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I’ve always admired those farmers willing to share their successful practices and in Mid Canterbury we have more than our share of successful farmers. I’m not just talking about successfully making a profit, but about changing practices to meet community expectations about the environment, about sharing what they know with other farmers, about lending their expertise to community groups and boards of trustees and for fundraisers, and representing us at national decision-making levels. These farmers have often identified a problem and are working on/have already found a solution before the rest of country even appreciates there’s an issue. Our farming leaders know when the process needs to be changed or when
they need to lobby those who change the process. We are at the top of the farming game, whether that’s dairy, livestock or crops. Our top farmers have extra responsibility – these are the early adopters and the influencers. These people have the experience and money to be green and share their learnings. Farmers at the opposite end of the game are thankfully few and they are often brought into line by their own industry, rather than regulators. The big group of farmers in the middle have increasing numbers of good operators to learn from. People like Jos and Phill Everest, who are happy to share what they have learned, see their story over pages 3-5. No farmer these days likes to poke his or her head above the parapet, but they know that good practice messages must get out there. While spreading the word amongst fellow farmers is important, so too is the message about farming in general that is put out to urban folk, people who live in towns and cities. Farmers need to seek out space in non-traditional magazines and forums, tell their stories in an easy language, share their spectacular photos.
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Small changes have a big impact Small tweaks to farming operations and Government’s climate change rules could have major spin-offs.
By Linda Clarke Phill and Jos Everest say they’re not perfect farmers, but they are among the early adopters of environmentallyfriendly technology and practices that could help New Zealand agriculture reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. And they’re happy to share what they have learnt. The couple converted their 273ha Flemington Farm into a dairy farm a decade ago and are one of three Mid Canterbury farms being monitored by DairyNZ for their greenhouse gas and nitrogen loss mitigation. The Everests, 10km down Fords Road, are on heavy soils, with the herd moved to a runoff block in Carew for winter grazing. The other monitor farms are on different soils. Phill said the couple cared about the environment and were prepared to try things. They have discovered small changes on farm can have an impact and they want to share their learnings. Changes they have made
Flemington farmer Phill Everest checks the pasture.
include adding chicory and plantain to their pasture, culling not-pregnant cows from the herd in autumn and ensuring they have capacity for 50 days of storage in their effluent pond.
All three farms in the DairyNZ project are in the Hinds plains catchment, where farmers must reduce their nitrate loses by 36 per cent by 2035. And, like all farmers, they
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are mindful that agriculture may need to reduce its methane emissions by up to 47 per cent by 2050 to meet Government targets around climate change. Continued on page 4
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have been prepared to change their ways. Their environmental practices include the efficient use of water, which comes from two bores. Water is used to cool the milk in the shed, then used for stock drinking water and the surplus is recycled for washdown and ultimately applied to pasture through the centre pivots. Phill says most modern sheds use water efficiently this way, but some of the district’s oldest milking sheds will require some upgrading. The Everests keep a close eye on soil temperature and soil moisture. If the temperature isn’t above 5 degrees at 9am and rising then no N is applied as the grass won’t be growing. Their pasture has come under close scrutiny over the years. They have included Italian hybrid ryegrass (mixed with perennial ryegrass) that grows at a lower soil temperature and they have been adding plantain seeds with their fertiliser over recent years. Phill says it is time for the Government to revisit its stance on genetically-modified or gene-edited plants. “If I had a plant that would keep more nitrates out of the ground through a different
From page 3 They acknowledge they are a fairly recent conversion and are in a position financially to introduce changes. As a result they are already close to the N leaching target but have conversely high N2O emissions. Their modelling projections prepared by DairyNZ show that with their low level changes they will reduce N leaching and greenhouse gas emissions by 5 per cent, but profitability will fall by 4 per cent. If they build on their current work and adopt new practices over the next five years, they will reduce N leaching by a further 10 per cent, greenhouse gas emissions by 9 per cent and improve profitability by 13 per cent. Their effluent system includes a weeping wall that separates solids from liquids and they have recently discovered that adding a stirrer to their effluent pond to introduce oxygen could lead to it releasing less methane into the atmosphere. They have had access to some smart scientists on their journey and both sides say continued learning from each other is essential. And on-farm management is crucial. They
root structure, and be more efficient with water, it would be better for all New Zealanders and the farming sector.” The couple say this sort of gene-editing will be vital if New Zealand farmers are to produce food while having less impact on the environment.
They’re not talking about mixing frog DNA with plant DNA to make the plant stronger, they’re talking about selecting parts of a plant’s own DNA to make it stronger. They have also kept a holistic view of their farming operation, aiming for happy
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cows, happy people and a healthy environment. Some of their changes have meant changing the way they manage animals and pasture, like making sure the herd moves onto the ryegrasschicory-plantain pasture before the plantain gets bitter or the
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Left – Phill and Jos Everest have planted 7ha of their dairy farm in natives for shelter. Right – Phill and Jos Everest, and Hank the labrador, are preparing for a busy calving season.
chicory too mature. They have also learned that the longer a cow stays in the herd, the more efficient it is. Cow longevity and in-calf rates are important to keep cows in the herd longer and less replacement heifers are required.
Phill says the average lactation of a milking cow in New Zealand is five years, but his top producing cow is 10 years old and happy. “We have had a total focus on MS production in cow selection but things are changing. It is about how to get them in calf and how long they last in the herd. If we can reduce the number of replacements and keep cows longer, we reduce our N losses and greenhouse gas because we have more productive cows.” A high producing cow can excrete 70 per cent of N ingested, while a dry cow can excrete 90 per cent. Empties are now culled in
February/March so they are not urinating on or compacting pastures ahead of the late autumn/winter challenge which is the most significant risk period for N loss. There has been an increased focus on winter feed options that leach N. Fodder beet is preferred to kale, though it needs more careful management. The Everests have also planted 2000 natives recently as shelterbelts, though that is nothing in the Government’s eyes as shelter belts only qualify for carbon credits if they are over 10m wide.
The total planting area is 7ha on Flemington Farm, all in shelter belts. Phill said while farmers were doing their best to tweak and change systems, Government needed to reconsider some of its rules, like including shelter belts, to engage more farmers. The couple were visited by scientists from the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre recently and say the two-way discussion was valuable, and part of their continued learning curve. DairyNZ new systems and co-development lead Virginia
Serra said the Everests were among 30 partner farms in the Hinds and Selwyn district trying more environmentallyfriendly practices. “We are assessing what the current situation is, what changes have already been made and assessing some more options for the future. We model what impact that will have on the farm.” She said DairyNZ had a webpage devoted to the partner farm programme and was planning extension activities for farmers that included field-days and ways to share information.
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Tell us your bovis story David Clark
President of MC Federated Farmers
As I write my first monthly column for Guardian Farming, it is hard to ignore what has arguably become the biggest issue facing farming for a generation, or certainly for those affected, and what is easily the biggest animal disease response this country has ever seen - mycoplasma bovis. While it is certainly true that the agricultural sector currently faces many challenges that Feds are lobbying on your behalf, we have to ensure that the processes around the attempt to eradicate M. bovis is efficient, fair and as painless as possible for those caught up in this mess. Along with 300 other farmers, I attended a presentation given by a group of veterinarians in December 2017, and on seeing photos and listening to the vets involved in first diagnosing this disease and managing its effects, it seemed very clear to me that an acute outbreak of M. bovis could be devastating to an individual farmer, so to that end, I remain keen to not get bogged down in the debate as to whether this disease should or could be eradicated. A collective decision of MPI, Dairy NZ, Beef & Lamb and the Government has been made and Federated Farmers have some limited role as observers up until now. Our role, I believe, as the local province of Federated
Farmers is to work to hold MPI (and Dairy NZ & Beef and Lamb to a lesser extent) to account and ensure that farmers caught up in this are treated fairly and with respect and with as little impact as possible. As a result of our concerns, or shock to be honest, of hearing of the “surge” in trace properties in April, Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers have worked to form a group chaired by Ashburton Mayor Donna Favel with representatives from MPI, Rural Support, Dairy NZ, Beef & Lamb, the District Health Board and local vets. We have had Minister Damien O’Connor, the independent chair of the
response Kelvin Smith, national M. bovis repsonse manager Geoff Gywn attend meetings and regular contact with Director General of MPI Ray Smith. The intent of this group is to be about getting access to key decision makers within MPI as well as developing a working relationship with response managers. Our aim is to be able to have free and frank discussions about overall pressure points within the eradication programme and very importantly, the group is a forum in which we can raise specific issues impacting on individual farmers. To protect individual farmers, we have all signed a
confidentiality contract, not to muzzle Feds, not to protect MPI, but to allow you to trust us to protect your information so that we can help your individual situation. But to do this effectively we need examples, your examples. Thumping the table and telling MPI they are making a hash of the response is of no use if we can not give credible examples because that is always the question asked in reply. The only way we can help you is for you to trust us, and give us an example of how MPI have interacted with your business and family. Whether that be a member of your local Feds team, Dairy
NZ, Beef & Lamb or Rural Support. I’m not trying to stir up a witch hunt against MPI, in fact if the response is being well managed, they have nothing to fear, and if there are problems, then they need to know, and in my view, want to know. The reality is, we can’t help you by chasing ghosts. Please help us help you.
