Page 1

29,200 copies distributed monthly – to every rural mailbox in Canterbury and the West Coast.

March 2014

INSIDE Deer processors closer Page 2

Bobby calves’ welfare important to NZ Inc Page 4–5

A quarter century of farming excellence

Page 8–9

Cradle of the national cattle pool

CONTACT US Canterbury Farming 03 347 2314

to unified marketing

By Hugh de Lacy

Beef and lamb processor-marketers may still be cutting each others’ throats in overseas markets, but the deer industry is taking a unified approach to looming opportunities in the Chinese market. The top five venison exporters — Silver Fern Farms (SFF), Alliance Meats, Mountain River, Andrew Duncan and First Light Foods — have teamed up with Deer NZ to develop a Chinese strategy to attract development funding from the Government’s Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) scheme. At present only Mountain River, based near Rakaia in Mid-Canterbury, has been accredited to export venison to China, but half a dozen other export plants have made accreditation applications that have yet to be approved. “We’re putting together a business case for a PGP, and there’ll be an angle on productivity, farm profitability and the market,” Deer NZ chief executive Dan Coup told Canterbury Farming. We’re working hard on getting the deer industry better access [to China]. “The beef industry’s got similar issues — the sheep industry is reasonably sorted, but some plants are still waiting for their listing as well,” Coup said.

Once the Chinese approve more venison plants, there will be an opportunity for the industry to take a co-ordinated approach to that vast market, an approach that continues to elude the beef and lamb industry. “Today’s reality is that we have got those (venison exporter) guys on board with the concept thus far, but we haven’t nailed the thing down yet,” Coup said. While China was ‘the obvious growth market’ the PGP business model would not be ignoring the traditional continental European market, which still absorbs most exported venison, and the smaller North American and Australian markets. After putting in an application to the Ministry of Primary Industry (MPI), Deer NZ got the green light to go ahead and develop its PGP plan with the backing of the exporters and the Deer Industry of New Zealand (DINZ). “We need to get broad agreement across all those marketing partners, and we need to get it down to a reasonably

fine level of detail so nobody gets surprised later on.” Coup said a common brand for all exporters into China was “one possibility,” with the Cervena appellation used in the European market offering a basis for discussion. “If we could extend that use of common imagery of the product into other markets, that seems a pretty sensible way to go.” Venison sales to China have increased exponentially since 2010 when 5,500kg worth $100,000 was sent. Last year 222,000kg of frozen meat and 1,300kg of chilled product earned this country about $1.1 million. This has helped stabilise prices in the traditional markets which, during the early years of the industry, fluctuated wildly from year to year. Similar stability has entered the velvet market, with China now absorbing more product than the original South Korean market, which was also prone to yearon-year fluctuations. Coup said the velvet market had contributed to slowing the

contraction in the deer industry caused by the continuing expansion of dairying in response to China’s seemingly insatiable appetite for New Zealand dairy products. Velvet price stability was encouraging more farmers to retain stags for velveting. The value of velvet exports peaked at $31m in 2011 before dropping to $25.5m last year, but is projected to recover to $26.5m this year. “Velvet prices have been comfortable and stable for the last three or four years, and we’re expecting some growth in velvet stag numbers at a time when deer numbers are probably still receding a little,” Coup said. Including Hong Kong, China now takes more than half of New Zealand’s velvet exports with Korea taking much of the

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rest, and there’s a small but growing market in the United States and other developed countries. While the deer industry moves cautiously towards a co-ordinated marketing system, pressure is building on beef and lamb to bring the two big farmer-owned co-operatives, SFF and Alliance Meats, together to form the basis of a similarly unified marketing structure. The Meat Industry Excellence lobby group (MEI), which has succeeded in getting members elected to both co-ops’ boards of directors, has recently asked industry body Beef and Lamb NZ for $200,000 to help fund its activities. MIE members, chaired by Ohakune farmer John McCarthy, have met the group’s costs out of their own pockets so far.


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March 2014

Bobby calves’ welfare important to NZ Inc by Hon Kate Wilkinson MP Waimakariri

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy’s recent announcement to the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) to begin consultation on prohibiting the use of blunt force to euthanise bobby calves on farms is very welcome. As a country we need to take a tough stance on animal cruelty. It is simply not acceptable. And the bashing of bobby calves to death with blunt force risks being recklessly cruel, inhumane and unnecessary. That is not to say slaughter of animals is to be banned! There are standards for the treatment and killing

of animals on the farm and these are laid out in codes of welfare. The law clearly states that if an animal has to be put down it must be done humanely. New Zealand does have a great animal welfare system which is one of the best in the world — but it is vital that we do everything we can to

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enhance our reputation for excellent animal welfare and humanity. Of course most of our farmers care about their animals and look after them well — but for those that do not then there is a huge risk of irreparable damage to our international reputation.

will complement the existing Codes of Welfare. It will make it easier to enforce, clearer and more transparent, and will also give wider powers to deal with people who breach animal welfare laws. There will be greater sanctions for the few who mistreat animals.

Already an amendment bill to the Animal Welfare Act is progressing through Parliament and this will strengthen our animal welfare regime and create enforceable regulations that

So whilst the Animal Welfare Act sets out the fundamental and general obligations relating to the care of animals it is in the codes of welfare that the detailed minimum standards

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and recommendations are prescribed. We need to achieve a high level of animal welfare (not just the minimum standard) and to adopt the best industry practices of husbandry, care and handling.

is acceptable and what is not in relation to euthanasia. I understand industry groups themselves do not recommend the use of blunt force for the euthanasia of calves. Now that is a good start!

Under the Animal Welfare Act it is an offence to kill an animal in such a manner that the animal suffers unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress. The ‘bobby calves consultation’ will establish in more detail what

It matters how we treat animals both to ourselves and for our international reputation. We earn around $20 billion a year by exporting animal products such as meat, milk, and wool.

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We cannot afford to lose our international reputation and potential export potential merely because a handful of farmers — through ignorance or recklessness — cruelly kill their calves. ‘NZ Inc’ depends on us all doing the right thing.

Go Further

or email sales@canfarm.co.nz

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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March 2014

Country Matters

From the Minister

with Rob Cope-Williams

Nathan Guy, Minister for Primary Industries

Meat industry faces challenges and opportunities Recently I spoke to Beef + Lamb NZ’s annual meeting in Feilding where the future shape of the meat industry was a hot topic. This sector has been one of continual change, mostly for the good, driven by innovations, new market demands, and changing environments. For example, we now produce the same amount of sheep meat as we did in the 1980s but with half the flock size. This proves to me how farmers are innovators and pick up new ideas to implement inside the farm gate. Last month I released the updated MPI forecasts for primary sector exports. These figures show that the meat industry is having a pretty good year, with exports projecting $1.2 billion higher than initially forecast. Having said this, I acknowledge the industry does have some serious challenges. Times are tough for some out there and there is some momentum for change. Overall I’m optimistic about the red meat sector’s future, and I want to focus on positive solutions. Innovation will be crucial. This is why the Government and industry are investing $326 million into the sector through the Primary Growth Partnership. The range of projects is vast and exciting, from farm management systems in the Farm IQ programme, to turning traditionally low value offcut products into higher value added

products through the Food Plus programme. We also need to do a better job of collaborating as a sector. I know that commercial realities mean this is not possible all the time, but there is no excuse to not pursue NZ Inc approaches on certain initiatives, particularly in-market. Investing in additional human resources in our key and emerging markets is important. MPI is putting six more staff into China, one each into Jakarta and Dubai, with another four more positions to be announced. I’m encouraging more industry representation in these markets too. We need to hear more pride and passion from everyone involved in the sector. Just from scanning the rural publications I note that Silver Fern Farms are beginning online distribution in Shanghai, New Zealand cricketers are marketing our products in India, and the Silere branded merino meat was a hit at the America’s Cup in San Francisco. Any substantial change to the structure of the sector needs to come with a very clear and broad level of support. I’m not prepared to interfere without widespread sector. The Government doesn’t own the industry — you do. I doubt that anyone really wants the heavy hand of Government dreaming up bureaucratic solutions that don’t have grassroots support. The industry’s future is vital to New Zealand and I’m committed to doing what I can to support the industry’s continued success.

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I am not suggesting the other breeds are being left behind because they certainly aren’t. Corriedales and Romney’s, for example, are doing huge amounts of research and development work.

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The other positive is that farming is very inclined to be a series of cycles. While dairying has the front of the stage at the moment, other forms will rise up again. Remember that in past eras nearly every region had its own dairy company making butter and or cheese, and dairy farms were scattered around the factory as people supplied the factory with cans of product. It is all on a totally different scale now of course, but the dairy wheel turned back then and sheep and beef ruled along with cropping. Yes, OK — the present wheel isn’t likely to turn for a long time if ever, but when the wool and sheep meat wheel swings upwards again those who stuck with sheep will be in the pound seats and ready to go. It’s all about outlay and return on capital so do some sums and you just might be surprised just how good sheep farming is even though it doesn’t look all that great from the outside.

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March 2014

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Farmers...

The awards boast a rich prize pool along with regional and national recognition for those who excel in dairying, giving valuable peer review and accolades to those who are often ‘behind the scenes’, working in

Winter

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challenging as it is rewarding. Recognising excellence in this field and rewarding those who go above and beyond the call of duty has been the constant aim of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, an amalgamation of several longrunning awards programmes brought together in 2006 under a single unifying banner.

FARM PLANNER

Autumn

FEBRUARY

But at a literally ‘grass roots’ level it’s not just timber country and rolling pasture land which turn sunshine and water into export dollars. To make that alchemy work, New Zealand needs a veritable army of largely unsung heroes — our rural workforce. Dairying, at the forefront of our economic growth and the industry in which we proudly claim to lead the world, is supported by the dedicated efforts of men, women, and families who live the dairying life 24/7 — a demanding job which never quits and which can be as

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March 2014 Lincoln University, and both grew up on farms in the rural heartland. Turning their focus to dairying two years ago, they set about making careful plans for the success of their venture — plans which were appreciated by the awards panel judges.

Canterbury and North Otago’s farming future on display - his year’s top rural talent take the podium

Kevin and Sara O’Neill are the region’ top sharemilkers, taking home the 25th annual award in this field

last award is relatively new, and seeks to foster up-and-coming talent for the future. But the Sharemilker of the Year award has been a hallowed prize in the industry for 25 years, celebrating its quarter century in 2014 with huge support from both entrants and sponsors. In 1989 Kevin and Diane Goble of Taranaki became the first national winners of the Sharemilker of the Year award, which is judged on a wide range of criteria, from pasture management to livestock condition, dairy safety and hygiene through to community involvement, financial planning and future aims and goals. Geoff and Lynn Walker of Oamaru brought the trophy south for the first time in 1993, while the first national winners to hail from the Canterbury region were Leo and Kathryn van den Beuken in 2005. The competition is judged by farmers, who know exactly what it’s like to be on ‘the other end’ — many are past competitors and winners themselves. A two hour

presentation visit to each of the many farms and farming families who enter means that the judging panel take a scenic tour of rural New Zealand on their rounds, taking the pulse of the industry at the same time. This year — the 25th crowning of New Zealand’s Sharemilker of the Year — the threefold competition for the top sharemilker, farm manager and trainee has been a fierce one. Organisers have seen skills at a whole new level, with the clear advancement in farming technology and practices since 1989 made extremely clear at this quarter century milestone. This year the total prize pool for the awards topped $700,000 — a staggering sum. “It’s our biggest prize pool yet,” says national convenor Chris Keeping, “And will mean our national winners take home some great prizes as well as the honour and prestige associated with becoming a dairy industry awards winner.” Equity Farming couple Sara and Kevin O’Neill took out top

honours in the Canterbury and North Otago regional awards, claiming their share of that close to three quarters of a million dollar prize pool, as well as the satisfaction of knowing that their farming efforts are truly world class. The pair, who farm at Waiau in North Canterbury, have only been in the dairy industry full time for two years, making their achievement all the more memorable. Mr O’Neill’s name may be more than passingly familiar to fans of our national game, as well — this is the same Kevin O’Neill who has taken to the field many times with the Crusaders, the Chiefs and the Rebels rugby teams. The big lock even came off the bench and donned the black jersey against the Springboks on one memorable occasion — meaning that national prominence and success are no strangers to the region’s top sharemilker. Despite his sporting fame, farming is in Kevin’s blood. Both he and Sara hold agricultural degrees from

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“A real strength of our business is we’ve got strong governance in place, with a board of six containing two independent directors,” say the O’Neills. “We’ve also got opportunities for scale and development and both of these aspects allow for clear planning and growth.” The other major winners at the 2014 Canterbury North Otago Dairy Industry Awards were Phillip Colombus, who won the Canterbury North Otago Farm Manager of the Year title, and Isaac Vujcich, the region’s 2014 Dairy Trainee of the Year. They were announced winners at an awards’ dinner at the Lincoln Events Centre last night March 4. It’s a second big win for Mr Columbus, who farms near Oxford on the Canterbury Plains — last time he took the podium it was to receive the 2006 Upper South Island Dairy Trainee of the Year title. With talent and commitment like this in the Canterbury dairying sector, it’s easy to see why this form of farming is becoming more and more popular. And with people like the O’Neills, Phillip Columbus and Isaac Vujcich at the helm, this vital primary industry will continue to add to our nation’s prosperity for many long years to come.

