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M.bovis may force a no show





The Gilbert family is leaning towards not showing their jersey and holstein cattle at Canterbury’s A&P Show for the first time in about 50 years because of the threat of mycoplasma bovis. Rather than putting 100plus years of jersey bloodlines at risk from the cattle disease, the Mid Canterbury family is considering giving cattle showing a miss. Their final decision will come down to how many dairy breeders commit to cattle exhibiting. “We love showing and it’s sort of our passion, but at the end of the day if you don’t have any cows because you have to kill them then we can’t show them,’’ said Nick Gilbert, who runs the family’s Snowfed Farm. “We might be best to leave it for a year or two but we hope it doesn’t stop cattle showing.’’ Other dairy cattle breeders have decided to pull out of showing because of the risk of losing their herd – culling cattle is part of the Government’s decision to eradicate the disease.

The Gilberts have yet to commit to showing their jersey and holstein cows at Canterbury’s A&P Show. PHOTO ASHBURTON GUARDIAN

Organisers of the Christchurch event, rebranded New Zealand Agricultural Show and to be held in November, have decided to continue cattle showing as school calf days and other events fold to the threat of the cattle disease. The cattle showing section will be cancelled at the Ashburton A&P Show and South Island and Hawke’s Bay cattle were barred at the New Zealand Dairy Event (NZDE) at Feilding last January. Only calves will be banned

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from the show, otherwise cattle entries are being accepted. The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has approved systems put in place by organisers to reduce disease risks at the Christchurch show. The bacterial disease needs lengthy exposure between animals to spread. Gilbert said his great, great grandfather had started the jersey stud in 1900 and the family still had cow family members originating from the bloodlines. He said there was “no amount’’ of compensation which could recover their loss and there was little point in showing if there were only a few breeders exhibiting cattle. Snowfed had tested negative for the disease and he wanted to keep it that way, he said. His parents Peter and Anne own Snowfed farm, which he runs at Winchmore, and Glenalla at Rakaia, run by his brother Michael. Brother Luke also works at the farms. Event director Geoff Bone said a lot of effort had been put in by the cattle committee, exhibitors and MPI to

introduce updated biosecurity protocols. “We are confident that our newly updated processes will allow for an added layer of security, whilst not impacting on the experience and workload of our exhibitors too heavily.’’ Although calves are banned, junior exhibitors will be able to show yearlings at the Christchurch show from November 14 to 16. In the show ring exhibitors will have two metres separating them from other cattle. Staff numbers will increase to monitor cattle arrivals and their paperwork and on top of daily cleaning of cattle pavilions empty pens will separate different breeds. Cows in the dairy section will be accommodated in portable horse boxes. A MPI spokesman said MPI had worked with the Canterbury A&P Association to develop processes to assist in the safe and successful running of the event. The Royal A&P Show, hosted by Hawkes Bay, has also made the decision to continue with its cattle section.

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Farmers upbeat after a mild winter Mid Canterbury farmers who have begun set stocking their ewes on foothill farms for lambing are upbeat after a mild winter. Foothill flocks have access to plenty of feed leading into the lamb drop and condition scores are where they should be for ewes. Mt Somers Station farmer David Acland said most foothill farmers would be pleased with the season so far for lambing after a mild winter and were looking forward to a good spring. “Everyone I have spoken to has said ewes are in good nick, the cover is in good shape and set stocking is pretty good,’’ said Acland who is the Federated Farmers Mid Canterbury Meat & Wool chairman. “The ewes are in good condition scores and most people had a pretty good scanning.’’ Acland said his hoggets were well grown from last season and he had no complaints about their scanning rates. “We were at 167 per cent [scanning] for the flock excluding the hoggets and that’s the two-tooths and mixed age ewes and not counting the triplets. “That’s near normal as we were 170 to 171 per cent last season so it’s down a wee bit, but not by a lot and the ewes are in good nick.’’ He said the slight drop in scanning results reflected slightly lighter ewes coming into weaning last year. Other farmers were at near normal levels without excessive dry rates. “The key is having good condition ewes coming into spring and settled weather. The weather patterns don’t seem too bad.’’ South-westerly fronts blowing over winter have brought less snow. However, farmers always

Tim Cronshaw


Foothill ewes are in good condition for approaching lambing. PHOTO ASHBURTON GUARDIAN

keep a weather eye open for a late September or early October snow storm which can spoil lambing. Should an unwanted storm arrive ploughs clearing snow would be able to uncover good grass for ewes to graze. “There is some talk we are heading into an El Nino and we should be right as long as it’s not a drought. Last year in November and December we didn’t have rain for six weeks. That’s great for sitting around a pool, but that’s our grass

growing period and we don’t really want that so a stable summer would be great fun.’’ Farmers are trying to get through their winter feed and put stock onto pasture and some of them may have more winter feed than normal as a result of a drier and warmer winter in contrast to last year’s wet and muddy winter when feed was short in supply. A weather station by the rural fire network at the station showed July rainfall had been half of normal rates at about

90 millimetres and August was down as well on the 100 year average. Acland said most of the lambing had retreated to the hills and it was later than before when there were more sheep and beef farms on the flats. “If I drive to Ashburton there’s only two true sheep farms of the classical mixed livestock Mid Canterbury farms that we used to get and they would have had a blinder [of a lambing] I would have

thought.’’ Farmers with last year’s late lambs will be sending them off on spring contracts. They will have few complaints about lamb prices with contracts at about $8 a kilogram. Acland said the only concern was if supermarket prices had reached a ceiling for shoppers and there had been “some murmuring’’ of a correction. Further in the back country lambing will start in early to mid October.





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Award well earned The tireless efforts of Mid Canterbury water champion Peter Lowe has been recognised by Environment Canterbury. The sheep, deer and arable farmer near Hinds received an outstanding contribution award from ECan chairman Steve Lowndes at a council meeting for his work in water management. Among his many achievements, he helped set up and lead the Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) Pilot Working Party to investigate artificial recharging to replenish groundwater levels, restore flows in coastal drains, and improve water quality in the underlying shallow aquifer. The MAR trial started two years ago and was the first of its type in New Zealand, earning international attention.  After receiving positive results from the trial, Lowe assembled a Hekeao/ Hinds Managed Aquifer Recharge Governance Group to expand the concept from a single pilot site to a network of 17 sites across the catchment.

Peter Lowe, with wife Diane, receives an award recognising his work in water management. 


At the meeting Lowndes acknowledged the contribution that Lowe had made to championing sustainable water management in Mid Canterbury. “Over the last few years there has been a significant shift in the way the Hinds/ Hekeao community understands and manages its water, and this shift has largely been led by Peter. Peter works tirelessly, constantly working to bring people together to try a

different approach to water management.’’ Lowndes said Lowe had worked hard to develop a common understanding between landowners, local runanga and ECan and was instrumental in welcoming the zone delivery team into the community to help get on-theground projects started. Lowe said the award should be shared among many people. “I see this as an award for all of the Hinds Plains and Mid Canterbury area. The Hinds Plains community has recognised we have a water quality problem and they have been working towards addressing it.” He said ECan staff and the Ashburton Water Zone Committee deserved praise for the work they had put into water management. Mid Canterbury’s second managed aquifer recharge site is due to be comissioned on September 23. The Hinds site is expected to help recharge the underground water source that feeds it as well as nearby wells and reduce nitrate concentrations.

Farm sales decline Canterbury had the largest decline in farm sales nationally for the three months ending July. With 26 fewer farms changing hands than the same period a year ago, Canterbury led 14 regions in recording the most substantial decline in sales followed by Auckland, down by 12 sales. The Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) did not advance a theory for the Canterbury decline, but noted that the presence of the mycoplasma bovis cattle disease would have a bearing on fewer sales. Half of the regions recorded increases in farm sales, led by 24 extra sales in Manawatu/Wanganui and another 14 in Waikato. Nationally, there were 397 farm sales compared with 392 farm sales for the three months ending July last year. So far this year the 1472 farms sold are 15.4 per cent down on previously, with 2.9 per cent fewer dairy farms, 8.7 per cent fewer finishing farms, 21.7 per cent fewer arable farms and 21.9 per cent fewer

grazing farms. The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to July was $21,302 compared with $27,158. REINZ rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said farm sales data over the three months was little changed from a year ago. Sales expectations within the rural sector were cautiously optimistic, albeit tempered by likely government changes putting more pressure on employing staff, he said. “As anticipated for the midwinter when calving is getting under way and farmers are preparing for lambing, sales volumes in all categories apart from forestry show a distinct reduction for the specific month of July 2018.’’ Peacocke said farm sales would be balanced by a mild winter so far although intensive grazing operations would be light on rainfall. Product prices were strong for lamb, venison and horticulture, solid for beef, dairy and forestry and low for wool.



Search powers same for law change The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) says officers have no new powers to enter a farm, response to farmer concerns that law changes gave them warrant-free powers to search properties for mycoplasma bovis. The government made changes in an amendment bill to the National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) Act to address shortcomings in the old law arising during the M.bovis response. The changes clarify rules for inspecting properties and collecting evidence. However, MPI said in a statement clarifying the changes that it did not give ministry officers any new powers to enter a farm. MPI officers could already enter a farm to inspect for NAIT compliance under the old laws. Inspection powers do not extend to a house, living quarters or a marae. To do this officers need a courtordered search warrant. If a farmer’s office is in their house, this cannot also


Cows head off to be culled after a herd was diagnosed with the PHOTO ASHBURTON GUARDIAN mycoplasma bovis cattle disease.

be entered without a search warrant. When the law changes were announced in August farmers were alarmed that legislation tweaks extended to officials having the powers to search farms without warrants. They were also concerned that the amendment bill to the Nait Act was passed under urgency by the Government. In a column Federated Farmers Meat & Wool chairman Miles Anderson

said few farmers would have an issue with the drive to make the NAIT scheme more efficient, but their backs were up by the legislation being pushed through Parliament under urgency and with limited explanation. He said some of Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s annoyance at the Opposition’s objections and some sector backlash could have been avoided. “Some of the concerns – and

misinformation – would likely have been lessened if time had been allowed to give these socalled technical amendments proper scrutiny and consultation. Anderson said too much focus had gone on warrantless inspections and searches as even under the old laws, MPI officers could enter a farm unannounced to inspect for NAIT compliance. The bill also clarifies animal movement requirements and makes it an offence not to record them. However, Federated Farmers has concerns about the requirement to declare an animal movement between locations whether they are NAIT locations or not, and believes it will create more problems than it solves. MPI says the old laws were unclear about what evidence could be collected during an inspection and that has since been cleared up. Officers can now collect documents such as an animal status declaration and taking photos or videos, for example, of cattle without Nait tags.

