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November 2012

An Ashburton Guardian Feature


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soil organic matter

Beware of humate claims urges soil scientist Photo supplied

Soil scientist Doug Edmeades raises concerns over humate use.

He is concerned at claims applying such products delivers a level of “food supply” for soil microbes that in some way is not already being offered through the typical pastoral grazing system.

The report “Humic products. Potential or presumption for agriculture” has just been released by the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. It questions the validity of claims often made about humate products.

“The point is, if you grow 10t/ha a year of pasture dry matter and 20 per cent of that is not consumed, around half that, or about a tonne a hectare is going back into the soil.

Humates are typically organic matter that can be categorised into three key areas, humic acid, fulvic acid and humin. Dr Edmeades has analysed the report’s conclusions in his latest Fertiliser Review magazine, out this month.

“Around half that goes back as sugar, and it feeds the microbes and bugs already in the soil. Growing more above the soil adds more back below. Adding another 25kg/ha of purchased humate is highly questionable, and expensive, when nature is giving you a tonne a hectare for free.”

“Despite the claims of those marketing humates, they are not some recently discovered element arising from a desire to become biological or more sustainable,” says Dr Edmeades.

Agreeing with the cautionary emphasis of the report, Dr Edmeades urges farmers to look long and hard at the basics of their farm system before opting for “bought in” humates at considerable cost.

“With tight prospects ahead on commodity returns, “In fact the more modern term for something that has been around for as long as soil itself is ‘soil organic it is critical to really question everything. My advice is if it is not Scientifically Tested and Proven (STP) then matter (SOM)’. it’s best avoided.” “Plants do not necessarily require SOM to grow, we The latest Fertiliser Review marks the 15th year of see that through hydroponics. However SOM does publication. Over that time Dr Edmeades has built a provide some indirect benefits including improving readership of farmers wanting to see the conventional soil structure, and providing a means of storage for and not so conventional areas of soil fertility valuable nutrients like phosphate and nitrogen.” challenged. The level of SOM in New Zealand’s soils is already “I think farmers are increasingly aware that the recognised as being high. Dr Edmeades points to research indicating average SOM here varies between independent sources of scientific review taken for granted up until the late eighties which formed such 100- 300t a hectare down to a depth of 18cm. a back bone for many of today’s practices are gone for “So the challenge I have for this product is will good.” farmers adding a relatively small amount, maybe only 25kg/ha, really give the boost to their soils promised?” The job of sorting the “gold from the gloss” has been The cost of humates is typically around $2500/tonne. made harder with the surge in alternative fertiliser products on offer, with innumerable claims made While many studies have been done on the effect about their abilities. of humic applications on plant growth, these have “The need for rigorous scientific analysis of these usually been conducted in glass houses, often using products is greater than ever, and hopefully I am vegetable seedlings growing in nursery media. helping cast some light where it would otherwise not “To try and apply these trial results to pastoral be shone,” said Dr Edmeades. situations is simply too fraught with difficulties to To learn more visit: make them worthwhile comparisons.”

Any feedback is welcome, any comments about our magazine, letters or story suggestions. Please direct any correspondence to: Linda Clarke, on 307-7971 email: or write to PO Box 77, Ashburton. Advertising: Phone 307-7900 Email: Publication date: November 6, 2012 Next issue: December 4, 2012


A recent Australian report on soil humates has prominent soil scientist Dr Doug Edmeades urging farmers here to think twice before investing in humates to boost soil fertility.

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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South Island farmer of the year finalists

Three Mid Canterbury farming enterprises are among the four finalists for this year’s Lincoln University Foundation South Island farmer of the year competition.

from the innovation and knowledge shown, and in that regard these are all excellent finalists.”

“One of our criteria is that there is the potential for knowledge transfer so that other farmers can benefit

grow their own business and ensure New Zealand farmers remain world leaders,” Mr Todhunter said.

Final judging and an announcement of the winner will be at Lincoln University on November 8. All The finalists include Methven farmers Andy and Kate finalists will present their operation to a public Chapman, Longbeach farmers Deane and Joanne audience and the judges, and the winner will receive Taylor and Rakaia-based Synlait Farms. The fourth a $15,000 travel/education grant. finalist is Sawdon Station at Tekapo, which runs The aim of the competition is to reward farmers merinos. whose work showcases the best of what can be The Chapmans have transformed a traditional sheep achieved in farming. It is more than being a good and beef property into a modern cereal cropping and farmer, it means operating in a way that shows dairy support operation. The Taylors run a specialist leadership, innovation, efficiency and sustainability. mixed arable property, supplemented by dairy grazing store lambs and breeding ewes, and have The eventual winner will have demonstrated that used innovative irrigation technology to increase they are in the top echelon of agricultural producers farm production. and that they have developed, or are developing, leading-edge approaches inside or beyond the farm Synlait Farms owns nearly 5000ha in dairy farms in gate that enhance farming activity. the Ashburton, Dunsandel and Te Pirita areas. The foundation will also assist the winner to host an Ben Todhunter, chair of the Lincoln University Foundation, says the finalists all met the competition’s agricultural field day on their property early in 2013. criteria for excellence in farming practice, innovation “Through raising the profile of such farmers we hope and sustainability. others will be able to adapt these ideas so they can

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Photo supplied

Deane and Jo Taylor.

Innovative use of resources key to finalist’s approach A family link to Ahitana Farm that goes back more than 130 years hasn’t dulled Deane Taylor’s appetite for a challenge. “Entering the Lincoln Foundation’s South Island Farmer of the Year award was a great way to make me step back and look at our business from the outside and evaluate what we are doing and where we want to head in the future,” says Deane. Ahitana Farm, near Ashburton, is a 405ha specialist mixed cropping farm supplemented by dairy grazing, store lambs and breeding ewes. Innovation is at the heart of all that the Taylors do on the farm – from their use of

GPS to accurately monitor equipment onfarm, to their recent water storage system – which has enabled them to crop 95 per cent of the available land this year.

filling that up. Land is such a valuable asset that we have to utilise it as much as we can.”

In addition to her administrative work “We have embraced a wide variety of on-farm, Deane’s wife Joanne is also known innovative specialist seeds and crops. Some for establishing the popular Latitude would say that these crops can be high magazine. The couple have five children – risk. But we have found that using cutting- Jonathon (19), Oliver (17), Georgina (13), edge technology allows us to improve Thomas (7) and Kate (4). the accuracy of our use of resources and “People are our greatest asset base, within means that we’re more likely to achieve a and outside of the business,” says Deane. successful outcome in a sustainable way.” “You’ve got to be prepared to listen and Deane’s passion for farming is deeply to bring in people who fill the right gaps; felt, as is his sense of being a steward of even if they’re younger, and a lot of them the land. “We start out with a blank canvas are! Putting time into building strong each year and we have the privilege of relationships has meant that we’ve been

offered crops to grow that we wouldn’t have otherwise.” Deane is looking forward to the opportunity to learn from other farmers during the next stage of the competition. “It’s an opportunity to interact with people who are doing and have done things well and to listen to other ideas.” He will be bringing the benefit of a family legacy of learning along with him. “The family has been here 136 years. There have been lots of ups and downs but I guess we do demonstrate that there’s still a place for the family farm these days.”


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competition Knowledge sharing motivates Methven award finalist An innovative land-use conversion at altitude led to Methven farmer Andy Chapman being encouraged to enter the competition. “I think the innovation is seen in the fact that we have taken a traditional dryland sheep and beef property, situated between 420 to 600m above sea level, to one that now grows a range of arable and fodder crops. Our aim is to optimise cash flow and bottom-line results while minimising climatic risk and ensuring sustainability. In the process we’ve pulled together a lot of systems that are found individually on other farms, but it’s the combination of what we’re doing with where we’re doing it that is a bit ‘outside of the box’.” Andy’s wife Kate combines her contribution on the farm with her part-time work in the maternity unit at Ashburton Hospital, a 75-minute commute each way. The couple also have three teenage children - Tom (17), James (15) and Penny (13). Andy says he is looking forward to a twoway exchange of knowledge during the next phase of the awards process.

