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WIN WIN WIN Congratulations to Lindsey Thompson of Timaru for being the lucky winner of last month’s book giveaway, It’s Not About the Pigs. Be in to win Great Tales from Rural New Zealand by Gordon McLauchlan. Acclaimed writer and commentator McLauchlan has penned 48 intriguing, quirky yarns on rural life, the land and its people. Please email your entry to susan.s@ theguardian.co.nz with Guardian Farming book giveaway in the subject line, or send an envelope to Guardian Farming book giveaway, Ashburton Guardian, PO Box 77, Ashburton 7700.


“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” So said famous American author William Faulkner. In a way this is true. As we drive around the rural countryside there are features of the landscape which speak of the generations before us. For example, a beautiful old homestead made from the rimu of surrounding South Island forests, a stone fence made from rocks harvested from a nearby river, a line of tall hedge trees stretching into the sky on the horizon. Small rural cemeteries are probably the most evocative example, being evidence of an age when things were a lot more difficult. Our forebears worked the land, battling the elements and the ravages of illness and disease. The past is still with us in so many ways, and it is important such cemeteries are accorded the respect they deserve.

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Last remnant of a community Long-forgotten cemeteries dot the South Island rural landscape, filled with the souls of those who succumbed to the harsh conditions of pioneering times. Susan Sandys takes a look at the Kyle Cemetery in Mid Canterbury, where the local council has a forestry block. Susan Sandys reports.

Proud of the Kyle Cemetery gate and plaque are (from left) Peter Ireland, Gwenda Ireland, Peter Lambie, Karen Lambie, Bruce Lambie PHOTO SUSAN SANDYS 290816-SS-067 and Kelly Kingsbury.

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From P3 A few kilometres south of the Rakaia River near the Mid Canterbury coastline, there is a stretch of land which looks like a recently-logged forestry block. And that’s what it is. But the block is also the Kyle Cemetery, attested to by an antique iron gate with a plaque, listing the people buried there. Mangled wire fencing rests near the gate, which stands alone in what looks like a forestry wasteland. From 1882 to 1906 at least six people were buried at the site, as recorded on the plaque. Locals also talk of one additional person, an unnamed World War One soldier who was lost overboard on an army ship travelling from Timaru and washed up on the nearby beach. Once upon a time headstones may have adorned the area, but today there is no trace of where the graves might be. People who visited the cemetery in decades gone by remember seeing graves marked out with wooden pegs at the corners, and wroughtiron-style wire. The Canterbury windstorm of 1975 COL devastated the area 80X5 (186X80MM) and the Ashburton County Council went in with a bulldozer to clean up, wiping


out what remained of the wooden pegs and wire in the process, according to locals. The council planted new forestry, and logged it earlier this year. Today the cemetery is one of four closed cemeteries in Mid Canterbury, managed by what is today the Ashburton District Council. Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust chairman Terry Hearn is disappointed the cemetery’s inhabitants have not been accorded more respect. He said the council should fence off the area where the graves are, as it was generally not advisable to grow forestry close to grave sites. “Trees have a nasty habit of growing roots, which will penetrate grave sites and break them up,” he said. The roots may not reach as far down as the remains resting in graves, at six feet, but it was a possibility. “It’s simply disrespectful,” Hearn said. The council told Guardian Farming that it had not planted trees directly over the graves, and this was something locals who recently visited the site accepted. Trees appeared to have been planted around the graves, rather than on top of them.

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On the issue of fencing off the area of the graves, the council has no plans to do this. “We do not have a lot of plans around closed cemeteries, other than maintaining and preserving them. As such, our cemetery policy and plans do not extend far into how closed cemeteries are managed into the future.” There are descendants of those who buried their relatives at the cemetery still living in the area today. Bruce Lambie of Rakaia is the great grandson of John and Jane Lambie, whose two children are among those resting at the site. He is the uncle of Peter Lambie, who alongside Bruce’s daughter Karen Lambie, is the great great grandchild of John and Jane Lambie. Karen described the Kyle Cemetery site as “a bit of a mess” when visiting recently, and alongside her Lambie relatives agreed with the Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust that the area of the graves should be fenced off. Kelly Kingsbury remembers seeing grave sites at Kyle 010916-SS-005 Cemetery.


Hearn said dozens of similar small cemeteries dotted the South Island landscape, having served as burial areas for hardworking farming pioneers and workers.

Peter, who still farms nearby, said many who lived around there now did not recognise Kyle as an area, as land use had changed and many property owners lived off-farm. “Time just leaves a few of these things behind,” he said. Hearn said dozens of similar small cemeteries dotted the South Island landscape, having served as burial areas for hardworking farming pioneers and workers. “A lot of them have simply been forgotten about,” Hearn said. He applauded the efforts of many local communities in the work they had done to mark such areas. This has been the case at Kyle, and the fact that the cemetery still has its old gate is thanks to neighbouring farmer Kelly Kingsbury, who now lives in nearby Ashburton.

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He rescued the gate from the piles of bulldozed vegetation after the 1975 windstorm. “I thought it was too good to be sitting on top of a pile of trees and get burned,” Kingsbury said. His family farmed in the area for decades and he remembers seeing the graves at the cemetery prior to the windstorm. They were all located reasonably close to each other, directly behind where the gate is now, and within 20 metres of it. Some were marked out with pegs and wrought-iron-style wire, others were mounds of earth. He thinks there could have been seven graves, and he remembers his father telling him about the drowned soldier. The antique gate was stored in his farm shed for years until New Zealand Historic Places Trust Ashburton Branch volunteers got onto researching the cemetery.

Local births and deaths records yielded the details of those buried there, and the volunteers and the Ashburton District Council re-installed the gate with the plaque around 2000. Chairman of the time, Peter Ireland, lives in nearby Ashburton and still visits the site today, about every two years, in order to apply fish oil to the gate to keep the rust away. He said the gate was from the cemetery’s early days, made by a blacksmith and likely installed in the 1800s. The plaque had been erected alongside similar plaques at the old Highbank and Westerfield cemeteries in the district. An official unveiling of the Kyle plaque in 2001 had attracted about 50 people, some descendants of those buried there, as it coincided with an anniversary celebration of the nearby Dorie church. Ireland said installing the plaques had been a highlight of his chairmanship of the organisation. “That was very rewarding to us,” he said. continued over page


2 6


From P5

Among those buried in the Kyle Cemetery is a seven-year-old for whom his parents would have held high hopes. John Wallace Lambie was the son of John Lambie, an early settler from a long line of Scottish farmers. He gave Kyle its name, after his home district in Scotland and in honour of the country’s national poet Robbie Burns. Lambie moved to the area from Doyleston after his first wife died in 1873. He was a prosperous and successful farmer with a love of literature. New Zealand poet Thomas Bracken was a good friend and dedicated one of his books to him. Lambie married his second wife Jane in 1876. Throughout his life he served in a number of high profile public roles, including as a member of the Ashburton County Council. JohnAshburton and Jane not only Guardian lost seven-year-old John, but 307mm x 102mm also another child, six-month-

John Lambie was a high profile farmer who named Kyle after his PHOTO SUPPLIED home district in Scotland.

old Elizabeth Ellen, in 1882, who is also buried at the cemetery. An Ashburton Guardian article of October 11, 1892, informed of John’s passing in a news article written by the Guardian’s local correspondent. “We regret to learn that Mr John Lambie, of Kyle, has just lost, from congestion of the brain, a promising boy of seven years, after a short illness. The funeral takes place on Wednesday at half-past two – the place of interment being Kyle Cemetery.” Kyle Cemetery is today

The Kyle Cemetery plaque lists six of the people buried at the PHOTO SUPPLIED graveyard.

the only remaining remnant of what was once a thriving community, with a school, school house and post office. Early newspaper articles hint of the care early settlers gave to their local burial place. After a huge fire swept through a large part of the county in 1897, destroying the cemetery’s fencing and gates, as well as the Kyle school house, farmers set about making restorations. Lambie was head of a group of over 30 settlers who presented a petition to the county council the following month, seeking assistance

on a range of issues, among them a contribution towards renewing the fencing and gates of the graveyard, and asking the engineer to provide a plan of the cemetery. He later moved out of Mid Canterbury and is himself buried at Southbridge Cemetery. He died in 1915 at the age of 75, survived by seven children. The plaque lists those buried at Kyle as including: Albert Edward Harrison, died August 6, 1894, aged 16 days. Son of Henry J and Gertrude L Harrison. Elizabeth Ellen Lambie, died

January 15, 1882. Aged six months. Daughter of John and Jane Lambie. John Wallace Lambie, died October 9. 1892. Aged seven years. Son of John and Jane Lambie. Elizabeth Manyham. Died July 5, 1896. Aged 61. Wife of Leonard Manyham. Born Yorkshire. England. Daughter of James Ross. Samuel Fyfe Swaine. Died December 23, 1897. Aged five weeks. Son of William and Margaret Swaine. George Wright. Died May 3, 1906. Aged 73. Born Cheshire, England.