Beforehand, farmers could send an animal to a property that was not NAIT registered, not record the movement and face no consequences. MPI says that defeats the purpose of NAIT and undermines its ability to respond to M.bovis. This would now be an offence. M.bovis will become a notifiable organism under the Biosecurity Act from September 10. That means people who suspect the presence of the disease must report it to MPI. Meanwhile, Mid Canterbury’s Five Star Beef feedlot was added last month to the list of properties suspected by ministry officials to have the disease. The Ashburton feedlot owned by Anzco Foods, was issued with a notice of direction after it received 44 cattle from a supplier that has since been found to have M.bovis. The cattle are from an undisclosed South Island property, outside of Canterbury, and have been quarantined. MPI had confirmed the disease was not a food safety risk.

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EDITORIAL COMMENT You may have noticed a few changes to the layout of Guardian Farming (GF). Tweaks will be added to coming issues over the next few months to improve its reading. Just as farming constantly evolves to the many changes around it, so too should a healthy publication adjust to the times. This won’t be done with a lot of fanfare as it’s not really a makeover, but more of a reshuffle. This month’s GF will be loosely divided with news at

Tim Cronshaw

the front, then an opinion page with columns, perhaps more news and then a farm feature or two. Following this will be industry news, research stories and more local columns.


Guardian Farming is proudly published by the Ashburton Guardian Limited

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Read the latest Dairy Focus online at guardianonline.co.nz We appreciate your feedback Editorial Email your comments to tim.c@theguardian.co.nz 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


Some of the changes aren’t really changes as they’ve always been here, but they have been juggled around to give them a new order. The intention of this is for our readers to know exactly where to go when they want to read a news story, column, farm feature or other content. As much as possible we will aim to write about farmers on farms and illustrate them with photographs out in the field. The profile will often be of typical farmers doing what they do best. Above all else, we will do

our best to provide local coverage – so the theme of this publication should be local farmers on local farms. Of course, farming extends to the many companies, organisations, contractors and services around it and they won’t not be ignored. Each month we will have at least one farm feature. That’s because people love to read about other people. They will often explain the technicalities of farming in everyday language as the GF goes out to town households as well as rural letterboxes.

Over the past few years we’ve been extending the circulation of the GF and it now goes out to more than 17,500 households from Oamaru to Christchurch with a readership of 56,000 people each month. We’ve got a few more ideas up our sleeve which over the next few months should show their face. Let us know what you think and don’t be afraid to pass on your good ideas. It’s important to get this right because we’re talking about New Zealand’s most important industry.

Proud to be a farmer

Proud to be a Farmer’s Claire Inkson asks farming identities five quick questions about what agriculture means to them. Here is what vicepresident of the Canterbury Dairy Goat Breeders’ Association and Motukarara farmer Jonathan Carden-Holdstock, had to say. 1. How long have you been farming? I grew up on and around small traditional family run dairy farms near the Devon and Cornwall border in England. I went to Agricultural College in this area as well   2. What sort of farming were you involved in? Mostly dairy farming with the holstein friesian breed. We no longer supply Fonterra but still milk a small herd of holsteins for calf rearing along with my wife’s pedigree saanen and toggenburg dairy goats. The milk from this goes into calf rearing and soap. We have always had some beef cattle, I love the red devon breed as this was so common in the area I grew up in. However, from a commercial point of view limousin is an outstanding breed for both crossing over the holsteins and as a pure beef animal. We have the Ellesmere Limousin herd. Long term I will increase the limousin as I reduce the holsteins.

3. What makes you proud to be a farmer? We all need to eat, so therefore farming is a hugely important and highly skilled job. 4. What do you love about your job as a farmer? Most important, producing great products. But also for us as a family (my wife, four daughters, father and mother-in-law) we very much enjoy the breeding and showing and are very involved with many of the Canterbury A&P shows. I am very keen to see the limousin breed grow



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in New Zealand like it already is in Australia and many other European countries. My wife has had great success with her TamarVale dairy goat herd and this has led to myself being more involved with the dairy goats as well. I am a RAS recognised dairy goat judge and this I really enjoy. It enables me to travel and see some fantastic stock and very passionate breeders. Being part of breeders’ groups like Limousin NZ and the Canterbury Dairy Goat Breeders’ Association is also great for growing knowledge and skills. 5. What advice do you have for the next generation of farmers? Agriculture is a great industry, hard work but mostly rewarding. One thing we all need to do is be more proactive at educating the general public about food production. Also support your local A&P shows and breed groups, they are still relevant and important for a diverse agricultural industry.

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Rain (just) in the nick of time Like New South Wales we have been receiving below average rainfall since April, not as severe, but of concern. Just as irrigation seemed imminent a cold southerly has put paid to that. In the nick of time is an ancient idiom we all use at some stage. It dates from the 1500s, when nick meant the critical moment (and is stated as long since obsolete in the English language). By prefacing with just the idiom comes to be in our most common usage because we tend to apply it to a sense of time. One of the Idiom dictionaries describes it as having the sense of “precisely” or “closely”. No matter the finer point of the saying, the rainfall of September 3 did come in nick of time. I’ve been writing for a month or two of the similarity of our rainfall pattern to that of NSW – which is still desperately dry. Since April when there was about 120 millimetres of rainfall, every month has been below average – from about 20 per cent of average in July to about 50 per cent in other months.

Tony Davoren


Then, just as irrigation was going to be required this first week of September in some areas, winter (or is it spring) threw in a sting. A cold southerly that has relieved the pressure to irrigate – both with rainfall of 20-30mm and reversing ever so slightly (and temporarily) the upward trend in soil temperatures. This rainfall will only delay the start of the irrigation season – it will give us a couple of weeks respite as we head toward the equinox on September 22. We can be very thankful for the April rainfall, and to lesser degree the below average rainfalls since. While May to August rainfall has been well below average, April (especially the 75mm on April

28-30) set up the groundwater recharge process with every rainfall event after that contributing to groundwater recharge. Since January there has been a steady and quite rapid recovery in groundwater – L37/0022 at Pendarves (62.7m deep) is indicative of most mid-plain and mid-depth water levels. Recharge had started to decline in July and unless there is significant rainfall in the next few weeks, it will continue to do so – this is not

because of irrigation, but is a natural process. What the water level plot does show is that groundwater is in good shape for the upcoming irrigation season and the importance of that big rainfall event to kick it into gear. So what about the demand for irrigation? Typically it is greater in El Niño seasons when there is a predominance of southwest to west conditions. And there are still murmurings of El Niño developing. NIWA and other

international meteorological organisations are in agreement that the international models suggest the tropical Pacific will transition toward El Niño over the next threemonth period (September – November) with NIWA rating it a 65 per cent chance. This probability increases as the summer develops with a 78 per cent chance for El Niño conditions over the March – May 2019 period NIWA predicts. Will it be strong? Most agree it will not be. We will have to wait and see.

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Milk price cut no real surprise Fonterra’s pruning of its milk price forecast for this season to $6.75 a kilogram of milksolids has come as no surprise to Mid Canterbury farmers. There will be no less disappointment though as the drop by 25c/kg from an expected $7/kg in May will remove about $80,000 from their revenue for the 2018-19 season. Nationally, farmers will lose about $40,000, but Mid Canterbury farmers have larger herds and produce more milksolids so on average they will miss out on double that amount. Economists were picking a lower forecast payout in the lead up to the cut because of lower milk prices internationally and farmers had braced themselves for a reduction to the promising starting forecast. Fonterra chairman John Monaghan said the change was in response to stronger milk supply signals coming from some of the world’s key dairy producing regions. “Over the past quarter, we have seen increased

Tim Cronshaw


milk supply out of markets including Europe, the United States and Argentina. These regions have a big influence on the supply and demand balance and therefore global prices. For example, the one per cent increase in US milk production represents just under 100 million litres of extra milk.’’ Demand for whole milk powder and dairy fats was also showing signs of slowing in some parts of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, he said. Chief executive Miles Hurrell, said the weakening dollar against the United States currency had only partially offset the decline in global dairy prices, and it was important to give farmers a realistic assessment of the

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Two cuts to payouts by Fonterra have farmers less than thrilled.

market. “It’s still very early in the season and a lot can change over the coming months. A drop in the new season milk price forecast will be frustrating to our farmers, but it’s important we give them the facts so they can make informed decisions in their farming businesses,” said Hurrell. The latest cut comes on the back of a 5 cents/kg adjustment announced on

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August 10 by the co-operative for the final milk price for the 2017-18 season. That cost farmers nationally $8000 and Mid Canterbury farmers about $16,500 and was expected to drain $10 million from the Mid Canterbury economy. The average milksolid production for Mid Canterbury farms is 329,000kg and the herd size is 760 cows. Fonterra also ruled out paying a dividend for the

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second half of the year with the full dividend to remain at 10c and advised its share earnings would either be at the 25 to 30 cents range or slightly below. Fonterra made the tough calls to tighten its 2017-18 balance sheet after earlier this year writing down more than $400m from its $750m investment in Beingmate, and last year paying $183m to infant formula maker Danone for the botulism scare in 2013.


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Maize silage ideal transitional feed Fodder beet is now a common winter feed for dry cows in the South Island. While many farmers are careful to transition cows off pasture onto beet at the end of lactation, there is also a growing awareness of the need to transition cows off beet and back onto pasture. This is because the microbes in a cow’s rumen need time to adjust to a change in diet from fibre-rich pasture to carbohydrate-heavy fodder beet in autumn, and then back again in spring. Maize silage is an ideal feed during the diet transition period as it is a mixture of fibre (like pasture) and carbohydrate (like beet). Cows fed on maize silage at the end of their lactation are likely to enable cows to transition more easily onto beet than cows going straight from pasture onto beet. Likewise when cows come off fodder beet in the pre-calving period back onto pasture, maize silage is the ideal feed to help them do this.

Moving cows successfully from fodder beet to pasture can be a real challenge if the weather is bad, pasture supply is limited and cows are close to calving. In this situation maize silage is also an ideal transitionary feed for cows. Cows can lose significant weight after calving especially when pasture supply is short. In tough seasons this may result in increased rates of ketosis and have a negative impact on submission rates and in-calf rates. Once again, maize silage is an ideal feed to fill such periods of feed shortage as it is high in energy and being a forage, it enables farmers to manage pasture better. For a long time now, farmers have also recognised the value of using maize silage in reducing the risk of milk fever in cows. While pasture-based diets can be very high in minerals that can predispose cows to milk fever (eg high potassium, calcium and sodium), maize silage has a significantly lower average potassium, sodium and calcium content. Therefore because

maize silage is very low in these minerals cows in the pre calving period fed maize silage are less likely to get milk fever than cows fed diets high in these minerals. Once the cows calve, things change again. Where calcium

and magnesium can be dangerous pre calving, freshly calved cows need massive amounts of calcium and magnesium. Many farmers then use maize silage to carry the extra minerals the cows need once they have calved.

