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Manawatu

FARMING Lifestyles May 2014 Edition

15,060 copies DELIVERED FREE to every rural delivery address in Manawatu

Health benefits from A2 milk leads to new venture

De-robing — for a great cause

Pay it forward concept teaches young people to cook

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Opening the gate to glampers Page 4–5

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May 2014

MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES

Farmers required for Massey research project

The Manawatu Farming Lifestyles is published with pride by NorthSouth Multi Media Ltd, a privately owned New Zealand company. Phone: 0800 466 793 Advertising: Kelvin Green -– 021 431 090

Editorial: Denise Gunn — 06 329 7701

by Denise Gunn

Email: info@nsmm.co.nz

Website: www.farminglifestyles.co.nz

Hill country sheep and beef farmers are needed to participate in new research by Massey University’s School of Management.

Accounts: Lesley Robinson | accounts@nsmm.co.nz

MEMBER OF:

AUDITED CIRCULATION Print run 15,060 ABC audited circulation 14,760 audited Jan–Dec 2013.

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Hill country sheep and beef farmers are sought for Massey University study

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The aim of the study is to identify the information management requirements of farmers. This will assist with providing an in-depth understanding into how hillcountry farmers form their decisions. Massey University Masters student Saadhia Awan is conducting the research along with the assistance of two supervisors — Dr Russell Johnson of the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, and Dr Dick Whiddett of the School of Management. Farmers with at least five years hill country farming experience are sought to contribute to the study. The research process will involve an interview, lasting up to one and a half hours, concerning decision-making and the information requirements of farm work. The interview will take place at a time and location convenient to the farmers involved. Ms Awan said the main purpose of observations and interviews is for

data collection. “All information will be anonymous.” “The information gathered during the interviews will be used to answer questions for my research,” she said. “The result of the study will be given to the interested participants on request.” All information will be kept secure and disposed of in accordance with Massey University’s procedures. The study will also identify what information farmers need and how it is accessed; where farmers store this information; the types of information and communication technologies used to make these decisions; and if technology is actually helping farmers reduce their work time. Massey University’s Human Ethics Committee has reviewed and approved this project. For further information or to volunteer to take part in this research contact sadiaawan_5@hotmail.com.

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Feilding to host national Farmers’ Market conference by Denise Gunn

To net a hat trick in this year’s New Zealand Farmers’ Market of the Year awards would be the icing on the cake for the Feilding Farmers Market. The market has topped the awards for the past two years with the most customer votes deciding the winner. Feilding has also been chosen to host this year’s Farmers’ Market New Zealand conference. More than 80 people are expected to attend the three-day forum which will run from July 30–August 1. A variety of topics on the agenda are up for discussion including assisting those running and attending the markets; marketing; authenticity of New Zealand Farmers’ Markets; the New Zealand Food Bill; and the election of officers. Feilding Promotion project manager Raewyn Loader said visits to Feilding Intermediate and Manchester Street School are planned for conference attendees. Feilding Farmers’ Market has partnered with Feilding Intermediate through sponsoring the school’s garden. “The students look after and then use product to cook preserves which they give away to the elderly in the pensioner flats,” said Ms Loader. “This is most unexpected by the receivers and very much appreciated.” The school’s students also hold cooking and tasting demonstrations

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at the market and undertake market surveys. The other school visit is to Manchester Street School. As an Enviroschool, environmental education is integrated into the whole of school life, with the aim of creating a sustainable environment. Feilding Farmers Market is held every Friday from 9am–2pm in Manchester Square, Feilding, attracting up to 36 regular stallholders during the summer and 28 in winter.

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Ms Loader said sustainability and growth in the number of stalls and produce, as well as attracting more customers, features in the market’s long term plans. Consumer voting for this year’s New Zealand Farmers’ Market of the Year began last month and finishes on June 2 2014. Voting can be completed online at www.tastefarmersmarkets.org.nz or through visiting the voting station at the market.

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May 2014

MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES

OPENING THE

gate to glampers BY DENISE GUNN

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aituna West farmers Angus and Sarah Gilbertson always wanted to showcase the stunning, panoramic views on their property. So, after considerable research, they’ve opened their Ridge Top Farm gate to glampers, and in turn created a second income. Following a year in the planning stages, work on the glamping site began in September 2013. A digger levelled out the area, and then building work started to include a bathroom block, covered kitchen, and a dining area. Two tents were erected with the main structure framed and floored. An outdoor bath area was also created. Decorating and filling the kitchen and bathroom with necessities added the final touches. Sarah said the physical set-up took close to four months. “We still have lots of landscaping and planting to complete.”

The property, which has been in the family since 1921, was originally cleared of bush by Angus’ grandfather, E. G. Woollams. Angus took over the farm in 1998, and an additional 180 hectares was purchased in 2004 to bring the farm size up to 600 hectares (536 effective). One of the first farm airstrips for aerial top-dressing is also located on the property. Angus has continued to improve the property with fencing, outbuildings, and upgrading a superbin for regular maintenance fertiliser. Close to 120 hectares of the farm is flat to rolling, tractor country. The remainder is medium to steep hill country with 20 hectares of bush and gorge, and 10 hectares in trees. The farm’s altitude ranges from 1,600–2,000 feet above sea level, receives between 1,100–1,150ml of rainfall annually, and has an average of three snowfalls a year.

