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u t a w a n a M / i k a n a Tar

Farming Lifestyles

August 2012 Edition

Phone: 09 439 6933 | Freephone: 0800 466 793 | Fax: 09 439 6930

Page 3

Page 4–5

Page 6–7

Photos sought for Taranaki book

Dog trial interest spans family generations

Tourism diversification opens up opportunities


See page 9

AgriVenture opens up opportunities with scholarship Page 8–9

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August 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

The Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles is published with pride by NorthSouth Multi Media Ltd, a privately owned New Zealand company. Phone: 09 439 6933 or 0800 466 793 • Fax: 09 439 6930 Email: • Postal Address: PO Box 474, Dargaville Physical Address: Lifestyler House, 107 River Road, Dargaville General Manager: Deb Wright Editorial: Denise Gunn

By Denise Gunn

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles Distribution area

Graphic Design: David Stevens Gavin Bainbridge Emily Stevens Janet Balcombe

Advertising: Caleb Williams Production: Jenny Crundwell

Managing Editor: Allan Mortensen ( Accounts: Lesley Robinson (


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Feilding Farmers Market takes top prize

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Feilding has taken out the 2012 Taste Farmers Market Award for Farmers’ Market of the Year The award recognises community support and involvement in local farmers markets with customers around New Zealand voting for both their favourite market and a preferred stallholder. Feilding won the award against much larger markets in other regions. Held each Friday in the centre of town, the Feilding Farmers’ Market was set up by the Feilding Promotion’s Community Development team. Feilding Promotion project manager Raewyn Loader said the aim was to attract more shoppers to Feilding, provide a start-up platform for new businesses and increase the town’s profile. She said the Feilding Farmers’ Market has been very successful on all counts. “Feilding Promotion has a good farmers’ market management team with a good mix of volunteers made up of local business people as well as stall holders.” “Our community is very supportive of the market, they take ownership of the market — it belongs to them.”

“They were more than keen to vote for their market,” she said. Ms Loader said consistency and quality is also a key factor in Feilding Farmers’ Market success with fresh, locally grown product available every Friday. This year’s win is a step up from the third placing out of over 50 markets around the country last year. Ms Loader said there was “absolute glee” from management, stallholders, customers and the community upon hearing the Feilding Farmers’ Market had won this year’s competition. The official announcement was made at the New Zealand Farmers Market awards dinner in Auckland. “Congratulations go to all our stallholders whose commitment, presentation, customer service and quality of produce and products, outdoor every Friday in rain, hail or shine in Manchester Square for the past seven years makes our market the best in New Zealand,” said Ms Loader.

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles August 2012

Photos sought for Taranaki book


By Denise Gunn

Photographers of all skill levels are invited to upload images to a new website launched recently to showcase the beauty and diversity of Taranaki One hundred images from the website will eventually be chosen to feature in a proposed high quality photo book. Dan Jane, a former graphic designer, said he launched the ilovetaranaki. com website for two reasons. “Firstly, it’s great for the photographers,” he said. “The amateurs and students will learn a great deal by participating and the professionals now have another option for getting their work seen with the website growing in popularity.” “Should the book eventuate, participants will have the opportunity to have their work published without having to do anything except submit great photos,” he said. Mr Jane said secondly the website

is relevant as it will showcase the region through the eyes and lenses of the people who live there, or have visited. “The I Love Taranaki brand is already growing in popularity, and together with the website it will provide a lot of interest and publicity for the region.” Mr Jane developed and launched the project on a shoestring budget, but as it has started to gain more attention he has had to impose a limit of five photos per person, per week. “This ensures there’s a good mix of photos from contributors,” he said. Prizes are awarded for a photo of the month through a mix of public votes and scores from three judges. When at least 1000 images have

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been published on the website, photos will be selected for the book. All photographers whose work features in the book will receive a free copy. “This is a community project I developed for the benefit of the region,” said Mr Jane. “Ultimately it will be a community achievement, should the goal be realised.” Mr Jane said if the concept works, there could possibly be additional volumes in the future. The I Love Taranaki website can be found at

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August 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

Dog trial interest

spans family generations By Denise Gunn

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an and his wife Kathy farm 1000 acres of hill country in the Taranaki backblocks. The farm originally belonged to Dan’s parents before his brother bought it then later sold it onto Dan. “I’ve lived in this area all my life,” said Dan. “The only time I went away was when I was 17 and worked on another farm for awhile.”


The Murphy family’s involvement in dog trialling stretches back three generations to Dan’s grandfather.


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Dan has lived in the Whangamomona area all his life and farms 1000 acres of hill country in the Taranaki backblocks


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“I just sort of followed along,” said Dan. Dan’s first taste of competitive dog trialling was at the age of 15 but rugby and pig hunting also beckoned, keeping he and his brothers busy. Eventually dog trialling proved stronger and both Dan and his brother Steve have been familiar names on the leaderboards at dog trials around the country for many years. Although Dan didn’t get serious about competing until he was in his late 20’s, by the age of 34 he had won his first New Zealand championship. Since then Dan has won three New Zealand championships, two island championships and represented New Zealand twice in Australia. He belongs to the local Whangamomona dog trial club and is


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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles August 2012

There are seven dog trial clubs in the Taranaki Centre with each of them holding a two-day competition. Dan tries to support each of these competitions as well as three or four events out of the area. He also strives to compete at each North Island Championship and most New Zealand championships. Dan’s knowledge and experience has been put to good use in the judging box at numerous dog trials over the last 20 years, including a South Island and New Zealand Championship. When breeding dogs, Dan follows another family tradition when the pups are old enough to go to new homes — he gives them away instead of selling them. “Dad never sold dogs,” said Dan. “It’s just the way we do things.”