Farmers supplying to Fonterra are now very conscious of not feeding too much PKE and driving up their Fat Evaluation Index (FEI) figure to the point where they will be graded. In Canterbury this season, there

will be a number of farmers using maize silage for the first time to help manage the issues around feeding too much PKE. This is because maize silage seems to have very little impact on raising the FEI.  Advertising feature

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Weather dampener on wheat grower World record grain yield holders Eric and Maxine Watson have mapped out their growing season ahead. Another crack at the record is unlikely, writes Tim Cronshaw.

A repeat bid for the world wheat yield growing record may have gone off the boil for Eric Watson. 

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bid to lift world record Not even another bottle of champagne is likely to sway Eric and Maxine Watson to do another attempt at the world wheat yield growing record this season. Heavy rain over the critical sowing phase thwarted thoughts of a repeat bid before it could even get started at Rangitata Holdings. The Wakanui couple are recognised by the Guinness Book of Records after harvesting 16.791 tonnes per hectare on their farm in 2017 to take the previous record from United Kingdom farmer Rod Smith. Curiously, one of the incentives for them to attempt the record was a fridge magnet of a magnum of champagne. This was given to them by their son, Philip, many years ago on the promise that if they ever achieved the world wheat growing record a full sized bottle would go to them. This was duly delivered by Philip, now 38 and living in the United States, when they topped the record on their home soil.

Tim Cronshaw


The magnet is still on the kitchen fridge but it won’t be a motivating force for a repeat record. Eric Watson says they have almost certainly ruled out another attempt this season. “This heavier country gets a bit wet at times and the autumn wasn’t that easy as we had a lot of rain and received our annual rainfall of 600mm by June. We did get the crop in and mostly on time, but it was hard drilling grass – I drilled late one night 66ha and it was a good job I did because it rained that night and it took a long time before we could get back on the ground.’’ Attempting a record wheat crop is no mean feat as the entire attempt has to be surveyed by a registered

surveyor and the harvest has to be filmed by three video cameras and weighed on a certified weighbridge. Three Justices of Peace also have to attend the harvest as they must only work in two-hour stints, according to the rules, and there must also be at least two independent witnesses. Watson says the sowing period is crucial for any record attempt. “You want to sow in early April for a record crop and while we did get our wheat in, in April, it had water laying in it and some of it was drowned out and had to be redrilled.’’ Partly under water was also chicory, plantain and a small amount of ryegrass. Watson met Smith during a visit to his farm and has yet to hear if the Northumberland man will try to wrestle the record off him. It’s been extremely dry in the UK and not ideal conditions for a record bid. The Watsons’ record feed wheat crop was planted in April 2016 and harvested in February the following year. Maxine says the champagne

promise has always been a family joke. “He did give us a very nice bottle of champagne though.’’ She says the attempt wasn’t hugely disruptive to their cropping operation and the main disruption was having to harvest at a certain time then putting the original day off because of poor weather. Another inspiration for their attempt was the world record for barley set by Warren Darling of Timaru. No secret treatment was given to their high yielding crop, says Watson, who has been farming on the property for 25 years. The crop’s nitrogen requirements of 258 kilograms a hectare was less than normally used as a result of deep soil testing. “It’s about doing everything on time and looking after the crop. We did nothing special. It was a good plant variety and a good growing season with a kind winter and a summer that wasn’t too hot.’’ The wheat crop was grown on an 11.9ha site, which fell well within the 8ha minimum set by Guinness authorities.

Fortnightly leaf analysis was taken for monitoring trace elements. “There was the odd bit doing 20t/ha but when you are going down a spray tram line with an irrigation wheel line you are doing about 13t and that’s all part of the attempt.’’ The Watsons are unsure where the record crop eventually went, possibly to Anzco’s Five Star Beef in Ashburton, for chicken feed or to dairy farms and nor did they get paid extra money, except for the larger tonnage. Watson says in hindsight he would have changed nothing about tending the crop apart from perhaps slowing down the drilling speed to get better plant spacing and less bunching. After the wheat crop was harvested the paddock went into plantain last year and is reserved for radish and bok choy seed this year. The site is one of their better paddocks with lighter soils than the Beach Road end and less clay so it is easier to work.  continued over page



from page 11 Autumn sowing was challenging at the Watson farm with nearly 200mm of rain landing in April. So getting everything into the wakanui silt, wakanui clay and templeton soils, albeit with some redrilling, was a relief. Feed wheat is their highest paying grain and beats milling wheat for revenue. Most of the feed wheat is sold to silos or Ashburton whereas milling wheat goes to Christchurch mills. Watson is well known as an early adopter of innovation and technology in arable farming and cropping companies and organisations often go to him to trial them at the farm. Last year the couple added a 48 metre sprayer boom to their vehicle fleet. They also went to liquid nitrogen last season and were pleased with the results. Previously nitrogen in granular form was being spread to 32m, but Watson found it difficult to get an even spread and could see there was more or less fertiliser being applied at times. “Now we get an even application of nitrogen over that width. We have gone that


I won’t winter graze cows again because they do a lot of damage to soils. For me soil structure is paramount today and there is not enough work being done on soil research today

way completely.’’ Spreading nitrogen evenly prevents it from being wasted or moving outside of the soil and eventually into water. Another advantage is that it saves money and they don’t get many overlaps at the headlands and there is more precise application of fertiliser to the outside of the field. Watson has a holding capacity of 64,000 litres in two tanks so has no problem storing and offloading the liquid nitrogen. This season there will be no new crops introduced. More spinach seed is being added as a result of “shockingly’’ dry conditions in the northern hemisphere and demand is expected to increase. Watson has just returned from trips to Europe and the United States including a Rabobank grain growers’ trip to Netherlands, Ukraine and Germany.

The couple often go overseas and are well accustomed to busman’s holidays, marking down observations which can be to their advantage back in New Zealand. Watson was last in the Ukraine 10 years ago and during visits to two to three farms could see free land which had yet to be cultivated. Today there is little land uncultivated. Unchanged was the poor state of the roads with the rail network in much better condition. No stock can be found on the Watsons’ farm and there are few fences. Watson prefers growing crops and has found that finishing or grazing animals can set him back. “I won’t winter graze cows again because they do a lot of damage to soils. For me soil structure is paramount today and there is not enough work being done on soil research today. Even lambs in a wet

season can damage soil and extra cultivation is required.’’ He accepts there are advantages with carrying stock in a mixed farm and lambs are bringing in good money, but he continues to put his foot down and prefers to make silage from previously harvested grass crops in late autumn instead. Fortunately wheat and barley prices are “quite good’’, up from the previous season, with contracts at $420 to $430 a tonne. Feed wheat will again be the main crop grown this season with 75ha set aside and the grain will be sold on the open market with some of it bound for “down the road’’ and some further afield, including as chicken feed for an operation at the top of the South Island. About 62ha has been planted in ryegrass seed with a small area in timothy seed to be exported to Japan for horse feed and silage. Another 40ha

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is in cocksfoot seed and this planting is up in response to market demand. Normally this might be planted in tall fescue but demand has decreased, hence the sowing change. Cocksfoot seed is mainly grown in Methven and also in their farming district. A lot of countries have a disease called choke and this has brought about more seed demand. Also in the ground is red fescue seed for turf growing, plantain and chicory seed. Specialised vegetables for seed cover about 85ha, including radish, bok choy, spinach and a small area of bunch onions. They will go to Asia and Europe when harvested. On the lighter soils is grown triticale and linseed for seed and faba beans for local consumption. Most of the crops are in the ground and only the vegetable seed and linseed remains to be spring sown. Returning from one of his overseas trips in mid-July, Watson marvelled at the growth of the crops during a mild winter. Last year there was more spring sowing because they put in more barley where previously wheat had been grown. To keep on top of the crops, Watson carries out precision

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application of nitrogen, but soil testing and was an early that requires nozzle shut adopter of the technology down on spreaders which is about 10 years ago. The expensive. Greater use of entire farm is mapped out drone technology and satellite for soil testing and electroimagery could also be on the magnetic mapping helps with establishing the water holding wish list. Among their many travels, capacity of soils. Watson last year met up with He says the soil testing United Kingdom farmer Rod has allowed them to “even Smith, who held the world up’’ fertility across the farm wheat growing record prior to including Olsen P levels for them. phosphorous across entire Smith owns a restaurant fields and the pH levels. and was generous enough to Rather than over-using shout him lunch. During a fertiliser, they are placing two-hour train journey many it where it is needed. Their cropping tips and stories were fertiliser company does shared, showing the “friendly the soil tests for nutrient rivalry’’ that exists between levels with data run through growers, even those in other Methven company Agrihemispheres. Optics. The Watsons’ wheat Precision technology helps growing record is listed on him achieve high yields. About Guinness Book of Records’ a decade ago GPS guidance, website, but was not in its autosteer and auto nozzle book and nor were any other shut down were introduced agricultural records. and they were the first arable While a repeat attempt is users in the country to take looking doubtful, no one can on variable-rate irrigation take away their record and the technology. Rangitata certificate awarded to them by Holdings has nine lateral Guinness authorities. irrigators, mostly 320m in length. Eric Watson likes to keep on Neutron probes measure soil top of technology. moisture in their crops with PHOTO ASHBURTON GUARDIAN  weekly readings preventing soils from being over-watered. He has thought about RANMAN 1/2 PAGErate GUARDIAN FARMING 250W X 180H MM introducing variable




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Teacher on a learning curve in Ireland A NZ Young Farmers member swapped her Temuka classroom for an Irish dairy farm and has returned with life-long memories. A sought-after dairying exchange to picturesque Ireland has taught Temuka teacher Sarah Stark another use for her hair dryer. The heat-generating appliance became invaluable when an icy storm crippled vital equipment on the farm she was helping run near Cork. “I had never seen so much snow in my life,” recalled Stark, who’s a member of Timaru Young Farmers. “Everything on the farm was frozen. We were literally using hair dryers to defrost frozen pipes in the 20-aside milking shed.” The polar blast hit during calving in March. It took Stark and the farm’s owner Kieran McCabe all day to get the plant working. The pair also encountered problems in the calf shed. Pipes carrying milk between new robotic feeders had frozen. The sound of hair dryers and bellows of hungry calves

echoed through the pens as they raced to restore the equipment. “We insulated the pipes to stop it happening again, but the next day the underground milk pipe into the shed had frozen. I think we had hot whisky for breakfast for three days in a row just to make the mornings a bit easier in true Irish style.’’ Stark travelled from New Zealand to Ireland in January as part of a working exchange organised by NZ Dairy Careers. The 27-year-old signed up for the life-changing experience after hearing a representative of the company speak at one of her monthly NZ Young Farmers meetings. “I wanted to go and live overseas for a year ever since I left school,” said Stark. “I thought ‘this will get me over there, give me a job and give me somewhere to stay’, so I pretty much signed up on the night.”