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RURAL PROFESSIONALS

March 2014

Country Law

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The role of lawyer for the children When a relationship breaks up and a dispute arises about the arrangements for the children which cannot be resolved between the parents or at mediation it is inevitable that an application will be made to the Court for resolution of the dispute. A Family Court judge will then, most likely, appoint a lawyer to represent the child or children involved in the dispute. Lawyers who are appointed to act as counsel for children are

specially qualified for the work they undertake. Their essential duties are to explain to the children in simple terms how the Family Court procedures work and at the end of the Court

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proceeding talk to the children about the decision made by the judge. The lawyer for the children attends the Court hearing and makes certain that

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Argentina unexpectedly devalued its currency while Turkey (and others) were forced into significant interest rates increases to stem their capital outflows. Confidence then received a further knock as Chinese economic data disappointed, with the consequential announcement of ‘softer data’ from other major economies. Some of this movement in economic activity was attributed to exceptional global weather patterns affecting northern hemisphere primary production and general activity, although it is not unusual for soft patches in the dataflow to follow stronger quarters. Commentators popularised the phrases the ‘fragile five’ to describe the emerging economies with current account deficits, currency and interest rate turbulence — and the ‘polar vortex’ to describe the weather phenomena on both sides of

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They are also very adept at asking appropriate questions of the children and reading between the lines with some of the responses. Discussions between children and their counsel are confidential and details

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They are required to follow guidelines from legislation but in all cases the overriding consideration is the welfare and best interests of the children. Family Court judges will often

Judges of the Family Court have expertise in dealing with children in those circumstances, and many have acted as lawyer for the children during their legal career prior to being appointed as a Family Court judge.

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The lawyer for the children usually sees the children without either parent in attendance. They also have discussions with the parents and anyone else who has been a major part of the children’s lives.

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the children’s interest are put to the Judge for consideration. The presiding judge decides what emphasis should be attributed to the children’s wishes and opinions but the judge is required to take the children’s views into account in making the decision.

the Atlantic. In the case of the ‘fragile five’ their aggregate economic contribution does not significantly impact global output. The weather related impacts on economic activity may or may not explain the softer economic but we remain positive on global growth. Asia is far more important with growth in China still above 7%, rising in South Korea and very strong in Japan. More importantly central banks continue to state they stand ready and have the capacity to provide additional (lower interest rate) stimulus if needed, including the United States Federal Reserve should data remain weak (and inflation below 2.5%.) Looking at the equity markets we have seen markets rally strongly in February as investors focussed on the prospect of further accommodative policies and on an improved corporate profit outlook. United States equities

also benefitted from reporting season profit results, with 74% of reporting companies beating consensus expectations. Sales growth was still anaemic but gains were being made via lower costs. European equities also rallied, receiving a boost from merger and acquisition activity. Emerging markets managed a positive return during February but were still the weakest performer over the quarter. In Australasia, New Zealand equities delivered a credible performance despite the reporting season not delivering earnings upgrades as yet and with further supply anticipated, in the form of the Genesis Energy announcement. Being an election year political uncertainty is also a risk factor that may affect market pricing. While the Australian equity market recovered from its January low, closer trading associations with emerging markets and weak corporate

of the talks must be treated accordingly unless the children agree otherwise, or counsel has reason to believe that the children are in an unsafe environment. If domestic violence is an issue it must be dealt with urgently. A lawyer for the children plays a vital role in a family dispute and their input at a hearing or mediation is invaluable. It is essential that their role continues for the foreseeable future. This article has been prepared by Bessie Paterson, a Partner with Ronald W Angland and Son, Solicitors, who may be contacted on — Telephone: 03 349 47808 or e-mail bessie@ anglands.co.nz.

investment are slowing that market. Returns in New Zealand dollars were further pressured by the Australian dollar weakening over the period. On the fixed interest front, better global economic data and the tapering of the United States Federal Reserve’s bond purchases initially pushed longer-dated interest rates higher but these were moderated by the capital outflows from emerging markets. The comments from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank, supporting accommodative policies, also provided downward interest rate pressure. In contrast, expectations are for the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) to commence tightening in March and for short-term rates to rise to 3.5% by December 2014. If you would like to confidentially discuss your investment requirements please contact me. Andrew Wyllie is an Authorised Financial Adviser with Forsyth Barr in Christchurch. He can be contacted regarding portfolio management, fixed interest, or share investments 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.

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RURAL PROFESSIONALS

Employment Talk by Matt Jones

Is workplace bullying an issue on your farm? It stresses staff, corrodes team morale and puts the squeeze on overall productivity. Bullying and harassment can put an unwanted strain on the culture you worked so hard to build. A workplace hazard, harassment and bullying can be subtle or outward, and have detrimental effects, short or long term, to physical and mental wellbeing. How are bullying and harassment defined? Harassment includes unwelcome comments, a conduct or gesture that is insulting, intimidating, malicious, degrading, threatening, racist or offensive. Whether it is a repeated or a singular event it can be enough to alter the performance and health of your staff members. Bullying is more sustained unreasonable behaviour which is often intended to humiliate or undermine the recipient, but is not specifically unlawful. In February, WorkSafe NZ released best practice guidelines ‘Preventing and Responding to Workplace Bullying’ clarifying

definitions and explaining the debilitating effects of bullying, and the consequences for individuals and organisations. I’d strongly recommend interested employers familiarise themselves with this document, available on here: www. business.govt.nz/worksafe/ information-guidance/allguidance-items/bullyingguidelines/workplace-bullying What are your obligations as an employer? New Zealand law dictates that employers are obliged to create a safe and secure environment for their employees, and take all reasonable practicable steps to manage hazards and avoid exposing employees to unnecessary risk of physical injury or psychological harm. Employers, who allow these unwelcome behaviours to continue in the workplace, can risk breaching the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Human Rights Act 1993. Employers who bully and

harass A personal grievance can be submitted against an employer if they directly or indirectly subject the employee to behaviour that is unwelcome (to their knowledge, or not) and by its nature or through repetition has a compromising effect on the employee’s employment, job performance or satisfaction. Prevention is better than cure Emphasis needs to be on both employees and employers to respond immediately before a situation goes too far. Most farm owners and managers I’m sure, would prefer prevention and workplace based solutions over mediation and prosecutions. Tips for handling potential problems on your farm: Develop reporting and response policies and procedures and familiarise your staff with these. Appoint a designated contact person and have employment agreements and codes of conduct in place, with processes that prevent and measure bullying behaviours.

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March 2014

CRADLE OF THE NATIONAL

CATTLE POOL BY PAUL CAMPBELL

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The origins of the national beef and dairy cattle industry are many and varied, but the South Island can to some extent trace its stock development and the burgeoning dairy industry back to pioneer days far to the north.

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Devon cattle in particular, now cross-bred and true to stud actually landed in New Zealand in the Bay of Islands in the latter 19th century, and the progeny of these animals now graze across the length and breadth of the country. A copy of the New Zealand Farmers Weekly from 1937 recently came into this writer’s hands and it held a mine of information on early New Zealand stocking, and also contained the gem that Kiwibred cattle were shipped off to South America to boost the dairying gene pool there. Fonterra’s long arm provides a modern perspective to that early export. According to the old copy of the Weekly, a substantial source of stock improvement can be traced way back to the Smith brothers, George, Bill and

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Richard, shortly after the turn of last century. They farmed in Northland at Matakohe and Ruawai, Parahi and Pikiwahine as Whakatu Stud. Writes the Farmer’s Weekly, in 1937: ‘An interesting story lies behind the establishment of the purebred North Devon herd owned by Mr G Smith of Matakohe. It is a tale of almost insuperable obstacles in an effort to keep the strain pure and of a high standard. ‘The founding of the herd dates back over 50 years, when the north was a very sparsely settled and underdeveloped territory, with no transport facilities other than by water and bullock tracks. ‘The first of the Devons was imported from England and landed at the Bay of Islands and consisted of one bull and 20 cows. The herd was afterwards purchased by Mr Edward Coates — the father of Prime Minister Joseph Gordon — and a little later they again changed hands and became the property of Mr Smith who has retained them ever since.

argument in which he painted a vivid picture of a 100-mile trip through the bush to catch a boat, a trip down the Wairoa River in dense fog, in which they ran aground, and finally a sea voyage to Sydney for the express purpose of buying that particular animal that Mr Hunter White (stating that he was a sporting man himself and admired the trait in others) consented to sell. ‘The price was the only thing not discussed and Mr Smith did not know the bull had cost him 300 guineas until he was back in New Zealand’.

“It is a tale of almost insuperable obstacles in an effort to keep the strain pure and of a high standard.”

‘In 1908, Mr Smith visited the Sydney Royal Show and purchased the reserve champion bull, Myrtle Boy and the champion cow, Coquette 48th, bred by Mr Hunter White of Mudgee Farm, New South Wales — and also six heifers. All these cattle have been noted prize winners, the bull having won almost enough ribbons to make him a cover. ‘Mr Smith had great difficulty in persuading Mr Hunter White to sell. It was only after much

The article goes on to list a number of champions that have now passed into history, before noting that Mr Smith travelled again to Sydney and bought another champion for 300 guineas, only to find he could not bring it to New Zealand because of a disease called worm nodules.

‘On approaching the director of agriculture in an effort to overcome this difficulty, Mr Smith was told the beast would have to be killed to ascertain whether or not it was infected. Mr Smith replied he considered the director a bright sort of doctor if he had to kill the patient in order to discover his ailment!’ The Smith stud is prominently represented in the New Zealand Herd Books of the early part of last century. Later the Smiths added a Hereford stud and cattle from the farms at Ruawai and Matakohe were selected for a shipment of 1200 head organised by the World Bank to upgrade herds

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Paparoa Show 1958, with brothers Edgar and Gilbert Worthington receiving a stock trophy

EITHER WAY IT’S 20K MIND YOUR SPEED AROUND SCHOOL BUSES George Smith with the Smith Bros 1908 Sydney Royal Show Champion Devon cow. Her stud name has not been recorded

in Chile. We only have to look back to midlast century, to find more evidence of dairy improvement from Northland, and a famous name at its centre. Farmers of New Zealand operations director, Bill Guest, reports that the Northland township of Ruawai celebrates 100 years of existence this month. “A jewel in the dairy and horticultural sectors, it has also produced some very innovative personalities, but none quite like the famous Jeffs brothers who in 1959 registered their company JBL Developments Limited, says Bill. “They owned farms and established a number of commercial businesses. The three Jeffs brothers, Jim the eldest, Kevin and the youngest Vaughan, were of Irish descent. Their mother Cassie and their father Ned Jeffs raised a very close-knit Catholic family. All three inherited a

family characteristic, an engaging lop-sided smile, a twinkle in the eye and a smile to win friends with. “Recently Vaughan Jeffs passed away. Brothers Jim and Kevin passed away some years ago. But they dotted the surrounding district with their milking sheds, barns and commercial buildings and the profits grew. The Jeffs in the early 1960s were major suppliers to the Ruawai Dairy Company. Jim Jeffs and fellow supporters became involved in the Ruawai Dairy Company issue whereby they actively sought amalgamation with the neighbouring Northern Wairoa Dairy Company. Today, with dairying making such a huge contribution to the South Island rural economy, its interesting to look back at earlier origins.

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March 2014

My point of view Fiscal Alchemy?

