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22 Calm farmer on top Vol 17 No 28, July 16, 2018


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Dig deep for sheep Annette Scott


ONFIDENCE in sheep is at an all-time high with demand at the Temuka in-lamb ewe fair providing the real proof of industry positivity. With record processing prices for mutton the sale was always going to be the real test for the market, PGG Wrightson livestock manager Joe Higgins said. With just 6000 ewes offered and close to 100 registered buyers it was a sellers’ market with clearly not enough sheep to go around. “We had a complete clearance. “No surprises in that given we had probably the smallest yarding ever and one of the biggest buyer galleries for many years. “Certainly, sheep are in demand and if you wanted them you had to dig deep,” Higgins said. With processors driving the upward trend it was expected prices would be upwards of $200. “We knew the market would be north of $200 but didn’t know where but when you can kill these ewes for $170-$180 at the works then the indicators were there for a very good sale and there’s no disputing it was a very good sale.” While bidding was slow at the start on the younger sheep the gallery soon realised if they wanted to buy then they had to bid up. “Buyers were getting the wobbles at $220 but bidding got more brisk as the sale went on and they realised they were likely to miss out. “That saw the older sheep

OPTIMIST: Noel Hewitson believes the future of the sheep industry is as good now as it has been in 40 years.  Photo: Annette Scott selling at $190-$210 achieving better premiums than the younger sheep.” Overall the sale was a reflection of the high mutton prices in autumn when farmers sold ewes rather than putting them in-lamb. The mutton kill season to date is already above the final slaughter tally for the past two seasons. “We struggled to get the 6000 ewes we did offer. Traditionally we would have been up around the 20,000. This is just the sign of the times.” Higgins expected confidence in sheep to hang in for a bit yet.

“It’s not looking like doing an about turn anytime soon and certainly it’s looking good up until Christmas.” The lamb schedule hitting $8 a kilogram much earlier than expected and record highs in mutton prices at $5.20-$5.30, up $2/kg on five-year average prices, across both the North and South Islands is lifting confidence to levels not seen for many years in the sheep industry, Higgins said. Global demand is also at alltime highs and driving the firm demand from processors. At what cost this will be to New

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Zealand lamb production or what risk it might pose to niche market NZ lamb is questionable. But meantime the production level is a profitable one and farmers are responding, Higgins said. Ashburton farmer Darryl Whiting paid $236 for a line of mixed 2, 3 and 4-shear Texel Romneys, the top price of the day. He was there to buy good ewes, going on to pay $216 for two-shear Border Romneys. “The industry is looking the best it has in 10 years. “It’s a bit of a numbers game but

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the buoyancy we are seeing now looks as though it will be sticking in there for a while.” Whiting used to run a breeding flock of 2000 on his Willowby property just south of Ashburton but with the downturn in sheep he’d dropped ewe numbers to 500 and gone 50-50 sheep and cropping. “But I’ve dumped cropping now and am rebuilding ewe numbers. Realistically, I would like to get back to 2000 but I’m not getting any younger so chasing ewes around at lambing is not so attractive these days.” With wool still a downside Whiting is taking options, this year trading 5000 store lambs. “Once I used to get a $20,000 wool cheque, now its $70008000. You can’t carry a ewe for 12 months for just one lamb. “I was here to buy today to build up flock numbers but trading will be a big part of my game now as I look to concentrate again on the good times in sheep.” Retired livestock agent Noel Hewitson bought a line of 4 and 5-shear ewes for $217. “It was a bit more than I expected but the industry is very strong at the moment and scanning at 190% they will be sustainable for good returns to replace sheep sold earlier.” An agent for 40 years before retiring in 2015 Hewitson recalled the days when ewes were selling for $3. Now we are paying over $200. “There’s been some real ups and downs in the past 40 years but there’s real strength in the market now and it’s very sustainable. “There’s certainly a good future in sheep farming,” Hewitson said.

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WEATHER OVERVIEW Conditions this week don’t look too harsh with a west to northwest flow developing and picking up on Thursday. Heavy rain in the northeast of the North Island clears for Monday and the next few days around the country look quite settled and fairly dry. A burst of wind and rain Thursday afternoon and Friday morning might usher in a cooler end to the week for some areas but then it appears another large high is rolling in from the Tasman Sea. Next week looks more uncertain. There seem to be a few areas of low pressure worthy of monitoring, including one potential sub-tropical low. Otherwise, high pressure might still bring more dry weather but it’s one to monitor.

7 Early grass trials promising Early field trials have affirmed laboratory results an AgResearch-developed genetically modified ryegrass offers environmental and productivity benefits though New Zealand laws might prevent it from ever being grown here.

Works not an out for sick stock �������������������������������������� 4 Advocates keen for hemp crops ���������������������������������� 10 Farmers must deliver on goals ������������������������������������� 12

Pasture Growth Index Above normal Near normal Below normal


Rain Most rain in the next week looks confined to northern and western areas as winds tilt more west to northwest this week and west to southwest this weekend. It will be drier than normal in the South Island’s east.

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Most places this week will be average to warmer than average thanks to the northerly and westerly quarter winds dominating. While some frosts are possible in the South Island interior, none looks heavy and many look even borderline.



Wind Winds are fairly light this week with the strong northeast flow from the weekend fading today and a new west to northwest flow developing this week. On Friday a cold front should generally shift northwest winds southwest then fade this weekend.

Highlights/ Extremes Not much in the way of big weather this week but expect a milder northwest airflow by Thursday and a cooler west to southwest change on Friday. Monitor a potential sub-tropical low next week north to northeast of New Zealand.


For further information on the NZX PGI visit We’re now entering what is traditionally the coldest four weeks of the year yet we have a positive outlook for pasture growth in some regions because of mild and sunny weather this week. In fact, we might see positive growth in most regions, especially in the North Island. Of course, it won’t be rapid growth but daytime highs will be a few degrees above normal while overnight lows might be several degrees above normal in the week ahead.


28 Frustration leads to success The stencilled 1988 on a shed wall at Clachanburn Station in Central Otago is more than a piece of graffiti or a casual reference to a year last century.

REGULARS Real Estate�������������������������������������������������30-32 Employment����������������������������������������������33-34 Classifieds��������������������������������������������������34-35 Livestock����������������������������������������������������������35 Markets�������������������������������������������������������36-40 Source:

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FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

Levy rise okay likely


Hugh Stringleman

New name

AFTER hearing from farmers Beef + Lamb New Zealand intends taking a month before deciding on increases in the sheep and cattle levies to raise a further $4 million annually. The consultation with farmers finished on Friday. “Along with receiving a good number of submissions we’ve had great and robust discussions with farmers at our nearly 50 events around the country over the past five weeks,” chief executive Sam McIvor said. “Many farmers took the time to provide us with detailed feedback in their submissions, which will be very valuable going forward, in addition to the specific levy proposal itself. “Over the course of the next two weeks we will be reviewing what farmers have told us. “The board will then make a decision in early August and we expect to advise farmers of the outcome by the middle of the month.” B+LNZ proposes to increase the sheep meat slaughter levy by 10c from 60c to 70c a head and the cattle levy by 80c from $4.40 to $5.20 a head. Both higher amounts are within the range approved by farmers in the last levy referendum three years ago in 2015. Under the Commodities Levy Act referendums of farmers have to be held every six years so the proposed increase comes halfway through the levy period. The added cost will be $260 annually to the average sheep and beef farmer and $55 to the average dairy farmer. The Mycoplasma bovis response levy will be separate and has not yet been decided


PASTURE company Agriseeds will be called Barenbrug Agriseeds from July 19. Managing director Michael Hales said it will be business as usual. “The Royal Barenbrug Group has been part of Agriseeds since the company was founded as a start-up in 1987. Barenbrug has been able to give us a technical edge, providing unique access to plant genetics, science and knowledge. It’s the largest privately owned seed company in the world and without having been able to share its resources we would not be where we are today.” Barenbrug Agriseeds is based on a 224ha research farm in Canterbury and has a staff of about 60 throughout New Zealand. Its products include Trojan, Shogun, Tyson and Rohan.

New leaders SOON: Beef + Lamb New Zealand will tell farmers the outcome of its levy rise deliberations in mid August, chief executive Sam McIvor says.

in talks with DairyNZ, McIvor told the sheep and beef farmer consultation meetings. B+LNZ proposes to spend two-thirds of the added money on its Taste Pure Nature meat promotion by rolling it out in two key markets – Shanghai, China, and a selection of United States cities to be determined in talks with the meat companies. The total origin brand spending will be $9m annually, including developing brand assets that will be used by all NZ exporters in all markets. Before going to farmers with the increased levy proposal B+LNZ reprioritised and reallocated its spending, saved $4m by closing overseas offices and reduced the old market maintenance activity. It then spent $1.3m developing the new Taste Pure Nature origin brand and $2.1m boosting its environmental capability. From the $4m new levy

funds it also wants to allocate another $800,000 into its environmental work, making that expenditure $4.5m a year.

We’ve had great and robust discussions with farmers at our nearly 50 events around the country. Sam McIvor B+LNZ B+LNZ is working through an environmental strategy 2018-2022 for improvement of fresh water, towards carbon neutral farming by 2050, promoting biodiversity and protecting native species and improving soil health, carbon content and productivity while

minimising soil loss. Spending on biosecurity is to nearly double, from $300,000 to $550,000 a year to fix Nait and develop an electronic Animal Status Declaration and improve the scanning for future risks. Additional spending of $350,000 a year will be directed at independent research on the public perceptions of the sheep and beef industry and ways of influencing that image. Given the 85% farmer approval in 2015 of the upper limits of levies (75c for sheep and $5.50 for cattle) it seems likely the proposed levy increases will be enacted by the board after consultation. Northland farmers at the final consultation meeting said the high prices for lamb and beef provide the opportunity for more spending on promoting NZ’s premium red meats and developing some market initiatives.

Fast track to success Nick and Steph Scott farm 700 Ha of coastal hill country near Waikouaiti just north of Dunedin, now running 3000 Wairere ewes. “We originally purchased Wairere bred ewe lambs for replacements, from long term Wairere clients. In 2014 we decided to go self-replacing with our bought in flock as all of our females were now Wairere. Today our flock consistently scans 180% and better and we expect to lamb at 150% or better. 90% of our hoggets scan in lamb at around 120%, returning us a true 85% lambing from mating, last year 800 lambs survival to sale from 900 hoggets mated.”

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AT ITS annual conference in Masterton the Rural Contractors New Zealand board elected Southland contractor David Kean as president and Waikato contractor Helen Slattery as vicepresident. Kean has been on the board since 2009 and served as vice-president for the past five years. Slattery has been on the board for six years. Both are second generation contractors. They said finding good employees is a priority for rural contractors. “There is a labour shortage throughout NZ. We try to hire New Zealanders first but it is not always possible,” Kean said.

Farmlands wins FARMLANDS Co-operative has been named the New Zealand winner of KPMG’s Global Customer Experience Excellence Award. NZ’s largest rural supplies and services co-operative was presented with the award in Auckland on Friday. It is one of just 14 winners of the award worldwide. Following Farmlands in the top five for NZ were Air NZ, Kiwibank, New World and ASB. Farmlands chief executive Peter Reidie said receiving the accolade is a vote of confidence in the power of the co-operative business model. Because a significant portion of Farmlands customers are actually Farmlands shareholders, ongoing loyalty creates its own virtuous circle of benefits.



FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

Works are not an out for sick stock Tim Fulton STOCK transport is high on the animal welfare agenda as new regulations come into force. Inspectors will be especially alert to badly lame stock being carted to meatworks, Ministry for Primary Industries compliance team manager Peter Hyde told a Beef + Lamb New Zealand meeting in North Canterbury. “Using the meat companies to sort out your lameness issues is not acceptable,” he said. Fines for low to medium-scale breaches of the regulations will typically be $300-$500. A serious case of cancer eye could earn a $500 fine but a severe case could result in a prosecution. Courts can still impose higher penalties up to $7500 and severe offending can still be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act. “We decided that’s like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut,” Hyde told the winter seminar at Cheviot. MPI has 25 animal welfare

inspectors and made 30 prosecutions last year in response to 1050 complaints. The ministry is usually able to manage those issues back into compliance. The new regulations starting in October set more appropriate penalties for low to moderate offences and are meant to be high enough to improve farm practices without prosecution. “It’s not the end of the world and you’re not likely to want to defend it in court,” Hyde said. Farmers asked how they should define a seriously lame sheep with footrot and Hyde told them an animal with its head down, permanently lifting its leg and obviously sore should not be transported. Inspectors will also be watching for back-rub of larger stock in transit. Breeding larger stock is causing nasty cases of bleeding down to the skin, Hyde said. MPI regulations for stock transport apply directly to the owner or person in charge who

supplies the animal for transport. Restrictions on transporting injured or pregnant animals include ingrown horns, injured horns or antlers, lameness, injured or diseased udders and advanced eye cancers. “We’re getting a lot of animals being born on trucks.” Vets at meatworks will issue infringement notices for animals giving birth at meatworks or in leerage but the ministry will still make allowances for surprise births. The transport of bobby calves is improving every year. MPI last year issued $500 fines to 150 farmers putting defective calves on trucks but only 0.06% of bobby calves arriving at meatworks were in poor condition. “It’s been a massive improvement,” Hyde said. Welfare inspectors will also monitor stock condition and handling at sale yards but not to the same degree as at meatworks. On farms the new regulations forbid ingrown horns, use of

DON’T DO IT: Using meat companies to sort out lameness issues is not acceptable, Primary Industries Ministry compliance team manager Peter Hyde says.

traction to calve a cow or lamb a ewe, docking or shortening cattle tails and castrating cattle and sheep over six months old without local anaesthetic. Rubber rings can be used without pain relief on animals up to six months old provided farmers meet the animal welfare code. It won’t be compulsory to use local anaesthetic for disbudding and dehorning cattle until October 2019. The use of electric prodders will be banned on all animals with the exception of some animals over 150kg. Striking an animal in the udder, anus, genitals or eyes using a prodder will also be prohibited. Hyde said the new regulations also require dogs to be secured

We’re getting a lot of animals being born on trucks. Peter Hyde MPI on moving vehicles but that is not applicable to mustering or quadbike movements. MPI is also making minor alterations to welfare codes. Inspectors and MPI staff are aware of public and industry pressure to get welfare standards right. “It’s a hairy topic. We feel constantly under the pump. Everybody’s an expert,” Hyde said.


FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018


Support grows for gas exception Neal Wallace SUPPORT appears to be growing for methane to be treated differently to other greenhouse gases as the Government steers the country towards a carbon-neutral economy. Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton, scientists, advisers and public feedback during consultation on the Zero Carbon Bill increasingly favour splitting the treatment of short and long-lived gases, reducing net carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050 but stabilising levels of short-lived gases such as methane. Net zero means emissions generated are no greater the amount removed from the atmosphere through sinks such as forestry. Carbon dioxide accounts for 45% of New Zealand’s emissions, methane 43% and nitrous oxide 11%. Emissions of long-lived gases such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide steadily accumulate in the atmosphere and can remain intact for 1000 years. But short-lived gas like methane, which comes from livestock but also coal mines, natural gas fields and pipelines, break down over 12 or so years though some molecules become carbon dioxide. The Government is consulting on the Zero Carbon Bill and whether to replace the 2050 target of a reduction in greenhouse gases to 50% below 1990 levels with one of three options: Net zero carbon dioxide by reducing net carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050, net zero long-lived gases and stabilised short-lived gases by reducing emissions of long-lived gases to net zero by 2050 while

WE’RE IN: Fonterra and Synlait along with Silver Fern Farms, Ngai Tahu Holdings and Ravensdown are among Climate Leaders Coalition members committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

stabilising emissions of short-lived gases or net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases. Professor Ralph Sims, a director at the Centre for Energy Research at Massey University, said treating methane differently would take some pressure off the farming sector given research to date has identified solutions that provide only small reductions in emissions. But treating methane differently is not exactly straightforward. “As methane molecules break down in the atmosphere over a decade or two they produce CO2. “If the methane is bio-based it can be argued that the resulting

CO2 is recycled back through the growing pasture or rice plants. “However, if it is fossil-based methane then the resulting CO2 is no different from that released from fossil fuel combustion. “Therefore, any mitigation policy that is less stringent on agricultural methane emissions has to consider its impact on fossil methane emissions that cause greater warming.” Professor Robert McLachlan of the applied mathematics department at Massey University said it is in NZ’s interest to separate the treatment of methane from long-lived gas. But he warns methane accounts

for a quarter of global warming and reducing emissions would provide an immediate decrease in temperature, whereas cutting carbon dioxide would not. Associate Professor Ivan DiazRainey, the co-director of the Otago Energy Research Centre at Otago University supports a policy that encourages a reduction in methane but puts a greater emphasis on reducing carbon dioxide. “This is probably the right answer and it will require major changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme, so more policy uncertainty.” “But, overall, it feels like we

are still standing at the starting line asking where and how far we should run to shed some kilos while many others have been running and some running hard for quite some time. “Could we not at least jog, have policies that start to reduce CO2 such as strong incentives for electric vehicles and domestic energy efficiency while we continue to figure out exactly what we are going to do with agriculture?” In a report last March Upton advocated different treatment for short and long-lived gases. “While it (the Climate Commission) should be able to chart a path to net zero carbon dioxide emissions the appropriate long-run treatment of its agricultural gases requires urgent attention. “This could mean different targets for different gases. It could also mean restricting the way in which actions in respect of one gas or sink can be used to offset another gas.” Meanwhile, agriculture companies are well represented among the 60 NZ businesses from a variety of sectors that have formed the Climate Leaders Coalition and committed to measuring and publicly reporting their greenhouse gas emissions. Cumulatively the 60 firms contribute nearly half of NZ’s carbon emissions but will work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the aim of keeping global warming to within 2C as specified in the Paris Agreement. The primary sector members are Ngai Tahu Holdings, Fonterra, Ravensdown, Silver Fern Farms and Synlait. The Farming Leaders Group has also committed to zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018


Early grass trials are promising Neal Wallace

TEST PLOT: AgResearch’s Dr Luke Cooney, left, and one of the partners in the United States use equipment that measures photosynthesis in the grass.

Is the way the plant is derived here more important than the benefits it provides? Greg Bryan AgResearch of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Endeavour Funds and DairyNZ as well as AgResearch. Bryan said the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification reported in 2001

it would be unwise to turn our backs on the potential advantages on offer. Potentially HME’s benefits are significant, boosting farm revenues by $900 a hectare while also helping farmers manage nitrogen run-off and greenhouse gas emissions. He also noted the area of genetically modified crops internationally is 187 million hectares with the greatest increase occurring in developing nations. Bryan is pleased with the research progress into HME, which is now turning to animal trials and plant growth. “In this full trial now under way we will be measuring the photosynthesis, plant growth and


the markers that lead to increased growth rates. “While the growth has previously been studied in glasshouses in pots and as plants spaced out in the field this will be the first opportunity to assess the growth in a pasture-like situation where plants compete with each other. “The five-month timeframe will allow us to determine if increased growth is consistent across the summer and autumn and we will simulate grazing by cutting plants back every three to four weeks. “Animal feeding trials are planned to take place in two years, which we will need regulatory approvals for, and the information we get over the

next two years will help us with our application for those feeding trials.” Those trials involve a small number of animals being fed HME pasture in containment rooms for six weeks so researchers can measure plant nutrients and methane and urine nitrate emissions. Bryan said before that researchers have to multiply the seed to grow a plot of HME grass big enough to sustain the trial livestock. The specific cultivars to be used in the trial have been chosen and will be multiplied in greenhouses at AgResearch Grasslands in Palmerston North before shipping to the US.







EARLY field trials have affirmed laboratory results an AgResearchdeveloped genetically modified ryegrass offers environmental and productivity benefits, though New Zealand laws might prevent it from ever being grown here. Field trials of High Metabolisable Energy (HME) ryegrass in the United States have confirmed laboratory forecasts of growth 50% higher than conventional species, higher energy levels promoting livestock growth, more resistance to drought through more efficient water use and 23% less methane emissions because of high levels of lipids. AgResearch principal scientist Greg Bryan said modelling also predicted lower nitrogen excretion from animals, meaning less nitrate leaching and lower emissions of nitrous oxide. The results were from a twomonth preliminary trial he said does not have statistical merit but scientists saw increased photosynthesis, replicating what happened with plants in greenhouses. Bryan said while the findings are preliminary they potentially raise questions for NZ about the role of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as the farming sector grapples with nitrate leaching and methane emissions. “Is the way the plant is derived here more important than the benefits it provides?” The field trials are being held in the US midwest because that is easier than getting approval in NZ. That created some logistical issues for AgResearch scientists who rely on their US counterparts to do some measuring and monitoring. Bryan said NZ laws could mean farmers are not allowed to use HME, which could be made available to farmers overseas. That decision would be made by partners in the $25 million project, which has received funding from the Ministry



FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

Cattle shows are in jeopardy Annette Scott NEW Zealand’s largest A&P show cattle exhibition is likely to continue but Mycoplasma bovis has put the future of the agricultural tradition under threat. Royal Agricultural Society beef chairman Mark Fleming said the cattle disease has thrown a new set of responsibilities at show committees. “Through the RAS conference we made it clear that we are working with the Ministry for Primary Industries and put it back on individual associations to make their own decisions. “If they can put robust systems in place to run cattle at their shows, protect breeders, exhibitors and the industry then they can run with it,” Fleming said. “But we do urge caution as show committees make plans because they will be required to abide by MPI response-approved guidelines. “There’s a number of shows around the country that are not sure they can successfully run a cattle section but there are others keen to make it work.” Fleming said Canterbury A&P staged the largest cattle section of any show in the country, catering for 13 cattle breeds with up to 40 entries in any one class.

