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2012 – the year in farming

Relief as Lempriere looks set to keep scours in New Zealand by Hugh de Lacy Relief that the company’s state-of-the-art wool-scouring technology is not going to China has greeted the takeover of Wool Services International (WSI) by international wooltrader Lempriere, even as two other local industry players head in diametrically opposite directions.

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Conference aims to break down boundaries for dairy farmers

CONTACT US Canterbury Farming 03 347 2314

December 2012

The 150-year-old Melbourne-based Lempriere is shelling out $31 million, or 45 cents a share, to acquire 64% of WSI from the receivers of the late Allan Hubbard’s collapsed South Canterbury Finance. Meanwhile, Wools of New Zealand (WNZ) was confident it would raise enough money to float its branding and marketing initiative, and publicly listed Wool Equities Ltd (WEL) pushed ahead with its purchase of plant to develop diversified woollen product lines. WSI shares last traded on the New Zealand Stock Exchange at 37c before they were removed from the board in the wake of the Hubbard collapse. Lempriere already held 11% of WSI, and now has 75% ownership through the lock-up agreement with the receivers, while WSI management staff own a further 11%. The WSI board, chaired by Derek Kirke of Wanaka, welcomed the deal which has taken nearly two years to finalise.

The receiver’s offering of the shares formerly held by Hubbard’s Plum Duff and Woolpak Holdings companies triggered fears that a purchase by Chinese interests would see WSI’s two scours packed up and shifted to China, which has become the centre of global wool processing. These fears had hardly subsided when the owner of the other two wool-scours in New Zealand, Cavalier Carpets, went to the Commerce Commission seeking permission to buy the WSI scours, apparently to close them down, leaving itself with a monopoly. In an unsuccessfully appealed decision that continues to leave farmers scratching their heads, the commission, the guardian of competition in New Zealand industry, gave its support for the proposed monopoly. In the end the Hubbard receivers were able to offload WSI to Lempriere, which has brought a sigh of relief from the industry. Mark Shadbolt of Banks Peninsula, the chairman of the trust that bought the WNZ brands from PGG Wrightson for $1.8 million in November last year, welcomed Lempriere’s WSI purchase, saying wool producers didn’t need to own scours because they are ‘just a service provider’. “It’s very hard to add value [to wool at the scour], but it’s

very important that we support the scour industry because it’s where we can add integrity [to the wool shipment], and we know exactly what’s happening to it,” Shadbolt said. “ I t ’s good there’s competition.”

that

It was also good that the lanoline collected during the scouring process would be marketed as a New Zealand rather than an overseas product. At the time he spoke to Canterbury Farming, Shadbolt was awaiting the outcome of the WNZ float to farmers which was seeking $10 million to capitalise its existing branding and marketing business, but which the prospectus allowed to proceed with just $5m. Shadbolt said he doubted the $10m figure would be reached but said he and fellow trustee Phil Gruscott remained committed to and confident of getting the concept up and running. “There have been too many unsuccessful attempts,” he said. “Every time there is one and it doesn’t start, growers become more complacent.” The WNZ purchase from PGG Wrightson was made with borrowed money, serviced in the interim by Progressive Meats, the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand (WRONZ), and by Shadbolt and Gruscott. The capitalisation would repay the debt, leaving WNZ debt-free, Shadbolt said.

Cliff Heath of Masterton, the chairman of publicly listed Wool Equities Ltd (WEL), one of the unsuccessful bidders for the WSI shares, also welcomed Lempriere’s success, though he described it as ‘the secondbest option’. “It would have been good if [the scours] had ended up in farmers’ hands,” but it was generally good for the industry, Heath told Canterbury Farming. WEL tried to raise enough cash from its 9500 woolgrower shareholders to fund the purchase of the Hubbard shares but failed, and the attempt doubled its losses for the year to June to $1.7m. WEL was the repository of the last few millions of the

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defunct Wool Board’s money that weren’t blown by the former Auckland directors of the company on a risky hightech play in the United States. With what’s left over, WEL has purchased the old Bruce Woollen Mill in Milton, Otago, and a weaving plant in Palmerston North. WNZ and WEL represent opposite poles in the thinking on how to rejuvenate the struggling crossbred wool industry, with WNZ seeing the answer lying in connecting farmers directly with the purchasers of their wool through branding and marketing exercises, and WEL plumping for creating productive capacity with which to target specific markets.


2

December 2012

Pests — expensive and harmful Kate Wilkinson, Minister of Conservation

Our charismatic flightless birds and introduced pests like stoats, rats and possums are not a good mix. Every year we lose precious native birds to pest attacks. Every year the ecosystems necessary for our birds to thrive is destroyed by our imported pests. There would be few people in this beautiful country that do not have some sense of the huge impacts that stoats, possums and rats have on this land and, by virtue of our attempts to control them, on our perceptions of a 100% pure paradise. Stoats, possums and rats are the 'big three' pest threats to our wildlife. In addition to these intrinsic costs to our ecosystems there are also

actual financial costs that pests have on our economy.

sector alone suggests we cannot — and that we must all work collaboratively and innovatively to rid our country of those pesky imported pests.

In forms of expenditure the Department of Conservation spent nearly $14 million on possum control and nearly $9 million on stoats and rats in the last year alone. That doesn't include work carried out by Regional Councils, the Animal Health Board, nor the efforts undertaken by private individuals. One study has estimated that New Zealand

The financial figures are depressingly clear. Despite all the efforts we are making we need to do more. New technology helps — we now have self-setting possum traps (reset themselves by a gas powered mechanism up to 10 times using non-toxic bait), self-setting stoat traps (reset themselves up to 24 times); we have smarter use of toxins, but we all need to do more.

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Hon Kate Wilkinson is pictured here with from left DOC ranger Jenny Long, stoat trial national team leader Craig Gillies, and at right Greens MP Eugenie Sage

spends around $840 million each year on pests. Imagine what we could all achieve with a further $840m to spend!

farmers have a lot to gain by helping to eradicate pests. We simply cannot afford to ignore our imported pests

the largest tourism provider in the country, any damage caused by our imported pests is serious.

In terms of costs it has been estimated that pests cost $2.5 billion annually to the productive sector alone, so

We also have a $23b tourism industry, and bearing in mind that conservation is one of the largest if not

The question is can we afford to ignore our pests — the $2.5 billion estimated cost perr annum to the production

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So I was pleased to recently have the honour of opening Towards 2050 — A Pest Summit for New Zealand — a two-day conference to look at what problems pests cause our country and what we can try and do to eradicate them. This workshop (attended by many interested sectors) is the start in the search for a radical rethink of how we view the pest problem in order to find the best long term solution for New Zealand’s prosperous future, not just short term gains. Farmers are an important stakeholders in these discussions. This Summit is another step towards the creation of a high level ‘Biodiversity Forum’ aiming to produce a national predator-control strategy. The Summit discussed the need for more innovative methods of pest control including studies into animal behaviour and new ways to lure pests in ways to enable more effective targeting. Its results will contribute to the aspirational goal of a predator-free New Zealand, because eliminating stoats, possums and rats would radically alter the natural and economic health of our country.

Canterbury Farming prints material contributed by freelance journalists, contributing columnists and letters from readers. The information and opinions published are not necessarily those of Canterbury Farming or its staff. Canterbury Farming takes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Canterbury Farming is published by NorthSouth Multi Media Ltd

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December 2012

3

From the Minister

David Carter, Minister for Primary Industries

A year In review There is no doubt that 2012 has been a bit of a mixed bag for our farmers and growers. From the top of the North Island to the bottom of the South, we have experienced all types of weather, mixed fortunes for sheep and beef farmers, a lift in forestry exports but a falloff in dairy prices. With the end of the year almost here, now is a good time to take stock for 2013. As Minister, the last year has been particularly busy for me. The year began with the creation of the Ministry for Primary Industries. MAF effectively transformed into a ‘super ministry’, bringing agriculture and horticulture, biosecurity, forestry, fisheries and food safety under one banner. This has been a logical move. It truly recognises the broad role the Ministry has of growing and protecting our primary industries. And this is critical for an island nation like ours. Parliament’s passing of the most significant piece of biosecurity legislation in 15 years was a particular highlight for me this year. The Biosecurity Law Reform Bill is a huge step forward and covers the areas of border biosecurity and joint decision-making preparedness with industry. Another milestone this year was the National Animal Identification and Tracing scheme going live. Eight years in the making, NAIT is about maintaining up-to-date electronic data to enable whole-of-life traceability of livestock – both to meet market concerns and to respond quickly in the event of any major biosecurity breach. The Primary Growth Partnership has continued to be a great success story, with total government-industry investment reaching $665 million in just three years. This is firm proof of

the Government’s drive to lift economic growth through primary sector innovation. Looking ahead to 2013, innovation will be the key to helping the Government reach its target of increasing New Zealand’s total exports from 30 per cent of GDP to 40 per cent by 2025. If we are to achieve this ambitious target, we need primary industry exports to double in value. This may seem a daunting task in the current economic environment but I am confident we can get there. History is on our side. Between 1990 and 2003, primary sector exports doubled in real terms and in the past decade, primary sector exports have grown by 47 per cent. To realise growth we need to innovate. We need to build on our strengths as a high quality, sustainable producer. Speaking of sustainability, water will continue to be a priority in 2013. When National came into government in 2008, we promised to accelerate economic growth through better water management, and we are delivering. The provision of $400 million from the Future Investment Fund to support the construction of well-designed irrigation schemes, along with the $35 million Irrigation Acceleration Fund, have huge potential to unlock prosperity for our primary sectors. I want to see more areas of New Zealand reliably irrigated and I look forward to progressing this work. Expect further announcements early next year. 2013 is shaping up to be another busy year. I’m looking forward to it as we all focus on the issues that matter most for Kiwis. I wish you all the very best for the festive season and I look forward to talking with you again in 2013.

Animal welfare The climate forecast, which basically means a long term weather forecast, suggests it will be a long hot summer.

I suggest that when we find it very hot and uncomfortable, the stock probably do as well.

That’s great if you are a beach dweller or are selling cold beers, but not all that great if you have stock with no shade, or you are allergic to big power bills due to pumping irrigation water.

We are taught to put on a hat and keep out of the sun as much as possible (which is probably why there aren’t many open topped utes being designed for farmers) plus we are inclined to head inside during the middle of the day for a bite of lunch. Cattle and sheep are stuck where they are put.

I mentioned the shade factor because that is an area some farmers let themselves down on. We have all seen sheep standing head to tail in an endeavour to catch some shade from each other, and obviously those with shade from shelter belts, specimen trees or even hedges will have noted how the stock love to shelter there during the heat of the day. Sadly with the advent of centre pivots and open plan dairy farming, Canterbury lost a raft of trees and therefore a huge amount of shade for animals. My TV programme vet, Nick Page, is a huge advocate for shade and gets very passionate about the subject. It is his view, as it is of many animal health experts, that shade is as important as clean and fresh water for stock.

The national media don’t want to know about the 99.999 per cent of stock that live comfortably and are pampered and happy, they prefer to pick up on the .001 per cent that are kept in a cage. And they don’t pick up on the point that those cages are in the shade so the pigs or chickens are safe from sunburn.

Hot and uncomfortable stock will slow right down, feel sluggish and not produce as much or gain as much weight as stock that are cool and comfortable.

Actually I want to know how the do gooders can afford TV advertising to say how bad they think battery chicken farming is …

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December 2012

management systems as a major factor in water pollution. Runoff from streets, industrial pollution and human effluent are still not all treated effectively in the Manawatu, as in most of New Zealand. There is recent coverage of the severe impact of rain in Auckland on the runoff and pollution of the cities beaches and waterways. We have not historically appreciated or invested in looking after our water because we thought we had plenty of it. The Horizons Council like most others around the country say it is unaffordable to fix those urban issues quickly. Ratepayers we are told simply cannot carry the cost of decades of neglect by previous councils.

O’Connor Comments With Damien O’Connor, Opposition Spokesman on Agriculture

The cost of clean water I visited the Manawatu and Palmerston North a couple of weeks ago to get first hand views and a presentation on the One Plan proposal by the Horizons Regional Council. The Council is arguably at the forefront of the difficult area of lowland water management and has proposals that affect most farming operations in the Region.

