Page 1

Wa i k a to

Farming Lifestyles

July 2012 Edition

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

Page 6–7

Page 8–9

Page 22

Highland experience leads to farming in NZ

Breakthrough for quad safety

Home fare pays dividends in NZ

Animal Health Nutrition


See Pages 12–15

Tokoroa farmer prefers old-fashioned horsepower Page 4–5

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Septi-Cure is Cost effective. By far the most cost effective solution is to pour one litre of Septi-Cure™ down each toilet bowl every six months. This simple action will help keep your system working at top efficiency by reducing solids and scum. Instead of emptying your tank frequently, the reduction in solids and scum saves you expensive pump out costs. Your irrigation field and leach lines will become clear of slimes and blockages so nature can handle the gradual seepage and evaporation for you. When this is happening your system will be operating effectively and not endangering you or your family’s health. What is Septi-Cure™ Septi-Cure™ is a concentrated mixture of selected naturally occurring microorganisms. These harmless tiny organisms live and multiply by feeding on waste material. When introduced to your septic tank system, they go to work straight away digesting waste material, reducing solids and scum, allowing your septic system to start operating to its maximum efficiency. As they progress

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July 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Effluent discharge costs farm

The Waikato Farming Lifestyles is published with pride by NorthSouth Multi Media Ltd, a privately owned NZ 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 Paul Campbell Advertising: Glyn Parker Betty Willetts

Waikato Farming Lifestyles Distribution area

Graphic Design: David Stevens Gavin Bainbridge Emily Stevens Jan Balcombe Production: Jenny Crundwell

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“Despite all of the positive environmental protection work being done within the farming industry, we are still finding dairy farms that simply do not place effluent management as a priority in their business, resulting in unacceptable discharges into the environment.” The Waikato Regional Council’s investigations and complaints manager, Patrick Lynch, had this comment after a Te Awamutu farming company was fined nearly $32,000 for illegally discharging dairy effluent. “Now that there is a code of practice and design standards for effluent systems, there is no excuse for not knowing how to manage effluent appropriately. Farmers need to ensure they have effluent systems designed by accredited designers so that they can comply at all times,” Mr Lynch said. Following helicopter monitoring by the council in August last year at a farm in Candy Rd owned by Wyebrook Farms Limited, a ground inspection was carried out at the Wyebrook property. This inspection showed that effluent from a holding pond was overflowing at five separate locations into a nearby stream, which was a tributary of the Waipa River. This stream flowed approximately 700 metres to the Waipa. A subsequent investigation found

that some five to six months earlier, a large pile of effluent scrapings had been removed from an effluent bunker and placed on the adjacent paddock surface resulting in further discharges. The prosecution was based on the discharges from both the February/ March and August incidents. The defendant pleaded guilty to the two Resource Management Act charges. The matter was heard in Hamilton District Court before Judge Melanie Harland. Commenting on the environmental effect of the discharge to the stream on the waterway, Judge Harland said that “the over-riding concern is the cumulative effect of such discharges to waterways.” The judge agreed that this was moderately serious offending and that the discharge to the waterway had been ongoing for at least several days. She was also satisfied that there were significant management failures that contributed to the overflow into the waterway. In relation to the pile of effluent scrapings on the paddock surface, Judge Harland said “the message needs to be clearly sent that effluent management is a matter of top priority.” Wyebrook was fined was fined a total of $31,875 and ordered to pay costs and fees of $491.78.


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Waikato Farming Lifestyles July 2012

LTP cuts next year’s spending More than $770,000 has been trimmed from next year’s Waikato Regional Council Long Term Plan, adopted on June 28, and chair, Peter Buckley, says said the council has developed a sound plan to advance the region’s environmental and economic priorities

• Implementation of the council’s new policy for allocating water use rights in the region, which is likely to result in a big increase in consent applications for water takes and use and require an extra $580,000. A proportion of costs will be recovered by way of consent revenue.

Peter Buckley

“We have done a good job of containing costs while improving services to our communities across a range of activities such as water management, pest management, coastal area planning, civil defence and river catchment and drainage work.”

The council decided to reduce the $825,000 requested by the AHB to $650,000 but to extend this assistance by a further year, continuing the collection in 2013/14 and giving the board more time to move to an alternative funding system.

The draft plan that went out for community consultation in March proposed an average 3.9 per cent rates increase to existing ratepayers for the financial year beginning July 1, but this was cut to 3.4 after three days of deliberations last month.

Other significant changes included:

Councillors reduced the second and third year budgets by $1.14 million, arriving at forecast rates increases of 3.9 per cent and 3.8 per cent respectively to existing ratepayers, after considering nearly 560 written submissions and hearing 120 people who spoke to theirs in hearings in Hamilton and Thames.. The council also decided to reduce the amount of money it collects from rural ratepayers for the Animal Health Board, but to extend the collection period from one to two years.

• A significant boost to the region’s disaster response capabilities with an extra $515,000 for civil defence, including the appointment of four additional staff • Significant increases in service across several land drainage and flood protection areas amounting to approximately $2.4 million in 2012/13. These were in response to catchment liaison committee requests. Services are on average 85 per cent funded on a user pays basis, with 15 per cent of the costs being met by all ratepayers to recognise the wider public good of protecting people, property and the environment from flood risk. • The need for the council to accelerate and increase work on improving the region’s water quality. The current $2.66 million budget will increase to $3.545.

• An extra $819,000 over three years for work focussed on marine planning and environmental improvement programmes in the Hauraki Gulf. • increased annual spend on priority possum control work in year two of $982,000 and a further $651,000 in year three.


The council also decided to defer planning, design and contractual work on a proposed new building in Hamilton pending further information about local government reform. This means $1.53 million budgeted for preliminary scoping and design work has been removed from the budgets. Extra frontline staff required rises to 29.6 full time equivalents, with some of the required work to be contracted out. The council will adopt the final plan on Thursday 28 June after audit review.