ENDANGERED? Show organisers are faced with the dilemma of dropping cattle to protect against Mycoplasma bovis spread but risk entrants losing interest in showing.

If we stop now it will be hard to get started again. Mark Fleming

Royal Agricultural Society

Canterbury is working hard to maintain cattle at its show in November and has been consulting exhibitors to formulate guidelines. Once guidelines are established and approved by MPI the

association will engage further with exhibitors and breeders before making a final decision. “My feeling is we need to keep it happening. If we stop now it will be hard to get started again,” Fleming said. “It is our intention to ensure we are following best practice and creating guidelines that exhibitors are still happy to abide if entering.” Fleming hopes Canterbury’s guidelines can become a template to share with NZ’s wider A&P movement. He urged show committees to give their decisions careful thought, suggesting they look

outside the square to keep cattle involved if possible. At the very least he suggested shows have a cattle exhibition with just a handful of exhibitors taking cattle and include an educational theme around that. “Look at promoting young judge/handler classes where only one cattle exhibitor brings the cattle for this purpose. “Maybe there’s a chance of doing an on-farm judging exercise. “Could youngsters still raise a calf and send in a video or a virtual via their phone for judging at the show. “Whatever decision is made

it’s vital that we keep our cattle exhibitors engaged as once gone it will be very difficult to get them back in say five years or even 10 if eradication plans go on that long.” Many shows have made their decision. In the South Island spring shows including Ashburton, Rangiora and Ellesmere have canned their cattle sections this year. Cattle will also be conspicuous by their absence at the Hawera and Waikato A&P shows this season while the annual NZ Dairy Event that this year banned South Island exhibitors from attending has already cancelled its January 2019 show.

Lifestyle block people must do their bit Annette Scott

CAUTION: Negative test results cannot be taken as a guarantee a farm is free of Mycoplasma bovis, Primary Industries Ministry response director Geoff Gwyn says.

SMALL block owners must step up and play their part in the attempt to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis, Federated Farmers dairy chairman Chris Lewis says. News a lifestyle block with 24 animals in Rakaia has tested positive for the disease shows all cattle farming operations must take heed of the danger. Another lifestyle block near

Inglewood, Taranaki, is under Notice of Direction while followup testing is done. “Big, small, lifestyle or intensive/extensive, any farm operation with cattle is at risk and the owners and staff have a part to play in the biosecurity of the sector,” Lewis said. “Outside Canterbury and Southland it is understandable that many small block holders were not aware of the implications of M bovis for them.

“But there is a wealth of information out there and everyone with cattle needs to do their homework.” Stock movements carry the highest risk for spreading of M bovis. With restrictions on all known risk properties the risks of buying infected calves are low but not zero. “So ask before you buy, find out where the animals have come from, register yourself with Nait, make sure the animals you are buying all have Nait tags and don’t let them off the truck or pick them up unless they do,” Lewis said. Meanwhile, every dairy farm in NZ is about to have its milk tested again as the Ministry for Primary Industries starts a second round of nationwide milk testing. Milk samples will be collected from each farm about four weeks after the start of supply with the first samples expected to be collected in the North Island in late July. MPI response director Geoff Gwyn said all test samples will be collected as part of the standard on-tanker test process. Samples will be collected from each farm every two weeks up to a total of six samples over 12 weeks and tested by Milk TestNZ. Tests will look for the presence of antibodies to M bovis and also the DNA of the bacterium. Once the programme is completed farmers with not-

detected results will receive advice from their dairy company confirming the disease has not been found in their samples. But Gwyn cautioned “The complex nature of the disease means results cannot be taken as a guarantee the farm is free of the infection.”

There is a wealth of information out there and everyone with cattle needs to do their homework. Chris Lewis Federated Farmers Those in the North Island will receive their results on or before November 1 and those in the South Island will hear on or before November 15. Any farm that has M bovis positive samples will be contacted immediately by MPI. To date 28,300 cattle have been culled by MPI with 54 confirmed infected properties, of which 13 have been cleared of the disease. A total of 67 claims totaling $12.5 million have been paid with $17.3m of claims assessed to date from 197 claims received to the value of $28.7m.

News – July 16, 2018


OVERRUN: The cost for the Waimea Dam has exceeded the $63.5 million, which included $13.5m for cost rises, but by how much is not known.

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Waimea dam to cost more Tim Fulton THE cost of Nelson’s Waimea Dam is set to again spill over estimates. Tasman District Council, a critical backer of the proposal for the Lee Valley, said no final figure has been reached but it wants to be transparent. An extended process for costing the project is an indication of its complexity and the council has been extremely clear the project must be affordable, Mayor Richard Kempthorne said. The next step will be to examine the figures from the contractor and the independent estimator. The dam would secure supply and all but eliminate the need for water restrictions, except in the most extreme event, such as a once-in- 60-years drought. “If the final price is confirmed to be significantly over the estimated cost and no viable option can be found to meet the difference then the dam is unlikely to go ahead,” he said. The council expects to have a final price to consider in early August. It is understood Waimea Irrigators

directors are frustrated at the forecast cost increase, especially considering consultants had previously assured the company the costs were in hand. Waimea estimates building the dam will cost $50m and has allowed $13.5m for changes in scope and unexpected cost increases. “This raises the level of confidence in the estimate to a very high level – there is only a 5% probability that the costs will exceed the $63.6m budgeted and a 95% probability the project will come in on or below budget,” its website says. “That level of confidence is far higher than the typical estimates you might see in other construction projects. “The dam is the preferred option and the least expensive to address the threats of critical water shortages, particularly given the significant contribution from irrigators and the Government. “If we reach a position where the dam is no longer an option more severe water rationing measures will come into effect. “These measures will have serious impacts on urban and rural users, business and overall on the economy and environment.” The council is going to Parliament to

secure access to 9.6ha of conservation land needed for the dam. Kempthorne said an easement for the land in the Mount Richmond Forest Park would let the council or a councilcontrolled organisation create the reservoir needed for the dam and a right to construct the dam on Crown riverbed. “Despite previous agreements, over the past few months Department of Conservation has advised us we can’t use the Public Works Act to gain access to the land we need for the dam reservoir after all. “A local bill is now the best option for gaining access to this land.” While it is disappointing the council has to pursue a local bill it is another step towards securing a sustainable water supply for urban and rural communities on the Waimea Plains, Kempthorne said. The project is needed to avoid serious summer water shortages for the area, he said. The bill is likely introduced into Parliament in the week starting August 14 and it is expected to be a referred to a select committee taking public submissions.

Finding perfect milk price hard Hugh Stringleman FONTERRA’S contentious assessment of its own risk status, using a low value for what is called the asset beta, will go a few more rounds before the Commerce Commission. Fonterra has resubmitted its 0.38 asset beta is appropriate and results in a milk price that enables it to be competitive in the raw milk market – what is often called Fonterra’s milk market share. It disagrees with higher asset beta values (0.45 to 0.58) the commission calls “emerging views” on the appropriate level. An earlier report by Cambridge Economic Policy Associates (CEPA) said Fonterra’s asset beta is too low and a proper assessment of its own risks will result in it paying less to farmers for their milk to strengthen its balance sheet. The commission called for responses to the emerging views paper and those

from Fonterra, Open Country Dairy, Synlait, and Westland Milk Products have been released. Fonterra has argued for a low asset beta in risk assessment because as a co-operative its farmers are effectively its financial backstop. An asset beta figure is a statistical measure of a company’s risk profile compared to its peers or the market in general. Raising the asset beta input to risk assessment is likely to take 3-5c/kg off the milk price, it has been estimated. That might improve earnings and potentially dividends, from which farmer-shareholders would benefit. Lower milk prices might also favour processing competitors, particularly those who buy raw milk from Fonterra. Fonterra argues the commission should accept estimating the beta is uncertain and there is no perfect milk price that promotes efficiency and contestability. Open Country Dairy said Fonterra has been getting away with a low

asset beta estimate for years, during which about $440 million has been misallocated to farmers at the expense of shareholders. That is not consistent with the purpose of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA). Fonterra’s own estimate was so far outside the plausible range that it lacked any semblance of credibility, Open Country said. Synlait simply said it agrees with the emerging view from the commission that an asset beta of 0.38 is not practically feasible for an efficient processor. Westland also agreed with the commission’s view the beta level of 0.48-0.52 used by comparator international milk processing companies is more appropriate. The commission’s role is to review the annual milk price calculation to ensure it is consistent with the DIRA. It expects to publish a draft paper in mid August and a final paper in mid September.

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10 FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

Advocates keen for hemp crops Annette Scott

ON START LINE: People are ready to create solutions to grow and process hemp into a range of exportable products and technology in food, fibre and medicine, Hemp Association vice-chairman Richard Barge says.

We do need government to enable the industry and we believe we are as close as the end of this year. Richard Barge NZ Hemp Assn

be too late now for this 2018-19 season it will open the doors in time for the 2019-2020 season,” Barge said. What really got the food people excited at the summit was the presentation by Dr Stewart Jessamine from the Ministry of Health.

“He almost did a 180-degree turn in becoming supportive of enabling the industry saying there’s very positive things coming out of the Government.” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor warned Labour’s coalition partner NZ First is wary and does not want to see any encouragement of drug abuse but Health Minister David Clark is open to transferring responsibility for hemp to MPI. Barge said hemp leaves can be used as a vegetable, as a mopcrop on dairy farms to soak up excess nutrients then be fed to livestock, the fibre can be used in clothing and furnishings and even concrete can be made from the fibre. O’Connor suggested the challenge for hemp enthusiasts is in using hemp to make high-

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value products rather than fibre because NZ already grows a lot of wool and wood fibre. Hemp was first trialled in Mid Canterbury in 2001 and for the past 17 years Canterbury cropping farmers have been using it as just another crop in their rotation. Barge said at $4000 a hectare it is not to be sniffed at because it also has advantages over cereal crops in that it’s a short duration crop, about 90 days, while autumn-sown cereal crops can be in the ground for 10 months. Hemp can also be sown in spring. Canterbury-based Midlands Seeds has long seen a prosperous export market for NZ-grown hemp seed and has been cultivating its own lines for several years with growers keen to pick up on growing the crop albeit, until a

law change, for the oil only. Retired horticulture scientist Dr Mike Nichols told the sold out summit of 250 people NZ risks losing out on a profitable industry in the same way it turned down the chance to grow poppies for legal codeine and morphine. Instead Tasmania now supplies 40% of the world’s legal codeine and morphine, earning more than $200 million a year for the state. Barge said the ihemp Summit was a huge success with everyone from food, fibre and medicine networking for a common cause and realistic about the problems facing the industry in NZ and worldwide. Planning is under way for a science and technology focused follow-up to be held at Massey University early next year.

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THERE are big opportunities for New Zealand with industrial hemp and law changes expected before the end of the year are tagged to bring them to reality. Suggestions at the inaugural ihemp summit that the Government might move hemp control from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry for Primary Industries is also exciting for the industry, NZ Hemp Association vice-chairman Richard Barge said. The big opportunities for cropping farmers to reap their share of a lucrative global hemp seed market are in relation to health and sustainability. Not only is there a need to grow hemp but processes need to be established to create products. “We have the people geared to create the solutions and improvements for growing and processing our annual crop into a wide range of exportable products and technology in food, fibre and medicine,” Barge said. But before those opportunities can be realised the law needed to change because growing the crop for hemp oil is the only legal commercial activity. Food authorities are working on changing regulations under the Food Act, Misuse of Drugs Act and the Medicines Act to allow hemp seed to be sold as food. Barge said hemp seed has a growing global market worth about $1 billion and its legalisation could eventually generate up to $20m in exports. That could translate into as much as 2000 hectares of crop potentially generating a return to farmers of $4500 to $5500 a hectare in the medium to long term. “But we do need (the) Government to enable the industry and we believe we are getting close, as close as the end of this year. “While unfortunately that will

IRISH farming leaders have appealed to the country’s meat companies not to impose further price cuts on producers even though some factories report having to deal with up to 30% under-finished lambs because of severe drought. Irish Farmers Association’s sheep chairman Sean Dennehy urged producers to consider all options to avoid selling underfinished lambs, including summer meal feeding. “Under-finished lambs are a significant issue and are causing unnecessary problems on the market in terms of both numbers and price,” he said, adding the country’s meat companies agree prices need to stabilise.

“Market demand is strong with total supply numbers forecast to be less than last year. “Unfortunately, the amount of under-finished lambs being marketed is adding significantly to numbers at the plants and this in turn is working against farmers on price. “If these lambs were not presented the price would be better.” A recent survey of 500 Irish sheep farmers, run by the association, found the sector’s difficulties are caused by high feed costs, increased lamb losses and drought. It showed 44% of sheep farmers had increased lamb losses during the severe weather this spring. Of them, 24% had losses greater than 10% and more than 7% had losses above 20%.

News – July 16, 2018


BUOYED: Confidence is returning to the maize community with increased yields and prices.

Bumper harvest boosts growers’ confidence Annette Scott RISES in both yields and prices have provided a much needed confidence boost in a complete turnaround for maize growers. Maize grain at 268,500 tonnes, up 53% on last year, and an increase in average yields from 10t/ha last year to 12.8t/ha are a welcome jump from 2017, Federated Farmers arable vice-chairman for maize and forage Reuben Carter said. The 2018 harvest was up 28% compared to 2016 and up 19% on 2015. Maize silage at 853,600t of dry matter (DM) harvested was up 12% on 2017 with yields increasing 11% from 18.5t DM/ha last season to 20.6t DM/ha this season. Confidence is returning to the sector with the healthy rise in yields and prices remaining firm at about $400/tonne, Carter said. Most farmers enjoyed excellent growing weather and harvest conditions this year and that was reflected in the latest Arable Industry Marketing Initiative (AIMI) maize survey. Data from 77 survey farms, scaled

up for a national picture, found some growers saying it was the best season they had experienced. “Coming out of a really dry season in 2016-17 it did feel like this year was one out of the box,” Carter said. “It was off to a slow start with quite a wet October-November period but then we had some great heat and rain and it set us up for fantastic growing and an early harvest.” Another indicator of the settled weather at harvest time in most districts was that 95% of the maize grain crop was in by the time of the survey on June 1 when at the same time last year only 52% of the harvest was completed. “That early finish is good news for growers and contractors.” The evidence of good relationships between farmers and contractors in managing wet paddocks during the harvest minimised damage and mud spread around public roads. “It was pleasing, a good effort by all parties,” Carter said. The AIMI survey showed about 85% of the maize grain crop was sold by June 1, leaving 39,000 tonnes unsold.

At the same time last year 18,600t was unsold with 44,900t and 34,600t not sold in the two previous years respectively. “There is still a bit of free grain floating around but the prices have been creeping up a bit every week.” Just on 60% of the maize silage harvest was sold or used by June 1, leaving 349,000 tonnes DM unused or unsold. That compares to 457,000t in 2017 and 365,000 in 2016. Survey responses showed spring sowing intentions for maize grain are very similar to 2017 and for maize silage are up 5%. Carter reminded farmers and contractors to practise good biosecurity processes to restrict the movement of contaminated harvesting equipment. “This is particularly important in Waikato to reduce the spread of velvetleaf around the region.” Meanwhile, with poor onfarm pasture use across parts of the North Island there has been some demand from dairy for maize as a supplement. There’s also interest being expressed in 2019 contracts.

New beef wins global honours ALLIANCE’S new premium beef product has won international honours with gold and bronze awards in the World Steak Challenge. The co-operative’s Pure South Handpicked 55 Day Aged Beef won the gold medal for rib eye and the bronze medal for fillet at the event in London. The competition benchmarks the quality of beef production against global competitors. Pure South Handpicked 55 Day Aged Beef is based on an innovative grading system focused on superior eating quality. Internationally-accredited master graders carefully select carcases from prime cattle of any breed. The selection is based on quantifiable meat quality characteristics such as marbling, fat cover, fat colour and pH. Alliance selects only from prime steers and heifers and the carcase must have a marbling score of 4+, and pH of 5.7 or lower. Selected cuts are then aged in a vacuum bag for 55 days. The product, the first in the Handpicked range, is aimed exclusively

at the food service sector. It was launched in May after a three-year research and development programme and extensive chef and premium restaurant trials. Alliance marketing genereal manager Peter Russell said the product has unprecedented tenderness and a milder beef flavour profile. “The product has been developed with restaurants in mind. The extended wet ageing of the product means chefs may choose to serve immediately or further dry age. “Feedback from our trials at restaurants around the country and from blind taste testing alongside other premium beef products has been exceptional with chefs reporting an unprecedented level of succulence, tenderness and flavour. “This award provides international affirmation of the programme’s objectives – being breed agnostic, selecting only the finest quality carcases and pre-ageing the product before release. “The success in this competition and

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the independent gold medal is a very powerful stamp of quality that will be used as an integral part of the product marketing. “This accolade on the world stage underlines the value of our commitment to building a differentiated premium portfolio, directed to specific channels and consumer requirements and offering farmers the opportunity to partner with us on products for new segments across our entire range.” Livestock and shareholder services general manager Heather Stacy said: “Handpicked 55 Day Aged Beef is a further step in the company’s strategy to capture more market value for farmer shareholders. “We’d like to see more animals making the grade. We are collecting a range of data from the selection process to identify attributes that may influence marbling outcomes. “Once we have collated 18-24 months of data we will be able to provide feedback to farmers on those factors.”

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12 FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

Farmers must deliver on goals Annette Scott A LOT will change for hill country farming in the next two decades, agribusiness leader and professional director Richard Green told farmers at the FarmSmart conference in Christchurch. New Zealand has 5.4 million hectares of hill country producing $500-$1000 a hectare to sustain hundreds of rural communities. Constant change is resulting as farmers are under increasing demand from environmental and animal welfare regulations and consumers. “I see some of the smaller incremental changes of the past much bigger now but so are the opportunities,” Green said. “We have got to do it well or we will be spat out. “We have got to understand the vision before we can work on the pathway. “The opportunities will come back to those that are brave and prepared to tackle big change.” Leading the panel discussion, Ecologic executive director Guy Salmon said farmers and consumers need to be more connected. “Not connected by the internet but in tangible relationships.” And farmers need to be more innovative. “Now, with farming within limits, the only way to grow business is to be more innovative in terms of improving revenues on farm, outcomes environmentally and accountability to the public. “Environmental impact has long versed financial performance. “There’s a sense of farmers not being accountable – agreeing to goals but not delivering on the goals.” Salmon suggested a more collective approach in the hill country might be appropriate. “That would be a very huge step

SAME BUT DIFFERENT: Come 2040 the hills will be still there but farming them will be different speakers, from left, Guy Salmon, John Fitzgerald, Robyn Dynes and Chris Chamberlain told farmers at the FarmSmart conference in Christchurch.  Photo: Annette Scott

The opportunities will come back to those that are brave and prepared to tackle big change. Richard Green Businessman in delivering confidence on what is agreed to deliver.” North Canterbury farm manager John Fitzgerald said he feels privileged to manage a 2100ha sheep and beef hill country property that incorporates 400ha of protected native bush used for honey production. “I think we farm as well as possible but also know we could do better.” Between now and 2040 NZ’s population will have reached 5.5 million people, 90% will live in an urban area and 25% will be over 65.

“So it’s 2040, Australia still hasn’t reclaimed the Bledisloe Cup, Winston Peters is on his second and final term as president of the Republic of NZ and, believe it or not, the hills are still there and you’re still farming them, albeit it a bit differently.” The breeding stock once pushed into the hills by intensive dairy farming were now dribbling back down, squeezed by forestry and carbon farming. Previous generations talked of wool paying the wages and the fertiliser bill but carbon farming is now doing that. To withstand compliance costs and the demands of a growing and ageing population farming businesses have unified to provide the scope, scale and diversity needed for protection from adverse events and for the ability to take branded products as far down the value chain as possible. Science has continued to improve and match genetics,

plant with animal, and technology is far too smart for a phone. GPS technology, once large and cumbersome, is now compact and is in every farmed animal. “It’s with this you have recognised your greatest opportunities,” Fitzgerald said. “The opportunity to prove that your environmental practices are top notch, that the virtual fences that now exist keep your livestock out of the sensitive areas, that your fertiliser and chemical placement is exact. “We will have realised that every product we sell must be niche. The days of commodities are gone.” And it will be recognised bold and bright young people with vision and imagination will be needed to take the evolved farming businesses forward from 2040 to 2060. Science impact leader Robyn Dynes sees an exciting future for farmers and scientists working together. “I see some real upsides in multi-functional landscapes with

science playing a big part, as will technology. “You must not underestimate the power that data will have in your farming in 2040.” Banks Peninsula farmer Chris Chamberlain said hill country farmers need to urgently rebrand themselves. “We are food producers, not sheep and beef or meat and fibre. “We need to tell our story from the grassroots level to connect with our consumers. The way we are now is not sustainable. “Let’s get a value out of being good custodians of naturally produced foods grown by the world’s most trusted farmers.” Hill country farmers need to collaborate more with the rest of farming. “Arable farmers put green crops in to finish our game. Let’s work better together in the things we can’t individually achieve. “We’ve got to change to be a robust model and it’s us, hill country farmers that have to manage this,” Chamberlain said.