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As you might expect there were different opinions on what the changes will do for farming. The region is unique. Much of the best farmland is at or close to sea level so drainage is restricted. There has been intensification of dairy farming and the population of the city has grown. All in all the quality of the water in streams and the Manawatu River has deteriorated over a number of years. Like many areas of New Zealand and Canterbury in particular we are now starting to appreciate our water and the need to protect its quality. Not just so we can

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impact of dairy shed runoff. The nutrient management system that most good farms run, reduces the waste of fertiliser and soil destruction from overstocking.

All parties agree with the objectives. All agree with the need for change but who does what, is the difficult part of the debate. Farmers are being lined up to reduce their inputs and thereby outputs into the streams and waterways. Pugging of soils, urine deposits and effluent concentration at cowsheds need to be addressed to reduce polluting runoff into the water. Farmers have to alter the way they have been farming and indeed most of them already have. Many would have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on effluent systems to reduce the

But that is not enough in some regions and catchments and the One Plan proposals will effectively force a reduction in production on most farms. That means less money from land most farmers have paid a lot of money for. It could reduce their viability and risk their ownership of their farm, so they are understandably getting a bit worked up about it. What is needed is some more accurate and more honest discussion on the whole proposal. Horizons Regional Council accepts the need for improvement in the urban water

My conclusion from my recent visit to the Manawatu, and communication with a number of people, is that everyone needs to change the way they live and operate to share the burden of our new awareness of water quality. If it’s necessary for farmers to have to change and pay now, then so too for the academics, students and ratepayers of Palmerston North city and the same must apply to the city dwellers in Auckland and Christchurch. No one can deny the need for something to be done across the whole country to improve our water quality and regional councils now have a tough job to negotiate the changes at a fair and affordable cost to everyone, not just to farmers.

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December 2012

5

2012 – the year in farming

by Andy Bryenton

2012 has been a year of challenges and turning points for the rural sector, from the Fonterra share float to stricter controls around environmental management, along with a super-buoyant NZ dollar and ongoing economic fluctuations on the global market. It’s also been a year during which the benefits of farming in New Zealand have been richly appreciated, and vital sub-sectors of the primary economy (such as aquaculture) have received a great prognosis for further growth. For the team here at Canterbury Farming it’s been a landmark year as well. We’ve brought you twelve months of rural news, opinion, new scientific developments, and stories about real Kiwi people working the land, and we hope you’ve enjoyed

reading our publication just as much as we’ve enjoyed producing it. We’ve met some real characters in 2012, and though our stories and pictures we’ve introduced you to their unique lifestyles. Some have adopted new livestock, new practices or new technology to expand what we think of as ‘New Zealand Farming’. Others have been preserving our heritage, reviving traditional crafts, or finding interesting new ways to farm smarter. Some you might even know as neighbours and friends! As we come into the ‘holiday’ season we know that many of you will be working harder than ever, making hay while the sun shines. We’d like to offer warm Christmas greetings to all of our readers, customers, and their families. Have a happy and safe Christmas and we will see you all in the new year, with twelve more months of the issues, triumphs, personalities and people of rural New Zealand to share with you.

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December 2012

charged the under-cover officer with offences under his assumed name. The under-cover officer was then instructed not to attend the court to answer the charges. The judge in the District Court, lawyers and other court staff were unaware of the ruse at the time.

Democracy in action It is easy to live in a democracy. It does not mean that life will not throw up enormous challenges along the way but the freedoms we have living in a democracy are taken for granted. It is not so in many countries which are undemocratic and corruption is rife and human rights are simply not recognised.

evidence against members of a gang. They used an under-cover officer to infiltrate the gang to assist in obtaining the evidence they required for a prosecution. Under-cover operations have been successfully used by the police for many years. They are always a dangerous assignment for the police officers involved.

In a democracy everyone has to have equal treatment under the law. Just because we do not like the lifestyles of some groups within our society it does not mean that they should be deprived of their democratic rights to fair treatment.

In this instance the under cover-officer carried out his duties competently but the officer in charge of the operation was concerned for his under-cover man being discovered for what he was. And after a brief meeting with a District Court judge he obtained a fake search warrant with a false signature and searched the undercover officer’s locker. He then

This came into focus recently in Nelson where the police were intent on gathering

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When the lawyers acting for the gang members realised what was happening they applied to the High Court for the proceedings, against their clients, to be dismissed. When the matter came before a High Court judge the charges against the gang members were stayed on the basis that the manner of obtaining the evidence by the police was an abuse of the legal process. Reaction to the High Court judge’s decision has been mixed. Many people who have aired their opinions are of the view that the police should be able to do whatever it takes to prosecute gang members. But at what point do you draw the line in allowing the police to thumb their noses at proper practice? Surely they must be required to follow proper and acceptable practice in their investigations and prosecutions. Forget for a moment that the defendants were gang members. Were they to be deprived of their rights as a consequence of their mutual association? I think not. Clearly the actions of the police amounted to deceitful and illegal practices which are intolerable in a democratic justice system. The Crown has appealed the decision and it will be interesting to see what the Court of Appeal’s view is in relation to the police practices. This article has been prepared by Bessie Paterson, a partner with Ronald Angland and Son solicitors, who may be contacted on Tel: 03 349-4708 or e-mail bessie@anglands.co.nz

Thinking rural finance?

Money Talk

W ith Andrew W yllie

It’s hard to believe that the year is nearly over, but it’s great to have sunny weather in the lead up to Christmas and the festive season. So what’s been happening in the markets? Many readers will have watched with interest the recent listing of Fonterra shares. Shares in the Fonterra Shareholders’ Market (FSM) were issued at $5.50, started trading at $6.66 and hit a high of $6.95. A very good premium for those investors fortunate enough to be allocated shares at the new issue stage. This month I wanted to have a look at five of our preferred companies on the local NZX for 2013. This year the NZX market has been a good place to invest with the NZ50 Gross Index up +23% for the year-to-date (12 December 2012). Heading into 2013, we remain cautiously optimistic but near-term earnings risk (both locally and globally) remains a key challenge and Forsyth Barr’s target gross return for the market is back at the 10% to 15% level. The top five picks have been selected to represent a combination of defensive, growth and value investment attributes namely: i) domestic defensive, SKYCITY; ii) domestic defensive with growth, Ryman Healthcare; iii) global growth, Mainfreight and Skellerup; and iv) deep value, PGG Wrightson.

Mainfreight (MFT) MFT has set out to methodically build a global freight logistics business and its acquisition of Wim Bosman

Snr Agribusiness Manager Upper South Island

. Rural Loans . Seasonal Loans . Home Loans . Term Investments . Savings . EFTPOS / ATM Cards . Telephone Banking . Internet Banking . Cheques . Personal Loans . Insurance

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for Euro €110m has given MFT a solid footprint into Europe. MFT has all the right attributes we are looking for in a company: i) it has a high marginal return on equity through leveraging organic growth from its existing network; ii) earnings growth is outpacing the market and its peers; iii) the executive team is proactive and has proven to be highly responsive to changes in market conditions; and iv) MFT has substantial global growth prospects.

PGG Wrightson (PGW) PGW has made progress in improving the underlying operating performance of its core rural services businesses. Its proprietary seed business remains in a strong position with a competitive advantage in its significant Research & Development facilities. PGW remains focussed on reducing its debt through the final monetisation of its loan portfolio and targeting working capital. Assuming no further drastic climatic condition issues in Australia and New Zealand, we believe PGW is well positioned to achieve solid earnings growth over the medium-term.

Ryman Healthcare (RYM) RYM continues to deliver a high-quality product that is enjoying increased demand given the compelling demographics in its favour. It has the scale, in-

Keep in touch with the markets and investment views wherever you are

Ross Pyle

Ask us about:

0800 502 442

To download our FREE Forsyth Barr iPhone App, scan this QR code or search ‘Forsyth Barr’ in the App Store, and ● Create and monitor a watchlist of your favourite securities ● Access Forsyth Barr’s investment view ● Follow market news

To find out more, contact Forsyth Barr Authorised Financial Adviser Andrew Wyllie on 03 365 4244 or andrew.wyllie@forsythbarr.co.nz

Our normal account opening criteria and Terms and Conditions apply. Full Terms and Conditions for residential and agribusiness lending apply. Personal loans are provided by Finance Now Limited, a subsidiary of SBS Bank (Southland Building Society). SBS Bank insurance products are administered and managed by Southsure Assurance Limited, a subsidiary of SBS Bank. Full Terms and Conditions for residential and agribusiness lending and copies of our current Investment Statement and disclosure statements are available on request and free of charge from any branch or agency of SBS Bank or viewed on our website www.sbs.net.nz

www.sbs.net.nz

Disclosure Statements are available on request and free of charge.

Skellerup (SKL) Global market conditions remain uncertain; however SKL’s business model is proactive, seeking to drive operational improvements across the business units and the pursuit of new product development in close association with customers.

SKYCITY (SKC) While SKC is very well placed for medium-term operational upside from improvements at its Auckland casino and the underlying economic conditions, the operating environment remains subdued. There were encouraging signs at the key Auckland property over FY12, in particular for the Auckland gaming machines and the International Business. SKC is a strong generator of free cash flow, has a sound balance sheet and has potential to leverage its large Auckland precinct further with the New Zealand International Convention Centre project.

Forsyth Barr iPhone App Many readers may have an iPhone or iPad device and may be interested to know that we have recently launched an iPhone App. This will make market pricing and news available to all, plus detailed research for Forsyth Barr clients. This complimentary app is available through the Apple app store. An iPad version is due to be released in 2013. To find out more about the Forsyth Barr iPhone app, visit the Forsyth Barr website and view the preview video. To download our free app, simply search for ‘Forsyth Barr’ in the Apple app store. It’s a great way to keep a tab on the markets when you’re out and about. That’s all for this month and for 2012. Have a great Christmas and an enjoyable break over the holiday period. If you would like to confidentially discuss your investment requirements please give me a call. Andrew Wyllie is an Authorised Financial Adviser with Forsyth Barr in Christchurch. To contact him about Portfolio Management, fixed interest or share investments he can be contacted on 0800 367 227 or andrew.wyllie@forsythbarr. co.nz. To find out more about Forsyth Barr visit www.forsythbarr. co.nz. This column is general in nature and should not be regarded as personalised investment advice. Disclosure Statements are available on request and free of charge. IF20524

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house expertise and development pipeline to capitalise on this demand and is a recognised market leader. RYM is a leading New Zealand focussed success story with a solid growth profile.

FBCH2108 - © Forsyth Barr Limited December 2012

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Turning effluent from a problem to a solution Pete Brandreth is all about solutions for his farming clients – turning effluent from a messy environmental problem into the key to lush green pastures. and rural contractors, and they stand behind the products they choose with great advice and comprehensive after sales service. If you would like to explore the options available to you as a farmer in converting effluent into a viable fertiliser source, look no further than the Murray Implements team. They can demonstrate the Joskin range on site at your farm, and can even test your effluent to identify its nutrient content for best results.

While it has long been known that this agricultural ‘by product’ is filled with beneficial nitrogen and other chemical compounds which promote vegetative growth, the weighty issue has always been one of correct application. Apply incorrectly and all those nutrients may simply evaporate or blow away. Worse, the contamination of waterways could result from poor distribution of effluent. Enter a machine which

Pete swears by in his dayto-day operations as an Effluent Spreading Contractor. Manufactured by world leading agri-engineers Joskin in Belgium, Pete Brandreth’s advanced slurry tanker was imported by Murray Implements just for the task of turning ‘the brown stuff into the green stuff’. He’s not just talking verdant feed for cattle, either — the Joskin unit has had a major impact on profits for his customers too!

