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EDITORIAL COMMENT This month win Stags in the Mist by Connor McKenzie. To enter the competition for this issue’s book giveaway, email susan.s@ theguardian.co.nz, or write to Ashburton Guardian, 161 Burnett Street, Ashburton, 7700. Write “Guardian Farming book giveaway” in the subject line or back of the envelope, and supply your address.
Congratulations to last month’s winner: Denise Taylor of Waimate is the lucky winner of Travelling Hunter by Vern Wilson.
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When scientists and Nobel laureates start calling in unison, it might just be time to listen. More than 100 Nobel laureates have signed their name to an open letter challenging Greenpeace to end its opposition to genetic modification (GM) and some New Zealand scientists are adding their weight to the argument. The Nobel laureates conclude their missive by asking “How many poor people in the world must die before we consider this a crime against humanity?” It may well be an emotive way of getting their argument across, but that does not mean they don’t have a rational point to make. GM crops have the potential to be resistant to disease, use less water, cause less methane emissions, and grow in saline environments. The latter will be something required more of plants in the future as sea levels rise. Changes made to a genome can range from minor to extreme, and
as a nation we would be unwise to rule out all forms of GM without looking at the opportunities and potential such new technologies may provide. New Zealand could have a market advantage by remaining GM free, but Federated Farmers is calling for another look at the costs and benefits around such a classification. Farmers are not going to want to give away any market advantage they may have, but at the same time they recognise evidence-based regulation of GM could come to reflect a country which is both progressive and environmentally aware.
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Farmers prepare to battle velvetleaf Velvetleaf may have been in Canterbury for longer than initially thought and it was just lucky that an eagle-eyed farmer noticed it growing in the first place. Susan Sandys looks at the plant incursion set to cost farmers tens of millions of dollars.
Velvetleaf, dubbed the world’s worst cropping weed, is likely to have been in Canterbury before last season.
Federated Farmers New Zealand biosecurity spokesman Guy Wigley feels an immense sense of relief that velvetleaf was discovered when it was. The incursion of what has been dubbed the worst cropping weed in the world, was first picked up thanks to a sharp-eyed Canterbury farmer. In February the unnamed farmer noticed an unusual plant growing in his fodderbeet. He was not sure what it was, but instinct told him to submit it to authorities for identification. Mr Wigley said it was fortuitous the farmer had noticed the plant when he did and acted upon it. There had only been a window of about seven weeks
from when that plant was discovered until when it and other unidentified plants would have been dropping their thousands of seeds on to the ground. “Every week later was a week lost, because you start from day one when you find it,” Mr Wigley said. He was pleased with a rapid response from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). The ministry contracted inspectors to undertake search
and eradication campaigns, tested imported seed lines and had sent two staff to Italy to trace how velvetleaf ended up in fodder-beet seed boxes. MPI has now completed testing, in which six contaminated seed lines were identified, all imported by DLF Seeds. These were planted across the country in October to November last year on a suspected 1100 farms from Southland to Waikato. MPI is aware of 252 properties, mainly in Canterbury, Otago and Southland, where contaminated seed has resulted in the appearance of velvetleaf plants. And the pest plant may have been around, at least in Canterbury, earlier. Continued P4
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Velvetleaf is an aggressive pest weed that’s been found in locations around New Zealand, including Canterbury. It’s important that farmers who have planted fodder beet seed and rural contractors know about this problem and how to manage it. Come to a meeting in your area to find out more about velvetleaf, the problems it causes and how to control it. Tinwald War Memorial Hall Cnr Graham and McMurdo Streets, Tinwald Thursday 21 July – 10am – midday Learn more about velvetleaf at: www.mpi.govt.nz/alerts
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From P3 Mr Wigley said there was evidence to suggest the odd paddock had been contaminated the year before, however, contamination of the relevant seed lines had not been confirmed as there was none of the seed left to test. The evidence was that one field in Pleasant Point had been found to have about 600 plants in it last summer. Such a high number suggested a second-year infestation, he said.
No doubt the level of contamination present on New Zealand farms will continue to reveal itself as the seasons pass
MPI incident controller velvetleaf response David Yard confirmed the possibility of previous season contamination. However, MPI believed this was from one of the six known contaminated seed lines, as that particular line had also been imported for the 2014 planting season. “There appear to be very few properties affected from the preceding season,” Mr Yard said.
www.guardianonline.co.nz “If a large number of properties were contaminated, we would have expected some reports in the previous growing season.” No doubt the level of contamination present on New Zealand farms will continue to reveal itself as the seasons pass. While most affected properties are in the Canterbury, Otago and Southland regions, there are also affected properties in Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, Wanganui, Wellington, Marlborough and the West Coast. There was already a previous infestation in the Waikato. Velvetleaf has been classified as an unwanted organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993, meaning farmers who have it on their properties have a legal obligation to prevent its spread. It will not be until December that the plant will once again become visually prominent as its velvety heartshaped leaves and cup-like yellow flowers tower above crops on stems of up to two-and-a-half metres high. But there is still plenty farmers will have to get used to in the meantime, and that includes making biosecurity an on-farm issue, dealt with on a day-to-day basis to ensure seeds are not distributed from contaminated paddocks to clean paddocks. “This is going to be a watershed moment for all farmers in recognising that biosecurity is not just a New Zealand border issue, it’s going to now be an on-farm issue,” Mr Wigley said.
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VELVETLEAF AWARENESS MEETINGS MPI and partners are running velvetleaf awareness meetings, 10am to midday. These will lead into grower support workshops for those farmers which have had velvetleaf located on their farms. ■■ July 19 Waipara Hall, Waipara. ■■ July 20 Pleasant Point Town Hall, Pleasant Point. ■■ July 21 Tinwald War Memorial Hall, Tinwald. ■■ August 2 Ranfurly Bowling Club, Ranfurly. ■■ August 3 Oamaru Club, 32 Severn Street, Oamaru. ■■ August 9 Mataura Community Centre, Mataura. ■■ August 10 Salvation Army Community Centre, Winton. Biosecurity is now an on-farm issue, says Federated Farmers PHOTO SUPPLIED biosecurity spokesman Guy Wigley.
■■ August 11 Lumsden Hall, Lumsden.
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It’s about keeping people safe I’ve always prided myself on being a go-ahead kind of guy: embracing new ideas and technology, moving ahead with the times, an early adopter if you will.
Funny, but not realistic, says Craig Hickman of this tongue-incheek health and safety sign.
