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Waikato

Farming Lifestyles October 2012 Edition

30,000 copies DELIVERED FREE to every rural delivery address in Waikato and King Country

The pull of the sea & land

‘Hard work, trust, and an eye for good stock’ P6

P10

Waikato ploughman takes 14th place at World Ploughing Contest P16

Check out page 5!

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Miniature Herefords tick all the boxes Pages 4–5

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October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Entries open for best dairy pasture competition

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: 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 Paul Campbell

Waikato Farming Lifestyles Distribution area

Graphic Design: David Stevens Gavin Bainbridge Emily Stevens Jan Balcombe

Advertising: Glyn Parker Betty Willetts Viv Needham

Production: Jenny Crundwell

Managing Editor: Allan Mortensen (am@thelifestyler.co.nz) Accounts: Lesley Robinson (accounts@thelifestyler.co.nz) Masthead river photo courtesy of Hamilton and Waikato tourism

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by Denise Gunn Dairy farmers in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty have an opportunity to enter their best dairy pasture in a competition organised by the DairyNZ-led Pasture Renewal Leadership Group. The Pasture Renewal Persistence Competition is a Pasture Renewal Leadership Group initiative. The DairyNZ-led industry group, which includes researchers, seed industry Competition organiser and DairyNZ farm systems specialist representatives, farmers Chris Glassey speaks to farmers at one of the last year’s and agricultural contractors, winning properties was formed to develop “The winners from the last two seasons better tools, resources and advice have shared their stories and highlighted for farmers. Now into its third year, the Pasture that their good pastures are far from a Renewal Persistence Competition offers fluke but instead the result of hard work two categories: Best Waikato/Bay of Plenty and planning,” said Mr Glassey. “There have been contacts made and first year pasture sown this year and Best Waikato/Bay of Plenty pasture sown more good learnings about the best practices to follow.” than three years ago. Judging will involve a short interview Competition organiser and DairyNZ farm systems specialist Chris Glassey said about the soil fertility and the paddock’s the contest aims to promote the Pasture history prior to and since re-sowing. Renewal Leadership Group and positive Management practices such as grazing management, endophyte selection, messages about pasture renewal. “When we started the competition in weed control, and nitrogen usage will be 2010 the messages circulating in the discussed. “We will also be looking for any other industry based on farmer experience were fairly negative, but we knew there were information that will help build a picture of the best management practice required for success stories out there.” Mr Glassey said the success persistence of renewed pastures in this stories were used to reinforce the best environment,” said Mr Glassey. Prizes, which include two pasture seed management practice for persistent and herbicide packages to the value of renewed pastures in this environment. Entries over the past two years have $1,000, have been provided by Gavins Ltd, steadily increased and the winners’ field Agriseeds and Agricom. Entries are open until October 26. days are held in early December.

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Equidays set to return to Mystery Creek area for families and lifestyle visitors has been included in an improved, convenient site layout.

by Denise Gunn

Following the launch of the inaugural Equidays in 2011, the three-day equine spectacular is set to return to the Mystery Creek Events Centre next month and planned to become an annual event Equidays provides access to a wide range of equestrian disciplines, recreational horse-riding, equine industries and businesses, with exhibitions, competitions, demonstrations, clinics and other activities covering the 113ha venue. Mystery Creek events manager Vanessa Richmond said the organising team had an overwhelmingly positive response from the inaugural event and are looking forward to bringing another remarkable equine showcase to the region this year. “Our team is focussed on continuous improvement and the valuable feedback we’ve received from visitors and industry has helped us develop an even better Equidays for 2012.” Ms Richmond said the venue will be transformed into an equestrian paradise

Equidays branded merchandise, introduced this year, will also be available. Last year’s Equidays surpassed organiser’s expectations with a crowd of 12,619 attending the exhibition. Up to 18,000 visitors are expected to go through the gates this year. “With the new option of camping on-site and the special priced pre-event combo tickets available, we suggest visitors book their tickets now and use the online schedules to plan their visit and make the most of their time at the show,” said Ms Richmond. Equidays, a three-day equine spectacular, is set to return to Mystery Creek from November 2-4

and includes a full-sized indoor area and an outdoor Olympic-sized sand arena. A top line-up of national and international professionals will showcase their talents and offer advice on a wide range of equine topics in a dedicated seminar area over the three days. Nightly shows are set to entertain the crowds with vaulting, trick-riding and displays. A fast-paced barrel race on the Friday evening and Grand Prix showjumping the following night will keep visitors on the edge of their seats. A Breeds Village and Parade Area will feature horses representing several breed associations and horse studs. The number of retail sites has increased this year and a Kids Zone

