock resource recoveries programme includes recycling and e-cycling and is expected to grow extensively over

the next few years as the environmental challenges we face escalate. It was a key player in the government’s TV TakeBack Programme and is now running its own electronic waste recycling scheme. The compost made by Envirowaste at the Ashburton Resource Recovery Park is making a huge difference this season to school gardens.

Topping up raised bed gardens with the Envirowaste compost and then using liquid from bokashi buckets and worm juice from worm farms, as well as handfuls of the rich vermicast the worms have made, mean the children at Tinwald and St Joseph’s schools are about to harvest broccoli and potatoes for feasting, while Chertsey School and Rakaia Playcentre are noticing how fast their newly established beds are growing. For FREE help with getting your compost, bokashi bucket or worm farm working well - Call 0800 627 824 or email sherylstivens@gmail. com

FREE COMPOST SEMINAR When: Monday, December 13, 11.30am–12.30pm Where: Eco Education Centre – Ashburton Resource Recovery Park All welcome – phone 0800 627 824 or email

WE GO THE EXTRA MILE Waste and recycling collection services for rural New Zealand. • The easy and safe way to dispose of your general waste and co-mingled recycling • Our range of front load bins are strong and robust, ideal for farm use • Schedules and bin sizes can be tailored to meet your specific requirements

To order your front load bin, give us a call on 0800 240 120. Conditions may apply.

Keeping your farm vehicles working




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A significant ornithological event We’ve all seen those wildlife documentaries of thousands of migrating wildebeest thundering across the African plains. The sheer scale and numbers of animals is overwhelming and to see it for yourself must be one of life’s great experiences. Not many people would associate Ashburton with amazing wildlife experiences, but they should. At the moment we have an ornithological (bird) event that rivals other world-famous wildlife vistas: the huge colony of black-billed gulls and white-fronted terns at the Ashburton/Hakatere river mouth. It’s a wonderful sight – there are approximately 9700 whitefronted tern nests and over 10,000 black-billed gull nests, which means there may be around 20,000 individuals of each species in the area. The numbers are estimates from photographs taken by a drone flying over the river late last month and are fairly consistent with estimates made by human bird counters on the ground. There are other bird species in the area as well, such

Mary Ralston


as little, black, spotted and pied shags, Caspian terns and even a pair of Royal spoonbill nesting in the middle of the black-billed gull colony. All up, there may be over 40,000 birds at the river mouth. It’s been a tricky year for the black-billed gulls. The high river levels in spring made nesting at their usual spot near the State Highway bridge difficult. Plans to make islands for the birds to nest on were postponed. But it seems the river mouth appeared favourable to the birds and they are now there in numbers rarely seen. The high flows in the winter and early spring have changed the river at the mouth – at the moment it is flowing directly out to sea rather than forming

White-fronted terns nesting at the river mouth. PHOTO VAL CLEMENS

a lagoon and a meandering channel to the north. The black-billed gulls depend on braided rivers such as the Ashburton/Hakatere. Their numbers have declined markedly over the last few decades, probably due to predators and the loss of suitable nesting habitat as the rivers have become weedier. Weeds work against the birds in two ways – there is less clear riverbed to nest on and they also offer protection to cats and other animals that prey on the birds.

The black-billed gulls are the most threatened gull species in the world and are only found in New Zealand, unlike our other two species of gull – the black-backed gull, which is found throughout the Southern Hemisphere, and the red-billed gull or seagull, which is also found on the Chathams and some sub-Antarctic islands. The large (and very common) black-backed gull has done well with the advent of farming; they are often seen

feeding on dairy paddocks and catching worms behind a tractor, whereas the endangered black-billed gull is less of a scavenger and depends more on the rivers, feeding on small fish and invertebrates. The Ashburton River/Hakatere is considered to be one of the most important braided rivers in Canterbury for birdlife, supporting nationallysignificant populations of a number of threatened or at-risk species. Environment Canterbury carries out weed and pest control work to help protect the braided river birds in the Rakaia, Rangitata and Ashburton rivers. Conservation stories are often sombre – reports of loss of habitat, species on the brink of extinction and human encroachment of the natural world usually dominate – but this so-far-successful breeding event of endemic New Zealand birds is something indeed to celebrate! Ashburton locals should be very proud of our world-class native birds and the wonderful braided river which is their home.

