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18 Dogs help farm safety Vol 17 No 49, December 10, 2018

Targets are too tough


Neal Wallace

IVESTOCK farmers need a greenhouse gasreducing silver bullet to survive inclusion in the Emissions Trading Scheme because available mitigation measures are inadequate to meet reduction targets. A report by the Biological Emissions Reference Group (Berg) highlights the grim reality that livestock farmers will need new technology or might be forced to leave the industry if agriculture is required to fund the cost of its emissions in the ETS. That new technology might include genetically engineered products such as High Metabolisable Energy ryegrass being developed by AgResearch and vaccines and inhibitors as well as requiring grazing land to be converted to horticulture or forestry. Adopting known mitigation measures will reduce livestock emissions by 10% but with calls for farming to be included in the ETS livestock farming will be unviable for many if there is no major technology breakthrough and emission prices rise to $30 a carbon tonne equivalent. Berg member and Federated Farmers national vice president Andrew Hoggard cited research showing a small reduction in short-lived methane gas emissions

does not generate more global warming. Setting different reduction targets to reflect the longevity and impact of different gases could help livestock farmers remain viable. People have to eat so decimating NZ’s livestock farming and encouraging production in less efficient countries is not an option, he said. The report said a combination of on-farm mitigation, land use change and technology will reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions. A model in the report used emission trading prices of $28.73 a carbon equivalent tonne and $191.54. It showed farms that introduce mitigation such as changes to fertiliser and supplementary feed, lower stocking rates, changes to livestock mix, switching to oncea-day milking and planting 20% of its area in trees will still fail to meet targets of a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030 and 50% by 2050. Even lower targets of 15% by 2030 and 25% by 2050 will cause a significant decrease in profitability. The ETS pricing models showed a drop in dairy sector profits of between 7% and 70% by 2030 and 11% and 98% in 2050. It was worse for sheep and beef with profit drops of 9% to 89% in 2030 and 15% to 123% by 2050. “Farmers may change land uses or exit the industry during prolonged periods of negative or


Incl GST

Happy in the valley

IN BEHIND: Pania King and pig work the cattle on the East Coast sheep and beef farm that is part of a group of four family farms. In this week’s On Farm Story they talk about why they love what they do and how they work to improve the environment and help their community. PP38-39 Photo: Rebecca Williams

Farmers may change land uses or exit the industry during prolonged periods of negative or low profits. Berg report low profits. The analysis did not consider this option.” Losses to the wider economy from livestock farming would be offset by revenue from forestry and, to a lesser extent, horticulture. Such land use change is needed to meet emission targets but the report noted greater incentives

will encourage forestry planting. “It’s reasonable to expect significant change in how we use our land in the next 30 years. This is not new. We’ve seen major changes in our land use in the past.” The report also looked at output and employment and warned large employment and migration effects will be felt in some isolated livestock farming communities but higher land values and employment in areas of horticulture expansion. “The output of all agricultural sector contracts as a result of emissions being priced. Employment decreases in all pastoral agriculture sectors, especially under the highest emission price in 2050. In contrast, the forestry industry

experiences modest growth.” The models showed forestry jobs would expand by 0.2 to 1.9% with falls in employment in the other sectors of between 0.7% and 10.4%. An unknown is the degree technology not yet available or proven could temper the impact on livestock farming. “Continuing funding for research into new technologies is really important as these technologies offer a lot of potential benefits for farmers and NZ Inc. “However, we cannot rely on making these breakthroughs because the science is so complex,” the report warned.




WEATHER OVERVIEW High pressure has finally arrived around New Zealand and after three big lows completely turned the country upside down soil moisture-wise the dry weather now set to kick in will be welcome by many but perhaps not by all. There are still some dry pockets but it does depend who you talk to in those areas as afternoon downpours/thunderstorms haven’t all been captured by soil moisture weather stations. It looks as though Manawatu is perhaps the driest part of the country now. The week ahead is mainly dry for most main centres but rural areas, especially inland through both islands near the ranges and highlands, will see more big downpours in the afternoons and some might contain thunder.

5 PM opens new venison plant Venture improves exporters’ hand ������������������������������ 19

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Rain Drier than average overall for most but afternoon downpours return this week, inland through both islands. At this stage Tuesday afternoon might be the most active day with thunderstorms possible in the central North Island. Bay of Plenty might get some offshore rain briefly too.


With so much high pressure around the country winds will be mainly light this week with varying directions in the afternoons because of inland heating and lake or sea breezes. For the most part NZ has light winds for the next week. For further information on the NZX PGI visit

Highlights/ Extremes


Temperature Some slightly cooler nights on the way this week but most places look to be average to warmer than average, especially warmer than average inland. Coastal places most likely to be average.


Pasture Growth Index Above normal Near normal Below normal


US sanctions hit kiwi exports ���������������������������������������� 7 Arable farms can help cut pastoral footprint ������������� 13


The main focus this week will be afternoon downpours through inland areas, mostly in the upper half of the South Island and central North Island. They will be heavy with possible thunderstorms. A positive week for Southland with drier weather.


The soil around much of NZ is now wetter than average in almost every region but not all. Perhaps the one region that jumps out is Manawatu. It is drier than usual there in some pockets. Some but not all farmers have had thunderstorms and downpours so are in a pretty good condition. The general trend for NZ is a drier-than-average week ahead but following recent rain this should mean a bumper pasture growth week ahead for most.


38 Plant a tree, grow a community Matawai farmers Eugene and Pania King are dedicated to sustainability but it isn’t just about the environment.

REGULARS Real Estate�������������������������������������������������40-45 Classifieds��������������������������������������������������46-47 Livestock����������������������������������������������������47-51 Markets�������������������������������������������������������52-56 GlobalHQ is a farming family owned business that donates 1% of advertising revenue to the Rural Support Trust. Thanks to our Farmers Weekly and Dairy Farmer advertisers this week: $963. Need help now? You can talk to someone who understands the pressures of farming by phoning your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254.


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our pioneering

spirit tells us


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FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


Signs point to profitable year Hugh Stringleman FIGURES from the first quarter of trading show Fonterra is on track for a profitable financial year though not everything disclosed was positive. Compared with a buoyant first quarter last year – before the financial clouds descended – revenue, sales volumes and gross margin were down and operating expenses and capital expenditure were up. Gross margin was $646 million, down $14m, revenue was $3.8 billion, down 4%, sales volumes were 3.6b litres liquid milk equivalent (LME), down 6%, operating expenses were up 3% and capital expenditure $188m, up $46m. Chief executive Miles Hurrell warned Fonterra’s first-quarter results do not generally give much insight into expected earnings performance for the full year. Nonetheless, the directors maintained their earnings forecast of 25c to 35c a share based on a milk price in the revised $6 to $6.30/kg milksolids range.

NOT AN OMEN: Fonterra’s first quarter results don’t usually give an accurate insight to the full-year performance, chief executive Miles Hurrell says.

Hurrell turned the spotlight on challenges to be addressed in Australian ingredients, China food service, and Asian food service. Lower milk collection in Australia, down 12% season-to-

date, was caused by drought and increased competition for supply and Fonterra has to respond by cutting its operating expenses. The first-quarter food service numbers in China and other Asian

markets were lower compared with high sales volumes of butter and cream cheese in 2018 and a slower start to sales of UHT cream. Sales volumes were down 20%

or 81m LME and gross margins down $34m, slightly offset by better food service margins in Oceania and Latin America. Food service as a whole lost 15% of its volume and $28m of its gross margin for the quarter, a new worrying trend when food service sales had been expanding quickly, particularly in China. Operating expenses and capital expenditure were higher compared with Q1 2018, mainly because of commitments made before the revised targets were set but Hurrell said the targets are still within reach. Progress is being made in fixing businesses that were not performing, starting with Fonterra Brands NZ where new managing director Brett Henshaw, formerly of Griffins, Unilever and ColgatePalmolive, had begun work this month. Also on the positive side, the ingredients division delivered a gross margin of $273m, up $28m, and consumer businesses grew their volumes by 5% and their gross margins of $310m were up $10m.

Supply-demand balance affects farmgate milk price Hugh Stringleman FONTERRA has trimmed its farmgate milk price forecast range by 25c at the lower end and revealed further moves on two of its three intended asset changes to beef up the balance sheet. The new milk forecast is $6-$6.30/kg milksolids, still optimistic compared with most dairy market analysts who have tended towards $6. Chairman John Monaghan said global milk supply

remains stronger than demand, as indicated by the Global Dairy Trade index that had lost 17% since June, including minus 15% for whole milk powder and minus 30% for butter. “Since our October milk price update, production from Europe has flattened off the back of dry weather and rising feed costs,” he said. Milk volumes in the United States were forecast to be up 1% for the year. “We are maintaining our forecast collections at 1550

million kg MS, up 3% for the year. “NIWA is saying it’s likely we will see an abnormal El Nino weather pattern over summer and this could impact our farmers’ milk production. “Demand from China and Asia remains strong, however, geopolitical disruption is impacting demand from countries that traditionally buy a lot of fat products from us. “The revised forecast range assumes dairy prices will firm across the balance of the season and this is consistent

with the views of other market commentators.” He recommended farmers remain cautious in their budgets and the advance rate schedule had been reset off a milk price of $6.15. Monaghan also confirmed the New Zealand ice cream business Tip Top is one of the asset sale options. “While performing well, Tip Top is our only ice cream business and has reached maturity as an investment for us. “To take it to its next phase successfully will require a level of

investment beyond what we are willing to make. “We are still some months off from completing the full portfolio review of assets, investments and partnerships.” Fonterra has also agreed in principle to buy back the Darnum infant formula plant in Victoria from the joint venture with Beingmate. One target of the portfolio review is an $800m reduction in debt by July 31, which will need improved performance and divestment of assets, Monaghan said.

REMIND ANY FAMILY OR FRIENDS COMING TO YOUR FARM TO DOSE THEIR DOGS FOR SHEEP MEASLES AT LEAST 48 HOURS BEFORE THEY ARRIVE And maybe have a few extra pills on hand. Everyone has an Aunt Doris or Uncle Marty who’ll forget! For more information contact your veterinarian, phone Ovis Management on 0800 222 011 or go to



FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Farmers held back on green changes Neal Wallace A LACK of knowledge is hindering farmers from reducing biological emissions from livestock despite a study showing they can be cut by 10% if every farmer adopts known best practice management. The report by the Biological Emissions Reference Group (Berg), consisting of agricultural sector organisations and Government agencies, reveals 64% of farmers believe agriculture should reduce greenhouse gas emissions to help combat climate change. But 98% do not know the greenhouse gas emission rate from their farms and when asked to estimate their emissions 97% underestimated them. More than half are aware of emission mitigation measures other than trees. Modelling shows while existing measures can cut emissions by 10%, further increases need a combination of land use change and new technology.

An assessment by the Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre of existing and new mitigating technology under development found biological emissions can potentially be cut 10% to 21% by 2030 and by 22% to 48% by 2050. However, there is low confidence among farmers a methane vaccine will be available by 2030 but medium to high confidence it will be by 2050. There is medium-high confidence a methane inhibitor for grazing will be available by 2030 and reduce emissions by 30% to 50% by 2050. Changes introduced by some regional councils to improve freshwater quality could reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions by up to 4%. It has been estimated 800,000ha of trees could also be planted to meet freshwater quality goals with the associated carbon sequestering the equivalent of 14% of agricultural emissions. Climate Change Minister James Shaw said the report offers hope to farmers and agribusinesses

that emissions can be reduced while maintaining productivity and profitability. “It also offers real hope to a world that needs to expand food production for a growing global population but also needs to bring down climate pollution at the same time,” he said. Farmers need to understand the issues and how they relate to and fit their farm systems and profitability before they will act. “Two things are important to changing behaviour: demonstrating clear links between environmental and economic benefits and ensuring practical options are available.” Success is dependent on management skills, the farm system and ensuring profitability mirrors the lower inputs. Improving cow productivity could reduce dairy emissions by 10%, once-a-day milking by up to 7% and using low protein supplementary feed, reduced nitrogen fertiliser and removing summer crops by 5%. Because sheep, beef and deer management are less intensive

IN THE DARK: Farmers lack information and support to make emissions reduction changes and need to see a link between environmental and economic benefits and be offered practical options.

there is less opportunity to lower emissions. Reducing stock rates while improving animal productivity could reduce emissions by up to 5% but improve profitability by 4% on North Island hill country and 26% on an intensive South Island system. Replacing breeding cows on hill country with dairy bulls and steers could reduce emissions by up to 10% and lift profitability by 50%. Integrating forestry into farms

is also viewed as a profitable option. The authors found pricing agricultural emissions would encourage farmers to adopt known mitigation options. But farmers lack information and support to make changes. New methods are often not compatible with existing practice, changes are complex and there is difficulty accessing finance. Issues with land tenure and age or lack on confidence are also barriers.


Merger worries commission A MERGER of two of the three major ryegrass seed developers in New Zealand could hamper competition, the Commerce Commission says. Interested parties had suggested PGG Wrightson Seeds, though its various relationships, has the ability to influence industry bodies in an anti-competitive manner and a merger with DLF Seeds might increase that opportunity, it said in a preliminary view of DLF’s application for approval to buy the PGW Seeds business. The major concern is the ryegrass market and the development of endophytes

The likelihood of timely new entry or expansion into endophyte research and development for ryegrass varieties is low. Commerce Commission creating critical resistance to attack by insects and the potential for a merged group to raise prices and/or reduce quality of ryegrass seed. The commission has asked DLF Seeds to provide submissions by December 14

on several points at issue. DLF Seeds NZ general manager Tom Bruynel said the response will be provided. PGG Wrightson has agreed to sell PGW Seeds to Danish group DLF for about $430 million. Commission approval is one of several conditions to be met for the sale to proceed. A merger of the two groups would combine two of the three main endophyte research and development programmes that have produced endophytes capable of inoculation into commercial ryegrass varieties, which might impact on both current and future competition in the supply and production of ryegrass seeds, it said.

That could enable the merged entity to unilaterally increase prices and potentially slow the pace of development of new endophytes. The commission believes DLF’s place as a competitor to PGW Seeds might not be able to be replicated by other small competitors. Information from market participants suggested it could take up to 15 years to identify and commercialise a new novel endophyte, with no certainty of success. “The likelihood of timely new entry or expansion into endophyte research and development for ryegrass varieties is low and the threat of new entry or expansion is unlikely to sufficiently constrain DLF post-merger.”

New venison plant opens PRIME Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, has opened Alliance’s $15.9 million venison plant at Lorneville near Invercargill. Ardern and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor guests, staff and farmers then tasted Pure South venison cooked by chef Graham Hawkes. “This plant shows how serious we are about New Zealand’s deer industry. It ensures we have worldclass modern facilities, reflecting our position as a leading and innovative processor,” Alliance chief executive David Surveyor said. “Venison is a vital part of our growing business.

NEWS BRIEFS Welfare charges THE Primary Industries Ministry has filed charges against an individual after receiving footage in June of a Northland sharemilker hitting cows with a pipe and other implements. MPI compliance investigations manager Gary Orr said MPI has done a thorough investigation. “Six charges have been filed against an individual under the Animal Welfare Act,” Orr said.

New award The Hawke’s Bay A & P Society has introduced a new award to be included in the Napier Port Primary Sector Awards. The awards, along with the Silver Fern Farms Hawke’s Bay Farmer of the Year, are longestablished and contribute significantly to the society’s vision of championing the primary industry. Entries are now open and the winner will be announced at the field day for the Silver Fern Farm Farmer of the Year in May 2019.

Wool winners Hawke’s Bay farmers Simon and Melissa Turner are Wools of NZ Growers of the Year. The Turners farm Glenhope, a 690ha sheep and beef breeding and finishing unit at Puketitiri, part of which has owned by the family for 99 years. The award recognises growers who meet specification and volume contracts and commit to supply to the company.

In addition to our longstanding European markets we are diversifying venison into the United States and United Kingdom food service sectors with valueadded propositions. We are capturing greater market value and passing these gains on to our farmer shareholders.” The new plant has design innovations, improved handling facilities, enhanced configuration, a larger slaughter board, wider boning room and a bigger offal area than at the former Makarewa plant in Southland. It began processing in September and employs 70 people at peak.

Dollar high New Zealand’s dollar is sharply overbought against major currencies but could go higher before weakening again, Westpac Bank strategist Imre Speizer says. Employment, GDP and inflation data has been solid in recent weeks, pushing the kiwi up, whereas as the overseas news has been more pessimistic. That pushed the kiwi above US$0.68 and Speizer thinks it could go to 0.706 before fundamentals take hold again. Westpac believes the US Fed has a rate rise this month and likely three more next year and expects the kiwi to fall to US$0.65 as that occurs. The kiwi is overstretched against both sterling and euro but he expects a return to below £0.50 and to the ¤0.57 over the next several months.  – Alan Williams

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FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


US sanctions hit kiwi exports Nigel Stirling EXPORTERS of primary products are being forced to fall into line with United States President Donald Trump’s efforts to squeeze Iran’s economy with ever-tighter sanctions. The dairy industry, in particular, has highly rated Iran with more than a billion dollars in sales there since 2012. While sanctions were in place during that time a handful of exporters were confident enough to continue to service the Iranian market under the cover of a United Nations exemption allowing the sale of food products on humanitarian grounds. But even that trade is under threat with Trump upping the ante significantly following his decision in May to withdraw the US from the 2015 nuclear deal with five other Western countries and the European Union. That deal saw a brief easing of sanctions in return for Iran reining in its nuclear programme. But in May the US gave any person doing business with Iranian ports until November 4 to wind down that contact or face secondary sanctions. Major shipping lines such as Maersk and MSC responded immediately by notifying customers they would comply with US demands and wind down services to Iranian ports including feeder services from other Middle East ports. No major shipping line has sailed from New Zealand directly to Iran since July. That has been the last straw for Westland Milk Products, which counted Iran as a solid butter market for more than a decade. Westland sales general manager Jeff Goodwin said the country is being severely squeezed by the US, which has ordered its trading partners to halt imports of Iranian oil, undermining the country’s

DIFFICULT: Exporters can still get goods to Iran but the extra costs of doing so because of United States sanctions can’t be recouped, Westland Milk Products sales general manager Jeff Goodwin says.

It is disappointing because we were enjoying what we were doing but we just can’t get the product there for now. Chris Pyke Taylor Preston currency and buying power. While the market can still be serviced via third-country ports it is unlikely the extra costs can be recouped given the financial strain Iranian customers are now under. “It all sounds pretty expensive to me once you add all those extra costs. It sounds like a complex supply chain that is going to add a lot of documentation and physical cost to get it there.”

It is the same story at Wellington-based Taylor Preston which last year became the first NZ meat company to export to Iran in two decades. Its larger rivals including Silver Fern Farms looked closely at reentering the market but higher prices in competing markets and nervous bankers meant they never progressed beyond initial inquiries. In late 2016 former Trade Minister Todd McClay privately blasted the Australian-owned banks for not doing more to back the Government’s efforts to boost trade with Iran following the nuclear deal. The banks feared heavy fines or even losing their US banking licences should they be found to have facilitated the repatriation of funds for exporter clients via Iranian banks with links to terrorist organisations. But Taylor Preston marketing

manager Chris Pyke said it is shipping rather than banking that is behind its recent decision to pull out of Iran. “It is disappointing because we were enjoying what we were doing but we just can’t get the product there for now.” Trump’s efforts to break Iran have not yet been enough to deter NZ’s largest exporter though. “We have been continuing to ship product to our Iranian customers although there are practical difficulties that make exporting to Iran challenging,” a Fonterra spokeswoman said. “With direct shipping lines to Iran having ceased, we have been utilising alternative shipping routes where available.” One shipping broker said it is likely that is being done via the United Arab Emirates where containers can be reloaded on to Arabian freighters bound for Iran.



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As well as the extra cost there is added risk of cargoes being mingled with those bound for customers in Iran that have been blacklisted by the US. “Everybody is so nervous about it. They are terrified that they may be linked in some way.” A lawyer with sanctions experience said ship owners, like their banking counterparts, are nervous about the potential of being hit with secondary sanctions by the US should they be found to be dealing with blacklisted Iranian individuals or organisations. That could cut them cut out of international insurance markets, leaving them unable to insure their vessels. While it is not impossible for exporters to continue to do business with Iran the extra due diligence required of their bankers and shipping providers has made it increasingly uneconomic.



FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Feds shake can for fighting fund Richard Rennie FEDERATED Farmers wants donations from members to help boost its legal coffers as the pastoral sector faces a plethora of regional plan change hearings over coming months. The latest round of fundraising was prompted by the Environment Court appeal launched by iwi and Rotorua Lakes District Council against Lake Rotorua proposed Plan Change 10 (PC10). PC10 aims to reduce the level of nitrogen entering the Rotorua Lakes’ catchment. It represents a hybrid arrangement of nitrogen grandparenting and sector reductions, aiming to remove 140 tonnes of nitrogen from the lake system.

My concern is the bigger picture, that this action is aimed at achieving the same thing in Waikato and in the South Island. Lachlan McKenzie Farmer More than 80 farms in the Lake Rotorua catchment are directly affected by PC10, which, in its current form, will require reductions to their nitrogen losses by 35% for dairy and 17% for drystock by 2032. But iwi and the district council are appealing against PC10 to have the nitrogen allowances set under it reallocated to recognise potential future land use options on forestry land. If the Environment Court upholds the appeal farmers in the catchment might have to accept even tighter nitrogen controls. It could double the nitrogen cuts required with no better environmental outcome and forestry land owners being allocated nitrogen they do not

need but seeking to make money from it. Drystock farmer and Lake Rotorua Primary Producers Collective member Neil Heather said farmers are nervously awaiting the court hearing. An outcome in favour of the appellants could result in the nitrogen reductions for his drystock operation dropping significantly and leaving him and many others with no ability to carry on farming the land. “In my case, which is already pretty low, it would mean I would basically be left with a big lifestyle block,” Heather said. Federated Farmers policy general manager Gavin Forrest said it is not the first time the federation has sought funds and the amounts needed for such court action are not insubstantial. “When I was directly involved in the 1990s the Resource Management Act was about ordinary people being able to have their say but it has increasingly become out of people’s reach. In many cases you now need a lawyer and expensive experts to engage in the process. “To ensure our farmers’ voice is heard and taken into account in the Environment Court Feds needs to be able to match the well-funded arguments of those opposing us in court if we are to have the chance of getting a fair hearing.” Forrest was reluctant to place a figure on the cost of dealing with the PC10 appeal. However, industry estimates are that such representation could amount to several hundred thousand dollars. He confirmed the Feds are confident about having enough money to deal with PC10 appeal. “We have found members who are all under pressure themselves financially have come forward to help out here. We are seeking whatever they feel they can contribute. It is all welcome. Our members understand that these cases are very important.” Regional plan changes are in play all over New Zealand but Forrest said not all are likely to

DON’T FARM THE FARM: Reallocating nitrogen allowances would result in Rotorua farmer Neil Heather being left with a big lifestyle block.

end up in the Environment Court or prove as complex as PC10 has become. “It really all depends on each case and what is driving them and

how well things like the science stands behind the cases. As much as possible we do want to work with other parties if the data and information is already there and

a good outcome for all can be achieved by working the issues through.” It is still too early to say if neighbouring Plan Change 1 in Waikato will involve a similar level of legal complexity and cost. “That is still in the stage of awaiting a council hearing. Meantime, other plans have not yet been notified so they are likely to be staggered over time and each catchment is unique.” He is confident the Feds have a good pool of skilled experts to draw on as required. Rotorua farmer Lachlan McKenzie is on the edge of the PC10 catchment. He has put $10,000 into the Feds’ fund, even though his property is not in it. “My concern is the bigger picture, that this action is aimed at achieving the same thing in Waikato and in the South Island.” McKenzie has called for more industry group support for the embattled farmers. DairyNZ strategy and investment leader David Burger said DairyNZ does not directly fund individual farmers to participate in hearings, instead concentrating efforts on sharing technical insights so farmers wishing to make individual submissions get the best possible start. “We have been heavily engaged in the Bay of Plenty plan change process for some time although we’re not formally involved in the current Environment Court process.” Beef + Lamb NZ policy and advocacy general manager Dave Harrison said while B+LNZ supported the Feds submission on PC10 in April 2016 with its own submission it is not providing any financial support for the appeal and is not involved in any of the PC10. “We are aware of Federated Farmers’ concerns around nitrogen discharge allocations and can see that some characteristics of the catchment mean there needs to be care around how allocations are implemented to ensure rural communities are protected as well as the lake.”