“I get a real buzz out of seeing them working well and it’s a way of paying back cockies who have given their time to dog trials.” When looking to select a pup from a litter for himself, Dan looks for friendliness and those of a good type. “I like to try and keep a type of dog I know about,” he said. Dan considers the key to training dogs is consistency. “Be consistent right through from a young age.” “Try to be mates with your dog but you also need to be the boss — a friendly boss.” “It’s important to be mates at the end of a session.” As each dog reacts differently in competition, understanding the dog’s personality and behaviour goes a long way to helping them reach as close to their natural ability as possible. And if problems arise, the handler needs to work out whether

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August 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

Tourism diversification opens up opportunities By Denise Gunn

Establishing a farm stay and combining this with farm walks has opened up more income producing opportunities for Manawatu/Rangitikei sheep and beef farmers Neil and Virginia Travers


Neil and Virginia extended their farm stay operation with the introduction of Weka Walks. Walks are marked and instruction sheets and maps given to guests

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he couple purchased their Mangaweka farm ‘Mt Huia’ in 1993 under a special settlement scheme provided by the Rural Bank. Virginia said very low equity was required at that time to make a first farm purchase. “But this worked against us when a year later the new Labour Government, under David Lange, removed all subsidies on which our budgets had been based.” “After extended years of working under budgetary control we were able to farm out of the recession and eventually able to add acreage to make the unit more economic,” she said. As a means of creating another income and to give families an opportunity to holiday in the country, Neil and Virginia decided to establish a farm stay in an unused house on the property. “We were very aware of a disconnection of town people with the country,” said Virginia. “This was partly as a result of the fact that no longer did almost everyone in town have a relative living on a farm and somewhere they could have outdoor summer holidays, as was previously the case.” After purchasing an adjacent small block in 1999, the couple transferred

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a disconnection of town people with the country

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles August 2012

the farm stay to a cottage on that property. The cottage, named Hodd Cottage after the original owner, was painted, a shower installed, and a deck added to the northern side. It was then completely furnished and the kitchen equipped in readiness to rent out for self-contained holidays. Neil and Virginia set up their website and a brochure/rack card was produced for distribution in local tourism organisations as well as information centres in neighbouring regions. Views of Rangitikei farmland and the Ruahine Ranges during a farm walk on Neil and Virginia’s property “We had been foundation members of Rangitikei Tourism since its inception in 1988 and also Reserve.” became members of Destination Manawatu — both regional Hodd Cottage is also conveniently tourism promotion organisations through which we could located for access to day walks in the promote our own business,” said Virginia. Ruahine Ranges. The pair further extended their farm stay operation with “Full or partial catering is offered the introduction of Weka Walks in 2002. and when I am walking across the road Virginia said boutique walking had become popular, with hot dinners on platters and ready particularly for adult groups who wanted a relaxed break, to eat, I think what a great way to have comfortable accommodation, some exercise and social time a holiday it is.” together in a new environment. Neil and Virginia also offer guests Sometimes these groups are too large to be accommodated involvement with farm activities. in Hodd Cottage and two guest rooms with ensuite set up in “Families staying in Hodd Cottage for the homestead are a popular addition. a farm holiday take great pleasure in “The walks are marked and instruction sheets and maps joining in with Neil all day and every day given to guests for self-guided outings on Mt Huia Farm, and if they can,” said Virginia. across neighbouring Glen Tui Farm and through the Titirangi The Gorges to Sea Cycleway set up by Rangitikei Tourism in 2009, and the recent trail opened as part of the New Zealand Cycleway, both go directly past Hodd Cottage, proving its location near SH1 at Mangaweka to be an ideal stay when following these cycle routes. Neil and Virginia are now running 2800 Romney sheep and 1200 Angus cattle on 324ha of hill country farm at Mangaweka and a 61ha finishing block at Halcombe. They balance the busier seasons with the farm stay through hiring casual staff for seasonal work on the properties. The couple work hard to ensure that through opening up their farm, guests have a quality and enjoyable experience with friendly kiwi hospitality. In return they have been rewarded by meeting people with a genuine interest in rural life and the environment, and seeing many of their guests return for further stays. Through opening a farm stay on their Mangaweka farm, Neil and Virginia have given families an opportunity to holiday in the country

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August 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

