farming interesting â€˘ informative â€˘ essential
Gilberts sold on deer ... page 3 Taking the bait ... page 6
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An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature
contents Gilberts big fans of deer............................................P3 New Year’s resolutions .......................................... P4, 5 Taking the bait ..............................................................P6 Red meat sector strategy..........................................P8 Chicory growing in favour....... .................................P9 Winchmore update .................................................. P10 Water schemes: Playing safe ................................ P11 Water whisperings ................................................... P12 A lucerne experience ............................................. .P14 Thumb’s up for ETS review panel........................ P17 Ken Ring - tides of the earth ...........................P18-20
farming interesting • informative • essential
Any feedback is welcome, any comments about our magazine, letters or story suggestions. Please direct any correspondence to: Amanda Niblett, on 307-7927 email: email@example.com or to: Lance Isbister, on 307-7953 email: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to PO Box 77, Ashburton.
Advertising: Phone 307-7900 Email: email@example.com Publication date: January 11, 2011. Next issue: February 1, 2011 An advertising feature for the Ashburton Guardian. Any opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Guardian Farming or the Ashburton Guardian.
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Gilberts big fans of deer With fawning finished Mervyn and Jackie Gilbert are enjoying the purple patch of the traditionally volatile deer industry.
Mervyn said most of the velvet is exported to eastern countries such as Korea and China where it is used for medicinal purposes.
The Gilberts farmed sheep until 1980 when they decided to get into deer which they considered easier to farm because there is less work involved.
Mervyn uses his own velvet for just that purpose as well, after he started having his own velvet capsules manufactured in Christchurch in 1999, which he also sells to friends and fellow members of his harriers club.
Mervyn had always been interested in farming deer and picked up the knowledge as he increased the number of his herd, breeding from their first stag which was sourced from Mesopotamia station with hinds captured from Te Anau.
Just before fawning, Mervyn velveted the stags using a muscle relaxant to sedate them and “No Pain” while they are in the head crush so they don’t feel anything when their antlers are cut off.
The couple used to run 400 hinds and 400 stags on their 320 acre Westerfield farm a decade ago, nowadays they run 90 hinds and 100 stags as they slowly wind down.
The only problem the Gilberts find is some of the deer are too friendly and don’t always make the way into the yards when herded in.
Mr Gilbert said the deer industry was in a good place as it was more consolidated around the national numbers they have now, which have helped with the price of both venison and velvet. “This year seems to be a good year for velvet.”
Lance Isbister, Ashburton Guardian rural reporter
The Gilberts have used the bigger elk bulls over the red hinds to breed larger hinds for the venison market.
The Gilberts made the most of their opportunities to gain insight into deer farming through learning from other farmers, vets and reading literature on the animals.
While the whims of the global market have provided plenty of challenges for deer farmers throughout the years with price fluctuations, the Gilberts have farmed accordingly, feeding the deer a range of supplements including silage, grain and barley to get the best out of their hinds.
While this can be something of a hassle at times, the gentle nature of deer was what attracted the Gilberts to farming them in the first place. “They are a very intelligent animal and lovely to work with because of their temperament,” Jackie said. Their intelligence is exhibited in the way hinds hide their fawns when they are grazing to protect them from predators. RIGHT: The Gilberts feed cows milk from a neighbouring farm to the young fawns, which require it every four hours during the day.
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Success with your goals in the New Year If past performances are anything to go by, most of us will have already failed in our New Year resolutions – despite being set only a few days ago. Setting resolutions for the New Year is a long-held tradition aimed at mending our ways and setting ourselves onto the path of self-improvement. The heralding in of a New Year is a timely opportunity to make these changes for the better, but often the goals are too daunting, not specific enough and sometimes are just simply unrealistic.
managing time better or being more independent. • Taking a trip. • To help others by donating goods or money, or by volunteering time to help
those less fortunate than ourselves. These are all commendable and worthy goals and targets, and some would argue we should be setting our sights on
achieving many of these all of the time, not just in the New Year. This is one of the pitfalls of setting New Year resolutions – setting goals on impulse and not planning ahead. Too often goals
A quick search on the internet consistently lists the top resolutions made each year as something like the following: • To be healthier. This includes losing weight, exercising more, eating better, drinking less alcohol or stopping smoking. • To improve our ﬁnances either by getting out of debt, or by saving money. • To improve our career. This includes changing jobs, getting a better job or upskilling. • To improve our education by either improving current study results, getting a better education or learning something new (such as a foreign language or music). • To improve ourselves. These goals include becoming more organised, reducing stress, being less grumpy,
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are set on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day –which are not necessarily the most sensible days for putting in place life changing plans. We wouldn’t implement our farm or business plans, or budgets on a vague or poorly planned whim because we know we would be setting ourselves up to fail. It’s the same for setting New Year resolutions. If we apply some of the recognised goal setting techniques now common in the business world, we would be much more likely to succeed with our personal goals. This philosophy is backed up by research (according to Wikipedia) that shows men achieve their New Year resolution goal 22% more often when they use a goal setting system (for example, setting small measurable goals, such as losing a pound a week, instead of saying they will “lose weight”). The same research shows a different approach is often successful for women, and that they succeeded 10% more when they made their goals public and got support from their friends. Another key to succeeding with our resolutions is to set realistic goals and plans. We all have delusions of grandeur and sometimes we have to be a bit more realistic about what is really achievable.
Putting a positive slant on our goals and plans is also likely to improve our success rate. Instead of resolving “not to do” something, we need to make the resolution positive and look at limits instead of blanket restrictions.
Putting a positive slant on our goals and plans is also likely to improve our success rate. Instead of resolving “not to do” something, we need to make the resolution positive and look at limits instead of blanket restrictions.
where I was 12 months ago. I was then in the acting CEO role at ATS, and at the beginning of the recruitment process to find a new CEO. This meant I was in a caretaker’s role, and I was unable to make any significant decisions or easily take time off. That’s helped form my New Year’s resolution for 2011 – which is to use some of the growing annual leave owed to me. I’m sure this will keep our finance manager happy too. I have also considered some tonguein-cheek resolutions – like restricting my weight gain to less than 10kg for the coming year or to stop smoking (something easily attainable for a nonsmoker like myself ). But maybe the real goal is to set goals. Planning is an important part of all of our businesses and lives, and good planning needs desired outcomes or goals for us to strive for.
There are many unknowns when it comes to planning for the future – 2010 was a good example of that with the financial woes of South Canterbury Finance and the Canterbury earthquake. No one predicted these. Variables such as trying to predict dairy pay-outs, weather, commodity prices and the value of the dollar can all be a bit of a guessing game too, but good planning is essential if we are to get through the rough times along the way. New Year resolutions and goal setting are good practises, but they need continued effort to make sure they don’t become well intentioned non-events. So regardless of whether you’re trying to stick to your New Year resolution, or you are planning for the year ahead; take some time to think about and plan what you want to achieve and how you can realistically do it. You’re much more likely to succeed if you do.
