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Farming GUARDIAN

JUNE, 2016

FAMILY FARM

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EDITORIAL COMMENT

WIN WIN WIN This month win The Travelling Hunter by Vern Wilson. 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.

Farming families seem to have everything going for them. They have the benefit of operating a large asset, ideally supporting prosperous and happy lives. They can work together and share in the farm’s successes. And when times get tough, they have each other to rely on. However, as is the way with life so often, not everything is always as it should be. A large asset such as a farm can end up tearing people apart, rather than bringing them together. The Henderson family of Lyndhurst, featured in this issue of Guardian Farming, are the poster people for how to do things right when it comes to passing on a farm to the next generation. They are preparing for a thirdgeneration of farming at Lyndhurst to continue successfully into its fourth generation. The children are still teenagers, but they are already involved in discussions to do with the farm. The best time to start planning for farm succession is yesterday, but that is no longer available, so start

Susan Sandys

SENIOR REPORTER

today, say the experts. It may take years, even decades, from the time you start discussions to when the farm is handed on to the next generation. However, beginning early will give time for everyone to give thought to what their own hopes and dreams are, and to provide feedback. When it comes round to Christmas dinner, you don’t want any tensions or misgivings. Involve everyone right from the start, and hopefully you will reap the benefits in smiling faces, with family members feeling happy about how the process has been handled.

Congratulations to last month’s winner: Gerald Kennett of Oamaru is the lucky winner of New Zealand Hunting Adventures by Steuart Laing.

CONTACTS We appreciate your feedback. Editorial Email your comments to susan.s@theguardian.co.nz or phone 03 307 7957.

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SUCCESSION PLANNING

Planning imperative Passing on your farm to the next generation can result in family fallout, or it can nourish the foundations of long-lasting business and family relationships. Susan Sandys examines the issues behind farm succession.

Susan Sandys

SENIOR REPORTER

T

he best time to start planning for farm succession is yesterday. That is no longer available, so start today. So says Rabobank succession planning facilitator Tony Hammington, based in Alexandra. It’s a huge issue for any farm-owning family to address, and one that can lead to anxiety. “There’s reasons to be anxious for sure, but I think there’s a cost of that anxiety becoming hesitation,” Mr

Hammington said. “The earlier we have the conversations the more options we have got, and the easier the journey.” People talk about the cases where things go wrong, but the majority of cases turn out

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SUCCESSION PLANNING from P3 “It’s not always comfortable sitting at the table together, it’s put up a few barriers,” Gwenda said. It all started several years ago when the couple, now in their 60s, looked at how they could begin to pass on the farm to their three children. David and Gwenda wanted to move to town and have one of their sons take over, however, it was too early to give up farming completely, and the $10 million-plus value of the farm made handing over ownership unfair to the remaining siblings. Talking to their lawyer, they came up with what they thought was the ideal scenario. Their son could buy one-third of the shares in the farm, and David and Gwenda would retain the remaining two-thirds, which would be bequeathed to all three children. This way the other siblings would not miss out, David would be able to continue his lifelong love of working on the farm until he was ready to

Succession planning facilitator Tony Hammington.

retire, the farm would remain in the family without costing anyone too much money, and the farming son would be able

to realise his dream of one day operating the farm. However, while it seemed fair at the time, conflict has

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SUCCESSION PLANNING

Farm succession expert Pita Alexander.

arisen between the new farm operators of the son and his wife, and Mr and Mrs Jones, and also between the siblings.

The remaining siblings are not party to any income from the farm, and think the bequest they will receive in the future

The certainties in life now appear to be income tax, death, volatility and changing weather. Make sure you can cover the first three of these in your succession plan well.

will not compensate for the opportunity their brother has been given. In retrospect, Gwenda said selling the farm would have been easier. “Moving off the farm is an emotional thing, our son sees it as a business thing, but it’s emotional as well, it’s a mixture of both,” she said. Cashing up the family farm worked for one Methven area farmer aged in his mid 50s. Geoff Gordon* is now living in town, and is happy he will have money to enjoy his retirement and pass onto his children. He and Mrs Gordon are looking forward to their first holiday for years, having previously

been tied to the farm. Geoff was a third generation farmer in the Methven area, but had no reservations about selling when it came to it. He had previously leased the property out for nine years, and took the opportunity to sell this year when the lease was coming up for renewal and land prices were strong. If his children had been interested in farming or had partners who were interested in farming, he would have considered keeping the property. But passing it onto one child and not the other would have been complicated. “You are starting off with someone coming in now with a

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$5 to $6 million mortgage,” he said. Geoff ’s father had bought the property in the 1960s. “What he bought the property for, I almost got per hectare,” Geoff said. The “crazy” land prices meant difficulties not only for the new generation coming in, but also for farming parents trying to buy new land to ensure all their children with an interest in farming got an equal share. Alexanders Accountancy and Advice for Agribusiness director Pita Alexander in Christchurch said an outright sale to an unrelated third party is better than a bad succession result. One of the keys was to ensure the end result did not cause friction for the parents with their other children. “Lack of communication will almost guarantee this will happen,” Mr Alexander said. “The certainties in life now appear to be income tax, death, volatility and changing weather. Make sure you can cover the first three of these in your succession plan well.” * Not their real names

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SUCCESSION PLANNING Lyndhurst farmers Karl and Megan Henderson are already planning for their property to one day be farmed by sons Andrew and Thomas. The Henderson boys of Lyndhurst have been doing their homework as they prepare to one day take over their parents’ family farm. Aged just 18 and 15, Andrew and Thomas have been part of meetings with dad Karl, mum Megan and the family’s bank manager. Karl said the boys are keen on going into farming, and he is committed to helping them achieve their goals. “If they weren’t keen to do it, you wouldn’t. But they seem to be keen on farming, so why not pass the land on and give them the opportunity that I had,” Mr Henderson said. That’s why he had included them in the occasional business meeting, even though it would realistically be another 10 or 20 years before they were farming independently. The bank manager had given the boys homework tasks, such as working out a budget for some of the farm’s crops. Karl’s grandfather Frank Henderson was given a soldier settlement block on Pole Road in a post-World War One ballot, and passed the property on to his son Bruce. Karl was among Bruce’s four children, all boys, who benefited from their dad’s

Karl’s grandfather Frank Henderson was given a soldier settlement block on Pole Road in a post-World War One ballot, and passed the property on to his son

commitment to keeping them on the land. He bought surrounding land and eventually set all of them up on their own properties. Karl is wanting to do the same for his boys, and is not too daunted by how much land prices have increased. “Back then land wasn’t worth much, but we didn’t have the yields and the technology and stuff. Land is worth a lot more today, but we can produce a lot more.” Karl, Megan, Andrew and Thomas farm 300 hectares mixed cropping with dairy heifer and cow grazing.