AgriVenture opens up opportunities with scholarship By Denise Gunn

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Kirsty is the Landcorp Farming project manager for the capital development on Cheltenham Downs, a finishing farm based just outside of Feilding. She also supervises three large sheep and beef properties


irsty grew up on an 800 acre sheep and bull beef farm in Apiti in the northern Manawatu and always enjoyed helping her father out on the farm. Initially she was keen to study architecture and took art, textiles and graphic subjects up until her third year of high school. “But then I realised I didn’t want to be stuck inside so changed to do all sciences and agriculture,” said Kirsty. After completing her NCEA levels

one, two and three, Kirsty headed off to Massey University to complete a Bachelor of Applied Science degree, majoring in agriculture and agribusiness. “After university I was offered a job working for Landcorp Farming which I accepted and moved down to Wellington,” said Kirsty. “I started off as a business technician and was then promoted to a business manager a year and a half later.” Kirsty has now worked in that position for one year, primarily supervising three



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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles August 2012 9 Kirsty had already planned a 72day safari trip through Africa later this year and will then begin the AgriVenture exchange. Her first five months will be spent in Sweden working mainly with sheep followed by seven months in Canada experiencing the cattle and grain or hay industries. She said her goal is to work and travel overseas for a couple of years before returning to New Zealand to go farming. Kirsty is keen to learn about farming practises in different climates and cultures as well as living amongst the local communities as she travels. All photos: James Ball “This is a good opportunity to do As a Landcorp business manager, Kirsty also facilitates something I really enjoy while getting and presents at pasture workshops, organises feed budgeting workshops, the chance to travel as well.” and is the support person for all North Island farm managers for feed budgeting tool Farmax

large sheep and beef properties. She is also the project manager for the capital development on Cheltenham Downs, a finishing farm based just outside of Feilding, and is involved in sheep and beef workshops run on the North Island’s east coast. Additionally Kirsty facilitates and presents at pasture workshops, organises feed budgeting workshops, and is the support person for all North Island farm managers for feed budgeting tool Farmax. “I do a lot of travel to the farmers I look after as well as others that need my assistance,” she said. Following her initial involvement with the Massey University Young Farmers helping to build up club numbers, Kirsty joined the Wellington Young Farmers. She has been a committee member for both clubs and on the ball committees. “I enjoy the social interaction with people that have similar interests,” she said. “It’s also another social group in the city.” After applying for the AgriVenture scholarship Kirsty said she was both surprised and excited to hear she had made it to the final stage. “I was already set on doing the programme and had forgotten partly about the scholarship.” “It was also a relief to get some help to get over there and still have enough spending money.” The AgriVenture programme is run by the International Agricultural Exchange Association (IAEA), a non-governmental, non-profit membership organisation operating farm work placements since 1965. AgriVenture gives young people aged between 18 and 30 the opportunity to travel and work on a farm, in horticulture or home management in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA, Europe and Japan.

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August 2012

Kiwi riders take part in world’s toughest enduro race By Denise Gunn

This year’s Redbull Romaniacs extreme enduro ride drew a group of New Zealand riders which included Waikato’s Sean Clarke and his 16-year-old son Jesse

Considered the world’s toughest enduro race, the Redbull Romaniacs takes place over five days with riders covering daily distances of up to 180kms per day through the mountainous region near Sibiu in Romania. Each year the course is designed to include difficult obstacles and extreme elements over rocks and fallen trees, through mud and rivers, and up steep climbs.

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Waikato’s Sean and Jesse Clarke made the trip to Romania to take part in the recent Redbull Romaniacs extreme enduro ride

Sean has been racing dirt bikes since he was 12 years old. “I started in motocross and then rode enduros and cross country events since I was about 16,” said Sean. “Jesse started riding bikes when he was about five and has only ridden in cross country and enduro rides.” The pair used the forestry around Tokoroa to train in the lead-up to the event. They also undertook a lot of fitness training each night for a couple of months before they left.

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“We arrived about four days before the event started and had a ride on the bikes beforehand,” said Sean. Both Sean and Jesse have taken part in similar rides in New Zealand. “We run one each year called the ‘No Way in Hell’ extreme enduro out at Oparau near Kawhia,” said Sean. This year’s Redbull Romaniacs drew 205 entries from all over the globe. “That’s the best thing about going to Romania is the countryside,” said Sean. “You get to ride in the mountains up to 2500 metres and there is no fencing so you can travel 150kms and not have to stop to open a gate.” In 2011 Sean finished ninth in the Pro Class at the event but this year he was unfortunately hit in the leg by another rider during the prologue. Jesse and team mate Mark Newton came in seventh place in the Experts Class. Jesse was the youngest to ever finish the event.

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Sean and Jesse are already making plans to enter the Redbull Romaniacs next year along with a number of other New Zealand riders. “Next year, Jesse and I are going to ride together in the Experts Teams Class,” said Sean.

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Farm Wheels – Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles August 2012



Hooked on four-wheel-driving By Denise Gunn

It took just one drive in a cruiser with his father in the driver’s seat during a B class competition, for four-wheel-drive enthusiast John Hawken to become hooked on the sport “It was one of the scariest rides I think I will ever have,” said John. “Ever since then I have been hooked.” As soon as John attained his learner’s licence, he bought his first 4 x 4 — an E Class Suzuki 413 with a 1200 Nissan motor and rear wheel brakes. Then it was his turn in the driver’s seat with his father as navigator as the pair took part in a few fun days.

