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Farming GUARDIAN

JULY 2018

FARMING FAMILIES’

DAY OUT Page 12

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Farming

Farming GUARDIAN

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INSIDE

EDITORIAL COMMENT

Guardian Farming is proudly published by the Ashburton Guardian Limited

Enjoy reading Guardian Farming? You may also enjoy Dairy Focus

PAGE 8 FARMER’S FAST FIVE

Read the latest Dairy Focus online at guardianonline.co.nz We appreciate your feedback

PAGE 12 FAMILY RACE DAY

Editorial Email your comments to colin.w@theguardian.co.nz or phone 03 307 7956. Advertising For advertising enquiries email cushla.h@theguardian.co.nz or phone 03 307 7955. Designers Travis Cheesman and Yendis Albert Post Ashburton Guardian, PO Box 77, Ashburton 7740

PAGE 28 ABOVE THE LINE THINKING

The country came to town last week and it was an occasion enjoyed by everyone who was there. Ruralco’s Instore Days have become a bit of a feature on the Mid Canterbury social calendar, with up to a couple of thousand people attending the two-day event in recent years. This year was the 24th time the days have been held and it was another great success, with plenty of folk coming from near and far to grab a bargain, check out some of the latest farming innovations, or just catch up with old friends. It was great to feel the positive energy amongst those there. While prices being paid to farmers for their produce have been pretty good over the past year or so, it’s still not been the easiest time for some. You’ve only got to look to the crowd of about 800 people that packed into the Hotel Ashburton a while back for the public meeting on mycoplasma bovis to realise that there’s plenty of concern as to what the long-term impact of the disease will be on the farming sector. Sure, M. bovis did surface in a few discussions at the Ruralco days,

Give your cows the best.

Colin Williscroft

RURAL REPORTER

but by and large talk focused on the positive and people took the chance to relax and enjoy themselves. Speaking of M. bovis, if you’ve got a bit of time this Sunday make sure you head along to the Ashburton Trotting Club for the Farming Families Race Day. The idea is based on the premise of getting rural families off the farm for a day and into a relaxed and enjoyable situation after some challenging times across all of the rural sector in recent times, in particular M. bovis. It’s sure to be a great day out and the prefect opportunity for the rural community to get together, support each other and have a bit of fun. For more details, see the story on page 12.

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3

Can irrigation pay its way? As new irrigation schemes are established and others like Central Plains Water expand, a growing number of farmers are being enticed to join up, providing more water than ever before to parts of Canterbury that didn’t have that sort of access to it in the past. However, not every farmer wants to go dairying, so a question considered at Beef + Lamb’s recent Farmsmart 2018 was can irrigation pay its way with sheep and beef? John Ridgen farms at Greendale, in the Selwyn district, with his wife Bernice and two daughters. The farm’s area is 810ha, of which 410ha is leased. Of the home farm, about 340ha of it is irrigated under stage one of the Central Plains Water scheme. Ridgen told his Farmsmart audience that since signing up to the scheme, working out the most effective way to pay for that commitment has been a work in progress. He’s not alone, so, after deciding the more information he had the better, he started talking to some of his neighbours about what sort of approaches they were taking. It didn’t take long before he and a dozen other farmers in his area, all mixed operations involving various

Colin Williscroft

RURAL REPORTER

combinations of livestock, cropping and dairy grazing, decided to form a discussion group where they could air opinions and experiences, and bounce ideas off one another. What he’s discovered is that there are no easy answers or fixes. The reality is, it’s going to be difficult and, as farming always is, some years will be better than others. Just because there’s suddenly a more reliable supply of water on tap does not mean he’s not

susceptible to the vagaries of the weather or markets, or an ever-increasing regulatory environment. In fact it adds a host of new problems to the mix, not the least of which are the outlay involved in joining up and a monthly invoice from CPW for $20,000 to keep the water flowing. As of late last month Ridgen’s farm was carrying 414R1 bulls, 51 rising 2s, and 2846 trading lambs. Cropping includes 372ha in cash crops, 29ha fodder beet for bulls, 25ha kale for dairy grazers, 250ha Italian ryegrass after crops for lamb finishing, 112ha perennial ryegrass for bull finishing and 35ha leased for fresh vegetable/potato production. The main arable crops are wheat, peas and barley.

Early on, Ridgen decided that in his situation, the only way to make things pay financially was a bull beef system, which he described as pretty simple. Under that system, Ridgen buys in 100kg bull calves in November. They feed well on pasture until mid-May, when they are wintered on fodder beet, lucerne baleage until early September before going back onto pasture until slaughter. The overall stocking rate (it’s varied yearon-year due to circumstance) is four bulls per hectare (grass and fodder beet). He said his first season with CPW “went all right, it worked out financially”. That year he had a higher stocking rate than normal, which translated into a higher gross income, but it was “pretty

expensive” to run. The 2017 average kill date was Febuary 22, with an average carcase weight of 283kg. His gross income from cattle income before costs worked out at $4168/ha, with a final across-the-farm margin of $1598/ha. The following year was a bit tougher, he said, and would have been worse if not for a good autumn. The 2018 average kill date was March 4, with an average carcase weight of 286kg. Unfortunately the numbers were not quite the same as the previous year but with gross farm income still over $4000 per hectare, and a margin of $1451/ha, it was still acceptable, he said. Continued over page

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Farming

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from page 3 For a breakdown of Ridgen’s financials, see the numbers on page 6. One of the toughest things about signing up to an irrigation scheme, Ridgen said, is the expense involved of getting in. He said it’s critical a farm’s margin is enough to cover debt servicing, principal repayment, depreciation and living expenses. When it comes down to it, he said it all comes down to debt level and the cost of the water per hectare. That final consideration is one farmers need to be especially aware of he said, and they need to have plans in place to cover that, along with an element and mindset of flexibility to adapt as markets change. The person who facilitates the discussion group Ridgen is involved in is his neighbour and former Lincoln lecturer Tony Zwart, a former professor of marketing who is enjoying semi-retirement at Greendale. Zwart spoke at Farmsmart about his experience dealing with farmers, including Ridgen, in a district that is locate bewteen dairy farming

John Ridgen operates a bull beef system on his Greendale farm.

on the lower plains and sheep and beef operations in the foothills. He got involved after noticing a lot of farmers around him became concerned about the money required that

needed to be spent to join an irrigation scheme. After welcoming the idea early, he said, those concerns grew. Almost all the farmers involved have experience with

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irrigation from their own wells but the group’s focus was “what’s the scheme going to mean?”. He said the farmers in the group had different approaches to either joining

the scheme or at what level they did, adding that Ridgen was taking up a percentage of water available to him, two farmers will not take up phase two at all and will instead rely on existing water supplies,


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5

The cost of water per hectare is an important consideration for sheep and beef farmers considering joining an irrigation scheme.

while others will take up levels of irrigation to suit their situation. What Zwart has noticed visiting the properties over the past 12 months is just how different they all are and how

their strategies reflect the strengths and capabilities of the owners and the properties. He said those differences shouldn’t be surprising as the area contains some of the most versatile soils and

climate in the country. That means there’s a mix of crops, although almost all have grain. In terms of livestock there’s a range of approaches from breeding or finishing, trading

contracts or supply chain schemes. Then there’s those like Ridgen, who have opted for bull beef or dairy grazing. There’s also different approaches to leasing or

ownership of land, or a combination of the two. One of the major concerns expressed by the farmers in the discussion group is whether the benefits of getting involved in the scheme are going to be worth the costs, Zwart said. Those costs come in two forms - capital and annual. The capital costs include obvious ones like buying shares in the scheme and buying irrigation equipment, to the less obvious, such as necessary referencing, tree removal and laneways. Annual costs, such as monthly payment commitments, do not match cropping cashflows - where payment can be a long wait after planting - and minimal flexibility in water used. Then there’s uncertainty over prices for leased land. Those fixed cost requirements can be fairly substantial, he said, but what does stay the same is the amount of land to be farmed - so something will have to change for farmers to make it pay its way.