The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of the Ashburton Guardian Co Ltd or any employee thereof
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Lizz earns her stripes – and a new owner When it comes to finding a good dog, some farmers will go to just about any lengths. And for Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farmer Martin Ennor that meant a trip south to the PGG Wrightson dog sale. It helped that the Crusaders were playing the Jaguares on Saturday night in the Super Rugby final, but when good dogs are needed you can make the extra effort, Ennor said. He’d been chasing a young dog online, but couldn’t clinch a sale. The breeder suggested he head to Mayfield for the district’s annual dog sale. He did, and on Thursday he was a happy man, two dogs bought and the possibility of a third to add to his team. When you farm 1000 acres a team of good dogs makes life on the hills a whole lot easier, Ennor said. Prior to the sale he made sure he did his homework, checked out the dogs on offer, their breeding and their
willingness to work. Two-year-old Lizz caught his eye. She came well recommended and she fitted the bill in terms of age, personality and on paper she sounded perfect. All that remained was to watch owner Charlie Croft from Amberley run her in the ring. With the sale her first time off farm, nerves could have ruined the day, but Lizz had the confidence of a veteran, performed with style and Ennor said he was a happy man when the hammer fell and the deal was clinched at $4200. “I knew she’d had a good owner and she just stood out. I came down to get a good heading bitch and that’s what I’ve got - and a good huntaway bitch too,” Ennor said. For Croft selling one of his good dogs was a bit of a wrench, but he still has her litter mate and said he’d far
Learning to love again, two year old heading dog Lizz, being introduced to her new owner, Hawke’s Bay farmer Martin Ennor [right] by former owner Charlie Croft. PHOTO SUE NEWMAN 040719-SN-0032
rather see a good dog working and doing what it loved rather than sitting on the back of a truck, underworked. “She’s good natured and she’s friendly so she’ll be fine
with a new owner. I’m just happy she’s gone to a good home,” he said. That good home will see Lizz become best mate for Ennor’s 82-year-old father
who still puts in a solid days work as farm shepherd. “He wanted a female dog with a few good years in her, Lizz will be perfect,” Ennor said.
Fond dog sale farewell This year’s PGG Wrightson dog sale was a bitter sweet time for Mt Peel Station shepherd Cassie MacKenzie – she was selling one of her team of dogs. She currently has six dogs and that’s one too many. Someone had to go and while making a choice was tough, MacKenzie decided it would be two-year-old huntaway bitch Soot who would be in the ring, looking for a new
home. It was a tough call, but Soot was a dog who loved to work and in a big team, she found she couldn’t give every one the running they needed. The pair were up early in the day, lot seven and MacKenzie admitted to a few nerves when the sheep from Owaka farm were let out of the pen. Soot didn’t disappoint. In typical huntaway style, she let loose long and loud
and left the small mob of sheep in little doubt that they were moving, and fast. Prior to running Soot, MacKenzie admitted she was a bit concerned she wouldn’t sell, but in her few minutes in the ring she earned her owner $2500. The deal done, Soot didn’t look back and happily followed her new owner to a new truck and a new home.
Cassie MacKenzie and two year-old Soot, waiting to trial during last week’s PGG Wrightson dog sale.
PHOTO SUE NEWMAN 040719-SN-0013
Elle speaks up for resilience Elle Perriam lost her partner, a North Otago shepherd, to suicide in 2017. She went on to found Will to Live and she is coming to Canterbury this month to spread a positive message of gratitude and encourage resilience using her late partner’s huntaway, Jess, as a symbolic reminder of the need to speak up collectively. Events will be held at Methven on July 26 and Lincoln on July 24, supported by the Rural Support Trust and NZ Young Farmers. These events, plus two in North Canterbury, are casual evenings of talk and tips on the topic of getting through the tough times, and how to navigate the storms together as a community. The Will to Live foundation has a wider mission to improve mental health awareness and wellbeing education in young rural people across rural New Zealand, people who are often isolated from essential services and where the suicide demographic is the highest.
Elle and huntaway Jess will be at speak up events in Methven and around Canterbury in July.
People are invited to bring their own dogs and be part of a “bark up”. There will be a moment of silence at the start of the evening for those who have lost their battle with depression and then a bark up
to break the silence. Local businesses are being encouraged to give items for auction on the night and profits will go to the ongoing work of Will to Live, which includes a 2020 tour focused
on improving the education of farm managers/owners on the wellbeing of their workers. The Methven event on July 26 will be at Samuel’s Summit Bar at the Blue Pub while the
Lincoln event on July 24 will be at Lincoln University’s dining hall; both start at 6pm. Entry fee is $10. Come along for a feed, a beer or raspberry Coke, and a good yarn.
Farmers urged to attend river talks By Linda Clarke The first public meetings about a management plan to raise flows in the Ashburton River and review irrigation consents connected to the river will be held on July 16. The plan, to be implemented by Environment Canterbury, will be tricky as consent holders face tougher abstraction conditions aimed at raising minimum flows in the Ashburton River during summer. Ashburton Water Zone Committee deputy chairman Chris Allen will be one of the farmers affected and he said reviewing all consents connected to the river at the same time was fair. Currently conditions can only be reviewed when a consent is renewed, which does not create a level playing field for all those who rely on water to irrigate. The Ashburton River Management Plan aims to raise the minimum flow to six cumecs at the State Highway 1 bridge by 2023. The zone committee has asked ECan to outline how
it will implement the plan at the public meetings and is encouraging Mid Canterbury people to attend. Allen, who farms between the two branches of the river, said management plans for the river had been first discussed in 1983 and there had been much uncertainty for farmers over the years. The zone committee has asked ECan to apply its latest scientific findings to the river, as some data collected about the river was more than 10 years old. The management plan looks at the social, cultural, ecological and economic value of the river to the whole community, which includes consent holders. Some farmers have already swapped surface consents for groundwater consents, at the
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committee’s encouragement. Allen said it was not fair or equitable for consents to be reviewed as they expired in this situation. Those with earlier expiration dates would be shouldering most of the change, when it was fairer for all to share the changes. Allen said it was important the process was not rushed, but that it also did not end up as long and as expensive as a consent review in Selwyn in the past decade. “A good process is better than a hurried process and farmers are worried about it. I am worried about it. I will be one of the affected parties, but having a river meet our community expectations is something we are all passionate about.” He said the Ashburton
District Council no longer discharged treated sewage into the river and a woolscour that once did the same was no longer operational. The zone committee will be keeping a watching brief as to any particular parties who will be disproportionately affected. Environment Canterbury says 90 consents will be reviewed and a separate meeting will be held later this month for those affected. Waiting for consents to expire to achieve the river’s minimum flow targets would meant it would not be until 2041 that all consents aligned; that would be too slow and create inequity between abstractors, Ecan says on a webpage created for the review. As consent holders who take water from surface water bodies will be required to stop taking water when the minimum flow rate is reached, it may mean they are on restriction more frequently and for longer periods of time. If your water permit currently does not have a
PUBLIC MEETINGS There will be two public meetings about the Ashburton River Management Plan in the district on July 16 – the first at the Hotel Ashburton at 2pm and the second in Methven at the Mt Hutt Memorial Hall at 6.30pm. minimum flow condition, new minimum flow conditions will be added to your consent and these will apply from July 1, 2023. You will continue to have no minimum flow condition until June 30, 2023. If your water permit currently does have a minimum flow condition, new updated minimum flow conditions will be added to your consent and these will apply from July 1, 2023. Your existing minimum flow condition will apply until June 30, 2023.
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End of an era and a new beginning This article is my last under the HydroServices banner. That doesn’t mean no more articles - just a new banner. It is now officially winter and last month I discussed the need for more winter recharge before the next season – so how did we go? Scientifically an era begins and ends due to mass extinction and about 90 per cent of all organisms die in each mass extinction! I haven’t become extinct and there is more than 10 per cent of me left. I sort of prefer the idiom of Alexander Graham Bell (the guy who patented the telephone) who is credited with “when one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us”. This is really about missing opportunities and that many people do not like and, therefore, resist change; the “closed door” makes it difficult to see the next opportunity. Not too dissimilar to mass
extinction which makes life change in a distinctive and drastic way. What has this got to do with my writing monthly articles? Some time ago (I can’t recall) I started writing for Guardian Farming under the HydroServices banner and more recently Aqualinc/ HydroServices when the two companies merged. This will change again – the HydroServices brand is to be discontinued. So after 36 years of HydroServices (and it is difficult not to look regretfully upon this closing door) the articles will continue under a new banner of my own. Bell’s “next opportunity” came from a good friend and I attending the ICC World Cup
in England. This was too good an opportunity for my/ our passion for cricket to pass by. And so be it – writing this the day before we really need to beat England in Durham to ensure third place. The “icing” so far of this opportunity was Lords on Saturday even if we got “wiped” by Australia but hoping to be back to watch New Zealand in the final. And this was the perfect opportunity to close one door and open another. The closing door is I’ve decided not to renew my direct employment at Aqualinc and the opening door is to contract back and return to doing a bit consulting on my own – hence the new banner.