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Milking sheep a new opportunity? A slow but certain interest in dairy sheep is starting to build throughout New Zealand as some cornerstone corporate farmers cement the industry’s footing as a viable pastoral alternative to traditional land uses. The ability to convert to dairying faces greater challenges on both environmental constraints and economic cost, and leaving the land as a milking sheep unit is coming into focus for farmers in regions like Southland and central North Island. Bayleys rural consultant Hayden McCallum, based in Invercargill, says his patch of New Zealand’s rural landscape offers some significant opportunities for milking sheep, given its well established sheep sector and strong pastoral property base. It is already home to one of the country’s largest dairy sheep operators, Antara Ag which has an exclusive supply agreement with Blueriver Nutrition HK, milking 15,000 East Friesian-Poll Dorset ewes on three Southland farms. It manufactures infant formula from sheep’s milk for export to China, the first company in New Zealand to do so. Ultimately the company intends to take on farmer suppliers in what may be a syndicated ownership structure. To the north the Central North Island is becoming something of a hub for the emerging industry with Waituhi Kuratau Trust milking 3000 ewes near Turangi. Landcorp is also entering the industry this season in partnership with SLC Group. The companies formed Spring Sheep Dairy, committed to a purely New Zealand based sheep dairy system focused on high value products rather than bulk dried powder exports. This group is presently milking 3000 ewes on Wairakei Estate between Taupo and Rotorua. Their milk is processed at Hamilton’s Innovation Park into high value yoghurt, probiotics, ice cream and protein products aimed at the fitness market. As rural catchments come under

stricter controls over farm nutrient losses and management, the ability to convert more land to dairying is being challenged. Dairy sheep with their relatively low level of nutrient losses offer an optional land use. However Hayden McCallum cautions it is still very early days for an industry that is only coming from a production base of about 33,000 milking sheep. “But it also appears to be an industry whose time may have come. For many sheep farmers seeking a potential succession plan, sheep milking may provide a pathway to helping boost farm returns for the next generation to buy into, without necessarily converting the entire farm.” Globally the dairy sheep market is estimated to be worth $US 8 billion at the farm gate, a mere 2 per cent of the dairy cow milk market. However growing markets of increasingly westernised Asian consumers with lower lactose tolerance were drawn to a product that was also more concentrated than cow’s milk. Sheep’s milk averages 18-19 per cent milk solids, compared to about 12 per cent for cow’s milk. Returns from the milk were typically about $2 a litre, or $17 a kg milk-solids. Work by Nuffield Scholar Lucy Griffiths has identified some of the short-term issues facing the industry in its efforts to expand. A key one was the need to avoid the usual approach to marketing bulk commodity type product and focus on high value niche products in sectors like health, infant formula and gourmet food. She also highlighted the need to have a robust financial model to show farmers the financial benefits of investing in the dairy sheep sector. Keith Neylon, director of dairy sheep venture Antara Ag in Southland and founder of Blue River Dairy confirmed his company was poised to expand its sheep milking numbers next year. The company has grown its genetic base to a point it could offer genetic stock to new farmers.







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Working together for change John Sunckell is a third generation dairy farmer with life-saving skills standing for one of seven seats on Environment Canterbury at the local body elections in October. He’s standing for the Mid Canterbury seat, which incorporates Selwyn and Ashburton. The Leeston farmer, who is also a volunteer paramedic, is well known north of the Rakaia River and wants Mid Canterbury people to know he’s certainly up for the job. ECan will be a mix of commissioners and elected representatives, including four from Christchurch and one each from Mid, North and South Canterbury. John says the good staff on his dairy farm means he can devote the majority of his time working in and for the community. That said, he still does the accounts, files the GST returns and takes an active role in farm management. For the past five years he has been on the Selwyn/Waihora Water Zone Committee, helping to navigate the group through complex water issues to improve the environment while taking into account the views and values of a whole community. He has worked with both Central Plains Water and ECan with advisory roles in compliance, monitoring and mitigation. The 55-year-old is also an active member of St John, chairing its Selwyn Central Area committee, leading a major station rebuild in Rolleston and is the paramedic on-call in Ellesmere two days a week. He was also Amy Adams’ campaign chairman in the 2014 election. John and his wife Karen have two children, a son at Otago

John Sunckell with his wife Karen and their children Joseph and Sian.

University and a daughter in Year 12. “I am standing for ECan because I believe the five years of knowledge gained through the Selwyn/Waihora Zone Committee gives me a real understanding of what our communities want and more importantly the how’s in achieving those goals. “I am a people person and believe that the only way we can improve our environmental footprint is through working together taking us forward, and to do that we need responsible resource use, simple regulatory processes along with thriving sustainable communities.”

Why am I putting myself forward for election in the Mid Canterbury ward for Environment Canterbury?

We can always do a better job of governing, of finding resolution to issues, to managing our future. That said any thought of a return to the old adversarial council table of the past fills me with dread. We need to be able to

work together to take our futures forward. To take us forward we need thriving rural communities that in turn power our rural towns and Canterbury as a whole. Farmers and growers who are profitable and engaged are able to deliver the environmental change that we need to do. I believe that the last four years on the Selwyn/ Waihora Zone Committee has given me not only the ability to strongly represent the rural voice but also understand the aspirations of the wider community in improving our environmental and cultural footprints.

So how important is water?

The importance of water and its management has never been more important than it is today. Over the past five years I have been part of a team, the Selwyn/Waihora Zone Committee, tasked with finding a way forward from the environmental space that we are in today. That we have achieved agreed outcomes that work x aW260mm fromH94 within committee that

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has from the beginning been dominated by various voices reflects the enormity and complexity of what we have achieved and the seriousness with which all parties have taken this process. We are now in the process of implementing that plan that begins the long journey towards restoration. There are no magic bullets, we cannot change 170 years of cumulative effects overnight as some would have us believe. But we can draw a line in the sand, cap the losses of nutrients and then further reduce them and begin to restore our waterways. A long hard journey for those of us on the land.

What’s the solution?

Central Plains Water (CPW) is an integral part of the solution package for Selwyn. Those against it would have us believe that it will only increase the nutrients lost to the environment and line the pockets of farmers and further desecrate the environment. The reality is that without CPW the future of agriculture in Selwyn was at the best tenuous and at the

worst cataclysmic. There is no hyperbole in that last sentence, the options faced to rebalance the water model under the plains was to either reduce actual irrigation takes by 75 per cent or find a way to substitute those groundwater takes. We all need our lowland streams flowing and CPW will achieve his by swapping groundwater takes for stored water channelled through Lake Coleridge. A 75 per cent reduction in irrigation takes would have wiped out agriculture as we know it, and left a hinterland described by one Runanga representative as Stalinist or in modern terms more like Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, once the breadbasket of Africa but now a basket case.

So what have we done to accommodate CPW and the increased nitrate losses that the scheme will lose to the environment?

We have created headroom by capping nitrate losses from all farms in the zone and then we require them to further reduce nitrate losses over time to achieve the balance required. This is no easy thing for many farms and farmers to achieve and will for some require significant farm system changes to get to their targets. None of us like change particularly when these changes have the ability to severely impact on us and our families. But to meet the goals set out by Government in their National Policy Statement on fresh water and more importantly to us the goals articulated by the local communities, we need to do this.

2 10



Goodbye to bastion of blokedom Traditional stereotypes are being cast aside as women take over farm worker roles. Susan Sandys reports.

Valetta Farms owner David Clark is finding a range of benefits from employing women on his arable and livestock farm. “A female agricultural graduate in their early 20s appears to bring a better work ethic than a young man of the same age,” Clark said. When giving consideration to the attributes of work ethic, attitude and skill, Clark said he is “more than happy” to employ more women than men. On the farm’s last harvest, two of the workers filling the three full-time farm employee positions were women, and one of the female workers remains in the year-round fulltime farm employee role on the farm. Clark said his female employees were conscientious behind the wheel of the property’s valuable farm machinery, generally resulting in less damage to that machinery. There was less drug and alcohol issues, and more of a can-do attitude when it came to some of the farm’s more mundane tasks.

Erin Buckland is among female staff bringing a wide range of advantages to Valetta Farms in Ashburton.

In fact, women could do all tasks on the farm just as well as many of the hardworking men he had employed over the years, having no hesitation in driving a 300 horsepower

tractor or carting grain. “They can do everything across our business,” Clark said. Among employees on the property last harvest was

Erin Buckland. The former Rangiora High School student is currently among five workers helping out at harvest on a family-owned 1200 hectare crop farm in

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Lincolnshire, England. “Once I have finished the harvest here, I’m looking at heading to Australia for the harvest then back to Valetta Farms,” she said.

It is a life she is enjoying – travelling the world and working outdoors. Buckland’s passion for farming started when she worked at a trekking stables with texel breeding stock while growing up at Hanmer Springs. She did a Bachelor of Agriculture and worked throughout the summers on dairy, sheep, beef and arable properties. “After doing a summer on an arable farm, I decided it’s where I wanted to go. After uni I got the job with David Clark and I’ve never looked back.” The 23-year-old said she would encourage other young women to get into farming, and not just the more welltrodden path of dairying. For her, the arable industry was rewarding and her long-term goal was to become an arable rep. “From drilling the crops with everything in between ‘til harvest, it gives a great sense of achievement in knowing you played a part in that production that happened inside the farm gate before it goes off farm,” Buckland said.

Women are beginning to overtake men in primary industry qualifications. The latest Ministry of Women data shows 53.7 per cent of students qualifying in the primary industries were women. The number of women undertaking agriculture and life sciences at Lincoln University climbed above 50 per cent in 2014, and this year rose to 56 per cent, from 52 per cent over the last two years. The number of women on the university’s more practical-focused Telford Campus remains below 50 per cent, at 38 per cent this year. But this has skyrocketed from just 15 per cent in 2010. Lincoln University announced the trend towards more female students in a press release last year, saying the traditional “bastion of blokedom” at the institution had been broken. “If you check the names on the gumboots outside the library, you are more likely to find Hannah than Hamish scrawled on them,” the release said.