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Lincoln University vice-chancellor Professor Robin Pollard, left front, with IAARD executive secretary Dr M Prama Yufdy, right front, and members of both institutions at the signing at Lincoln last month. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Lincoln University’s part in a $156 million Indonesian agriculture programme was formally recognised last month. Vice-chancellor Professor Robin Pollard signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development (IAARD) executive secretary Dr M Prama Yufdy. Several staff from the IAARD, which is part of the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture, are already studying at post-graduate level at Lincoln, and there is a need for more staff to be upskilled. IAARD have been sending staff to

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Onion farming a volatile occupation Onion growers are heartened by improved returns on their tasty crop this year, but are far from weeping tears of joy. Onions New Zealand is forecasting returns to be up 50 per cent on last year, triggering media puns on an eye-watering increase. Ross Hewson, who annually grows 100 hectares of onions on the 1600-hectare Hewson Farms at Pendarves near Ashburton, said returns were at a level where they needed to be in order to support a sustainable investment. “Onions can bring you to tears, it’s more likely to be real tears than tears of joy,” Mr Hewson said. The vegetable crop was high-risk and expensive to grow, and the market was volatile with relatively small margins. “It’s easy to plant an onion, but that’s just the beginning,” Mr Hewson said. Weed control and crop management required a high level of expertise and a very intensive approach to agronomy. Like all vegetables, the machinery required for

year ended June 2015 was $81.4 million. The final figures for 2016 would not be known for some months.

History of onion exports

Over the past five years onions have been the top exported fresh vegetable, except 2012 when New Zealand had a poor growing season. The exports of onions bring back around $100 million per annum to growers and the wider industry. Ross Hewson of Hewson Farms won’t be planting more onions next season despite increased New Zealand growers began returns. PHOTO SUSAN SANDYS 250516-SS-002 exporting in the 1960s. Japan became an important market Farms was not considering another high-risk stage, and planting and harvesting was SC AUTOMOTIVE CUSTOMER in the 1980s,PUBLISHING peaking 14/05/16 at increasing its growing areaLTD forT_A SC around 2004 the farm lost a costly and highly specialised. REP RABIE.ALKOUNTAR PUBLICATION TIMARU HERALD 50,000 tonnes per year, before in light of the better large proportion of itsADVERTISING harvest onionsSALES Nevertheless, the increased DESIGNER OUTSOURCER SECTION MOTORING caught up and would be sticking domestic growers to a storage disease. returns this year were PROOFreturns, PROOFED 13/05/2016 2:36:50 p.m. SIZE 14.8X20 with demand. to 100 hectares. Hewson Farms is a 25 per heartening, particularly ID CH-7256793AA (100%) FAX The focus then turned to “If you AD follow the market cent shareholder in Southern following an increased yield European and UK markets, you will fall into the holes Packers, with three other large on many Canterbury farms PLEASE APPROVE THIS AD AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. NOTE THAT ANY ALTERATIONS whereDEADLINE. New Zealand has moreBEheavily,” he said. Mid and South Canterbury due to warmer weather. MUST FINALISED BY OUR MATERIAL Onions New Zealand figures become one of the leading farmers owning the remaining On Hewson Farms, the as of last month showed gross suppliers. 75 per cent share. The vegetable is stored in twoFOB returns for the industry company packs and exports tonne crates in a speciallyIn recent years there has forecast to reach 50 per built large shed without walls, the onions at Timaru. About been a huge shift towards cent higher than the official 85 per cent of New Zealand’s enabling air to flow through. exporting to Asia, in government statistics for the onions are exported. Here the onions are “cured” particular Indonesia and June year end, which for the Mr Hewson said Hewson for a fortnight. This was Malaysia.

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Ploughing - it’s in the blood Vintage ploughing machinery was once the latest and most modern equipment, and John Stalker of Lincoln remembers that time. The 78-year-old retired farmer recently took out the 2016 Silver Plough Championship vintage section, operating a Massey Harris 30 1949 tractor, pulling a Reid and Gray two-furrow silver plough. The tractor Mr Stalker first drove on the family farm he grew up on at Greenpark, was the same make, but an even earlier model. And the plough was also similar. He said he first tried ploughing when he was about 11. “My father started the paddock, and sat me on the tractor and said ‘Away you go’. I just drove round and round,” Mr Stalker said. He got better as time went on, and started competing in ploughing competitions not long after leaving school. He had a break from competing as he became busy with farming over the years, but went back to competitive

Retired farmer John Stalker of Lincoln shows his winning form at the New Zealand Silver Plough Championship. PHOTO SUPPLIED

ploughing over 15 years ago. Vintage ploughing was a relatively new category then, and one Mr Stalker was immediately sold on when he

saw a competition under way. He was judging at Waimate when he viewed a vintage event underway across the other side of the paddock.

“I thought I would rather be ploughing in that than judging, so I got some gear together and started.” The New Zealand Silver

Plough Championship vintage competition in April, near Sanson in the Manawatu, was the fourth he had been in and the first time he had won. He came second last year after placing mid-field in previous years. Mr Stalker may well have experience going back decades to call upon, but said continual learning is also part of his winning success. “You have just got to work out your method of how you do things, every time you plough you wonder if you could do it better if you change your methods. When you are awake in bed at night you think about these things, (and think) I will try doing that next time and see it if it works,” Mr Stalker said. “If you start off (a paddock) well, you usually continue well.” Mr Stalker and the event’s runner up, Paul Houghton of the North Island, will represent New Zealand in York, England, at the first ever world vintage contest in September 2016.

