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An Ashburton Guardian Feature

October 2012


In defence of Overseer p 2-3-4-5

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nutrient budgeting

In defence of Overseer


Any feedback is welcome, any comments about our magazine, letters or story suggestions. Please direct any correspondence to: Linda Clarke, on 307-7971 email: or write to PO Box 77, Ashburton. Advertising: Phone 307-7900 Email: Publication date: October 9, 2012 Next issue: November 6, 2012 An advertising feature for the Ashburton Guardian. Any opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of Guardian Farming or the Ashburton Guardian.


Linda Clarke, Ashburton Guardian rural reporter

One of the architects of the much-criticised nutrient budgeting programme Overseer has defended the software, saying it might not be perfect but it is a world-leading model. Dr Ants Roberts said Overseer, developed in the early 1990s, was up to version six, each version an improvement on the last and incorporating new technology. It helps farmers see what is happening to the nutrients, like fertiliser, they apply to the farm; it is controversially being used by Environment Canterbury to assess how much nitrogen is leaching beyond a crop’s root zone and potentially into groundwater and waterways. Farmers say it should not be used as regulatory tool, and is not able to accurately handle some cropping and irrigated situations. The Foundation for Arable Research is already undertaking a review of the programme to see if it is fit for purpose. ECan is implementing nutrient limits as part of its proposed Land and Water Plan. Dr Roberts said Overseer was a Dr Dirt, Ants mathematical interpretation of a Roberts. biological system, and was a farm management tool to manage nutrients and report on nutrient losses. “There are a lot of people who have never opened an Overseer programme who have been commenting on it,” he told members of the Ashburton water zone committee recently. “There is a lot of misunderstanding about it and a lot of agendas.” He said the latest version had been His advice: tested at the Lincoln University dairy rate farm, where Overseer-estimated Make sure accu into es go n io nitrogen losses more or less matched informat el actual losses recorded by lysimeters. od the m nt ue A chief scientific officer for fertiliser Improve effl company Ravensdown, Dr Roberts, management ion type was on the team that brought Consider irrigat ke) dy Overseer into the world two decades er rd bo (spray or ago. The programme was developed rs to bi hi Nitrification in by AgResearch and part-funded by the fertiliser industry and Low nitrogen feed government departments to the supplementary s tune of $15 million. rn ba Wintering The software is free to farmers, Wetlands

who developers say can stop wasting money on applying fertiliser that is not required and halt environmental damage from overuse of fertiliser. Dr Roberts said Overseer was useful in helping farmers measure nitrogen losses. It had a long history with pastoral use and could handle complex cropping rotations and stock mixes. More money was needed to improve it further to cope with some irrigated scenarios. The software requires annual rainfall figures, as it takes a long-term view – the amount of irrigation needs to match rainfall inputs otherwise Overseer may overestimate drainage and nitrogen loss. He said putting in the right data was important, otherwise it was a case of “rubbish in, rubbish out”. In his presentation to the zone committee, the main driving factors for nitrogen leaching were outlined as soil texture, soil drainage, rainfall and irrigation, pasture development, animal type and winter management. So, what were the main factors that will reduce the amount of nitrogen loss per hectare (using the programme)? Anything that reduces the amount of nitrogen concentration in urine patches on pasture soils. The fertiliser industry expects to be very busy helping farmers adjust to nutrient limits, through the development of nutrient management plans, an essential part of farm management plans. Ravensdown has carried out nearly 3000 nutrient management plans nationwide for dairy farmers. In Canterbury alone, there are some 16,000 farmers, from big corporate to lifestyle block owners, all required to have a nutrient budget. So will the industry have them compliant by 2017, as the Land and Water Plan requires? Dr Roberts said the workload was worrying, but Ravensdown management had said its farmer shareholders would meet the deadline. Story continues over page

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The fertiliser industry says Overseer will be a valuable tool for farming within environment limits.

within environmental limits.” He says that as Overseer has come into common usage, expectations of what it can do have rapidly risen. In addition, new science is continually becoming available.

Use of the programme has expanded to the point where it has enabled nutrient budgeting to be rolled out to virtually all “This sixth and latest generation, released dairy farmers and there has been a good in August, has addressed a range of matters start made with sheep and beef farmers as to achieve greater utility.” well, says Dr Philip Mladenov, chief executive of the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand. These include improved definitions of farm block types and stock classes. “We have to be careful that we manage It provides milking shed feeding and its development so that it continues to add value by supporting profitable farming feed pads as two separate options and

enhanced input requirements for fertiliser, One of the key intentions of the upgrade supplementary feed, irrigation, effluent has been to improve modelling of particular management and nitrification inhibitors. farming types or local conditions, he said. There are improvements to the fodder crop “As a result of requirements in the component and, most importantly, it has Canterbury region, for example, the model’s introduced a more sensitive drainage model. drainage component has been improved to “A very significant upgrade to the arable achieve more reliable estimates on shallow sub-model was introduced in an earlier and stony soils which drain quickly and version and this has been carried through where there is growing use of irrigation.” and better integrated into the new model. Many of these innovations are designed to better represent the increasing range of farm systems.”