Alexia Marr is a member of Lincoln University’s growing female population. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Programme manager Fiona Scott, who works with schools to show them what Lincoln has to offer, believed the figures reflected a few trends. “I think there is more exposure in the media for girls to notice and relate to, and more female science teachers are also encouraging girls to try areas they might not have considered,” Scott said. Deputy vice-chancellor international and business development, Jeremy Baker, said it was good that the university’s student body represented the wider population. The university was attracting an increasingly diverse range of talented


people to meet the needs of New Zealand’s land-based sectors. Former Cashmere High pupil Alexia Marr was part of the female majority on campus. The Bachelor of Science student was part of the Global Challenges programme to encourage students to tackle major issues such as food security for a growing world population. The rising number of women flocking to agriculture as a career is good news for Minister for Women Louise Upston. She is wanting more women to enter training and careers in high growth fields with good pay, such as the trades, engineering and primary industries. She said in a recent press release that the ministry was working with several of these industries to see how they could continue to attract more women. Women were today more qualified and economically independent than ever before. “This is great news for employers who are seeking skilled and qualified staff,” Upston said.

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Cautious confidence returns Recent positive signals around dairy returns are likely to prompt action in the spring market for farm sales. Our rural property specialists saw a direct response after the Global Dairy Trade moved positively in mid-August, and again after Fonterra increased its payout forecast. Some dairy farmers reacted immediately and were on the phone to our PGG Wrightson Real Estate salespeople the morning after the overnight auction, enquiring about buying or selling. Many have held off on property for at least a year, waiting for the dairy cycle to start moving back up again. With positive signs emerging, farmers have started thinking about the property market almost straight away. Since mid-2014, after the milk payout dropped, some farmers who would otherwise have sold property have re-evaluated their options, holding off while forecasts were discouraging and morale was low. Buyers have also been reluctant to commit

Susie Williams


to a purchase, knowing that property values could go further down. Those circumstances, however, may be at an end, meaning the market should resume at a higher level of activity. Cautious confidence is starting to appear, with farmer sentiment moving from “glass half empty” to “glass half full” mode. For the three months to July 31, Real Estate Institute statistics indicate dairy farm sales and values are holding steady at levels below where they were before returns dipped. This data corresponds with PGG Wrightson Real Estate’s experience. Our dairying salespeople nationwide suggest farms are

currently selling between 10 and 15 per cent below their peak of two years ago. Locally, prices are down between seven and 12 per cent, although off a relatively low number of sales so it is difficult to say how accurate that is.

Recently, a 212-hectare Mid Canterbury dairy farm changed hands at $43,396 per hectare, while a 200-hectare Mt Somers grazing property sold through the winter at approximately $35,000 per hectare.

Mid Canterbury dairy farms coming to the market in spring range from 120 to 240 hectares. Meanwhile, local grazing properties are firm on recent values and selling quickly.



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2 14



Recognising staff crucial to success Back in May I waxed lyrical about how I always strive to put a good team together, about filling the workplace with enthusiastic people who smile and make my life easier. Fine words indeed, but it’s not until the pressure really comes on that you find out whether or not you’ve actually succeeded. Last month I was laid up for a few days with an injury, the timing was terrible as calving was just starting. My 2IC had booked that weekend off in the North Island well in advance and my calf rearer was away on a fishing trip and not due to start work until the following week. What a scenario: 1060 cows to look after, over 30 calves a day to pick up, the farm manager is in hospital, the 2IC is away and there are only three staff members left to sort it all out. The first thing that happened was Paul, my 2IC, offered to cancel his trip. “No big deal,” he said, “that’s just farming. Of course I assured him I’d be back at work the next day once I’d been stitched

Craig Hickman

was very happy to do this, but you have never even said thank you to me.” I was mortified; all I could do was apologise and thank Carlos for letting me know what was troubling him. I do all the usual things to keep people’s spirits up: I buy dinner and beer during calving, I thank them at the end of the day and I make sure they get plenty of time off to recharge their batteries. My 2IC bakes a cake every week and leaves it in the shed for all to enjoy. Staff members are valuable assets, as my team proved, and it takes no effort at all to recognise that and thank them for it, but not recognising their hard work can be detrimental to them, your relationship and ultimately your business. You don’t have to make grand gestures to your staff, you just have to be genuinely appreciative and let them know you’re thankful when they go the extra mile. I forgot and I feel terrible about it, so here’s a test to see if Carlos reads my articles: come and see me, I’ve got something for you by way of apology.

ELBOW DEEP @dairymanNZ

up and he should take his scheduled break, but in the end I was out for four days and it was a lot longer until I was operating at full capacity. So how did they cope? They all stepped up. Alison, a very confident young lass, took over the springer checks and feed allocation. Kishor, a hard working Nepalese man, did what Kishor always does: he kept working until all the jobs were done and then went looking for more with a smile on his face. Carlos, the Argentinean chef turned dairy farmer who was rostered off that weekend, gave up his days off and joined in the fun. My neighbours Todd and Alex brought their kids around and fed the calves twice a day, and looked genuinely horrified

when I suggested they send an invoice for their time. Everything was running smoothly when I got back and I mentally congratulated myself for pulling together such an awesome crew, but I noticed that one team member wasn’t his normal enthusiastic self. He seemed off and I constantly had to ask him

to improve. Finally I pulled Carlos aside and asked if there was a problem, maybe something I could help with. “Craig,” he said, “Can I be honest with you? I’m feeling very sad.” I feared the worst – a death back in Argentina or a sick family member. “While you were in hospital I came in to work on my days off, and I

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Choose a silage inoculant that works A proven inoculant is an important part of making quality silage. By adding large numbers of efficient bacteria to control the fermentation inoculant can reduce ensiling losses, preserve more energy and protein and increase animal performance. However not all products are the same.



“Just as cow breeds like Friesians and Angus differ in their ability to produce milk, different bacteria strains differ in the impact they have on silage fermentation,” says Raewyn Densley, Forage and Nutrition Specialist for Pioneer® brand products. “Local research has shown some products have a beneficial impact on fermentation quality, while others don’t work any better than water.” Densley recommends farmers should always check the inoculant they are using is backed by research, has proven high quality and a reliable application system. “Look for products that are proven by animal performance trials as well as fermentation studies,” says Densley. “Always ask to see product-specific data before you buy an inoculant. If there is none, there is a pretty high chance the product won’t work.”

“ TESTED & PROVEN inoculants

HIT your silage TARGET THIS SEASON MORE SILAGE. MORE MILK. MORE MEAT. INOCULATE YOUR SILAGE THIS SPRING WWW.PIONEER.nz 0800 PIONEER (746 633) Pioneer® brand products are provided subject to the terms and conditions of purchase, which are part of the labelling and purchase documents.®, TM, SM, Trademarks and service marks of Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. © 2016, Genetic Technologies Limited. No part of this publication can be reproduced without prior written consent from Genetic Technologies Limited.

Never buy a product that supplies too few bacteria or even worse, doesn’t even have a bacterial number guarantee on the label

In order for silage inoculants to be effective, they must be applied at a high enough rate to out-compete naturally occurring organisms. The industry standard is a final application rate of 100,000 colony forming units (cfu) of inoculant bacteria per gram of fresh forage. “Never buy a product that supplies too few bacteria or even worse, doesn’t even have a bacterial number guarantee on the label,” says Densley. Finally, remember bacteria cannot move around so uniform and reliable application of silage inoculants is critical for consistent results. Research shows if your silage is really dry, water soluble inoculant will perform better than the same product in granular form.

2 16



Think before you irrigate It is the time of the year when we start thinking about when irrigation be required. Take time to consider what will happen before you press that green button.

Tony Davoren


I don’t guess about irrigating even after all this time. Nothing beats measurements and good measurements at that. Looking at a site midplains in Figure 1 there is some way before any irrigation is needed. At the current rate of water use and allowing for a small increase (longer days and similar temperatures) the stress point will be reached around September 16. Any rainfall, more than about five to six millimetres, will delay that first irrigation. Analysing the dos and don’ts removes the temptation to irrigate. At this time of the year, you can’t just consider soil moisture.

Integral in the pros and cons is soil temperature. Remember you need to wait until soil temperature at 10 centimetres is about 10°C and rising at 9am. Figure 2 shows we have not reached 10°C yet, and will need continuation of warm sunny days to do so. Any cool weather at this time of the year will suppress soil temperature again. We need to get closer to the equinox (September 22) to be more confident soil temperatures will get above 10°C at 9am and stay there. Finally, remember this season is shaping up as one to be very judicious with groundwater – not that you should be anything else in any year. Back to the maxim - we know groundwater levels are low, that the ability to abstract at the full consented rate and volume for the season might be naturally limited and we do not need to irrigate in the immediate future. Measure, analyse and consider the consequences before you start.

Figure 1. Soil moisture on Lismore silt loam under pasture, mid-plains.

Figure 2. Soil temperature, mid-plains.