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Farming

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Tight communities districts strength Mid Canterbury’s tight-knit communities will be the district’s strength in tough times, says the district’s new Federated Farmers provincial president. Michael Salvesen farms in the foothills, on Upper Downs Road, between Mayfield and Mt Somers. The 54-year-old took over the president’s role last month from dairy farmer Willy Leferink. Originally from Scotland, Mr Salvesen and wife Nicky and their four sons moved from the Northern Hemisphere country to Mid Canterbury about 13 years ago. “We just wanted a change,” Mr Salvesen said. “We took the children out of their comfort zones and brought them into a new world. It’s been a journey I suppose.” They started out at Mt Somers, and have been on their current farm, Wakare, for eight years. They had no regrets and one of the strong points of the foothills community was its tight-knit nature, which

Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers new provincial chairman Michael Salvesen. PHOTO AMANDA KONYN 260516-AK-027

really came into its own in tough times. “People pool together pretty well, there’s all those relations through the community, and it comes from the farming community into the town

community as well.” One of his biggest challenges on arriving in New Zealand had been working out who was related to whom, but this had been similar to the Scottish farming area he had

come from. One thing which had been a lot different to their home country was the climate. Mid Canterbury was positively balmy compared to the Scottish Borders.

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The Scottish winter would drag on for months, and Mr Salvesen would start his day at 8am when it was still dark, and finish at 4.30pm by which time it was pitch black again. Temperatures would drop to the negative 20s. “It’s a lot better here,” Mr Salvesen said. On their Mid Canterbury foothills farm, Mr and Mrs Salvesen farm beef cattle and deer. In his new role, Mr Salvesen would like to see more young people involved in leadership courses held through Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers. Many would not be prioritising such courses in the tighter times, however, involvement would pay off in the long-term. Mr Salvesen was enjoying his new role. “I feel very honoured and delighted after such a short time here to be thrust into this position,” he said. He has been Federated Farmers Meat and Fibre Mid Canterbury chairperson since 2013.

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

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MAR - Giving nature a helping hand The Hinds/Hekeau Managed Aquifer Recharge Pilot is about “giving nature a helping hand”, technical lead of the project, Bob Bower, says. The project, one of a number of water management solutions recommended by the Ashburton Water Zone Committee in collaboration with the community, seeks to reduce the amount of nitrates in groundwater in the Tinwald area, while helping to increase the level of water in aquifers. It does this by running

clean Rangitata River water (from the Ashburton District Council’s stock water allocation) into a recharge site. The water will then seep down into the aquifer. “Nature does a really good job of naturally recharging aquifer systems - but that’s if we don’t take water out and don’t put things into them,” Bob said. “When we started using aquifer systems for our own benefits, we started changing the balances and changing where water was put. “So MAR is really just trying to complement what

nature does naturally and help it along.” The project was also about getting smarter with using the water already in the catchment. “Our goal is to have sustainable groundwater management. We want to see a reduction in the nitrate concentration in shallow groundwater and the springsfed streams. We also want to see better reliability for people with groundwater takes,” he said. The pilot is initially for one year, but has consent to run until 2021.

A birds eye view of the Hinds/Hekeau Managed Aquifer Recharge Project.

Bob Bower (Golder Associates) in the main recharge pit before it was filled.

The sediment pond used for holding the water before it flows into the larger recharge pit. Water for the project comes from the Rangitata River via the Rangitata Diversion Race and Valetta Irrigation Scheme.

Zone Committee’s hard work recognised The Ashburton Water Zone Committee is being labelled “courageous” in its decision to move forward with New Zealand’s first catchment-scale Managed Aquifer Recharge pilot. Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, Dr Alistair Humphrey congratulated the zone committee for the move at the opening of the Hinds/ Hekeau Managed Aquifer Recharge Pilot. “It’s a courageous zone committee that has decided on this project and we are

confident that the level of nitrate will rapidly begin to fall in our water,” Alistair said. The CDHB will be monitoring the changes to water quality through the project. “I’m convinced it will work, but we need to see how well it works. The question is how effective it will be in the long term.” Community collaboration is key Ashburton Water Zone Committee member, Gordon Guthrie, said the opening

of the pilot was a real achievement for the committee. This has been a long time coming,” he said. “The neat part of the MAR pilot is having the whole community working together,” Gordon said. “The farmers themselves recognise that there’s an issue that needs to be addressed and are working with all these solutions to try to come up with the right outcome. “The water is coming from the Ashburton District Council’s unused stock water

from the Rangitata River; the Hinds Drains Working Party was set up, so all those farmers have bought into this and are really excited that this might be the thing that actually helps the whole district meet that solution,” Gordon said. For the zone committee, there is no doubt the MAR pilot project will work. “What does success look like? It’s getting life back into these streams more often so they’re not going dry and getting nitrate levels down to a level that’s acceptable.”

Gordon Guthrie.


2 12

Farming

www.guardianonline.co.nz

Injury claims ‘misleading’ The number of workplace injuries and deaths in New Zealand is not nearly as bad as Worksafe NZ suggests, says Wellington economics consultant Ian Harrison. Mr Harrison’s firm Tailrisk Economics is planning an appeal after the Advertising Complaints Authority this month failed to uphold its complaint that claims in Worksafe NZ advertisements, part-funded by ACC, were deceptive. The major advertising campaign featured claims that last year there were 23,000 workplace severe injuries and deaths in New Zealand, and that serious and fatal workplace accidents were twice as common in New Zealand than Australia. “The main basis for the decision is that the ACC claims are defined as severe injuries in a table in an obscure document on the Worksafe NZ website,” Mr Harrison said. Worksafe NZ defines more than one week off work as severe injuries. Statistics NZ and the ACC identify essentially the same data as work-related

WORKSHOP Agri-Women’s Development Trust is planning one-day workshops in Ashburton and Amberley on creating a positive on-farm health and safety culture. To be held on August 4, the Protecting Your Team workshops will each be limited to 16 people.

claims, he said. “The logic is that because Worksafe has defined work-related claims as severe in this document then they are severe. The authority has missed the point,” Mr Harrison said. “It is not how Worksafe NZ defines a term that matters, it is how the viewing public would have interpreted the claims made in the advertisement. They would

not know about the Worksafe NZ definition, and would have been misled, given the context, into thinking that all of the 23,000 claims were truly severe injuries.” Worksafe NZ data shows the number of workplace deaths so far this year to April 1 is 17. The number for the whole of last year was 44, compared to 46 in 2014, 57 in 2013, 48 in 2012 and 49 in 2011.