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Stark took a year’s leave from her teaching position at Opihi College in Temuka, packed her suitcase and headed


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during an Irish calving and vice versa,” she said. It took Stark a gruelling 32 hours to get from Dunedin to Dublin. She recounted her experience in a blog post shortly after touching down in January. “Knowing nothing about where I was going made the trip both exciting and slightly nerve-wracking,” she wrote. Her home until the end of May was a 34-hectare farm in Waterford County on Ireland’s rugged southeast coast. It milks 200 dairy cows and also has between 100 to 150 beef cattle. Lush rolling hills are divided into paddocks by decades-old stone wall fences. The dairy platform is supplemented by small parcels of leased land nearby. All the animals are kept inside during the cold, wet winter months. “I’d been in Ireland two months before I set foot in a paddock,” said Stark. Irish dairy farmers, much like their Kiwi counterparts, were battling through their wettest spring in decades. Soggy, water-logged paddocks and a lack of grass were the main topic of discussion at a local dairy discussion group Stark

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attended with McCabe. “That was at the start of April and cows were still inside. The weather was miserable. It was the longest winter I have ever experienced,” she said. “I don’t think our farm got our cows out onto pasture until April 20, which was really late.” There was a bit of a fodder crisis in the region and some farms ran out of silage. “The farmers who put their cows outside early ran into trouble in their second round of grazing because the grass hadn’t grown,” said Stark. Despite the wet weather, Stark thoroughly recommends the international working exchange programme. “I had never done calf rearing before, so I really enjoyed that aspect of the exchange,” she said. “I had my favourite calves. Apparently since I left they have been driving Kieran mad because they have no respect for fences and always want cuddles.”  Continued over page Top right – Some of the calves Sarah was responsible for feeding. Bottom right – The icy blast left the farm under a thick blanket of snow.

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from page 15 Exchange participants get paid and to keep things simple accommodation, food and power are deducted from their wages. “I was so well looked after. I lived with Kieran’s mother Phyllis. I hardly cooked a meal for four months,” said Stark. But it wasn’t all work and no play as she got to travel and see plenty of Ireland and Europe. “I spent three days in Galway during St Patrick’s Day and it was everything you’d expect a St Paddy’s Day celebration in Ireland to be,” she said. Stark also travelled to Turkey and spent Anzac Day in Gallipoli. Once her exchange ended, she spent a few days in London before driving Ireland’s west coast with another New Zealander who was working on a farm down the road. In June, Stark departed Dublin and headed further north to Scotland. She spent six weeks travelling in Scotland as part of an exchange which was partly funded by NZ Young Farmers. Stark was one of 14

Rearing calves in Ireland

delegates from around the world. The social Scots organised nightly events, from meals out to stock judging. “Last night we went to a water buffalo farm which was something different.

I really enjoyed that,” she said. “The owner started farming the cattle for meat. He wanted a point of difference to help market their meat. He’s just got planning permission to build a cheese plant so he

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Focus on farmers’ mental health The psychological distress of rural youth is going to be brought into the open in a central South Island workshop after a rise in suspected suicide deaths. To get young people talking about mental health Young Farmers is holding a further five GoodYarn workshops across the country. Workshops by the organisation for young farmers will be held in the Taranaki/Manawatu, Tasman, Aorangi and East Coast regions during October. The workshops are designed to help people identify the signs of mental illness and seek support.   Young Farmers spokeswoman Megan Bates said it was important that people had the skills to recognise if a friend, family member, neighbouring farmer or customer was struggling.  Chief Coroner data released a few weeks ago shows New Zealand’s suicide rate has risen for the fourth year in a row.  The provisional statistics indicate 668 people took their lives in the 2017/18 year and the highest number of

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hold monthly meetings, competitions and social events. “The aim of all of those things is to get people who often work in isolated jobs off farm and socialising,” said Bates. Venues for the October workshops will be confirmed later. October 11 is the date set for a workshop in the Aorangi region, which includes clubs in Five Forks, Foothills, Glenavy/Waimate, Hinds, Mackenzie, Methven, Milford/ Clandeboye, Pendarves, Upper Waitaki and Timaru.

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Highs and lows for NZ ploughmen Blenheim ploughman Ian Woolley was rewarded for his consistency with a third in the conventional class at the world ploughing championships in Germany. In the reversible class Bob Mehrtens was left ruing a Tim RURAL tough first day after initially Cronshaw REPORTER placing 18th in the stubble ploughing. His finish was advanced another three places attached to a hydraulic linkage arm and also had to deal with when it was found excessive weld repairs to his plough penalty points were added to after hitting rocks. his score sheet. On the second day of He made a good recovery competition he lifted his the following day in the performance with a third in grasslands ploughing, the grasslands ploughing finishing third, but it was after a fourth in the stubble too big a gap for a podium event. Judges gave him the finish when the results of bronze medal after combining the two days were combined the points tally over two days on September 2 to place him of competition during the eighth overall. weekend. New Zealand supporters New Zealand Ploughing at the championships said Association president Bruce Mehrtens was surprised and disappointed with the first day Redmond, from Methven, said Woolley had done well result. to be so consistent over two Woolley had to block out days of top ploughing in dry several challenges leading up conditions. to the event. He was advised “What it means to me is he’s by a plough inspection team that his plough failed the rules moving up all the time. The 4M 1/2 PAGE GUARDIAN FARMING 250Win X the 180H MMhe way he’s going future because of a plough wheel

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Only three New Zealanders have won the conventional class including Redmond, Alan Wallace and Ian Miller. Woolley was seventh at the last world event in Kenya and Mehrtens runner-up in the reversible class. Redmond had yet to hear why Mehrtens had a difficult first day. “You don’t have to make much of a mistake to get down at this level. It’s pretty competitive.’’ Experienced Republic of Ireland ploughman Eamonn Tracey won the gold medal in the conventional class and Northern Ireland’s Thomas Cochrane was first in the reversible class. The world championships were contested by the best ploughmen and women from 30 countries at the Herzog von Württemberg Einsiedel farm estate in Kirchentellinsfurt, BadenWürttemberg. Count Eberhard V founded a stud farm at the estate in the 15th century and one wing remains today of a small castle he built nearby.


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The classic seven-seater The Tiguan Allspace is an independent version of the most successful SUV made in Germany, with up to seven seats and more luggage space. An extended wheelbase and greater overall length make the Tiguan Allspace a most spacious SUV: by folding down the backrests of the second row of seats, the cargo space available can be boosted from 760 litres to as much as 1920 litres. The Tiguan Allspace also offers more comprehensive standard equipment; this underlines the model’s positioning between the standard-wheelbase Tiguan and the exclusive Touareg. Unique design features for the Allspace include lengthened rear doors, while the bonnet has also been raised at the front above the radiator grille to adapt the proportions to the longer overall length (an extra 215mm on the 5-seater Tiguan). A unique, defining line accentuates the side window design that rises behind the C-pillar. The roof has also been redesigned: striking structural lines are being used for the first time instead of a smooth roof

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New software reduces fertiliser costs There’s a new tractor mounted F4 model to its line-up of Bredal spreaders, and it’s available right now at Euroagri. The F4 is designed for precision placement of fertiliser via GPS section control. It is a professional’s machine that can meet the needs of today’s farmers and contractors for variable rate spreading, accurate placement in headlands and along verges, and spreading in wedge shaped fields or awkward widths. F4 spreaders are available with stainless steel hoppers and capacities of 1500, 2500, 3200 and 4000 litres. Bredal spreaders deliver accuracy while they make life easier for the operator and the F4 is no exception. It is an ISOBUS machine with newly developed software. It can be run with either a new monitor or with your existing ISOBUS compatible controller. The F4 features a single belt transmission, and spreading discs for 12m-36m working widths and headland gear for 24m-36 m working widths. F4 spreaders create a four-double overlap spreading pattern, where each disc spreads half the working width. Bredal spreaders are designed to send fertiliser grains out at high exit speed. This rapid acceleration combined with a low exit angle (7 degrees) minimises the risk of wind sensitivity in field conditions. Accuracy is achieved using GPS-controlled


electronic actuators to place the fertiliser at the correct point on the discs. This allows the F4 to accurately place product only where it is needed, reducing fertiliser costs. This is a heavy duty machine built to carry heavy loads and withstand difficult conditions. It has a robust chassis and is designed to minimise daily maintenance. The chassis is made up of two parts, an upper section and a lower section. Two 8.0 tonne weigh cells can be mounted between them. Weigh cells give total control over fertiliser distribution. The F4 joins the F8 and F10 trailed spreaders in Euroagri’s Bredal range. They are designed for professionals who need efficiency and cost effective operation.

INTEREST 1/3 1/3 1/3 % Finance Deal on the Mazda passenger range *Offer ends 30th September 2018

Mazda 2 Mazda 3 Mazda 6

Mazda CX-3 CX-5 CX-9 1/3 today as the deposit, 1/3 in 12 months and 1/3 in 24 months at 0% interest rate! *Pay just 1/3 of the Recommended Retail Price up front along with the On Road Costs, the cost of any accessories and a $430 establishment fee. Then simply pay the remaining at 1/3 per year over the next two years interest free! This offer is based on RRP on new Mazda Passenger Vehicles and ends on 30th September 2018. This Mazda Finance is only available through UDC Finance Limited and Timaru Motors, it is subject to normal credit criteria and lending criteria and cannot be used in conjunction with any other discounts or offers.



No deposit and 3.9% interest rate over 48 months! *Pay the On Road Costs and the cost of any accessories to Timaru Motors. Then the Recommended Retail Price, plus a $430 establishment fee are financed and paid over 260 equal weekly instalments with an interest charge of just 3.9% per annum. This offer is based on RRP on new Mazda Passenger Vehicles and ends on 30 September 2018. This Mazda Finance is only available through UDC Finance Limited and Timaru Motors, it is subject to normal credit criteria and lending criteria and cannot be used in conjunction with any other discounts or offers.

