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Farming Lifestyles November 2012 Edition

22,300 copies DELIVERED FREE to every rural delivery address in Taranaki and Manawatu

Poultry fervour

Recycling project reaping rewards P3

Resourcefulness makes small farm work P6

P14

Rural P10–11

Shift to Ayrshires suits Page 4–5

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November 2012

Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes

NZ Dairy Industry Awards entries open

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

by Denise Gunn Email: info@thelifestyler.co.nz • Postal Address: PO Box 474, Dargaville Physical Address: Lifestyler House, 107 River Road, Dargaville General Manager: Deb Wright Editorial: Denise Gunn

Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles Distribution area

Graphic Design: David Stevens Gavin Bainbridge Emily Stevens Jan Balcombe

Advertising: John Hosie Production: Brenda Ilton

Managing Editor: Allan Mortensen (am@thelifestyler.co.nz) Accounts: Lesley Robinson (accounts@thelifestyler.co.nz)

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BACK or NECK PAIN? If you do suffer from back or neck pain, then come along to the Hawera A&P Show on November 16th & 17th or the Stratford A&P Show, November 23rd, 24th & 25th or the Wanganui Home Show, November 24th & 25th and try the Teeter Hang-Ups Inversion Table. A three and a half year medical study recently completed at the Regional Neuroscience Centre in Newcastle by one of the UK’s leading Neurosurgeons and authorities on back care, found that Inversion Therapy reduced the need for spinal surgery by 77% compared to 22% with traditional methods of treatment.

Photo: DENISE GUNN

The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards encourage excellence in the dairy industry

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Inversion therapy may help you with: • Reduce Back Pain • Stimulate circulation & Lymph Flow • Improve posture • Reduce Muscle Tension • Strengthen Ligaments • Increase Blood to the Brain • Reduce the effects of aging • Increase flexibility

Split into three categories — New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farm of the Year; New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year; and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year, the competition encourages excellence in the dairy industry. Entrants must first compete in one of 12 regional competitions with winners progressing onto a national final. Organisers met in Rotorua recently to finalise the 2013 awards programme. The regional competitions are organised by volunteers. National convenor Chris Keeping said the awards are reliant on the volunteer effort of past winners and entrants to give their time and skills to manage their regional competitions at the awards. “Most of our regional convenors volunteer to take on the role as they see it as an extension to their participation in the dairy industry awards and an opportunity to develop new skills and to network with peers and industry representatives.

this category and the Farm Manager of the Year competitions in their region. Kate said the NZ Dairy Industry Awards is a great opportunity for people to benchmark themselves and their farm business. “The ability to get unbiased judges look over your business and give you feedback and suggestions on how to be more efficient and effective at what you are doing is invaluable. “The competition is also an opportunity to raise the entrant’s profile, especially within a job market which has become more and more competitive.” Richard and Christine Sinclair, 2011 M a n awa t u / R a n g i t i ke i / H o r o w h e n u a Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year winners, will be convening this category and the Farm Manager of the Year competitions in their region. Christine said they encourage anybody to enter the NZ Dairy Industry Awards as the benefits go well beyond the competition itself. “The continued flow-on effect as a result of entering is an invaluable asset to have when looking to progress our career within the industry.

“In saying that, the awards would be lost without the huge voluntary effort the convenors — and their committees — give.”

“Not only do you gain from the great prizes on offer, but from the feedback and free advice you will receive from professionals within our industry.”

Winners of the 2011 Taranaki Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, Aaron and Kate Murdoch, will be convening

Entries for the 2013 awards programme are accepted online at www. dairyindustryawards.co.nz

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Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes November 2012

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Rural recycling project reaping rewards by Denise Gunn

A fundraising campaign between scrap metal recycling company, Sims Pacific Metals, and spinal cord charity, The Catwalk Trust, is receiving plenty of support. Launched at the New Zealand Horse of the Year Show in March, the ‘Hoofing It’ campaign provides an outlet for farmers and horse owners to recycle a wide range of metal items. Initially the project offered a recycling service for steel/aluminium horse shoes with collection bins placed at various locations throughout New Zealand. The bins, provided by Sims Pacific Metals, are emptied by the company and contents transported for processing. This service has since been expanded to include a free on-farm collection service if farmers have large amounts of metal on the property. Simon Prendergast of Sims Pacific Metals said the company is delighted to be ‘hoofing it’ for Catwalk. “We saw this as a fantastic chance to help horse owners out by getting rid of what is essentially a recyclable item, while benefitting the environment and helping in the search for a cure. “And now we’re very happy to give the wider rural community a chance to benefit as well.” Following a riding accident in 2002, one of New Zealand’s leading international equestrian riders, Catriona Williams, became a C6/C7 tetraplegic and is confined to a wheelchair. She founded the Catwalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust in 2005. “With more than seven thousand sport

horses in New Zealand, most of which wear steel shoes, and thousands more racehorses wearing aluminium shoes, there are tonnes of metal tied up in stable yards around the country,” said Mrs Williams. “If we can harness those shoes, and put the funding into research, that only increases the chances of getting people out of chairs and back on their feet.” The scheme, which is supported by the New Zealand Farriers Association, encourages horse owners to drop their horse shoes at selected locations including five PGG Wrightson stores, independent feed shops and vet clinics. Farmers with large amounts of metal can phone Sims on 0800 22 66 26. Catwalk administration and projects co-ordinator Nicola Holmwood said there has been a fabulous response to the project. “As horse owners, they really empathise with Catriona’s accident and love being able to help.” She said farmers have also been hugely supportive of the campaign. “Every day they are in situations with quad bikes and animals where they are at risk of spinal cord injuries and they understand how easily they can occur.”

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November 2012

Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes

Shift to Ayrshires suits

by Denise Gunn

When the opportunity arose to buy half of the ‘Strathmore’ Ayrshire herd which was being dispersed, Taranaki dairy farmers Albie and Hilary Jane jumped at the chance.