Bank lends $10M, charges $10M interest over term of loan

On radio, I heard a bankers’ spokesman responding to a distressed farmer’s story of his bank’s foreclosure on his assets. The banker had no sympathy for the farmer. He said the money was owed to depositors who were entitled to get their money back with interest according to the terms of the loan. In fact the great bulk of money lent by banks

is created by them. When this created money is repaid, it is extinguished. The bank is entitled to keep the interest on the debt to pay its expenses and earn profit. The accompanying example in the chart has

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interest the same amount as principal. However if there is a farm mortgage default, the bank gets the farm, which it may sell. In this scenario the bank is much better off than in the normal situation where it has to be satisfied with interest alone. Being aware of people whose ability to service debt is extremely questionable, yet who have been persuaded by bank staff to take on more debt, I have come to suspect that banks are happy with defaults on a small enough scale to avoid Reserve Bank attention (requiring increased capital). Edward Miller, Strategic Advisor of First Union, confirms my awareness of unconscionable pressure put on bank staff to achieve unreasonable targets in selling debt. “The kind of pressure you refer to has been part of a

$10M extinguished

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growing global phenomenon — earlier in the year we had a banking council with two other bank unions — the FSU from Australia and Unite the Union from the UK. They mentioned the exact same thing. “In fact Unite and the British TUC gave evidence on this in the UK’s parliamentary inquiry into mis-selling, mentioning the negative impacts it has on both the consumer — increasingly being saddled with debt that they may not necessarily need (in one instance a fish and chip store was sold complex derivative instruments) — and

Customers receive $20M in salaries, wages, investment earnings

Sundry institutions along the transaction chain have borrowed $20M from banks

for the worker, who is under a huge amount of pressure to reach their targets. “Given the stagnant wage growth in New Zealand and growing debt-to-income ratios, banks have a fairly good understanding that debt will paper away the difference between what wages will be and what people need to live. However the process by which this takes place is not pretty. The stress on bank workers is pretty high — some workers quit their jobs, seek psychiatric help etc.” When I asked this question of the Reserve Bank:

“Does the bank retain money received from foreclosure?” I got this reply: “The loan extended to the borrower is funded by deposits placed in the bank by depositors and other creditors. “The bank would therefore need to retain the money obtained from the foreclosure to pay back depositors and other creditors for the use of their funds.” When I took issue with answers to my inquiry, I was told the respondents were experienced and well qualified. Yeah right?

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March 2014

11

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12

WATER

March 2014

Irrigation Issues

Graph 1.

Dr Tony Daveron

Irrigation? No Way What to write about irrigation this month. Should it be the high demand, the low demand, irrigating unnecessarily, watching soil temperature?

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Irrigating the farm track isn’t going to get you anywhere.

The weather the last two weeks has put paid to all those ideas or inspiration to write much about irrigating and what to irrigate. But irrigation is still on the minds of most and when should I think (remember think) about it. Just when it seemed like — and we were forecast to have a ‘below average rainfall and/or dry Indian summer’ — along came rainfall. And did it rain? Summer ended on February 28 with some quite decent downpours depending whether you were in north or south Canterbury — as the bar graph of rainfall below shows. Everything from 2mm to nearly 30mm — anything over 20mm should trigger ‘I don’t need to irrigate’. That switch wasn’t flicked for some because they were still irrigating on the day before the extreme event forecast for March 4 and 5. Nothing surprises me anymore!

Graph 2.

Caption

See graph 1. We all waited in anticipation of the ‘extreme event/weather

warning’. The forecast was pretty much as the wise men predicted — the north Canterbury area suffered the worst with much less rainfall south of the Rakaia River than to the north. Just 12 days later another ‘extreme event’ arrived. Potentially Lusi could have been as bad with strong winds and heavy rain. Fortunately Lusi lost some of her punch and winds and rain were less than forecast. Still significant amounts were recorded and enough all over Canterbury to leave the switch in the off position. It is only March however and we can still expect water

use by crops to continue for the next three to four weeks, albeit at an increasingly lower rate. As I wrote above, we believed or hoped the summer of February would continue on into March, and we hoped, into April and May. And of course, summer weather with warm temperatures and no rain is irrigation weather. Not so, as the soil moisture record shows. See graph 2. The soil moisture record from up around Greendale had irrigation being required ‘so long as it didn’t rain on February 28’. So it did — rain

Some irrigation systems spray water everywhere. On your farm tracks, drains and gateways. Not to mention over-watering heavy soils that just don’t need it. But with Precision VRI (Variable Rate Irrigation) you only irrigate as much as is needed, where it’s needed. Saving water, saving power, saving track maintenance costs.

that is, and for an inexplicable reason so did irrigation! Nothing surprises me anymore! A quiet word and irrigation was left off for the rest of the week and all of last week. Exactly the irrigation management that needs to be practiced at this time of the season. From March 6 to Saturday when the rain set in again, water use was just 1.7mm/day — not surprising given the overcast mild weather, especially March 9 — 16. So will we need to irrigate again? The easy answer, though not very informative, is another question — will it rain again? Taking a look at the soil moisture record, I would not expect any irrigation being required for at least 1214 days. That is, not before the end of March. So take a break, save water, save power, save nutrient loss and grow grass (or whatever).

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DRIVE TO THE CONDITIONS


WATER

March 2014

13

Weather Watch by Tony Trewinnard

Anticyclones over or near the South Island dominated February’s weather patterns, with airflow more easterly than usual over the North Island. These anticyclones brought periods of light southerly or southeasterly airflow onto Canterbury, with some rainfalls, but long dry periods. For a change, February was near normal in much of Canterbury for most climate parameters. Mean temperatures were close to the long term average, with departures generally under +/-0.5degC. A few warm days with temperatures over 30 degrees were recorded, but also a few cold nights with light ground frosts and minimums under 5 degrees. Sunshine hours were near normal in most parts, with departures of less than +/10%. Rainfall was near normal around Banks Peninsula, but up to 40% drier than normal elsewhere, especially in North Canterbury. The number of days with rain was reduced. Severe thunderstorms on the 23rd of the month generated large hail and tornadoes. In the tropical Pacific no clear trend to either El Nino or La Nina is currently showing, although there are some indicators which are showing an El Nino-like signal,

most notably the Southern Oscillation Index, which is strongly negative at present. Other atmospheric parameters have been much slower to trend away from neutral. Computer models are now showing a clear trend towards El Nino developing in the next three months, with some models showing the developing of a strong event. However, predictability at this time of the year is poor, and the type of patterns predicted are only partly El Nino-like. In fact

there is growing evidence that if an El Nino event does develop in the Pacific in the next few months it may have a different character to typical El Ninos. We expect to see anticyclones more dominant near the South Island or south of the South Island in the next three to four months, with consequent reductions in westerly quarter airflow, and increases in easterly airflow. Although anticyclones as we move into winter should mean lower rainfall, increased sunshine hours and colder nights with more frequent frosts, we

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July

Near normal

A little A little cooler sunnier than than normal normal

More anticyclones than usual

May

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14

WATER

March 2014

The ‘Know to make it Flow’ Andrew Curtis, Irrigation New Zealand CEO

Irrigation support counters Fish&Game findings In January this year, Kiwis voted 71% pro-irrigation in an independent poll commissioned by IrrigationNZ. Public support for irrigation was reinforced this month when results from a survey by Fish&Game showed 67% of New Zealanders support large scale irrigation schemes provided water and nutrients are managed. The survey commissioned by Fish&Game was called ‘Farming and the Environment’ and was conducted independently by Horizon Research Limited. While we agreed with some of Fish&Game’s survey

findings, IrrigationNZ did have an issue with the focus and slant of the questions. The organisation claimed one third of New Zealanders are unhappy about the country’s reliance on dairying for our economic and social well-being. They then used the survey to link water quality issues with the expansion of dairy farming and probed whether New Zealand’s global brand was under threat because of these concerns. In our view, the organisation has

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once again chosen to focus on the negative. In reality both, the Fish&Game survey and our own research undertaken within a very similar time period, emphasise only a minority of Kiwis support no further progress or development for New Zealand. Fish&Game has got to move on from reiterating the same old rhetoric around the water quality problems we all know exist in some parts of the country. They’re like a broken record. After the Land and Water Forum the farming community has been focussed on finding solutions — not throwing stones. Kiwis in our

latest research emphasise that as long as irrigation is undertaken in a sustainable and responsible fashion, the majority are comfortable with it. We do however acknowledge that Kiwis need more information on irrigation practice and how it is monitored and managed and we hope to fill that information gap next month with the launch of our new SMART irrigation website.” In the meantime we agree with the following findings from Fish&Game: • Industry bodies to better understand and align with public opinion on issues relating to irrigation, water and

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conference next month. The sometimes controversial columnist and economist has agreed to take a tour with conference participants to view irrigation practice up close in the Hawkes Bay. I for one am looking forward to hearing more of his thinking on how irrigation can play a role in growing the economy. Registrations are still open for the conference. Check out www.irrigationnz.co.nz/ conference. The Irrigation New Zealand Poll was conducted as part of a Research project, the sample size was 1,000 people taken from a random selection of 10,000 telephone numbers in Auckland, Canterbury, Wellington, Hawke’s Bay, Hamilton and Wairarapa, sample criteria Aged 18 or older, maximum sampling error (at 50%) ±3.1% @ 95% confidence level.

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FORESTRY

March 2014

Trees & Other Stuff

Forestry Market Report Allan Laurie MNZIF Laurie Forestry Ltd

The prediction last month that log price settlements in China would reach US$160 per cubic metres for A grade have come to fruition. Indeed we now well exceed the dizzy heights reached for six weeks in 1992 in what has since been referred to as the big spike. In 1992 the US$ exchange rate against the kiwi was in a $0.49–0.55 band and sea freight rates were US$19–22 compared to $0.845 and US$40 as it is now. And just to emphasise this little foray into self flagellation, if I plug in those figures to a CIFUS$160 rate today, I get A grade selling at the wharf gate NZ at $240 per cubic metre … no Allan, don’t go there! Other big differences between 1992 and 2014, are the underpinning strengths in the market. In 1992 we had a massive international reaction to the prospect of major tracts of North American forests being removed from harvest due to the impending demise of the Spotted Owl. I well remember an exhaustive study showed the significant decline in Spotted Owl populations were mostly concentrated along all major arterial roads. This was later to prove only that your average American Spotted Owl spotter didn’t like being more than a half hour walk away from the smoko van! Thus the Spotted Owl has continued to flourish and bask in the glory of being singularly responsible for a thus far never experienced reaction to fundamental foolishness. In 2014 the market fundamentals are much more robust and understood. Chinese demand for 15–20 storey apartment block complexes is one, a YoY 7%+ growth in their economy is another. But adding to the demand for wood fibre is the very evident and consistently declining availability of wood fibre internationally. We keep hearing that other countries will suddenly open up forest harvest as they react to high prices. So far the horizon continues to be dominated by the fumes from the funnels of vessels carrying New Zealand logs and we do not see this changing anytime soon. However, there are some worrying signs on the horizon. China government policy is trying to constrain construction by limiting credit lines to construction companies and consumption levels have not picked up to expected levels post CNY. Inventories of NZ/Aust pine across the eastern seaboard have lifted quickly from 2million cubic metres to 3million. Buyers are starting to stall at the negotiating table and prepared to wait the market out.

In the last few days some better reports on consumption are emerging but nervousness continues to be the order of the day. For the moment we expect the current settlements are the top of the bull run. Erstwhile we sit and watch helplessly as the US/KIWI$ exchange rate erodes massive returns of the Kiwi forest grower. Shipping companies have also spied the main chance and recent lifts of $US2–4 per cubic metre for freight costs have been the order of the day. Thus any increase in wharf gate returns to New Zealand have been effectively eroded this month by external factors. Meanwhile in sunny Christchurch — well maybe more overcast — the market continues at pace with sawmills having to run day to day. Some blue-stained logs are starting to appear out of wind damaged forests but everyone seems to agree, not to the levels we had expected. Prices are generally firm to stable and sawmills are maintaining a pretty stoic stance on price. The announcement of the closure of the Southern Cross operation involving five sawmills and a processing plant mostly in South Otago has sent major shock waves around industry. There will be wide ranging factors that led to this point but the high exchange rate has certainly been cited The loss of 400 plus jobs in the area will be felt for some time as we wait out the liquidator’s ability to maintain and sell the operation as a going concern. Most I have spoken to have suggested we should all continue to draw breath in the meantime. Outside of this major calamity for South Otago and Thames it looks like 2014 will continue to offer up a good bottom line for the forest grower. Thus, it 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.