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Angus and Sarah Gilbertson with their three young children

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MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES May 2014

Glampers can watch everyday farm work

The Gilbertson’s run more than 300 Angus cattle, 2500 Romney-cross ewes, and 1,000 hoggets on the farm. Angus said the best steers are sold as weaners and the remainder are fattened. “We try to fatten as many male lambs as possible, depending on the season,” said Angus. Baleage, bulk grass silage, plantain, and rape are all grown on the property. The couple, who have three young children, each manage the day-to-day tasks required on the property. Angus takes care of the farm work and employs casual workers to help out two days a week during the busy summer period. Sarah looks after the glamping side, cleaning and tidying, preparing meals to deliver to glampers, and providing other necessities. Most of the food is produced on the farm. Ridge Top Farm offers glampers a luxury camping style with typical New Zealand farm experiences. Shearing demonstrations, clay-bird shooting, and a farm walk with picnic lunch delivered are all available. There are pet animals to feed, and an option

to rent a portable mini chicken coop to collect fresh eggs each morning. Glampers at Ridge Top Farm can observe everyday farm work and even take part in a shearing demonstration. “They are more than welcome to give it a go,” said Sarah. “Angus obviously gets involved with glamping when there is a shearing demonstration or clay bird shoot.” Both Angus and Sarah enjoy showing their visitors around the glampsite on arrival, showcasing the property, the farm activities, and views. Sarah said glamping is an easy option. “You just need to turn up. All glampers need to bring is a suitcase, just like a hotel,” she said. “Glamping also provides many comforts such as comfy queen size beds with 100 per cent cotton linen sheets and warm duvets, hot running water for showers, flushing toilets and all the kitchen equipment you need to self-cater.” Visitors’ feedback has been extremely positive with many vowing to return. And the Gilbertson’s are thoroughly enjoying sharing a slice of their rural life with them.

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MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES

May 2014

Health benefits from A2 milk

leads to new venture BY DENISE GUNN

With the recent opening of their on-farm shop to sell raw milk, Stephen and Mary Barr have embarked on a new venture. And already the couple are seeing a steady stream of regular customers calling in to buy milk.

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Stephen at work in the farm shop

Stephen said they enjoy working in the dairy industry as it provides plenty of opportunity. After learning more about the health benefits from drinking A2 milk, Stephen and Mary saw the growth potential for producing a steady supply for consumers. They have been selecting dairy breeding bulls to produce A2 offspring for the past 15 years. Subsequent DNA testing of 100 cows from their 850 Friesian herd identified 72 A2 cows. Split calving with more than half of the herd calving in spring and the remainder in autumn, ensures a continual, fresh milk supply for customers. Twenty-six A2 cows are kept around the farm shop, milked in the morning as

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a separate herd, and produce 340 litres each day. Up to 250 litres of milk is sold through the farm shop and the rest goes to dairy ingredient manufacturer, Open Country Dairy. Keeping the cows close to shop also enables customers to view the cows and see where their milk comes from each day. “Many kids are able to drink A2 milk,” said Stephen. “Eczema, asthma, hives, and upset tummies are all better with A2 unpasteurised milk.” The farm shop, situated on the 488ha property with a milking platform of 260ha, took close to 12 months in planning. Glass bottles displaying the Arran Farm logo, and Neoprene carry

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MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES May 2014

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Battery additive

Mary at the Feilding Farmers Market

bags fitting four one-litre bottles, were purchased from China. The logo was designed by a Wellington company, and sign-writing on the farm shop completed by a business in nearby Palmerston North. The bottles, cleaned thoroughly, are completely reusable. An Italian-made vending machine is available at the shop, and operates using a cash payment system of notes and coins. Alternatively an electronic debit card can be preloaded with cash and used to buy milk, bottles or bottle carriers. Bottles are placed under the nozzle and the machine measures one litre of milk, then automatically cuts off. A twice-weekly testing at a laboratory rules out listeria, salmonella, E. coli and campylobacter.

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In addition to Stephen and Mary, the farm employs a workforce of six with an operations manager, two herd managers, and three dairy farm workers. The herd, milked through two rotary sheds on the farm, produces 5,736,261 litres of milk per year, averaging 15,715 litres per day. “The cows are well fed on a balanced diet through the year which gives

consistent composition and taste,” said Stephen. Mary said Arran Farm is committed to producing high quality, safe food. “Not only do we treat our cows like part of our family, we have systems in place to ensure that the milk we supply to your family is in pristine condition. “We combine world-class facilities with happy and healthy cows.”

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The Stripper that gets it off, Everytime! Interview by Dave Hare,

is on the inside or outside of your home". "I am very proud of it and the results it has a ahieved. "With Cooper's having been used on well over 70,000 homes", Simon says,"anyone can easily strip anything covered in paint or varnish, even weatherboards and windows baked by the sun for over 100 years, for that matter. "I asked Simon about the current problems related to safe lead removal. "Because there is no dust or heat vapour generated". He said, "lead poisoning is not a concern".