  

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PHILL STAYS GREEN WITH INCREASED REVENUE Farm owner and agricultural consultant Phill Everest uses Growsmart® Precision VRI to “kill five birds with one stone.” He’s able to improve the sustainability of his dairy operation while reducing its environmental impacts. Phill sees the benefits in terms of track maintenance and grass growth as well as ensuring the availability of his water. The water he saves under one pivot can be redistributed to irrigate an additional 23ha of his farm. FieldNET® integrates with Precision VRI to provide complete remote pivot management, with VRI control, monitoring and reporting. “The first time using the new FieldNET tool for Precision VRI, I found it very easy. It was much simpler and quicker having just the one place to go to control my pivot and manage my Precision plans”

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New app to help irrigators A new software app designed to test how much, and how evenly, irrigation systems are applying water launches next month. The Check It – Bucket Test app has been developed by IrrigationNZ in partnership with specialist agricultural technology company Regen, with the support of AGMARDT. The app will help streamline the numerous different approaches being taken across the industry. It utilises a bucket test which literally uses buckets – they are set out in a line under the irrigator in front of the wetted length so samples can be taken, or for drip-micro individual sprinklers or emitters are tested. Everyone is doing something different at the moment. We agree the current Irrig8 Lite software is not user-friendly. As a result, some people have instead created their own spreadsheets, but most have used an incorrect methodology. We recognised this was an issue so we’ve done something to sort this.

Andrew Curtis


The Check It – Bucket Test app will be freely available on both the IrrigationNZ and Regen websites. Regen was chosen to develop the app because of its experience in the agricultural technology market. We saw the company as a really good fit, and we wanted to produce a tool developed in conjunction with a New Zealand-based company. As part of the development process, the app was provided to a group of farm managers and consultants covering the various irrigator types for testing and feedback. We developed the centre pivot methodology first as these irrigate the largest area in New Zealand, and through testing this we got some

The simplicity of a bucket, combined with software technology, will help farmers measure how much water their irrigation systems are applying. Trialling the new app are (from left) Imogen, Archer and Claudia Breneger, at the Lincoln University research dairy farm. PHOTO SUPPLIED

pretty positive responses. The only negative feedback was around wanting to see more features incorporated in this first version. There will be a more detailed app developed but that will come at a later date. Our goal was to create the most robust, yet simple way of doing a bucket test.

We’ve aimed it at farmers and it’s designed to look at the irrigator itself, not anything behind it like pumps. It just assesses the accuracy of the wetted footprint. IrrigationNZ is excited about getting the app into the marketplace at the start of the season. It will be useful, not just for irrigators, but for

farm advisors, consultants and regional council staff. With more bucket tests being undertaken with Farm Environment Plans, this app will provide one consistent method to measure how well your irrigator is performing. Andrew Curtis is chief executive officer of IrrigationNZ

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Meet the team As part of the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, local on-the-ground teams have been formed to provide localised assistance and advice regarding land management, consents and compliance to those in each zone.

Donna Lill Ashburton Zone Manager

Ph: 027 839 1539 Email: donna.lill@ecan.govt.nz Donna previously worked for Environment Canterbury as a land management and biodiversity officer before becoming the Ashburton Zone manager. Contact Donna if you have any queries regarding the Ashburton Zone team’s work or projects across the zone.

Stephen Howard Monitoring and Compliance Officer

Ph: 027 405 8472 Email: stephen.howard@ecan.govt.nz Stephen has recently returned to New Zealand after 15 years abroad and has considerable experience in engineering and technology. Contact Stephen if you have any queries regarding existing industrial and district council consents or compliance monitoring.

Ryan Dynes River Engineering Depot Supervisor

Ph: 027 435 1476 ryan.dynes@ecan.govt.nz Ryan has previously worked in the forestry and mining industries. Contact Ryan if you have concerns regarding river and drainage rating schemes.

Consent planers will also be available in Ashburton to discuss new applications or changes to existing consents. Please contact the Environment Canterbury Customer Services Team (0800 324 636) to make an appointment.


Nick Vernon Monitoring and Compliance Officer

Ph: 027 406 7430 Email: nick.vernon@ecan.govt.nz Nick grew up in the dairy industry. Nick’s parents were dairy farmers and he worked for three years as a consultant for an effluent irrigation company. Nick has previously worked for the Waikato Regional Council in rural monitoring operations.


Sam Aramoana Resource Management Officer

Ph: 027 406 7429 Email: sam.aramoana@ecan.govt.nz

Contact Nick if you have any queries around existing consents and compliance monitoring.

Donna Field

Sam has lived in the Ashburton area for the past 20 years working on both dairy and arable farms. Contact Sam if you have any queries regarding existing consents and compliance monitoring.

Land Management and Biosecurity Advisor

Ph: 021 914 828 Email: donna.field@ecan.govt.nz

Sarah Heddell

Donna was one of the first members of the Ashburton Water Zone Committee, established under the Canterbury Water Management Strategy, and eventually became its chair. She and her husband own a sheep and beef farm in the Rakaia Gorge and Donna enjoys seeing land development being done in conjunction with enhancing ecological values

Land Management and Biosecurity Advisor

Contact Donna if you want support with your farm environment plans, advice about good management practice, or you would like advice or funding for a biodiversity project.

Contact Sarah if you want support with your farm environment plans, advice about good management practice, or you would like advice or funding for a biodiversity project.

Ph: 027 405 8472 Email: Stephen.howard@ecan.govt.nz Sarah grew up in Ashburton but is now farming at Darfield and Banks Peninsula. She has significant experience in sheep and beef farming with some experience in dairy and arable farming as well.

Confused by ECan’s nutrient rules? By Environment Canterbury

We know it can be difficult to work out whether you need a consent or not and how to go about getting one. To help with this, we are holding monthly drop-in days in Ashburton where you can meet one-on-one with an Environment Canterbury consent planner to help you with any consent enquiries. This is a free service – you are welcome to simply drop in or phone customer services

on 0800 636 324 to book an appointment for up to one hour for free. A simple guide to help you navigate your way through environmental farming regulations and the things you should be doing to improve water quality in your area has been developed for those living in the Hinds/Hekeao Plains and the Ashburton zones. If you are interested in receiving a copy, contact one of the land management advisors listed above.

FREE SERVICE Monday, September 19 Ashburton Depot, 4 McNally Street - 9.30am -12 noon - Drop in - 1pm - 4pm - By appointment Monday, October 17 Ashburton Depot, 4 McNally Street - 9.30am - 12 noon - Drop in - 1pm - 4pm - By appointment



Wonderful ways with waste Upcycled fashion and $550 prize money If you know anyone who loves to make things remind them about the Wearable Waste Competition at the Ashburton A&P Show. Entry details can be found at www. ashburtonshow.co.nz. Get creative and have some fun with a group of friends or family.

Gisborne butcher takes on the plasticfree challenge

A popular Gisborne butcher is saving thousands of plastic bags a week from going to waste by giving customers a choice of plastic or paper. majority of customers are now choosing paper over plastic. As part of Plastic Free July, Fletcher Pickett, owner of The Village Butchery, decided to give customers the option of either using plastic bags, which they had previously used, or paper, to wrap their meat. He says it has been “hugely successful” and believes 60 to 70 per cent of customers



are now choosing paper over plastic, and so he has decided to keep it going. With the shop receiving more than 1000 customers a week, who each get three to four items wrapped, they are saving several thousand bags a week. There has not been any negative feedback. Plastic bags and wrap can be recycled in Ashburton if they are clean. Paper wrapping from meat or food can be composted or put into a worm farm.

War on Waste television series starts this month If there is one TV documentary series you

Easy ways to turn your foodwaste into fertiliser with bokashi or worms. And compost your lawn clippings and garden waste. Rural Upcycled Wearable Waste Competition.

don’t want to miss it’s Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s of River Cottage fame - War on Waste, screening on Choice each Thursday evening. For anyone who wants to take it further you can register to come along to the Food Lover’s Masterclass in Ashburton at the Eco Education Centre on Tuesday, September 13 at 6-8pm. Registrations are essential and it costs $25 per couple or single for which you get $100 in goodies. To register email; thenappylady@me.com or call 027 22 11 242.


Love Food Hate Waste is hosting New Zealand’s first ever Pie Week ... Why pies? Because they are a great way to use leftovers – no matter how little is left, there is always enough for a pie! Make sure you visit the Love Food Hate Waste website or social media for great ideas on how to transform your leftovers into pies, pie recipes and the chance to win one of 20 Sunbeam Pie Magic pie makers. See the website www.lovefoodhatewaste.co.nz.

Monday 19th August 12-1pm Eco Education Centre; Ashburton Resource Recovery Park All welcome Phone 0800 627 824 or email: sherylstivens@gmail. com

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Around the traps Mid Canterbury Federation of Women’s Institutes members catch up at their annual indoor bowling tournament in Ashburton last month. PHOTOS TETSURO MITOMO


Wrap up your year with decadent dining and festive atmosphere at Hotel Ashburton. Hotel Ashburton have got the bright ideas and festive atmosphere to ensure your Christmas celebrations are a success. Whether you’re celebrating with family, friends or colleagues, Hotel Ashburton and Clearwater Restaurant can host an event that suits. There are plenty of options; a sit down three-course meal, a lively cocktail party, buffet dining, or a relaxed afternoon barbeque. On the big day itself, a special Christmas menu is on offer. Call today to find out our menu options and to book your Christmas celebrations.