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ADVERTISING FEATURE

13

District embracing connectivity At the centre of an agricultural and pastoral farming district, and the gateway to some of the South Island’s most spectacular scenery, Ashburton is embracing connectivity like never before. In the last year, the rural town has gobbled up over 118,500 GB of data to download, upload, stream and connect over Vodafone’s 4G network, all capable thanks to high-speed rural wireless broadband and improved mobile coverage delivered under the Rural Broadband Initiative. Since 2011, Vodafone has built 154 new rural cell sites around New Zealand in partnership with the Government and Chorus, and a further 387 cell sites are on track to have their technology upgraded to offer RBI services by early 2017. Each of these sites allow rural New Zealand communities, like Ashburton, to access improved mobile coverage and high-speed rural wireless broadband.

By loaning a modem out overnight, our customers get to test drive the network and the technology which gives them complete piece of mind before purchasing the product

The Ashburton District has received seven RBI upgrades in that time, providing access to over 4,700 addresses in the area. Vodafone Ashburton Store Manager, Faye Maguire says more and more people are visiting the store to find out about wireless broadband that is delivered over Vodafone’s mobile network. “As Rural Specialists, we’re all really passionate about helping our customers understand what rural wireless broadband is all about and the potential it opens up for rural households and businesses in Ashburton. “By loaning a modem out overnight, our customers get to test drive the network and the technology which gives them complete piece of mind before purchasing the product. There are no hidden surprises, and we’ve had exceptional feedback from our customers about the wireless broadband service”. Faye is excited about the potential rural wireless broadband has for the Ashburton community. “For anyone not on rural wireless broadband, I encourage you to come in, have a chat with one of our Rural Specialists and give the modem a try, what have you got to lose?” To talk to the tech experts on everything rural, head in to the Vodafone Ashburton store on 272 East Street or contact us on 03 307 8087 or retail. ashburton.nz@vodafone.com

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2 14

Farming

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Organic produce a missed opportunity Consistent growth in demand for organic produce represents a missed opportunity for New Zealand, says organics guru Bob Crowder. The former Lincoln University lecturer said dairy farmers in particular could not afford to ignore the growth which had happened over the past 40 years. He believed the payout forecast of $9.20 for organic milksolids, more than double the price of conventional milk, had the potential to take New Zealand back to being a world leader in organics. New Zealand had allowed its status as a frontrunner in organics to slide. “At one time we were one of the top certified organic nations in the world. Now we’re almost insignificant in the global picture,” Mr Crowder said. He put this down to a cheap-food mentality, with no thought for quality or origin. Organics had not filled the promise they held way back in the 1970s when Mr Crowder established Lincoln University’s Biological

At one time we were one of the top certified organic nations in the world. Now we’re almost insignificant in the global picture

Husbandry Unit (BHU). Horticulture students worked on the site as part of their studies, learning a holistic organic philosophy and undertaking historic research. This year the BHU is celebrating 40 years of organic status. It has grown from an area for the teaching and demonstration of holistic environmental aspects, to a charitable trust which now incorporates a training college, the Future Farming Centre and the BHU Farm. “Students in the 1970’s were very radical. They weren’t forced to be organic. What we were doing had to be integrated into the general teaching. The BHU was based on good scientific principles, not muck and mystery,” Mr Crowder said. “Our research and the

students we taught were the foundation for the future of organics in New Zealand. We produced some really excellent students of organic philosophy who are today leading the organic movement.” Right - Organics guru Bob Crowder established Lincoln University’s Biological Husbandry Unit which is 40 years old this year.

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2 16

Farming

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Around the traps Farmers learned all about soil fertility at an evening at Ski Time in Methven last month, featuring American soil balance expert Neal Kinsey. Mr Kinsey was being hosted by TopSoils, as part of a nationwide speaking tour.

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www.guardianonline.co.nz

17

Around the traps Hinds/Hekeao Managed Aquifer Recharge pilot project official opening.

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Farming

2 18

www.guardianonline.co.nz

Hints for keeping horses in winter

They need hay for several reasons

• T o feed the flora in the hind-gut the by-products of which are what actually feed the horse providing him with a source of energy and B-Vitamins • Another by-product of the fermentation process is heat therefore this is the principal way your horse can keep himself warm when in cold weather. Especially important for uncovered horses. How much hay? As much as they will eat. If you put hay out and there is some left then cut it back by that much but don’t let them go hours without any hay. One biscuit morning and night is not

Jenny Paterson

BSC ZOOLOGY AND BIOLOGY

enough! The horse’s stomach already contains very acidic juices for fibre breakdown and every hour your horse goes without chewing feed the pH of his stomach acid drops until it is like battery acid! The act of chewing produces saliva which is a buffer preventing the stomach environment from plunging into excessive acidity. Therefore the very act of chewing keeps horses contented and prevents the occurrence of gastric ulcers! Small mesh hay nets are ideal because they slow down the consumption enabling the horse to trickle feed and prevent wastage caused by trampling or urinating on it. They help the hay to last longer especially over-night.

A quick run outside in the dressing-gown and gum-boots first thing to feed out hay will prevent your horses eating frosted grass, which when they do repeatedly, can cause metabolic problems in winter including laminitis! Understandably many people turn their horses out over winter. There is nothing wrong with this but it is a big mistake to do so without a feed at least once a day containing salt plus all their vitamins and minerals because by spring they will be low in minerals like copper, zinc and selenium which will compromise their immune system. Mineral buckets are unsuitable as horses only lick them to the point they want the salt and/ or the molasses. Even in winter horses should have a glossy, soft coat and if you want them to be in show condition when they shed in spring it is important to keep up the good nutrition throughout winter. Horses who have trouble maintaining weight in winter will benefit from the addition of amino acids into their diet

to prevent loss of top-line, plus an increase in the calories consumed. A good idea is to cook whole barley with some whole linseed in your slowcooker over-night. If it is at all possible split your horses’ feed into morning and night. Just make up two at once. Take covers off during the day at every opportunity. It is not fair on the horse to have the cover put on in May and not taken off until September and apart from never checking on their condition, they are liable to develop skin conditions and nasty chafes.