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10 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Pamu breaks ranks with farmers Neal Wallace CLAIMS Landcorp is taking a leadership role in advocating new agricultural taxes in its submission to the Tax Working Group ring hollow for National Party agriculture spokesman Nathan Guy. He says Landcorp is driving a wedge between it and mainstream farmers by advocating environmental taxes, an enhanced Emissions Trading Scheme, consideration of water use charges and not being opposed to a welldesigned capital gains tax. Guy said Landcorp, which trades as Pamu, is breaking ranks with mainstream farmers and its submission has infuriated farmers he has spoken to who already feel under siege from new regulations and costs only to see Pamu as betraying them. “There is a massive wedge between Landcorp and what I call practical, hard-working farmers trying to do their best.” In Parliament Guy and the party’s state-owned enterprises spokesman David Carter asked Associate State-Owned Enterprises Minister Shane Jones why Landcorp’s submission was lodged a month after the deadline

DIVIDE: There is a massive wedge between Landcorp and practical, hardworking farmers who feel betrayed by the state farmer, National agriculture spokesman Nathan Guy says.

and whether it was asked to make one. Pamu said it was not asked to make a submission but decided to do so in May because it was specifically looking at taxes that would affect its business. “We also see this as consistent with taking a leadership stand in a similar way to, for example, our stand on health and safety issues,

which has contributed to greater use of helmets on quad bikes on farms and a broader recognition of the importance of safe farming practices.” It acknowledges, however, it failed to flag its submission with its shareholding minister, which was against the usual no-surprises protocol and we it regrets that. Pamu said work on its

submission began in mid-March but the delay in submitting it was because the author took three weeks bereavement leave in Britain. The submission was completed on that person’s return in late April. Pamu was then invited to meet the group, other stakeholders and Treasury to discuss its submission. It said agriculture needs to reduce its environmental footprint and support climate change initiatives, of which reducing nitrogen emissions is one part. Given Pamu’s size and Crown ownership, it says it is obligated to actively discuss those issues. It said it is not opposed to a well-designed capital gains tax but opposes a land tax. Pamu also advocated for a nitrogen fertiliser tax, an enhanced ETS and for the group to consider the issue of water use. Its support in principal for a capital gains tax is conditional on issues such as compliance costs, that cash tax is payable only when gains are realised, a fair and equitable basis for valuing farmland and excluding farming family homes. Enhancing the ETS and agriculture’s inclusion will help to ensure best use of land, including the planting of trees.

The ETS does not incentivise emissions reduction or distinguish between short-lived methane and longer-surviving gases. “Making such distinctions could be useful by enabling emissions charges to be specified and varied in relation to the severity of the harm being caused in each case.” Pamu also said water quality and allocation could be addressed by an agreed national allocation method with tax credits or incentives for establishing or maintaining wetlands and ecosystems. It considers a levy or tax on nitrogen fertiliser will encourage alternative products, which is preferable to limiting or taxing cow numbers. “While there is not a direct correlation between the use of these products and nitrogen leaching we would contend that usage is a suitable proxy which correlates well with intensive farming on high risk soils.” Any revenue raised from environmental levies should be invested in cleaning up waterways, subsidising nitrogen fertiliser alternatives, riparian plantings and fencing or increasing the Sustainable Farming Fund.

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12 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Farmers advised to learn from Aussies Annette Scott

DON’T PANIC: South Australian plant science consultant Dr Peter Boutsalis assured Kiwi cropping farmers it’s not a failure to have herbicide resistance.  Photo: Annette Scott

NEW Zealand has a lot less herbicide resistance than Australia and Kiwi farmers can learn a lot from experiences across the Tasman, South Australian plant science consultant Dr Peter Boutsalis says. Speaking as the international guest at the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) annual crops expo, Boutsalis said herbicide resistance has been a challenge for Australian croppers far longer than it’s been a nuisance in NZ.

“In Australia no farmers have stopped farming because they have got herbicide resistance. But it is a lot more challenging. “Australia is ahead of NZ, way ahead, but it’s not a failure to have herbicide resistance. “In NZ we believe there is a lot less herbicide resistance than in Australia and that comes back a lot to the different ways of farming.” Resistance in Australia has been dominated by continuous cropping, single crops per year and over-use of herbicides, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. “Over-reliance back then on a narrow range of herbicides resulted in the initiation of the widespread resistance occurring in Australia today. “Cross-resistance is also becoming problematic and herbicides do remain the main method of weed control but other methods are being incorporated into farm systems.” Australian growers, with fewer crop rotations, reduce their range of tactics for annual ryegrass, the main weed. In recent years researchers have been doing random weed surveys and are finding resistance is plateauing, even going down in some cases. “We have researched over 20 million hectares of cropping over a five-year period. We conduct seed testing the next year and what we are doing is confirming resistance. “Farmers are doing a really good job and controlling weeds even though they have got herbicide resistance. They are using different chemistries and different modes of action, other herbicides and options for control. “It’s not a silver bullet. There are a lot of tactics.” Boutsalis said the industry has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in the surveys and that has raised awareness with the chemical companies and they have responded by investing in and producing new modes of herbicides to help growers tackle the multiple-resistance weeds that exist today. Over the past five years several new modes of action herbicides have come on the market and there’s more to come. “We expect by 2020 we will have three new modes of herbicides to control ryegrass in a cereal crop.” FAR is planning to introduce random weed surveys in NZ to get a more accurate picture of the resistance gaps between the two countries and help find which herbicides are failing in NZ. Boutsalis encouraged Kiwi croppers to follow the lessons learned by their Australian counterparts and use multiple tactics including herbicides with different modes of action than incrop herbicides. The change from full-cut cultivation to minimum tillage over the past 20-odd years has altered weed seed distribution to the top few centimetres, improving effectiveness of pre-emergence herbicides. “The availability of a large pool of diverse herbicides should reduce the risk of resistance developing to any particular herbicide.” While Australia now has more than 500 glyphosates available, NZ has about 100. Using herbicides correctly is key to success. “Testing of a few glyphosate products has shown vast differences in activity between the species with some effective on glyphosate resistant ryegrass if applied at young growth stages.” Boutsalis urged farmers not to spare expense. Products from more reputable companies will generally be made with higher quality components. “While they will be more expensive they generally will work whereas cheap glyphosates made with really cheap components just don’t work.” Good water quality also increases the effectiveness of the application because dirty water tends to bind the glyphosates and reduce effectiveness. Farmers in Australia using top label rates and managing application to get optimum effectiveness are getting the best results, Boutsalis said.


FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


Arable farms can help cut pastoral footprint Annette Scott ARABLE farms can play a big part in helping to mitigate the environmental footprint of pastoral livestock, industry experts say. Presenting on the environmental benefits of arable feeds at the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) annual Crops Expo, Lincoln University livestock production expert Professor Pablo Gregorini and FAR researcher Ivan Lawrie delivered progress results of a two-year monitoring project. The pair acknowledged achieving animal production goals while meeting social and environmental constraints is complex. Most urinary nitrogen is deposited onto pastures and 20% to 30% is leached with 2% transformed to nitrous oxides. In response to political and public pressures on dairying, strategies are being explored to reduce the amount of nitrogen going through dairy cows. However, as some diets aimed at reducing urinary nitrogen might increase methane it is difficult for farmers to balance environmental, productive and profitability targets. The study tested several thousand combinations of 51 feeds. “This found that dairy farmers wanting to use binary diets to reduce their herds’ urinary nitrogen while maintaining or increasing milk production have surprisingly few options.

monitoring of four farms throughout NZ. “We are gathering data on production versus the environmental impact and we will pass that information on to Pablo’s teams.” Lawrie said the programme is researching multiple solutions for a complex problem. “It has brought all parties together to gather some collaboration. “This is one tool. “It is not the silver bullet, nor the only tool. This is one tool to aid the situation and we think arable has a big part to play,” Lawrie said.

LIMITED CHOICE: Lincoln University professor and head of the centre of excellence designing future productive landscapes Pablo Gregorini says dairy farmers wanting to use binary diets to reduce their herd’s urinary nitrogen have few options.

This is one tool to aid the situation and we think arable has a big part to play. Ivan Lawrie FAR “Most of these come from cereals and beets,” Gregorini said. If their criterion is profitability and a pasturebased system then the suitable set of diets is even smaller, being limited to supplementing pasture with low levels of conserved forages with low nitrogen content, for example, maize and cereal silage. “There is no perfect diet, though, to optimise all objectives simultaneously. It is up to farmers to choose among the options that best suit their farming context and local environmental regulations.” A study was run to facilitate decision making by dairy farmers aiming to reduce urinary nitrogen and methane emissions while maintaining animal production. The 51 feeds including forage crops, silages, grains and bulbs were combined in diets consisting of two feeds and varying the proportion of each from 10-90% in 10% steps. These combinations generated 11,256 dietary mixes. The work showed diluting nitrogen with maize silage and/or cereal silage considerably reduces urinary nitrogen and there is scope to formulate binary diets to reduce urinary nitrogen while maintaining or reducing methane production with the potential to increase animal performance. “This has involved multi-mega processes, a very big programme and we are at the pointy end now. “How we use our arable crops in livestock systems while mitigating the environmental footprint of pastoral livestock and productivity is complex.” FAR’s work in the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) project is now focused on the

Late has consequences.


14 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Waimea dam gets over council approval Richard Rennie WAIMEA dam supporters are confident the first sod will be turned early in the new year on the $100 million plus project with water flowing from it in three years. The Tasman District Council voted the project over the line by nine votes to five for the dam to be built in the Lee Valley. Waimea Irrigators chairman Murray King said the council vote marks a critical point in the controversial project’s life and means any further opposition through the Environment Court is unlikely. “I believe the local community has started to realise the project is more critical than they first realised and it is amazing the number who say they cannot believe it has taken this long.” The project was conceived in the 70s with a project intending to irrigate 7000ha. The Lee Valley project was

intended to culminate in construction kicking off in 2012 amid rising concerns the cost had pushed out to $40m. By late 2014 it reached $70m. The latest increases put the cost at $105.9m. A critical local bill has to pass through Parliament to grant access to some conservation land. It passed its second reading in November, with a final reading likely before Christmas. “And all parties with the exception of the Greens supported this. They seem to have concerns passing it will set a precedent but the point of a local bill is to enable local communities to seek something specific to their situation,” King said. And with the project fully consented there is no reason why it can’t now kick off. Construction of the 13.4m cubic metre capacity dam will be done by local contractors Taylors Contracting of Brightwater and Fulton Hogan. Both worked on the successful Central Plains water scheme. Just before the council voted

on the dam an anonymous flyer was sent to Brightwater residents claiming a tidal wave was likely should the dam fail. It was dismissed as scaremongering by ex-Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Morgan Williams. King said the engineering plans have been thoroughly peer reviewed and there is a high degree of confidence around the project’s geotechnical integrity. Cr Dana Wesley was one of those who voted against the dam. Her concerns are about the level of credit risk the council faces as a major backer and the complexities of Waimea Irrigators’ structure. Her concerns are particularly around how Waimea’s funding is structured after a mystery investor putting $11m into the project walked away. The shortfall has been covered by other investors in Waimea Irrigators. The council is investing about $30m in the project. “For me it was a judgment call on behalf of the community. “The cost has increased

GO AHEAD: Further challenges to the Waimea dam are unlikley opponent Brian Halstead says.

significantly and is that increase just a one-off or is it an upward trend? I can’t say hand on heart this is not an upward trend.” However, she is heartened by the presence of three councilappointed directors on the dam board. “If anyone can help keep this on budget, they will.” She is also philosophical about the dam’s direction from here. “I just hope people will now give

this venture the ability to move forward. We do not want to see lots of ongoing challenges that will only add to the future cost.” Dam opponent Brian Halstead said further court challenges are unlikely. “The only thing we really have is some sort of intervention from (Conservation Minister) Eugenie Sage. We know she is not happy about it. There are not too many other options left to us.”

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FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


IN ACTION: Farmers in the Taihape Action Group are learning about both financial and environmental sustainability.

Farmers act on sustainability I knew with the change of government it’s a whole lot more in vogue and you cannot be an ostrich about it. John Gordon Farmer areas of vegetation to gain carbon credits. They include John and Julie Gordon who hosted the gathering. Their 362ha sheep and beef farm northwest of Taihape has some areas of mixed forestry, including a stand of majestic redwoods planted in the 1950s. Woodnet carbon and land use specialist Margaret Willis, who ran the September session, said many landowners still have little understanding of the opportunities from carbon and

the ETS, which is under review. But it is obvious from the questions she fielded that farmers are anxious to learn more about carbon trading and how it might work for them. “Part of the interest is because agriculture may come into the ETS and there could be some accountability in the future.” John Gordon said it’s an area where a little knowledge can be dangerous. “I knew with the change of government it’s a whole lot more in vogue and you cannot be an ostrich about it. “There’s stuff out there we need to know and this is the beauty of this group – we can get in someone specifically to focus on the carbon thing and go through some of the pitfalls and look at some of the areas where there’s possibly an advantage to be made.” Rabobank rural manager Byron Taylor, who acts as group facilitator, said with the Government’s billion trees

planting programme under way farmers want to be on the front foot. “They want to be sustainable anyway but to make it economically sustainable as well.” Dan and Jacqui Cottrell, who have a 600ha sheep and beef breeding operation with 26 hectares of forestry on the NapierTaihape Road, said joining the RMPP programme was too good an opportunity to miss. “The benefit we are getting as a group of farmers from a pool of funding to get in all this expertise is a huge advantage to all of us for our businesses.” Jacqui Cottrell said. All the farmers are very conscious of environmental issues on their farms as well as financial sustainability. “In a short space of time we’ve created this environment where everybody is ready to share and be honest. No question is a dumb question.” Dan Cottrell said the group is

still benchmarking finances. “In our next session we are all sharing and crunching through our numbers, which involves a level of trust within the group, so that’s probably the thing that’s getting the most traction at this stage.” Farmers are reassured the information they share remains confidential to the group. Another huge benefit of the groups is helping to break down isolation in rural communities. Derek White appreciates the chance to get off his farm north of Taihape for a day of information sharing with fellow farmers. “Obviously, interaction with other people is good when you are quite often toiling away by yourself.” Gordon said “When you start talking to others you say ‘yeah, I had that problem too, this is what I am facing and this is how I got around it’.”


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TAIHAPE farmers are exploring ways to ensure environmental sustainability while improving the profits from their sheep and beef farms. The Taihape Action Group formed under the Red Meat Profit Partnership Action Network, which had its first get-together in July, comprises nine farming businesses within a 50km radius of the central North Island town. It is at an early stage of the profit-growing process. The farmers involved are developing individual action plans that set out the on-farm changes they want to make. They have had three sessions with experts who provide advice on issues of common interest. The latest, in September, brought them together for a day of intense discussion on the Emissions Trading Scheme and the complexities of carbon trading. A couple members have already had experience with the ETS, registering forestry blocks and


16 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

New water and food strategy set Richard Rennie AN ADMISSION that Irrigation New Zealand might have dropped the ball on where public perception of irrigation lies has prompted the body to recast its strategy. INZ chairwoman Nicky Hyslop released the group’s new strategy at its annual meeting saying it was prompted by growing public concern among about irrigation’s impact on the environment. “And there has been our struggle to get good information out to the public with respect to what irrigation can do, not only for farmers but for communities too.” The strategy comprises five pillars, being advocacy, thought leadership, connectivity of people, standard-setting and information provision. Hyslop said it has underdone communicating the value of water storage to communities. In coming years INZ intends to focus more on the direct link between water and food, with extra amenity values like town water supply being valuable community gains with such projects. But a sharpened level of central government policy around water quality and use has also prompted INZ to look harder at its role. “With the new Government we are in such a different operating environment and, to be fair, the Government has been quite direct but it has also shown a real willingness to engage with us.” She acknowledged Environment Minister David Parker’s firm views on water quality, expressed through the Essential Freshwater programme announcement. “But it is up to us to also impress upon Government about setting too many prescriptive directives. They do have to be relative at a catchment level.” Given the absence of any

HARD WORK: Irrigation New Zealand has struggled to get good information out for public consumption, chairwoman Nicky Hyslop says.

With the new Government we are in such a different operating environment. Nicky Hyslop Irrigation NZ industry groups on the new programme, Hyslop said good communication between the Government and those groups will be vital. At a public level INZ’s executive has a strong message from its membership to improve the conversation and that includes getting more irrigators to tell their story. Irrigation has become inexorably linked to dairying in

the public perception but that is less likely to be the case as the Government pushes for highervalue crops and produce from the primary sector. “I think thanks to the limits we are seeing come on in places like Canterbury we will also see more diverse use of water.” Hyslop said advocacy is one of the new strategy’s pillars that will also have to be applied to farmers who do not but could have irrigation. In August Massey University agribusiness expert Professor Hamish Gow said many farmers are paralysed by uncertainty about new irrigation investment with its extra layer of capital risk and often accompanying environmental constraints. That stymies farmer uptake. Lack of farmer uptake has meant the Hunter Downs scheme has been canned and Hurunui significantly revised.

“Yes, there is a need for farmers who do not have irrigation, but who could, to better understand what options they have got,” Hyslop said. “There is a level of concern there and sometimes a lack of confidence. We need to work together with farmers who have the opportunity to irrigate and those who already have it.” It might be worth revisiting the use of irrigation ambassadors, a concept used in Ruataniwha when the dam was in play. Farmers from Canterbury went north to present approaches and options to farmers who might have had access to that scheme. The new strategy will not necessarily involve INZ appointing many new staff but a constitutional change means the body will be appointing two independent directors to offer a broader view and help ensure

strategy goals are being met. Providing more information to help assuage public concerns or inquiries is a key strategy pillar and Hyslop said it will prove invaluable to helping link positive environmental outcomes with water use. “We are not wanting a great beast of a database but much of the information is already there. It just needs to be aggregated.” That information will also prove valuable for more specific, informed advocacy. With water issues brewing in parts of Canterbury and particularly in Hawke’s Bay this summer, INZ’s focus needs to be on highlighting the value of water storage as such regions feel the sharp end of climate change impacts. Hyslop is quietly confident a new chief executive will be appointed by Christmas to replace Andrew Curtis.

News – December 10, 2018





REASON: Delays in the Overseas Investment Office process add to costs and could account for some foreign buyers withdrawing applications, Real Estate Institute rural spokesman Brian Peacocke says.

Foreign buyer numbers are down for farmland Neal Wallace THE number of farmland sales to foreigners has halved in a year and there has been a dramatic increase in the number of applications not being completed since new foreign buyer thresholds were introduced by the Government. Last December the Government issued a ministerial directive letter tightening rules on the sale of farmland to foreigners and from January to October this year there have been 11 sales completed, two declined and 16 withdrawn having started the approval process through the Overseas Investment Office. For the same period last year, 24 applications were approved, none was declined and just one withdrawn. In its latest market analysis the Real Estate Institute attributed less interest from foreign buyers at least in part for a 20% decline in land prices in the past year, especially for large South Island dairy farms. The institute’s data also reveals a 10.5% drop in the number of farms sold in the year to October compared to the same period in 2017, especially grazing, dairy, finishing and arable. Overseas Investment Office group manager Vanessa Horne attributed the reduced number of applications to the directive. Institute rural spokesman Brian Peacocke said agents have noticed the release of capital to foreign owners from farm sales has slowed because of delays with the OIO process. That has delayed investors buying new properties and when a property sale involves multiple or syndicate owners that delay is multiplied. Any delays in the OIO process

add to the costs incurred by prospective foreign investors and could account for some of the withdrawals. A foreign buyer requires OIO approval for a shareholding of 25% or more in farmland. Last year’s directive from Associate Finance Minister David Parker and Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage requires the OIO to put greater emphasis on job creation, the introduction of new technology or business skills, increased exports, increased processing of primary products and oversight and participation of New Zealanders. For prospective investment in forests it directed greater weight be given for increased processing of primary products and advancing Government policy.

Some people could see that their applications would not meet the new tests so decided not to proceed. Vanessa Horne OIO Underpinning the policy is the view that owning NZ land is a privilege and should provide extra benefits to NZ. “This new directive ensures authorised purchasers will provide genuine benefits,” Parker said. “Too often we see investors buy a NZ farm and then use existing systems, technology and management practices, which don’t substantially add anything new or create additional value to our economy.”

Horne said where overseas investors can show genuine benefits to NZ they can still get consent. “New Zealanders are good at farming. If an overseas person plans to continue to operate a farm in the same way as a New Zealander it can be very hard for them to show any benefit to NZ.” The data supplied to Farmers Weekly by LINZ reveals sheep and beef farms had the greatest decline from eight sales from December to October in 2017 to two for the same period in 2018. The total gross area of sheep and beef farmland sold increased from 15,000ha last year to 41,600ha because of the sale this year of Canterbury’s 39,000ha Mt White Station, which was approved under the residency pathway scheme. Horne says the buyer, Czech Republic born Lukas Travnicek, plans to live in NZ indefinitely so was not required to show any extra benefits for NZ. Vineyards proved popular with three sales covering 170ha selling this year compared to four covering 398ha last year. The interest in dairying appears to have waned with just one farm selling in each of the two years under review. Three kiwifruit orchards sold last year but just one this year. Horne says applicants can withdraw from the OIO process at any time and that can be in response to being issued with a proposal to decline by the office. “The increase in the number of withdrawn applications between the two periods can largely be attributed to the ministerial directive letter, which raised the bar for people buying rural land,” she said. “Some people could see that their applications would not meet the new tests so decided not to proceed.”

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18 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Wee dogs help child farm safety Alan Williams A SERIOUS little dachshund and a devil-may-care miniature fox terrier are the heroes in a new book aimed at making children safer on farms. Ted the foxy races round doing silly things but Poppy is always close by teaching him to put his think-safe brain on. “They’re both very small and they highlight just how small a child also is on a farm and through them being out and about I’m trying to help children understand about making good decisions,” author Harriet Bremner said. Bremner, a primary schoolteacher, is passionate about children and reading but there’s a deeper meaning behind Be Safe, Be Seen. Her partner James died in a farm machinery accident in Hakataramea Valley in January last year. Writing the book has been good therapy. “My grief is in my book,” she says. Be Safe, Be Seen is being launched in Amberley in North Canterbury tonight. She wants young children to heed the safety messages and if they struggle with the script illustrator Dana Johnstone’s caricatures also paint a very good picture. Bremner hopes older siblings, parents and grandparents reading

the book to the younger children will be encouraged to make safe choices on-farm or at work every day. Poppy is her own serious little dachshund and silly young Ted belongs to her brother George. Ted rolls into the middle pages of the book on a two-wheeler with Poppy exhorting him to think safe. The story starts in the farmyard where our heroes are dwarfed by big farm animals and machinery. “It’s tough being little and Poppy is always looking up at the world. We know that some people don’t always look down and around them when they’re driving a tractor.” Bremner teaches five-year-olds at Amuri Area School and has read them the story. “They love Poppy. She hangs out in class sometimes and the children are fascinated with her as a little sausage dog and amazed at the things she can do.” She knew Poppy would be a good drawcard and it was easy to relate the story to children’s pets. A friend teaching in the city read the book to her class and, as well as the farm context, they could see it apply where they lived . . . where to stand and what to do around cars and trucks. “They had brilliant conversations about it. “I’m saying in the book to take children out on the farm but to talk to them about it first. I feel that with all the technology they

TELLING TALES: Teacher Harriet Bremner and her dog Poppy have combined to produce a book to help children stay safe on farms.

have today that children spend more time indoors and people are more nervous about them being outside. “We’re so lucky with the outside spaces we have and children should be experiencing them and learning how to be safe there.” Bremner is promoting the book along with WorkSafe. She wrote the book first and then contacted WorkSafe and found it coincided with the agency’s message about safety. She worked closely with senior media adviser Nicky Barton, a farmer’s daughter who wants to see people get out there and be safe.

WorkSafe senior agriculture adviser Al McCone said the book tells a positive story for children, coming at an important time just ahead of school holidays and the Christmas break. “Three children have died on New Zealand farms this year and agriculture continues to have a tragic record for fatalities. “We’re encouraging farmers to make sensible decisions and be aware of the risks on-farm and Harriet’s story is one way families can connect with these actions.” Bremner said her book will serve a really important purpose

if just one family can be kept together. “I remember a few years ago a child having a hi-vis vest on and saying that he could now stand on the road and not get run over. Well, it doesn’t work like that. We need to spark conversations between children and parents about the blind spots.”


The book will be launched at Brew Moon in Amberley, from 6pm tonight. The launch price is $20 a copy and the book is also available at Harriet Bremner’s website www. at $23 a copy.


FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


Venture improves exporters’ hand Richard Rennie A NEW freight venture aims to give exporters more leverage around the negotiating table with an increasingly smaller number of shipping companies servicing the South Pacific. Bearing 360 is a joint venture freight company established between big wood products company Oji Fibre and freight solutions business Netlogix. “Over recent years we have noticed greater pressure on freight rates falling to unsustainable levels, resulting in players moving out and takeovers happening,” Bearing360 general manager Dritan Rmohitaj said. The international shipping industry has been characterised by a series of takeovers in recent years, including Maersk’s takeover of Hamburg Sud and Chinese shipping company Cosco taking over OOCL. “So, really, what we are ending up with is only four to five key players in the market.” Only three years ago there were about 12 separately owned and operated shipping companies servicing New Zealand but that is now seven. He described international

PARTNERS: Dritan Rmohitaj of Bearing360, Murray Horne of Oji Fibre Solutions and Chin Abywckrama from Netlogix are involved in a new shipping venture.

shipping industry as struggle street for the past few years. Losses have been as high as US$1000 a 40-foot container and percentage growth in container ships outstripped growth in container traffic by three to one between 2015 and 2017. Rmohitaj said in the industry having scale does matter when it comes to negotiating rates, routes and regularity with shipping companies. The joint venture promises to bring together two companies capable of managing 70,000 w20-foot container equivalents

(TEU) of exports a year. “We are the second largest exporter in our own right and offering this capacity to other customers is a way to improve our relevance when it comes to negotiating.” Oji Fibre Solutions is favoured by shipping companies because it offers good base load export volumes, regularly for building a ship’s consignment. Its products cover the breadth of processed timber products including building timber, pulp, paper, plywood and MDF. Kotahi is another joint venture

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freight solutions business, formed between Silver Fern Farms and Fonterra in 2011, with a strategic alliance to Port of Tauranga. “Our point of difference is we are port agnostic and are not favouring any one shipping company,” Rmohitaj said. At this stage the company is not sourcing temperature controlled or chilled container assets but that will be possible if demand proves sufficient. Two years ago NZ received the first 10,000 TEU container ship the Aotea Maersk at Port of Tauranga. While the promise of larger ships

was to make shipping cheaper, Rmohitaj said supply and demand has largely driven down shipping prices. The Baltic Dry Index, an indicator of international shipping rates, has risen in recent weeks to 1230 but remains well down on its 2014 peak of 2330. NZ has its peculiar seasonal patterns for shipping capacity demands, typically ramping up from October to April as key export products are harvested and processed. Rmohitaj said shippers have generally adapted well to that but the venture aims to improve the predictability of demand for their services and potentially increase the pool of cargo. “But what we are also starting to see is that NZ’s infrastructure as a whole is at an interesting point, at peak capacity in terms of port infrastructure and container moving ability around NZ.” More ports are looking at order books for cranes, lining up dredging projects and looking at their transport options. Bearing360 is talking to interested exporters from all parts of the economy, including the primary sector and Rmohitaj is encouraged by the level of interest being expressed from exporters.

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20 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Big city beckons for farming couple Alan Williams IN A grass market season like this one Stu and Sue Thomson would usually be flat-out trading lambs on their North Canterbury farm. Not this summer. They’re busy writing notes on their kitchen white board about what they need to do before leaving it in early February. Their Manahune farm, a central player in the spring, early summer Glenmark Drive on-farm lamb sale round, has been sold. “We’re shifting our entire lives to Auckland,” Stu Thomson, whose family has owned the farm for 102 years, said. The Thomsons’ have three daughters, Dana, Bree and Mia, and they’re all at university in Auckland. Their studies cover law, psychology and engineering and career options do not include returning to the family farm. “It was time for us to decide what we’ll do and we decided if we’re going to make a change we should do it earlier rather than later and make an adventure of it,” Thomson said. Home for the first year or two will be a rental property. “Retirement is not on the radar so we will get busy and see where it leads. It’s exciting.” Sue is an American who grew up in the suburbs about an hour out of New York but is proud to have secured her New Zealand passport about a year ago. Thomson met her on his OE and says he then chased her half way round the world before they ended up back in NZ in 1992. Sue’s been happy farming in North Canterbury but is looking forward to seeing more of her daughters and being able to walk to a lot of places around Auckland. “I didn’t know anything about farming but tried hard to adapt. I didn’t get to drive the tractors but finally learned how to handle the stock.”

Thomson says she played a full part in farming being a partnership game. Their major remaining on-farm task is to sell the 3500 crossbred ewes they own. About 5500 lambs were sold, a lot more than usual, because of the farm sale, at the on-farm sales on November 20. He said the strong sheep market is a double-edged sword.

We all used to be proud of farming but now people are happy to give farming a kick and farmers are unfairly painted as polluters. Stu Thomson Farmer “It’s a good time to be leaving because you can sell them at a good price but with stock prices where they are it’s also a great time to be farming. He’s pleased a young local couple are taking over the farm while the industry is in a good state. “I’m hoping it is not at the top of the cycle but that we might have a new norm, with sheep farming back in fashion and able to give other sectors a run for their money. I’d really like to match dairying returns and it’s heading the right way.” He’d like to think the industry can have a $150 lamb for the foreseeable future, allowing sheep numbers to at least stabilise around current levels, though he doesn’t see a big rebuild of the flock occurring. This is partly because farmers are working through the best land uses and the compliance issues around that. “I think it’s a young man’s game

now, not just physically but they have a higher tolerance to the compliance and the paperwork. It’s going to be a bigger part of farming and you have to adapt to it. Farming will be a compliancebased industry and that will be good for the image.” Thomson’s biggest regret around farming is the apparent breakdown in the urban/rural regard. “We all used to be proud of farming but now people are happy to give farming a kick and farmers are unfairly painted as polluters.” Every farmer he knows is dedicated to looking after their land. “I hope that I’ve left this place better than when I got it, as I know my parents did.” Sheep and beef farmers are being lumped in with dairy farmers but the polluter taint was unfair to most of them as well. Manahune typically had the biggest number of lambs and the best prices at the annual Glenmark sales in the 10-years or so since they started, after a neighbour suggested a change to the normal practice of pricetaking at the works. The practice worked well in both good and bad climate and pricing seasons. “In a good-price, grass-market year like this one you get great returns and in a tough year when there’s little feed about it’s a fantastic way to unload the stock and clear the decks early. Then you sit tight and wait to start again.” When Thomson took over the farm in the early 1990s the farm ran mainly Corriedales but he changed to crossbreds and heavier lambs with higher fat levels to take advantage of the warm country and earlier finishing. “I learned not to chase markets because my experience was that by the time you’d made the

LEAVING: Stu and Sue Thomson have sold up and are heading for the big city.

change the market was gone. I learnt that you settle on a system and become very proficient at it and it’s worked well for us.” Good sale prices are a result of paying attention to detail and

focusing on animal health. The 379ha Manahune property has run deer and cattle in the past, along with sheep, but has been a sheep-only farm in recent years.

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Mycoplasma bovis : December update The Mycoplasma bovis team is continuing to test properties across New Zealand, as part of the government and sector’s plan to eradicate the disease.

Spring bulk milk testing – preliminary results We are three-quarters of the way through the fifth round of testing, and half-way through the final round of the spring bulk milk testing surveillance programme. Only three properties have had a positive result detected and all of them are connected to other infected properties through tracing.

11,200 approximately

Dairy properties tested

Calf rearers survey – initial results 112 calf rearing properties out of 153 properties have had their tests completed as part of the survey. No properties have tested positive so far. These results are a positive sign that nothing has been found outside of our known networks, indicating that the disease is not endemic to New Zealand.

Top tips for farmers from farmers directly involved in the Mycoplasma bovis response These have been developed with input from farmers, industry representatives and officials. • Put your compensation claims in as quickly as possible with full documentation. You can get help from the DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand Compensation Assistance Team (DBCAT) for help with your claim on 0800 322 281.


• Reach out to friends and family and/or the Rural Support Trust for support. If your farm is caught up in a biosecurity response, it’s normal to find this stressful. Nobody should be expected to handle this alone. There is support to help you with the process.

For more information on Mycoplasma bovis, visit

3 Properties infected

• Update and maintain accurate NAIT records, and give MPI response officials all of the information they ask for. Poor records can really slow down getting your property through the testing process and movement controls lifted. You can find these and other top tips for farmers on our website. You have until December 19th 2018 to give feedback on proposed changes to the NAIT Act and regulations. Further information, including the consultation document and submission form, is available on the MPI website:

Christmas operating details Over the Christmas period, the Mycoplasma bovis directorate will be operating close to business as usual. If you need to contact anyone, please call 0800 008 333. Please note that our offices will be closed on the statutory days.

We wish you and your family a safe and fun Christmas, and a happy New Year.



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FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


New tech emerges, adoption lags Nearly one in five New Zealand farmers is struggling to keep up with the pace of technological change and 80% of them are underestimating its effects – even as their rural businesses are disrupted by it according to a new report. Luke Chivers explains. NEW technologies are already significantly disrupting the rural sector but few farmers are prepared for the level of change occuring, the MYOB Future of Business report shows. Technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the internet of things are now significantly disrupting the rural sector. The software company’s nationwide research, which polled more than 1000 small and medium-sized business operators, found 17% of farmers expect technology will have no impact on their business over the next few years. Of those who expect technological disruption just 18% expect rapidly evolving trends like AI and robotics to affect the sector while just 3% expect big data to do the same. But 24% of farmers expect improvements in internet connectivity to change their businesses. MYOB said while the internet and faster, more reliable broadband might well benefit

TRY THIS: Acuris Systems founder Matthew Warner fits a collar on a cow.

rural businesses over the next few years, it is questionable whether such technology will continue to impact farmers in the same way AI and robots will. “If we compare current technology like the internet and cloud computing to that expected in the next three to five years the so-called transformative paperto-desktop era of the last 20 years was simply the beginning of our technology journey,” an MYOB spokesman said. “Today, the next wave of disruption – the dawn of AI, nanobots, the internet of things and big data – is imminent and is set to change the role technology plays in business.” It is a notion echoed by Acuris Systems founder Nicholas Woon. The Auckland-based agritech start-up is using the capability of AI, machine learning and robotics to accurately count crops and collect other important data for horticulturists. “Human error is expensive and (humans are) prone to error,” Woon said. “But our new technology allows growers to autonomously capture fruit data accurately and in a matter of hours – improving orchardists’ yield estimation and bottom-line.” The robot, as it crawls past fruit crops, uses smart algorithms and simultaneous localisation and mapping to capture images. It then sends the photos to AI software that processes the data to create a report. “Fruit growers can then use this information to quickly make data-driven decisions about their orchard,” Woon said. He believes modern technology systems like Acuris – despite their disruptive nature – are necessary in rural New Zealand, especially as the sector faces skills and labour shortages. “We expect our business to disrupt the market in a good way because we’re not only improving

productivity and mitigating risks but we’re helping to optimise labour amidst NZ’s unprecedented labour shortage.” Another Kiwi company, Halter, has developed the world’s first GPS-enabled, smart phoneoperated and solar-powered collar for cows. Using internet of things technology, AI and machine learning the device helps farmers direct cows around pastures and into milking sheds, reducing labour costs, removing the need for fences and improving animal welfare. “The device is based on the Pavlovian theory,” Halter chief executive and founder Craig Piggott said. “We train each cow to respond to audio and vibratory cues to give time back to farmers, improve the overall efficiency and decrease the costs of on-farm processes.” Piggott, who grew up on a dairy farm, said he knows what local farmers want and understands their challenges, which has helped his team develop a modern solution they know will have a lasting impact. “Everything we do has to make sense from a farmer’s point-ofview – there needs to be very obvious return on investment and it needs to be financially viable.” Fortunately, in spite of the findings from MYOB, Woon and Piggott believe more farmers will soon begin embracing technology and at an increasing rate. “Farmers know their industry needs to change,” Piggott said. “They know their work needs to be more sustainable and they know it needs to be better for their animals.” A lot of farmers do not believe the Halter technology is real until he shows them a video of it in practice and explains how it is no different to a dog herding sheep, albeit a lot less stressful on the animals. “Once farmers have seen it the

BRAINS: Acuris Systems founders Matthew Warner and Nicholas Woon with their robot.

Everything we do has to make sense from a farmer’s point-ofview. Craig Piggott Halter first thing they ask is ‘when is it going to be ready?’”. Woon sees a similar trend in horticulture. “Many growers I speak to are resistant to technology until they see first-hand how it can help.” The local tech sector needs to develop business models that are better at collaborating with our agricultural communities to help them realise the potential of new technology, Woon said. Agritech NZ chief executive Peter Wren-Hilton agrees. “Farmers are slow to uptake new technology because many older farmers are able to run their businesses with a minimal understanding of computers and

other technologies – and a lot of farmers don’t know they could be doing better. “Sure, technology can help, but so far we are only scratching the surface with what it can do because in the past farmers haven’t had broadband connectivity, many haven’t looked to exploit the systems or tools which can help.” He said NZ invests nearly $750 million in research and development for food and agriculture but does not really know what type of tech is being used and by who. “Quantitative research is needed across the local primary sector to truly realise the benefits of new tech.” But NZ is achieving good agritech export growth rates relative to many countries, with an estimated $1.3 billion agritech exported in 2017. Global agritech investment is also expanding rapidly with venture capital investment in agritech firms in 2017 reaching US$1.7b and likely to exceed US$2b this year.

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24 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Fonterra farms water meters lag Hugh Stringleman ONLY half of dairy farms with significant water intakes have meters, Fonterra’s second annual Sustainability Report says. Very little progress has been made on water metering over the past three financial years because Fonterra has concentrated on water quality and not volume measuring. The report said Fonterra’s target is to have 85% of significant farm water users metered by 2020. The largest water users among suppliers are irrigated farms and they are all metered. “We will now use our focus on farm environment plans to accelerate progress,” the report said. Another water failure is the lack of documented riparian management plans, covering only 25% of farms compared with the target of 100% by May 31, 2020. While that 25% achievement is a considerable improvement on the 4% in 2017 and reflects Fonterra’s new ability to capture data from other credible parties the target date has been revised to 2025. Farm environment plans (FEPs) will again be the mechanism used.

More than 1000 farms or 10% of Fonterra’s suppliers have FEPs and the target is for all farms to have them by 2025. The co-operative now employs 28 sustainable dairying advisers (SDAs) to help farmers research and write their FEPs. Each farm is also visited annually by an independent farm assessor for compliance to the Raw Milk Harvesting Standard and just under 4% in 2018 were referred to SDAs with major or critical non-compliances. Fonterra issued 98 milk collection suspension notices over stock exclusion from waterways and eight farms were suspended for effluent issues. Also under water use, Fonterra reported lack of progress in water efficiency improvements for manufacturing plants. The original 2020 target was to reduce by 20% from a 2015 baseline the water use for every cubic metre of milk processed. The reduction achieved so far is 2.4%, raising serious doubts whether the 2020 target can be met. “For several years we had been trending in the wrong direction but we have reversed the trend and achieved improvement,” the report said.

determine the most important nutritional deficiencies. Consumers have been involved in tastings and feedback as formulations were adjusted. Fonterra now expects to launch that product in this financial year. It didn’t write all its own sustainability standards – it used some Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. It also commissioned an independent assessment of the report against the GRI standards from Bureau Veritas. The report covers economic, social and environmental impacts for the year ended July 31, 2018. Chairman John Monaghan and chief executive Miles Hurrell said Fonterra has set industry-leading targets in many areas and they need to be challenging, not easy. In priority areas such as nutrition, the environment and the community Fonterra is proud to report good progress. Concerning community sustainability, Fonterra set new targets to increase the number of women and ethnic minorities in senior leadership levels to 50% and 20% respectively. In the total workforce of 22,358 people 27% are female but only 17% of the management team and 18% of directors are women.

SHOWING THE WAY: Fonterra chairman John Monaghan and chief executive Miles Hurrell say the co-op has set industry-leading standards.

“We still have significant work to meet our original target but we have multiple improvements being made and a prioritised plan for further progress.” Within its environment reporting, Fonterra said progress towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing is 3% compared with the 2015 baseline. However, the target is a 30% reduction by 2030.

In the nutrition area Fonterra committed to launch a new, affordable dairy product but did not achieve that goal in the year under review because of delays in development. It said the target consumers are those surviving on less than US$10 a day. It has spoken to government officials, non-government organisations, doctors and teachers in key markets to

Have you read Dairy Farmer yet?




Business planning Water & irrigation

ary 2019

2018 – Janu

Incl GST

The latest Dairy Farmer hit letterboxes on December 3, have you read yours? Our On Farm Story this month features Tony Eade – dairy farm assistant and Foxton firefighter. Racing off in the middle of milking to fight fires is possible only with the support of his employer and fellow staff members. As the season starts to wind down a little, December is the perfect time to give your farming business a health check. Join us as we take a look at business health and wealth, succession planning, staff training and education.

Combining careers er juggles Foxton farm ghting fires fi ith w g in milk

Get the full story at r Top rating fot environmen MER


M Fonterra AG a civil affair


ary 2019

– Janu ember 2018


about Passionate ange creating ch


With a potential El Nino summer ahead, summer management of water and irrigation is critical to managing pasture, herd health and production levels. We take a close look at how to manage through one of the toughest parts of the season.


FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Scales hikes interim dividend payment SCALES Corp will pay a bigger interim dividend than a year ago and says it might exceed annual earnings guidance with all its units tracking ahead of 2017. The board declared a fully imputed dividend of 9.5 cents a share, up from 9 cents a year earlier, and said earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation will be at the top end of or slightly exceed the guidance of $58 million to $65m. Scales singled out a record apple export crop from its Mr Apple division and increased volumes in its food ingredients operations though all divisions are trading ahead of the yearearlier period. “This is an excellent performance for the group, further building on the initiatives within each business unit,” managing director Andy Borland said. “All businesses and divisions have traded very positively during 2018 and provide a high level of confidence as the group looks to execute our refreshed growth strategy.” Scales is still waiting for Overseas Investment Office approval for the sale of its Polarcold cold storage unit. It also sold bulk liquids storage division Liqueo in the year. The two sales are expected to provide $130m cash. The Christchurch-based company wants to use the money to buy agri-businesses more closely aligned with the rest of its portfolio and has indicated it’s

SEARCH: Scales is looking for agri-businesses closely aligned with its own that are vertically integrated, export-focused and can benefit from its Chinese relationships, managing director Andy Borland says.

interested in businesses that are fully vertically integrated, exportfocused and can benefit from the firm’s relationships in China. Scales is making inroads on a number of its growth plans and some might be finalised in the near-term. The directors hope to provide 2019 earnings guidance and provide an update on the Polarcold sale and growth plans in the annual earnings report in February. The shares last traded at $4.40 and have declined 8% so far this

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Low wool prices boost Cavalier Alan Williams LOW wool prices and a renewed focus on high-quality, high-margin wool carpets are boosting Cavalier Corporation earnings. The company expects a higher after-tax trading profit for the six months ended December 31, despite softer markets in both New Zealand and Australia. A more efficient operating structure, after the years of reorganisation, is also helping, chief executive Paul Alston said. Cavalier will make an overall loss for the half-year, because of an $11.8 million write-down on its stake in the Cavalier scour business, which was sold in September. The bottom-line loss will be between $9.8m and $10.2m, the company told NZX. However, the normalised after-tax trading from operations is expected to be between $1.6m and $2m, up from $1.1m for the same period last year.

Excluding the non-cash scour write-down, Cavalier is expecting operating earnings (Ebitda) of between $4.2m and $4.7m, compared with $4.4m last year. Earnings for wool carpets will be higher while earnings in the Elco Direct wool-buying business will be lower. Alston said the carpet business is helped by the lower wool prices caused by decreased Chinese demand for coarser carpet wool but that situation works against the smaller Elco Direct business. Cavalier now has a more efficient manufacturing base and strong financial position to build on its wool carpet business, he said. That is expected to offset the weaker market conditions resulting from reduced consumer confidence in both countries. While wool prices are improving, group revenues are expected to be down 7% on the same time last year because of weaker sales of lower-margin synthetic carpets.

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FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


New powder plant ready to test tested by independent assessors. “They want to know it’s safe, it’s highest possible quality, it’s traceable and it hasn’t been tampered with.” The test cans will be discarded. McKay said the firm blends dried milk powder with vitamins and minerals to meet individual client specifications. “It’s quite a simple business really but what we do is of utmost precision.” The company will deal only with powder. “What you see in the plant and tower is not a drier, it’s a blender. We don’t deal at all with liquid products. We cannot take fresh milk on site,” McKay said. Driving operations is general manager Brad Harden who has an extensive background in the industry, initially with Fonterra then a 10-year stint at Synlait. “It’s an exciting opportunity to start up a plant from a green field with such potential to grow the business once it gets up and running,” Harden said. Initially the plant will start with just one packing room rolling off 30 cans a minute with a second room enabling capacity to increase up to 70 cans a minute. Harden said it’s been a long lead into start-up with the Chinese

Annette Scott A FLEDGLING milk powder blending business is on track to export specialist infant formula around the world next year. After two years of development the New Zealand Dairy Collaborative’s $20 million blending and packaging facility in Ashburton will test its canning line before Christmas. The 51% Kiwi-owned company completed the installation of its equipment last week and will roll off thousands of test cans filled with infant formula by year-end as part of its start-up and registration process. The plant, built by Chinese company Fineboon, now a 49% shareholder, will be filling export cans in February. Fineboon, China’s major infant formula milk powder brand owner, has just commissioned a plant in Mongolia. The NZ business was sparked by new Chinese infant formula regulation that dictates any one milk powder plant can supply only three brands in China. Fineboon wanted NZ packedpowder from a plant that would produce a Chinese label from NZ. Former Ashburton mayor

ON LINE: New Zealand Dairy Collaborative general manager Brad Harden, right, and shareholder director Angus McKay check the start-up of the capping machine as the company prepares for its infant formula export debut. Photo:  Annette Scott

and NZ Dairy Collaborative shareholder-director Angus McKay said it’s a rigorous and exhaustive start-up regime and

before the first order leaves the plant every step in the process will have been independently quality checked in a processes triple-

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making sure they have a safe food supply and the Primary Industries Ministry making sure all systems are robust and sustainable. There’s six months of paperwork for orders once the cans are filled before they can leave the plant for export. While the first export cans will be filled in February it will be June before they head offshore “For that reason we need to have a large storage space.” Production will begin with one shift but eventually the plant could run up to four shifts. While initially blending dried bovine powder, goat and sheep powders are on the radar. “It all depends on the client and orders we get. “If they want bovine we do that. Goat will be a definite and if there’s demand we’ll do sheep as we can,” Harden said. McKay said “We expect adult formula will also be on retail shelves next year.” While there’s potential for expansion in the future Harden said it’s not likely to include a niche drier. “While that’s one thing the South Island is lacking, a niche drier for smaller quantities, we have got enough on our plate,” Harden said.

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Photo courtesy of Trevor James, AgResearch.

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FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


RADICAL: Ben Allomes tells his staff how many hours he needs worked then they figure out who will do it, when and for how long.

Dairy bosses are best employers In the first-ever Primary Industries Good Employer Awards dairy farmers Ben and Nicky Allomes won the top accolade, the Minister of Agriculture’s Award for Best Primary Sector Employers.

WOODVILLE dairy farmers Ben and Nicky Allomes have been named the Best Primary Sector Employers. The couple, who own Hopelands Dairies, also won the Innovative Employment Practices award. “They have creatively solved the age-old problem of worklife balance by investing in a rostering system that allows their workers ownership of when they work and what they do on the ground,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said. “They have also shared this knowledge with their community.” The primary industries employ about 350,000 people – one in seven working New Zealanders and as many as one in three in some regions, O’Connor said. “Attracting and keeping this hard-working talent is a significant challenge and we recognise those exceptional employers who are committing to good employment practices such as training, paying and treating staff well.” The Allomes take an unconventional but effective approach to being employers and it works, Ben Allomes said. “We have the philosophy that our team are our customers and that our whole staffing structure is customerled. “So the team takes the lead on how they want to be rostered and organised. “I know how many hours

I need worked on the farm and then it’s up to the team to work out who does what hours, when and how many different people we need to make that work.” The couple had long ruminated on finding a way to make their dairy farming system and equity partnership business fit around the people available and willing to work in it – rather than taking an inflexible system and trying to find the right people to fit it. So the Allomes stripped out the standard hierarchical method and moved to a system based on the motivations and interests of all the team. “You have to understand your people – what are their motivations?” Allomes said. “Some people want to do just the one job and be an expert at it and we get really good value and efficiency from them – they love being the expert in their area and they are the one who knows how to run that system. “Some others like to keep learning and expanding their skill set and that is the job of management, to identify that motivation and help them become more competent and skilled one skill-set at a time.” Other people want to work 45-50 hours a week out of choice while others who cannot or do not want to work longer hours are quite happy to fill in the gaps. New Zealand has fairly low unemployment but notably high underemployment, he said.