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Christmas Day On the big day, a special Christmas menu is on offer with starters, hot mains, salads, appetisers and fresh desserts made in-house.



More than just a buzzword Sustainability has been one of those “buzz words” bandied about for years, it’s mostly associated with the environment, regulation and tree huggers.

Maurice Myers


The reality is true sustainability is the maintaining of economic, social and environmental balance. They are not divorced from each other, rather they are inter-dependent. For example, if we just put trees everywhere and had no farmland we would not be able to produce enough food for communities and income. We recently had Lord Michael Hastings, KPMG’s Global Head of Citizenship, visiting from London. His role within KPMG is to drive sustainability internationally for our firm and inspire other organisations to think about their impact on the world and how they can protect and propagate the future of the planet.

Farmers, by nature, are environmentalists. It’s their desire to make the land better than it was before, because it’s your livelihood and the livelihood of generations ahead. Across New Zealand 99 per cent of the 42,773 stock crossing points on dairy farms have bridges or

BRINGING YOU VALUABLE INSIGHTS CONTACT T: 03 307 6355 E: ashburton@kpmg.co.nz

culverts, 25,656 kilometres of waterways have been fenced off. All up, farmers have invested in over one billion dollars in environmental initiatives. This is significant and something to be proud of. The next part of sustainability is economics. The more farms are able to develop economic

sustainability, the more they can support and grow social and community sustainability. Economic sustainability for farming is not hoping someone buys our product at a top price. Hope is not a business plan. It’s about creating a robust business that can not only sustain, but thrive in, adversity and volatility. The old saying goes you can’t choose the cards you are dealt, but you can choose how you play them. Business is exactly the same. There are so many variables in business you can’t prepare for everything that may happen, but you can create a business model that can be adjusted so you can weather the downs and bleed every cent possible out of the ups. The more profitable and economically sustainable farms become, the more sustainable the communities can be that surround them. It’s about doing what is right, not just for today but for the generations ahead who we borrow the land, communities and businesses from.

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Warmth means pests and disease Farmers will need to keep on top of pest and disease issues as the weather warms up. Spring this year has followed warm winter conditions, which have given rise to leaf rust in early March-sown wheat at Wakanui. The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) has reported the fungal disease occurring in trial plots, in its latest issue of From the Ground Up. As rust can rapidly cause crop damage, it was sprayed with fungicide. There has also been a low incidence of Septoria tritici blotch present in the trials. The leaf rust and blotch occurrences come hot on the heels of much higher than average cereal aphid numbers, as exemplified by high flying aphid counts in the foundations’ Lincoln trap over autumn and winter. Foundation chairman David Birkett commented on the warm weather in his chairman’s report. “Whether you believe in climate change or not, this winter has been unusually warm and we are all

Close-up of stem rust (‘’Puccinia graminis’’) on wheat. PHOTO UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.

wondering what the coming season has in store for us,” Birkett said. “While most of the country

has had good, or in some cases, too much winter rain, parts of the east remain very dry with low groundwater levels.”

He recommended farmers in dry areas plan early and have contingency plans in place. NIWA has forecast it is

While most of the country has had good, or in some cases, too much winter rain, parts of the east remain very dry with low groundwater levels.

“very likely” temperatures in the central and southern South Island will be above average this spring, with an equal likelihood of near normal or below normal rainfall. This is following the first six months of 2016 being the warmest on record across New Zealand. This makes it all the more important your contingency plans include a thorough and efficient spray programme.


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Sprays require responsible use Agricultural chemicals are a masterful development of the modern age, allowing farmers to grow crops relatively free from the burdens of pests and disease. They nevertheless require responsible use. When used incorrectly they pose a potential risk to the health of the user and others, as well as to the environment. Many chemicals and fuels are hazardous substances and are controlled under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act 1996 (HSNO), which requires a person in charge at all workplaces to manage them. On a farm this will normally be the farm owner or manager. Manufacturers and suppliers must only sell correctly labelled substances. The first place to look for information on staying safe are the product labels and safety data sheets (SDSs). Farmers require an up-todate SDS for every hazardous substance on their farm. If you don’t have an SDS, or the one you are using is more than five years old, you will need

to get a new one from your supplier. Your supplier must provide you with a compliant and up-to-date SDS for each hazardous product. When it comes to application, you will need to give consideration whether to employ an

approved handler, who is certified to use hazardous substances. Whether an approved handler is needed for pesticides and herbicides depends on what products you use and how you use them. An approved handler is required


FlowFert N + Liquid Ammonium Sulphate Mixed with Gibberellic Acid For more details and advice to help you achieve the best results call us today! Office: 03 302 8098 Fergus Wakelin: 0274 362 448

David Molloy: 0274 362 441 David Mangin: 0274 802 216

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for products which are highly toxic to people, or ecotoxic and applied using wide dispersive methods, which can affect other properties, such as boom spraying or air-blast application from a vehicle. If chemicals or fuels need an

approved handler, contractors must be certified to use them. If you employ a contractor to do work on your farm, you must make sure that they have the correct approved handler certificate. Source – saferfarms.org.nz

• Soil & crop health • Regular visits during key growth periods • Charges tailored to your requirements • Greenlight crop recording software • Seed supply at favourable pricing • Help with nutrient budgeting

Agronomy, Chemical Supply & Spraying Packages Available Office: 03 302 8098

Agronomists: Gary Rackham: 0274 362 459 Gregor Robertson: 0274 362 438


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New and improved Moddus PGR Moddus was introduced by Syngenta in New Zealand 16 years ago. It revolutionised ryegrass seed production in New Zealand by increasing seed yields by over 50%. Now Syngenta has developed Moddus Evo, an new improved dispersible concentrate (DC) formulation of Moddus containing 250g/litre of trinexapac-ethyl, with an enhanced built-in adjuvant system. Syngenta chemists have replaced the solvents in Moddus EC with a new adjuvant system designed to improve the coverage and uptake of trinexapac-ethyl into the leaf. Moddus Evo offers environmental and agronomic benefits compared to the current Moddus EC formulation, and it will soon replace the EC formulation in New Zealand. Moddus Evo also has better leaf retention once dried on the leaf. This can reduce the effect of wash-off from rainfall (or irrigation) after application, thereby reducing the risk of disappointing results in difficult weather conditions.


Lodging in a crop can reduce yield and quality, and slow down harvest.

Moddus Evo mixes easily in water (including cold water) and generates less foam in the spray tank ... which makes it easier to apply.

Maintaining formulation quality is important in freeze thaw situations, which are common in parts of New Zealand where Moddus Evo will be used. Syngenta tests have shown some formulations of trinexapac-ethyl can start to crystalize in cold temperatures, while Moddus Evo is not adversely affected, even at temperatures of -5°C. Moddus Evo mixes easily in water (including cold water) and generates less foam in the spray tank compared to some

Droplet of Moddus EC on wheat leaf.

trinexapac-ethyl formulations, which makes it easier to apply. When it comes to performance, the yield response from Moddus Evo is at least as good as Moddus EC, with a trend of better lodging control in cereals at the 400 ml/ha use rate. In ryegrass seed

crops, the timing and use rate of trinexapac-ethyl has a significant impact on ryegrass seed yields, as highlighted by trials generated by Syngenta and FAR over many season. The use rates of Moddus Evo in ryegrass and cereals are the same as for Moddus EC, with both formulations containing

Droplet of Moddus Evo showing improved spreading ability.

250g/l of trinexapac-ethyl. In addition to reducing the risk of lodging in ryegrass and cereal crops, Moddus Evo can also enhance the root system of plants, which can improve nutrient and water uptake to improve yields, even in the absence of lodging. Moddus Evo will be

available in 20L packs this season, while next season it will be available in both 5L and 20L packs when it replaces the current Moddus EC formulation. For more information on Moddus Evo visit www.syngenta.co.nz

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Professional and timely service Greenline Ag based at Chertsey is ready for a busy season ahead.

Greenline Ag is a familyowned business which operates a modern sprayer, with 24, 32 and 36 metre capability and high ground clearance. Owner operators Kat and Tel Green are enjoying living in Chertsey with their two young boys, and seeing their business grow, after moving there from Southland two years ago. “As we are the owner operators, you know that the person you discuss your spraying requirements with, is the same person who will complete the job,” Tel said. “Our focus is on providing a professional and timely spraying service. We understand our machinery and gear, enabling us to deliver the best spraying job every time.” Tel is also an expert in tungsten welding and is finding this fits in well with the spray business, as he can work on farm machinery in the off-season, and on days when the weather is not suitable for spraying. As well as being able to meet farmers’ chemical and liquid

fertiliser application needs across crops and pasture, Greenline Ag can provide the chemicals, ensuring efficiency of service for farmers. The sprayer has variable track width, and offers twin spray lines for high water rate application including liquid fertiliser application, and GPS for greater spraying accuracy and proof of placement. Kat and Tel have extensive

agricultural experience. Kat majored in agriculture in a Bachelor of Applied Science, then built on this with industry experience including her current role of undertaking nutrient budgeting for Ballance AgriNutrients. Tel is a former farm manager, overseeing an 800-hectare arable farm in Southland for 10 years.

Tel can offer practical independent advice on chemical types, rates and timing, and fertiliser application. He can offer agronomic advice, particularly around fodder beet, brassicas and grass. “We build a relationship with all our clients, developing a knowledge of each client’s individual needs and requirements,” Tel said.