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he couple had admired their neighbour’s ‘Stratherrick’ herd, and decided to sell most of their Jersey/Friesian cows to purchase their own Ayrshires. Over several years, Albie and Hilary continued to build up their Ayrshire herd through purchasing calves from established breeders and also buying the occasional in-calf heifer at sales. In 1976, while 50/50 sharemilking, they established their Southwind Stud and eight years later purchased the farm they were leasing. Their 59ha farm, which sits at 1500 feet altitude on the slopes of Mount Taranaki, is run on an all-grass system. Hilary said the Ayrshire is the ideal dairy cow for their farming situation. “When fed well, they produce well. “When treated with respect, they reciprocate.” Apart from some embryo transplant work, the Janes follow a ‘keep it simple’ basic farming philosophy which ties in with farming for one’s needs, rather than one’s wants. “We farm to the conditions which can be tough on the cows at times, but they milk well through the autumn

Hilary with one of the many pets within the herd

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and generally keep their condition through the winter.” Hay and haylage are fed out during the colder months. Following calving in August the herd, which has averaged between 90-100 head over the past 37 years, is milked twice daily in a wooden walk-through shed with 12 sets of cups. The couple share the day-to-day farming chores but the shed’s size makes milking quite manageable for one person if necessary. The cows are dried off completely by early May. “We are relaxed about late calvers, as well as any good cows which end up empty,” said Hilary. “They are entitled to a year off after which they give us a few more years’ production.” Hilary said she particularly likes the Ayrshires as they are easy on the eye, intelligent, hardy and generally laid back. “We have built up several ‘families’ over the years and our current top ‘Q’ family was established with the purchase of a heifer in 1977.” “In the past we used popular bulls, New Zealand and overseas, to improve type as well as production, and chased a high breeding worth (BW) for several years but they kept shifting the goalposts,” she said. “We have found different bulls leave varying results in

“Within the numerous AB companies there are many choices to suit each breeder’s preferences.” ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Hilary said their relaxed farming programme allows time and space for a variety of pets which includes horses, goats and poultry.

■ ■ ■

“Animal welfare is important to me, as is caring for the environment,” she said.

■ ■

Over the past 20 years the couple have planted a few hundred rhododendrons in fenced off areas on the farm. Albie also runs marathons and is fast approaching his goal of 200 finishes. Hilary enjoys spending time with their grandchildren and writing. Albie with Southwind Jules Qantas whose yearling daughter sold for a record $16,200 at the Ayrshire New Zealand conference sale in June

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The Janes have enjoyed the lifestyle that comes with dairy farming and found it ideal to raise their children. As a family, they all enjoyed showing their dairy cattle until the children grew older and left home. Now the couple’s grandchildren love to visit them on the farm.

“I maintain a job worth doing is one you enjoy doing, and I love my cows,” she said.

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November 2012

Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes

Poultry fervour by Denise Gunn

Tom and Kelly Weston first became interested in raising poultry while living on Tom’s parent’s dairy runoff in Brixton, north of New Plymouth. The couple were raising calves at the time and starting out on a farming life together.

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fter several years working in the dairy industry, the couple decided to move onto their own 120 acre Urenui dry stock farm, grazing dairy heifers as well as raising their own stock. The property also provided an ideal situation to raise free range poultry.Tom and Kelly bought their first hens, four brown Leghorns and two black Orpingtons, eight years ago.

“We were a little scared at first,” said Kelly. “I had never handled chooks before but really enjoyed eating the fresh eggs.” Since then their poultry numbers and varieties have increased to include shavers and many heritage breeds — white Leghorns, Highlines, Silkies, Orpingtons, Araucanas, Minorcas and Golden Campines, as well as a few mixtures. Brown Leghorns remain Kelly’s favourite. The couple have brought in eggs from various breeders around New Zealand to introduce new lines. “They are all great layers,” said Kelly. The poultry live in pine trees on the property and also in an enclosure Tom built for the young pullets. Older birds lay their eggs in a large hay shed with nesting boxes nailed to the walls. “I’m happy for them to live this way as it is their natural way of living and roosting in trees at night as they are jungle birds,” said Kelly.

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Tom Weston with the couple’s two daughters Navella and Remidy

The young birds go into a small avocado orchard on the property during the day. “They also hang out with the calves we rear in the paddock and love nothing more than sun and fresh grass to eat,” she said. Kelly said time is the main factor when raising poultry and she works the chores in around her massage therapist work at Zen Body Massage Therapy in New Plymouth. “I work for myself and love what I do.” The couple buy poultry food by the tonne and also a maize-based horse feed. “They also eat food scraps and bread as well as grass,” said Kelly. Eggs are sorted, packaged and delivered around New Plymouth, and sold in the couple’s roadside fridge stall for “anyone that wants happy, free-to-roam hen eggs,” said Kelly. Fertile eggs, hens and roosters are sold through online auctions.

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Poultry numbers and varieties have increased to include shavers and many heritage breeds — white Leghorns, Highlines, Silkies, Orpingtons, Araucanas, Minorcas and Golden Campines, as well as a few mixtures

The hens like to roost in the pine trees on Kelly and Tom Weston’s 120 acre dry-stock farm near Urenui

With no previous experience raising poultry, Kelly and Tom have learnt along the way. They’ve found predators, particularly hawks, to be the main setback when raising free range poultry. “They are a pest to my chooks and would be the most vicious killers,” said Kelly.

“They just rip them to shreds and I have lost lots of young to the hawks.” Wild cats have also caused problems. During the hotter months, Kelly places insect powder in the chickens’ dirt baths to deal with black fleas. With over 80 chickens, including roosters to care for, Kelly said organising a holiday can be difficult with birds to feed, water and eggs to collect. New mums with chicks also need monitoring. “Like all animals they need love and attention,” said Kelly. “I just love them — I love watching chooks hatching eggs — they are such lovely mums.” The couple’s two daughters, Navella and Remidy, also share their parent’s

passion for poultry, especially the little chicks. “They love helping me collect the eggs — they love animals just as much as us,” she said.