“I put beadlock rims and a set of 31 Kuhmos on it and went out to give it a go with Dad in the silly seat this time,” said John. “I did a full season in it with Cameron Whealan co-driving.” John was raised on the family’s farm in Waitotara and is a Wanganui 4 x 4 Club committee member. His father, Gary, has been rallying for years and his mother, Marie, used to co-drive.

with Hilux diffs and Howat lockers, beadlock rims and 35 general grabbers.” “It’s got a SR20DET — just standard but tuned by Keith Stuart using a G4link computer.” With long-time friend Daniel King as co-driver, John has placed well in a number of competitions. Last season he won a C class event in the New Zealand Trial Competitions in this vehicle, placing 11th overall. But as well as the sense of achievement that building and driving a vehicle brings, John also enjoys the company of the people involved in the sport. “You probably won’t find another sport in New Zealand where after a day of competing against each other, we can joke and laugh at each other while having a quiet drink.” Mike Hareb | Ton Deken

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“She still manages to get out on the course sometimes to watch,” said John.“Dad is still really interested in the sport and hopefully he will be out in his new truck next season.” John has now been competing in fourwheel-drive competitions since 2001.


Four-wheel-drive enthusiast, John Hawken, built his current truck with the help of a few close friends and his father. With long-time friend Daniel King as co-driver, John has placed well in a number of competitions. Last season he won a C class event in the New Zealand Trial Competitions in this vehicle, placing 11th overall.

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August 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles – Farm Wheels


Full size, full power — tiny price! by Andy Bryenton

Farming is at its core a business, and investments made by farmers in new equipment are weighed up very carefully to see if they’ll provide a good return When it comes to ATVs and quad bikes this is all the more pertinent — farmers need a reliable and rugged workhorse that is both dependable and inexpensive to run. Another consideration is power to weight — or rather power to bulk. Sometimes a huge, powerful machine lacks the ability to go where smaller, more agile ATVs can… making it tough to decide on the perfect tool for the job. Enter the Polaris Sportsman 400 — and don’t let that 455cc engine capacity fool you into thinking that it lacks muscle. In a world of big 700 and 800cc monsters this is the proverbial bantamweight punching far harder


than you would expect, and that’s largely down to very clever design. For starters, the Sportsman has one of the most intelligent chassis and suspension setups on the market — including a unique independent rear suspension system providing an unparalleled smooth ride even over very rough terrain. Almost a foot of ground clearance means that the Sportsman can scramble over even the gnarliest mud and boulders, and its light weight means it won’t bog down. Innovation has been key to the success of Polaris in the highly competitive quad bike market, and little tricks like a rear-facing, high mounted radiator (which won’t clog up with mud and overheat), halogen lighting and some very versatile storage front and back allow the Kiwi farmer to wring even more value out of this smart little machine. Combined front and back rack capacity tips the scales at



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over 120kgs, and the Sportsman 400 can tow even more — up to 555 kilos. In a lot of ways the Sportsman 400 is a ‘back to base principles’ quad bike — a return to the rugged and agile little machine that farmers embraced a decade ago. Shorn of the weight, excess baggage and sometimes counter-productive muscle of its bigger rivals, there’s a real sense that you could never push the gutsy Polaris too hard… after all, it is manufactured by a company who also supply rescue teams and armies! About all that’s really missing from the Sportsman 400 is a hefty price tag — these machines have been called ‘the best value ATV on earth’, and a visit to your local dealership will definitely illustrate why!

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Tailor-made here in New Zealand, Rugged Valley’s canvas seat covers are designed to fit all types of work and recreational vehicles. And the unique design ensures these seat covers don’t shuffle around on the seat when you get in and out of the vehicle.

Rugged Valley canvas seat covers are designed to withstand tough use and provide protection for the seats in your vehicle.

As well as long-lasting proven practicality, Rugged Valley canvas seat covers look smart with colour availability in either grey or black.

Heavy duty and waterproof to stop the mud, dirt, grease and grime getting through onto the seats, these seat covers are particularly ideal for anyone who is in and out of their vehicle during the day, wearing wet weather gear or dirty clothing. They are also made to last for years so there is no need to keep replacing them.

Rugged Valley also stocks a wide selection of workwear and safety gear, supplying to a vast range of clients. Staff will also endeavour to source products not currently in store. A promotion on selected Bison rainwear styles and some boots is running until August 30.