Includes MazdaCare – 3 years/100,000kms (whichever occurs first) free servicing, 5 years/unlimited kms warranty – 5 years/unlimited kms 24/7 roadside assist

Timaru Motors 207 Hilton Highway I Timaru I P 03 687 4133

Craig Tindall 027 836 6503 I Craig Shillito 027 555 5519 | Wayne Hitchcock 027 442 7707 | Matt Maindonald 027 234 3196

Case IH Magnum 340 c/w Duals 3008 Hrs


Case IH MXU115

6400Hrs C/W Pearson 20-43 Loader

$35,000 + GST

John Deere 6220

Case IH Magnum MX200 6612Hrs Rear Duals

Case IH Maxxum 115 Loader 4528 Hrs, With rear duals

7950Hrs Loader

$26,000 + GST


Case IH Maxxum 125 Ult Loader

Case IH Puma 140MC Loader

Case IH Puma 165 MC

$49,000 + GST

$78,000 + GST



Kubota M135X

New Holland T6090 FH/PTO

New Holland T7040


Case IH MXU115 X Pro 6400Hrs, C/W Pearson, 20-43 Loader

$58,000 +GST

3150Hrs Loader

6093Hrs Loader

4516 Hrs Loader

$44,000 + GST

$42,500 + GST


Valtra M120 Loader

Aitchison Moore SKP Drill

Case IH 8010 Axial Flow

$39,900 + GST

Duncan Eco Seeder 16 run

$9,500 + GST

Giltrap Slurry Spreader 12,000Ltrs

$29,500 + GST

Robertson Mega Combi c/w Scales $28,000+GST

Case IH Puma 140 MC c/w

8953 Hrs

Loader ready

5950 Hrs

Case IH MXU110 c/w Loader

7590Hrs Loader

5900 Hrs

New Holland T7.170

6113 Hrs

$65,000 + GST

Case IH 6088

Case IH 1680 Axial Flow

$64,500 + GST

1500 Mill Hrs 24ft Vario Front

$19,500 + GST

$250,000 + GST

Field Master HD70 Heavy Duty Slasher

Gregoire Besson 5 Furrow Hyd Vari & Reset

He-Va Disc Roller 6mtr Levelling Paddles


22,000 + GST

He-Va Combi Tiller 6m Hyd Re Set

Kuhn PH2 6 Row Planter

McIntosh CP900SF

Fieldmaster TM300 Pasture Topper

Robertson Mega Combi

7,000 + GST

$10,500 + GST

Simba SL500 DTD

Taege CF1100

5mtr Disc Tine Cultivator

Centre Feed Silage Wagon

$25,000 + GST

Pottinger 1252 C S Line Four Rotor Rake

$49,000 + GST

Silage Wagon

$22,000 + GST

Sam Ag Trailer $13,500 + GST


$25,000 + GST

$52,000 + GST

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

$45,000 + GST


Self Loading

$9,000 + GST





When you care about your crops Whether you are spraying potatoes, vegetables, cereals or specialty seeds the Househam range can be adapted to meet your specific needs. Among the Househam models that have been well-received in New Zealand are the Spirit, Air Ride and Merlin ranges. The Spirit is a small, lightweight machine with high specifications. It features a 24m boom, 3000 litre capacity tank, and an open power pack engine. Househam has given the Spirit excellent weight distribution by positioning the engine and pump system at the rear of the machine. An air conditioned cab and quiet running make for an ideal working environment. The ever-popular Air Ride range is designed for optimum crop care. The Air Ride has been the mainstay of the Househam self-propelled range for some years with a large amount of various models throughout New Zealand. New for 2018 is the new Harrier range model. The Harrier is the replacement for the Merlin and is ideal for New Zealand conditions. Models are available with a new 4000 litre, 5000 litre, or 6000 litre tanks sizes and with booms from 24m to 36m. As farmers and contractors upgrade, there’s also a steady flow of excellent second-hand models available through EuroAgri.



Now is the perfect time for a full safety and function check on your tractor and loader. ON SITE INSPECTION INCLUDES: Comprehensive 50+ point check of; • Engine • Fuel System • Electrics • Cooling System • Steering & Brakes • Hydraulic System • Transmission • Chassis, Cab & Tyres • Loader • PLUS full grease of tractor and loader

Hilux has a bold new look across all SR extra cab, double cab and SR5 models, with a tough new grille, front bumper, fog light garnish and black bonnet garnish. And the features don’t stop there: 7” touch screen as standard, reverse camera as standard, 5 star ANCAP safety rating across the range, powerful 2.8L diesel engine with up to 450Nm torque*, 3.5 tonne towing capacity* and plenty of accessories available to suit your style. Add some good looks to your grunt. Visit toyota.co.nz to build your own Hilux, today.

Accessorised Hilux SR5 Cruiser shown. *Maximum braked towing capacity and torque varies across models.

Preventative maintenance is a cost effective way of heading off trouble before it happens.

Ashburton Toyota www.ashburton.toyota.co.nz

OPEN MON-FRI 8AM-5PM SAT 9AM-1PM PHONE 0800 286 9682 | Cnr East St & Walnut Ave, Ashburton Service Manager

Parts Manager

Vehicle Consultant

Danielle Pattullo

Andrew Rattray

Eddie Bakos

Vehicle Consultant


0800 432 633 | www.dne.co.nz Terms & Conditions apply.

Robin McClimont

The Card that gives back

6005 0991 1047 7802 AM CARD HOLDER





Works for you

6005 0991 1047 7802


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



Grahams Road, Ashburton 03 308 9950

• • • • •

Value and professional service A family tradition since 1934

Rhodos Roses Shrubs Buxus Natives

• Auto electrical service and repair • Air conditioning specialists • Tait, Hytera and GME stockists • Batteries for all vehicle types

Buyone, one,get getone one Buy

• Powertool sales and repairs


Performance Performance



• A range of LED lightbars and worklights • Battery chargers and jump start packs

4x4/SUV 4x4/SUV

Luxury Luxury

Comfort Comfort

Fuel efficient Fuel efficient

All terrain All terrain

Mud terrain Mud terrain

Rolleston Ashburton Timaru Battery Service 825 Jones Rd 80 Kermode St 45 North Street ph 03 347 3476 ph 03 308 7234 ph 03 688 6800

Selected tyres only. Conditions apply.

Cnr Cox & East Street, Ashburton Cnr Cox & East Street, Ashburton

03 307 8438 03 307 8438

bridgestoneashburton@xtra.co.nz bridgestoneashburton@xtra.co.nz


*Selected tyres only. Available at participating stores. Conditions apply.


3.9% $ 41,990 P.A.


Are you a Farmlands Supplier?




Accessorised Hilux SR5 shown. *Toyota Financial Services normal lending criteria apply. Finance Offer ends 31 December 2018. Prices and specifications are subject to change at any time. The advertised TDP is for the vehicle only, ORC and GST included. For full terms and conditions visit our website, www.toyota.co.nz




OPEN MON-FRI 8AM-5PM SAT 9AM-1PM OR BY APPOINTMENT PHONE 0800 286 9682 | Cnr East St & Walnut Ave, Ashburton

Don’t have a Farmlands Card? Join 67,000+ shareholders nationwide and enjoy the huge range of exclusive offers and rebates that only Farmlands Card can offer!

6005 0991 1047 7802 AM CARD HOLDER

Works for you





6005 0991 1047 7802

Visit www.farmlands.co.nz or phone 0800 200 600 for more information.





Treatment of varroa Kick start your own with oxalic acid beekeeping journey Oxalic acid is becoming an increasingly popular way of combating varroa. At the last two Apiculture Conferences, the use of organic acids to treat varroa has been promoted especially in situations where bees have been found to be resistant to synthetic chemicals. Until recently oxalic acid has not been used by commercial beekeepers as it is too time consuming to apply. Then more recently, the idea of applying it by sublimating (sometimes called vaporising) has become widely used by hobbyists. Sublimation of the acid occurs when the acid changes from solid to a gas without going through the liquid state. However, this method has still taken up to 2-3 minutes. Now there is a way that makes the treatment of varroa a viable option for commercial use. The Sublimox AFP-Plus will treat a hive in 25 seconds without opening the hive. The Sublimox AFP-Plus runs off 230 volt power and can be operated in the field by using a small inverter generator or a car battery and an inverter. The nozzle is inserted into the entrance of the hive or via an 8mm hole drilled in the middle of the back

Using the Sublimox. PHOTO SUPPLIED

of the brood box. As the vapour cannot kill varroa in the brood, the treatment needs to be repeated every five days over a three week period. This ensures all the mites are reached and thus can result in a 95 per cent kill rate. Otherwise if done when hive is broodless only one treatment is required.  Advertising feature

Are you ready to get into having your own hives, your own bees and your own honey supply? Worried about getting stung? Don’t worry, that is merely a fallacy. The rewards are vast if you’re prepared to put in the effort of research and a little hard work. Bees are one of the most instinctively intelligent creatures and learning about them is an endless journey! So, where do you start? The staff at Beequip have made it easy to get started. Our Starter Packs come with everything to get you started, including valuable experienced customer service. The process is simple. Buy a

package of your choice, dive into research – reading the book in the package is a good start and then buy a nucleus hive or if you’re lucky, catch a swarm to go in your hive. It’s really that easy. The bee population in New Zealand really needs a boost, therefore your input will help. The staff at Beequip also really support any beginner that is serious and are happy to help them at any stage! So, why not give it a go? You’ll soon have free delicious honey and a beautiful prosperous garden. What more could you ask for! 

Advertising feature

Begin with Bees... Grab a Package and get into it...Easy!

Sherriff Beesuits The most comfortable suit you’ll ever wear.

Starter Packages from:

Quality hand made in the UK.


Probee41 100% Natural For heathy bees & Varroa control.

Hive World Toolbelt


Never lose your hive tool again

Professional Oxalic Sublimator

Magnetic block holds your tool safely

Manufactured in Italy

See the full range on our website www.hiveworld.co.nz Or phone 0800 000 770 for friendly personal service.

3 Packages to choose from

Get in touch today! 03 528 9404 info@beequip.nz www.beequip.nz




Bees nature’s pollinators If you live in the

countryside ...