AMAZON PANTERA SPRAYER • 24, 32 and 36 metre spray capability • High ground clearance • Variable track width • Twin spray lines for high water rate application including liquid fertiliser application.

37 Chertsey Road, RD 2, Ashburton Phone: 027 233 4716 Email: teltelgreen@hotmail.com www.greenlineag.co.nz

WE PROVIDE: • We can cater for all your spray requirements. GPS provides accuracy and proof of placement. • Chemical and liquid fertiliser application for crops and pasture • Chemical supply • Agronomic advise for Fodderbeet and brassicas

TUNGSTEN HARDFACING WHERE CAN TUNGSTEN HARDFACING BE APPLIED? Extend the life of your implements through the application of tungsten hardfacing coating:

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2 28


To buy the bore or let it flow? I have watched and listened with interest on the question of should we be allowing the council to sell the plot of ground in the commercial zone with a water consent to a bottling processing company. I started off thinking that no, we shouldn’t be allowing water to be sold off for use of drinking water in China. But I have since started asking myself - why not? Interestingly, I thought maybe I should find out how much water is required to produce one litre of milk. The answer is a staggering 1020 litres of water for every one litre of milk produced. So my simple mind said if it takes that much water, and water in the shop is worth approximately $1.75 to $2 per litre, and milk is $2 to $2.50 per litre, why are we going through the process of making milk and returning say $2.50 per litre, when if we bottled the water. We could make $2040 for that same amount of water. Admittedly, there are some costs involved, but in the dairy industry these run at best

Chris Murdoch


break even, and the one-off cost of a bottling plant will be quite high, but probably not much more than a $1.6 million dairy shed. Water is a renewable resource, but it should be monitored and used responsibly by those who hold the consents. But surely if we were to sell water and not milk, then those greenies amongst us who are concerned about the environment would surely be happy with this result. There would be less dairy farms, therefore fewer dairy cows, therefore less pollution of our rivers and other areas and, by all accounts, more profit for these businesses and more tax income for our country.

So I ask the question, why doesn’t our council go in a joint venture with a bottling company to build and sell bottled water? The benefit to

We are the experts in:

Underpasses Laneways Effluent Ponds

Phone Dave Rowlands 027 484 1114

the district would be huge, as a percentage of the profit would come back to the council and our district. And why not allow more bottling

plants to be built and help the environment and the economics of our district simply by selling a renewable resource?

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Ashburton Contracting Limited

P 03 308 4039 A 48 South Street, Ashburton W www.ashcon.co.nz

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

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0800 FOR LAND Hastings McLeod Ltd Licensed REAA 2008 217 West Street, Ashburton P 03 307 9176


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Planning ahead

Trudy Bensted


This year has so far been a mindboggling time for arable farmers. It’s a constant battle between planning ahead and trying to work out how to supplement incomes, and then come the influences from consumers globally regarding organics. Contracts are starting to come out, but farmers are even more aware of the need to be making decisions based on labour intensity, water requirements, spray programmes, and how it will fit in with crop rotation, available ground, and lastly but not least, the issue of profit versus risk. While the traditional wheat and barley are staples for a lot of arable farmers in their

rotations, the time may be right to look around and see what other companies have to offer, and if it can work in with your farming programme. We are fortunate as international seed companies continue to recognise New Zealand as a consistent producer of high quality seeds. Export receipts for herbage seeds have trended upwards in the last two years as a result of European production problems. Maybe it’s a mix of the traditional and something new. For those who have milling grain contracts, the decisions can be easier as you know your contract price and the requirements. Feed contracts are also out there, although they can be harder to source as a lot of people will stick with the spot market. With Fonterra putting pressure on the restriction of PKE and the slight pay out increase, hopefully the dairy and arable industries can get together to try and make deals in areas, such as the supply of grain, that are beneficial to both sides.


Need it! We’ve got it

Grain drying floors are our specialty.

PMR Grain Systems are a Canterbury based company specialising in the supply and installation of grain storage, grain drying and handling solutions. From initial consultation and planning, through to the supply of equipment and the correct installation, this professional local company prides itself on providing the complete package. As well as grain drying and handling systems, PMR have now established itself as a leading supplier of storage, drying and conveying equipment.

Taking mobile seed cleaning to new heights

This equipment includes bulk feed tanks, flex flo delivery systems, disc and roller mills. They back up their expertise in sourcing cuttingedge equipment with a committed installation team, operating not only in Canterbury but throughout New Zealand. Specials running on stock augers. We also sell a wide range of grain and seed cleaners. PMR also have a well-equipped workshop and can manufacture all sorts of hoppers, frames, tanks and many other items. Give us a call to discuss your needs 03 303 7266.



AVAILABLE SOUTH ISLAND WIDE TIMBER DRIVE-OVER DRYING FLOORS Also air tunnels, fans and heaters etc all sizes suitable for all crops.

Latest technology • R8 Norogard Automated chemical treating system Currently in Ashburton removing growth splits and sprout out of malting barley and removing the necessaries out of milling wheat to improve falling numbers for contract specifications. • • •

Save time and money by utilising farm saved seed Seed treatment is your first line of defence against pests and disease Operating a high capacity gravity table to increase quality for resowing and contract specifications

J W Neill Holdings Limited

Mobile Seedcleaning & screening To find out how our service can benefit you phone Johnny 027 458 3250

MOBILE GRAIN DRIER 10 to 40 tonne batch

Dairy Feed and Crop Storage Specialists



Dairy Feed and Crop Storage Specialists

Tel: 03 303 7266 Mobile: 0275 146 609 | Email: dave@pmr.co.nz Mobile 0274 151 390 | Email: paul@pmr.co.nz Web: www.pmr.co.nz



The finest will do Calling all talented young growers – start thinking about the season ahead with an eye to Horticulture New Zealand’s annual Young Grower of the Year competition. The aim is to select the finest young fruit or vegetable grower in the country, and Horticulture New Zealand will call for entries for 2017 in the new year, with the final held in either July or August. Growers under the age of 30 who can exemplify their strengths in production skills, business and innovation, and communication skills associated with industry knowledge, are urged to enter their regional competition. The term “grower” includes those involved in growing plus those roles closely associated with growing such as packhouse and coolstore employees. However, it does not include service providers like bankers and consultants. To be eligible to compete contestants must come from a HortNZ levy-paying entity. There is one vegetable grower competition, held nationwide, alongside four regional fruit growing competitions in Nelson, Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Plenty and Central Otago. Thus there are five finalists in the

High performance Corka kale Corka kale was first released into the market in the spring of 2012 and since then has performed well on farms for Specialty Seeds’ many clients throughout New Zealand. Since its release Corka has proven itself to be suitable for all stock types – sheep, beef and deer. Corka has medium stems and a very high leaf to stem ratio. Very good cool winter hardiness is another benefit Corka offers and it stands up well in snow. Corka is available this spring and Specialty Seeds welcome any enquiries you may have.

Fortimo fodderbeet

Andrew Hutchinson.

overall national final. Last year’s winner was the Young Vegetable Grower title-holder, 28-year-old Andrew Hutchinson. The technical support advisor at A S Wilcox and Sons at Pukekohe, Auckland, said he learned a lot from the competition. “And I have gained a huge amount of confidence in my ability as a grower,” he said.

High performance Lucerne under heavy grazing conditions.

This season Specialty Seeds will supply a limited amount of the new Fortimo fodderbeet. Like most of the newer fodder beets, Fortimo is suitable for either lifting or grazing in situ as the roots tend to be uniform. Coming out of the very successful Momont breeding programme, Fortimo has red tankard shaped and uniformed bulbs with very disease resistant red veined tops. Fortimo is a medium to high dry matter fodderbeet (14-16 per cent) typically with 40-45 per cent of the bulb above the ground. This new cultivar has been selected







Cheaper pasture seed mixes

There is no need to dwell on the fact that sheep, beef or dairy farmers are facing challenging times. Many of Specialty Seeds’ clients are putting all farm expenses under the microscope, and they are asking about cheaper seed blends. Specialty Seeds general manager Stephen Finch says for many years the company has supplied its clients with custom blends of high quality and productive cultivars at reasonable prices. “We spend a lot of time searching out 'good value' deals for our clients and can supply mixes that range in price from $100 per hectare up to $275 or more per hectare,” Stephen says. “If you are planning on pasture renovation please feel free to talk to us about the options we have available that will suit both your production and budget aspirations.” For more information visit: www.specseed.co.nz.

Modern Fleet Experienced Operators Grain Vac Unit Available Bulk Grain Storage Facilities Call Hamish to discuss your Bulk Cartage needs

Locallyowned owned Locally and operated operated and


for high overall dry matter yield, high bolting resistance and excellent disease resistance. Contact Specialty Seeds should you wish to try some of this new and exciting cultivar.

Icon was selected on plant characteristics including improved disease and pest resistance. Icon is a very good dual purpose hay, silage and grazing cultivar because of its resistance to grazing which it was bred for, from selections of fields grazed by sheep and cattle. Icon has low crowns that will tolerate closer grazing, particularly by sheep.