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November 2012

Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes

Forty three facts about fertilisers and soils

• Acts as a secondary messenger • Improves plant health and disease resistance • Is required for cell walls (pectin) • Enhances the rate of protein synthesis • Serves as a weed indicator

Part One

other minerals into the plant, however too much calcium can tie up other nutrients and cause deficiencies. Soil testing with a reputable lab is the only way to effectively measure base saturation and calcium levels.

10 Dolomite is highly rated for its calcium and magnesium content; Magnesium is found at the centre of the chlorophyll molecule, the plant’s light-harvesting, energy-producing centre. Magnesium also plays an important role in the production of oils and proteins, and in energy metabolism. (If Ca levels are too high, we will not recommend dolomite, nor do we recommend dunite, (serpentine) as it is slow to break down.)

8 Calcium and boron are synergists so lime is more effective with boron added. Boron, along with selenium and cobalt, is commonly deficient in New Zealand soils.

11 Fertiliser and lime are more effective with carbon added. Carbon is food for the microbes. Carbon sources are well-made compost, microbial inoculated aged bark, humates, aged sawdust and/or charcoal.

by Brett Petersen 1 A comprehensive soil test should be completed annually to determine what nutrients should be applied to the soil to maintain fertility balance. We recommend Kinsey Agricultural Services (KAS). 2 The soil is the plant’s stomach; please respect it. We are a reflection of the soil’s health. 3 Some chemical fertiliser kills microbes, causing imbalances. Superphosphate and urea are deadly to beneficial soil fungi. Nitrogen is

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the only major plant nutrient that you can grow yourself. Watch salt and ammonia levels, insist on applying only fertilisers which do the least damage to soil life and plant roots — you can reduce nitrogen inputs over time by promoting soil biology. 4 Ninety-five percent of plant yield comes from the atmosphere; only 5% comes from the soil. 5 Fertiliser programmes must be based around the calcium content of your soil. If base saturation calcium is below 60%, you will virtually have to purchase fertiliser ad infinitum.

9

Lime to correct calcium, not to ‘correct’ pH, calcium:

6 The correct base saturation figures from KAS for soils are:

• Improves root development

Calcium 65-70%

• Increases the transport of minerals — Calcium is the vehicle that moves minerals into plants

Magnesium 10-12% Potassium 3.5-5% for pastures, 7-7.5% for woody plants

• Enhances microbial activity

• Improves soil structure

12 Feed the soil life using carbon from compost, green manures, livestock manures and crop residues; apply calcium from a reputable plant available source. 13 Soil fungi are responsible for retaining 100% of available calcium in the soil. It is a fallacy that one tonne of lime or another product is required to move soil PH by one point. The soil microbes have the ability to move the PH of your soil without the physical input of calcium.

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Many NZ soils are well below these figures. Once these conditions have been met fertiliser requirements will drop substantially. Do not expect to address trace elements until those conditions are met. Soil pH will auto-correct to about 6.4 when the above conditions are fulfilled. 7 It is extremely important to get calcium levels up. Calcium is responsible for carrying

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9

Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes November 2012

CLIENT DISPLAY HOME OPEN EVERY SUNDAY OF NOVEMBER 1 - 4 PM

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to as the ‘glue’ in the soil and, because without humus soils cease to exist, it is regarded by many as more valuable than gold.

A

Humus is “ sometimes referred

side the whole way to provide sage advice, top tips and total support. This approach has won more than just the accolades of the public and a host of happy customers for Design Builders. They have also been judged best trade or service business in the Fielding Excellence in Business Awards — a measure of the local support which Gareth and his wife Katie enjoy for their friendly, honest business approach. Over the next three months Design builders Manawatu will be showcasing their top workmanship and attention to detail in an exciting client display home. Visit www.designbuilders.co.nz to find out more about this opportunity to see first hand why Design Builders deliver better living!

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there is measurably less Nitrate N being leaked under carefully managed permanent rye and white clover pasture using less than 25kgN/ha annually than under soils where pasture growth is driven by regular urea applications. The farm applying less than 25kgN/ ha has grown in excess of 18 tonne of DM/ha in each of the last two seasons and over 1,465kg of milk solids per hectare has been produced in each of those seasons. This is at least twenty per cent more pasture than a typical N driven programme, with almost all of the extra feed produced from mid-October until mid-May. Based on Ministry for the Environment information the Nitrate N levels contained in leachate from this property are no more than natural background levels. Where Nitrate N levels are low it is likely that the loss of other nutrients is also low. There is no down side to a healthy well structured, biologically active soil. More feed of higher quality is produced during the main growing part of the season. More of all nutrients is retained in the soil and made available for plant growth, with less being lost to groundwater. Creating and maintaining a soil capable of producing in excess of 18 tonne of DM every year requires an understanding of plant nutrient requirements as well as astute and thoughtful daily management. Two key nutrient inputs for high performance are calcium and magnesium, with dolomite from Golden Bay being the magnesium product of choice when the focus is on maintaining excellent physical soil structures, and nurturing animals capable of outstanding performance with very low ill-health costs. For more information phone Peter or Coralie on 0800 436 566.