Dr Mladenov said Overseer was a sophisticated software, but still a work in progress. Story continues on page 4

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nutrient budgeting

4 DairyNZ’s strategy and investment leader for productivity Dr Bruce Thorrold says the dairy industry has supported the development of Overseer as it is a useful guidance tool for the industry. “We support Overseer for farm management decisions when it is used by people who are trained and competent in its use,” he says. Dr Mladenov said Overseer was an important guidance tool and warns that it has to be seen for what it is. “Overseer was designed to model nutrient movements and losses in a variety of farming systems – not specify exact amounts in every situation. It is an important distinction. “For example, there has been pressure to incorporate daily timestep data for rainfall measurements, whereas Overseer currently operates on monthly timesteps. Daily timesteps would add enormous complexity with little prospect of improved outcomes. The reality is that rainfall is unpredictable and can only really be understood over long-run averages. “What Overseer does exceptionally well is provide for sound farm management decisions using science-based estimates of nutrient cycling within the farm system, including the amounts, on average, taken up by produce or lost from the root zone. It enables scenarios to be modelled to find the best management options.” Dr Mladenov said there was a lack of research available to determine the fate of nutrients leaving the root zone and entering water bodies, something agencies regulating waterways are interested in. But he says Overseer is neither able nor has it been intended to model the fate of those nutrients beyond the root zone or the farm boundary. Meanwhile, further advancements in the support around Overseer are currently in development. These will include improved training in its use and certification of those involved in providing advice to farmers.

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Contributed by Mary Ralston, Forest and Bird

We have some very special residents that have recently arrived back in town – the black-billed gull or tarapunga. This gull looks like the common seagull, or red-billed gull, but is actually a totally different species and a rare and precious New Zealand bird. They are much smaller and rarer than the common black-backed gull. They are listed as endangered – like the kiwi. The exciting news is that the black-billed gull or tarapunga are nesting on the riverbed just outside Ashburton. They are specialist braided river birds with specific requirements for their colony site and they seem to think our riverbed is up to scratch. The floods in the river over the last few months have created clean shingle islands which suit them for nesting and raising their chicks. Islands are ideal because they are less accessible to 4WD, motorbikes, dogs, cats and other predators. The actual bank they have chosen this year is very low and may be washed over if there is a flood. Hopefully that won’t happen but we still have the spring thaw to come and the chances of them surviving there are not great. Fortunately if that does happen and they lose their first clutch they are able to re-nest within a couple of weeks.  Last year about 3000 black-billed gull /tarapunga were counted along the Ashburton River, well down from the 6000 counted the year before. In the colony near town, there are about 2000 so far. Most of tarapunga in New Zealand are found in Southland, but numbers there have declined dramatically over the past couple of decades. The gull’s numbers and range continue to increase in the North Island, but these colonies are small and the increase does not offset the South Island declines. Why are these birds failing to breed successfully? There are many factors which cumulatively put a lot of pressure on riverbed birds – predation (from cats, dogs, stoats, weasels and ferrets) is one of the main reasons, and disturbance is the other. Motorbikes and vehicles on the riverbed don’t just disrupt the birds from sitting on eggs but they also expend a lot of energy getting away from these perceived threats. Vehicles have been known to run over birds, chicks and nests on the riverbed and stress can also affect a bird’s nesting behaviour. Weeds in many of the braided rivers also reduce the number of suitable nesting sites. Signs have been put up at the access points to the river to remind people that birds are starting to nest on the riverbeds and should be given a wide berth. As well as the black-billed gull, wrybills, black-fronted terns, oystercatchers and other birds are beginning to return to our braided rivers – it is especially important at this time of year that vehicles aren’t driven on the riverbeds and dogs are kept under control. We are very privileged to have these rare birds living in our backyard, we need to do everything we can to look after them.

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Braided river birds need protection


white clover

An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature

New generation of large-leaved white clover This year sees the release of Grasslands Mainstay, the first fourth generation largeleaved white clover from AgResearch. Mainstay sets a new benchmark in drymatter production and persistency for large-leaved white clovers. Mainstay’s key selection criteria was both increased persistence and production. This exciting new variety performed strongly for both criteria when challenged with environmental pressure; two successive severe droughts whilst also in the presence of high levels of clover root weevil. Mainstay has been extensively trialled under dairy and beef grazing and has shown high total yield scores, with these yield advantages increasing in the third and fourth years of

trialling under grazing. Mainstay demonstrated its ability to perform under pressure in a Waikato dairy trial established in 2005 which was completed after the droughts of 2007-08. The drought recovery of Mainstay in these conditions was notably greater than other currently available commercial white clover cultivars (Figure 1). Agricom’s product development specialist Allister Moorhead expressed his excitement at the release of the new large-leaved white clover Mainstay. He describes it as the perfect match for the high performance grasses from Agricom such as the diploid ryegrasses ONE50, Prospect and Commando and the tetraploid ryegrasses Halo and Ohau.

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Irrigation servicing – invest now to save time, money and stress during the critical season Ray Mayne Hose and Fittings Ltd is a privately owned irrigation company based in Ashburton, Mid Canterbury. The company was formed in 1991 by Ray and Noeleen Mayne and currently employs 20 staff. Ray has been involved in the irrigation industry since 1981. Our company specialises in irrigation design, installation, manufacture and importing of irrigation equipment. The company has a large client base throughout New Zealand. Ray Mayne Hose and Fittings Ltd is the New Zealand importer of Reinke irrigation equipment from the USA and importer of Snap Tite irrigation hose products from the USA and Europe. We manufacture the TurboRain brand of large travelling

linear irrigator, and are a distributor for the Pleuger range of Submersible Irrigation pumps through Flowserve Pumps Ltd.

has been involved in the irrigation industry for many years and has an extensive knowledge of many types of irrigation equipment. Miles has come up “through the As a result of ever increasing number of ranks” from being a member of the Reinke Reinke Centre Pivot and Lateral irrigators spanning crew to now being a member of being sold in New Zealand, we have the Reinke Technical division. Our dedicated split our overall service division into two Divisions. The Reinke Technical Division and Reinke service staff will provide an efficient and knowledgeable service, to allow Reinke TurboRain/General service division. The new Reinke Technical Division is headed by systems to operate to their maximum David Shaw and consists of Cairan Bennett, potential at all times during the busy irrigation season. Don McLaren and Miles Haydon-Glidden. Both David and Cairan have attended We also have a dedicated spanning crew extensive specialised factory training in which is responsible for the assembly of all the USA and been involved in all aspects Reinke irrigators on farm. of construction and maintenance of centre pivot and lateral irrigators. Don McLaren In past years there have been major

advances with technological equipment, and this equipment is giving huge improvements to water coverage and travel speed when installed on Reinke irrigators. These advancements include GPS guidance for Swing Arm Corner Pivots and for guidance on lateral irrigators. Reinke have been the world leaders in this form of irrigator guidance and we have a large number of these systems operating very successfully in New Zealand. Ray Mayne Hose and Fittings Ltd carry a large range of irrigator and general irrigation spare parts at our Ashburton facility.