Maybe we also need to make our resolutions about more positive and pleasurable activities – the things that make us happy, and work on plans which will see us achieve these goals. It’s ok to have some time for yourself and some down-time, especially after the hurly-burly of Christmas and all of the indulgences the festive season brings. My New Year in 2011 is very different to
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Taking the bait Buy now, pay nothing till 2012. 40% - 60% off. 10% deposit – balance over 2 years. Buy now. 48 months interest free terms - and so it goes. Yes the season of goodwill – goodwill for whom? I strongly suspect the greatest beneficiary from the annual Christmas spend-up will be the large multi-national banks, with profits ending up overseas. The subsequent financial pain is much closer to home! For each of the two years 2008 and 2009, as of December 31, New Zealanders owed in excess of 3.5 billion dollars on credit card balances incurring penalty payments. This equates to nearly $1000 per head of population. Additionally another $1.5 billion was owed at the interest free prompt payment rate. With credit card interest rates still close to 20% that’s $700 million on an annual basis. I’m constantly amazed at the level of indebtedness many families and individuals have on a day-to-day basis, seemingly comfortable with a hand-to-mouth existence. One can only assume they believe the welfare state or community largesse will
help them through any “rainy day” that may arise because of health or employment issues. With Ashburton District’s current unemployment rate of 1.8% compared with a national average of 6.4 % (Grow Mid Canterbury figures), we are certainly in a better place than most to handle any further loss of employment. However, government’s 2010 “anus horriblus” leaves certainty that there will be no election year hand-outs and the economy will remain tight. Natural and financial disasters during the year have contributed to a massive fiscal deficit, further complicated by fluctuating world currencies in major markets. The cost to government of finance company failures, the Canterbury earthquake, Southland storms, (2 million less lambs to process and sell on a rising market), and disease in the kiwifruit industry, is both immediate and ongoing.
ownership ladder. With many sound two to three bedroom properties in Ashburton in the $175 – 250,000 range and first mortgage three year interest rates around 7%, opportunities must exist, even if banks require a slightly higher level of equity than (say) two years ago. Persons in regular safe employment would do well to safeguard their futures while this opportunity exists. It’s a much better decision to borrow money long term to secure future accommodation at say 7%, than to purchase a series of plastic toys or appliances on a bankcard at almost 20% only to have them consigned to the recycling centre before final payment.
With national indebtedness at an alltime high and rising, there’s no place for complacency.
Recent decisions to critically analyse state housing stocks and tenancies are an essential tool to rationalise the sector – better late than never.
It’s difficult to know if the housing market has reached rock bottom. At current levels it certainly provides opportunities for those with prudent savings policies in place, to get a foot on the bottom rung of the home
News that several State housing tenants have incomes of over $150,000 annually while others own several loss-making investment properties, is testament to lax monitoring of the housing stock. This aside
there will always be a need for a significant stock of rental properties. Home ownership levels of 65% nationwide (and falling) paints a grim picture of missed opportunities by many. I can imagine nothing worse than reaching retirement and not having a property of my own to live in. Saving is about discipline, mostly self discipline. The ability to ignore peer pressure and to isolate wants from needs is a key first step. Rewards in later life are real and ongoing. It is to be hoped this year’s festive spending and activities don’t again translate to higher levels of family violence, increased demands for welfare assistance and family financial hardship. After all, this is not the reason for the season.
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Your Chance To View In Action…
The Ultimate Bird Deterrent. www.thejangler.co.nz
See Jangler bird-scarer in action!
Over the next few weeks, seed producers can view ﬁrsthand the latest in bird-repelling technology in action. The Jangler will be operating in a Chinese cabbage seed crop by the roadside on Waterholes Road and Tancreds Road, Templeton. The paddock is on John Morrish’s Cranleigh Farm, near the research farm of Jangler developer and vegetable seed producer, AB Annand Company. The site is just a few kilometres east of the Main South Road, and is well sign-posted. Annand’s Leanne Doherty says in just a few minutes growers will see how effective the invention is. Annand Company had serious problems with birds feeding in its high-value seed crops for years. Owner Jay Scanlon and his team tried everything, resorting over the last ten years to netting, which has since become a sideline business for the company. Continuing to search for a better solution, Mr Scanlon and his team eventually settled on what has evolved into The Jangler. “If you put some visual and acoustical items on a long wire through the crop and jerk the wire in a particular way, in a random sequence, you can set up a sinusoidal wave in the wire that progressively and randomly jangles those items around,” Mr Scanlon explained. “It’s chaotic and birds don’t like it. They ﬂy away.” The Janglers are much more effective than netting, he says, and “… inﬁnitely more effective than doing nothing!” “Our trials show The Jangler keeps a paddock 99% free of birds. Growing a cabbage seed crop on Cranleigh Farm would not be feasible without this effective bird control.” The Jangler team has established that the wire works well at 300 metres in length but has developed machines with lines that work up to 550 metres long. The optimum jerk of the wire — the key to
the invention’s success — is achieved by a randomly rotating disk with the wire anchored to its outer edge: one rotation of the disc produces one jerk of the wire. “Anyone who’s handy with tools might look at it and think ‘I could make one of those’. But they would end up as frustrated as we had been,” says Mr Scanlon, who has patented the ﬁnal design. “It’s one thing to nut out the concept, but quite another to design a failsafe setup that will reliably and effectively scare birds from your paddocks day in and day out for weeks at a time.” Issues included how to power the machine, how to prevent the ‘jangly bits’ from travelling along the wire and fouling, and how to make the Jangler more active at dawn and dusk when the problem species are feeding most aggressively — and indeed what were the optimum kinds of jangly bits. Many materials could function as on-wire disruptors but they need to be virtually indestructible to survive the frequent oscillations of the Jangler wire. The Annand team settled on ribbons that include thin aluminium foil, plastic mirrors on twirling strips and even a silhouette of a cat. The auditory items include speciallyconstructed cans with a rattle sealed inside. These quick-connecting jangly bits are changed periodically to stop the birds from getting used to the device. Annand is eyeing a business model that will see Janglers operated by agricultural contractors who could offer their cropping customers the service currently offered by Annand. Ms Doherty invites anyone interested to stop by the demo site. Any seed grower, contractor or merchant wanting more information on The Jangler is welcome to ring her on 021 823-672 or call into the nearby Annand Osterley Farm ofﬁce just down Waterholes Road.
Image & Caption
AB Annand’s farming manager Leanne Doherty with a Jangler unit at Annand’s Templeton research property, Osterley Farm.
The Jangler get thumbs-up from farmers Broadﬁelds cropping farmer John Morrish says The Jangler worked well when he ﬁrst tried it two years ago. “I was very impressed. I reckon they work.” In a four-hectare paddock on his farm, one quarter of a seed cop was protected with netting, one half with Janglers and one quarter left as an unprotected control. The Jangler area outyielded the netted area by 20%, which in turn outyielded the control area by 40%. Mr Morrish used them with similar success last year. Andrew Scott tried them in that ﬁrst
The Ultimate Bird Deterrent.