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Farm Wheels – Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles August 2012



It’s definitely no toy Isuzu’s new D Max ute is causing quite a stir in motoring circles In a world of utes trending toward the extremes of the spectrum (either engineered to ride like a car, or built as a spartan workhorse) the D Max on first impressions appears to have a foot in each camp — it’s a good looking beast with a flash of chrome, rakishly angled headlamps and an aggressive stance emphasized by flared wheel arches and chunky alloys. It’s also quite a serious contender as far as comfort goes — the four door version I took for a drive (courtesy of Moore Cars in Whangarei) more than accommodated a man-sized frame in the back without the need for extra knees, and the driver’s seat was more comfortable than that of some family sedans. The real advantage here, however, lies deep inside the three-litre common rail turbo diesel engine of the new D Max. It’s not one you can see when appreciating the aesthetic impact of the vehicle, but it’s more important than all the chrome in the world… it’s the fact that this ute was built by a truck maker. Isuzu know trucks. Big trucks. So while other ute makers have scaled up their cars and added a back deck (including sometimes using the same or

similar engine design for utes and cars), Isuzu have scaled down a truck. If ‘scaled down’ is the right term. Take the turbo for example. To eliminate lag, the D Max uses a variable geometry system as pioneered by Porsche. This gives the ute a smooth acceleration curve which slides through the gears effortlessly and without so much as a grunt of diesel exertion. The doors shut like bank vaults, the tailgate feels like it could support a bull elephant, and as for the parts which make up the gutsy engine… When you go to take a look at the new Isuzu (and anyone looking at a new ute would be advised to book a place), ask to see the comparisons in design and weight with the parts used in comparable NOTHING vehicles. From the cast roller rockers to the piston big ends, everything about the D Max is bigger, stronger, tougher, and visibly so. From a company which builds serious metal for the world’s trucking fleet, you’d expect no less. So, does the D Max really have a foot in both camps? Is it neither a car with a big flat deck or a truck with less of a step up? Not at all. It’s a fusion of the best of both worlds, built very much as the dealer press emphasises as ‘a tool, not a toy’. And it’ll last far longer than most of the tools in the shop as well.


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August 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles


Hoof Print With Fred Hoekstra

I still come across a lot of people who struggle to believe what I am saying in my articles It seems to be so ingrained in people’s mind that a bruise in the hoof comes from standing on a stone. The scientists and advisors who make that claim have done a good job in telling their story but it just simply isn’t true. There is no evidence to support that claim.

The prod be t

If anything I believe I have disproven it (see my previous articles) yet it is so hard to get people to take it on board. Why is that? I can only speculate for an answer but I wonder if it just feels safer. I guess if we have a multimillion dollar business, and we experience a high incidence rate of lameness with a high price tag attached to it, then we want to play it safe and do the things that reduce the lameness as quick as possible. I am all for this, and I would never say that you can push your cows as hard as you like on the track or in the yard and it wouldn’t make any difference. That would be a dumb thing to say especially when it is quite obvious to see that you do end up with more lame cows when you do that. So is that enough to prove that pushing and standing on stones causes lameness? No! If I see a person walking on a gravel road with a bit of a limp then I haven’t got enough information by just looking at this person from a distance to know what makes this person limp. If I conclude that this person is limping because of a very uneven walking surface and so I let this person walk on a tar sealed road, then they will still be limping if an ingrown toe nail is the cause of the problem, even though they may be walking easier on tar seal.

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In the same way, a cow with laminitis will walk easier on a well-drained smooth track than on a stony track, but it is still not the track that caused the problem.

Fea weepin system tenden as incr It only aggravated a problem that was Cle already there. So why then do we see aLindsay big improvement when we upgrade thestorage tracks? amoun We need to ask this question: is ityard c because of less physical force on the hooves or because of something else? I believe it is something else because I still don’t see any evidence of trauma to the foot. A cow needs about 21 hours per day in the paddock for eating, resting, socialising and drinking. That leaves three hours per day to walk the cows from the paddock to the cow shed, milk them and walk them back again twice a day. So that is only 1.5 hours per milking all up. Most farmers don’t manage that. If you have rough tracks and you improve them then you also improve the cow flow on the tracks. Cows spend less time on them so there is more time in the paddock which means less stress therefore less laminitis. I believe that this is of far greater consequence than most of us appreciate and therefore to be a much more important factor than the actual physical force.

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles August 2012



The award-winning Clean Green Effluent System The Clean Green Effluent System, designed and produced in Southland by Lindsay Lewis, could be the future of dairy effluent disposal Featuring a small patented concrete-lined, double weeping wall, followed by 33,000 litre tanks, this system eliminates the risk of pond leakage and tendency of large storage ponds to smell, as well as increasing the life span of the pond. Clean Green Effluent Company owner Lindsay Lewis said the system has a green water storage facility which significantly reduces the amount of water used by recycling green water for yard cleaning.

A patented valve controls the amount of effluent going to K-Line applicators

A super low application of a quarter of a millimetre depth allows effluent to be absorbed by pasture, reducing run-off risk or effluent passing through the root base. It was the low application rate that drew the support of Southland dairy farm owner Gary Swney. He found the cost of installing the system was significantly less than a large storage pond. Super low application rates ensured all nutrients would stay in the root base and be utilised. Pasture could then absorb nutrients from the balanced fresh aerobic effluent more effectively. A patented valve controls the amount of effluent going to K-Line applicators. Mark Hamill installed the system on his Southland dairy farm four seasons ago and found his water usage has reduced to more than half the water take Environment Southland had allocated to his property. The Clean Green Effluent System has been recognised with numerous awards.