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That’s not just because the accurate and steady dribblebar system utilised by Pete’s slurry tanker covers the pasture evenly, getting nutrients right to the roots of plants. It’s also because the correct application of effluent can cut down on the necessity of buying in fertiliser — taking a problem and using it in a clever way to reduce farm overheads. Murray Implements are proud to supply quality brands like Joskin to local farmers

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December 2012

Inspired by a love of the land by Andy Bryenton

Professional photographer Bev Bell is enjoying a landmark year — chosen to capture images of the Kiwi rural lifestyle for ANZ bank’s yearly calendar, she and her husband Murray have been on a tour of the North Island, seeking out scenes which frame the farming way of life. It’s another step on a journey which began at age fourteen for the Fairlie-based photographic artist. Bev bought a small instamatic camera, and went on to study photography in the 6th form at school. While she freely admits that the technical details of photography were less than enthralling, it was the artistic medium itself

which exerted an attraction. Family life provided ample opportunity to fill photo albums with snaps, but Bev only returned to the art of light and shadow six years ago, after seeing a range of photo prints in Australia. Murray (who Bev cites as a constant support and inspiration, as well as sometimes ‘caddy’ of her

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photographic equipment) commented: “You could do that,” and a new career was launched. Launched, that is, in tandem with the demands of operating a South Island sheep and beef farm — never an idle pastime! Murray and Bev still farm the land near Fairlie, a picturesque slice of the South on the road to Lake Tekapo. It was the lake — and its iconic stone chapel, immortalised in many postcard visions — which provided a break into the mainstream of photography for Bev. With a new Canon digital camera, Bev set out to capture some of the scenic vistas of the mountainous South. Ever obliging, nature and art came into alignment. With a little entrepreneurial flair Bev printed her photographs on tiles and approached a lakeside shop as a potential retailer. The shop owner was overjoyed to include Bev’s images in stock and soon came offers to photograph weddings at the famous Church of the Good Shepherd. Aptly named, this beautiful little house of worship sits by the lake shore in an area famed for hardy merinos.

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One step at a time In the past 2 weeks I have been attending a nutritional medicine clinic in Sydney. Most of the time we were taking cases, assessing diet and nutritional status and creating programmes to help address any underlying problems. I recall one particular client who appeared to have a problem with every body system. I assessed her as early 60’s and was surprised she was early 50’s. Our initial client consultation included a 1 hour assessment of all body systems and it seemed there was a tick and comment beside every conceivable problem. During discussion of these complex cases the first question was to identify a starting point. In most cases treatment was a little like a long set of stairs. The only way to get to the top is one step at a time. Bev’s striking image of Erewhon Station’s clydesdale team evokes the spirit of a bygone age

Bev has continued to train and expand her skills, attending a polytech course with photographer Ron Lindsay to fill in those technical details which had changed (and become far more pertinent) since her school days. Any form of art is a process of growth and learning, and Bev’s innate skill in framing beautiful pictures has benefitted from the input of both her clients and her family as well as established photographic artists.

her mission as an artist, and helping capture wedding day memories amid this dramatic landscape is something Bev feels is a real privilege. Many of Bev’s landscape works also feature the people and animals of the high country, for which this lifelong farmer has a real affinity. From the sheep

Bev set out to “ capture some of the scenic vistas of the mountainous South. Ever obliging, nature and art came into alignment.

Of particular fondness to Bev — and the source of much of her inspiration — is the beautiful high country she calls home. Sharing the open spaces of the Southland and the moods of nature is part of

musterers in their oilskins and hats to the Clydesdale horses of Erewhon Station, these pictures are a slice of the spirit of colonial New Zealand. Bev grew up in the country, with her parents running a dairy farm and then becoming orchardists. She insists that despite the success of her photography that she remains a ‘country girl’ and that the farm comes first. It’s a wonderful thing — and a fact appreciated by many happy couples who now hold unique memories of their ‘big day’ — that Bev Bell has been able to take the time to develop her art and show us all a new side to the majestic landscape of Lake Tekapo, Fairlie and Southland.

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This completely contrasted with another case where the person looked like she was early 40’s to find she was early 50’s. She had paid great attention to her diet, exercise and other positive lifestyle factors and was in amazing health. Her only complaints were a minor digestive problem and slightly lowered bone density. For her, all we needed was a slight dietary adjustment and supplements to optimise bone density. You may be incredibly healthy and all you need is to ensure your diet and nutrient intake is able to retain your health as you enter the next phase of your life. You may have multiple health challenges and need a detailed plan to start to deal with the underlying causes of the problems. Addressing these over time will usually mean real improvements but you need to identify the first step. Give me a call if you need help. John Arts is the founder of Abundant Health Ltd. If you have questions or a free health plan contact John on 0800 423559 or email john@johnarts.co.nz. You can join his weekly email newsletter at www.johnarts.co.nz or visit www.abundant.co.nz.

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We identified the first step and included some measures to improve just a few problems. When facing multiple health challenges it is important for people to experience progress to give them hope that further improvement is possible. In her case our initial plan was to make some adjustments to her diet and some supplements to improve her digestive system and energy. In particular we wanted to include protein with every meal to help regulate her blood glucose and to remove the highly inflammatory fats in her diet.

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December 2012

Conference aims to break down boundaries for dairy farmers

by Andy Bryenton

The perception of farming as a male-dominated industry is a pervasive one, but this fallacy is being ‘put out to pasture’ once and for all at a two-day conference entitled ‘Taking down the boundary fences’. Hundreds of women who work in the dairy industry will meet to discuss some of the big issues that affect today’s farmers in March 2013, as the Dairy

Women’s Network’s annual conference convenes to tackle stereotypes and forge a plan for the future. Issues including the rural/urban divide, environmental constraints

and the development of future leaders will be on the table, with a line-up of high calibre keynote speakers including Olympic rowing gold medal winner Mahe Drysdale adding their own perspective.

Chief executive Sarah Speight says that the Quality that has stood Quality the testthat of time. has stood the test of time. conference programme is dedicated to inspiring and encouraging dairy women to look outside the boundaries of their farms, with topics covering many of the challenges and opportunities faced by dairy women. She adds that the conference, beginning on March 20, is also a great opportunity to take time out from the farm and connect with other dairy women and rural professionals.

www.edenglasshouses.co.nz Freephone 0508 333 654

the understanding between our rural and urban colleagues that we want to and can look after the land, our animals and our people, while having sustainable businesses.” The first of three distinctive key note speakers, Hinerangi Edwards kicks off the conference speaking about the diversity of New Zealand’s dairy industry. King Country tourism operator Dan Steele is also scheduled to present an address about one of the hottest topics in the rural sector — the preservation of the natural environment.

“The dairy industry is constantly changing and under scrutiny from people outside the rural sector. As dairying women we can foster

Eight workshops across the two-day conference will include topics ranging from profitable nutrition and cow behaviour to time management strategies and leadership mentoring. “The leadership panel discussion features women such as Robyn Clements and Barbara Kuriger sharing the challenges they’ve faced to go beyond their farming boundaries and become leaders in their communities,” explains Mrs Speight.

Hinerangi Edwards

Draw-card speaker Mahe

Mahe Drysdale gold medal winner 2012

Drysdale will close the conference, with a presentation highlighting the similarities between dairy farming and the demands of chasing an Olympic dream. Both pursuits are less a job than a way of life, and require determination and commitment to realise success. “Being prepared, working hard and dealing with setbacks, there will always be tough times and things you don’t like doing, but overall it’s a pretty awesome existence,” agrees Mrs Speight.

Dan Steele owner of Blue Duck Station in Owhango

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Diana Lady Isaac by Rob Cope Williams

The passing of Diana Lady Isaac has left a huge void in the world of conservation in Canterbury. She was a lady who was determined to preserve wild life in the region and to assure access for as many as possible to the joys of nature. It was in 1977 that she and her late husband Sir Neil Isaac decided to create a wildlife park to help conserve New Zealand fauna and endangered birdlife. The Isaac Wildlife Trust was designed to do that while being a means to provide money for education through scholarships. An interesting philosophy when you consider the couple was running a construction business. The ‘Take a Kid Fishing’ programme benefitted from her enthusiasm and energy. In 1998 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Natural Resources from Lincoln University. But the awards didn’t stop coming, an Honorary

Doctorate of Science from the Canterbury University followed a year later, and in 2009 she received the Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business, conservation and community. Her charitable side was tremendous.

In 1998 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Natural Resources from Lincoln University

scholarship in Conservation.

Nature

Further to the previous Wildlife Trust, The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust was established in 2009, a Trust designed to continue the Isaac love of conservation and the study of such in perpetuity. The Trust and the Department of Conservation have joined forces in a invaluable breeding programme to ensure endangered species can be bred in safety before being released into the wild. Diana Lady Isaac has left behind a huge asset for the whole of New Zealand in general and Canterbury in particular in the form of the Isaac Conservation Park.

In 1992 two postgraduate scholarships were put in place at the Lincoln University: the Lady Isaac Scholarship in Nature Conservation, and the Lady Isaac International

That combined with her Trusts and Scholarships, which are designed to carry on for as long as they are needed, means that conservation will continue to be a very vivid focus for many in the future.

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December 2012

The high dollar, a bone of contention A statement in the local print media says it all. The headline in the business pages says 'Reserve Bank lifts its forecast for strong dollar'. The scribe dealing in finance and economics goes on to say: 'Failure by the Reserve Bank to try to talk down the value of the New Zealand dollar . . . has left markets more comfortable with the prospect of a higher value currency for most of next year'. Come on! Why should markets be left 'more comfortable' with the higher dollar? Excuse me, but in my simplistic opinion I always thought that our exports were supposed to balance our imports and enhance our general wellbeing without the nation going bust. One can only surmise that those likely to be 'more comfortable' are importers of both necessary and unnecessary goods, vehicles, petroleum products and machinery. Those suffering due to the high dollar are mostly those involved with land-based industries, farmers, miners and manufacturers. So a low dollar makes imports more expensive, but may give small and medium businesses the incentive to produce some of the goods currently imported from countries running low wage economies. On the other hand if exporters of commodities get better value for their goods then they could afford to upgrade with new plant and machinery, even if it costs more. And it may also provide the prospect for investing in downstream processing such as in the timber industry, instead of selling raw logs to Asia.

Just why the market is 'more comfortable' with the high dollar to me remains a mystery. Maybe it has something to do

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Food and fibre producers are screaming that if the dollar goes much higher they are liable to go to the wall. May as well let China take over productive land and put farmers on wages. It would eliminate the hastle of having to force more production off the land and the costs involved having to do this.

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Even more recently there appears to be a lot of secret talks going on about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Nobody seems to know how it is going to work, but it would be a boost to American multi-national corporates. Something to do with intellectual property rights and patents which could have us paying through the nose if we cock up. On the face of it, it seems a crook deal to me. Why not just stick with our own ASEAN group and free trade with China — even though this could be dicey.

M

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It seems to me that it makes more sense adding value to land-based products, netting premium prices, thus providing more jobs and money to give GDP a kick start.

Yeah! We have heard that one before. To me its gobblede-gook. Perhaps the BNZ and other overseas banks could possibly beat the Chinese to it and take over the running of NZ's economy. And growth in inflation? I always thought we had to keep inflation down. As a one-time money trader our PM John Key may have some answers but is not letting on.

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with our overseas owned banks. In the above statement the BNZ's currency strategist Mike Jones said that after consistently having a stronger currency view than the Reserve Bank for the past year, his forecasts were now more or less in alignment. The tone of the monetary policy statement left him more comfortable with a higher dollar view. He opined that the fact the Reserve Bank had not eased the exchange rate indicated it had faith in its forecasts for a pick-up in New Zealand growth and inflation in 2013.

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December 2012

My point of view

13

Lawn thoughts

by Allen Cookson

A derelict profession I have been reading Australian economist Steve Keen's book 'Debunking Economics'. Keen warned in 1995 of a looming financial crisis. By 2005 he had the tools to be able to predict as accurately as anyone the time of the crash. Yet this man could not get his pioneering work on microeconomic and macroeconomic theory published in mainstream journals. Meanwhile his orthodox peers have been able to publish their fantasies. Unsurprisingly the 2007 crash and ensuing recession came upon them quite unexpectedly. Academic appointments are mostly decided by the publication records of appointees. An academic's status is formally decided by the number of citations in highly-rated journals. The problem in economics is that these journals with few exceptions do not publish anything challenging accepted dogmas of neoclassical economics (eg buyers and sellers are rational). The upshot is that in nearly all universities teaching of microeconomics and macroeconomics is of obsolete models which have been discredited by empirical evidence, particularly the global financial crisis. Add to that the fact that papers in microeconomics and macroeconomics are compulsory for bachelors and masters and in some cases PhD degrees, and we have a case of information capture as in the Soviet Union. This is illustrated by a senior

macroeconomist's response to an invitation to a lecture by Steve Keen during his recent NZ tour: 'Who's he?' A respected ecological economics professor told me that NZ economics departments are controlled by neoclassicists. Streams of gullible business and farming graduates, having been brainwashed, support the Key government's dangerous archaic policies. However skepticism is growing. In 2011 the pluralistic World Economics Association was formed. It now has over 10,000 members and plans to be the largest association of economists. It publishes three online journals with articles subject to online review. I am told that younger academics, while lying low, are waiting for the chance to

present ideas.