Winter – now here meteorologically
Last month I noted that the thought of a below average rainfall winter is always and should be a concern. There has still only been the one month (April) with above average rainfall this year and only 20-25mm (last
Depth to water (mbgl) L37 / 0022 (62.7m deep). PHOTO SUPPLIED
week) since I last wrote – not enough to result in much recharge. And water level increase has all but plateaued with just 0.47m rise in groundwater levels in 28 days. Winter rainfall recharge is top of my wish list now, though quite the opposite would be appreciated in England – high pressure,
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ALPEGO FH300 3.0MTR$ROTARY HOE In very tidy condition $ ALPEGO FH300 3.0MTR ROTARY HOE In very tidy condition ALPEGO FH300 3.0MTR ROTARY HOE In very tidy condition
SIMBA XPRESS 5.5 MTR $ Sample photo cut, 700 DD roller, rear Adjustable hyd and draw bar, great$stubble Sample SIMBAphoto XPRESS 5.5 MTR incorporation, very tidy Adjustable cut, 700 DD roller, rear SIMBA XPRESS 5.5 MTR hyd and draw bar, great stubble Adjustable cut, 700 DD roller, rear incorporation, very tidy hyd and draw bar, great stubble incorporation, very tidy
KVERNELAND BB85 AND$BB100 PLOUGHS $ available Both 6 furrow, trailing press KVERNELAND BB85 AND BB100 for each, very tidy PLOUGHS KVERNELAND BB85 AND BB100 Both 6 furrow, trailing press available PLOUGHS for each, very tidy Both 6 furrow, trailing press available for each, very tidy
AGRISPREAD AS5500 $ New, scales, ﬂotation tyres, 3 speed $ ground drive, roll over tarp AGRISPREAD AS5500 New, scales, ﬂotation tyres, 3 speed AGRISPREAD AS5500 ground drive, roll over tarp New, scales, ﬂotation tyres, 3 speed ground drive, roll over tarp
GREGOIRE BESSON PSPW9 CLAAS 9300 BUTTERFLY $ MOWER $ 6 furrow with disc coulters and trash CONDITIONERS $ $ boards, hydraulic breakaway, 2012, ISOBUS, fully serviced ready to GREGOIRE BESSON PSPW9 CLAAS 9300 BUTTERFLY MOWER vari width and steering mow, very tidy. 6 furrow with disc coulters and trash CONDITIONERS GREGOIRE BESSON PSPW9 CLAAS 9300 BUTTERFLY MOWER boards, hydraulic breakaway, 2012, ISOBUS, fully serviced ready to 6 furrow with disc coulters and trash CONDITIONERS vari width and steering mow, very tidy. boards, hydraulic breakaway, 2012, ISOBUS, fully serviced ready to *Normal lending criteria & conditionsvari apply. width and steering mow, very tidy.
*Normal lending criteria & conditions apply. Your Power Farming *Normal lending criteria & conditions apply.
CLAAS AXION 820 Immaculate condition, new rubber all round, high spec 200hp tractor CLAAS AXION 820 Immaculate condition, new rubber all round, CLAAS AXION 820 high spec 200hp tractor Immaculate condition, new rubber all round, high spec 200hp tractor
JOHN DEERE 6210 PREMIUM $ Manip Loader, tidy tractor, runs well $ JOHN DEERE 6210 PREMIUM Manip Loader, tidy tractor, runs well JOHN DEERE 6210 PREMIUM Manip Loader, tidy tractor, runs well
JOHN DEERE 6620 $ Recent rubber replacement, JD 731 $ loader, very tidy, 8700 hrs JOHN DEERE 6620 Recent rubber replacement, JD 731 JOHN DEERE 6620 loader, very tidy, 8700 hrs Recent rubber replacement, JD 731 loader, very tidy, 8700 hrs
SAME SILVER 110 $ And loader package, 2005, very tidy, SAMPLE $ front axle brakes, nice package, SAMPLE SAME SILVER 110 being prepared And loader package, 2005, very tidy, SAME SILVER 110 front axle brakes, nice package, And loader package, 2005, very tidy, being prepared front axle brakes, nice package, being prepared
$ MERLO 60.10 2012, new tyres, very tidy, coming in
FROM 16,000 FROM 16,000
Simon Jackson Dealer Principal, Sales 027 512 7205 Simon Jackson Dealer Principal, Sales Simon Jackson 027 512 7205Sales Dealer Principal,
Ashburton Sales Team Your Power Farming Your PowerSales Farming Ashburton Team www.powerfarmingashburton.co.nz Facebook powerfarming ashburton Ashburton Sales Team 027 512 7205 233 Alford Forest Rd, Ashburton | Phone 03 307 7153 www.powerfarmingashburton.co.nz Facebook powerfarming ashburton www.powerfarmingashburton.co.nz Facebook powerfarming ashburton 233 Alford Forest Rd, Ashburton | Phone 03 307 7153 233 Alford Forest Rd, Ashburton | Phone 03 307 7153
HOUSEHAM MERLIN 4.32 2014, 4000ltr, 24 or 32 mtr, 2 sets of wheels, auto steer, section control, all HOUSEHAM MERLIN 4.32 the bells and whistles 2014, 4000ltr, 24 or 32 mtr, 2 sets of HOUSEHAM MERLIN 4.32 wheels, auto steer, section control, all 2014, 4000ltr, 24 or 32 mtr, 2 sets of the bells and whistles wheels, auto steer, section control, all the bells and whistles
KVERNELAND EVO TS $DRILL 6.0mtr, as new, tramline, elec drive, $ ISOBUS, the list goes on KVERNELAND EVO TS DRILL 6.0mtr, as new, tramline, elec drive, KVERNELAND EVO TS DRILL ISOBUS, the list goes on 6.0mtr, as new, tramline, elec drive, ISOBUS, the list goes on
AMAZONE CIRRUS 6001 SUPER $ 6.0mtr, workshop serviced, great drills, bargain! $ AMAZONE CIRRUS 6001 SUPER 6.0mtr, workshop serviced, AMAZONE CIRRUS 6001 SUPER great drills, bargain! 6.0mtr, workshop serviced, great drills, bargain!
VOGEL & NOOT 6 FURROW $ CONVENTIONAL PLOUGH 85cm spacing’s, vari width,$hyd front VOGEL & NOOT 6 FURROW furrow, steerable rear wheel, hyd auto reset CONVENTIONAL PLOUGH legs, Skimmers and boards, very tidy VOGEL & NOOT 6 trash FURROW 85cm spacing’s, vari width, hyd front CONVENTIONAL PLOUGH furrow, steerable rear wheel, hyd auto reset 85cm spacing’s, vari width, hyd front legs, Skimmers and trash boards, very tidy furrow, steerable rear wheel, hyd auto reset legs, Skimmers and trash boards, very tidy
LEMKEN DIAMANTE $ 7 furrow single wheel plough, hydraulic auto reset, $ LEMKEN DIAMANTE skimmers, nice plough 7 furrow single wheel plough, LEMKEN DIAMANTE hydraulic auto reset, 7 furrow single wheel plough, skimmers, nice plough hydraulic auto reset, skimmers, nice plough
MASCHIO 6.0M CONTESSA TRAILING POWER HARROW With seed/fert bin, ﬁt a seed rail or MASCHIO 6.0M CONTESSA TRAILING precision planter behind. POWER HARROW MASCHIO 6.0M CONTESSA TRAILING With seed/fert bin, ﬁt a seed rail or POWER HARROW precision planter behind. With seed/fert bin, ﬁt a seed rail or precision planter behind.
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Vote, so you can have your say What to write about? What to write about? It is so easy to be negative and complain about all and everything that is occurring in our lives and in our community. We could grizzle about the pressures put upon our farmers with modern farming requirements. Consent procedures, nutrient loadings, consents to farm, Farm Management Plans and good farming practice requirements and the somewhat erratic ways these things are determined. On top of that we could add tighter lending criteria from the banking sector and a more hard-nosed attitude to debt loadings. Then we could add the catastrophe of mycoplasma bovis and the incompetent manner in which it has been handled up to now. We could talk about the constant pressure put on our industry with accusations of pollution and the inference that it is only the rural sector that is to blame and on top of that there is always the weather.