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Farming

6

from page 5 At the same time there can be large variations in prices paid for crops, which makes long-term planning harder, unlike dairying where more regular cashflow to farmers alleviates some of those problems. Those costs are a significant driver as to the flexibility in the proportion of irrigated water farmers are choosing to take up, he said, so those costs can be diluted as required. One of the biggest perceived benefits in joining up to an irrigation scheme is the capital value added to a property that is part of an irrigation scheme. However, Zwart said the question the farmers he had spoken to was whether the payback time to recoup that investment was too short due to the pressure it placed on the current generation. Ridgen added that in the CPW case, it will take 35 years to pay off the capital investment required. Closely associated with that capital value benefit is the reduced risk of farming for those farms that are part of a scheme, with that reliable flow of water providing greater control over existing farming activities, while also opening up the possibility of access to new opportunities. However, Zwart said farmer attitudes in the discussion group had hardened recently as financial realities hit home. He said there had been some work done in exploring risk, particularly in the arable sector. Foundation for Arable Research data has shown that generally, highest dry yields roughly equally lowest irrigated yields, with figures showing on average over the past 10 years of a 4.3 tonne per hectare extra yield being worth an extra $1500 per hectare, although those numbers vary by rainfall and soil type. “It would be interesting

www.guardianonline.co.nz and integrate livestock and cropping more effectively, he said, which would enable a more reliable establishment of crops. Zwart said livestock will probably become a more important element for farmers in these situations, due to their role in spreading income and making use of short-term crops - such as identifying when additional feed would be available - and some of this would logically be used for trading or short-term stock. Farmers will also likely be looking for more secure supply arrangements, where the benefits of reliable supply will be recognised. No matter what approach is taken by farmers faced with these questions, Zwart said, “the financial pressure is almost certainly going to require a high level of

to look at this for pasture production and it would not be hard to do,” he said, adding that the benefits would be even more if price risks were also related to local yields, for example trading stock. There are a number of individual strategies for managing the uptake of irrigation, he said: partial uptake, as unlike dairying, mixed operations may not require full property coverage; and using existing irrigation systems and equipment to reduce initial capital expenditure and then gradually incur those costs. On top of that there were other common elements among those individual strategies. They included looking for new crops or activities on-farm, such as bull beef, processing or speciality seed crops. However, he

However, the future may be in the hands of the banks, and more dairying could be on the horizon.

warned there were not many immediate opportunities there. “Specialist seed production is very risky in terms of yield and often not paid for until a year after the crop is planted.” People like former FAR chief executive Nick Pyke were exploring options for new crops that Canterbury arable farmers could take advantage of, Zwart said, and he agreed with Pyke’s ideas, covered in the March issue of Guardian Farming, whereby farmers became much more involved in the overall marketing approach of their product, becoming drivers rather than followers of how what they produced went to market. “But if you’re looking at new crops you’ve got to look at emerging market needs,” he said. There was also the option to use water to improve rotations

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financial planning and monitoring”. He said in the short term the farmers he is working with are looking to form an action group to explore some of their options further, something he said other farmers should also consider. However, the future may be in the hands of the banks, and more dairying could be on the horizon. “In the longer term it is apparent that there is going to be increasing financial pressure and this is likely to be influenced by banks,” he said. What both speakers agreed on was to make irrigation pay on sheep and beef farms, it’s about finding the link between what the market wants and balancing that against the benefits of what irrigation will bring to individual properties. And that’s a difficult question and balancing act.

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THE BOTTOM LINE John Ridgen has been part of CPW for the past three years. As the figures below show, each of those years has been different, and it’s not getting any easier. YEAR 1 FINANCIAL 4.3 bulls x $1533 (5.42/kg) . . . . . . . . . . . . $6592/ha Less 2.4/ha calves x $385 2/ha R1 cattle x $750 . . . . . . . . . . . .-$2424/ha Gross cattle income before costs . . . . . . . . $4168/ha + 9 lambs/ha x $40 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $360/ha Gross income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4528/ha Less Cash working expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . -$1670/ha Irrigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -$600/ha Barley (275kg/head @ $350/tn) . . . . . . . . -$420/ha Late summer baleage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-$240/ha Total costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .-2930/ha Margin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1598/ha YEAR 2 FINANCIAL 4 bulls x $1439 ($5.05/kg) . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5756/ha Less 2.7 calves x $410 0.8 R1s x $680 0.6 R1s x $1040 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -$2275/ha Gross cattle income before costs . . . . . . . . $3481/ha + 12 lambs/ha x $55 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $660/ha Gross income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4141/ha Less Cash working expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -$1670/ha Irrigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -$600/ha Barley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -$420/ha Total costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -$2690/ha Margin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1451/ha YEAR 3 FINANCIAL (PROJECTED) 4 bulls x $1344 (280kg x $4.80) . . . . . . . . . $5376/ha Less 2.8 calves x $445 1.3 R1s x $850 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -$2351/ha Gross cattle income before costs . . . . . . . . $3025/ha + 9 lambs/ha x $40 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $360/ha Gross Income . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3385/ha Less Cash working expenses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -$1690/ha Irrigation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -$610/ha Total costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . -$2300/ha Margin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1085/ha MARGINS 2017 Margin $1598/ha 2018 Margin $1451/ha 2019 Projected margin $1085/ha

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Animal welfare framework unveiled The recently released Framework for Action on Animal Welfare sets out a better approach to animal welfare that is clear, transparent and inclusive, Associate Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri says. Whaitiri, the first dedicated minister for animal welfare, foreshadowed plans for a new way forward at the Animal Welfare Advocate Hui held at Manurewa Marae last month. The hui was also attended by the Greens’ Gareth Hughes and New Zealand First’s Mark Patterson. “New Zealanders take animal welfare very seriously and in response, this government is committed to improving animal welfare outcomes in Aotearoa,” Whaitiri said. “This framework for action is the result of eight months of discussions with stakeholders. Conversations which signalled it is time for a more open and engaged relationship. One where government, industry, farmers, campaign advocates and New Zealanders work together to improve our animal welfare system. “(The) framework for action signals the creation of an independent future-thinking voice on animal welfare, more inclusive decisionmaking, and a strengthened, more effectively monitored Codes of Welfare system. “We are also prioritising uplifting expectations in terms of achieving animal welfare outcomes and developing the skills of those at the coal face of this issue, including for those working with our nation’s animals. “With modern consumers more discerning, I want to ensure these strong outcomes contribute to New Zealand keeping its competitive advantage as a safe food producer. “Once the future direction of this

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Farming

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Farmer’s Fast Five: Carl Uren Proud to be a Farmer’s Claire Inkson asks farming identities five quick questions about what agriculture means to them. Here is what Banks Peninsula farmer Carl Uren had to say. How long have you been farming? Since leaving school until now, so 18 until 41. I spent four and a half years in and around London when I was 22 until 26, working and travelling.

What sort of farming are you involved in? I have almost worked on every type of farm at some stage from a dairy farm in England, to stations in the South Island. We are now based in Le Bons Bay, Banks Peninsula. We own two properties and lease five, running 13,000 stock units over nearly 2500 hectares. The properties are a mixture

of steep hill country to easy rolling paddocks. We run a mixture of breeding ewes, bull beef, trading cattle and dairy support.

What makes you proud to be a farmer? We are proud to be farmers because we get to carry on a tradition of farming in our family, meaning we have to farm in not only a sustainable way but also in a profitable way which allows our business to grow and one day help our children either into farming or whatever they choose, which will be a proud moment. Being able to build our business up from scratch to what it is today is also something we are pretty proud of.

Carl Uren and family. 