Director AB ANNAND Seed Services Ltd Call 021 221 0650 Email JRS�abannand.co.nz
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Just off the Main South Road from Rolleston, the Jangler® is protecting Cranleigh Farm’s Chinese cabbage seed crop – making the crop feasible in ® this location! Operating during January and February 2011. Or call us to arrange a meeting on site to see the Jangler® in action.
See The Jangler In Action.
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Feeding birds often decimate seed crops. Many have tried to bring an effective solution to this problem with kites, chemicals, nets and propane, to name a few. But none have been truly successful. Until now. The Jangler® system deploys ‘controlled chaos’, disturbing the birds. The Jangler® is durable, efﬁcient and fast, putting off birds to produce a successful seed crop. ®
year, too, in a paddock of hybrid radish at Somerton in Mid Canterbury. He was convinced when he switched them off to run the irrigator through: “When I came back about four hours later, there was quite a ﬂock of birds on the paddock but as soon as I started the Janglers up again they all took off.” He sees another beneﬁt, too: “You can harvest with the Janglers still going. With bird netting, you have to take it off the day before, and if you don’t get the harvesting ﬁnished straightaway, it’s open for the birds.”
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SPRINGSTON N BIRD & ANIMAL PEST DETERRENT
Red Meat Sector strategy Farmers and the red meat industry will be updated on Red Meat Sector Strategy progress and hear first-hand about the opportunities for the sector, in a series of meetings planned early this year. Deloitte is working on behalf of Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the Meat Industry Association, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to facilitate the development of a strategy to restore profitability to the sector. Deloitte Partner Alasdair MacLeod said the strategy process, now more than half way through, had delivered a huge amount of industry information and data which had been analysed and worked into an initial strategy framework for discussion. “We now want to share what we have found and test our thinking to move the sector forward.” Mr MacLeod said comprehensive sector information had been gathered in a range of ways – interviews with farmers and industry, further farmer feedback through an online survey and an analysis of sector metrics, including performance, costs and profitability. This has provided the historical context from which to judge the sector’s recent performance and identify the issues which have hindered growth. “From there key themes, incentives and future drivers and opportunities
have emerged that can influence sector profitability and these will be discussed during the consultation process to begin in late January. We had been expecting to release these themes prior to the end of this year, but we need to do more analysis to validate them. “What we are developing is a sector-wide framework that farmers and industry can work within – there will be elements they can implement individually to improve returns, and other sector-wide opportunities that require collective action. It isn’t and cannot be a ‘one size fits all’. “One critical component of the strategy will be a range of action plans that will clearly show farmers and industry how they can drive value for the sector.” Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman Mike Petersen said the work to date had shown there are a number of people - from farm through to the market - who are running profitable businesses in the current environment. However, there are opportunities for improved performance in every part of the supply chain. Further analysis is under way to pin down the key drivers for profitability. “This is really the first structured discussion the sector has had on what drives value. Importantly, it will outline pathways
that identify activities and interventions that will enable all sector participants to improve their respective business performance.
New Year. Meat Industry Association Chairman Bill Falconer said for the strategy to be successful, it was going to need the collective support of producers, processors and the extended network of service providers.
“We’ll be consulting with the sector on this framework and strategy direction after Christmas with meetings planned throughout the country.”
“Everyone (industry and farmers) is starting from different points, so we need to develop the tools for participants to understand their needs and then we need to get like-minded people together to invest for mutual benefit.”
The meetings will begin in Southland during the week of January 24, 2011 and will be completed by February 18, 2011. Meeting dates and venues will be advertised through the rural media in the
Appointment welcomed Federated Farmers is delighted that Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers South Canterbury provincial president, has been named the inaugural chairperson of the Government’s new Innovation Board, which will independently determine public research decisions.
Federated Farmers’ President Don Nicolson said the appointment was a recognition of Dr Rolleston by the Minister of Science and Innovation, the Hon Wayne Mapp and reflects positively upon Federated Farmers and the entire agricultural sector. “Dr Rolleston is also the only person who will sit on the two boards being formed the Innovation Board, which Dr Rolleston will chair and also the Science Board. This reflects well upon Dr Rolleston as an exceptional farm leader, business person and biotechnologist.
“Both boards will work with the new Ministry of Science and Innovation, which becomes operational on February 1. “Federated Farmers has kept itself very close to the Government on reform of the science sector and the focus of the new Ministry is exciting.
“The new Ministry merges the roles of the existing Ministry of Research, Science and Technology and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. It will not just advise Government, but will manage science funding and look to drive knowledge transfer. “Dr Rolleston will play an important role ensuring New Zealand’s public research funding decisions remain independent and based on sound criteria,” Mr Nicolson said.
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Chicory growing in favour as great feed Waikato farmers are taking a shine to chicory as a supplementary feed crop, with seed sales reaching new levels this spring. Ballance Agri-Nutrients and merchant partner RD1 are experiencing unprecedented interest in the crop, and are working on nutrient programmes best suited for the high-protein crop. Anthony Spence, RD1 Category Manager, says RD1 chicory sales are up 18 percent year to date across New Zealand, but in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty region chicory seed sales are 43 percent ahead of last year so far. “There was good growth last year as well, but we have seen a significant lift this year,” said Mr Spence. “We are still seeing orders come in for chicory now and expect to finish the season in the Waikato region up 50 percent on last year.” Hailed as a crop for three seasons, requiring a break from grazing through the winter only, chicory can be grazed for up to six years, but paddocks are typically returned to pasture after two years. Warwick Catto, Head of Research and Environment at Ballance Agri-Nutrients, says the company’s Technical Sales Representatives in the Waikato especially have been fielding a lot more enquiries for fertiliser advice about chicory this spring, principally from dairy farmers. “There appears to be a move away from turnips this season,” says Mr Catto. “Due to its performance in recent dry summers, farmers are seeing chicory as a better solution to feed through dry periods, which are not consistent in timing each year. “Chicory has a much deeper tap root system, enabling it to forage for water more effectively than turnips under drier soil conditions. This allows a supply of high-quality feed to be carried right though summer. In the summer droughts that we have seen in the past few years, chicory paddocks have stood out among the browned-off pastures due their persistent greenness.” Also of note was chicory’s ability to sequester high levels of trace elements, such as copper, which can be a valuable asset with regard to stock nutrition. Additionally, there is a growing recognition that chicory has a high level of metabolisable energy (ME), typically
Chicory is especially useful in dry regions for supplying high-quality stock feed over summer. Here a group of veterinary students study chicory trials. around 13 MJ/kg DM. “It’s also high in protein (23-24 percent). These characteristics help to make it a great feed for most stock types. It’s frequently used to boost the feed intake of dairy cows and is also great for finishing lambs.” The surge in interest in chicory has encouraged Ballance to increase its focus on the precise nutrient requirements of the crop. “There is not a lot of really good scientific data relating to fertiliser requirements for chicory in New Zealand, and in theory chicory will require different nutrient requirements to turnips. “In general terms, all crops tend to respond the same; pH much be corrected to ensure that nutrient availability and soil microbial activity are optimised, fertiliser P is important for encouraging strong, vigorous establishment, while as the leaf canopy develops N and K are important to ensure the canopy “green leaf area” is maximised. However, the degree of response is different for different crops and that is what we are working on. “The danger is that farmers don’t feed chicory enough to get the yields talked about. Chicory’s got the potential to be very high yielding – up to 15 tonne DM/ha
would be achievable on many farms, and with the right conditions, up to 20 tonne DM/ha is not out of the question. “To keep it growing, apply nitrogen regularly after grazing. Nitrogen is the key nutrient most likely to be yield limiting for chicory crops. If a crop yields 15 tonne DM/ha, that means 400-600 kg N/ha will be required by the crop from the soil and fertiliser inputs.