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15

by Andy McCord

Wind damage Like me, I bet many of you are noticing the wind damage which occurred last September on many of the woodlots adjacent to the road. Being a strong advocate of the benefits of hydroboracite (boron) I wonder if any of the toppled trees had boron applied. We have long known that boron will increase the root biomass by an average of 410% otherwise, in many case the tree just produces a ‘club’ root like the one in the enclosed photo. Not very much of an anchor at all is it? I am certainly not saying it is a magic bullet, as in some cases the trees would have tipped over anyway. All I am saying is that you can improve the odds! Joke time: The golden years you can look forward to A couple of weeks ago an elderly lady left a meeting with her friends and headed to the car park. While walking to get her car she frantically searched for her car keys. Her husband had recently scolded her for leaving the keys in the ignition. Her theory was it was the best place to leave them because you will always know where they were. His theory was simply that the car could be easily stolen. When she reached the car park, and found the car park was empty she knew her husband’s theory was indeed correct. In a cold sweat she phoned the police to report her car had been stolen. Before she could get up the courage to ring her husband’s cell phone she had to find a coffee shop and have a quick smoke to calm her nerves. “Hello my love” she stammered, “I left the keys in the car and the car has been

stolen” she said with a whimper. There was silence on the other end for a couple of minutes, so she repeated “Did you hear me dear?” After another minute or so her husband barked down the phone, “I dropped you off you silly cow!!” with that she left more relieved than embarrassed so she barked down the phone “Well come and get me you old grump you are late.” She could hear heavy breathing, and then came the sarcastic reply, “Certainly my dear as soon as I can convince this kind policeman that I haven’t stolen your bloody car!

DRIVE TO THE CONDITIONS

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16

March 2014

Syndicates prove successful by John Robinson

Almost two years have passed since a unique concept of racehorse ownership was first launched in New Zealand. May will mark the second anniversary of when Noel Kennard’s dream became a reality for 500 owners, because this time back in 2012 is when their horse Franco Harrison first made it to the racetrack. Collectively known as the In It For Fun Syndicate, they’re a large group of enthusiasts who all got together with two common goals in mind… to race a horse as cheaply as possible, and have a ball while they’re doing it! Both have been achieved, because each person’s $360 outlay covers them for the entire two years that the syndicate will operate — and Franco Harrison has won a couple of his 19 raceday appearances in the interim as well. Unfortunately there’s been a fair amount of bad luck along the way, because ‘Harry’ as he’s affectionately known has been plagued by foot soreness which

has severely restricted him from realising his early potential. Those in the know in this game are fully aware that these sorts of things can happen from time to time, but horse owners tend to take it on the chin and shrug off any hint of disappointment with a comment along the lines of ‘that’s racing’ — quite content to be involved, regardless. In saying that, ‘Harry’ has received the best of care and attention in an attempt to fix his issues. He was placed with a new trainer at the beach, plus he was sent to Massey University for tests. The latter expense was understandably never budgeted for, neither were all the extra vet bills before and since, but syndicate manager and goHarness founder, Noel Kennard, is a man of principal and forked out himself — quite simply because he wanted his

Saratoga, the impressive 4-year-old trotter who’s one of four horses in the ‘Trotting For Fun’ Syndicate.

members to get their money’s worth. Furthermore, Kennard has also decided to extend the syndicate beyond its scheduled end date, in an attempt to make up for the time lost by ‘Harry’ being on the sidelines; once again, this will cost him and not the syndicate members. Humbled by the gratitude he

receives for such acts of loyalty and generosity, Kennard and his company goHarness Syndication continue to grow in stature and reputation. Two new syndicates have followed in the first one’s footsteps — Trotting For Fun, which owns the very promising square-gaiter Saratoga and three younger fillies, and Double The Fun, whose members cheer on two

equally-promising pacers in Astro Boy and Western Art. Planning is already underway for more syndicates too, because Kennard is adamant that due to the costs of racing a horse always being on the rise, large ownership groups are the future of harness racing. “Whether someone owns the whole horse themselves or

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March 2014

17

O’Connor Comments with Damien O’Connor Opposition Spokesman on Agriculture

The next Labour Government will give the forestry and wood products industries the policies they need as part of Labour’s plan for an economic upgrade. Forestry and wood processing are critical industries for the economic upgrade New Zealand desperately needs, especially in the regions. This current National Government is just cruising along, with no clear plan for our economy while wages stagnate and the cost of living continues to increase. A key part of Labour’s strategy is to encourage investment in the processing component of the industry to move the focus from logs to higher-value products. This will also include working with industry and BRANZ to develop building standards for wood construction to accommodate advanced wood construction technologies. This is an urgent priority, because every day millions of dollars in lost value leaves our ports in the form of raw logs. Right now New Zealand is not on a path to achieve that vision. Our economy today is driven by land banking and speculation, not by innovation and productivity. We have poorly-structured investment

in infrastructure, macro settings geared towards the interests of a small number of speculators, a hands-off approach to innovation, and a deficit of government-industry partnerships.

industry to create more value so more New Zealanders can earn enough to finally get ahead of the rising cost of living. The next urgent area for policy reform is in the meat sector. Labour is committed to

Businesses need to have a government wanting to partner with them to refocus our efforts on value, not volume. And nowhere is this new partnership more necessary than in the regional economies National has left behind.

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All this starts with investment. Our firms need more capital in order to compete internationally further up the value chain. And to get capital, first we need the right incentives. Part of that is shifting capital from speculative to productive investment, which is why we would implement a capital gains tax, but there also needs to be sector-targeted incentives. That’s why Labour will introduce tax deferrals for many capital investments in the wood products industry by way of an accelerated depreciation facility. In a short-sighted decision,

deliver a better structure for all dry stock farmers and meat workers with the same approach which is to add value to our efforts not export raw materials in the form of carcasses, which is the latest trend from a desperate meat sector.

National removed this facility in 2010, making it harder for New Zealand businesses to invest in new capacity. In addition to giving firms a better tax environment for investing in new plant, Labour will introduce a pro-wood government procurement strategy that will increase public demand for timber products in low-rise buildings. We will kick-start this programme through the rebuild

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of multiple low-rise government buildings in Christchurch, and through our KiwiBuild policy to build 100,000 new affordable homes over the next ten years. Every time a firm takes a New Zealand primary product further up the value chain — turning logs into boards and boards into homes — the benefits to New Zealand Inc. run to millions.

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18

March 2014

Winter Cultivation How dry was summer? The months between October and April, are pretty much by definition drier than the rest of the year. It may not get near drought conditions, but as autumn holds sway there are a number of options available to help you get back to top pasture conditions as quickly as possible. For those of you who have not been affected too badly, it is possible that nothing extraordinary needs to be done

to get your farm back to a productive and efficient stage. It may be just a case of waiting for the rain and for the pastures to bounce back naturally. However for those of you who have been more affected by the dry, and pastures may need a bit of TLC or you are facing feed

shortages heading into late autumn/winter, consideration might be needed to look at specific re-grassing options to ensure quick feed can be grown before the onset of the cooler late autumn/winter conditions. There are a number of different options available, and often the decision comes down

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to when do you need the feed, and what are you going to do with that paddock long term?

Annual ryegrass Annual Ryegrass is the fastest establishing and most winter active of the ryegrass species available. Strategic use of an annual ryegrass will provide large amounts of winter feed and it will also be able to be cut for silage to help boost supplement levels if these have been depleted through the dry period. Being an annual, annual ryegrasses will only persist for six to nine months so consideration needs to be given to what you are going to do with the paddock after they have run out. Therefore the most useful way to use an annual ryegrass is in paddocks that you have earmarked for sowing into another crop in late spring.

winter activity. While not as productive as annuals in the first six months (although not too far behind) the biggest advantage of an Italian ryegrass over an annual is that they will persist for up to 24 months, giving you more flexibility if you are unsure when you are going to re-grass/ crop that paddock again. Like annuals, they can be grazed through winter and then shut up for silage or hay, but will then regrow again for another year’s production.

Hybrid ryegrass

Italian ryegrass

A Hybrid ryegrass is one that is a perennial ryegrass x Italian ryegrass cross. There are a range of hybrid ryegrasses on the market — some with more perennial parentage and some with more Italian parentage. Therefore hybrids will generally persist for two to four years depending on their makeup.

Like annual ryegrasses, Italians are also quick to establish and have good

Hybrids are a very useful tool in the current dry situation as they can provide feed for

a much longer time than an annual or Italian ryegrass, yet are more productive during this time than a perennial ryegrass.

Autumn sown brassicas For those farmers wanting to grow as much feed as possible in a short period of time, especially if you are targeting winter grazing, a winter brassica crop like winter turnips or forage brassicas such as rape or ‘leafy turnips’ are a viable option. These brassicas are ideal for sheep/beef or dairy graziers who may have lost feed earmarked for winter grazing because of the dry. They can also be used by dairy farmers who winter their cows at home if you are also struggling to find feed for the winter. The time from sowing to grazing ranges from 50–70 days for leafy turnips through to 70–110 days for the various rape varieties and 90–110 days for the turnips. Tonnages of 6–10 tonnes DM/ha can be expected during this period.

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4AG is running North and South Island demonstrations of a new, deep ripping concept from Czech company Bednar Farm Machinery. With tractor horsepower on the increase, 4AG believes there is an opening in the NZ market for cropping farmers and contractor to pull wider ripping machines to break up compaction caused by heavy harvesting equipment and dairy cows on wintering blocks. 4AG sales manager Brent Raikes says over the last 10 years, the performance of agricultural machines has increased considerably and over that time weight of the machinery has increased as well. “These extra hundreds of kilos and often tonnes can markedly compact fertile agricultural soils. The result can be increased long-term water logging, even when rainfall levels are average. Another problem can be blocked water movement when tillage is done for years at the same working depth,” Brent says. Bednar uses the term vertical tillage to describe the action of its Terraland cultivators. The Terraland’s tines are set at a unique angle so that the topsoil layer is aggressively worked and intensively mixed. It also penetrates 35cm to 45cm into the soil profile, below compacted layers left by a plough pan or harvesting machinery. Brent says Terraland cultivators are particularly well-suited to maize grain and potato growers and to large dairy farmers or specialist dairy grazing properties. “The leading angle of the tines is designed specifically to loosen the subsoil

layer without bringing the soil from lower layers that are often poor in nutrients up to depths where seeds are sown. “The second angle of the tine produces an intensive mixing effect at the working depths between where ploughs and chisel cultivators work. This mixes plant residue with the soil and creates the ideal conditions for a uniform breakdown of organic material within the top 10cm-15 cm of the soil profile. “The third angle of the Terraland tine near the top of the soil loosening anchor is designed to create a tilth and further mix the soil. The job is finished by overlapping spike rollers which mix the harvest residues, break up clods and provide a very level finish.” As a trailing machine, the Terraland has significant advantages over wide three-point linkage machines. The trailed version has hydraulic wheel control giving the operator excellent options to control the depth of work on the move and take weight off the frame in wet areas. 4AG has clients in the North Island using Terraland machines working at depths of 50cm to prepare maize ground. This allows maize crops to establish their roots even in very dry seasons. Each leg on the Terraland is protected by a hydraulic non-stop system. The legs have individual trip release. They can be hydraulically adjusted to trip freely in stony soils or more pressure can be applied to cope with heavy clay soils where traditional

The Terraland’s vertical tillage action aggressively mixes the topsoil but also penetrates as deep as 50cm to break up compacted layers

implements cannot penetrate to required depths. This system protects the whole frame and reversible chisel points against damage. This is valuable because tines working at depth are likely to encounter heavy soil layers and foreign objects that have never been struck with traditional ploughs or discs. Terraland frames are manufactured from highly specialised ‘Alform’ maraging steel, which is also used to produce crane booms and other applications where the lightest possible weight is required to give maximum strength and flexibility to frames subject to torsional stresses. Nevertheless, the 4.0m-wide Terraland is no light weight. It tips the scales at 6220 kg with a horsepower requirement of about 90hp per metre, depending on soil type. Bednar also makes a variant of the trailing Terraland for deep fertiliser placement. This machine can place fertiliser at a depth of 40cm.

“Deep fertilising is being touted as the next big thing in Europe where land prices are increasing and it is imperative to get more yield, rather than simply cut costs, which may come with lower yields and therefore lower returns on the capital value of the land,” Brent says. “The increasing value of land is also forcing cropping farmers to look at how to increase returns by having machines that are versatile enough to be used in other areas of the farming operation.” 4AG officially launched the trailed range of Terraland machines at the South Island Agricultural Fieldays at Waimumu. Over the next two months 4AG will be showcasing them to farmers and contractors in the South Island and the east coast of the North Island. For more information, phone 0800 424 100 or, to speak with a product specialist, phone 021 228 5443.


March 2014

19

Winter Cultivation Control without chemicals

It seems that variability in dormancy and stimulation requirements contribute to black nightshade having several flushed in each year and often avoiding control mechanisms based on a single

strategically timed cultivation. So there is a requirement to stay vigilant. Being members of the potato family, they are susceptible to the tomato potato psyllid (TPP) but while this may have some biological

control effect, the real concern is that the weeds can contribute to the build-up of epidemics of TPP that threaten all Solanaceae crops so there is a further reason to be vigilant about these weeds.