Photo supplied

Kate and Andy Chapman.

Passion for lupins spurs on Lake Tekapo award finalist Merino farmer Gavin “Snow” Loxton is passionate about lupins. He has been using perennial Russell lupins for the past eight years as a sheep forage crop at Sawdon Station, a 7100ha property near Lake Tekapo. Russell lupins are particularly tolerant of acid and high aluminium soils. Frost and drought tolerance is also exceptional. Entering the South Island Farmer of the Year competition was an opportunity to raise the profile of this innovative practice, Snow said. “We are passionate about convincing others that this is a viable farming option. We have had quite a bit of interest in the idea and we are keen to pass on what we’ve learned to other people who are genuinely interested in doing it themselves. “We’ve found out a lot of tricks along the way that are obvious to us now, but weren’t at all obvious when we started. For instance,

“Growing and learning as a person and sharing knowledge in both directions with other farmers were my two aims when I entered the competition. If the exposure that the award brings means that we can grow and expand our farming business then that will be an added benefit.”

we’ve found that lupins reduce wilding pine and hieracium infestation, a great added bonus. The increased dry matter production also allows for a more intensive grazing programme, which helps significantly in the control of rabbits.” Snow said he is pleased to use his success in making the finals to give a public nod to researchers from Lincoln University who have put time into studying his lupin approach. “Derrick Moot and Dick Lucas at Lincoln University have made a real effort to provide us with scientific information to support the system we are using. Credit should also be given to David Scott, a high country grassland specialist who discovered the agronomic potential of the lupin at the Agresearch trial site near Lake Tekapo.” Snow and his wife Susan (a chartered accountant) and their children Joel (11) and Sara (7) love the rural lifestyle they enjoy on the station.

Photo supplied

Gavin and Susan Loxton.



Innovation – more than just having a good idea Innovation is about testing and implementing ideas for an outcome that really makes a positive difference, according to Synlait Farms chief executive Juliet Maclean. Synlait Farms is a 4749ha multi-farm dairying business established in 2001 with properties in the Dunsandel, Te Pirita and Ashburton areas. This year the company is one of four finalists in the Lincoln University Foundation South Island Farmer of the Year competition.

we can provide greater and more specific learning and development opportunities for our people than would be possible in a smaller business,” says Juliet. “We have experts in specific fields within our team who can share their knowledge with others on-farm. For example, we employ our own veterinarians and our own water manager.”

She says this is crucial as attracting good people is an on-going challenge for the dairy sector as dairying grows and employees are drawn to work in the Christchurch rebuild. The benefits of this Synlait Farms has implemented a raft of approach can be seen, not only in terms innovative practices across its sites in the of profitability and staff retention, but six pillars of the business – cows, grass, through staff success in the New Zealand profit, people, environment and innovation Dairy Industry Awards. - but it is the approach to managing and The company has also implemented lean developing their people that is most thinking as a management philosophy. The striking. approach, which Synlait Farms has dubbed “InSynC”, was developed in Japan and has “The scale of our business means that

been successful around the world. It is new, however, to farming in New Zealand. It involves continuous improvement, waste reduction, problem solving, and staff engagement. Part of Synlait Farms’ approach is to be transparent and share information within the team. “We have our own in-house financial management and I believe that if I am hiring people to be in charge of multimillion dollar businesses and to make multi-million dollar decisions they need to have all the information,” Juliet said. “Profit and people are where it starts and stops. I wouldn’t have a business without them. Cows and grass are a means to doing our business but without our people nothing would be sustainable.” For Juliet, the passion for continuous improvement in farm management runs

deep. She grew up on a sheep and beef farm on the Kaipara Harbour, did a degree in agriculture at Massey University and managed a beef farm in Northland, before spending 13 years dairy farming with her partner Ben Dingle in the Waikato. The experience of being a Nuffield Scholar in 2000 was a turning point and led her and Ben to team up with their business partner John Penno and begin developing Synlait that same year. Juliet relinquished the reins of the Waikato dairy farm in 2006 to take on the role of Synlait Farms CEO full-time. “I’m driven to see an improvement in myself and in outcomes for those around me. I love livestock and farming but it only matters if you’re able to have a positive impact on the progression and development of the people working with you.”

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Contributed by Vicky O’Connor, Federated Farmers Canterbury field officer

farming issues

Let Fed Farmers do it for you As usual there is a lot going on out there in all sectors, especially concerning the Canterbury Land and Water Regional plan. Down here in South Canterbury we recently held an evening where Ian Mackenzie attended to help translate all the high-tech stuff going on around this issue. The evening was well attended and was eight days before the date the super submission was due. I was astounded that at the end of the night so many farmers actually had not read what was going on, we re-sent out the submission for discussion and some very late cramming took place to add to the already comprehensive document. I am highlighting this not because we are slower the further south you go, but because so many farmers are busy just farming! The answer is pretty simple (even here in the south) let Federated Farmers do it for you, that is why you pay your sub and get on with farming. For those of you that have a bigger brain than me you are most welcome to do your own submissions but our policy team and advocacy is the strongest in the country. The good old days of just doing your own thing are gone. I know this because last week I signed up a guy who last year told me in no uncertain terms to buggar off and

he would never ever join us! Even he realises that things have changed and he is looking beyond his own bit of paradise over the gate. There is a cost to everything that we do in life and increasing the production and land use means we really all need to be responsible for the future. I often hear and agree that farmers, for the most part, are and have always been responsible as we return year-in year-out to produce from our land. My advice, for what it is worth, is that the rules are here whether it is NAIT or fencing off waterways or water regulations, so get on with it or be involved in the planning of those rules going forward. If you can’t be bothered or are too busy or whatever, then pay your sub and let us do it for you. Of course you all get the benefits anyway so I guess it would be called bludging. Two very big issues at the moment to watch for, apart from water, are the Health and Safety Plan on your farm and also the changes for transport rules. With the Health and Safety Plan it doesn’t just mean have a plan on paper, it means apply it! And with transport issues it is an ever-evolving progression. We have not got all our own way, but we are reasonably happy with a couple of things we are still lobbying for.



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Contributed by Mary Ralston, Forest and Bird

The marrying of farming and conservation Last weekend was the 150th anniversary of the stone cottage at Hakatere Station. This building is perhaps the oldest building in Mid Canterbury and is symbolic of the history of farming in the area. The cottage is now at the entrance to the Hakatere Conservation Park. There are plans to renovate the cottage and other farm buildings and use some of them as a visitors’ centre, providing tourists with information about the park and the entire Ashburton lakes area.

plants and animals, or even the original landforms. Putting aside some land solely for conservation and recreation has become an important way of making sure that original landscape and vegetation remains, not just for its own sake but as habitat for animals, a historical record, a natural and undeveloped area for visitors and an outdoor laboratory for scientific study. Areas such as this as increasingly hard to come by in this age of development and intensification.

Farming is important to the area, as it has been for over 150 years, but conservation The Ashburton lakes area is now is now an accepted land use and also important for its conservation values as contributes greatly to the local economy. well as farming. The wetlands of the basin Several tourist businesses operate in O between the Rangitata and the Rakaia Tu Wharekai, taking tourists to see the rivers are considered very significant, and natural history and the film set of the Lord the surrounding tussocklands contain of the Rings. Every weekend hundreds of wonderful lakes, kettleholes and streams local visitors come to the lakes. Several of that provide habitat for many rare and not- the stations in the basin operate tourist so-rare native birds, insects, fish and other ventures, offering both farming and the animals. The stunning empty landscape natural world as drawcards. was formed by the progression of glaciers Farming and conservation managers which have left behind moraines and need to work together to retain the values hollows which offer a fascinating glimpse of the area. Merely designating lakes and into our recent geological past. wetlands as a conservation area is not The wonderful wetlands of the basin enough protection if the surrounding have been incorporated into a wetland farmland is not also managed with the restoration project called O Tu Wharekai long-term health of the wetland in mind. which began in October, 2007. As well The public also has a big role to play in as celebrating the 150 years of the management – for instance, taking great stone cottage, last weekend was also a care with fishing and boating gear so that celebration of the first five years of O Tu didymo and other invasive pests are not Wharekai. spread, and when driving, keeping to the roads to protect native vegetation. It is interesting to see the marrying of farming and conservation in the area. As We are very lucky to have such an farming intensifies, the land does not amazing area in our backyard – let’s all work on keeping it in good shape. necessarily retain the habitats for native The stone cottage at Hakatere Station celebrating its150th birthday.