“Land that has come out of long-term pasture will have good nitrogen reserves, but likely only enough to supply around half of what the crop requires. Therefore, applications of n-rich urea will still be needed. “A good approach would be to apply 20-25 kg N/ha (about 50 kg n-rich urea/ ha) after each grazing. This will stimulate leaf re-growth and help prevent weed ingression.”
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Winchmore update – December Well, I guess the main topic of conversation at the end of December has been the ferocity of the wind, peaking here at Winchmore met station at 99.4 km/hour. While it was by no means the strongest wind that we have experienced it was still strong enough to bring down six more trees, more firewood, except that we still have firewood to cut from the previous big blow. In fact the weather has been all over the place, rainfall is a mere 14.4mm as at today (23rd) making December the third driest December since records began in 1950. Our maximum temperature of 30.6°C here on the 18th was the sixth highest maximum daily temperature also since 1950. It is fair to say that things have certainly been very hot and dry, more so than normal.
9.5 tonne/ha based on both the dry land and irrigated paddocks. The aim this year is to beat that. I am not sure by how much, just that it is a challenge. If I get the timing right for the appropriate sprays and nitrogen applications I should have a good chance of getting there. Stock wise, the weaned lambs are doing well; the ewe lambs are destined to go to the Lincoln farm to be used in ryegrass endophyte and grazing trials and will be able to come back here to go into the main mob of ewes as 2ths in 2012. The few sale lambs ready to slaughter, I have left in with the others with the aim of mixing in with the sale lambs from the science mobs that will be available later in January to send off.
The maize is growing extremely fast with the heat and sunshine and has had one watering last week as it was showing signs of heat stress and from now on will be watered regularly to meet its growing requirements.
The rest of the lambs are still with their mothers as part of a creep feeding and late weaning trial that science is running. The small paddocks of electric fences and little mobs make it difficult to check for problems, easy to spot but hard to catch without busting the electric fences.
The kale is at various stages of growth and has been sprayed for both weeds and insects, the insects enjoying the heat also. The average last season was
Fortunately there are not too many problems to have to deal with so far, although the conditions are likely for blowfly trouble.
The maize is growing extremely fast with the heat and sunshine and will be watered regularly to meet its growing requirements. About all that remained left to do sump tank has blocked or similar and before Christmas was to check the then stock need shifting to paddocks stock water pumps which I have made watered from the other supply pump, it a weekly task as it’s too easy to leave all jobs that take time, especially if until something goes wrong, usually it happens to be the weekend you on a weekend and the intake to the planned to have off.
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Water schemes: Playing safe As I write this in the days leading up to Christmas, it is a perfectly glorious day. Well... perhaps not exactly “perfect”, because the wind has tipped a set of lambing motels on its ear in the yard, left one of the rotorainers a mass of twisted wreckage in the clover, stopped the crop spraying programme in its tracks, knocked a couple of trees over, broken the radio aerial on my car, and tied the sheets in knots on the clothesline. But apart from that it’s a glorious, hot summer’s day and wouldn’t a dip into a pool of cool, clear water be a fabulous thing. And just look . . . some kind soul has built me my own small river and lake in the paddock right next door. The children and I no longer need to drive all the way into town. Yahoo! Break out the togs, boats, water-skis, kayaks, and lilos. We’ve got it made! Whoa! Hold on a minute, it’s not really like that is it? It isn’t a river and it isn’t a recreational lake. It’s a new water race and irrigation water storage pond. If you’ve travelled around parts of the district in recent months, you simply can’t have missed all the activity with diggers and scrapers as they have undertaken some truly impressive earthworks. Long kilometres of wide, deep water races have been carved along roadsides and across paddocks linking a series of huge, deep, high-sided ponds, some of which resemble small lakes. I’ve even seen a few mai-mais and water-ski jumps appearing in some! These watery networks will bring huge benefits to the agricultural sector and, therefore, the economy of our district. The water delivered will provide farmers with security of water supply for irrigation and improved production efficiency. It may even provide a much needed firefighting resource during what is shaping up to be a long, hot and incredibly dry summer. Canterbury has long had water supply problems. We’ve had enough water throughout the year – it just hasn’t been in the right place at the right time. These networks will go a long way to resolving those problems. Considering the size
and scope of what is being achieved, it is a truly magnificent scheme and we must give great credit to those people who have doggedly worked towards this outcome over so many years. However, as always, in everything we do there is a risk. These new races are not like the narrow, relatively shallow stock water races we are all used to. And the ponds are a whole new ball game altogether for many of us. The new structures are deep. Some are so deep that I have only known the scrapers were working there because I could see the exhaust fumes floating skyward – imagine how deep it must be to completely hide a huge mechanical scraper! Both the races and ponds have steep, soil packed sides. These will become muddy slopes when the water is present. Steep, sticky, slippery mud slopes. Water usually moves very fast along the races, particularly when the gates have been opened. You’ve only to look at the current RDR races to get an idea of how quickly the water can flow.
And it is not just the children who must be made aware of how to keep themselves safe around water. This message must also be taken on board by ourselves, our farm workers, and any visitors to our properties. These waterways are essentially another hazard on the farm and we must make them as safe as we possibly can.
Let’s think about that for a minute. Fast Now, I don’t want to be a kill-joy. This new water. Deep ponds with fast flowing inlets and outlets. Steep, slippery, slopes. water network is amazing and will add so No trees or rocks to get a foot or hand hold of. Not really the cleverest choice for swimming or boating is it? Sadly we have already seen one young man receive a serious spinal injury from diving into one of the races. Already this year throughout New Zealand more than 70 people have drowned in different waterways. How terrible if that number were to continue to rise over the summer months.
much to our district in many ways. Water is a precious resource to be used and enjoyed. It brings new life, but it can also be cruel and take away what we hold most dear. Like all things in nature, it needs to be respected. Have a safe and happy summer, and enjoy the wonder of this new watery treasure; just, maybe from a distance. There are safer choices for swimming. It’s only a swim . . . it’s not worth dying for!
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With the hot days we are already experiencing and those yet to come this summer, the cool waters offered by these ponds and races are sure to provide a huge temptation, particularly to our young ones who will not fully understand the dangers. It is imperative we keep a close eye on them and teach them to stay away. It is amazing how far and fast a child can run when you turn your back for just a moment or two.