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I had to rethink all of that when a friend in Wellington tweeted me a mock-up of a health and safety warning sign that, bar the spelling mistake, I thought was pretty funny. “Hey Craig,” she said, “Do you have one of these on your farm gate?” In part the sign reads: “We have a very good H&S policy in place, it is called common sense. If you do not possess any common sense do not enter. You must use your common sense whenever necessary.” I laughed and retweeted it and watched things snowball as it struck a chord with the recipients. Everybody wanted a copy for their place, my phone kept lighting up as the tweet was
liked and passed on. Then I thought about it and realised I wasn’t actually being very go-ahead, unlike all the other farmers on Twitter who have been proudly displaying their proactive approaches to health and safety. Sure I require everyone on-farm to wear a helmet while on their motorbike, but if I’m honest I still don’t see the point at 3km/h on flat ground behind a mob of cows in 30° heat. Then I got to thinking about all the near misses I’ve had over the years, ones that with the passage of time become amusing anecdotes. Like the time I was managing a farm in the Manawatu. It was a herringbone shed and one of the lightbulbs exploded. Apart from it being a bit dark at that particular place in the pit it didn’t really bother me, so I ignored it. Then one day I had reason to climb up on the rails during wash-down. I was wet and holding on to steel pipework when my head came into contact with the exposed live filament,
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I heard a whooshing sound. Luckily I instinctively ducked as the irrigator’s boom brushed past my head close enough to knock my hat off. I blame the irrigator for the fact my pants were still damp on my return to the cowshed.
blue sparks danced prettily across my knuckles and I hardly even noticed when I came crashing down to the concrete yard. The twitching took a while to subside, as did the return of coherent speech, but it motivated me to change the lightbulb. Another time I was getting the cows in at 4am, it was dark and foggy and I knew there was a rotorainer in the paddock. The fog disoriented me and, as I went up a slight rise, I heard a whooshing sound. Luckily I instinctively ducked as the irrigator’s boom brushed past my head close enough to knock my hat off. I blame the irrigator for the fact my pants were still damp on my return to the cowshed. Despite these close calls, I was bemoaning the level of paperwork required for compliance when a friend gently chided me for my views.
He pointed out that a near-miss register alerts you to issues and allows them to be remedied before there’s a major accident, and that a hazard identification sheet might just have prevented my near electrocution. “It’s not about paperwork,” he told me. “It’s about keeping people safe and doing your best to prevent these things from ever happening.” So it’s time for me to catch up with rest of the farmers on Twitter and proactively get on top of health and safety, because it’s not about paperwork and it’s not even about covering my butt if something does go wrong. It’s about keeping people safe in one of New Zealand’s most dangerous work environments. Anyway, I hear there’s a health and safety app for farmers now so I can do most of it from my phone!
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Idyllic setting for aromatic industry Winter is a quiet time on the lavender farm of Russell and Catherine Rofe near Waimate. But there are still 8000 plants to look after and a manufacturing, export and retail enterprise to cultivate. Susan Sandys reports.
The Hook Bush Lavender homestead is located in an idyllic setting beneath Mt Studholme, alongside a distillery, shop and farm. PHOTOS SUSAN SANDYS
BY SUSAN SANDYS Bellbirds sing and fantails flutter in the garden surrounding the home of Russell and Catherine Rofe at Hook Bush near Waimate. The couple built the twostorey house after buying a 210-acre block, nestled under Mt Studholme, in 1989. The idea was to use it for family holidays, and maybe one day retire there. It was an idyllic site, including a 50-acre QEII covenant native bush area, and pastoral land to run stock. The couple lived in Timaru, where Mr Rofe was a Presbyterian minister. As well as cultivating his flock, his mind turned to the prospects of growing lavender, and around 2000 he decided to plant 250 lavender bushes at the Hook Bush site. In 2006 the dream of retiring there became reality, and it gave them more time to put into growing lavender, pursuing the possibility of producing commercial-quality lavender oil. Mr Rofe had some background in horticulture,
having worked as a rosebudder throughout his teens. However, that was it in terms of experience. Having been a minister throughout his life, there was no farming, sales or business expertise to draw upon. However, their dedication and passion paid off, and in 2008 they won a top national prize for their oil. “That’s when I decided to go commercial. We obviously had the right climate and soil,” Mr Rofe said. There has been no looking back since, and they have increased their lavender bushes by 50 per cent each year, to today where they have 8000 plants. They are planted on flat land over two and a half acres directly around the homestead, where there is also a distillery and shop. Today they lease out the property’s pastoral land so they can focus on lavender growing. This time of year those 8000 plants are receiving maintenance care, being pruned and kept in good shape. Most of the work is going on underground - the plants’
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Hook Bush Lavender owner Russell Rofe keeps plants in shape over winter..
root systems are where the chemistry happens which will result in strong-smelling flowers in spring. The Rofes use organic fertiliser and no sprays. “Lavender is one of those plants, if you give it the right nutrients they don’t need spraying,” Mr Rofe said. From mid January to mid February is the busiest period,
Lavender oil forms the basis for a wide range of health and beauty products at Hook Bush Lavender.
and a harvester with wheels is pushed along the rows so its mechanised blades can cut off the flowers. Bumble bees and honey bees drop with the flowers, sedated by the aromas, and the Rofes and their helpers often get bitten and stung as they gather the blooms. In the distillery the flowers are put into cylinders and a
wood-fired burner creates steam to channel through them, creating lavender oil and lavender water. Mr Rofe generally mans the wood burner. Temperatures can reach over 40 degrees, and days have been known to run as long as 22 hours. The couple are assisted in the field and distillery by HelpX H88 x W250mm workers, about 25 each season,
two to three at a time for two to three weeks each. They are from all over the world, and the couple enjoy keeping in touch with them, many of whom go on to grow their own plants. Mr and Mrs Rofe send their oil to an Auckland manufacturer to be made into a range of soaps, moisturisers and shampoos under the Hook Bush Lavender brand.
They sell the products at their on-site shop, as well as at A & P shows, markets and events throughout the South Island. They do some manufacturing themselves, making lavender water, massage oils, lip balm, sleep balm, healing balm and talcum powder. They export to niche markets, their main one being a lavender farm in Michigan, America, where five litre bottles of their sought-after Avis Hill variety is transferred into five millilitre bottles and sold to European tourists by the busload. The Rofes are currently preparing for the New Zealand Lavender Growers’ Association national conference, to be held in Ashburton in spring. Mr Rofe will be presenting seminars, including one on how to grow lavender commercially. The conference will be at the Tinwald Primary School hall from September 9 to 11, and will open to the public on September 10, 1pm to 3.30pm, with a free afternoon tea at 3pm and a range of lavender products for sale.
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Braided rivers are ecosystems of international importance. They are incredible habitats for many rare, endangered and endemic species, and in Canterbury they are the only remaining natural ecosystems between the coast and the foothills. Yet most of the time, in the lower reaches particularly, they are mere trickles of their former glory. Covered in weeds and home to predators, most of our lowland rivers are no longer ecosystems with much thriving biodiversity. They are places that have fallen through the cracks – noone has taken responsibility for then. Most braided riverbeds are public land, but there is no one agency that takes an overall view of managing
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this land. Land Information New Zealand (LINZ) is meant to have responsibility for managing weeds. Water use and regulation of pollutants that go into the river are the responsibility of regional councils (Environment Canterbury). A casual inspection of the lower reaches of any of the braided rivers in Canterbury shows that these two bodies have not been paying much attention. But BRaid is hoping to turn the tide on weeds, bird predators and disturbance. They have a partnership plan called the Braided River
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can be an important part of this network. In the lower Waitaki, members of Jetboating New Zealand are helping to monitor three colonies of black-fronted terns. Farmers are being urged to become part of the project by observing birds on their irrigation ponds, paddocks and along the river. Many farmers are in a good position to see these birds and pass on their observations. Involvement in the project can help farmers with requirements of their farm management and farm environment plans. And goodnews environmental stories about farmers is good public relations for the whole sector! Technical and material support is offered to businesses such as gravel extractors and tourism operators who are in a position to observe the birds and improve their habitat, and who are willing to modify their operations to help the birds. Accreditation from BRaid can be given to help meet the environmental and biodiversity components of Environmental
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Succession plans are vital Real estate agents are concerned about a high proportion of farmers without succession plans.