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July 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Tokoroa farmer prefers old-fashioned horsepower

by Barbara Gillham

Tim and Gayle Sneddon have been dairy farming on their small 50 ha property at Tokoroa since 1976 and laughingly describe themselves as ‘hobby farmers’


hile their farm may be small they certainly are running a successful dairy farm that has supported them and their family of seven children throughout their married life. Today they milk 130 cows through a ten-aside herringbone milk shed and also have a higher order share milking job on another nearby farm were they milk a further 140 cows.


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Tim agrees it’s a small farm but explains that it was originally a rehab farm, one of many that were given to men when they came back from the Second World War. “They were small; they were given

80 cows and a couple of hundred sheep. The sheep were to keep the ragwort down and the cows were for their living.” What makes Tim and Gayle a little different is the horsepower that they harness to do many of the jobs around the farm. While they certainly have and occasionally use a tractor many jobs are done using one of their six Clydesdales, a


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moments that Tim and Gayle still laugh about.

horse that Tim admits he has a great love for. “I can remember as a little kid my father loading his Clydesdales onto a truck and sending them off when he got his first Fergusson 35 tractor and I’ve always thought I would like to have some and do what he used to do with them, so when I could, I did.” As well as using the Clydesdales on the farm for harrowing and feeding out straw and hay Tim also enters them in the working horse classes of competitions, and breeds them. They are currently looking forward to the arrival of another foal in August. Over the years the horses have played an important role on the farm and also provided a number of amusing

“Friends of ours moved and gave us a chook house. Now he was one of those very creative gentlemen and he had put wheels on it. Well in the middle of the night Gayle said “what’s that noise?” I could hear all this banging and crashing going on. Well one of the Clydesdales had got his head stuck in the doorway and he was walking around with the chook house coming with him I had a hard job getting his head out. “I’ve also had some lucky escapes. A couple of years ago I was harrowing and usually you drop the reins and tell them to stand while you go and shut the gate. A lot of female horses can be annoying and it was that time of the month, and the mare reached over and bit the gelding on the side. Well he was out of there — they took off down the middle of the road at a gallop with the harrows behind them and then turned and went down the main thoroughfare. I rang Gayle and said you should have two horses and a set of harrows come over in a minute, shut the gate.”

Clydesdales are very easy to handle and good natured.

horse would have planted them — they are good natured.” Does Tim prefer horses to tractors? “You’ve got to make farming fun, and the horses are fun but for some things I do prefer tractors. I’m not silly — hay and straw is fine but I don’t want to use them to fork my silage out.”

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Despite the odd incident Tim says the Clydesdales are very easy to handle and good natured. “There’s never been any major accident. I did a wedding in Rotorua and our son Nick was outside minding the horse. However he was studying at the time, and I came out of the church to see him reading and two tourists kneeling around behind the horse feeling its hooves. The horse felt warm and they wanted to see if its hooves were warm also. Now any other

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July 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Highland experience leads to farming in New Zealand Couple believe in the taste and quality of rare breed pigs


uying a couple of pigs to clean up some rough ground in the remote highlands of Scotland was the catalyst to English couple Jonathan and Sarah Walker rearing rare breed pigs in New Zealand.

The Walkers, who name their 25 hectare farm Soggy Bottom Holdings, came to New Zealand in 2003 and settled in the Waikato, near Ngaruawahia where they began breeding the pigs for meat.

"It wasn't until we had them killed and saw how good the bacon was that we decided we should do it more," says Jonathan.

"We got in touch with the Rare Breed Society and found where we could get a pig for 40th birthday celebration and it really all started from there.” Piglets lining up at the milk-bar

"We found we preferred the quality of the meat.” The couple bought a few more Tamworth (thought of as rare in New Zealand) and soon they had bred about 20. The Walkers now farm three main pig varieties; Tamworth, Wessex Saddleback as well as European Wild Boar (this name covers both male and female), rearing up to 70 pigs for meat. They keep around 11 breeding sows and 3 boars. Jonathan says the European Wild Boar is classed as the original pig all domestic breeds hail from and the meat is a darker red, stronger flavour to the others.

This breed still runs wild in France and Spain and pig hunting is a big sport in both countries. "New Zealand feral pigs seem to be reverting to being more like the original Euro-type because the environment here suits them." The Walkers have the pigs killed at a registered abattoir and then the carcasses are returned to them. Nothing is wasted — the meat is turned into 15 sausage varieties; bacon, ham and the offal is made into pate and traditional English black pudding, pork pies and the Scottish delicacy, haggis.

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles July 2012 "We use no brines or pre-mixes, only salt, herbs, spices, wine, Guiness, garlic and cider," Jonathan says.

Jonathan says he likes pigs because they are "really intelligent, fun, friendly and interesting".

Although the farm is not technically organic, Jonathan keeps to similar principles — no drenching, or chemicals like antibiotics or growth hormones are used.

He admits to getting attached to pigs, but because he doesn't have anything to do with the killing process, he can also enjoy farming them.

The pigs are free ranged in all weathers, all year round.

"I believe I'm making a living from free range pigs by adding value rather than farming by numbers. I might have a small number but I try to go for quality with the old heritage breeds and I believe they taste better than factory reared," Jonathan says.

As a forester in the UK, Jonathan saw far more free range pig farming there than there is here in New Zealand.


He sells the pork meat at the farmers markets — Cambridge on Saturdays and Grey Lynn, Auckland and Hamilton on Sundays. The farm has one full-time staff member to help out as Sarah works full-time as a nurse. For the past five years Jonathan has had passing through young international travellers doing work on the farm.

Jonathan says good morning to some Tamworth pigs

Nothing is wasted with around 15 varieties of sausages being made at Soggy Bottom

A deal that makes good sense.