Thirty per cent of the world’s food crops are pollinated by bees, including clover pasture, which has been the backbone of the New Zealand agricultural sector for generations. Winter is a particularly difficult time for bees due to poor weather and lack of available nectar. To counteract this, wintering hives is essential. Hives are separated into smaller stacks and placed across the region to ensure there is enough local nectar for the colony to survive. Midlands is currently seeking wintering sites to place beehives, please contact us for more details. Midlands is dedicated to the service of bees and beehives, with the aim of setting new standards of excellence in pollination services within New Zealand. With a strong focus on the pollination of crops including carrot, canola, radish, clover and brassicas, experienced beekeepers strategically place hives on farms all over the Canterbury region to maximise crop

yields. Midlands provides competitive crop pollination prices and will even pollinate clover crops at no cost. Biosecurity and health and safety are of the utmost importance to our operation, we clean and disinfect wheels, wheel arches and boots before entering a farm with cattle. If entering an identified mycoplasma bovis infected farm, we will clean, water blast and disinfect our truck before and after entering. We will always leave your site as we found it, so you don’t need to worry about finding rubbish or gates left open. Innovation and research helps us stay ahead of new pests and diseases, so you can be assured we are doing everything we can to improve hive strength and pollination results. For more information about the services we provide, please contact Field Operations Manager, Matt McCully matt.mccully@midlands. co.nz or 027 839 5390.  Advertising feature

…it’s likely that you are reading this because you have some problem with your septic tank, funny smells or the fact that it’s just not working properly. Our Bio Tab 1T septic tank treatment can quickly, efficiently and economically fix these problems NATURALLY. One tablet can make a world of difference and to maintain a healthy septic tank, add another tablet every three months for an ongoing efficient, odour-free septic tank, operating as it was designed to. If you are farming, on a lifestyle block or otherwise unable to connect to a sewerage system, then a septic tank is the common and practical alternative. Septic tanks need care and like all biological systems are sensitive to conditions in their particular environment. Sometimes, due to toxic chemicals (chlorine for example) entering the

septic tank, the bacteria responsible for the waste treatment die and the process can actually stop working. A Bio Tab 1T treatment can start things up again and avoid costly alternatives such as the need to pump the septic tank out. The Bio Tab solution is well proven, and is NATURAL and SAFE to use. There are no messy hazardous liquids to mix – all you need to do is flush the tablet down the toilet! You will be very impressed with the effectiveness of this technique for fixing septic tank issues. Buy online for just $85 – www.biotreatment.co.nz  Advertising feature

Break down solid waste products and manage nasty odours!

Growing success from the ground up. Midlands is currently seeking wintering sites for beehives. If you are interested in hosting a small stack of beehives on your property, please contact us.

Keeps septic tanks and soak fields clean and healthy NATURALLY & SAFELY

BUY ONLINE for only $85 AND free delivery!

Midlands Bees 2-8 JB Cullen Drive Ashburton 7700, NZ PO Box 65, Ashburton

p. 03 308 1265 f. 03 308 1266 e. honey@midlands.co.nz

... household waste water solutions ... midlands.co.nz

www.biotreatment.co.nz | 03 208 9736





Rural contractors select new leaders The new presidential team leading Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) says the organisation plays an invaluable role educating contractors, providing them with skills and promoting their interests. Southland contractor David Kean was elected the new president at the RCNZ’s annual conference in Masterton in June and Waikato contractor Helen Slattery its new vice president. Kean has been on the RCNZ board since 2009 and served as vice president for the past five years. Slattery has been on the board for six years, serving on subcommittees including health and safety, training, and biosecurity. She is also on the Waikato Regional Council committee that is developing a long-term management plan to deal with velvet-leaf and other weeds, pests and viruses. Both are second generation contractors. In 2003, Kean took over the sheep dipping and weed spraying business that his father Leo started in 1966. In 2016 his two sons,

New RCNZ president David Kean with deputy Helen Slattery PHOTO SUPPLIED and outgoing president Steve Levet.

Jarrod and Nicol, joined him in the business. Slattery and her husband Roger now run the Matamata contracting business that Roger’s father and uncle

started in the mid-1950s. They also operate a collection service and compacting unit for Plasback, which recycles waste silage film throughout New Zealand.

“I first attended an RCNZ conference in 2000,” Kean said. “It was a fantastic opportunity to talk with like-minded contractors and benchmark my business against theirs. I decided it was good for my business and I have been to every annual conference since then. “The conference is a great place to learn about the latest technology and get updates on changes to employment and tax law, health and safety, and other regulations. The Rothbury Insurance scheme that we can get access to through RCNZ and discount fuel scheme from Allied Petroleum are other benefits that RCNZ provides its members.” Finding good employees is a priority for New Zealand’s rural contractors. The contractor leaders applaud Immigration NZ’s decision to renew the RCNZ’s Agreement in Principle (AIP), which makes it much easier for qualified contractors who belong to the association to bring in skilled drivers from overseas.

“There is a labour shortage throughout New Zealand. We try to hire New Zealanders first, but it is not always possible,” Kean said. “Under our AIP, RCNZ members are allowed to bring in a total of just 300 overseas agricultural machinery operators. “Often the young guys we bring in are more familiar than we are with the latest technology because it arrives in Europe before here, so they serve a training role for us as well as driving.” Slattery is an assessor with Connexis, the industry training organisation that serves rural contractors and she has helped write some of its qualification standards. She is also part of the Good Yarn campaign, which educates rural people about how to look out for signs of stress, depression and other mental health problems. “With growing concerns about M.bovis and other biosecurity threats, it has never been more important for farmers to hire contractors who hold registered or qualified contractor status.”

PLAINS Plains Contracting offers a complete cultivation and drilling and forage harvesting service SERVICES INCLUDE • 6m Allen custom drill for direct and conventional drilling • HeVa disc roller with mixing tynes and levelling paddles, ideal for ex winter feed paddocks • Ploughing • Complete forage harvesting service from mowing through to stacking

We offer you competitive rates from planting to harvest for grass and cereal silages. Working in conjunction with Donald Love Contracting for the complete contracting service

Call Robert Love today on 027 304 8837 We treat your crop as if it were our own

We treat your crop as if it were our own

4 MacDon M series windrowers

9 Fronts available including: Drapers, Specialist grass, Mowers & Mower condtioners Windrowers are based throughout Mid-Canterbury - So a machine is always in your area!

23 years contracting experience Ruralco suppliers

From mowing to wrapped or stacked Silage - Tube & individual wrapping Balers - 4 x 3, 3 x 3, Round Fine chop available Standing Lucerne & Grass Wanted

Please contact us so we can help with your supplementary feed requirements.

PHONE 03 303 6300 MOBILE 027 2798 704





SCID potential being realised The predictions made in 2004 that there was “considerable potential’’ for the Seed Crop Isolation Distance Mapping Scheme (SCID) system to develop into an integral part of the New Zealand seed production industry have proved correct. More than 1300 crops are now registered on the system each year, optimising pollination isolation distances between crops for seed variety purity and minimising potential crop loss through cross pollination. SCID grew from a Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) led Sustainable Farming Fund project aimed at replacing a manual isolation checking process, which had been developed several years earlier, with a web-based system using AgriBase mapping software. Since it was formed, SCID has provided a marketing advantage to New Zealand growers for gaining international seed production contracts as well as a process which can help resolve crop site conflicts.

tract government investment and strengthen international collaborations.

Radish seed and white blister disease

Ryegrass yields and plant growth regulators The use of the plant growth regulator Trinexapac-ethyl (TE) has been connected with seed yield increases of up to 50 per cent in perennial ryegrass crops. FAR research into the use of TE in perennial ryegrass seed crops began in 2000. Since then, much work has been carried out to increase industry knowledge about the best way to use the effective chemistry. Trials have investigated

different application rates and timings and TE formulations. Understanding the interactions between nitrogen, defoliation, and irrigation allow New Zealand growers to make informed decisions about appropriate application rates. Research into the impact of plant growth regulators on tall fescue and cocksfoot seed yields has also provided useful information for growers.

Seed Industry Research Centre

Maintaining and increasing New Zealand’s competitive advantage on the global seed

market requires long term research support. With this in mind, FAR, seed companies and research organisations worked together to form the Seed Industry Research Centre. Opened last year, the virtual centre is an incorporated society with a strategic view, governed by farm and industry representatives. The centre combines farmer levies with a contribution from seed companies and other research organisations to create a larger fund to be invested in non-proprietary seed research. The centre places the industry in a stronger position to at-

White blister, also known as white rust, can severely reduce radish seed yields. It is a difficult disease to control, especially when infection is systemic within the host plant. FAR researchers are working to understand exactly how the disease is spread, including the role of seed borne inoculum and of host weeds. Control should occur as a preventative approach by mixing and rotating fungicides from various modes of action to reduce the risk of fungicide resistance. Because white blister is not a true fungus, fungicides which are used for potato blight control are likely to provide the best control. Cultural controls such as paddock selection, removal of host weed species and good plant nutrition may reduce the risk of infection.

We are a specialist vegetable seed production company. We work with farmers to produce High Value, High Quality Vegetable Seed for elite international customers. South Pacific Seeds highly appreciates the support of our dedicated farmers that we work with.

Methven Chertsey Road, Methven Telephone 03 302 8115 Email: nzoffice@spsnz.co.nz




Sow the seeds of success this spring There’s a quiet transformation underway on farms throughout the South Island at the moment, and if you haven’t yet taken advantage of it, this spring offers the ideal opportunity to do so. It’s all to do with pasture, or rather combining two types of pasture which traditionally were kept separate. Agronomist Kris Bailey has seen the results, and says there’s a good reason more and more farmers are opting for this innovative approach. “Mixing tetraploid with diploid perennial ryegrass in one pasture never used to be common practice, because it was thought the tetraploid would be grazed out.” Field testing has since proven this theory wrong, he says, and now the practice is widespread. In part, that’s down to two particular cultivars – Viscount and Trojan – which have together proved to be the ultimate tetraploid/diploid combination, denser and more robust than a straight tetraploid, with much better palatability than a straight diploid.