Make sure all your horses have the option of shelter from inclement weather. Horses with a thick winter coat are well adapted to cold weather but not so when it is also wet. All the insulating properties of the hair-coat are lost when it is plastered down by rain. If they don’t have the option of a paddock shelter then this is the time to put a water-proof cover on. The long range forecast is for a warmer than usual winter but either way if you follow these guidelines your horse will be good to go in spring.

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2 20

Farming

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Succession planning for your family Succession planning in the rural sector is one of the most talked about, reported on, researched issues in farming today, and yet year after year it remains an issue. The word succession implies ownership transfer to the kids, and mum and dad pursuing other interests or retiring. This is an intriguing concept; why remove the experience and historical knowledge from the farm? The flip side of that is why have your son or daughter with great skills grow someone else’s business? There is no one-size-fits-all to succession, every farm business, or for that matter any family-run business, is different and any succession plan needs to be tailored for their specific family needs and desires. As much as we all want it, there will be no quick answer. It is important, however, that we don’t start with looking at how to transfer the ownership. If the management hasn’t evolved and great governance isn’t in place, what

Maurice Myers

KPMG

value are you transferring to future generations by transferring ownership? It’s about transferring roles, responsibility and management also. Before starting to look at transferring anything, it’s important to do a stocktake of how the business looks today, who does what, and what are the existing outcomes the business is achieving. You need to start with a blank page, have no predetermined solutions in mind and just consider what you want the business to look like in the future. How long do you want it to exist for? Who will be running it? How will it be run and what outcomes do you want?

And seek outside advice ... it’s very difficult to be objective about the future of your business without outside help. Like a family heirloom, good or bad succession will be passed through generations, it creates terrible stress and unnecessary divides in families. Have a think about your farm and family. What are you focused on, ownership or management? Have you created a structure that carves up the asset? Or have

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you created the legacy of a sustainable business that will go on for generations to come? As always the key to any successful plan is to get a good team of advisors representing the owners. Family, alongside your accountant, farm advisor and solicitor all work together to achieve the required objectives and outcomes. So often it will be the subjective or non-financial factors that may take the longest and be the hardest to

reach compromise on, but the parties will certainly need to be prepared to give and take a little to achieve the optimum solution. Above all allow time – plenty of time – as it will never be easy to hand over the reins to another, enviably younger generation. And above all it will be necessary to plan and plan again, it can never be too early to start, let alone come to a successful conclusion.


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2 22

Farming

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Is leasing a suitable option? The recent successful “tender for lease” of a quality large-scale sheep, beef and deer property near Fairlie undertaken by our company has highlighted several points.

A previous tender of a similar property also attracted good interest, so is a trend emerging? Is leasing a suitable option, and fit for farm succession or retiring farmers? Do I sell now with farm values easing? Enquiry levels were unprecedented for this farm, which resulted in a large number of farm inspections and multiple offers at the tender date. The depth of enquiry was from a wide cross section including farm managers, farming families, sharemilkers/herd managers, exiting dairy and neighbouring farms looking for a strategic add-on to existing operations. In general, the applicants saw a great opportunity to grow equity from this large scale traditional livestock property to set themselves up for a future land purchase of their own. Nothing new in this, so why the unprecedented depth of enquiry? Yes, it was a good quality farm at the top of its game which does not come up often. It also demonstrated the difficulty and lack of

Greg Jopson, Property Brokers.

opportunities today that young farmers and farming families have available to achieve or get on the first rung of farm ownership. The ability to share or work your way into your first farm, given today’s land

values, is almost unobtainable unless you are backed by family or other funding sources. While there are some great agricultural careers and opportunities available, the ultimate goal is still to own

your own farming business and land. The high calibre of the offers clearly shows we have some skilled farming talent and families with experience who are crying out for the opportunity to get into their

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own farming business. For this tender, the owners wanted to retain ownership of their farm to allow children time to decide if they would like to return to the farm. Leasing was an obvious option

23

that allowed time for future family succession. Leasing does allow the breathing space to decide your future without the day-to-day operational pressure, rather than rush into selling your life

time’s work. Leasing the farm is an option which will come down to your own personal goals and priorities. Do we need the capital now, or can it be better redeployed elsewhere? Will the rental provide a suitable income and return on investment? Will it achieve our future goals? In many ways leasing is as complex as selling a farm, so it’s critical to get it right. If considering leasing your farm then it is recommended to seek advice from your professional advisors. Putting it in the hands of an agent or third party to manage the process and interact with your professional advisors can remove the hassle factor, and chances of not getting the right outcome. With leasing, the aim is to find the right tenant who will treat your farm as their own, maintain it in the same condition and provide a competitive market rental. Utilising a third party to undertake the management of the tender process allows the vendors to focus on selecting the best candidate or offer. Rather than be involved knee

deep in the process, they can objectively assess at arm’s length from feedback reports and their own interaction with the candidates. Timing is everything when selling a farm, and for some vendors selling the farm may not always be the best option. Like the later 1980s when farm values reduced dramatically, leasing was utilised by farm

per cent year on year to March 2016 ($5,339,250 – 2014/15 to $4,797,038 2015/16). Farm sale volumes ( > 20 hectares) have decreased from 47 into 2014/15 to 26 in the same period. Nationally farm values are down -15.9 per cent and farm volumes -3.8 per cent (REINZ) over the same period. Mid Canterbury land values are holding firm in comparison

In many ways leasing is as complex as selling a farm, so it’s critical to get it right

owners who were not forced to sell but still wanted to exit farming. Leasing provided an income and allowed them to hold onto their farms and sell when confidence and values improved. Thankfully we have a rural banking fraternity taking a responsible and proactive approach, so we are unlikely to see any graphic decrease in values such as in the late 1980s. In Mid Canterbury average farm values (> 20 hectares) have decreased -10.2

with other areas. It appears Mid Canterbury vendors are prepared to hold farms rather than sell at lower values in uncertain times and the current commodity cycle. Whatever the next few years hold for farm values, leasing is a serious option if suitable. It’s also worth considering that this option may help to kick-start the farming career of a young farmer or farming family with the opportunity to lease your farm.

You’re in safe hands when you sell your farm with Property Brokers

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Selling farms is our business and we’ve been successfully doing it for over four decades. If you want sound advice about selling your farm then give the team a call today.