"It's got to be better for the animals than barn farming, because they've got space to move, they can litter naturally, they are in the sunshine rather than on a slattered floor and concrete sty environment," he says. While some free range sows having a tendency to smother their young by lying on them, Jonathan says it's not a great number and he is willing to accept some losses for the general good of the animals. Because they forage, free range pigs get a certain amount of sustenance out of the ground. Pigs do this to survive in the wild, but if fed good quality food, and rotation grazed domestically, they don't tend to forage as much, Jonathan says. He doesn't know how many rare pig farmers there are nationally, but he believes not many farm commercially as he does.

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July 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

A Kiwi businessman and inventor has won worldwide attention with a device to safeguard quad-bike riders from injury or death in rollover accidents


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flexible roll-bar mounted behind the bike seat can support tonnes of weight and is seen as a lifesaver in a country where quad-bike accidents, both on the farm and in recreation use, are responsible for a huge toll in injuries and fatalities.

Mr Vernon Suckling, from Ag Tech Industries Ltd in Dargaville, Northland, has won the Golden Standard Award for Innovation at the Mystery Creek Fieldays for his invention. The device attracted the attention of Prime Minister John Key at Mystery Creek, as well as from innovation scouts from around the world. It is protected by patents.

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Mystery Creek Fieldays, Golden Standard Award for Innovation winner,Vernon Suckling discussing his flexible quad-bike roll bar with Prime Minister John Key

“I took the ATV Lifeguard as we have called it to Mystery Creek because a lot of people go there to look for new ideas,” said Mr Suckling. “I did not think of an award or anything. I was just looking to see it give others a chance in an accident.” He was inspired to create ATV Lifeguard because crushing is the most common cause of injury and death in quad bike accidents.

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles  July 2012 “It will hold an upturned quad off the ground providing space underneath to help prevent the rider from being crushed. The flat and padded surface also spreads the weight of impact. It is quite possible to actually get out from underneath in the event of the machine landing on top of you.”

Muscles need CoEnzyme Q10 In the May edition we looked at the common muscle diseases Polymyalgia Rheumatica and Fibromyalgia. I received many calls from readers for more information especially from those with Polymyalgia. If you missed the column call me and I can email a copy. Today we look at the role of Co Enzyme Q10 (CoQ10) with muscle function. One of the most common forms of muscle pain is statin myopathy. This is a collection of muscular symptoms caused by side effects of commonly prescribed cholesterol lowering statin medication. While statins are very effective at lowering cholesterol they can cause muscle problems. Statins work by inhibiting an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) and subsequently reducing mevalonate needed to make cholesterol. Unfortunately mevalonate is also needed for the production of CoQ10.

The quad will also stop rolling a lot quicker with the device acting as a shock absorber, reducing bounce and movement — in short preventing more rolls of an upturned quad. Production of the device is expected to get underway before the end of the year and it has already won approval from New Zealand’s Industrial Research Ltd., the Department of Labour, Australian Health and Safety, Land Corp NZ and the ACC.


Holding an upturned quad off the ground providing space underneath

Farmers of New Zealand operations director, Bill Guest, says the ATV Lifeguard will be “invaluable for farm and recreational safety.” He said that sheer numbers of quads around the world will ensure a market. “There are 60 million quad bikes across the United States alone.” Statistics on quad bike accidents tell their own story. In 2011, 41 kiwi workers died and, of the deaths last year, 15 were in the agriculture A flexible roll-bar mounted behind the bike seat can industry — more than a third of support tonnes of weight all deaths. The majority of these deaths involved vehicles or machinery The statistics reinforce the need for quad bike — four were quad bike accidents. safety and the work being done to improve this. At the beginning of this year there was a flurry of media reports about quad bike accidents across the country — in that time there were at least 11 separate incidents involving 13 people — with an even split between those that were work-related on the farm and recreational accidents. The high number of people being injured on quad bikes prompted the Department and ACC to release a statement in January reminding riders of the dangers of not adhering to safety rules. Quad bike-related claims cost ACC approximately $8.6 million last year — with the emotional costs even higher.

The main function of CoQ10 is to produce the energy needed for our body demands especially in muscle cells. Think of CoQ10 like the spark plugs and exhaust system in your car engine. Without a good spark a petrol engine will not run properly. Without a good exhaust system engine exhausts will choke the engine and pollute the air. With insufficient CoQ10 the trillions of little engines (mitochondria) in your cells will not produce enough energy and you feel that as weakness, stiffness and pain in your muscles. Additionally CoQ10 is a potent antioxidant to clean up the barrage of toxic free radicals as by products of energy production. I recommend everyone on statins take 100mg of high grade CoQ10 to compensate. Interestingly I note an increasing number of doctors including cardiologists who suggest CoQ10 supplementation to counter statin myopathy. I also recommend CoQ10 for people with low energy and especially with any autoimmune or neurodegenerative problems. The one I prefer is a trademarked product that is proven to increase cell CoQ10 levels and includes compounds called tocopherols and carotenoids known to help cholesterol balance. In most cases this can help muscle function by restoring lost CoQ10. For those on statins my first goal is to prevent or reduce any statin myopathy but just as importantly to create a full cardiovascular nutrition programme. I always add a range of nutrients to help with circulation and to protect blood vessels especially coronary arteries from the free radical damage and inflammation central to the formation of artery-blocking plaques. Give me a call if you need help. John Arts is the founder of Abundant Health Ltd. If you have questions or would like a free health plan contact John on 0800 423559 or email You can join his weekly email newsletter at www. or visit for production information.

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Wa i k a to


Wheels July 2012

Motorbike hobby leads to adventure ride business by Denise Gunn What began as a hobby for motorbike enthusiasts Mike Britton and Angela Bruce has led to the couple building an adventure ride business. Mike grew up in Auckland and bought his first bike, a Yamaha YZ125E, when he was about 17 and started riding, mainly off-road.

For Angela, motorbike riding was a natural progression when her father was one of the earlier farmers to get a farm bike, followed later by her younger brother buying a bike with his first pay cheque. When the couple moved to the far north in the late 1990s Mike bought a Yamaha TT600 and went to an adventure

CRAIG STEVENS MOTORCYCLES LTD Mike Britton riding a Russian-built Ural motorcycle in northwest Vietnam near the Chinese border

ride in 1991. The event was so enjoyable he decided to run a similar type of ride in the far north.