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October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Miniature Herefords

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The Miniature Hereford is recognised by the World Hereford Association

by Denise Gunn

Nelson and Elaine Retter were new to the rural lifestyle when they decided to look at livestock for their 6.5ha Waikato property

After making some enquiries, the couple found the cattle ticked all the boxes for their requirements.

Originating in Texas in the United States and evolving over decades of careful, selective breeding from regularsized Herefords, the Miniature Hereford is simply a different bloodline. When compared with the regular Hereford, the miniature is a shorter, stockier animal but has retained a long back and barrel body, giving a greater percentage meat yield.

“As a bonus, our neighbours and now new friends were able to locate some initial stock for us,” said Elaine

The Miniature Hereford is recognizsed by the World Hereford Association.

That was nine years ago and since then the couple have sold

Embryos imported from Canada and live Miniature Herefords from Australia established the first breeding stock in New Zealand in 1997.

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eighbouring farmers were pioneer breeders of Miniature Herefords in New Zealand, and Nelson and Elaine often admired the cattle as they drove past.

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many Miniature Herefords from Northland to Southland, thriving on all types of pasture.

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Nelson and Elaine run 20 Miniature Herefords as well as other beef animals on their mainly flat lifestyle block.

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“We have carried up to 30 of the minis, including calves and yearlings, and still been able to close paddocks up for our own silage and hay,” said Elaine.

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles October 2012 “With rainfall of about 1000mm per annum we only have to supplement our grass for four to five months a year.” “They are excellent converters of grass to meat, but we tend to kill at two and a half years as there is a large amount of growth in the six months prior,” said Elaine. “Being by nature, a docile animal, and smaller, they are easier to handle, particularly in the yards.” Nelson and Elaine have found they can run two Miniature Herefords to the acre compared From left: Elaine Retter, Sharon O’brien and Helen Russell to one regular Hereford. at a Miniature Hereford Breeds Group farm field day “They don’t chop up the paddocks as much Hereford bulls over dairy heifers instead of the as their large cousins in the wet weather,” said Nelson. traditional Jersey. “Calves are smaller, which makes for easier calving.” “They are easier to handle, throw a small calf, and The Retter’s carry their own bulls which are rotated regularly produce a white-face.” to prevent inbreeding. To give new breeders a good start, the couple Nelson said there has been success in using Miniature

s

“Steers go for meat, and occasionally as an edible mower for a small lifestyle block,” said Nelson. “Our steers Hereford Prime.”

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“This would produce steaks, which for the same weight would make them thicker, juicier, and give better presentation on the plate, than those from bigger beasts,” said Nelson.

Elaine Retter with a weaner heifer

nizsed

have

Nelson and Elaine intend to continue producing enough stock to establish more breeders of Miniature Herefords. They hope in the longer term this could lead to enough breeders to establish a niche market for miniature Hereford Prime.

rthland pes of

United des of egularereford When rd, the mal but el body, ield.

5

usually sell their heifers and cows in-calf or cows with a calf at foot. They also sell their stock to other breeders.


6

October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

‘Hard work, trust, and an eye for good stock’ a life’s adventure in agriculture

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ith the help of a judiciously applied box of chocolates (and perhaps a friendly drink or two), stock agent Allan Gray had convinced the lady operator of the manual exchange to line up all the calls he needed to make in an evening, neatly inventing the speeddial system.

Allan with his family — daughters Moira and Deborah, wife Jill and son Warwick

“A good operator made all the difference between an easy night and a lot of waiting around,” says Allan, now 82 and happily retired from a lifetime of work as a stock agent. “We were on a party line, and if I tied it up for too long…”

But it was far from easy going. Without the aid of modern power machinery Allan tackled a mountain of gorse, and then came a terrible slump in wool prices, almost breaking the back of the wool industry.