Now all things are happening to a greater or lesser degree. They are not necessarily true or untrue but they are all part of our farming world today. They can easily overload our life. We can feel powerless to do anything about it and we wonder if anyone would take notice of our point of view anyway. It is easy to feel we that have less and less freedom to live our own lives. Well every three years we get an opportunity to have our say. This year is the Local Government Elections and next year is the General Election. I believe we must all take this opportunity to be involved. Firstly, we must ensure that we are enrolled so that we can cast a vote. The right to
cast a vote should be taken seriously. We are fortunate that New Zealand is one of the countries where that freedom remains. Secondly, if we are not prepared or able to offer ourselves for election it behoves us to search for the right candidates and encourage them to stand and offer them our support. We need to search for people of ability, courage, clear thinking and energy. We require leadership not management. Thirdly we must cast our vote. Freedom is a function of personal independence
We don’t just say team. We promise it.
and I believe our freedoms are steadily and deliberately being eroded by bureaucratic institutions, well-meaning and all as they may be. In the western world we have corporatised democracy. We are set about with structure, regulations and a constant stream of so-called experts telling us what we can or cannot do and now there is talk about what we can or cannot think and/or say eg so called “hate speech” etc. It would be a sad day if we got to the stage when we cannot rely on commonsense and common decency
and courtesy to manage the way we treat others but have to pass regulations to watch and listen and control our thoughts and speech. Hello George Orwell. However, having said all that we are now past the shortest day and so far, it has been a great winter. I doubt if there has been a skerrick of winter feed wasted in this dry frosty weather and all the challenges mentioned above will pass, as they always do. Our farmers will continue to be resolute and hard working and all our bureaucratic bumblings will get sorted out eventually. The farm sales market is just beginning to show more signs of activity so before we know it spring will be upon us. Good farming for the rest of the year. The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of the Ashburton Guardian Co Ltd or any employee thereof
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Hurst takes arable farmer of year title His “immense contribution” to Federated Farmers, related industry bodies and across the nation’s arable sector saw South Canterbury farmer Colin Hurst named Arable Farmer of the Year recently. Federated Farmers arable industry group chairperson Karen Williams said it was difficult to know where to start with Colin’s contribution to farming. Hurst has served Feds at national, regional and branch level and has also put in countless hours for the South Canterbury Rural Support Trust, the arable industry group’s herbage seedgrowers subsection, United Wheatgrowers and the Foundation for Arable Research. “This is an award that recognises excellence,” Williams told delegates at the arable group’s AGM in Wellington. “Without Colin’s hard work, tenacity and leadership, we believe farmers and growers wouldn’t have got the right outcomes. All of the work undertaken is in a voluntary capacity, which makes his
contribution to industry all the more impressive.” One of Hurst’s wins for the industry involved a plan change proposed by Environment Canterbury that not only would have hit the livelihoods of local farmers but also had consequences for all land owners. He organised a meeting that drew more than 80 affected farmers and got them engaged in the process. “Thank goodness the council saw sense,” Hurst told those at the awards ceremony. “They didn’t change the nutrient limits but they did change the way they were allocated.” Despite stepping back from the arable industry group, Hurst continues to ensure growers are informed and engaged in the process of reviewing the Plant Variety Rights Act and that they understand crop residue burning - while a vital tool - is a privilege and farmers need to manage it accordingly. Hurst has also been a staunch advocate for farmers around the Seed Quality Management
Arable farmer of the year Colin Hurst (left) received his award from Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.
Authority (SQMA) table; on the Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC), driving the development of a physical standard for fertiliser; and as a member of the FAR Board and ARG. He continues to advocate for local farmers affected by the mycoplasma
We supply, calibrate and service
bovis response as a member of the Rural Support Trust in South Canterbury. Other Federated Farmers arable awards, which were presented by the Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor, were: Biosecurity Farmer of
the Year - Richard Kershaw, Wairarapa Wheat Grower of the Year - Syd and Earl Worsfold, Canterbury Seed Grower of the Year Jim Macartney, Canterbury Maize Grower of the Year Peter Kelly, North Waikato.
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SOIL MANAGEMENT AND FERTILISERS FEATURE
New app makes ordering easier Ravensdown’s map-based farm software HawkEye now allows farmers to order product on their mobile or tablet, giving them more time to do what they love. Efficiencies in farm management today are all about having accurate and timely data that is insightful and automated, which Ravensdown’s national services manager Tim Roulston says is the motivation behind HawkEye. “Our customers’ main challenges today are needing more time to farm and improving environmental compliance, profitability and performance. Giving farmers the ability to order from their mobile, is one of the many ways we’re trying to make their lives easier,” Roulston said. “One of our goals is to make nutrient management easier for farmers. Ordering through HawkEye helps you get it right from the start and then provides better nutrient records for compliance and productivity improvement.” Dairy farmer Craig
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Canterbury farmer Craig Minson has been using the HawkEye software since August last year.
Minson, who contract milks for Craufurd Dairy Farm in Canterbury, has been a fan of the software since starting to use it in August last year. “The time I spend on ordering is much more efficient now. I’m really looking forward to using the app to give me more time to get out on-farm – which is what I enjoy doing,” he said.
“Being able to use the app to order fertiliser while on the pasture walk will give a much better context to make decisions.” Roulston said collaboration between agri-businesses was vital to deliver meaningful solutions to farmers. “That’s why we’re creating integration through the supply chain.
Ravensdown’s release of HawkEye mobile is in response to a strong interest and desire from customers. The first release is a standalone ordering app where customers can very quickly order fertiliser products and request spreading from their cellphone. ■■ Standalone orders only in the initial release ■■ Very quick and easy to use ■■ Remembers last selected stores and spreaders ■■ View requested order on a map to check accuracy ■■ Available for both Android and iPhones ■■ Farm features and hazards; the first iteration of farm features and hazards are now available within HawkEye. Customers can create and edit points lines and polygons of features on their farm, and flag them if they are hazards. By collaborating with Ravensdown Joint Venture spreaders, C-Dax and TracMap, we can automate the flow and transparency of the data to reduce margins for error in nutrient application. We won’t stop there either as there are
more conversations and opportunities to be had to improve HawkEye in the future. “Anything that makes life easier for farmers gives our team a huge sense of accomplishment because we’re all part of the farming family; part of the farmer’s team.”
It’s simple really. The large amount of information available on how to achieve strong crop and grass growth can be confusing. But the solution isn’t. The science states that a ph of 6.2 is key... and the best product to increase the pH of New Zealand soils and unlock its nutritional potential is lime. Soil nutrition made easy. We’re local and here to help.
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SOIL MANAGEMENT AND FERTILISERS FEATURE
New technology ONEsystem
Professors Keith Cameron (left) and Hong Di say ClearTech is a win for the farm and the environment.
Another big win A ground-breaking method to turn dairy effluent into clarified water and treated effluent has scooped another prestigious award. Ravensdown’s ClearTech product, which uses a coagulant to bind effluent colloidal particles to separate the solid material from water, won the Science & Research Award at the Primary Industries Awards in Wellington last week. Developed in conjunction with Lincoln University, ClearTech significantly reduces on-farm fresh water use, with the clarified water being recycled to clean the farm yard. Recent Lincoln University studies showed the E. coli concentrations measured in the ClearTech clarified water were significantly reduced by around 99.9 per cent. ClearTech also increases effluent storage capacity and reduces environmental and safety risks linked with effluent. Product manager Carl Ahlfeld said the development team was thrilled to have won another award, having already won the Agri Innovation Award at the South Island Agricultural Field Days and a highly commended award at the National Fieldays Innovation Awards this year. Having put the revolutionary product through its paces at the Lincoln University Pilot Plant, Ravensdown has now launched ClearTech commercially. “ClearTech’s had an incredible amount of effort put into its development by both us at Ravensdown and Lincoln University. It’s a great feeling to be in talks with farmers who want to make a difference to their environmental impact and who are keen to do so with ClearTech. “Currently we are in the process of building three commercial units for Canterbury-based farms. We are also in discussion with other farms around
the country for four or more units in the very near future. “We will always be looking to improve ClearTech to make it the best product possible in terms of reducing water use and farm environmental impacts and look forward to having continued discussions with farmers and industry leaders who are interested in the product.” The Primary Industry Award judges said it was a pragmatic on farm solution that we need more of. Lincoln University Soil Science Professors Keith Cameron and Hong Di, who were responsible for the research behind the development of ClearTech, expressed their tremendous honour at winning the award. “We developed ClearTech in collaboration with Ravensdown specifically to provide farmers with a new tool to help them to continue to improve the sustainability of their business,” said Professor Cameron. “The scientific results are exciting and demonstrate the potential benefits of ClearTech for the farm and the environment. It’s a win-win technology.” Professor Di said ClearTech will make a huge difference in reducing water use. “This smart technology will improve effluent management and reduce environmental impacts on dairy farms across New Zealand. I am absolutely delighted that ClearTech has won another major award on top of the two recent awards at the South Island and National Fieldays.” The research behind ClearTech has been published in internationally peer-reviewed scientific papers (Cameron and Di: Journal of Soils and Sediments, January 3, 2019: doi. org/10.1007/s11368-018-02227-w).
Did you know that when you achieve an average ten to one response from urea that you are using only approximately 35 per cent of the N applied. Fert Wholesale Direct is involved with a company called Global Sustainable Farming limited (GSF), who has the patented technology system for applying urea which has been shown in independent trials and also been presented at both the Grasslands and Massey FLRC conferences to doubling the efficiency of urea applied to dairy pasture. ONEsystem involves the application of prilled urea, (10 times as many granules), which is coated at application with an urease inhibitor. ONEsystem has been in development for several years and has been tested on a number of farms.