Black and hairy are words perhaps descriptive of nightmares — but in a rural sense, it’s actually nightshade. Black nightshade, or Solanum nigrum and hairy nightshade S. physalifolium are troublesome weeds from the potato family that have been put under examination by Dr Tim Jenkins in the past, and his message is well worth repeating. Much work has been done on non-chemical management of the nightshades in Canterbury including the Masters’ project of Sean Bithell at Lincoln University. The berries are toxic when green and depending on genetic type can still be toxic when ripe. The toxin in the green berries (and to some extent ripe berries and leaves) is the glycoalkaloid solanine (the same issue found in green potatoes) and presents a problem for livestock grazing affected areas. The leaves can have high nitrate levels which are also a concern if grazing infested areas. With cropping the weed can be a headache as the plant is fast to establish, highly competitive and soon produces plentiful seed. The weed is a particular problem for pea crops where the still green berries can slip through with the podded peas and even a small amount of contamination can result in the rejection of a crop. Even when berries are unripe and green, they can still produce viable seed when dislodged so best practice for physical management is to get in while the plants are still

young and definitely prior to berry formation. Each berry can contain many dozen seeds and it is not uncommon to see almost monocultures of this weed come up in a flush where adult plants have been allowed to drop berries. Since the seed is long lived in the soil this local curse of weed seed bank can last for many years even without recent seed set. The nightshades can be indicative of high nitrogen availability, good drainage and dry summer conditions but can also be simply a reflection of bare soil present in the late spring to summer allowing establishment of the weed at some time in the past. False seed beds on early to mid-summer soils can be very effective especially on hairy nightshade seed reserves. Here the seed bed is prepared as if for planting a crop, even irrigation can be used to help stimulate weed germination. After the weed seedlings emerge they are controlled in such a way as to minimise soil disturbance (so as not to expose yet more seed from below) at the three or four true leaf stage. Thermal weeding (flame or steam) or shallow hoe work are the alternatives to herbicide here. Within crops shallow hoe cultivation (avoiding stirring up seed deeper in the soil) is suitable for depleting the threat to the crop — since most emerging seedlings will come from seed 20 to 40 mm deep in all but the lightest soils.

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Germination is often stimulated by cultivation (very much so for hairy nightshade) though some seed can remain dormant to produce later flushes in the year or in subsequent years. Germination is generally higher in warm conditions where there is sufficient moisture and is promoted by reasonable nitrogen availability in the soil and good organic matter levels and soil biological activity. Black nightshade can sometimes be shown to require light stimulation for germination but cultivation in the dark was not found to be effective for reducing black nightshade emergence in Sean Bithell’s work.

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March 2014

Effluent and Waste Management ADVERTORIAL

Water a defining factor

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Sustainable Water Limited, an Ashburton based company is introducing efficent solutions for dairy effluent management. “The need to store dairy effluent for longer periods has induced closer attention to the management of entire

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effluent systems,” says managing director Tim O’Sullivan. “By quantifying water consumption of dairy sheds there is usually the ability to reduce fresh water significantly. Options include the recycling of green water for backing gate operation and the introduction of a closed circuit plate cooling system that can collectively offset water use in some sheds by up to 60%. “One satisfied customer has gone from producing 120,000 litres to 50,000 litres per day, ultimately creating far less effluent which costs less to process, store and apply to pasture and crops.”

Sustainable Water provides services for system and pond design including the supply and installation of both HDPE and GCL pond liners. There are multiple options available for solids separation, each of which can be quantified with the intention of providing the most reliable and robust system to deliver peace of mind for the years ahead. Sustainable Water Limited has developed working partnerships in their objective of providing efficient, innovative solutions. “It is in this shared spirit that we continue to advance as a trustworthy service provider in the agricultural sector of Canterbury.”

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March 2014

21

Effluent and Waste Management ADVERTORIAL

Effluent answers in action Effluent ponds are a vital part of dairy farming — but they’re no use when they’re overflowing. Timaru-based SJ Allen Ltd has been emptying ponds for 20 years and has a large fleet of trucks available that can usually have the job done in a matter of days. With 14 staff in South Canterbury they cover the area from just south of Rakaia down to Palmerston, running 15 effluent trucks. Manager, Darren Ladbrook, said the company takes care of all effluent matters, including providing pond stirrers, which with just a few hours of operation in the pond will have broken up the crust and bought the solids from the bottom of the pond up to become a slurry, which can then be spread evenly onto paddocks. “We’re very flexible with what we can do,’’

he said, “from effluent ponds, above ground effluent tanks, underpasses, saucers, wedges, and stone traps, just some of our many services that can be provided to the dairy industry.”

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Staff are also fully upto-date with changing disposal regulations — a vital component as dairying comes under increasing environmental scrutiny. “The effluent sucked out of farmers’ ponds is spread onto whichever paddocks they want sprayed with liquid fertiliser,” Mr Ladbrook said. “For the larger ponds in the district, containing one to two million litres, SJ Allen will take in five or six trucks to complete the task in a shorter time frame,” he said.

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SJ Allen Ltd also have a variety of water blasting units for unblocking and cleaning drains, culverts and irrigation pipes etc. CCTV units are also available for inspection of pipes and drains. “Dairy farms that will be affected by the up-coming

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Septic tanks and multi-stage septic systems are delicately balanced environments. It does not take much to upset them. Common practice is to ignore the septic system until problems occur. Good and best economical practice is to always keep your septic system well maintained. A malfunctioning septic system can become a health hazard. When a system is not maintained or operated as a delicately balanced environment, problems occur.These problems include nasty odours, leach line blockages, untreated liquid rising to the surface, toilets gurgling and taking time to empty. At this stage your septic system is a serious health hazard to you and your children. Human waste produces faecal coliform bacteria, a source of viral and bacterial gastroenteritis as well as Hepatitis A and other diseases. Hepatitis can be a debilitating condition and cause long-term harm to children. There are only three remedies. One: stop using the septic system until it recovers. This can take over a month and is not normally practical. Two: excavate your septic system and relocate it.This is very costly and time consuming, sometimes requiring new resource consents and different systems. Three: treat your septic system with Septi-Cure™ every six months. Septi-Cure is Cost effective. By far the most cost effective solution is to pour one litre of Septi-Cure™ down each toilet bowl every six months.This simple action will help keep your system working at top efficiency by reducing solids and scum. Instead of emptying your tank frequently, the reduction in solids and scum saves you expensive pump out costs.Your irrigation field and leach lines will become clear of slimes and blockages so nature can handle the gradual seepage and evaporation for you. When this is happening your system will be

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‘gypsy day’ should call the SJ Allen freephone number 0800 155 669 to tee up a visit. The pond needs to be emptied ready for the incoming staff, and to ensure no mishaps with overfilling. We offer a 24-7 service.”

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22

March 2014

Effluent and Waste Management

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The new plan means for the first time there are rules in place which require farmers to manage nitrate leaching, particularly if they are in a part of the region where nitrates are causing significant water quality problems â&#x20AC;&#x201D; our nutrient red zones. Within those limits, the plan enables economic activity. Farmers will not be told what to do with their land â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they know their own businesses. Whatever they do, however, they will be required to comply with the rules. Because of these controls by Environment Canterbury farmers need to take responsibility on where and how much effluent is applied.

of products. This allows the farmer to manage his effluent application through his Pivots and also records the placement. Buddy Controllers Patented FAILSAFE technology is used to make sure effluent isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t applied if the pivot is not moving.

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March 2014

23

Giants from the past

by Lorne Kuehn

As humans, we tend to think that things in our environment have always been there. Canterbury farmland is now very much like a primitive form of British countryside.

In the next fifty years the bison were almost all exterminated so that crop planting could take place without disruption, just as is now being done in African savannahs and veldts with

One such place was a jump on the edge of Buffalo Lake, near Stettler, Alberta. The jump landed the animals in a large shallow lake where they were easily killed in the water and pulled to the shore for carcass processing.

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I spent weekends here in the summer gathering up large

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which existed only a few centuries ago. So many bison in North America, now hardly any. So many moas in New Zealand, now none at all, occurring in just a few hundred years.

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At a nearby gravel pit, I located bones from even earlier bison, some of which turned out to be the oldest bison bones ever

found at the time, some 40,000 years of age. This discovery led to my spending weeks with a paleoanthropology survey crew and for a while I considered becoming an archaeologist instead of a physicist.The point to be made in this article is that our present-day environment can be much different to that

There were, however, some places in Alberta where many bison skeletons could still be found in great abundance. These were at the sites of high buffalo jumps where the plains Indians would drive frightened herds over steep cliffs so that they broke their bones and would be easily killed to make the energy-rich pemmican needed for survival of the Indian tribes in the winter.

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I took many of the better examples home much to the annoyance of my parents who were left with the problem of disposal when I headed off to university.

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When white settlers first came into the land two centuries ago, they cleaned up the prairies by gathering all the bones and skeletons of the many thousands of dead bison, selling them to fertiliser companies. These sales were the first economic returns that the settlers were able to get off their land.

All that remained of the bison, when I was a boy and now, were the thousands of large wallowing holes on the high plains where the great beasts got some protection from the hot summers and annoying insects. These were sloughs where my friends and I would skinny-dip on a hot day, just like the bison of old, and where the many waterfowl of the prairies breed.

bones and huge skulls in the shallow lake water. Some of these animals were the wood bison that had been much larger than the smaller plains bison. These skulls were almost a metre across from horn tip to horn tip. The animals had stood over two metres high at the shoulder.

equiPmenT TreaTmenTs

This is also true for the farmland in which I grew up some sixty years ago in central Alberta. Despite the mixedfarming agricultural state of the land, there were little or no reminders of the incredible herds of bison that had once wandered the prairies. Millions of these large mammals used to migrate up and down the high plains on the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains.

the elephants and other large mammals.

ProducTs

Yet only a few hundred years ago, before the arrival of humans, it would have been mature forest and scrubby bush with thousands of large moa wandering around, now all gone.

2/20/14 9:30 AM


24

March 2014

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Gregoire Beeson XRV 5m All Hyd Discs �������������������������� $25,000 Prattley Double sheep ramp ����������������������������������������������$3,200 Vanguard Wool Press ��������������������������������������������������������$2,200 Watson 6�3m Roller C/W Levelling Boards, Brakes&Lights �� POA Taege 7 Aside V Rake All Hydr� ��������������������������������������� $20,000 Duncan 701 20 Run Drill All Hyd� Lift & Eclipse Box ����������$4,500 Kverneland 4 F Reversible LD 85 Plough ������������������������ $12,750 Trailing Grubbers ���������������������������������������������������� From $8,750 Duncan 750 Till Seeder Drill ����������������������������������������������$4,500 Agrimaster RMU 2000 Mulcher ������������������������������������������$6,750 Hooper & Willett Discs �������������������������������������������� From $4,500 Bamford 7 Reel Rakes ��������������������������������������������� From $1,150 Kuhn GMD 800 G11 Mower ��������������������������������������������� $10,750 Claas 680 Profill Rake ����������������������������������������������������� $12,000 Kinghitter Post Driver c/w spike ������������������������������������� $16,500 Prattley Alloy Sheep Yards ������������������������������������������������$7,500 Ferguson 3 Furrow Plough �������������������������������������������������� $450 Aitchison 4 Leg Ripper ������������������������������������������������������$2,750 Austin 10Ft Roller c/w ext Drawbar ����������������������������������$3,500 John Deere 2130 Tractor 2WD ������������������������������������������$7,500 Fiat 215 Tractor Diesel ������������������������������������������������������$2,500 Gregoire Beeson Maxitill 22FT Twin Levelling Boards-Finger Tynes ������������������������������������������������������� $28,000 Just a Small Selection of our Stock All Prices + GST

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FARM WHEELS

March 2014

25

Less is more for new Grizzly by Andy Bryenton

Auto reviewers often equate power with performance, and for many a road-going machine, this simple correlation is true enough. But what about a situation where fuel economy, traction, ride comfort and load-bearing capability are more important than a blistering quarter mile dash? Then the equation becomes a little more like algebra, and the decision as to what constitutes the perfect machine for the job becomes less a simple podium finish and more of a bar-room ‘discussion’. Take quad bikes for example. Hard working, dependable, rugged — these are all words which farmers would love to use when talking about their four wheeled ‘best mate’. A 0–60 time in the low 3s is nowhere near as important as the ability to run a load of fence battens and wire up to the far paddock in a winter squall and four inches of quality Kiwi mud. That’s why Yamaha have developed their latest Grizzly, the 550 EPS, to have less power than their range topping 700, but incorporate a host of features designed to make the rural rider’s day easier.