Allan grew up in a farming family, weathering the hard times of the depression in the 1930s. Through diligent saving he amassed enough money to buy his own farm, settling in the King Country near Waitomo in 1966.

“I was chopping a block of scrub one day when a stock agent came up to me, and we got talking. Would I be interested in working as an agent if I wasn’t farming? That was when the seed was sown, I suppose.”

Soon after, the respected Newton King company offered Allan a job, and his career changed completely. He says that good stock agents were hard to find — a rare breed who could pick out muscle tone, bone structure, potential growth and sheer weight with their eyes alone. A legend in the industry, Doug Ancell, once told Allan that ‘the best pair of scales you have are your own two eyes’, and he put this adage into practise from day one. “I told myself — if I’m going to be in

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles October 2012

Good farmers didn’t go to sales — “ they stayed at home, on the land, doing what they did best”

this industry, then I’m going to be good at it!” says Allan, speaking from his home in Te Kuiti. He had a knack for picking good stock, a fiery determination to succeed and some good friends to help him along the way. Soon those long nights of phone calls began to produce results, and a reputation for success.

— his cigarette packets. But more often than not these went in the rubbish, and the accountants hated it.” But Allan feels he would be out of place in the modern world of stock agency, despite (or perhaps because of) the personal skills he spent a lifetime developing. “The way the industry has changed, I wouldn’t want a bar of it,” he says, more with resignation than anger. “It’s all facts and figures and weights now.” There is, he thinks, far less room for the astute eye and sharp mind which were the tools of a stock agent back at the height of his career. “What would I tell somebody just

“Good farmers didn’t go to sales — they stayed at home, on the land, doing what they did best. There was competition, of course, but most of the time they (the other four or five stock companies in the King Country) were fair and there was no animosity. It was the cut and thrust of the game!” As well as worthy adversaries in business, Jill and Allan Allan forged many friendships with those in the trade. Long time comrade and neighbour Des Murphy was one such — in fact, he was the one who would walk through the night to Allan’s house if that aforementioned party line was tied up for too long! Allan remembers their road trips around the yards and paddock sales, stopping off at country pubs covered in mud, and even trying to roll-start their car after it broke down in the ‘back of beyond’. Another big name in the industry was transport magnate Jim Barker, who founded Freightline. “Now he has 200 trucks on the road, but he started out with four, and they were held together with number eight wire!” says Allan. “Jim would write down the quotes he gave to farmers on the only paper handy

getting started in farming? Just this. If you’re gonna have a go, do the basics right. Take care of the land, and the land will take care of you. I learned in business that if you take care of the client, the commission will take care of itself — it’s the same kind of thing.” “And oh”, he says, catching onto one last important point, “Don’t be afraid to ask, either. There’s people who will be pleased to help you out.”

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October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Conservation

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles October 2012 it on the big screen in movies such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For these reasons it is imperative that conservation is maintained. In other words, it is a ‘must have’, not just a ‘nice to have’. Conservation is also a ‘must have’ in terms of biodiversity and protecting and preserving our fantastic natural heritage, ensuring we are all good stewards of our land and leaving it in a better state than when we got it. There are signs of our continued success in preserving our natural environment. For example, thanks to the success of the Natural Heritage Management System programme we now have

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a record of 1,300 areas across the country where our flora and fauna can be regularly monitored. This world leading long-term initiative will allow us for the first time to collect and compare data on the state of our biodiversity nationally, and plan for its long-term preservation. But this government initiative is only one of many ways we could be maintaining and preserving our great natural resources. Unlike Peter Jackson we can’t use special effects! We all need to think about how we can contribute more to ensure our beautiful and valuable asset of conservation is maintained for future generations.