ONEsystem has also worked on improved application accuracy through the integration into a Case IH Puma 150 CVT tractor, a Kuhn 50.2 HEMC fertiliser spreader and an AFS XCN 1050 GPS running Isobus task control system. New NPS Compound Fertiliser 15.6 N, 10.6 P, 12.5 S Fert Wholesale Direct is also in the process of bringing in lower cost compound NPS fertilisers into New Zealand. This means every granule will contain nitrogen phosphate and sulphur which leads to improved pasture/crop performance. If you would like to know more about ONEsystem operating in Canterbury or Otago or the new NPS fertilisers contact Shane Harold on 021 0235 6491. Advertising feature
Farmers are you concerned about your fertiliser expenditure in the coming 12 months then FWDL oﬀers an alternative on all mainstream fertiliser options that provide signiﬁcant savings just like we have done for a number of farmers over the last ﬁve years. Some of the fertilisers that are available include UREA, MAP, DAP, Ammonium sulphate, MOP, Triple Super, and Sulphur 90.
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SOIL MANAGEMENT AND FERTILISERS FEATURE
Wetout reduces drift, loss of product Novel adjuvant technology does not appear often. The development of innovative technology requires imagination, inspiration and much trialling and testing before releasing it to market. Obviously this process takes many years from conception through to commercialisation. SST is pleased to announce a new adjuvant product for use in the agricultural industry called Wetout. Wetout is a new 100 per cent, non-ionic surfactant for use with many agricultural sprays. Wetout can typically be used at 1/2 to 3/4 of the rate of standard wetting agents and provides many benefits over conventional products. Without a spreading and wetting surfactant, the dispersal, penetration and efficacy of chemical spray droplets becomes uneven due to a combination of the natural surface tension of water and the waxy cuticle and hairy surface of leaves. One of the most significant improvements is reduction of
spray drift. Most wetting agents actually increase spray drift through reduction in droplet size which leads to production of more driftable droplets. It is this aspect that provides greatly enhanced spray coverage. This also leads to quicker evaporation of sprays in warm conditions that can reduce knockdown effectiveness. Drift is an ever-increasing discussion topic in modern spray applications. Unwanted chemical drift not only has environmental implications, but it also means a loss of product and bottom line for the grower. Wetout actually increases droplet VMD which results in reduced spray drift. Importantly, Wetout provides significantly better spray coverage resulting from the outstanding spreading ability and low contact angle of the spray droplets. Wetout is recommended for use with most knockdown herbicides and can also be used at low rates with
0.1mL droplets 1. Wetout at 100mL/100L; 2. BS1000 at 100mL/100L; 3. No surfactant, water only.
selectives. Wetout is likely to be highly beneficial in situations where coarse droplets need to be applied under low volume applications.
The reduced tank requirement means less product for the grower to handle and less drum returns. Wetout retains a longer humectancy period which is
vital to the uptake of products like glyphosate. It even outperforms specialised wetters on annual ryegrass and is the only allseason non-ionic surfactant that is needed. Wetout is ideal for summer spraying because it increases the uptake of glyphosate but is also perfect for use over winter months with Paraquat that forms the backbone of winter spray regimes especially on weed control in winter dormant lucerne crops. SST is a company synonymous with bringing innovation and inspiration to life and this latest innovation in surfactant technology will be available from all rural supply merchants from July. As always it is recommended to refer to the label for specific detail on usage rates and application directions under all situations. Ask your rural agent about Wetout by SST today.
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Substance and luxury together It brings everything about a Seven Series into a sports activity vehicle. That was the comment from BMW New Zealand spokesman Paul Sherley, following on from the global unveiling of the X7 – the brand’s largest sports utility wagon yet – suggests big hopes for this large, up-scale prestige model. Sherley’s enthusiasm for the product’s potential is plain. That’s easily understood. Sports utilities – SAVs in BMWspeak – are the hottest product in the NZ new vehicle market and this brand has not been missing out on the windfall. The type accounted for more than 50 per cent of the brand’s annual volume in NZ last year, a penetration expected to lift even further now that the latest X3 is in the market. On top of this, BMW has for local sale the new-generation of the X5, which has always been its best-selling soft-roader locally. The X7 will be a force to be reckoned with and not just because of its imposing styling and obvious substance. “It’s something new for us. “It brings a whole new level of luxury, design and presence to our SAV lineup,” comments Sherley. That all seats are heated, while the front seats can be optioned with
ventilation and massage functionality, reflects that this is not likely to be a vehicle for the budget-minded. BMW has provisioned a heap of cosseting comforts and high technology. Headlamps that are LED as standard also option in laser high-beam lamps, to extend the lighting range to 600m, the base wheels are 20-inch and all versions will take the Live Cockpit
Professional instrumentation that consists of two 12.3-inch displays. Infotainment is powered by BMW’s legendary Operating System 7.0, with over-the-air software updates which will become available over time and it has an Intelligent Personal Assistant able to control most vehicle functions via the voice prompt ‘Hey BMW’ and predict driver requirements via artificial intelligence.
Above – Hi tech and comfort. Below – A car that is at home in the town or country.
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Following final homologation, the specifications of Triumph’s new 2500cc triple Rocket 3 engine can now be confirmed as exceeding the numbers shared at launch by a considerable amount. With 182 PS peak power and 225 Nm of peak torque the new Rocket 3 TFC has well and truly cemented its place as the most powerful production Triumph in history. The customer and press response to this exclusive ultra-premium motorcycle has been incredible, with many deposits taken across the world by dealers immediately after the bike was revealed for the first time in January. Australia has seen an extremely high interest with a demand that has surpassed the number allocated, and has resulted in the Rocket 3 TFC selling out with all available models now fully committed. Triumph’s legendary Rocket III, launched in 2004, was renowned as a pure original with more muscle, presence and torque than any of the competition. Now the all new Triumph Factory Custom Rocket 3 re-defines its own class with heart-stopping muscular presence, category-dominating technology, beautiful features and the highest level of premium specification equipment. The second Triumph TFC to be launched and a British engineering masterpiece – the new 2019 Rocket 3 TFC is designed to be nothing short
of the ultimate motorcycle. With only 750 ever being sold worldwide, the Rocket TFC is Triumph’s most exclusive and desirable motorcycle. Featuring premium TFC badging with gold detailing and a beautiful individually-numbered plaque on the instrument mount, each one will be completely unique and never to be repeated. At 2500cc, the all new, higher capacity, and world’s biggest, motorcycle production engine, is central to the 2019 Rocket 3 TFC’s class-defining performance, delivering 225Nm, the world’s highest torque, a staggering 74 per cent more than its closest competitors and the most powerful Triumph to date. With incredibly imposing poise and stance and beautifully distinctive details, such as new signature twin LED headlights, the new Rocket 3 TFC features unique lightweight carbon fibre bodywork, including front mud-guard, silencer end caps and exhaust heat shields, fly screen, drive shaft cover, heel guards and tank strap. Additional exquisite finish and detailing includes the one-of-akind premium twin ‘carbon black and matt carbon black’ paint scheme with brushed foil decals, gold accents and electroformed 3D Triumph badge, and elegantly hidden pillion footrests contributing to clean minimal rear end.
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Focus ST – the need for speed Twelve per cent more powerful. Twelve per cent faster. Ford today revealed that the all-new Ford Focus ST five-door sprints from 0‑62mph in 5.7 seconds – 0.8 seconds quicker than the previous generation model. Powered by a 280PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine – 30PS more than the preceding Focus ST – the all-new model also achieves even faster in-gear acceleration than the acclaimed previous generation Focus RS. Twin-scroll turbocharging technology contributes to segmentleading peak torque of 420Nm for immediate response to throttle inputs, and an innovative anti-lag system enables rapid delivery of boost on demand. Flat-shift capability for the six-speed manual gearbox and Launch Control* also help optimise standing start performance. “The all-new Focus ST is about more than just straight-line speed, but the ability to go toe-to-toe with the now legendary Focus RS over a quartermile sprint shows just how much the Ford Performance team has moved the game on in the last four years,” said Leo Roeks, Ford Performance director, Europe. “We’ve drawn inspiration from the Ford GT supercar, F‑150 Raptor pick-up, Ford Mustang and Fiesta
ST to develop a Focus ST capable of punching you in the back the moment you hit the throttle.” The Focus ST 2.3-litre EcoBoost’s low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger scavenges exhaust gasses more effectively to optimise the energy transferred into the turbine wheel – producing more power and delivering boost pressure faster. Separated exhaust channels transfer the gas pulses from cylinders one and four, and two and three – minimising pulse interference for a consistent flow of energy. Anti-lag technology can electronically hold the throttle open for up to three seconds after the driver backs off the accelerator, alleviating the reversal of airflow from the turbocharger to maintain compressor wheel speed. By keeping the turbocharger primed for immediate response and maintaining positive pressure in the intake manifold when off throttle, the innovative technology allows faster resumption of both boost pressure and optimised combustion when the driver returns to the accelerator. In addition, an electronically actuated turbocharger waste-gate allows closer control of boost pressures for enhanced engine performance. Flat-shift capability can also help
deliver ultimate standing start acceleration by automatically emulating anti-lag and holding the throttle open as the driver disengages the clutch to shift up through the short-throw, six-speed manual gearbox – thereby maximising turbocharger response. A gear-shift indicator light, available with the optional Performance Pack, lets drivers know the optimal point
to change gears, and Launch Control can be engaged to maximise grip off the line for consistently fast standing starts. The all-new Focus ST’s straightline speed is matched by its cornering ability, optimised using Ford’s first electronic limited-slip differential for a front-wheel drive model. Incorporated into the six-speed manual and seven-speed automatic transmissions for 2.3-litre EcoBoost models, the system uses hydraulically activated clutches to redistribute up to 100 per cent of available engine torque to the wheel with more traction to counteract wheelspin. The result is increased agility and a significant reduction in understeer during acceleration through, and out of, corners. Faster to deploy and offering greater precision than a traditional mechanical limited-slip differential the system can pre-emptively adjust torque distribution using inputs from powertrain and vehicle dynamics sensors, and can apply differential locking gradually for fine-tuning performance. The Focus ST also delivers greater stopping power than even the previous generation Focus RS, with 330mm front discs and front callipers each housing two 44mm diameter pistons.
