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MAY 2018


THE GAME Pages 3-7

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The deer industry has always been known as a rollercoaster ride, and right now it’s definitely on the up. Venison prices are the most obvious sign of that but there’s also a few smiles on the faces of those with a velvet focus. The challenge is when lows do occur - and as with any primary sector those times will come - is to make sure the industry as a whole is well-placed to ensure past experiences have been learnt from, so those dips can be ridden out without feeling too sick about the future. Next week’s Deer Industry Conference in Timaru, while covering off the usual suspects in research, venison and velvet markets and prospects, has a definite focus on the environment. A sign of the times, you might say, but it’s all about how you approach these things, and whether it’s viewed as a necessary box that must be ticked, or an opportunity to identify opportunities down the track. I’m pleased to see the industry is following the latter option of the two. The influences on world markets for primary produce have changed a lot in recent years, and these days it’s more important than ever before to show not only the life cycle of a

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Colin Williscroft


product, but also its minimal impact on the environment. With that in mind, to see the second day of the conference dominated by keynote speakers - and farmers - talking about the environment is a real positive. The relationship between farming and the environment cuts across primary industries, so it’s good to see voices being brought in from outside the deer industry. One of those is Mike Petersen, current special agricultural trade envoy and former Beef + Lamb chairman, who is also a practising farmer. He’s a guy closely involved in current efforts to produce a “red meat story” we can sell overseas. That story, which will have a focus on sustainability, is the way forward, and will benefit all farmers, no matter what sector they operate in.

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Staying ahead of the deer game This year’s Deer Industry Conference follows a good year for New Zealand deer farmers.

The theme of this year’s deer industry conference is Staying Ahead of the Game and Deer Industry New Zealand chief executive Dan Coup believes those farmers who attend next week’s event will put themselves in a prime position to do so. Coup hopes deer farmers from around Canterbury will find the time to come along to the conference, which is being held at the Caroline Bay Hall on May 15 and 16. “I certainly understand that there are a 101 jobs to be done on the farm and it’s really hard to get way for one or two days. “But I also know that most cockies will have heard the term ‘working on the business not in the business’ and the conference should fall into that category,” he said. “We’re aiming for the conference to

Colin Williscroft


deliver value back to attendees by giving them some ideas, some inspiration and a chance to think about the big picture that their business operates in. “It is a great opportunity to connect and catch up with other folks running businesses like yours and facing the same sort of challenges,” Coup said. “All going well farmer attendees will go home thinking ‘that was really interesting and inspiring and I had a great time’.” Along with the usual venison, velvet and general research sessions, this year’s conference has a particular

Deer Industry New Zealand chief executive Dan Coup is confident this year’s conference will provide ideas PHOTO SUPPLIED and inspiration for deer farmers.

• • • •

focus on the environment. The conference kicks off with the 43rd annual meeting of the New Zealand Deer Farmers’ Association, which begins at noon on the first day of the conference. After that the conference’s technical sessions begin. First-up is an update on key DEEResearch projects, beginning with a DEEResearch and Velvet Antler Research New Zealand programme overview by DINZ science and policy manager Catharine Sayer. During the same session Dr Dawn Coates from the University of Otago will discuss stem cell medicated healing, AgResearch’s Dr Geoff Asher will look at long-term monitoring of deer impacts on waterways, while Jamie Ward, also from AgResearch, will cover current parasite research, before a general discussion and Q&A. The focus of the next session is applying P2P (Passion2Profit) experiences. continued over page

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From P3 That will begin with Hayden Barker from South Canterbury Vet Life and deer farmer Tom Macfarlane reporting on their experiences with the Animal Health Review, before Jamie Gordon from Macfarlane Rural Business explains the feeding systems concept. DINZ deer genetics manager Sharon McIntyre will then look into utilising genetic gain, providing first-hand farmer experience of deer breeding and the use of EBVs. Then it’s the turn of P2P project manager Innes Moffat, who will look at some headlines from the 2017 CINTA report. After an afternoon tea break conference attendees will hear from OSPRI chief executive Michelle Edge, who will provide an update on changes to the national TB testing programme, risk-based testing and industry funding, and an update on the Nait review, which was released last month. Deer farmers always have one eye on the future and in the next session, facilitated by DINZ board member Kris Orange, a South Canterbury/North Otago Next Generation panel will talk to industry leaders about future leadership; issues and

expectations. The final session of the conference’s first day is an international deer calendar overview, with Sayer discussing the fourth International Antler Science and Product Technology Conference in Changchun, China, before Russian Deer Farmers Association chief executive Natalia Sorokina and DINZ producer manager Tony Pearse preview the World Deer Farming Congress VII, being held in Altai, Russia, this August. Day two of the conference begins with an address by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, before DINZ chairman Ian Walker and Coup give a state of the industry overview. The first of the conference’s

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featured speakers is Rabobank animal proteins specialist Blake Holgate, whose topic will be “Another good year ... spend it wisely”. He is a former environmental lawyer who grew up on a South Otago sheep and beef farm that he now farms in partnership with his parents. Part of Holgate’s role with the bank is to provide it with research and analysis on the impact that impending environmental regulations will have on the agricultural sector, so his insight is timely and will be worth listening to. He will be followed by business futurist and innovation expert Craig Rispin, who specialises in emerging business, people and technology trends - and how companies can benefit from them.

Following a session on venison, marketing and the markets, it’s the turn of former Zespri chief executive Lain Jager, who will give his perspective on the Zespri story and whether venison can be the next kiwifruit. Following a session on velvet antler, the first environment keynote speaker, special agricultural trade envoy Mike Petersen will look at why New Zealand needs a new story, while providing his perspective on trade, the CCPTP and the importance of environmental stewardship. Petersen, an independent director of Anzco Foods who spent 10 years as chairman of Beef + Lamb NZ, has recently spoken out about the need for New Zealand to revamp its primary sector story with an emphasis on sustainability if the country is to expand the reach of exporters in existing markets, while also breaking into new ones. The second keynote environment speaker is Guy Salmon, chief executive of Ecologic Foundation, who will discuss the environment, society, farming and evolving expectations. Farmer perspectives are not forgotten in the environmental discussion

and South Canterbury deer farmers Hamish and Anna Orbell, along with Hamish and Julia MacKenzie, will provide their thoughts on environmental stewardship, legacy and environmental response succession in deer farming before 2017 Nuffield scholar Ryan O’Sullivan talks about global food production and expectations around environment stewardship in farming. Fittingly, the conference’s focus on the environment will wind up with the launch of the deer industry’s Environmental Management Code of Practice. A highlight of any deer industry conference is the awards dinner and this year will be no different, with the NZDFA Matuschka Award, the Deer Industry Award and the MSD Animal Health Deer Industry Award among those to be presented. Interested deer farmers who cannot get to Timaru need not miss out on the conference as, just has been done for the past three years, proceedings will be livestreamed. Those farmers still in the area a day later will have the opportunity to travel by bus up the Rangitata Gorge for tours of the Peel Forest Estate and Mesopotomia Station.