“Many people in our community, for whatever reasons, can’t work full-time but want more part-time opportunities. “On farms we have an amazing opportunity to package our jobs up in much smaller bites that can make jobs more available.” Employers today must pay some heed to the needs and aspirations of young people, he said.

We shouldn’t treat others how we expect to be treated. Instead, we should treat others how they expect to be treated. Ben Allomes Farmer “They want to feel part of a business and have some responsibility. “It may be as simple as being in charge of the water system or power or mating – something narrow but also with important implications for the farm. “This means that from day one even the most junior person is a boss and they like it and so do all the staff. “Standardise the role, not the person. “The jobs we want to get done don’t really change but the person changes so we need levels of responsibility of

being able to fulfill the roles.” Allomes prefers that approach over the old system of employing new farm assistants and throwing a whole lot of jobs at them, which they could perform to a low level of competence, and risking overwhelming them. “This way you take someone on to do one job and they are trained and competent then you introduce another job. “They grow in confidence and want to do more. Instead of their skills lifting horizontally across the job they really master one thing before moving on broadening their experience in other areas. “And, as farm owners it offers us flexibility over how we run our own operations and the ability to offer work of all types to the local community.” Recent statistics show about 36,000 people working on NZ dairy farms. About half are employees, 45% are business owners including farm owners, sharemilkers and contract milkers and the others are unpaid family members. Allomes said employers across the primary sector should take active interest in their staff and know what appeals to them and motivates them. “We shouldn’t treat others how we expect to be treated. Instead, we should treat others how they expect to be treated.” The awards are run by Agmardt and the Primary Industries Ministry.



agrievents RMPP Action Network – Facilitator training courses For rural professionals or farmers looking to run an Action Group under RMPP Action Network. No course fees. Register at Action Network Fundamentals & Extension Design workshops • Christchurch 12 & 13 December For more info contact AWDT Future Focus Future Focus brings sheep and beef farming partners together for two full days to achieve their business goals and aspirations – using a team approach to business planning, thanks to RMPP. Registrations for 2019 are now open, visit the website for more information and to register. Locations and dates (module 1 & 2): Ranfurly: 12 Feb & 12 Mar Whangarei: 26 Feb & 26 Mar Mangaweka: 5 Mar & 2 Apr Gisborne: 7 Mar & 4 Apr Invercargill: 2 Jul & 30 Jul Website: Contact: or 06 375 8180 AWDT Understanding Your Farming Business & Wahine Maia, Wahine Whenua 3 full day workshops and an evening graduation ceremony run over four months. Registrations for 2019 programmes are now open. Visit the website for dates, locations and to register. Website: To register visit programmes Contact: or 06 375 8180 for more information. Should your important event be listed here? Phone 0800 85 25 80 or email


Luke Chivers

30 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


Smith is keen to work with farmers New primary industries director-general Ray Smith is a self-described passionate Kiwi who wants his fifth generation New Zealand children to experience a bit of the NZ he grew up with. He talked to Annette Scott on a visit to meet farmers in Ashburton.


UST three weeks into his new job as primary industries directorgeneral Ray Smith was hungry for information and couldn’t get his teeth into his new patch soon enough. He heard about a meeting being facilitated by Federated Farmers in Ashburton for farmers affected by the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis and made a call to ask if he could invite himself. He was keen to front-foot the issue affecting farmers up and down the country, particularly in Canterbury where the disease is most intense. He faced the music, put a stake in the ground and pledged to work with farmers to rid the country of the disease, meantime making the journey as tolerable as possible for farmers. His approach and plausible attitude were welcomed by farmers keen to see some Primary Industries Ministry promises put into action. “I want to make sure we get things right in this response,” Smith said. “I acknowledge what I’ve been told to date of the efforts and progress so far and I will work with my team to pick up what needs to be picked up and tweak where necessary. “I can’t fix it overnight. “I can’t take the pain away but you can be there to ease the pathway. “The more you listen the more you reflect about the changes that may be able to be made,” Smith said. He grew up in Hawera, his father was a stock and station agent and he had family connections in farming. “My older brother was on a dairy farm for 45 years and I helped on the farm with hay-

making in summer holidays and other duties. “Like a lot of Kiwis of my generation growing up in NZ, they probably had connections to agriculture and I grew up in a big farming community. “I spent my life around farms so I have strong connections in agriculture,” the 53-year-old former Corrections Department boss said. Smith oversaw Corrections’ farms including a 4000-cow dairy farm in Waikato and farms in Canterbury and Otago.

I spent my life around farms so I have strong connections in agriculture. Ray Smith MPI After eight years at Corrections Smith said the primary industries job was the only public sector one he was interested in. “Some people said to me why would you come to MPI and I said to them as Corrections was coming to an end and eight years as being chief executive there is pretty challenging, the only job I was interested in the public sector was this one (MPI), if it was available, and it was – because I’m a passionate Kiwi.” He’s also keen to preserve at least a little bit of the life he grew up in for future generations. “NZ’s changed and changing. If I can bring something to my time in MPI to ensure my children, and they are fifth generation New Zealanders, and their children experience a bit of NZ that I grew up with and support that in

my time with MPI then I will be happy.” He cited farms being more sustainable amid the issues that surround the country around the environment. “Farmers are the backbone of the NZ economy. “We need to work on all of these transitions and I want to be playing a role to help support them to make the changes they want to make and we all need to make sure that our economy continues to thrive and our kids have a wonderful environment to grow up in as we did.” While there’s more to MPI than M bovis Smith made it clear that is his first priority. “I want to get this M bovis response right. I want to front up to issues and fix them. “You listen to the stories and they are human stories. “This is NZ’s largest biosecurity incursion and it’s dealing with something that’s a bit insidious.” He acknowledged shortcomings in the response over the past 18 months but said the response is improving as MPI’s understanding increases. “And we will continue to listen to people’s concerns, continue to learn and continue to improve. “Down the track we have better understanding and that changes the way we manage the response and make changes and there will be more changes.” Coming into it fresh, from an industry level Smith said there’s belief that NZ can beat the disease. “All the signals are we will beat this. “I know it’s too early to call it but the tests done so far indicate that. “I know it’s not over yet and I say that with some caution – it’s what we know.” While acknowledging MPI staff

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PROMISE: New primary industries director-general Ray Smith has put a stake in the ground and pledged to work with farmers.  Photo: Annette Scott

have done an amazing job to date there has been a lot of learning. “They are human and mistakes have been made along the way but remember we started with nothing. “We need to keep learning. If we keep learning we will continue to make progress.” Farmers urged MPI to focus on a three-strand approach – communication, consistency of information and follow through on what is promised. “I’m picking up we just can’t do that enough. “The big story is we are going to win this. “The second big story is we have to look after people along the way. “Probably people who are entering the system now are entering a better-developed system and you would understand that because we

didn’t have a great big response capability when we started. “People are coming out the other side but we have a distance to travel.” In the broader MPI there are a number of projects in progress including the billion trees programme, a big change programme in fisheries and biosecurity. Smith took up the reins of his five-year appointment on November 1, taking over from Martyn Dunne who retired after his five years at the helm. Before Corrections Smith was the deputy chief executive of the Ministry of Social Development’s Child, Youth and Family agency, which was superseded by Oranga Tamariki. In August 2017 Smith was appointed as Government health and safety leader by the State Services Commission.

New thinking

THE NZ FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


Low nitrogen farms show off A new DairyNZ project aims to help Canterbury farmers reduce nitrogen losses to protect local waterways. Luke Chivers reports.


AIRY farmers nationwide will be able to follow a DairyNZ project, Meeting a Sustainable Future, that will focus on how farmers in Selwyn and Hinds can meet nitrogen loss limits and maintain profitable businesses under the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan. Selwyn farmers must reduce nitrogen losses by 30% by 2022 and those in Hinds by 15% by 2025, 25% by 2030 and 36% by 2035. Project leader Virginia Serra said the limits are challenging but the sector is committed to helping farmers achieve them while maintaining strong performance. “This project builds on our previous nitrogen loss research and aims to give local farmers confidence that the limits are achievable. “Many farmers have been making changes to reduce nitrogen loss for some time and this project will help to further that.” Ashburton dairy farmer Campbell Tait is one of the farmers trialling the DairyNZ modelling The project provided him with practical steps to cut on-farm nitrogen loss. “It showed us where we could get the biggest impact, sometimes by making relatively small changes.” Recommendations included smarter decision-making around winter and spring cropping, optimising soil fertility, reducing nitrogen fertiliser use and improving irrigation infrastructure. Tait had considered many of the options but the modelling showed him where the biggest gains are. More than 30 different management zones were identified in the 2016-17 season and understanding how the different variables affect nitrogen loss is fundamental to making real progress, he said. “Variability in soil fertility is highly evident on our property. “We have grid soil tested down to one-hectare parcels and now

NOT EASY: Nitrogen limits in Canterbury are challenging but the sector is committed to helping farmers achieve them while maintaining strong performance, DairyNZ Meeting a Sustainable Future leader Virginia Serra says.

use variable rate spreading to correct phosphate and potassium deficiencies within paddocks. “This makes for gains in productivity and savings where fertiliser is not required. “It also enables better use of the nitrogen fertiliser applied as pasture performance is not being constrained by another mineral deficiency.” Another change has been to eliminate nitrogen use on spring cereal crops following winter feed. “I had always been advised to apply additional nitrogen to ensure the yield was maximised. “Now we are focused on minimising loss of nitrogen and the spring cereal is solely to soak up the surplus.” However, some other suggestions were harder financially. They included investing in a feed pad and upgrading irrigation from travelling guns to centre pivots. Teducing nitrogen leaching by 15% by 2025 is achievable but the 36% target by 2035 will be the most challenging, particularly as the farm is over its nitrogen loss baseline. “We’ll have to use a lot of tools to make that happen and, most of all, a sound balance sheet. “If we reduce nitrogen fertiliser use from 240kg/ha to 170kg/ha I’d expect to increase supplementary feed use or reduce our stocking rate – there’s surely a trade-off.”

This makes for gains in productivity and savings where fertiliser is not required. Campbell Tait Farmer Tait hopes his lessons and those of the other project farmers will help others identify the best ways to reduce nitrogen loss on their farms. The Canterbury Dairy Leaders Group, which aims to ensure a viable dairy sector in the region, supports the DairyNZ initiative. Chairman Alister Body says the project will provide leadership for all farmers on what is one of the biggest challenges they face. “This work is a great way for Selwyn and Hinds dairy farmers, along with others nationally, to watch and learn about the best options to reduce nitrogen losses and meet the future goals,” Body said. “It will be very interesting to follow.” Serra said DairyNZ is looking for other Hinds and Selwyn farmers to be involved in the project. “Over two years we hope to be working alongside 50 partner farms where we can monitor how farmers are adjusting their

GUINEA PIG: Ashburton farmer Campbell Tait is one of the farmers testing the DairyNZ modelling.

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32 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


The milk price is not a bad outcome


N A week during which the Global Dairy Trade index increased for the first time in seven months Fonterra cut its farmgate milk price for the third time this season. Dairy farmers might feel, on balance, that $6-$6.30/kg milksolids is not a bad outcome from a week of introspection on milk production, price, environment and Mycoplasma bovis disease. Only in Southland, where rain has reached Biblical proportions, will milk production not be setting season-to-date records. Fonterra has consulted the weather gurus and thinks 3% seasonal increase will result. The current industry rate is 6%, Fonterra’s own collection is up 5% and its South Island supply is up 7.5%. Number crunchers believe Fonterra is being unduly pessimistic about milk flow and optimistic about price. Now into the second half of the season the direction of travel is set and the outcome is in sight, albeit a little blurred. With climate change sirens wailing in Poland and Paris our dairying environmental leaders took heart from conferencing in Wellington and from the targets achieved around riparian retirement. Taranaki’s water quality improvements are a credit to all landowners who fenced and planted and to the communities that encouraged and helped. Consent compliance inspections by regional councils have also trended positively. Farmers cam also take some heart that most New Zealanders don’t form their opinions from billboards written by Greenpeace and Peta or from Fish and Game fulminations about intensive dairying. DairyNZ ended up with the M bovis bill for industry biosecurity response while Beef + Lamb NZ contributes small change. The Ministry for Primary Industries claims the war is being won, that the number of properties under regulatory control is falling and bulk milk testing is proceeding well with low numbers of new infections. Summer has begun begun positively, except in Southland, and perhaps it is time for urban New Zealanders to ponder why their beaches are polluted and pay for remediation. Hugh Stringleman


More letters P34

Let’s change Fonterra’s culture SPOT on, Alan Emerson. Institutionalised nepotism should not be condoned anywhere, especially under the hallowed shroud of the Institute of Directors. Maverick Shareholders Association advocate Bruce Sheppard believes most public company boards are largely dysfunctional and the directors seem to treat their shareholders as if they are too. This statement can be laid squarely at the feet of the Fonterra board, aided by a very naive Shareholders Council that has supported nepotism by endorsing the infamous Governance and Representation Review. There has been a rot within the Fonterra board. It is called the rot of the self-

anointed. In plain English it means intellectual incest, whereby the thoughts of the self-anointed few are the only thoughts allowed and, unfortunately, it means, one suspects, you kowtow to the chairman or get excluded from the discussion. That applies even if you are an appointed director with supposed specialist skills. This rot of the self-anointed has been carefully crafted to compromise the strength and intelligence of the council to the point of its members being lapdogs of an ineffectual Fonterra board, terrified of misused words like fiduciary responsibility and intellectual property and commercial sensitivity. Alan, you raise the issue that shareholders have been treated like the proverbial mushrooms.

It is true and the council is culpable and needs to wrest itself away from the clutches of the board and become effective again. The collective intelligence of 10,000 Fonterra shareholders is far greater than the compromised wisdom of the few self-anointed. However, it can happen only if the council is separated from the hip of the board and advocates forcefully and intelligently on behalf of shareholders. A co-operative that has that tension is a strong, vibrant and dynamic one and Fonterra desperately needs to move in that direction to survive and avoid the very real risk of demutualisation The catch cry of this last director election cycle has been to change the culture. In defence of our chairman John

Monaghan and chief executive Miles Hurrell it seems they genuinely believe that. However, the Achilles heel is that they need the numbers to change the board culture and evict the rot of the selfanointed. And despite Emerson’s despair and cynicism about the voting process, Fonterra shareholders need to shoulder their collective responsibility and vote this time around. It is a two-horse race and one is a career director while the other, John Nicholls, has skin in the game, is tough, experienced, determined and will give the numbers to change the culture. To survive and thrive, Fonterra’s culture must change. Keith Holmes Tauhei

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FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


Make farm safety a summer focus Tony Watson


HILE most New Zealanders are looking forward to the Christmas break there are some jobs where there’s always work to be done like those in hospitals, the emergency services and on farms. Tragically, those professions too often become connected because many tragic and life-changing accidents happen in agricultural workplaces. Summer’s a busy time on farms and it’s also among the most hazardous periods. Almost 550 farmers suffered injuries serious enough to require at least a week off work last summer (December 2017-February 2018) while there were three fatalities on farms. Vehicles and machinery loomed large among the causes. Safety should be a focus on farms for every job, every day but with Christmas and its related distractions approaching that focus needs to stay strong. More farmers are stepping up to the plate regarding health and safety. Fewer farmers died last year than in any year since 2009 and in 2017 deaths were almost half of those of the previous four years. The number of people injured on farms and needing more than a week off work is still way too high but also declining. I was running a health and safety workshop for rural merchants recently and one of the participants said farmers are increasingly having a talk with visitors about risks and how they should be managed. Nothing onerous but we are finding that at more farms they are expected to sign in and are given a brief rundown on the risks and the farm’s rules and safety expectations. These farmers are moving past safety compliance and see how it genuinely



contributes to making their farm a safer work environment for everyone. Summer, in general, and Christmas, in particular, mean more visitors on farms. More friends, more family and more children – many of whom might not be familiar with the farm. Tragically, a number of children die on farms every year.

Hindsight might be a wonderful thing but foresight is better.

I read the coroners’ reports for fatal farm accidents. They are distressing to read. Not just because of the human tragedy but because, in almost every case, those accidents were avoidable. Sometimes I share the reports at workshops and then ask “If you had the opportunity what would you have loved to have said to that person the week before that accident happened?” That really brings the grim reality home to people because it is clear reading those reports

that with one or two different decisions those people would have gone home safely to their loved ones. Simple things like wearing a seatbelt, be it in the tractor, ute or side-by-side. Like switching the quad for a ute or tractor before towing that heavy load. Like checking around the vehicle to make sure no children were around before reversing. Hindsight might be a wonderful thing but foresight is better. All visitors to farms need to know the farm rules and children need to be supervised. The younger they are the closer that supervision needs to be. Even the most sensible child can do something impetuous. It’s understandable kids should want to explore farms and it’s a great way to be introduced to one of our most important industries. That can be achieved safely, with good planning and supervision. The main risks for children are animals, vehicles, water, machinery and agrichemicals. Children don’t have the judgment to deal with animals safely or the size, speed or dexterity to get out of the way swiftly. They lack the judgment, body weight and strength to handle full-sized farm vehicles like quad and farm bikes. According to ACC figures, more than 100 children hurt themselves on these vehicles annually. About 28 are hospitalised and between three and six are killed. You need to be a second set of eyes and ears for a child to keep them safe. Discuss who’s going to be supervising children so there’s no confusion. So, while change is happening around health and safety on farms, there is still much work to be done. It’s said on average people need to hear a message seven times before they change their behaviour. I believe rural professionals from merchants and company reps to livestock reps

HUMAN ELEMENT: Agricultural Leaders Health and Safety Action Group general manager Tony Watson says health and safety is about people rather than hi-vis vests and clipboards.

can play a vital role in carrying those messages onto farms. Safety is not about someone with a high-viz and a clipboard. It’s about people who are known and trusted, who speak farmers’ language, who know what is involved in the day-to-day running of that farm. It might take courage to start those conversations because not everyone will want to listen. But the standard you walk past is the standard you accept and if unsafe behaviour goes unchecked then it becomes part of the workplace culture. And finally, to farmers, over Christmas, and every day – whether you are grabbing a chance to do a job amid the

strange weather we have been having, whether you’re keen to get the job over because family are due or the ham is on the table – please take time to ask yourself these three things before every task. What could go wrong? What am I doing about that? And is it enough? Wishing you all a peaceful and safe Christmas season.

Your View Got a view on some aspect of farming you would like to get across? The Pulpit offers readers the chance to have their say. Phone 06 323 1519

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34 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Farmers let themselves down badly Alternative View

Alan Emerson

TO SAY 2018 was an interesting year for provincial New Zealand is an understatement. We’ve been harassed by every nutter in Christendom, we’ve had some political wins and losses and we’ve been hit by disease and the ire of central and local government. On the positive side I wouldn’t live anywhere else, I wouldn’t do anything different, I’m fortunate to be blessed by a lot of rural colleagues and mates and the gin has kept flowing. With Mycoplasma bovis I thought Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s call to try to eradicate it was a brave one but I supported it. What the response did prove was that Nait wasn’t working and neither was OSPRI, the agency in charge of running it. That the system is up for review is positive and I only hope it goes the full distance. For the record, I strongly believe subcutaneous tags are the only real answer. Also for the record, OSPRI was governed by representatives from Dairy NZ, Beef + Lamb, Deer

Industry NZ and the Primary Industries Ministry. With 75% of the governance in farmers’ hands we let ourselves down badly. The protest groups did themselves proud over the year by showing a total lack of honesty, integrity and any scientific argument. We started the year with SAFE and its Animal 360 campaign including, among other things, that 8000 to 10,000 chickens died every day from starvation. Farmers have a strong, vested interest in having healthy happy stock. The industry would be bankrupt if the SAFE figures were remotely accurate.

I strongly believe subcutaneous tags are the only real answer.

Further, as SAFE had to trespass on farms for the 360 filming I wonder where the police and Worksafe were? The Greater Wellington Regional Council didn’t cover itself with glory either, claiming, without any evidence, farm dumps by the thousands are all causing rampant pollution. When asked for proof there were vacant stares. Greenpeace, that international multi-million dollar fringe group, wanted nitrogen fertiliser banned without any shred of proof.

COURAGEOUS: Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s call to go for Mycoplasma bovis eradication was a brave one.

It said industrialised agriculture contributes massively to global emissions, destroys forests and sucks rivers dry. The environmental heavyweight then called for a ban on chemical nitrogen fertilisers. As my mother told me, selfpraise is no recommendation and if Greenpeace is an environmental heavyweight then I’m the next All Black pivot. It actually went on to claim Ravensdown and Ballance are two little-known NZ companies. It tempts the question, what log did it crawl out from under? Mind you, it’s in good company with the last of the compulsory unions in NZ in the form of Fish and Game, whose anti-farming paranoia is exceeded only by its lack of scientific argument. Another anti-farming chorus came from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton who wrote a report about the impact on global warming by NZ’s livestock emissions that came, in my view, from a pre-ordained position. As our total emissions are 0.17% of global emissions the effect of

our livestock burps is likely to be somewhere around zip on the international stage. I was surprised when Landcorp tacitly supported Greenpeace with the suggestion the Government impose a nitrogen tax. As I’ve written, it would have little environmental impact and what’s a state-owned enterprise doing suggesting new taxes? Further, in a sneaky submission I could obtain only through an Official Information Act request it wanted an extra tax on water and a capital gains tax. That would all be disastrous for practical farmers but wouldn’t affect the state farmer. I wrote an attack on Landcorp to get several responses that were concerned that a reaction to my article might be the abuse of rank and file Landcorp staff. I am very sorry if that happened. My concern was the behavior of the board and senior management and not those on the farms. My view of Landcorp is that if it was a two-tooth you’d cull it. Over the year I tore my remaining hair out by the actions of Fonterra and its Shareholders Council.


I’m not going to repeat what I’ve written except to say rank and file dairy farmers seem the least relevant to both organisations. I remain hopeful the two new board members can achieve something but there you have an issue. Out of the 11 Fonterra board members seven are elected and four are appointed, in this case by the previous board. So, if you have the four voting with the chairman, as generally happens, then the chairman needs to get only one more farmer-director onside to carry a vote. Next year will be an interesting year for our largest company. Finally, I do appreciate all your emails whether you agree with me or not. I always answer them and acknowledge your opinions. I appreciate your support. Have a great Christmas break, may the weather be kind and 2019 be a cracker.

Your View Alan Emerson is a semi-retired Wairarapa farmer and businessman:

More letters P32

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I JUST caught up with Ospri chairman Barry Harris’ column titled, Heading for a TB future (FW, November 19). There is a valid question why Ospri exists. By world health standards New Zealand is TB-free and has been so for at least a decade. To be classed as TB-free a country has to be under 0.2% for infected herds and 0.1% for infected cattle. I understand New Zealand has been about 0.000019% average over the last decade – way below the level required by the World Organisation for Animal Health. NZ is Tb-free. Harris wrote of the use of the skin test. Does he know this test has an error of 20% to 30%. It can throw false readings both ways. A beast shown as infected by the skin test might not be infected. Likewise, a beast shown clear by the skin test might be infected but remains in the herd to infect

others with below-par immune systems. Harris seems content to blame possums and therefore support large-scale 1080 drops. Questioned in Parliament in 2016 by NZ First MP Richard Prosser, National’s then Minister of Primary Industries Nathan Guy said of 9830 possums autopsied, none had TB. Despite that Ospri trots out that nearly half of all TB infections in cattle are caused by possums. It turns a blind eye to the errorprone nature of the skin test. L Hore Oamaru

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FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


Is Russia in the West or East?

UNDERSTANDING Russia is important for our agrifood industries. The issue of whether Russia belongs in the West or the East might seem a strange topic for a New Zealand agri-food systems person like me to be discussing. However, political and food systems and the associated international trade are joined at the hip. Politics and agricultural trade are always fellow travellers. These last two weeks, while working in Russia, I have pondered where Russia belongs. From a cultural perspective I have no doubt it is in the West. Yet from a geopolitical perspective it would seem Russia’s future is more with China in the East. Here, I explore the dichotomy and the contradiction. The two centres of Russia’s culture and history are Moscow and St Petersburg. Both cities are very European. Both have firmly left their Soviet past behind them. Both have re-embraced their cultural identity from earlier centuries. The churches destroyed by Stalin’s vandalism have been painstakingly restored and even Vladimir Putin aligns himself with the Russian Orthodox Church and its values. I see many people, both old and young, going into the churches to pray. Soviet-style communism and the fundamental concept of the Soviet Union are now seen as a mistake. Remarkably, both Moscow and St Petersburg have escaped the ravages of war. Their enemies have tried but only the Russians know how to fight and win a war on their own territory. And so, both cities still depict the architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries, albeit with many modern buildings, particularly in Moscow. One morning, over breakfast in St Petersburg, I listened on the restaurant audio system, first to some American jazz then a Russian singer presenting a beautiful, accented version of George Harrison’s song about his guitar that gently weeps. I have also been listening to Michael Jackson and Elton John. Yes, the dominant Russian culture comes from the West. However, the geopolitics of Russia tell a different story. The West does not like Russia and that is deeply rooted in history. The Cold War is once again in play, for reasons the Russians find hard to comprehend. Given Western hostility, including sanctions, Russia has little option but to find friends

Russia can also be important as a destination for our food products.