• • • •



Proud to be servicing the farming community in Mid Canterbury




Phone 308 4079

Visit our website www.ruraltransport.co.nz

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In business for the long haul Cridge Seeds Ltd is situated in Doyleston, near the Rakaia River - famous for its salmon fishing, jet boating and of course top quality rye grass. Cridge Seeds is a long established business and has been farming through the generations for over 120 years. Stuart Cridge formed the company in 1982 and is still available to give sowing suggestions and advise on your pasture requirements. He has over 40 years experience being bought up in Ellesmere and has dealt with a large number of farmers nationwide, throughout his ownership of the company. Their own brands of grass seed are grown locally, cleaned at the company to a high standard, with purity and germination tests available on request. Orders are then processed and moved out the door to reach the destinations for sowing. Stuart's wife Julie, is involved with business and marketing spanning over 16 years. She has a wide range of knowledge communicating

Above - Julie Cridge and Stuart Cridge.

with farmers throughout New Zealand and overseas. She too, was bought up in the farming community (Malvern)

in a well known family of generations working on the land. Travel overseas to trials in Australia and viewing of


farms in China, Mongolia and USA, annual field days in both North and South Islands have proved effective in the

existence of Cridge Seeds and the effect they are having on the market. Word of mouth, sightings of pastures, superior growth, competitive prices, high priority customer service and still there year after year, have added to a successful business. Delivery is aimed at a time of five working days from ordering, so please don’t leave it until a few days before you need seed. January through until April is their busiest time of the year followed by spring sowing August through to November. Aaron is site manager and oversees the day-to-day running of the company and the team. He has worked on both cropping and dairy farms in the past and has knowledge of sowing and growing seed. He is more than capable of helping with seed requirements. Please phone Stuart 027 432 3834, Julie 027 324 4431 or Aaron 022 608 9251 for 2016 spring sowing seed requirements.

Cridge Seeds Ltd “Outstanding in the field” To quality ryegrass - clover - brassica mixes delivered Nationwide. Specialists in seed cleaning Purity and Germination tests available on request. Office 03 324 3951 Stuart 027 432 3834





Reduce the cost of nutrient loss Agri Optics NZ, a Methven based precision ag company, is helping farmers improve how they make decisions around their nutrient applications. Farmers are now investing in Precision Nutrient Management on the farm and it’s evolving into a vibrant and important part of the agricultural industry, being well supported by fertiliser co-operatives, industry groups and fertiliser spreading companies. Precision Nutrient Management is the process of combining the historic practice of soil sampling and audited laboratory testing to measure soil nutrients with GPS technology, achieving a more accurate assessment of nutrient requirements. Instead of taking one soil sample per field or block, through either grid or zonal soil sampling, samples are taken in a grid at a resolution of one site per hectare (See Picture 1) or taken within each known soil zone from EM soil survey. Whichever way the samples are collected the sites are

Picture 2: A map showing the varying Olsen P values across a field.

Picture 1: Geo referenced sampling points in a field.

geo-referenced, this means you can go back to the same point every time you sample, gauging how you are managing your nutrient levels over a number of years. At each site 12-15 cores for that sampling point are taken and placed in a bag, labelled and sent off to an audited

laboratory for accurate testing. When the laboratory results return to Agri Optics NZ, they look similar to those normally received. However the critical difference is they are all georeferenced and are at a higher resolution i.e. one per hectare. This data is then processed

by Agri Optics to create a nutrient zone map (See Picture 2) with nutrient levels grouped in ranges for the given area and given nutrient. From that layer of data and in consultation with the farmer, application maps are made to match the soil and crop requirements.

Agri Optics NZ can forward these application maps directly to the farmer or their spreading company to use in their spreading equipment. Precision Nutrient Management from Agri Optics NZ is helping farmers reduce the cost of nutrient loss.

Better relationships, better results


Quick turnaround of seed deliveries. Experienced staff. Modern equipment. Competitive rates. Public certified weighbridge. Grower involvement in the seed processing is welcomed. We want you to see the losses and make the decisions with the 2nds etc. • Ducted and cooled seed storage.

DAVID WEST PADDY SHEEHAN E david@westfarms.co.nz E paddy@westham.co.nz P 03 302 3866 W www.westham.co.nz M 0274 357 779 Proudly supporting a room at the Ronald McDonald house and our local Wakanui Hockey team

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MORRISONS SADDLERY 32 Racecourse Road, Ashburton Tel: 03 308 3422 or 0800 Harness (427 637)

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0800 4 PALMERS - www.palmeragriparts.co.nz 34 Robinson St, Riverside Industrial Park, Ashburton

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(Direct from the grower) • Magnolias • Dogwoods • Maples • Prunus • Fruit trees and so much more!





Value and Professional Service A family tradition since 1934 • • • • •

Don’t plan your Christmas function during harvest


Auto Electrical service and repair Air Conditioning specialists Wide Range of Two Way Radios Batteries to suit all your vehicle needs Powertool sales and repairs

Grahams Road, Ashburton 03 308 9950

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We can offer all your agricultural on-farm service needs. So call us today and we’ll come and see you.

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Intensive farming affecting lakes Our beautiful high country lakes are often thought of as the jewels in the crown of our local area. They are indeed stunning spots – Lakes Clearwater, Emma, Heron, Emily and the many smaller lakes in the Ashburton Lakes area are favoured places for many a fisherman, boatie, bird-watcher and tramper. Tenure review of some pastoral leases and purchases by the Nature Heritage fund have opened up new areas of conservation and recreation land surrounding some of the lakes. But other lake-side areas have been developed for intensive farming. As well as a loss of natural character, intensive farming carries a risk of nutrient run-off and leaching. Does this intensification impact on the water quality of the lakes? This important question of water quality was tackled by the Cawthron Institute, in conjunction with the Department of Conservation and Environment Canterbury. Taking into account a range of variables, the scientists concluded that yes, water

Mary Ralston


quality is at risk, and many of the Ashburton Lakes are at the high end of nutrient status. They found that land-use models are reasonably accurate at predicting nutrient status and therefore lake health. That means, if the surrounding land use is intensive farming, there are likely to be losses of nutrients leading to poorer lake health. This is not surprising, and also not surprising that the shallow lakes in particular were more degraded than the deeper ones. The shallow lakes may be particularly vulnerable to nutrient enrichment because of the small volume of water relative to the catchment size. There can be rapid and irreversible changes in water-quality status and

Poor lake health is a concern at Mid Canterbury’s beautiful Ashburton Lakes, including Lake Clearwater. PHOTO SUPPLIED

ecosystem function. The low values for key indicators of lake health for all the shallow Ashburton Basin lakes (Maori West and East, Denny, Emily and Emma), as well as Lake Clearwater, suggest they are vulnerable to any further degradation.

Experienced owner/operator specialising in ploughing & cultivation

Some lakes have special characteristics that influence water quality. The Maori Lakes are shallow and vulnerable to farm inputs, but fortunately the water in the lakes has a very low residence time – most of the water flows into the lake and then out

again in less than half a day, which helps keep it clean. Lake Heron is deep so inputs are buffered by lots of water. Nutrients do not just come from farming. Water bird nutrient inputs were studied to estimate the potential contribution from birds to total lake nutrient loads. It was found that nutrient levels from water birds was relatively small – on average 2.6 per cent of total catchment load for nitrogen and about 9 per cent for phosphorus, although some lakes had a higher nutrient load from birds, especially Lake Emily. It seems ironic that the worrying trend of intensive farming in the lakes’ catchments and decreased lake health has occurred since the inception of the O Tu Wharekai wetlands project, which is centred on the Ashburton Lakes area. This wetland project was meant to give protection of the area’s intrinsic values. It is one of the three special wetland areas chosen from throughout New Zealand.


Chris Woods Contracting is an experienced owner/operator specialising in ploughing and cultivation services throughout the mid Canterbury region. A pool of modern, reliable and efficient machinery is able to complete tasks to a high standard and no job is too large or too small!

Methven Contracting now operates two modern 6m twin hopper drills, a Horsch Pronto DC and a John Deere 750A, utilising high accuracy Leica RTK GPS Auto-Steer.


Both our twin hopper drills provide customers with the option of placing fertiliser down the spout with the seed, which can dramatically boost yields.

• 6m Amazone Catros+ disc • 6m Salford Cultivator, with finger tines and crumblers • 3 metre Great Plains X-press and ST Bar Combination • Kverneland 7 furrow reversible plough with vari-width and auto reset • 6m Cambridge roller with levelling boards • 6.6m Simba uni press Roller • 3.0m Kverneland discs • 3.2m Vicon mower conditioner • 3 axle tip truck with bulk, shingle side and flat deck options

Excellent client references are available for drilling grain, grasses, brassicas, legumes, and fodder beet. Give us a go, you won’t be disappointed.

6m Horsch Pronto DC Drill

Call Chris now to discuss your ploughing and cultivation options P 027 680 3818 or 03 32 9529 E info@chriswoodscontracting.co.nz www.chriswoodscontracting.co.nz

Minimum till & cultivated soil Seed, chemical, and fertiliser Combining seed bed preparation, consolidation, sowing and pressing 2-row disc system for the production of fine earth Unique packer concept for a good crop emergence in wet and dry conditions

6m John Deere 750A Drill

Direct drilling Seed, chemical, fertiliser, and slug bait World-proven drill technology that is engineered for the toughest conditions, but isn’t too heavy on your paddock Accurate seed placement Uniform depth control

Contact Millan Bungard to discuss your drilling requirements:

0274 362 356 or 03 302 9223



2 36


Pluck’s Engineering Pluck’s Engineering was established in 1966 and is a family owned and operated business, with upwards of 14 employees at any one time. Because all of our staff are qualified tradesmen, we can guarantee that at least one will be involved with your implement when manufactured. These members of our staff are extremely skilful and intelligent people, trained to the highest of tradesman standards, with many years specialising in agricultural machinery. Over the years we have spent a lot of time working on our land roller design. This continues today as we are looking to update materials, construction, and the way we do things to produce an even better finished product. Of course clients play a large role in exacting what their requirements are, and what we need to do to achieve them. What this means is a purpose-built implement designed around your needs and suited to all conditions



Neil Pluck.

that the New Zealand countryside can throw at it. And this is where the latest huge roller to roll out of our workshop comes in to being, where we have a customer who required a special wide roller to suit

his farm and requested we look into manufacturing him a roller that is unique in its design by being only one roller but 6.0 metres wide rolling width instead of the usual twin rollers, so after lots of drawing, calculating and

Twin Roller Towing Frame

thinking, we got permission to go ahead and manufacture.