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irrigate with caution

Contributed by Dr Tony Davoren

Equinox gone and time for 2012-13 irrigation season The equinox has now passed us by, with just a hint of “typical” equinoxial weather. No sooner had the combination of equinox and the developing El Nino cocktail shown their hand, than it has become cooler and a little damp again. Some of the “crystal ball” gazing of last month came to fruition – the rest did not. C’est la vie. Last month I made a prophetic prediction that the irrigation season is not far away. I didn’t need a crystal ball for that. Experience tells me the equinox is the key – equal day and night, then increasing day. This time of the year is also a time of windy weather. At the time, the global climate measurements suggest we are heading into an El Nino phase – and so it has remained. The Southern Oscillation Index has remained negative (indicative of El Nino) but is not particularly strong with the last update in early September at -5. El Niño is characterised by greater

southwesterly and westerly airflow over the east coast. So it was in early September when the weather was dominated by westerly and north-westerly weather systems; very wet on the West Coast and dry and warm on the east with a west to north west wind. In the last 10-12 days though the weather has been pretty neutral – some cooler days, frosts and the NW in particular has not been as prevalent. However, the weather pattern, the longer daylength and soil temperatures finally reaching 10°C by 9am (or 10am with daylight saving) has meant a start to the irrigation season. Not everywhere though – as usual it is the early grass seed crops, kale and rape crops, and pastures on light soils (those with stones in the root zone) where a start has been required. Anyone with a long rotation (11-14 days) on lighter soils should have started, probably finished a round by the time this is read. Cautious irrigation is the name of the game though

– crop water use is averaging 1.5-2mm/day. Applying some Year 4 or 5 maths will realise a total of 10-15mm/week, just one round of a pivot per week or an 11-hour run with a Roto-rainer. Remember, save your seasonal volume – there may be a more valuable time to use it than have it drain out the bottom of the root zone. Last month I looked at the groundwater levels in K37/1792 and K37/0093 which are both in the Valetta Groundwater Zone. I made an calculation error with the water level for reliability in K37/0093 – it is not 5.7mbgl but more like 5.2mbgl. It doesn’t change my assessment that:

in the mid and upper Valetta Zone. Here recharge has taken longer to influence water levels in bores, so much so that at the beginning of August water levels were relatively low still. Sufficiently low that some adaptive management consents were on 100 per cent restriction for their adaptive management water. However, since then water levels have continued to rise and rise quite rapidly – over 2m in the past 6 weeks – and continue to rise. As is usually the case: The equinox heralded the start of the irrigation season, being that time of the year when day length, sun angle, temperature and solar radiation are favourable for growth and water use.

The water levels were charging upward and would be higher when measured in September; and in the coastal area there would be plenty of water for all (including But at least for the next few weeks, irrigate the adaptive management consent holders) cautiously. It takes more than 12 hours day in 2012-13. and 12 hours night and 20°C to raise water The same cannot be said for deeper bores use by the crops above about 2mm/day.

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record keeping

Contributed by John Leadley

Another farming hurdle to c

When I commenced farming on my own account 50 years ago, success was about making the right decisions and working hard and efficiently to achieve those desired outcomes.

containing nothing more than destination and an area of concern. number (unsigned). OSH was non-existent. Without doubt the strength of Canterbury’s Employment contracts with staff were rural base is testament to the diversity and virtually unknown. As an itinerant shearer and productivity of our soils. The advent of casual worker, pressure to join the shearers’ irrigation in the post-war years bought a huge union was by-passed by co-operation with the upsurge in per hectare production. At times, product price variation, weather farmer and work ethics. variability, mortgage costs and other factors Technological changes since, together with meant very little income for the year’s effort, Yes, farming was about work, produce and a shift to centre pivot and lateral irrigation, but most survived. market. Record keeping was minimal and have not only doubled production but allowed Emphasis was always around work, produce uncomplicated and book-keeping contained in even greater diversification to previously a couple of shoe boxes in longhand. and market. Little if any time was spent daily unprofitable crop and stock regimes. on record keeping except in most cases a This is far from the case today as indeed Product flexibility to meet market demands farmer’s diary. Farm programmes were often it must be. I certainly support many of the has been key to success. The range of stock worked out while driving the tractor and changes that have occurred in the industry plus crop varieties is now endless. decisions were based on what had worked over the last 50 years if New Zealand is to well in the past, or something you picked up at continue its role as food basket for the world. Despite some contrary opinion there is a Young Farmers, Federated Farmers or the local huge opportunity to irrigate more Canterbury Product verification, soil health, water quality land sustainably, and still safeguard soil and dog dosing strip. and use efficiency, and a myriad of other water quality. Spot visits by the government-employed constraints that are part of the industry today, Dairy Inspector to check on cowshed and High country and foothill storage lakes can all be theoretically justified. dairy utensil cleanliness went undocumented. feeding hydro stations and irrigation by gravity However some of the proposals in the (Thank goodness for those coded party line must surely be the most logical way forward. Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan phone rings advising up to 10 farms at a time The Land and Water Regional Plan through are a step too far in my view in the pursuit of of his presence in the area.) sustainable food production and soil and water the Resource Management Act appears to stymie, or at least make prospects even more Prime stock for slaughter were loaded onto health. While the intent of the plan has to be trucks, accompanied by a simple docket supported, the potential “big brother” aspect is difficult in this area. Story continues next page