Quite simply, it does not matter what pressure the West puts on Russia over Crimea, the Russians will never step back. As for Ukraine, many Russians are glad they no longer have to support those pesky Ukrainians. Let someone else solve their problems. Whereas Russia can survive all military pressures, including those from America and NATO, it does need economic partners. There are many constraints to economic development and much of Russia, away from Moscow and St

TASTY: A variety of foods laid out for sale in Russia.

Petersburg, is still very poor. That is where China comes in. Russia and China together can form an increasingly formidable axis of economic power. Russia has plentiful oil and gas plus the fundamental sciences and agriculture that is grossly underdeveloped. China has the consumers, capital and applied engineering but lacks sufficient oil and gas and is still struggling with producing new, fundamental science that underpins technology. China’s science limitation stems from a schooling system that does not foster independent inquiry. Surely, there is an irony the West in general and the Americans in particular are by their actions pushing the Russians and the Chinese to work ever increasingly together. The cultures of Russia and China do not naturally align but economic necessity prevails. It will work because both countries are smart enough to understand they can have an economic axis without interfering in each other’s internal affairs. In NZ we have come to recognise our economic future lies

increasingly with the East. But it is an uncomfortable relationship for many because, once again, our cultures do not naturally align. We also have a remarkable ability – common in the West – to tell other people how they should live their lives. Somewhere in among all of this it might seem there is a logic that we might also have a future with Russia. It is hard to see how Russia could ever be our largest trading partner – that role is always going to be for China, as long as once again we don’t try to tell other people how to live their lives. But Russia can also be important as a destination for our food products. I have previously discussed some relevant aspects of Russian agri-food and cuisine. I may also have more to say on those specifics at a later time. Several years ago, the prospect of a free-trade agreement between NZ and Russia was high on our Government’s agenda. However, with Cold War politics coming to

the fore, NZ decided to take a step back. NZ’s key concern in stepping back was not so much any moral imperative but the pragmatic need to keep onside with the US and Europe. Indeed, we trade elsewhere with some truly horrible regimes. Surely, there is yet another irony here, accentuated by the range of European brands on show in Russia. It could be time to test the waters again. It might not even need a formal free-trade agreement that would annoy our so-called allies. It might just need a change of attitude.

Your View Keith Woodford was Professor of farm management and agribusiness at Lincoln University for 15 years to 2015. He is now principal consultant at AgriFood Systems. He can be contacted at



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Keith Woodford

elsewhere. And the path leads inevitably to China. From a military perspective Russia does not really need friends. If attacked, Russia has the technology to destroy the world. It would be crazy for the West to go there. Russia does feel threatened by American actions in both Ukraine and in the Stans but knows it can defend itself. From a Russian perspective the political situation in Crimea is very simple. Crimea was Russian territory for a long time until Nikita Khrushchev gave it away to Ukraine when both Ukraine and Russia were part of the Soviet Union. We can go right back to 1854 when the English Light Brigade, led by befuddled officers, charged up the Crimean Valley of Death to be slaughtered by Russian guns. Just what did the English think they were doing fighting the Russians so far from their English homeland? The Russians regard Crimea not just as Russian territory – a stance that is very popular in Russia – but of critical importance in providing a warm water port for their navy. As long as Ukraine was friendly to Russia the Russians could live with Khrushchev’s historical actions. Once Ukraine turned away there was only one option.


The Braided Trail


36 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Farmers have had enough of MPI The Voice

Craig Wiggins

THE relationship between Primary Industries Ministry Mycoplasma bovis response director Geoff Gwyn and Mid Canterbury farmers is officially over if the rhetoric from farmers and the resulting actions taken to bypass Gwyn and go directly to new Primary Industries directorgeneral Ray Smith following a tough week of talks is anything to go by. Two robust meetings on November 20 and 21 in Ashburton attracted farmers affected by MPI actions in managing their herds suspected of having M bovis. I was asked to help organise the first one with a local MP and chair the second one organised by local Federated Farmers representatives and many industry leaders including federation board members and the MPI heads. I was going to let news reporters tell the story on the results of the meetings and not get involved in any discussion on them until Gwyn, in a radio interview, deviated from the general consensus of the meeting.

The meeting was nothing more than a report card on MPI’s handling of the eradication and the effects on farmer mental welfare over the last 15 months. As farmers told their stories of the inaccuracies of information to them and from their case managers back to MPI, the mental anguish that poor people skills, a lack of knowledge and poor time management had put on them there were not many in the room who were not moved emotionally. The result of the report card was a big fat F as far as farmers were concerned with facts and

If we look at who the true partners of farmers are in this saga it’s the banks and rural support industries.

emotions to back up the result given. To his credit Smith took it all on board and having been in the role for only a short time gave assurances he will fix it. He has gained the support of farmers for now and they await his actions to improve the process from infection through to being able to restock and resume life as close to possible as it once was. However, the clock is ticking.

The relationship between Mid Canterbury farmers and the board members of Federated Farmers is also under some pressure with the lack of contact and presence shown by Chris Lewis and the national board in Canterbury since the first outbreak meetings. Lewis also made a huge gaffe in the meeting with a statement that alluded to the softly-softly approach it seems the federation board must take with government departments to stay onside and be able to have an open-door policy across the issues and advocate on involving the primary industry. Farmers are asking how a farmer advocate organisation such as Federated Farmers can advocate with passion and resolve if they are worried about having doors slammed in their face when dealing with politicians and government departments. The farmers at the meeting have since let the local division know they are less than impressed with both Lewis’s gaffe and the board on their lack of involvement but compliment the locals for some of their work to date. Gwyn, in the radio interview, said one of the issues faced by MPI is that farmers are kings of their own castles and now they have a business partner in MPI. I suggest that if we look at who the true partners of farmers are in this saga it’s the banks and rural support industries. Most farmers are very complimentary about them.

BACKING THE BOSS: Mid Canterbury farmers want to deal directly with new Primary Industries director-general Ray Smith.

The reporting of the eradication process by MPI to mainstream media can be proved to be full of inaccuracies because MPI won’t take advice to repair the holes in the eradication and testing process, which it has been notified of by past staff and farmers experienced in how farming systems work, instead choosing to blame the issues on a defective Nait system and farmers lethargic use of it. Mid Canterbury farmers have set up an action group to work directly with Smith and a support

network including a Facebook page where newly affected farmers can go with questions on the process and get farmer-to-farmer support. Their frustrations have come to a boiling point and as much as they can they will work hard to support Smith as he sorts out this mess he has inherited as he takes over a department that has lost the support of many farmers.


Facebook: Mbovis Affected Farmers

Man makes pre-Christmas promises to wife From the Ridge

Steve Wyn-Harris

THE boss gets very busy at this time of the year and just like last year, to reduce the pressure, has let me file his last column. You might not remember me as he hasn’t mentioned me all year but I’m Ditch, the dog he found in the watertable as a very small puppy that some sod dumped. I was a cute puppy but when I turned into a teenager it was touch and go whether I’d make the grade given my exuberance and general clumsiness. They even thought I was a rottweiler for a time but turned out I wasn’t. But he could tell I was smart. I soon learned how to open Gin’s kennel so she could come out to play and I figured out how to push over the dog biscuit barrel and help myself. I’ve got a few odd mannerisms that have him scratching his head. It doesn’t matter where he puts

the feeding bowl I always seem to fill it with piddle by the next day. He wonders if maybe dogs can be diabetic as my urine appears to be sweet as there are always drowned bees in it when he has to tip it out. Also, because I’ve never seen another dog, when I do pee when having a run, I squat like Gin. He wondered whether to try to train me to do it like a proper dog but has better things to do with his time. I’m also obsessed with rabbits and spend much of my day watching them when I’m in the kennel or tied up. It’s like they enjoy teasing me because they come up quite close. When he lets me off for a run I’m after them and boy can they run fast and change direction on a penny. I’ve only ever caught a couple and have now learned to come straight back to him when he calls even if I’m in the middle of a chase. But, on the positive side, he enjoys mustering with me as I’ve curbed my enthusiasm and I’m not too bad in the yards. Last year I wrote how Gin had just had a litter of unplanned pups. There was speculation that I might have been the father but it turned out the boss’s son’s visiting heading dog Mate was the villain.

WHO’S YOUR DADDY? Ditch, right, sizes up one of Meg’s pups as he ponders their paternity.

Seems the boss was the only cocky not to know dogs can do it through the netting. He kept one of the pups and called her Meg. She has a white stripe down her forehead so is named after the drummer from the White Stripes. But Meg turned out even odder than me. She was fixated on hedgehogs and had a remarkable ability to seek them out and bring them back in her mouth to the kennels. Surprisingly, he managed to convince the Department of Conservation to take her as a trained hedgehog locating dog to help with the battle for the birds as he’s heard how hedgehogs eat

native bird eggs. Next time Gin was in heat he knew not to trust netting. Pity he didn’t tell his lady about the hormones swirling around the kennels. She doesn’t often let the dogs go for a run but her timing was impeccable. Now he’s got another couple of pups and this time there is no doubt who’s their daddy. He is fond of saying “If all your dogs are useless, it’s probably not the dogs”. I heard him telling one of his mates he reckons that fellow Geoff Gwyn who is the bloke from the Primary Industries Ministry who has fronted the campaign in the eradication against

Geoff Gwyn ... should be named the rural person of the year.

Mycoplasma bovis and faces a lot of pressure and criticism but remains steadfast and calm so should be named the rural person of the year. Despite a lot of naysayers they might do the near impossible and eradicate this disease. But it has been tough on those who have had the disease on their properties. I heard him promising his lady that he’d get all the chores done by Christmas and maybe they’d get a break in the new year and do something fun but they haven’t got a plan yet. I hope the rest of you have a great festive season, catch up with family and friends and get to recharge the batteries with some rest and fun.

Your View Steve Wyn-Harris is a Central Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farmer.


THE NZ FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


MPs want subsidies to continue in Britain AN INFLUENTIAL committee of MPs has warned the British government food imports must meet British standards after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. It has also recommended subsidies continue indefinitely to give farmers long-term support. The House of Commons environment, food and rural affairs select committee made the recommendation after an inquiry examining the government’s Agriculture Bill. Earlier this year Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove said imports of food produced using techniques banned in the UK would be allowed over his dead body. The committee is now calling on the government to put its money where its mouth is and accept an amendment to the Agriculture Bill regarding trade. The amendment stipulates food products imported as part of any future trade deal should meet or exceed British standards relating to production, animal welfare and the environment. Farm leaders have long warned

food produced to standards illegal in the UK should not be allowed into the country after Brexit. They includes items such as chlorine-washed chicken and hormone-produced beef – both practices that are banned in the UK. Committee chairman Neil Parish said “The UK currently has exceptionally high environmental and food standards and an internationally recognised approach to animal welfare. “This legacy cannot be ripped apart by the introduction of cheap, low-quality goods following our exit from the European Union. “Imports produced to lower standards than ours pose a very real threat to UK agriculture. “Without sufficient safeguards we could see British farmers significantly undermined while turning a blind eye to environmental degradation and poor animal welfare standards abroad. “Our suggested amendment calls for agricultural goods to be imported into the UK only if the standards to which those goods were produced are as high as or

higher than current UK standards. Industry leaders and food campaigners have welcomed the proposed amendment. Country Land and Business Association president Tim Breitmeyer said “We have consistently made it clear to ministers that getting the right trade deal for UK farmers is paramount. “The UK should not compromise on the rules that guarantee high standards of production, environmental protection and animal welfare. “An influx of cheaper agri-food produced to lower standards from the EU and beyond would have a significant negative impact on consumers and the rural economy.” Sustain Alliance farm coordinator Vicki Hird said she agrees agri-food imports should be allowed into the UK only if they are to the same standard. The MPs’ inquiry was launched alongside the Agriculture Bill in September to examine the postBrexit provisions MPs believe are needed by the UK agricultural industry.

DANGEROUS: Imports produced to standards lower than those in Britain pose a real threat to the nation’s agriculture, environment, food and rural affairs select committee chairman Neil Parish says.

Because the inquiry ran parallel to the Bill, the select committee focused on three key areas of the Bill – including future trade deals. The committee also recommends there should be a multi-annual financial framework for agriculture – effectively providing a long-term funding commitment for agriculture. Given the importance of the Bill in shaping UK agriculture in the future the committee expressed disappointment it was not given the chance to scrutinise the Bill before it was presented. Parish said “We are also concerned by the extent to which

powers have been delegated. “This Bill lacks clarity and gives any future secretary of state the opportunity to avoid scrutiny and make crucial decisions while going somewhat unchallenged. “We would like to see sufficient opportunities for Parliamentary scrutiny before any new systems or policies are rolled out. “Given the fundamental changes ahead of us we would also like to see the government provide us with a detailed timetable for its programme of statutory instruments relating to this Bill.” UK Farmers Weekly

Get in behind Brexit, minister tells farmers FARMERS and landowners should support Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal because it offers the absolute best opportunity for the country, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary Michael Gove says. At the Rural Business Conference Gove was questioned about whether a no-deal Brexit should be removed as an option and if he supported May’s deal. “No deal would be extremely challenging, particularly for the food production sector,” Gove said. “If I were any other European country I would say ‘I want that deal’. “It will be difficult for the EU to keep its show on the road when we are seen to have all these potential advantages, like setting immigration policy.” Gove suggested if farmers agree with him they should speak to their local MPs, encourage them to support May and tell them he would be personally very grateful. But if MPs can’t support May’s Brexit deal then a no deal should be taken off the table – an amendment recently tabled by the Labour Party. Country Land and

Business Association president Tim Breitmeyer said “We must avoid a nodeal situation. Securing an agreement with the EU is vital for food and farming. “A future relationship which imposes barriers and fails to secure tariff-free agrifood trade would put at risk farming businesses and have a devastating impact across the wider rural economy.” The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is planning to launch a domestic food strategy once the UK has left the EU to encourage more sustainable food production and reduce food waste. “This country can be at the forefront of the next agriculture revolution, as it has been before,” Gove said. And to broaden the talent pool in agriculture, the prejudices to landbased work and the rural economy need to be challenged. “Our agricultural sector lags in terms of productivity overall,” he said. “There’s an opportunity for all of us to raise our game.” UK Farmers Weekly

DISJOINTED: The British ag-tech sector is being held back by a lack of co-operation by its participants, Hummingbird founder William Wells warns.

Success depends on openness FARMERS are suffering because Britain has the least collaborative agri-tech sector in the world, Hummingbird founder and chief executive William Wells says. His artificial intelligence business uses imagery from drones, robots, satellites and planes to help farmers detect invisible diseases, classify weeds at first emergence, map nitrogen discharges and provide early season yield predictions. Techniques used in medicine and the military are copied by Hummingbird, which has an Australasian operation based in New Zealand, to add value to farms’ bottom lines. But Wells warned the United

Kingdom industry is being held back. “We have the benefit of being in a few countries and I have to say UK farming is the least collaborative market we have by miles. “You have data silos stuck in publicly-funded institutions and you have oligopolistic businesses which do not share data or block you if you work with their competitors. “It is pathetic and the farmer suffers. “You have software businesses or machinery businesses which do not like being compatible with each other so farmers have to log in to about 30 different systems just to understand what weather it is outside. “It is so confusing that even

some of our best engineers cannot untangle the dark corridor of Gatekeeper’s basement or John Deere’s operating system.” Wells pointed to the United States as an example of good practice because it excels at creating massive, shared datasets such as a nationwide soil database. “There are hundreds of thousands of young, computer-savvy data scientists who would love a database like that to try to open source code solutions which can help us all,” he said. “There are incremental gains which could be had today, just on collaboration. “If everyone shared, there is so much low-hanging fruit.”

On Farm Story

38 FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Plant a tree, grow a community Matawai farmers Eugene and Pania King are dedicated to sustainability but it isn’t just about the environment. Luke Chivers reports.


HEEP and beef farmers Eugene and Pania King from Kiriroa Station at Matawai are combining their passion for the land with hard work and whanau support. The couple have a longstanding connection with their family, their environment and their local community. “We both grew up in rural New Zealand and a career in agriculture was inevitable,” Pania says. “We’ve always been really passionate about the sector. There’s nothing else quite like it.” Eugene and Pania met in 1992 while shearing. Not long after they started dating they found themselves packing their bags and setting off on a world trip using shearing to fund their travels. “We were young and eager. All we wanted to do was see the world and shear sheep. And that’s exactly what we did,” Pania says. “We sheared in Europe, across the United Kingdom and in Australia. But we also travelled across Asia and North America. “I don’t think either of us expected to be travelling for 15 years,” she says. But returning home was always on the cards – and so too was the goal of owning their own farm. “We finished our shearing career in Taranaki with whanau.” It was there their passion for economic, environmental and social sustainability was formed. They farmed for 12 years with family on Mangaroa and Ruakaka Stations on the east coast of the North Island. “Initially, we were farming with our family on a block in Mangaroa and Ruakaka.

“And then we farmed in partnership with my brother a little further east of Gisborne on a bigger property, Ruakara Station, and we were there for five years,” Eugene says. Our ultimate goal was mutual – it was for each of our four families to own their own farm. “It was a lofty vision,” he says. And how long it was actually going to take was anyone’s guess but, with a lot of hard yakka, it actually moved along fairly quick. They bought Kiriroa Station at the Matawai end of the Motu Rd, inland from Gisborne, in 2013. Their whanau followed suit shorty after with nearby properties. Ruakara Station is a 501ha (357ha effective) property, which the Kings describe as a quarter flat, half rolling and a quarter steep. They keep the country well grazed with bulls, steers and sheep. Eugene enjoys farming cattle though the family background in shearing was always going to secure the existence of sheep on the property. Kiriroa Station runs several classes of sheep and beef stock and has run an average of 11 stock units a hectare for the past two years. The 2300 sheep include 1750 mixed-age ewes, 510 ewe hoggets, 80 lambs and 24 rams. Last season they killed 2750 lambs through Affco at an average weight of 18.6kg. Cattle numbers in 2018 included almost 270 – 151 mixed-aged bulls and 118 mixedage steers. The carcase weight of the two-year bulls averaged 331kg and the R2 steers averaged 334kg. The station is also home to kahikatea forest, which is electric fenced to keep cattle out and other stands of native bush

THIS IS THE LIFE: Eugene and Pania King go to work in style.

ADVENTURE: As well as living in an outdoor world Erueti, 14, and Haeora King, 15, are also learning lessons for life.  Photos: Rebecca Williams

which are in QEII National Trust covenant. The couple have built a financially viable operation with production levels well above the district average while supporting larger values of whanau, conservation and biodiversity. In recent years their efforts have won three categories at the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards, the Beef + Lamb NZ Livestock Award, CB Norwood Agri-Business Management Award

and the East Coast Farming for the Future Award. And, with the help of wise capital spending, expense control and a penchant for hard-work the Kings have upped the farm’s economic farm surplus (EFS) every year since becoming owners. But it has not always been an easy ride for the couple. When Eugene and Pania took over Kiriroa Station they saw a lot of opportunity to make their mark. “Initially, this started with us fencing and planting about two hectares of young native trees and grasses.” Seventy poplar poles were also planted along ridge lines for wind shelter on the farm and other natives were planted for shade,

BIG BOYS: The stock on Kiriroa include bulls and steers.

shelter and riparian protection, Pania says. Their efforts also included capital fertiliser applications, stock yard development and repair, subdivision and the replacement of many kilometres of fencing. In 2015, the couple had a breakthrough, establishing a weka wetland in conjunction with the Gisborne District Council and its Natural Heritage Fund. “We’re also working on a plan with the council to stabilise the banks of the Motu River and the creek that runs through the back of our farm.” The Kings are active members of the Motu River Committee, which is led by 13 local farmers whose properties boundary the river.

On Farm Story

FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018


THREE-PRONGED EFFORT: Sustainability is about economic, social and environmental responsibility, East Coast farmers Pania and Eugene King say.

“We’re just trying to do our part for nature and our community and give a little back,” Pania says. “It’s not just about us planting riparian plantings and improving our wetland areas. It’s also about us planting up our most erosionprone areas and giving shelter for our stock. It’s also about us protecting the biodiversity of our bird life. “We think this results in a win-win for us as farmers, our animals and for wildlife,” she says. Eugene says “good environmental practices are beneficial right through.

“There’s the positive impact on the environment, of course, but, depending on where your plantings are, it also has a run-on effect right through the whole system. “It means you’ve got your shade and shelter for your stock and you’ve got protection for erosion-prone areas to stop sediment running into your waterways. “It’s also an efficient way of using unproductive land. “And, more importantly, it’s a way of showing those who are younger that this is a good thing to do.” The Kings are seeing the results.

HAPPY VALLEY: Kiriroa is a great place to live and grow up.

“There’s a lot of bird life on our farm and our kids are growing up to be passionate about the land.” Eugene and Pania have four boys – Levi, 18, Haeora, 15, Erueti, 14, and Taane, 8. “I don’t think there’s a better way than to bring up kids on the land,” Eugene says. “There’s nothing quite like it. “There’s fresh air. The kids can run around and do whatever they want. And they get to try out new technology and they get to learn respect for the environment, speak for animals and know where their food comes from. That’s pretty special.”

The King whanau do their own pest management, regularly embarking on trapping and night shoots, and do voluntary pest control work in the nearby 429ha Whinray Scenic Reserve. “The kids love it. “They’re very boisterous, our boys. “And any chance they get to go out on-farm, they do. “Let’s put it this way, I’ve got to really hound them to get them into the car and take them into town for a haircut,” Pania says. “The unique thing about growing up in rural NZ is the innate desire you and your kids form to see the environment cared for.” She says that as Maori landowners their roles as kaitiaki are a natural fit. “In our farm’s ancestral landscapes of Matawai we believe we are some of the keepers of manaakitanga (hospitality) and kaitiakitanga (guardianship) in this landscape.” Eugene and Pania are active members of the Matawai farm discussion group and the family is heavily involved in the Motu School and community. The pair are also on the board of trustees for the school and the King family is always on hand for fundraising events. “People make places,” Pania says. “And for that reason we make a big effort to support our local community. “Without community you’ve got nothing really. “Our rural communities are already small enough so it’s important that as farmers we support one another – whether that be a mid-year Christmas function or at the local rugby game or by just visiting a

They get to try out new technology and they get to learn respect for the environment, speak for animals and know where their food comes from. That’s pretty special. Eugene King Farmer neighbour to see how they’re doing. “We hear a lot about issues like mental health in the rural sector but the primary way we farmers are going to make an impact to these is by sustaining our communities,” he says. “Sustainability is not just about knowing what the environmental impacts affecting the sector are and making improvements on-farm – we have to also remember to support the longevity of our whanau and our communities.” Eugene and Pania say their next steps are to grow their business even more and futureproof it for their tamariki.

>> Video link:

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Charming country property


This stunning 26.08 hectare (more or less) property offers family living at its best. The cosy weatherboard home features wood burners, high ceilings and a kitchen/dining room that is the hub of the home, scones and all. Relax on the verandah with views of the farm and stream, complete with trout. Add to this is a separate double bedroom with ensuite and doors opening out to the verandah that is suitable for home stays, along with a separate large double garage. A utility shed houses the workshop and farm equipment. The property is well fenced and subdivided for ease of grazing, and includes a two stand wool shed, cattle yards, drenching race and head bail.

Asking Price $1,100,000 + GST (if any) View by appointment Alistair Scown 027 494 1848




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Magnificent finishing/cropping, excellent location A fantastic opportunity to buy a premium 576 hectare, early cropping/finishing property with summer rainfall, located only 16 kilometres north of Wairoa. A great mix of soil type, aspect and contour provide the platform for early lamb and beef finishing. Being approximately 130 hectares of fertile flats growing maize and forage crops as part of a pasture renewal program, regular fertiliser applications and extensive reticulated water along with subdivision of approximately 99 paddocks and laneways ensure an exceptional productive and profitable unit. A six bedroom homestead provides open plan living, modern kitchen and bathrooms, inground swimming pool and sleepout. Rarely does a property of this quality, in such good proximity to town come to market. As a stand alone operation, or to support an additional operation as an intensive finishing/cropping unit, this is a must view.