Great fun to visit It is always great fun visiting Kereru Gardens in Tauranga especially in the spring when it is full to the brim with thousands of plants! Kereru Gardens is run by Richard and Caroline Knight who have owned garden centres since 1980, and really know who, what and where to plant! They can advise you on your landscaping plans or ideas for your farm, garden or re-vege areas. They grow hundreds of thousands of exotic and native plants for all sorts of environments, and sell them for an amazing price of only $3.50 each including GST! Caroline says that it allows her customers to do much braver plantings of threes, and fives of varieties for a really economical price. Richard propagates and grows all the plants ready for sale, “It cuts out a lot of middle men,” he says, “And the customers get to meet the real growers.” They open their nursery to the

1st and 3rd weekends of each month

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341 Oropi Rd, Tauranga Off SH29 (Ham. to Mt. Maunganui Rd) Up Oropi Rd, 2mins from John’s Produce Phone for more details 07 543 1577 Next Nursery Open Days 19th, 20th, 21st & Mon 22nd Oct & 2nd, 3rd and 4th Nov Sorry no eftpos

public on the first and third weekends of every month throughout the year, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 8am to 2pm. Caroline says thanks to her daughters. She now has a Facebook page for Kereru Gardens, and can update the page every week with photos and interviews.

Experience and knowledge Road and Sport is packed full of the best range of new and used Harley-Davidson motorcycles you’ll find in the region. Demo bikes are always on hand to test ride — or a few days away on a late model Harley-Davidson rental bike may be just the ticket this summer, while you’re deciding which bike is right for you. Road and Sport’s sales team — Ian and Peter — are very experienced and knowledgeable riders able to provide to you the best personal service and good advice. You are sure to get the best value at great prices when you buy genuine HarleyDavidson parts and accessories from Road and Sport. Not only does their huge parts and customisation range cover all the accessories you could ever want for your bike, they also carry a selection of Harley-Davidson clothing and fashion wear to complete the look. Road and Sport’s service department employs four factory-trained technicians to keep your investment serviced to factory specifications and running well. Without topof-the-line factory tools direct from HarleyDavidson themselves, other service shops cannot service late model Harley-Davidson motorcycles to the highest standard. Road and Sport technicians have decades of experience between them, and they’re passionate about providing Harley riders with the best service available.

standby for those emergency jobs, big or small. Special offers (such as tyres fitted for no charge) are just one of many unique services offered to Harley riders at Road and Sport. So next time you need service think Road and Sport Harley-Davidson. We can also provide WOF and registration for your bike on site in our convenient one-stop shop. To find out more, call Leah in service today 07 958 1413. Road and Sport Harley-Davidson welcomes your next visit and is the region’s only HarleyDavidson Dealership.

KEEP TIDY THE SMART WAY We’ve got you covered from Regular Bin Services to casual bin hire options for Farm, Building Site and Section tidy up requirements

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They’re fully supported by the Harley factory by direct communication for the latest technical updates each time your bike is being serviced. Only an authorised Harley dealer can offer this peace of mind and type of service. The service department is always on

The web page also gives a full plant list. Call in sometime and say ‘Hi’ to Richard and Caroline, where else could you find such great service and quality plants at such an amazing price!!

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The Harley-Davidson 24 Hour Test Ride is available at participating New Zealand H-D dealers only from Sept 1st to Nov 30th 2012. Subject to motorcycle availability and discretion of participating H-D dealers. Riders must have a valid full motorcycle license. 24 Hour Test Rides feature the Harley-Davidson Touring range. Book your test ride at wakeupwithaharley.com.au or drop in to your local H-D participating dealer. ©2012 H-D. Harley-Davidson, H-D, Harley and the Bar & Shield logo are among the trademarks of H-D Michigan, LLC.


10

October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

The pull of the

sea land

Chris and Sally Minoprio have two major passions, one is yachting and the other is farming, and the latter led them to convert their farm to organic and establish a B&B farmstay on the foothills of Mt Pirongia Renovating or Building New?

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“The name ‘Haulfryn’ is actually Welsh and it means ‘house on the hill in the sun’ and it’s also a family name of Chris’ that’s been used for many generations,” says Sally.

After the pair married in New Zealand they returned to England and bought their own 53 foot yacht to host and entertain guests on chartered sailing trips around the Caribbean.

Sally and Chris sit on an elegant foot bridge in their landscaped gardens at Haulfryn House

“Together we sailed many oceans, explored the Caribbean and North America and met many interesting people,” says Sally.

After five years of operating a motel, Sally and Chris did what many Aucklanders stuck in the rat race only dream of, they packed up and sailed around the South Pacific.

Six years and many nautical miles later the couple returned to New Zealand and

The couple returned to reality and were pulled back to the land and to farming.