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real-world

I looked over my economics texts (by famous figures such as Bernanke) again recently. I reckon most of the micro and macroeconomics is nonsense. The books do provide a record of the flawed thinking which led us into the present crisis. It is frightening how neoclassical economists, when presented with refutation of their theories and undeniable evidence, such as the global financial crisis, against their models, nearly always retreat into a denialist shell, refusing to acknowledge their errors. This includes Nobel laureates and architects of the crisis such as Greenspan and Summers. Advanced economics study seems to put its participants at risk of losing the ability to think critically.

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14

WATER

December 2012

Irrigation Issues Dr Tony Daveron

Consistency Consistency is certainly something we do not have at the moment. And on a number of fronts — the latter is an unfortunate analogy, because it is fronts that are producing a lack of consistency in the spring and now early summer weather. And consistency is not something we are receiving from Environment Canterbury with regard to some of the Rules in the new Proposed Land and Water Plan (PLWP).

Consistency according to the Concise Oxford — you know those dark blue hard bound bibles of secondary school English of the bygone days — goes something like this: ‘Agreement or logical coherence among things or parts; the reliability or uniformity of successive results or events; or the quality of achieving a level of performance that does not vary greatly in quality over time; and The degree of density, firmness or viscosity of matter’.

In this article I am not discussing the latter, although one might consider I am referring to the degree of density when I discuss the inconsistency of those making interpretations of the rules in the PLWP. The term consistency is long standing, first used in the late 16th century to denote permanence of form. Furthermore, it is derived from the Latin consistentia, from consistent‘standing firm’. Well enough of the English lesson. Let’s consider the irrigation season and the lack of consistent demand for irrigation. This has been a real on again off again season for irrigation. There has certainly been no reliability or uniformity of successive results or events. We have been on a 5-7 day cycle of southerly changes and on cue we are forecast for another one tomorrow (6th) or Friday (7th). There has been no reliability or uniformity in soil temperatures as shown in the soil temperature plot below for October and November. It (the soil temperature has been up and down like a yoyo. For much of October there were more days when soil temperature started out at 9am below 10°C than there were days above 10°C. One might argue this is consistency — consistently cold. One would expect with lengthening days and warmer temperatures there would have been a rising plane of temperatures. Not to be. November did not start much better, but at least there has been some consistency in that temperatures have mostly stayed above 10°C. What is not consistent is the frequent ‘cycling’ of temperatures — up for a few days then down for a few days, the latter always coinciding with the arrival of the next southerly system. And don’t we know it has been cold. That brings me to variation in the definition; ie ‘agreement or logical coherence among things or parts’. There is no debate from within and outside of ECan — this has not been

the case with regard to some of the new rules — in particular those rules and the like dealing with what is intensification of land use. Ideally a plan should not be open to a multitude of interpretations — it should be concise and definitive, something patently lacking with parts of the new PLWP. Cynically I believe the rules in question have been formulated by planners with no understanding or practical appreciation of the intent. The various and number of interpretations is evidence of this. Alternatively, it might also have been because of the haste of the plan formulation. No matter the reason, the lack of consistency has resulted in Section this and Section that requests from ECan to applicants for resource consent. The lack of consistency simply results in additional costs for an applicant — the lost opportunity cost, the ECan and consultant cost to the applicant, and the intangible cost resulting from the stress involved. The $$$ cost seems to be of little consequence to the investigating officers and I use a couple of what I and others consider dumb or cynical interpretations to facilitate a philosophical position. • The first example involves adding annual volume to a resource consent to take and use water then there is no change in land use. The ECan interpretation is immediate and ill-considered — this is unquestionably intensification. As a result several downstream rules and consent requirements are invoked. But is it intensification? Return to the definition of consistency — logical coherence. Where is the logic in this interpretation? Let’s just think the logic through for a moment — someone who has a low annual volume that is for the ‘old’ 8/10 year irrigation demand wants to increase the annual volume to meet 9/10 year demand season. Nothing wrong with this, the NRRP permits an annual volume for the 9/10 demand year. Why

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WATER

December 2012

15

ALWAYS KEEP EQUIPMENT AT LEAST FOUR METRES FROM POWER LINES

do you need higher irrigation demand in the 9/10 year season? Now here is the logical coherence — in the 9/10 year season, rainfall is significantly less than in the 8/10 year season. So will more water input occur? Here is logical coherence — no is the answer. The absence of rainfall will be made up by the additional irrigation volume (perhaps). To consider otherwise requires the decision maker to consider the irrigator will deliberately use the additional volume every season and or is hopelessly inefficient. Yeah right. Where is the logic in that and perhaps this calls into

question the degree of density of matter? • Secondly, it seems ECan despite the objective of the PLWP for more efficient use of water are not prepared to apply any logical coherence to the subject. An irrigator chooses to get shy of his older less efficient guns and rotorainer system by installing a center pivot system. Unfortunately for the irrigator the center pivot requires a higher flow rate to operate than the older less efficient system. Uh huh, now this irrigator is going to use more of his allocated annual volume than previously according to

ECan. Hmmm, where’s the logical coherence here? More efficient irrigation (ie irrigate more land area with the same amount of water or irrigate the same land area with less water — indisputable facts with increased uniformity) is more likely, and I would maintain almost certainly, going to use less water in a season. The Latin referred to ‘standing firm’ in the derivation of consistency. While we can’t stand firm with regard to Mother Nature (the weather), we can stand firm with regard to impractical and inconsistent interpretations that affect livelihoods and costs.

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16

WATER

December 2012

Winning the war against starlings FMG, the country’s leading rural insurer, has announced that their ‘Stop and Pop’ campaign will be extended until 30 November.

Statistics from 12 November show a reduction in the number of tractor

fire claims by 36% from last year, showing that the campaign is winning the war against those sneaky starlings. The campaign builds on the successful initiative launched by FMG in 2011, which contributed to a 30% reduction in the number of tractor fire claims. It includes

a second installment of the ‘Starling Gang’ causing havoc on-farm in an animated YouTube video as well as a limited number of discount vouchers to purchase a fire extinguisher from CRT, ATS or Farmlands. The popular ‘Stop and Pop’ prevention stickers are also back this year encouraging farmers to

‘Stop’ and check for nests before starting their tractor and ‘Pop’ the hood when they finish using it to deter the birds from nesting there. In the last five years FMG has paid out over $9 million in tractor fire claims with $7.6 million of this being from internal fires. General

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Advice and Insurance at FMG Conrad Wilkshire explains, “When the numbers were analysed we found that the vast majority of claims were from birds nesting in the engine bays. This risk prevention campaign is designed to save farmers time, hassle and money by avoiding tractor fires this spring. As a mutual we are always trying to find innovative ways to reduce the risk for our clients and prevent unnecessary costs.” Mr. Wilkshire describes FMG’s approach as a ‘top of the cliff’ risk-advice strategy: “As farms continue

to get larger and with owners often less involved in the day to day operation, good training around risk management becomes critical. As a mutual insurer FMG definitely has a part to play in that process and our risk mitigation campaigns including irrigators, lifestyle block theft prevention and milk contamination are receiving a warm reception from clients.” To view the video and request a tractor fire pack, visit www.youtube.com/ fmginsurance or http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v =21LSTqN4NOM&feature =youtu.be

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WATER

December 2012

17

Forecast — Canterbury

November was a markedly cooler than normal month for Canterbury, and in fact the whole of the country, due to more southerly and southwesterly airflows than usual. Early in the month day time maximum temperatures were at near record low levels, and there were several frosts in the first half of the month which challenged night time minimum temperatures records. Mean temperatures in Canterbury were generally -1.5 to -2.0deg colder than the long term normal, with bigger departures near Banks Peninsula and inland. Sunshine hours were near normal while rainfall was also near normal in Mid and North Canterbury, but a little wetter than normal in South Canterbury. In the tropical Pacific conditions remain mixed and rather confused. There is no clear trend towards either El Nino or La Nina, although in the first half of December we have seen some measures trend towards La Nina, bringing with it the more traditional El Nino to La Nina transition weather pattern of westerly wind flows and warmer drier

northwesterly events for Canterbury. However, there is no clear indication that a full blown La Nina event is underway, and every reason to expect a predominantly neutral pattern in the next three months at least, with no influence of the Southern Oscillation (El Nino or La Nina) expected. With no clear El Nino signal to affect the climate over the next few months, our broad expectation for rest of the summer season is for near normal conditions overall. However, previous spring/summer seasons with a similar atmospheric background have tended to show some marked month to month contrasts, with extremes of very dry and very wet months tending

Rainfall

Temp

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Airflow

Jan

Near normal

Near normal

A little sunnier than normal

Reduced westerlies

Feb

Drier than normal, possibly very dry

Warmer than normal

Sunnier than normal, possibly very sunny

More anticyclones

Mar

A little wetter than normal

A little cooler than normal

Near normal

More southwesterlies

Apr

Near normal

A little milder than normal

A little sunnier than normal

More anticyclones

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to balance each other out over the longer season. We cautiously predict that at least one of the next three to four months may be very dry, and one very wet. Temperatures may oscillate with some cold periods and some warm spells. As we move through January we expect to see a reduction in westerly airflow over the South Island, with anticyclones becoming dominant, bringing regular but brief cool southerly

changes, and long periods of northeasterly winds with mostly sunny skies. Anticyclones should remain dominant in February but may track further north, allowing light westerly airflow over Canterbury which can often bring very dry sunny conditions. March may see southwesterly airflow increase with temperatures perhaps a little cooler, and maybe increased rainfall.

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December 2012

Belgian Blue Herd Dispersal

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19

December 2012 who owned them, and sheep numbers, plus it describes the way of life for all those involved.

So what is it that the modern generations are learning from the exhibition?

Lonely times for the women folk, large numbers of men working on the properties, and the way they made their own entertainment.

This was the period when a heavy snow storm wiped out many run holders who literally lost all their sheep, in one case alone 19,000 sheep died.

Luckily there’s a huge array of photos, many of which are on an iPad and are projected onto a screen where they can be enlarged and studied by anyone who is interested. What the original photographers would have thought…

It was the period when the rabbits hit hard and took over leading to the introduction of stoats and ferrets; the two biggest mistakes of the time, and two problems that we are still trying to grapple with.

A nice touch is the way the curator has set the exhibit out with actual artefacts, including genuine clothing of the era.

It’s good to see that the exhibits are not a heap of rusting relics that have been dragged out of sheds in a state that means nothing to anybody.

As I write this the temperature outside the air conditioned office is in the low thirties — how those early settlers survived I have no idea.

They have managed to use photos and brief text to sum up an era that had been absorbed by the overall history of our industry.

Part of the exhibition on show at the South Canterbury Museum

Well done to the South Canterbury Museum, a small operation in a provincial city that has produced a very interesting spotlight onto one of the most important periods in our history and by doing so have created a permanent monument to those who made it so.

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20

FORESTRY

December 2012

Forestry Market Report Allan Laurie MNZIF Laurie Forestry Ltd

Pahau Downs Station You all know I am a fan of aged P.radiata cuttings. The advantages are numerous like denser wood properties. But some cockies like them for their stability as shelterbelts. Nine years ago I was invited to visit Pahau Downs station where the owner liked the idea of planting a shelterbelt that could withstand strong winds, and he reckoned aged cuttings would fit the bill. Being situated at the back of Culverden, Pahau Downs can certainly experience these types of winds. Recently I returned to meet up with owner of Pahau Downs, Richard Boyle. Even though he is a Pom, and it was these guys that thrashed our mighty All Blacks, you have to like the guy, as he has turned this station into a bit of paradise or ‘A little taste of England’. He has successfully established English oaks and hornbeams throughout the station, as well

The last quarter of 2012 appears to be ending on a reasonable note with demand improving in domestic markets and prices and demand generally improving in the export segment.

as establishing aged P.radiata shelterbelts throughout his farm.

The building programme in Christchurch appears to be finally gaining some momentum with sawmill owners reporting reasonable volume sales and heightened levels of enquiry. At the same time supply of the better quality S grade logs typically used to produce framing lumber appears to be reducing a little.