It’s a design philosophy which has taken the innovative home construction company from strength to strength, building a portfolio of totally unique ‘dream homes’ for all kinds of clients on all kinds of budgets. Gareth and his team of qualified, experienced builders take care of all the technical details, while allowing their customers complete creative freedom — the perfect way to ensure that each home is completely tailored to the family who will make it the centre of their lives. “Everything is managed in house, from design to consent, from interior colour to selecting your door hardware,” says Gareth. The ‘fun’ aspects of creating your perfect living environment are still at your fingertips, while industry leading professionals are by your

RO

The ability of soils to retain applied nutrient is based on a number of factors with good physical soil structures perhaps the most important, and physical soil structures can be measured accurately using Graham Shepherds Visual Soil Assessment developed here in New Zealand. When the physical structure is ideal, or somewhere close, beneficial soil organisms are able to breathe, carbon is sequestered and humus is rapidly developed. Humus is what is left when dead roots, dung and other litter on the soil surface is digested by soil organisms that breathe air. It’s stable and able to store large quantities of moisture and nutrient. Humus is sometimes referred to as the ‘glue’ in the soil and, because without humus soils cease to exist, it is regarded by many as more valuable than gold. Regardless, soils containing the most humus have the greatest growing potential and it is unwise to do anything that destroys it or limits its development. There are two factors that are universally accepted as contributors to the degradation of soil and therefore limit the development of humus. They are, excessive downward pressure by animal’s feet, and fertiliser nitrogen. A fair question is how much of each is excessive? By going to extremes the answer can start to be obtained, however as always it will depend on a number of factors. Cows creating mud behind wires in wet weather destroy humus, or at the very least limit its development. Air is squeezed from the soil and valuable top soil exposed with a subsequent loss of carbon and pasture production while natural repair takes place. How much nitrogen is too much? Ask a dozen people and a dozen different answers are likely depending on the knowledge and experience of those asked, and whether or not they feel they have an immediate need for it. What we do know from twelve months of results from Nitrate Nitrogen leaching work carried out near Edgecumbe by Rotorua Lakes and Land Trust is that

“Every person is different, so every home should be different,” says Gareth Edwards of progressive building company Design Builders Manawatu. “All you need to do is walk in the door with your dream and we’ll take it from there!”

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One of the functions of a healthy soil is the recycling of nutrient for plant uptake, and as soil becomes more efficient at holding onto nutrients the requirement for costly fertiliser input reduces

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10

November 2012

Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes

Rural

Farming for a productive future

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“Ravensdown is in an enviable position” says Mike Davey “as Ravensdown 12:10:10 Maize/cropping fertiliser was specifically tailor-made for the New Zealand maize market by two large German companies back in the 1980’s.” “Ravensdown maize fertiliser 12:10:10 is a premium quality N.P.K.S. compound fertiliser (every granule contains the same nutrients).” Mike explains that by having a compound fertiliser planted with the seed, the growing plant then has access to these nutrients as opposed to a blend of DAP and Potash where separation occurs because the DAP/Potash is blended. Mike confirms that the two forms of Nitrogen in Ravensdown

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They are the farm professionals who farmers trust to boost their productivity and secure a season of healthy profits — across all kinds of agriculture, from dairy to beef farming, through to crop cultivation and laying in silage for the winter. New Zealand’s agricultural contractors are hard at work this spring taking care of those big jobs on the farm which have often become too large or too specialised for individual farmers to handle alone. In olden times the average Kiwi farmer relied on literal horse-power and a suite of simple machines and hand tools to run every aspect of his operation. But as technology has increased and (science has made farming more intensive), contractors have stepped in to fulfill many specialist roles in the seasonal cultivation of the land. This is never more apparent than in the spring,

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Rural

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when big machinery is often seen working its way across the verdant pastures, harrowing the soil, applying seed for new crops and harvesting bales of silage. The simple fact is that the cost inherent in the complex, custombuilt machinery used for such tasks is now beyond the reach of many farmers, who must carefully manage their investment. This means calling in specialists for pasture management, de-pugging and disc cultivation, professional spreaders to add nutrients to the soil, and silage experts to mow, rake, bale or pit the winter feed which keeps our dairy herds the best in the world. Luckily, specialisation comes with the advantage of in-depth knowledge, and lowered overheads for farmers in terms of economies of scale.

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Massey Ferguson extends MF7600 series by Denise Gunn

Massey Ferguson has extended its award-winning MF7600 tractor series with the addition of four new models to its portfolio, offering top economy, comfort and productivity. Cutting-edge technology and the latest fuel-efficient engines make Massey Ferguson’s new MF7600 series stand out in their field. The larger MF7600 series have already received acknowledgement, winning last year’s Machine of the Year at the Agritechnica Show in Germany. The new MF7600 series tractors have benefited from Massey Ferguson’s pioneer work in the use of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems in agriculture. The entire MF7600 range is equipped with the latest AGCO SISU POWER e3 Generation 2 technology, proven to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust gas emissions. The four

new models provide maximum powers of 185hp to 235hp. With a wide selection of specification levels and new control options available in the MF7600 series, users can match this technology to their particular farming requirements. And the lightweight construction and versatility of this tractor series makes it ideal for all applications from lighter cultivations through to high performance work. Massey Ferguson has also introduced a range of command control armrests, available with different multi-function joysticks on the MF7600 series.

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Massey Ferguson’s new MF7600 tractor series offers a combination of award-winning technology, the latest fuel-efficient engines and operator comfort and control

larger MF7600s… “The took out this year’s Tractor of the Year Golden Design Award. This annual competition is judged by journalists from 22 of Europe’s leading farming magazines.

NIGEL SMITH TRACTOR & FARM MACHINERY

Monitoring and control is made easy with the Integrated Tractor Control System (ITCS) providing a high level of automation in the MF7600 series. The Datatronic Control Centre Display can be fitted as standard on the top models and is an option on others. All MF7600 series tractors are suited to be fitted with the AGCOMMAND telemetry-based machine management system. An AutoGuide, offering an integral full auto-steering capability, can either be supplied as a factory-fit option or retro-fitted. The completely redesigned cab in these latest models follows on from the success of the larger MF7600s which took out this year’s Tractor of the Year Golden Design Award. This annual competition is judged by journalists from 22 of Europe’s leading farming magazines. The new cab structure includes more interior space, enhanced operator comfort, increased visibility and an adjustable steering wheel.