Family’s passion a success story Station background Clayton Station is a 4100 hectare (4000ha effective) sheep, beef and deer farm nestled in the Fairlie Basin. The station was bought by Hamish’s grandparents (Derek and Mary Orbell) in 1964, before Hamish’s parents Ruth and the late Andrew Orbell took over the farm in 1967. Hamish took up the reins in 2003. The station has undergone significant development over the past 50 years or so. “When my grandparents bought the farm it was 9100 hectares with 12 paddocks and five hill blocks with limited development,” Hamish said. “Since then we have retired and sold some land and we now farm 4100ha made up of 169 paddocks and 25 hill blocks. “A significant part of the development was undertaken over the last 30 years. That includes clearing land, fencing, putting in tracks and roads, pasture development, fertiliser application and the implementation of a reliable

With a strategy to increase the number of their breeding hinds and a global market that has a growing demand for high-quality venison and velvet, Hamish and Anna Orbell’s Clayton Station is proving to be one of New Zealand’s high country deer farming success stories.

Hamish Orbell and PGG Wrightson Deer Specialist Murray Coutts inspect Clayton Station’s deer during PHOTO SUPPLIED autumn muster. 

water supply for stock. Also during that time, my parents, with a bit of help from a group of ladies from the district, put in 54 kilometres of shelter belts. “How the station is looking now is a real credit to my

family, but also the station staff who put in the hard work,” Hamish said.

Deer presence increasing The Orbell family

introduced deer to Clayton Station in the late 1970s / early 1980s, with the initial herd sourced through live capture. By the mid-1990s the station was running about 900 breeding hinds. From 2005 until recently the hinds

had increased to 1300 and by spring this year the Orbells aim to have 2200 breeding hinds on-farm. The plan is to continue to build the number of breeding hinds in the years ahead. continued over page


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From P5 The initial herd was housed in an 8ha block. The herd continued to increase yearby-year and by 1985 the station’s deer fenced area had grown to 50ha. By 1990 it had increased to 1400ha and recent development has increased the area by a further 400ha. Currently 1800ha of the station is deer fenced to support more than 4000 deer units. This includes more than 1300 breeding hinds, 200 velveters and 400 replacements. The station primarily runs Rakaia red deer. There will also always be sheep on the property, to keep the farm diversified, but the number of breeding ewes will depend on sheep meat and wool returns. “In January we sold 2000 breeding ewes to fund the purchase of hinds to increase our capital stock as we can currently get a better return on venison than with lambs and crossbred wool,” Hamish said. “We have a good set up here for deer so increasing the number of breeding hinds makes good sense.” In addition to the increasing the number of breeding hinds, Hamish is expanding the trophy business on the station. “We supply the land, animals


David Ward of Radfield Farm near Ashburton inspects PHOTO SUPPLIED his weaner deer. 

and experience to a third party who manage the trophy business for us,” he said. “We hand-pick potential stags at about eight years old, after their velvet producing days are over, and leave them to grow out their antlers in the top blocks. We have found it is an activity that can add value to our velvet business”.

Autumn muster Their annual deer muster took place over three days from March 19. Hamish and his team of shepherds brought

in the mobs located around the station. They were put into the yards and then taken through the shed for weaning. The hinds and stags were then returned to pasture. Most of the mustering is done on foot with dogs, but due to a lack of tracks in the top blocks the team muster those areas with a helicopter contracted from Mesopotamia Station. “It’s three busy days, but once the weaning is done we can move into the next job,” Hamish said. “Using a helicopter to

muster saves a lot of time, but it is a cost we would like to avoid in the future. “With good access we can move the deer easily between blocks with men on the ground with their dogs. This is working well elsewhere on the farm, so we needed to extend that up to the top blocks. “We hope to get that development completed within the next month or so. The Orbells used to sell to Downlands Deer, but two years ago they started selling directly to Mid Canterbury farmers David and Hilary

Ward of Radfield Farm, who finish the weaners. “The current arrangement works for both parties but we are considering a new approach with Radfield Farm in the future.” PGG Wrightson deer specialists Murray Coutts and Ron Schroeder work alongside the Clayton Station team in the shed to prepare the weaners for transport. Coutts said the wellmanaged breeding programme at Clayton Station is evident in the high quality of the deer presented during the autumn muster. “Our deer team work alongside Hamish all year around. He’s a good operator and knows how to manage deer to get the best outcome. Their herd makes productivity gains year-on-year and the station has a reputation of producing high-quality deer. “The station is set up well for deer so it makes our job easy working with a customer who is as passionate about deer as we are at PGG Wrightson. “On 20 March we sorted 500 weaners for transport to Radfield Farm in Mid Canterbury. Ron and I are hands-on during weaning. We have a limited amount of time to bring the mob into the shed



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Between 500 and 1000 weaner deer are finished at PHOTO ASHBURTON GUARDIAN Radfield Farm.

and get the truck away so we need to work fast. We have a good process in place with the Clayton Station team and it all went well again this year,” Coutts said. “The Clayton Station weaners shift well and have settled in on farms in Mid Canterbury. “They have moved from high country in the Fairlie Basin (which can be dry at times) to a feeding programme including high-quality pasture supplemented by grain feeding at Radfield Farm. They are gaining weight and on track to be killed in October.”

The future “It’s good to look back at all the work that has been done since my grandparents bought the farm, but we are also looking forward and identifying opportunities to further develop Clayton Station,” Hamish said. “We are pretty happy where we are now with our deer operation and





Hamish and Anna Orbell are taking part in a farmer panel at this year’s Deer Industry New Zealand conference, being held at Caroline Bay Hall in Timaru on May 16 and 17.


The discussion is called Meanwhile Back on the Farm: the Next Generation and the Orbells will provide a perspective on environmental stewardship, legacy and succession in farming.

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Beef + Lamb New Zealand head economist Andrew Burtt says key sheep and PHOTO SUPPLIED beef markets are in very good health.

Bright prospects Farmers may rightly feel under siege in recent months, from the weather as much as from media coverage about the environmental impacts of farming, the rise of alternative proteins, and the tough toll the job can have on mental health. But looking through the weather’s challenges and negative headlines, the farming sector has a highly positive story to tell as the farming year approaches its seasonal end. Without exception every part of New Zealand’s farming sector has enjoyed a positive profitable year in terms of returns, delivering record incomes to provinces from Kaitaia to Bluff.

Latest data from Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) will provide welcome end-of-season news for dry stock farmers, many who battled with tough times through the mid-2000s where farm incomes dropped to their lowest point since World War Two. In its latest economic service forecast B+LNZ has revised farm profit before tax up to $126,300 for its general “all classes” sheep and beef farm for 2017-18. That is a lift of 39 per cent on last year. B+LNZ head economist Andrew Burtt said the positive news reflected strong returns for both sheep and beef coinciding. continued over page

“Increased yields are driving up demand for large, on-farm seed drying and storage facilities, and also sheds for specialist plant equipment and machinery,” says Simon Harding of Coresteel Buildings South Canterbury, in Timaru. Coresteel Buildings offers a complete large-scale building solution for the arable industry. With no set sizings or standard plans, each building project is 100% bespoke, allowing for amazing flexibility in size, architectural design and functionality. This includes site-specific wind and snow loadings, taken care of by Coresteel’s team of in-house engineers. “Coresteel has two unique structural building systems,” explains Harding. “Both avoid obtrusive knee and apex braces, enabling full use

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From P9 Sheep revenue is expected to be up 22 per cent, with lamb values revised well up on the start of the year, pushing 661c a kg or about $120 a head thanks to a shortage of stock heading into the tail end of the season. Despite export volumes being almost exactly the same as last year, the lift in value will push the sheep meat sector over the $3 billion mark for the first time in history. Beef is also facing total returns with the magic “3” in front of it, expected to earn the country $3.2 billion this year, with a lift in value offsetting a 5 per cent drop in export volumes. Despite global beef production increasing, a growing Chinese appetite for beef is helping underpin the strong prices, while continuing growth in the United States economy has kept New Zealand’s sales of beef there buoyant. “This is a really positive thing when we consider where the NZ dollar is, compared to 15 years ago. It indicates market demand is strong, and our key markets are in very good health.” While there are murmurings on concerns over any trade


Deer Industry NZ marketing manager Innes Moffat says demand for New Zealand venison is running ahead of supply. PHOTO SUPPLIED 

war between US and China, Burtt qualifies that it is largely words so far. He also points to a level of reliance upon New Zealand product in a market like the US, where feedlot beef requires New Zealand’s leaner grass fed beef to be blended into it. “And as a supplier New Zealand is still regarded as a very safe, reliable and consistent provider for a market that is still experiencing strong growth.”