“Bali was a really good place for us to start our overseas tours because we had travelled there extensively,” said Angela.

After their inaugural Far North Adventure Ride in 1992, the couple held the ride annually and began to add further rides in different regions of New Zealand.

“We spoke some Indonesian and most importantly had strong connections with some local people that could help us.

They decided to go a step following a trip with friends to Bali in 1998. “At our suggestion we toured the island by bike and had a ball,” said Angela. “They suggested we start doing commercial motorbike tours to Bali because they had such a fantastically different holiday.” In 1999 Mike and Angela ran their first ‘Bali by the Backroads Tour’ with 14 clients. *All prices are excluding GST. Select monthly, quarterly or yearly repayments, no financials, just rates notice required for asset backed loans. Low documentation primary producer loans to approved purchasers only. Fees and charges apply. Offers at participating dealers, while stocks last, conditions apply. Prices and specifications are subject to changes. **YFM450FAP with Electronic Power Streering available at the price of YFM450FA without EPS.

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This proved so popular that clients were asking for more so the couple organised similar trips to Vietnam, Outer Mongolia, Laos, Angkor Wat, and High Andes Bolivia.

“We learnt that attention to detail and good people are what makes a good tour.” The couple have established good connections in all the other countries they take tours to and still use their original contacts and crew in all their overseas destinations. Angela said finding the right people to work with and having some other inside connections make a huge difference to organising adventure rides overseas. The couple now organise between six — eight rides through New Zealand and up to four overseas rides each year with their business Britton Adventures. “Motorcycle travel really does allow you better interaction with the locals,” she said.

USED STOCK CLEARANCE YNZ6761_ATV_Tough Going_FP_curves.indd 1

11/04/12 2:29 PM


Very tidy, 1 owner operator drystock atv, sold new by us 2009. Good tyres & fully serviced.

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2006 HONDA TRX500 FMY6

Good condition drystock farm ATV just serviced, with bull bars and good tyres.

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Farm Wheels – Waikato Farming Lifestyles July 2012

FA R M W H E E L S The ‘Rolls Royce of Agriculture’ is here! Back in 1937 Rolls Royce were already known as the makers of the world’s finest automobiles. But in that same year Xaver Fendt began designing and building agcricultural machinery, and the two companies were set on an inevitable collision course. Why? Because like the engineers at Rolls Royce, Fendt’s mission was to build the very best

Fast forward to the present day, and Rolls Royce are still ahead of the game, with their luxurious Phantom the car of choice for celebrities. The thing is, the iconic British marque is now actually engineered in Germany — just like Fendt tractors. That’s because German engineering is a byword for precision and quality, and when it comes to tractors, r us tothat’s still Fendt’s mission.

we had Over the years Fendt have been ngela. innovators, developing the now-famous ‘continuously variable drive’ in the n and 1970s as a means to improve tractor ections performance. The patented Fendt Vario could is the only truly stepless transmission available on tractors to this day, and its ail andsmooth delivery of power despite the d tour.”most challenging of conditions has put d goodFendt in a class of one at the forefront of es theyagricultural technology. original Building on this key strength, Fendt have erseassecured world-record breaking status for

both their 828 Vario and 936 Vario in DLG ople toPowermix competitive tests. These tests insideare run by the German Agcricultural Society nce to(DLG means Deutsche Landwirtschaftsas. Gesellschaft) and put tractors through een sixtheir paces in the field to determine nd andperformance and fuel economy. ar with Key to the success of Fendt has been a combination of engineering innovation s allowand driver comfort — the real reason ocals,”

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July 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Animal Health

& Nutrition

Winter in the wild is a tough time for animals, but with the care and attention of responsible caretakers animals on the farm can survive and thrive in the cold weather. As with any time of the year, good health begins with good nutrition, but it doesn’t end there — and to help you maximise returns from your livestock it’s good to know that there are a host of local companies ready to lend a hand Miro Feeds supply a wide range of feed solutions to Waikato farmers, bringing local knowledge and top quality advice together with very competitive prices. This time of year one of their top selling lines is Miro Mix calf feed powder — fuel for growing calves that gets them off to a great start in life. Miro Mix is manufactured right here in NZ by Miro themselves, and they also carry the perfect followup in the form of meals and pellets. Of course that’s not all Miro are famous for — they cover a huge range of animal feeds, from poultry to horses, and even alpacas! Pasture and forage are usually the main ‘fuel’ for New Zealand cattle, but sometimes the vital minerals and nutrients livestock need aren’t readily available from the available food source. To keep your cattle healthy, happy and productive Seales Winslow have developed a range

Animal Feed Supply Brokers

of mineral blocks. With human beings taking mineral supplements to ward off winter ills, it makes sense to offer the same natural, scientifically proven advantages to your herd as well! Seales Winslow offer a range of cattle blocks, but most pertinent this time of year is their Wintering Block — the perfect way to ensure robust livestock health during the colder months. Modern farming blends traditional methods with scientific advancements for the best in productivity, and New Zealand is seen as a world leader in agricultural science. At the cutting edge of this industry is Hill Laboratories, an innovative company dedicated to working with farmers to improve the quality of pasture, soil, water and much more. With a range of tests covering everything from effluent through to the finest Kiwi made wines, farmers can rely on Hill Laboratories to explain the ‘hard science’ in practical terms, assisting them in improving their soil quality, targeting their fertiliser use and very pertinently this time of year, monitoring and

improving the quality of feed for livestock. On the farm things rarely come in small amounts. Feed, fertiliser and more are often needed in huge quantities, and moving such loads is the forte of proudly Kiwi company Freightlines. No matter what you need to shift, this forward-thinking transport business have the rolling stock to get the job done. Freightlines are dedicated to assisting the rural sector, and they have a reputation for reliability that’s built on years of service — they even offer storage and warehousing options. With over 200 trucks ready for your call, Freightlines is your number one choice for moving the big loads that keep your farm working through the winter.