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A recent Drive Day, hosted by TRC Tractors Feilding, gave farmers and contractors an opportunity to try out the new MF7600 series. TRC Tractors Feilding sales manager Aaron Meurk said plenty of positive feedback and numerous enquiries have followed.


Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes November 2012

13

FA R M W H E E L S

Makowhai’s magic trail bike ride by Denise Gunn

The opportunity to see some spectacular scenery on a varied track is set for November 25 when Makowhai Station opens the gates for a trail bike ride. Located up the Waitotara Riders need to Valley in the southern reaches register from 9am of Taranaki, the 22,000 acre and a briefing follows Makowhai Station first opened at 9.45am. to the public last year. Two Cost is $35 per bike trail bikes rides have been or $15 for youths (under held since then — a 40km 16-year-olds). A family of in November and a 120km two adults and two youths Makowhai Mega at the end of will cost $80. January. BBQ sausages, venison Covering diverse terrain burgers and drinks will be following along the river, the for sale during the day. Makowhai Magic Trail Bike The track closes at Ride’s 40km loop course 3.30pm. includes easy and difficult Makowhai’s Magic Trail Makowhai Station staff alternatives riding on steep Bike Ride will cover diverse terrain with spectacular scenery on November 25 organise the rides with a papa tracks, venturing through native bush and farmland. The group setting up the track, loop includes two new sections of track. Riders marshalls going around the course on the day, and can choose how many laps they wish to do and first aiders available. experience is recommended. Since opening the gates to the public, Makowhai Makowhai Station event organiser Melody Wallace Station’s tracks have been used by trail bike said the ride is open to trail bikes and quad bikes. riders, four-wheel-drive enthusiasts and horse trekking groups’ all-year-round. The tracks are A kids’ track will also be open. Makowhai’s Magic Trail Bike Ride also includes well maintained. Riders from as far as Wellington and Rotorua a mystery challenge of the day for riders who want have attended past trail rides at Makowhai to give it a go. “Last year we had a hill climb challenge for Station. anyone keen — this year’s challenge is yet to be Email info@makowhaistation.co.nz or phone confirmed,” said Melody. 06 346 5714 for more information.

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14

November 2012

Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes

Dairying

Resourcefulness makes small farm work by Denise Gunn

Richard and Jacqui Law’s 200ha Taoroa farm near Taihape could be considered small in size.

B

Hereford x Friesian calves are raised each year. All beef steers and heifers are finished while the rising yearling Friesian bulls are sold before their first winter. A small herd of 35 Friesian cows are milked on the farm to provide whole milk for the calves. Calving starts on July 10 to ensure a few cows are in-milk and ready for the first batch of calves arriving in midJuly. The calf rearing operation is the biggest tie to the farm for the couple as they do all the work themselves seven days a week for six months of the year. Jacqui said this sometimes proves difficult with their children both at boarding school and trying to attend school activities. “Also the pony show season starts in October and I can’t really get out anywhere until after Christmas.” Twelve years ago Jacqui also began to breed riding ponies, mainly for the show ring, establishing Woodrow Stud. Steers reared in the couple’s calf rearing operation

ut the couple have proven their resourcefulness, running the property intensively with sheep, beef cattle, deer, as well as a small herd of Friesian milking cows, a calf rearing operation and a pony stud. The pair are the fourth generation on the farm — a property which has belonged to the Law family since 1896. Richard worked on the farm for his father before he and Jacqui took over 14 years ago. Currently 600 ewes are farmed with all lambs finished and sold to the works. Around 300 Friesian and

From left: Jessica, Jacqui, Richard and Logan Law with imported stallion Merrivale Park State Fair and Phoebe the dog

“When I bought my daughter her first pony when she was two, I stole it and put it in foal,” said Jacqui. “I then bought another couple of Welsh broodmares and a Welsh stallion and have been breeding since.” Jacqui started breeding Section A Welsh ponies until she bought a NZ Riding Pony stallion six years ago. After using the stallion over her Welsh mares, Jacqui then moved onto breeding riding ponies. She imported an Australian Riding Pony

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Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes November 2012

Dairying of the young ponies and getting them going.” Jacqui said although Richard is not that keen on the ponies, he helps out when required. “Richard has an interest in flying so to try and keep him interested I name all of my ponies with an aviation theme, ie plane names, call signs. “They are all branded with a small symbol of an aeroplane.” Woodrow Pony Stud has gained recognition in the pony breeding scene with the ponies Jacqui has bred competing successfully under saddle all over New Zealand. Since taking over the farm, the couple have continued with improvements. Fencing is ongoing and Richard has built a large workshop, calf rearing shed, small milking shed and a new stable block for the pony stud. Jessica hacking a three-year-old filly, Woodrow Delta Fertiliser is spread annually and the couple makes their own baleage each season. Jacqui would like to cut back the calf rearing operation, “Richard was a contractor for many years and they’ve found it to be the most efficient method of when he gave up a few years ago, we retained the producing an income from a small farm. equipment and now just make our own,” said Jacqui. Annual rainfall in the Taoroa area is around 1000mls and snow is fairly • Braked Rear Hoof Winch common during the winter with a couple • Positionable Back Leg Support Bar • Braked Belly Winch with 2 Girths of settling falls each year. • Removable Sides “The worst we have had was a few • Rear-closing headbail • Winched double-locking front supports years ago when we got about 10 inches • Solid construction and were without power for 10 days,” said • Affordable - Fast - Safe Jacqui.  Multi Award Winner “The biggest problem with this was we  Patented Design were milking cows at the time and had to  Made in New Zealand share a neighbour’s generator.”  5 Year Warranty Frosts tend to create a dilemma too. Frozen pipes while milking means no water and calf feeder teats also freeze solid. With 50 percent of the farm’s flat land being stoney, the past couple of years have seen this area dry out fast in the late summer and autumn months. This is when it to have the hunter brassica crop that Richard and a wrangler Jacqui grow really proves its worth for the young stock. “The lucerne was planted on this sort of country so after we have made the baleage off it lambs can be finished on it if needed.” Increasing input costs have put pressure on farming the property more intensively. And although Richard and