0800 FOR LAND propertybrokers.co.nz


2 24

Farming

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WELL DRILLING FEATURE

Lack of recharge equals low water levels Lack of recharge from rainfall and rivers and other surface water is the main factor in low groundwater levels, according to ECan. There has been concern over low levels in Canterbury, making it all the more important that the right well experts are employed to access water of the quality and volume required. For a groundwater system to be sustainable over time, the rate of abstraction and other discharges, such as springs and flow to sea, must not exceed the rate of recharge of the system. Additionally, the cumulative effect of a number of wells affects everyone drawing from the aquifer, and may also affect spring fed streams, and potentially the saltwater/ freshwater interface at the coast. In aquifers with large abstractions, the levels can decline faster, and reach lower levels, depending on how good the aquifer is. There can be localised interference, where drawdown from a well creates a cone-

shaped depression in the groundwater levels which can affect your neighbours' wells. This effect will depend on the distance between wells, the abstraction rate, the physical aquifer characteristics, and the regional groundwater levels. There is also an affect called hydraulic connection. This is when surface water and groundwater are directly

linked. When you pump water from a well that is connected to a nearby stream, it reduces the flow in the stream. This may be because the groundwater supplies water to the stream, and abstraction lowers the supply, or because the stream supplies water to the groundwater, and the abstraction lowers the groundwater and increases the

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losses from the stream. Rainfall in the hills and the plains recharges aquifers. Once the soils of the plains are saturated, water will drain through the soil profile to the water table. Due to high summer evapotranspiration rates and low rainfall, this normally only occurs during the winter months.

A series of dry winters will result in low groundwater levels. Rivers flowing across the plains, and water from irrigation and stock water schemes also recharge groundwater. Even the smaller foothills rivers can have very significant effects on the groundwater in their vicinity.

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WELL DRILLING FEATURE

25

Water supplies need planning Water is a highly sought-after commodity, and rural property owners will want to do all they can to make sure they use this resource wisely. Using a consultant to draw up a complete water system for the farm is advised for new properties, and key features to consider are what pumps you will need for distribution, how

to use gravity for distribution where possible, the best pipes to use, stop-valves, storage facilities and the number and size of livestock troughs. You can not beat expert local advice, and specialists in the industry will be able to come up with innovative solutions, which meet environmental compliance regulations. The house and farm supply will ideally be on different lines, so if you have

a problem with the farm supply you can switch it off without depriving the household of water. When it comes to storage for human consumption, it is important to get the right watertank. And the general advice is bigger is better. This is particularly important as our climate becomes more unpredictable and susceptible to drought. Before buying a tank, you need to think about where it is going to go, and all tanks

need specially prepared bases to sit on. A litre of water weighs about 1kg, so 25,000 litres will weigh about 25 tonnes. The requirement for human domestic use is 180 to 200 litres per day. The other aspect to consider on-farm is sewage disposal. And when it comes to septic tanks, maintenance is crucial. “A poorly maintained septic tank will become a serious health hazard, spreading disease and contaminating

water sources,” says Consumer New Zealand. Its advice is to learn about your particular system and keep a maintenance record. “Include drawings of the system, mapping out its exact location. Your local council may be able to provide you with some of these details. “Newer systems often include a maintenance contract in their price. It is worth considering buying a maintenance contract for older systems.”

Specialists in drilling water wells in the Canterbury area since 1961

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P: 03 324 3799 M: 0274 338245 E: smithwells@xtra.co.nz www.smithswelldrilling.co.nz 67 Leeston & Lake Road, Leeston 7632


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Farming

WELL DRILLING FEATURE

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A quality job with Barber Drilling Barber Drilling are leaders in dual-rotary drilling for water wells in the Canterbury region and throughout the South Island. Based at Geraldine, the firm was set up by qualified drillers Wayne O’Donnell and Bruce Washington in 2001, after they returned from well-drilling operations in Australia. Mr O’Donnell said the company prides itself on using only thick-wall steel which doesn’t buckle, resulting in a straighter and better quality, long-life well. “This was tried and proven in the Canterbury earthquakes,” Mr O’Donnell said. Barber Drilling’s services include water well drilling, exploration drilling, dewatering, site investigations, piling and geotechnical. “Our equipment is of a very high standard and we experience fewer breakdowns because it is well-maintained to a strict service schedule,” Mr O’Donnell said. Barber Drilling can drill to a depth of 300-metres plus,

with diameters from 150mm to 60mm. Its dual-rotary system is designed to prevent sticking. Mr O’Donnell and Mr Washington and their team of hard-working staff have

many years of experience working in both New Zealand and across the Tasman, contracting to mining giants including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Solid Energy. They are enjoying bringing their wealth of expertise to

New Zealand farmers and lifestyle-block owners. For new wells, farmers can by pass the resource consent application process, as Barber Drilling is an ECan-approved driller which undertakes all the required checks. As well

Barber Drilling can drill to a depth of 300 metres plus

as the convenience afforded, it negates the $500 resource consent application fee. Barber Drilling is also an expert in well maintenance and well redevelopment. Alongside a range of wellmonitoring and flow-testing equipment, it has a Well-vu camera which can view up to 300 metres and a DVD is recorded and given to the owner. Barber Drilling offers water testing, generator hire, riser and pump extraction and servicing and advice and problem solving. “Barber Drilling will always offer clients advice, keep clients up to date with progress and talk through the options as the job proceeds. We instil confidence and customer satisfaction,” Mr O’Donnell said.

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WELL VU CAMERA CAN VIEW DOWN TO 300M


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WELL DRILLING FEATURE

27

Homework helps for new wells Thinking of drilling a deeper well to future-proof your farm water supply? Then it may pay to review your expectations, according to a local land specialist. That’s because there’s often much more to this process than many farmers realise. “It’s a bit like looking for gold,” Landpro senior resource management planner Martell Letica says. “It takes a lot of time, money, scientific knowledge and even luck. “If you succeed, the outcome can be significant, because a good groundwater supply can potentially act as a reservoir. But making this actually happen is a highly speculative process.” Unlike surface water yield, which is relatively quick and easy to estimate before starting a development project, deep groundwater yield cannot be assessed without drilling test bores. That means investing money before you know for sure if there’s even enough water available to meet your needs.