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A hydroponic growing room specifically developed to sprout grain and legume seeds for a highly nutritious, yet cost-effective livestock feed.  The new compact Each day simply slide the feed out of the trays, rinse the tray, iGro available now reseed and push the newly seeded tray into the other end.  Great for lifestylers The system can hold your daily feed requirement.

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& Nutrition

Waikato Farming Lifestyles July 2012

Animal Health

science to bear on the problem of providing top quality feed year round is Fodder Solutions, and the answer they have developed is nothing short of genius. Using the proven technology of hydroponics, Fodder Solutions have developed a range of semi-automated systems which are able to supply up 3600kgs of highly nutritious feed per day!


Make the most of what you got

Photo Max

ENHANCED PHOTOSYNTHESIS LEADS TO BETTER GRASS QUALITY@$12/Ha a spray that can be added to any other application

Etherics 7

continued on page 14…

Effluent Treatment from $100 per pond that speeds digestion Apply directly to a paddock for drought resilience - $12/ha

For a huge range of feed options for all manner of livestock and animals, you can’t go past Online Supplements. They’ve combined an in-depth knowledge of what Kiwi farmers need for the best in animal health and nutrition with the ease of access offered by the internet, putting a world of feed, maize, pellet and baleage solutions literally at your fingertips. Visit them at http://www. to see just what we mean — the online revolution has never been so pertinent to the needs of the modern farmer! BD Max span the globe, but their relationship with New Zealand farms

has been one of increased productivity and yield that has seen them gain a great local reputation. With a scientific approach to the basics of pasture optimisation, this innovative company provides products which boost the necessities every plant needs — warmth, light and moisture. ThermoMax provides more warmth, PhotoMax enhances light utilisation, Etherics 7 enhances water utilisation by plants, while ZeroIn helps limit excess water uptake, for example — a programme which guarantees plenty of top quality feed for your livestock year in and year out. 0800 735 859 Available from Farmlands & Horticentre

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July 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Animal Health

& Nutrition

…continued from page 13

Grandpa’s feeders has just completed it’s 14th consecutive fieldays at Mystery Creek With the hard times that are upon us at present we have been amazed at our increase in sales every year. It goes to show how popular it is to keep some chooks in the back yard these days.

Love your chooks? But hate being tied to daily feeding? Rodents and birds eating their food?

GRANDPA’S CHOOK FEEDERS …are made to save you time and money by eliminating the need for daily feeding and stopping the significant amount of food lost to rats, mice and wild birds. This is the ideal feeder for 1-50 chooks, allowing you to enjoy the goodness of your own farm fresh eggs without attracting pests and their associated diseases. GRANDPA’S FEEDERS developed and sold in New Zealand for over 15 years have become hugely popular and are now considered standard equipment for keeping poultry.

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We heard recently that keeping chooks is the number one fastest growing hobby in the UK. Well we believe NZ is right up there as well. Doing the shows gives you an opportunity to talk to the many and varied chook owners out there. We had four chooks at the show to demonstrate our feeders and I think we could have sold them hundreds of times over. Despite the fact that there are other automatic chook feeders on the market now, Grandpa’s believe that their feeder is still the best. It costs a little more, but it is of excellent quality and we provide a full back up service and a money back guarantee. We had one fellow visit us at the show who purchased one of our feeders two years ago, and couldn’t wait to tell us that his feeder paid for itself within six months on the food he saved by not feeding sparrows.

The sprouts grow on the Fodder Solutions specially designed sprouting trays with no growing medium. Feedquality barley germinates within 24 hours of seeding. The barley grows in the same tray for six days and is ready for harvest at a 12inch high grass mat. It takes six days to grow from seeding to feed out! The ‘sprout mat’ is completely edible and highly nutritious as it is a living food. The animals will eat the entire mat, roots and green growth, so there is no waste. Of course this time of year the elements seem to be against both livestock and the farmer on his or her daily rounds. But it’s possible to beat the weather — both the rain and cold winds of winter and the heat of summer — with a little help from Trident Equipment, the one-stop shop for anything crafted from high-grade canvas. Whether you need tarps to cover it, shade sails to protect it or even a custom made job, Trident have you quite literally covered. They’ve even won awards for their innovative solutions, and they’re a real Kiwi

company, proud of their workmanship and dedicated to using the best, hardwearing materials. Commonly used for bikes, the 450 Lumen Dominator headlight is now available with a headstrap making it ideal for night time calving patrol with the extremely bright LED bulb and hands free design. South Waikato Cycles and Lawncare also stock Makita outdoor products for your chainsaw and trimmer requirements. For after hours leisure activities, they offer an exciting range of BMX, road, freestyle, comfort, mountain or triathlon bikes as well as a range of accessories and a bike repair service.

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11:38 AM

& Nutrition

Waikato Farming Lifestyles July 2012

Animal Health


Calf scours! Remember Rotagen this spring! Calf scours may be all bad, but there’s a good option at hand for clients who end up battling with sick animals this spring The Rotagen Combo range remains unique as non-toxic, non-withhold vet only antibody treatment for calves affected by common pathogens like Rotavirus 6 and 10, Coronavirus, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, and or E.coli (K99).

The product can be used with calves of any age and treatment can be initiated at any stage of infection. It can be sed to both prevent and treat specific calf scours.

New Zealand is the only country in the world where specific antibodies against specific pathogens — (Rotagen Combo) — is a registered animal remedy. The Rotagen Combo range is based on Globigen, a spray-dried egg yolk powder derived from vaccinated chickens which contains IgY’s specific to a particular organism — rotavirus 6 and 10, coronavirus, salmonella, cryptosporidium, and E.coli (K99). Globigen is made by vaccinating high health status flocks against a specific pathogen. The hen then passes maternal immunoglobulins from serum to the egg yolk which is collected, then spraydried, heat-treated and standardized to a determined IgY titre. This is then formulated into a Rotagen combination

bind to antigens is maintained within the local gut. As the Rotagen products are based on a local gut immunity provided by immunoglobulins, there is no issue with toxicity and no withholding period.

prevention, the recommended dose is 10 grams per calf per day for five days. For treatment, dose calves with 10g twice daily for the first day, then 5g twice daily for three to seven days. Appropriate rehydration is essential and Rotagen can be used in conjunction with electrolytes or milk feeding.