The best of both worlds – Viscount and Trojan, pictured on the Lincoln University Dairy Farm. PHOTO SUPPLIED 

For farmers who want the easy grazing and improved animal performance of a tetraploid-based pasture, but who have struggled getting straight tetraploids to persist, this has become a very successful and popular option, Kris says. “Both types of plant are mixed through the pasture, and the denser Trojan helps protect the very palatable Viscount from overgrazing.” On dairy farms, Viscount and Trojan combined provide a very easy-to-manage pasture


A stand-out tetraploid ryegrass that animals love. Viscount sets a new standard of performance.

during periods of fast growth. That’s because this mix remains palatable even at relatively high covers (e.g. 3500 to 3600kg DM/ha), unlike diploids, which become hard to graze well and evenly over 3200kg DM/ha. On sheep and beef farms, Viscount/Trojan makes a great all-round finishing pasture, with improved palatability, animal LWG and clover content. Both ryegrass cultivars were created by Barenbrug Agriseeds, one of New Zealand’s

best known seed companies, where Kris works as part of the pasture systems team. “We’ve tested different tetraploid/diploid perennial ryegrass ratios, and as a result we recommend sowing half the normal sowing rate of each cultivar. “That equates to about 15kg/ha Viscount (half of 30kg) plus 10 kg Trojan (half of 20kg). Sown with appropriate clovers this mix gives the balance of palatability and persistence to improve profitability across many situations,”

he says. Tetraploid Viscount with NEA4 endophyte was bred to grow more high ME feed when it’s really needed, during calving and lambing, as well as more DM overall. It has a late heading date (+19 days); improved rust resistance; excellent palatability; clover-friendly upright growth for ease of harvest, and high quality with low aftermath heading. Diploid Trojan with NEA2 endophyte has more stars for seasonal performance from winter through summer than any other ryegrass in the South Island DairyNZ Forage Variety Index (FVI) lists. This extra dry matter (DM) yield from the start of lactation through to Christmas, combined with leafy high quality feed, drives peak milk production. Key features include late heading (+16 days), with a low level of aftermath heading, which improves Trojan’s feed value in late spring and summer. 


Trojan is the five-star perennial ryegrass with unrivalled performance value ratings in Dairy NZ’s Forage Value Index (FVI). Trojan is a perennial ryegrass certified under the New Zealand seed certification scheme as Lolium boucheanum.

Two outstanding ryegrasses that will underpin your farm operation.

As Barenbrug Agriseeds we have access to the Royal Barenbrug Group’s world-leading research, knowledge and plant genetics. All of that helps us deliver superior pastures for superior returns.


0800 449 955


Advertising feature





Seed production grows the economy Grain and seed growers make a hefty contribution to the New Zealand economy. Growers produce 40,000 tonnes of seed off 40,000 hectares of land which is worth $150 million to $170m, according to the New Zealand Grain and Seed Trade Association (NZGSTA). Seed exports contribute revenue of $70m. The seed produced by growers such as pasture seeds, mainly ryegrass and clovers, supports the livestock industry. Another 950,000 tonnes of barley, wheat, maize and oats is grown and 350,000 tonnes of grain is produced for human consumption and 600,000 tonnes for animal feed. The combined estimated farm-gate value of this is $370m, the compound feed industry value $500m, poultry and pork products produced from this grain yields $1200m and retail value of cereal products $1200m. Many New Zealand-bred cultivars, especially ryegrass, tall fescue and clover species, are commercially adopted in other countries. Pasture seed has traditionally been the mainstay of New Zealand

More lately new business has also been developed in contract seed production for other countries

seed exports, but there is a rapidly increasing trend towards vegetable seed production aimed particularly at Asian countries. More lately new business has also been developed in contract seed production for other countries. Opposite production seasons in the northern and southern hemispheres enable plant breeders to accelerate seed production, and commercial companies to make up seasonal shortfalls from their own production. Pasture seed and vegetable seed are the main export items. About 36,000 tonnes of seed are exported each year and 2014/15 exports were estimated at more than $170m. Major markets are the United States, Australia, Europe, Japan and China and South America.

Export quality seed processing When only the best will do

For a Complete Seed Processing Service

Including: Weighbridge, moisture testing, drying, storage, precision processing, registered MAF officers, packaging, container loading and cartage. Specialising in export quality processing of: • Vegetable Seed • Grass Seed • Cereals • Clover • Brassicas • Pulses • Linseed • Hemp

Healthy seed is the basis for healthy crops.

Smallbone Drive Ashburton Phone 307 8383 Fax 308 1497 Email office@siseed.co.nz

We clean straight from your silo

JW Neill Mobile Seed Cleaning and screening can save you time and money by utilising farm saved seed. We are a North Otago based company and have been travelling to farms for over 12 years cleaning seeds. We come to you and take all the hassle and cost out of transporting your seed to town, we clean straight from the silo. We currently have three machines running, with a fourth build starting at the end of the year. Our latest truck houses the latest technology in seed cleaning, a gravity separator table and a NorogardR8 treater. The gravity separator uses a combination of air, vibration and separation based on a density difference. This is useful when processing specialist small seeds and wherever

contamination needs to be separated, it excels itself in raising hectolitre weight and falling number (Hagberg) in milling wheat varieties. The NorogardR8 provides a sophisticated fully automated seed treatment for a wide range of seeds, it has an even flow of both seeds and treating liquids that is continuously measured providing accurate application of fungicide and insecticides. Our ryegrass trailer is available for cleaning both Italian and perennial rye grasses through our length separation indent cylinders. This machine has the capability to clean and treat cereals as well. We service a wide area covering all of Otago and Canterbury. Give Johnny a call to see if we can benefit you. Advertising feature



Growing seeds for a growing world

Specialists in grain handling equipment

Townsend Seeds International Limited has now been in business for 22 years. From small beginnings in 1996 we have grown to be a significant player in the global seed industry. Employing 12 permanent staff across our trading, research and contracting divisions, we cover all aspects of an international seed production company including vegetable seeds, both hybrid and OP, plus garden peas, forage, turf grasses and clover. We produce FI and open pollinated vegetable seeds for some of the largest seed companies in the global market as well as conducting trials and providing research facilities. Our reputation for providing high quality garden peas to the international markets is well recognised due to the high calibre of our production and research staff, meaning we have an unsatisfied demand for vining and fresh market seeds. Forage, turf grasses and clover were the initial commodities when the company commenced business and remains a stable feature of our overall portfolio.

PMR was established in 2004 by Paul Whitbread who had been working in the grain and seed industry in the United Kingdom. At first PMR predominantly sold and installed grain storage and handling equipment and that remains the cornerstone of the business to date. Back in 2012 PMR relocated to their current site at Hinds just south of Ashburton and at that time started to establish themselves as a supplier of high quality grain and seed cleaning equipment. Now after eight years of servicing this industry PMR are the leading supplier of this type of equipment in

We are fully mechanised to manage all facets of hybrid vegetable seed production with our own GPS equipped tractors, precision seeders, cultivators, toppers and mulchers etc. Recently we purchased some land and a building in Rakaia to have a base in this important production region. This allows us to store all equipment in one place as well as providing an office and base for some of our production and research staff. Townsend Seeds is committed to New Zealand and working with Kiwi farmers to grow the high-quality seed crops that our country is so well known for. We welcome new partners. Advertising feature


New Zealand. The range of equipment that PMR now supplies includes the following machines by some of the world’s leading manufactures. Air Aspirated sieve cleaners, gravity separation tables, de-stoners, indent cylinders, spiral separation units, optical colour sorting, seed treating and coating, fluidized bed dryers and many other machines used in a modern day seed cleaning operations. PMR also offer a design and install service to complement the above equipment supply. Please feel free to contact Paul on 03 303 7266. Advertising feature





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

IS STORAGE GOING TO BE AN ISSUE FOR YOU THIS HARVEST? We still have contracts available for: • Garden peas • Asian Brassica • Spinach All of these crops can be delivered directly to store ex harvest. For further information, contact: Hayden Argyle 0275 344 534 Bruce Heywood 0273 231 770 Townsend Seeds International Limited

1153 Springs Road, RD 6 CHRISTCHURCH 7676 19 Railway Tce RAKAIA 7710




Dairy Feed and Crop Storage Specialists

Dairy Feed and Crop Storage Specialists

Tel: 03 303 7266 | Mobile 0274 151 390 | Email: paul@pmr.co.nz





Wetland reserve’s latest addition A wetland featuring native plants from the Ruapuna area is the latest addition to the Harris Scientific Reserve. The reserve, on the outskirts of Ashburton, protects the most significant remnant of kanuka on the Mary FOREST Canterbury Plains. Kanuka is Ralston AND BIRD a small native shrub that was once one of the most common native plants on the plains. The Harris Reserve began between the Rakaia and in 2010 when it was formally Rangitata Rivers. This protected with a QEII preserves the original genetic covenant. stock and ensures the plants The 11 hectares of are adapted to the conditions land, which belongs to the they are likely to find. The site Ashburton District Council, is harsh – windy and often dry, was leased to the Ashburton with well-drained stony soils. Community Conservation Planting has continued Trust. Trust members began every year and the new plants Edith Smith with kanuka seedlings ready for planting.  the task of protecting and are well established, providing extending the remnant by a glimpse of what the plains planting thousands of native would have looked like before the trust. “It wouldn’t need was not just about the plants. seedlings propagated from intensive farming became the trimming in a shelter belt, “The reserve also protects the original kanuka at the norm. Kanuka is bushy and or could be hedged to allow an example of stony lismore reserve and other natives low-growing (up to about five irrigators to pass over it and soils that have only ever been from different sites on the metres), and easy to establish it’s a quick-grower. Bees really lightly cultivated. This is Canterbury Plains. on the plains. It is closely like kanuka too, which would rare now on the Canterbury Trust members feel that related to manuka and is also provide farmers with another Plains where most of the soils “eco-sourcing” the plants valuable as food for bees. income stream from kanuka are cultivated, fertilised and is extremely important. “It is a perfect plant for planted on farm.” irrigated.” This meansFORCE all the plants farm shelter belts,” said250W X 180H Chairwoman of the trust, More than 1000 kanuka HAMMER 1/2 PAGE GUARDIAN FARMING MM are natives from the plains Val Clemens, a member of Edith Smith, said the reserve and about 500 plants of


other species were planted at the recent planting event. It was a great day with the mayor, several councillors, council staff, scouts and many members and friends of the conservation trust and Forest and Bird who turned out in force to get the plants in the ground before the predicted southerly.

NAIL HARD TO KILL WEEDS ZERO GRAZING & DRILLING WITHHOLDING PERIODS Better broadleaf weed control Faster brownout of weeds Sow into a cleaner seedbed Faster turnaround NEW LOW ODOUR FORMULATION

©2018 Arysta LifeScience Group Company. Registered pursuant to the ACVM Act, 1997, No. P7983. HAMMER is a registered trademark of FMC Corporation, USA. Arysta LifeScience and the Arysta LifeScience logo are registered trademarks of Arysta LifeScience Corporation.