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Canterbury A&P association

An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature

Budding auctioneers to compete at inaugural competition The Canterbury A&P Association is hosting the inaugural Young Auctioneers Competition at the 150th Canterbury A&P Show in Christchurch on Friday 16 November 2012. Mick Withers, competition convenor, said the competition aims to showcase and develop young auctioneers and improve the standard of auctioneering across the board. “We have a pool of good young auctioneers entering the stock and station industry, this competition gives them the opportunity to prove themselves against their peers. Winning the Young Auctioneers Competition, not just for themselves but for the company they work for, is a great opportunity, especially in front of a huge crowd at the country’s largest agricultural and pastoral show” commented Withers. During the judging, which includes a test of auction rules and a mock auction, each entrant will be required to sell two lots of heifers/bulls. The stock will be valued prior to the auction by stud agents and entrants will be given 24 hours’ notice of lots to sell and access to the breeder. They will be judged on overall performance including voice, diction, manner and values.

value. They will also be judged on their presence” said Withers. The competition will use judging guidelines similar to the Young Auctioneers Competition held at the Sydney Royal Easter Show which attracts finalists from New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. “Our long term plan is for the competition to become a national event, with the winners possibly competing in a Trans-Tasman competition” added Withers. Entrants will be competing for the New Zealand Stock & Station Agents Association (NZSSA) Young Auctioneers Trophy, a $500 Swanndri clothing voucher as well as prizes from various sponsors. Entries are open to employees of members or affiliate members of the NZSSA; competitors must be under 30 years of age as at 1 November 2012. Entries close Wednesday 31 October 2012. For entry information contact the Canterbury A&P Association on 03 343 3033 or

The 2012 Canterbury A&P Show will be held Wednesday 14 to Friday 16 November at “With the mock auction, we will have dummy Canterbury Agricultural Park in Christchurch. It bidders in the crowd, each given a maximum bid figure. The job of the auctioneer is to get top dollar is the largest A&P Show in the country attracting over 100,000 people, close to 7000 livestock for the vendor, pushing bidders to the highest and feature competition entries and 600 trade figure. Although entrants will be judged on what exhibitors. price they get, it’s about more than the dollar

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stock effluent


An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature

Contributed by Amanda Wright

A dirty topic

Stock effluent is spilled from trucks onto roads causing health, safety and environmental consequences. The public image of the dairy industry is also damaged by these spillages. The discharge of stock truck effluent onto roads and roadsides has the potential to adversely affect the safety of road users, cause adverse effects on human health, animal health, the environment, and give rise to nuisance odours. The discharges can result in negative public perceptions and experiences (by both New Zealanders and tourists). Spillage of stock effluent from trucks onto roads is a significant problem for road users because of the amount spilt and its offensive nature. Stock truck effluent discharges increase road safety hazards for motorists, including cyclists and motorcyclists, due to slippery road surfaces, and reduced visibility and offensive odours when spilt onto windshields. Stock effluent spillages on to South Island roads has increased during the winter feeding and grazing period, leading to increased concerns about the health and safety hazard for

pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and road workers as well as risks to drivers from obscured vision and slippery road surfaces. There is the potential for adverse environmental effects resulting from the dumping of stock truck effluent onto roadsides during cartage. The effluent may enter water bodies as a result of run-off and adversely affect water quality with the potential to alter in-stream habitat and ecology. Discharges also reduce aesthetic values associated with New Zealand’s ‘clean green’ image. Health and safety problems for animals and people can result from stock truck effluent spillage on roads and illegal dumping on roadsides. Mid-Canterbury is a dairying province with well-established meat processing and saleyard industries. Accordingly, at different times of the year there is a large number of livestock being transported on Mid-Canterbury roads. These stock movements are primarily associated with the movement of dairy herds and the transport of stock to end point destinations. Story continues on page 11

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stock effluent

An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature

What can farmers do to help? Farmers’ behaviour prior to stock being transported influences the amount of effluent requiring disposal in-transit or at the destination point. Farmers’ willingness or ability to ‘stand’ stock off pasture prior to transportation represents the single best method to reduce the amount of effluent collected in holding tanks. Animals that are stood off pasture, but with access to water, for a period prior to transportation, excrete less effluent during cartage. If standing stock is difficult and/or stock is being transported long distances, dry feed such as hay, grain or meal can be fed prior to travel. Less effluent collected in holding tanks enables trucks to travel greater distances before holding tanks require emptying, and therefore there is less likelihood that there will be spills or the need to dump during cartage. Research has also found that standing stock off feed for the recommended time prior to transportation has minimal effect on carcass weights, and therefore prices received. Standing stock off pasture also reduces stock stress (less animal bruising), and results in improved meat quality with the stock arriving in better condition. Many farmers have taken on board the recommendations of the National Stock Effluent

Working Group and are standing stock off pasture for the recommended period. However, to enable farmers to stand stock off pasture for the recommended time period stock agents must provide farmers with adequate notice. At present, not all stock agents provide adequate notice to farmers. A small number of farmers are not receptive to standing stock off pasture for the recommended time due to concern that carcass weight will reduce, and therefore a lower price will be received. Research has proven that this concern is ill founded because, as mentioned above, standing stock off pasture improves their condition at destination. To ensure that farmers stand stock off pasture for the required time, stock agents and truck operators must give sufficient warning of anticipated stock collection time. Cartage companies are responsible for collecting and containing effluent from stock on all trucks and trailers used to transport livestock. Effluent holding tanks are fitted to vehicles to collect effluent and to ensure that spillage is minimised. Together farmers and cartage companies can help reduce the amount of waste that falls on MidCanterbury’s roads.

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Burning off... never again! Another month has gone by on our lifestyle paradise. I’d like to know where the time goes! Now we are into watching the big tractors go past with the interesting machines they tow behind them. On our farm we don’t need things like that as they would only do two runs then leave. Not even sure the gateway is wide enough to cope with them. But that’s okay, as we guess what they are towing and make a game out of it. Our fencing is just about all done. Luckily the new pet lamb is not too bright and can’t see the small gaps.

no-one does that past us. So now you have a picture, here is what happened. I am in town with Number One Son and we are coming down the road just about at home and I say to him “our neighbour must be burning off”. Hope someone at home got the washing in, was all I thought. Getting closer to our drive, son says I think it is our place. “Don’t be silly”, I say, “your father doesn’t know how to burn off and we have a large hedge”.

Well, boy I was so wrong on that one. As I get in the gateway I can a see large flame through the garden I decided that this article would be on Tom and our not something I ever want to see again. I yelled at burn-off at home. In his wisdom last year, he thought son to go out and see what’s happening. I went to he would burn off one of the paddocks. He forgot to find the girls as they were at home with their father. mention it to me. I get inside and tell them we may have to leave as there is a fire in the paddock. They just look at me. Let me describe our place: We have a hedge all the “No”, they say, “it’s ok, Dad is burning off”. I think the way around the property, and the only openings are colour drained from my face at that point, and then the three gateways one off the road main gate and I felt sick. Some very choice words came out off my two back gates. The hedge would be 20 feet high, so you really can’t see in unless you drive slow and mouth, ones I will not write down for you.