450 LUMEN DOMINATOR Great for those dark nights out calving

A recent addition to the range is Rotagen Crypto, a cryptosporidium specific treatment for calves. product by Vetpak here in NZ. Any Rotagen combination of the above IgY’s can be produced on request to meet a specific challenge. IgY antibodies provide a passive immunity effect in the gut in the same way bovine colostrum would. Studies show that IgY’s successfully pass through the gastro -intestinal tract in an active form and are not altered by the digestive process. Their ability to

Approved by the ACVM as an aid in the prevention and treatment of calf scours caused by cryptosporidium, this is available as a stand-alone product without the addition of rotavirus. This is particularly useful in cases where the herd has been vaccinated for rotavirus, but the farm has a history of cryptosporidium parvum scours in their calves. Calves of any age or weight can be treated at the same dosage rate. For



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July 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles


New calf feed options optimise protein for heifer replacement Ravensdown has launched two new products for dairy farmers in the Waikato who need a dedicated feed formulation specifically for heifers

Notes from the shed with Mark With the payout McKewen high and interest low, it’s a really good time to

fix the things that are causing some grief around the Dairy. Fieldays 2012towas a resounding success. Before you upgrade new Milfos cup removers or a Milfos Variable Drive Vacuum System it would be sensible to There were people from all over Newevaluate things that could impact on your proposed upgrade. Zealand and do around the world, and come across wiring of all Sparkies generally a great job, however, we regularly sorts thatnumbers has been installed incorrectly. visitor were high. For instance we see the right cable used on say, a milk pump controller, but still can also be for a number of It waswith fantastic to see many our interference bundled everything else so it of creates withused the controller and clients to crazy meetcontroller. so manyUnless othersyou other bingo, aand slightly know what to look for it can be a painful things. process to find like a faulty controller. interested in as ourit looks products. Thanks RFID is an integral part of herd Thisyour is important for all sorts of systems from pulsation controllers to cup removers for company and enthusiasm, management and is used in many the more sophisticated the system the more careful you have to be. We itand made our Fieldays special. around the milking parlour. recommend keeping data cables as far awayways from power as possible. After a long and often contentious Automatic drafting is quite common, We have all heard about stray voltage, yes it does exist and can cause all sorts eight yearwewait, National of issues, havethe found a majorAnimal source is the terminations between as cable is inand bail animal ID on rotary Identification and Tracing (NAIT) milking machines (which can be Variable drives and Motors. scheme arrived on July 1st with variable drives with regard to the There is afinally lot of documentation supplied linked to milk data and feeding cable tofor becattle used and metal glands for terminations etc, these are minimums and a 2012 (with deer to follow decisions), and walk Ifover weighing good Sparky will follow manufacturer’s recommendations or better. in doubt in March). just to name a few. get it checked. The benefits to the industry Don’t forget the effluent or water pump, same deal, the electric fence Whatand is move an initial expense in the are well reported,shed, withthey birth toan interference nasty in the dairy. unit to the implement can be tags can lead to savings over time processing traceability, and the For sensible advice on Upgrades, find your local Milfos dealer or Area Sales Manager ability to react quickly to biosecurity with easy automatic drafting during at

threats if they arise.

The Radio Frequency Identification Device (RFID) eartags are the key to the system, with a range of around a metre, depending on tag brand and model. The RFID ear tag technology does one thing and that is to individually identify an animal. In this respect it

can only absorb “soCalves much protein and, of course, unused protein will exit the body as nitrogen, which could unnecessarily lift nitrogen loading on dairy farms

“Calves can only absorb so much protein and, of course, unused protein will exit the body as nitrogen, which could unnecessarily lift nitrogen loading on dairy farms,” added Stephen. The optimum-protein calf pellets, RAVCALF18 and RAVCALF14, will be manufactured by two small and wellestablished local manufacturers based in Auckland and Palmerston North. RAVCALF18 is designed as a supplement for heifer calves being fed a diet of milk and/or grass through to desired weaning weights of around 70kg. RAVCALF14 is designed as a supplement to grass for calves weaned off milk while transitioning to a grass diet. Both feeds contain rumensin as a coccidiostat. “Pricing for these products, as well as our re-launched milk powder products, will be very competitive because we exist to keep these input costs down low. Other calf feeds sold here are manufactured by Canadian and Australian-owned companies. As a New Zealand cooperative, we aim to lower the price to our shareholders and pass profits back to our farmers. It is a great opportunity to put our co-operative values into the calf feed market.”

mating or improvements in herd information such as weight or in bail data like yield, fat, protein, lactose, and mastitis detection. There are a lot of options to choose from.

All of these improvements and more are available through your local Milfos Service Partner or visit for details.

Ravensdown for a fertile future Ravensdown Shareholder, Troy Everson, dairy farmer at Tomarata, east of Wellsford.

The two new protein-optimised calf feeds have been independently formulated so that excessive protein is not passing through the animals. “Our new calf feeds target heifer replacement rearing in a New Zealand setting,” explains Ravensdown Nutrition Business Manager, Stephen Fink. “Rather than launching a high-protein product in isolation, we looked at the whole nutritional environment for these farmers and calves.” “In heifer replacement situations, heifers are being fed colostrum then whole milk from the vat, which are both high-protein feeds. Then they go on to high-protein dairy pasture. So we’ve dropped the protein levels in these feeds to compensate for increased protein in the pasture in a dairy situation,” said Stephen.

Because Ravensdown supplies close to half of New Zealand’s fertiliser, we’re a real alternative for you to get fertiliser and other key farm inputs at the lowest sustainable cost.