A shortage in venison numbers and a concerted effort by Deer Industry New Zealand to develop new off-season market niches has meant that sector is also experiencing record high schedule returns on meat. “Building year-round venison demand and more consistent prices throughout the year have long been industry goals,” DINZ marketing manager Innes Moffat said. Demand is running

comfortably ahead of available supply as farmers work to rebuild their herds after an industry slide through the 2000s. Across the fence in the dairy sector a tumultuous couple of years have steadied out this season, with Fonterra revising up its expected milksolids payout to $6.55/kg milksolids. Such a solid figure puts dairy farmers, many who have had to take on additional debt in the past two years to cover the poor payouts, on a more confident footing. DairyNZ economist Matthew Newman is also cautiously optimistic about the coming season, with expectations the dairy payout will be close to this year’s figure, and production this year is likely to only be down by about 1 per cent. “The good news has also been that as an industry we have managed to keep farm working costs low. For 201617 they averaged $3.75/kg milksolids. While likely to be up slightly this season, they are still significantly down on where they were at their height of $4.33/kg milksolids, back in 2013-14.” Overall the dairy sector is expected to generate $16 billion in earnings this year, up



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Maize silage as a transitionary feed Securing a supply of maize silage as a transitionary feed for cows moving from fodderbeet to pasture means well-fed cows won’t be left to chance. Last season a low dairy payout and subsequent restricted cashflow saw many South Island farmers reduce the use of critical supplements to freshly calved cows. In the past, the calved cows, which had recently come off fodderbeet, were supplemented with grain in the shed, but with tighter budgets the feeding of concentrates was dropped. Many farmers then found, as a result of low early-spring pasture growth rates, that cows suffered an energy deficit and in some herds a high rate of ketosis was seen. Poor reproductive performances and slow cycling followed, resulting in wide calving spreads and higher empty rates. Maize silage is a cost-effective supplementary feed that is particularly successful as a transitionary feed for cows moving from a diet of fodderbeet back to pasture. In addition to being an incredibly versatile feed, feeding maize silage after fodderbeet can help the cow’s rumen microbes adjust from a carbohydrate-heavy diet (fodderbeet) to a fibre-rich diet (pasture). Farmers have also been using maize silage to reduce the risk of milk fever. Transitioning off fodderbeet on to pasture is easier using maize silage as it is a great carrier for the various forms of calcium and magnesium farmers are feeding to their cows around calving. Maize silage can be successfully stored for several seasons and fed as

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Future-proofing irrigation The role of technology in helping farmers make good decisions about water use and informing consumers about how their food is grown, as well as looking at a future strategy for the irrigation sector, were key focuses at the recent Irrigation New Zealand conference. Keynote speaker Felicity Turner of Australia agribusiness The Yield spoke about how technology could help meet the world’s requirement to produce 60 per cent more food for its growing population by 2050. “We will need to produce more food from the same land area. We need to produce the right quantity of food at the right time,” she said. “Currently we throw away a lot of food.” The Yield has developed software that uses on-farm sensor nodes that transmit data every 15 minutes to a gateway. That information is then analysed using automated systems and by scientists to produce a range of advice that helps farmers decide when to irrigate and how much water to apply, as well as when to harvest, spray and plant. The systems can also forecast frost and the company is developing tools to predict crop yields. The software can be used across a range of geography and crop types. “New decision support technologies are the future of irrigation and it’s good to see there are a growing number of these solutions now available in New Zealand,” Irrigation NZ chair Nicky Hyslop said. New Zealand animation pioneer Ian Taylor also addressed the conference. Taylor has been at the forefront of animation innovation internationally for a wide range of uses. His

Irrigation NZ chairwoman Nicky Hyslop, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and INZ chief executive Andrew Curtis at the recent PHOTO SUPPLIED conference in Cromwell. 

company’s animation work has included America’s Cup graphics, formula one racing, cricket, golf and advertising, where he helps convey complex information in a visual format that people can easily understand. He sees a huge opportunity for visual data to be used in agriculture and irrigation. “On-farm visual data can be used to help farmers use water more efficiently and become more profitable. In the city people need to understand where their food comes from and visual data can also help show this.” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor attended the conference dinner and shared his thoughts on the

future of irrigation. “My vision is for a resilient primary sector striving for value over volume and this means large-scale irrigation schemes must be environmentally and economically viable on their own, with vital regional infrastructure supported by the government. Smaller, local and environmentally sustainable water storage schemes would help more of our regions better prepare for the future.” O’Connor said that New Zealand is the best country in the world at farming but that this needed to be backed through a story of integrity, and that negative perceptions about irrigation needed to be

addressed. He added that the way water was used in Central Otago was smart and targeted. A recent Land Air Water Aotearoa report indicated that waterways were improving but there were still some issues to be addressed. On the final day of the conference Irrigation New Zealand chief executive Andrew Curtis outlined a future strategy for the irrigation sector. Food consumers were becoming more conscious of where food is sourced from, creating a need for sustainable production that is traceable back to the farm. Automation will become increasingly used, and plantbased options will replace

some traditional protein sources. Curtis said water scarcity will become a more pressing issue globally. Although in New Zealand rainfall is relatively plentiful by world standards, in the future irrigators will be required to become more water efficient and new technologies will need to continue to evolve to assist this. He said there were still water quality and quantity issues to be addressed, but there has been a shift to farming within limits where the achievement of better environmental outcomes was rapidly becoming part of the everyday business of running the farm.





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Arable farmers consider options Having come through a tough summer for growing crops and with current market signals muted, it appears arable farmers are pulling back on planned autumn plantings. “The flat prices of the last few years are now rebounding a bit but growers remain hesitant to plant massive areas,” Federated Farmers Arable executive member Brian Leadley said. “With the buoyant demand from the livestock sectors (dairy in particular) we anticipate that milling wheat plantings will reduce as farmers plant feed wheat/ barley instead. “If farmers and other end users are wanting domestically grown and quality-assured New Zealand-grown grain they should contact their supplier. If the signals are strong enough and positive enough, there is still plenty of time for growers to change their intentions.” Leadley was commenting after the release of the Arable Industry Marketing Initiative (AIMI) April 2018 Survey last week. It showed average yields

Federated Farmers Arable executive member Brian Leadley is expecting milling wheat plantings to reduce.

over the six surveyed crops were down 12 per cent after a shortened growing season and early harvest marked by ‘four seasons in one day’ type weather. Periods of high rainfall in

June-August when some crops were flooded out was followed by the heat of OctoberDecember and periods of heavy rain hitting hit during key crop establishment periods.