Bayleys New Zealand country manager Simon Anderson said his agents were dealing monthly with ageing farmers who were considering ways and means to exit their farm properties. But there were many without succession plans and they ran the risk of confusing retirement and succession. “The truth is the two are two very different issues and one has to be managed properly for the other to become a comfortable reality,” Mr Anderson said. He pointed to a rise in average farmer ages. Census data showed the average age of cattle farmers in 2013 was 56, up from 53 in 2006, while sheep farmers on average were
Bayleys New Zealand country manager Simon Anderson.
53, up from 50 in 2006. Dairy farmers had an average age of 41, compared to 40 in 2006. Additionally, Rabobank research had found fewer than 20 per cent of farmer respondents had a documented succession plan, 48 per cent had an informal plan and a third had nothing in place at all. That was despite two thirds of respondents aiming to hand
over the farm within the next 10 years as they approached 65. Mr Anderson said he had seen many successful farmers enjoying an amicable departure from the family farm, looking forward to a well-funded, relaxing retirement in return for their years of hard work. “But the critical thing is to ensure there is a good plan there, and to achieve that good advice is paramount.” Property Brokers Ashburton rural sales consultant Chris Murdoch agreed. “I think there’s been a trend of not worrying about it until the time comes around. Successful retirement and succession planning needs professional help and needs to be thought out,” Mr Murdoch said. Succession could be a difficult issue to work through as the farmer tried to be fair to all their children, as in reality what could be passed on to siblings who did not take over the farm was limited by the amount of debt that farm could carry.
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Scientists and farmers see GM benefits By Susan Sandys Some New Zealand scientists are backing calls for Greenpeace to abandon its campaign against genetically modified food. It comes as farmers lobby for more relaxed rules around genetic modification (GM) in New Zealand. More than 100 Nobel laureates have signed their name to an open letter challenging Greenpeace to end its opposition to genetic modification (GM) in general, and Golden Rice in particular. Golden Rice is a betacarotene enriched form of rice intended to counter nutritional deficiencies in the developing world. University of Otago Genetics Otago director Professor Peter Dearden said it was time to stop believing that all GM was bad, and with evidence-based regulation the benefits could far outweigh the risks. Massey University Institute of Fundamental Sciences professor Barry Scott said Greenpeace’s view was extreme. “Changes can now be made to the genome that are similar to those made by non-
GM methods such as radiation treatment,” he said. Federated Farmers president
William Rolleston questioned New Zealand’s eagerness to reject GM in his address at the
organisation’s recent annual general meeting. Thanks to gene editing, GM
was more accurate, accessible and cheaper than it had ever been. “It will soon overtake conventional breeding in cost, speed and safety and we need to be prepared for it,” Dr Rolleston said. Last year AgResearch had reported using biotechnology to improve ryegrass, including its environmental footprint. Trials of this system were being carried out in the USA in alfalfa and soybeans because New Zealand regulations were too hard. “I’m told American farmers can’t wait to get their hands on it. The GM free premium will have to be pretty high to make rejecting this technology worth it,” Dr Rolleston said. GM could also help fight pests and save native species. “So we will soon be faced with a moral dilemma - use GM because it will assist us to reach our environmental and economic aspirations, or reject it because we are scared of the market. If there were one place New Zealand could show environmental leadership it is here.”
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New app a practical safety measure By Susan Sandys A new health and safety app is cutting down paperwork for farmers following the introduction of new health and safety legislation, say its developers. Synlait co-founder Juliet Maclean and former colleagues Ryan Higgs and Michael Falconer established the Christchurch-based company OnSide, which launched its OnSide app in April. Chief executive Mr Higgs said that about 1000 people had registered so far. It had been free the past few months, and the subscription model was launched late last month. There had been strong feedback at the Fieldays, and even non-farming sectors including a ski area and a power company had indicated their interest. â€œFarmers can expect scrutiny around health and safety compliance to ramp up as the result of the Act,â€? Mr Higgs said. OnSide provided a practical tool which contained all the
OnSide developers (from left) Michael Falconer, Juliet Maclean and Ryan Higgs.
key safety plan elements. First-time visitors to an OnSide-registered property could download the app on their phone, and use it for free as a casual visitor. Those who became regular visitors would need to subscribe.
The app is considered particularly useful for properties where there are multiple entry points and many people coming and going. Those entering are prompted to sign in on their phones as they cross a virtual
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Sustainable farming helping salmon
Releasing salmon into Lyell Creek are (from left) Fish and Game field officer Steve Terry, Hunting and Fishing Kaikoura owner Anton Evans and The Kiwi Bushman Youtube sensation Josh James. PHOTO SUPPLIED
Kaikoura dairy farmers are helping with a creek-enhancement project supporting increased salmon numbers, much to the satisfaction of Fish and Game. Nelson Marlborough Fish and Game and Kaikoura Salmon Enhancement Trust volunteers, including local school children, released 8000 salmon into Lyell Creek late last month. The fish were bred at North Canterbury Fish and Game’s Montrose hatchery on the Rakaia River, and transported to Kerry Harris’s farm. Fish and Game South Island communications advisor Richard Cosgrove said it was great to see such a good turnout on the day, and it even attracted the attention of Kiwi Bushman YouTube sensation Josh James of the West Coast, who helped out. Trust members have been improving the creek’s spawning habitat, and it was the third salmon release to the area. Everyone’s hard work is already paying off with fish being caught by anglers about one year earlier than expected. “Combined with the sterling efforts of all of the dairy farmers in the Kaikoura district following Sustainable Milk Plans, the habitat for these fish will only improve as the years progress,” Mr Cosgrove said.
Environmental challenges Federated Farmers is on board with challenges laid down by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment late last month.