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News – July 16, 2018

Decisions made. For today.


INCLUDED: All fresh fruit and vegetables as well as meats will have to show their country of origin.

Committee tones down food origin proposals COUNTRY of Origin Labels on food in New Zealand should be limited to some fresh and frozen and minimally produced goods, the Primary Production Select Committee has recommended. It is vastly different to Australia’s new law that requires 10,000 products to show where foods are grown, processed, where their ingredients come from and what percentage they make up of the product. And in NZ sellers of goods on the limited list of foods covered will be able to apply for exemptions if compliance would be unduly onerous or would not help consumers make informed decisions. Though people have only till August 1 to provide feedback to the committee its implementation could still be years away. The minister of commerce and consumer affairs will have 18 months after the Bill becomes law to set regulations and food companies will then have six months to comply for fresh food and two years to comply for frozen foods. The suggested law says country or place of origin labels will be required on foods that are only one type of fresh or frozen fruit, vegetable, meat, fish or seafood, whether packaged or unpackaged. They must be no more than minimally processed such as being cut, minced, filleted or surface treated and foods such as those that have been dried, cured or pickled will not be included. Examples of foods covered include fresh tomatoes, frozen sliced green beans and minced beef but those excluded would now include nuts, seeds and

grains, tinned vegetables and fruit, mixed frozen vegetables, crumbed fish fillets, marinated meats, dried fruit and cured meats like bacon. The requirements would apply to food sold by retailers, either in shops or online. Wholesalers, fundraisers, restaurants, cafes, takeaway shops, caterers and similar businesses where food is for immediate consumption will not have to comply.

The original requirement that all packaged and unpackaged singlecomponent foods display the country of origin has been deleted from the draft.

A summary of the draft Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin) Bill said the purpose of the bill as introduced on April 12 last year, was to provide a mandatory labelling system giving consumers accurate information about the country of origin of singlecomponent foods to enable them to make informed decisions. The requirements would have applied to fruit, vegetables, meats, seafood, bulk flour, grains, nuts, seeds and oils that might also contain water, sugar, salt or other ingredients used in preserving, colouring or flavouring. The select committee has amended the bill to say its purpose is now to provide a a simple, mandatory system to provide consumers with accurate information about

the country or place of origin of certain (rather than singlecomponent) foods to enable them to make informed decisions. The information could say where a food was harvested, caught or raised but would not have to say where it was packaged, made or processed. Details such as the definitions of foods, what it means for a food to be minimally processed and requirements for how the information is given would be set out in regulations to be made after the bill becomes law. The original requirement that all packaged and unpackaged single-component foods display the country of origin has been deleted from the draft. The draft referred to by the committee said the law would apply to all fresh seafood including prawns, shrimps, crabs, shellfish, cut fish, filleted fish and seafood that has undergone any other processing including cooking, smoking, drying, pickling, freezing, canning or coating with another food, fresh and frozen meat, whole or cut, including meat that was preserved by curing, drying, smoking, canning or by other means, all fresh whole or cut fruit and vegetables, canned, dried, or frozen fruit and vegetables and nuts, seeds, grains, oils and any other food either whole or processed. Those requirements have also been deleted. The provisions relating to offences and enforcement have also gone. The original had fines of up to $50,000 for corporates and $10,000 for individuals for breaches of the law and for making any false or misleading statement in any word, brand, picture, label or mark relating to the food.

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16 FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

Craigs drops Fonterra from its portfolio NOT DELIVERING: Craigs Investment Partners has dropped Fonterra from its equities portfolio because it no longer ticks enough quality boxes.

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Hugh Stringleman LACKLUSTRE performance has stripped Fonterra out of the New Zealand equities portfolio for Craigs Investment Partners, where it previously had a 6% share alongside heavyweights like Ryman Healthcare, Port of Tauranga and Trade Me. Craigs decided to remove Fonterra and increase the portfolio percentages of A2 Milk, Restaurant Brands and Mainfreight by 2% each. That means A2 Milk now has an 8% share of the Craigs portfolio to go with its largest market capitalisation on the NZ main board. Commentary by analysts Mohandeep Singh and Roy Davidson is quite uncomplimentary about the dairy giant’s performance since Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund (FSF) was listed in 2012. They voiced the disappointment among FSF unitholders who are not dairy farmers with the fundamentals of Fonterra’s earnings and dividends that has seen the share price dip as low as $5 recently. “Earnings and dividends have been highly volatile, gearing continues to trend higher and major capital investment has not translated into meaningful earnings growth. “We no longer believe FSF meets our quality threshold (for inclusion in the equities portfolio).” It no longer ticks enough quality boxes such as earnings growth, capable management team, solid balance sheet and strong corporate governance. Since 2012 the earnings have fluctuated between 55c/share and 10c while dividends have ranged from 40c to 10c. Free cashflow generation averaging $100 million annually was disappointing on a revenue base of $19 billion. Debt continued to increase without much to show for the expenditure. Fonterra recently increased the milk price for last season to $6.75/kg and reduced the dividend by 12.5c. “We have some concerns around the alignment of interests between the co-operative and the unitholder,” the analysts said. Fonterra is now subject to a wide-ranging Government inquiry into the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act and Commerce Commission scrutiny over its risk calculations, which are weighted towards a higher milk price. Despite spending a total of $3b on growth above capacity needs over seven years from 2010 to 2017, much of it on more added-value, revenue growth has only kept pace with increased milk collections. Investors want a stable dividend income but dividends had been highly influenced by the farmgate milk price calculation and any changes made to the methodology. “With gearing at elevated levels, milk supply falling (loss of market share) and a lack of evidence that Fonterra has the ability to materially improve earnings it is difficult to have conviction in a scenario where shareholders begin to see consistent growth in dividend and earnings over time.” The 80% payout ratio of earnings to dividend showed the strong influence of farmers’ preference for cash and does not bode well for capital-raising as milk supply falls. As a final kick in the teeth, the Craigs analysts pointed out that Synlait and A2 Milk shares have risen by 60% and 46% in price respectively during this year, compared with minus 18% for FSF. While FSF looks to be a good buy at the current price ($5.32) Craigs said it is unlikely to be re-rated until Fonterra can demonstrate an ability to grow its earnings sustainably. That will depend heavily on successful execution of its value-add strategy.


Decisions Lamb and beef made. export prospects For still riding high tomorrow. – July 16, 2018


Alan Williams

EXPORT lamb returns are at good, sustainable levels and processors might struggle to get more from the market from here on, Rabobank animal proteins analyst Blake Holgate says. Prices for key cuts and in key markets are as high as they’ve ever been but remain reasonable and not at a level that could be a tipping point for consumer resistance. Market demand has remained very strong and even more supply out of Australia in March, April and May as farmers offloaded stock because of drought was easily absorbed, he said. Lamb schedule prices continued to lift in June with the North Island slaughter price averaging $7.85kg and the South Island $7.70kg. They were 4% to 5% increases month-on-month. Volumes and export returns were well up on previous-year levels. China and the European Union remain the major markets but the United States continues to grow in importance with May sales exceeding $40 million, the first time that has been achieved in a calendar month. The US is a high-value market now buying more lamb because of its continuing and longrunning period of economic growth, Holgate said. “Consumers have more money in their pockets and that’s good for high-value proteins like lamb.” China took 40% of NZ’s sheep meat exports in May. NZ lamb supply will remain tight over the rest of the season

TASTY: Lamb prices will remain good with upward pressure on procurment costs, Rabobank analyst Blake Holgate says.

that ends on September 30 and procurement competition will put some upward pressure on schedule prices. If there is a world economic downturn lamb is vulnerable to a price correction because it is the highest-priced meat product. Australian destocking because of drought is also a factor in the beef markets, Holgate said. That extra supply means the traditional lift in imported US beef prices that comes with the end of the NZ cow-kill season will be limited. There was a marginal increase in schedule rates in June and at the start of July the North Island bull price averaged $5.30/kg and the South Island $5.05/kg. That was a gain over May levels but much of it was caused by a weaker NZ dollar, down by about 3% since the start of June. It offset weakening US import prices as its domestic beef production increased.

Most of the NZ kill now is prime cattle and it might be another two months or so before NZ is affected by the greater US kill, depending on the make-up of NZ supply at that time, he said. The higher US supply will limit upward pressure on schedule prices caused by the weaker dollar and expected seasonal decline in the NZ supply. Holgate noted an increase in the NZ beef herd identified by the Ministry for Primary Industries, to 3.62 million head at June 30, 2017, from 3.53m at the same time in 2016, the first increase since 2006, reflecting increased farmer confidence. The 2017-18 season kill is also expected to show the first season-on-season increase in three years. But a further sharp lift in beef cattle numbers is not expected because a change in land use in many areas would be required to achieve it, he said.

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A2 MILK lifted annual sales 68%, just beating the guidance given in May, and expects to maintain an earnings margin of about 30% in the coming year, even with increased spending. The Auckland-based, Sydney-headquartered company said revenue was $922 million in the year ended June 30, up from $549.5m a year earlier, and just beating the $900m to $920m forecast in May. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation were about 30% of sales, implying ebitda of

some $277m, up from $143m in the June 2017 year. A2 previously said sales growth was in both nutritional products and liquid milk and its focus is on gross margin. It expects further growth in revenue, particularly for nutritional products, and plans to lift its marketing spend and take on more staff in China and head office. It also expects oneoff costs from the transition of incoming chief executive Jayne Hrdlicka, who starts on July 16. Even with those added

costs the company expects the ebitda margin to remain at about 30% in the 2019 financial year. A2 disappointed investors with its May forecast when it said first-half gross margin of 49.8% was likely to carry through into the second half as expansion plans in the United States and China led to higher marketing costs. The shares last traded at $11.77 and have jumped 46% so far this year, making it the biggest local company on the exchange with a market value of $8.49b.  – BusinessDesk


A2 lifts sales 68% and aims for more



18 FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

HAPPY FARMERS: The staff at Tapatoru Dairies, part of the Theland Purata Farm Group, with Susie and Michael Woodward behind the sign.

Farm milk incentives Hugh Stringleman DAIRY companies have upgraded the incentives and disincentives paid to farmers for the new season, focusing on quality assurance, specialty milks, winter supply and feeding of palm kernel to lactating cows. Synlait has more than doubled its Lead With Pride potential premiums and incorporated a

palm kernel-free dimension. Fonterra will apply demerits and payment deductions from September on C and D grades in the Fat Evaluation Index (FEI), an indirect measure of how much palm kernel is being fed. Repeated C grades will incur 10% milk payment deduction and D grades a loss of 20% plus the costs of confirmatory testing. In November Open Country Dairy will join Fonterra in collecting and segregating organic

milk supplies, through its Awarua plant in Southland. A group of suppliers will include the German investor-owned, sixfarm Aquila Sustainable Farming with 5500 cows and an expected annual 2.25 million kilograms of milksolids. Open Country chairman Laurie Margrain said it has not yet been decided what organic dairy products will be made but he ruled out local liquid. It is the company’s first venture

Calling all applicants

into specialised milk supply, aside from the normal winter and shoulder incentives. Fonterra has forecast $8.10/kg milk price for its 50-plus certified organic supply farms and a lower price for farms in the three-year conversion period. Also on the plus side, Fonterra has just ended the winter milk supply period of 61 days, during which farmers got premium payments for either contracted or uncontracted milk.

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In the North Island contracted milk was worth an extra $2.85/ kg milksolids in the first and fourth contract periods and $3.50 more, or more than $10/kg in total, during the second and third contract periods, covering June. The payment rates were 50c and $1.20 for uncontracted milk. Contributions towards transport costs from the farm to the nearest of four North Island processing plants at Kauri, Takanini, Waitoa and Longburn were deducted

News – July 16, 2018

Decisions made. More informed.


We didn’t think it could be done so we will have to increase the requirements. Grant Jackson Miraka

abound from the premiums. In the South Island the contract rates were $3.60 and $4.25 and the uncontracted rates 70c and $1.40, minus some of the costs for the long distances to the Christchurch local market processing site. Synlait said its Lead With Pride (LWP) programme will be targeted to achieve more sustainability on farms by reducing greenhouse gas

emissions, water consumption and nitrogen losses. A quarter of its 200 supply farms to the Dunsandel, Canterbury, plant are LWP certified to gold standard or better and a further 30 are working towards certification. The incentive for Gold Plus will be raised from 6c to a potential 20c and for Gold Elite from 12c to 25c. Those premiums include

8c/kg for farms that are 100% palm kernel-free, milk supply manager David Williams said. The average premium paid by Synlait in 2016-17 was 14c in seasonal and value-add payments but Williams said last season’s figure will not be released until the annual results in September. The company is seeking A2 milk and encouraging participation in its LWP programme for the dairy farms contracted to supply the new northern plant at Pokeno. Miraka supply manager Grant Jackson said the incentive payment in its quality assurance programme has been left at 20c/ kg and the average paid will continue to be around 13c. Almost all of its 106 suppliers are enrolled and the standards were uprated to include an onfarm biosecurity policy and to recognise soil moisture and vat monitoring systems. The milk quality parameters produced an extraordinary improvement in cell counts across the supply over the past two seasons, he said. Miraka had awarded the amazing achievement by Wairarapa Moana Incorporation dairy farm 14, under its manager Arik Asmedi, of scoring 100 points in the independent audit last season. “We didn’t think it could be done so we will have to increase the requirements,” Jackson said. All Miraka farms now have fenced waterways and isolated shed water use meters to help improve water consumption and effluent system efficiencies. Fonterra said it has not finished consultation with its suppliers over A2 milk opportunities and is not yet in a position to offer a premium price or confirm where A2 products will be manufactured.

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TODAY’S best practice will become tomorrow’s compliance, Synlait’s awardwinning suppliers Michael and Susie Woodward believe. Sharemilkers with a 1030cow herd on the Tapatoru Dairies of the Theland Purata Farms Group, they won the ANZ Supreme Lead With Pride Award and the PwC Excellence in Social Responsibility Award for last season. They have been involved in the Lead With Pride programme since the launch in 2013, including some administrative input by Susie at the beginning when she could see they were already doing much of what was required.

“Everything in the LWP is designed to make you the better employer and animal manager,” Michael said. “It provides a way of tackling all the issues coming at the industry and making us sustainable in the future.” The Woodwards have leadership excellence as one of their core values and want to be better than best practice in the industry. Previously they have won the Canterbury Farm Manager of the Year in 2011 and the Canterbury Share Farmer of the Year in 2016 and Michael was gold medallist in his farm management diploma year at Lincoln University. He has worked firstly

with Synlait Farms and now Theland-Purata for 13 years and values like leading by example have been consistent through that time, he said. Presently at Gold Plus level in LWP, they aspire to improve to elite level, which might require more irrigation development and other upgrades from the farm owners. The increase in premiums will be welcome, though split with the farm owners, and the Woodwords said the real benefits of the LWP are intrinsic – better staff engagement and retention, better animal health, more cows milked for longer. They employ five staff, three of them from overseas.


Benefits go beyond the cash



20 FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

IN THE BANK: Scales Corporation expects to have a cash pool for some time after it sells Polarcold while it looks for new investments.

Business sale will fill Scales’ coffers Alan Williams SCALES Corporation expects to sit on some cash for a while if and when the sale of its Polarcold coldstore business is approved by the Overseas Investment Office. The sale to an American-based investment group was announced in May, subject to OIO approval, and Scales managing director Andy Borland last week said there is no indication of when a decision might be made. He expects it will take a fair while. Scales is likely to end up with its borrowings paid down and about $100m in cash if the sale is settled. Borland told the annual meeting in mid-June the directors

and management are doing due diligence on two agri-sectors for possible investment but wouldn’t give detail. That remains the situation. Asked if the investment group will be ready to buy as soon as a positive reply is received from OIO, he said that is unlikely. Previously, he said Scales is open to making overseas investments that complement its New Zealand agri-business operations, notably the Mr Apple business, and could just as easily make a number of smaller acquisitions in the $30m to $40m range than one big buy. The company has branched out, licensing growers in the Seattle area of the United States to grow its new Dazzle apple variety. Scales will get a commission on

apples eventually sold. The main objective is to promote the new variety mainly into Asia but also for sales in North America. “We hope they plant a fair volume of them because that would create more interest and visibility for the brand.” Small volumes of NZ-grown Dazzle will be exported next season with volumes picking up in 2021 to 2023. Eventually, US growers could be growing as much as the NZ acreage, Borland said. At the time of the annual meeting about two-thirds of the Hawke’s Bay apple harvest had been packed and about onethird sold. The total pick from Mr Apple orchards was 5.1 million apples, a 14% lift on the volumes in the last two seasons. Mr Apple

has exported about 76% of its total crop and the 2018 figure is expected to be in line with that. Apple sales are usually completed in October and the season is going to expectations. He told shareholders all group businesses are trading in line with guidance forecasts. If the Polarcold sale is completed it will have a June 1 settlement date and will reduce group operating earnings (Ebitda) by about $6m. That will be largely offset by interest being paid on the purchase price from June 1 till actual settlement. The food ingredients division continues to have strong production and sales. In a chart shown to the annual meeting, Scales illustrated its


h h h t t t u r u o No erica so erica s frica europe a Am Am

agribusiness investment universe as agriculture with dairy, meat and wool, animal products, arable, poultry and eggs, fisheries/ aquaculture, forestry, viticulture, horticulture, apiculture and innovative processed food. It is from that group Scales has identified the two areas it is following up. It wants to invest in vertically integrated businesses focused on exports and on China/ Asia. Chairman Tim Goodacre told shareholders the company is keeping a close watch on its share register to try to avoid a shareholder unintentionally tipping Scales into overseas entity status, which would occur at 25%. The overseas ownership is about 21.6%.

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Decisions Blue Sky Meats made. back in the black Made smarter. – July 16, 2018


Alan Williams

A MORE focused and efficient Blue Sky Meats has capitalised on high export lamb prices in the past year. It produced better yields from each carcase processed and doubled sales of higher-value lamb in chilled form, all part of the strategy adopted by chief executive Todd Grave when he started in early 2017. That gave it an after-tax profit of $2.79 million in the yearended March 31, compared to a loss of $2.72m a year earlier. On a pre-tax basis, earnings were $3.74m after allowing for a $390,875 writedown on the mothballed beef processing site at Gore, which will be sold. It is the best result since 2011 – four of the years since then, including 2016 and 2017, have been losses. Rendering income was the highest in five years, with volumes up 50% and income per unit up 80%. The strategy initiatives were not ground-breaking but helped get the group back towards the better performers in the sector, chairman Scott O’Donnell said. The next move will be to develop a brand and product to give Blue Sky a point of difference. Despite the fall in processing volumes – to 595,000 head from 620,000 – revenues rose to $104.5m from $97.9m. Asia/ Pacific was the biggest market at $40m with $38m in sales to Britain and Europe. There was market weakness in Britain but it was offset by strong demand in Europe, North America and especially Asia. Operating cashflows more than doubled to $5.22m. Borrowings were reduced and there was better management of working capital, Grave said. Shareholders will receive a dividend of 5c a share, their first for three years. Earnings a share were just over 23c with most of that going into reinvestment in the plant,

GOOD RESULT: Blue Sky Meats general manager of operations Ross Smith, chief finacial officer Jess Vickery, chief executive Todd Grave and engineering manager Gavin Tippet look over the company’s 2018 annual report.

which has already begun. Earlier poor profitability meant greater investment was required in efficient refrigeration, power supply, environment and effluent management and health and safety, O’Donnell said. New Zealand has to find ways of putting less pressure on the environment while achieving better returns for every kilogram of meat sold, he said. Grave said world markets were strong during the year with average prices up about 15% on a year earlier. That gain also applied to the procurement schedule and supplier payments were about $12m higher than the previous year. Processing cost savings of about $1m year-on-year, combined with the strong market and value-add focus increased the group’s gross margin by about five points to 13%. “While still not good enough, a 13% gross margin was the best it has been in several years.” Management is determined to improve profitability further and make the business more resilient to swings in commodity cycles and weather patterns, Grave said. The strategy plan projects delivered $6.9m of added value

with the largest gains in the boning room and slaughter board. The balance sheet was stronger with the ratio of debt to total debt plus equity falling to 52% from 61% and the ratio of borrowings alone falling to 30% from 36%. The decision to sell the Gore property was not taken lightly but is the best move for the ongoing financial performance of the overall company. The core sheep meat business is working well and the focus has to be on providing resources to it for further improvement. O’Donnell said the only impediment to moving the business forward is a very rigid collective employment agreement, which will need to change. The company needs the ability to match resources to demand and be able to increase productivity. Grave said greater variability in stock flows because of more extreme weather and geo-political events is the new environment for meat companies. “It is imperative we re-orient all elements of the business towards increased flexibility and agility to better deal with this.”