Pluck’s land rollers

The land roller is one of many different types of agricultural machinery that we manufacture.

We pride ourselves on what we have achieved with this machine, and the results it is achieving in all types of New Zealand conditions. We have been manufacturing land rollers for over 45 years now and have long since sorted out any problems with design and strength that may cause a land roller to crack, leak or prematurely break down. Pluck’s Engineering takes great pride and care in what it manufactures and has a work force of all qualified tradesmen at any one time. We take a lot of care in preparation before we weld or bolt a machine together. Grinding of all areas to be welded is not only to clean up the steel, but also to prepare the ends or edges to be welded to allow full penetration welds. This means that the full strength of the section of steel is being used; therefore the weld captures the full thickness – not just the surface. This means the frame and drums are stronger and stiffer, thus preventing any cracking.


Jacob Holdaway Contracting Ltd We have the cultivation gear to create the ideal seedbed. • Sumo Trio • Sunflower 9m • Reversible plough • Rollers • Leveller

r Tow both rollers, one behind the other, to your paddock r Just 90 seconds set up time in your paddock, with no effort, just move two pins r Cover twice as much ground per pass with no trouble r No modifications required to your current roller, just hook it on the back of your new roller and away you go

Call Jacob now for quality cultivation at a competitive rate.

Jacob Holdaway 0274 225 464 www.jholdawaycontracting.com

Twin 10 ft x 6 ft 4" x 20mm rollers — rolling 6m per pass


Single and Tandem Axle


Different size options as well as extras available

3m wide x 1.5m diameter rollers 8.5 tonne each, rolling 6m per pass

3m wide x 1.5m diameter rollers 8.5 tonne each, rolling 6m per pass

0800 PLUCKS 0










www.plucks.co.nz enquiries@plucks.co.nz Main South Road, Rakaia 7710, Mid Canterbury

12 months warranty and WOF supplied

Call Allan on 308 4867 today for more information 92 Dobson Street, Ashburton Phone 308 4867 Mon-Fri 7am-5pm; Sat 8am-12pm



% P.A.*

*Conditions apply. Finance available through John Deere Financial Limited to approved New Zealand commercial applicants only. Offer is based on 45% deposit, 36 month term with GST returned within the first 5 months. Additional finance options available. Fees and charges apply. Additional models available for an additional cost. Price advertised is for ROPS tractor only - not image shown. Price is GST exclusive. Unless amended or withdrawn earlier, offer expires 31 October 2016.

CHRISTCHURCH BRANCH 799 Jones Rd, Rolleston 03 349 488383

ASHBURTON BRANCH 832 East Street 03 307 9911

MURRAY CHESTERMAN 027 266 4222 JOHN MURGATROYD 027 435 5900 QUINTIN BOYD 027 486 7792

BADEN MCDOWELL 027 438 7555 REECE TROTTER 027 486 7733 MARK SYMES 027 444 1706

www.dne.co.nz | 0800 432 633

Top chop


CLAAS DISCO disc mowers



Top chop quality 2.45 m - 3.8 m working widths Outstanding ground-contour following for optimum forage quality V-Belt drive with double gearbox for smooth running Easy maintenance, with fast access to all points


*Standard CFS terms, conditions and fees apply. 0% p.a. available with 30% deposit and 12 monthly repayments in arrears. Offer available while stocks last & some model exclusions may apply. Price applies to DISCO 250. Offer ends 30/09/2016.

Runs like clockwork





PROFIX tine arm - tough & wear-resistant Continuously lubricated sealed swathing drive Optimal ground-contour following with new fully floating suspension High working speeds and output performance

*Standard CFS terms, conditions and fees apply. 0% p.a. available with 30% deposit and 12 monthly repayments in arrears. Offer available while stocks last & some model exclusions may apply. Price applies to LINER 2700. Offer ends 30/09/2016.

Easy maintenance with rapid access to lubrication points

Contact us today -

Ashburton - 03 307 9400 Timaru - 03 688 6900

Christchurch - 03 341 6900 Westland - 03 755 8450


A better business decision.

Irrigate your small block & pivot corners We have IRTEC Irrigator models in stock that cover 1-40ha. These will work on pressures down to 3.5 bar, keep trees and fencelines intact and not limit your crop options. Talk to Carrfields Irrigation to customise a solution.

Contact 0508 4 IRRIGATION, 162 Dobson St, Ashburton


Vaderstad Carrier 350

Flexicoil 6.3mtr Folding Roller

Leveling, disc and roller combo

Complete with air seeder unit

Lemken Zirkon 10/300 Power Harrow

$20,000 + GST

$12,000 + GST

Kuhn FC302 G

Kuhn FC303 GC

Kuhn FC302

Case IH 8575 3’x3’

$100,000 + GST

$14,000 + GST

$14,900 + GST

Case IH 8585 4’x4’

Case IH LBX331 Rotor Cut

Case IH 1680 Axial Flow

Kverneland Maxitil

Alpego RH300 Power Harrow

5 mtr working width with tine Harrows

Rear packer roller, very tidy

$8,500 + GST

Pottinger Terrasem C6 6m cultivating disc seed drill, row markers

$27,000 + GST

$65,00 + GST

McCormick CX95 Xtrashift 4550 Hrs

$25,000 + GST

$23,000 + GST

$18,000 + GST

Mower Conditioner

$19,000 + GST

Claas Quadrant 3400

John Deere 1075 Hydro 4

New Holland TF44

Case IH 2388 Axial Flow

Case IH 8010 Axial Flow

New Holland TN80

New Holland TSA110

Case IH CVX 170

New Holland TS115

McCormick MC115

Case IH MX135

Mower Conditioner

$34,000 + GST



$26,000 + GST

Mower Conditioner


$250,000 + GST

$29,000 + GST

Case IH MX100c

New Holland TM175

Massey Ferguson 4270

$30,000 + GST

Front Hitch / PTO

$35,000 + GST

3441 Hrs

6381 Hrs

$38,000 + GST

Case IH MXU135

John Deere 6820 Premium

Case IH MXU125

$42,000 + GST

$46,000 + GST

$48,000 + GST

5469 Hrs

6274 Hrs

$19,000 + GST

$20,000 + GST

$19,000 + GST

5065 Hrs

$29,000 + GST

$29,000 + GST

$39,000 + GST

$42,000 + GST

New Holland 6030

3636 Hrs

$52,000 + GST

Case IH Magnum 305

Cat Challenger MT745 B

$60,000 + GST

$82,000 + GST

$105,000 + GST

$110,000 + GST

6785 Hrs

Tidy Runs Well

Case IH MXU100

3728 Hrs

Case IH Puma 210 3917 Hrs

$20,000 + GST

Kuobota 105 S

Case IH Maxxum 140X 5384 Hrs

$25,000 + GST

5214 Hrs

For more information, or to view any of our tractors, contact: Ashburton 03 307 8027 Amberley 03 314 9055 Leeston 03 324 3791 Timaru 03 688 2179 www.cochranes.net.nz

5662 Hrs

Case IH CVX 155 6753 Hrs

$59,000 + GST

2 40



Around the traps Ashburton and the Chinese city of XianYang are a lot closer following a two-day whirlwind visit last month. A XianYang delegation, led by deputy mayor Madam Li, met with mayor Angus McKay and visited companies including Midland Apiaries and the goat milk powder canning factory owned by Chinese dairy giant Fineboon at PHOTOS SUPPLIED the Ashburton Industrial Park.

We build for industries. Starting with the primary ones. At Calder Stewart we’ve never forgotten where we

build - matched to your exact farming needs.

started, building quality farm buildings for the Kiwi

We pride ourselves at being a Rural Design &

farm industry. And over the course of the last 55

Build specialist and have gained a considerable

years of involvement, we’ve developed something

reputation in meeting the needs of many a farmer

of a knack for it. Our dedicated team’s expertise

over the years. Let us put our expertise to work for

in constructing custom woolsheds, covered yards,

you; call your nearest Calder Stewart Construction

wintering sheds and state-of-the-art dairy sheds

Representative today and see how we can deliver

ensures practicality, quality and a professional

a farm building that suits.

Over 55 Years Farm Building Experience A Rural Design and Build Specialist Premium Grade Construction Materials Used Durable & Rugged Design is Standard Best Value-for-Money in the Industry

Donald Sutton 211 Alford Forest Road, Ashburton

(03) 307 6130

To learn more visit our website:



Profile for Ashburton Guardian

Guardian Farming - September 2016  

Guardian Farming - September 2016