Federated Farmers agrees with her assessment that the biggest issue facing New Zealand is climate change. The Commissioner has highlighted urban areas as key to reducing greenhouse gases, especially from transport. She calls for cities which are low carbon as well as affordable. Building resilience in our agriculture sector is also of great importance. We need to prepare for more extreme weather events - water storage projects are crucial to give farmers the reliable source of water required. In regards to water quality the Commissioner brings to the forefront that much environmental concern is reactive and subject to fashion. She emphasises State of the
Environment reports must be built on a bedrock of scientific evidence. Under scrutiny the Environment Aotearoa Report 2015 did not always do this. Last year the report was released with a media headline that water quality is declining. That headline was not supported by the statistics in the report and the Ministry for the Environment was quick to correct it. We must adhere to the highest standards of rigour in our reporting so that we can move on from debating statistics, and get on with solutions. Natural forested areas will always have better water quality but unless we all go back to where we came from, we will never get back to the pre-human state that is currently used as a baseline. Federated Farmers agrees with the Commissioner that most issues are at a local level not at national scale. Environment Aotearoa statistics show the 80/20 game. Across the range of water quality attributes, most waterways show 80 per cent
to be improving or not going backwards. The other 20 per cent make up the local hotspots where we must focus. There is much noise calling for swimmability of rivers. Farmers are keen for every man and their dog to be able to enjoy local swimming holes. The Commissioner rebuked the Ministry for the Environment on not including swimming data in the Environment Aotearoa report. She said that even if the information is not perfect, we need to see it. Federated Farmers strongly agrees. We cannot have a sensible national conversation about swimming without national data. More importantly this information is collected and understood at the local level and so decisionmaking needs to remain with local communities. The Commission has also highlighted erosion as a concern. Federated Farmers agrees this is an important legacy issue. Gisborne is our national hotspot for sediment and we applaud the partnership programmes that are already underway
with central government and Gisborne Council working alongside landowners to prioritise and address erosion hotspots. The Ministry for Primary Industries has recently beefed up investment to accelerate progress. We know from our experience in Gisborne there are no silver bullet solutions. Success will be found by working on the ground with local people and tailored solutions. The Commissioner has issued a rallying call that our native species are under sustained attack from predators. She commends Battle for the Birds but recommends we lift our sights from battles that hold the line to figuring out how to win the war. Federated Farmers is in total agreement. This won’t be about just the Department of Conservation, it has to be a team game. Again, farmers are up for the challenge. Just remember what the Farmy Army and Student Volunteer Army together achieved in Christchurch.
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NZ NEWS BRIEF
$3.75 million for NZ-China research collaboration Better scientific engagement between China and New Zealand is to result from $3.75 million funding announced this month, says Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce. Successful applicants to host three New Zealand-China Research Collaboration Centres are Lincoln University - New Zealand-China Water Research Centre, Massey University - New Zealand-China Food Protection Network, and the University of Otago - New Zealand-China Non-Communicable Diseases Collaboration. “These centres will be creating more enduring relationships with China, building on existing bilateral programmes,” Mr Joyce said. “International science and innovation connections…bring new ideas, technology and sources of funding into New Zealand, and are crucial for the export of innovations generated in New Zealand. Lincoln University soil and environmental science professor Hong Di said the New Zealand-China Water Research Centre, to be based at Lincoln, would enable New Zealand and Chinese scientists to develop research strategies relevant to both countries around water quality and quantity. “Issues such as ground and surface water contamination by agrichemicals and poor water use efficiency by irrigation are common in China and New Zealand,” he said.
Less delays and more staff at OIO Overseas Investment Office (OIO) fee increases will enable the office to do its job better, says Minister for Land Information Louise Upston. New fees, representing increases for various application types of up to 166 per cent, took effect this month. They would enable more OIO staff to be hired and reduce administrative delays, Ms Upston said. “The overall effect of these changes will be to ensure that New Zealand’s economic interests are adequately safeguarded, while the compliance costs associated with overseas investment applications are reduced,” Ms Upston said. “The OIO’s job is to ensure that overseas investors seeking to invest in our sensitive assets meet a number of stringent criteria. Fee increases will help the OIO do that job better.”
PHILL STAYS GREEN WITH INCREASED REVENUE Farm owner and agricultural consultant Phill Everest uses Growsmart® Precision VRI to “kill five birds with one stone.” He’s able to improve the sustainability of his dairy operation while reducing its environmental impacts. Phill sees the benefits in terms of track maintenance and grass growth as well as ensuring the availability of his water. The water he saves under one pivot can be redistributed to irrigate an additional 23ha of his farm. FieldNET® integrates with Precision VRI to provide complete remote pivot management, with VRI control, monitoring and reporting. “The first time using the new FieldNET tool for Precision VRI, I found it very easy. It was much simpler and quicker having just the one place to go to control my pivot and manage my Precision plans” Find out how you could benefit from increased water efficiency using Precision VRI with FieldNET by talking to your Zimmatic® dealer or visiting growsmartprecisionvri.co.nz
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There’s nothing wrong with giving your family and farm dogs a good pat on the head, but don’t let them lick you. That’s the advice of scientists following a British woman being admitted to intensive care due to organ failure. The 70-year-old contracted a rare, yet potentially life-threatening, infection believed to be transmitted by her pet italian greyhound. Paramedics discovered her slumped in her chair after she had slurred speech and became unresponsive while on the telephone to a relative. Blood cultures revealed capnocytophaga canimorsus, a bacterium which can cause sepsis in humans and frequently isolated in the oral cavities of cats and dogs. After two weeks of intensive care and antibiotic treatment, the patient made a full recovery, the British Medical Journal reported. Only 13 cases of sepsis related to C. canimorsus have been reported in the UK since 1990. Mortality rates of 26%, with 60% of cases reporting a dog bite and 24% reporting other dog contact, have been documented.
Rural businesswomen encouraged to enter awards Canterbury magazine entrepreneur Joanne Taylor is encouraging fellow rural businesswomen to enter the Enterprising Rural Women Awards (ERWA). The Latitude founder and editor, Eiffelton farmer and mum of five was last year’s supreme winner at the awards, held annually by Rural Women New Zealand. Mrs Taylor is encouraging others to “just do it”, and enter the competition. “It makes you look at all aspects of your business, from where you started, the journey of your business and seeing how far you have come. The support you get from the many people within Rural Women New Zealand is fantastic,” she said. Rural Women New Zealand is inviting entries from businesswomen who have strong entrepreneurial skills, are innovative, embrace new technology, and are active in their rural community. Each category winner receives $1000 in prize money and a trophy, with a further $1000 being awarded to the supreme winner who is judged the outstanding rural businesswoman of the year.
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Colgate community recycle drive FREE MONTHLY COMPOST WORKSHOP Here in Ashburton you can learn about compost at the FREE monthly compost workshop Sheryl Stivens
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Colgate has launched the second edition of the Colgate Community Recycle Drive. New Zealanders can now save used oral care items from landfill and join a nationwide competition to help raise funds for a local school, club or community group. After the success of the first Colgate Community Recycle Drive that diverted over 45,000 pieces of used oral care products from landfill, Colgate is inviting all schools and community groups to take part in the 2016 edition of the competition. The Colgate Community Recycle Drive encourages all New Zealanders to recycle their used oral care items including toothbrushes, toothpaste tubes and their
Date: Monday 25th July Time: 12.30-1.30 outer packaging as well as floss containers and have a chance to win prizes. Colgate is working with TerraCycle to tackle oral care waste through the Oral Care Recycling Programme. The Community Recycle Drive engages local communities, schools and households around sustainability whilst raising funds for local projects From June 1 - August 31
2016 Schools, preschools, clubs or community groups, that register as a collection location and send in oral care waste before the end of August 2016 will run for a chance to win a share of a national prize pool of $20,000 cash or a park bench made from recycled oral care waste valued at $1500. To join up your group or school see the TerraCycle website www.terracycle.co.nz.