JACOB HOLDAWAY CONTRACTING LTD For all your contracting needs

Precision Fertiliser Spreading

Drilling -6m Vaderstad drill

Ploughing- Kuhn 8 furrow reversible plough

Cultivation-leveller, roller disc combination

To discuss how these services will benefit your farming operation, please give Jacob a call 0274 225 464.




Maintaining your wellness Whether you’re an owner, manager or farm employee, doing your job well depends on you being in a healthy and balanced place. When we’re tired, distracted, sick or burnt out, we struggle to make good decisions and to treat people well. Stress is not a bad thing , neither is being busy. Both are part of living an active, healthy life. But when we are stressed and busy for too long , it becomes detrimental, not just to our health but to farm efficiency and productivity. Making sure you keep yourself well rested and balanced is good for you as well as the team around you.

ARE YOU WORRIED? • • • • • •

Be on their side – let them talk! Show understanding and sympathy Don’t judge them Avoid offering advice Avoid making comparisons Don’t try to minimise their pain or act like it’s not a big deal


Encourage them to speak to their health practitioner Encourage them to talk to someone about it – these numbers are good: Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254 Depression helpline – 0800 111 757


Ten signs to look for Be especially aware if you notice a number of these happening at once. 1. Continually tired and run down 2. Often sick with colds, flus or tummy bugs 3. Constantly irritable 4. Quick and noticeable weight loss or weight gain 5. Dependent on caffeine to get through the day (more than four caffeine drinks every day) 6. Frequent arguing with friends, family and work colleagues 7. Making self-degrading comments (e.g. I’m useless, I’m going nowhere, I can’t do anything right) 8. Sudden change in mood, personality or

behaviour that lasts for several weeks 9. Lack of appetite 10. Prolonged disinterest in jobs or things that once created engagement and satisfaction.

What to do if you notice these signs in yourself or a team member It’s likely that one or more of the “eight tips to maintaining wellness” are not happening. Spend some time figuring out which one, or what combination, it is. When in doubt, take or give time off. Make or encourage good food choices and talk it out.

• • •

Get professional help. Do everything you can to get a suicidal person the help he or she needs. Call a crisis line for advice and referrals. Encourage the person to see a mental health professional, help locate a treatment facility, or take them to a doctor’s appointment.

These are the numbers to call: Samaritans – 0800 726 666 Lifeline – 0800 543 354 For more information contact

Information reproduced with permission from DairyNZ. For more information go to Aspects of DairyNZ’s wellbeing programme were funded by the Primary Growth Partnership


Eight tips to maintaining wellness If you can aim to improve just one of these, it can make a difference. If you were to improve all of these, it could transform you and your staff’s ability to work efficiently. How many are you practising? Try not to work more than 10 hours a day After a certain number of hours, we pass the point of diminishing returns and our efforts are much less efficient. We are actually better off resting or switching to something that uses a different part of our brain. Ideally, try not to work more than eight hours a day.

Try not to work more than seven days without a day off We lose our ability to make quick, smart decisions when working too many days in a row. Ideally, you don’t want to work more than five without a day off.

Try to have two consecutive days off when you can

It can take a whole day just to wind down from the pressures of being responsible. Having two days off gives us more of a chance for our adrenaline to drop so we can switch off and regain balance.

Limit the amount of highly processed foods you consume to four portions or less per day Highly processed foods can be harmful to your body and usually offer only short, temporary bursts of energy or enjoyment while creating long term fatigue and addiction. No

matter how they make you feel at the moment, they are actually running you down and impairing your ability to work with strength and sharpness. Ideally, keep these kinds of foods to two or less a day.

Take annual leave. Don’t just take the pay out Annual leave is there for a reason to ensure we get the rest we need and deserve, to make sure we maintain our health and relationships and to remind us to have a balanced life.

Get as many fruits and veggies as you can These foods have what the body needs to have long term energy, fight off colds and regenerate muscle important for a sharp mind and able body.

Have someone you can talk to freely about work frustrations When we keep frustrations to ourselves, we can over-analyse them and lose perspective. Talking them out will keep molehills from becoming mountains.