“With climate change, that’s part of the game I guess,” Leadley said. All the surveyed crops had been harvested by April 1. This is particularly unusual for oats, which are generally not harvested in Southland until well into May. “Southland had droughttype conditions into midJanuary, which promoted quicker growth and earlier maturity. “That probably had a detrimental effect around yield but it was able to be harvested earlier and may well have improved quality a bit,” he said. “It was the same with all those late harvest crops.” The AIMI survey shows carry-over stocks of feed wheat and feed barley are lower than usual, with virtually all harvest 2017 stock sold to end-users. Available stocks of 2018 harvested grain will also find a home. Despite the good conditions for preparing and planting crops, very little of autumn sown crops had been planted by April 1, 2018.

The survey indicates that predicted autumn plantings will be back by about 3400 hectares (about a third), with milling wheat and malting barley back (reflecting poor price signals from those sectors), and feed barley up. “Grain prices over the last couple of years, from a growers’ perspective, have been unsustainable for longterm returns when investment in land, capital for machinery and so on is added into that gross income versus growing cost equation. “So it’s pleasing to see a bit of a revival in those prices,” Leadley said. “By the look of the survey results, those past poor seasons have pushed some arable growers to look at other options. The recent prices may have given room for more optimism. “The survey has given as a good mark on farmers’ planting intentions at this stage. “The next AIMI survey in July will tell us whether those plans changed as a result of market indicators.”

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Helping hill country farmers Canterbury hill country farmers are heavily involved in a new project to develop a tool to better enable sustainable farming in the hill country environment. Ian Lyttle, a senior land management adviser with ECan in Timaru, told a recent Ashburton Water Zone committee meeting that the $150,000 SHiFT (Sustainable Hill Farming Tool) project, instigated by the Ministry for the Environment, aimed to help farmers work through the process of managing risks of sediment loss on hill country land, and to mitigate the subsequent loss of sediment into waterways running through that land. That included, but in no way was restricted to, maintaining corridors of riparian strips. Lyttle said it was expected the project will result in the creation of a tool to help farmers make informed decisions as they consider the future development of their hill country blocks. He said research company UMR had been hired to do a series of faceto-face interviews, which is being

Due to the intensification of dairying on the Canterbury Plains, sheep and beef farmers are retreating into steeper hill country and to remain viable those farmers ... need to think about ongoing development of their land

followed by telephone surveys, that would tap into a random sample of hill country farmers. The 16 in-depth interviews covered the decision-making process involved in farmers’ previous hill country developments, as well as the outcomes of recent developments. “The objective is to ascertain what the main influences are in decision making, whether farmers have access to all the relevant information, and how the project can support that decision making through the development of an effective tool.” That qualitative survey is being followed by a telephone survey of around 150 farmers in both Canterbury and the Horizons Regional Council (Manawatu and Whanganui) areas, about 110 of whom are in Canterbury.

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The tool would be a step-by-step process that will help farmers in those areas identify potential risks in future developments. Lyttle said that due to the intensification of dairying on the Canterbury Plains, sheep and beef farmers are retreating into steeper hill country and to remain viable those farmers understandably need to think about ongoing development of their land. To ensure that was being done effectively, farmers needed to consider mitigations and outcomes associated with those developments. An important part of that was looking at where winter feed crops were being put in and how to manage grazing in those areas during significant rainfall events, he said. That involved identifying and protecting critical feed areas, in particular gullies. Lyttle said the idea was that the final tool, whether it be paper or app based, which at this stage had not been decided, would involve a sediment model - how much could be expected to come off that type of land - and enable farmers to calculate whether development in those areas was financially viable or whether the negative impacts would outweigh that development. As well as assisting farmers with calculating those financial costs, the idea was to reduce particularly sediment but also nutrient loss, and so either maintain or improve water quality. The bonus was that the tool would provide information on how to best maintain the production capability of their land and soils, which was good for their bottom line. As well as interviews with farmers the SHiFT project also involves a literature search of relevant information, which was being conducted through AgResearch. Lyttle said that search will help identify what factors affect soil loss from hills; what the short-term and longer-term effects of sediment loss have on pasture production and persistence; and what mitigations may be available to prevent or significantly reduce that sediment loss. He said it was expected that the tool will provide a much better idea of the benefits and costs associated with development of hill country areas that are not currently included in a farmer’s usual financial evaluation. It’s expected the project will be completed by June next year.


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Help reduce recycling contamination Please help keep our community recycling depots clean and the products free from contamination. Recycle only clean loose recyclable products – nothing inside plastic bags. Remove dirty products, non recyclable packaging, household rubbish and foodwaste. No polystyrene, coffee cups, scrap metal or clothing. For recycling information check the Ashburton District Council website: www. ashburtondc.govt.nz. Hot off the press: Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage has announced that the May round of the New Zealand Waste Minimisation Fund will target projects that build in reducing waste from the outset. Minister Sage said: “We need to stop thinking that recycling is the answer to our waste problems when actually producing less waste in the first place is better for the environment and our country,” Sage said. For further details www.

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Worthless bumpers recycled More than 200,000 broken car bumpers are destined for New Zealand landfills each year. 3R Group has begun granulating the bumpers, in a process that will reuse and recycle the otherwise worthless products. The resource recovery company began granulating bumpers at its Hornby depot in March, hoping to catch up with parts of the world where recycling car parts is common. The majority of car bumpers in New Zealand are made of plastic

polypropylene, which is an entirely reusable resource. Bumpers are also very bulky, meaning they take up a lot of room in landfills and are a wasted resource. The raw product, a granulated bumper, is ready to be recycled into a range of products including new car bumpers. New Zealand had one of the highest rates of vehicle ownership per capita in the world, which compounds the issue. According to the 2013 census, 38 per cent of Kiwi households had two or more vehicles, while 16 per cent had three or more. Plastic polypropylene is commonly used to create furniture, pegs, food containers and a range of other items. It is hoped the plastic granules could be used to produce new car bumpers thus closing the product loop. The plastic granules could also be used as an additive in other products or as aggregate in concrete.

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composted leaves, including that they consist of double the minerals when compared to manure. Trees tend to absorb most of the minerals from soil, so the leaves are quite valuable as they supply not only nutrients but also a decent amount of organic matter. Organic matter aids in building better soil structure and the ability to aerate clay soils that are heavy, reduce evaporation, prevent drying of sandy soils, as well as soak up rain. So next time you think of throwing the leaves in the bin, think of a spot in your garden where you can have a compost heap and reap the benefits from your autumn leaves.