Where: Ashburton Resource Recovery Park Eco Education centre for further enquiries call 0800 627 824 or email sherylstivens@ gmail.com
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Kiwi eco-warrior set to travel Two young Kiwis are taking a stand against waste, turning trash into a boat to sail down one of the world's longest and most polluted rivers on a ‘no waste’ journey. The inspiration for Recycled Mississippi Travelling on Trash came through two travelling friends getting together to find a creative way to get more people involved and thinking about issues around waste. ‘We thought why don’t we go down one of the most polluted rivers in the world to really drive home the issue. We will be able to see where the pollution is most concentrated and connect with communities that have turned their part of the river around”. The other part of the trip was to attempt a “no waste” journey with no wrappers or containers along the way. The Recycled Mississippi Team has posted YouTube clips along the way to get people engaged in their campaign.
COMPETITION Competition to create the ultimate compost. Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology horticulture tutor Don Cross has organised a compostmaking competition for his students to expand their knowledge of soils. The team based competition has seen eight different projects underway and the winning compost will be the one with the right bugs. Don says the whole point is to get students to understand the importance of bugs in the soil; what compost does and what it adds to the soil... ‘What the bugs do is eat up all the dead stuff and spit it out and this is what the plants take up’. It’s another way to get people to understand the importance of soil life.
Dan Cullum and Martin Hill working on building their catamaran made from recycled bottles.
Plan to tackle contaminated land China aims to curb worsening soil pollution by 2020 and stabilise and improve soil quality by 2030. Last year, the environment minister said 16 per cent of China's soil exceeded state pollution limits. Treatment costs for heavy metal or chemical contamination are high, and China has struggled to attract private funds for soil remediation. According to Reuters calculations, the cost of making all of China's contaminated land fit for
crops or livestock would be around five trillion Yuan ($760 billion), based on average industry estimates of the cost of treating one hectare. Analysts have estimated the soil remediation market could be worth as much as one trillion Yuan, but authorities have struggled to determine who should pay for rehabilitating contaminated land. Much of the responsibility for the costs now lies with impoverished local governments.
China aims to clean up contaminated soils.
CALL IN AND SEE THE PEOPLE WHO KNOW AT THIS YEARS ATS INSTORE DAYS Call in and see your friendly Blacklows team at this years ATS Instore Days! The Blacklows team pride themselves on their experience and look forward to meeting you at this years ATS Instore Days. Blacklows will have reps instore to assist you with any welding, water blaster or vacuuming requirements. Check out the impressive range of tools they have on display!
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Farm “P” Levels As a farm real estate agent, one of the first questions I am often asked is “What are the P levels on this place?” Meaning, of course, “What are the phosphate levels? What is the fertiliser history of the property?” However, in the past six months or so the same question has been asked “What are the P levels like? Do you have a current test?” But now the query refers to something completely different, that of methamphetamine levels in the property’s houses. It never ceases to amaze how quickly things can change. But I guess it shouldn’t, because history tells us that change is inevitable, and real change often occurs rapidly. People tell me that methamphetamine has been around New Zealand for years, but really has only made a major mark here in Mid Canterbury over the past year or so. As a business we have only just encountered P levels in homes above what at present is deemed to be safe levels, that is 0.5mg/100cm².
In Australia and the USA, I understand that levels are 1.5mg/100cm². In the cases I refer to here, levels came back from one swab test, costing $200, at 0.53/100cm² - above the safe limit which has been set in New Zealand. Because of this level the tenant had to be informed, and you can guess their reaction as they had a small child in the house. After the first test, a second more in-depth test was done, and there ended up being 11 tests in all, at a cost of approximately $2500. They returned results well below the safe level for New Zealand, in fact the highest test was 0.25mg/100cm². However, because some P had been detected, the home still had to be professionally
cleaned, at a cost of about $500. It seems the house had not been used for manufacturing the drug, only for smoking it. All-in-all it was a total cost to the landlord of approximately $3200. I guess my point is that until we get a better guide on what is deemed to be safe and what’s the best initial test,
then a lot of cowboy testers and cleaners are going to make a lot of money on homes that don’t really need anything done to them. However, the other side of the coin for a purchaser of a farm or home is the question of “Is this property P free?” Because if the homes have high contamination levels, then high costs to fix the
problems could be dropped into purchasers’ laps. I believe very soon all purchasers of farms and homes will have to be provided with an up-to- date P test for each house. There are a load of questions, but up until now very few answers. What happened to the good old days of a bonfire on the beach, and a few quiet beers?
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FARM TECHNOLOGY FEATURE
It’s so much easier online Using farm software can take a lot of the hassle out of recording and analysing farm information. FarmIQ has worked with farmers to develop software that meets all their needs for farm assurance and compliance, as well as helping with staff management and getting the best performance from land and animals. “I got sick of having too many notebooks for farm recording,” says Mossburn farmer Megan Vande Sandt. “I would have to write things down and then bring them back to the house, and I might forget something. I thought, ‘It would be so useful if I could put the information in using my phone’. Now I can. It’s so much easier.” Rob Lawson, for example, has set a series of targets for the ewe replacements on his Otago property, to grow them from lambs into productive two-tooths. He has a calendar of measures he is taking to check how they’re going, and the results are recorded in the FarmIQ software - replacing
Megan Vande Sandt with husband Justin .
spreadsheets or paper notebooks. “During favourable seasons, with our suite of measurements you feel like you are grabbing the business
by the scruff of the neck and shaking every last dollar out of it,” Rob says. But now these regular checks are also helping him manage effectively through an
extended dry period. “In these challenging years it is more about using the measurements to make good strategic decisions. The software has helped us
to make sure we’re aligning feed supply and demand. That will hopefully allow us to bounce back quickly when more productive periods come our way again.” The software includes a range of reports that are set up and ready to go. South Canterbury farmer Dan Studholme has identified weaning weights and preweaning growth rates as two key areas to focus on for improvement. This includes investigating new forages, and he is using the FarmIQ System to make comparisons. For example, last year he measured the impact on lamb weaning weights of using Persian clover for tripletbearing ewes. The FarmIQ software helps with recording and reporting for health and safety and land and environment management, too. One feature that users really like for both of these is the mapping. For example, all hazards can be marked up on an online map - that’s easy to find, share and also to change.
A must-have farm tool The FarmIQ System is simple and smart software that gets your farm information working for you as a farm owner or manager. It helps you get the best from your land, animals and staff, as well as covering farm assurance and compliance requirements. Now with: • Health and safety • Environmental planning
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High standards by
Precision agriculture and its environmental benefits has caught the attention of Gareth Morgan’s philanthropic trust, The Morgan Foundation. Methven area farmers Craige and Roz Mackenzie feature in a video and blog entitled Good Farmers Show the Way, posted by Mr Morgan on the foundation’s website. The award-winning farmers said it had been a journey to get to the point in farming where they were today. They had been brought up to do the best with what they had, and throughout the 70s and 80s what they had was little, with not a lot of tools or money. “We scrimped and scrounged on things and made the best out of what we had,” Mr Mackenzie said. However, profitability enabled investment in technology. “It’s very hard to be green when you are in the red,” he said. Precision agriculture with electromagnetic mapping had allowed them to target water application according to factors such as crop and soil type, ensuring there was no nutrient leaching. “If we are not leaching any liquid, we can not be leaching any nitrogen, and that’s a pretty cool space to be
Methven area farmers Craige and Roz Mackenzie share their experience of precision agriculture with The Morgan Foundation.
in,” Mr Mackenzie said. In his blog introducing the video, Mr Morgan said the way the Mackenzies ran their property showed farmers could be both profitable and sustainable. They did not need to breach consents to do so, he added, in reference to recent media coverage on ECan failing to prosecute farmers who had exceeded their irrigation water limits. “We need to ensure more farmers are farming at this standard,” Mr Morgan said.