What do you love about your job as a farmer? The thing I enjoy most about farming is the challenge, which is about making sure every part of the business is producing the best results we

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can, and always looking for ways to do it better next time.

What advice would you give the next generation of farmers? My advice to the next

generation of farmers is work hard, stay open-minded to new ideas, look for opportunities to start farming on your own, always look to grow and improve your business. Find out more at www.proudtobeafarmernz.com

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Farming

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Good velvet noises coming out of Long-term prospects for New Zealand velvet in the major Asian markets are looking positive, Deer Industry NZ Asia manager Rhys Griffiths says. “In the past six months, 23 new velvet-based healthy food products have been launched in Korea; the majority of them using NZ velvet. A few are using Russian velvet as a point of difference,” he said. Griffiths recently returned from a 10-day market planning and development visit with chief executive Dan Coup to South Korea and China. Afterwards, he spent three days in Taiwan. “Yuhan Pharmaceuticals, which signed a memorandum of understanding with DINZ last year, is now a major player in this market, Griffiths said, “We visited their impressive New Origin concept store/cafe at a high-end mall in Seoul. It features recently launched products that contain New Zealand velvet and runs New Zealand deer farm imagery on large video screens inside. “There has been an explosion in consumer demand

A new velvet processing factory in north eastern China (near Shenyang) has been built to meet the new regulations. A lot of New PHOTOS SUPPLIED Zealand velvet is processed in this plant.

for consumer-ready velvetbased products in Korea. Ten years ago this product category didn’t even exist. At the time we were dealing with

a traditional Korean oriental medicine market that appeared to be in slow decline.” Griffiths said the Chinese market for velvet has yet to

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make this leap, but many of the manufacturers he and Coup spoke to were aware of what has happened in Korea and believe it can be repeated

in China. “The main barrier is a lack of confidence in the path to market for consumer products based on New Zealand velvet.


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11

Asia

Korea Ginseng Corp’s new Cheon Nok Sam, which contains New Zealand velvet and sells for 450,000 Korean Won (around NZ$586) per 30 day dose. Retail sales of the Cheon Nok Bran has reached 100Bn Korean Won (NZ$130m) since it was launched around three years ago.

These products cost millions of dollars to develop and market, so manufacturers need to be convinced they are not infringing a rule or regulation along the way,” he said. Griffiths said DINZ, based on discussions with Chinese regulators, believed there was no problem. But to provide confidence to potential customers, DINZ was working with some exporters and New Zealand Trade and

Enterprise to commission a report by a respected Chinese regulatory expert on the pathway to market. This will be provided to key manufacturers when it has been completed. Still, Griffiths understands why Chinese manufacturers may be unsettled. “In the last three years – to improve consumer safety – there has been a major tightening of the rules and

regulations governing food and traditional medicines in China. This has included tighter standards for overseas suppliers. As a result, New Zealand velvet producers have had to create clean areas in their deer sheds and to meet tougher cold chain requirements,” Griffiths said. “In China, velvet processors have had to make similar upgrades. Some have built completely new factories.”

In a major move announced in March, a new Chinese super ministry is being established that’s expected to have regulatory oversight of the trade in traditional medicines and manufactured health foods — the State Administration of Marketing Regulation. At the same time, the formerly powerful General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine is being dismantled. Its border inspection and quarantine role is being merged into China Customs, with the aim of streamlining import and export procedures. Until the new regulatory regime is operating, Griffiths said manufacturers will be uncertain about the rules that will apply to their operations. A further unsettling factor has been the recent clamp-down on importers for importing illegal products and for evading customs duties. Some smaller velvet importers have been prosecuted. “Larger, reputable importers say this will be a good thing in the long-run for the reputation of imported velvet and

particularly for New Zealand. It will tidy up the industry.” In the meantime, Griffiths said the traditional velvet market in China remains strong, adding that the clampdown on dodgy importers may further increase demand for New Zealand velvet, because buyers can be sure it meets all current Chinese regulatory requirements. In Taiwan, Griffiths spoke to representatives of the local Deer Farmers’ Association. “They were interested to hear how the prolific marketing activity by large food companies in Korea had led to a general increase in velvet consumption. This had had a positive impact on Korean deer farmers.” Griffiths also met with some leading food companies in Taipei, who appeared very interested in the positive developments in the Korean market. “With market access restricted for frozen velvet, exporting processed velvet that can be used as a premium health food ingredient is a natural next step.”

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Farming

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Farming families day at the races The rural lifestyle of the Canterbury Plains will combine with the proud history of harness racing this month at the Ashburton Trotting Club for a Farming Families Race Day. With recent events relating to mycoplasma bovis and stress on farmers locally key individuals, including well-known local rural spokesperson, Craig Wiggins, in conjunction with Rural Support Trust and Federated Farmers have put together a Farming Family Day at the Races at the Ashburton Trotting Club meeting on Sunday, July 15. The idea is based on the premise of getting rural families off the farm for a day and into a relaxed and enjoyable situation after some challenging times across all of the rural sector in recent times. Ashburton Trotting Club president, Craig Harrison, said the Ashburton Trotting Club were excited to be on board with the event. “For us, it was a no-brainer, as soon as Craig Wiggins

From left – Craig Wiggins and Craig Harrison.

PHOTO SUPPLIED

Those who attend the functions will get the chance to meet top harness racing drivers and trainers as well as many other sporting celebrities while enjoying a family-friendly atmosphere

suggested it we were on board,” he said. “We live in such a strong rural community

and know just how hard it has been recently for a lot of people, so hopefully we can put together a day for them

where they can relax and enjoy themselves.” The day is open to anyone with a rural address and

is involved with primary industry in Canterbury with the Facebook event set up to ensure that numbers are known before the event. The club, along with other supporting businesses, will provide food, losing ticket spot prizes, children’s entertainment and they hope it to have some accommodation packages to give away on the day. Refreshments will be available on the day. A fashion in the field competition, with a rural flavour, will also be held. Those who attend the functions will get the chance to meet top harness racing drivers and trainers as well as many other sporting celebrities while enjoying a family-friendly atmosphere. Anyone who is planning to attend the day is asked to register via the Facebook page/event, Farming Families Day at the Races to ensure enough catering is available. Starts from 11.30am and the day will finish around 5pm with entry free.


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14

Farming

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MACHINERY FEATURE

Electric bike wins innovation award UBCO took home the International Innovation Award for its two-wheeldrive electric utility vehicle at the recent national fieldays event in Hamilton Judges said the kiwibased company appeared to have effectively analysed the requirements of its target markets and improved on their previous models to create the new and improved vehicle. The 2018 UBCO 2×2 was praised for being e-smart, eco-friendly and safer than competing farm bikes and ATVs and those features were sure to appeal to farmers right across the sector in New Zealand and overseas, as well as recreational and urban markets due to its suitability on and off road. UBCO chief executive Timothy Allan said “The first heavy use owner said it was like walking around his farm but quicker, so quietness has turned out to be one of the most important

things this bike has brought to the farm.” “As an electric vehicle it has a lot less moving parts with the battery replacing a gas tank and no use for an external drive train means greater durability and a longer life.” “Winning this award against major international agritech companies is a huge honour and a recognition for our team’s hard work. “With Fieldays being an internationally recognised event, it provides a great endorsement for this product in the global farming community” said Allan. Allan was presented with the award by Minster of Agriculture Hon. Damien O’Connor. UBCO dealers in Canterbury include Drummond and Etheridge in Ashburton, Kaikoura, Rolleston and Timaru, and The Electric Bicycle Company in Christchurch.

Members of the successful UBCO team at fieldays are, (from left) CEO Timothy Allan, Russell Lake, customer services manager Rachel Alderwick, UBCO Taranaki dealer Al Barkla, sales and support Wil Carlson and PHOTO SUPPLIED marketing manager Pazia Wilson.