Autumn brings with it lots of leaves, especially when you have deciduous trees on your property or neighbouring properties. Too often people dispose of them in their red bin, but you are potentially throwing away a great product that you get for free. Why not compost leaves and turn them into a useful product that your garden will love? You can make compost from the leaves in as little as 14 days by doing the following: Grind or shred the leaves. Mix 4:1 ratio of ground leaves to manure or a material supplemented with nitrogen. Turn the heap once in three days. Turning the heap resulting from shredded leaves is not difficult as the compost is fluffy as well as light. Cover up the heap with a plastic sheet or carpet to keep the warmth in and prevent the heap from getting too dry or wet as well as speed up the composting process. There are many benefits of

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Keep farm records in the cloud Synlait Milk has partnered with farm software company FarmIQ Systems to provide certified Lead With Pride dairy farmers with a cloudbased farm information system. “Keeping records in the cloud creates the opportunity for data to drive timely, accurate and more informed decisions on farm in a heartbeat,” says John Penno, Synlait’s CEO and managing director. Removing the need for paper-based records also brings benefits in terms of system efficiencies and greater access to information, Penno added. “It’s very easy to create data, it’s much harder to do something valuable with it,” he said. “We are delighted to be partnering with Synlait to help their farmers gain even more value from Synlait’s Lead With Pride programme,” Darryn Pegram, CEO of FarmIQ Systems, said. “FarmIQ’s software makes it easier for farmers to record

The FarmIQ System, which includes a mobile app, is easily used on-farm. 

their activities and provides useful, real-time insights to help them make better decisions. We expect this initiative to bring Synlait closer to their farmers and to strengthen their enviable integrated supply chain.”

As well as using the new system to capture specified dairy farm information, certified Lead With Pride farmers can also choose to add further information, allowing them to tailor it to their needs.

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“Our farmers will have a more robust way to capture farm information and this will ultimately deliver better performance across a wide range of farm activities,” David Williams, Synlait’s milk supply manager, said.

“Beyond their individual farm, they will also be able to benchmark against other farms through comparable aggregated data. The extra insight is something they can actually use and benefit from every day,” Williams said. As well as covering the subscription fee for the FarmIQ Dairy+ pack, Synlait is investing in development of the software to address specific Lead With Pride™ requirements. “Our investment goal is to add features that make recorded data more meaningful for Synlait farmers, while also giving them access to a very powerful tool that can help them run their whole farm business,” Williams said. “Ultimately, adding these features into Farm IQ’s system will further improve the transparency of our value chain and builds on our commitment to add value and differentiate milk behind the farm gate.” The new software system, which includes a mobile app, will be available later in 2018.




Changes to PAYE filing If you’re employing staff, you’ve probably heard that PAYE filing is going digital under the Inland Revenue’s “payday reporting” scheme. Here’s what you need to know.

talk to your provider and make sure they’ll be ready by 1 April next year. Some aren’t making the leap, so you may want to look at alternatives.

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Kiwi employers paying over $50,000 PAYE and Employer Superannuation Contribution Tax (ESCT) per year will need to move to payday reporting on or before April 1, 2019. If you’ve got four or more staff earning an average wage, or ten or more earning minimum wage, you’ll likely be caught by the changes. If not, you can skip this article. Good for you.

What’s new? The Employer Monthly Schedule (EMS) you currently send in once a month (or twice if you’re a large employer) will be replaced with electronic filing within two business days of payday. Yep, that means more filing. If you can’t get reliable internet, you’ll have an extra five business days to take care of payday reporting.

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On the plus side, the Kiwisaver tax code declarations that new staff fill out will be going digital too, cutting down repetitive paperwork.

What’s next? If you’re calculating pays and filing PAYE manually, your admin workload is about to go up.


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PaySauce is delicious cloud payroll that you can run on the go from a laptop or smartphone. It includes digital timesheets and payslips, the standard payroll calculations you’d expect, and automated banking and PAYE filing. We look after all types of businesses, but almost half our customers are farmers. PaySauce customers won’t notice a thing when payday reporting kicks in – filing will be automatic and real-time. If you need to make a change to the way you handle timesheets, payroll, or PAYE filing, call us for a chat or swing by the website at www.paysauce.com. Advertising feature

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Plan template gets tick of approval Environment Canterbury has confirmed Ravensdown’s farm environment plan template meets the requirements of the Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan (LWRP). Under the LWRP, all farms requiring a land use consent to farm must produce an environmental plan to support it. ECan chief executive Bill Bayfield said the Ravensdown template made that process a lot easier and exceeded the regulatory requirements of Schedule 7 of the LWRP. “Like the Farm Environment Plan Assessment Group, I was impressed with the ease of use of the template and its ability to adapt to the specifics of a property, only populating the relevant parts,” Bayfield said. Ravensdown business manager environmental Mark Fitzpatrick said the digital template constructed in Microsoft Excel format was a precursor to a nationally available online version hosted within the company’s mapping and analytics platform, Hawkeye, and other farm management tools such as agronomy plans.

ECan chief executive Bill Bayfield is impressed with how easy Ravensdown’s farm environment template is to use. PHOTO SUPPLIED

“The digital version is tailored to fit a wide range of farm systems and will be used by Ravensdown farm environmental consultants

to help farmers prepare their farm environment plan,” Fitzpatrick said. “While regional plan compliance is critical, the team

has also developed biodiversity and greenhouse gas guidance within the FEP. It’s all part of enabling smarter farming for a better New Zealand.” The Land & Water Regional Plan is a primary delivery mechanism of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy. “It is reassuring to see in the Ravensdown template a methodology that will enable the development of plans and to identify and address actual and potential environmental effects and risks,” Bayfield said. “We encourage all farmers to prepare farm environment plans, regardless of whether they’re needed by regulation. International markets are increasingly demanding proven sustainability, and farm environment plans are one way to demonstrate this.” Under Schedule 7 of the Land & Water Regional Plan, farm environment plans can be prepared either by landowners themselves using guidance in the LWRP or via industryprepared templates and guidance material. Minimum content is

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specified, and all farm environment plans must include an assessment of the risks associated with the farming activities and how those risks will be managed. This includes irrigation, application of nutrients, effluent, stock exclusion from waterways, offal pits and farm rubbish pits. Farm environment plans must be auditable. Schedule 7 of the LWRP is subject to several changes in the Nutrient Management and Waitaki Plan Change (Plan Change 5, currently under appeal) including the addition of matters set out in sub-region plans. These include important things such as identification of further features including flood protection works, public access management of phosphorus risk zones and management of sites with mahinga kai. Ravensdown has included these items in its template, avoiding the need to update the template once Plan Change 5 becomes operative, unless changes are made to the schedule.




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Our native plants are still vanishing It’s been great to see the new plantings of natives, especially along stream margins and around dairy sheds, which have gone in over the past decade. These plantings increase the visibility of native plants and add a lot of natural character to the landscape. But at the same time there has been a wave of loss of original native vegetation. Native plants and animals seem to be the collateral damage as development proceeds in farming areas such as the Ashburton District. The continued demise of small native plants, or even big features such as the cabbage tree near Racecourse Road, is the price we seem to be expected to pay for “progress”. The Ashburton District Biodiversity Working Group is a committee working to conserve and enhance native biodiversity in our district. Committee members are currently grappling with the reality that measures introduced to conserve native vegetation remnants along roadsides are not working as

Mary Ralston


well as had been hoped. We know that there is very little native vegetation on the plains, but several years ago a formal survey was undertaken to identify what was left. The survey found sites of native plants and the most significant of these were marked with white plastic signposts to alert the neighbouring landholders and the public that the vegetation was important. Despite these measures, many of the sites of significant vegetation have disappeared. The reasons are varied: some have been accidentally killed when the adjacent paddock or fenceline was sprayed; some have been overwhelmed by cocksfoot or other exotic grasses due to

Beautiful roadsides add character to the landscape. Let’s keep PHOTO SUPPLIED our unique Kiwi vegetation.

irrigation changing the local growing conditions, some have been mowed and some trampled by stock moving along the verge. Most of the losses are not deliberate: they are the byproducts of the modern age of farming with chemicals and irrigation and high stocking rates. We acknowledge these aspects of farming life are here to stay, but we need to also be able to maintain these important remnants of

original vegetation. The question is how this can be done when it appears the two are mutually exclusive? One way would be to physically protect the remnants with enclosures, rather than relying on marker posts to alert passers-by. Another possibility is to remove smaller specimens to a dedicated reserve where they would be protected. Ideally, it would be great to see landowners and the

community taking pride in the little piece of Kiwi uniqueness outside their gate. It seems we need to keep on publicising the message that native remnants are important – especially in places like the Canterbury Plains where there is so little native biodiversity – they are pieces of New Zealand’s heritage that we should value. The foothills and basins of the high country are facing losses of a different scale to the plains. On the plains the losses are of the last remaining individual plants, in the foothills and high country basins losses are the broadbrush variety – whole hillsides are changing from scattered native plants to bright green developed farmland like the plains. Spraying weeds along a fenceline or roadside can also be a risk to natives. The removal of tussocks and matagouri along a road chips away at the natural character that still exists on the road edge, but is disappearing from the paddocks.