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As I head out to the paddock, son comes back calmly and says “Dad set it on fire”. I am still not sure why the child seemed so calm. I am not. I walked to the gate to see more flames than I would like near my hedge. I walked very fast to Tom and asked what he was doing. “Burning off,” was his answer, followed by “I have ploughed round the edge, it will be all right”. He did have a water tank there ready but did think that if the fire got away it wouldn’t help that much. The hedge would go, then the house. Our nice neighbour came over to help Tom but even though he has done this before, it still made me feel uneasy. I just had to go inside and not look. I don’t think Tom knew how worried I really was.


The sad thing is that Tom got very lucky and about 10pm that night it started to rain. I thought then, it will now be ok. There will never be another burn-off on this farm again, believe me I have hidden the matches. And I made my thoughts on the whole thing very clear (Tom may have turned off after half an hour of me ranting on at him about how silly it was.) The good thing is we came through that with no major after-effects, like no house to live in. We all know now that burn-offs are serious things and there are rules to follow. An update on the animal front, after the demise of dear Ozzie. We have been given a new puppy, 10 weeks old. He is a mixed breed, his father was a chocolate labrador and his mother a hunting dog.

Eventually he comes in. All done, he says. I then said, that’s nice but don’t expect to go to bed tonight as you will be out there all night watching to make sure it doesn’t start up again. Tom laughs at He is very quiet and lovely but for me it is teaching me, don’t be silly, it’s out. another child again about not to pee on the carpet. And you don’t have to chew everything, so on and “Yeah right, I said, remembering once as a child so on. I had a very weak moment and let the rest of that my dad and brothers where out controlling one at midnight because it had started up again. So the family talk me into it. “You’ll look after him”, Tom there! said. Yeah, right!


welfare debt

Contributed by John Leadley

To work – or not to work I’ve long been a critic of what I consider the over-generous welfare state that has been allowed to operate and expand over the last generation in New Zealand. I firmly believe that what I see as generous payments are a major reason for the current perilous state of our nation’s economy.

the workforce and remain in receipt of taxpayer largesse.

It is economic stupidity as a nation to be borrowing millions of dollars each week to prop up tens of thousands of individuals who lack the personal motivation to obtain employment, or the commitment to remain in work.

From July 2013 this scheme will be extended to include further beneficiary categories – at least bringing some backbone to continued entitlement standards.

I have absolutely no problem as a taxpayer of 60 years in providing monetary support to anyone who for genuine physical or mental reasons is unable to provide for their personal welfare. They I believe are the very type of group which Social Welfare was designed to support at its inception 70 years ago. Social Development Minister Paula Bennett seems finally to be taking the “bull by the horns” and introducing some meaningful intrusive reforms that should help to decrease the number of young persons or misinformed adults who believe the State, ie the taxpayer of New Zealand, owes them a living. Intergenerational unemployment is simply untenable in this country. While solo parenthood seems to be an acceptable status these days, it’s pleasing that from this month domestic purpose beneficiaries will find it much more difficult to stay outside

At the current level (with one child) of $455 a week there is little incentive for employment, or disincentive for further children.

Having recently travelled through a number of countries where unemployment is at much greater than New Zealand’s current 6.8 per cent level, I’ve become very aware that the more value citizens place on having employment, the greater the nations per capita production, and the higher the nation’s living standard. Indeed employment is a privilege not a right and should be treated that way. I greatly admire parents who encourage their children to perform duties at home or for others, for financial reward. The rationale that work equals reward, and reward creates opportunity is an attitude that seems lost on many folk today. It is unfortunate that many roles (milk delivery, newspaper distribution, potato picking etc) that were so plentiful half a century ago are no longer available, due to mechanisation and other changing circumstances.


welfare debt Fruit and potato picking and other piecemeal roles where the harder you work the greater the reward were a great training ground to develop strong employment ethics. Sheep shearing remains one of the few occupations where income relates directly to performance efficiency.

including drug and alcohol assessment.

One and two generations later many of these folk own substantial businesses and play significant governance roles in many spheres of industry – dairying being a classic example.

According to Statistics Department figures, currently 13 per cent of the population are over 65 years of age – by year 2031 the figure will be 20 per cent. With many people not entering the work force till age 22–25 after tertiary study or overseas travel, and not becoming regular tax-payers till that time, it surely is time to remain in employment for longer than age 65 in many situations, if health allows.

For those teenagers on the Domestic Purpose Benefit, one in four goes on to have a second child. Furthermore, on average Domestic Purpose beneficiaries stay on the scheme for seven years.

This surely points to an overgenerous allocation of public money when young I struggle with the current debate that people should be at peak employment everyone is entitled to a minimum wage potential. of $17 per hour, and that the youth rate should be raised further. Not a situation this country can be proud of. Surely a performance incentive scheme would create job competition Perhaps if the 4000 absentee fathers and higher productivity from which the who owe their partners in excess of whole area would benefit. $460 million in child support were more stringently pursued, this would help I often hear people complaining that reverse this worrying trend. there are too many migrant workers keeping New Zealanders out of work. The decline in personal responsibility This in my view is rubbish. for one’s actions, that continues to occur, should not be subsidised by Back in the 1950s many destitute taxpayers. young men from overseas were assisted to come to New Zealand to increase the My other major concern with the workforce to cope with the post war current welfare systems revolves around boom in productivity. They were glad to the incumbent government’s absolute have employment and prospects, and refusal to concede that payment of worked hard to gain a foothold – the universal superannuation at age 65 is Dutch being a classic example. totally unsustainable into the future.

Employment is clearly related to attitude and work ethic. Back in 1955 the subject for our Young Farmers Club debate was “That the Welfare State has sapped the initiative of the people”. Very easy to debate the affirmative 50 odd years ago! Debating the negative today – virtually impossible. The predominance of migrant workers at local meat processing plants, on local dairy farms and other blue collar employment sites is surely proof that many Pakeha New Zealanders are work shy. My observations tell me that migrants in general, whether manual or white collar employees, are the hardworking backbone of many of our district’s businesses. Visit nearly any suburban seven-day dairy, a very demanding business, and observe the tenancy! I rest my case. To use Paula Bennett’s words, “beneficiaries need to focus on what work they can do, rather than what they can’t” adding that 60 per cent of those on benefit have never had a work test

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A gradual transition to an entitlement age of 70 years over the next 16–20 years is vital and has been acknowledged by nearly every political party except National. It’s time John Key to pull your head from the sand on this issue! Many of our most focused and reliable workers are aged over 65 years of age. Social Welfare is absolutely essential for those whose need is genuine. Fostering a generation of New Zealanders with large families who believe they have a right to a comfortable existence without employment is totally the wrong message. Some 20 per cent of New Zealand children live in homes where welfare payment is the main source of income. This cycle must be broken.


global farming

Linda Clarke, Ashburton Guardian rural reporter

Photo supplied

Methven crop and dairy farmers Craige and Roz Mackenzie were invited to attend a global roundtable discussion involving innovative and inspirational farmers. It was the first time a New Zealand farmer has taken part.

Farmers around the world have different issues “How many cattle do you lose,” a South African dairy farmer asked Methven man Craige Mackenzie during a global farming discussion in the United States recently. “None,” the Mid Canterbury dairy and cropping farmer replied, puzzled. Then he realised the South African was talking about stock stolen by thieves and those just desperate for food. Another farmer he met during the roundtable discussion worked just two days on his farm, and spent the remainder helping his large extended family and community simply survive, loaning out the tractor and plough he recently upgraded to from oxen. Craige was one of 15 innovative and inspirational farmers invited to the world roundtable discussion, which was part of the annual World Food Prize (the agricultural equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize). He is the first New Zealand farmer to attend since the event started seven years ago, and will send regular reports to fellow farmers around the world about the agricultural scene in New Zealand.

in around land use and nutrient limits. How we can manage our inputs and try to reduce our environmental footprint and be able to maintain the right to farm and grow what we grow.” He said New Zealand was considered by some to be a wealthy country. “We are privileged and wealthy when you think about that, and the fact that some farmers in the world have to choose which of their three children they will feed in a given day.” Because of that wealth, New Zealand farmers are an important cog in the global agricultural wheel. “We can help other people, through technology and advice, to feed their families, and then bring money to their communities. They will then be in a position to buy our produce.