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MACHINERY FEATURE

15

Staying safe around farm vehicles Decisions you make in an instant on the farm can be the difference between life and death. When someone dies from a farm accident there’s almost always a farm vehicle involved. Worksafe says there are some simple things you can do to help you go home safely at the end of the day.

Safety is about eliminating the risk To be safe when using farm vehicles you need to: • choose the right vehicle for the job • make sure the vehicle is up to the job • make sure the driver is up to the job • read the vehicle owner’s manual • wear a seatbelt, if one is fitted – on and off the farm • wear a helmet when required • watch where you are going.

Choose the right vehicle for the job The right vehicle is the safest one, it may not be the

one that’s most convenient. To choose the safest vehicle you need to think about: • whether you plan to take people with you • whether you need to carry a load • what the terrain on the farm is like and what the weather is doing • whether you need to tow something • what other jobs might come up.

Make sure the vehicle is up to the job Your vehicle supplier and the owner’s manual will tell you what needs to be maintained and when. Before starting a task with a vehicle that you haven’t used in a while, or has been used by someone else, you should check it to make sure: • it has fuel, oil and coolant • the tyres are the correct

• • • • • • •

pressure and have enough tread wheel nuts are firmly secured the brakes work any active safety system, such as traction control, is operational there’s no rust that affects the safety of the vehicle the engine is clean the lights work and are clean the steering isn’t loose.

Make sure the driver is up to the job

Don’t use a farm vehicle if you: • are not familiar with the vehicle or have not been trained to use it • don’t think the vehicle is the best for the task • have been drinking, taking drugs or are on medication that makes you sleepy • are fatigued.

There are farm vehicle training courses run by providers in most parts of New Zealand. Formal training courses are the best option to learn techniques to safely operate a farm vehicle. Get training and have regular refresher training to avoid

developing bad habits. You also need to get to know how the vehicle performs, especially before using it in a challenging situation. Information courtesy of Worksafe New Zealand

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Farming

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MACHINERY FEATURE

Combine servicing? Robin’s got you It’s a great day for harvesting so let’s run up the combine, then fuel and grease it. “Oops, there’s a strange noise. Well, we better ring Burgess Combine Repairs”. Robin will know what to do. As Robin will tell you, there isn’t much to do with combines he hasn’t seen and he has been in the combine and farm machinery business for 30 years plus. Having worked all over the world, he knows that when you have to go, you have to GO. Robin started out on his own 10 years ago, servicing mostly combines and farm machinery all over the South Island, with a little bit in the north. Within a couple of years, clients soon told him that they loved the experience he brought and this is what Robin enjoys. Today Robin has a workshop in Tinwald – Ashburton to service these combines in, but mostly, he services the machines on-farm which his clients prefer. Customers love working alongside him as he says, “this

Arbin and Robin will travel to your site to service and repair PHOTOS SUPPLIED your machinery.

gives the customers, a better appreciation of what we do.” Robin really enjoys servicing the farm machinery from one generation to another and building up that trust with most clients telling him, “You know what to do, I’ll just leave it up to you”. These days he has employed more staff and is putting them through their training as he says that experience is valuable and clients depend on us. Now days there is a lot to do with importing parts, machines, you name it, from countries like the USA and the UK. This has now opened more opportunities, and keeps him busy and out of trouble.

Unloading another container of imported parts and machinery.

Robin is now a supplier for A&I products. A&I is a large-scale supplier of parts for combines and machinery across many brands throughout the world. He generally brings in one or two containers of parts a year with other clients putting their machines in too. Because they have a base in the USA that cleans the machines and packs the containers, this side of the business has allowed them to pack in many second-hand machines like grain bins, fronts, corn heads, tractors, etc even combines. Robin says one of the oddest things that he brought in was a huge bulldozer winch. The

pull-cable on it was about an inch thick. Today he holds a lot of parts for the American Massey Ferguson combines but can also source parts for other brands. Robin can’t wait sometimes, to get out in the field fixing combines, but has learned that all parts of the business must be done. Some of the other jobs to come through the workshop have been trucks, metal crushers and tractors, but predominately, it’s been combines. When Robin left school he didn’t think he would be working with combines like his father Stuart Burgess, who had been selling Claas

Got a

combines for nearly 40 years so something must have rubbed off.. Robin says, his best experience was working in a combine wrecking yard in Europe for five years, 20 years ago. He dismantled combines for shipping all over the world. He now purchases parts from them, so in a short time things have turned around. Robin would like to say “thank you” for the support he receives from his clients and Robin, Paula and the team at Burgess Combine Repairs look forward to servicing your machinery in the future. .Advertising feature

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Farming

18

www.guardianonline.co.nz

FERTILISER FEATURE

Farmers seek fertiliser alternatives As farmers around New Zealand grapple with the impact of ever tightening nutrient limits, some options for maintaining fertility whilst keeping nutrient losses down are gaining traction. Non-traditional and low phosphate/nitrogen fertilisers are finding their niche among pastoral farmers who are either making the wholesale shift to these applications, or combining them with reduced levels of conventional fertiliser applications. The use of such fertilisers has had a controversial history in New Zealand agriculture, the most high profile being the Maxi Crop court case in the 1980s, which lasted over a year. However as New Zealand farmers have built up phosphate levels over generations of using traditional super-phosphate based fertilisers, and as nitrogen becomes a focus for regional council nutrient reduction, non-traditional fertiliser companies are reporting strong sales to pastoral farmers.

Options for different fertiliser types have opened up in recent years as farmers seek alternatives to traditional phosphate fertiliser sources to minimise their nutrient losses. PHOTO SUPPLIED 

Arthur Tsitsiras, general manager for Waikato based TerraCare fertilisers, says farmer interest in options outside the usual superphosphate/urea fertilisers is very strong but the challenge is to ensure they are still matching their bottom line with the environmental need to lower phosphate run off and nitrogen leaching. “The days of simply putting on what you always put on are gone. Farms have to have farm environment plans and

the pressure is on fertiliser companies to ensure they help keep farmers on track, rather than simply sell them what they have always bought.” His company produce dicalcic phosphate fertilisers, which deliver a slower rate of release than conventional super, and a valuable option to far slower releasing RPR. Slower releasing phosphate products are finding a place for farmers cautious about losing too much superphosphate to drains and

waterways when it is exposed to rainfall. Similarly, more farmers are aware that already having high phosphate levels requires getting smarter about how to unlock that. “And for that reason we will always encourage them to get their soil pH tested, and lime if necessary to unlock what phosphate is already there to use, before putting more on.” He cautions while nitrogen is the main focus for nutrient limitations now, phosphate will not be far behind in future regional plans, and options are there to manage both today. Bill Sinclair, managing director of Pacific Bio Fert, is proud of his company’s patented Biophos process that combines fish by-product with a composting process to increase the biologically available phosphate for plants. The phosphate in dicalcic and BioPhos fertilisers have lower water solubility than the phosphate in conventional super phosphate, meaning they are less inclined to be washed into waterways after rainfall events. “I think if we look • • • • • •

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historically at New Zealand farming each generation wants to leave the farm in a better condition than they found it. Our farming sector has been able to achieve the production it has on the back of traditional superphosphate but more farmers are now taking account of the environmental impacts.” Bayleys Canterbury rural agent Ben Turner says more potential buyers are spending time doing due diligence on a farm’s nutrient footprint, and taking the time to understand what the implications are under the region’s land and water management strategy. “We are talking about a plan that now has an effect on farm businesses within only the next few years. “There are farmers out there who have front footed this, and are showing the way in terms of being able to maintain profitability but do things differently. Many are looking harder at fertilisers like RPR and liming more to maintain profitability without compromising nutrient losses.”