pays

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15

Need more energy? Today we look at health problems caused or defined by extreme fatigue. The most obvious is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) but is associated with most autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases. In these conditions the fatigue can seriously reduce quality of life. I know this too well having suffered with CFS from late 20’s to my early 40’s. In many cases the underlying disease state causing the fatigue is incurable but there is still much we can do through targeted nutritional therapy to improve energy levels. Most of our energy, as ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is produced within our cell energy factories — our amazing mitochondria. These highly specialised cell organelles take high energy food compounds from carbohydrates, fats and proteins then break these down to produce the ATP we need. A common feature of many of these problems is the inability of our cell mitochondria to sufficient energy. There has been a great deal of research into mitochondrial dysfunction and extreme fatigue states. One study, “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Mitochondrial Dysfunction” was conducted at Oxford University (S. Myhill, N. Booth and J. McLaren-Howard, 2009). They compared the ATP output of 71 people with CFS and compared them to 53 normal people. They concluded that a “remarkable correlation is observed between the degree of mitochondrial dysfunction and the severity of the disease.” Other researchers such as Martin Pall have identified the mitochondrial processes affected by CFS, Fibromyalgia and other problems. My first goal with people with CFS and other mitochondrial problems is to saturate tissues with the most potent antioxidants to mop up the free radicals and to help re-build critical antioxidant enzyme systems. We then target the actual mitochondrial problem by adding cocktail of nutrients and co factors. These can be anything from B vitamins, to CoQ10 to exotic sounding compounds such as R-Alpha Lipoic Acid and Acetyl L Carnitine. These all work to help stressed cells manufacture energy more efficiently. Interestingly, when working with people with Polymyalgia, Parkinson’s and MS the first improvement most notice is an improvement in energy. If we can re-build our energy processes we can go a long way to helping people improve their quality of life. Over time this increases the chance of improving the underlying problem. Give me a call if you need help. John Arts is the founder of Abundant Health Ltd. If you have questions or want a free health plan contact John on 0800 423559 or email john@johnarts.co.nz. You can join his weekly email newsletter at www.johnarts.co.nz or visit www.abundant.co.nz.

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16

November 2012

Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes

Dairying

Hoof Print With Fred Hoekstra

Safety first approach to hoof trimming Can you restrain your cow so that she is comfortable and you are safe? Optimum cow restraint requires three principles to be in place; i) the cow needs to be comfortable; ii) the operator needs to be safe; iii) the operator needs to be in control. The starting point for a cow’s comfort is the surface she is standing on. A slippery surface is not ideal, but even more importantly, the cow must be standing on a flat, level surface or one that

slopes up. No matter what crush you use, a cow does not like it if she is facing downhill and you are lifting her back feet. Purpose-built hoof trimming crushes have belly straps to support the cow when she loses her grip and falls over. A belly strap also calms her down. Cows relax when you put pressure on their belly. Some well known crushes have two belly straps —

It is better to have just “ the brisket strap, because

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one under the brisket and one just in front of the udder. It is better to have just the brisket strap, because if a cow sits down on the second strap she will be very uncomfortable as there is no rib cage there to support her and all the pressure will go straight onto the gut. Cows tend to kick at it, but will not stand up to release the pressure. Most people like to have a leg tied up just above the claw against a bar. It makes the leg sit more rigid but should the cow

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if a cow sits down on the second strap she will be very uncomfortable as there is no rib cage there to support her and all the pressure will go straight onto the gut.

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go down for any reason, there is a very high risk of injury, such as a broken leg or dislocated hip. Lifting from the hock is much more comfortable for the cow, and because she can still lean on the raised leg there is minimal risk of injury. We use the WOPA Cattle Crush for safety and efficiency whenever a cow needs to be treated individually. The crush comes complete with a walk-through head bail that can be opened and closed from behind the cow, treated thick wooden floor, wide brisket (belly) strap with quick release clip, front foot support blocks, back leg strap with quick release clip, two safety winches with 2:1 reductions and a stabilising bar.


Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes November 2012

17

Dairying

An innovative product exciting the market The Growing Group is a new fertiliser company specialising in the development, manufacture and importation of smart fertiliser products. Kiwi Fertiliser Company Limited is The Growing Groups Primary Sales agent in the North Island. An innovative product developed in Nelson for pastures and crops using existing science in a new format will reap both financial and nutrient benefits for New Zealand farmers. This is exciting for The Growing Group, inventors of CarboPhos, a finely ground phosphate rock fertiliser that combines phosphate with carbon, sulphur and humates into an even granule to create a unique, high quality product that is virtually insoluble in water, but is available and has no detectable levels of cadmium.

grew out of a need that there must be a better way.

Chris, like many farmers, applied standard superphosphate to his pastures and was disappointed with the results. With a background of over 30 years in Chris Copplestone, Managing Director the fertiliser industry both in New Zealand of The Growing Group and former and overseas this was both a nasty surprise Marlborough farmer stated. “Originally we and huge disappointment. Meanwhile, his created CarboPhos with pastoral farmers like vegetable garden was thriving. It was the ourselves in mind. We believe that Carbon comparison of his pastures and vegetable is a rather forgotten and fundamental garden where Chris began to understand element that is decreasing in New Zealand soil was not made up of simple chemicals but was a living entity soils. We recognise that that needs to be nurtured farmers need their fertiliser Farmers will now properly. It was then that to work all year rather the long road to developing be looking to comply than in short flashes so we CarboPhos began. developed CarboPhos with with regional council a slow nutrient release. It’s Patented in 2011, nutrient management pH neutral (6.8) and most CarboPhos has developed importantly, it’s less than plan regulation. The into a high quality granulated 10% water soluble.” product. Its fine particle slow release nature size allows conversion of “CarboPhos will also of CarboPhos and nutrients much faster than be a very good fit for other RPR products, without fine particle reaction upcoming nutrient budget the dust found in most New requirements.” Says sales characteristics means Zealand fertilisers. Manager, Jono Trolove. phosphates won’t leach “Farmers will now be We recognise that looking to comply with through the soil profile, farmers today are looking regional council nutrient which fits very well with for more than chemical management plan solutions to their soil fertility these regulations. regulation. The slow release and wellbeing. They nature of CarboPhos understand that soil has and fine particle reaction characteristics three spheres; chemical, biological and means phosphates won’t leach through physical which interrelate to form a healthy the soil profile, which fits very well with soil. CarboPhos is a holistic product that these regulations.” aims to enhance all three of these soil The CarboPhos formula was developed properties unlike many of the acid based over three years and more than $1 million fertilisers currently available. on mostly local research and development. The Growing Group are working on As with many innovations, CarboPhos increasing the CarboPhos family, with