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record keeping

cross and more bureaucracy

Equally, existing mixed farming/dairy grazing/fattening and mixed cropping enterprises, where the balance of fertiliser requirement can vary vastly on a year-toyear basis, appear grossly marginalised by the LWRP. Rules 5.39 – 5.51 are a particular The management tool set to determine soil nutrient status as from 2012 is Overseer, concern. a somewhat complex and unproven I believe farmers need to submit strongly programme with very little detail on and with a united front against the more methodology or accuracy. draconian aspects within the document. Nutrient assessment is a necessary tool for No doubt the devil will again be in the sustainable farming in the future, but not at detail, and that is currently unknown. any cost. When Geoffrey Palmer introduced the Overseer may perform tolerably well on Resource Management Act (RMA) in 1989, an established dairy farming operation, he praised it as an enabling document. however Overseer’s worth in dryland Certainly it was a very important piece of situations with higher rainfall or those converting to irrigation is dubious. legislation, but my 20 years of involvement Even more concerning are rules surrounding soil nutrient thresholds that from 2017 will require farming practices currently permitted to obtain consent to continue in operation, in many cases.

in RMA issues at Local Government level are will certainly bring more accountability much less positive. processes. Without doubt it has “enabled” many commissioners, legal practitioners, consultants and the like, to become very wealthy citizens. However cumbersome decision making and lengthy delays on major nationally significant consents, have cost this nation dearly. My fear is that the LWRP with its as yet unknown detail will take farming down a similar route.

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Sensible water allocation of Canterbury’s ample water resource is a must for future expansion.

Growing the bureaucracy around our most valuable export industry will not only Is this just another set of rules designed by risk choking the Canterbury economy at a theorists for practical people to implement? very vulnerable time in our history i.e. post earthquake, but ultimately hamstring the I hope not! wealth of New Zealand into the future. To enable preservation of our precious soil and water resource, rules are needed – this This is a risk the country cannot afford.

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maximising pasture production

Winchmore proves goldmine for researchers

The Winchmore Research Station is helping us to better understand the longterm effects of superphosphate use on pasture growth and the farm system. Scientific research has played an important part in the success of agriculture in New Zealand and through a research grant the Fertiliser Association of New Zealand (previously known as Fert Research) has assisted the Royal Society of New Zealand to publish a special issue* of the New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research devoted to assembling the results of the longterm fertiliser trials conducted at the Winchmore Research Station near Ashburton.


Contributed by the Fertiliser Association of NZ

over the past 60 years. The initial aim of the trials was twofold – to measure the response of pasture to increasing rates of superphosphate; and to measure the response of pasture to different rates of irrigation at the same rate of superphosphate. As a by-product, researchers and scientists have also been able to report on subjects as diverse as the buildup in farmland of the contaminants contained in fertiliser; the response of the invertebrate community in soil to irrigation; quantifying changes in soil carbon; the response of pasture to withholding fertiliser; and environmental questions around the loss of phosphate and potential impacts on surface water quality.

The Winchmore field trials represent some of New Zealand’s longest running scientific experiments and, globally, are the longest running trials of grazed and irrigated pasture. The special issue catalogues the long list of outcomes established by this research

It has also provided researchers with a large archive of soil samples, datasets, and detailed records on which to study changes over a long period of time. Since 1951, some 430 papers and


publications have been produced using the results, data, and information from work at Winchmore. These include papers on pasture and crop production, soil research, irrigation, and animal production. The Winchmore trials have proven to be an invaluable resource in establishing the factors for maximising pasture production in response to the application of phosphorus fertilisers and irrigation. It is essential that the Winchmore trials continue to be maintained in order to address both the long term and the newly emerging agronomic and environmental issues associated with the use of phosphorus fertilisers in the New Zealand pastoral industry. * The New Zealand Journal of Agricultural Research: An international journal of temperate and subtropical pastoral science, Volume 55:2, June 2012. Special Issue: The long-term Winchmore trials: 60 years of discovery. www.


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Farmers who don’t follow these safety steps risk penalties under the Health and Safety in Employment Act if someone working on their farm is seriously injured or killed.

For more information please visit


improving the bottom line

Contributed by Irrigation NZ

Water meters make life easier The deadline for larger irrigators to install water meters is now only days away. With a meter installed you will be compliant with the new regulations. At the same time water meters provide information that can be very valuable to your operation.

applied. Volume pumped is 5972m3 in 24 hours and this irrigated 132ha, so what depth did you apply?

Apply the calculation (Volume in m3 / Area in ha) / 10 = mm depth

Using the 132 ha example, the table below estimates how much revenue is lost by under watering over a season by 30mm. Rule of thumb for a grass crop is 1mm water stress = 15kg of drymatter (DM) loss.