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FERTILISER FEATURE

19

Regenerative agriculture Regenerative farming is a system of farming that focuses on healthy, mineralrich, biologically-diverse soils that grow healthy mineralrich food while improving soils, crops and the livelihood of farmers. Biological farming, is another way of referring to this farming system, which focuses on soil life and biology to promote soil health to produce a crop instead of focusing on soluble fertiliser chemistry. Good soil health provides a healthier eco-system making plants a whole lot more efficient in capturing nutrients, light and water to put into productivity. It provides the environment in which the biology can function and that the plants can be more efficient. Improving soil health is needed and necessary to allow biology to function in the soil, so plants can function. Biology is regarded as the mediator for what is happening in the soil and what is happening in plants. Farmers are always looking to improve the sustainability

No-till drilling a multi-species cover crop into wheat stubble at Springfield Estate. 

of their operations, and are open to progress, but often reluctant to change. The conflicting advice that growers receive, is more often, selling them products that actually are contrary to productivity and sustainability and are more based on sales. The lack of knowledge and the harm those products are actually doing to the soil

biology are contradictory to sustaining a beneficial microbial community. Regenerative agriculture is not only about regenerating soils but regenerating the thought processes and models around what we are doing in agriculture. It is also about our ability to understand what’s happening in the soil and how

PHOTO SUPPLIED

to implement practices and systems to get there. Creating a mineral balanced healthy soil allows plant roots to go deep into the soil for access to needed minerals. If farmers are to focus on soil health and soil fertility there has to be an understanding of what the impact of excessive nitrogen, soluble fertilisers,

chemicals, seed treatments, insecticides and excessive tillage has on the productivity and profitability on their farms. Farming management practices over the past 40 years has impacted soil aggregation to such an extent that it has made the soils compacted, drought prone and chemical reliant. The use of soluble fertiliser has been one of the most disruptive practices in mainstream farming There is a real need to find out how we can improve the efficiency of plants to capture water and light and put that into productivity. To take agriculture to the next level we have to think differently about what’s happening in the fields, and to understand what contributes to the suppression of soil biology, soil health, soil fertility and the systems and practices necessary to restore it. With the understanding how important improving soils are to increasing productivity.  By Don Hart – Top Soils 

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20

Farming

advertisingproof www.guardianonline.co.nz

FERTILISER FEATURE

Moving to the next phase

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You can now approve or submit changes to your ad within the ATOL system at a time that suits you. Just follow the link in your ad proof email to view your ad, then click the APPROVE or CORRECTIONS button right from there - no new emails required!

Is carbon atom technology customer ENVIRONMENTAL FERTILpublishing 03/01/18 going to be the most advert IDtechnology AU-7922783AA publication NZ DAIRY FARMER important adopted (100%) by primary producers in the section RUN OF PRESS near future? We believe so. Look at our present legacy of conventional farming – polluted river ways, soils so depleted in organic matter (carbon atoms) that three times the amount of urea has to be used to get the Independent Agronomist, to highlight NC A&T same yields as 30 years ago. World Re-known Plant observations of 2012 vs 2014 Five year study of soysoap Pathologist, North Carolina after starting in 2009! (now traded under the name State University, North • Alfalfa with 2 applications Carbon PLUS in New Zealand Carolina Agricultural And went from 3 to 5 cuttings and Australia) at North Technology State University, annually. Carolina Agricultural And University of Mississippi, • Alfalfa was noticeable Technology State University. University of Georgia, different with growth, Synthetic chemistry based University of Florida, vigorous getting 1070 agriculture products vs University of Kentucky, South square bales or 26.75 tons bio-agrophysics the mode Dakota State University, 10 acres. of action is pure energy at Pennsylvania State University, • Wheat soysoaped 3.5 Acres 1790 trillion particles (do the Arizona State University, 72 bushels acre. Soysoap math) per square inch. We Rutgers, LSU and University untreated just 27 bushels have worked with over 30 of Tennessee. acre. 45 bushes acre less! universities around the world In foreign countries either • Wheat arguments could be on crop production and crop governments for approvals made that the field’s soils protection, as well as IR-4 bio- and universities for data: were different, but soil pesticides. Australia, China, Costa Rica, samples showed soysoaped Based on limited space Thailand, Panama, Guatemala, field had poorer quality we have chosen NC A&T as Belize, Vietnam, India, soils. representative of our common Ecuador, South Africa, Zambia • Corn 2 application of results. In the USA we have and more. soysoap used for grain and worked with Research Farms, So lets take a moment silage

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help the small, minority and undeserved farmers of North Carolina, it drives us to further explore this product until we have enough consistent and consecutive data that we can share with those farmers. A product of this nature can go a long way in closing the food production gap that will be ever increasing as the world population does the same. Our endeavour to include the small farmer in this process can be strengthened by exploring products that potentially can make most crops on smaller acres profitable and sustainable. Now available in New Zealand under the brand name Carbon-PLUS, after two years of trials we are confident this product is what is required to move us into the next phase of next generation farming techniques. Call us for an obligation free chat – 0800 867 6737 or web www.ef.net.nz Advertising feature

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FERTILISER FEATURE

21

Second visit for global Septoria expert Respected expert on fungicides and resistance, Andy Bailey, will be visiting this country in late July/ early August for meetings with agronomists and cereal industry influencers in both the North and South Islands. The guest of crop protection company Adama New Zealand, Andy has decades of experience in resistance and related fields, most recently as Technical Specialist at Adama UK. Andy is also part of FRAG – UK’s Fungicide Resistance Action Group, which includes scientists, regulators, manufacturers, advisors and growers. The trip here is Andy’s second. He visited the South Island at the same time last year to share the UK and Ireland’s experience with septoria tritici (speckled leaf blotch). Daren Mabey, Commercial Manager of Adama New Zealand, says Andy’s return visit is a reflection of Adama’s continued commitment to addressing resistance. He says New Zealand has been

Respected fungicide resistance expert, Andy Bailey making PHOTO SUPPLIED return visit.

learning from the UK, and working to get ahead of the issue with steps including recently introduced chemistry

– the DMI Bolide® and multisite Phoenix® (Phthalimide – Group M4). While septoria resistance

began to impact cereals in this country in 2013, in the UK and Ireland tail-offs in fungicide performance had appeared a decade earlier. Despite progress in science and management, septoria continues to be considered a major threat to cereal production world-wide. Andy sees distinct similarities between the UK and New Zealand, climates and the resulting growing challenges. He says he will be interested to see what has changed here over the last 12 months, and he is looking forward to the visit. To ensure New Zealand does not get to the same resistance situation as the UK, a considered management programme is important to protect single site chemistry such as DMIs and SDHIs that the industry is relying on. Andy says SDHIs are at a medium to high risk for resistance. “We need to steward them and focus on sustainability.” Thankfully with Phoenix and Bolide New Zealand has the tools to manage this threat now.

Andy is an advocate of the use of multi-site chemistry including folpet - the active ingredient in Phoenix - to protect the on-going efficacy of single site products. There is no known resistance to folpet anywhere in the world. Just using the right chemistry, however, is not the complete solution. Timing is also crucial. He says the best time to apply a multi-site fungicide like Phoenix with Bolide is at T1, as protecting leaf 3 is vital if yield potential is to be maintained and to prevent septoria spreading. Andy has also sounded a warning regarding ramularia resistance, which is now proven in the UK, Ireland and Germany. Daren says ramularia resistance in New Zealand is an issue that Adama has been monitoring closely. “We’re confident of having tools available for this season that can help our growers.”