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FARM VEHICLES AND MACHINERY FEATURE
WorkSafe wants CPDs on quad bikes WorkSafe New Zealand is strongly recommending the use of crush protection devices (CPDs) on the back of quad bikes and pointing farmers to subsidies available to buy the devices. Crush protection devices can be fitted to a quad bike to provide a survivable space should a rider be pinned underneath it. Between January 2000 and October 2017, 81 people have been killed in quad bike accidents while at work and an average of five people die in workrelated quad bike incidents every year. “Data reveals that these accidents can happen on almost any part of the property – and to experienced and inexperienced riders. In many of the incidents the worker is crushed or unable to escape due to the weight of the bike, contributing to fatal or life-changing injuries,” said WorkSafe’s General Manager of Better Regulation and Legal, Mike Hargreaves. If you have no reasonable alternative to using a quad
Quad bike with a crush protection device (CPD).
bike WorkSafe strongly recommend you get a professionally designed and manufactured CPD installed permanently. In 2014, WorkSafe said fitting CPDs was a matter of personal choice. A subsequent review of research and the lack of improvement in incident numbers have prompted the regulator to revise that position. “It’s our view that CPDs are
PHOTOS ATV LIFEGUARD
likely to prevent serious and fatal injuries. “It’s important that farmers and others don’t treat these as a fit and forget solution. The devices do not take the place of training, maintenance, protective gear, vehicle selection, or the careful use of quad bikes, but they can provide some protection in the event of rollover,” Hargreaves said. While the use of CPDs
will not be enforced by the regulator at this time, discussions on the potentially life-saving devices will be taken up by WorkSafe staff when visiting farms and other workplaces across the country as a part of their assessments activity. ACC is offering a subsidy of $180 per CPD with a maximum of two purchases per business; there are two CPDs on the market
recommended by WorkSafe, the LifeGuard and Quadbar, and both are eligible for the subsidy. WorkSafe says quad bike rollover accidents can happen on almost any part of the farm, to experienced and inexperienced riders. Everyone using a quad bike needs to keep themselves and others safe, including having training and wearing a helmet. The risk of a quad bike rolling may be greater depending on the activities of the rider and the terrain being crossed. Spraying, mustering stock or dividing attention between several tasks are examples of when riders are at greater risk of the bike rolling. Travelling on hilly or uneven ground and rutted tracks is also likely to increase the risk of rollover. WorkSafe said growing evidence showed CPDs reduced harm and in the future it was likely CPDs would be required and compliance enforced.
Stainless steel tanks the way forward If you haven’t already replaced your old mild steel tripod fuel tank, allowing for it in this year’s budget is going to be a wise and proactive choice. When you are considering your options, Petrotec Services should be on your call list. They are suppliers of the Fuelcon range of stainless steel farm tanks. Key points to keep in mind when considering replacement options are: cost-effective standards approved tank, a ladder that incorporates a platform, the tank fuel type embossed on the side of the
pump box by the lockable nozzle, a vent filter and fuel filter. A Fuelcon tank will last across the generations and eliminate rust or corrosion due to the quality stainless steel used in its manufacture. It will be durable and easy to clean. No need to paint, no rust or pitting. The vent filter will assist in preventing moisture build up, diesel bug or dirt and water contamination therefore keeping fuel clean. Single product storage or split combination tanks are available and will allow for flexibility of storage options.
Whether you require diesel, petrol, diesel/petrol or diesel exhaust fluid (DEF/AD Blue) combination, an above ground gravity fed or an on-ground hand pump option, stainless steel is a viable long term option worthy of serious consideration. Petrotec Services are also suppliers of the Fuelcon range of steel trailer tanks and commercial tanks. As well as agents for the Everlink Fuel Management System and Logitank containerised bulk storage and dispensing solutions.
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Preparation key for spring farm sales Winter in the rural property sector is a time to reflect, evaluate and make decisions for the season ahead. We processed plenty of business towards the end of the autumn in Mid and South Canterbury, culminating in this May being one of the most productive for several years, at least across our local offices. This was partly driven by a price correction as buyers and sellers finally aligned on their perceptions of value, where for several months previously agreement had been difficult to come by. Buyers have become more motivated and are making offers, even if they are at slightly lower levels than some vendors were earlier prepared to accept. That is how a price correction works, it has now occurred, or at least is in process, and more regular market activity has resumed. Current indications suggest that plenty of farms will be listed for sale between now and the end of the year. It is
PGG Wrightson Real Estate
shaping as a busy spring, with a range of local sheep and beef, arable and dairy farmers readying their properties to offer to the market. For those who are intending to sell farm land in the spring, preparation is crucial. Full documentation on issues including compliance, stocking rates, farm improvements, production history, inputs, pasture development and business expenses is essential in the sales process. Potential buyers are looking for this information to help them make a sound, confident business decision about whether to take on your property. Gathering these facts before the farm is offered
for sale should mitigate most of the reasons that might otherwise give buyers reasons to hesitate. Without comprehensive information, you may be selling your farm short. A motivated gallery of buyers is set to give those farms that do come available for spring sale a generous welcome. Anyone considering joining this group, and looking to purchase rural property will probably need to talk to their banker. It
is common knowledge that banks have revised their lending criteria, and are wary of their level of exposure to agriculture. A strong business case is necessary to persuade a financier to come on board with a sale, focusing less on capital gain and more on revenue generation. In most instances banks will pay special attention to the property’s environmental sustainability and compliance to land and water use
regulations. However, with commodity prices so strong at present, particularly for red meat and dairy, talking to the bank manager can be relatively productive. Whether you are considering buying or selling rural property, preparation is key, with a busy spring to look forward to. Calvin Leen is Mid-South Canterbury and North Otago Sales Manager for PGG Wrightson Real Estate Limited.
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Neighbours buy up research block By Linda Clarke Mid Canterbury’s Winchmore Research Station has sold, with two neighbouring farmers buying the land. The 246ha on Dromore Methven Road is an iconic property, known worldwide as the centre of irrigation research in New Zealand. AgResearch will continue its long-running fertiliser research trial and weather station at the site, as part of the sale conditions. Selling agent Greg Jopson, from Property Brokers, said the new buyers planned to continue to farm the property for arable, dairy support and livestock finishing. He said while the farm market was quiet, there was good interest in the research station block, and another across the road. “That just underlies the strength of having access to good, reliable water, in this case through the Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation Scheme.” He said farmers were looking at options for the
AgResearch’s Winchmore station might have been sold, but the long-running fertiliser trials will continue. AGRESEARCH
future, which included environment regulations. AgResearch national farm manager Ron Pellow said AgResearch staff would continue to visit the property as required to keep the longrunning fertiliser trial going. The fertiliser trials on 4.1ha of land have run for more than 60 years and are among the longest-running trials in the country. The site has provided valuable information with scientists tracking changes to pastoral land as agriculture has evolved.
Pellow said some of the research that was once done at the property was now conducted elsewhere but continuing the fertiliser trials was important. There was now more research conducted at Lincoln or Massey universities and on commercial farming operations. “We have a lease on the fertiliser trial site and will continue to operate it.” AgResearch would continue to help drive outcomes for agriculture, with the research
investment it had, he said. The property has a new centre pivot and lateral spray irrigation and lismore soils which will suit a wide range of cropping and grazing options. The research station was established in the late 1940s during the introduction of border-strip irrigation in farming, and looked at the benefits of irrigation and phosphate fertiliser for pasture and crop production as well as sheep and beef farming. In the 1950s and
1960s Winchmore developed automated irrigation system technology. Over the next two decades research monitored the grass grub beetle and other crop pests, in line with the rise of insecticides. Long term trials on irrigation and phosphate fertiliser have resulted in more than 500 science publications being published on superphosphate, nutrient cycling; reactive phosphate rock application, soil physics; soil organic matter and soil biology. Research extended to experimental crops such as paddy rice, field peas, malting barley and apples. Five new pivot irrigators added in 2017 to replace an old border dyke system were part of a $2 million upgraded irrigation system to future-proof research at Winchmore. Leading up to the sale announcement earlier this year, scientists were expecting to use the modern irrigators for new research in different farmland uses, optimising water for farm production and new digital technologies.