While shallow groundwater aquifers are often mapped to a greater degree of detail, those which lie deeper are harder and less likely to be quantified. And with a new deep well costing upwards of $100,000, not including the pumping system, it’s well worth doing as much research as possible before going ahead. Martell says judging by enquiries she’s received, there’s definitely interest among Canterbury farmers in deeper wells as a way to either augment their existing water supply or become selfsufficient for irrigation. Her advice for anyone thinking about such a project is to talk first to local drillers, who usually have a good understanding of an area’s underlying geology. “Ask them if they think there might be water on your farm, where they would look for it and whether they have any knowledge of any deeper bores in the area,” she suggests. She also advises getting

rid of a few common misconceptions. If your existing farm well is at 40 metres, for example, which is about average for the Canterbury Plains, drilling a new well to 80 metres or more will not automatically double your amount of water. Nor will the water from a new, deeper well necessarily be available at all times, which is another typical expectation, Martell says. “People often also think that taking groundwater from a deeper source will have no effect on surface water bodies. But water is so interconnected that we’re now increasingly seeing it assessed as a single resource, rather than two separate resources of ground and surface water.” Martell Letica is one of a team of 20 land development experts working for Landpro, including surveyors, environmental scientists, resource management consultants and engineers. Based in Timaru, she can be reached at 027 445 6897 or via email martell@landpro.co.nz.

Richard Ford and Martell Letica, Landpro Timaru.

Make the most of your land Talk to our team of experts today to get the job done right the first time! Specialists in... Geotechnical Services Water Permits Water Quality Sampling Dairy Conversions Renewal of Effluent Discharge Consents

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WINTER MAINTENANCE FEATURE

29

Winter a busy time on the farm As long working days in the sun are left far behind, it is time to turn our minds to winter jobs.

Good pasture management is important, and this is the time of year to avoid pugging. Grazing at high stock density on wet soils reduced pasture production by up to 45 per cent over the following year. For sheep, Veterinary Centre recommends in June that they receive a lice treatment offshears, and that a faecal egg count is performed at scanning time to assess levels, and assist in pre-lamb worm control decision making. It is the time to book TB testing for deer, and scan hinds 35 to 40 days after stag removal. For cows, June is a good time to administer a long acting selenium product to cows, which should last over mating. When it comes to your farm’s hedges, these can be cut year round. Contractors will recommend cutting once or twice per year to promote healthy growth and thickening, and new hedges should be pruned from an early stage to help develop a strong shape. It is important that trees

do not hang over power lines, and EA Networks’ trees department can trim or remove trees near powerlines which pose a problem, at the company’s own cost. Farmers can also engage a contractor or do the work themselves, however, they will need to arrange a time to have the power supply disconnected if working near service lines. Winter is also a good time to grade farm lanes, and you

Free Quotes • Modern Equipment

will want a good surface to ensure lameness in livestock is kept at bay.

Boating maintenance

As the days shorten, you will not be able to help dreaming about some of the recreational opportunities summer may bring. Boats in particular are a valued asset, and one which requires some looking after over winter. Following a few basics will

Efficient Service By Experienced Operators

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Effluent separator

help make sure your boat will be in tip top shape come next summer. Clean your boat before storing for the winter. This will help keep any corrosion in check, and make it much easier to get ready in the spring. Treat and repair any blistering on fibreglass, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions when it comes to oil, cooling system and engine requirements.

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CARPARKS CONVERSION WORK DAIRYLANES DEMOLITION DRAINAGE DRIVEWAYS FORESTRY HOUSE EXCAVATING LANDSCAPING ROADING ROCK RETAINING WALLS SHINGLE & SOIL SUPPLIES SUBDIVISIONS


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Farming

WINTER MAINTENANCE FEATURE

www.guardianonline.co.nz

A love of the outdoors combined Pete Farmer developed a passion for the outdoors growing up on the West Coast and today runs a logging and earthmoving business shaping rural environments.

He has spent 22 years in the industry, eight running his own business Tree Services out of Dunsandel and says looking after the land is top priority on any job. Tree Services undertakes logging and earthmoving jobs year-round, and has an arsenal of modern machinery including 15 diggers and dozers to get the job done. The business grew from logging to logging site cleanups, road-making and clearing land for irrigation. Tree Services also undertakes laneway construction, effluent pond construction, irrigation ramps, drain making, root raking and fire pile burning. Pete has a loyal following of clients around Canterbury and he prides himself on doing the best job possible. He says his love of the outdoors combines well with a passion for machinery. “There wasn’t much to be done on the coast while I was growing up, it was either the mines or forestry. I always had a strong pull to machines and the bush so I took up an opportunity to work in the bush on a machine and never

Main loading point at Coal Track Road, Dunsandel, for trucks heading to port with export logs. Logging co

looked back.” He moved to Canterbury in his 20s, working on logging and road-making, then branched out on his own. His philosophy is to get the best return from trees or farmland for his client as possible.

“The most rewarding aspect of my job is keeping clients happy. We have a large group who ring often for advice and invite us to their new shed openings or get-togethers. We build great relationships with our clients as we are often on their land for a significant time

and we like to think they are happy and comfortable with us being there. “Another rewarding aspect of our job is looking back on what is now a 1200-cow farm and shed and thinking back to what the forest and rough country looked like before we started.”

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WINTER MAINTENANCE FEATURE

31

with a passion for machinery

onversion back to pasture.

Pete said he and his staff were also striving to be innovative and offer the best and most competitive service possible. “And time is just making us better and more knowledgeable.” Understanding what the client needs is key. “We

provide a personalised service which means having regular site meetings and providing good updates. Whether it’s around stock movements in paddocks or working in with farm owners and managers to only work in grazed areas, we listen because farms are busy places. Work may need to happen around milking, calving and lane usage, so understanding how farms work and identifying times of least disruption is crucial.” Pete said the end goal was also to have satisfied clients, while offering the best deal. “I find honesty plays a big part. If I think it can’t be done as asked, I will talk it over with the client and explain the changes needed to reach the end result.” He said the industry had experienced its share of ups and downs but Tree Services always aimed to do a quality job. “We want our clients to get the best value for their money possible, so we offer a big range of services and options while onsite so they don’t need to think about calling anyone else.”

Interlock blocks used to build 2x 200 metre ramps 3 meters high over cow shed and silos.

Export Logs from Fairfield heading to Timaru port.