“We need to be able to continue to be better at what we do, drive technology and have the ability to raise the bar. We have some of the best farmers in the world right here. Our strength is our knowledge, climate and opportunity and the challenge He said the 13 countries represented all had different issues, like stock theft in South for us is to take it forward in a sustainable way.” Africa and to transporting produce in the packed and poor streets of huge cities in Craige said sharing dairy farming skills India. with the Chinese had introduced milk, butter and cheese to their diet and a market Craige uses precision agriculture for New Zealand’s dairy produce. techniques and computer technology to map his crops, monitor moisture levels and “We should not be afraid of sharing apply fertiliser and other inputs only where technology and skills. It will come back. it is needed. Other communities will be able to feed He said the farmers all talked about tools, themselves and become wealthier, affording our produce.” trade and technology needed to farm in the next 5-10 years. Topics ranged from While genetic modification (GM) was part genetically-modified crops to smart use of of the agenda, it did not dominate the water. discussion. The bottom line was that farmers needed Craige said GM was vital for African to be profitable to invest in new technology, farmers needing to grow drought-resistant be it spray irrigation or a tractor to replace crops so they could feed their starving oxen. community. “We need to be able to continue to feed “There is enough gene technology going the growing world population, as well as on in the multinational companies without people in our own patch,” he said. New Zealand being involved in this space and there is potential for our scientists Guest speakers, including United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon, emphasised to help. But it is not only about GM. Our scientists are clever, like the research they sustainable intensification. are doing into endophytes in cereals.” Craige said all the farmers had different Researchers are making good progress in issues. In South Africa, farmers needed the use of fungal endophytes (organisms a drought-tolerant gene in corn so living inside the wheat plant) as a new way subsistence farmers could improve for cereals to defend themselves against a harvest yields to feed their families and range of pests and diseases. communities. “Our issues are legislation that is coming

“There are, however, benefits to GM I think

we should not be too naive about that. We should carry on doing the things we are good at and have an open mind.” Craige will report on his experience at the roundtable discussions to Primary Industries Minister David Carter and Government officials. “There were a lot of opportunities to build trade opportunities and networks.” He said many other countries sent trade delegations and agriculture ministers.

“It was a fantastic opportunity. I was humbled to have been selected.” He said while people wanted cheaper food, farmers had to make money to invest in new technology that would help them be more environmentally sustainable. “It is important that farmers are profitable, here or in Zimbabwe. You have the ability to be able to invest in new technology and be better at what you do.”


when to irrigate

Contributed by Dr Tony Davoren

What’s happened to spring and irrigation? It came, it went and it has stayed away. Yes, spring arrived on cue, then went away and has hardly persisted since. The whole weather pattern changed after the equinox – rather than persisting, the season reversed. And so has the need to irrigate. Applying water has pretty much been a non-event for all but a few. Experience of past seasons, as I wrote last month, tells me the equinox is the time when everything starts to happen. Days are longer, temperatures are on the up and up, we get those equinoxial winds (NW) often that are often strong and everything starts to grow. So it seemed until the equinox passed. Since September the SOI has risen sharply from negative 5 to be +2 in early October. That is, what was indicating mild El Nino is now suggesting mild La Nina though it will need another month or so to show it is not just “neutral”.

heed of the forecast. SO given there was good rainfall on: • 8 October (15-25mm); • 13 October (5-55mm and very cold); and again • 22 October (15-45mm, some snow and very cold); Just how much irrigation has been needed? Furthermore, if you did find it necessary to irrigate, just how effective has it been? For example, the following soil moisture record shows the urge to irrigate was neither warranted nor necessary. The rainfall on October 8 saved the need for irrigation. The urge to irrigate (the green) just prior to Ellesmere Show day was just that, an urge. The forecast was terrible (almost worse than terrible) and not only did it rain, but it took 3-4 days for soil temperatures to be above 10oC at 9am. About half the irrigation in the example above drained beyond 500mm in the soil. Questions:

Through most of October the weather has been pretty neutral – some cooler days, frosts, “Was the use of 28,530m3 of the annual some NW (as it was Ashburton A&P Show day), volume a wise use of water given the soil a couple of very cold southerlies (remember back to Ellesmere Show Day), some unpleasant moisture content the day before it was forecast to rain; and NE days and most important for irrigation demand, some pretty decent rainfall. What would have draining about 14,000m3 from the centre pivot irrigated area have I did concede that a start to the irrigation season was necessary – but with a few caveats; contributed to the nutrient loss from this farm?” • Not everywhere These are serious questions, not just • Shallow soils growing early grass seed my frustration with irrigation that was crops, kale and rape crops; really unnecessary had some thought and • Pastures on light soils; and forethought gone into the decision. When the • Some pasture on a long rotation Land and Water Plan becomes operative they (11-14 days). will be serious questions and will have a very I proffered up caution, to use some simple strong influence on the nutrient export from maths to figure out water use and to take your farm.

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ashburton furniture removers

An Ashburton Guardian Advertising feature

We like to move it, move it! With a fleet of trucks to suit all household and furniture moves, Ashburton Furniture Movers can get you on the road sooner, than later. Reuben Carr can estimate (by the amount of items/ boxlots) which vehicle will suit your shift and what the cost may be. Most movers in the Mid Canterbury area are delighted when they find out how reasonably priced and stress-free relocating with Ashburton Furniture Movers truly is!

Born and bred around Mid Canterbury, Reuben has resided most of his life here. So he figures he has a “pretty thorough knowledge”​of the area. With a reliable GPS, Reuben has the rest of the country (both South and North Island) sussed. With the love of a good challenge, Reuben enjoys outlaying each client’s move so it all runs to plan. Communication is key when a move is on - and as you will see the phone is never far from Reuben’s reach. The phone plays a vital part of the Ashburton Furniture Movers customer service! Hayley Carr

Reuben Carr

A very busy lady, Hayley juggles her busy life around husband, Reuben and their two sons and a career in hairdressing. With Hayley’s

supporting role in the business, ensures Ashburton Furniture Movers runs smoothly and efficiently. As a trusted member of the team for almost 3 years, Russell is who your treasured possessions are imparted to, on their journey to a new destination and home. With a friendly face and a caring empathy, Russell makes your moving as stress-free as possible. Russell’s moving experience has been extensive with over 11 years in the industry. The Ashburton Furniture Movers team can give you a free quote within Mid Canterbury region for packing, moving, storage and delivery. Just call Reuben on 0800 RELOCATE (0800 735 622) today!

Handy hints when packing • Discard any unwanted/unused items.

• Pack room by room - start in one particular room and don’t leave until finished. • Make sure all boxes are packed with lids closed and well labelled (on the tape is the best place incase you are using second hand boxes. Having lids closed will prevent damage and stack in the truck a lot neater, reducing the chance of movement in transit. • Don’t underestimate the volume of contents in hidden cupboards, for example kitchen and china cabinets. If these are left to moving day there is a good chance the removal man will have the truck loaded and out the gate before they are packed!

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Hayley & Reuben Carr with apprentices, Layton (7) and Jacob (almost 4) plus family dog Dascha

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allen custom drills

An Ashburton Guardian Advertising feature

Drilling excellence in Mid Canterbury For some crop farmers and contractors, the land conditions here on our back door in Mid Canterbury can be seen as a challenge.

“We can build everything in the drill to the customer’s specifications, from its working width, to whether or not it has a fertiliser box, insecticide box, crane and more.

We at Allen Custom Drills are here to meet the land conditions. Manufacturing air seeder direct drills for those all over the country, that are in need for a direct drill in the right price range, of any size and specifications, a drill that can not only sustain the conditions long-term but provide the most accurate results.