Make time for an interest outside work We need to be reminded that there is more to life than work. This gives us perspective which, among other things, enhances our ability to troubleshoot on the job.

The perfect location for your event…

If you are at risk of developing melanoma skin cancer you owe it to yourself to have a MoleMap. MoleMap is the world’s most advanced melanoma detection programme, designed to help protect you and your family from the deadly effects of melanoma skin cancer by diagnosing it at its earliest possible stage. To assess your risk visit Phone 0800 665 362 Clinics held in Timaru weekly and Ashburton every month.

by Dermatologists | (03) 302 8398

0800 665 362


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Workers banned from quad bike use Animal health services company OSPRI, which manages the NAIT and TBfree programmes, has told its workers they will not be allowed to use quad bikes from the beginning of next year, due to the number of accidents it says they are involved in. From the first day of 2018, OSPRI contractors will be encouraged to opt for less dangerous forms of transport, as they will not be permitted to operate or ride on a quad bike. “We want our workers to go home safely every day, and our focus is on reducing the potential for death or serious injury,” OSPRI chief executive Michelle Edge said. Quad bikes were involved in over a quarter of all workrelated farm deaths in recent years, with five quad bike deaths in 2016. Earlier this year an OSPRI worker was killed in a quad bike accident while working on a farm. “For us, that’s one too many,” Edge said. “We had a long-term harm-reduction strategy in place that was recognised as

industry-leading, and our measures indicated that quad bike incidents and fleet had been steadily decreasing. Yet

we were not able to change the fundamental design of the quad, monitor its use, or provide adequate protection

for our worker following an accidental loss of control.” In its work to eradicate TB from New Zealand’s wildlife

and farmed animals, OSPRI manages possum control and pest management work over 5.5 million hectares of New Zealand each year, undertakes almost 3.5 million TB tests and has eradicated TB from possums across 1.83 million hectares since 2011. OSPRI health and safety lead James Knapp said, “Each year our people spend more than 300,000 hours in the field, often in remote and difficult terrain. Getting that work done safely and efficiently is important to us, so providing for an informed decision was a major undertaking.” OSPRI said it engaged service providers, reviewed all available research and worked in a consultative process to introduce the changes and enable time for those affected to adapt. “We recognise the usefulness of quad bikes, and understand the risk involved in change with any vehicle. But opting for safer alternatives to quad bikes was the only way to minimise this risk,” Knapp said.






Hagley College Student Centre Corner of Hagley Avenue and St Asaph Street Our Enrolment Centre re-opens on January 16th, please phone them on (03) 364 5156 to find out what you need to bring.

Friday 2 February

Monday 5 February


Yr 9s at home

Yr 9s and 10HG only 9am - 2.45pm Mihi Whakatau & Orientation BBQ Lunch


Yr 10s 9am - 12noon Mihi Whakatau & Orientation

Year 10s at home


Yr 11s 9am -2.45pm Mihi Whakatau & Orientation BBQ Lunch provided

Year 11s at home

YEAR 12 AND 13

Yr 12s and 13s at home

11.30am - 2.30pm Mihi Whakatau & Orientation programme BBQ Lunch provided

16 Jan Catch Up College

Tuesday 6 February

School closed for Waitangi Day

Enrolment Days


Hagley College Start Dates and Times 2018 Wednesday 7 February Normal timetabled classes from 10.00am Normal timetabled classes from 10.00am Normal timetabled classes from 10.00am Normal timetabled classes from 10.00am