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with Mark McKewen

When it’s all said and done the machine is only as good as the sum of its parts and how well it is maintained. If you treat your Milking Machine like any other piece of complex equipment, like your tractor, it will run properly and give few problems. If you are inclined not to maintain your Milking Machine? Well, don’t be surprised when it costs expensive callouts, seriously. So get your gear serviced regularly... don’t hesitate, call your local Milfos Service Partner (or other), book in the Machine Test (and remember this is a test, NOT a service) and YES, definitely book in a SERVICE!

fix what they can and lube all the important parts. If you really want to be on to it, and take the worry out of getting the timing right yourself, get an iCARE Scheduled Maintenance programme to suit your farm through your Milfos Service Partner. This will look after your machine right down to filters and inflations. Well, this is the last time I am writing these notes for you, I am heading off for pastures new and you will have a new Milfos face on this page, penning the notes from now on.

What your Service Partner will Thank you for your custom and do is replace the worn out stuff, all the best for the future.

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August 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles


Taming the effluent pond — the natural way Effluent — it’s not the most fragrant of subjects, but it’s one which every dairy farmer has to deal with one way or another Traditionally the ‘brown stuff’ has been used in its role as a fertiliser, sprayed back onto pastures to add nutrients to the soil. But in recent years concerns about runoff into waterways, has led to wider adoption of technology such as separators to split the effluent into solid and liquid components. But a third way now exists — one which combines efficiency with eco-consciousness to provide a soil-enhancing sprayable finished product from wash-down water. It’s not about adding machinery to the effluent pond process, but about enhancing the natural process of waste digestion in the pond itself. Impact, from Biomagic NZ Ltd, takes the form of an easy-to-apply additive, tipped onto the yard during wash down after initial treatment of the pond itself. Impact turns the content of the pond from slow-acting anaerobic bacteria to

the faster-digesting aerobic form… a recipe for efficiency which removes several effluent pond problems. When the more efficient aerobic bacteria get to work they leave behind less waste minerals, dissolving the ‘crust’ which forms

on the top of ponds and the thick sludge which settles to the bottom. No more digging out foul smelling muck with these little dynamos on the job — and that helps the bottom line. Impact’s aerobic bacteria achieve in six hours what anaerobic

bacteria struggle through in 70 days! If you’d like to see the end of pungent odours, green slime, thick sludge and costly digging out, Impact from Biomagic is just what you need. Effluent solutions have never come up smelling so sweet!

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles August 2012



Be my Guest A dairy farmer who took the law into his own hands and failed to follow the strict terms of the sharemilking agreement between he and his sharemilker was sentenced to nine months jail and the Court ordered payment of $81,000 to Sharemilkers This week in the District Court at Tauranga, Lance Maxwell Burt, a dairy farmer was sentenced to 9 months jail and an order to pay restitution in the sum of $81,000.00 to sharemilkers, who worked for him 5 years ago. Burt was charged under the Crimes Act with using a computer to commit a crime. Burt sent a direction to Fonterra instructing Fonterra to divert all proceeds due to his sharemilker into his own account. Mr Burt’s Lawyers in Palmerston North then issued a Notice of Termination of the Sharemilking Agreement. Despite being requested on numerous occasions to confirm that they held the money pursuant to the Sharemilking Agreement in their Trust Account, the NZ Law Society’s Manawatu Branch confirmed that the money was not held in the Solicitors Trust Account. Arbitration followed resulting in a decision in favour of the sharemilker. Burt had taken the $81,000.00 and dispersed it amongst other commercial operations he was involved in. The sharemilkers were devastated. It deprived them of their job and access to their money needed to finance the next season’s operations. The Judge described the offending as malicious and intended to cause harm to the sharemilkers. The lesson for owners contemplating withholding payments to sharemilkers, is that they must adhere to the strict

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terms of the sharemilking contract. Owners that direct their dairy company to pay the money to themselves and then failing to place the deductions in their solicitor’s trust account can expect to find themselves in serious trouble. In the Lower Order Agreement there are penalties for unjustifiably and procedurally wrongly withholding payments to sharemilkers and these amount to interest rates ranging from 5% per month compounding up to 8% per month compounding. In the High Court at Whangarei Judge Nicholson in dealing with an appeal against these interest rates commented that the punitive interest rates were justifiable and to be used in discouraging owners from withholding the proceeds due to sharemilkers. Owners contemplating using the offset provisions in their sharemilking agreements are advised to seek professional advice before commencing such action. 40% of milk produced on New Zealand farms comes from sharemilking agreements between farmers and sharemilkers, known generally as lower order and 50/50 Sharemilking Agreements.