With expert advice from Ravensdown representatives we can help you regrass this spring.

Delivered how, where and when you need it.

For more information call 0800 100 123 or visit

Av Hailey Chapman 021 900 320

Sarah Death 021 900 603

Chris Dickson 021 900 242

Dairying Maximizing calf growth

much protein which Whether it is a dairy farmer’s replacement stock or oading

calf-rearing on a sheep farm to supplement income, pellets,the objective in both cases is to grow out will be and maximize the true potential of d wellbasedthese young stock

th. The basic requirements of a newborn calf are a as a dry, warm and draught-free environment. Woolover ng fed calf covers offer farmers the flexibility to provide ugh to these conditions at a low cost. The basic requirement around is WARMTH. Woolover calf covers are constructed as a using a high percentage of WOOL, which has the eanedability to absorb up to 30% moisture and still feel grassdry thus retaining the calves natural body heat and n as amost importantly BREATHE. TRIAL DATA

well as oducts, During the northern winter 97/98 Woolover we existLimited commissioned the North Dakota State . OtherUniversity in Fargo (USA) to trial covers on both actureddairy and beef calves. On average dairy calves that ownedwere covered gained 14 lb more than uncovered nd co-calves over the 65 day trial period. This was in spite rice toof the average low temperature being 5°C higher s backthan normal during the trial.These calves were in ortunitydome hutches. The temperature ranged from (plus) nto the15°C to a low of minus 11°C. Differences in Average Daily Weight Gain (ADG)

were most pronounced during the first three weeks of a calf’s life, with an ADG for blanketed calves of 1.15 lb versus 0.82 lb (unblanketed). Dr J W Schroeder (the NSDU extension dairy specialist) believes that the blanketed calves benefited from a jumpstart in weight gain that they maintained throughout the course of the trial. At six months of age blanketed calves that exhibited greater early postpartum ADG also maintained a numerical performance advantage in rate of growth at later stages of calf development than unblanketed calves.

Waikato Farming Lifestyles July 2012

ear tag opening pliers

tagsavers This tool will open herd number tags for re-using.

■ Labour saving tool when renumbering herd animals. Simple to use and cost effective. ■ Will not damage the tag, nor the animal’s ear. Note: it is illegal to remove NAIT RFID tags

Beef calves running with their mothers had an average weight gain of 38lb more than the unblanketed control group at 118 days of age.

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Dairy EffluEnt 9 Good Reasons to talk to Lindsay and the Team

SUMMARY Let WOOLOVER calf covers maximize the productive capacity of your calves in those formative 4-6 weeks.Those rearers on weight contracts should reap the rewards of heavier calves sooner and save extra feed and time. Call and discuss your needs at your local Stock and Station outlet,Veterinary Supplies or World-Wide Sires Representative.. Other products made include lamb and finn lamb/ goat covers,sheep covers for hypothermia and dust, innersoles and saddle blankets.We are currently trialing covers for Cows. For any more information please contact your local outlet or David Brown on 03 615 9803 or 025 341 606.

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 Meets even the toughest New Zealand Effluent Enviro Standards  Has the Most Even Rain Cover over wetted width in New Zealand by far  Has a Rain Rate of 5mm or less across total wetted width, not just the centre area. (please see in the independently proved graph) The new irrigator is still backed up by our very tough and well proven drive system, no blockage mast, booms and nozzles.

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      ••••    ••  •  •    ••  •• •  • • • •   • •   • •  ••  •   • •   • •  • 







Distance (m)







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July 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles


AlpHa — the perfect partner for lime Dr Bert Quin, fertiliser and soil fertility consultant

We all know that lime is necessary to maintain the fertility and health of the soil, and to provide vital calcium. In New Zealand’s acid soils, most of the lime needed to maintain production is used to overcome soil acidity, that is, to increase the pH. In most soils, the biggest acidity problem is not the hydrogen ion (H+), but multivalent metallic cations of aluminium, manganese and iron. These are far more

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toxic to plants, and plant root growth in particular, than hydrogen. However using lime is an inefficient and very expensive way to control these toxicities. Once a soil has became sufficiently acid to be suffering some toxicity, typically indicated by a pH of 5.5 or below, or a KCl-soluble aluminium level of three or more, treating the problem with lime requires a heavy capital application of at least 2-3 tonnes per hectare. ‘AlpHa’ provides a targeted solution to the problem. AlpHa is a patented combination of polymers and silicates that very efficiently binds the soluble, toxic forms of aluminium, manganese and iron, mimicking the action of chelates excreted by roots of some aluinium-tolerant plant species, and enabling high production to be maintained at a lower soil pH. It is also important to understand that the soil pH, and with it soluble aluminium levels, vary considerably over very small distances, spatially and vertically. Much of this

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However, as the urine-N is converted to nitrate it is easily leached, taking cations with it, and acid is produced. The end result, over 1-3 months, is a soil pH 0.5 — 1 units below the starting point, and frequently low enough to increase soluble aluminium to toxic levels. Normal soil testing, in which 15-20 soil cores per paddock are taken and mixed together to get a ‘representative’ sample, can easily mask the presence of aluminium toxicity. It can also be present below the standard 0-7.5cm soil test core, inhibiting root growth below this depth, and consequently restricting nutrient uptake and greatly increasing susceptibility to drought and pulling. Essentially, AlpHa allows the optimum average soil pH to be lowered from 5.5 to 5.0. This greatly reduces, in fact can altogether eliminate, the requirement for a capital lime application, and allows production to be optimised with far less maintenance lime in the future.

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variability is believed to be caused by urine deposition. Initially, the pH rises — by 2 pH units or more — in the affected area, due to the heavy content of nitrogen in the form of urea, which also greatly increases pasture growth.