(5,972 / 132) / 10 = 4.5 mm / ha The first thing to do is look at the information. A meter For the dairy example assuming a payout of $6.00 per allows you to track your water use over any time span you Was this what the pivot was set at? Is it enough to cover milk solid (MS) wish – hourly, daily or across the season. Most meters have demand? a rate (litre/second) display or alternately information 30 * 15 = 450 kg DM lost per ha A handy calculation to remember is that 1 litre of water can be telemetered to either your PC or a provider who 450 kg DM = 30 kg MS lost per ha supplies access. Reviewing the data allows you to instantly over 1 m2 of ground = 1 mm depth of water applied. 30 * 6 * 132 = 23760 compare the specifications of the pump and system In some crops, putting them under moisture stress is Equally, crop yields are affected, with figures from Plant design - against what it is actually doing. desirable to improve quality aspects, so the information and Food Research estimating 0.1 to 0.25 per cent yield If your irrigation scheduling assumes that your pump is a meter provides is equally valuable to achieve this. The loss per mm of water stress, depending on crop type. working at its designed specification to put on a required implication for biomass crops is reduced yield. There are With seasonal volume allocations on consents, metering amount, for instance 30 l/s, but it is working at 15 per cent some basic principles when predicting crop response: data can be used to track how much water is being used under, then you are only applying 25.5 l/s. Potentially There is no response of yield to water unless the crop is cumulatively. This enables users to firstly stay compliant, under watering a crop has financial implications. Or in deficit but also assists when managing seasonal scheduling so the opposite could apply where excess water is used, Once deficit has occurred yield is lost. allocation lasts the whole irrigation period. potentially compromising compliance, leaching nutrients and reducing crop yields. Once yield is lost extra irrigation cannot bring it back. Water metering information is useful. It ensures application of irrigation is correct maximising production. The next question is why is it not pumping at the Biomass crops are equally sensitive to water deficit at all At the same time it can be used to monitor systems and specified rate? Are the impellors wearing out, have water stages of growth. water use over a season preventing compliance issues. levels dropped in the well, or is there a faulty valve? The information from a water meter can improve your In short it is another tool to help make you money and Once you have the information, irrigation application irrigation management and ultimately your bottom line. guarantee regulatory performance. can be rescheduled or an issue with the pump, supply or distribution identified and fixed. Monitoring over the season alerts you to developing problems and Price per unit Potential Lost Revenue over 132ha your irrigation application can be tailored to actual performance, not assumptions. Dairy 15kg DM ~ 1kg MS $6.00 $23 760 Below is an example calculation using meter data. A pivot covering 132ha has a flow meter reading of 5972 m3 of water pumped for a 24 hour period. We can convert the volume (m3) to depth (mm) of irrigation

Beef 1  5kg DM ~ 1kg LW


$15 840

lamb 15kg DM ~ 1kg CW $5.50 $21780

• • • • • •

Call Hamish today to discuss your fertiliser requirements

Locallyowned owned Locally and operated operated and








Modern Spreader Trucks Spreadmark Certified GPS Equipped Fleet 4 Wheel Drive – low ground compaction Single Wheels for Tram Line Spreading Experienced Operators with over 50 years combined service

Proud to be servicing the farming community in Mid Canterbury




Phone 308 4079

Visit our website


Structure wise

An Ashburton Guardian Advertising Feature

Over 15 years of experience

Phil Williams

Geremy Burson

Are you looking for a TOuGH shed?

You may not want to hang a tractor from your shed, but it would be nice to know you can. Coming from a farming background gives us a greater understanding of what you require.


Pam Davies

With StructureWise you know that you are building with performance, strength and versatility. Built on time and to budget.

Testimonial We are proud to own and occupy our purpose-built facility. Built by a truly professional team, their attention to detail, follow up and ‘can do’ attitude made a difficult project enjoyable. Graham Rule - Director, Strait Freight

Contact us today for a no obligation quote and see how we can meet your requirements.

CHCH LOCAL (03) 324 3392

0800 115 000


Here at Structure Wise, we have been designing good reputation. When she’s not working Pam and manufacturing buildings specifically to our loves getting stuck into a good book or movie, camping, hiking, mountain biking, adventure customers’ needs for over 15 years. travel, skiing and spending time with her Whether you need a farm shed, warehouse, husband Gareth.What does she love about storage shed or hangar, Structure Wise is the Structure Wise?“ It is a company of integrity company for you. and they have done well by building quality buildings – and these generally sell themselves. What differentiates us from our competitors Nine years ago, my husband and I built a shed is our custom design and build. Our team of licensed builders, engineers, and designers, can with a different company, and it is not even in plumb! These buildings are engineered design and build your structure from scratch, correctly. We wish we’d shopped around no structure is too big, or too difficult. a lot more before we built! We’d certainly “We’re not just trying to sell steel sheds,” recommend others to do that as quality Structure Wise owner Phil Williams says. difference is quite extraordinary. I also like the fact they are situated in a small rural town. Our people Structure Wise supports their community – and Phil Williams and his wife Kate started Structure I enjoy being associated with that.” Wise a number of years ago. His experience Geremy Burson, who has a pre trade in in construction and his expansive rural background means he is well equipped to help carpentry, started working for Structure Wise clients, both rural and other, with their building in 2004 after completing a course in Computer needs. Phil and Kate have two teenage children Aided Design. Geremy started learning how to draft basic timber pole sheds with Phil’s Isaac and Brooke. Phil’s interests include guidance and now he does all the drafting, spending time with his family, tramping, as well as most of the orders for the company jet skiing, travel and reading. He has also completed several cycling trips; most recently including the structural members, cladding, reinforcing and fixings for each job. Next year to Tanzania, and Sydney to Melbourne. He is Geremy will start his diploma in Architectural often looking for further cycling adventures! Technology. Pam Davies will be your first port of call What does he love about Structure Wise? at Structure Wise and will assist you with “I enjoy working for Structure Wise, the staff are your query. She has an interest in building, all really nice and Phil is a good boss. He has architecture and interiors and was thrilled to made working here really enjoyable and always start working for a company that has such a willing to listen and help out.”


JJ Ltd

An Ashburton Guardian Advertising feature

JJ Limited - A company with a proud history We are in the people business. Our company is run by dedicated hard-working people, for dedicated hardworking people. This is our mission to the hard working farmers of Southland and Otago.

Our core business is to sell, repair and supply parts for tractors and other farm machinery. Our goal is to provide you with the best service available. We only supply the best quality goods and services available in the marketplace.