"Simon Cooper and his family will be at the Mystery Creek Fieldays, demonstrating just how easy DIY stripping can be." Coopers was started by Simon Cooper in the early eighties. At that time, Simon was a cabinet maker with a boutique shop in Wellington making and restoring fine furniture. Disillusioned with the standard of current paint strippers and with a flair for chemistry, Simon set about making something that was easy to use and actually worked. I asked him, what on earth possessed to try and change the norm? "I was sick of not only how difficult it was to use the current strippers, but I thought it was a complete waste of time to have to sand" Simon said, "Why sand when the person who made the item sanded it in the first place. I was determined to make a system that was easy and made sanding obsolete, saving my valuable time". Simon is kiwi born and bred as a dairy farmer's son he was taught at a young age to work things out rather

7

Simon Cooper showing just how easy DIY stripping can be

than to accept things as they are. At high School he developed a passion for working with wood and his love of fine furniture began. Once Simon developed his own brew and methods the word got out and he started to get a demand for his amazing stripper. Today, over 30 years later, Simon's 'brew' has become the 'Cooper's Strip Club', a complete DIY restoration system, family owned, available throughout New Zealand and Australia. "Cooper's is different to conventional strippers in so many ways," Simon says, "the main one being that it will strip any finish from any surface, whether the finish

Simon with his Wife Dorri and sons Lance and George will be at the Mystery Creek Fieldays showing the public just how easy stripping can be. He says "if you have a project in mind you owe it to yourselfto check out just how easy it can be". I asked "What about stripping all the other stuff out there?" Simon simply says, "Any paint or varnish, from any surface, such as enamel, acrylic, two pack and powder coat paints as well as polyurethane, lacquer, varnish, shellac, oils and stains from timber, veneers, ply, composite boards, metals, concrete, brick, plaster and glass". "So it does it all then!" I said, Simon smiles at me and says, "I wouldn't have made it if it didn't".

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8 

May 2014  MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES

ADVERTORIAL

Claim back your Natural Capital

Natural Capital is all those natural assets which we take for granted, to the extent that our abuse of this natural capital is either dying or eroding away. What is natural capital? It is our soil, our plants, our trees, our animals, our birds, our fish, our atmosphere, our mineral deposits, our sun, our oxygen, our nitrogen, our carbon, our rain, our clouds, our rivers, our micro-organisms, our bees our eco-system and our sea. How lucky are we to be blessed with all these free assets. These are all available to us and contribute to a large part of our farming and our food production. Without all this natural capital farming and food production would struggle to exist. We are dependent upon this natural capital so we need to look after it. The last 30 years of agro-chemical production has seen the erosion of our soils, pollution of our foreshore and waterways, food contamination (e.g. cadmium issue) and the devastation of our bee population and other pollinators who are an essential key to food production. In 2000 the United Nations called for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. The key messages from that report were: • Everyone in the world depends on nature and ecosystem services to provide the conditions for a decent healthy and secure life • Humans have made unprecedented changes to ecosystems in recent decades

to meet growing demands for food, fresh water, fibre and energy • Human activities have taken the planet to the edge of a massive wave of species extinctions, further threatening our wellbeing • The loss of services derived from ecosystems is a significant barrier to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals to reduce poverty, hunger and disease • The pressure on ecosystems will increase globally in coming decades unless human attitudes and actions change • Measures to conserve natural resources are more likely to succeed if local communities are given ownership of them, share the benefits and are involved in decisions • Better protection of natural assets will require coordinated efforts across all sectors of government, business and international institutions Just take plants for example: without plants there would be no food, no fibre, no forests etc. Plants are dependent upon, land without our topsoil all life would struggle and farming wouldn’t exist. Under our present agro-chemical system we are losing 200 to 300 million tonnes of topsoil per year through erosion (Parliamentary Commissioner

for the Environment. 2004. Growing for good: Intensive farming, sustainability and New Zealand’s environment. Wellington. Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.) Topsoil is the gut or stomach of the plant and it needs soil and the micro-organisms within to grow and proliferate. Most of the plants’ mineral requirements come directly out of the atmosphere for free. 45% carbon as CO2, 45% oxygen, 6% hydrogen and 1.5% nitrogen, that’s 97.5% of the plants mineral requirement for free — it has always been this way. Evidence exists that in the presence of artificial nitrogen (urea) the natural fixation of nitrogen from the atmosphere by soil micro-organisms stops and as a result it is increasingly difficult for the farmers to give up the use of the artificial product. Farmers on an Agrissentials program fix all their nitrogen requirements straight out of the atmosphere via the plant and the micro-organisms for free. In their live, living soils nitrogen is stored in the organic matter ready for release to the plant when required. The farmer is not governed by the weather or reliant on transport — the free nitrogen is stored, ready to go and coupled with this natural nitrogen is the return of clover to the pasture — the best feed rumen animals can get for growth and production.

There is a better, eco friendly, more economical way to be farming — to find out how, phone 0800 THE KEY that’s 0800 843 539 today for a FREE INFO PACK or you can contact your friendly representative Ben Tippins (North Manawatu) 021 738 601 or Lyn Woodcock (South Manawatu/ Wairarapa) 021 0204 3028 to find out how we can make your farm more successful. There’s never been a better time to call us with our autumn sale on now, that has massive nationwide FREIGHT FREE DEALS (some conditions apply) on bulk units of Rok Solid, Roketlime and Oceans 100. HURRY — Offer ends this month!


MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES May 2014

FA R M W H E E L S

9

Big fun, small footprint Remember the small SUV? The fun little Suzuki Escudo, the diminutive RAV 4 — heck, even the venerable MacGuyver had his Jeep Wrangler. Light, sure-footed and with tons of pep, these small firecrackers were a big hit in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Then most successive models started piling on the bulk, until many were as large as the family sports utilities they replaced. Now Ford have reinvented this segment of small, go-anywhere fun machine with the new EcoSport, carrying on the winning formula of their worldbeating Fiesta hatchback. The recipe — more power from less displacement, and more enjoyment from less size. The EcoSport tips the scales as a lightweight, with the Trend model we tested packing only 1.5 litres under the hood. But, like the surprising little 1 litre Ecoboost Fiesta, this new machine is a revelation. First — the looks. Imposing and unique from the front, with a snubnosed, pugnacious grille and a hood swept up into the windscreen pillars, the EcoSport has the image of a pareddown Ford Kuga from the side, and boasts a nice surprise at the back — a rear mounted spare wheel mounted Land-Rover fashion. This isn’t just to

display the little sport utility’s off-road intentions — it’s also a way to cleverly add room inside, where the comfort and cutting-edge layout of the Fiesta have been nicely tweaked to fit the new mould. Microsoft’s smart Sync system rounds out a very comprehensive infotainment suite. On the road, the EcoSport is stable, and corners with minimal roll, tracking smooth and precise — a neat trick for any SUV. The 1.5 we tested came mated to a double-clutch six speed auto, which shifts seamlessly through the gears, getting the most out of the 92 kilowatts on offer. Once again, Ford have managed to squeeze a lot of power out of a small unit, and the good news keeps coming, because the EcoSport will indeed also be available with the stunning 1 litre turbo mill from that spicy hot Fiesta. When it does, expect a petrol-sipping 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres. The verdict is a simple one in this case. Competition in this segment of the market is set to heat up, with Holden bringing out the new Trax and Nissan’s

quirky Juke already selling well. But with the EcoSport Ford have set the bar dauntingly high. It’s spacious enough for the family, handles well, possesses enough power to surprise (if not to thrill v8 hungry petrolheads), and ticks the biggest box of all, coming in at less than $30,000. That’s a competent and cool package, especially when you consider the unique look of the little Ford — it

will stand out in the crowd for all the right reasons. While most sports utilities have become school run barges or armoured cars, the EcoSport goes back to the roots, with that ineffable ‘smile on your face’ factor to the fore. Think of it as the Fiesta’s big brother — with a lifetime gym membership and muscles to match.

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May 2014

MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES

Hoof Print with Fred Hoekstra

HOOF TRIMMING SERVICES, EQUIPMENT & TRAINING

I am up on the North Island at the moment teaching hoof care. During the workshops we talk about what causes lameness. When I ask the different groups what they think the main cause of lameness is ‘stone bruises, sole penetration and white line separation from twisting on concrete’ are the most common reasons given. The trainees are usually quite adamant about these causes, but when I ask them to give me some solid evidence to back up their claims, they usually goes quiet. There are some attempts with answers like ‘we find the stones in the hoof’ and — ‘if I walk over stones on

bare feet, I get sore feet’. This however is not conclusive evidence. I get stones stuck in the bottom of my gumboot but that doesn’t mean that those stones created the nice patterns in the sole of my gumboot, rather it is the case that the patterns already existing in the sole of the gumboot allow the stone to get stuck, and because you get sore feet when you walk with bare feet on stones doesn’t mean that the cow is experiencing stones in the same way. Remember, cows don’t walk on bare feet — they have hooves (like if you were wearing gumboots). Also, you may be sore if you try walking over stones for just one day, but if you walk on stones every day for the next few weeks you will

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soon be able to run on them. Why then is it that so many people are convinced about stones being the main cause of lameness? I have not yet seen any convincing evidence to support these claims. I know that a number of you who are reading this article will think that I have no idea what I am talking about. I know this because the trainees tell me at the hoof trimming workshops. We are being told by advisors, veterinarians, colleges and ourselves that stones and twisting or pushing cows on concrete causes stone bruises, sole penetration and white line separation. I guess that if we say it often enough we really believe it, even to the point that we are not questioning our beliefs anymore. I challenge anyone to show me some real evidence. Give me something indisputable with which to back up these claims and I will write in my next article that I am wrong. If you are not sure about the whole thing but somebody else is making those claims, I would like you to challenge that person to write to me. This is not about wanting to be right or wanting to be different. This is about working out the truth. The reason why it is so important to know the truth about the causes of lameness is because it will influence the way we

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combat it and the effectiveness of our efforts. I do strongly believe that the physical forces of stones and twisting on concrete have very little or no effect on bruises or white line separation. If it did then none of you would have a valid reason for having lame cows and there would not be any difference between making cows walk on stoney tracks and breaking cow’s tails. Both of them would be animal abuse, and therefore, both should be punished in the same way. Interested in further discussion? Email me at info@veehof.co.nz or visit www.veehof. co.nz to register for one of our hoof trimming workshops.

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MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES May 2014

A dog’s tail …

About pigs an’ pollyticks

Ya gotta hand it to the Boss. He rilly knows about pollyticks an’ wots goin’ on. Eye no this ‘cos we was up ata killin’ shed, wear Boss does tha muttons for the house, an tha odd wild pig wot we get ova the back ofa farm, ona bush line. Well, we wen’ up tha back at ferst lite ina mornin’ ana Boss bowled a pig wiv’ his old riffle an’ we got it back ta the proppitty ona back ofva big red quod bike he got atta Feel Daze. It was a bittofa bother rilly, cos I had ta run home steda ridin’. Well anyway readas, Boss was dressin tha porka, an he was deelin’ to tha guts wen’ he sed: ”Juss like old Shane Jonses Dog. He gone an’ gutted tha Laber Pary wen he took a noo job with that Machavelly McCully.” Must admit readas, I didint rilly unnerstand’ tha Boss, but Sharlene, his gerlfrend, was ina shed too, an’ she sed Boss was a ‘sick puppy.’ That further konfused me, an’ I decided it didint matter enyway ‘cos I not voitin’ in any lections eh? Well, afta Boss an’ Sharlene bagged upa wild porka ina freeza, they hadacupatee an’ Boss carried on about pollyticks. “Ya gotta hand it ta Mr Ki an’ his maytes,” he sed.