“We have many features available that other drills don’t have. Our drills are designed to be adjusted to planting different types of seed. “It also has to be tough. Drills made in Europe are not designed to handle the stony soils that we have.

RDS Artemis E-Drive.

“I’m very proud to be producing a New

The company started with Craig’s father, Zealand made product and right here in Dave Allen’s initiative Ashburton. The best part for with modifications We take me is seeing the drills out made on his imported there working, handling some into serious direct drill when he was rough conditions and seeing farming and contracting consideration any the client’s seed take off. himself. He saw a niche in the market for a low-cost, durable, simple and accurate air seeder direct drill. The company originated in 2002 and has been successful in Mid Canterbury ever since. It is now wellknown throughout New Zealand.

factors that will provide a cost effective, low maintenance and long lasting product.

Craig Allen is CEO of Allen Custom Drills and is behind the innovation, design and working side-by-side with clients as the manufacturing process takes place, ensuring this drill will exceed client expectations, no matter what size or model or the condition of the soil. “We take into serious consideration any factors that will provide a cost effective, low maintenance and long lasting product,” Craig Allen says.

“At the end of the day I’m trying to design drills that are going to be the best piece of machinery for the farmer or contractor in all aspects and seeing the results come through feels pretty darn good.”

Allen Custom Drills are built to an extremely high standard; every engineer working on the machine, every part incorporated into the machine is closely monitored and carefully checked through. The staff here are experts at what they do, they respect the high standards and they feel proud of the end results. Mid Canterbury is a powerhouse and we’re proud to be manufacturers here in Ashburton, strongly supplying a product

nationally and recently having the opportunity to supply internationally. We design our drills using four principles; We’re looking forward to seeing what accuracy, simplicity, durability and the future brings. reliability.

David Clark.


David Clark is an arable farmer, growing cereals, peas, ryegrass, clover and vegetable seeds as well as farming breeding ewes and fattening trading lambs. He purchased a P-D series six metre drill from Allen Custom Drills which was delivered in February. When considering where to purchase a new drill, ultimately he chose Allen Custom Drills. “We looked closely at all of the European air drills and chose the Allen drill primarily because of its very robust construction. The pricing of this drill was also more than competitive with imported alternatives,” David said. The strength, quality and performance of the drill have exceeded David’s expectations. “The strength of the frame is outstanding. The rubber block oscillation on the coulters means that there is no mechanical connection between the ground and the frame and we think that will greatly reduce the maintenance costs of the drill. “Being equipped with an RDS electronic controller and Accord electric feed rollers has meant that I can calibrate the drill in the shed and once the controller has determined the density of the seed, the application rate can be altered from the cab. We are operating this drill on a tractor with RTK Auto Steer so we know exactly how big the field is and this has eliminated any overlap so when used in conjunction with the RDS controller which is so accurate, we can precisely apply the amount of seed that is required for that field. As a example, in sowing new ryegrass seed crops this autumn in 25ha paddocks that were allocated 250kg of seed, we were consistently finishing these fields with 4 or 5 kg of seed left. “The manufacturing quality is very good, all plates are CNC profile cut, the frame and fittings are square and well laid out and the paint quality is excellent. This is a very professional product that in my view is the equal of any imported machine,” David said. Overall David found his experience with Allen Custom Drills to be excellent, exceeding his customer service and performance expectations. “Craig and his team have been fantastic to deal with, and were very collaborative during the design phase and several of our suggestions were incorporated into the final product. The drill was on time, on budget and has exceeded our expectations. We are extremely pleased with the machine and the service provided by Craig Allen.”


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methven seed cleaning


An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature

Professional, experienced seed cleaning Methven Seed Cleaning has been established since the late 1950’s and is one of the original Seed cleaning facilities in Methven. Previously owned and operated by stock and station companies, today Methven Seed Cleaning is a family business and is owned and operated by Craig and Wendy Carter. Craig is a well known sporting identity and is a respected business man in the Seed cleaning industry. Craig started his career working in the Seed industry, followed by 26 years in the Transport industry and brings years of experience to the table. He had managed the business

for 5 years, and 3 years ago took over sole ownership of the venture. Since then Craig has doubled his staff numbers and in the last couple of years has incorporated two new machines which has enabled the handling of more product. When Craig took over management of the company he found the advice of Sandy Leask – a long term employee - invaluable. Methven Seed Cleaning pride themselves on their personal service they provide to their customers. Craig and his team work hard to ensure that each job is completed professionally and to the highest standard possible; in order to give the farmers the

most benefit from their product and to pass the high export requirements. Their facility is a secure export site and they have the rights to Bayer products which they use during treatment to ensure maximum productivity to the farmer and currently there are 3 registered export seed inspectors in the team.

tonne of seed and grain. – Craig leads a fantastic team of hardworking dedicated professionals who are always looking to push that bit harder to get more work through the door.

The future looks bright for Methven Seed Cleaning – their proactive conduct in keeping ahead of industry regulations and Methven Seed Cleaning boast a wide standards ensures that they are always portfolio of seeds they can process. Their doing the best for their customers and with largest seed being the Broad bean and their ever growing client base; Methven the smallest being yarrow, brown top and white clover. The bulk of their dressing is of Seed Cleaning looks set to continue Rye Grass Clover, Peas and Asian Brassicas. servicing the Mid-Canterbury regions Annually they process approximately 4500 seeds for years to come.

Manager: Craig Carter Racecourse Ave, Methven P 302 8209 A/H 303 3009

Independent and efficient

Processing Rye Grass, Clover, Brassica, Cereal crops Registered agent for the treatment of your seed using Bayer product which include Gaucho, Raxil & Baytan


coulter seeds ltd

An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature

Photos Supplied

Seed mixes waiting to go out to farms to be planted.

Superb dressing, mixing, treating and trading Experienced Seed Specialists Exceptional Service

Seed Dressing Seed Mixing Seed Treatment Acclaim TM

Patrol TM

™Acclaim and Patrol are Registered Trade Marks of Orion Crop Protection Ltd. Acclaim and Patrol are registered pursuant to the ACVM Act 1997, Nos. P07770 and P08437. See for registration conditions.

All Grasses Cereals

Craig and Carolyn Coulter formed Coulter Seeds in the winter of 2011. Coulter Seeds currently employs eight full-time staff and are constantly looking for ways to improve their efficiency and finished product for their clients.

the seed once it is in the ground, this prevents the seed from being attacked by soil insects such as aphids, grass grub larvae and beetles, Argentine stem weevil, black beetles, spring tails, wheat bugs and lucerne fleas.

Being an independent company, Coulter Seeds are able to provide a friendly, personal approach with its clients. Its high standard of service and willingness to go the extra mile really sets them apart from its competition, an advantage its clients appreciate.

Once the seed has germinated Acclaim and Patrol further protects the seedling against sucking, biting and chewing insects. In addition to its two modern Westrup Dressing machines, there is also a new Cimbria seed dressing machine on its way to Coulter Seeds, and will be ready in time for the 2013 harvest.

It also has the ability to be competitive with pricing, ensuring its clients can remain Craig and Carolyn believe that competitive amongst what can be a tight communicating well with their clients marketplace. has been the key to their success so far Right from the start Carolyn and Craig have within the industry. Effective and clear communication with the farmers is had great support from local farmers and the extended community; this has enabled important for future growth and business success. Finding out what the client needs Coulter Seeds to gain confidence in terms and wants is the most important thing of business growth. they can do in their eyes, and then it is Recently Coulter Seeds purchased an about finding ways to fulfill these needs, a Orion Crop Protection seed treatment goal Coulter Seeds are actively looking to machine; the first of it’s kind in the South achieve. Island. This means that Coulter Seeds 2013 is looking very exciting for the team can now effectively treat all varieties of at Coulter Seeds; they are looking forward seed through the machine while using to getting started on this years harvest and Orion chemicals including Acclaim and hope the weather plays nicely for our local Patrol. Acclaim Insecticide is a treatment designed to form a protective halo around farmers.