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Water whisperings The Christmas edition – writing Christmas week for a January edition is sort of tricky. I do not profess to be a forecaster and wouldn’t want to be that far out. It is Christmas wish time again – my goodness was it only 12 months ago that we were writing for a January edition. I am sort of glad I did not meet the Tuesday December 21 deadline by our hard out editor. My article would have been entire rubbish given the weather events that week. Prior to that week I would have made comment that the season was not dissimilar to 2009 – cool with some interspersed warm “nearly” hot days. Only a bit over two weeks ago at the FAR Combinable Crops Field Day at Chertsey every one was looking for somewhere warm – or more clothes to brace ourselves from the bitter and increasingly cutting S-SE wind. What a contrast this week has been – hot strong NW conditions and that have been more than persistent. This is the time of the irrigation season demand for irrigation is reaching it’s peak; i.e. • Long days; • Warmer temperatures; • Close to maximum leaf area in most crops; and • Autumn, winter and spring crops all needing irrigation. All these factors contribute to the increased
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demand for irrigation and push irrigation systems toward their limit. If there is no supplementary rainfall and/or nor’-westers prevail irrigation systems no longer cope with the demand for water. Until the week ending December 24, the cloudy and sometimes cold winds had contributed to keeping demand at manageable levels for all but the lowest system capacity systems – those that have the ability to apply less than about 4mm per day over the irrigated area. It has been an up and down sort of crop water demand for most of the season. The time plot below gives an insight into what I mean. As the season progresses we would normally expect the slope of the soil moisture use from week to week to steadily increase for the reasons given above. Up till December 24 there have been some quite steep falls and subsequent periods when the decline is much flatter. The daily water use (mm/day) for this crop (ryegrass for seed) shows the same high and lower water use from week to week. Water use during October was relatively low – around 2mm/day and did not increase significantly until mid to late November. I have annotated the daily water use plot with the “general” weather during some of the weeks. The “flat” periods of daily water use and decline in soil moisture coincide with cooler periods – either NE weather or cold SW.
The week prior to Christmas the water use has jumped from 3.5-4mm/day to nearly 6mm/day. This the average water use over the 7 day period so there will have been days (Saturday 18, Monday and Tuesday) when we would have been in excess of 6mm/day. Unfortunately, no matter how “wet” the soil is, there is a limit to how much water plants can transpire on those exceptionally hot and windy days (especially when the wind is an advective one like the NW with lower relative humidity). On some of those days
the plants would have used upwards of 7.58mm/day. A second unfortunate, no-one can keep up with this sort of water demand. Even center pivots will be falling behind this week – just note most are designed for less than 5 or 5.5mm/day so even they will be more than 1mm/day behind the 8-ball every day. Then to complicate matters, the wind is damaging. Not only are irrigators on the ground but for some it is pointless irrigating in the wind. The water doesn’t even land in the right paddock.
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Irrigators must take control of their destiny Article contributed by IrrigationNZ With encouragement from both central and regional government the formation of irrigator user groups is gaining momentum. Individually irrigators are struggling (both financially and technically) to keep up with the regulatory authorities, and equally the authorities are becoming bogged down in a mire of micromanagement and associated cost. The only logical way forward is for irrigators to act collectively, within catchments or zones, and in a way that enables the regulators to loosen their reins. The concept is called Audited Self Management, a process through which regulators delegate the day to day management of the resource, under agreed terms to the users (the self management part) subject to an accountability process (the audited part). However, in order for this to happen successfully there is a need for cohesive structures to be in place between individual irrigators at the catchment zone level. IrrigationNZ’s MAF Sustainable Farming Fund project – The development of irrigator water user groups throughout NZ – goal is to provide irrigation communities a pathway to develop their own cohesive structure. At present, only when irrigators face imminent environmental, consenting and/or regulatory challenges has there been the formation of such groups. However to ensure long-term profitability and resource sustainability, irrigators need to ‘get on the front foot’ at an earlier stage, working collectively to drive water resource management forward. Irrigation is an essential input sustaining both farm businesses and their communities. It involves substantial investment so a long term sustainable resource is the ultimate goal. Irrigators need to be proactive and take full advantage of this opportunity to gain greater day to day management ability of the water resource. It’s time to stop fighting the rear guard action of old, take the bull by the horns and lead it to greener pastures! Once established, water user groups can
look beyond the current challenges, to the opportunities that lie ahead. For those that have, the rewards have included bulk purchasing of water meters, electricity price negotiation and co-ordinated service of a single consultant for the collection of water metering data not only for regulatory use (compliance monitoring and demonstrating water allocation requirements for consent reviews) but in a useable form on farm (system maintenance and scheduling). These rewards add value to on-farm practices and improve profitability. The certainty that the self management opportunities provide is not to be underestimated. Another advantage of irrigator user groups is the ability for the wider community to engage, and in many cases be included, with a visible and proactive entity. This enables open dialogue and understanding of each other’s position. Trust is fostered between all stakeholders, enabling better solutions to be found. Even when compromise can’t be reached through collaboration, at least all stakeholders can ‘agree upon the areas of disagreement’ creating a streamlined and less expensive formal process. Both Federated Farmers and IrrigationNZ are working on pulling together individual Mid Canterbury irrigators to put you on the front foot for the challenges that lay ahead. These include the water metering regulations, the Canterbury Water
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Management Strategy and potential consent reviews. A meeting is proposed for March 24, 2011. So pencil this in your diaries now as all individual consent holders need to be there.
IrrigationNZ will expand upon this article, detailing existing irrigator user group experiences around the country to better inform you of the opportunities for taking greater control of managing your water resource.
Remember this is about creating your own future rather than someone else creating it for you. In the following months
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‘Dairy Cow-it in Horses! A lucerne hayis’experience One family’s battle to bring back their placid palominio We have a beautiful palomino mare called Hidden Treasure. She is 14hh and belongs to my 13-year-old daughter.
their mineral balance out completely. She has written an article about lucerne on www.calmhealthyhorses.com. One of the problems is that the lack of sodium causes water to enter the cells and swelling of various tissues soon follows. Treasure was swollen all down her shoulders and definitely didn’t want to be touched. She was a very unhappy pony.
Although we had the normal teething problems one has when getting to know a first pony, overall Treasure was very good. She was wonderful to take out to pony club and shows as she was always so calm and didn’t seem to mind all the fuss. We had had her for nearly a year and Lots of that horses thought weget had‘dairy beencow-itis’. throughIn other words they are consuming lots the seasons with her, with no notable of feed but you would never know it by difference in her temperament other than their appearance! Like most dairy cows the normal spring “fizzyness”. these horses have ‘no top-line’, you can
see their ribs and sometimes back-bone. Just translates after Christmas last to year we thought This in horses saddle-fitting Treasure was well in her problems fromreally tryinggoing to fit a saddle to a hollow shaped back. Usually and thereher willwere be dressage, and my daughter other healthit really associated connecting.issues Then,concerning as if overnight, of hind-gut flora and behaviour. allthe changed. To reverse this syndrome is actually easy if you thewent right away setup.for You just doinexactly Ourhave family a week January the opposite to what dairy farmers do!
and my sister moved into our home to look after Treasure. We had been feeding her meadow hay in January as the grass had really dried up, but I ran out and told my sister to feed her lucerne hay which was all I had left.