“There goes that David Cunningliff makin’ more lection promises. He was gunna say the Laber Party gonna stop that legal marijahooley stuff, but ole John Ki got ta heer about it, an tole that Peter Dumm ta ban the stuff first.” That was about wen Sharlene wint an’ fired up her komputa. Sed she was chekin eemails. An then she yelled atta Boss: “That Mr Morris Willimsin has chucked in his ministas job.” Eye thort she mint that new bloke ina dog colla like mine wot’s atta cherch ina village. But then Sharlene tole tha Boss it was a guvmint minista wot sent sum eemails ta the coppers about a mate wot was ina cactus (Boss has tole me that’s wot ya say win ya get in trubble). “Yip,” sed Sharlene. “This lection is gunner be a bit like skittils eh? Bowl one ova on one side, an then bowl one over ona other. Bit of luck, there won’t be enuff pollys left win we go inta town ta vote.” “Nah,” seda Boss. “Long as we got troff ta feed out of, we got plinty of pollys ta choose from.” Yip readas. I’m bluddy glad I don’t gotta vote. Anyway, got sum wild pork for tea. Cheers, Billy.

De-robing — for a great cause

Massey University’s third-year veterinary students have shed their clothes and posed artistically in a rural setting with utes, haystacks and animals — both large and small — to raise funds for New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association. The “Barely There” calendar is in its ninth year and has proven to be a successful fundraiser. Photos are taken from around the Manawatu region, Massey Campus in Palmerston North and as far as Tauranga and Wellington. Ten percent of the proceeds from the calendar will go to the NZRDA, a charitable organisation which provides

11

opportunities for anyone with a disability to enjoy safe, therapeutic horse riding and horse-related activities in New Zealand. They help out over 3,200 riders throughout 55 branches around the country. The calendar launch date was May 7 and these are available at www. vetcalendar.co.nz for $15 plus postage and handling. The New Zealand Veterinary Association is one of the major sponsors of the calendar, which CEO Julie Hood says, “is a fun way to support our future young vets as well as a charitable organisation in the process.”


12

May 2014

MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES

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MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES May 2014

DAIRY

Be my Guest

13

Bill Guest, Farmers of New Zealand Membership Services: 09 439 5219 09 430 3758 www.farmersofnewzealand.com Email: newzealandfarmers@xtra.co.nz

Farm economic viability is a major New Zealand problem with the national farm debt increasing to a whopping $50 billion. A number of high-debt farms are being sold up, with banks giving notice to farming clients to either refinance elsewhere or sell. Many of these farmers have been pressured by the bank to sign confidentiality documents where they are unable to take any legal action against the bank and, if they do, they guarantee to pay the bank’s legal costs. At a recent Farmers of New Zealand meeting a number of members met with lawyer John Waugh who specialises in dealing with banks. These farmers were advised that banks are bound by the Code of Banking Practice and the Fair Trading Act which deals with misleading conduct in relation to service and false or misleading representation. The issue of bank Swap and CARL loans was also discussed. Farmers were advised to seek sound legal advice prior to signing any documents pertaining to bank loans or surrendering right to legal action. There is Court law in New Zealand which clearly defines there is no property in a witness, which means that no confidentiality

agreement can muzzle a witness where arrived at his farm, unbeknown to them, there has been a breach of statutory law the farmer was underneath his tractor processes. Farmers cited cases where making repairs and heard the bank they felt they had been induced by a officials commenting as they gazed over particular bank lender into the property, that whoever taking out loans. had authorised the farm It is alleged that the loan must have been crazy. Over a 12 lender stated they did not Over a 12 month period month period need to have independent the debt servicing on this valuations done prior to particular farm loan was in the debt the purchasing of their excess of 114%. servicing Another farmer received farms and that the lender an in-depth legal opinion would rely on his own on this after the same bank valuation processes. particular foreclosed on the family, The lender supplied his stating that if the farmer own budget projections farm loan not been induced into and what he believed was in excess had purchasing the extra land the borrowers would gain by the representation of through increasing their of 114%. the bank’s official, they loans. These borrowers would not have lost their soon found themselves in property. The legal opinion states there deep trouble. One farm borrower claimed that he are two areas of law that are relevant to was unable to contact the local bank this farmer’s circumstances. The first is negligent misstatement lender that he was dealing with over his and the second is Section 6 of the interest rates. The farmer then contacted the bank’s head office and when bank officials

Contractual Remedies Act 1993. Section 6 of the Contractual Remedies Act 1979 provides: “If a party to a contract has been induced to enter into it by a misrepresentation, whether innocent or fraudulent, made to him by or on behalf of another party to that contract: (a) He shall be entitled to damages from that other party in the same manner and to the same extent as if the representation were a term of the contract that has been broken; and (b) He shall not, in the case of a fraudulent misrepresentation, or of an innocent misrepresentation made negligently, be entitled to damages from that other party for deceit or negligence in respect of that representation.” The farmer’s legal advisors considered it likely that the bank would be found liable if a claim were brought for negligent misstatement or an application made under Section 6 of the Contractual Remedies Act 1979. The farmer ended up with no farm and no money to seek legal remedies.