slow release carbon nitrogen, carbon ammonium sulphate and carbon potassium fertilisers all in development. New plot trials are underway in Canterbury, with independent soil scientist David McKie overseeing the process.

new and innovative phosphate product will be particularly suited to hill country farmers and aerial application owing to the uniform granulation and savings in transporting and spreading costs with no dust drift, all natural ingredients.

“We are proud of our work and what we have achieved, we’re excited to bring it to market. We have commissioned a report by David McKie, to outline the benefits and reinforce our belief in CarboPhos, that report is available on www. thegrowinggroup.com.”

The application rate of CarboPhos is half that of conventional superphosphate, “We look forward to being involved with helping farmer’s future proof their properties.”

CarboPhos is now available nationally, Ron McLean, General Manager of Kiwi Fertiliser Company Limited stated that this

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18

November 2012

Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes

Peter Clark writes...

Separating the wood from the trees

Research matters Over the past two decades New Zealand forest owners have witnessed costs of growing, harvesting and selling logs rise faster than prices received. Continuation of this trend will result in a slow but certain loss of profitability and eventual exit from forest investments. At the same time the government has set a target to increase all exports from 30% to 40% of GDP, and the forestry sector has produced a Strategic Action Plan that has a goal of increasing exports from the current $4.5 billion to $12 billion within 10 years. The Woodco Strategic Action Plan places heavy emphasis on improved revenues from investments in wood processing that will generate more processed and higher value wood products for export, rather than unprocessed logs.

Forest owners can help themselves by improving forest yields and reducing costs. Improving yields is mostly a longterm game around genetics, establishment practices and silviculture. While we will not reap the benefits for many years, the case for research into disease resistance and improved wood quality and growth is compelling for the new crops we plant. For the logs that will be harvested in the next 10 years, we have what we have. Reducing costs is a here and now challenge. To make material cost improvements we need some breakthrough technologies in forest inventory and in the harvesting/transport supply chain. The

High Productivity Motor Vehicle (HPMV) permits programme is such a step-change that is gathering momentum thanks to strong central government support. Other initiatives that are at various stages of development and require on-going industry support to further research are: • Use of satellite and advanced (LiDAR) imagery for lowcost but accurate resource assessment and monitoring • Improved scaling methods, use of cameras and/or scanners for log measurement and counting • Radio frequency (RFID) tags for log traceability and error-free matching to sales manifests • Hauler cab video and remote control of motorised grapple carriages • LiDAR for improved road layout and skid planning, and for derisking contractor pricing of road construction • Improved tools to assist truck utilisation and loaded running, including regional forest owner cooperation in this regard The second role of forest owners is to deliver logs to processors that: • are free of internal wood defects

Whole tree Chipping & stump grinding • 400hp Tracked Chipper • Self Feeding • Chips trees up to 70cm diameter • 6x6 trucks • 750hp Horizontal Grinder • 400hp Tracked Stump Grinder/Mulcher • Land clearing • Grinds stumps any size

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• are of high density • produce timber that is stable in enduse, and • are consistent (low variability of key properties). Delivering on that requirement needs better scientific knowledge of the causes of between-tree and within-tree wood variability, causes and solutions to internal wood defects and tools to measure and segregate logs and lumber to achieve consistent lines of raw material for further processing. Success is a key enabler to investment in wood processing to increase exports of high value wood products. On October 10 the leaders of the New Zealand plantation forest growing sector met for a full day in Rotorua to consider our collective approach to improving the

profitability of our sector through research. The future will be shaped by the decisions we make today. It was pleasing to have these leaders commit to some key decisions in principle. Some will need endorsement from investment funds and boards. Key decisions were: 1. Endorsement of the NZ Forest Owners Association (FOA) Science and Innovation Plan. 2. Commitment to fund the implementation of that Plan. The exact level of collective funding commitment is subject to individual firms until we have a commodity levy endorsed by a majority of forest owners — but the leaders committed to a sum that is materially greater than the current level of industry collective research and development (R&D) funding. 3. Set up a Research Committee whose first function will be to formalise communications between the various forest growing research organisations and providers to ensure that the industry spend on R&D is well aligned with the priorities set out in the NZFOA Science and Innovation Plan and that there is no duplication or gaps. Should a commodity levy be endorsed, the committee will also have the roles of: a. recommending and facilitating the industry structure needed to effectively manage R&D funding; b. the allocation of research funding raised via the levy to forestry research and technology activities; c. the quality and relevance of the science performed; d. forestry science issues, science and technology trends, challenges and opportunities in the national and global context.

FOREST OWNERS

– Do you have trees near or ready for harvesting?

FOMS is a Feilding based Harvesting & Marketing Service Provider, servicing Primarily the Southern North Island, Taranaki & Hawkes Bay Regions, but now able to provide this service in the Central North Island and Gisborne regions.