Auction (will not be sold prior) 2pm, Wed 19 Dec 2018 Waimaara Farm, 906 Tiniroto Road, Marumaru Phone for viewing times Tony Rasmussen 027 429 2253 Simon Bousfield 027 665 8778



Wairoa Painga Farm, 119 Painga Road, Ohuka

Strong, clean well contoured farming Nestled in the heart of the renowned Ohuka valley, near the Te Urewera national park and Lake Waikaremoana is Painga Station. 471 hectares of clean, healthy and fertile farmland, with significant portions of easy contour, including an abundance of tractor country and plentiful sheltered and warm country. A good history of fertiliser and lime applications along with a strong annual rainfall and fantastic farming climate provide the perfect environment for exceptional clover growth - the livestock on the property being a testament to this. Improvements include a sound four bedroom home, very tidy fully functional shearers quarters, three bedroom cottage, 4-stand woolshed/covered yards complex, cattle yards and killing house. A productive farm with added recreational attributes of fishing/camping at Waikaremoana and abundance of hunting both on and off the farm.

Tender (will not be sold prior) Closing 12pm, Fri 14 Dec 2018 17 Napier Road, Havelock North Phone for viewing times Tony Rasmussen 027 429 2253 James Bolton-Riley 027 739 1011



Wallingford 505 Bush Road

Matai Moana


Situated 33km south east of Waipukurau in the Wallingford district is this 596ha sheep and beef breeding and finishing station. The contour ranges from some easy country to rolling medium hill with the balance in steeper country. 28ha in Plantain clover. Laneways create ease of management with good access to satellite sheep and cattle yards.

For Sale offers invited by (unless sold prior) 4pm, Thu 14 Feb 2019 Railway Station, 11 Bogle Brothers Esplanade, Waipukurau View by appointment Andy Hunter 027 449 5827

An early 1900’s villa sits amongst attractive grounds in a private setting overlooking a bush reserve. Good infrastructure with workshop, four stand wool shed with large sheep and cattle yard complex and airstrip. Mataimoana offers scale and location with Flemington school 23.1km and Porangahau Country Club and Beach resort 27km.





42 0800 85 25 80

Real Estate

FARMERS WEEKLY – December 10, 2018


Dannevirke 558 Pukeatua Road

Desirable location- well balanced farm


Located in the desirable Otope farming district, an easy 10 minute drive east of Dannevirke, this 481ha well balanced farm is available for the first time in 70 years. Faithfully farmed by two generations, this well performing property has all the attributes of an excellent medium scale farming unit with the potential to intensify production further. An appealing mix of contour and aspect, offers warm sheltered breeding country, and easier contour land to finish livestock. Well subdivided, reliable natural water supply, excellent fertiliser history, together with woolshed, covered yards and satellite cattle and sheep yards. Several mature forestry plantations can provide further income opportunities. A spacious, comfortable five bedroom modern homestead and three bedroom house located at the front of the property.

Auction (unless sold prior) 4pm, Thu 7 Feb 2019 On Site View by appointment Vic Ellingham 027 201 6707





RURAL Office 0800 FOR LAND

Property Brokers Limited Licensed REAA 2008

Ngutunui grazing 37.5 ha


WEB ID TER65328 NGUTUNUI 70 Robertson Road VIEW 11 & 18 Dec 11.00 - 12.00pm AUCTION 1.00pm, Thu 20th Dec, 2018, (unless sold prior), • Ex-dairy - ideal grazing, cropping or calf rearing Te Awamutu Information Centre, 1 Gorst Avenue. • 35 ha effective, flat to undulating contour, 32 paddocks with water gravity fed via a bore supply • 16 ASHB, 2 x calf sheds, 3 & 4 bay implement sheds, hay barn • Tidy three bedroom home with office, rumpus room (4th bedroom) & 3 car garaging on elevated site 3 offering panoramic Pirongia Mountain and rural views Doug Wakelin • The current owners leave this property in Mobile 027 321 1343 exceptionally good heart 1


Real Estate

FARMERS WEEKLY – December 10, 2018 0800 85 25 80


For Sale Taupo

1232 Tirohanga Road 81.4 Hectares

Price By negotiation

Contact Phil Badger 027 357 5704

Proven Low-Cost Performer. The property has a five year average of 97,500kgMS per season from an average of 235 cows. The dairy is a 22 aside herringbone, with a recently installed lined effluent pond. Farm support buildings include a recently built 4-bay implement shed, 1-bay concrete floor and lockable. Has a four bedroom home with double garage, carport and sleep-out with bathroom. | Property ID RT1054

Real Estate experts with co-operative values Maungaturoto | 37 Batley Road


155 Hectares

Closing 3pm, Thursday 13 December 2018 (unless sold by private treaty)

Dry Stock Grazing - Maungaturoto. Handily located to Maungaturoto this well-developed beef grazing unit comprising 155 hectare/143 hectare effective, with majority easy rolling hay country. Subdivided and raced to some 69 paddocks, effective dam sourced water and sound fertiliser history. Buildings include a 1950s style three bedroom home that has been totally renovated, large wrap around deck and detached double garage built in 2017. Disused 40 bail rotary cowshed, 3 bay implement shed, 9 bay poly calf shed, storage shed and cattle yards. | Property ID WF1010

Go into the draw to WIN 1 of 10

Bunnings 1,500 Vou chers


when you sell with Farmlands Real Estat * e

Inspection By appointment

Contact Tom Hackett 027 498 2908 Tim Holdgate 021 475 465

We understand your business. It’s the co-operative difference. Talk to your local Farmlands Real Estate Salesperson today about how we can support your rural, lifestyle and residential needs. *Terms and Conditions apply. Promotion is valid from 1st August until 31st December 2018. See for more details.

0800 200 600 |

Licensed under REAA 2008


• Situated on Whangaehu Beach Road, Whangaehu is this lovely 60ha dairy farm. • Well laid out with a good mixture of contour, soils and layout. • Currently milking a 160 cow herd. • Improvements include a 16 aside herringbone dairy, hay shed, machinery shed, small feed pad and good yards. • There is a nice family 4-bedroom character home set back off the road on a rise with native bush backdrop. • Great chance to buy a farm that could be used for dairy, beef or cropping. • Priced to sell at $1,885,000. • Call Les on 0274 420 582 to inspect this property.


Google ‘Sallan Realty’ Your Farm Sales Specialist





157 Wataroa Road, Pungarehu This 165.5884 hectare (409.1689 acre) farm is currently milking approximately 400 cows through a modern 44 bail rotary cowshed, with ACR and in-shed feed system.

Land is the biggest asset to any farming business so it pays to stay up to date with the market.

Contour is a mix of flat, easy and lahar, there is plenty of mowable contour for supplements.

Connect with the right audience at

The farm is well raced, fenced, has a new bore and there is a rings mains water system to 58 paddocks.



• Situated in Linton is this exceptional 114.5ha dairy farm currently milking 280 cows. • Has produced up to 120,000kgs/ ms from 290 cows with herd wintered off. • Good Tokomaru silt loam soils that have been regularly fertilised. • Three good family homes along with a very good 30 aside dairy. • Tank water to the home and bore water to stock troughs and dairy. • Large machinery shed, two silage bunkers and feed pad. • Great chance to own this genuine farm close to Palmerston North City • Call Les on 0274 420 582 to inspect this property.

With two tidy homes, very good infrastructure and a handy location to New Plymouth this is a great opportunity for those looking for a little more scale. In order to appreciate this property viewing is highly recommended. Biosecurity systems are in place and clean vehicles only please.

Licensed Agent REAA 2008

Tender Closes 4pm, Friday 14 December 2018 at McDonald Real Estate Ltd 288 Broadway, Stratford Viewing By Appointment Only View On # STR01757 Peter McDonald 027 443 4506 Blair Burnett 021 190 7728

44 0800 85 25 80

Real Estate

FARMERS WEEKLY – December 10, 2018

Accelerating success.

Reach more people - better results faster.

Looking for the complete package?

We’ve got you covered with digital and print options.


Contact Shirley Howard phone 06 323 0760, email

Real Estate

FARMERS WEEKLY – December 10, 2018 0800 85 25 80


New Zealand’s leading rural real estate company RURAL | LIFESTYLE | RESIDENTIAL



Best of the Best!

When Location and Quality Count

Tomarata, North Auckland

• Highly productive nearly entirely flat 59ha unit is on some of the most productive soils in the region • 20 ASHB with rectangle yard, new chiller unit, second calf milk vat with separate chilling • Five-bay implement shed with adjoining calf shed, large implement/hay shed, new four-bay round barn • Good quality deep water bore and raceway network • Large three bedroom, two bathroom home, 180sqm garage workshop and large two-bay garage. Located adjacent to the desirable Tomarata School, this property really is the "best of the best". Enquire now!

115ha grazing/finishing unit, well located approx 7km from Matamata. This well presented property has been in the same family for 80 years and comes to the market in excellent heart. The property offers a great opportunity for purchasers to buy a grazing unit ideally suited for dairy support, finishing, cropping or stock trading. Excellent fertiliser history along with free draining soils provides for quality livestock production. A full range of improvements includes a three bedroom homestead, a two stand woolshed, sheep and cattle yards, and three hay barns. Retiring Vendor's want a result!

TENDER Plus GST (if any) (Unless Sold By Private Treaty) Closes 3.00pm Thursday 31 January

Scott Tapp B 09 423 9717 M 021 418 161

Matamata, Waikato AUCTION (Unless Sold Prior) 11.00am, Monday 17 December Matamata Club, Matamata VIEW BY APPOINTMENT

Peter Donnelly B 07 888 4572 M 021 449 559

Trevor Kenny B 07 888 4572 M 021 791 643

PGG Wrightson Real Estate Limited, licensed under REAA 2008

06 323 3363 Farm & Lifestyle Sales


Waikerikeri Run


Central Otago

627 Waikerikeri Valley Road • 916.3040 hectares freehold land with 250ha QEII Covenant • Ranges from heavy paddock country to strong low hill and mid altitude tussock hill running 1000 sheep and 150 cattle • Combination of excellent pastoral and conservation values • Deserving of closer inspection - view our video on-line

TENDER Plus GST (if any) Closes 4.00pm Wednesday 19 December

Mike Direen B 03 440 2382 M 027 434 0087 PGG Wrightson Real Estate Limited, licensed under REAA 2008

• • • • • • • • • •


164 hectares Summer safe area of Tararua 11km from Pahiatua 20ha alluvial flats, remainder moderate hill country Wintering 1386su 1000 ewes to ram and 25 cows to bull Good level of subdivision Reticulated water to 90% of property (well) 3 stand woolshed and adjoining covered sheep yards RV $ 1,910,000 New 12m x 12m Totalspan Barn with mezzanine floor. Workshop 8m x 7m. Hayshed House – 1903 Villa, re-piled early 2016, significant kitchen alteration 2016 including installation of boiler/fire with eight radiators throughout house Inground swimming pool and tennis court For Sale by Private Treaty Phone 06 376 7624 or e-mail

Contact Richard or Robert for more information.

For sale by TENDER closing 4.00pm on Tuesday 18 December 2018 LK0095733©

• • • •

2736 Ridge Road, Apiti An excellent opportunity to own a prime deer, sheep and beef farm:  Situated 6km from Apiti and 44km from Feilding  292.3094 hectares (282ha effective); 215 hectares is deer fenced  4-stand woolshed built in 2006  3,000 stock units wintered  Very well tracked with good access to all parts of the property  Water supply is from springs and pumped to a tank with troughs in most paddocks  Three bedroom family home with expansive decking and a tennis court

Richard Anderson 027 543 1610 Robert Dabb 027 255 3992

Web ID: RAL627




FLY OR LICE problem? Electrodip - The magic eye sheepjetter since 1989 with unique self adjusting sides. Incredible chemical and time savings with proven effectiveness. Phone 07 573 8512 w w w. e l e c t r o d i p . c o m

REACH EVERY FARMER IN NZ FROM MONDAY Please print clearly Name: Phone: Address:

CRAIGCO SHEEP JETTERS. Sensor Jet. Deal to fly and Lice now. Guaranteed performance. Unbeatable pricing. Phone 06 835 6863.

Email: Heading: Advert to read:

FOR ONLY $2.10 + gst per word you can book a word only ad in Farmers Weekly Classifieds. Phone Debbie on 0800 85 25 80 to book in or email classifieds@

ANIMAL HEALTH farmer owned, very competitive prices. Phone 0800 4 DRENCH (437 362).




APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, GARLIC & MANUKA HONEY. 20L - $54.95, 200L - $495 or 1000L - $2,200 plus GST with FREE SHIPPING from Black Type Minerals Ltd www. blacktypeminerals.

12-MONTH HEADING bitch AND 11-month Huntaway dog. Basic commands, ready for work. 3-YEAR Huntaway dog, fully broken in, suit small flat farm. Phone 021 137 2714. HUNTAWAY PUPS, six months, ready for work. Phone 06 863 9815. NZ BIGGEST SELECTION Huntaways, Heading dogs since 2012. Deliver NZ wide, trial, guaranteed! mikehughesworkingdog/ videos 07 315 5553.

BUYING SOUTH AND North Islands. No breeding required. No one buys or pays more! mikehughesworkingdog/ videos 07 315 5553.

SOUTH ISLANDERS! Delivering dogs down there 15/12/18. Trial, guaranteed! mikehughesworkingdog/ videos 07 315 5553.

DOLOMITE, NZ’s finest Magnesium fertiliser. Bio-Gro certified, bulk or bagged. 0800 436 566.


DOG/PET FOOD. Lamb/ Beef and chicken products. All natural - raw - no preservatives or additives. NOSLOC PRODUCTS. Ex-freezer Te Kuiti. For information and prices or phone 07 878 6868. RIPCORD HALF PRICE. Search TradeMe under ‘Ripcord half price’.

ATTENTION FARMERS GROWTH PROMOTANT $5.85 per hectare + GST delivered Brian Mace 0274 389 822 07 571 0336

CONTRACTORS GORSE SPRAYING SCRUB CUTTING. 30 years experience. Blowers, gun and hose. No job too big. Camp out teams. Travel anywhere if job big enough. Phone Dave 06 375 8032.

12 MONTHS TO 5½-yearold Heading dogs and Huntaways wanted. Phone 022 698 8195.

Moa Master provide quality products and services at affordable prices TOWABLE FLAIL MOWER


11.5HP Briggs & Stratton Motor. Industrial. Electric start.


To find out more visit



Phone 027 367 6247 • Email:




$3570 LK0095630©


Return this form either by fax to 06 323 7101 attention Debbie Brown Post to Farmers Weekly Classifieds, PO Box 529, Feilding 4740 - by 12pm Wednesday or Freephone 0800 85 25 8

YOUR FARM MAPPED showing paddock sizes. Priced from $600 for 100ha. Phone 0800 433 855.

BOOK AN AD. For only $2.10 + gst per word you can book a word only ad in Farmers Weekly Classifieds section. Phone Debbie Brown on 0800 85 25 80 to book in or email


13.5HP. Briggs & Stratton Motor. Electric start. 1.2m cut


GOATS. 40 YEARS experience mustering feral cattle and feral goats anywhere in NZ. 50% owner (no costs). 50% musterer (all costs). Phone Kerry Coulter 027 494 4194.


FERAL GOATS WANTED. All head counted, payment on pick-up, pick-up within 24 hours. Prices based on works schedule. Experienced musterers available. Phone Bill and Vicky Le Feuvre 07 893 8916. GOATS WANTED. All weights. All breeds. Prompt service. Payment on pick up. My on farm prices will not be beaten. Phone David Hutchings 07 895 8845 or 0274 519 249. Feral goats mustered on a 50/50 share basis.

HORTICULTURE NZ KELP. FRESH, wild ocean harvested giant kelp. The world’s richest source of natural iodine. Dried and milled for use in agriculture and horticulture. Growth promotant / stock health food. As seen on Country Calendar. Orders to: 03 322 6115 or

LIVESTOCK FOR SALE WILTSHIRES-ARVIDSON. Self shearing sheep. No1 for Facial Eczema. David 027 2771 556. CHEVIOT RAMS for sale. Well grown, hill country bred. Phone 06 754 4311.

PROPERTY WANTED HOUSE FOR REMOVAL wanted. North Island. Phone 021 0274 5654.

STOCK FEED MOISTURE METERS Hay, Silage dry matter, grain. 0800 213 343.





Visit for more quality products


Gusset Casual Boot – The tough, flexible, cleated, fully repairable sole, ensures durability and the ability to handle the kids playing fields. A turned out, one piece full grain leather upper, with elastic side panel construction, ensures comfort and sleek appearance. Being fully leather lined with a leather in-sole adds to the comfort.

Specialists in mustering Wild Goats, Cattle, Horses and Sheep across New Zealand

Heavy Duty Yardmate Boot – Great heavy duty boot, perfect for farmers, heavy industrial workers, builders, fencers etc. With an upper constructed from thick full grain leather, an insole and mid-sole which are brass screwed and stitched.

udly NZ Madew Pro Since 1975

021 441 180 (JC)

Check out our website and let results speak for themselves

Working alongside Crusader Meats

100% NZ Merino Sleeping Bag Sale

December sale

ALL of our pro

Vet Crush from $11,695 +GST

50% off and valid to 4 January 2019

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FOR FARMERS & HUNTERS When only the best will do!


5mm MAIN FRAME for superior STRENGTH

Substantial Discounts available until the end of the year

0800 227 228 Anytime


Email: Or visit our website:

Standard Crush from $10,395 +GST

LK0095587© maiexperiencejohnnygray


Ph: 027 959 4166 LK0094390©


NEW PRODUCT will be released next year

Auto Head Yoke $2,700 +GST

South Island - Stuart 027 435 3062


Do you have something to sell?

Call Debbie

0800 85 25 80

Classifieds STOP BIRDS NOW!



in calf heifers, in calf and agents: in milk cows. Enquiriesheifers, to the sole marketing

Phone: +64 6 357 2454 HOOF TRIMMER

Give me a call



Call or email Aaron West 027 562 3832

Prepare for the Brian Robinson Brian Robinson BRLLon new season PH: 0272 0272 410 051599 410051 or 07 708 8583132


No worries as we’ll do all the hard work for you around health and safety, resource consent application and management. Harvesting and trucking.

12HP, Diesel, Electric Start

Heavy duty construction for serious wood splitting. Towable.

n Ideal for shearing sheep, alpacas, goats Gary Falkner and cow tails Jersey Marketing Service n Variable speed from 2400-3500 rpm PH: 027 482 8771 or 07 846 4491 n Latest brushless motor technology means STORTFORD LODGE SALE YARDS minimal heat build up n 1400gms means 100-200gms lighter than Stortford Lodge Mixed Age Ewe Fair Friday 14th December 10.30am standard handpiece Puketona Farm n At 2700 rpm the 12-volt lithium battery will Patoka – Capital Stock crutch up to 300-400 sheep, 400-500 cow 650 Romney 6th Ewes tails 350 Romney 4yr Ewes 200 Romney 5yr Ewes n Tough alloy switch box with auto - Being sold due to expiry of lease reset fuse for overload or lockup – clips to - Flock scanned 188% belt - Big, well grown high fertility Ewes




View in action go to

To find out more visit


Helping grow the country

Phone 027 367 6247 Email:


Ph 06 835 6863 Mob 021 061 1800 Jetter video:

SELLING SOMETHING? Advertise in Farmers Weekly Phone Debbie Brown 0800 85 25 80 or email





5th Waterton Ram Sale

Charollais, % Charollais, Suffolk and South Suffolk Rams (as seen on rural delivery)


Tuesday 18th December 2018

Thursday 13th December 12 noon Morrinsville Dairy Complex


On A/c: D J Van Bysterveldt F/T 130 Frs, Xbd Autumn Calving Young Cows BW 109(up to 192) PW 157 (up to 305) RA 98%

Our homes are built using the same materials & quality as an onsite build. Easily transported to almost anywhere in the North Island. Plans range from one bedroom to four bedroom

DTC 10/3/19 to AB Xbd, expected calf BW 166 PW 176 All cows scanned to date, with a tight 4-week calving spread.


Viewing from 2.30pm Helmsman Sale 4.30pm Belmont Station 50 Kerr Road, Cave South Canterbury

Hill bred Commercially farmed SIL recorded Eye Muscle Scanned Brucellosis Accredited Over 50 years breeding 11 Pure Charollais – 32 Suffolk – 16 South Suffolk – 16 Charollais Suffolk – 16 Percentage Charollais

Our vendor purchased these cows as elite young MT’s at the Morrinsville High BW empty cow sales. They have been diligently milked right through the winter and progressively dried off over the spring. All cows have been dry cow treated. M Bovis free, certificates available.

First Home – Farm House Investment – Beach Bach


Suffolk sires include both No. 1 & No. 2 for growth and No. 1 NZTW Suffolk NZ Across Flock. Four of the top five pure Charollais in the Charollais Across Flock are Waterton and will be offered for sale.

Visit for further details Or call Ollie Carruthers 027 451 5312

For more information or a catalogue, contact: LK0095635©


DEFFERRED PAYMENT UNTIL 1 MARCH 2019 Call or email us for your free copy of our plans Email: Phone: 07 572 0230 Web:

For further information contact Paul Bayes – 027 442 5151

Free call 0800 474 327

Atua Station Elsthorpe – Capital Stock 550 Romney 4yr Ewes - Being sold due to a change in Farming policy - Flock scanned 190% - Big, well grown high fertility Ewes - Sired by Hildreth rams for 15 years

Chris Hampton PWA PWA PGGW 03 614 3330 Wayne Andrews Snow Buckley Greg Uren 027 202 5679 027 484 8232 027 561 4652 027 431 4051 Linsday Holland 027 266 0648 Also on


Save time and money – flystrike and lice cost $$$ Guaranteed performance Quick to set up – easy to use – job done

Special Price $3990 Very limited stock


Dirty jobs made easy!

• Adjustable V panels • Davey Twin Impellor Pump • 6.5 or 10hp motors

Beef cattle too expensive genetics potential to be one or&hard to find?

Outstanding of the countries leading suppliers of Genetics to the dairy industry for consider years to come. Full cattle? details Would you AYRSHIRE available. I have a client with surplus heifer calves, yearling


We can purchase standing trees, land and trees or harvest and market on your behalf.

• Robust construction • Auto shut gate • Total 20 jets • Lambs only 5 jets • Side jets for lice


P.O. Box 30, Palmerston North 4440, NZ

(Shelters removed or harvested)



w w w. e l e c t r o t e k . c o . n z

What do we do?

Livestock •

t os le re m iab he s ar s ld v r i or ul e W erf lipp w c po ed e sp


AB Jersey and Kiwi cross Estimated to be 420 cows after non pregnant, culls, older cows & 5% rejection Production last season 347kgs ms/cow, 1000kgs ms/ha, on rolling to steeper contoured farm, no meal, palm kernel or maize fed. An abundance of grass? Young replacement stock also available – 0800 85 25 80


2YR A/AX or XBRED STEERS 500-550kg


ANGUS & M’GREY 2YR BULLS (Breeding Bulls)

Ross Dyer 0274 333 381

FARMERS WEEKLY – December 3, 2018


SORT YOUR CATTLE NEEDS BEFORE XMAS!! • 33 Autumn calving high BW Jersey cows • 15 Autumn calving top HF cows • 200 Jersey and xbred spring calving big bodied cows • Herds and Lines of quality spring calving Jersey cows and heifers to suit all numbers and needs • Several lines of Jersey and xbred well reared heifer calves up to BW 175 average


• 129 A2A2 capital line of heifers BW 129 PW 131 mated to kiwi A2A2 bulls for 10 days. Well grown. $1950 Canterbury


Contact: Ross Riddell 027 211 1112 Karen Fitzgerald, Manawatu, 027 408 0098 Grant Aiken, Whangarei, 027 245 8821

A Financing Solution For Your Farm E

• 450 A2A2 frx/xbred herd BW 81 PW 97 100%. Very young herd with low scc $2350 Canterbury


• 205 A2A2 heifers BW 106 PW 105 Central NI $1850 LK0095656©





Orari Gorge Romney and RomTex actively select for

Contact Dave Marsh NZ Livestock Brokers Ltd 027 492 0875

fewer dags and greater resistance and resilience to worms, still the ONLY STUD IN THE COUNTRY to do this on SIL.


Breeding MORE PROFITABLE & MORE SUSTAINABLE sheep in the Hill country for the Hill country.