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SKELLERUP Holdings has bought a 35% stake in Wisconsin liquid silicone rubber maker Sim Lim Technic for US$1.1 million. Skellerup wants to take the technical expertise of the liquid silicone rubber maker to a wider market, saying the product is ideal for sterile environments and use in high-precision medical and consumer products. Its shares dipped 0.5% to $1.93 and are near the $2.07 record reached last month. “We will combine the knowledge and reach of Skellerup and the technical expertise of Sim Lim to deliver high-quality solutions to existing and new original equipment maker customers,” Skellerup chief executive David Mair said.

“We have a strong focus on the United States, as our largest market. “Through our Gulf US business we are seeing increasing opportunities for liquid silicone rubber products not only in the US but worldwide.” Skellerup refocused its industrial unit in recent years after a slump in oil and iron ore prices weighed on earning, and now puts greater emphasis on less volatile, potable water and wastewater sectors. The company lifted first-half profit 31% and has previously indicated annual profit will be $24.5m to $26m in the June 2018 year.  – BusinessDesk


Skellerup buys into US firm



22 FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

Young Farmer’s persistence pays The Wallace family had plenty to cheer about when son Logan won the FMG Young Farmer of the Year title last week. Not only did it break the winter monotony of shifting feed breaks and battling mud and rain but it was reward for perseverance. Neal Wallace met the contest’s 50th title holder.


HERE is no questioning Logan Wallace’s spirit. The 2018 FMG Young Farmer of the Year has overcome his fair share of adversity but instead of looking for excuses the South Otago sheep farmer prefers to live by the mantra of never giving up. He has overcome mild dyslexia, which hindered his ability to accurately convey meaning and fact in the written word, and he is naturally shy, proving a barrier with public speaking. And as a family the Wallaces also rallied to support father Ross in overcoming depression. Complementing an indefatigable spirit, Logan said setting fresh goals and targets has helped him meet those challenges. An example was in 2016 when he reached the contest’s national finals in Timaru only to uncover several shortcomings, especially with theory and public speaking. Undeterred, Wallace returned to his 290ha Waipahi sheep farm, which he leases from his family, to work on those weaknesses and return to win the 2018 title. Wallace has consistently challenged and extended himself to overcome his mild dyslexia and shyness, something he said was aided by joining the Clinton Young Farmers Club. It gave him confidence, while joining Toastmasters turned a fear of public speaking into something he enjoys. In that year he had off Wallace watched another OtagoSouthland regional finalist Nigel Woodhead, who farms 55km up

State Highway 1 near Milton, win the 2017 national title. It was a big decision for Wallace to have another crack given the pressure and the commitment needed but he was also a year wiser and his skill set stronger. As he entered the contest his family also entered the Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards, which they won. Preparation for those awards ate into three of his planned nine-weeks intensive work for the young farmer final but also helped as he had to analyse his business, be observant and prepare for an interview from the judging panel. “I wouldn’t recommend doing the two at once but the decision to enter both was made back in August and we thought the Ballance Farm Environment Awards would be well finished in time for the Young Farmer.” The Ballance judges’ comments provide an insight to the Wallace family, noting it is a supportive, close-knit unit with a clear vision that sets goals and has strong financial discipline. “They have incredible enthusiasm and a passion to learn, taking on ideas, good use of external advice and analysing data for the best outcomes. “They have a strong environmental focus, land and environment plan, nutrient budgeting, wetland construction, retention of biodiversity and water quality emphasis as well as an outstanding commitment to community and industry.” A new tool that would prove vital to Wallace’s tilt at the Young Farmer title is his ability to remain calm and focused. It worked.

TOP MEN: Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor on stage with newly crowned Young Farmer of the Year Logan Wallace.

“I felt no pressure whatsoever, which was much different to the last time,” he said. During the final buzzer round Wallace’s plan to remain calm was to look at the contest trophy and his family sitting beyond it. “If I lost focus, that was the point I was going to look at.” Wallace was surprised by his performance. He won three of the five sections: the Massey University Agri-Growth, Ravensdown AgriSkills and Worksafe Agri-Sports and finished 30 points ahead of second-placed Cameron Black.

IN ACTION: Young Farmer of the Year Logan Wallace during the practical challenges.

He was especially surprised to win the Agri-Growth section given his poor performance two years earlier but it reflected the benefit of his preparation. During a writing exercise he changed tack after 40 minutes to finish in time while ensuring he provided as many key points as he could. On being announced the winner, the night’s events became a blur, with little recollection other than standing on stage with partner Penny Hicks who was clutching a large bunch of flowers. Ross and Alexa Wallace started farming Beacon Hill, between Clinton and Waipahi, in 1988. It was leased out between 2009 and 2013 while his father dealt with health issues and Logan was overseas gaining experience working in farms in West Australia and Britain. When he returned the succession plan was adopted and Wallace, now a third shareholder in Beacon Hill, bought the stock and plant. The succession plan allows Wallace’s parents and sister Emily, a pharmacist, to be all treated equally. The farm today is 270ha effective, of which 30ha is in tussock, running 2300 RomneyTexel ewes, 700 ewe hoggets and room for 400 stock units for trading. Wallace attended Gore High School but due to his dyslexia chose tertiary study at what was then Telford Rural Polytechnic near Balclutha because of its emphasis on practical training. He gained a rural business diploma and an agriculture certificate. While not the first contest

winner without a university degree, Wallace said his victory showed it can still be done. He has extensive community involvement. For 11 years he has led a youth group at the Calvin Community Church in Gore, for several years has been a member of the Eastern Southland Land Search and Rescue and was a member of the Pomahaka Watercare Group.

I felt no pressure whatsoever, which was much different to the last time. Logan Wallace Young Farmer of the Year

One of Wallace’s next tasks is to set new goals, which could include opportunities for offfarm roles, such as last year’s contest winner Nigel Woodhead who has an observer’s role on the Government’s new Primary Sector Council. Before this year’s contest several groups had been pushing for Wallace to have a seat on the Water Forum, something he was keen to pursue. Wallace said involvement in NZ Young Farmers has helped him on many levels. “It has given me confidence to put myself out there as I used to be quite quiet. It has also helped me really build my leadership skills.”

New thinking

THE NZ FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018


EFFECTIVE: Leny and Geoff Leong say the Goodnature trap network works well on their organic property.

Trap system nails orchard pests With its proliferate plant growth and multiple crops the Western Bay of Plenty offers a veritable smorgasbord of food options to pests like rats, mice and possums. With that comes a headache for avocado growers and tree croppers trying to keep them at bay. An orcharding couple have seized on new trap technology to try to turn the tide. They told Richard Rennie about their approach.


AENGAROA couple Geoff and Leny Leong happily offered their 8ha orchard to the Goodnature trap company to see if its revolutionary trap designs could provide a solution for commercial crop growers dealing with pests. The trap has become well known in pest control circles with the company’s work in partnership with Department of Conservation. The non-toxic, humane bolt action trap has quickly gained traction on account of its ability to reset itself, reducing the hours required to tend the traps. But the company wanted to explore how rats and possums particularly would respond to a trapping network when they also had a wide variety of other food available. “We were probably an ideal place to trial, given we pretty much offer a year-round menu to rats here with walnuts through autumn, macadamia nuts from about July on and then the avocados start to ripen,” Leny Leong said. The couple did some backof-envelope estimates on the damage rats inflict on their walnut crop, estimating about 10% lost. They believe it could be at least a similar level for the avocados from possums that simply take a bite out of the fruit, then move to another and another, having a broad impact over a short time on individual trees. With historically high avocado returns and a growing valueadded business from processing the nuts, the couple were keen to deal with the issue.

Their efforts to grow the crops organically had been going well, pests aside, but the pest problem was a double-barrel one in that it also required them to use distinctly non-organic pest baits at certain times of year. “So the opportunity to include a control that was in no way toxic fitted very well with what we were trying to do.” The Goodnature system uses either a chocolate flavoured bait for attracting rats or a cinnamonorange bait for the larger possum trap. The network laid out by Goodnature included 35 of the company’s rat traps and 10 of the possum traps, spread in a grid through the couple’s orchard of 80 avocado trees, 40 macadamia trees and 30 walnut trees. Over the two-year trial the equipment has been busy. The couple have recorded 700 rats, hedgehogs and mice and 55 possums killed. They admit being surprised at how often the carcases of killed animals did not remain on site, often being scavenged by hawks or possibly wild pigs from the nearby forestry block. “We worked out we sighted about a third of the possum carcases and only about 6% of the rat kills.” The couple had worked hard to build a value-add business from the nuts they grow, creating nut-based confectionary to sell at Rotorua and Taupo farmers’ markets. They believe they have protected a significant proportion of that business with the traps, given rats are estimated to

consume about 5kg of food in a year and possums a massive 110kg. As avocado values soared as high at $6 a fruit and over $80 a tray in Australia earlier this year they believed the cost-benefits of traps costing about $170 each is easily justified. Their surprise at the kill rate was reinforced by the latest model of the trap having a digital kill counter on it. The counter would often register a kill, only for the carcase to be quickly scavenged and disappear before it could be seen by the Leongs. “Having a network there that operates around the clock without having to be reset has meant we are now ensuring a more constant

level of pest control,” Leny said. The only requirement is to replace the CO2 gas canister after 24 kills and check bait levels. In the past the couple have had to take a more defensive approach to pest control. “When the maize next door was harvested in March we would inevitably see a big surge in rats a couple of weeks later and have to respond by laying bait out before we started harvesting our own crops here.” Sean O’Brien of Goodnature said the project had proved interesting for the company, which established itself in the area of wilderness pest control. “We had not yet measured the power of a Goodnature trap network in a commercial, high

We pretty much offer a year-round menu to rats here. Leny Leong Orchardist food competition site over a long period of time. “Our traps are often used in large-scale native bush projects to primarily protect native bird species. “This project allowed us to gather data on kill rates over time so we might be able to describe seasonality and pest re-invasion in an orchard.”


24 FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

EDITORIAL GMO grass poses a sticky question


he discussion about reducing agriculture’s environmental impact is about to get very interesting. For years agriculture has been told to reduce methane and nitrogen emissions, and now it appears AgResearch has found an answer, one that poses a moral dilemma for some. AgResearch scientists have created a genetically modified high metabolisable energy (HME) ryegrass that grows faster than conventional varieties, is more resistant to drought, produces 23% less methane and in the laboratory, excretes less nitrogen. NZ has convoluted laws governing field trials of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and opponents of the science could tie up an application for years, so HME has been trialled in the USA, with early results replicating laboratory predictions. Here potentially is a solution to several environmental issues, but a ban on sowing GMO crops in NZ poses the question: is the potential solution worse than the problem? There are other issues. Should NZ continue to ban the release of GMOs, then competing farmers overseas could benefit from NZ-developed and funded technology. Certainly, there will be some payback from royalties, but surely the bigger goal must be the benefits to the environment and the sustainability of farmers. There is also an international issue of how to feed a burgeoning population when land is being degraded and the most fertile soils are being buried under asphalt and concrete. International research is settled that GMOs are safe, but the public largely remains suspicious and sceptical, so quite rightly there is a school of thought that NZ food exporters could gain market advantages from the country staying GE-free. That aside, there will be more than a few sly grins among the rural community as they watch the debate unfold between those demanding action on climate change and environmental degradation and those opposed to HME because it is a GMO. This will certainly not be the last GMO developed that can solve society’s ills, and it signals the need for the country to start to have a mature, science-based discussion about the technology.

Neal Wallace


More letters P27

It’s Ruataniwha all over again MURRAY King’s optimism (Farmers Weekly, June 25) for the Waimea Dam near Nelson has never been shared by many of the plains irrigators or ratepayers. In a capital-raising issue in April, which raised $16.5 million of equity, only 3000ha was subscribed, being well less than half of the dam’s design capacity. In the public consultation round to the Tasman District Council, a 51% joint venture partner, on the council’s funding and environmental share, the underwriting of the Crown Irrigation loans to Waimea and the Council electing to meet at least $20m of expected cost over-runs, 80% of ratepayers were against the council becoming involved. And, more recently, Mayor Richard Kempthorne, who is

openly backing the irrigators, has had to use his casting vote to progress the council’s share of the project and prevent a ratepayer referendum occurring. This comes also against opposition from a wellorganised, anti-dam lobby group called Water Information Network, which is taking out full page adverts criticising the Mayor, the no science behind King’s aquifer recharge theories, council propaganda of threats of water takes ceasing and severe rationing to ratepayers and irrigators. And all the time, both the council and the irrigators have dismissed the large underground water storage fed by the aquifers in favour of a white elephant or any alternative. Finally, King has acquired

some common sense and honesty in his comments that the project is now in other hands and might take up to three years for the passage of the private members bill. Yes, King is correct, it’s Ruataniwha all over again and do not underestimate the King-hitter, Forest and Bird’s devastating involvement again. Brian Halstead Consultant to Waimea Water Users and Irrigators Society, Nelson

Won’t end well DR TIM Mackle’s response to my letter of June 25 serves rather to reinforce the point I was trying to make. As a small, relatively intense livestock and pasture-based agricultural producer New Zealand is fairly unique.  We are too small for

any statistical analysis that includes our modus operandi to be skewed even slightly in our favour. It is no surprise then that we do not fit the parameters designed by international experts for other nations. With regard to methane emissions, if we are convinced of the validity of the flow v stocks proposition (and even though methane has greater potency much more carbon dioxide is involved) we should have the courage of our conviction and insist at every level that the proposition be recognised. There is no mention of this possibility in the Zero Carbon Bill consultation document. I see elsewhere Mackle and others have signed farming up to the net zero emissions by Continued page 27

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FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018


Kiwis, Irish take wrong approach Sue Edmonds


ESPITE its battlescarred history the Republic of Ireland seems to be getting its stuff together these days, at least on the farming and food front. Since 2012, when they sprang Origin Green on us with its focus on sustainability, the Irish have been measuring everything on individual farms and in food plants and collecting a mass of improvement data on the central Bord Bia computer. They’ve even added a few more categories including biodiversity to what they collect. They are managing to reduce farm carbon footprints a bit and their agri-food export figures go up every year. Good stuff. This year, as part of the Irish contribution to Fieldays, I managed to find out about Teagasc through Dr Frank O’Mara, its research director. This is the overarching, semistate authority responsible for research and development, training and advisory services in the agri-food sector. Teagasc’s rules on farming and



collection of information from individual farmers are even more comprehensive, as I discovered when O’Mara generously gave me the slides from his lecture at the Enterprise Ireland dinner and we discussed approaches to fertiliser use in our two countries. As part of the European Union, Ireland is subject to EU regulations, one of which is the Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters.

It sets out in detail the way in which every type of animalproduced waste, including soiled water, must be calculated and spread and sufficient storage provided to cope with a whole winter’s effluent production. What it comes down to is that for dairy the basic stocking rate is two cows a hectare and the animal-produced nitrogen level is not to exceed 170kg/ha. Farmers who want to increase the stocking rate must apply for a derogation and this year the amount of data, maps, soil analyses, buildings coverage to be taken to the one-on-one meeting with a Teagasc expert has been increased and the derogation approval is checked every year, with inspections. If farmers are found to have exceeded the 170kg/ha limit there are a range of increasing percentage penalties applied to their payments from EU-funded schemes. However, I also discovered that about 350,000 tonnes of urea is being used every year in Ireland. So, while they are measuring their animal-produced nitrogen, there is obviously a lot of chemical nitrogen also being put on.

REGULATED: Irish farmers are subject to the European Union’s Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waterways.

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CONTROLS: Teagasc research director Dr Frank O’Mara provided details of how the country limits animal waste but still allows urea application.

Not quite our 800,000 tonnes but a fair whack for a small country. It appears we are not alone in trying to clean up our waters from leached nitrogen. The Irish EPA in its 2016 report said “Nutrient enrichment is the most widespread threat to water quality in Ireland, including land spreading of artificial fertilisers and animal manures in unsuitable climatic and ground conditions.” When is the science community going to get the message that urea is making a lot of money for the big fertiliser companies but it’s ruining our soil structures, we are growing less pasture than we were in the 1980s and, despite all the screaming from farmers that nothing will grow if they don’t spread it, our waters are not improving as they are supposed to? The Irish might have everything seemingly measured but their water isn’t improving either. Both countries appear to be working on the premise that

cows are the enemies of the environment. Ireland makes it very difficult to stock at more than two cows a hectare and applying to have more requires a mountain of documents and a favourable annual decision by the authorities. Our rules rely on use of a computer system, supposedly by experts, and a variety of decisions made by our various council members. If we could just stop relying on technology and start remembering how Nature did it successfully for millions of years, maybe we would let Nature’s billions of critters get on with it and even provide some living extras to give them a hand. Some guys here have already proved it.

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


26 FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

Trade winds are blowing wrong way Alternative View

Alan Emerson

AS WE know, nobody wins in a trade war. The circus was started by the United States backtracking on the Iranian deal and in doing so indicated all agreements with the US are distinctly negotiable. The removal of the trade embargo against Iran, conditional on that country giving up its nuclear weapons proposal, was welcomed by the world as a massive step forward. Iran has the potential to be an important market for us. Then we had Israel claiming Iran is making nuclear weapons and the US agreeing and cancelling the treaty. There are several issues at play, not the least of which is who to believe. I don’t trust Israel and remember the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction over which America went to war. Further, I don’t see a lot of difference between Israel having nukes and Iran having them. After the Iranian fiasco we had oil prices rise, which will hurt the

American economy. That was followed by the much publicised historic “agreement” between the US and North Korea. They even have a signed piece of paper confirming the “agreement”. While I support any moves towards peace it is important to remember British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain promised “peace for our time” in September 1938. He’d just returned from Nazi Germany having signed the Munich Agreement and AngloGerman Declaration with Adolf Hitler. Further, if the Iranian treaty isn’t worth the paper it’s written on neither will any North Korean deal be. That was followed by the fiasco that was the G7 where, according to everyone else there, they agreed on a joint declaration in support of free trade. American president Donald Trump disagreed and launched an hysterical personal attack on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The basic Trump message appeared to be my way or the highway. He talked about America being the world’s biggest economy. If it is now it won’t be for long. The European Union is the world’s largest economic entity and China’s economy is about to rival that of the US. That said, annoying six of the world’s seven

Calm heads would suggest negotiation is better than a trade war where no one wins.

POSITIVE: David Parker’s recent talks with European Commissioner for Trade Cecelia Malmstrom are one positive in a recent storm of trade news.

largest economies doesn’t seem smart. In the completely farcical stakes you had America hit Europe with tariffs to support American jobs. Europe retaliated, as you’d expect, then Harley Davidson said it was moving manufacturing offshore to avoid the tariffs, thus costing American jobs. What is most concerning, however, is the American vitriol towards China. While the US buys more from China than it sells, trade wars hurt everyone. Rather than have rampant tariffs as the US claims China does, the fact is it has tariffs on just 10% of its imports. Calm heads would suggest negotiation is better than a trade war where no one wins. In addition, China is driving the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that

includes the ASEAN countries, most importantly Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore along with Japan, South Korea and India, as well as Australia and New Zealand. The market is huge with between three and four billion people and a total GDP of $49.5 trillion. The Trump administration rejected the Trans Pacific Partnership so if the RCEP goes ahead the US will be isolated. Add into that mix the Belt and Road initiative China is driving to support its trade plans and America looks increasingly on its own. I was slightly bemused to hear Defence Minister Ron Mark tell us when he released his Defence Strategy that the Belt and Road plan is part of Chinese expansionism. For heaven’s sake, NZ is a signatory to Belt and Road

and I’m pleased we are. Why we’re going down that track is beyond me. Forgetting China, the US banging tariffs on its neighbors Canada and Mexico didn’t seem smart to me and won’t achieve much other than costing more American jobs. It also violates yet another trade agreement. If aluminium and steel become more expensive, as counter tariffs will ensure they do, it then makes American manufactured products more expensive. That isn’t good news for jobs or the economy. So, you have an international shambles of gigantic proportions and my belief is that it’s going to get worse. On the bright side I was heartened by the recent discussions between the EU and NZ over a post-Brexit trade agreement. With EU trade being worth $19.6 billion and a trade agreement having the ability to boost that by 50%, as the pundits are picking, it is positive. European Commissioner for Trade Cecelia Malmstrom, after a visit to Trade Minister David Parker, made the point that together we can conclude a winwin agreement that offers benefits to business and citizens alike. That’s one positive happening among a whole pile of chaos.