DON’T GET CAUGHT OUT by new health and safety regulations
Johnny’s on the job It all began in 2002. Johnny Neill, a local self-employed engineer, took on the task of building a new trailer to house a mobile seed cleaning plant. While undertaking this project Johnny saw the potential in this small business. Once the trailer was complete he went on a few jobs with a current owner. It wasn’t long before Johnny purchased the business and J W Neill Mobile Seed Cleaning was born. For the last 14 years, Johnny has grown the business from a seasonal three months a year to currently nine months a year. In 2006 Johnny purchased a bigger mobile plant and added a new indent cylinder to enable the machine to clean rye grass more effectively. Johnny and his machine service a large area including North Otago, South Canterbury, Mackenzie Basin and Maniototo. One of the conveniences of cleaning the seed on-site means the farmer has no holdups and can even start re-drilling the seed the same day or continue on with daily farm duties while the seed is being cleaned. Johnny has researched mobile plants from all over the world and travelled to the UK in 2015 to the Cereals Field Days. He met and stayed with the two largest mobile seed cleaning companies in the UK
and shared ideas. He got to spend some time with them in the field and learn how the process happens there. He made a plan to build one here in New Zealand. Johnny imported all the components from the UK, France and Sweden and with help from the team at Ireland Engineering, he built the machine over seven weeks. The new machine is fitted with top-of-the-line cleaning and gravity separating equipment. This allows it to remove shrivelled and diseased grains to improve germination, vigour, purity, specific weight and see uniformity. A Crown Gravity Separator is used for the removal of impurities, admixture, insect damage and immature kernels, thus producing a bold, uniform, vigorous, high germination sample to produce a superior seed sample ready for your desired treatment. The gravity table plays an important part in milling wheat, cleaning the wheat over the gravity table increased the Hagberg falling numbers in milling varieties. This is a measure of the enzyme activity in the wheat. If wheat has been stored in damp and moist conditions prior to delivery, or harvested incorrectly, it may begin to germinate (or sprout).
Taking mobile seed cleaning to new heights
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Latest technology • R8 Norogard Automated chemical treating system Currently in Ashburton removing growth splits and sprout out of malting barley and removing the necessaries out of milling wheat to improve falling numbers for contract specifications. • • •
120 Moore Street, Ashburton Contact us on 03 307 7199 (24hrs) www.mgﬁresecurity.co.nz
120 Moore Street, Ashburton Contact us on 03 307 7199 (24 hrs)
Save time and money by utilising farm saved seed Seed treatment is your first line of defence against pests and disease Operating a high capacity gravity table to increase quality for resowing and contract specifications
J W Neill Holdings Limited
Mobile Seedcleaning & screening To find out how our service can benefit you phone Johnny 027 458 3250
Better results with biological farming While farming in the present economic environment has its problems, it is an exciting time for those involved in biological agriculture, a resilient and sustainable farming system that is not only economically viable during low commodity prices but also achieves all the environmental goals. BY DON HART – TOP SOILS This is not an attempt to tell you how to farm, but to tell you what can be achieved by changing your farming fertility system. Traditional fertiliser practices and excessive nitrogen applications are failing farmers in times of low commodity prices and, in many cases are the reason that farmers find themselves both economically and environmentally unsustainable. The efficiency of applied N is generally less than 50 per cent due to losses from leaching, volatilisation and denitrification. These inefficiencies costs farmers a lot of money as well as contributing to environment as issues. Which seems extraordinary really, when there is a proven clover-based pastoral production system that would supply most of the nitrogen required. But the fertiliser and management systems that are still being
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used are counterproductive to achieving this goal and it is under preforming and negating financial benefits to the grower. Why? You cannot solve the problems of today with the same thinking that created them in the first place – Albert Einstein. The phrase used heavily in the media and science circles, is that everything should be “science-based” and they suggest that if you are not promoting “science-based” agriculture production systems, anything else is side-lined to the realm of pseudoscience. New farming information and science from the last decade that wasn’t available 40-50 years ago, about soil biology and the microbial life in the soil is not recognised, understood or practised, and in many cases the same recommendations from the fertiliser industry and advisers still exist, that is failing farmers. Farmers want only what’s true and works.
To o s “
Researchers found that planting diverse cover crops, between cash crop resulted in that the availability of essential minerals and trace elements increased.
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Traditional fertiliser practices and excessive nitrogen applications are failing farmers in times of low commodity prices and in many cases the reason that farmers find themselves both economically and environmentally unsustainable
Diversity drives soil health Whilst having worms in soil and organic matter is an indicator of biological activity, the soil will never reach its full potential in its ability to support higher microbial populations and will never become sustainable
as long as high rates of synthetic fertilisers are used, along with mono plant species. A diverse multi species pasture or cover crop, above the ground, produces a diverse range of microorganisms below the ground.
A diverse multi- species pasture recently tested at Dairy One Laboratory in New York demonstrated an increase of in the levels of Lysine by 30 per cent and Methionine by 29.5 per cent, both essential amino acids, (the building blocks of proteins) and a 33 per cent decrease in NDF as compared to a typical dairy pasture. This is responsible for increased milk production.
better yields than using synthetic fertilisers, and that wasn’t all, soils tests showed
Healthy soils require balanced soil chemistry, balanced plant nutrition that supports healthy, diverse populations of soil microbes and once the health of the microbial communities improves, legumes and biology will produce biological nitrogen and sequester the minerals required for higher production without the need of additional fertilisers. The real aim is to have a system in place to create an environment that stimulates and builds up the numbers of the existing microbes in the soil. Most of the traditional farming methods and former best practices in fertilisers and management are doing the opposite in many cases.