“No Job Too Big or Too Small” Email: 5 Bryant Street, Tinwald, Ashburton

Ph: 03 308 2335 Craig Coulter: 027 441 1124

Photos Supplied

Orion Crop Protection Seed Treatment machine.

ray mayne


An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature

Contributed by Amanda Wright

Irrigation design to unleash your green gold To provide the production (quality and yield) benefits farmers want from their irrigation investment and to minimise its environmental impact, irrigation needs to be efficient and effective. This requires good system design, installation, operation and maintenance. Ray Mayne Hose and Fittings has been providing farmers with quality irrigation solutions since 1991 and, as a member of Irrigation New Zealand, is compliant with the irrigation design code of practice, which was revised earlier this year. Irrigation designers need to provide irrigators with systems that are capable of meeting crop water needs in a cost (capital and operating) effective manner whilst adhering to environmental limits. They also need to provide plans and system specifications so the systems can be successfully maintained.

pressurised irrigation or water supply systems. It is more than a drawing package because it combines the advantages of CAD drawing with powerful hydraulic pipe sizing and network analysis techniques, and also provides automatic selection of pipe fittings thereby generating a complete bill of materials. The all-inclusiveness of the programme allows Arvin and the team from Ray Mayne Hose and Fittings to design everything from the pipe and irrigation requirements, to testing the hydraulic movement of parts to make sure the system stays within acceptable criteria for Irrigation New Zealand code of practice for irrigation design.

Ray Mayne Hose and Fittings are thrilled to have the expertise and knowledge that Arvin has delivered to the team. After graduating from the University of the Philippines, he spent To ensure it meets industry requirements and time working for an irrigation research and produces quality systems, Ray Mayne Hose and development project under the Department Fittings have an addition to their experienced of Agriculture. He then worked as irrigation irrigation team. engineer for a British consulting company based in Manila, designing irrigation systems Arvin Acidera has been with Ray Mayne for various landscape projects across the Hose and Fittings for six months, and is a Middle East. He also spent seven months in dedicated irrigation designer. Using IRRICAD, Saudi Arabia as irrigation designer. unique computer software for designing all types of pressurised irrigation systems, Arvin After receiving confirmation of his residency can design a full system from concept to application, Arvin moved to New Zealand with completion. his wife and child and settled in Auckland, before coming to Ashburton to spend a year IRRICAD was programmed by irrigation working on a dairy farm. He is thrilled that he engineers from Lincoln University specifically has found a local business in which he can for use by irrigation designers. It is a stand use the skills and experience he developed in alone, graphically based, design package irrigation research and design. developed specifically for designing

Photos supplied

Arvin Acidera designing an irrigation system on the computer platform IRRICAD at Ray Mayne Hose and Fittings.

Sample of Ray Mayne Hose and Fittings’ irrigation plan used for presenting design concepts and preliminary drawings to clients and as working drawings for the installation/construction of various irrigation systems. This particular plan shows full and part-circle pivots and moveable sprinkle system on an aerial photo (c/o Google Earth) with information on pump and hydrant locations, pipe layout and sizing and all the existing infrastructures (buildings, ponds, fences, etc.) within the property.

Riverside Industrial Park, 13 Range Street, Ashburton

03 308 6022


upskilling in irrigation

Contributed by Paul Reece, IrrigationNZ

Photo supplied

Farms realise the need to constantly upskill.

Saving, and making money via efficiency A new course designed to up-skill irrigation managers is being offered at the end of this month. IrrigationNZ has been instrumental in developing training and resources for the design, installation and evaluation of irrigation systems. Now the missing piece of the ‘training’ puzzle – irrigation management and operation – is being tackled. IrrigationNZ’s inaugural irrigation manager training course will be held on November 30 in conjunction with Synlait Milk Limited. The course will be a full day broken into four blocks covering: Regulation Scheduling Operation and maintenance Calibration IrrigationNZ has deliberately targeted irrigation managers as we believe this is where the greatest gains are. Managers make decisions directly affecting the efficient use and profitability of irrigation. With the pressures of quantity and quality limits bearing down on farming operations, having

the skills and knowledge to irrigate efficiently is going to mean more than watching what the neighbour is doing. The ability to prove, justify and account for water use will become a given in the new regulatory environment. Highly efficient practices will now be the norm as opposed to being the domain of the top echelon of irrigators. Equally important is the fact that efficient irrigation saves and makes money.

until this point there has been little formal training available for farmers and growers managing and operating irrigation. The strength of these training courses will be their accessibility and applicability to what happens on-farm.

The courses will be a mix of classroom learning and in-the-field application. The venues will be a shed near you with an irrigator in the paddock to be able to Best practice operation of irrigation systems relate the learning to a practical situation. delivers benefits to the individual farmer, The basics of the soil, plant and climate their business and the wider community. With relationships will be covered to reinforce a lack of practical training in New Zealand the knowledge that managers have built up these benefits are not being fully realised. actually operating their system. Scheduling The irrigation industry has long recognised irrigation application within the limitations that each irrigation system presents is an that there are shortcomings in irrigation individual skill that has to be applied onoperation that this training course is farm. But having the knowledge of how designed to address. There is already good the different interactions relate will aid uptake of a variety of tools such as soil scheduling. The other important component moisture monitoring and water metering of irrigating is the equipment itself. Ensuring that help farmers make sound decisions. that it is maintained and operating optimally Further training and increased knowledge and safely will complete the training day. will strengthen that decision making. Up

As part of the course, take-home resources in booklet form will be provided for future reference and as training resources on-farm for existing and new employees. Individual irrigation manuals covering operating procedures, trouble shooting, maintenance and emergency procedures will be developed as an output from the course. To guarantee each participant gets value from the course numbers will be limited ensuring effective participation. Irrigation management is a critical operation on your property and there is increasing pressure to be able to prove that you have got it right. The first step is to ensure that the personnel managing and operating irrigation has all the tools in the box available to them. The knowledge and skills that the training will impart is a crucial tool. Irrigation training, bringing a level of skill and accountability for all actions surrounding irrigation, is no longer an extra – it is a must have. This course provides an opportunity to up-skill, ensure sustainability and add value to your farming business.

How can we help?

Call Us 03 3028098 Online Bookings

Luke Leitis, Truck Operator

Spraying Molloy Agriculture Limited offers a wide range of modern, fully computerised machines backed up by experienced and professional operators

Working in close partnership with our customers, our guarantee is great service, professionalism and reliability • 6 High Clearance Sprayers and 4 Spray Trucks • Trimble GPS guidance • Auto section control • Online bookings

• 24 or 32 Metre Booms • Slug Bait Spreading • Green Seeking • Variable Rate Spray Application

• Independent Agronomy Service • Latest ‘Muddy Boots’ software • Clear Cut Billing - per hectare basis or agreed annual rate

Other Agri Services • Liquid Nitrogen Supplier • Agri Chemicals Supplier • Agrecovery Depot • Syngenta Nozzle Supplier


Contact Sally Truelove 0274 362 458

Gary Rackham 0274 362 459

Read Our Blog

Visit our website

Latest Weather Online Bookings

Would you like to irrigate your land efficiently? Rainer Irrigation Limited will provide you with THE solution to maximize yields... variable rate control.

This new technology allows you to apply the right amount of water or chemicals to each area of your field – giving you full control over each square foot to maximize yields and profitability.


• Saves water and energy • Decreases power consumption • Changes application rate over different crops or soil types • Less track maintenance • Reduces runoff and leaching • Saves on fertigation and chemigation costs • Decreases and eliminates watering in low or flooded areas • Provides web-based irrigation recording and reporting

Talk about Accuflow variable rate control to a member of our friendly staff today for a better irrigation.