As can be seen from the enclosed photo these trimmed shelterbelts are doing the job just fine. Not bad for only nine years old. Well done Richard, but remember revenge is sweet!

Joke time An elderly lady came into the doctor’s surgery looking very embarrassed. After a bit of coaching the doctor got her to tell him about her health problems. “Well doctor” she stammered, “I have always passed wind constantly, just like I am doing now. It always smells very bad and the noise was very loud. But recently the smell has gone and so has the noise, but I know I am still passing wind. What is wrong

with me doctor — am I going to die?” The doctor gave a brief smile and gave her some pills to take and asked her to come back in a couple of weeks. When she came back she was all smiles. “Great news Doc, the noise has returned as loud as ever.” The Doc replied with a smile, “Well it looks like we have fixed your hearing now let’s look at fixing your sinuses.”

The increasing size of the Christchurch market sand pit is good news indeed. It means there is more room for others to play and they are all busy with their own fun meaning they are

Settlements in China for December/January deliveries have been up US$2+ per cubic metre, particularly at the higher quality or larger CA grade log end of the spectrum. The lower grades have remained stable but will eventually be dragged up if the current trend continues. Most commentators are suggesting there is room for another US$2 increase in January and February settlements which will take the CA grade over USCIF$135 per cubic metre. CIF means cost landed in China including freight. At a continuing supply and maintenance of price perspective, we would not want to see the CA grade climb over US$140. At this level other supply sources would enter the game, harvest cut would increase, substitution would occur and prices would inevitably fall. In the context of current international financial shenanigans, it is clearly evident it would not be wise to promulgate dramatic price increases at this point in time.

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Lumber from outside the region has continued to flow in to the Christchurch market. Indeed it is quite interesting. A quick walk around some of the Box stores reveals a plethora of lumber supply sources, compared to previous months when the same plastic wrap branding was seen everywhere. This change suggests other sawmills are being tapped to ensure supply which in turn suggests the market is stronger.

not trying to kick sand in the face of, or steal the toys from, other players. This better code of behaviour should see the value of the game start to increase!

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Lumber from Canada and Logs from the US have also slowed. Part of this relates to seasonal capabilities as logging crews in Canada await the freeze so they can get back in to the forests. However the biggest component is the increased housing demand in the US which is seeing a big swing of volume back to the higher yielding domestic consumption.

As I have been saying all year, and I do acknowledge some might say boringly repetitively so, it is has never been more timely to remember the only way forward for climate, country and the planet is to get out there and plant more trees… please! I do extend to all of my readers the hope of a very special and safe Christmas period and a very productive and profitable new year.

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Russia has struggled to fill orders or meet price due to harvesting, access and infrastructure issues. Some of the infrastructure issues include roads and bridges. The less obvious but endemic issues include ticket clipping as the logs make their way toward China. I think the politically correct term is ‘Border Tariffs’. The politically incorrect term is AK47 bedecked Border Guard corruption.

Other markets for our logs including India and Korea have responded to China demand and price generally following the trend upward. Given the cumulative effects of shipping and settlement, Korea currently presents as a better bottom line than China to NZ forest owners.

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The improved pricing regime is attributable to a consistent demand and consumption profile in China against a back drop of diminishing supply from other sources. As a consequence inventories across most China ports have continued to decline to just on two month’s supply. This compares with about three months supply in June/July. For the moment nobody is panicking over low inventories. The general market speak is for consistency where demand is OK but not great and China New Year is just around the corner.

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December 2012

21

Peter Clark writes...

Separating the wood from the trees

Application of the ‘Body of Knowledge’ as Important as new research and development In my monthly column I often remind people about how research and development is the only way to achieve long term, sustainable competitive advantage. What is often not stated, however, is that this is predicated on consistently and correctly applying the current best practice or body of knowledge. If this is not done, optimal outcomes will be compromised (at best), or even destroyed, by poor execution or poor quality. Of the vast body of existing knowledge and best practice in forestry in New Zealand, how much is actually being applied by the industry now?

Often this occurs in the search for the cheapest solution — for example no professional advice, little, or inadequate supervision and cheap contractors who are cheap because they cut corners.

It constantly surprises PF Olsen how common poor forest practices are and the consequent loss in value of the forest crop at harvest time.

For an example of this involving pruning, see Wood Matters Issue 8: ‘Stark reality of poor pruning hits home at harvest time’.

‘Good timing and quality of pruning and thinning operations are vital to avoid costly loss in crop value at harvest time’.

With an increasingly large proportion of the productive forest estate in the hands of smaller forest growers, how prevalent are these poor practices, and what the associated opportunity costs? The financial returns from forestry are too skinny to risk losing value to poor implementation of what are

otherwise world-class forestry management practices. This is a critically important issue for New Zealand in our quest to increase our productivity and raise our standard of living. Hopefully the Sustainable Forestry Fund free forestry database project (see last month’s issue of Wood Matters) will help to some extent. More is needed, however, including a change in attitude from one of ‘she’ll be right’, to one of ‘I will make sure I get it right’. PF Olsen is New Zealand’s leading national professional forestry services firm. It provides a one-stop-shop for all forestry related services from seed to harvest — www.pfolsen.com

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December 2012

Practical measures to prevent hay fires All farmers (and anyone who has ever tended a compost heap at home) know that heat builds up inside masses of decomposing vegetation, or indeed, even within dry matter stacked for storage. The steam escaping from your home compost bins on a winter morning is one sign of this activity — and hay fires sit at the other, more devastating end of the same spectrum. Hay fires are often caused by literally ‘spontaneous combustion’ as material near the centre of a stack of bales reaches a critical tipping point. This usually happens within six

weeks of baling, and the reason why seems counter intuitive — it’s moisture. Harvested grasses are not dead — they continue to convert sugars into energy even though photosynthesis has ceased. Hay which has been cured (dried out) before baling does not have enough moisture content to fuel ongoing plant respiration, and soon the process winds down. But if the moisture content in the bales is over 20 per cent, heat-loving bacteria can take hold, pushing the temperature

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at the heart of the bale up to 60 degrees C. Other bacteria multiply the problem, taking the temperature higher and providing the perfect ‘fuse’ to ignite a fire as soon as oxygen comes into play. To stop the risk of costly and dangerous hay fires, make sure to cure hay thoroughly, drying it down until moisture sits at a maximum of 15 to 20 percent. For the first six weeks after baling check the internal temperature of hay bales and

bale stacks, to make sure that conditions for combustion aren’t developing. Storage is also key — the best cured hay can still become damp and hence a hazard later on! Be aware of the dangers inherent in seemingly innocuous hay bales and stacks, and if you see smoke or smell burning, don’t hesitate to call the fire department. With good management and planning a hay fire won’t cost you your feed, your barn, or your life!

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December 2012

Be my Guest RMA ‘pitfalls’ cause for concern The Resource Management Act and its various interpretations and inclusions in the nation’s regional council and district plans have thrown the proverbial spanner in the works of many a rural development plan. Farmers advocacy groups have been loud and clear in their concerns on how the Act will affect them. An example is quoted by Farmers of New Zealand operations director, Bill Guest, who notes that the “legislation’s interpretation pitfalls give rise to unrealistic policies by councils that require that building consents should comply with NZ Fire Service Fire Fighting Water Supplies Code of Practice, requiring a dedicated minimum water supply of 45,000 litres for single family dwellings in non-reticulated areas and 180,000 litres for working/ business premises.”

This, he says, could cause insurance companies to reject insurance cover because of non-compliance.

have seen from this National-led government is a number of RMA National Policy Statements that actually make matters worse.”

“Many council district plans define buildings as a temporary or permanent movable or immovable structure (including a structure intended for occupation by people, animals, machinery or chattels).

Mr Guest added that the RMA was never about environmental protection and said its functions included ‘managing the use, development, and protection of natural and physical resources in a way, or at a rate, which enables people and communities to provide for their social, economic, and cultural wellbeing, and for their health and safety’.

“It is time that we all wake up and take an interest in what our district and regional councils are foisting on property owners and how they are threatening our property rights,” he says. “Farmers of New Zealand have always been staunch defenders of private property rights and to make greater progress we need parliament to respect property rights. But, simply, they do not, and have not for some time. RMA costs and red tape are a serious concern. Unfortunately, so far all we

“We believe that the state of New Zealand’s rural regions’ social, economic, health and safety is so poor, simply because the RMA planning documents have historically NOT delivered the main purpose of the Act. “Change is needed and this being a document that all other plans must adhere to, is where to start.

Ready For Summer?

23

Bill Guest, Farmers of New Zealand

“Regarding regional mapping, we believe that local communities — and not paid consultants or the courts — should have more influence in the process. At the moment case law is more a determinant of outstanding landscape maps than any other factor. We have had legal advice that it would be appropriate and not unlawful for

economic values to be entered or mentioned throughout the maps where it has or can be identified. This will add both balance and weight to the fact that despite being identified as an ‘outstanding landscape’ does not mean it cannot be mined or developed in some way. “Farmers of New Zealand

has submitted the appropriate submissions and as always we will continue to vigorously defend the rights of landowners and the well-being of our rural community against those that undermine personal freedoms and our democratic rights that go back to the time of the Magna Carta,” Mr Guest concluded.

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December 2012

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25

December 2012

Planning ahead by Lorne Kuehn

I first learned about planning judiciously in farming matters years ago while visiting my uncles’ farm in central Alberta. I was just a wee tad, some seven years old, and quite interested in everything that was going on in mixed farming. The large barn on the farm had a huge loft partially filled with loose hay which I would fork down below to the cows while my uncles did the milking. For some reason there was a pair of nesting boxes in the topmost region of the loft, accessible only by a rickety ladder. I wasn’t afraid of heights and would often climb up to the boxes to check out the pigeons which were nesting there (although it mystifies me to this day why any sensible farmer would encourage pigeons to nest above the hay, fouling it with their excrement)

While up the ladder, I would occasionally venture out on to the sharply curving roof to give the pigeons a chase. This adventuring so alarmed my uncles that they insisted that I desist clambering around and instead build a pigeon roost right down on the ground, near the barn. My uncles had a lot of loose timber laying around the farmyard from various unfinished construction projects. So I got stuck in and built a large pigeon hotel by myself. The idea was that once it was built, we would hoist the edifice up

Peace on earth and good will to all men

on to four stout poles so that the cats could not deal to the pigeons. Imagine our surprise when the three of us, one wee tad and two old men, could not get the bloody thing off the ground. So the pigeon hotel (all eight apartments) became a luxury hen house and I was now tasked with the building of a fence around it to enclose the hens. They already had a hen house but this structure became a home away from home for them, the ‘holiday’ chicken house.

few if any labours really lost. Everything works out in the end, despite the initial planning. Besides, I realise that all this carry-on kept me

from tormenting the nesting pigeons and their squabs, perched dangerously high up in the barn loft, and plummeting to my early death.

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COUNTRY MOTORING

December 2012

A station wagon for Christmas Growing up in the 70s almost every family seemed to own a station wagon — mainly they were Australian designed and built. Holden had the ubiquitous golden Holden Kingswood, Ford’s decade spanning Falcon and Chrysler the ‘up market’ Valiant. All were rear wheel drive, had big six cylinder or even V8 motors, and a tailgate assembly not seen today, a wind-down window into the rear fold down door, that, when opened made a wonderful seat for a picnic. Air conditioning or electric windows were almost non-existent, steering mostly had yet to be powered and gear selection was manual, usually three speeds on the steering column. Yet we loaded up these vehicles with all manner of holiday fare and

hooked up the boat or caravan, the kids piled in the back with the dog for a trip, to the Sounds or Golden Bay to soak up the festive spirit for the nexttwo weeks. Oh what a halcyon time! Today Holden has a 6 and 8 cylinder Commodore, we look to four pot petrol and now diesel wagons, to fulfill the roles though largely they’ve been usurped in favour of the big SUV when towing is on the agenda. Recently I drove three of today’s station wagons and found some of the magic is still there. They all seat five, are 5 star ANCAP with Bluetooth, and entertainment controls

including MP3 and USB are on the wheel — parking is aided by rear sensors. Front driven either diesel or petrol, they are mid-sized models in a class dominated by Ford’s Mondeo and Mazda’s 6, though these two rep mobiles are slightly larger more in keeping with the 70s size SW’s. From Japan the Toyota Avensis, South Korea brings the Hyundai i40 and the French Peugeot 508.