In road cars, big advancements have been made in driver safety and comfort by letting computers and engineering take over certain functions. Stability control, traction control, multi-clutch auto gearboxes — these work well for the likes of Aston and Porsche. Yamaha have incorporated user friendly, variable resistance power steering to take the strain off farmers’ arms, and a smoothly integrated auto transmission to remove the need for levers and manual clutches. Riders can choose 2WD, 4WD, or fully locked diffs with the push of a button. None of these features, in and of themselves, are new. But their integration into the Grizzly 550 package is seamless, and complements the electronically injected four valve engine perfectly.

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26

FARM WHEELS

March 2014

More power on tap less thirsty puma The humble battery is an often-overlooked Avon Cityfrom Suzuki

Double battery life

keystone of modern technology. Your car, truck or tractor won’t start without one, and there’s an endless list of toys, games, appliances and emergency items which relyEXAMPLE on a- LT-F400 lead-acid ‘heart’ to keep pumping. The battery may very well have been invented

in ancient Mesopotamia, but its modern form goes back over 100 years. Electrical pioneers like Edison would easily recognise even the most modern car battery of today — and they’d be able to tell you about their biggest problem, too.

Or structure to suit - call us today!

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Battery Revitalizer & Conditioner A lot of people in our Recharge Conditioning Program are getting 8 to 10 years out of their batteries. Just dose them when you buy them, treat them every two years and give them an overnight charge twice a year between treatments and eliminate the sulphation problem, DO NOT RELY ON THE ALTERNATOR A car battery can be treated for around $5. Available at:

Avon City Suzuki 0800 36 33 36 www.recharge.net.nz

www.avoncitysuzuki.co.nz

All lead acid batteries suffer from sulphation — the build up of the element sulphur inside from regular use. It’s unavoidable, and in fact batteries new off the shelf already have the beginnings of sulphation. In fact, this is the process which will finally finish off many batteries at the end of their lifespan. There is an answer, however, and it can extend your battery life up to ten years! Recharge battery technology is designed to dissolve the sulphur ions back into the electrolyte, stopping the corrosion of the battery’s lead plate and allowing it to hold a charge again. The results have to be seen to be believed — Recharge literally breathes new life back into ailing batteries. Even sealed batteries can be treated and restored with this easyto — use method.

Versatility is very much the key to farming success these days, and while many farmers are expanding into new fields of endeavour, their old one-purpose tractors are finding it hard to keep up. Contractors too, demand more use from their investment, and hate to see a machine worth tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of dollars left sitting idle in the shed while other tools pick up the slack. Case IH, the well-known agricultural brand with the big red presence on Kiwi farms, have been trying to crack this puzzle for decades, with more than fair success. Now they’ve released a new refinement to their ‘swiss army knife’ Puma series of tractors, sharpening it up for even better performance in a variety of rural roles. “The 2014 Tier 4 B Puma model tractors now offer more power than ever before, in addition to an enhanced cab that was first introduced in late-model Tier 4A Puma tractors. These new Puma tractors can be equipped with advanced end-of-row controls

and new rear remote control on the MultiFunction handle,” says Dave Bogan, Case IH Marketing Manager for Puma and Maxxum tractors. “These tractors were designed to increase operator efficiency and provide intuitive use in a comfortable cab environment.” This means in practical terms that the same machine can be fitted out for both cropping (where it’s an established leader in the rowcrop field) across to livestock farming. And even more — there are innumerable addons and extra tools able to be fitted to the powerful little Puma which make it great for specialised tasks. Available in up to a 6.7 litre, 240 horse engine size, the Puma range is also engineered to use less fuel, by way of Case IH’s innovative selective catalytic reduction system and smart engine ECU mapping.

Added to this multi-role capability is another key component — because if you can use the Puma tractor all day, you’ll want it to be a comfortable place to work. Case promotional materials refer to the Puma’s cab as a farmer’s boardroom office in the field, and every effort has been made to make a day behind the Puma’s wheel a comfortable and airconditioned cool one.

FREE AGHAT!

Heightened visibility and ease of operation were also red-flagged by Case IH engineers as points of supreme importance, and so the cab floats above the wheels and chassis with acres of glass, commanding a position from which the driver can contemplate which of many tasks he’s going to tackle next with this sharp and competent machine.

To advertise in the Canterbury Farming

Please call 03 347 2314 or email sales@canfarm.co.nz

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FARM WHEELS

March 2014

27

Built for a hard day’s work

There’s a war on for the attention of Kiwi farmers, and it’s one which takes no prisoners.

formula up into the middle ground — a great option for farmers who want the safety and power of a side-by-side but who don’t necessarily have passengers to take with them on every job. Wi t h heightened awareness of safety on farms, the addition of SUVstyle traction and hill descent systems, combined with the added functionality of a tipping deck and maximum

towing power may make the Ute a potent combination for farm owners looking to gear up their sharemilkers as well. Polaris dealer Drummond and Etheridge, with branches in Ashburton and Rolleston, are excited to have the new Ute at the dealership for customers to trial. “We are really impressed by the attention given to the details in the design of the new UTE.”

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The battle lines are clearly apparent — in one camp, the trusty and timehonoured ATV quad bike, and in the other, the rising force of the side-by-side UTV. Both have their unique points. Both are designed to tackle tough off-road terrain, and pack in a load of men, machinery and tools for all kinds of jobs around the farm. It’s an engineering argument which Polaris have been listening to closely. Their Sportsman quad bikes and Ranger UTVs both sell well here, and recent visits by Polaris designers to these shores have given rise to the Ranger 570 HD — a tougher side-by-side for agricultural

use. But the boys in the Polaris backroom haven’t stopped there. They have developed new machines to bridge the gap, starting with the single-seater, fully roll caged Ace, and now following this up with the first quad bike designed from the ground up for New Zealand and Australian demands. Like our other unique antipodean auto it’s called the Ute. But this is no big flat decked truck. The Polaris Ute begins with the template of a Sportsman ATV quad, then beefs it up to handle the hard knocks of farming life. Independent suspension all round improves handling, while a wide, balanced stance keeps the centre of

gravity manageable, even with the addition of a large tipping rear tray. The Ute features advanced engine and gearbox management systems which kick into all-wheel drive when it’s needed, and also allow for a hill descent mode like that seen on bigger ‘cousins’ like the Land Rover Discovery. Even fully laden (with an impressive 550kg towing weight and 180kg in the tipper) the Ute can handle steep surfaces safely. Even better, this new breed of ATV comes with the popular, powerful engine from the Ranger 570 HD, transplanted in to offer serious grunt. The Ranger itself is no slouch, so expect torque and pickup aplenty when the Ute’s throttle is given a

nudge! If the Ace was Polaris Industry’s way of bridging the gap from UTVs like their powerful RZR down to the size of a quad, the Ute is their way of pushing the tried and true quad bike

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28

DAIRY

March 2014

The benefits of TB changes

DRIVE PHONE FREE! ADVERTORIAL

Dave McCrea: Reliability and professionalism In his three decades as a builder Dave McCrea has learned a lot about how to create spaces that make clients happy. Eight years ago he set up Dave McCrea Building. Since then his company has earned a well-earned reputation for quality and value for money when it comes to building farm sheds and houses throughout North Otago, South Canterbury, and Canterbury as far north as Kaikoura. Whatever the job, Dave is keen to hear from you. He’s happy to visit you on site, go through a range of options and provide an obligation-free quote. Dave’s team is highly skilled in all types of building. “I’ve got a couple of guys who have been with me since the start. They can run jobs.” Dave says he and his team can also handle building consents. “These have got a lot more time consuming,” he says. “They are getting more time consuming.” Sometimes there’s pressure to do a building job yourself. It can be cheaper and save you money. That counts for a lot

when budgets are tight and you want every dollar to go as far as it can. But a cheap job can cost you more in the long run. But if your business depends on having structures that work effectively and deliver maximum productivity, it makes sense to get them built by a professional who has a track record of quality and delivering jobs on time. Dave McCrea is that professional. He is a member of the New Zealand Master Builders Association and is a Licensed Building Practitioner. He totally guarantees his work through the Master Builders’ BuildGuard scheme. As can be expected for someone with a fine reputation, Dave and his team have been pretty busy. “Last year we built four houses and nine dairy sheds.” Summer is the busiest time for Dave’s team. But he is looking for projects. The sooner you call, the better the chance of getting Dave to do your job. And if you get Dave you won’t regret it.

TM

More than 5300 herds across some 1.7 million hectares of New Zealand farmland will benefit from reductions in both Movement Control Areas and cattle and deer bovine tuberculosis tests. From March 1, herds throughout parts of the central and southern North Island and northern South Island will no longer require pre-movement TB testing, but will continue to be tested annually. Farmer and Wellington TBfree Committee chair Peter Gaskin no longer has to premovement test his cattle and says the progress made by the TB control programme through movement restrictions and wild animal control has been particularly satisfying. “It’s been very pleasing for farmers to be able to enjoy another on-farm benefit, resulting from the sustained pressure applied by TBfree New Zealand, as it implements

the national TB control plan,” he said. That plan is to eradicate TB from at least 2.5 million hectares by 2026. As progress is made, farmers will benefit from reductions in TB testing requirements and the relaxation of movement restrictions. However, bovine TB is still a threat and farmers need to fulfill their obligations in helping to manage the disease. Dairy farmers, such as Michael Sargent of Tihoi, have significantly invested in the success of TBfree New Zealand through DairyNZ, the largest industry funder of the TB control programme.

“It feels great to not have to pre-movement test stock anymore, as it means a lot less work and it will allow us greater flexibility when selling stock,” he said. North Canterbury deer and beef farmer Dugald Rutherford is finally moving out of the Movement Control Area. “It’s a bit of a bugbear having to get the TB testers in before moving stock, but the way I’ve looked at it, everybody has to play by the rules, as the past has shown that when you think the disease is under control and take your foot off the pedal, it gets out of control again.” He has been under movement control restrictions for eight years and has been farming the property for four decades. Then in 1989, a neighbouring property became infected with the disease due to contact with TB ferrets. “It’s challenging to have TB in your herd. As a farmer, you’re trying to do the best for your stock and, of course, your family, too.” But times have changed. Dugald is now in three-way partnership on the farm with his wife and son Andrew, 30, and he’s got sheep dogs on the farm that “have never spotted a possum before. I’m looking forward to the day when the property is on an even lower testing schedule. Then, once TB has been eradicated from wild animals and herds, it will be a day to celebrate.”

‘You won’t regret it!’  In business 8 years  Well-earned reputation for quality & value  Cover North Otago, South Canterbury & Canterbury  Obligation free quotes  Highly skilled team in all types of building  Building Consents  Quality jobs on time  NZ Master Builders Member  Licensed Building Practitioner 50 Bridge Street, Netherby, Ashburton, 7700

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DAIRY

March 2014 ‘good’ standard, about one third of the losses from a comparative property using a conventional N driven programme.

Soil Matters with Peter Burton

Each component of DoloZest and CalciZest has a proven benefit.

A way through for dairying

Amy Adams the Environment Minister rejected the criticism and said the commissioner seemed to be deliberately forgetting that every council will be required at a minimum to maintain water quality. Bryce Johnson of Fish and Game said the commissioner’s comments were timely and that the current government’s enthusiasm for irrigation with very little attention to the serious consequences scares the hell out of them. Willy Leferink of Federated Farmers says farmers aren’t dumb, and are regulated by rules as well as economic sense and with every kilogram of nitrogen costing $2 farmers want to mitigate the loss of nitrates.

farm developments currently applying for irrigation rights claiming Nitrate N leaching losses will be mitigated by ‘yet to be developed technology’ highlights a real issue. It takes ten years for sufficient information to be gained to know whether a new product or process will actually provide the desired results, and even if the ‘yet to be developed technology’ was available tomorrow ten years is too long to wait. The only valid argument for the continued use of fertiliser nitrogen is that much less pasture would be grown without its use. Not one of the scientists

It’s been claimed that New Zealand’s water is already ‘stuffed’ and we don’t accept that, however large dairy

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MAF pasture measurements from the late 70s early 80s recorded annual pasture growth in excess of 18 tonne of dry matter annually without the use of nitrogen fertiliser. Annual pasture growth from permanent pasture now is significantly less.