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles July 2012



A good feeling at Fieldays

“To be quite frank, if we didn’t come, we’d be shooting ourselves in the foot.” This sentiment from exhibitor, The Wrangler’s Wilco Klein-Ovink, has been echoed around National Agricultural Fieldays 2012. Put quite simply, for four days in the middle of every year, Mystery Creek on the outskirts of Hamilton is the place to be The masses certainly think so — 128,271 visitors walked through the gates from June 13-16. That’s a 9% improvement on 2011 figures, with the last day — often dubbed ‘townie day’ by exhibitors and farming regulars — reporting an impressive 40% jump in attendance on Saturday last year. They were there to see over 1,000 exhibitors — ranging from industry groups, to companies selling large machinery and sheds to clothing retailers. Whakatane-based Wilco Klein-Ovink — also a regular feature at South Island Fieldays — says the national event makes up a big proportion of their annual revenue. “We also find by having stuff on site here, people will come, will look and then months down the track they’ll come back and make a purchase. People do like to kick tyres. Yes, they can see it on the website, but there’s still that ‘touchy-

Photo: Jeff Brass, ©New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays.

Opening Morning 2012 Fieldays

feely’ thing where they like to actually see it working.”

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His wife Waverley describes the spending mood this year as positive. “There have been a lot of people who’ve read articles or heard about us before the event, and they’ve come in to see it in person, or have seen it at other shows and are finally coming in to order.” Wilco agrees things are looking up. “It’s definitely not as good as before the 2008 financial crisis, but there’s been a very good feel. Farmers are still very cautious. I believe, they know there’s going to be a drop in the dairy pay-out from what they had last year, but they’re still quite interested.” The shift in the global economy is just part of the idea of this year’s premiere feature, which sets the theme for the event — The Changing Face of Farming.

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July 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

FIELDAYS FOLLOW UPS …continued from page 19

Ag Fieldays Chairman Warwick Roberts says “There have been so many changes in farming in the last 12 months, I feel we’re almost in a new millennium. The tide has changed in relation to the world’s appetite for our produce and we all bear a responsibility to try to supply enough to satisfy this huge demand for New Zealand foods.” For Society President, Lloyd Downing, it’s all about the technology — and he Tough as Nails — 2nd in Avent Garde under 21 admits he can’t always keep up. “The mind boggles with the technology, cows do actually milk themselves and we have a number of robotic milking systems on Quality that has stood the testthat of time. Quality has stood the test of time. display. The innovation in new milking machines, farm mapping and fertiliser software is unbelievable.”

Photo: Stephen Barker, ©New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays.

Other changes Mr Downing believes it important to keep on top of include

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Photo: Jeff Brass, ©New Zealand Agricultural Fieldays.

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the shift away from the family-operated properties, to corporate farms, the increasing role of women in the rural sector and the rise in Maori corporations involved in farming. The Premiere Feature for the 2013 edition of the world’s fifth largest rural trade expo will be announced in August. For those considering joining the exhibitors for the first time in what will be the 45th year, Waverly Klein-Ovink recalls the good advice she was given:

“People have to see something three times before they generally consider buying it, so if you come once and don’t sell so much immediately, then you can come a couple more times and things often take off at that point. People will look the first time and think ‘that’s pretty neat’, then come again and say ‘yea, I’ve seen that before’, and by the third time they’re thinking they probably have a use for it.”

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July 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Rural Women

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Home fare pays dividends in New Zealand “It’s makes me happy to think I’m keeping and sharing my origins, while living in our adopted country we now call home,” said Melanie.

by Annette Lambly-Robinson

Cornish family bake up a storm with their pastry treats

They make and bake around 1,000 pasties except during the week around the National Agricultural Fieldays when this is stepped up to around 3 — 4,000.

When former royal navy engineer Neil Macarthur, his wife Melanie and their four children emigrated from Cornwall seven years ago they never dreamed they would be making and selling their homeland’s famous baked fare — Cornish pasties. Four years ago finding the cost of living in New Zealand expensive the couple were keen to earn some extra money and like all good ideas the concept was born over a few drinks with a group of friends. “We liked the thought of incorporating our own heritage origins and culture into what was then a fledgling business,” said Melanie. After trialling and perfecting the pastry and two flavours — a traditional steak and vegetarian cheese and onion — they set up a small commercial kitchen in a purposebuilt garage in their back yard. “We took 77 pasties to our first market in Cambridge and within 45 minutes had sold out,” laughs Melanie. “The following week we increased the number and once again sold out — from there things just snowballed.

The Macarthur family enjoy the market life

Word of mouth and a good reputation has seen the business flourish — so much so Neil has resigned from his engineering job and the couple, having outgrown the garage kitchen, have purchased a bakery with an attached small shop frontage so customers no longer have to wait for the weekend markets to buy the Cornish wares.

Ingredients are all sourced locally with the exception of the two pastries (quantity demand has seen this contracted to a Tauranga Bakery). Nowadays they sell six flavours with a special turkey and cranberry pasty made at Christmas. The intention is to expand their licence to allow them to supply commercial premises and even exporting. Plans are also afoot to import Cornish clotted cream. “We’d like to have a little Cornish Shop selling traditional goods such as saffron cakes and buns, lardy cake, cider cakes, Eccles cakes and other bakery delights.”

It’s easy to spot with its flags and bus blinds featuring Cornish towns which lend themselves as great conversation starters.

There are also opportunities to expand the pastry business, but for now the family are content to take small steps at a time.

They love the customer contact and are surprised how many people in New Zealand have Cornish origins or OE experiences to share — all keen to relive the memories with the state of Cornwall and plenty of banter.

Melanie says while the work can be tiring it’s a happy place to work and allows time to be enjoyed with the children. “Even if we do smell badly (from onions and spices) at the end of the day,” she laughs.

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles July 2012


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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 or call 0508 727 223 for more information. YOU CAN have your hydraulic rams resealed & repaired at Complete Engineering & Hydraulics, with no stress and in a time frame that suits you call now and book them in on 07 847 1514.

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July 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles






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Waikato Farming Lifestyles, July 2012  

Waikato Farming Lifestyles, July 2012