A horse with ‘dairy cow-it is’! Look at the similarities in condition. A combination of the following points will get excellent results. 1. Feed as much hay as the horse will eat. If your horse is chronically thin and has soft to sloppy manure, you may need to turn an area into a ‘dry lot’ by spraying out or scraping the grass off. This is the best thing you can do to ensure the flora in the hind-gut is healthy. 2. Feed the right minerals. The disturbance to the horses in electrolyte balances “Treasure’ ‘lock-up’ undercaused the trees. by high potassium, low sodium, calcium & My daughter was in a pony club Teams magnesium from the grass is a major cause
Champs team and was extremely worried that Treasure’s behaviour wouldn’t allow her to compete. So, we called the vet out. He couldn’t find anything wrong with Treasure, and I got the feeling he just thought she was being a moody mare when I explained the behaviours we were experiencing.
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When we returned from our holiday a week later, the pony was starting to behave differently. She threw her head around and He gave her an injection to “calm the wouldn’t allow the bridle to be put on. She adrenalin” and said she would be fine to seemed sore to the touch, did not want to ride the next day to give my daughter back & extremely Alleviate-C beAlleviate groomed and was agitated her confidence. He was right, she was when the girth was done up – in fact to the calm to ride the next day and allowed us Tox-Defy point of trying to bite my daughter. She to handle her, but as soon as the injection was difficult to lead as she would jog and had worn off she was back to the ‘bad’ Premium New-Zealand-Horse throw her head around and be overbearing. behaviour.Minerals
The whole story: “Change in straw theinGrass Over the next few days these things got The final this whole sorry saga worse and my daughter had become came when my daughter was trying to Make Changes in the Horse” DVD scared of her. On several occasions she catch Treasure, and Treasure started to came running in to me crying and saying charge her in the field, trying to run at her Treasure hated her (which is how she felt and rearing at her. the pony was behaving towards her). It was awful and got to the point where I wouldn’t That was it. My daughter was petrified and let her go out to deal with the pony. the pony was clearly out of its mind and
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of the ill-thrift. New formula Alleviate C and Premium New-Zealand-Horse Minerals are perfectly designed for this and you can add plain salt to help balance their potassium:sodium ratio 3. Add calories in the form of extruded barley and maybe some oil. Extruded barley is ground and cooked so it is very digestible and we have found it excellent for giving these horses a boost. The mineral balances play a huge part in rectifying this condition. Provide It has been collecting forage tests to verify our feeding dangerous. This pony had gone from an recommendations. You will really ‘get it’ after
angel to a demon. The whole experience was so stressful that there were tears from my daughter and myself on many occasions.
What worked was to temporarily take her listening to the story asimmediately, explained on off all grass andwhole lucerne hay “Changes in the Grass Make Changes in and feed her only soaked hay (together the Horse”. with her feed of beet, oaten chaff, alleviate, You should see a marked difference in minerals and a and good spoonful of salt). one-two weeks they will continue to Jenny couldn’t advise us as to how long it would improve from there. Contrary to popular belief take fordon’t her toactually come right, it took horses NEED but green grassabout to be six weeks. healthy! fabulously The same horse just two months later.
Fabulous side-effects of caught makingand these When she was able to be changes again to the without diet: handled agitation, my 1. Amazing & hair-coat daughter hadhooves to get her confidence back in 2. Great behaviour dealing with her.
In terms of riding her, it all had to be taken very slowly because with every new thing we did, from lungeing to saddling up, to riding, my daughter had to take it very These events tookQ Vplace over several weeks slowly to gauge Treasure’s reaction to each O Z; M M L of these before we could progress. It was a and during we had kept trying AM I that time C O N T R Along, C T O Rslow S LT D VO with this pony. Q L M process. different things to work M Z[? I M A Firstly,I moved her out of the field we had “Keeping New Zealand Beautiful” I am very happy to say we have our put her in when we first returned from gorgeous, calm, lovely pony back in a good holiday, wondering if it was the grass in state of mind. that field that she had reacted to.
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It was a very hard lesson to learn, but what Then I went on the internet and looked at you feed your horse is so critical to its how lucerne hay can affect horses. There wellbeing and the happiness and safety of wasn’t much information on it, other than your children, that–it cannot be ignored. one blog I spotted where a woman – Gorseasked – Broom – Blackberry My learning curve was steep, but I am so if anyone had had any experience with grateful that there are plenty of experienced lucerne hay as her horse had turned wild. 9444 anyandtime willing able to assist when That raised questions inPhone my mind,03 so we302 people things like this go wrong. immediately stopped giving her lucerne email@example.com hay. Then I rang Jenny Paterson. To Jenny and all the people who helped us through this awful experience I extend my Jenny explained that lucerne hay is high in potassium and extremely low in sodium and heartfelt thanks. Spray it throwsHealth & Safety Registered Chemical Toni Lindo, North Canterbury if it was fed on its ownQuick to horses Equipped
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Harvesting It’s been an interesting growing season for Mid Canterbury arable farmers who face increased costs, and average prices despite adverse weather restricting wheat and grain supply from countries such as Australia, Canada and South America. While the effects will take some time to filter through to New Zealand, local farmers continue to adapt to the challenges with larger, more efficient harvesting equipment and implementation of the Arable Industry Marketing Initiative. Estimations from the Arable Industry Marketing Initiative as at December 1 indicated less than 10% of total barley production was available to be purchased, which was the same case for feed wheat. Figures for the planting area for the 2011 harvest show a 25% reduction in wheat and 30% reduction in maize grain compared to the 2009 harvest indicating a huge sell-down in the stocks between September and December. With some seed companies still retaining seed and space being reasonably tight from the previous harvest, Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury grain and seed chairperson David Clark said it’s important for farmers to keep in touch with their seed reps to ensure the stores can take the produce. Mr Clark said the world is fundamentally short in milling wheat and any uncontracted supplies of high protein milling wheat should be in hot demand
from milling wheat companies given the very high prices overseas. Mr Clark said farmers’ adherence to safety and close communication with their seed reps, stores and transport companies would lead to a smooth harvest this year. He said during the harvest everyone needs to work as a team and farmers need to be mindful in managing fatigue among their employees. He advises farmers and contractors to ensure their agricultural vehicles have safety chains, hazard lights and panels to maximize safety on the district’s roads. Like it or not, Mr Clark said farmers and contractors still have to abide by the constraints of the work time logbook rule and other agricultural vehicle regulations, which see agricultural vehicles come under many of the same regulations as transport trucks. Federated Farmers is continuing to lobby the government to improve this legislation. Mr Clark said Mid Canterbury was in the envious position of being well resourced and serviced by a committed number of local contractors. Mr Clark said the capacity of larger harvesters have contributed to a big leap forward for arable farmers enabling them to harvest their crops more efficiently, which is especially important when considering the unforgiving fickleness of weather patterns, which can only allow a short timeframe for farmers to harvest.