Mini courses for woolshed newbies New “micro-credentials” in wool harvesting will help solve a critical need to train shearers and wool handlers, says Primary ITO chief executive Linda Sissons. Introduction to the Woolshed, Learner Wool Handler, and Learner Shearer courses were launched at the Primary Industries Summit in Wellington last week. The courses are bite-sized pieces of learning, aiming to recognise or teach specific skills for the workplace, on the job, in a short time, she said. “What makes the issue so pressing, and why the wool industry is one of the first to have micro-credentials being released, is that right now there are no recognised industry qualifications available in New Zealand for shearers and wool handlers. “This is incredibly important for the wool industry but it’s also an example of one of the future directions of training for all primary industries.” She said with job openings forecast to grow substantially
New mini courses in woolhandling and shearing will help train those new to the woolshed.
in wool harvesting in the coming years, training will be critical as New Zealand faces competition from overseas for our shearers and wool handlers. Dr Sissons said microcredentials are a gamechanger for the primary industries. They are short, sharp pieces of learning but officially recognised and overseen by New Zealand’s education system.
“One of the things we know about our industries is that they’re all crying out for people. Preferably already skilled but if not, they’re prepared to invest to develop the skills they need on the job. “The real shift we’re working on is the focus on skills rather than big upfront qualifications. A microcredential puts the emphasis on “just in time’ learning, rather than a lengthy “just in
case’ qualification.” At the top end of the spectrum, Primary ITO’s new micro-credential in biosecurity is at Level 5 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and pitched at agribusiness managers and owners. The wool courses are at Level 2, and take approximately four weeks of total learning, practising, and assessment. “They mean businesses can
bring on new workers and ensure they develop essential skills for the woolshed before investing in further training. “It also recognises that shearing gangs move around a lot – workers can learn wherever they are and fit it in whenever it best suits the job.” Despite the current absence of recognised entry level wool harvesting qualifications, people do currently learn on the job from their more experienced colleagues -- but the micro-credentials will help provide a base level of skills and a qualification to demonstrate to future employers that they have those skills. Primary ITO is this year developing a full suite of wool harvesting programmes, in addition to the microcredentials, which are expected to be launched in 2020. More information on the courses is available at https://www.primaryito.ac.nz/ courses-for-you/meat-and-fibre/ wool-harvesting/
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Allen Lim for ECan 2019 – A practical approach to sustainability We could not be at a more crucial time of need for a practical approach to sustainability in Canterbury. The issues pound us daily – degradation of water, biodiversity, climate change, economy, mahinga kai, and more. These issues sorely need our attention and prioritisation. Yet, we cannot solve these challenges overnight, or by simply looking at one element of the situation. We need an integrated approach that is not only timely but takes us on a transition to a new way of living in and sustaining our environment. For this reason, I am standing in the ECan elections this year, as a candidate for the Mid Canterbury region. I want to be a part of preserving our environment for future generations to enjoy, while making changes in a way that supports communities. I have the experience and capability to do so. I am motivated by a deep sense of connection to the land and water, coming from my passion for the outdoors and my horticultural background. Originally born in rural China, my family came to New Zealand when I was 10 years old, to join the rest of our family who had come here over generations. I am now a grower of vegetables in the Springston vicinity, supplying food eaten right here in Canterbury, and occasionally enjoyed further afield in New Zealand. My farming operation is a
Left – Allen with his locally grown Globe Artichokes. Bottom – Allen with his wife Joanna out tramping.
local employer, and I live on the farm with my wife and two sons. I have a strong scientific and practical background, having an engineering degree from the University of Canterbury and having worked as an engineer before being drawn back to the land. A concern for the deteriorating state of my local river drove me to take action to improve our environment a number of years ago, when I joined the Selwyn-Waihora Water Zone Committee. For the last five years, I’ve been a member of the committee and for four of those years I was the chair. During my time, we have pushed through the SelwynWaihora Plan Change 1 (with a focus on reducing nitrate leaching and improving water quality) and we were there to assist ECan staff with
its implementation. We also ran projects to reinforce the protection of our alpine rivers and high country values and work towards restoring the mauri of Te Waihora, while maintaining a prosperous land-based economy. As well as this local experience, in 2018 I was also appointed to the Freshwater Leaders Group. This is a Government advisory group tasked with identifying emerging and future freshwater management issues, opportunities and challenges for the Minister for the Environment and the Ministry of the Environment to consider. This has put me in a position to understand and contribute to environmental and economic policy at a national level, and bring that knowledge home. I also have a number of governance roles in
the horticulture industry, including as a board member of Vegetables New Zealand Inc, Horticulture Canterbury Growers Society Inc, and NZGAP (a quality assurance and audit standard for growers). My experiences have put me in a unique position to hit the ground running with ECan. ECan is not just about water, I can bring to bear
Allen Lim for ECan 2019 “A practical approach to sustainability” * Proven - Leader in local water issues * Ability - Extensive governance experience * Balanced - Working collaboratively for best outcome Email: Allen4Ecan@gmail.com| Phone 027 282 8567 | Facebook Allen Lim for Ecan 2019 Authorised by Allen Lim, 31 Lincoln Rolleston Road, RD8, Christchurch
my engineering training, governance experience and entrepreneurial mindset to find innovative solutions, and in doing so, work with all interest groups to achieve a sustainable and flourishing environment for us all. Authorised by Allen Lim, 31 Lincoln-Rolleston Road, RD8, Christchurch Advertising feature
Farming without industrial fertilisers We are on the edge of unprecedented times. Global warming and environmental regulations are pushing us towards fundamental changes to our farming systems. This needs to be seen as a great opportunity to make a significant contribution to the health of our environment. Limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C will require a “rapid and far-reaching” transition to the way we use land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities, according to climate scientists. The main greenhouse gases (GHG) are carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. There are many ways we can reduce GHG emissions in both town and country and farmers have a big responsibility. Carbon dioxide comes mainly from deforestation, soil cultivation, volcanoes and the burning of fossil fuels. It is removed from the atmosphere by plants and is stored in wood, and in the soil as organic matter. Planting trees is the well-known way of
FOREST AND BIRD
capturing carbon, but longterm, well-managed pasture with deep-rooting species also stores huge amounts of carbon. In this pastoral system herbivores are part of the solution not part of the problem. Moving to pasture species more resilient to weather extremes than our traditional ryegrass-based pasture will not only improve carboncapture and storage but reduce reliance on irrigation and fertilisers made with fossil fuels. Changes to stock management can also play a significant role: if soil is covered with a good layer of vegetation, soil temperatures will remain cooler and water loss reduced. Long rotation times
encourage deeper rooting. Methane comes from ruminants (cattle, deer, sheep, giraffes, etc), cropping, rice paddy fields and decay from landfills and vegetation. For New Zealand to lower methane levels significantly, stock numbers will need to reduce. Lower stocking rates will not only reduce our emissions but will improve water quality, improve farm resilience in the face of weather extremes, reduce demand for irrigation water and provide the opportunity to produce higher-value “niche” products. Nitrous oxide is naturally emitted and absorbed by animals and vegetation but since the Industrial Revolution most nitrous oxide emissions come from the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilisers that are made with fossil fuels. Since 1990, the annual application of nitrogen from fertiliser has increased 627 per cent in New Zealand. Dairy cattle numbers have increased by 70 per cent. At the same time, water quality
The way of the future: Long-term pastures grown without the use of fossil-fuel fertilisers can sequester a lot of carbon.
has markedly decreased: high nitrate levels are a common feature of ground water, our high country lakes are under threat and our rivers are overallocated for irrigation. It’s not hard to see the pattern here: farming without the use of industrial fertiliser has to be the way of the future. Our emissions of GHG will substantially reduce, water quality will
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improve and the myriad of other benefits make a switch to a less-intense type of farming common sense. The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of the Ashburton Guardian Co Ltd or any employee thereof
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New pond rules would add costs Some Canterbury farmers and growers may have to fork out $5000 for an engineering report on their farm storage ponds and dams under new regulations proposed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). IrrigationNZ says the proposed regulations will bring significant and unnecessary costs and farmers should have their say while the rules are out for public consultation. IrrigationNZ chief executive Elizabeth Soal said storage ponds and dams were common on farms and used to improve drought resilience. As well as on-farm ponds and dams, some other forms of water infrastructure will also be captured by the proposed regulations. Soal said central and local government should be supporting appropriate water storage. “While we recognise that large and high-risk dams do need a safety assurance programme in place, the proposed new regulations
Farmers are being urged to have their say on proposed new regulations around on-farm ponds and dams. ASHBURTON GUARDIAN
disincentivise on-farm storage by imposing significant unjustified costs on farmers who have small ponds and dams which have little or no practical safety risks,” she says. The proposed regulations would apply to: dams or ponds which are less than four metres high
and hold 30,000m3 or more, or are four metres or more high and hold 20,000m3 or more. At a minimum, pond or dam owners whose storage meets one of the two criteria above would need to engage a recognised engineer to undertake a Potential Impact
Assessment of the pond or dam (at a cost of around $5000) and submit it to their council. If the Potential Impact Assessment of a pond or dam failure was found to be medium or high then a dam safety assurance programme would be required (at an estimated cost of $6000 to $30,000) along with an annual audit at a cost of around $5000. “We are concerned that the criteria used to assess the effects of large dams is being applied to quite small onfarm ponds and dams. Many storage ponds in New Zealand are also built on plains. These ponds store much of their water below ground level which means that most of the water would not escape even if a failure occurred and any escaped water would rapidly dissipate,” Soal said. ”The proposed new regulations are out of step with international requirements which typically only apply a safety assurance programme to large dams. For example, in the USA dam
safety requirements apply to dams over 7.6 metres high which hold over 61,000m3 and in Queensland they apply to dams over eight metres which hold 500,000m3 or more.” As well as applying to water stored for irrigation, the new regulations could affect farmers who have effluent ponds, flood prevention or capture dams, stock water storage ponds, and canals or races with built-up sides. The regulations have been in the development process for many years and IrrigationNZ has previously submitted to the government on these issues, highlighting how common on-farm storage is and warning about the potential unintended consequences of the legislation. IrrigationNZ is encouraging affected farmers and growers to make a submission expressing their views. More information is online at www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say. Consultation closes on August 6.