Flow of money crucial for economy Left – Investment in irrigation flows to future generations. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Chris Murdoch


It really worries me this Government’s view on how money flows through the community or in fact doesn’t flow at all. Many years ago, as many of you will remember, there was another Labour-led government that believed New Zealand didn’t need the rural sector of the community for this country to flourish. Auckland was going to be the Switzerland of the Pacific and all we needed to do was to make this city an economic bank. Boy did that end in tears not so many years later. And yet here we are now with Labour Party cabinet ministers saying we don’t require dairy; we don’t need beef, sheep, deer or arable or mineral for that matter to have

a solid economy because trees and forestry can do this for us. No doubt some trees and forestry is a great idea, as it gives us another string to our bow. However, as we all know the trouble with trees is it takes at least 25 years for one to grow and after it has grown we still don’t know its value and how do we survive in the meantime? Good idea but definitely not the total answer. I can hardly believe the short-sightedness of any government to halt irrigation development in New Zealand. With careful planning and good processes irrigation is one option of growing the economy into the future. Where would Mid Canterbury be today if it wasn’t for our past generations

having the foresight to see what such developments could do for Mid Canterbury and greater New Zealand? What annoys me most is the irrigation schemes aren’t asking the Government for a hand out – it’s a LOAN, not a subsidy and is set out to be paid back over a certain timeframe with interest. Then the Government and areas the irrigation covers prosper for the next generations to enjoy. I don’t know what figure is put on the multiple of $1 spent on irrigation and the amount it produces in the community, but no question it is huge and if set up right it is using a renewable resource, which can also lead to a better community in regards

to recreational activities like boating, fishing, bird watching etc, as well as economic. The excuse was used that the Government doesn’t want to see more dairy farms developed in these areas. However, a large portion of these areas do not want to go dairying, they only want to have some control over the climate they live in. The people who have control over dairying are the ECans and Horizons of this world, as they hand out the consents to farm. I further wonder how much thought this Government has had on the total cost of mycoplasma bovis outbreak we have had. No numbers have been spoken about that I have seen,

South Island Rural Team

Absent; Rodger Letham, Jude Livingstone, Michael Robb

but the figures could run into the $100s of millions mark I would imagine without too much trouble - and then there is the cost of lost production etc. It’s great to be Father Christmas and hand out all the goodies at Christmas time, but come late January when the bills come in and the income doesn’t support the outflow who pays? I feel this Government has promised heaps to projects that will return nothing shortterm to the economy and I wonder where the money will come from to pay the bills. More taxes I guess, so I say to the Government, don’t stop the flow of irrigation water, as this is the water that will help pay the bills in the future.




When you list your farm with our rural team, there are Property Brokers’ team members across the country working alongside them to get you the best result. That’s because every one of them has signed a binding agreement to work together to sell your property. It’s a New Zealand first for the rural real estate industry that means we put your best interests first. Which is exactly where they should be. Find out more at propertybrokers.co.nz/rural

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Donaghys joins collection service Donaghys Crop Packaging recently joined the Plasback product stewardship scheme, New Zealand’s only effective on-farm collection service for waste plastics. Plasback is focused on making it as easy as possible for farmers to recycle their waste plastic. It had that aim in mind when it pioneered its onfarm bin and liner collection system. Over the past decade it has built an extensive, nationwide network of collectors and baling operations to recycle agricultural plastic. Much of the waste film is reprocessed in New Zealand and used to make Tuffboard plastic plywood. Plasback national manager Chris Hartshorne says the scheme has recovered and recycled more than 10,000 tonnes of crop packaging products, and he is pleased that Donaghys wants to be part of a system that delivers results. “Plastics play a vital role in agriculture, but there is growing concern about the

About Plasback

Plasback national manager Chris Hartshorne (right) is pleased to have Donaghys Crop Packaging general manager Tony McDonald on board with the waste plastic recycling scheme.  PHOTO SUPPLIED

problem of plastic waste in the environment. “We are seeing record numbers of farmers joining Plasback and that is to be applauded. “Crucially, the companies that supply plastic to the primary sector also now recognise that they have to take responsibility for their products once they have been


used,” Hartshorne said. He said the Ministry for the Environment has signalled that ‘product stewardship’ is a valuable tool to combat the growing volumes of waste created across all sectors of the economy. Under product stewardship schemes, all the parties involved in the life of a product (the



producer, importer, retailer and consumer) share responsibility to reduce that product’s environmental impact. Demand for Plasback’s on-farm recycling service is growing so fast in Canterbury that its regional collector, McCarthy Contracting Ltd, now has a truck devoted to the task fulltime.


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Get the experts in for the tough jobs Four Seasons Treecare Ltd has been in the arboriculture industry in Ashburton for over 12 years and throughout this time they have built a strong reputation for the quality of their work and for their professional and friendly service. Tree pruning and felling can be both difficult and dangerous which is a key reason why many people call an arborist for tree work on their property. Lyall Jemmett, managing director of Four Seasons Treecare Ltd, is proud of his team of arborists – most of them have been with the company for five-plus years. “Our team is extremely knowledgeable and well equipped with specialist equipment. Plus they are constantly upskilling in safe and effective procedures for undertaking treework – especially in dangerous situations such as power line clearing,” says Lyall. They know it’s a big responsibility looking after the trees in the local district and the Four Seasons team is

Four Seasons Treecare Ltd has the equipment and expertise to deal with any dangerous or difficult arboriculture situation. PHOTOS SUPPLIED

WHO DO YOU CALL? Senior arborist Willy Hintz For good advice and a free quote phone: 0800 559-255

especially proud of the work it does maintaining many turnof-the-century old established trees in the district. “It’s a real privilege working in the domain and at historic

homesteads and high country stations and to think that I’m helping to preserve these trees for the next 100 years,” says Lyall. A significant proportion of

the work undertaken by the team at Four Seasons is on local farms. “The rural work includes a variety of tree services, such as tree removals, hedge trimming, chipping,

stumpgrinding and getting into those tricky areas that the hedge trimming machines can’t get to,” says Lyall. “We are also Ruralco suppliers giving a 5 per cent discount which many farmers find useful and it keeps the book-keeping simple.” Call Willy Hintz, senior arborist, on 0800 559-255 to have the team visit your property, offer some good advice and provide a free quote.