10 Robinson Street, Ashburton

Ph 03 307 9049 - Fax 03 307 9047 Email: Website:


R&R Haulage

An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature

Precision placement enhances soil nutrition The precision placement of fertiliser requires a number of factors. It depends on the careful integration of operator skills, sound spreading equipment and appropriate fertilisers. It is the integration of these factors that is at the heart of the service that R&R Haulage provides.

the most modern, advanced spreading equipment and technology.

accurately track the spread, reducing the distance travelled. It is also beneficial when work needs to be broken, it is easy to pin point the location to resume, and ensures great results over multiple paddocks. There is no lost time looking for wheel marks, and no slowing down waiting for dust to clear.

Through years of experience we have chosen the right tools for the job. With the latest Scania and Isuzu spreaders fitted with Topcon and Trimble GPS controlled computerised spreaders we can offer Delivering a service second to none in the variable rate spreading, proof of placement To keep up with a growing demand in our mapping, prescription spreading and Methven area is something we are serious industry all of our trucks are Spreadmark about. We are dedicated to a job done well. precision nitrogen placement. certified to meet bout widths of most tramline spacings. Single tyred mini Because we are equipped with the latest It means we aim to be the very best spreaders available for precision nitrogen technology, we pass on significant cost at what we do, a goal supported by savings to the farmer through the ability to placement on a variety of crops. Being experienced and friendly operators, and

Spreadmark certified means that we have certified spreading machinery, trained operators and an appropriate quality management system which ensures that our clients outcomes are met and environmental sustainability is protected. Our professional, friendly team of operators have extensive knowledge and experience throughout Mid Canterbury. We recognise the value of continually nourishing the soil. R&R Haulage - Your most trusted name in fertiliser spreading.

R&R Haulage

Fertiliser Spreading • Precision Nitrogen Application • Lime & Super Spreading • Advanced GPS technology • Mapping capability Our modern fleet of Scania and Isuzu spreaders are fitted with the latest Topcon and Trimble computers and guidance systems to deliver precision placement for each and every application.

Call 03 302 8650 Fax 03 302 8672

44 Methven Chertsey Road, Methven, Canterbury 7730



12 Line Road, Methven - Phone 302 8946

Opus has been New Zealand’s marketleading cereal fungicide for many years. We know you still love it (and swear by it), but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t improve it! Especially when it means you can increase your income by an average $95 per hectare!*

Unlike Opus, Opus Ultimate is a single-action emulsifying formulation - for faster, more effective, action against all fungal diseases.*** You’ll probably need a bigger silo. Sorry about that!

Introducing Opus Ultimate, the Opus upgrade with the trial-proven potential to increase yield by boosting disease control in barley, wheat and ryegrass by up to 15%!**

Available from your local rural supplier or call BASF on 0800 93 2273 Details at * In four irrigated trials Opus Ultimate, at eld rates, consistently out-yielded Opus by an average of 237kg/ha grain. At $400/tonne, that’s a tidy $95/ha. ** In ve trials in 2011, Opus Ultimate out-yielded the untreated by more than 3 t/ha. grain on average. *** In the 2010 season, the Opus Ultimate advantage was clearly seen on stripe rust and powdery mildew; in 2011, on brown rust and speckled leaf blotch. Opus® and Opus Ultimate® are registered trademarks of BASF Always consult the product label before use. BSF 7253 9/12


structure wise

An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature

Over 15 years of experience

Phil Williams

Geremy Burson

Are you looking for a TOuGH shed?

You may not want to hang a tractor from your shed, but it would be nice to know you can. Coming from a farming background gives us a greater understanding of what you require.


Pam Davies

With StructureWise you know that you are building with performance, strength and versatility. Built on time and to budget.

Testimonial We are proud to own and occupy our purpose-built facility. Built by a truly professional team, their attention to detail, follow up and ‘can do’ attitude made a difficult project enjoyable. Graham Rule - Director, Strait Freight

Contact us today for a no obligation quote and see how we can meet your requirements.

CHCH LOCAL (03) 324 3392

0800 115 000


Here at Structure Wise, we have been designing good reputation. When she’s not working Pam and manufacturing buildings specifically to our loves getting stuck into a good book or movie, camping, hiking, mountain biking, adventure customers’ needs for over 15 years. travel, skiing and spending time with her Whether you need a farm shed, warehouse, husband Gareth.What does she love about storage shed or hangar, Structure Wise is the Structure Wise?“ It is a company of integrity company for you. and they have done well by building quality buildings – and these generally sell themselves. What differentiates us from our competitors Nine years ago, my husband and I built a shed is our custom design and build. Our team of licensed builders, engineers, and designers, can with a different company, and it is not even in plumb! These buildings are engineered design and build your structure from scratch, correctly. We wish we’d shopped around no structure is too big, or too difficult. a lot more before we built! We’d certainly “We’re not just trying to sell steel sheds,” recommend others to do that as quality Structure Wise owner Phil Williams says. difference is quite extraordinary. I also like the fact they are situated in a small rural town. Our people Structure Wise supports their community – and Phil Williams and his wife Kate started Structure I enjoy being associated with that.” Wise a number of years ago. His experience Geremy Burson, who has a pre trade in in construction and his expansive rural background means he is well equipped to help carpentry, started working for Structure Wise clients, both rural and other, with their building in 2004 after completing a course in Computer needs. Phil and Kate have two teenage children Aided Design. Geremy started learning how to draft basic timber pole sheds with Phil’s Isaac and Brooke. Phil’s interests include guidance and now he does all the drafting, spending time with his family, tramping, as well as most of the orders for the company jet skiing, travel and reading. He has also completed several cycling trips; most recently including the structural members, cladding, reinforcing and fixings for each job. Next year to Tanzania, and Sydney to Melbourne. He is Geremy will start his diploma in Architectural often looking for further cycling adventures! Technology. Pam Davies will be your first port of call What does he love about Structure Wise? at Structure Wise and will assist you with “I enjoy working for Structure Wise, the staff are your query. She has an interest in building, all really nice and Phil is a good boss. He has architecture and interiors and was thrilled to made working here really enjoyable and always start working for a company that has such a willing to listen and help out.”

Beaurepaires – The place for all your tyre needs. No tyre is too big or too small for us.



Agri Parts Direct Ltd


to go for all your agricultural needs

Arable Plough Parts

Cultivation Parts We specialise in: • Tyres • Wheel alignments • Batteries • Fleet servicing 393-405 West Street, Ashburton 03 307 6050 Open Weekdays 7.30am-5.30pm Sat 8am-12pm

0800 4 PALMERS - 0800 472 563 34 Robinson St, Riverside Industrial Park, Ashburton

And much much more

Mid Canterbury From pumps to filters to motors and more, Hydraulink Mid Canterbury can service and supply all your hydraulic requirements. Call in or phone us today on 308 8848.

Hydraulink Mid Canterbury Ltd 39 Robinson Street, Ashburton. Phone 308 8848 email:

Are you looking at fencing your farm? Look no further than Rural and Outdoor Timber Yard. They have all you need at a great price!


Round Posts

Come and see the team at Rural and outdoor Timber Yard today. Corner South Street and East Street, Ashburton. Call us today on 308 6444 for all your timber needs

Now everyone can afford a Honda farmbike XR125

• Electric start • Extremely economical 4-stroke engine • Front disc brake

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740 East Street, Ashburton - Phone 308 2030

Are you a CRT Supplier?

Put your

BUSINESS HERE! Call today 03 307 7955


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Need a filter upgrade to comply with new regulations?

High Grade Stainless Steel Made in New Zealand for New Zealand conditions No payment until Feb 2013

For more information visit our website

*Terms and conditions apply. Available at participating Waikato Milking Systems Dealerships until 31st Jan 2013.

* Offer available until End of December 2012 Terms and conditions apply

*Terms and conditions apply. at participating Waikato Milking Systems Dealerships until 31st Jan 2013. A 100% New Zealand ownedAvailable and operated company

Guardian Farming November 2012  

Ashburton Guardian - Guardian Farming

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