Doing the same thing year after year and expecting a different result. Albert Einstein (definition of insanity). Researchers found that planting diverse cover crops between cash crops resulted in better yields than using synthetic fertilisers and that wasn’t all, soils tests showed that the availability of essential minerals and trace elements increased. Essentially, biological farming is an attempt to increase the health of plants by improving the health of the soil. It all begins with photosynthesis and a farming management system, to produce carbon and enhance the life and function of the soil, to allow the
5% ORGANIC MATTER
An ideal soil has 5 per cent organic matter, 45 per cent minerals, 25 per cent air and 25 per cent water.
soil to live. An idea textbook soil has five per cent organic matter, 45 per cent minerals, 25 per cent air and 25 percent water. The Kinsey-Albrecht system of soil fertility achieves this balance by utilising soil chemistry (mineral nutrients) to affect the physics (structure) to build a home and this determines the environment for biology (micro-organisms). This is an essential part of the biological farming system, managing air and water, creating an environment where the micro and macro organisms can flourish to mineralise and sequester soil nutrients. Important it’s not the fertiliser
that feeds the plant, it is the soil that feeds the plant. We all are familiar with rhizobium bacteria and their relationship with legumes, we need to understand a new term BNF (Biological N Fixation) with free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Once the biological soil function is restored, eg, (natural N-fixation and P-solubilisation) then a reduction of applied fertilisers over time is all that’s required to maintain production, because the biology is mineralising the required nutrients. The end result substantial, economic, environmental and sustainable benefits. Growing top soils is a biological process.
SOIL HEALTH IS THE KEY we focus on balancing soil nutrients and on soil health
It's the unifying principle behind our work:
For the growers we support, healthy soils lead to
Every product, every step is designed to build healthy, life sustaining soils.
Healthy soils support stronger more resilient plants produce higher yields produce more nutritious food and forage We welcome enquiries
Building soil health is the only way to consistently,
Don Hart 027 432 0187 Biological Farming & Soil Fertility Consultant Lydia Gundry 027 698 9907 B.Sc Plant Science & Horticulture
To o s
sustainably, increase yields and resilience
TOTAL SOIL FERTILITY SOLUTIONS
The changing face of farming There is no doubt that the future of the primary sector will radically differ in the next five to 10 years. As New Zealand continues to thrive and be successful, it must constantly innovate and reinvent itself to meet the rapidly changing needs of those people producing and buying our produce. KPMG has just released its latest Agribusiness Agenda, for which it sought the views of over 150 primary sector leaders, farmers, scientists, food scientists and processors. A key criteria of those providing input was that in order to boost the primary sector’s innovation capability, a new era of fresh thinking and significant evolution of how we do things today would be required. There is a growing recognition of doing what is right by the environment, and for the sixth survey in a row biosecurity issues were ranked the number one priority, highlighting the need to focus on preventing risks crossing our borders. Yet again industry leaders
were in favour of increased market access opportunities that may be provided under the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. And while there may be areas of uncertainty and concern with Britain’s exit from the European Union, there were others equally convinced that this would provide opportunities. Clearly government direction and industry consultation will be paramount to ensure that enough protection occurs at our borders, and this will become more important as tourism grows significantly over the next three to five years. The focus should be addressed proactively to eliminate the risk from the
outset, and not reactive in the case of a biosecurity threat or outbreak occurring. Second highest priority again this year was the strategic importance of food safety. Threats caused by the Fonterra infant formula contamination scare immediately spring to mind. Investment into food safety systems is critical for ongoing customer confidence to ensure sale of significant quantities of the products we produce.
The third highest ranking priority from industry leaders was the ability and need to deliver market signals to producers in a timely manner. Dairy price volatility has dominated primary sector media coverage over the last six months. Markets are responding to a number of key events around the world such as lifting quotas in Europe the impact of Russia effectively closing its borders, cheap corn in the
United States, the rising cost of dairy production and the United Kingdom exiting the European Union only serve to increase their uncertainty. Challenging times ahead? Obviously yes, but by working collaboratively New Zealand is in a strong position to face such volatility and be capable of proactively leading our industry with positivity and profitability into the next decade.
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Safe guarding our workforce Worksafe New Zealand has identified a number of trends where employers have been prosecuted for injuries and fatalities to staff and contractors through using machinery.
These trends are: • N o guarding on machines at all – letting operators reach into dangerous parts of the machine. • Guards not securely fastened and easily removed while the machine is in use. • Openings in the guards where the operator can easily reach through to dangerous parts. • Operators able to remove guards for maintenance and not replacing them. • Interlocked guards that can open while parts are still moving or running down. • Mechanisms from interlock switches can be removed to over-ride the guards. • Single light beam safeguard devices can be switched off. • Closed limit switches which are not used, causing interlock switches to be overridden.
• I nterlock guards used as a shortcut to start the machine. • Ineffective lock-out and isolation of power systems. • Supporting systems failure, such as when pneumatic or hydraulic systems lose pressure and allow a ram to fall. People who sell or supply machinery that can be used in a workplace must take all practicable steps to make sure it has been designed, made and maintained to be safe for any known intended use or any reasonably expected use. If a seller or supplier agrees to install or arrange a machine, under health and safety regulations they must take all practical steps to install or arrange the machine so it is safe for its intended use. However, it is a case of “buyer beware” when it comes to goods which are second hand, or sold “as is”. “As is” means without promises or warranties as to quality, durability or fitness, with the buyer carrying all risks.
your farm machinery specialist
SECOND HAND EQUIPMENT Knverland 2 furrow match plough . . . . . $2500 Hooper 3m maxitill suit new buyer . . . . . $3450 Knverland 6 Furrow BB100 plough, very tidy condition . . . . . . . . . . . . $20,000 James 2 leg aerator brand new . . . . . . $3500 Duncan 701 maxitill with eclispe box and harrows OM
M FRO 0 0
20 run, very tidy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4500 Isuzu JCR500 truck, 334,000kms . . . . . P.O.A. Campbell 17 tine grubber, 2 options to choose from . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1500
Feeders - Good stocks available 1.8m and 2.5m. Check out our special price.
Produced by a local Canterbury engineer, our buckrakes are a must for any farmer. These are 2.4m wide heavy duty 1.25m tines.
126 Dobson Street, Ashburton - Phone: 03 308 2059 | Mobile: 0274 326 847 email@example.com - www.mcmullanenterprises.com
Taskmaster forklift with extensions . . . . . $1500 Duncan 14ft maxi till, 2 available . . . . . . $1200 Bale forks new with Euro mounts . . from $1000
All prices exclude G.S.T
Farm machinery needs TLC To ensure an effective planting season ahead, tuning up your farm machinery is as important as any other task on your farm. Cleaning is a good place to start, and it is advised to regularly remove caked-on grease, oil, crop residue, dry chaff, leaves and other material.
TC LOVETT WINDROWING WINDROWING
Washing thoroughly prior to the season will not only make sure that machinery and implements are looking their best, but it is also a good time to note if there are any repairs required, or need for parts to be replaced. Clear away wrapped plant material on bearings, belts and other moving parts and check them for wear. Make sure the exhaust system is in good condition and leak-free. Check exposed electrical wires for damage or wear. It is important to thoroughly check equipment for birds’ nests, and this is required regularly in spring. Without fail, each year local fire brigades are called to tractor fires caused by nests.
Fires have their obvious hazards for the machinery involved and many do not survive. However, machinery operators are also at risk and even a small fire can flare up dramatically when doors, hatches or other areas are opened to gain access. Now is a good time to make sure your farm machinery is equipped to deal with such blazes and a fully charged 2kg extinguisher should be on board. It can also be handy to have a blanket on deck for throwing over a fire, in order to starve it of oxygen. In areas without phone coverage, a two-way radio should be accessible in the cab and earmuffs need to be available on tractors without sound-proof cabs. Remember, taking care of your machinery will not only help take care of our own safety, but will also extend its working life, ensuring a higher resale value if you ever come to selling it.