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

Romanov downfall leads to rise of Trump From the Ridge

Steve Wyn-Harris

A HUNDRED years ago on July 17 a significant and seminal event occurred that changed the course of political history for the rest of the 20th century and continues its impact these days. The Romanov dynasty ruled Russia from 1613 and for the following 300 years. Notable tsars (meaning Caesar) included Peter the Great who, through successful wars, turned Russia into a major European power. There was also Tsarina Catherine the Great. But then came the Bolsheviks or the Reds, later to become the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Lenin had returned to Russia in 1917, which had been an unhappy country under the autocratic

rule of Tsar Nicholas II but was now also very demoralised by the defeats of World War 1 at the hands of the better-led and supplied Germans. Nicholas was a poor leader, obstinate and delusional. Adding to the abhorrence of their rulers was that the tsar’s wife Alexandra was a German and a granddaughter of Queen Victoria and the populace didn’t like her close relationship with the despised mystic Rasputin. All of this led to the Russian revolution of 1917 and the ultimate abdication of Nicholas, terminating the Romanov’s threecentury rule over Russia. The tsar and his family were put under house arrest and eventually sent to Ekaterinburg. The order to kill Nicholas and his family came from Moscow and though there is no evidence to link Lenin with that command, it is difficult to believe he wasn’t involved in the decision. In the early hours of the July 17, 1918, the family was assembled in a basement. As well as Nicholas and Alexandra, there were their four daughters Maria, Olga,

Anastasia and Tatiana and the young son Alexei who had been ill much of his life with haemophilia. There were also four servants. The captors’ commandant read out the execution order and the execution squad opened fire.

Now we see Putin, a tsar in all but name, building Russian influence.

The account of the next 20 minutes is harrowing and tells the story of an inept and brutal murder and assassination. The disposal of the bodies was even more incompetent than the murders if that is possible. In the end they were buried beneath the cart track where the truck carrying them got bogged in a forest 19km outside the city. Conjecture of their fate and whereabouts continued throughout the Soviet era but the secret of their burial died with their executioners who themselves

mostly had bad endings during the civil war that followed the revolution and Soviet purges. Two amateur archaeologists eventually found the gravesite and exhumed some of the skulls but couldn’t find any experts prepared to secretly help identify them so quietly reinterred the remains. When the Soviet empire crumbled and the new era of Glasnost (openness and transparency) arrived, they took their secret to the authorities in 1991 and the grave was exhumed, the remains studied and DNA analysis done. The skeletons were confirmed to be of the tsar, his wife and three of the daughters and were buried in the family vault in St Petersburg. Over the previous 70 years conspiracy theories and rumours had abounded that Anastasia had escaped the massacre and was the living heir of the Romanov dynasty. Indeed, there were more than 100 imposters claiming to be her scattered around the world. However, in 2007, a grave near the other was found to contain the charred and smashed bones of two individuals which DNA testing

showed to be Alexi and one of his sisters, thus ending speculation they had escaped. All this is an interesting footnote in history but its impact still resounds 100 years later as the end of the Romanovs allowed the Soviets to consolidate power and led to the cold war following WWII. Now we see Putin, a tsar in all but name, building Russian influence as seen in the recent examples of the likelihood of manipulating the United States presidential elections and the Brexit vote. Surely the most successful clandestine operations in history given the turmoil that has occurred since both events. Trump’s meetings with the European Union, North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the British and Putin himself are a fascinating though unnerving result of all of this.

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


FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018


M bovis claims don’t line up A KEY message from the Ministry for Primary Industries has been generally prolonged or repeated contact with infected animals is required for Mycoplasma bovis to be transmitted. Another key message has been the disease has been here only since the end of 2015. Bringing those two supposed facts together, it seems surprising it has progressed so quickly in just two years from the so-called index farm in Southland to at least 52 infected farms with many other farms still being traced. Surely, one of the two supposed facts cannot be correct. In May it was the incongruity between these supposed facts that led Biosecurity head Roger Smith to tell a Parliamentary committee the blowout rate of infected properties was outside the numbers MPI had considered likely. That will also have been an influence on the view of four out of 10 Technical Advisory Group members in mid-May that eradication was no longer technically feasible, let alone practical. It is debatable which of the two supposed facts is wrong. There is evidence either way. It could even be both. There is surely one situation where M bovis is highly contagious and that is through infected milk. If we are to eradicate this disease then farmers must not feed calves with unpasteurised milk from their hospital herd. With hindsight, the disease would probably have spread much less if it were not for the feeding of hospital milk. That is almost certainly the fastest way the disease spreads though, looking forward, service bulls are the other big risk. Given the testing the semen companies are now doing, artificial insemination is a much smaller risk. MPI said all the infected herds relate to animal movements from the so-called Southland index farm but farmers with infected herds I am talking to are not convinced. Some blame overthe-fence interactions or other transient contact but the picture there is not clear. There is another key problem

ACADEMIC VIEW: Professor Keith Woodford is a new columnist giving the benefit of his experience that includes 15 years at Lincoln University specialising in agribusiness and farm management.

with the theory that all transmission is related to recent animal movements. It is that some of the animal movement traces have led to positive tests but the suspect farms of origin have later tested clean on multiple occasions. It seems, therefore, the disease might have already been on the receival farm from another source. It all gets very confusing. I find the overall pattern of identified infections more consistent with the notion it has been in New Zealand for quite some time, with somewhere between 2008 and 2013 being the most plausible explanation. Each week I get more people ringing me to talk about evidence the disease was here up to 10 years ago. Typically, this is for situations where it is only now that they have put two and two together and said “Aha, this explains things that we could not put our finger on at the

time, despite seeking veterinary assistance”. In some cases, there might be post-event rationalisation but other cases seem convincing. If there is a common element to them, it is large-framed HolsteinFriesians with imported genetics, including both semen and embryos as possibilities for the original source. The convincing cases include udder blowout, cold-quarter mastitis and arthritis in cows and lots of calf deaths. Feeding hospital milk to calves also comes into it. There are possibilities the original source could have been another Southland farm where the farmer was an importer of semen and not just a user of imported semen. That farmer had major calf rearing problems around 2008 despite using all accepted protocols.

The farmer left the country when he got into major financial stress and the herd was dispersed around Southland and Canterbury. One of the receival herds is believed to be the farm MPI regards as the index farm. Clinical problems in adult cattle have still been identified on only two infected farms out of more than 50 farms known to be infected. Everywhere else the disease has been a sleeper. It is only when other stress factors come into play that M bovis shows itself to the farmer. If only a few animals are infected then the chances of identification or even asymptomatic shedding are low. One case study I am aware of is where the farm became suspect seven months ago but MPI is still trying to confirm whether it is positive. The antibody tests suggest strongly that it is infected but antibody testing is riddled with false positives. False negatives can also occur. I have seen antibody lab reports for multiple cows from this farm that have gone from positive on one test to negative on the next and vice versa. Multiple PCR tests on this farm have also gone negative but I have told the farmer that based on the antibody tests, if MPI keeps on testing then it is likely to eventually find a positive. That is also the experience of American vets who say that in America if you test enough then you will eventually find it. One of the TAG members has pointed out in a private communication all the overseas experience is about finding clinical cases and not subclinicals. That illustrates how we are in new territory in NZ. Some weeks back I was criticised by MPI response director Geoff Gwyn for my report of Gilbert van Reenen’s literature review of cross-species transfer. Gwyn conceded that M bovis can transfer to other species but they were dead-end hosts. As such, the MPI perspective is that there is no risk. However, MPI itself states in some written materials that it can cause mild infection in sheep and goats and the research literature suggests that could be a reservoir

LETTERS  Continued from page 24 2050 target – the most ambitious possible target. I fear it will not end well. Bill Wrigley Leeston

Bars not safe I READ with interest the article in the Farmers Weekly, June 11, and I certainly do not agree roll bars are safe in all quad rollovers. I am a 60-year-old farmer and have done thousands of hours on Honda quads on steep east coast hill country.

back to cattle. There are few certainties in this game. In that earlier article (archived at https:// keithwoodford, where I stated cross-species transmission was proved, I also said there was genuine debate as to the risks of that in the NZ situation. I still hold to that position. I don’t think Gwyn was correct to be so sure of his facts.

It is debatable which of the two supposed facts is wrong. There is evidence either way. It could even be both.

There remains a view in MPI and also among some vets that farmer messaging should be kept simple to reduce anxiety. My experience is that farmers want the full story with all uncertainties out on the table. However, I am pleased that at last MPI is showing interest in exploring evidence M bovis was here before the end of 2015 rather than being dismissive. For the first time, I am having productive conversations with MPI. To date, the counter argument against the need for these investigations has been MPI’s confidence from its genetic clock analyses. But, as two geneticists have said to me in recent days and I have myself been arguing, that conclusion is dodgy. Accordingly, there is a need to intensively test specific farms in both islands that are linked to historical suspicious disease outbreaks. Some but not all of these farms can be identified. It takes only one to be confirmed as M bovis and the big picture changes. 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

More letters P24 I have had a number of rollovers and I am going to try to explain why I do not like a roll bar. The first serious to the quad, not me fortunately, rollover was over backwards on a steep up hill. As the quad came over I was able to kick it with my legs still in the seat position, to help it on its way as it cleared me and continued on its way to wreck itself. Had it had a roll bar that could have changed the course of the quad or squashed me as I was in its path. It would not have prevented it from rolling. I have been under a quad with

a side roll and been able to roll it off me down the slope. With a bar it has the potential to pin you and you cannot roll the quad away. In a lot of instances a bar will certainly prevent damage to the quad and to the rider I agree but not all. Another incident was a forward end-over on the quad. I was thrown forward over the handlebars and the quad came upside down, the rear end catching me on my pelvis. Had this quad a solid roll bar this would have got my head or back and that would have been the end of me.

In 90% of my quad accidents I would have to say it was rider error. I am also a horse rider and I have had just as many accidents on them. As they say, horses for courses. You need to be careful out there. Roger Broughton Wairarapa

Problem solved ALAN Emerson, June 11, worries about the problems of water storage in Wairarapa. He should be aware the Greens are now talking about having

taxpayers subsidise electric vehicles. If they achieve their targets we will need vast amounts of new electricity generation. Given that hydro electricity now provides only 11% of energy needs we will be forced to dam many more rivers, including those of the Tararuas. Water storage problems solved at a stroke, as the penstocks will have to release water throughout the summer to charge all those batteries. John Kirby Masterton

On Farm Story

28 FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

Frustration leads to success John Falconer makes something of an understatement describing his Central Otago deer farm business as diverse. Neal Wallace visits the Falconers’ Clachanburn Station in the Maniototo, and a farmer who says he is benefiting from two generations of careful deer breeding.


HE stencilled 1988 on a shed wall at Clachanburn Station in Central Otago is more than a piece of graffiti or a casual reference to a year last century. It marks the year John Falconer’s parents, Charles and Jane, started progressively replacing sheep with deer on the property near Patearoa in the Maniototo Basin. For the family that date signifies much more: an historic reference to how each of the previous two generations to farm the property created the legacy of a sustainable business for future generations. Today Clachanburn covers 2600ha and runs 6200 deer with Elk and Red stud herds, terminal sires, specialist venison and velvet finishing herds and a trophy hunting block. The station also includes the 300ha Loganburn farm, a finishing property on river flats in the Styx Valley south of the home block. John Falconer said his parents made the bold decision to move to deer and astutely decided to use the best genetics they could find. Clachanburn was settled in 1920 by Charles and Dorothy Aitchison as Run 624 when Puketoi Station was subdivided for ex-servicemen. The name Clachanburn is Gaelic for Stoney Creek, which

flows through the farm. Laurie Falconer worked for the Aitchisons and when he returned to Maniototo after serving in WWII he bought an adjacent farm. In 1959 with wife Marj, they bought Clachanburn from the widowed Dorothy Aitchison, eventually establishing Hereford, Merino and half-bred studs. Their son Charles married Jane (nee Roberts) in 1971 and took over the farm in 1977, introducing irrigation, developing the hill country then switching to deer out of frustration with the sheep industry. John Falconer said his father saw parallels for deer in the cattle industry, specifically the need for terminal sires, a role he saw for Elk. “Dad saw an opportunity in the very early days with what exotic cattle were doing for beef finishing operations,” he said. He sourced dual-purpose genetics from noted breeders Foveran Deer Park and John Barber, focused on meat production and a style of antler that suited both velveting and trophy hunting. The development programme started in the 1980s has today extended to 230km of deer fencing. Falconer took over what was then a 700ha farm in 1997, by which stage all the sheep were gone though some beef remained but were soon sold. Clachanburn today has grown to a much larger but balanced property over two farms. The main station runs from fertile basin flats 450m above sea level to 1000m asl on the rugged Rough Ridge. Loganburn is about 500m above sea level. Falconer recently branched into

PRODUCTIVE: Clachanburn Station, Maniototo, Central Otago.

Red deer as an investment for the future, buying Dave and Chrissie Mackie’s Antler and Views Red Deer stud from Kaikoura. The herd will supply stock for velvet, stud and terminal stags and improve genetics for his hunting block. Today Clachanburn runs 700 stud Elk cows, 300 Red stud hinds, 1600 commercial Red hinds, 120 rising two-year-old Elk bulls, 110 rising three-year-old Elk bulls, 100 Elk bulls aged four to seven, 40 sire bulls, 400 Red velveting stags, 600 stud Elk weaners, 250 stud Red weaners, 1500 hybrid weaners and 600 bought-in yearlings for trading. His biggest Elk bull weighs 570kg. Elk cows kill out at average between 120kg and 130kg and

yearling bulls at 100kg. The station operates as the main breeding and wintering block with Loganburn running 400 velveting stags and each year finishing 2000 animals for venison. Most of those are the progeny from 1600 Red hinds mated to Elk bulls, which are trucked to Loganburn in March and killed from October to December averaging 62.5kg. They are joined by about 250 weaner Red stags from the stud herd, out of which trophy stags are selected and culls killed for venison. Elk bulls average 8kg of velvet and Reds 5kg. The size of Elk has deterred some from using the breed but

SPECIMEN: An Elk bull on Clachanburn Station, Maniototo.

I am taking an animal worth venison value and turning it into something worth a lot of money. John Falconer Clachanburn Falconer said a combination of loyal customers and a history of breeding for temperament, growth, antler style and constitution make the breed easier to work with. He described Elk as intelligent and sensible. “A lot of big bulls are naturally dominant and you can’t completely get rid of that. If they get submissive you can have problems with mating.” Falconer said Elk demand respect but he and his staff have few problems. Breeding has created larger animals. He recalls three-year-old Elk at 300kg when he started. Now he has animals that age averaging 400kg. He has introduced single-sire mating, artificial insemination and progeny testing to the stud herds to improve genetic gain. The 700 Elk cows are mated in 18 mobs and 300 Red hinds are also fully recorded and singlesire mated with DNA testing to confirm parentage. “We find AI a very good way to evaluate quality females we purchase and to acquire the male genetics we want.” The focus of the Red breeding programme is body confirmation and antler style, especially as he is adding Reds to his hunting block.

On Farm Story

FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018


LEGACY: John Falconer of Clachanburn Station, Maniototo, has carried on where his parents left off and is preparing things for his children.

Cows and hinds are pregnancy tested to assist with management but also to enable culling of anything mated after April 25 to condense calving and fawning. That has helped reduce the total number of dry cows and hinds to about 5%, with pregnancy scanning at 97% to 98%. Breeding stock are also subjected to eye muscle scanning and testing to check for immunity to internal parasites. Of the roughly 600 Elk calves born each year, typically 125 bulls and 100 females are kept. In 1999 Falconer branched out into trophy hunting on a 540ha hill block and it has been the part of the business that has grown the quickest.

People who are inter-generational farmers look at business differently. John Falconer Clachanburn In the past year hunters have shot 40 Elk bulls but he has broadened the offering by adding Reds stags to the block. Falconer wants to grow the hunting side of the business by building a lodge, adding other game and promoting it further. But it also reflects the reality he is limited in the number of stock units he can farm so the hunting block allows him to substantially increase the revenue generated from selected animals. “I am taking an animal worth venison value and turning it

into something worth a lot of money.” Stock are not released on the trophy block till they are at least nine years old and after contributing to the breeding programme. Hunters from the United States account for 40% of visitors with others from Europe, Australia and increasingly from India, Mexico and Philippines. “I love integrating and mixing with them,” he said. Deer suit the Maniototo’s extreme climate and its grass growing patterns where spring can be late arriving and grass does not start growing until early October. Fawning and calving in November usually coincide with an abundance of grass. The historic average rainfall is 300mm to 350mm but it can be variable. An on-farm irrigation system sourced from five dams provides water for 300ha. Last year it did not rain from November to January but from February to April there were regular falls. Despite the harsh winters Falconer still fed his stock for growth all year round. From June to August a diet of lucerne baleage and fodder beet enabled stud animals to average 175 grams a day weight gain and hybrids 100g a day. Falconer’s ancestors chose wisely when they settled in the southwest corner of the basin. Though the climate can be hot, dry and cold it provides excellent animal health and stock do well. He said he is lucky to have some exceptional staff and advisers he trusts. “I can’t do this stuff by myself.” Wife Mary takes care of the

accounting work and livestock recording while he is supported by stock manager Steve Barrett and staff Nicki Tobeck and Sam Pollock. They do their own agricultural work, including growing 80ha of precision-sown crops, primarily fodder beet and 1500 tonnes of silage. Falconer said maintaining a clean animal health status is a priority so he can access marketing ventures such as exporting Elk semen, which he has previously done to Australia, Britain and South Korea. He has also exported 40 live yearling Elk to China.

Falconer said his family’s link to the land is central to their approach to their business. “People who are intergenerational farmers look at business differently.” John and Mary Falconer are already thinking and planning for the next generation – Lucy, 10, and Charlie, 9, – to farm Clachanburn Station should they wish. Also on the property is the nationally recognised Clachanburn Garden which caters to tourists and weddings. It is run by Jane Falconer. The garden network of flower beds, shrubs, trees, an orchard

MINE: An Elk bull wintering with cows on Clachanburn Station, Maniototo.

from which jams and preserves were made, and a large pond was registered with the NZ Garden Trust and has been developed since the arrival of water for irrigation in 1985.

>> Video link:

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Real Estate

FARMERS WEEKLY – July 16, 2018



3 New Listing

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View by appointment Waikato Real Estate Limited Licensed (REAA 2008)

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An opportunity exists to invest in an established Limited Partnership alongside existing partners. The business incorporates multiple freehold and leasehold land holdings covering ten properties across the Canterbury and Otago regions. • c.5,000 ha • c.13,000 dairy cattle • properties 86% irrigated • generate c.4m kgMS per annum

Contact PwC Advisory Services for further details. Offers must be received not later than 4pm Friday 10 August 2018. E: T: 09 355 8171

The securities available are interests in the limited partnership, and shares in the general partner of the limited partnership, which would give the investor an interest of at least 55.2 percent in the limited partnership. The minimum amount payable by a subscriber will be substantially in excess of $750,000. Accordingly, any subscriber will be a “wholesale investor” in terms of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, and this notice is not regulated by that Act.

PwC Advisory Services (Licensed under the REAA 2008) © 2018 PricewaterhouseCoopers New Zealand. All rights reserved. Contributor to

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FARMERS WEEKLY – July 16, 2018 0800 85 25 80


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TENDER closing Thursday 16 August 2018 at 4pm RAYSBURN FARM, MATAWAI DISTRICT MIXED USE

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150ha (approx.) in pasture

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Existing improvements

Warwick Searle 021 362 778

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Lake Grassmere 250 & 65 Grassmere Rd 279.3 Hectares Deadline Sale Awatere Grazing. Flat to easy rolling land, balance being steeper hill. Three freehold titles. Two earthquake damaged homes. Aircraft hangar, two hay sheds, 3-stand wool shed, Te Pari cattle yards and various sundry buildings. The property is currently being utilised for beef production, dairy grazing and supplement production, early healthy stock finishing country. Vendor has conservatively farmed the property which is currently running 360 mixed aged cattle with no supplements being used. | Property ID BL1236

Closing 2pm, Monday 23 July 2018 (unless sold prior)

Contact Allan Gifford 027 226 2379

0800 200 600 |


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FARMERS WEEKLY – July 16, 2018 – 0800 85 25 80



Critical to the role are the following attributes: • Extensive experience in livestock procurement either as a Stock Agent or a Fat Stock Buyer • Excellent organisational skills are a necessity • A high-level communicator and decision maker with credibility across the industry • Be self-directed and flexible in order to meet the changing demands of the role Why should you apply: If you are looking to further your already promising career in Agri-business, enjoy communicating and visiting clients, then this may be the role for you. Remuneration package is structured with a highly competitive salary plus add-on commission income opportunities. Car, smartphone and laptop will be provided. Flexible working hours.

Te Kumu offers a unique opportunity to be part of a large-scale, highly productive family business, running sheep, beef and deer.