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RURAL CONTRACTORS FEATURE
A win win with Ireland By David Kean, rcnz president
As rural contractors we are often reliant on imported skilled operators for the machinery we run, so it was great to hear recently that Rural Contractors New Zealand has gained approval to bring in 149 operators for the 2019/20 season. Our CEO Roger Parton spends a lot of time seeking these imports under the Approval in Principle scheme, working with Immigration and Work and Income to get them through the hoops. It will now mean 46 RCNZ members around the country – including myself – can breathe a little easier. Each of the imports – mostly from UK and Ireland – needs to have a minimum of two years’ verifiable work experience operating agricultural self-propelled machinery and supporting plant, in off road situations for the harvesting of a variety of crops. They can work for eight months between July 2019
and June next year. We are really hoping this may be the last AIP round with the Government’s announcements of a review of immigration policy to allow more employer-led recruitment of foreign workers. That said, we’ve heard recently that things are even worse in Ireland, where many of our workers come from. FCI Ireland – our equivalent organisation – has told the Irish Government that some of its members will shut up shop unless immigration rules are relaxed to allow some of our mostly younger operators and Aussies and South Africans to work there in the off-season. The FCI has told the Irish Government that their farm contractor members are finding it increasingly difficult to attract young entrant farm machinery operators and if no temporary seasonal employment permit scheme emerges, some farm contractors will be forced to cease operations entirely. Irish contractors turn over about $ NZ 1.2b, employ close
to 10,000 people and operate about a third of the national fleet of 20,000 tractors, so RCI can rightly claim that without skilled operators, the Irish farming and food industry is put at risk. While things are not so dire here, frankly, we would be struggling to provide our services without the imports, with consequent impacts on New Zealand farmers, rural communities and exports. FCI’s chief executive Michael Moroney has written to Rural Contractors NZ asking for help to find skilled
Kiwi tractor and machinery drivers who would like to work in Ireland during their grass silage harvest, which starts in May and runs to July. He notes many young Irish men come here to work with New Zealand contractors. Michael says it would make good sense to join forces and provide a seasonal exchange of drivers that could provide these men with an interesting life and all-year round work for their special skills. The FCI sought information from RCNZ on
its AIP scheme and how it worked; it wants to get a similar scheme in place in Ireland, with the ultimate goal of getting some form of national registration. RCNZ is happy to work with our Irish counterparts to help provide year-round work – that’s a win-win for both countries, especially if the governments align. If you like the idea of off-season employment in Ireland contact Michael Moroney at email@example.com 087 755 1111.
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Recognising strong ag leadership Canterbury farmers are being urged to look amongst their ranks for leaders and emerging leaders to contest the prestigious trans-Tasman Rabobank Leadership Awards. The awards recognise outstanding leadership in the food and agricultural sector and are to be held in New Zealand this year, for the first time in the awards’ history. The two industry accolades – the Rabobank Leadership Award and the Rabobank Emerging Leader Award – are peer-nominated and awarded annually to an accomplished leader in the agricultural sector and an up-and-coming leader. Rabobank New Zealand CEO Todd Charteris said this year’s presentation ceremony will be held in Auckland on November 28. “It’s fitting the awards are being held in New Zealand this year given the vital role agriculture plays in the New Zealand economy and the huge contribution New Zealand makes to the global agricultural sector,” he said. “More needs to be done to highlight how influential New
Rabobank NZ CEO Todd Charteris, with (from left) Rabobank Emerging Leader Award recipient Anna Speer, Rabobank Australia & New Zealand Group managing director Peter Knoblanche, and Mark Geltch accepting the 2018 Rabobank Leadership Award on behalf of his father, Jim Geltch, at last year’s awards. HARJONO DJOYOBISONO
Zealand agriculture is on the world stage and it’s fantastic to have the awards in New Zealand this year to showcase this contribution and to recognise the efforts of our agricultural leaders who work tirelessly to ensure the sector continues to punch above its weight.” Charteris said it was also appropriate New Zealand will host this year’s awards given New Zealanders featured prominently among the list of winners of the flagship
Rabobank Leadership Award. “Since the inception of the awards some of the biggest names in New Zealand agribusiness have been recognised for their leadership in the sector including Villa Maria founder Sir George Fistonich, former Fonterra chairman Sir Henry van der Heyden and ANZCO founder Sir Graeme Harrison,” he said. “These leaders have played hugely significant roles in developing the New Zealand agricultural
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sector both domestically and internationally and the contribution they’ve made to their own industries, the agricultural sector in general, and their communities is nothing short of inspirational,” he said. Charteris encouraged industry participants to put forward those in their industry who are making a positive contribution to the future growth and prosperity of the sector. “Strong innovative leaders
are needed if the global food and agribusiness sector is to reach its potential. And with huge demands being placed on the sector to do more with less, it’s essential that we are recognising and celebrating the efforts of those driving the industry forward so that it is better equipped to meet this challenge,” he said. “There are many agricultural sector leaders who fly under the radar and these awards not only bring their business successes to the forefront, but also unearth the range of other activities these leaders are involved in at a community and industry level.” Charteris said he was especially hoping for a strong contingent of New Zealand entrants in the Rabobank Emerging Leader category. Award nominations close on August 9 with the winner to be announced at the annual Leadership Awards dinner, to be held in Auckland on Thursday, November 28. Nominations for both awards can be made at https://www.rabobank.co.nz/ leadershipawards/
Is your car made of plastic? When you recycle plastic bottles, do you ever stop and think about where that plastic ends up? One answer: Ford vehicles. Ford uses an average of 300 recycled bottles per vehicle, roughly 1.2 billion plastic bottles per year, to make the underbody shields for all of their cars and SUVs as well as the wheel liners on F-Series trucks. Ford say that recycled plastic is ideal for automotive parts because it’s lightweight, which gives the added benefit of improving the aerodynamics of vehicles. Better aerodynamics also promote fuel efficiency and have allowed for a quieter environment on the 2020 Ford Escape, according to Ford. Besides plastic vehicle components, Ford also uses recycled plastic bottles in the construction of the seats in the Ford Focus. It is estimated that 22 bottles are recycled into the seat fabric in each Focus. Ford is trying to reduce its carbon footprint by recycling
plastic bottles and using them to make vehicle parts. Other carmakers take busted bumpers either during the manufacturing process or from wrecked vehicles and recycle the parts to make mud guards. Nissan uses recycled plastics in insulation, and Toyota claims that around 20 per cent of the plastics in its vehicles are either recycled or derived from plant sources. Jeep also uses recycled plastic bottles to manufacture underbody guards and wheel liners on a range of its vehicles, including the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler. BMW uses plastic reinforced carbon-fibre for the i3 and i8, and the plastic used is derived from recycled bottles. Ford has also stated
that the carpet used in the EcoSport is made up of 470 single-use water bottles and that since the EcoSport launched in 2012 it has made use of more than 650 million water bottles. Turning plastic into car carpets first involves shredding both the bottles and their caps into tiny flakes. These are then heated to 260°C and melted down before being formed into fibres the width of a single human hair. Those fibres are spun into a yarn by twisting multiple fibres together – and it is this material that is woven into carpets. While the carmakers are feeling warm and fuzzy about this, let’s not forget that the world drinks water from one million plastic bottles every minute. And that there’s a giant island of plastic in the Pacific Ocean the size of Mexico, called the Pacific gyre. Here at home, Kiwis use 309 million single use coffee cups, 541 million straws and 105 million single-use plastic bottles per year. Consumers have a hugely
Some vehicles are made of up recycled plastic bottles.
increased awareness of the harm that simply discarding plastic can do. Yet without strong markets for recycled products how can we reduce plastic pollution? So do you think carmakers should list the percentage of the plastics in their vehicles that are from recycled sources?
What can we all do? • Reduce your plastic use, reuse containers, recycle clean empty bottles and containers • Buy quality products that last and choose to buy recycled products whenever
Phone: 0508 03 1990 | 73 Burnett St Ashburton
possible • Help keep our community recycling depots litter free • Drop off only clean recycling, no rubbish or food or garden waste • Check out the Ashburton District Council website to see what is recyclable locally and what goes in the rubbish at www. ashburtondc.govt.nz The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by the author and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, positions or strategies of the Ashburton Guardian Co Ltd or any employee thereof
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