Two little old ladies, Connie and Evelyn, were sitting on a park bench outside the local town hall where a flower show was in progress.

Please contact us any time for more information or to arrange a visit.

Robert & Alex Peacock

Are you looking in the right direction?

Tel 03 692 2893

Connie, leaned over and said, “Life is so boring. We never have any fun anymore. For $10 I’d take my clothes off and streak through that stupid, boring flower show”!


Lindsay Paton Tel 03 692 2874 Orari Gorge Station, RD 21, Geraldine, South Canterbury, New Zealand

“You’re on!”, said Evelyn, holding up a $10 bill.


So, Connie slowly fumbled her Way out of her clothes.

That’s right, guaranteed black face lambs sired by Suffolk rams.

She grabbed a dried flower from a nearby display and held it between her teeth. Then, completely naked, she streaked (as fast as an old lady can) through the front door of the flower show.

Romdale Rams

Waiting outside, her friend heard a huge commotion inside the hall, followed by loud applause and shrill whistling.










Growth - Meat - Survival



Whether finishing or selling store, only a genuine black face Suffolk ram can give you this advantage.

• • • •

Northland bred 158% lambing unshepherded Good survival Hogget mating since 1996

Phone: PW and SC Cook, Peter 021 022 73135

The magic behind the Perendale USE A REGISTERED CHEVIOT RAM FOR: • Better constitution, mobility and longevity • Less labour and costs • High worm tolerance • Potential for heavy carcase weights with top grades



No frills hill country rams FOL UF K S

• Unrivalled for hogget lambing survival • More and better quality stock to sell

For further information contact the secretary Phone 03 318 8260 • See our website

Finally, the smiling Connie came through the exit door surrounded by a cheering, clapping crowd. “What happened”? asked Evelyn. “I won $1,000 as 1st prize for ‘Best Dried Arrangement’!”

North Island: • Todd Johnson • Clive Akers • John Hendrickson • Barry Cleaver • John Spellman • Gilbert Timms • Kevin Nesdale • Wayne Frank • Gilbert McWherter • John Herlihy • Ross Pellow • David Allan • Katee Herdman • Brenda Coleman

09 423 9574 06 329 1822 06 374 3888 06 388 7871 07 877 8401 06 362 7829 06 328 5804 06 754 4311 06 855 5498 06 762 5520 09 439 5885 06 870 0732 027 460 3027 07 824 5978

South Island: • Beverley Hay • Anthony Gray • Malcolm McKelvie • John Minty • Ray Mitchell • Stuart Sinclair • Brent Mackie • Peter Lankow • Francine Murray • Stephen Whittaker • Ian Alach • Blair Gallagher • Grant Midgley

03 314 9388 03 329 7977 03 206 6603 03 225 4631 03 415 7187 03 302 3824 03 415 7220 03 314 7511 03 318 3678 03 685 4864 03 525 9038 03 303 9819 027 446 886

FARMERS WEEKLY – December 10, 2018

Deer – 0800 85 25 80


HATS OFF TO VENISON: Trainee Belgian chefs celebrate what they have learned about New Zealand venison from kiwi chefs Graham Brown, centre, and Shannon Campbell, far left.

Euro summer venison sales on up THE northern European autumn and winter game season remains a key market for New Zealand venison with exports to the region expected to reach $70 million this 2018 season. Year-round promotions have entrenched NZ venison in Europe, which is breaking with tradition and slowly developing a taste for venison as a summer grilling item. Northern Europe now accounts for 35% of exports. That’s even with the industry’s success in building year-round venison demand in other markets,

Deer Industry NZ venison marketing manager Nick Taylor said. “Because of successful market diversification the percentage is well down on what we were seeing 10 years ago but the northern European game season remains and is likely to remain one of our most important markets.” In September DINZ executive chef Graham Brown spent three weeks in Europe working with Europe-based chef Shannon Campbell. The pair supported venison marketers and their in-market partners in Sweden, Belgium and the Netherlands as they laid the

groundwork for the 2018 game season. The long, hot European summer delayed the start of the game season this year but chefs at NZ venison promotions were still ordering good quantities for their new menus. With prices for traditional saddle and leg cuts at historically high levels there’s been a lot of interest from chefs in new and less expensive cuts. “Chefs love anything different and challenging so it helps extend their repertoire. “It also provides a great opportunity for the industry to get better value from the

whole carcase,” Brown said. The Swedish activity, which involved a week of demonstrations and hands-on chef and buyer education, went particularly well. It was followed by another week in Belgium with importer Bimpex, which partners with venison exporters Alliance and Duncan NZ. Brown and Campbell also supported importers Kiplama at a hospitality show in the Netherlands while Campbell worked with Silver Fern Farms in photoshoots for its game season promotions and in-store tastings in wholesale markets.

The challenge of selling products from the other side of the world has become greater. Nick Taylor DINZ At Busche Gala, an annual event in Germany where the country’s gourmet guide is launched, DINZ organised the promotion of NZ venison (Neuseelandhirsch). “Among many other promotional activities we have also been engaging with journalists and bloggers around Germany, hosting a number of 

Continued page 51

WAPITI VENISON SIRES 3 YEAR BULLS FOR SALE Purpose Bred for Venison Weaner Winter Growth Weight Gains EBV and Rankings available

TB Status C10 475 Soldiers Road, Kaimai, Tauranga 3171

Contact: Harley Steiner 0274317431 or your local deer agent

BASE YOUR DEER MANAGEMENT DECISIONS ON THE NUMBERS Contact DeerPRO for your report: 0800 456 453 or


Annette Scott

50 – 0800 85 25 80


FARMERS WEEKLY – December 10, 2018

Fantastic velvet and venison p

HAPPY MAN: South Canterbury deer farmer David Morgan is passionate and excited about the industry he’s farming in.

Annette Scott

with how their industry levies are being spent, Deer Farmers’ Association executive member David Morgan says. THE deer industry is in a good Farming deer at Raincliff Station spot and farmers should be happy in South Canterbury, Morgan is as excited about the industry now as he was when he came to New Zealand as an 18-year-old on work experience. Originally from Wales, Morgan has farmed deer all his life and it was that first NZ experience that got him started. “I saw what could Deer Select Indexes and Breeding Values be done with deer and predict future progeny performance. went back home to set

Buy new sires with confidence Choose what’s important to you • Higher growth rates • • More muscling • • Earlier born • • Velvet weights • Use the Sire Summaries at to rank the right genetics to boost the profit from your deer operation.

Ask your stag breeder about the BVs that will boost your herd’s performance. For assistance with Deer Select email:

up a deer farm and farm deer for venison supply. “All the young farmers and friends I had in farming back home were in sheep and beef. This was an exciting new product and I wanted to be marketleading. “I had nothing to lose because I had nothing to lose.” Quite the contrary it’s been most rewarding, Morgan said. That was a few years ago now and since then a lot has happened in farming in the United Kingdom. “There was BSE and a foot and mouth crisis. Not that we got it but the business fell through the floor overnight so I decided to

come back to NZ for a look.” That was in 2002 and there was an opportunity at Raincliff Station that Morgan decided he would give a go. While the initial circumstances changed soon after, Morgan and his wife Janet managed their way through a few personal and financial turmoils, eventually ring-fencing the original station block where they are now settled. Over the past five years Morgan has been passionately involved not just in his own deer farming operation but also at a wider industry level. He is the association’s immediate past president.

And he’s as excited now about the future of deer farming as he was when he went back to Wales as an 18-year-old to pioneer the industry there. “I’m excited with both venison and velvet – as an industry we are in a pretty good spot. “The work done with Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) is levies well spent and the joint-ventures with meat companies in the chilled market space is encouraging for commercial farmers to action better returns now if we all play the game.” Morgan said five NZ exporters sitting around the one table, trying not clash too much, has been a big part of the industry’s


FARMERS WEEKLY – December 10, 2018 – 0800 85 25 80


rospects excite deer veteran buoyancy and record high prices over the past year. “We are just a small industry and in terms of the volume of product we produce we are very small on the national stage.

Our ducks are lining up and the industry needs to keep investing to hold that point of difference. David Morgan Farmer

“But we want to be and we can be and need to be at the top end of the white cloth in all European and UK markets and we do have to stay nimble on our feet to compete. “With the work DINZ is doing,

Continued from page 49 private dinners where they can spend time with prestigious chefs who are supporters of NZ venison,” Taylor said. The deer industry is largely founded on demand from the northern European game season and until recent years has been the main focus of NZ’s venison exports. Reliance on a single, highly seasonal market is deemed a risk for the industry and venison marketers have worked hard to mitigate that risk. Through the diversification of markets strategy the United States two years ago become the largest year-round market for chilled cuts. In the same period the US also became a major market for manufacturing grade venison. “In Europe the industry continues to build a preference for NZ farmraised venison over venison from other suppliers. “In recent years, because of growing consumer and chef demand for local produce, the challenge of selling products from the other side of the world has become greater,” Taylor said.

and there’s celebrity chef shows on the television about every hour, it’s a lot easier to get the message to consumers these days than it was 15 years ago. “Our ducks are lining up and the industry needs to keep investing to hold that point of difference in the market.” That point of difference needs to be driven forward from this point of strength. “We are trying to differentiate wild game into these markets as well and the brand Cervena seems to be looking good – so it’s fantastic in my eyes. “As farmers we can go to the banks and it’s great to say we’ve been steady now for five years. “It’s a chance for the banks to invest in us, both for start-up farmers to the industry and for existing farmers to grow their businesses. “It’s encouraging that every year we’re getting further away from the roller coaster years of 2003 and 2004 and that’s with both

products, venison and velvet.” Velvet potentially has its issues but again exporters have done a good job. With more than $1 billion tied up in the velvet sector it’s a big commitment for a small industry but Morgan is confident it’s a reasonable investment. “It’s about getting the more modern oriental doctors looking at healthy, functional foods with stateof-the-art factories. “There’s good commitment from both sides of the table but time will tell.” People are now getting on the same page and buyers of both venison and velvet want traceability. “The NZ deer story is giving the market confidence and we want to keep celebrating success but we will have to keep on our toes with a bit of discipline between producers, processors and exporters to keep ahead because there’s always going to be someone trying to trip you up.”

DINZ and venison marketers stress the high standards of food safety and great eating quality that allow the NZ provenance to get cutthrough. Another, more challenging, ambition has been to build European demand for NZ venison outside the game season. Making that happen has been a key part of the deer industry’s Primary Growth Partnership programme, Passion2Profit (P2P). “Because eating venison in summer is a novel concept for European chefs and consumers we have promoted summer sales under the banner of Cervena, an appellation that was new to Europe. “This means some leading food service outlets are promoting Cervena in summer and NZ venison in winter. There’s a clear differentiation.”

The summer Cervena programme began four years ago in the Netherlands and Belgium and two years ago was extended to Germany. Sales quickly built to 90 tonnes, worth almost $3m, but are likely to grow only slowly from those levels while venison production remains at its 20-year low. Three of the five venison marketers are actively involved but all share marketing insights and information with each other and DINZ as part of P2P. DINZ is working with a select group of innovative chefs who are looking to differentiate their menus and meet the needs of more adventurous diners. “We are building a strong understanding of what works in the summer market so we can scale up when supply increases.”


Saturday 12th January 2019 @ 1pm Exceptional Breeding stags plus Commercial/Trophy stags on offer. Featuring exceptional 3yr, 4yr & 5yr sons of our proven top performing sires:


ALL ENQUIRIES: Barry Gard 021 222 8964, a/h 03 431 2803

EXCITING NEW SIRES 2 year old sires for velvet and maternal breeding along with 13 mth hinds from sires Manhattan, Half Share, Yogi, Kudos, Victrix, Apollo, Sefton & Southern Man (first 2 yr sons) for sale along with velvetting stags.


@ 4 yrs 9.44 kg SA (K2 x Buller) Arawata bred, cut 11 kg SA @ 5 yrs

Take a look at all Arawata’s sires & sale stags on our new website:

Victrix @ 7yrs 640 I.O.A (by Zama)

Yogi @ 5 yrs

Halfshare @ 4 yrs 9 kg SA (By Harlem)


For all general and specialised deer transport in the North Island

Dave & Toni Fowell 144 Jackson Road, RD 6, Rotorua 3096 P: 07 345 3327 • M: 0274 930 241 F: 07 281 9432 E:

Breeding the difference

Thursday 17th January 2019 at 12.30 pm

Rotorua Deer Transport

From Fallow to Trophy Stags Accredited service 7 days per week

PROVENANCE: Velvet and venison buyers want traceability, deer farmer David Morgan says.

Southern Man @ 4 yrs, 9.0 kg SA (by Everest) (owned by Arawata/Raincliff Stn & Altrive Deer)

Enquiries to: John & Mel Somerville

Ph 03-246 9803

Mobile 0274 475 437

(owned by Arawata & Altrive Deer)


View our sale stags online at or



Market Snapshot brought to you by the AgriHQ analysts.

Suz Bremner

Rachel Agnew

Mel Croad


Reece Brick






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NI Steer (300kg)




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Ingrid Usherwood

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YTD Low 6.11

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Sanford Limited (NS)




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SeaDragon Limited




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Now we need more sunshine NORTH ISLAND


ONSTANT rain in Northland has stalled kumara planting so the season’s running quite late and some growers might be sneaking into January with that task. Hopefully, now it’s fine again they’ll get a bit more on track. Grass farmers are thrilled with all the rain. It was a fine day last Sunday in Franklin District, which was wonderful for the Pukekohe Christmas parade where some of the participants recognised 100 years for the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association. The rest of the week was often wet, about 25mm of rain fell though the sun popped out on Friday. Our grower contact says Greenpeace’s national campaign seeking to ban artificial fertiliser, in particular synthetic nitrogen, is misplaced and impractical. Most of Waikato had over 100mm of rain, falling in heavy, thundery downpours. There’s a lot of standing water around and contractors will be flat out making silage in the window of sunshine. Grass has gone from being vegetative with energy to reproductive – seedy – so cows aren’t getting much goodness from it but at least it’s green. In Bay of Plenty kiwifruit orchard bees are pretty well all through their pollination work. Some places got well over 100mm of rain last week. As elsewhere, the sun returned to King Country on Friday. After two-plus weeks of rain soil moisture levels are great and probably the odd area’s too wet. Pasture covers are very good and the challenge is stopping hill country pastures going to seed. Lamb weaning is starting and will be in full swing for the next two weeks. New season lambs being killed at good weights and acceptable money. Summer crops are well and truly growing. Taranaki farmers hoped the weekend stayed fine so silage could be made. Contractors have work backing up. However, the rain’s been great for turnips and fodder beet. This time last year the region was exceptionally dry, crops were failing and some cows were on once-aday milking. Bow they’re looking at good growth well into 2019. People are pretty happy. The East Coast’s also had torrential rain, thunder and lightning then warm days too. Shearers are struggling to get through flocks with the on-off weather. The rain’s interfered with vegetable cropping programmes. Some are running a month behind getting brassicas in. There’s plenty of tucker on farms but the quality’s dropping and everyone’s feeling a bit under the pump. It’s similar for Hawke’s Bay farmers. It’s unusual for the area to have so much growth in December. Normally grass gets very toppy but there’s actually some base in it so farmers are pleased and will be working hard to keep on top of quality. The moisture does bring more fly strike, however. There’s always a down side. Isolated pockets of hail whacked through Havelock North, Haumoana and Napier on Thursday. It’s too early to know what damage was caused to pip and stone fruit but any fruit that was damaged will be

Surplus feed will prompt increased activity in sheep and beef livestock markets Sheep and beef farmers are poised to capitalise on excellent pasture production after the moist end to the spring. PGG Wrightson South Island Livestock Manager Shane Gerken says most districts experienced good spring growing conditions, with an extra boost over the past few weeks. “Although NIWA was predicting a dry summer, after the recent prolonged wet spell through much of the country, that looks unlikely to commence any time soon. Farmers are looking to capitalise on some exceptional pasture production. “For sheep and beef farmers, the main spring focus was lamb finishing and cattle sales. As the lamb schedule is holding up at record highs, most sheep farmers remain positive, and store lambs will be highly sought after.

GOOD EYE: PGG Wrightson senior livestock agent Greg Uren inspecting a pen of sheep at Temuka sale yards last week.

susceptible to brown rot and fruit beetle damage. The fruit beetle tramps brown rot spores around on its feet. Some farms east of Carterton and around Gladstone in Wairarapa were badly damaged with flooding earlier in the week. Rivers came up and flash floods took out fences and land slipped. But it was very patchy. Some were hit with a deluge and just down the road it was dry. Farmers can’t remember having this much water going into December. It’s too wet to spray crops, which is a worry for some. Manawatu got about 50mm of rain in thundery showers. It’s given summer crops a wonderful drink and everything’s jumping. Lambs aren’t getting quite enough sun to be really humming but the rain’s set up hill country, in particular, to mid January. Most of the forecast rain blew round Horowhenua and the region had only a little moisture. It got what it needed and no more. Things have slowed in the cooler temperatures but farmers say they can’t complain. Calves are being weaned and taken off the dairy platform to runoffs or other farms for grazing. Some maize is looking a little yellow. It needs more heat. SOUTH ISLAND A fruit grower near Rabbit Island in the Nelson Motueka area says one moment the sun’s out and it’s 22 degrees and the next moment it’s pouring with rain. There’s been some hail near the hills as well. Tree thinning and oil and weed spraying have been disrupted in most orchards. Fruit is growing well though. Nashis measure between 25mm and 30mm in diameter. In northern Marlborough the sun’s finally come out after lots of rain. A truck picking up cattle in Havelock last week had to be pulled out of a paddock. In vineyards regular showers have been washing spray off grapes while a cherry grower has reportedly lost 60% of his crop because of fruit splitting. On hill farms

lambs are being drafted as farmers make the most of the schedule that’s sitting at $7.80 a kilo. On the West Coast there’s been plenty of sunshine and some good rain showers too. Contractors are flat stick making silage and oats are being harvested. Our contact at Hokitika says he got 12 tonnes a hectare ... not bad considering the paddock was completely flooded a few weeks ago. AI’s finished on most farms now and the bulls are out to clean up. A farmer in Canterbury says the weather seems to be changing back to a more normal early summer pattern although 20mm to 30mm of rain fell midweek, topping up already wet paddocks. Some ag work’s been done in-between showers but the farmer reckons he needs two weeks of fine weather to catch up. Pasture growth’s back on the improve and dairy farmers are reporting some lameness in dairy cows from the constant wet conditions. Lamb growth’s been poor over the period with everyone asking “where is the sun?”. In southern Otago everyone’s way behind with silage and balage making because it hasn’t stopped raining for the past two or three weeks. Once the sun comes out it’s going to be a busy lead-up to Christmas as any remaining winter feed crops need to go into the ground. A farmer, who has paddocks beside the Clutha River, is surprised how well his fodder beet crop has recovered considering it’s been under two metres of water twice this month. Wet weather aside, lambs ready for the works are being weaned at good weights. Western Southland’s wet and muddy too. There’s been significant rain so there’s loads of grass. Feed quality’s becoming a big issue for dairy farmers though and cow performance has dropped off in the milking shed. Some herds are being supplementary fed to keep volume up. Tonnes of silage has been made already but getting a tractor into a paddock runs the risk of not being able to get it out.

Courtesy of Radio New Zealand Country Life You can listen to Country Life on RNZ at 9pm every Friday and at 7am on Saturday or on podcast at

“Lambing percentages are also at record levels, with plenty of sets of twins surviving. For that reason, lambs may be slightly slower to reach required weights this season, despite the quantity of feed available. Demand for store lambs reflects the ongoing confidence in the lamb schedule, as well as the positive feed situation,” he says. Meanwhile, in the cattle market, farmers are showing a preference for traditional well-bred beef breeds. “These are achieving a premium over dairy beef. Rain has also strengthened that market, with an abundance of cattle offered for spring sale. Compared to last year, cattle prices have therefore eased slightly, reflecting where the schedule has gone. Tight killing space at the works has also negatively impacted pricing. “Hundred kilogram bull calves started to sell in late spring. In an ongoing trend, buyers showed a marked preference for single origin animals. This is a response to the risk of mycoplasma bovis. Traceability has become a more highly favoured attribute this season. “Although prices for prime beef are down on where they were last season, cattle are still likely to sell well through the summer, albeit at slightly lower prices than last season,” says Shane.

Get in touch: 0800 10 22 76

Helping grow the country


FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 10, 2018

Store lamb prices up $20-$30 on last year It is looking more likely the year will finish on a high as another week of grass-driven demand drives up prices for all stock at sale yards across the country. Store lamb markets in both islands are strong, with prices for this time of year up $20-$30 a head and not looking like abating this side of Christmas. NORTHLAND Wellsford store cattle sale • Two-year Hereford-Friesian steers, 432-611kg, lifted to $2.87$2.98/kg • Yearling Hereford-cross steers, 272-315kg, strengthened to $3.14$3.24/kg • Yearling Hereford-Friesian steers, 284-330kg, improved to $3.21$3.35/kg • Weaner beef-dairy steers, 99-141kg, returned $455-$600 • Weaner Hereford-cross heifers, 136-227kg, fetched $400-$685 Very wet conditions did not deter buyers at WELLSFORD last Monday, with strong interest in all sections and the market steady to lifting throughout. The yearling section was strong and Hereford-Friesian steers, 331-380kg, returned $3.05-$3.17/kg, while Simmental-cross, 391-414kg, made $3.07-$3.14/kg. Hereford-cross heifers, 307-321kg, lifted to $2.87-$2.95/kg, as did Angus-Friesian, 314kg, $3.18/kg. Hereford-Friesian, 279-326kg, also strengthened to $3.08-$3.27/kg. Weaner Hereford-Friesian heifers traded in two bands as 94-104kg earned $430-$480, and 184-225kg, $600-$725. Autumn-born weaner steers, 192-239kg, returned $650$790 regardless of breed, and Angus and Angus-Hereford heifers, 175-195kg, were strong at $560-$640. Kaikohe cattle sale • Two-year beef-cross and beef-Friesian steers sold for $2.85-$2.92/ kg • Quality two-year heifers of same breeding firmed to $2.85-$2.95/ kg • Good yearling beef and exotic steers sold up to $3.10-$3.20/kg • Yearling beef heifers sold for $2.80-$2.90/kg Good weather meant 550 cattle sold freely at KAIKOHE last Wednesday, PGG Wrightson agent Vaughan Vujcich reported. Three-year Friesian steers reached $2.75/kg, while lesser lines of two-year heifers made $2.50-$2.60/kg. Yearlings and weaners made up the bulk of the sale and prices improved. A large portion of the yearling steers made $2.95-$3.00/kg, while Angus and Angus-cross bulls sold for $2.70-$2.80/kg, and Friesian, $2.75/kg. Weaner dairy-beef bulls, 110kg, made $440-$485, and dairy-beef, 100-120kg, $480-$610. Beef-Friesian heifers, 120-130kg, returned $480-$530, and lighter, $400-$450. Even Kiwi-cross bulls were sale-able, with 120-150kg selling for $330-$380. Cows with calves-at-foot sold for $1100 per unit, and boner dairy cows, $1.70-$1.75/kg.

COUNTIES Tuakau sales • 1100 store cattle yarded last Thursday • Heavy steers, 480-600kg, made $2.79-$3.13/kg • Good yearling steers sold for $1090-$1200. • Prime steers reached $3.04/kg • Top cull ewes fetched $250. A plentiful supply of grass kept the store cattle market firm last Thursday, Chris Elliott of PGG Wrightson reported. The big yarding included Angus-Friesian steers, 598kg, which made $3.11/kg, with others at 527kg earning $3.13/kg. Steers, 380-460kg, fetched $2.70-$3.24/kg and 300kg-plus yearling steers sold well, making $1090-$1200. Autumn-born Hereford-Friesian weaner steers, 189-224kg, made $870-$890, and 100-140kg Hereford-Friesian $650$750. Lighter and lesser-bred weaners were harder to shift. Friesian and beef bulls, 350-450kg, traded at $2.58-$2.76/ kg and heifers, 380-430kg, $2.75-$2.92/kg. Yearling and 15-month heifers, 300kg-plus, sold for $850-$1020, with 200-300kg earning $750-$770. Heavy prime steers made $2.90-$3.04/kg last Wednesday, and medium $2.80-$2.90/kg. A tiny offering of beef heifers earned $2.78-$2.86/kg, and beef cows $1.80-$2.14/kg. Heavy Friesian cows fetched $1.90-$2.10/kg and medium $1.78-$1.90/kg. Limousin bulls sold for $2.80-$2.88/kg and good service bulls $2.70-$2.80/kg. Heavy prime lambs traded at $140-$186 last Monday. Ewe

prices were very strong, with good ewes making $170-$250, and lighter types selling down to $61.