The applicant must have excellent communication skills and be able to work in a team or independently. A positive ‘can-do’ attitude and the ability to demonstrate leadership, including the responsibility for 2-3 Junior shepherds, is required. They should be highly motivated and committed to high standards of quality and safety.

SKILLS REQUIRED → Extensive farm management knowledge and/or experience → Strong leadership and communication skills → A commitment and drive to reach set individual and organisational goals → Proven problem solving and decision-making skills → Budgeting and financial discipline → Possess the ability to develop others → Highly self-motivated, reliable and honest

- Current and full NZ Drivers Licence - NZ Residency or a valid NZ work visa An excellent renumeration package is on offer and a warm, tidy 4-bedroom house is available. School bus to Hunterville School is 12km away. Hunterville and Taihape are both strong rural communities in the Rangitikei District, with lots of activities like an active NZ Young Farmers Club, rugby & squash. Hunting and fishing easily assessible and further enhancing this rare shepherding opportunity. Applications to or if you would like to discuss this role further, please contact The Manager: Lawrence Spicer, Taihape 4796, after hours: 06 388 7556 Applications close on Wednesday, 31st July 2018.

Fertiliser Sales Agronomist Waikato This large and well-established multinational is a leading producer of minerals and specialty chemicals. In New Zealand the company currently employs a team of twenty staff. The company has developed a reputation in relation to its quarry sites and processing plants, for being proactive in environmental matters and setting an outstanding example to others in the mineral processing industry. The company now wishes to appoint a Fertiliser Sales Agronomist who will be based in Waikato and will report to the Auckland based Sales Director. Giving technical advice to your new and existing distribution clients in the North Island will be your main focus, although you will spend 20 – 30% of your time on-farm providing agronomic support. There is a requirement for you to travel overseas 2 – 3 times per year. Competencies required to be successful in gaining this role include: • An understanding of New Zealand farm systems • Expertise in agronomy, plant or animal nutrition • A sales background at senior level in fertiliser or a similar field • Good computer literacy • 8+ years’ experience in a commercial sales or technical environment To enquire in strict confidence about this role, either phone Deb Francis on 021 224 5000, or send your CV with covering letter via by Thursday 19 July.

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST TO: Please email your application letter and CV to: Farm Supervisor All applications will be treated confidentially Applications close 4pm Friday, 20th July 2018


Outstanding Opportunity Focus on Science, Innovation & Growth Parengarenga Incorporation is a Maori Incorporation based in Te Kao in the Far North (70km north of Kaitaia), that manages $52m of farm and forestry assets on behalf of 3000 shareholders. Its vision is “Being a world class business of the land and sea, growing our people and communities, shaping the future of the Far North”. Led by the General Manager and endorsed by the elected Trustees, the strategy is very clearly focused on using science, technology and knowledge to develop an integrated and mutually beneficial portfolio of high yielding, cross-sectoral agri-businesses that operate in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. The principal businesses are farming and forestry and an apiculture business was successfully launched last year with an industry-experienced partner. Plans are at different stages for the development of additional complementary businesses in the horticulture, and tourism sectors and the start-up programme will be driven by continuing to increase the productivity and carrying capacity of the 5900ha farm and through forestry revenue coming on-stream from the 10,000ha forest. The farm breeds and fattens Angus and Angus/Charolais beef and Texel/Dorsett sheep. It also has a Friesien bull rearing program. In total there are 38,000 stock units managed by nine very competent staff members. There is a five-year comprehensive development plan in place to drive the following initiatives: •

Increase the production of dry matter by investing in science and best farming practice to enhance better pasture quality and growth

Increase the liveweight of stock produced by managing stock in an effective rotational grazing programme

Use modern farm management systems to measure performance, understand the main drivers of improvement and deliver improvement targets

Develop greater drainage and water collection capability on farm to assist with better access to pasture and prepare for key cropping or horticulture initiatives

Investigate the potential for using waste wood in a BioChar initiative to drive soil carbon and increase humus capability

Maximise the seasonal production strengths of the property

Maximise the economic farming area

The Farm Manager must be able to provide outstanding leadership for the soil and pasture, water, stock and support service teams to deliver these goals. They will have a strong focus on Health and Safety and be responsible for the development of a high performance, high engagement culture. This is a pivotal role in the continued growth of the Incorporation. It requires a person who is passionate about good animal practice, great genetics and blending science, technology, farming experience and innovative thinking to cross-sectoral farming and can demonstrate their ability to measure progress and identify sustainable ways to maximise productivity.

We specialise in agri-business

The person we seek will have a qualification in an agricultural science or primary sector discipline and have a track record that shows their ability to identify and deliver significant commercial results through leadership, knowledge and management expertise. The ability to build strong working relationships with stakeholders at all levels, both inside and outside the Incorporation and within the local community is important.

Farmers Weekly


→ A leadership role within one of New Zealand’s premiere dairy farming businesses. → A long-term business, with a strong focus on profitability and sustainability.

You will need:


Applications close on Friday, 3rd August 2018.


Duties will be wide ranging including all facets of stockwork and some mustering on horseback.

A full, current and clean New Zealand driver’s licence is essential. Applications to or if you would like to discuss this role further, please contact Greg Parkes, Livestock Manager on 021 276 9772.

THE ROLE The position of farm supervisor has arisen due to sustained growth. Reporting to the Chief Operating Officer, the role will be responsible for the operational performance of the Waitaki farms.

The ideal candidate will have 3 years plus, shepherding experience, proven stockmanship and feed management skills. They will require an understanding of good animal health and welfare practices and a competent team of working dogs.


The Position: The company’s principal, Christopher Grace, is seeking a full-time Livestock Agent to play a vital role within his team, with key strengths in reliability, respectfulness and honesty and with a focus on providing top customer service. He is looking for an individual with a keen interest in the agricultural sector, with good practical skills, excellent oral and written communication skills and a friendly down to earth manner.

THE COMPANY Dairy Holdings Limited is a New Zealand owned professional, dynamic, and progressive corporate dairy farmer that operates throughout the South Island.

We are looking for an experienced full time Head Shepherd who is keen to work on a progressive hill country station running 40,000su on 4200ha situated 27km from Taihape and 28km from Hunterville.


The Company: CR Grace Ltd has been a leading livestock procurement business for over 30 years, specialising in stock buying, transport and logistics for Taylor Preston Ltd a thriving quality meat processing and export company, situated in Wellington. Both CR Grace Ltd and Taylor Preston Ltd are renowned for their service, delivery and integrity. They have built their reputations on looking after their farming clients.


Location: Hunterville/Taihape, Rangitikei


You’ll be responsible for developing client relationships in the Manawatu/Wanganui/Rangitikei region and continuing to build a strong client base with regular travel within the area.

A competitive salary and benefits package is offered which will attract high calibre applicants.


Email applications or for further information contact: Brian Shaw, Director, Mariner7 Limited, PO Box 9182, Newmarket, Auckland Phone 021 406 408 Applications close 10 August, 2018.




Tangiwai Station is northeast of Wairoa, Northern Hawke’s Bay.

It is a progressive beef and sheep farming enterprise, including New Zealand’s largest Simmental beef stud. The position available is a new position.

The applicant will need: • A minimum of 2-3 years farming experience • Honesty and reliability. Enthusiasm and ambition to progress in a farming career. • Two or three dogs under good command


Remuneration is competitive and will reward ability and attitude. Please reply to Jon Knauf or phone 06 838 6793 evenings.


Under the Human Rights Act, 1993, it is unlawful, apart from some exceptions, for employment advertisements to restrict applicants because of their sex, marital status, religious belief, colour, race, national origins, age, family status, or sexual orientation.

ANIMAL AND HUMAN healer, also manipulation on horses and dogs. In Otago / Southland from 16th July to 27th July. For more information phone Ron Wilson 027 435 3089.

WINDMILL WATER PUMP manufacturing business for sale. Contact: ross@

TARPAULINS PVC TARPS. All sizes. Top quality Ripstop PVC.NZ Made. Phone for quote Westlorne Ohakune 06 385 8487. Free delivery North Island.

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

ANIMAL SUPPLEMENTS APPLE CIDER VINEGAR, GARLIC & HONEY. 200L - $450 or 1000L - $2000 excl. with FREE DELIVERY from Black Type Minerals Ltd www.blacktypeminerals.

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


BIRDS/POULTRY | ph: 07-870-4901

PULLETS HY-LINE brown, great layers. 07 824 1762. Website: eurekapoultryfarm.weebly. com – Have fresh eggs each day!!!

DOGS FOR SALE HEADING PUPS tri coloured, wormed and vaccinated. Well bred 10 weeks old. 5 available $300 each. Phone Arthur 06 927 1044 or Brett 06 376 4611 evenings. NO AUCTION CAN COMPETE. 40-80 dogs available 365 days a year, $1000-$2500. View online working sheep/ cattle. Deliver South/ North Islands, 30 day trial, guaranteed, Buy back any dog I sell, Do trade ins. mikehughesworkingdog/ videos. 07 315 5553. 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. WEANED HUNTAWAY pups, well bred. Phone 06 863 9815. HUNTAWAY PUPS, old proven station/trial bloodlines. 6-weeks old. Phone Nick Deighton 06 928 9618 or email 12 MONTHS HEADING DOG. Fast. pulls strong. Flanks command on. Station/trail potential. Phone Nolan Timmins 06 862 7543.

DOGS WANTED QUICK EASY SALE. Buying 350 dogs annually South and North Islands. No trial, breeding or “thinking about it”. No one buys or pays more. 07 315 5553. mikehughesworkingdogs@

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

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 classifieds@

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 WANTED STEERS WANTED. 50100, 8-12 months. Huntley area. Phone Richard 022 317 3905.


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


NATIVE FOREST FOR MILLING also Macrocarpa and Red Gum, New Zealand wide. We can arrange permits and plans. Also after milled timber to purchase. NEW ZEALAND NATIVE TIMBER SUPPLIERS (WGTN) LIMITED 04 293 2097 Richard.

GOATS WANTED 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 HERITAGE APPLE TREES. Farm pack specials. www.tastytrees. – Phone 09 408 5443 or text 027 346 7645.

CENTRAL NORTH ISLAND. Whanganui, Taranaki, Wairarapa. Excellent site rental paid on quality honey. Contact 027 372 0842. Email:

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

PUMPS HIGH PRESSURE WATER PUMPS, suitable on high headlifts. Low energy usage for single/3-phase motors, waterwheel and turbine drives. Low maintenance costs and easy to service. Enquiries phone 04 526 4415, email

SITUATIONS VACANT PIG FARM WORKER Wanted For Manawatu Farm. Some experience would be useful. Duties include feeding stock, cleaning out stock, all round stock work, and making meal. This starts as part time and will follow on to full time position. Some weekend work included. Phone 021 166 0888.

WINTER GRAZING WANTED in central/ lower North Island for lambs, 1 to 2-year-old cattle or cows. Mark Grace 021 222 8470

WANTED TO BUY SAWN SHED TIMBER including Black Maire. Matai, Totara and Rimu etc. Also buying salvaged native logs. Phone Richard Uren. NZ Native Timber Supplies. Phone 027 688 2954. 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 classifieds@

WEED SPRAYING BOOM SPRAY. Broad acre, brush weed control, total vegetation. Hilux gun and hose units x 2 and mist blowers for gorse, broome, blackberry control. Covering Lower North Island. Phone 06 375 8660 or 021 396 447, email

WORK WANTED HILL COUNTRY POSITION. Marlborough to Otago. Experienced stockman with team of dogs. Casual considered. Accommodation for family needed. Phone Jason 021 028 23098 or 06 377 5577 or email runcountry14@




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


REACH EVERY FARMER IN NZ FROM MONDAY Advertise in the Farmers Weekly $2.10 + GST per word - Please print clearly Name: Address: Email: Heading: Advert to read:


Our client Ingleby New Zealand operates a number of drystock farms throughout New Zealand. Following a comprehensive review of their farming operations on the East Coast, they have identified synergies that can be gained through operating two farms together. These two properties, Katoa Station located at Te Araroa and Matahiia Station located at Ruatoria, comprise 3555ha in total, and are a mix of hill-country and river flats. They are breeding and finishing Beef and Sheep and are currently running 18,500su. As a result of this review and operational change, they now have two important positions to fill. They are looking for a strong leadership team who will focus on gaining efficiencies and maximising the potential of the two farms as one farming operation. Farm Manager – Ref#8HR1039 Reporting directly to the country manager the successful applicant has full responsibility of the day-to-day management of both farms and dealing with all staff. To successfully secure this role you will need to demonstrate: - Extensive New Zealand farm management experience - Strong people leadership skills - An advanced level of stockmanship and pasture management - Experience in budgeting, forecasting and record keeping 2IC – Ref#8HR1040 A critical part of the on-farm leadership team, the successful applicant will report directly to the Farm Manager. You will already be an experienced farmer who likes being ‘hands on’ in the business. As well as sound pasture management and livestock skills, you will need to be capable of taking charge in the manager’s absence. This is a role that will expand your farming and leadership knowledge and give you exposure to all of the things that you will need to know to become an excellent Farm Manager in the future. Check out the farms by visiting Click on the New Zealand tab. Both roles come with comfortable, renovated homes. If you are eligible to work in NZ, have a clean driver’s licence and will pass a pre-employment drug test, we’re keen to hear from you! Go to www. and use the reference numbers above to apply today. Closing date. 30 July 2018


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

Advertisements that discriminate in any way will not be published.

Theland Farm Group is at the sharp end of a manufacturing process that sees New Zealand fresh milk and consumer product delivered to China from farms in the central North Island and Canterbury. With 26,000 cows this is a substantial business and the People & Culture team champion the people, safety and communications strategy across the team of 180 people. Critical to their strategy is a focus on the long-term sustainability and performance of people in the business. They are now looking for a savvy HR Generalist to join their professional people team in a role that will really make a difference. Primarily based out of their Cambridge office, this is a role for someone who wants to champion operational recruitment, employment relations, safety and training. Reporting to the People & Culture Manager (based in Christchurch), we are looking for a highly motivated, team oriented and professional HR practitioner who will support the business’s operational teams with a focus on their North Island operations. As an experienced generalist with sound judgement and strong relationship skills you will enjoy working alongside managers and their teams to provide high quality advice and support across all aspects of HR. You’ll have a partnering and coaching approach and be interested in growing leadership capability. Of primary importance to us is your professional HR and leadership skills, so much the better if you have an interest in the agribusiness or dairy sector. On offer is an influencing role where you can make a real difference along with the opportunity to be part of great operational and professional support teams. Find out more and apply at (Ref#8HR1037). Applications close 27 July 2018.


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 80




One of them goes to a family in Egypt and is named ‘Amal.’ The other goes to a family in Spain, they name him Juan’.

We could save you hundreds of $$



Prices include delivery to your door!

FEILDING SALE Friday 20th July 2018


(from private blocks)

McNicholas Aviation Limited is a helicopter deer recovery operator based in Opotiki. The aerial operation can selectively cull your feral deer population and pay a royalty. If required we can also seek and destroy any resident feral goat population.

Quality you can rely on – GUARANTEED



A Financing Solution For Your Farm E

100 Angus R2yr Steers

• Q1172 – 32 XB in-calf hfrs, BW 79, PW 78, CRL, 01/08 calv, well grown, $1400. Monty 027 807 0522

Hill country cattle Annual line of very quiet, well grown cattle sired by high index Te Mania, Mt Mable & Dandaloo genetics. CONTACT LANCE CROCKER 0275 428 396

• Q 1170 – 38 XB in-calf hfrs, BW 94, PW 107, well grown from a top herd, calv 02/08, $1300. Bunter 027 444 1169


• Q 1168 – 144 Fsn/FsnX herd, BW 77, PW 102, heavily culled herd, 400ms/cow, 20/07 calv, good young cows, $1820. Colin 027 646 8908

Hilvue Farming Partnership Sandy Knolls 20th July 2018 at 1pm

All Ewes SIL to Suffolk Rams

• 400 cow Fsn/FsnX herd on market next week, HB shed, established herd, index to follow - 420ms/cow, 20/07 calv, will sell smaller number on equal split, cows will shift, price and index not available before advert. Enquiries to Matt 027 601 3787

Due from 10th August onwards

0800 548 339 |

• 262 2 Shear Romney Ewes – SIL 180% • 555 Mixed Age Romney Ewes – SIL 172% • 110 Annual Draft Corriedale Ewes – SIL 161%

Thursday 26th July A/- CL & VA Wylie Otahu Flat Tuatapere Commencing 1:30pm

For further details contact: Ben Lill Ph 027 462 0130



Your source for PGG Wrightson livestock and farming listings Key: Dairy






Have ewe heard the most successful place to advertise your livestock is in Farmers Weekly?


Tuesday 14th August 18, 1.30pm A/C S & R Manson Stratford Creek, Lowburn, Cromwell

A/c Taipo Park Ltd 144 Taipo Rd, Teschemakers North Otago

380 Romney Ewe Hoggets 185 Romney 2th Ewes Scanned 180% to Romney & BF Rams 9/4/18, to be shorn late July and vaccinated with Nilvax. Tauranganui/ Motu-nui based flock. Big strong high producing ewes. Further Inquiries Allan Brown 027 555 4435

UPCOMING BULL SALES Please see below correct dates for two upcoming bull sales: Argyle Angus 12pm 30th July - Kaikohe

To advertise



1300 Romney MA Ewes

$3990 + GST

Phone 027 367 6247 Email:

• Q 1173 – small herd of 86 Fsn cows, BW 59, PW 82, R/a 82%, 360ms/cow, 15/7 calving, long established herd, grade free for years, very good cows, $1920. Stewart 027 270 5288

Owner bred





To find out more visit

400-500kg BULLS STORE LAMBS 28-40kg R2 & R3 STEERS 480kg + Phone John Stephens - 0279 392 369

Ross Dyer 0274 333 381

The feral deer population has increased to levels seen in the 1950’s resulting in reduced winter feed for farmer’s stock, and damage to juvenile trees for forest owners.


R2YR STEERS EXOTIC/BEEF X 400-500kg Phone Guy Strang – 021 472 958

A/- Bullock Hills,

Stock and Plant 500 Rom Tex 2th ewes 1150 Rom Tex MA ewes Rom Tex ram 13th April Scanned in lamb 185% Shorn January Full details to follow Contact Kelvin Lott – Carrfields 027 226 6153 Craig Wylie 027 270 3206


Contact Lance McNicholas 027 294 7504

2 TOOTH EWES SIL (Terminal Ram Late March)


Also available colostrum for calves, lambs, foals, fawns, kids and alpacas.

Contact Halen Health Freephone: 0508 777 777

Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his mum. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wished she also had a picture of Amal. Her husband responds, ‘’But they are twins. If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.’’




A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption.


For friendly & professional advice CALL 0800 843 0987 Fax: 07 843 0992 Email: THE CABLE SHOP WAIKATO

Phone Brent 029 777 7477


Arahou Hereford 1pm 31st July – Tangiteroria

Signposted from SH1 at Fortification Rd 2009 John Deere 6930 Tractor c/w Self Levelling FEL, Motor remapped to 170Hp at PTO 4083hrs; 1987 John Deere 7720 Harvester (Hydrostatic), 18ft Front on Trailer, 4871 engine hrs; 1985 John Deere 6620 Harvester, 16ft Front on Trailer, 3932 engine hrs; Taege 360 Direct Drill (29 Run) c/w Travelling wheels; Bertolini 1000Lt 3PTL Sprayer with 15mtr Custom Boom; Farm King 1060 Grain Auger, (60ft, 10inch); GT 545XL Batch Grain Dryer (10T Barley); 2004 Boqballe M2W 3 PTL Fert Spreader, Auto calibration & Weigh Cells; Can-Am 800 Commander Sideby-Side, 723km; Fairbrother Kinghitter Series 3 Post Driver, Rock Spike & Side Shift; Pottinger Novadisc 305 Mower; Also wide range of Agricultural Machinery and Farming plant. For full List and Photos go to www. Food available, as a Fundraiser for Kakanui School. Kelvin Wilson 027 478 6190 Mark Yeates 027 590 4217 PGG Wrightson Ltd Oamaru

Phone Nigel 0800 85 25 80 or email Freephone 0800 10 22 76 |

Helping grow the country


Please call 0800 446 332

Weaned Jersey Bulls Contracts available – 0800 85 25 80



Whether you are in town or on the land, we can help you find that special Lady to enjoy your life with. Call for a FREE compatibility match to start meeting genuine singles in your area seeking companionship & love today. Seniors Welcome.


Rural Ladies Searching For Love!