Bill Guest, Farmers of New Zealand

In 2001 a new Lower Order Sharemilking Agreement was negotiated and enshrined as a statute of law by Parliament. One of the clauses added was a comprehensive dispute resolution procedure. When the 50/50 sharemilking agreements were amended in 2007 and later in 2010, these dispute resolution procedures were written into the 50/50 agreements. The employer / owner has a right to offset money from a sharemilker’s proceeds subject to the dispute procedures being completed. An owner contemplating withholding proceeds due to the sharemilker must serve notices on the sharemilker setting out the contract breaches and the costs of rectification. If the parties don’t agree, they may ask an independent third party to assist them to resolve the dispute and if the dispute is not resolved within 10 working days must then go to conciliation and appoint a conciliator. If the parties fail to agree on a conciliator within five working days of proceeding to conciliation, a

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conciliator will be appointed from the National Panel of Conciliators who will convene a meeting where the issues are discussed and usually resolved. If not resolved then the owner can instruct the dairy company to withhold the proceeds due to the sharemilker with an upper limit of 75% of any sum due. That money must then be lodged in a Solicitors Trust Account, earning interest until the matter is resolved either by agreement or reference to arbitration. Farmers of New Zealand Inc. provides free sharemilking agreements to members and specialist advice on sharemilking matters.

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August 2012

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

Stimulating soil biological activity — how and why? Part 1

Dr Bert Quin, fertiliser and soil fertility consultant

The importance of soil biological activity is being realised by more and more farmers and farming organisations, and many companies are now promoting products that are claimed to stimulate it and by doing so increase production In the next article we will look at whether these products are possibly effective or basically fit into the ‘snake-oil’ category, but in this article let’s take a step back in history and look at what happens when we introduce the ryegrass/clover grazed pasture system. Under the pre-European natural forests, scrub and native grasses, soil organic matter levels were typically very low. This is because

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the input of new nutrients — almost solely from the weathering of soil minerals — was very slow. This greatly limited the rate of growth of vegetation, so plant species evolved that could cope with this by growing very slowly themselves. Likewise, the soil organic matter had a slow rate of turnover, because the soil microbes that do this require nutrients also. Nutrient losses from this system were extremely low.

typically reached its potential within 3-5 years, whereas soil organic matter levels tended to increase over a 10-15 year period before reaching a new plateau, typically 50% higher than the original level. Essentially, the new plateau is reached when increasing soil microbial activity finally ‘catches up’ with the new higher rate of addition of organic matter — plant residues and excreta mainly — into the soil. These provide carbon, protein and energy for soil microbes to feed on. So why does it reach a new plateau, instead of coming back down again? Simply because it would be counter-productive for the soil microbes for this to happen. View it as a term bank deposit. It makes sense to grow this to a size big enough to live on the ‘interest’ — in this case the pool of mineralisable organic matter. Once you have to live on the capital as well, it’s eventually going to be over Rover.

Then the ryegrass/clover pastures and many different crops were introduced. These had far more growth potential, especially in our growth-friendly climate, but it was soon discovered that to achieve this growth potential required ‘capital’ applications of fertiliser and subsequent annual ‘maintenance’ applications of several major and trace elements.

The 10-15 years it takes for the soil organic matter to reach a new plateau can be greatly reduced if, and it’s a big if on hill country properties, there are outside sources of soil organic matter such as chicken manure that can be brought in (as in a vege garden), or effluent irrigated. Farmers are aware how much more soil organic matter there is in animal campsites, which receive high inputs of excreta.

Under this system, pasture production

Many farmers have noted that the

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best paddocks on their farm have twice the pasture production or crop yield of the poorest paddocks, even in some cases if total soil organic matter and nutrient levels are similar. When this is the case, and slope, aspect, drainage and soil types are the same, it is a safe bet that the difference is soil microbial activity. It always surprises me that the addition of earthworms at least isn’t given as much attention as fertiliser in pasture development, and in dairy farm conversions. The most efficient earthworm species for pasture systems are not native to New Zealand. They were introduced widely but not exhaustively in the 1930s-1950s, and some modern farming practices — such as high N use and inadequate control of soil aluminium levels — can make life hard for them and other soil biology. So, given a certain-sized pool of soil organic matter, is their any advantage — to production or sustainability — of increasing the rate of cycling of this organic matter; that is, in increasing soil microbial activity? And what products or practices can do it? Also, there is anecdotal evidence that both the amount and activity of soil organic matter is declining on intensive dairy farms. Why is this happening, and what are the implications? In the next article, we look at these questions

Another big step forward CM3 is the next step up from our very popular Pasture Plus, and we are thrilled with the results The 0-3 week growth between the two products has been about the same, however by the 5th week CM3 has shown growth advantages measured between 200-500KgDM/ Ha. This is nearly double what Pasture Plus has been able to achieve. The increased regrowth over autumn has also been exceptional, measuring over 300KgDM/Ha extra on top of Pasture Plus’s already market leading regrowth. The results on grain have also been exceptional. History tells us, Pasture Plus has improved yields by around 1.5 tons/Ha. CM3 has added another two tons/Ha on top of that again. Stock have also done very well on pasture treated with CM3. Weaned lambs placed on paddocks treated with CM3 reached killing weights two- three weeks earlier than lambs of the same age and sex, compared to Pasture Plus treated paddocks. In all cases lamb growth was very good.

Pasture Plus is also a preferred grass. In another Southland trial lambs showed a 70%/30% grazing preference for Pasture Plus treated areas. So we are very pleased CM3 is stacking up equal to Pasture Plus. Cows in Canterbury grazed CM3 treated areas lower than Pasture Plus leaving less residual grass. This indicates a grazing preference for CM3. Combined with Urea: Previous pasture trials showed us that alternating Pasture Plus and Urea applications nearly doubled the growth of either. CM3 has nearly doubled that again.