Classes start 16th Jan 10am. Please ring 03 379 3090 for an Appointment

Sp Lim a ce i t s A ed vai lab


John Deere 6820 Premium

John Deere 6220

Case IH MX100C

Case IH MXU115X


$46,000 + GST

$44,000 + GST

$29,000 + GST

$34,000 + GST


Case IH Puma 145 CVT

Case IH Maxxum 115 MC

Case IH Puma 210

6274 Hrs

Case IH MXU115

Loader ready

Case IH CVX1135

6495 Hrs

9391 Hrs

7005 Hrs

$38,000 + GST

$66,000 + GST

Case IH Magnum 310 CVT

New Holland T7040

New Holland T7.170

$240,000 +GST

$64,500 + GST



895 Hrs, New Warranty

Shibaura 6340 $11,000 + GST

6113 Hrs

$71,000 + GST

Iseki SX75

Case IH 6088




1500 Mill Hrs 24ft Vario Front

3951 Hrs


$68,000 + GST

$97,000 + GST

New Holland TL100A

Massey Ferguson 4270


$34,000 + GST

Case IH 1680 Axial Flow

Case IH 2188


$65,00 + GST


Case IH 8010 Axial Flow

Case IH LBX432

Claas Quadrant 3400

Case IH 8575 3’ x 3’

Giltrap Slurry Spreader

$250,000 + GST

$45,000 + GST


$19,000 + GST

$29,500 + GST

Kuhn VB 2190 Round Baler

Kuhn VBP2190

McHale 998 Bale Wrapper

Robertson Little Ripper Bale Feeder

Bogballe L2 Pluss

Rotor Cut


11200 bales

17000 bales

$45,000 + GST

$75,000 + GST




Pottinger 1252 C S

Alpego RH300 Power Harrow

McIntosh CP900SF

Goweil G3020Q

Amazone Cirrus 4001

Line Four Rotor Rake

Rear packer roller, very tidy

$22,000 + GST

$25,000 + GST

$40,000 + GST

$49,000 + GST

$23,000 + GST

Silage Wagon


Profi Bale Wrapper

For more information, or to view any of our tractors, contact: Ashburton 03 307 8027 Amberley 03 314 9055 Leeston 03 324 3791 Timaru 03 688 2179

Super 4 mtr Drill c/w Rear Rollers

30 2


Lambs can be weaned earlier New research from Massey University suggests that lambs can be successfully weaned lighter and earlier, with benefits for the mother as well. The university’s Sheep Research Centre has shown lambs of ewes feeding on a legume-based diet can be successfully weaned at approximately 50 days old, or seven weeks, when they are as light as 16kg. Under the correct conditions, the early weaning allows the lambs to grow faster and the ewes to regain more body condition before the next breeding season Traditionally, weaning occurs at 10 to 12 weeks after lambing, when the milk from the ewes reduces, and is a critical factor in the future performance of both the lamb and the ewe. The study is funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand and is driven by the expertise of Massey’s Dr Rene CornerThomas, Dr Lydia Cranston, professor Steve Morris and professor Paul Kenyon. Corner-Thomas said that early weaning can have

advantages for both the ewe and the lamb.“There is a gradual decline in milk production after ewes reach peak milk production within three weeks of lambing. Weaning early allows the ewe more time to gain body condition before the new breeding season starts in the autumn. This is important for when summers are dry and late spring is the only chance a ewe has to gain good condition before the next breeding

season. “For the lamb, earlier weaning is an advantage when their growth rate is restricted by ryegrass and white clover pasture covers below 1000kg of dry matter per hectare in late lactation. In these conditions, weaning early onto a legume-based diet will increase the growth rates of the lamb. The ewe will also maintain her body condition. The legume-based diet can either be a herb clover mix or

a pure lucerne stand. “If ryegrass pasture masses are above 1400kg of dry matter per hectare, however, there is likely little benefit from early weaning for the lamb, but it is still positive for the ewe. ”Previous studies have shown that when earlyweaned lambs are slaughtered at a traditional weaning age the dressing out percentage of early weaned lambs did not differ from those sent directly

to slaughter off their dam. The team will undertake further research to determine the optimum management of early weaned lambs. This study will involve PhD student Jay Ekanayake and have three main focuses. Firstly, to determine if lambs can be weaned as light at 14 kg onto a herb clover mix and still achieve suitable growth rates. “Studies have also successfully utilised both herb and clover mixes and lucerne monocultures to grow these young lambs. A large number of lambs can be finished to slaughter weight on a relatively small area of these crops,” CornerThomas said. Secondly, they will look at the best management of the lamb prior to early weaning to ensure an easy transition for the lamb. And thirdly, determine if there are any negative impacts of early weaning on the health of the ewes’ udder. Further studies are planned for 2018 to examine potentially lighter weaning weights and ages.