YOUR FODDERBEET HARVESTING SPECIALIST Jacob Holdaway Contracting Ltd
• Efficient, clean harvesting • Capable of harvesting various row widths • Grimme Harvester is well suited to Canterbury conditions
TIM LOVETT 0210 629 202 firstname.lastname@example.org
CALL ME NOW Jacob Holdaway 0274 225 464 www.jholdawaycontracting.com
Exceeding expectations Specialist seed drill manufacturer, Allen Custom Drills based in Ashburton, Mid Canterbury is constantly developing and contributing new products to its line-up. Allen Custom Drills has been manufacturing air seeders for over 14 years and has exceeded the expectations of many farmers and contractors all over New Zealand, with proven great results from a durable and reliable product. Farmers are realising that Allen Custom Drills manufactures drills for them that have all the benefits of the original drills that were designed primarily for contractors. “Our C-D Series (contour drill) direct drills have been an extremely popular drill in tough steep hill country all over New Zealand in working widths of 3.0m and 3.5m however there was a lot of demand for wider versions so that’s what we have come up with! We now build them in 4.0m, 5.0m and 6.0m wide versions that fold to 3.0m transport width.” Our C-D Series have gained a lot of demand especially with the narrow 5” (127mm) row spacings and fertilizer box options. The toolbars are more compact and with three separate sections on the folding versions it follows the ground superbly with active hydraulic down pressure on the wings.” Craig Allen says his company
Craig and Deb from Allen Custom Drills.
strives to meet the needs of any client, whether a small scale farmer or large scale contractor. “At the end of the day we work towards the final result of providing a product that will perform the requested requirements and more. We work closely with the client to ensure all expectations are met and within their financial budget. “We design our drills using four principles: Accuracy. Simplicity, Durability, and Reliability. We take into serious consideration any factors that will provide a cost effective, low maintenance, long lasting product. “We can build everything in the drill to the customer’s specification from its
for a limited time, trade in’s now available
working width, row spacing width and to whether or not it has a fertiliser box, insecticide box, slug bait spreader and crane. We have many features that not many other drills have, and at a very competitive price.” Allen Custom Drills come in working widths from 3.0m up to 8.0m and are built to handle harsh New Zealand conditions. “We stand by our basic product line and have continued to improve on our earlier models. Now we are innovating and producing new designs to meet individual requirements.” All Allen Custom Drills feature the renowned Accord seed metering and distribution system, which Craig says, “It has also been further enhanced with fitting RDS Artemis electronic variable rate control as standard fitment. Making it simple to calibrate seeding rates from under 1kg to over 400kg/ha without having to change any parts on the metering unit. The front turbo disc system on all of Allen Custom Drills is rubber mounted. With no bushes to wear out and no springs to break, maintenance is reduced to a minimum. “We are very proud to be producing a New Zealand made product for New Zealand and Australian conditions, we build all of our models to an extremely high standard,” Craig Allen says.
When choosing an Allen Custom Drill you are offered several choices of configuration depending on what your requirement is. It was great to be able to meet with Craig at the beginning to discuss these options. For our contracting business Precision Seeding, a CD 3000 was purchased. A locally built machine of good design, robust construction, top quality components, a great following up service and support are all important factors to meet the variation of work and conditions encountered. From small lifestyle blocks to dairy farms to large high country stations. We are very happy with our choice.
- Malcolm Wooding, Precision Seeding
Superior SeeDing Superior SeeDing Superior SeeDing F O L L I DR 15 02015 ILL OF 2 or SeeDing DR 15 20 FOR A LIMITED TIME, TRADE IN’S NOW AVAILABLE
for a limited trade in’s now available for foraatime, limited limited time, time, trade trade in’s in’snow nowavailable available
P 03 693 8012 M 027 654 0352 E email@example.com
WHATEVER YOUR FARMING CONTRACTING WHATEVER YOUROR FARMING T S O R A M L U lable OR CONTRACTING WHATEVER WHATEVER YOUR FARMING POP PRACTICES ARE, WEYOUR CAN FARMING MOST R R A A F O LL PRACTICES ARE, WE CAN OR CONTRACTING CONTRACTING HELP YOUR OR BUSINESS DRILMMLOOSSTTPPOOPPUU HELP YOUR BUSINESS PRACTICES PRACTICES ARE, ARE, WE WE CAN CAN GROW C-D Series – Contractors Triple Disc – Flat to Undulating Ground GROW C-D Series – Contractors Triple Disc – Flat to Undulating Ground HELP HELP YOUR YOUR BUSINESS BUSINESS WHATEVER YOUR FARMING OR CONTRACTING PRACTICES ARE, GROW GROW WE CAN HELPWHATEVER YOUR BUSINESS GROW C-D C-D Series Series ––FARMING Contractors Contractors Triple Triple Disc Disc –– Flat Flat to to Undulating Undulating Ground Ground YOUR OR CONTRACTING Operating this Season: H-D Series – Flattime, Ground – Heavy for a limited trade in’s now available PRACTICES ARE, WE CAN E-D Series – Entry Level Triple Disc T-D Series – Entry level Tyne Drill P-D Series – Min-till Arable Drilling Drill H-D Series – FlatDirect Ground – Heavy - MacKenzie Districts E-D Series – Entry Level Triple Disc T-D Series – Entry level Tyne Drill Timaru P-D Series- –Ashburton Min-till Arable Drilling Direct Drill HELPTO YOUR BUSINESS BUILT SMART, BUILT LAST ‘CUSTOM’ BUILT FOR YOU GROW BUILT BUILT TO LAST ‘CUSTOM’ Allen BUILT FORDrill YOU Custom 3000 H-D Series Series ––SMART, Flat Flat Ground Ground –– Heavy Heavy Contractors Triple DiscH-D – Flat to Undulating Ground
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• • • •
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Sola Prosem K 12 row Planter •
Yeoman Plow •
32 Robinson Street, Ashburton PHONE 03 308 4094 CRAIG ALLEN 021 861 440 EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
Fodder beet, maize & swedes
3m 7 leg for aeration of compacted soils
For enquiries & bookings phone Malcolm on the above contact numbers
Around the traps Pendarves Young Farmers’ Club 70th anniversary last month, at the Pendarves hall. PHOTOS SUSAN SANDYS
Philippa Waters and Jennie Holmes.
Deborah Halliday, Craig Halliday, Mark Malcolm, Julie and Brendon Dolan.
Dennis Bird and Peter Harcourt.
Andrew Sparks and Jim Petrie.
Valentina Welti, Martin Brauchli and Tyler Baker.
John Harcourt and Mark Holmes.
Andrew Harcourt, Lindsay McLachlan, Lachie Hamilton and Justin Watson.
We build for industries. Starting with the primary ones. At Calder Stewart we’ve never forgotten where we
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started, building quality farm buildings for the Kiwi
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Donald Sutton 211 Alford Forest Road, Ashburton
(03) 307 6130
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