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14

May 2014

MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES

DAIRY

Country Matters with Rob Cope-Williams

Cut and carry or grazing It would seem that we are fast approaching the crossroads with respect to dairying in sheds, barns or whatever you want to call them, and whether it is still viable for our dairy farmers to continue grazing as the main method of feeding stock. There are more and more feed pads being put into place and now there’s a sizeable increase in covered sheds with all the cows being snuggly indoors with their constant supply of feed, fresh water, padded beds and back scratchers. Those who have already taken the plunge and are using such facilities are reporting a very sizeable increase in production, contented cows and happy workers. The diet is able to include such things as potatoes and other ‘goodies’

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that the cows really enjoy and respond very well too. So the question now is just how far will the swing go and who will be able to afford to climb onto the wave. There are a lot of opportunities for other farmers to become growers of dairying feed, literally becoming a total support system growing a variety of food ranging from lucerne through to beet and everything in between. A case of intensive farming without the animals, early morning

starts and if it is raining, staying warm inside the tractor cab. With the advent of very sophisticated irrigation units and some very clever cultivars the support industry is there ready and waiting. I am assured that the costs of importing feed onto a dairy unit are well covered by the increase in production. So will it become a case of the majority of new conversations being small holdings with very large sheds, or will the industry stay with the all grass system that many are now suggesting is outdated.

I can’t take risks here..

Perhaps the hardest point to consider is how much it would cost to convert the current all grass system into a housed unit and whether the present debt loading could be increased to take the second huge step. I suspect that there are many farmers who would love to keep up with the trend and enjoy the advantages of the covered style of farming, but wouldn’t be able to service the extra debt, especially with the interest rates very likely to continue to rise. We certainly do live in interesting times!

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MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES May 2014

LIVESTOCK

15

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

Good demand holds firm Wool prices held on well during the past month or so despite a sky-rocketing Kiwi dollar driven mainly by a steadily weakening greenback, as well as limited demand from Chinese buying interests. Auction sale catalogues were certainly not fully subscribed as some growers opted to accept farm gate prices amid the uncertainty of exchange rate influences. However the majority of all auction catalogues were cleared at better than anticipated prices. Reasonably solid offerings of lamb’s wool were displayed throughout March with a fair number of the crossbreds testing a little coarser than the previous year. This was mainly due to being shorn later than normal plus having had a very good start to life as the ewes were generally in very good condition and milked particularly well with good grass growth throughout the weaning period. Staple length was also comparatively longer than normal as a result of the good feeding conditions experienced in general. Prices for crossbred lambs’ wool ranged from around 535 cents per kilogram clean to around 495 cents per kilogram clean, but much depended upon micron and length. A few crossbred early-shorn hoggets (long lambs) measuring around the 32 to 33 micron range sold at levels around the 535 cent mark on a clean price basis. Mid-micron lambs’ wool types were mostly well sought and, once again depending on micron and length, fetched around 825 cents per kilogram clean for the finer edge down to around 560 for the much coarser types. Crossbred fleece prices remained fairly steady. However some of the more inferior types were erratic for price towards the end of March but gained significant

ground during early April and, in some instances, sold at levels not too far shy of the better style wools. Second-shear wool types probably enjoyed the best of the market provided they displayed good colour and character, and staple length was around the 75mm or better mark. Oddment types again sold well with the better washing colour bulky oddments receiving good support from the exporting trade. From the beginning of April the South Island returned to a fortnightly auction schedule, after a rather hectic weekly roster between January and March, through until late June. This reflected the diminished quantities of wool available during the autumn and winter months. When the pre-lamb shearers do begin in June it will be interesting to note just how much impact the continual change in land use has had since a similar time last year, when there was certainly less wool available compared to the previous season. It’s anticipated there will be less wool available again this season. The demand versus supply equation still remains relevant however, with seemingly more wool being sold outside of the auction system, on a percentage basis, direct to export and/or first stage processors, it can become more difficult to gauge exactly what the demand is and from whom, and what level ‘market’ prices should be at, on a type-for-type basis. Most ‘serious wool growers’ should have the ability to compare their wool

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type to a current market level in order to establish where their wools fit in the broader picture, and how fluctuations could affect their income stream. If growers lose that ability, due to increased direct sales and a perhaps less transparent (than auction) selling mechanism, maximum return could be compromised. This might see an even lesser (than present) emphasis placed on wool

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importance within the over-all sheep industry into the future. We at PGG Wrightson place significant emphasis on wool quality and preparation standards due to the demand from our manufacturing customers around the world, many of whom buy their wool via our year round forward contracts available to grower suppliers. That’s my view.

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16

May 2014

MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES

LIVESTOCK

Soil Matters with Peter Burton

Securing the future

Beneath every long term successful business is a foundation, something that regardless of the inevitable ups and downs ensures not only survival but prosperity. Underpinning the dairy industry is the steadily increasing demand for protein in the form of milk, cheese, and other highly nutritious protein products derived from pasture. It’s a strong industry and with competent management at all levels a rosy future is guaranteed. The sheep and beef industry relies largely on the demand for grass fed meat, and we produce unique products that savvy overseas purchasers are prepared to pay a premium for. The qualities of wool cannot be replicated and the cost of producing “When magnesium inputs are required, Golden Bay Dolomite provides the simplest and most effective option.” call 0800 4 Dolomite

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other fibres with inferior performance steadily increases and still prices paid for wool continue to languish. The price received is largely dependent on our ability to sell its less obvious benefits to prospective customers so there’s still some distance to go before its true value is realised. Beneath all of this lies the true foundation of New Zealand’s pastoral farming, a benign climate, clean water, and soil. There’s little in the short term that can be done to influence the climate, and with clean water largely dependent on what we apply to our soils, the top few centimetres of this country is the aspect we can most immediately influence. Dr Graham Sparling, our most internationally recognised and acclaimed soil scientist, in 2004 stated that, “It’s a sobering thought that our entire high tech world is ultimately supported by life in the top 20cm of the soil.”