Toyota Avensis Although dominating the market in most segments the station wagon area has never been strong for Toyota. While always having a Corolla

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wagon there has been scant little else though the Avensis we see today has been updated and is in Euro spec, 7 Speed! CVT auto, 2 litre dual VVT chain driven petrol engine producing 112kWs and a healthy 196Nm’s. A diesel is available though as it is a manual only Toyota NZ has wisely not opted for it.

On the Road Like most Toyota’s the Avensis is well sorted and its road manners are impeccable. With a slight hint of under steer when punted quickly through corners, body roll is almost absent belying its 1560 kg kerb weight. Electric power steering is

well weighted and gives some feel on the open road while effortlessly pointing the car at town speeds. Composure can be upset on metal roads with the car unladen, although five passengers and luggage didn’t dull the acceleration and it did respond better to the tiller in tight corners or loose shingle. The five full sized 16” alloy’s shod with 205/60/R 16 tyres are very quiet on all surfaces. At the business end the cargo capacity swallows two hay bales with seats up and five when the rear 60/40 pews are folded. A cargo net and roller blind secure the load. Soft hard wearing fabric for the seats is contrasted by silver stitching and a generally

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Hyundai i40 Earlier this year I attended the launch of the i40, the only one of this group I went to. The invites to the others must have got lost in the post! At the time the i40 was their only wagon and is the only one here with petrol/diesel options and manual/auto. We punted the wagons quickly around the twisting challenging Coromandel roads and I found the paddle shifted auto1.7 litre100kW 320Nm turbo diesel ‘Elite’ model [$53,990] to be the pick on hilly terrain. The 2 litre also 6 speed CVT auto petrol 130kW 213 Nm [$49,990] was good, although economy suffered thanks to some enthusiastic journo’s. Later I had both at home in Canterbury and was able to extract 7.4l/100km from the petrol and 5.2l from that wonderful quiet diesel.

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COUNTRY MOTORING 60/40 rear seats folded flat. The elite model has comfortable leather seating that is both heated and power operated and is the only one of this group to feature a cooled glove box to keep the bevies chilled! The wagon has ABS ESP EBD BA and TC as well as eight air bags. Hyundai have consistently improved their cars and the i40 shows no wagon traits, being well planted on the road in all conditions. My one reservation was some rocky metal roads that found the under body. That said it is my pick of this group as the best handling wagon. It also sits on 16” alloy wheels shod with 205/50 tyres. Towing is rated at 1500kg braked. I liked the electric power steering’s good feel and the very tight lock on the i40,

as well as its high equipment levels, which do justify the price. A lower spec model in petrol or diesel costs $5k less.

Peugeot 508 My father drove a 504 sedan way back in the 70s and later a 505 so I came to the drive of its successor with real excitement. The biggest, best equipped and most luxurious of the trio costs $57,990 for a 2 litre turbo diesel 120kW 340Nm and a 2.2 litre diesel with 150kW’s and 450Nm’s for $68,990. The pick is the smaller diesel, although each is rated for 1200kg’s towing they have the most power in this group. The most noticeable feature on the 508 SW is the full length panoramic glass sun roof that has a roller blind programmed to allow five stop positions although you

December 2012

27

can set it at any position. As a result the already large wagon feels light airy and bigger by far than the others here. In reality the capacity is largely the same as the Avensis for cartage though more space is available in the rear seats.

On the Road Peugeot have tuned this wagon to allow the driver real tolerance before the ESP will spoil the fun and it is great once you get used to it. Of course as with the others here you can turn it off although particularly on metal roads it’s better to leave it on. Several Canterbury rural companies have used Peugeot products for their agent’s daily drive and found them excellent over long distances, rough farm tracks and very second rate country roads. The 508 builds on that reputation and I really enjoyed it on the metal

Peugeot 508

where it was well balanced and predictable. Shod with 235/45R 18 inch wheels/tyres it simply was outstanding. Part of that performance must be attributed to the well set up interior with leather and power heated front seats which are the biggest and most supportive of the group. Like the Hyundai the Pug was super quiet thanks both to its frugal 5.7l/100km motor and the super smooth .28 drag coefficient. Unlike the others the 508 opts for a true 6 speed auto gearbox and also has the alphabet of safety acronyms AMS ESP EBD BA and TC along with five airbags. Have a happy and safe Christmas.

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DAIRY

December 2012

Hoof Print With Fred Hoekstra

How many lame cows are acceptable? Every now and again I get this question thrown at me on a hoof trimming course. It is an interesting question which you can answer in different ways. Obviously, the ideal is ZERO. The reality is quite different. When you have livestock you have health issues, and lameness is a part of that. I think it is good to explore this question a little more.

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One of the main difficulties is to identify the biggest restrictions in our businesses. It needs careful consideration. Some small issues may need to be dealt with earlier because they could turn into big issues if left alone for too long. Another issue is that of course, when you improve one problem it may have an effect on the other problems as well. So, I don’t think there is a clear guideline on how few lame cows you should strive for — you just need to be constantly reviewing and evaluating the various restrictions at any given time and prioritise accordingly.

Lameness

Time

Milk quality

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So the question of how many lame cows is acceptable is different per farm. Naturally we want all those problems to go away and have a farm that runs very smoothly and there

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In this scenario it makes more sense to concentrate on

feed quality than on lameness because that is the biggest limiting factor for this farmer. When the feed quality is improved to the point that time is the biggest restriction (not necessarily when the problem has been dealt with completely) that is when the focus should shift to the time issue and see what can be done about that until milk quality becomes the biggest restriction. After that feed quality may need to be readdressed before the focus goes onto lameness.

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You could compare it with a water pipe that has restrictions in it that slows down the water flow. In the diagram you have a waterpipe with a number of issues or restrictions reducing the smooth flow through the pipe.

Mechanical problems

We had a discussion about that within our team, and it made me realise how easy it is to mix up these two questions. I guess a different way of asking the same question is: “At what point is it necessary to put lameness up in the priority list?” I would suggest that the answer to that question is different per

farm or per manager. I would even argue that it may be unwise to address lameness for some farmers. Let me explain that — when we run a business we always have issues to deal with. The smartest thing to do is to deal with the issue that puts the biggest restriction on business effectiveness and efficiency.

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DAIRY

December 2012

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Soil Matters — with Peter Burton Specialising in:

Better quality with higher production There is a widespread misconception that improving the quality of what we grow and produce from the land will result in lower volumes.

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This argument is used by supporters and users of conventional growing systems to justify a regime that increasingly struggles with the speed and magnitude of the changes now required.

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The production of a healthy plant, animal, or person is always greater than a less healthy one. So too with soil, healthy wellstructured biologically active soil will always produce more than a semi-sterile, compacted piece of dirt. Eight years ago we started making products based on calcium and magnesium that included live fungi and bacteria and integrating them into conventional soil fertility programmes providing phosphorus and sulphur, and potassium where required. The notion that New Zealand can produce the quality and quantity of food required for a healthy and productive population without modifying soil chemistry in some way doesn’t make sense. Our soils are naturally not suited to the production of a wide range of fruit, vegetables, crops and pasture, so an understanding of the nutrient requirements of each is necessary. Some of that knowledge is available and the rest is being steadily gained through observation and measurement. Careful measuring of growing systems based on DoloZest, containing Golden Bay Dolomite, over the last eight years has shown that soil is better structured than that under conventional growing

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typically has higher protein content.Per animal production is greater and the cost of treating ill animals is significantly reduced. The ability of animals to maintain a twelve month calving and lambing interval is also improved. Recently the first fourteen months of Nitrate-Nitrogen leaching results were made available and they show significantly lower levels of Nitrate-N lost from the DoloZest/CalciZest based programme compared to a fertiliser N driven programme. There is no down side;

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DAIRY

December 2012

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Control without chemicals — powdery mildew

Dr Tim Jenkins

Powdery mildew is one of the most common fungal diseases to affect crops. There are numerous species each with a fairly limited host range. This fungus grows with mycelium (threads) on the outside of plant leaves, piercing the plant leaves to access nutrients and water, and producing long chains of spores on the plant surface with a characteristic powdery look. Spores are easily spread by wind and rain splash and from spring onwards symptoms can develop rapidly. Just how the powdery mildew overwinters depends on species but is largely as resting bodies called cleistothecia. Grape powdery mildew can be harboured in stem bark and apple powdery mildew cleistothecia reside in buds that were set down in the previous growing season (making it a hard disease to target come spring). Most vegetable and grain powdery mildews are harboured in old vegetation and residue. The resting bodies can erupt in spring to release ascospores. Avoid planting the same crop species near an area that had bad powdery mildew infection the previous season. Dry stressed plants are more at risk from powdery mildew and avoid excess levels of nitrogen and phosphorus.

Unlike most fungal pathogens, powdery mildew is favoured by warm, dry conditions rather than warm and wet conditions, but moisture is still required for initial spore germination. Regular leaf wetness hampers the mycelium which spreads on the outside of leaves partly through increased attack on the mycelium from other fungi. Keep plants sufficiently watered to avoid dry stress and regular watering of the leaves may actually restrict powdery mildew growth. Remove badly affected plants, plant parts and crop debris to reduce the load of disease on the garden — composting is fine even if the heap doesn't get hot. Avoid overwintering crops (eg brassicas) if they are noticeably infected with powdery mildew in the autumn. Don't plant too much of one crop together to reduce the potential for epidemic. Remember different types of crops will have different powdery mildews that don't spread on to unrelated species. Bacillus subtilis bacteria and Trichoderma fungi sprays have been found to have some biological control efficacy against powdery mildew. Organic certified operations

can be permitted to use sulphur and also some copper sprays (Bordeaux mixture is perhaps the most effective choice for organics). A home remedy approach is baking soda (1% wt/ vol) in water (or half milk, half water for a home garden scale) with 0.5 to 2% of an allowed/ permitted oil or wetting agent. Swiss researchers found good powdery mildew control from a dock based spray. This involved pureeing 15 grams of old dock plant roots and steeping it in a cup of water for one hour. Strain and top up to one litre, then spray immediately or keep frozen freeze for several months. Spraying is best once or twice a week to the point of run off, preferably from before the disease has a chance to get established.

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DAIRY

December 2012

31

From a costly problem to a nutrient rich solution The dairy industry is rightly hailed as the ‘engine room’ of the rural economy — a success story combining hard work and Kiwi innovation which has put our dairy farmers at the top of the world in terms of best practice. At least, this is the impression given by industry reports. But environmental concerns are raising tension on both sides of a contentious debate, made even more pertinent by evertightening controls on one of farming’s inevitable byproducts — effluent. It’s not just the spectre of the emissions trading scheme which is stirring contention over bovine ‘output’. A brief trawl through recent headlines highlights the tougher penalties for the contamination of waterways by effluent runoff, strict new rules for building effluent ponds and containment areas, and, on a positive note, new technologies for accurately applying effluent as a fertiliser. Resource Management Act rules (interpreted in similar ways by a variety of regional authorities) lay down the law in black and white — there must be no discharge of effluent into surface water at all. This is pertinent to ponds and tanks in terms of leakage, but even more important if, like many farmers, you wish to use effluent as a fertiliser. This means of disposing of what is otherwise an odious waste product has been with us since the dark ages, but modern technology furnishes the rural industry with many options for accurately tapping into the nitrogen and other beneficial chemical compounds found in effluent. Along with the use of separation methods which isolate solids from the effluent, the two main ways to spread are via sprinklers and via tractordrawn tankers, with the former

modern low application rate sprinklers. The advantage here is one of expanded contingency storage, while sprinklers of the approved kind are far less likely than older models to become blocked with solids — especially if the ‘weeping wall’ system utilised is installed correctly. Effluent monitoring programmes are a huge compliance initiative for most local councils, showing just how seriously the issue of effluent contamination is being

taken. Farms are monitored yearly (usually during the second half of the year, in the peak effluent loading season), and as public perceptions of the damage caused by outdated or faulty effluent systems trends toward calls for even tougher management, farmers can anticipate the need to upgrade. We have seen similar trends in milk chiller plant technology, with increasing demands from companies such as Fonterra for stricter controls leading to equipment upgrades.