Grain & Feed


FONTERRA 2018-19

AGRIHQ 2018-19



AS OF 24/05/2018

AS OF 05/07/2018

Last week

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Last year

Canterbury (NZ$/t)

6.0 Mar 18 AgriHQ  Spot Fonterra  forecast

May 18 Jul  18 AgriHQ  Seasonal

What are the AgriHQ Milk Prices? The AgriHQ Seasonal milk price is calculated using GDT results and NZX Dairy Futures to give a full season price. The AgriHQ Spot milk price is an indicative price based solely on the prices from the most recent GDT event. To try this using your own figures go to






NI mutton (20kg)







SI lamb (17kg)




Feed Barley




SI mutton (20kg)





Export markets (NZ$/kg) 8.94





UK CKT lamb leg

Maize Grain








* Domestic grain prices are grower bids delivered to the nearest store or mill. PKE and fertiliser prices are ex-store. Australian prices are landed in Auckland.


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Wheat - Nearest




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Feed Barley




PKE (US$/t)

Jun 18 Sep  18 NZX  WMP  Futures

South Island  1 7kg    lamb

8.0 7.5

3000 2000 Sep 17 Dec  17 Mar  18 C2  Fonterra   WMP

North Island  17kg    lamb

8.0 7.5 7.0 6.5 6.0 5.5 5.0 4.5





NZ venison 60kg stag













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vs 4 weeks ago












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Nth Isl 37m








Sth Isl 35m






3000 Oct

Latest price




4 weeks  ago

Sharemarket Briefing THE NZX 50 came off the boil last week after reaching multi record highs the previous week. However, turnover was light as the first week of the school holidays began but global markets started the week on an upbeat note, following better than expected jobs data out of the United States and looked ahead to what is expected to be another strong corporate earnings season. Yet, markets turned to the downside after the Trump administration proposed 10% tariffs on another US$200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Investors have been rattled by the recent escalation in trade relations, however a strong corporate earnings could outweigh the negative sentiment. Overall, it is expected to be another impressive reporting season, with markets expecting revenue growth of 8.8% and 20% earnings growth for the S&P 500. That would make for the second strongest quarter for earnings since 2010 and the second consecutive quarter of earnings growth of at least 20% per annum. All 11 sectors are forecast to see an increase in earnings from a year earlier with energy, materials, telecommunications and technology expected to post the strongest growth rates. Market commentary provided by Craigs Investment Partners






250 150 Jul 14

NZ venison 60kg stag



c/k kg (net)





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NZ average (NZ$/t)





* price as at close of business on Thursday




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NZX DAIRY FUTURES (US$/T) Nearby contract


Australia (NZ$/t)


Last year


c/kkg (net)

5.5 Jan 18

Last week Prior week

NI lamb (17kg)

Feed Wheat

Waikato (NZ$/t)


Slaughter price (NZ$/kg)

Milling Wheat


7.0 $/kgMS








Jul 15 Feed  barley

Jul 16

Jul 17 PKE  spot


400 300


Oct Jul

Dec Sep 5‐yr ave

Feb Nov

Apr Jan Last yr

Jun Mar

Aug May


This yr

Dollar Watch

Top 10 by Market Cap Company


YTD High


Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd




The a2 Milk Company Limited Auckland International Airport Limited Meridian Energy Limited Spark New Zealand Limited Ryman Healthcare Limited Fletcher Building Limited Mercury NZ Limited (NS) Contact Energy Limited Air New Zealand Limited (NS)

11.36 6.78 3.15 3.81 12.26 6.96 3.31 5.84 3.18

14.62 6.99 3.20 3.90 12.50 7.96 3.45 5.96 3.43

7.66 6.11 2.75 3.28 10.27 5.74 3.08 5.15 2.86

Listed Agri Shares


5pm, close of market, Thursday



YTD High


The a2 Milk Company Limited




Comvita Limited




Delegat Group Limited




Foley Family Wines Limited




Fonterra Shareholders' Fund (NS)




Livestock Improvement Corporation Ltd (NS)




New Zealand King Salmon Investments Ltd




PGG Wrightson Limited




Sanford Limited (NS)




Scales Corporation Limited




Seeka Limited




Synlait Milk Limited (NS)



6.260 3.100

T&G Global Limited



Tegel Group Holdings Limited




S&P/NZX Primary Sector Equity




S&P/NZX 50 Index




S&P/NZX 10 Index




A STRONGER United This Prior Last NZD vs States dollar, loss of an week week year interest-rate advantage USD 0.6784 0.6794 0.7317 and a slowing New EUR 0.5813 0.5811 0.6413 Zealand economy should AUD 0.9155 0.9192 0.9457 push the kiwi dollar quite a bit lower over the next GBP 0.5144 0.5141 0.5652 year, Westpac Bank Correct as of 9am last Friday strategist Imre Speizer says. He’s targeting a US$0.64 rate at this time next year. That would be nearly 6% lower than its current level and 11% lower than it was on March 30. The US Federal Reserve has been increasing its core interest rate this year and there seems to be consensus there around possibly two more rate rises this year, Speizer said. US Treasury bond yields on maturities out for the next nine or so years are already higher than NZ’s and the gap should extend further. Westpac expects the RBNZ to start hiking the OCR late next year and by then the core Fed rate could be a full 100 basis points higher. The kiwi has lifted off a low below US0.67 but Speizer expects it back below that level by the end of September. The US dollar should gain against all comers while the kiwi continues to ease against NZ’s major trading currencies. Speizer thinks the dollar will fall below A$0.90 this year and to 0.88 by mid next year on a stronger Aussie economy. He’s calling the kiwi below €0.57 by year-end and below £0.50 by mid next year as central banks in those economies look to tighten monetary policy. Alan Williams









($/KG LW)



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US imported 95CL bull




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Export markets (NZ$/kg)

North Island  steer  (300kg)


6.0 5.5 5.0 4.5 4.0

South Island   steer  (300kg)


NZ venison 60kg stag


c/k kg (net)





4.5 400



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SI Stag (60kg)




SI Hind (50kg)




New Zealand   venison   (60kg  Stag)



11 10

c/k kg (net)

600 9

NZ venison 60kg stag

500 8

400 7


6 Oct


Dec Feb Dec Feb 5‐yr ave

Apr Apr Last yr



Prime Angus cows, 605-655kg, at Temuka

Medium-good store ewe lambs at Matawhero

Chatham’s lambs venture in

BEEF Slaughter price (NZ$/kg)


high lights

Jun Jun

Aug Aug This yr


UST when it looked like store lamb numbers were on a slippery slope boats from the Chatham Islands came into both Napier and Timaru, boosting volume at the associated yards of Stortford Lodge and Temuka. As is typical most lambs had good size on them and the better types sold for $140-$165. NORTHLAND NORTHLAND It was fair to say WELLSFORD put on a simply miserable day for their Monday sale, making the job of selling cattle hard both inside and outside the rostrum. Most of the power on the R2 cattle came from Waikato, but given he had little competition life was easier for him. Heavy prime cattle made solid enough returns as Angus & AngusHereford steers, 597-666kg, fetched $2.63-$2.70/kg, with heavy R3 Hereford-cross heifers also falling in that range. The R2 market was subdued, with no premium paid for any breed of steers despite a quality offering of Angus penned; and very little price advantage for steers over heifers. Angus steers, 369-428kg, were good shopping at $2.54-$2.60/kg, which was close to where Hereford-Friesian heifers of similar weight laid at $2.52$2.58/kg. Hereford-Friesian steers fared a little better, but they had to have the quality and those that did in a 377-507kg range made $2.59-$2.67/ kg, whereas second cuts earned $2.48$2.52/kg. The R1 pens offered up some top quality animals also but again they proved to be good shopping for those in the market. Heavy Hereford-cross and Hereford-Friesian steers, 338357kg, came in under $1000 at $940$985. A few lighter lines did manage to crack $3/kg. A special entry of two big lines of R1 Friesian bulls met the market at $675-$735 for 219-249kg. AUCKLAND AUCKLAND Prime cattle were the main focus at PUKEKOHE on Saturday July 7,

TOP PRICE: Auctioneers Greg Cook and Joe Higgins call for bids at last week’s inlamb ewe fair in Temuka.

though store cattle are victims of the winter conditions, with only quality lines sourced. Prime steers made solid enough levels as 537-711kg traded at $2.68-$2.77/kg, with second cuts 469-505kg and earning $2.45-$2.63/ kg. Heifers, 468-547kg, returned $2.54-$2.61/kg with the lighter line Hereford, while 640kg bulls made $2.67/kg. Heavy boner cows, 718kg, fetched $2.24/kg, but lighter lower yielding types, 454kg, made $1.43/kg. Buyers were very selective on the store cattle and while the better crossbred steers, 414kg, managed to reach $2.54/kg, other lines, 420kg, sold for $2.20/kg. A similar pattern emerged in the R1 pens, with a lighter, better quality line of steers earning $510 for 170kg, but 193kg returned $475. Lesser sorts were harder to shift, and 94kg made $360, and 128kg, $100. R2 heifers held their own as 365-421kg fetched $2.46$2.56/kg, while medium R1, 209-

226kg returned $530-$600. Crossbred weaners, 114-118kg, made $260-$350. COUNTIES COUNTIES Demand for heavier steers and heifers was solid at TUAKAU last Thursday, but lighter and younger store cattle were harder to shift, Karl Chitham of Carrfields Livestock reported. The yarding included good 2-year steers, 477-560kg, which traded at $2.74-$2.79/kg. R1 Hereford-Friesian steers, 217kg, made $765. Prices for the heavier heifers firmed 10-15c/kg on the previous sale, with 380-450kg lots selling at $2.45-$2.64/ kg. Angus-cross weaner heifers, 187kg, earned $540. Prices for a small yarding of prime cattle remained firm last Wednesday. Heavy prime steers traded at $2.81$2.88/kg, and local trade types made

Continued page 38

29, 2017








Store cattle

not enough475n good but while Angus-Friesian, Localisededrai $2.82/kg, $2.74-$2.77/ off the pace at on a quiet note VIEWPOINT

Suz Bremner


225 - 245KG


350 - 415KG

400 - 505KG






Weaner 13

Steer Heifer

1-year 112

2-year+ 34 9



Total 159




2-YEAR STEER Dev x Ang/Fr Ang/Fr Ang/Jer Ang/Jer Here/Fr








540 475 - 506 401 - 445 366


546 492 377


2 R


Here/Jer Fr & Fr x




Jer x

Ang/Fr Here/Fr















530 370 467 315 451 320



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Fr x




1300 - 1400 1090 - 1200 940 1542 1220 600 1455 910 1285 800 1060 400






2.74 - 2.77 2.70 - 2.72

2.0 100kg


300kg Steers

500kg 400kg Heifers

2.82 2.48 1.59 2.75 2.46 2.75 2.54 2.35 1.25

ph 0800 85








Receive comprehensive liveweight-based results from the entire sale even when you can’t make it there yourself. Sign up to LivestockEye reports and keep your head in the game.

0800 85 25 80


3 Bull ed , were November finish apart from a doozy 506kg s-Jersey, 401-445kg, return 297 Cow 62 Angu sale, 169 upted the kg. -$2.77/kg. at the Taranaki 19 m that interr Total and two $2.74 of a thunderstor a mixed bunch cattle were Heifers were reached A total of 340 auctioning. cons isted beef-Friesian gh main ly small lines of other lines well below tallies Total penn ed, thou three over Prime cattle all Cow just with /kg 15kg, with Bull Heifer 40 of smal l lines localised $2.75 Ex-service Red bulls, 688-7 Steer 20 ite the odd /kg. 1 getting that. 10 head. Desp 19 ged $2.94-$3.00 and some areas hit and itions on mana had to be quite light to thunderstorm Lines yesterday, cond steer pens, up to 25mls drying out in the 1-year n tallies rties are still old effect pass $3.00/kg Hereford-Friesia Store cattle most prope ever-popular causing a two-f g to but the a few occasions. 1500 on fast, which is comin that cattle ge 10kg, quality did mana h were 308-3 them. of more mixed offered thoug buyers to greet at $2.92- 1200 sale and fewer sold over a very tight Mostsold on a steady market 900 sian, and er Angus-Frie Prime steers what was a /kg, with heavi s. -$2.88/kg on 600 is tight. $2.97 g similar value range of $2.83 as processor space/kg. 335-381kg, makin1-year heifers could 300 softer market $1.75-$1.82 for 20-Dec The best the 6/kg 6-Dec -$2.5 0 Boner cows made pens included some 22-Nov This year age was $2.52 again this was 8-Nov Last year The 2-year steer albeit in very small man n, but 5-yr ave riesia y, ord-F nice lines of qualit best of the bunch Heref tion of the quality. the reflec a and at , ers, 546kg numb ($/kg) ord-Friesian, steers and heifers was three Heref

25 80


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FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018


38 THE NZ FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018

Traceability the key as dairy livestock market reacts to outbreak As farmers react to the mycoplasma bovis infection, livestock markets are feeling the impact, says an industry leader. National Dairy Manager for PGG Wrightson Livestock Paul Edwards says the outbreak is affecting farmers in several different ways. “From grazing decisions, to feeder calf sales, all aspects of pastoral farming are coming under the microscope. Farmers are asking more questions around any business decision, particularly ‘Where have animals come from?’ Traceability is the key issue. “Everyone we do business with is checking information through MPI and the industrygood websites. Farmers seek to achieve a level of comfort, particularly prior to a purchase, though also when selling,” he said. In the wake of the outbreak, demand for all classes of dairy stock is steady. “Supply of stock has been under pressure. We saw an unusually high level of activity prior to 1 June, when the supply of stock numbers is not normally significant. There was strong demand this year, which the market struggled to meet. From spring, we can look forward to a good market for inmilk cows,” he said. Plenty of winter grazing is available throughout the country, and the start of the North Island calving season is going well, says Paul Edwards. “We are receiving plenty of advance orders, so anyone selling feeder calves can look forward to meeting strong demand. Likewise, enquiry for service bulls is also excellent. However, calf rearers are dealing with additional biosecurity protocols, and farmers who are trading should be prepared for purchasers to ask plenty of questions. “With everyone needing to know the origin of stock they are trading, we are seeing a mindset change in the purchasing process. In most respects, this is a good thing for the industry,” he said. One sad side effect of the outbreak is the decision of the IHC to suspend its calf sale fund-raiser this year. “In the circumstances, this is obviously the right decision, though it is a pity, as we know how keen farmers are to donate stock to the annual initiative. That said, we are encouraging our clients to continue their support for IHC by donating a ‘virtual calf,’” said Paul Edwards.

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$2.50-$2.64/kg. Heavy export heifers earned $2.75/kg, and lighter types $2.50$2.61/kg. In the boner section, a heavy Friesian cow at 625kg fetched $2.07/kg, and medium types made $1.77-$1.88/kg. The best of a small entry of beef bulls sold up to $3.00/kg. About 1000 ewes and lambs were yarded at last Monday’s sheep sale, and the market was again very strong. Heavy prime lambs traded at $161-$194, medium $133-$158, and lighter $98-$127. Store lamb prices ranged from $55 to $91, and the best of the prime ewes returned $140-$167. Medium ewes fetched $118$136, and lighter types $77-$92. WAIKATO A solid, mainly local buying bench at FRANKTON last Wednesday was joined by a few new faces, with buyers taking a particular interest in the heavier cattle and also autumn-born weaner lines. In the R2 section Angus steers, 384428kg, softened to $2.78-$2.84/kg, while beef-cross, 384-458kg, managed $2.80$2.89/kg. Hereford-Friesian, 420-467kg, lifted to $2.84-$2.98/kg. In the heifer pens the majority of Hereford-cross, 317444kg, were steady at $2.65-$2.67/kg, as were Hereford-Friesian, 303-342kg, $2.69$2.71/kg. A consignment of 46 autumnborn R2 Charolais steers, 284-323kg, were very well contested, earning $3.22-$3.24/ kg. Results were varied in the R1 pens with a preference shown for the heavier end of this section. Hereford-cross steers, 266-292kg, made solid returns at $730$810. Charolais-cross heifers, 295-303kg, earned $755-$810, and 240kg Herefordcross returned $665. The market was strong for autumnborn weaner cattle. Hereford-Friesian heifers, 95-122kg, traded at $465-$500, while Angus-cross bulls, 103-126kg, returned $450-$650. Hereford-cross, 106135kg, managed $465-$615. HerefordFriesian bulls were in hot demand and those 96-123kg returned $498-$705, while the majority of Friesian, 97-131kg, traded at $475-$512. Three lines of vetted-in-calf cows were on offer and two were purchased to farm on. Angus, 468kg, made solid returns at $1175, whilst eight Hereford, 663kg, fetched $1600. The prime market was strong for most as beef and exotic steers, 621-7126kg, earned $2.75-$2.92/kg, and HerefordFriesian, 585-687kg, lifted to $2.68-$2.79/ kg. Angus heifers, 467kg, continued this trend fetching $2.71/kg, while HerefordFriesian, 492-570kg, were steady at $2.63$2.68/kg. Friesian cows strengthened with the heavier end showing the greatest lifts as 545-720kg improved to $2.18-$2.36/kg. BAY OF PLENTY BAY OF PLENTY Weather conditions were not conducive with selling outside and the rostrum proved to be a good place to hide out of the wintry weather at RANGIURU last Tuesday. The hardy souls in the sheep pens had to deal with it though, and that was also responsible for a few more head yarded. Prime lambs were the main feature with returns solid at $129-$163.50, while ewes ranged from $70 up to $146. Store cattle numbers were again winter low and offered little in the way of big lines of quality. Most of the older cattle action was in the R2 heifer pens, but demand was very limited and prices eased. Lesser lines of Hereford-Friesian, 352-412kg, lost around 5-10c/kg to finish at $2.40-$2.50/kg, though better types, 431-433kg, were steady at $2.59-$2.65/ kg. Hereford-cross, 351-371kg, sold in a similar vein to the lighter HerefordFriesian mentioned. Charolais-cross lines attracted a premium at $2.66-$2.68/kg for good weights of 444-460kg. Two quality lines of R1 Hereford-

Friesian steers sold head and shoulders above everything else at $710-$730, though a lighter line, 155kg, made the highest $/kg at $4.26/kg. At the other end of the yards Angus-cross heifers, 128210kg, were unwanted and sold for $360$570, with the best-selling in this section being four Hereford, 227kg, $700. The prime cattle market is unaffected by weather and was the hottest part of the day. Motiti Island again offered up some big ox, this time Hereford-Friesian which had an empty weight of 714-765kg and sold on a lifting market at $2.93-$2.94/ kg. Hereford-cross heifers, 527kg, were steady at $2.75/kg and Friesian cows, 430-478kg, firmed to $1.83/kg. TARANAKI TARANAKI Numbers were low at TARANAKI last Wednesday, and while prime cattle sold on a steady to firm market, the store section was more subdued. Both quality and interest were limited for store cattle. Most R2 beef-Friesian steers, 346-429kg, traded at $2.64-$2.75/ kg, while a lighter, better quality line of 13 at 366kg managed $2.81/kg. Budgets were tighter for heifers and all sold on an easing market for $2.51-$2.59/kg for 345-470kg. One line of Hereford-Friesian stood out in the R1 steer pens, which was the only class in that age group. At 235kg they sold for $885, while all other lines were lighter and made $550-$600. The only other pen of note was five Hereford-cross cows that were run-withbull and made $1093. Processors are actively sourcing prime cattle as numbers dwindle, and a feature in the steer pens was Angus-Hereford, 627-735kg, which were well contested and firmed to $2.77-$2.86/kg. Two small lines of Hereford-cross heifers, 625630kg, also sold on a very good market at $2.66-$2.74/kg. POVERTY BAY POVERTY BAY The MATAWHERO cattle yards are in winter mode, and as a result only 170 cattle were penned for the July sale last Tuesday. A line of 12 R3 Angus-Hereford heifers with calves-at-foot kicked off proceedings, and sold for a solid $1210 per unit. The biggest section was the bulls, with most of the R2 and R1 cattle of that class. Quality and breeding was very mixed, and coupled with limited demand prices were variable. The best in the R2 bull pens was a line of 410kg Hereford-Friesian, which sold for $2.66/kg, while a nice line up of small lots of R1 exotic bulls, 200-280kg, sold for $610-$700. Lesser sorts were entered though met limited demand. Highlights in the other sections included R2 Angus steers, 365kg, $2.71/ kg and Angus-Hereford, 300kg, $3.00/kg. Charolais and Angus-Hereford heifers had a 10kg differentiation and sold for $2.52-$2.57/kg. Two small lines of R1 Angus steers could not have been more different, with a 200kg line making $800, but 125kg coming in at half that price. Store lamb numbers fell back to 1200 head at Friday’s sale, but was unable to support the market which softened just a little. Ewe lambs were the main source of numbers. One very heavy pen sold at $145, but the core were good lines which made $118-$124. Medium and light ewe lambs were at $98-$116.50. A heavy line of male lambs was the strongest for the day at $158.50, whereas two good lines were $124-$131. Light mixed sex lambs made $83-$96.50. The small selection of in-lamb ewes sold to expectations. Two decent sized pens of 5-6 year Romney’s were split into scanned twins and scanned singles, the