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22

Farming

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Recycling plastic has benefits for all Bale wrap plastic is an essential element when it comes to maximising feed value of fodder, particularly silage. With the increasing use of such plastics in agriculture the environmental impacts are a growing concern for many. The circular economy refers to collecting waste plastics and turning them into useful products and the Plasback scheme is designed to do just that. Plasback is a Government accredited product stewardship scheme owned and operated by Agpac Ltd, New Zealand’s largest supplier of crop packaging products. The Plasback scheme collects a range of plastics from farms including bale wrap and silage covers, twines and polypropylene bags. Since the Plasback scheme started on farm collections over 11,000 tonnes of waste plastic has now been collected nationwide for recycling with over 2500 tonnes coming from the Canterbury region alone. Plasback is a nationwide “on farm” collector and has 15 collectors around the

country who pick up filled liners from farms and take them to the network of six Plasback balers specifically designed to handle the large

liners of waste plastic. In the Canterbury region McCarthy Contracting based at Tai Tapu is responsible for collecting plastic and can offer advice on

how to best use the Plasback collection system. In a first for New Zealand, Plasback is working with Astron Plastics in Auckland

to recycle farm silage plastics into Tuffboard, a plywood replacement product that has many uses on farms. Using new dry clean technology silage plastic is heated and subjected to centrifugal and mechanical action to clean the shredded film before turning the plastic into pellets. The recycled pellets are then extruded into Tuffboard. Tuffboard is very strong, easily cleaned and very hygienic and has been used in many aplications as a long lasting replacement for plywood on farms. Tuffboard is available in standard plywood sizes (1.2m X 2.4m) and is available in a variety of thickness suitable for differing applications. Tuffboard is also available as a 2mm thick roll, 1.2m wide and 30m long. Information on the Plasback collection scheme can be found at the Plasback website www.plasback.co.nz or by contacting the Canterbury collector, McCarthy Contracting on 03 329 6655 

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23

Hedgehog threat to wildlife growing Hedgehogs seem to have got away with murder for a long time. Like the rabbit, many people see them as cute and harmless, whereas in fact they are voracious predators of our native wildlife. Stoats, rats, cats and possums are usually the main targets of trapping programmes. There’s plenty of video footage of possums eating birds’ eggs, and cats sneaking up on nesting birds at night. The high-profile predator removal operations on offshore islands focus (quite rightly) on rats and mice – usually hedgehogs aren’t present on these islands. But that lack of publicity has perhaps stopped us from acknowledging the true pest status of the humble hedgehog. Hedgehogs are carnivores and are known to eat birds’ eggs, lizards, insects and the endangered native snail. A study near Twizel in the Mackenzie which looked at the stomach contents of hedgehogs found that they contained 15 per cent birds,

Mary Ralston

FOREST AND BIRD

9 per cent lizard parts and the remainder insects such as small weta, grasshoppers, earwigs, grass grubs and beetles. Also in the Twizel area, hedgehogs were responsible for 19 per cent of “lethal events” (where eggs, chicks or adults were destroyed) that happened to a colony of ground-nesting banded dotterels, black-fronted terns and stilts. Cats were responsible for 40 per cent of the predation, ferrets 22 per cent, stoats 5 per cent, sheep 3 per cent (by trampling) and magpies and harriers 2 per cent each. All the predation by the hedgehogs was of eggs. This is a very significant loss due to hedgehogs. And it seems they are very

from 11 to 43ha. They like to dodge the winter weather and hibernate for about three months over the winter. Hedgehogs prefer lowland pastoral and forest areas but are found in the high country too. Locally, hedgehogs are now frequently caught in the traps set around Lake Heron to protect the crested grebe and other native wildlife. Ross Gordon, of the Lake Heron Trapping Group, says that hedgehogs were rarely caught when the trapping programme began eight or so years ago, but now they are the most common catch. “We are definitely catching a lot more of them than we were before; sometimes 20 per Hedgehogs are voracious predators of our native wildlife. PHOTO LUC HOOGENSTEIN  month. Since we began the trapping up there we would have caught hundreds.” widespread and there’s a the most common of the Perhaps the warmer lot of them: in the North mammals found there. winters are conducive to the Island, 400 hedgehogs were Hedgehogs have really big hedgehogs’ rise in numbers trapped from within a colony territories although they in the high country or maybe of beach-nesting dotterels spend most of their time in a north of Auckland, and 760 much smaller core area. In the there’s another explanation. In hedgehogs were trapped in the Twizel study, males ranged a place where there’s not just past three years from around over an average of 38ha in the native birds to protect, but the periphery of a 368ha autumn, but up to 100ha in the native skinks and insects too, care forspring yourand carsummer before you get we it. need to do all we can to get forest reserve thatWe protects breeding kiwi. Next to rats, And they were season;after femaleyou territories now years get itwent too. rid of them.

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Farming

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Solutions that work Mid Canterbury’s Align Farms are part of the rapidly growing number of local farms joining the Envirowaste Farm Recycling Project. The group of farms made a commitment last year to get rid of all the farm rubbish pits on their properties and aim for 100 per cent recycled products. Envirowaste is supplying bins and providing data so that waste and recycling can be measured and the farm can use this data for environmental reporting. In addition to this, the households involved can win annual awards for those with less waste and for making waste-conscious decisions when purchasing so that waste is reduced. The awards have created a competitive edge for the 30 staff who are making more waste conscious decisions and reducing waste as a result. Data on what is being wasted and recycled supplied by Envirowaste is a key to making this work according to Rhys Roberts Align’s head of operations.

Sheryl Stivens

ECO EFFICIENCY

For practical help with your farm waste and recycling contact Deidre Nuttall on 0275 490 904, email deidre. nuttall@envirowaste.co.nz

Envirowaste helps supermarket divert 97 per cent of waste Envirowaste is working with Whanganui’s New World supermarket, which is now diverting 97 per cent of its rubbish from landfill. The supermarket has been working on waste minimisation and diversion for three years and relies on each department in the store to contribute to the process. A new compactor presses the cardboard into a pallet

weighing about one tonne, while Envirowaste is supplying bins for recycling glass, plastic and cans. Recycling of protein, such as discarded meats and fats, has further reduced the waste quantity. The proteins are frozen into a “giant popsicle” in a wheelie bin before being taken away for reprocessing. Waste from the produce and bakery departments is recycled as pig food. Sustainable Whanganui and Envirowaste are continuing to work with New World to suggest other ways the supermarket can reduce and recycle its waste.

Innovation required to tackle plastic recycling challenges On the face of things, single use plastic bags really seem to have no other benefit than carrying your shopping. But a new project in Melbourne’s north has successfully been able to take the dreaded plastic bag and

turn it into something that can be used again and again — a road. The 300-metre stretch of road, on Rayfield Avenue in Craigieburn, uses an additive that’s made up of 530,000 plastic bags, more than 12,000 recycled printer cartridges and 168,000 glass bottles. Tests also reveal the new road can handle extreme temperatures better, it’s durable, flexible and long lasting and when it comes to costs is about the same price as traditional road laying in Melbourne. Besides all this it’s

a great use of products that would otherwise go to landfill. It’s the first time the additive’s ever been used and the results have stunned the recycling company behind it, Close the Loop. The bags are being collected from Australia’s supermarket giants by another major recycling group. The road additive was developed by Close the Loop using $40,000 from a $2.5 million Australian state government fund designed to boost research and development into recycling.