Agricultural machinery is being made larger and faster, offering farmers and contractors greater efficiency.
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Keeping track of GPS GPS technology will pave the way for efficiency in cartage providing companies with excellent traceability, which could lead to greater savings among farmers. Rural Contractors New Zealand zone three council’s Nigel Reith said the GPS technology which is already in use in America and Europe could be on the horizon for New Zealand contracting companies within the next three years. Mr Reith said using this technology, companies will have real time data on where their cartage trucks are from the office, which will enable them to direct trucks to farms more accurately, saving time, fuel costs and the frustration of drivers getting lost. Mr Reith said although vehicle traceability certainly has its benefits like monitoring the carbon emissions, the question concerning Rural Contractors New Zealand is who the information belongs to. For instance if police wanted to use the data to monitor if truck drivers are breaking road rules, it could have “Big Brother” implications on the contracting/cartage industry.
On the other hand Mr Reith said GPS technology could make invoicing farmers more simple as some systems can be developed to record data on the work done in harvesting farmers’ crops. Mr Reith said there was potential for contractors to also claim their tax back because they can show accurate information of when they were operating in paddocks as opposed to driving on the roads. He said the new technology could tie in well with GPS systems used by tractors and harvesters, which have been developed to the point where manufacturers can assess the performance of the agricultural vehicles operating in a different country. This level of monitoring and communication between agriculture vehicle manufacturers and farmers/contractors and will enable them to directly find the source and cause of breakdowns from the data relayed by the computer system on board the tractor/ harvester. Mr Reith said while it will take some time before GPS becomes more mainstream, he could see the information becoming a requirement of the industry in the future.
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Here for the long run and still going strong In 2008 Ashburton Long Run Iron made the move from Alford Forest Road to the Riverside Industrial Estate and has never looked back. Its larger new premises which was built by local builders, has been a hit with employees and customers alike, because of the large access area and abundance of room to stock a huge range of supplies. Owner/operators Ken and Willy Meade have had lengthy experience in the long run industry, and see their business as a ‘onestop shop for all your iron roofing needs’. When you step into Ashburton Long Run Iron it is more often than not Ken or Willy that you will be greeted by, so you know you are being served by the best. This level of customer service is paramount to their success, and Ken and Willy are always striving to raise the standard of roofing in Mid-Canterbury. Their roll forming machines produce a high quality product, and they manufacture everything from corrugated iron to Ashdek 5 rib and ridging, they also manufacture flashings, and have a wide range of roofing supplies on site, including paper
Willy and Ken Meade and fastenings. They stock more than 20 colour options as well as galvanized and Zincalume. The range of colours will allow your design to either blend with the local surroundings or use colour to enhance bold design. All of their iron roofing is 100% New Zealand made, and they source local services and suppliers where possible, ensuring that their business is helping the local economy. The new site is well equipped to tackle the large jobs, with two custom built gantry cranes allowing them to move five tonne coils. This speeds up production time. With their own hiab and flat deck truck,
they are also able to deliver 15m lengths without any hassles. All lengths they manufacture are specialised to suit clients’ requirements, as they cut to the desired length. The cherry on the top for their rural customers is that they are ATS suppliers, making purchases easy. Ashburton Long Run Iron uses quality Colorsteel roofing iron, and there is no better time than now to purchase your next roof from them. Until the end of March, you will be put in the monthly draw to win the
cost of your roof back! Purchase your new roof or re-roof iron, retain your receipt, and enter the draw online at www.roofshout.co.nz. Ken and Willy would like to extend their thanks to their loyal customers who have made their transition to the Industrial Estate an easy one. They pride themselves on their high standards of both product and customer service, and are in Ashburton for the long run, continuing their tradition of exceptional service.
Hydraulink Mid Canterbury Ltd (Locally owned and operated)
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We bring farmers the best available SEEDS at a realistic price For any enquiry call us today on: 03 307 8900 or AH 03 347 8018 Fax 03 308 2742 027-4323-356
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All prepared fresh on the day for a true Home made taste If you purchase a longrun roof between now and the end of March 2011, you could win the cost of your roof back. Applies to a new roof or re-roof. *Conditions apply
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Thumb’s up for ETS review panel
Don Nicolson, president, Federated Farmers
Federated Farmers has welcomed the late December announcement of the panel members that will be chairing the Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) review and will be pushing to keep agricultural emissions out.
whole sectors, like agriculture. “We need to find a balance between environmental responsibility and not imposing crippling costs on farmers.
Federated Farmers’ President Don Nicolson said it’s important the review panel asks the right questions about how farmers are managing their emissions and how it compares to what our trading partners are up to. “This is a good time to stop and do a stocktake of where we’re at with our ETS. In a world stuck in economic crisis these types of schemes have definitely gone on the backburner.” It’s time for our politicians to accept that we are alone in instigating a comprehensive, all sectors, all gasses ETS and we hope this review will reflect on this fact. “Our Government has just announced an astonishing $15.6 billion cash deficit. How can we justify spending $1.06 billion on an ETS tax that not only raises the cost of living for every New Zealander, but funnels our capital offshore and will make no appreciable difference to our total emissions? “New Zealand’s global emissions are apparently 0.2 percent on a world scale. As for followers, it’s just us and the European Union. Even then, the EU scheme doesn’t count
“Much has been made of the UN Cancun climate change talks a week ago but there remains no successor treaty when Kyoto expires in 2013. “From the looks of it there’s little global appetite for agriculture being included in any successor treaty. Nick Smith’s has pledged to keep biological emissions out of the ETS if our trading partners don’t follow suit. Federated Farmers wants the review to put that pledge in writing. “More worrying is that we still haven’t even determined how we’ll measure the ETS as being a success or failure. We’re taking a multibillion dollar gamble on a policy the rest of the world isn’t following. “Federated Farmers believes, as it has since 1985, that spending money on research leads to efficient production systems and therefore efficient use of resources. The Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases as well as our other research units fit the bill. “The emerging international consensus to fund research into clean energy, helping developing economies grow economically, surely a fine ambition in a world with growing needs,” Mr Nicolson said.
The complete service centre We believe good things stand the test of time, which is why at Ashburton Toyota your servicing will be carried out by our team of trained technicians, that have over 130 years of combined experience. Five of our technicians are certified to issue WOF’s, to get your car safe and legal as soon as possible. Here is the great news - we don’t just service Toyotas! We service, maintain and repair ALL makes and models of cars, as well as trailers and caravans. The Service Manager, Brian Hurst, leads the service department from the front. “Our service technicians know past and present Toyotas, and other makes and models inside and out, giving you
piece of mind that you can bring any vehicle to us and we will have it back to you in pristine condition in no time”. Our technicians receive constant training and up-skilling, so they are up to date in the latest levels of safety requirements. Our supreme customer satisfaction doesn’t start and finish within the workshop. We will pick up and drop off your car, within the Ashburton town boundary for free! Now that’s what we call service. When you book your next service with us, ask about our loan car that we have available on a booking system. Remember to book it with us though, as it is so popular, we want to make sure it is available when you need it.