After 50 years and three generations servicing the farmers of Southland and Otago, we J J Limited are proud Our commitment to you, the client, is that we will do to include the farmers and contractors of Canterbury in whatever it takes to keep you up to date with the latest this mission statement. technology, offer you the best available repair service and the best quality parts money can buy. We at JJ Ltd. are a team of committed, efficient and motivated people who strive to achieve excellence in Our business, like that of farmers and contractors, is not everything we do. a Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm business, and that’s why we are proud to offer you our 24-hour a day, seven day a We know our clients’ needs, we know our region and we week service. know our products. JJ LTD ASHBURTON

Farm Machinery Sales, Ashburton We are a progressive branch of the successful JJ Ltd company that operates 6 dealerships in the lower South Island and have been servicing the rural community for over 50 years. We are driven by an absolute commitment to customer satisfaction and we sell and service today’s most reputable brands of tractors and farm machinery. Due to the rapid growth of our company we require a dynamic sales person to join our team. The following attributes are sought :

If you would like to become part of the JJ LTD team then please apply in strictest confidence by emailing or posting your resume to Terry Gordon JJ Ltd PO Box 16360 Horny, Christchurch 8441 or

$16,900 Massey Ferguson 6265 • 5200hrs • Fitted with Quicke 740 loader

$59,000 Massey

Ferguson 6255

AGMECH Forage wagon

• 13 cubic metres capacity • Tandem walking axle • Extensions to increase capacity to 16m3 • Hydraulic brakes & dummy load cells


• 1961 The Invercargill branch shifted to new premises at 260 Dee Street from which the company still operates today. • 1963 J J limited opened the Gore branch having been awarded the dealership rights for Eastern Southland and West Otago. • 1966 The Gore branch shifted to their new premises in Lyne Street. • 1975 saw the introduction of the Lely Roterra to New Zealand. J J Limited became the sole Southland Lely dealers, a position they proudly hold today some 34 years later.

• 2001 With the changing of the New Zealand importer and distributor for Massey Ferguson and Fendt products to AGCO the opportunity arose for a new retailer for their products in the Otago area so J J Limited headed North and opened their branch in Mosgiel. • 2009 The opportunity arose to become AGCO and Lely dealers for Canterbury.

Used Tractors

Massey Ferguson 7475, Dyna VT

Massey Ferguson 5455 Dyna 4

• 50kph • 2,600 hrs

• 5000 hrs • c/w stoll loader • very tidy



Massey Ferguson 390 4WD tractor

Massey Ferguson 7480, Dyna VT

• c/w Pearson Loader • 6,500 hrs

• 50kph • 800hrs • On narrow wheels


$59,000 TYM 433 Tractor

Case MXU 135 • 5400 hours

• Fitted with LT500 loader • Turf tyres, ideal lifestyler tractor. • Only 908 hours

• Fitted with Pearson 20-39 Loader • 6,796 hours, very tidy

$49,900 +GST

• June 1958 J J Limited opened the Invercargill branch, marking the beginning of a fruitful and enduring relationship with Massey Ferguson.

• 1988 J J Limited Gore Branch were appointed Southland agents for Fendt tractors.

In return the right candidate will be offered an excellent remuneration package which includes a company vehicle. In addition we offer ongoing product training and the opportunity to work for a company that rewards dedication.

• Fixed elevator • Self loading • 1.5 to 2 m3 capacity

Relevant milestones

• 1985 J J Limited became Southland’s sole Welger dealers.

• Proven history of excellence in sales • A natural ability to build and retain relationships • Well organised and gives attention to detail • Ideally has experience in a similar role or some knowledge of farm machinery sales • Computer literacy with a good level of communication and numeracy skills

New Agmech 2 bale multifeeder

In June 2008 J J Limited, the Southland and Otago Massey Ferguson dealers, celebrated their 50th year in business

$22,000 +GST

$60,000 +GST Valtra A95

• c/w Valtra 930 self leveling loader • 1780 hrs

Plus many more new and used machines on site.

New Tractors

Massey Ferguson 7485 Dyna VT


Machinery Used Balers

MF 185 Series 2 TBC Baler $70,000 Massey Ferguson 185, Series 1, 88,000 bales $30,000 McHale Fusion, Series 1, 62,200 bales $60,000 Welger RP150, fixed chamber, belt round baler $6,000

Used Equipment

Maxam 3300 II, twin wilter mower $8,900 Webco CF700, centre feed wagon, tandem axle $8,000


Christchurch | 36 Hickory Place, Hornby | Ph 03-344-5645 | Fax 03-349-8241

Ashburton | McGregor Lane | Ph 03-307-6031 | Fax 03-307-6025




It’s been a sad time on the lifestyle block. Barbara has been coping with the death of her favourite dog.

WE TAKE THE HASSLE OUT OF MOVING Houselots - nationwide New furniture Office relocation Insurance available Fully lined and equipped trucks Full packing service Housecleaners & rubbish removal available

Secure and alarmed storage Locally owned and operated in Ashburton since 1994 Range of truck sizes to suit load and location Free quotes in Mid Canterbury

From packing, clean-up, storage and moving your whole household to delivering a recent large purchase, we do it all. Call today for a quote.




Ozzie the dog Well some days are just hard, whether you live in the country or the town.