It follows that the healthiest soils produce not only the most but the highest quality. The proposition that growing less increases quality simply doesn’t wash — those growing the most pasture also produce the highest quality. There is a group of farmers whose production doesn’t fit current models, and for this growing number of elite farmers, fertiliser nitrogen when used is applied sparingly and strategically, however a product common to nearly all where magnesium is required, is the application of dolomite. Farmers applying dolomite seldom treat animals for calcium/magnesium related metabolic disorders, and because all health issues are linked their overall animal ill health costs are low — often very low. Production both per animal and hectare is also significantly higher than district average. Dolomite, a naturally occurring rock, contains 11.5% magnesium and 24%

calcium and it is this ratio that is at the heart of the often extraordinary improvement in both animal and soil health, with the real value assessed from its performance, the purpose for which it is applied. The dollar cost of cows requiring veterinary treatment in spring is easily calculated, as is the value of a calf saved. Production increases are less easily figured however the value is just as real. Dolomite contains both calcium and magnesium in the form of carbonate. The release rate is the same for both ensuring that pasture over winter contains between 0.22 and 0.25% magnesium and close to 0.60% calcium. Animals fully fed on pasture containing these levels seamlessly make the transition from pre calving where magnesium is essential to post calving when extra calcium is required. A single annual application of Golden Bay dolomite at 200kg/ha provides 23kg/ha of magnesium, a sound maintenance rate for intensive dairy, and a similar rate once every second year to intensive sheep and beef breeding enterprises provides outstanding cover. For more information call Peter on 0800 436 566.

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BOOK REVIEW

It’s the real Radio Hauraki story

by Paul Campbell

It’s an old adage that fact often surpasses fantasy in terms of fascination, and it has certainly been proven in a new account of the Radio Hauraki adventure, one that saw a bunch of young kiwis take on the establishment and turn it upside down — after a struggle. In 1970 I was lucky to land a reporting job with the fledgling Radio Hauraki, when the newly licensed land-based station opened in Auckland’s Caltex House, overlooking the Western Viaduct basin from where it was launched as a pirate venture just four years earlier. It was a radio station that could be heard the length and breadth of the country at night, when atmospherics found the signal booming into rural areas from North Cape to the Bluff. Many was the Saturday night shift when we ‘news-guys’ found ourselves fielding request calls for the ‘good-guys’ on the air. From Kaitaia to Taranaki, to the West Coast of the South Island, and points further afield, we heard from woolshed parties, wedding knees-ups in the local hall, or just family groups settled in by the homestead fire. They all wanted a bit of rock’n’roll, the Beatles, the Eagles, or maybe Gordon Lightfoot to brighten up their lives. Radio Hauraki’s rural audience certainly equalled its urban listeners. So when the movie 3-Mile Limit arrived on theatre screens recently, I was eager to see our story told on film.

Unfortunately, the cinematic offering was an historical mish-mash “based on a true story” but to me, nothing more than the product of a scriptwriter’s hallucinations. So I decided to wait for the television docu-drama on Radio Hauraki that I knew was scheduled for TVNZ’s Sunday Theatre this winter, on the grounds that it was blessed by top journalist and author, Adrian Blackburn, who collaborated with the makers, Lippy Films, as a consultant. But Blackburn was one step ahead of me. He was an integral part of the Hauraki story as friend and confidant of the founding ‘revolutionaries’ and the then New Zealand Herald reporter with ‘the inside story’ . Now his just released The Radio Pirates, How Hauraki Rocked The Boat, has arrived to document the story in fine style, bringing a vital part of New Zealand history and heritage right up to date. It is a truly impressive book — a document that belongs on every New Zealand bookshelf and beyond as a testament to what can be achieved by belief, faith, hard work, and great

courage. Some might add, just a little craziness. The government nanny state had always dictated the airwaves, with music reminiscent of Kornonski’s Bowel Movement in Fugue Minor the

standard listening fare on state broadcaster NZBC. Those same night-time atmospherics then had kiwi kids fiddling the radio dial in desperation to catch spasmodic transmissions from 2UE, a rock station across the Tasman in Sydney. But then came Radio Hauraki, a Heath Robinson studio and transmission conglomeration involving extensive Number 8 wire thinking, aboard the dilapidated coastal trader MV Tiri, broadcasting from a tiny segment of international water off Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf. And the world changed in New Zealand. The government in effect kowtowed to a peaceful revolution. The full account of this startling story, spanning 244 pages and featuring a stunning selection of photographs, is now contained in Blackburn’s magnificent book. The Radio Pirates: How Hauraki Rocked the Boat, is available for delivery to your door at www. radiopiratesthebook.com at $39.90, plus postage and packaging.