Cereal fungicide resistance spreading Septoria resistance in cereal may be just the start Mid Canterbury is the cereal bowl of New Zealand. So, any risk to wheat and barley is not only a threat to our region but to the country. Fungicide resistance is increasingly one of those very real threats. Crop protection company Adama NZ has been at the forefront of supplying leading-edge chemistry to combat resistance along with muchneeded expertise to back it up. The ultimate goal is protecting crops and yields, and safeguarding existing chemistry. Global expert Andy Bailey has seen first-hand the catastrophic impact that resistance has had in the UK and Ireland; first with Septoria tritici (speckled leaf blotch) and more recently with ramularia in barley. He was back in New Zealand in early August, as a guest of Adama NZ, to follow-up on last year’s visit, and to share his observations and experience in the UK and Ireland with local agronomists and industry influencers. There’s no doubting that the 20-year research veteran, who is a fungicide technical advisor at Adama UK, knows his stuff. “I’ve been interested in Septoria resistance management through my long career both developing fungicides and researching fungicides. Resistance is a key focus area for me.” In the UK, he also dedicates significant time to talking one-on-one with growers, and using the resulting podcasts to spread knowledge and findings. His visit here was our opportunity to do the same. Andy says there has already been a distinctive shift in sensitivity to SDHI chemistry in wheat. “Now we’re probably looking at another sensitivity shift, exactly the ramifications of that and how that will play out we really need a little bit more information and all the information is not in for the end of the 2018 campaign yet. But all the indicators are there.” He has been reinforcing his message that New Zealand growers should be taking advantage of multi-site chemicals to help protect the now at-risk, single-site, DMI chemistries, which the industry has relied on for generations. Single-sites’ efficacy has now been significantly eroded in the UK and Ireland down from 80 to 90% control to around 30 to 40%. As a result, Andy says, SDHIs need to be

Above: Adama UK Technical Specialist Andy Bailey.

carefully stewarded. “Thankfully, with Phoenix and Bolide New Zealand has the tools to manage this threat now.” Phoenix® fungicide (Phoenix), is a multi-site protectant (Phthalimide – Group M4, folpet), working against Septoria at a cellular level on three sites. Currently there is no known resistance to folpet anywhere in the world. Andy says, Phoenix should always be the first thing in the tank for an effective resistance strategy (see fig. 1). Phoenix also works to enhance DMI uptake, increasing the speed of action and efficacy. Adama recommends using Bolide® as an excellent solution for Septoria control and

an ideal partner for Phoenix. Bolide contains two different DMI active ingredients. Epoxiconazole is a tri-azole, prochloraz is an imidazole. The two select for different strains of Septoria, so they complement each other in a mixture at optimised ratios. Daren Mabey, Commercial Manager at Adama NZ, says growers in this country are increasingly aware of the risks of resistance and its yieldrobbing potential. “One of the issues is that it has to be assumed that Septoria is already there. By the time you actually see it, that’s going to be too late.” A relatively long latent period means crops will be infected well before any signs of infection are visible. Daren acknowledges that


growers are being asked to put something extra in the tank with Phoenix, but warns that not doing so could hugely impact control now and into the future. The timing for protectant activity is vital. Daren says applying Phoenix and Bolide at T1 is optimal, if not essential. “That’s because an infected leaf 3 can easily infect leaf 2 and the flag leaf. So keeping leaf 3 clean is essential for maintaining full yield potential as the crop reaches maturity.” The other issue Andy highlighted during his visit was ramularia resistance in barley. This is already a huge issue in Europe and is causing widespread concern. He says the speed of

development of resistance in Ramularia has taken the industry by surprise. “The one thing that’s changed in the last year quite markedly, is the shift in sensitivity of Ramularia. That’s been quite rapid. We had confirmed mutations in Germany previously, but we confirmed those also in the UK. And last year, in 2017, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board published data from some of their trial sites around the UK and particularly sites in Scotland, where we actually saw no performance what-so-ever with a tri-azole or SDHI mixture. So it’s occurred very quickly.” “Products are still working in some localities, but we certainly have a very rapidly developing situation and certainly at certain sites performance has been lost.” Now, Ramularia has also become an issue here in New Zealand, a particular worry for growers and agronomists. Andy says, Ramularia tends to come in later in the season, so the potential for reducing the yield is perhaps diminished, or underestimated. “Ramularia can cause yield losses of, regularly quoted, 600kg per ha, on spring barley in the UK. So, growers can have a crop, which they think has got great potential, it looks good, then they see it go-off quickly at the end of the season.” Adama has already been monitoring Ramularia closely in this country. Daren says, “We’re confident of having tools available for this season that can help our barley growers.” Andy believes that rather than something having gone particularly wrong to create the resistance to fungicides, it is simply the almost inescapable outcome of the interaction between fungicides and disease. “Ultimately, if you’re using single-site acting fungicides, resistance will develop and it develops over a period of time depending on things including disease pressure, and how many times the fungicides are sprayed.” For more information on how to up-date your resistance management strategy for 2018/2019 with Adama products, contact your local technical advisor or visit www.adama.com. 

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Recycling – getting it right Recycling and waste continue to make the headlines and play a prominent part in news broadcasts as global markets adjust to the changes. But whatever the difficulties of maintaining a recycling system in a small country like New Zealand, there are so many materials that are so easy to recycle on farms, businesses and at home.

Avoid unnecessary packaging in the first place If you can purchase an item in a reusable container then that’s always going to be better than recycling. While supermarkets might be pushing reusable bags, there are many other options in this area. How about taking your own mesh bags for fruit, vegetables, and items from the bulk food bins? All the little things we do can make a difference.

So what can we all do Plastics 1-7 can all still be recycled here in the Ashburton District.

Cardboard and paper can have a second life as newspaper, tissues, cardboard trays and egg cartons. Before you put your pizza box in the recycling bin please scrape the last bits of food off it. Sheryl Stivens


Drop clean plastic bottles and containers in your recycling bin at the Community Recycling Depot, Ashburton or Rakaia Resource Recovery Parks or your yellow lidded bin at home. No foodwaste or garden waste or rubbish please. Glass bottles and jars must be recycled into separate bins as the broken glass contaminates the plastics, paper and cardboard. Our glass is recycled in Auckland. Aluminium and steel cans – recycling the metals requires less energy than the primary production. Recycling aluminium from a can takes only 5 per cent of the energy required to extract it from ore. Clean aluminium foil can also be recycled.

Organic waste When you think about it, the idea of getting fruit and vegetable scraps and putting them in plastic bags to be buried underground is quite insane (at least, it is to any gardeners out there). If these same scraps were composted, within a few months they’d become valuable soil – we can’t garden or farm without soil. Set up a compost bin, a Hungry Bin worm farm or Bokashi buckets at home and make your own plant food. If you dispose of organic material into your red lidded bin or the Ashburton or Rakaia landfills and it goes to Kate Valley Landfill, not all is lost from a re-use perspective. As rubbish at a landfill degrades, it releases methane gas. At modern landfills such as Kate Valley this gas is extracted via a network

of wells and converted into electricity.

Recycling bin etiquette The simple truth is that for recycling to work effectively, it takes a little bit of effort from all of us. This means knowing what can be put in your recycling bin. Any organic or banned material has the ability of contaminating good recyclable product and can therefore risk the recyclable material having to be thrown away. Problematic materials coming through the recycling sorting systems, include organic material, nappies and plastic bags. From a safety perspective, gas bottles and lithium batteries are also

problematic because they have the ability to cause significant damage when placed in a collection vehicle. While there’s no question that the way we approach recycling in New Zealand will require continued work as we plan ahead it’s clear that there are plenty of materials that can be effectively diverted from landfill right now. So any time you see an empty bottle, pizza box, or aluminium can lying around pick it up, put it into a recycling bin, safe in the knowledge that it won’t go to waste. For information on what to recycle and where visit the Ashburton District Council website; www.ashburtondc.govt.nz

For help with your farm waste and recycling systems call Deidre Nuttall, phone 0275 490-904 or email; deidre.nuttall@envirowaste.co.nz



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03 348 9439

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Brent Jessep 027 253 6605 | mcbuildingremovals.co.nz

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“We don’t know how lucky we are ...” I’ve just come back from a holiday to complete a bucket list item for me and that was visiting the mountain gorillas of Rwanda and Uganda. It really does make you realise how lucky we are to live in this place on earth called New Zealand. I guess when we visit a third world country you are likely to get this feeling, but East Africa certainly does leave you appreciating what we have in New Zealand. There is no doubt that seeing gorillas in the wild sitting only a couple of metres away and knowing these powerful animals have 97 per cent of our own DNA is a sight that I shall carry with me for the rest of my life. In fact I still shake my head in wonderment at how so many animals of so many different shapes, sizes and build all end up in one place. They ranged from giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, antelopes, lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalos, plus hundreds of different and colourful bird species. Poverty is everywhere

Chris Murdoch


throughout all the East African countries and sustainable living is a way of life and yet, amongst all of this, Uganda has the Masai Mara game Reserve of some 14,500 square miles. The reserve’s boundary is the Mara River, which separates Uganda from Tanzania, and the Serengeti National Park of some 140,000sq miles (10 times the size of Masai Mara). Both of these countries – Tanzania and Uganda – have a genuine interest to keep this border open as this is the path of the great migration where about 1.5 million animals follow the grass growth, as they have for millions of years. Now, of course, each country makes a large portion of its overseas income from tourism.

One of the most striking things that surprised me was the wish for parents that their children go to school. At a school we visited, which had what we would consider very, very poor facilities, we were shown a child that was five years old, that walked 2.5 hours barefoot to school every day and then home again at the end of the school day. I couldn’t see that happening in New Zealand. Rwanda was, I feel, the most interesting of all the countries we visited. It was only on April 7, 1994 when the 100 day genocide took place. The

Hutus slaughtered about one million Tutsis, neighbours murdered neighbours and family members killed other family members. As I say, it’s hard to believe this all took place in 1994. Now the country is by far the cleanest and tidiest of all the countries we visited. Once a month all the population is expected to spend a full Saturday morning picking up rubbish and tidying up in general. Another thing that all the countries seem to have taken on board is to give up using plastic bags.

When you purchase a product in a shop you either get a paper bag or a biodegradable bag. Looking at what they have achieved by saying no to plastic makes me wonder what our problem with it is. Let’s just do it and ban plastic bags. All in all we had a great time, but now it’s back to work. One thing I did learn was how you tell a male zebra for a female zebra, a male zebra is painted black with white stripes and a female zebra is painted white with black stripes.

Property Brokers Ashburton Rural Team

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Profile for Ashburton Guardian

Guardian Farming - September 2018  

Guardian Farming - September 2018