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The best at handling your liquid waste Robsons started with Murray 45 years ago with a TK Bedford Tractor unit with a 10,000 litre single axle trailer. Believe it or not, this tank is still in use to this day feeling a bit worse off with wear and tear. Over the years, vacuum pumps have improved. When a load used to take 20 minutes, now we can suck 10,000 litres in 3 to 5 minutes.

The business is now boasting a fleet of 19 vehicles all having a purpose ...

After several years of hard work and long hours, and with my two sons Keiran and Justin joining the business, it has grown to where it is today. In 2014 we purchased Charlies Takeaways in Rakaia giving us a better coverage of the southern area. The business is now

New 6x6 Scania just gone on the road.

boasting a fleet of 19 vehicles all having a purpose, ranging from a small 3000 litre truck to a 20,000 litre tractor drawn tank. We also have two dry muck

spreaders. Robsons have tried to keep the fleet fully upgraded with a new 6 x 6 Scania going on the road and a new Iveco due to arrive mid May this year.

Robsons work in close conjunction with ECan through our Resource Consents making sure all waste goes to an appropriate home.


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Introducing the Selwyn App Residents and visitors to the Selwyn District will be able to have all the information they need at their fingertips from today thanks to the Selwyn App. The new players on the news and information scene in the Selwyn region, the app launches this week after months and months of preparation and planning. A gathering of local identities gathered last week in Rolleston to recognise the launch of the app which has been developed by the Ashburton Guardian Ltd who run the successful Ashburton App which has now been operating for eight months. Ashburton Guardian Ltd general manager Desme Daniels said they saw potential in the Selwyn District and didn’t hesitate to look into bringing an app to the market. “There was a gap in the market for daily news, we provide this in Ashburton, but we also have strong business links in Selwyn,” Daniels said. “Our focus is on grassroots community news, filling


Vicky Joyce – App administrator the gap left by other daily newspapers. Whilst there are some established weekly news providers we know that people now want news delivered daily – at the tips of their fingers – on smartphones. “Over 89 per cent of people want to access local news and information through their smartphones. The app gives users both daily news along with community information, such as local events, walk

and cycle tracks, places to eat, drink and stay and much more.” While developed in Ashburton, the Selwyn App will have a fully dedicated team including fulltime journalist Jonathan Leask, who will be working closely with local schools, sports groups, community groups and the Selwyn District Council to deliver great stories – which will be added to the


The Selwyn App is the one-stop shop for everything the Selwyn District has to offer. Download FREE today and keep up-to-date with: • • • • • • •



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app three times a day. “I see the app as an exciting opportunity to provide community news daily to a bustling and growing district straight to your phone,” Leask said. “It is unique as the app delivers the local news and information directly to the audience on a simple to use platform.” The app officially launched on May 1 and will contain eight great sections, jam-

packed with information. This will be increased as more content is developed. “We want the Selwyn App to be for the people of Selwyn,” Daniels said. “So we are wanting people to let us know what they’d like to see and if they have any interesting ideas for the app to contact us.” The Selwyn App is available on both the Google Play Store and App-Store.



Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says the creation of Biosecurity New Zealand shows the Government is taking New Zealand’s primary sector seriously.

Biosecurity NZ launch welcomed Federated Farmers has welcomed the launch of Biosecurity New Zealand, saying it is encouraged that the government is taking biosecurity seriously enough to give it its own department. Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor launched the new entity last week, one of four new business units created within the Ministry for Primary Industries. The others are Fisheries New Zealand, Forestry New Zealand and New Zealand Food Safety. Federated Farmers national president Katie Milne said its creation shows that not only is the future of New Zealand’s primary sector taken seriously, the safety of every New Zealander is as well. “Biosecurity touches everyone. If you have ever freely strolled through a park without a snake bite, bought an apple or grown your own diseasefree produce – you get to because of biosecurity efforts.” New Zealand relies so much on the primary sector to keep afloat in the globalisation era that any biosecurity breach could impact every member of the public, Milne said. “Our economy needs the best biosecurity protection to exist. Biosecurity prevents threats such as foot and mouth disease breaching our borders. Even home gardeners need to realise with pests such as the pea weevil arriving on our shores they too can be and will be impacted if breaches occur.” Every New Zealander, no matter where they’re from, needs to help support biosecurity efforts, she says. “There is no New Zealand B. This is what we’ve got. It’s up to us as a community to protect it.” O’Connor said when he began his biosecurity ministerial role six months ago it was clear biosecurity was the country’s number one challenge, with several responses under way, including mycoplasma bovis, myrtle rust, ostrae bonamia and Kauri dieback, while ships carrying the brown marmorated

stink bug were turned around. “Pest incursions and disease outbreaks threaten our biodiversity. With increasing pressures such as the growing scale of trade, more visitors from abroad and climate change challenges, we need a greater focus on biosecurity. “Biosecurity New Zealand provides a single point of accountability and leadership for New Zealanders who care deeply about the sustainability, safety and health of our environment. “It brings together some 900 MPI staff into one focused business unit, which will provide the direction, resources and people-power to protect our country from biosecurity threats and respond quickly to any outbreaks.” O’Connor said he was also excited to announce that Biosecurity New Zealand will establish a new Biosecurity Intelligence Team to provide earlier warning of biosecurity risks. “The team will use new, smarter, technologies and skilled analysts to source and look at all available information on overseas pests and diseases,” he said. “Earlier signals of biosecurity threats will help our border staff to make better decisions to target air passengers and cargo that are most likely to carry risk goods, as well as those who deliberately flout New Zealand’s biosecurity rules. “Biosecurity New Zealand supports Biosecurity 2025 – which is building a biosecurity team of 4.7 million, encouraging all New Zealanders to participate in biosecurity. “Biosecurity is a challenge for us all – it requires vigilance from everyone and it is vital that every New Zealander is pitching in to protect our environment, way of life, primary industries and the things we enjoy as New Zealanders,” O’Connor said. Setting up the four units cost $6.8 million with operating costs of $2.3m a year and is funded through reprioritised spending within MPI.

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Food award entries open Entries are now open for this year’s New Zealand Food Awards, giving the crème de la crème of New Zealand’s food and beverage industry the opportunity to showcase their success and innovations. The 2018 New Zealand Food Awards, powered by Massey University, celebrates innovation, creativity and originality throughout the food and beverage value chain. This year, to more closely align with the university’s key areas of research, the awards will highlight products that are focused on sustainability, market relevance and have strong health and nutritional attributes. The awards

are aimed at small and large food and beverage manufacturers, primary food producers, food service providers and ingredient supply companies. Winning products will earn the New Zealand Food Awards “Quality Mark” to highlight the superiority of their products to both shoppers and the industry, as well as boost sales and distribution both domestically and internationally. This year’s event sees the creation of several new award categories and some

changes to existing ones. For the first time, all award categories will be open to all entrants regardless of the size of their business. This means that smaller food and beverage companies can now enter into any Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) categories, and larger corporations can enter the Cuisine Artisan Awards. This year, the NZ Food Awards is introducing the Product Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be awarded to a product that has withstood the test of time and is still on shelves as a result of continued innovation, understanding its target market, and creative use of business channels. Massey vice-chancellor Professor Jan Thomas said the university was very proud of its connection to the awards. “So many aspects of the food industry are integral to the research and teaching Massey does, from soils, land use, horticulture, pastures, livestock breeding and welfare, food science, food safety,

food production, packaging, marketing; the list just goes on. We know how important the industry is and will always be to New Zealand and we know how important and prestigious these awards are to previous winners.” Last year’s winner of the New Zealand Food Awards Massey University Supreme Award was Taupo-based Spring Sheep Milk Co with its Vanilla Flavoured Probiotic Sheep Milk Powder, which also won the NZTE Export Innovation Award. This year’s judging will be led by head judge Kay McMath, with additional FMCG, James & Wells Business Innovation and Massey University Health and Wellbeing Award judging panels. In addition, the Cuisine Artisan Awards will be judged by Fiona Smith (head judge and Cuisine senior food writer), Kelli Brett (Cuisine editor), Ginny Grant (Cuisine senior food writer) plus a panel of industry experts. Entries for the competition close on June 30. For more information, visit www.foodawards.co.nz.