Amongst an elite group of people there is not much that Ecoworld’s technician Ron Walker does not know about the quality of water and its filtration. People trust him and his long standing customer base describe him as a likeable down to earth guy who is passionate about water and how to fix it. So how did Ron get to where he is today?

Ron worked on such iconic treatment systems as the concrete based sand-filter with its corrugated aerator, which was a real eye opener. He later, progressed towards more modern and in some cases more alternative technologies like the vast range of specialised removal media’s and resins. He also investigated the use of chemical treatments on a wide range of waters and even got heavily involved in the technical and interesting side of “Biological Iron Removal”.

Ron’s history with Ecoworld started in “98” after a long building career and a 6 year stint in the dairy industry. He quickly learnt from his peers the importance of water and water quality, and how poor water quality can have a negative effect on just about every domestic, rural and industrial situation imaginable.

Over the years the many successes and failures, are priceless experiences or Ron and the company. This has been a huge step forward for Ron in building confidence, knowledge and experience not only in the removal of ground water iron and manganese, but with all water concerns and problems. With a vested interest Ron continues to work for Ecoworld providing product testing and consulting while continuing with services and products to his customers for all sorts of water problems, and he hopes to continue doing so for many years to come.

This drove Ron to learn more and hopefully better fill this market hole. Firstly he researched as much written theory as possible, understanding the nature of these elements and how best to remove them was important. Not only was Ecoworld getting more involved in big iron removal jobs, including a filter plant for Dairy NZ Research Farms, Ron followed these theories through with countless hours of practical experience using small and full scale pilot plants on many different ground waters around the country. Learning that theory and practice do not always meet he was discovering the truth about iron and manganese, and how it could be removed.

The ocean and their sons’ tertiary education led the family to move to Auckland.

Sally grew up in Auckland and spent long hours sailing at Herne Bay beach. Her love of the ocean led her to Europe to be a crew member on a super yacht and that is where she met Chris, “a charming Englishman”, who had just finished his boat building apprenticeship.

Good Water, Maximise Production

Ron soon found a hole in the market, a hole containing some pretty big problems. The discovery of how common, and nationwide-spread ground water “Iron and Manganese” was, interested him. Its difficult nature and removal, he saw as a challenge, and the fact that there was a real lack of knowledge and experience explained the noticeable edginess amongst existing professionals when it came to its treatment.

brought a large dry stock farm in Northland where they raised their three sons.

can have many impurities, and chemical reactions happening, affecting its characteristics and how it can be treated.

• Iron and manganese can be found in many different forms and levels. Identifying its form and level is important in making the right treatment decisions. It is not always the case that one treatment option working well on one site will perform the same on another. Chemically testing water is important, not just any testing, but knowing what to test for in order to help identify the problems or concerns.

• It is not only good practice, but important to always small-scale test the water to insure results before making any final decisions.

If you have water concerns or known issues and would like to talk to Ron call him at:

Basic Facts: Ground Water Iron and Manganese

• Combined iron and manganese accounts for around 6% of the Earth’s crust therefore iron and manganese, like a lot of other natural occurring elements is generally found in all ground-water.

• When levels exceed potable limits iron and manganese can become a real problem with issues like its metallic taste and odour, heavy staining and depositing.

• Although iron and manganese are essential nutrients in our diet for well-being, there are some health concerns associated with long term exposure to high levels of manganese.

• When treating iron and manganese it is important to know that rarely there are two water sources the same. Water

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles  October 2012 They brought their ‘house on the hill in the sun’ where they have a 200-acre organic farm and farmstay.

11

Can your body heal?

“It is a dairy support farm where we graze young heifers and we also buy in two-yearold beef cattle to finish. They seem to really enjoy the lush green grass,” says Sally. “It was our oldest son Mathew, who twisted our arm and suggested that we try organic farming, so we did and it works. He’s passionate about it, and he’s trying to save our country and make it a better place,” says Chris.