Tom placed Ozzie on the wee trailer and we parked it in the shed for the night as the girls were asleep and had no idea that this had happened. I said to my son and Tom, On August 28, 2012 we lost our friend, mate and canine “no-one is to say a thing to the girls in the morning, and I companion, Ozzie. He was hit by a car on the road would tell them after school”. Tom wanted to know how outside our gate. Luckily he was killed instantly and did I was going to keep that from them.  It was easy, I just not suffer. made sure that we were running late all morning and then they had to rush to the bus. No time to let the dog It was about 9.30pm at night when he was let outside to go pee; my son reckoned he would have been outside out. We had also made sure the cage door was shut that night so they wouldn’t notice.  I was very lucky and they for about five minutes. I was at a meeting and got the went off to school with no knowledge of the dog’s death. bad news over the phone. The dog had decided to go across the road, whether he had seen something or smelt the dead lamb pile down the road at our neighbour’s we will never really know. Tom had come inside and asked where the dog was and then said he needed to come inside or be locked up for the night. So my son went outside and called the dog; seconds after that the bang was heard and Tom new instantly what had happened. He headed for the gate to see, but before they got to the end a car pulled in and a gentleman got out and said he thought he may have hit our dog. My son went to head out the gate but Tom stopped him, unsure of what the dog may look like. The guy that hit him was very nice and for that we thank him. We all know the dog should not have been on the road at all.  His car had taken a good hit-most of one side of bumper was gone and the lights were all smashed. Ozzie was not a small dog so the damage was a good amount.  We were very pleased that the driver was not hurt and that it was just his car; we have since paid for the car to be fixed through insurance.

I tried to dig a hole that morning for him but between all the tears and the hard ground, I didn’t get far. Two hours of digging and I had a hole two feet deep and three long, he was a big dog and there was no way I could dig the hole. Tom phoned at lunchtime to say he was bringing home a digger to dig the hole. I was a bit cross as I had spent two hours digging. I am sure the painters and carpet men renovating our house thought I was mad. They had just seen me digging a hole in the garden crying my eyes out. They had no idea the dog was dead till one of them came over to ask a question and I cried and told him poor guy. I must have been a sad, sorry sight. By 3pm I was feeling sick, knowing the kids would be home at 4pm.  Tom arrived home with the digger just before the bus and was busy digging the hole when the girls got off the bus. They waved at him and walked to the garage, as we are still living in there while the quake repairs are under-way.   I told the girls and they didn’t react as I expected at all. They just sat there and said nothing. They didn’t cry and

ROUGH PADDOCKS? These will be killing your tractor, mower, fert spreader, sprayer, silage wagon and wrecking and slowing down your farm operation.

I don’t think they realised that they wouldn’t have him around anymore. They went back out to their father as they now realised that the hole they thought was for a tree was for the dog. My son was very quiet and said nothing. They all went out to the shed to get Ozzie and bring him round to place in the hole, that’s when it hit. We were lucky that he just looked asleep and had just a little bit of blood coming out his nose. Tears came then and everyone was crying. Even Dad who they had never seen cry.  For a family who had never owned a dog, Ozzie had brought a lot of joy and laughter to our house. Even friends thought he was a wonderful dog so calm and relaxed, never barked or jumped on anyone. (He had been well trained by his first owner.) He was wonderful with little children, and very much part of the family. Even the cats miss him as at night the dog is not pushing them off their beds to take over in front of the fire. For a few days the cats never sat on the beds, they sat beside them. I think they were waiting for him to come through the door and move them. Or out of respect for him in their own way, they have never really gone back to sleeping on them, which I find funny. I never realised how much I had become attached to him and the rest of the family. He was very much part off the family, he spent more time inside than out.  I can admit that while writing this I am crying making it very hard to see the keyboard. To our best friend Ozzie, our big black dog may you REST IN PEACE. You will never be forgotten.  

Spring tidy up made easy

Taming the wild


Trimmer 323L Trimmer 24.5cc Lifetime drive shift warranty

NEW LC18 Lawnmower Husqvarna DOV series engine 18” steel deck

We can plough, press, level, cultivate and roller drill from $270 per ha. Call owner operators Mike English 027 479 0455 or Roger Smith 027 223 0406



Also top down x2 and roller drill from $225 per ha.


*For October only*

official Husqvarna dealers

12 Line Road, Methven - Phone 302 8946 -

WATER WELLS 120 High Street Southbridge Tel (03) 324 2571

quality, professionalism, knowledge

meeting challenges


Contributed by Neal Shaw, ATS Chief Executive

Do subsidies Job losses, restructuring and closures answer. Looking to the Government to bail have been hitting the headlines frequently out private business sets a dangerous and over recent weeks. unnecessary precedent. Whether it’s the closure or mergers of Christchurch schools, the loss of around 100 jobs at Kawerau when the newsprint mill halves its production, or the recent announcement of 440 jobs being cut at Solid Energy’s Christchurch head office, Spring Creek and Huntly East mines, the effects will be felt by many. It is especially distressing when some of these communities have already faced their share of adversity in recent times thanks to the Canterbury earthquakes and the Pike River disaster. For Kawerau residents the outcome is equally bleak, especially when you factor in the high proportion of beneficiaries in the town – one of the highest rates in the country. The loss of jobs from one of the main employers in the area has prompted some talk-back radio debate about who is responsible and what sort of intervention there should be in situations like this. One opinion was that the Government should step in, but I don’t believe that is the right

Falling demand and unfavourable interest rates were cited as being behind these projected job losses. These are factors all businesses have to face. In today’s world there are always changes to markets and every business has an obligation to adapt or die. It is too easy to lay blame or call on the Government to intervene. Businesses have to find ways to remain competitive and they have to be adaptive to continual change. We need to look at competencies and skills that will enable that business to survive; that survival is also dependent on getting it right in the market place. There’s no denying some of our biggest influences are our trading partners and the high value of the NZ dollar. Couple that with seasonal factors and one-off weather events, interest rates and development costs and there’s no doubt there are many factors to consider if you are in business today.

Balanced Mineral Fertiliser Programmes

We are the experts in:

Healthy Soils Providing farmers with the knowledge, information and materials to rejuvenate and build soil fertility to produce Healthy Soils - Healthy Plants - Healthy Animals Healthy People, ultimately reducing the need for rescue chemistry!