Woodchip

There is much in each statement that is factual and relevant, and most importantly little by little the discussion is getting to the heart of the matter — the annual application of more than 500,000 tonnes of urea to our 15,000 dairy farms at an average of 150kgN/ha. Thirty years ago very little urea was applied, and one of the consequences of applying nitrogen, now around 230 million kilograms annually is becoming apparent. In a number of areas the amount of Nitrate N in groundwater is rapidly approaching the level where health warnings will have to be issued.

that have supported our work agrees with that.

DoloZest r

The Government appointed Commissioner for the Environment, has again criticised the government’s fresh water policies, saying they are inadequate for the maintenance of present water quality, and there is little in the national policy for NEWS AUGUST 2013—hANhAm 1/2PG ADVERT fresh water management that would prevent the dire ATS 2020 scenario in her report on water quality presented last year becoming a reality.

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DAIRY

March 2014

DairyNZ’s research head set to semi-retire DairyNZ’s chief scientist Dr Eric Hillerton has decided to semi-retire later this year. Dr Hillerton’s early research career was spent at the University of Reading and the National Institute for Research in Dairying in the United Kingdom. He took on the chief scientist position with

Dexcel (now DairyNZ) in 2006 after five years working as the principal scientist at the Institute for Animal Health. He said one of the most rewarding parts of being a scientist with DairyNZ is the

HE ASKED FOR IT Reece Croasdale: Taupiri. Herd size 450. Reece loves slalom skiing, he’s been doing it since he was 8 and he loves the speed and the challenge of making every turn as efficient and tight as is possible. He takes the same approach with his other early morning challenge - milking. That’s why Reece installed a Protrack™ solution. Protrack lets him run milking just as fast, accurate and tight as he skis, which leaves him with more time on the water. We don’t know what you will do with the extra time a Protrack system will give you. We just know that you, like Reece and every other Protrack owner, will find better things to do with the time you used to spend in the shed.

To find out more about how Protrack can help make your life easier visit www.lic.co.nz, call 0508 Protrack or contact your LIC Customer Relationship Manager.

direct involvement with dairy farmers, understanding the real problems on farms and helping develop solutions and new technologies. “Much of the value of that science lies in taking research and knowledge

directly to farmers, and testing how to apply and transfer innovative technologies and solutions.” Dr Hillerton said there have been many highlights during his time with DairyNZ.

Dr Eric Hillerton to semi-retire this year

“I am especially proud of the quality of the scientific research at DairyNZ, which has become outstanding. We now have top scientists here who are truly world-leading. An example is our work identifying genetics involved in feed conversion efficiency by dairy cows.” That work was recognised recently with a gold status awarded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, and a Kudos award (Hamilton Science Excellence Awards). DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle said Dr Hillerton has made a great contribution to the New Zealand dairy industry over the past seven years. “Eric has driven a significant improvement in science quality and output, and his relentless focus has had real benefits for farmers.” Following his plans to semi-retire in July, Dr Hillerton will continue to contribute to New Zealand dairy farming through various projects.

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DAIRY

March 2014

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ADVERTORIAL

Irrigate effluent further at lower cost When irrigating effluent, consistent pressure and volume over greater distances are crucial — a case for progressing cavity (PC) pumps, says noted pump maker Mono Pumps New Zealand.

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With a range of flows and standard discharge heads of up to 120m, Mono eliminates the need for a series of pumps when irrigating paddocks further away from the pond. Mr Ibnul says no one knows

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maintain and operate.” Contact: 0800 659 012, www.monopumps.com.au/ NZ/effluentpump.

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32

DAIRY

March 2014

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In olden times cheese, which keeps well and provides both a wealth of flavours and essential calcium, was a prized trade commodity, a staple of the medieval diet, and the product of artisan craftsmanship, its secrets preserved with the same zeal as those of the stonemasons or glassworkers.

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As a dairying nation, New Zealand has produced some renowned cheeses of its own. As far back as the earliest settlement, colonial cheese makers were striving to outdo their continental contemporaries. One of those early artisan cheesemakers was established on Banks Peninsula in the 1890s. Barrys Bay cheese was one of nine tiny family-owned dairy co-ops on the picturesque peninsula, and they produced their first old English-style cheddar in 1895, using fresh milk from local herds. Despite the peninsula’s French connection (French ships landed here in the 1830s, and it almost became a colony of France), Barrys Bay cheese steadfastly stuck to their English heritage for many years, producing

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DAIRY

Mike and Catherine Carey are thrilled with the top award their hand-crafted cheese has won

quality cheddar for over a century. Now Barrys Bay has shot to prominence with new owners Mike and Catherine Carey presiding over a change in styles and flavours which has led to an illustrious award. “Traditionally Barrys Bay has been English cheddar makers but the demand for Dutch-style cheese had led us down a path of Dutch-style cheese making. We have been focussing on making improvements to our Gouda and to that end have been liaising with North Island Dutch cheese makers.” The creamy taste of their Maasdam, Gouda and Havarti varieties has wowed the judges at this year’s New Zealand Champions of Cheese Awards. Up against the best of the best, Barrys Bay’s hand-crafted aged gouda come out on top, a supreme victory from the small cheese making business, and one which was backed up by a further ten medals, including six gold awards. Mike and Catherine have only been the owners of Barrys Bay since 2005, but they and

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their dedicated team have already made a huge mark on the national (soon to be international) cheese scene. With backgrounds in autos and electronics, the pair say they have had to study hard and learn fast — but that diligence has paid big dividends. “It has been a lot of hard work and a massively steep learning curve but our passion for the product kept us going. The recognition through these awards is hugely satisfying,” says Catherine. “Pete Corbitt, our head cheesemaker, must take much credit for the overall award. He has spent time meeting with other Dutch cheese makers around New Zealand and hosting them here at Barrys Bay, learning the art of producing a quality Gouda.”

March 2014

33

Barrys Bay cheesemaker Pete Corbitt has liaised with top dutch-style cheesemakers to expand his knowledge. It’s paid off with his recognition as the ‘master craftsman’ of Kiwi cheese this year.

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Quality indeed — and good enough to rank with the very best in the world. Barrys Bay may have been a small and fairly isolated place during its first hundred years, but this major win will surely put it on the map, making it ‘hot property’ for the next century at least!

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March 2014

The combinations that reach new heights in total crop protection.

At Bayer we’ve developed a range of fungicides and insecticides that work in combination to provide protection like a bubble around your cereal seedlings, from sowing through the first weeks of plant growth. Giving you a simple, convenient way to get ultimate peace of mind, better crop emergence and helping to maximise production. Combination for wheat: Raxil, Poncho & Galmano*

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LIVESTOCK

March 2014

35

Harnessing soil biology — large scale mulching by Tim Jenkins

Mulching is something generally associated with smaller scale gardening. Mulching large scale depends on the availability of materials and practicality of spreading it. A smart solution is to grow the mulch on site. In the case of orchards and vineyards this can be readily achieved by growing an interrow sward and once or twice during the year mowing the clippings on to the crop row itself when the crop is still yet to establish so far as to get its roots out into the interrow area. The clippings bring nutrients available over time to the crop also feed organic matter (to the benefit of soil structure and biology) in the row area that may in many cases be kept otherwise bare of vegetative cover. The amount of mulching benefit in terms of moisture retention and reducing soil temperature fluctuations will usually be limited since there is not a great bulk of clippings that

arrive. Nutrients will be needed to replace those lost in clipping removal from the interrow. The nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, sulphur etc will help sustain good sward growth and in particular legume growth and nitrogen fixation which could potentially meet the nitrogen requirements of the orchard/ vineyard system. A pasture can generally function quite well in at least maintaining and in many cases improving soil structure and organic matter levels. If intervals between grazing can be extended there is often better opportunity for soil organic matter levels to increase. In cropping systems, there may be potential to grow cover crops that can then be

mechanically rolled, mown or shallow cultivated to leave something of a mulch. The system usually requires a fair bit of refinement over years and attention to timing to get right. Internationally there has been some success with this that has led to increased potential for no-till organic farming. A book ‘Organic No-Till Farming’ by Jeff Moyer of the Rodale Institute is probably the most comprehensive text on this. Moyer has deep research and practical experience in this and has also summarised and presented case studies of practical systems with a wide variety of cover crops. Most of the success that Moyer has had is based on an efficient roller crimper machine that leaves a

mulch that doesn’t grow back again (if you get the timing right on the rolling). Some specific gems of information from Moyer’s experience include putting the roller on the front of the tractor and advice on timing the operation right for the stage for each cover crop to achieve good kill. The ‘no-till’ comes from using a cover crop to create mulch on site. Crops are established using standard or modified no-till type planting equipment. The cover crop and mulch improve soil condition and manage weeds. Cultivation will sometimes still be involved for the establishment of the cover crop in the first place but overall cultivation is significantly reduced.In many areas there is now municipal compost available that can be suitable for use as a mulch as well as soil conditioner and relatively inexpensive source of nutrients. The main expense is often in the transport and spreading. Some vineyards and

Mulching vine rows with compost takes care of most nutrient requirements as well as improving soil condition

other operations have also got into large scale composting of their own and brought in material. When such compost is available, application rates

to a thin strip of crop row or even to the whole field may sometimes be sufficiently high (eg 50 tonne/ha) to create a mulching effect.

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Ring Kevin and there’ll be no rep in a new Falcon to see you. Kevin will turn up with the truck and certified scales. He will load the wool and pay you on the day! From mainline to dags see if you can find any wool buyer who will go further or work harder for your wool.

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36

LIVESTOCK

March 2014

Wool Perspective From Rob Cochrane GM, Procurement, PGG Wrightson Wool During the past month prices for most wool types offered through the auction arena held firm, on average, with any fluctuations due mainly to wool quality variation as a result of weather conditions and pasture growth. The limited number of bales catalogued at each weekly auction held in Christchurch generally drew strong support from the full bench of buyers with some extremely spirited bidding witnessed from the auctioneer’s rostrum. The final auction for the month of February saw

the market remain solid on previous weeks with better style crossbred fleece fetching levels around the 500 cents to 510 cents per clean kilogram mark. The first March auction continued similarly however most fleece types improved by a few cents, with the best gains made on the poorer end,

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compared to the previous auction. Second-shear wools were well sought in early March with prices ranging from around 480 to 510 cents per clean kilogram depending upon staple length. Crossbred lamb’s wool was fetching in the ranges of 495 to 550 cents per clean kilogram but pricing was very much influenced by both micron and staple length. As always, vegetable matter contamination also dictated lambs’ wool pricing with best prices realised for wools containing between 0.0% and 0.1% vegetable matter. A small number of Corriedale and Halfbred wools were offered throughout the month and once again attracted good attention from the exporting trade, although prices were not as solid as earlier in the year, probably a reflection of quality and the smaller volumes available. Corriedale lamb’s wool was well supported by the exporting trade. A good selection of Merino wool types was offered by PGG

Wrightson at the final February auction in Christchurch with prices realised in line with most recent sales in Australia. All buyers were represented at the Christchurch auction with some extremely spirited bidding taking place and although a few lines were passed in for failing to meet grower reserves (with a few successful sales negotiated post auction), the general clearance was very good indeed. Ultra-fine wools continued to be, however, rather difficult to place, following the season’s trend to date. In light of the ever decreasing sheep population due to the seemingly never ending change in land use towards dairy related pursuits, it would appear to me that the auction system should be the most favoured wool selling mechanism by wool growers to ensure they receive full value for their product. It never ceases to amaze me the number of wool growers who discount the auction as being ‘archaic’, or ‘too expensive’, or ‘too slow in delivering funds’

when in fact the auction is still regarded by the buying trade as the price setting mechanism for New Zealand wool, buyers pay and growers are paid on prompt date (without there ever having been a default), whilst allowing all buyers to assess a representative sample drawn from each line of wool catalogued and to compete in an open-cry auction arena where both growers and buyers can witness the transparency of the entire operation. Full test results accompany each individual lot

of wool along with the wool sample, allowing both seller and buyer confidence in the product on offer. In my view there is no better system to ensure true spot market price and with lesser volumes coming forward for sale nowadays it makes sense to get as much wool into one system as possible to create some urgency among buyers and obtain the highest price a buyer is prepared to pay to beat the under bidder. Sounds too easy! That’s my view.