We don’t use chemicals in the fertiliser or chemical drenches because it all goes back to the soil — and if you grow grass with very little goodness in it then you have sick animals and your vet bill becomes quite high. My overheads are much less than when I was using chemicals

As well as it being a sustainable way to live, Chris says that it makes sense economically to farm without using chemicals. “We don’t use chemicals in the fertiliser or chemical drenches because it all goes back to the soil — and if you grow grass with very little goodness in it then you have sick animals and your vet bill becomes quite high. My overheads are much less than when I was using chemicals.”

and Chris shows them around the farm and explains the fundamentals of organic farming. “They have a chance to get right up close and personal with fat and happy cows, and also they see many native birds that are attracted to the property.” While Chris and Sally are happy on dry land at present, they are still involved with a yacht in Europe and escape as often as they can. “We have two passions one is the sea and the other is the land, and now that we have a small farm we are trying to combine the two,” says Sally.

Brand New Canal House on Whitianga Waterways

Instead Chris uses lime fertilisers rich in minerals to evade pests and promote grass growth, and uses apple cider vinegar for drenching. The farmstay attracts mostly visitors from overseas — those interested in eco-travel and want a typical country experience

Just completed ready to be moved in for Christmas North/West facing, 4 Bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, open plan living, fantastic views of the Canal & Beach Shared boat ramp & pontoon.

Chris with his “fat and happy” cows

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Without our in-built healing systems our first health problem may well have been our last! The health issues that we experience are often the result of these repair processes not working properly or at worst even working against healing. When unwell we need to make sure these repair processes are able to work as well as possible. If not you may be consigning yourself to a lifetime of poor health. Every health problem creates its own nutritional requirements. For example, people with inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis have a lower level of vitamin and mineral absorption because their digestive system has been compromised by the disease. This is especially true of some B vitamins, notably B12 and folic acid, vitamin D, calcium and zinc. These can be obtained from a good multi-nutritional supplement. Additionally anti-inflammatory compounds such as those in acai, grape seed and turmeric can be useful if given in the right combinations and doses. As an example of how this works in practice, I have been helping someone with arthritis, muscular pain and low energy. After investigation we found she had long standing arthritis and had developed statin myopathy. This is the muscular weakness and pain from long term use of cholesterol lowering medications. These can also interfere with normal energy metabolism as they restrict co-enzyme Q10 needed for energy conversion within cell mitochondria. We made sure her diet was anti-inflammatory then added a broad spectrum multi-nutritional supplement plus a high grade CoQ10 supplement. I have just spoken to her and after only two months she has had a major reduction in muscle and joint pain and has had a significant increase in her energy levels. While her results have been excellent there was nothing particularly difficult about what we did. We just identified the healing processes compromised by disease and medication then added these from both supplements and a good diet. If you are unwell, it maybe your body telling you things are not well. If things are not what you would want them to be it may pay to review what you are doing and then to implement measures to re-build your healing processes. 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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12

October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles 4 Recliners in Total!

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles October 2012

F or

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13

What every woman needs To stay the same in this fast changing retail environment will possibly see your extinction. That’s why I’m looking to bring change to my traditional business model No longer do women want to be ‘sold to’ in tiny boutiques by apathetic salespeople desperate to move stock. Our primary focus going forward is to provide a service that is all about getting women to feel great about the shape they are and finding frocking solutions to fit their lifestyles or any pending occasions. We are teaching women to dress for their body shape not their body weight in environments that engage and inspire them. For a limited time Annah Stretton is offering some lucky women exclusive in-store styling sessions with one of our principal stylists. These are normally a $250 value. Learn what every woman needs to know: How to dress for your body shape not your body weight, decoding your key colour palette for your complexion, how to accentuate your assets and disguise your flaws, and as an added extra, bring in an ‘orphan’ — that garment that goes with nothing in your wardrobe — and we will incorporate it to create a new season re-vamp. Just read some of the great feedback from this very satisfied customer… “Your stylist was nothing short of amazing! She helped me try on around 20 dresses/skirts and cardigans — and helped me accessorise with broaches, belts and pearls. She was very genuine when helping me to decide on outfits that suited or didn’t suit me. She showed me

Calving is over so why not treat yourself? You deserve a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure or wax. Beauty World is here for you. Call now and quote this ad for your FREE eyebrow shape. 07 853 9102 i n fo @ b e a u t

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how to take the emphasis away from my (large) bust in all the outfits I tried. I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman! All the outfits I bought look fantastic and are so beautiful and original and I LOVE my new look!” To register your interest please email Tanya at Tanya@strettonclothing.co.nz or call 07 889 4053 ext 225. www.annahstretton.com

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To register your interest please email Tanya at Tanya@strettonclothing.co.nz or call 07 889-4053 ext 225

You may not know that dentists like Drs Henk and Nettie Eksteen can provide you with a smile that is virtually indistinguishable from ‘the real thing’. You may have seen Dr Henk Eksteen interviewed on Country television about his painless techniques and lifelike cosmetic dental makeovers. With the newest porcelains available, creating a smile that others see as simply a ‘great smile’ (instead of looking like ‘false teeth’ or ‘caps’) is only a couple of dental visits away.