Economics and Pricing Based on measured pasture response the economic return from CM3 works out between 3-5 cents/KgDM. CM3 is another great BIO-HELP Product distributed by McDONALD AGRI-FERT, EXPANDING RURAL POTENTIAL

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles August 2012

A dog’s tail…

Makin’ hey ina winter Well, gidday there. Me, Billy the very relaxed Borda Colly back in tuch this week. Lifes pritty relaxt here ona farm rite now. Sharlene and Mum bin feedin’ me so much I gotta bitta wait on too. An’ Mum’s bin givin’ me a good brushin’ too, ‘cos she rickins my coat looks good flowin’ ina wind. Sigh. Not lika Boss wen ‘es home. Lucky if I gits a wee pat ona back if I stops a lamb breakin’ outa tha dockin’ pen eh? But no wurries just now eh, cos a Boss is off over in Yourup an’ thass why Mum’s ‘ere wiv me an’ Sharlene, ta keep us kompiny. Mine you, she and Sharlene bin havin’ a cool time as wellas me, cos they crackin’ a few ofa Boss’s wine kollection most evenin’s when they wotchin Koro street. Thass afta I git me own dinna cooked seperate by Mum. Had bluddy big plate of beef briskit las’ nite an’ plinty left fer tonite too. Acherly, I’m gonna havta wotch it eh? Sharlene had emmill froma Boss tha otha nite. He wuz ina place corled Devin, in Inglind, wots next to another place corled Kornwill, where he reckins they make rippa pies corled pastees, an’ he tole Sharline he’s bin eatin’ pastees and drinkin’somethin’ corled Ginniss ina pubs, an’ was stackin’ ona few pouns as well. Thin he tole Sharlene that hell be rite cosa Dog — he neva corls me by me proper name of Billy eh? — would be reel fit afta lookin’ afta tha farm for ‘im an’ wood soon run tha weight off goin’ roun’ tha proppity.

Yea rite. I’m gonna keep an eye ona kalendar cos’ ifa Boss gits ‘ome an’ sees I’m eatin’ like a king an’ sleepin’ ona couch ‘sted of me kinnil, there’ll be hell ta pay. I’ll jus’ havta do a few runs uppa back fince line an’ try an kerb me feedin’ habits a bit befor he gits back. Jeez it’s a hard life eh? But fora nixt few weeks enyway I’m gonna take Mum’s advice eh? Shes’a rill kool lady an’ she sid ter me an Sharlene wot we gunna ‘make hey wila sun shines.’ Win she firs sed this, I shot ova ta they gear shed, but no wun had dun anythin’ about gettin’ out tha tracta mowa. Thin I figgad that why wood we be makin’ hey ina winter? So Mum thin explayned wot it means is ya kick up ya heels win ya kin get away wiv it. Soun’s fear enuff ta me. But thin I reckin I kin soon sheda few pouns wiv a run or three up that back, an’ winna Boss comes home I’ll make shure I’m standin at attinshin in fronta me kinnil eh? But I’m not shore If I wanta be in Mum ‘n Sharlene’s shoos, wina Boss count’s up ‘is wine kollecshin. Thin agin, wina Boss gits a bit stroppy, Sharlene juss calls him DEAH ina loud voice. An mum juss yells CHARLES!!! ana Boss slinks off ta tha woolshed fora beer. Nah, we’ll be rite eh? Ina meantime, lets get on wiva haymakin’. Cheers. Billy


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Proposed Changes to the Emissions Trading Scheme New Zealand has an international obligation to reduce greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels for the period 2008 to 2012. That period has now been extended to 2013 to 2017/2020 The Emissions Trading Scheme imposes domestic obligations on forest owners and emitters to offset the Government’s international obligations. The United Nations have provided that, from 2013, forest owners may convert forest land to a different land use, provided that the forest owner plants a new forest elsewhere, without having to account for deforestation liability (known as “offsetting”). The Government will allow forest owners to “offset” with respect to pre1990 forests and is in the process of public consultation on offsetting and other Emissions Trading Scheme changes. No bill has been drafted yet but it is likely offsetting legislation will mirror the Government’s international obligations. On that basis “offsetting”, unless there is “gold in them hills”, is unlikely to be of any significant benefit to ordinary forest owners because: • The new forest must be of an equivalent area as the harvested forest; • The new forest must reach the equivalent carbon stock as the harvested forest at the time of harvest; • If either of those requirements are not met there will be a liability to the forest owner for harvesting; • A forest owner would therefore likely need to convert land from

productive land to forest land for a long period of time before harvesting the existing forest, or “transplant” mature trees to the new forest land; • This is on top of the significant cost of conversion to forestry, including plantation costs, constructing access and potentially purchasing new land; • The new forest will not earn carbon credits. Call Andrew Kirk at Cooper Rapley Lawyers on 06 353 5210 to discuss Emissions Trading and Forestry

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August 2012  Taranaki/Manawatu

Farming Lifestyles

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles, August 2012  
Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles, August 2012  

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles, August 2012