We Provide

• Soil mineral and nutrient availability analysis. • Independent soil fertility, nutrient advise and interpretation. • Recommendations and programmes for balancing soil nutrients. • Approved Kinsey and Albrecht nutrient balance programme practitioners. • Premier providers of high quality soil and plant fertilisers, nutrients and micronutrients. • All fertilisers are mixed on-site at our store, ready for application. • A complete systems biological approach to soil and plant nutrition, addressing the underlying issues of nutrient and mineral deficiency.

Underpasses Laneways Effluent Ponds Phone Dave Rowlands 027 484 1114 Diesel Workshop direct line: 308 7400

To achieve top performance plants need an optimal quantity and balance of minerals. Healthy Soils programmes are designed to provide this. Stockists and promoters of Golden Bay Dolomite and palaMountains scientific nutrition products.

Healthy Soils

Healthy Soils Balanced Mineral Fertilisers

Healthy Soils Biological Consultant Donald Hart 027-432-0187 Balanced MineralFarming Fertilisers and Sally Truelove 027-436-2458

Ashburton Contracting Limited P 03 308 4039 A South Street, Ashburton W


meeting challenges

save jobs? proved themselves to be much more resilient To be truly successful, business owners and managers have to take responsibility and make and adaptive to the change forced on them in their own way – not with Government hand-outs. the 1980s than many anticipated and it has been to the betterment of agriculture. We are a generation which has not experienced or been exposed to the hard times previous Farming is a business not just a lifestyle. Those generations have faced such as a World War or that are involved in the sector today are the the Great Depression. We have also reached a ones who have been able to successfully adapt point in our society where anyone under the age and those who are highly skilled in business of 40 has little or no knowledge about the effect management. These skills were important prior of the reforms of the 1980s and the removal of to the removal of subsidies, but they are now Government farming subsidies. vital tools which are being applied every day. Despite the hard times which ensued, many Our farming sector has shown what can be would argue the scrapping of those subsidies has achieved through drastic change, and that actually made New Zealand’s agricultural sector returning to the bad old days of Government stronger. hand-outs isn’t the way through the sorts of predicaments we are currently facing. The removal of Government subsidies has led to increased innovation, diversification and A subsidy is just another cost on the taxpayer, productivity in agriculture. It has given farmers and we already have a significant burden on the freedom to farm the way they want to, and our working population to fund our existing as a result agriculture has continued to grow and beneficiaries, not to mention the future funding add value to New Zealand’s economic growth. required to care for our aging population. Placing a greater financial burden on our working Farmers now maintain cost structures that population is not the way to help out troubled reflect the real earning capacity of their farms, businesses. and the land value of their properties is now more aligned with the earning capacity. Instead we need to look at how to remain Today’s farming operators and the industry as a whole, are far more innovative than during the times of Government subsidies. Farmers have

relevant in the marketplace and how to continue to adapt and meet the challenges which come our way.


How can we help?

Do you require upholstery or canvas work?

Call Us 03 3028098 Online Bookings

With over 60 years experience between them, Brian & John are here to help you with all your farming upholstery needs

Luke Leitis, Truck Operator


Hay covers Sail shades Boat

Restoration work Motor home/caravan All upholstery repairs

And any of your canvas or upholstery requirements.



Riverside Industrial Park | Unit 6, 22 Robinson Street, Ashburton Phone/Fax 03 308 9940 |

Molloy Agriculture Limited offers a wide range of modern, fully computerised machines backed up by experienced and professional operators

Working in close partnership with our customers, our guarantee is great service, professionalism and reliability • 6 High Clearance Sprayers and 4 Spray Trucks • Trimble GPS guidance • Auto section control • Online bookings

• 24 or 32 Metre Booms • Slug Bait Spreading • Green Seeking • Variable Rate Spray Application

• Independent Agronomy Service • Latest ‘Muddy Boots’ software • Clear Cut Billing - per hectare basis or agreed annual rate

Other Agri Services • Liquid Nitrogen Supplier • Agri Chemicals Supplier • Agrecovery Depot • Syngenta Nozzle Supplier

Gary Rackham 0274 362 459

Read Our Blog

Visit our website

Brian Stockdale Managing Director

No hassle farm buildings from Helmack ITM!


Contact Sally Truelove 0274 362 458

Mon and Fri 7.30am to 5pm and Sat 9am to 12noon

Latest Weather Online Bookings

Let Helmack ITM take care of your plans, council pim, admin and compliance.

*Kit set or erected

Phone Allan Breakwell today on 027 230 2000 for all enquiries 92 Dobson Street, Ashburton. Phone 307 0412 Hours: Mon - Fri 7am - 5.30pm Sat 8.30am - 12.30pm


out and about Photos Tetsuro Mitomo

Mid Canterbury farmers with grass seed issues had the chance to talk about their crops when FAR hosted informal field discussions at Methven and Wakanui farms recently. The sessons included ryegrass, cocksfoot and tall fescue and involved paddock visits. Topics up for discussion included nitrogen, closing methods and date, and plant growth regulators. Speakers included Dr Phil Rolston from AgResearch at Lincoln, FAR’s Richard Chynoweth and Murray Kelly, from PGG Wrightson. FAR is meanwhile gearing up for its annual Crops Expo, which will be held at the Chertsey arable site on December 5. The date is coming around fast and planning is now well underway to ensure that the popular field event runs smoothly and has something to offer everyone. Amongst the plots on show this year will be trials on the effect of N on milling wheat, late season management of ryegrass, managing white clover bulk and the efficacy of new fungicides on barley.


Photo Tetsuro Mitomo 240912-tm-031

Liam Scott uses a farm-made water pistol to shoot down a stack of beer cans at Longbeach School’s Country Day recently. The school issued a warm welcome to Christchurch’s Central Bright School, whose school was badly affected by last year’s big earthquakes.


Retract Stainless Steel ECR per bail +gst


For more information visit our website

Offer available until End of December 2012 A 100% New Zealand owned and operated company

*Terms and conditions apply


Ashburton Guardian Farming