Come and see for yourself what Drs Henk and Nettie Eksteen can do for YOUR smile — our friendly staff will be happy to show you numerous photos of our own patients. Be sure to check us out on www.drhenkeksteen. com and on the Old Villa Dental Facebook page. There are various payment options at the Old Villa Dental, and up to 18 months payment holiday as well as interest free with QCard and GE money Carecredit. However if you want to save yourself money, join the Old Villa Healthy Mouth Plan, pay your annual examination and hygiene visit forward and qualify for free tiered dental benefits. So, if your smile bothers you, be kind to yourself and take care of it now. It will be the best investment of your life. You can phone the Old Villa Dental on 07 856 4116.

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14

October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Forestry Market Report Allan Laurie MNZIF Laurie Forestry Ltd

Despite other commodities softening in price and demand in recent months, log and lumber prices have continued to hold or firm slightly with demand also holding at reasonable levels in our key markets The key player continues to be China. Consumption levels for Pacific Rim softwoods are continuing at a reasonable pace. One good example is Lanshan Port in Shandong province north of Shanghai where Laurie Forestry exports logs to amongst other places. Current inventory levels are around 450,000 cubic metres with consumption running at 12,000 cubic metres per day. At 38 days’ inventory and holding at

just under two month’s supply of logs, a good comfort level is maintained and should ensure prices remain stable to very slight firming which is exactly what is needed at the moment. Across the total China market for September and October, we are expecting a small lift of US$2 – 3 per JAS. This should see the steady supply situation continue. Production at the forest level in NZ has been impacted somewhat by

Achievers of TerTiAry level in Acc AccrediTATion We are proud to support the Forest Industry ealand

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a very wet period more or less throughout the country. Some commentators have suggested the monthly production numbers nationally will be 20% back on normal. This will impact equally on NZ domestic sawmills and export destinations with the current supply levels being very approximately 50/50 to each. In terms of pricing at the wharf gate, shipping is the big unknown. All indicators are suggesting shipping costs should be softening but if anything we are seeing a small firming (US$1 – 2 per JAS). Shipping companies are preferring to hang closer to the more lucrative northern hemisphere routes thus sending a ‘sorry, not today’ message to their southern customers. This then helps to maintain a better price position. The current term used to describe this practice is call ‘shorting’ the market.

Despite those of a “more gloomy ilk, the demand does appear to be picking up albeit modestly

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Domestically, sales of S grade logs targeted for the house frame market are continuing at good pace. The market continues to hold in this seemingly endless limbo state waiting some sort of sales impetus from the Christchurch rebuild. Some are trying to build stock at present which will not be making the bank managers happy but will ensure sawmills have the product when the phone starts to ring.

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being something akin to a nuclear explosion suggesting it will be chaotic, out of control and leave a trail of price blood behind it when it finally happens. One can only hope it will be much more controlled and civilised than that. Despite those of a more gloomy ilk, the demand does appear to be picking up albeit modestly and I have noted inventories in lumber yards do not thus far appear to be anything akin to a mountain. I have noted the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the US$/NZ$ exchange rate has lifted in intensity over the last month no doubt exacerbated by commodities coming under selling price pressure. A shift downward of 1c over the last month is hardly likely to win the Reserve Bank Governor any gongs but there is a few of us who would nominate him for national hero status if he could just encourage the exchange rate back below 0.70c. Overall we are continuing to say this year will remain stable in price and demand terms internationally. However overall wood fibre demand remains good and prices are holding at a time when other commodities are softening. Thus it is has never been more timely to remember the only way forward for climate, country and the planet is to get out there and plant more trees… please!