Nick Hammond, Spring Sheep Milk Co chief operating officer receives the Supreme Award at last year’s New Zealand Food Awards from Massey University PHOTO SUPPLIED vice-chancellor Professor Jan Thomas. 

Phone: 0508 03 1990 | 73 Burnett St Ashburton



A tasty tiki tour for tourists Beef + Lamb New Zealand have commissioned a giant lamb chop to celebrate National Lamb Day – which takes place on Thursday, May 24. The giant chop set off last week from Beef + Lamb HQ in Auckland on the maiden voyage of the Lamb and Three Veg Tiki Tour, which will go via some of the ‘tastier’ attractions across Aotearoa. Starting at the giant kumara in Dargaville, the chop will pioneer a new tour route for tourists to follow, travelling via the iconic L&P bottle in Paeroa, the big carrot in Ohakune and onto the Wattie’s Pea Factory in Christchurch. Marty Shanahan, aka The Backyard Cook, will be tasked with towing the colossal chop. “When Beef + Lamb approached me and asked if I could drive a giant lamb chop across the country I thought they were trying to pull the wool over my eyes – this is surely a recipe for disaster. “But ewe have to admire the workmansheep that’s gone into making the chop, I feel a

bit sheepish for doubting them now.” Interestingly, it is not the first time New Zealand lamb has been part of a groundbreaking voyage. Rewind to 1882 when the Dunedin, loaded with the first shipment of frozen lamb, set sail from Port Chalmers heading for London. The date of National Lamb Day (now in its fifth year) coincides with the 136th anniversary of when the Dunedin arrived into London. That journey sparked an export industry that is now worth in excess of $8 billion a year to the Kiwi economy. Rod Slater, chief executive of Beef + Lamb New Zealand said New Zealand lamb was known around the world for its quality. “Kiwis might not know it, but New Zealand is a little bit famous for the lamb we produce, we’re sort of known for it. When you buy Quality Mark lamb from supermarkets and butchers – or order it at your favourite restaurant – you are eating something really special. It’s

internationally renowned, produced in our unique environment and meets standards that guarantees tender results. “So, we thought it’s probably about time we did something massive to celebrate this mighty meat, aye?” To keep up to date with the chop’s whereabouts, head to the Beef + Lamb Facebook and Instagram pages or recipes.co.nz for more information.

Marty Shanahan, aka The Backyard Cook, is driving around the country with a giant chop to publicise National Lamb Day. PHOTO SUPPLIED

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Planning for winter/spring planting With winter just around the corner, now is a great time to start planning for winter/ spring planting.

Shelter or not?

Having a good shelterbelt will reduce wind speed as far as 20 times the height of the trees to leeward, and five times the height of the trees to windward. They can also provide shelter and protection for humans, livestock, crops and pasture. They can provide shade, financial gain for timber and protection against windgenerated soil erosion. Having mixed planting will provide the diversity of habitats to attract wildlife, bees and invertebrates on to the farm, and increase amenity values. Planting under the pivots is another low-maintenance option that can help control nutrient runoff and leaching. The types of shelter fit into two categories. Firstly, tall semi-permeable perimeter windbreaks that provide shelter well out

Southern Woods’ newly revamped garden centre.

into the paddock. These may contain a dense under story if the taller species are deciduous. For every one metre of porous shelter height, it correlates to 15 metres of good shelter back in the paddock. Secondly, low and dense internal shelter which stock can back in against, that will not shade or invade pastures

or access ways. They should not impede the operation of a pivot irrigator. They will need to be trimmed regularly to maintain their density and ensure sufficient clearance below pivot droppers.

Preparing for planting:

1. Clear your site of weeds, and spray if required


2. Use the soil ripper for clay soils, and incorporate gypsum to improve soil quality 3. Plan for irrigation, to help new plants through summer 4. Consider fencing for new planting from stock 5. Incorporate plant guards for microclimate protection and rabbit-proofing

When streamlining plant species, it is best to wait till spring to plant small grade natives or shelter plants. This gives them a better chance of establishing and survival rates increase. Located just south of Christchurch, Southern Woods Plant Nursery has recently opened its brand-new plant centre. Our new access is off Robinsons Road. The nursery produces a large selection of natives, ornamentals and specimen trees, shipping throughout New Zealand for a wide range of projects. Bare root stock will arrive in June/July, it pays to pre-order beforehand. For expert winter planting advice, talk to the Southern Woods team. They can advise on farm shelter, riparian planting and native revegetation, working with you to achieve the best results for your property. Southern Woods delivers nationwide. Call us for our new plant catalogue, or order online anytime through our website.

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Gypsum valuable aid at calving time Gypsum is one of those rare materials that performs in all categories of soil treatment: an amendment, conditioner and fertiliser. It is useful in the transition period in dairy cows two to four weeks pre and post calving, and can be used as an anionic salt to counteract the effects that high potassium and sodium concentrations have on increasing hypocalcemia. Gypsum, a readily available form of calcium, is 100 times more soluble than lime and is more suitable for the digestive system during this period. As soon as cows have calved, the Gypsum Soil Life™ can be dusted on. Dusting is generally going to mean around 50 per cent of gypsum getting ingested. Spreading gypsum normally onto the soil can’t be relied on to give a significant short term boost to calcium in the herbage (of the sort of levels likely to be required in early lactation). The aim of any bulk spreading would be more to improve soil structure and resilience to pugging etc.

Dusting for the colostrum period (of high Ca demand) would typically be at around 300g to 500g per cow per day. For the 50 per cent of the

dusting that is ingested, it is generally assumed that there will be around a 70 per cent absorption of the Ca so 300g dusting delivers an

estimated 105g to the cow. 100 times more soluble than lime and useful elsewhere in the farmers regime. So if integrated in feed or

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Apply Gypsum Now The benefits of gypsum in soil treatment are well known, but its value goes well beyond this: •

Helps mitigate the flow of nitrates and phosphorus in New Zealand waterways

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Can be applied by a number of different means to target risk zones

Assists with addressing high soil potassium levels

for more about Natural Gypsum and soil stabilisation visit gypsum.co.nz. Rates vary per farm and soil type. Applications can last for up to three years and can be used as a base layer in stand-off (loafing) pads.

00512 - Gypsum - Guardian 180x250 Ad 01.indd 1

22/03/18 5:59 PM


The Selwyn App is the one-stop shop for everything the Selwyn District has to offer. Download FREE today and keep up-to-date with: • • • • • • DOWNLOAD


News, Sport & Rural Weather & Roads Things to Do Eat, Drink & Stay Trades & Services Health & Medical

Profile for Ashburton Guardian

Guardian Farming - May 2018  

Guardian Farming - May 2018