100 hectares of blue gum logged and sold to recover cost, put back into pasture.

Burning of the stumps and branches from the blue gum block, conversation for new cow shed pad.

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E: treeservices@xtra.co.nz


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Farming

WINTER MAINTENANCE FEATURE

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For the ultimate fun on water The first jetboats carved their way upstream in the mid-1950s and it wasn’t long before hunters recognised their benefits. Jetboats opened up new hunting grounds, made old ones more accessible and helped hunters return with their spoils, while also making the trip itself more adventurous. It’s not much different today - most jetboaters are also fishermen and hunters, combining their passion for river, rod and rifle to best advantage in getting off the beaten track and into the untamed wilderness. HamiltonJet NZ is the premiere family jetboat builder and service workshop in Canterbury. Since the company was founded in1960 as the boat-building arm of waterjet manufacturer CWF Hamilton & Co, it has built thousands of jetboats used around the country and throughout the world. As an indication of the quality of HamiltonJet NZ products, many of its jetboats from back to the 1960s and

70s are still in regular use today and the HJNZ workshop can still supply most parts for even the oldest jet units and

boats. Its full service workshop can carry out all repairs to aluminium, steel and

fibreglass hulls and decks, jet unit servicing and impeller rebuilding, engine maintenance and tuning,

along with refurbishing of windscreens, rub-rails, seats, engine covers and more. New HamiltonJet boats come in a range of lengths to best suit the type of jetboating you are doing and can be powered by the engine of your choice, coupled to the world’s most popular river jet unit the Hamilton Jet HJ212. Boats can be purchased as a complete turnkey package or as any combination of hull, deck, jet unit, engine and trailer for you to assemble and fit out to your own specifications. HamiltonJet boats hold their value better than any other jetboat manufacturer and when you buy from Hamilton Jet NZ you have our personal guarantee of quality of workmanship and materials to ensure you get many years of safe and enjoyable family boating on New Zealand’s many rivers and lakes. There’s no question jetboats provide something more for family boating, hunting and fishing - the only restriction is how far and deep the river runs.


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Farming

www.guardianonline.co.nz

Recycling plastic packaging is about Recycle more plastic bags and soft plastic packaging and wrappers with drop-off bins in the Warehouse, Supervalue and Countdown supermarkets.

Sheryl Stivens

MASTAGARD ASHBURTON

Now is the time to start collecting all the bits of plastic and plastic bags that come into your household or business and have been filling up your rubbish bag or even being burnt on your fire thus creating air pollution. Make it easy and convenient to do the right thing at your place by hanging up a plastic bag somewhere handy so that everyone can stuff all clean bits of plastic wrap, plastic packaging, NZ Post courier bags, bubble wrap, toilet roll and paper towel plastic and any wrappers from biscuit packets and food bar wrappers into it. You may need a couple of these strategically placed; say one in the kitchen or pantry near your rubbish bin in addition to your home office.

On June 10 soft plastic recycling launches at the Warehouse and supermarket stores in including New World, Pack and Save and Countdown stores across Christchurch and south to Ashburton and north to Rangiora. When you go shopping simply take the plastic bag of soft plastic packaging with you to these stores and place in the bin provided.

This new recycling programme will make it easier to recycle and prevent some of the plastic packaging which is lightweight blowing away and adding to the problems of plastic pollution in the Pacific Ocean. If you are in the habit of burning soft plastic packaging now is the time to rethink and recycle more.

Working with you for a greener tomorrow Specialists in all types of waste removal Frontload bins for General Waste Gantry Skips for Building sites or a home clean up

Call us today on 0800 240 120 | www.envirowaste.co.nz Email: christchurch@envirowaste.co.nz

Masta-Gardener COMPOST

Quality compost slow brewed locally in Ashburton by Mastagard from a diversity of green plant materials. Batch tested to ensure quality and ready to apply a generous helping to your gardens or farmland.

Pick up from the Ashburton Resource Recovery Park. Range Road, Ashburton.

Affordable prices: Bags $3 - Scoop $15 SPECIAL BULK PRICE FOR A LIMITED TIME

Enquiries for bulk prices Call 0800 627 824 or email: glen.sole@envirowaste.co.nz

The plastic bags and soft plastic packaging dropped off in the bins at our supermarkets will be exported to Melbourne and recycled into park benches etc. Over four million plastic bags and wrappers have already been recycled and over 25 tonnes of packaging has been dropped off at 92 stores across Auckland and the Waikato. Around 60 per cent of


www.guardianonline.co.nz

35

to get easier FREE DEMO Come along to a FREE monthly compost demo To find out how to set up a bokashi bucket or worm farm for your food scraps or a compost bin for your garden waste. Come along to a free compost demo:

product collected to date is single use shopping bags, including fruit and vegetable bags. The main packaging items being collected are bread bags, toilet roll wrapping and the soft plastic packaging around drinks bottles. Continue to recycle your clean plastic bottles and containers at the Ashburton or Rakaia Resource Recovery

Parks or into the yellow-lidded bins at the community rural recycling depots at Methven, Mt Somers, Mayfiled, Hinds, Longbeach Road, Staveley, Dorie, Rakaia Huts or Rangitata Huts. Make it easy to compost your food waste over the winter months. Get a bokashi bucket set up for your food scraps over the winter months or set

up a hungry worm bin right outside your kitchen door so you don’t need to venture far to compost your food waste during the dark frosty months. Hinds School students have embraced bokashi composting and have been emptying the full buckets into a large plastic blue barrel right on top of their raised bed garden.

Blocked Gutters? GumLeaf Can Help.

After putting a layer of soil on top of the bokashi fermented food waste it was only two weeks before the tiger worms and micro organisms had transformed the picked food waste into rich dark soil teaming with worms. This soil can now be spread out and planted into which saves buying compost or soil for the raised bed.

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Terms and Conditions: Offers available for orders placed on or prior to 30th September 2016, for delivery on or prior to 31st December 2016, at participating Case IH dealers unless extended or while stocks last. Some exclusions may apply. Contact your local Case IH dealer for full details. Finance offers are subject to normal lending criteria. Images used are for illustrative purposes only, and may differ in appearance from model advertised. Please check specifications with your Case IH dealer prior to purchase.

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Guardian Farming - June 2016  
Guardian Farming - June 2016