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Trial to test sheep milk benefits In what is believed to be a world first, AgResearch is about to begin a clinical trial to test the benefits of sheep milk for human digestion. The trial, which will see AgResearch scientists working alongside those at the Auckland University’s Liggins Institute, with support from Spring Sheep Milk Co. and Blue River Dairy, comes at a time of rapid growth for the dairy sheep industry in New Zealand. Some people suffer from digestive issues with milk, and work to date by AgResearch has demonstrated sheep milk could offer advantages for some in terms of easier digestion and improved nutrition. “Based on the literature we have seen, there has been no human clinical trial like this before measuring the digestibility of sheep milk,” AgResearch senior scientist Dr Linda Samuelsson said. “We will be working with people who say they have some difficulty digesting milk. They will be asked to consume a specified amount, and we’ll be looking at how they feel after drinking, and measuring their digestion using blood and breath tests.” Andrea Wilkins, marketing and innovation director at Spring Sheep Milk Co, said one recent study compared the protein digestibility of sheep and cow milk, with results suggesting sheep milk proteins are more readily digested and are a better source of essential amino acids. “Taking into account the research to date along with consumer feedback we’ve received, we know that sheep’s milk is great for those who are sensitive to cow’s milk. So, we’re really excited about what this clinical trial

means for us and for the New Zealand sheep milk industry as a whole.” Liggins Institute Research Fellow Dr Amber Milan said the trial subjects will be asked to drink both sheep and cow milk. “Sheep milk is very different from cow milk. We know that it has more nutrients per glass: more protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. For example, sheep milk has almost twice the level of calcium and zinc, when compared to cow milk. There are also differences in the protein and fat types which we think will alter the digestive properties of sheep milk.” Samuelsson said the trial is expected to start this month and results should be available early next year. “The aim is to provide information for consumers who may struggle with their digestion, and to provide solid evidence of the benefits of sheep milk to support New Zealand exports.” New Zealand now boasts more than 20,000 sheep for milking at 16 different producers, and significant new investment is going into milk processing and supply to overseas markets. Sheep milk products from New Zealand are currently being exported to growth markets such as China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam. Gareth Lyness, marketing and supply chain manager at Blue River Dairy, said there was already a latent awareness of the benefits of sheep milk. “Asian consumers express these benefits in terms of how much ‘heat’ the milk brings to our bodies; sheep milk is understood to ‘create less inner heat’ than other milks, meaning it is gentler on the digestive system.”

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Farming

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Leptospirosis study to receive more A Massey-led study has been awarded $1,199,841 from the latest Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) funding round to undertake a nationwide case-control study of the disease leptospirosis. A common workplace hazard in New Zealand’s agricultural sector, leptospirosis can cause disease and death in animals. It can also transfer to humans through direct or indirect contact with infected urine or contaminated water, resulting in anything from a minor flulike sickness to admission to hospital and long-term illness. The three-year study will attempt to address gaps in leptospirosis knowledge that will inform control strategies by identifying risk factors, sources and pathways for human infection. The study will recruit 150 incident cases, including patients from GP practices, hospitals and recruited through Medical

Officers of Health. Principal investigator, Massey’s Associate Professor Jackie Benschop, says the ultimate goal is to reduce the increasing burden of the disease in New Zealand. “Two-thirds of patients are hospitalised, many suffer long after infection and numbers are increasing - 91 in the first half of 2017 compared to 33 in 2016 and we are tracking for a high number in 2018,” she said. “The use of protective equipment does not necessarily prevent infection, animal vaccines do not cover all strains, and it is popping up where people had previously thought it would not. The disease is placing an unacceptable burden on New Zealanders in the agricultural industries and in rural communities. “We and others have been doing a lot of work on the infection, but with this study the focus is on those ill with

Massey University’s Associate Professor Jackie Benschop is leading a study that aims to reduce the burden of leptospirosis PHOTO SUPPLIED in New Zealand. 

the disease. We aim to provide an improved evidence base for policies and practices to lower the incidence and health consequences of leptospirosis in New Zealand and contribute new knowledge about this globally important emerging health hazard, Benschop said. “Direct benefit will occur through the reduction in incident cases, a more productive work force, and potentially provision of information to reduce livestock infection and identification of new animal vaccine candidate strains.”

Exploring new pathways The study will seek to understand existing and emerging environmental pathways by employing molecular tools, genomics and modelling from other disease studies. This will include a study of risk factors, infecting species, and sources of infection. “We have observed that the demography of patients is changing,” Benschop said.

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27

than $1 million “Our pilot work suggests the disease patterns are changing with more rodent sources and environmental pathways, including flooding, becoming increasingly important in disease transmission, with more women affected, as well as more patients employed outside of the traditional high risk occupations.” Traditionally the disease is thought to infect pigs, sheep, cattle, goats, rodents and possums, but cases have been found in animals not previously considered as carriers, such as domestic cats, alpacas and horses, so these will also be investigated for decisions to be made about widening vaccine targets. “Our environment is changing, the disease is changing with it, so we must keep studying it as these changes occur, to understand the developing risks,” she said.

Making access to ACC clearer The study’s findings will aid the development of intervention and control strategies and

sellers in Northern Tanzania.

Collaboration

The Massy study will look at leptospirosis risk factors and sources of infection.

assessment criteria for ACC. “ACC access can be challenging for those with the disease or suspected of having the disease. ACC receives approximately 30 claims annually, 75 per cent of which are from farmers and 12 per cent from meat workers. Apparently many people are not claiming ACC partly because there is under diagnosis of leptospirosis,” Benschop said. “We will explore associations between attributes of cases with accepted claims

and those with rejected claims, including the level of support from the patient’s employer to make an ACC claim, patient’s interaction with their GP and other factors.”

Qualitative interviews “It’s time for us to look at the deeper questions, people’s attitudes, and to do that we needed more in-depth interviews,” Benschop said. “We will perform detailed in-

person interviews of 30 cases with occupational exposure including assessment of workplace attitudes to personal protective equipment and decisions on vaccination of animals.” School of People, Environment and Planning’s Dr Gerard Prinsen will lead the qualitative interviews. Prinsen and Benschop have previously demonstrated the success qualitative interviews in investigating attitudes to red meat safety in butcher and meat

The work will be undertaken with the University of Otago, the Institute of Environmental Science and Research, with GPs and within several departments within Massey University, including the Centre for Public Health Research and the Institute of Fundamental Sciences. “We are taking a multidisciplinary approach capitalising on our extensive network of national stakeholders in industry and public health across New Zealand. Everyone from social scientists to ACC are invested in the outcome of the research,” Benschop said. “We believe the gathered momentum of this multidisciplinary network will guarantee the efficient data capture required for the success of this ambitious project.” Study participants will also be asked to join a cohort of patients for long-term follow up.

M.Bovis You Mycoplasma Bovis affects many farmers and brings significant changes to farming systems in our region. Our specialised team continues to support farmers dealing with MPI, compensation claims and the numerous contracts affected by M.Bovis. Let Tavendale + Partners’ agri and dispute resolution experts help you. We’re in this together. Contact us today:

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28

Farming

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Staying above the line Farmers and associated farm service providers would be forgiven of late for thinking that someone has it in for them with a never-ending procession of new legislation and regulatory requirements for environmental and financial compliance, health and safety and the latest bio-security issue of mycoplasmabovis that keeps hitting like a freight train at full speed. Due to the daily, weekly and annual challenge of first understanding then managing your way through many of these issues, it would be very easy to be negative, pessimistic or simply wave the white flag and say to hell with it, is it all worthwhile. From a rural real estate standpoint, the past 12 months to May 2018 has seen a slow down in farm sales of 18.8 per cent year on year (Real Estate Institute of New Zealand stats) or 262 fever farms sold for the period. Some or all of the above have been contributors to this slow down. On-going regulatory change

Greg Jopson

PROPERTY BROKERS

has increased the complexity for the purchase of a farm with the corresponding level of due diligence required also being drawn out to ensure that the buyer’s decision is the correct one. Added to this, the recent change of political environment, tightening of criteria for overseas investment, bank risk appetite and a return to more traditional farm lending criteria and all the above are challenging both vendor and buyer confidence for entering the sale process. The list of challenges is long and the thought that comes to mind in times of constant change, is that the easiest thing to do is to do nothing or maintain the status

quo. As farmers, rural service providers, advisers and agents we can choose to sit in front of the freight train and wait for it to hit or the alternative is to evolve, seek solutions and turn around and go with the momentum of the train. In the past week our company held its annual company day and we were fortunate to have Gilbert Enoka - All Blacks mental skills coach - attend. While most of his talk was using a rugby analogy, the fundamental message was the same for any farmer, business or individual. He demonstrated how the All Blacks shifted from a culture of below the line thinking where blame, excuses, and denial were evident with a defensive mindset (remember 2003 and 2007 world cups) to a culture of Above the Line Thinking. They made a choice to have an open mindset, take ownership, be responsible and accountable for their performance and you would have to say the results are