Now that the holiday season is upon us, there is no better time to ensure the safety of yourself and your family by getting your car, boat trailer and caravan safety checked by our skilled technicians. We will ensure your wheel bearings are safe, if you are towing we will check the connections and make sure your cooling systems can handle the extra load, and we will check your battery. We do it all, from full engine reconditions, to engine diagnostics, WOF repairs and Pre-purchase inspections. Ashburton Toyota, we care about your car almost as much as you do.
30 point check
Your car faithfully carries you to all of your important events, 365 days of the year. Now the holiday season is upon us, book your car for our famous 30 point safety check to ensure your car will safely get you to your destination this Holiday season. The cost of our check is minimal compared to what repairs on the road could cost you if you should break down while on holiday. Our 30 point safety check comprehensively covers these important main areas: • Brakes • Lights • Steering • Suspension • Fluid Levels • Belts • Hoses • Exhaust • Battery • Tyres
Cnr East Street and Walnut Avenue, Ashburton. Phone 307-5830 or 0800 ATOYOTA. www.ashburton.toyota.co.nz Service team: Brian Hurst and Lyn Fulton.
You only get so many decades to say, we’ve For decades the climate debate has been dominated by cherry-picking, spin-doctoring and scare-mongering by the IPCC, the environmental movement and mainstream media. After a massive effort to overstate the threat of man-made warming, it has left its imprint on public opinion. Purely to harvest green support the western world has witnessed anti-food legislation urging the conversion of as much cropland as possible to the production of biofuels and carbon credit forests. Less measures to “protect future generations”, it has been more to shore up ruling party votes for each western government in their elections. Scientists even admit now that increasing CO2 levels have minimal effects on climate change, and this plantfertilising gas is beneficial rather than harmful for mankind and the biosphere. Many are now searching for a way to back out quietly from promoting warming fears without having their professional careers ruined. The Climate Conference fiasco in Copenhagen, the Climategate scandal and the stabilisation of worldwide temperatures since 1995 have helped give rise to growing doubts.
general public. They are also beginning to understand that major rain and snow storms, hurricanes and other weather extremes come in regular cycles, just like ice ages and sea level changes, with the causes probably solar and lunar-driven and not by varying levels of CO2. They also realise that claims about recent years being the “warmest ever” are based on questionable or falsified temperature data and the need to boost careers or sell scary books and movies. The public realises the scientific contradiction when graineating cows emitting CO2 and methane are considered bad for the environment, whilst grain-burning ethanolfuelled cars emitting identical CO2 and methane are considered good for the environment. Leaders got carried away by their own fantasies. Helen Clark declared global warming was a bigger threat than global terrorism. That means she would have preferred terrorist snipers running around on her roof to a warmer evening.
Even Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and one of the main players in Climategate, now acknowledges that there has been no measurable warming since 1995, despite steadily rising atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The greens overplayed their hand. The negative massively turned everybody off, even their friends. Relentless fear created more skeptics. To be told this is the biggest threat in human history–that we are facing extinction even, and to panic us into embracing radical and unwise policies that undermined national sovereignty, depressed the economy, and redistributed wealth, created suspicion and mistrust.
It seems that lay folk have been paying attention, and opinion polls in many countries show a dramatic fall in the ranking of climate change among major concerns of the
It was not hard to see the politicization of the field when politicians and scientists sang from the same song book. Neither did we warm to any leader declaring an ongoing
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debate “over”– based on computer projections, some already proved wrong, about a system as complex as climate and weather. Being taxed for something not well understood was unpopular and shifty. It was like imposing a speeding fine on someone considered at risk of speeding sometime over the next 100 years, “to protect future generations”. So, enter the new propaganda ploy. A recent University of California study showing that dire messages backfire is to be published in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science. It concludes that warnings about devastating consequences of global warming threaten people’s fundamental tendency to see the world as safe, stable and fair. People respond by disputing the evidence, and in the global warming case by cutting back on plans to reduce their carbon footprint. In the described experiment, 97 University of California Berkeley undergraduates were asked whether they thought the world was just or unjust and given two versions of an alarmist article. Half received the article that ended with apocalyptic warnings about consequences of global warming, and the other half got a version that concluded with positive messages focused on potential solutions, such as technological innovations that reduced carbon emissions. Those who read the positive messages were more open to believing in the existence of global warming and had more faith in science’s ability to solve the problem, whereas those exposed to doomsday hysteria displayed more doubts.
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The conclusion was that rebranding environmentalism as patriotic would reduce the numbers of skeptics. Beware then, of new initiatives. The New Zealand government will need such a ruse because even NIWA has now admitted to an absence of a statistically significant increase in average worldwide temperatures since 1995. NIWA has reacted to the Climate Science Coalition’s criticism that they fudged New Zealand temperature figures upwards, with a self-assessed, self-referenced self-exoneration. The price tag for renewables is extremely high compared to hydrocarbons. Consider these costs for sources of electricity in cents per kilowatt-hour: nuclear 4, coal 4, natural gas 5, onshore wind 13, biomass 16 … solar 56. For an economy with a large deficit, new eco-industries, eco-regulations and energy resources changes are unaffordable. Despite clean and green, the idea of sustainability is economically unsustainable. Little wonder then that around the world emissions trading schemes have not worked. At Copenhagen vast numbers of countries refused to follow Europe’s ETS example so the meeting
turned into a fiasco. John Key’s party is enjoying populist support, probably because global warming and the ETS have been kept out of the headlines and the public don’t know what is being hatched. There is no shortage of skepticism in the farming sector, especially after another freezing South Island winter that this year wiped out half the lambs. One duty of farmers is to remind politicians of realities. Electoral promises are like thunderstorms, big on announcement but mostly noise and promises of relief that fail to materialise. Politicians know that the ETS will be seriously challenged before the next election, so we will see it morph into a positive “opportunity” for agri-research. We will hear how lucky we are to be “leading the world” in new technoinnovation. You will be tempted think of the ETS as the farmers’ friend. So just remember the extra tax was stolen in the first place from farmers as a bribe for Green votes, still required, and has nothing to do with the silly tale that cows and sheep are wrecking the planet. With the ETS now in full swing, the same cows and sheep are still here, farting and belching even more than before.
Weather by The Moon: January Forecast Summary, outlook period Number of rain days: Precipitation potential times: Mostly dry Wettest periods: Warmest maximum temperatures: Coolest maximum temperatures:
About 4-5 January 2nd-5th, 9th-10th, 13th-18th, 24th January 5th-8th, 20th-23rd, 26th-31st January 10th, 13th, 18th January 28th-31st January 2nd-4th, 14th-16th
Best days for outdoor recreation:
Estimated precipation for Ashburton:
Estimated sunshine amount for Ashburton:
157hrs (January average 198hrs)
General January may be drier than average, with less sunshine than normal and below average temperatures. Some light showers are expected, but not enough to stop regional drought. The highest temperatures of summer may be in the last week. Atmospheric disturbances bring windier conditions about 1st, 4th-9th, 19th30th. The potential for maxima averages is 20-21째C and for minima 9-10째C.
Published on Jan 10, 2011