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for more than three hours after application. For just this reason, many farmers are turning to technology already proven and tested in Europe — slurry tankers equipped with either direct injectors or dribble bars. Not only do these have the benefit of very accurate placement, in some cases directly to the roots of pasture, they also cut down on the possibility

of the aforementioned equipment failure, pooling and contamination. Other groups (including many regional authorities) recommend using a ‘weeping wall’ type sludge bed/pond separator in conjunction with

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32

December 2012

Practical tips on Rural Fire Prevention How the rural fire system works Fires in rural areas are the responsibility of the person who lights them. Fire control in rural areas is the responsibility of rural fire authority. There are three types of rural fire authorities:  Territorial authorities e.g. local councils  Rural Fire Districts (e.g. NZ Defence, forestry companies or a combination of fire authorities)  Department of Conservation These rural fire authorities are mainly concerned with the control of vegetation fires. They also carry out fire prevention measures, monitor the fire danger, declare fire seasons and issue fire permits. This work is co-ordinated nationally through the National Rural Fire authority which also promotes fire training, research and cooperation in rural fire management.

Your Canterbury and West Coast Rural Fire Authorities are working with you to protect our rural resources and communities. Fire prevention is the responsibility of us all. Rural fires can be particularly devastating, destroying our natural environment, ecosystems, farmland, forests, property and livelihoods. It’s in all our interests to prevent rural fires. Wild fires can affect us all and many become large and costly due to late reporting and delayed initial response. To report any fire in a rural area, dial 111 immediately and give the location and any details. Prompt reporting is the key to preventing large fires developing. In many cases a commonsense approach can avoid disasters.

The Northern Canterbury West Coast Regional FireFire Committee The South Island Regional Rural Committee is the theregional regionalcommittee committeeforforallall Canterbury and the is ofof Canterbury, West West Coast. It is made up of representatives from local Coast, and Nelson/Marlborough. It is made up of councils, the NZfrom Firelocal Service, NZ Defence, Department representatives councils, the NZ Fire Service, of Conservation, forest owners and Federated Farmers. NZ Defence, Department of Conservation, forest owners and Federated Farmers.

Fire seasons and permits

Fire seasons are advertised by local rural fire authorities. Fire seasons and permits They are responsible for issuing any permits and

Fire seasons are advertised by local rural fire authorities. enforcing total fire bans. Even with a permit, the person They are responsible for issuing any permits and lighting the firefire is responsible andaliable forthe anyperson costs enforcing total bans. Even with permit, or damage. If in doubt, check with your local district lighting the fire is responsible and liable for any costs or council. Remember that campfires, barbecues and damage. If in doubt, check with your local district council. braziers arethat all campfires, classed asbarbecues fires. Remember and braziers are all classed as fires.

Open fire season Means no fire permit is needed to light a fire in the open air in rural areas. Restricted fire season Means a fire permit from the relevant rural fire authority is required to light a fire in the open air in rural areas. Prohibited fire season Means a total fire ban and lighting of fires in the open air is not permitted.

Around the home Install smoke detectors.  Maintain a defensible space around the house.  Store firewood and flammable materials away from the house.  Identify escape routes from the house.  Keep grass areas mown and short and green where possible.  Have defensible space or safety zone around your house and buildings. This involves removing flammable trees and scrub to create a green break with lawns or low flammability gardens and shrubs (see illustration right).

On the farm or lifestyle block  Be aware of the current fire danger.  Obtain a fire permit, if required, and notify your fire authority of your intention to burn.

Protect what you value

 Obey permit conditions when burning and note weather conditions and the forecast.  Signpost your property clearly – know your rural property number, where available.  Keep your rural property number by your telephone.  Ensure emergency vehicles have clear, easy access to your house and sheds.  Have adequate water supply for fire fighting with easy access.  Keep firewood stacked away from the house and keep trees clear of powerlines.  Maintain distances between sheds, (especially hay barns) vegetation and houses.  Maintain machinery properly and use with care in dry conditions.  Remember to check machinery for birds nests.  Carry fire extinguishers.  Store fuel and chemicals safely and keep them isolated from other materials.  Dispose of ash safely in a metal container and use approved incinerators.  Be especially careful with mowers, hay-making equipment and chainsaws.  Keep trees clear of power lines  Carry adequate fire insurance.

On holiday

On holiday Trampers, hunters, fishers and other holiday makers are asked to take care with fire and gas

Trampers, hunters, fishers and otherfires holiday makers arenatural asked to take which care with andfully gas recover. cookers this summer. Uncontrolled can devastate areas, mayfire never cookers this summer. Uncontrolled fires can devastate natural areas, which may never fully recover. A year round restricted fire season applies to all conservation lands and within one kilometre of A yearareas. round restricted fire season applies to all conservation lands and within one these kilometre of these areas.

Backcountry users should be self-sufficient, carrying personal cooking equipment. Cookers

Backcountry users should be self-sufficient, cooking equipment. should be operated in a well-ventilated area carrying and wellpersonal clear of vegetation that could Cookers easily should be operated in a well-ventilated area and well clear of vegetation that could easily catch alight. catch alight.

 Observe fire restrictions and be aware of the fire danger.  Campfires, barbecues and braziers are open fires and may be restricted or banned depending  Campfires, barbecues and braziers are open fires and may be restricted or banned depending on conditions. on conditions.  Gas barbecues are a safer alternative to open fires.  Gas barbecues are amake safersure alternative to are open fires. with water and disposed of safely. If fires are allowed, any ashes doused  Never unattended. Never leave leave aa fire fire unattended.  IfTake firescare are with allowed, make sure any ashes are doused with water and disposed of safely. cigarettes.  Observe fire restrictions and be aware of the fire danger.

 Take care with cigarettes.

Who pays for fires in rural areas? The costs of fighting fires in rural areas can be passed onto the landowner or the person who caused the fire, even if they have obtained a fire permit. It is the responsibility of the local rural fire authority to decide on cost recovery action. The costs of fighting fires in rural areas passed on to the individual responsible have run into the $100,000’s. It is important that all landowners assess the risk of a fire starting on their land and consider – as well as fire insurance on property and plant having both fire fighting insurance and public liability cover. Accidental fires can occur and it is prudent for rural landowners to have adequate insurance cover.

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December 2012

33

Water compliance deadline passes Irrigation and water management are key to the success — indeed the survival — of much of Canterbury’s arable pastureland. More than in any other area of the country Canterbury farmers rely on the careful use of water resources — a fact which sometimes leads to tension between rural advocacy and environmentalist groups. The rational way ahead involves monitoring the amount of water drawn down by farmers for irrigation, ensuring that effective data can be recorded. This can be used to predict future growth and ensure a supply of water to keep the fields green. In line with this view, Environment Canterbury has been building up to a late-2012 implementation of new national water measurement standards. The initial phase of the scheme involves all those water consent holders with a ‘take’ of 20 litres per second or more; a figure which sounds large, but which is commonplace for large-scale irrigation applications. By November 10 all such consent holders were expected to comply with new government regulations — in actuality, the figure was only 56%. Kim Drummond, Evironment Canterbury’s Director of Resource Management, remains positive about the possibility of full compliance within a short timescale. “We started a compliance programme on November 12 with a selection of the water consent holders we had not heard from and who were potentially non-compliant with the water measuring regulations,” says Drummond. “The programme started with a personalised letter reminding consent holders of the requirement to install a water measuring system and was followed up by a phone call and site visit from a compliance officer, if required.” A further 32% of consent holders confirmed that they would indeed be installing water monitoring devices in the near future, while 12% had not responded to requests for further information. With the rollout of the scheme set to continue over the next three

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years (consent holders drawing down over 10 litres per second must comply by 2014, and all other consent holders by 2016) this means that while the initial deadline may have passed, the push for water usage monitoring is still on track. Kim Drummond stresses that having good information about water use is a valuable planning tool for individual farmers, not just a method of establishing a region-wide and nation-wide statistical database. Farms must submit their data to the regional council each July under the new national regulations, but the benefits of

knowing just how much water a farm needs week to week or even day to day are clear. “Many farmers are already enjoying the benefits of having the information required to ensure the best use of water,” says Drummond. “Telemetry devices — which transmit water data to a base station have now become essential to how many farmers manage their farm. This is an example of farmers seeing the benefit of going beyond regulated requirements to optimise the efficiency of their farming operation.”

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WOOL

December 2012

Wool Perspective From Rob Cochrane GM, Procurement, PGG Wrightson Wool

‘Cautiously Optimistic’ Most observers and participants within the wool industry remain cautiously optimistic for the future as wool prices have remained reasonably firm during the past several weeks. Larger than expected volumes of greasy wool came forward to the market place during the late November and early December period, and good support was evident once

again for the auction system as the major price setting mechanism. Clearances at auction sales in both islands were remarkably high, in percentage terms, particularly

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given that quite a number of lines of wool passed-in by auctioneers at earlier sales in the current season, for failing to meet grower reserve prices, were re-offered and sold during the period. Exporters representing China, Western Europe, USA, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand mills were very active during that time and provided spirited bidding within the open-cry auction room.

usual due mainly to the cold weather experienced during September and October in southern areas. Many lines of hogget wool tested coarser than usual due to the very good growing season experienced since lamb shearing in January/ February this year and, with distinct preference from major buyers towards finer types measuring around 32 to 33 microns, coarser wools received definite discounts.

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For example, as at November 22, the comparison of full length, good style

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discounts continued into early December. Whilst this is nothing new, it is interesting to note that obvious real premiums (or discounts) for tested micron bands are achievable indicating the need for growers to identify as best as possible what they are actually selling. Auction prices for crossbred oddment types have also remained 'hot' at auctions during the November and early December periods with, at times, extreme competition evident. Corriedale wool types in the 28.5 to 30 micron ranges continued on page 35…

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WOOL have once again enjoyed fierce competition with prices best quoted as 'fully firm to sellers' favour' at all recent auction sales conducted by PGG Wrightson, a further indication that there is strong demand for these types in the face of limited production. As the sheep industry is once again placed under pressure in terms of reduced lamb meat values, it remains imperative that sheep farmers extract the best possible value from each sheep stock unit. I noticed recently a comment from a stud breeder talking about producing a

'dual purpose' animal. In my opinion that has always been the requirement of sheep production. A crossbred ewe producing 1.5 store lambs at say $60 per head and say $15 for her 38 micron fleece, grosses a respectable $105, however wool value is more than 16.5% of the lamb(s) value and 14.25% of the total. Whilst it can be argued that neither prices are exactly 'over the top” (or OTT in today’s language) after costs are taken into consideration, my point is that the wool return is important, therefore we must ensure that wool

quality is maintained and that preparation levels are of a high standard. The old saying “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves' is still a truism in the wool industry. It has definitely been another interesting and challenging year in farming and there is no doubt that we all look forward to another similar in the very near future. Finally, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous 2013. That’s my view.

December 2012

A dogs tail . . .

The times, they is changin’ . . . “Well then Dog, its gunna be orl change ona farm nek year. You marks my werds, eh,” sedda Boss.

Thena Boss dropt tha bombshell, about how things a gona change ona farm.

We wuz up tha backa tha proppitty lookin’ at some cattil beests wot Boss was plannin on’ ta stick ina Matakohe sale wiv ‘is mate auctioneer callin Allin, ‘an I figgered sumthin’ wus up ‘cos of wot happind ina kitchin this mornin’. Afta mornin’ smoko, Boss had come in from a farm office wiv ‘is shotgun, wot he keeps ina safe there unda lock in key.

“Ya see, Dog, I’m gunna be a Dad. Sharlene’s gunna hava kid. We gunna be a mum’n’dad. An ta rilly top it off, I gunna havta git marreed!”

Win ‘is girfren’ Sharlene saw it she askt wot Boss was plannin’ an’ he sed he wuz gonna ‘whack a cupla tirkys fer tha Krissmiss table.”

Minimise Risk. Maximise Return.

Well, ya shuda herd Sharlene.