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May 2014

MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES

Research supports natural compounds for high cholesterol A clinical trial into tangerine and red palm extract is for me one of the most important studies into natural support for cardiovascular health. A study ‘Citrus Flavonoids and Tocotrienols for Hypercholesterolemia’ (high cholesterol) by Rosa, Xian-Lu and Guthrie, 2007 identified the cardiovascular benefits of a patented combination of these extracts. This was a high quality double-blind placebo controlled trial with the objective to see if these compounds had any effect on blood cholesterol and other heart risk factors. The study involved 120 people, otherwise healthy people, with high cholesterol. They were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 was given a tangerine flavone extract combined with the palm fruit extract Tocomin® and the other group a placebo (sugar pill). After 12 weeks all groups were given a blood test. The results showed that on average, those receiving the active ingredients reduced total cholesterol by 27%. This was reflected in a reduction of potentially dangerous LDL cholesterol by 25% with a small increase of beneficial HDL cholesterol of 4%. Triglycerides are the transported fat from excess calories and can lead to heart disease and these reduced by 31%. Many people have been prescribed cholesterol lowering medications called statins. These are very effective at reducing cholesterol as they inhibit the liver enzyme needed to create cholesterol. However this same enzyme is needed for critically important co enzyme Q10. By reducing CoQ10, statins can cause many side effects such as fatigue and muscle pain. I recommend most people on statins take CoQ10 as CoQsol® but please call me to see if this is right for you. There is a large group of people who cannot tolerate statins and another group who would prefer to use nondrug solutions to improve heart health. The compounds in the above trial are now available to the public Give me call if you would like more information. 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 423559 or email john@johnarts.co.nz. Join his full weekly newsletter at www.abundant.co.nz.

RURAL WOMEN

Pay it forward concept teaches young people to cook by Denise Gunn

Concerns about the lack of cooking skills amongst young dairy farm workers, and knowing they eat too much takeaway food, has led Northland dairy farmer Louise Giltrap to find a solution. Louise would like to see women open their kitchens, or hire the local community hall, to teach simple cooking skills to young people in their district. “I would like to see a little Mexican wave of cooking classes going the length of the country,” she said. Louise sees the cooking class concept as a bit of fun and would like to motivate women to get amongst the young people in their district, to pay it forward with a random act of kindness. “There are lots of young guys out there living on precooked sausages and bread,” said Louise. “Everyone is so busy buying the farm next door, they’ve forgotten how it all fits together.” As a working mum on a dairy farm, Louise knows how tiring it can be at the end of the day to put a meal on the table. “I want to get these guys feeling confident about cooking and preparing a filling meal when they come in.” Louise has also set up a Facebook page ‘Young Farmers Pay it forward Cooking Classes’ to post ingredients, simple recipes and photos. She has at least eight dishes Ingredients required for stir-fry beef, chips and salad (above) that can be assembled in less than 40 minutes. Louise would like the cooking classes to include “I use them all the time as well as the more teaching young people how to think ahead while adventurous stuff I’m capable of,” she said. they are grocery shopping. “However it seems I actually need to show “It’s all about food assembly.” someone how jolly simple it needs to be for these To enquire about setting up cooking classes in young people to start feeling confident.” your district, contact Louise at gsgiltrap@xtra.co.nz.

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MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES

My point of view

MAY 2014

19

Allen Cookson

Massive population growth has a downside A talkback host said that Christchurch should grow to over a million population ‘stretching from the coast to the Southern Alps’. Overwhelmingly, callers’ responses to this were supportive of the idea. No consideration of the loss of export earnings resulting from loss of farmland sacrificed for housing! How would all these extra people be employed? Low wage manufacturing attempting to match Asian competitors? What about quality of life? A similar proposal for Auckland envisaged the city expanding to Helensville. It has been reported that the Ministry of Immigration’s plan is to boost our population to 10 million. The distinguished Chilean ecological economist Manfred Max-Neef developed the ‘threshold hypothesis’ that when an economic system grows beyond a certain size, the attendant costs exceed the benefits.

Already Auckland firms, recognising the principle, have started relocating to Hamilton. Some farmers understand the principle as it applies to their land. I doubt that Fonterra recognises it. ‘Biocapacity’ equals the area of land and water available per human/city/ country/planet to supply useful biological material to humans and absorb wastes sustainably. ‘Ecological footprint’ means the area of productive land and water needed to sustain a human/city/country/ planet at their current consumption level. Subtract ecological footprint from biocapacity. A positive answer means the country is an ‘ecological creditor’. A negative answer means an ‘ecological debtor’. New Zealand is one of the few ecological creditor countries (ecological credit 5.88 ha per person). But this is not because of low per capita ecological footprint.

Our consumption of fossil fuels is very high, mainly because of our transport. Were it not for our small population, we would be an ecological debtor country. All ecological creditor countries have small populations for their areas. The worst ecological debtor ‘country’ I have spotted in research statistics is United Arab Emirates with an ecological deficit of 9.83 ha per person. Clearly this is because of the low biocapacity of the desert and the high consumption of oil. Earth as a whole has an ecological deficit of 0.9 ha per person. Present human activity is unsustainable. What are New Zealand’s choices for our

future economy? We could continue to supply ecological debtor countries with ‘virtual land’ in the form of food and timber, preferably adding value to these products by processing them here. We could also develop and sell our skills in science, engineering, information technology, etc. In return we would import materials unavailable to us, and cheap manufactures. Or we could fill up our land with people who would consume most of the food we produce. To balance our international accounts we would have to lower wages in manufacturing and tourism and destroy our environment.

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20

May 2014

MANAWATU FARMING LIFESTYLES

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Manawatu Farming Lifestyles, March 2014