WAIKATO Frankton dairy beef weaner fair • Hereford Friesian steers, 106-119kg, traded at $450-$630 • Hereford-Friesian heifers, 94-103kg, lifted to $425-$475 • Angus bulls, 88-96kg, lifted to $460-$495 • Autumn-born weaner Hereford-Friesian bulls, 162kg, strengthened to $800 Throughput and demand were solid at FRANKTON last Tuesday with just under 1400 yarded. Hereford-Friesian heifers, 135-136kg, were steady at $435-$532, while 107-120kg lifted to $430-$480. Angus-cross, 102-110kg, maintained levels of $430-$460. Bulls made up 70% of the yarding and traded on a mainly lifting market. Hereford-Friesian, 117-150kg, earned $550$655, and 102-115kg, $470-$580. Friesian bulls, 98-105kg, lifted to $420-$480, and 116-151kg, $480-$610. Autumn-born weaners sold well with Hereford-Friesian steers, 186kg, at $635, while same breed heifers traded in two band with 117-175kg earning $480-$565, and 176220kg, $630-$662. Most Hereford-Friesian bulls, 130-146kg, returned $605-$645, and Friesian, 209kg, $770. Frankton cattle sale • Two-year South Devon steers, 423-492kg, returned $3.26-$3.41/kg • Yearling Hereford-cross steers, 253-299kg, improved to $3.41$3.48/kg • Yearling Angus-cross heifers, 297-369kg, strengthened to $3.08$3.17/kg • Autumn-born yearling Hereford-cross steers, 395-468kg, traded at $3.00-$3.10/kg • Prime South Devon steers, 558kg, earned $3.29/kg A grass market drove an improvement at FRANKTON last Wednesday. Specially advertised South Devon steers were a highlight in all sections that they featured. Yearlings, 243-320kg, managed $3.70-$3.75/kg, though 18 at 299kg pushed to $4.01/kg. Hereford-cross steers, 311-369kg, lifted to $3.11$3.26/kg, with Hereford-Friesian, 290-346kg, steady at $3.43-$3.58/kg. This strength continued for heifers with beef-cross, 236-388kg, lifting to $3.00-$3.17/kg, while Hereford-Friesian, 375-382kg, pushed to $2.92-$3.15/kg and 306-347kg, $3.01-$3.20/kg. Friesian bulls traded in two bands as 243-275kg returned $2.78-$2.92/kg, and 281396kg, $2.73-$2.93/kg. All autumn-born weaner steers, 196-235kg, sold well at $720-$885. Prime steers, 563-667kg, earned $2.88-$2.98/kg regardless of breed, with beef-cross heifers, 429-442kg, at $2.88-$2.91/kg, and beef-dairy, 461-552kg, $2.84-$2.93/kg.

BAY OF PLENTY Rangiuru cattle and sheep sale • Prime lambs traded at $121-$160 • Two-year Hereford-Friesian steers, 396-403kg, firmed to $3.01$3.04/kg • Yearling Hereford-Friesian steers, 270-330kg, were steady at $3.21-$3.30/kg • Most Hereford-Friesian heifers, 292-341kg, traded at $2.94-$3.02/ kg • Weaner Friesian bulls, 100-117kg, made $360-$470 Grass-driven demand pushed prices up for most cattle at RANGIURU last Tuesday. Store tallies lifted but the extra volume was easily absorbed and all cattle sold well relative to type. A small entry of prime cattle had steers at $2.97$3.05/kg and beef and beef-Friesian heifers, 430-650kg, $2.82-$2.89/kg Two-year Hereford-Friesian steers, 396-403kg, firmed to $3.01-$3.04/kg, while a line of yearling Angus steers, 382kg, earned $1290, $3.38/kg. All other lines bar Friesian and Jersey-cross flew $3.00/kg. Yearling heifer numbers were up, and second cuts of Hereford-Friesian made $2.79-$2.86/kg, and Hereford-Jersey, 291-321kg, $2.83-$2.92/kg.

Weaner Hereford-Friesian heifers, 83-100kg, returned $340-$490, and 20 Friesian steers, 102kg, $390. Store lambs sold for $85-$132, and prime ewes, $67-$168.

TARANAKI Taranaki cattle sale • Prime beef-cross and beef-Friesian steers were steady to firm at $2.96-$3.09/kg • Three-year Friesian steers, 564-610kg, $2.91-$3.02/kg • Two-year Hereford bull sold for breeding at $2280-$2500 • Yearling Simmental-Angus steers, 294kg, made $3.61/kg, and heifers, 284kg, $3.13/kg A steady flow of cattle continued to grace the TARANAKI sale yards last Wednesday. Prime steer volume lifted, and Hereford-Friesian, 541-555kg, sold up to $2.99-$3.09/kg, and four 778kg Simmental-Friesian reached $2350, $3.02/ kg. The store market followed a similar pattern to the previous week with cattle holding value at good levels. Twoyear Hereford-Friesian steers, 485-526kg, returned $2.99$3.08/kg, while a line of four Angus & Angus-Hereford, 431kg, reached $3.11/kg. Yearling steer prices were as variable as the quality penned, but all sold on a strong market relative to type. Most other heavier end steers traded at $3.02-$3.04/kg, while Hereford-Friesian, 345-349kg, earned $3.18-$3.33/kg. Taranaki dairy beef weaner fair • Hereford-Friesian steers, 101-117kg, were solid at $555-$610 • Angus-Friesian heifers, 98-136kg, eased to $350-$470 • Simmental-cross bulls, 110kg, returned $570 • Speckle Park-cross bulls, 116-135kg, earned $630-$690 • Friesian bulls, 100-109kg, were steady at $405-$490 Throughput was just under 1350 at TARANAKI for the weaner fair last Thursday, with good support for Friesian bulls and good dairy-beef lines, though heifers and anything of lesser type were harder going. Hereford-cross heifers, 95-112kg, softened to $265-$310, as did Hereford-Friesian, 95-105kg, $400-$435, though 123132kg managed steady returns at $460-$500. It was a game of two halves in the bull pens with Anguscross, 103-147kg easing to $380-$520, as did Hereford-cross, 112-128kg, at $415-$460, while most Friesian bulls lifted with 114-117kg at $440-$510, and 118-165kg, $500-$560. Hereford-Friesian bull results were mixed with 120-133kg steady at $590-$660, while 110-111kg lifted to $560-$640. Those 100-102kg also lifted to $605-$620, though 103-107kg eased to $505-$600.

POVERTY BAY Matawhero cattle sale • Yearling Angus steers, 265-285kg, lifted to $3.74-$3.83/kg • Yearling Angus & Angus-Hereford heifers, 220-335kg, firmed to $3.05-$3.13/kg • One exceptional line of heifers at 245kg made $810, $3.31/kg • Exotic cows, 400-490kg, returned $2.14-$2.20/kg The last MATAWHERO cattle fair for 2018 was held last Tuesday, and more local buyers were active. Yearling steers lifted 30-40c/kg, while heifers firmed 5-10c/kg. Angus steers were the big movers, and second cuts in a 250-330kg range made $3.41-$3.59/kg. Devon-Hereford, 335kg, sold to $1225, $3.66/kg, and their sisters, 320kg, $1100, $3.44/kg. Exotic heifers were split into two price bands for 210-255kg – with the tops at $3.00-$3.10/kg and second cuts, $2.73$2.76/kg. Two lines of Friesian bulls sold exceptionally well as 320kg gained 60c/kg to finish at $3.05/kg, while 280kg were up 30c/kg to $3.20/kg. Nine Charolais heifers with calvesat-foot sold for $1700 per unit. Matawhero sheep sale • Good-to-medium store lambs were $109-$112 • Medium-to-light store lambs were $96-$102 • Light store lambs made $80-$93 Another good sized yarding of store lambs took little effort to find bids on. Lambs of all sexes lifted a few dollar up on the previous week. On average lambs were $103.

HAWKE’S BAY Stortford Lodge prime cattle and sheep sale • Top quality ewes returned $181-$183 • Light-medium ewes lifted to $112-$120 • Good mixed sex lambs strengthened to $124.50-$147 • Heavy ewe lambs traded at $148 A good number of buyers were on the rails at STORTFORD LODGE last Monday. Very heavy ewes traded at $163-$166, with most of the yarding returning $120-$153 on an easing market. Lighter types were steady at $98.50$108. Only small lines of lambs were available, and returns were varied. Very heavy mixed sex lambs softened to $155$170, while lighter lines were steady at $101-$122. Heavy


FARMERS WEEKLY – – December 3, 2018

• • • •

Lighter types sold down to $75-$80 Top lambs at Masterton made $115-$134 Medium lambs sold for $100-$110 Light lambs ranged from $85-$95 Just on 4000 lambs sold at the 2nd annual Anerley Station on-farm lamb sale last Tuesday, with prices comfortably up on 2017, CR Nelson Limited agent Craig Nelson reported. Around 1000 were mixed sex blackface, while the balance was Romney cryptorchid. Lamb volume grew to 7000 head at MASTERTON last Wednesday, PGG Wrightson agent Steve Wilkinson reported, but was easily absorbed by a big bench of buyers from usual areas, plus added competition from Manawatu. The yarding was split down the middle between blackface mixed sex and Romney cryptorchid. Prices were firm and the top price of $134 was spent on a line of blackface mixed sex.


PICK ME: A scene from last week’s sale at Stortford Lodge.

male lambs made $130-$157. Just 48 cattle were offered, and heifers made up the lion’s share. Angus, 508-600kg, were firm at $2.99/kg, while the balance, 400-616kg, traded at $2.73-$2.98/kg regardless of breed. Stortford Lodge store cattle and sheep sale • Good blackface mixed sex lambs firmed to $120-$136 • Light to medium mixed sex sold for $77-$113 • Good Romney cryptorchid were firm at $119-$127 • Yearling Friesian bulls, 349-380kg, lifted to $2.92-$2.97/kg • Yearling Friesian bulls, 307-319kg, lifted to $3.01-$3.09/kg Store lamb volume was low at STORTFORD LODGE last Wednesday, and local and Taupo buyers were selective. Overall the market was steady, but with variance between types. Blackface mixed sex sold for a premium, while medium rams traded at $98-$110, and light, $82-$97. Light ewe lambs made $80-$89. The cattle section was centred around two consignments of Friesian bulls, which sold local and prices lifted. Twoyear Friesian, 484kg, returned $3.04/kg. Very few straight traditional lines were found, with beefdairy dominating the 350 head yarding. Two-year HerefordFriesian heifers, 575kg, made $2.70/kg, and yearling heifers, 251-339kg, $2.85-$2.87/kg, though a good line of 254kg earned $2.98/kg. Hereford-Friesian steers, 259kg, made $3.67/kg, and Hereford-Jersey, 235-274kg, $3.11-$3.16/kg.

MANAWATU Feilding prime cattle and sheep • Hereford-Friesian heifers, 440-550kg, were steady at $2.67/kg • Most mixed sex lambs were steady to easing at $132-$168 • Medium ewes were steady at $124-$142 With little pressure to offload sheep volume was moderate at FEILDING last Monday. Ewes made up the majority and were mainly medium types. A small entry sold to $154-$177, with medium-good making $145-$151. Lighter lines traded at $86-$121. Lambs reflected easing schedules and sold on a steady to easing market. The top line of very heavy lambs sold well above all other pens at $196. Just 25 cattle were penned, with dairy cows the main omission. Most were Hereford-Friesian and cows, 553640kg, firmed to $2.16-$2.23/kg. Feilding store sale • Two-year traditional steers, 520-605kg, were $3.12-$3.29/kg • Two-year traditional heifers, 365-455kg, sold for $2.93-$3.04/kg • One-year traditional and Charolais steers, 405-445kg, made $3.36-$3.42/kg • A big line of Angus cows & calves were $1820 • Mid-point for store lambs was $114 • Good store lambs made $123-$133 Good quality beef cattle filled the yards with the remainder largely Friesian bulls. Cattle either sold to a steady or firmer market. The heaviest yearling steers were a highlight, often selling for more than $1400. The store sheep sale ballooned out to around 12,000 head. There was more than enough buying power throughout, pushing the heaviest blackface lambs up to $141-$144.50. A few pens of good wet-dry Romney ewes sold quite well at $140.50-$147.

WAIRARAPA Anerley Station on-farm lamb sale and Masterton lamb sale • Top lambs at Anerley Station sold for $131-$132

Canterbury Park prime and store cattle and sheep sale • Very light store mixed sex lambs lifted to $85-$106 • Medium to good mixed sex lambs made $110-$130 • Prime steers and heifers eased 5-8c/kg • Two-year Hereford heifers sold for breeding at $1290-$1390 • Traditional steers, 280-350kg, made $3.60-$3.80/kg Sheep sold exceptionally well at CANTERBURY PARK last Tuesday, while the cattle sections contrasted each other with prime selling on a softer market, but grass-driven demand lifting store prices. Just over 3300 store lambs were penned and were mainly mixed sex from Marlborough and Banks Peninsula. Top lines sold up to $130, and very light lines started at $85. Two pens of ram lambs sold for $110-$117. Prime lambs sold on a steady market at $120-$178, while the best of the ewes earned $170-$248, with few below $110. The cattle rostrum was a hive of activity with good entries of prime and over 500 stores. Prime cattle eased with most steers making $2.70-$2.80/kg, and heifers, $2.60-$2.70/kg. Store prices lifted and two-year steers, 380-420kg, returned $3.01-$3.06/kg. Yearling beef-cross steers, 280350kg, made $3.15-$3.40/kg. The better heifers in a 331386kg range made $3.11-$3.25/kg, while second cuts, 300-350kg, varied from $2.90- $3.10/kg. Eskvale Station on-farm sale • Top pen of prime Suffolk-Dorset Down mixed sex made $185 • Other prime Suffolk-Dorset Down mixed sex made $133-$150 • Store Suffolk-Dorset Down mixed sex earned $108-$125 • Romdale male lambs made $126-$156 • Romdale ewe and mixed sex lambs sold for $101-$116 Just shy of 2500 lambs were offered at the Eskvale Station on-farm sale in North Canterbury last Monday. The lambs were a credit to the vendor with all in forward condition, Peter Walsh & Associates agent Alby Orchard reported. Regular buyers from mid Canterbury took the lion’s share, with smaller types heading to Southland. The sale averaged $134, with prices up on average $26 on last year. One line of annual draft ewes was also offered and made $85. Coalgate cattle and sheep sale • Good mixed sex store lambs firmed to $120-$137 • Light mixed sex store lambs firmed to $81-$99 • Most prime ewes traded at $110-$189 • Prime dairy-beef steers and heifers were steady at $2.65-$2.75/kg • Two-year Shorthorn-cross steers, 337-345kg, made $3.20/kg More rain added fuel to the fire for store stock at COALGATE last Thursday, with plenty of extra buyers present. Store lambs firmed across the board with medium types making $113-$119. Prime lambs also firmed with most trading at $130-$169. Weaning pushed ewe numbers up to 2500 head, but the market held. Prices were steady to firm and the top lines reached $203-$237, with few below $110. A small yarding of store cattle could easily have sold twice over, such was the increase in buyer numbers and competition. Yearling cattle prices were outstanding, with five Angus-Hereford steers, 408kg, making $3.31/kg, and Angus-Friesian of same weight at $3.17/kg. HerefordFriesian heifers, 260-346kg, returned $2.96-$3.06/kg.

SOUTH-CANTERBURY Temuka prime cattle and sheep • Medium to good mixed sex lambs lifted to $113-$131. • Hoggets with lambs made strong returns at $94-$103 all counted • Most mixed age ewes were firm at $130-$188 • Beef and beef-cross steers, 510-800kg, all firmed to $2.71-$2.80/kg • Most heifers of same breeding and 468-660kg, made $2.65-$2.76/ kg A moderate yarding of sheep had all classes covered at TEMUKA last Monday. The main features were the usual suspects, though an annual draft of Coopdale ewes sold at $138-$148.


Store lambs were very strong with the market lifting. Light types through to good all traded at $122-$131. Most prime lambs returned $140-$159, with lighter types making $128-$139, and the top end, $161-$177. Ewes continued to flow in good volume and made firm returns. Very heavy types sold up to $280-$292, and a good number trading at $190-$250, with few purchased for less than $110. The return of a buyer lifted prime cattle prices by 10c/kg. Most steers traded at $2.70-$2.80/kg, with a line of Angus, 604kg, reaching $2.90/kg, and Charolais, 643kg, $2.82/kg. A small entry of Friesian bulls lifted 10c/kg to $2.57-$2.64/ kg for 537-623kg, while beef and beef-cross cows traded at $1.90-$2.05/kg, and Friesian, 490-645kg, $1.73-$1.80/kg. Temuka store cattle sale • Two year Hereford-Friesian heifers, 339-356kg, made $2.75-$2.94/kg • Yearling Angus steers, 293-323kg, sold for $3.84-$4.00/kg • Yearling Hereford-Friesian steers, 290-350kg, eased to $3.40$3.60/kg • Yearling Friesian bulls, 314-421kg, were steady at $2.51-$2.67/kg • Yearling Hereford-Friesian heifers, 336-376kg, eased to $2.95$3.10/kg The attraction of high prices grew the TEMUKA store cattle tally to 1600 head last Thursday. A good yarding of two-year cattle was penned and Angus heifers, 305-336kg, made $2.79-$2.81/kg and Friesian bulls, 263-299kg, $2.61$2.66/kg. Prices for yearling cattle could not be sustained, with around 15c/kg taken off everything bar traditional steers. Buyers were mainly from Canterbury, though one from West Otago took a good number. Quality lines of Hereford-Friesian from 269kg through to 317kg traded at $3.12-$3.25/kg, though lesser lines dropped below $3.00/kg. A good entry of autumn-born weaners made respectable values as Angus-Friesian steers, 206-260kg, returned $725$950, and heifers, 217-307kg, $650-$900. Hereford-Friesian heifers, 209-262kg, were stronger at $700-$865.

OTAGO Balclutha sheep sale • Good store lambs made $115-$125 • Top prime lambs were steady at $150-$165 • The top prime ewes matched the prime lambs as they eased to $155-$165 A good yarding of store lambs was presented to buyers at BALCLUTHA last Wednesday, with good results reflecting the strong grass market, PGG Wrightson agent Russell Moloney reported. Few sold below $85, with small types making $85-$95, and medium $105-$110. Prime lamb prices were steady with medium lines at $130-$140 and lighter, $110-$125. Hoggets traded at $130$160. Bigger tallies of ewes available meant buyers were more selective and prices eased. Medium lines made $140$150, and light, $90-$120.

SOUTHLAND Lorneville cattle and sheep sale • Cooptex-cross ewe hoggets made $200 • Top store lambs reached $120-$130 • Cow prices lifted to $1.80-$2.10/kg for 450-500kg plus • Yearling Hereford-cross steers, 391kg, reached $3.09/kg • Weaner Hereford-cross bulls, 120-135kg, were solid at $550-$600 Lambs are flowing with more regularity at LORNEVILLE, with strong prices a real attraction. Prime lambs held value at $129-$162, while light and medium store lambs sold for $85-$115. Prime ewe prices were also steady at high levels and the tops made $184-$203, medium $149-$170, and light, $131$139, with two-tooth’s earning $128-$150. Prime cattle prices firmed and 600kg plus steers reached $2.70-$2.72/kg, with 440kg heifers also at those levels. Dairy heifers, 315kg, made 2.04/kg. A large yarding of store cattle was dominated by Hereford-cross and prices reflected increased competition. Hereford-cross bulls and heifers around 356kg traded at similar levels of $2.78-$2.80/kg, while 388kg bulls fetched $2.65/kg. Friesian steers, 228kg, made $2.76/kg. Weaner prices were sound and Hereford-cross bulls, 100110kg earned $450-$480, while Friesian, 100-120kg, sold over a tight range of $450-$460. Charlton sheep sale • A small entry of store lambs made $100-$120 • Prime lambs were steady at $120-$140 • Two-tooth ewes sold for $130-$150 • Light mixed age ewes firmed to $110-$125 Ewes were the main feature at CHARLTON last Thursday, though all sheep sold to high demand, PGG Wrightson agent David Morrison reported. Heavy mixed age ewes reached $184, while medium types sold for $145-$160.














290-300kg, at Temuka

UK lamb imports steady Colin Ley


EXT year’s British lamb imports are forecast to remain close to 2018 levels according to the latest agri-markets outlook from Britain’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. With the 2019 United Kingdom lamb crop expected to be similar to this year, the report’s global trade conclusion is that available supplies are also likely to show little year-onyear change over the next 12 months. “New Zealand production is forecast to decline slightly although Australia is forecasting some small uplift,” the report said. “Demand in China is expected to remain strong, however, which may limit any increase in UK lamb imports, depending on farmgate prices across the world.” The board’s analysts also forecast a same-again year for lamb exports. Britain exports 48,762 tonnes of lamb against imports of 58,205 tonnes. Board market intelligence head Phil Bicknell said it has rarely been as difficult to forecast the future for farmers, largely because of the impacts of politics and the weather. “With 2018 characterised by huge uncertainty the one clear certainty is that the UK farming industry is on the brink of significant change. “As such, we’ve combined the latest data with our own analysts’ expertise plus feedback from contacts across the agri-food industry to present a full picture of what’s happening across our key farming commodities. “In the midst of volatile markets, politics and weather it’s no straightforward task to look ahead but it’s this very uncertainty that makes it more crucial than ever.” With Brexit and the United StatesChina trade dispute adding daily to business uncertainties the report’s

LITTLE CHANGE: British lam imports are expected to be about the same this year as last while New Zealand production is forecast to decline slightly.

sector-by-sector assessment of 2019 prospects is issued alongside the warning that all forecasts are very much as viewed at the time of writing. That certainly applies to Britain’s sheep meat trade, which draws 82% of its imports from non-European Union suppliers but depends on EU customers for 95% of lamb export sales. The report also addresses the impact on red meat sales resulting from negative press coverage, especially for processed meats. “Data from Kantar Worldpanel has shown that volume sales of red meat are down 2.3% year-on-year with beef, lamb and pork volume sales behind the same period last year,” it said, adding that a modest decline in primary red meat

high $3.92-$4.00/kg $115-$134 store lambs at lights Yearling Angus steers, Top Masterton

consumption can be expected in 2019. That is because of ongoing pressure from a gradual shift away from traditional meat and two veg options towards more dish-based cuisines. “There is also further pressure from consumers looking to moderate consumption, often referred to as flexitarians,” the report said. “Kantar Worldpanel defines flexitarians more tightly as consumers cutting down on red meat for health reasons and sizes this group of people at 7% of the population. “This outlook might be mitigated by the industry working to achieve a better fit for red meat within popular dish-based cuisines and clearly communicating the health benefits of red meat to counter any health concerns.”


Consistency award goes to the cull ewe market THE consistency award for the year goes to the cull ewe market, with the best prices ever seen, but more importantly sustained throughout the year. In past years selling cull ewes has been a necessity, with good returns not budgeted on. The old girls had done their job on-farm and simply needed to be put out the gate but this year the returns have made selling them a profitable process. The biggest influence recently on ewe prices has been the low volumes of lambs killed. The rain means farmers can finish to heavier weights and a gap in kill needs to be filled. Mutton is that gap-filler and so schedules have held up. They started the year about $4.50/kg CW and steadily climbed to peak at $5.30$5.40/kg CW in July-August. Prices have come back from there and are now $4.90-$5/kg. Those schedule movements throughout the year were reflected in how the cull ewe prices moved at auctions but the rain had a twofold effect as well as it brought out more buyers looking for ewes to graze the extra feed, adding more competition to the market. While ewes could have gone directly to processors, the returns at the yards were above schedule and so we saw a lot more heading there. As far as the prices go the South Island easily outclassed the North with fewer ewes and bigger budgets in play. In November $300 was hit at Temuka and at South Island yards pens were regularly selling for more than $200. South Island prices started at $70-$185 in January then trended up to $90-$190 in March. Some lines were already surpassing $200 then, but from June till recently $100-$250 was common. It’s hard to believe these prices are for cull ewes. Only a select few ewes in the North Island exceeded $200 with Feilding and Stortford Lodge starting 2018 at $80$150 and firming to $85-$165 by June. In the latter part of the year prices have sat at $90-$180. A key point from this year’s prices was that there was very little downwards movement with the markets either steady or firming, meaning farmers could comfortably put a price on what their old ewes would make.

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Farmers Weekly NZ December 10 2018  

Targets are too tough

Farmers Weekly NZ December 10 2018  

Targets are too tough