former at $196 and the latter making $169. HAWKE’S BAY HAWKE’S BAY STORTFORD LODGE had a relatively busy week at the yards, with just store cattle at winter low levels. A quality cattle yarding was easily absorbed by the solid bench of buyers last Monday. Angus steers, 503kg, sold very well, maintaining levels of $2.99/ kg, with other lines 647-680kg also solid at $2.96-$3.00/kg. Heifers of the same breeding and 453-585kg lifted to $2.81$2.88/kg, while all other beef-bred lines traded at $2.74-$2.80/kg. Four Angus cows, 586kg, managed $2.20/kg, making a premium over their 488kg Angus and Angus-Hereford counterparts who returned $1.86/kg. Lamb throughput was down and the market strengthened. Top ram lambs lifted to $213, with male lines of similar condition steady at $206-$207. Very heavy cryptorchids made solid returns at $186.50-$206. The remainder of male and ram lines lifted with most earning $183-$200 and nothing was available below $170. Most mixed sex lines were good types and steady at $155-$170. Ewe lambs were strong as top types lifted to $165-$182 and good to heavy lines made $140-$161. The ewe market was steady. Medium to heavy two-tooth ewes traded at $119$139.50 while the lighter end lifted to $95. Mixed age ewes were solid with heavy to very heavy types earning $145-$164.50 and good to very good lines $135-$143. Medium and medium-good returned $113.50-$130 while the lighter end managed $91-$112. A boat from the Chatham Islands bumped up the store lamb tally by nearly 1200 head on Wednesday. They were joined by quality, later born lines from Central and Southern Hawke’s Bay. The mixed sex lines from the Chathams (all but one line) consisted of wether and ewe lambs. They made $134-$154 for top cuts and $125-$133 for medium to good. Male lambs were very consistent with $136$152 covering good to very heavy lambs. Heavy ewe lambs made $135-$137, with one line selling to $154, while medium to good lambs were steady to firm at $120$129. The in-lamb breeding ewe season continued in a similar vein, and the first pen up came from Dannevirke and returned there for $180. These were 5-year Romney ewes, 164%, which basically topped the sale, beaten only by a small line of mixed age, scanned triplets, which sold for $195.50. Dry ewes ranged from $76 up to $180 depending on quality, and a line of five crossbred ewes with young but healthy lambs-at-foot made $95 all counted. Store cattle numbers dropped dramatically to just 70 head. A Wairoa buyer took a few of the R2 steers, including a line of five 438kg HerefordFriesian, which hit $3.01/kg. Top per head price was $1425 for 12 494kg HerefordFriesian, while medium-good beef-cross steers, 389-413kg, made $2.91-$2.93/ kg. Hereford-cross featured in the R2 heifer pens and the better lines, 440458kg, made solid returns at $2.78-$2.83/ kg, while a medium line of HerefordFriesian, 401kg, earned $2.67/kg. Nine Angus & Angus-Hereford heifers, 182kg, sold for $635. MANAWATU MANAWATU. Boner cow prices were solid at RONGOTEA as Friesian, 510-635kg, returned $1.64-$1.75/kg and HerefordFriesian, 415-450kg, $1.58-$1.66/kg. Jersey, 402kg, sold to $1.49/kg. In-calf Friesian cows made $1010, and heifers, $1150. Prime cattle were virtually nonexistent, and just a few small pens sold in the store section. Hereford-Friesian


steers, 600kg, made $2.76/kg, and heifers, 580kg, $2.61/kg. The more store type R2 steers, 440kg, sold for $2.57/kg and heifers, 440kg, $2.51-$2.64/kg, while Friesian, 332kg, returned $1.99/ kg. R1 prices were solid enough for the better quality animals, and bulls made up a big portion of the section. Murray Grey proved popular, with good weights of 285-465kg and prices tags of $772-$1260. Hereford-Friesian, 257kg, made $710, and Friesian, 138-222kg, $440-$590. HerefordFriesian steers, 190kg, sold for $650, though crossbred lines struggled and though they had good weight at 210-335kg they only managed $470-$560. The better heifers followed the trend of the male cattle and HerefordFriesian, 164-301kg, sold to $485$760, while Friesian, 226kg, made $500. Crossbred, 190-201kg, made just $345, coming in well under $2.00/kg. Friesian bull calves made just $100-$220 but Hereford-Friesian and Charolais sold up to $300$400. Angus-cross bulls sold for $140-$160, and their sisters, $140, while Hereford-Friesian heifers made $120-$195. A small line of ewes with lambsat-foot made $111 all counted, and ewe lambs earned $147. FEILDING prime sheep volume continue to be high but cattle numbers are low. Prices were strong across both the sheep and cattle pens on Monday. An even split of lamb and ewe numbers totalled nearly 7300 head. Ewe prices were steady to firm. Most were medium-good to good and sold for $106-$124 and $126-$143 respectively. A good portion made $145-$155, with almost equal numbers at $80-$97. A big yarding of 2-tooths mainly made $120-$148. Mixed sex prime lamb lines were more in the minority, with a much bigger yarding of ewe lambs selling for $135-$173.50 while over 1000 of the male lambs fetched $170-$189. Second cut males earned $155-$168. Top honors again went to a line of mixed sex as 52 head reached $190, while all other mixed sex traded at $130$186. In the cattle section 39 cows and one bull were penned. Friesian cows sold on a firming market as 518-578kg earned $1.92-$2/kg. Two smaller lines made $1.84$1.85/kg while a line of three Hereford, 503kg, also sold for $1.85/kg. The store cattle pens were more than half empty at Friday’s sale, following the usual trend at this point in the year. Quality was mixed, as is also common midwinter, but the odd line here and gained some attention. R3 cattle began the sale on a solid note. Traditional steers, 430-595kg, made $3.08-$3.11/kg, arguably a fraction above the last two sales. A line of 425kg heifers were $2.82/kg. R2 steers were restricted to just four small lines. Some 370-430kg traditional types were $2.99$3.04/kg. In contrast traditional R2 heifers were something of a feature on the day. Many were 330-400kg traditional which made $2.89-$3.03/kg. The few other 330-450kg beef-Friesian and beercross heifers were $2.62-$2.65/ kg. Two lines of 370kg and 420kg

FARMERS WEEKLY – – July 16, 2018 Friesian & Friesian-cross bulls sold at $2.44/kg and $2.57/kg respectively. Special entries of traditional R1 steers and heifers, often lateborn, dragged out the back-end of the sale. These largely sold to expectations. The heaviest steers, 245-290kg, were $3.50-$3.77/kg, whereas 210-245kg made $3.82$3.93/kg and the 150-185kg were $4.20-$4.60/kg. The bench was more selective over the heifers, as the better 190-265kg pens made $3.42-$3.72/kg, but the remainder were at or below $3.00/kg. Some 200kg Friesian and Angus bulls were $610 and $665 respectively. Just short of 1500 scanned-inlamb and run-with-ram ewes were trucked in, but quality was definitely an issue through around half of these. The crowd that arrived were upped their game on the better lines as a result. Good 5-year Romdale ewes, SIL 151-153%, began the day well at $196-$197, only bettered by some mixed age Romney’s carrying triplets which were $202. Average looking mixed age ewes, SIL 150-174%, were $165-$181. Two lines of decent 6-tooth ewes, SIL 172-175%, made a respectable $184-$188, while the run-withram options were topped by some decent Romney-cross ewes at $168. The balance of buyers and store lambs yarded definitely favoured vendors of these. Heavy male-type lambs were bought at $155-$167, while other decent pens made $136-$161. Ewe lambs were what much of the sale was made up of, and it was these that lifted the furthest too. The heavier lines were at $136-$147.50, but the medium and verging-on-light pens were the real highlight at $122-$144.50. Even the light pens were solid selling at $101.50-$127. Only a few very tail-enders were below $100. CANTERBURY CANTERBURY CANTERBURY PARK posted very strong results across both the cattle and sheep sales last Tuesday. Store lambs were the highlight as prices hit record levels. Of 700 store lambs all bar a few small lines sold in excess of $4/kg. No main lines of lambs fell below $110 and good mixed sex sold for $130-$152, with a small number of medium types at $119-$143. Three small lines of ewe lambs ranged from $110 to $149. The 1300 prime and heavy lambs eased $5 a head. They traded at $180-$189 but the bottom line lifted and few were less than $140. Most of the lambs fell in a $150-$189 range. Prime ewe prices generally started at $100 for mixed age and worked their way quite evenly up to $216. Most 2-tooth ewes sold for $147$168. The prime cattle sale was small but mighty, with lines of highyielding exotic steers and heifers hot property. Charolais-cross steers and heifers sold to $3.01$3.11/kg if they were 600kg and heavier. Angus steers, 454-590kg, traded at $2.98-$3.07/kg. Other breeds of heifers also sold on a lifting market as Belgium Blue, 545-595kg, returned $2.87-$2.98/ kg, and local trade HerefordFriesian, 410-433kg, $2.70/kg. Cow prices lifted to levels not seen in close to a year. Three Hereford,

593-795kg, reached $2.28-$2.38/ kg. From just 62 store cattle five R2 Angus steers, 425kg, made $2.96/ kg, and two heifers, 333kg, $2.82/ kg. In a small R1 section AngusHereford steers, 169-208kg, sold for $675-$715, with the lighter line close to $4.00/kg. Angus-cross heifers, 198-240kg, also sold well at $645-$770, $3.21-$3.26/kg. SOUTH CANTERBURY SOUTH CANTERBURY Lambs from the Chatham’s and Pitt Island filled pens at TEMUKA last Monday, adding plenty more weight to the pens. These made up a significant portion of the store lamb section, and also a few flowed into the prime lamb pens. Other sections of the overall sale were small. Last Wednesday played host to the in-lamb ewe fair, and any lines under $200 were hard to find. With the extra weight from the Chatham’s a large portion of the store lambs offered were 40kg and heavier, in all sections including the ewe lambs. The heavy males and mixed sex made similar values at $152-$167, with ewe lambs earning $147-$151. The remainder of the yarding were mixed sex, and prices did come back for good types at $134-$144, but given that was the same range for medium types these sold on a strong market. The prime markets continued to go from strength to strength and for the second week running $200 was exceeded in both sections. The lamb market firmed $2-$4 and most sold for $155-$198, with a further 147 head selling for $200-$211. The top ewe price was $240, and just over 160 of the 846 head yarding managed to make $216-$240. Second cuts traded at $170-$198, with third cuts making $120-$164. Very few ewes sold for less than $100. In the cattle pens exactly 100 lots were offered but half of those housed just a lone beast, and buyers really had to work to secure numbers, with all aspects of the sale at improved levels. The best of the prime steers reached $2.93/kg - a level reserved for 690-745kg Angus and exotic cattle with good yield. The next tier of beef and also HerefordFriesian reached $2.84-$2.89/ kg, which was a 5c/kg lift on the previous week. A massive Angus heifer, 805kg, raised the bids to $2.84/kg, putting $2286 on her head. Other heavy Angus and exotic heifers returned $2.74-$2.85/kg, while HerefordFriesian, 483-565kg, lifted 4c/kg to finish at $2.71-$2.80/kg. Even the Friesian heifer market showed promise, with prices firming. The better types in a 525-620kg range made $2.57-$2.64/kg, with most other lines earning $2.21-$2.31/ kg. For the first time this year beef cows outnumbered the dairy, as a big entry of Angus came forward. The cow market lifted and good Angus, 605-655kg, managed $2.27$2.37/kg, and the second cuts, $2.18-$2.28/kg. The Friesian cow market improved by one of the biggest margins, with prices up 10c/kg for all bar the very heavy lines, which soared. Those 602-606kg exceeded $2.00/kg to $2.04-$2.10/kg, and most other lots traded at $1.82$1.95/kg.

July is in-lamb ewe fair month at Temuka, and the much anticipated fair attracted more buyers from North Canterbury through to Southland than there were pens of ewes to sell. Prices easily exceeded last year’s levels and while all classes sold well it was the annual draft and older ewes that really stood out, while it was thought that younger ewes could have sold better, with prices very similar for both. At last year’s sale no lines came close to the $200 mark, with $186 the top price, but for this year’s fair that was where the third cut mixed age ewes were sitting. The top ewes were a line of 205 2-shear Romney, scanned-in-lamb 165% to a terminal sire, which made $233. Volume to this sale reduced by nearly half on the 2017 tally as some vendors look to retain more. Capital stock ewes made up a big portion of the yarding and mainly featured Romney, BorderTexel and Coopdale, from three properties. Scanning percentages through the 2-tooth pens were up, and prices lifted by $70-$80, with Romney’s trading at $216-$232. Most 2-shear ewes made $216$233. Mixed age and annual draft ewes made up the biggest section and prices lifted $60-$65 for Romney. All were to a terminal sire and had scanning percentages ranging from 165% up to triplets. The top cuts made $203-$215, while second cuts earned $196$200 and third, $174-$186. Other breeds were as strong if not stronger, and Border-Texel showed their popularity, going under the hammer for $214-$228. This time last year the COALGATE sale was canceled due to low lying snow, but that was definitely not the case last Thursday as a sunny winter’s day greeted sale attendees. The weather put a small yarding of sheep in very good light and prime lambs dominated, with nearly half the yarding in these pens. These were sought after by regular buyers with very good budgets and the market was comfortable at $142-$187 for the majority, though a small number pushed to $190-$205. An extra player on ewes put the pressure on and prices firmed by at least $5 per head. Heavy ewes were picked up for $170-$226, with medium types trading at $131-$168, and lighter, $110-$128. There was plenty of competition also for a small yarding of store lambs, and top honors went to a line of 22 half-bred males which reached $152. Good lambs earned $131-$148, and medium $110$128, with a few lighter lines trading at $80-$107. Just one line of breeding ewes featured and were mixed age Romney cross, run-with-ram, which sold for $192. Though the cattle sale was on the small side there was plenty to talk about, and those vendors that did offer up cattle today were well rewarded. The highlight of the prime section was a line of two high yielding Limousin heifers, which caught the eye of a number of buyers and sold for $3.22/kg, to out-price all other cattle on both a per head and $/kg basis. Firm


tone’s was the theme through the steer and heifer pens, and better yielding steers, 465-563kg, made $2.85-$2.87/kg, with second cuts within that weight band making $2.74-$2.84/kg. There was similar strength in the heifer pens with prices consistent at $2.70-$2.79/ kg for most 435-540kg. Cow prices were also solid and a line of 10 Friesian, 530kg, managed $1.95/ kg, while slightly heavier beef cows made $2.28/kg. Just 61 store cattle were offered but yet there were still highlights. That included a line of specially advertised R3 Murray Grey heifers, in-calf to a Speckle Park bull. These made processor value at $2.83/kg, while two lines of 10 Hereford-Friesian steers from one vendor and weighing 406-417kg sold on a firm market at $2.97$2.99/kg. A heavier line at 496kg was sold in the prime pens and made $2.86/kg, while lighter offtypes were discounted to $2.71$2.74/kg. A line of four R2 mixed sex Angus (three steers and one heifer), 353kg, did manage to pass $3.00/kg to finish at $3.03/kg. OTAGO OTAGO The prime lamb market came close the previous week, but last week at BALCLUTHA the $200 mark was hit as prices across all classes held or strengthened, PGG Wrightson agent Alex Horn reported. Store lamb numbers are starting to thin out but that only put more pressure on buyers, and prices firmed. The top lines made $120-$146, but it was the lighter end that showed the most improvement, with most trading at $100-$120. A small yarding of breeding ewes included mixed age Perendale, scanned-in-lamb, which sold for $179. Prime lambs were hotly contested and heavy lines sold to $170-$201, though prices were generally steady. Medium types also held the previous week’s strong values of $145$170, though lighter types firmed $5-$15 to $135-$145. Most of the action was in the prime ewe pens as more scanned dry ewes come forward, but there was easily enough buyers to absorb the extra numbers. Prices were on par as heavy ewes made $160-$186, medium $130-$160 and light, $80-$130. Very light mixed age sold for $60-$90. A good yarding of 2-tooths were also offered and heavy lines sold for $140-$150, medium $120-$140, and light, $105-$120. SOUTHLAND SOUTHLAND Buyers again set the bar high at CHARLTON last Thursday, with a very competitive air for a large prime yarding and smaller store section, PGG Wrightson agent David Morrison reported. The top store lambs lifted $10 to $135, though medium types lost the same amount due to quality and finished at $110-$120. Light lines firmed to $110-$115. Buyers had to bid up to $185 to secure heavy prime lambs, and medium types also firmed to $160-$170, with lighter types slightly softer at $130-$135. Ewes were firm across the board as heavy lines sold to $180, medium $160-$170, and light, $110. Rams fetched $80-$100.














high $630-$705 weaner lights Autumn-born Hereford-Friesian bulls, 110123kg, at Frankton

More wool gains likely A 12% rise isn’t bad and this year we’d be targeting that level again.

Alan Williams


URTHER gains in the crossbred wool price are expected after a firm finish to last season. There’s a rising mood of optimism based on higher prices in major markets, product moving through the entire wool market pipeline, a sell-down in wool stocks from the previous season and an impact from the plastics in the oceans issue, PGG Wrightson’s South Island sales manager and auctioneer Dave Burridge said. Prices at the last Christchurch auction on June 28 were well up on the final 2017 sale and June itself was a strong selling month. The new auction season was starting in Napier on July 12 with Christchurch a week later. Prices are historically low and need to go higher for the sustainability of wool growing but the signs are positive, he said. Very high prices for fine and mid-micron wools finally appear to be having a pull-up effect on crossbred fleece. “We expect it to get better.” Burridge estimated crossbred auction prices rose about 12% year-on-year after allowing for sale-day volatility at certain times, especially evident for the fine, 31-to-34 microns, end of the sector. “A 12% rise isn’t bad and this year we’d be targeting that level again.

Tony Woodcock

Dave Burridge PGG Wrightson

BALANCING ACT: Growers will need the increased wool prices to pay shearers who are putting rates up this year, PGG Wrightson South Island sales manager Dave Burridge says.

“Growers will need that as the shearing pay rates are going up.” Auction comparisons included: 35 micron up 11% to $3.70kg/clean in late June from $3.33 last year, 36 micron up 16% to $3.69kg/ clean from $3.17, 37 micron up 13% to $3.65 from $3.22, 38 micron up 6% to $3.64 from $3.44 and 39 micron up 12% to $3.62 from $3.24. Most of the national clip is in the 35 to 37 microns

range, given crossbred sheep dominate at 80% of the flock. Probably about 65% of wool is 35 to 37, as crossbred lambs’ wool is typically in the 28 to 31 microns range because it is less mature and crossbred hoggets are typically 31 to 34 microns for the same reason, Burridge said. Strong prices in June reflected reduced supply as wet weather meant a lot of sheep could not be shorn, a

factor that helped clear some of the older wool in storage. Burridge thought about two-thirds of that wool will now have been cleared. A very good growing season in most regions overall means new season wool will be very good quality, with greater weight, good colour and strong staple strength. Environmental influences are appearing following the international publicity over the volume of plastic being found in the world’s oceans and campaigns to reduce the incidence of that happening. “It has put a focus back on wool’s natural qualities, being biodegradable, and the provenance around that.” The market is not expecting a spike in crossbred prices. “It’s been a gradual improvement, which should continue, but it’s a long way from being a spike.” He believes crossbred prices could withstand a peaking of the fine wool, up about 35%, and mid-micron, about 18% on average, markets. The Christchurch sale on July 19 has 10,000 bales rostered but at time of writing the offering was a bit lighter, at 9200 bales.

300 two-tooth ewes, scannedin-lamb 177% to Romney ram, at Temuka In-Lamb Ewe Fair

Southern breeding ewes lift in price THE South Island sheep market is going great guns across all classes of sheep. There seems to be a bit of a resurgence in popularity for sheep, both lambs and breeding ewes, and I think that can be Suz Bremner attributed to factors like $8/kg live AgriHQ Analyst weight lamb schedules looking very attractive and backed by a stable market environment, confidence in the sheep market has lifted. That has caused more new buyers to step up to the plate to take advantage. There is also an element of policy change as some farmers trying to reduce the risk of contracting Mycoplasma bovis look to other options. Dairy grazing and buying in calves are not so popular. That puts sheep in a very good light and has played a part in the lift in demand. Couple all that with low numbers – the breeding ewe fair tally at Temuka almost halved on last year – and these new players in the market have really helped to up the game and the prices. And high processor values underpin the market. At the Temuka in-lamb ewe fair last Wednesday a $200 budget made options very limited. There were more buyers than pens so many walked away empty-handed. Those who did spend came away much lighter in the pocket but satisfied and prices were up $60-$80 on 2017 results. There was little that differentiated younger and older ewe prices, with most top cuts making $215-$233 and second cuts, $195-214 while no main lines traded below $180. In contrast the North Island market is just ticking along, having found a level buyers are comfortable with and sticking there. Prices in most cases are just meeting expectations and are enough to keep the processors at the door. The better end of the five-year ewes are generally making $160-$190 while mixed-age are trading at $140-$190. Few younger ewes have come forward.



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Farmers Weekly 16 July 2018  

Dig deep for sheep

Farmers Weekly 16 July 2018  

Dig deep for sheep