All Blacks mental skills coach Gilbert Enoka spoke at a recent Property Brokers company day.

obvious. At the coal face it can be difficult to keep thinking clearly or maintain clarity when combatting these existing and new challenges from outside your farm or business, especially when they have come from an office in Wellington. Throw in the normal farm challenges of climate, day to day management and the uncontrollable market forces

of commodity prices and it’s difficult to stay positive. I previously worked with a learned colleague whose mantra when faced with a major issue or adversity was that “We only deal with challenges here not problems”. That to me encompassed a positive mindset within the business, which at times was a very challenging environment. Being negative or blaming someone else for the issue was replaced by a resolve to identify and meet the challenge head on, plan, communicate, get ownership from the staff/stakeholders and overcome it. In many cases the experience gained was used to evolve and improve the business and provide learning for the next challenge. The M. bovis challenge is an example of the above the line thinking in a real estate sense. In conjunction with solicitors, vendors and purchasers, farms have continued to successfully reach an unconditional sale. Proactive conversations have been had, clauses have been

South Island Rural Team at Property Brokers Rural Conference Palmerston North 2018. Absent; Rodger Letham, Jude Livingstone, Michael Robb

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drafted and included within updated sale and purchase agreements to mitigate any downside with a subsequent Notice of Direction or MPI regulatory requirements. Speculation on M. bovis taking away market confidence is not our view due to these actions where farms can continue to transact even under adverse events. In tough situations I revert my thinking back to the late 1980s, which I believe was one of the sternest challenges that our rural and farming communities have experienced since the second World War. This is not to say today’s challenges are any less but it was a time of graphic change on the rural landscape. Faced with economic policy and a set of circumstances which saw farmers forced to leave their farms or go to the brink and fight for survival to stay. It’s from this adversity that many successful farmers, farming families /businesses and rural companies managed their way through by being adaptable and resilient to stabilise or start again and

29

grow over subsequent years to where they are today, with the next generation benefitting from that experience. We are fortunate today to have many rural support agencies and advisers who are there to help in tough times. Additionally, if today’s challenges seem tough going then I suggest finding someone who went through the 1980s rural crisis and I’m sure they will only be happy to share some advice and wisdom of what it takes to keep the head above water and get through difficult times. After all, LFE - learnt from experience - is a life qualification possibly as important as a university degree or diploma and can put into perspective today’s challenges in order to find solutions. In summary, surround yourself with positive and experienced people, take time out to energise yourself, seek solutions, keep learning, get clarity, make choices and take action to achieve a successful outcome and enjoy the satisfaction of knocking any

After the 2007 World Cup the All Blacks shifted from a culture of below the line thinking to above PHOTO SUPPLIED the line.

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hiring our Front Loader Bins and using our Cardboard Recycling Cages, Tel: 03 303 7266 | Mobile 0274 151 390 | Email: paul@pmr.co.nz Gary McCormick We also have Open Top Bins on a casual basis, for property Gary clean ups, McCormick Transport Ltd Transport Ltd PO Box 5044, Tinwald, Ashburton 7741 | Phone: 3072100 | Fax: 3072101 building works and Garden POtidy Boxups. 5044, Tinwald, Ashburton 7741 | Phone: 3072100 | Fax: 3072101 And a Household and/or Garden waste Drum empty service. All provided by a Company based in Tinwald.

www.pmr.co.nz


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www.guardianonline.co.nz

31

Care required for ewes on fodder beet Ewes grazing fodder beet crops may require a proteinrich supplement to ensure their nutritional needs are being met, especially in the latter part of pregnancy. PGG Wrightson Seeds vet Charlotte Westwood says while fodder beet can be a valuable feed crop for wintering a large number of ewes within a small area, there is unlikely to be sufficient leaf available on fodder beet to meet the protein requirements of heavily in-lamb ewes. Speaking at a Beef + Lamb New Zealand field day earlier this year, Westwood said while the leaf on fodder beet crops contains 22-25 per cent protein, by the end of winter, most of the leaf has typically disappeared. In late pregnancy ewes require 16-18 per cent protein and yet the protein in the bulb only contains 7 per cent protein. In absence of a protein-rich supplement – for example, top quality pasture or lucerne baleage - ewes will mobilise their own protein reserves, which may result in low birthweight lambs. Ideally,

ewes should be off fodder beet and set-stocked back onto pasture four weeks prelambing. Another issue with fodder beet is that it contains low levels of phosphorus. To compensate, phosphorus is pulled out of ewes’ bones

which, over consecutive years, may cause metabolic issues. Westwood said caution is required when transitioning ewes onto fodder beet, particularly if crops are grazed in the vital 21-days after mating. The ewes should be eased onto the crop

carefully and have access to good quality baleage. Ewes should be given twoday breaks on fodder beet to ensure they are getting sufficient protein through the leaf and bulb. Similarly, ewes should be transitioned off fodder beet

crops gradually, ideally onto strip-grazed pasture. Even dry hoggets require a diet containing 12-14 per cent protein and while their dietary requirements will be met if the leaf is healthy, if the leaf is decayed they will require a protein-rich supplement to avoid sub-optimal growth rates. It is also vital that sheep are vaccinated against clostridia, salmonella and campylobacter diseases before going onto fodder beet. When selecting a fodder beet cultivar for sheep, farmers should be looking for varieties with low dry matter and a high proportion of good quality leaf. These varieties (such as Brigadier™) sit higher out of the ground, making them more accessible to sheep (and young cattle), but most importantly they produce a lot more proteinrich leaf and will hang onto that leaf into winter when managed correctly. Information courtesy of Beef + Lamb New Zealand


$10 ,995 EXCLUDING GST

DO MORE FOR LESS *Offer *Of **O Offfer O ffeer er en eends nddss 331/ nds 31 31/7/18 1//77/ 7/1 /118 or or w while hiiille sstocks hhil toooccks ttoc ks lla las last. aasst st.t. Of Off O Offer fffffer eerr on oonl only nnlly aavailable vaai vvai ailab ilab laab abllee at at pa par participating aarrtic ttiiiccip ipa ipa pattin inng Pola PPolaris ollaaris oola rriis is D De Dealers. ealers. ale aal le lerrs rs. ss. N No Not ot vali vvalid alililid w aal with itiith tthh an aany ny oother thhe the her ooffer. ffffeerr.. Excludes fffe EExc Exclud xxccludes luuuddes lud es flfleeet eet et clients clillieent ccl ennt nts ts

$16 ,495 EXCLUDING GST

INCLUDES SPORTS ROOF + WIPER READY GLASS SCREEN + WIPER KIT + POLY REAR PANEL WORTH $2,579 EX GST

*Offer ends 31/7/18 or while stocks last. Offer only available at participating Polaris Dealers. Not valid with any other offer. Excludes fl eet clients

ASHBURTON - 153 MOORE STREET. 03 307 9911 BLENHEIM - 4 WARWICK STREET. 03 579 1111 CHRISTCHURCH - 799 JONES RD, ROLLESTON. 03 349 4883. GREYMOUTH - 3 CHARLES O’CONNOR ST. 03 768 5116. KAIKOURA - 85A BEACH ROAD. 03 319 7119 NELSON - 70 GLADSTONE ROAD, RICHMOND. 03 543 8041 0800 440 290 | www.polaris.co.nz |

/PolarisNZ

Profile for Ashburton Guardian

Guardian Farming - July 2018  

Guardian Farming - July 2018  

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