We provide all options for your silage and straw requirements ! W NE

Baling silage

Fine chopped silage

Long chopped silage

Round baling

High density 4x3 straw baling

Straw stacking

Other services: • Mowing/Tedding/Rotor raking/Wrapping • Trading in supplementary feeds

Jacob Holdaway 0274 225 464


New tech promises big savings A three year R&D project, funded by Sainsbury’s – the UK’s second largest supermarket chain – has shown that technology developed in New Zealand can save farmers in their supply chain around $19 million annually. One of the greatest costs to farmers, tending an estimated one billion sheep globally, is in lost productivity from parasites and ineffective drench programme. Now Dunedin based agtech company Techion Group’s combination of an internet connected device, data management system and connectivity to veterinary expertise, delivers an effective means to manage parasites and drenching programmes that affects the health and growth of animals. “When sheep have worms they can lose their appetite – and so their weight – which compromises their health, welfare and performance. That’s bad for sheep, and a challenge for farmers – because testing for parasites is time consuming and costly

Technology developed by Techion Group will help farmers manage parasites, which will increase productivity. PHOTO SUPPLIED 

if treatment is not carried out effectively,” head of livestock at Sainsbury’s, Gavin Hodgson, said. “This project was run across Sainsbury’s lamb development group in New Zealand and the

UK. It has helped our farmers to diagnose and treat flocks appropriately. It has identified a number of farms where treatments weren’t working and we’ve been able to help farmers improve how they

manage parasites.” The technology replaces the need for farmers to send samples from their animals off to a laboratory and wait for results before they decide how to treat a group of sheep. Greg Mirams, managing director of Techion Group, is the driver behind the ag-tech company’s focus on increasing productivity and reducing costs based on a sustainable, responsible approach. “Using technology to solve these problems and achieve these goals just makes sense” he said. “Sainsbury’s has helped validate our system, which allows farmers to test for worms reliably, on farm, themselves – saving time and helping them treat flocks appropriately.” The technology works by counting worm eggs in sheep faecal samples, helping farmers target their use of drenching, using it only when they need to. Hodgson points out the significance of the technological advance saying “all in all, it’s a more sustainable way of doing things. And we’ve seen some

massive successes – in some cases farmers have been able to reduce medication without compromising animal performance by as much as 50 per cent in lambs, and 80 per cent in ewes.” The R&D project involved farmers conducting more than 1000 tests from close to 300,000 lambs. The results – by detecting a parasite problem (that the farmer was not aware of) and treating with an effective drench chosen based on data – lamb growth can improve by up to 50 per cent. That translates to heavier carcass weights, produced in less time, increasing returns on average by $12 to $15 per lamb. The study also demonstrated that 37 per cent of New Zealand farmers involved in the project were using ineffective drenches due to previously undetected resistance. The cost of this to each farm is estimated to be $74,974 per year in lost productivity, this equates to $19 million across Sainsbury’s total lamb supply chain.

Considering Selling? Call Mike who has proven rural expertise and the marketing reach to achieve the best result for your property. Mike Preston M 027 430 7041 | B 03 307 2400 | WHALAN AND PARTNERS LTD, BAYLEYS, LICENSED UNDER THE REA ACT 2008

Mind that spray irrigate the grass not the road Ashburton irrigators need to adjust their aim, especially on windy days, so they irrigate the grass not the road. Irrigation onto roads is a waste of water and it can create safety issues for motorists and damages the roads. It is also a breach of the irrigators water consent, which could result in compliance action. Irrigators need to ensure end guns are set and operating correctly and regularly checked and travelling irrigators need to be set well back from the road. If you see spray on the road that is clearly coming from an irrigation system please contact Environment Canterbury on 0800 324 636. If there is immediate danger to road users they should contact the police.








Ben: 021 533 144 or 03 688 7517 127b Hilton Highway Washdyke Timaru

Timaru CAN-AM

Ben: 021 533 144 or 03 688 7517 127b385 423 or Shop 03 313 5977 Ian: 021 Hilton Highway Washdyke Timaru 303 Flaxton Road Rangiora North Canterbury North Canterbury ®


Profile for Ashburton Guardian

Guardian Farming - December 2017  

Guardian Farming - December 2017