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Helping grow the country


LIVESTOCK

Please call 03 347 2314 or email sales@canfarm.co.nz

Canterbury Branch NZ Deer Farmers Assn Sponsored By Mountain River Processors Ltd

by Hamish Guild

With the Co-operative elections behind us, a message has been sent out to our meat companies that the status quo is not desired and that change is head of the agenda. Given that the percentage of venison processed by the two co-operatives is in excess of 80%, this is very important to deer farmers with potentially large implications for the industry. Hypothetically, if the two companies were to merge we would see a total percentage of processing volume held by one company that many sheep and beef farmers (I include myself in this) would find very enviable. MIE have had success in the recent elections with having former members elected to the boards based on that strategy. This has been done largely on the platform of sheep and cattle, but venison is still a red meat and the industry players are largely the same with the same problems. The current venison schedule is making it very hard work for deer farmers to ignore competing land uses. That same

venison schedule has been over $10/kilo in the past and that we were being paid the equivalent of $12.30 (inflation adjusted) thirty years ago, it is no surprise that deer farmers are giving thought to change, especially where there are other land use options. And of course in the meantime the on-farm costs have been heading in the other direction to further erode profitability with only on-farm production keeping us farming. When and how are we going to get back to $10? With current profitability it is very easy to be inward looking. I admit most of the time I fall into this trap. I look at my own farming system to see where I can make improvements. Any farming business should be constantly striving to improve what they do. But is this where all my energy should be? It is easy to get frustrated and lose

faith in my processor when I am constantly becoming a more efficient producer with the price heading me off. If we were to act collectively with our sales decisions would we be more effective at changing our profitability than if we changed our farming system? Would a higher price per kilo be better than a couple of kilos carcase weight or a higher fawning percentage? What has the better pay off? What if we were to take ownership for our product from the farm gate right through to the consumer? These are all questions I ask myself and the answer seems to lead back to a collective form of marketing. Clearly it will take significant investment. If I am prepared to invest $100,000 in a new irrigator to increase production, am I then prepared to invest a similar amount in a marketing company owned by farmers that will deliver

37

To advertise in the Canterbury Farming

HINDSITE Industry consolidation

March 2014

me a fair price for the product that I have worked so hard to produce? Does the company I sell to currently put the same effort and emphasis into marketing as it does into securing the processing of my product? What are the potential outcomes if we significantly increase both production and the price received? I sincerely hope there is change in the air for the red meat sector, to give the current and next generation a chance to be involved in profitable businesses. For this to happen farmers have to initiate change. The road will be long but rewarding. If the venison industry is diminishing in size then certainly this is a case for consolidation. Competition has made us as efficient at processing as it has at on-farm production. This is not true for competition when marketing, especially when focussed on small markets. Perhaps merging and taking ownership of the marketing would be easier than rationalising the bricks and mortar of the processors. An 80% selling entity is as mouth watering as the venison it sells.

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38

March 2014

STRAIGHT TALKING with Jim Childerstone

For and against gas and oil exploration — is there a choice Given the choice of filling up your vehicle from service station (a) offering a product from local sustainable resources and one (b) from fossil fuels at similar prices, and on the same side of the street, which one would you choose to fill up? A good question for those with environmental concerns. It is on the bounds of possibility that a local distributor could offer a way out for green activists to fuel up their vehicles to protest offshore drilling for oil/gas, and not be hauled over the coals for using fossil fuel products. There could be choice if some innovative research

comes up with the facts and figures making it viable to extract diesel and petrol from forest residue and sawmill waste. A much heralded announcement by the Ministry of Primary Industries mid-2013 of a funding initiative for alternative fuels was mostly ignored by the mainstream media, leading to some misunderstanding in the current debate on deep sea fossil fuel exploration against sustainable resources. The hard fact is that currently there are no other alternatives. So those who don’t want offshore drilling will just have to put up with being

labelled a bunch of hypocrites and nimbys. This is currently the big debate raging in Dunedin with Oil Free Otago having to put up with name calling by proponents for fossil fuels. Known as the Stump to Pump programme the initiative was given accolades by Steven Joyce, Minister for science and innovation. The programme has three stakeholders, the MPI through its Primary Growth Programme, Norske Skog and Z Energy, who between them have funded $13.5m to pave the way for generating more value from forestry waste by converting it to liquid biofuels. Half the total funding was matched by PGP. Facilities have been set up at the Noske Skog mill in Kawarau to study the feasibility, including the cost effectiveness, of producing biofuel from forestry waste into sustainable transport fuel. Much of the material currently comes from processing waste in the form of sawdust, bark and harvest residue. This material has virtually no value. However in the wider context both David Quinn of Norske and Jonathan Hill of Z were enthusiastic that the available biomass from the nation’s exotic forest harvests could provide a sizeable percentage of New Zealand’s transport fuel supplies. If the pilot project stacks up, many of the South Island forest resources could be in an ideal position to

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develop similar projects. David Quinn believes that the result of the feasibility trials could be out early this year. MPI’s acting directorgeneral Roger Smith says: “if this material can be used commercially, then we can maximise the value of every tree harvested to the benefit of our primary sector and our economy. If this technology can be commercialised, the estimated economic benefit for New Zealand over the next 2025 years is an annual increase in GDP of up to $1 billion and the creation of 1200 direct jobs.” The biofuel plant that is under investigation, costing between $80 and $100 million, could potentially process around 50,000 tonnes of forest waste per annum. This development would lead to the next level in its goal of commercialising this new technology. The oil companies have earmarked $100plus million per well for offshore oil exploration. With that sort of funding, what could be achieved for alternative green fuels, asks Jonathon Hill. Z Energy’s Chief Executive Mike Bennetts says there was also significant sustainability and environmental benefits in the project. “Z is committed to renewable transport fuels being available to New Zealanders and New Zealand businesses. This project is an opportunity to explore a value chain that could deliver large volumes of biofuels

for New Zealand over the long term.” Jonathan Hill explains that Z Energy was in a good position to head along this path as it was not committed to any particular oil corporate or cartel. In other words free to chose its sources of fuels. So watch out for any new Z fuel service stations offering alternative green fuels. From my own perspective these projects of extracting biofuels from vegetative matter is not new, and in some countries is well ahead of New Zealand. Some eight years ago I was involved with ANZ Distilleries working on ethanol production from forests. In this instance clearing wilding trees in the Mackenzie basin for processing at a plant about to be set up at Temuka. I had regular meetings with chairman John Rutherford of Christchurch (son of Sir Ernest) to discuss the logistics. The process being worked on was extraction of wood resin to produce ethanol. But the oil spike petered out and the project proved uneconomic, at that time. Another project initiated by Rutherford and Canterbury University was processing crop residue from Jerusalem artichoke after tuber harvest. A heavy cropper with high sugar content. Even if offshore oil/gas resources don’t come up to expectations Christchurch and Dunedin residents can be assured ongoing research in

alternative fuels will, in the long term, come up with the answers. AND ANOTHER THING. I read where the Ministry of Immigration believes we should double the number of immigrants into this country to achieve a total population of around 10 million within a given number of years. Just what the heck are they dreaming about. Apparently it is all about ‘growth’ — more consumers buying more ‘things’. For heavens sake we are basically a food and fibre exporting country. And this takes up productive land. So where are all these immigrants as well as our own progeny going to live? What are the costs of upgrading infrastructure? Roading, water and waste water schemes for starters? My bet is most will want to stick with the big cities. Auckland is already gridlocked. Christchurch is on shaky ground, and having big difficulties housing its current population. Apart from massive highrise development, more extensive suburbs will be needed — taking over many high producing hectares. The big question has to be asked: When does this mantra of so called ‘growth’ reach its zenith? When no more is needed? And what really is the ideal population for this country? And the world? Just a few thoughts beyond the square for our leaders to figure out .

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March 2014

Rob Cope-Williams gets…

the ‘last’ word Old people

I rang an old chap I hadn’t seen for years this week He’d dropped into the funeral office in Ashburton that I work with and pointed out he wasn’t ready for the services we offer, but wanted to catch up with me. I am very pleased I did.

plates at once and help with dayto-day chores around the house.

He is one of God’s gentlemen — a man anyone would be very proud to call a friend and a total pleasure to spend time with.

The interesting thing is that his misfortune has sparked new life into me with respect to contacting other old folk.

The catch up over the phone divulged the fact that he had a nasty accident on the farm that resulted in his losing half his hand and basically crippling him, so he and his wife moved into town.

While I have very regular contact with my parents, aged 97 in my mother’s case and 90 in my father’s case, I find it very easy to be busy when it comes to others.

The fact that he was a talented musician makes the accident and the result even more sad. How can you even start to imagine what it must have been like for a man to lose the ability to play music when it has been a lifetime passion. Plus he now feels inadequate as he is unable do all those other things that we do naturally — like carry several

what is happening around the world and in my life. To many of us the day-to-day things that happen are just that — things that happen, but to an old person without much contact with the outside world what we do is fresh and interesting.

Old age comes with boredom, ill health, constant pain and raft of other things that I would not handle well if they were on my day-today schedule of things to put up with.

I found myself wondering how I would feel if I wasn’t able to walk out of the house and go somewhere, meet up with friends for a drink or a meal, have a raft of people to talk with either face-to-face or on the phone every day, or in fact get out of my chair with ease and do something I thought needed to be done.

In the case of my parents, there’s a wee light bulb that switches on every time my mother sees my car pull up. It breaks the boredom and she is very grateful for a chat about

At 64 it will be another 30 or so years before I am classed as old, but in the meantime I intend to brighten the day of those I know who are already there.

EITHER WAY IT’S 20K

Welcome to 2014 Welcome to the second edition of Abundant Living in 2014. Over the past 10 years I have written over 400 columns covering many topics. Most of these are related in some way to the role of nutrients in protecting and reclaiming our health. In the process I have spoken by phone to thousands of readers and offered personalised advice where appropriate. I trust you will benefit from the comments and advice. I also write a longer weekly email column. To subscribe to this column just follow the instructions below. By way of introduction to new readers, I am the founder of my company Abundant Health, established in 1998. I work with various international experts to formulate what I think are a very special group of nutritional supplements. I  also practise as a nutritional medicine practitioner providing personalised advice in a structured way. This column brings together my thoughts as a both a nutritional therapist and supplement formulator and researcher. The next few months will be a very special time for me as we introduce a product I am sure will have a profoundly positive affect on cardiovascular health. This is a completely natural product that research shows is the most effective natural cholesterol support product available. Many people have genetically high cholesterol

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which causes an imbalance in the series of liver enzymes responsible for new cholesterol production. This US patented product will help balance these enzymes. This will be excellent for people who cannot tolerate cholesterol medicines or for those who prefer not to take them. People on cholesterol medication will also be able to take it safely as it will have many heart health benefits not just cholesterol balance. I will be writing a new series on heart health which will focus on the types of diet and supplements that can offer significant benefits for those concerned about their heart and circulatory health. We will be looking at most aspects of cardiovascular health with everything from cholesterol to the actual processes which cause arteries to block. We will look at hypertension and in particular the types of diet proven to help lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. In the meantime feel free to call me for personalised advice. John Arts (B.Soc.Sci, Dip Tch, Adv.Dip.Nut.Med) is a nutritional medicine practitioner and founder of Abundant Health Ltd. Contact John on 0800 423 559 or email john@johnarts.co.nz. Join his weekly newsletter at www.johnarts.co.nz. For product information visit www. abundant.co.nz.


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March 2014

Help us keep the

power on Power outages following this month’s gale-force wind storm were primarily due to trees and branches coming into contact with overhead lines and poles. As trees on private land are the responsibility of the land owner, we need your help to reduce the impact of future storms on our electricity network and on you and your neighbours.

How can you help? If you have a tree that could impact power lines, please think about your local community’s health and wellbeing. A power outage caused by a tree may not just affect you – it may impact many people, including those with health issues. Consider replacing tall trees near power lines with a lower growing species. If tree removal isn’t possible, as a minimum, make sure branches are kept well away from overhead lines and poles. If planting, think carefully about the type of tree you put near overhead lines – a little shrub can become a giant in a few years’ time. Call Orion for advice on suitable trees. Be safe If you need to remove, or prune, a tree or branch near overhead lines, please contact us. We will refer you to contractors experienced in tree trimming around power lines. For more information see our website oriongroup.co.nz or call us on 0800 363 9898.

Orion New Zealand Limited owns and operates the electricity distribution network in central Canterbury between the Waimakariri and Rakaia rivers. oriongroup.co.nz

FALL ZONE FALL ZONE FALL ZONE FALL ZONE

Reduce the risk of power cuts • CUT DOWN – consider removing tall trees that could fall through power lines. • TRIM EARLY – if you can’t cut down the tree, keep branches at least 2.5m away from low voltage lines or at least 4m from high voltage lines. Ideally further. • BE SAFE – please call Orion on 0800 363 9898 for a list of qualified contractors. • PLANT WISELY – ask us about safe planting distances and power line friendly trees and shrubs.

Canterbury Farming, March 2014  

28,850 copies distributed monthly – to every rural mailbox in Canterbury and the West Coast

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