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• Highly experienced staff to manage the harvesting and marketing of your trees. • A free, no obligation assessment of your trees, with personal service and advice. • Guaranteed Payments. • Pre-funding of road and skid construction, to agreed levels, with no finance charges. • A NZ owned and operated company with sound referrals. • Experienced, quality contractors to harvest and transport your trees. • Both hauler and ground based harvesting options available.

Ph 06 323 5621 Fax 06 323 5372

• Access to all domestic sawmills in the region. • Export Log Sales through NZ’s largest log export company. • Options of, managed or graded sales, and/ or lump sum purchase, where appropriate, to provide a solution that suits each individual forest owner. • Follow up re-establishment and forest management advice if required.

| Marcus Musson 027 492 1081 | Email marcus.musson@foms.co.nz Stu Morrissey 027 492 1071 | Email stu.morrissey@foms.co.nz

|


Taranaki/ManawaTu FarMing LiFesTyLes November 2012

Be my Guest Too Good to Fail — ‘The feeling was, surely if the Banks lend us the money, they must think we can afford to pay for it.’ The Ministry for Primary Industries Pastoral Farm Monitoring Report makes sobering reading. Rural debt has increased from $46 billion to $50 billion and dairy farm debt forms $33 billion of that. It’s estimated hard core debt totalling around $20 billion is being held by only 2,200 farmers, representing an average of $10 million per farm and these are highly vulnerable under the present Fonterra final payout predictions, based on a $5.25 per kilogram milk solids payout, which is now looking realistic and could see half the country’s dairy farmers fail to break even after paying farm working expenses and interest. On-farm dairy costs averaging $3.80 per kilogram of milk solids, are twice the rate of the Consumer Price Index. When former Prime Minister David Lange and Roger Douglas of the second Labour Government introduced their farranging free-market financial reforms in the 1980’s, 500 farmers went to the wall, losing their farms at mortgagee sales. Farmers marched on Parliament, picketed Banks and there was general

outrage over the high interest rates of 20% plus, that were being raped off the farming community by the nation’s banks. Farmers also paid principal. We remember Jim Bolger’s National Government bailing out the Bank of New Zealand because they had a $600 million liquidity problem. Rural support leaders such as Stan Hayes in Northland, Eddie Glass and others in the rest of the country, led major rebellions in defence of farmers. The financial crisis facing farmers now is not high interest rate charges, but too much debt. The papers are full of farms being forceably sold up and farm company liquidations. One has to question the Banks’ responsibility for this current farm crisis. The old Rural Bank guidelines that you borrowed no more than four times your gross income, debt servicing was limited to 25% of your gross income and the number of farms that you could own were monitored by the Land Aggregation Act. One has to question, have the banks today been irresponsible in the way that the old lending criteria have been thrown out

19

Bill Guest, Farmers of New Zealand

the window. What were the Bank Risk Managers thinking when bank lending has put 2,200 dairy farmers at risk. In 2008 the Wall Street financial crisis hit America. The U.S. economy was on the brink of collapse. It was argued that the banks had been given too much freedom, after the government had removed many regulations. Seventy major mortgage companies in the U.S. failed, including Lehman Bros Investment Bank, followed by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, who guaranteed a large percentage of U.S. mortgages. The Chinese had hundreds of millions of dollars invested in the two companies. The U.S. Banks knew that many of their mortgages were risky. The Banks started buying insurance that covered defaulting mortgages. Where the borrower failed, the insurance company paid the default and this allowed the banks to cover their losses, so they could invest in more loans and make more money. The banks charged huge fees to borrowers. The National Government has given New Zealand banks financial guarantees. However, this does not extend to providing direct government assistance to those farmers now facing foreclosure of their farms. It is clear the government does not view itself as

the people’s safety net. However, those farmers who believe that their banks have not treated them fairly, should complain to the Banking Ombudsman and seek professional advice. Farmers of New Zealand provides professional services.

Sales Representative Are you a proven sales hunter? Do you have the confidence to generate your own earnings? Does the idea of uncapped commission get you excited? NorthSouth Multi Media is looking for an enthusiastic sales rep to join the team. Your role will involve introducing businesses throughout the region to the benefits of advertising in our publications. You build lasting business relationships. You have excellent communication skills. You can demonstrate a go-getter attitude. This position offers a base rate with the opportunity to earn uncapped commission. So if you have a positive attitude, the ability to keep yourself motivated, a passion for building client business through advertising, and the willingness to succeed apply now! Please send your CV to: NorthSouth Multi Media, PO Box 474, Dargaville accounts@thelifestyler.co.nz Ph 09 439 6933

Taranaki/Manawatu Rural Marketplace Diesel Progress (MANAWATU)

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Specialists in Diesel Systems Turbochargers and Superchargers Authorised Dealer for Bosch Zexel Delphi Stanadyne 14–18 McGiffert Street, Palmerston North

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Mechanical Hydraulic Structural Machining Fabrication Welding Gates Repairs No job too small We can come to you

Greg Hansen 251 Makino Rd

GORDYS FLYTRAP FITTING®

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Mobile Outboard Services

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Phone Joe, Dave or Bruce 114 Rata St, Inglewood 65 Eliot St, New Plymouth 41 Princes St, Hawera

STOLEN QUAD-BIKES? You won’t find any listed here, but you can pre-empt this kind of thing happening and protect your fuel too.

Visit www.parabeam.co.nz or call 0508 727 223 for more information

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Ph 06 754 9006 or 0800 TRUCK1 (0800 878 251) Email t_t_d@xtra.co.nz Fax 06 754 8966 www.taranakitruckdismantlers.co.nz

If you’re reading this, then so are your customers Advertise today. Phone 0800 466 793


20 

November 2012  Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles

83 Wallcourt Place, Normanby Phone (06) 272 8187 Fax (06) 272 8188 Trevor 027 323 2976

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NOVEMBER 2012

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Taranaki/Manawatu Farming Lifestyles, November 2012  

22,300 copies DELIVERED FREE to every rural delivery address in Taranaki and Manawatu

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