Minimise Risk. Maximise Return. Contact a PGG Wrightson Wool representative today: Doug McKay

Peter McCusker Rob Lynskey

Chris Munro

Ph: 027 432 6910

Ph: 027 432 4926

Ph: 027 436 2603

Ph: 027 591 8454

Freephone 0800 946 000

Helping grow the country

Healthy Ewe Part of your Pre-Tup Strategy

“CHARLES”, she sed, in that loud tone wot make tha Boss jump a bit. Tha won she uses win he come’s late back froma pub. “Those turkeys look just nice ina front paddick. Ya kin see ‘em froma road, ana kids love ‘em win they pass ona road ta skool. Ya kin just leave my turkeys alone. We’ll git one frum Ken the butcha.” Well, Boss wuz a bit stumpt becose Sharlene niver sed anythin’ tha yeer before, an’ she ate up large. She ran ina bedroom, ana Boss wint in afta her an’ closed a door, so I didn’t here anymore. Afta wile tho, he come out wiv a big silly grin on ‘is face an’ he locked up tha shotgun agin. “C’Mon Dog, lets do sum werk,” he sed. He wuz still smilin’ Well, we checked a cupla water lines wot wuz playin’ up, an thin we went ta check tha sale stock.

Well, that sat me back on me hornchis I kin tell yer readas! We gunna hava weddin’ ana kid, orl ina same breth! Boss musta noticed wot I wen’ a bit quiet, an’ give him the eye a bit. “Don’t wurry Billy,” he sed. That made me a bit happy cos’ he only corls me Billy, stedda Dog, win he’s bein’ nice, like afta a cupla beers. “You’ll still be me bes’ mate an orl. An’ ya gunna hafta be an uncle fer the kid eh?” Didint sound so bad that. Be interistin’ ta hava kid ona propitty too. Can chuck sticks fer me in me old age. Anyway, after aftanoon smoko, Boss give Sharlene a big cuddle, an she give me a big hug, an’ thin Boss an me went ta that Paparoa Pub ona ute. I sat outside an’ lissind wile tha Boss bought ‘is mates beers, Afta a wile, they orl startid singin. Ray, an Andy tha plumba, Bob an’Gazza , Barree an’ Kev, they wuz singin’ sumthin’ about ‘win a chile is born‘ an yellin stull about a krissmiss presint. Yeah — that remines me. Merry Krissmiss! Billy

Do you want a career...

The Role of Trace Elements and Vitamins Trace elements are well known for the importance they play in ensuring healthy and productive livestock, and the effect they can have on production when deficient is equally well recognised. Trace elements are a group of 15 elements essential for the health and productivity of all animals, however the elements of prime importance with well known deficiencies are Selenium, Copper, Cobalt and Iodine. Adequate daily intake of these is required for maintaining efficient metabolism, resistance to disease, detoxification processes, healthy growth, good reproduction performance and efficient feed conversion. If levels of these elements is inadequate, or if the daily requirements are above what can be obtained from natural feed such as can occur during pregnancy, reproduction or periods of stress, then a vitamin/mineral supplement should be considered. It is with this in mind that Vetpak has developed a product containing a combination of these essential minerals and vitamins to help boost levels in sheep during those crucial periods. Healthy Ewe is a water soluble multi- mineral, multivitamin powder containing Iodine, Selenium, Cobalt and Zinc and Vitamins A, D and E. Healthy Ewe comes in a 1kg pack and is mixed with clean water to make to 5 Litres of liquid product, which should be drenched at 10mls per Ewe and 5mls per lamb. Healthy Ewe has no meat or milk witholding periods. For more information please contact you local veterinary clinic.

35

Working in a rural veterinary practice? Telford – a Division of Lincoln University offers the Certificate for Rural Animal Technicians. This qualification is a pathway to work with veterinarians, assisting them with animal health and husbandry, or as a precursor for further studies.

Learn more

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36

December 2012

Widest Wheel Base Thickest Hoppers Strongest Design

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New pasture bred for success A new grass, perfectly designed for high performance farms, is delivering impressive results on Canterbury properties. Jeta AR1 is an ideal grass for farmers who want to maximise pasture and stock performance, and still achieve economic persistence. As well as providing excellent feed quality and stock production, this grass boasts improved growth over winter and early spring, when pasture growth is most valuable on irrigated Canterbury farms. In technical terms Jeta AR1 is a ‘tetraploid longrotation ryegrass’. It’s bred mostly from perennial ryegrass plants, but with some genetic material from Italian ryegrass. This doesn’t mean genetic modification in the lab, but rather the diligent efforts of plant breeders Pedro Evans and Biff Kitson, based at the DLF breeding station near Christchurch. “We crossed the very

best varieties available,” says Evans, “and then reselected over several years for excellent growth, especially in winter and spring. Jeta AR1 has rapid establishment and cool season growth, and has averaged 6% greater yields in comparison with the existing top varieties.” This makes Jeta perfectly suited to districts with irrigation or higher summer rainfall. Craig Direen, upper South Island Regional Sales Manager for DLF Seeds, expects this to really catch on in irrigationreliant Canterbury. “Jeta has performed very well on local farms, with farmers being impressed with the speed of establishment, rapid growth and quality. It can be used in Canterbury as a high-performance pasture

that should last five to seven years in most situations.” Some tetraploid ryegrasses (the same family as Jeta) can be more prone to pugging damage on dairy farms than simpler diploid grasses – it’s all down to the resilience of the individual plant species. Jeta is grown strong to resist pugging. “The persistence of tetraploids seems to depend on tiller density,” says Craig, referring to the filament ‘roots’ which feed and support the grass.“ Under hard grazing for two years, we have seen Jeta increase in ground cover and behave like a robust perennial.” Under frequent irrigation, Jeta AR1 can be planted in summer and autumn, and is an ideal choice where rapid and reliable establishment is needed.

Dealers NZ Wide P | 0800 72 33 66 W | www.paddon.co.nz

“I’ve had a good run with Jeta. Impressive autumn and winter production, with excellent stock performance and health.” Stu Pankhurst

Mixed cropping farmer, Canterbury. Ask about Jeta today at leading rural retailers.

A world of seed innovation, right here.


December 2012

don’t understand what it says and what it entails.

Rob Cope-Williams gets ...

Use your voice What astounds me about New Zealanders is that they will talk for hours about who should play in what position in the All Blacks and research players form for hours, but they won’t react to something that will affect their livelihood and possibly cost them thousands of dollars such as the Land and Water report. If you cast your mind back over the past few decades of voting for producer boards and even regional and district councils, the percentage of voters is normally very low.

That entails people reading the submissions and the relevant sections of the document and throwing their support behind the process. There’s an old saying that says if you don’t vote, don’t complain. That can be expanded into saying if you don’t have the time

I went on a holiday as he demanded, and was much better when I came back. He was then able to fine tune everything and I was totally OK again. Do you get my drift? Anyway that’s my winge for the day and as Christmas is looming larger than an All Black forward, I will leave it there and wish you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous 2013. But please do me a favour, make looking after your industry and having a say on who does what, part of your new year’s resolutions.

Lincolns are the “Heaviest wool producing breed known” 8kgs+ per sheep stock unit wintered… 1. Cross breeding with Lincoln will increase wool production by up to 23% in one cross. 2. Bring wool production back to an economic level in one cross over any breed. Ten+ years quicker than any comparative wool breed. “Guaranteed”

A straw poll at a recent meeting about the Land and Water report showed none of those who were there had actually read any part of it. Yes I know that many parts of the document won’t have any effect on a lot of people, but rest assured that those parts that do affect you will be likely to bite you on the seat of the pants if you

A large number of people and organisations have spent hundreds of hours and created huge lawyer bills to make submissions, and all they wish for is that the end users back them.

or energy to back your champions in a fight that is vital to you very survival, don’t complain if you get your posterior kicked very hard by new rules and regulations. I remember going to my doctor while suffering from what is loosely called burn out or simply massive stress and he told me in no uncertain terms that I needed a holiday and if I didn’t take one he would refuse to treat me. His point was that if I didn’t want to play my part in my recovery, he wouldn’t waste his time doing his part.

37

3. Rams available in Central Hawke’s Bay, trucked to any part of NZ with one phone call. 4. Largest Flock in NZ 2000 Purebred Ewe base allows selection for: a. Commercial traits i.e. open face, high twinning (also will be

Photo tastygoldfish/Foter/CC BY-ND

exaggerated by hybrid vigour from crossing with your flock) b. Selection for worm tolerance for over 32 years. c. Easy care traits. Selected for commercial traits not show traits. d. High yielding wool clip, averaging 83%. When run in conjunction with Romney stud for ten years Lincolns wool yield was 1-4% greater than Romney’s: Commercial Fact. 5. Wool sold at Auction in Napier has many times topped the crossbred market, aided by low Y-Z factor = Whiteness 6. Heavy clipping Lincolns are high twinning ewes.

Bruce M. Worsnop Associated with Lincolns for over 50 years Tikokino Central Hawke’s Bay Email bluebulls@xtra.co.nz | Phone 06 856 5857 or 021 856585

Quality Counts COST EFFECTIVE Each farm has its demands and each farmer has his own ideas on how to get the best from their forage harvesting. Therefore Lely offers a wide range of machinery giving farmers the choice to suit their needs.

Harvest results

Demonstrator in the North Canterbury region

Transfer your old video tapes to DVD A lot of these tapes are deteriorating to the point they will disappear. We can save them for you. We can convert: Slides, old VHS tapes, Video 8 tapes, mini DV tapes, old 8mm movie, vhs-c tapes. We courier to all areas, signature required, safe and reliable.

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Discounts for bulk quantities In temporary premises UPSTAIRS in Merivale Mall Phone: 0800 226 372 www.photo.co.nz Email: teaboy@photo.co.nz

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38

December 2012

Rural Market Place RESIDENTIAL, COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL • Heat Pumps • Garden Lighting • House Re-wire • Kitchen Re-fits • Spa Pool Installation • Telephone Extensions • Shop Fitting • New Builds/Extensions

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Domestic Water Wells • Free Site Consultation • Professional Job at a Competitive Price • Prompt and Efficient Team • Workmanship Guaranteed • Over 18 Years Experience • NZ Drillers Federation Member Ph GLEN DALY (Owner Operator)

027 663 9961 Authorised Mitsubishi Installers

Greg Horton Electrician

Daly Water Wells After hours 03 329 5625

www.aelectrical.co.nz

email: dalywaterwells@hotmail.com

Seasons Greetings!

ARE YOU UP TO THE

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WE NEED

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We are expanding our sales division, due to our community focus and belief in the NZ economy. WHAT YOU CAN BRING: • Enthusiasm – heaps of it; actually you need truckloads! • The ability to build relationships – it’s true, some of your clients will become great friends. • Great communications skills and the ability to work as part of a team… Okay, so not just someone who can yak and socialise, but actually empathise with clients and commit to your workmates. WE ARE OFFERING: • Opportunity – We are going places and we’ll take you with us! • Stability – our growth has been through the roof. • Ongoing Training – we know we can always learn more – and we’ll teach you! If you think you can keep pace with us (If you can then you will already know it…), then call in the first instance – we are local and we want your first contact with us to be easy – and we’ll all work out if we’re a good fit for each other.

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We will be closed on the Christmas and New Year holidays and 24 and 31 December

Panel-beating ♦ Sandblasting Car & Truck Refinishing Insurance work: cars and trucks Sandblasting: all farm machinery Refinishing: trucks, trailers, horse floats Car windscreen replacements Loan cars available

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Many thanks to all our clients for your support in 2012 – we look forward to assisting you in the New Year

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December 2012

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40

December 2012

N M U T U A T U O B A K N I TH ! W O N N O I T A CULTIV SECURE YOUR GEAR & SAVE WITH AMAZING FINANCE RATES Centurion disc-based Cultivator • Fully adjustable progressive entry/exit lift sequenc for discs/levelling board/coulters • Independent ‘on-the-move’ height adjustment of cultivating discs/levelling board • Large diameter, full width tyre packer ahead of coulters - for consistent seeding depth

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Simba SL Cultivators • One pass to incorporate stubble and consolidate soil for the perfect seedbed • Maximum strength and hard wearing componentry • The disc diameter of 510mm provides an efficient mixing action incorporating stubble • Working depths between 150-250mm • ‘Pro-active’ auto reset tines

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New 4.6 metre units available Pro lift hydraulic reset legs - depths of up to 300mm Large 600 discs with 125mm spacing (net) Fully adjustable disc angling Large 700mm DD ring roller

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Ben Hart 027 704 5407 Michael Bone 0274 350 884 Carl Painter 0276 483 300

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Canterbury Farming, December 2012  

28,500 copies distributed monthly – to every rural mailbox in Canterbury and the West Coast