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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.

• 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.

Ph 07 578 4596 Fax 06 323 5372 | Dan Gaddum 0275 859 339 | Email dan.gaddum@foms.co.nz

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles October 2012

PME

15

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Forest & Woodlot oWners The season is changing, plan ahead and call us If you are considering the harvest of any:

As we move into spring, vigorous growth will start to occur on grass and weeds around any young tree plantings. It is very important for tree health and survival that the weed and grass growth is either controlled or eradicated This can be done by two main methods, either selective herbicides can be sprayed around or over the top of the young tree to form a weed free area of approximately one metre out from the tree in any direction or the other technique which can be used is

the manual releasing method where slashers or scrub bars are used to cut back competing vegetation so that it can’t smother the young seedling. The manual releasing technique may need to be done a few times through the early establishment phase while one herbicide application may be sufficient depending upon what chemicals are used, application rates, weed species and type of tree being grown. On lower fertility sites the addition of a slow release fertiliser tablet into the soil next to the young tree would also be of benefit to your young seedling’s growth. Remember your future!

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Waikato

FARM

Wheels October 2012

Waikato ploughman takes 14th place at World Ploughing Contest by Denise Gunn

Waikato ploughman Malcolm Taylor has finished in 14th place at the 59th World Ploughing Contest in Biograd na Moru, Croatia Competing in the reversible section, the Putaruru farmer came 15th in the stubble section and eighth in the grass, taking him into 14th place overall with 312.5 points. Practise areas for the ploughmen were made available on a 1200ha livestock and cropping farm close to the contest site. The farm employs around 1000 staff and the produce is sold to local retailers and transported to other parts of Europe. The ploughing area was a reclaimed lake, drained in 1945. In the lead-up to the competition, Mr Taylor and New Zealand’s other representative, Murray Redmond from

Methven, practised under the guidance of coaches Alan Wallace and Bruce Redmond. Mr Wallace, also from the Waikato, was New Zealand’s first World Ploughing Champion after winning the title in Ireland in 1981. With very little rain in the months prior to the competition and the fire risk extreme, ground conditions were dry and dusty. Although rain fell the day before the competition and showers along with a cold wind continued the next day, the stubble ploughed well. Mr Redmond placed 13th on the

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stubble and sixth on the grass, moving him into eighth overall with 316 points. He also won the first time competitor class at the event. Scotsman Andrew Mitchell won the conventional section with 402.5 points and Yves Thievon of France took out the reversible plough on 401.5 points. On the New Zealand Ploughing Association’s website, team manager Paul Murphy thanked the competitors and coaches for Photo: NZ Ploughing Association their untiring devotion to their Malcolm Taylor ploughing in hot and dry conditions work under extremely hot and changing dramatically through the field.” dry conditions. Mr Taylor planned to travel to compete “Both Malcolm and Murray can be proud of their achievements with changing in Wales at the conclusion of the competition. ground conditions due to rain,” he said. “There was quite a bit of the luck of the draw with the ground conditions

The World Ploughing Contest will be held in Canada next year.

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Farm Wheels – Waikato Farming Lifestyles October 2012

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18

October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

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Planning to build Starplus Homes Ltd has been building quality, contemporary homes for many years in the Waikato and their reputation for quality and a professional approach grows with every new home they build The team at Starplus Homes pride themselves on quality, reliability and affordability, all key components in turning your dream into a reality.

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Whether it be a first home, a new home for you, or an investment property, the Starplus Homes team are equipped to get you through the whole process, from concept to completion and beyond, with their stress free, fixed price, time lined building program. Starplus Homes boasts a growing portfolio of ready to move in or under construction properties. Alternatively you can choose from their library of standard house plans or they can design and build a home to your specifications on your land or theirs subject to land availability. Having built a variety of configurations on all types of sections and soil types in the Waikato, Starplus Homes has the experience and knowledge of the Waikato market and is firm in the belief that their offer is second to none in the region. The Starplus Homes team comprises of a comprehensive workforce of fully qualified and licensed local practitioners and also extends this expertise to the local trades and subcontractors involved at every stage on every building project. From your very first contact with us, whether it be your visit to one of our show homes, a call or an email enquiry, you are appointed with a customer care manager that is your single point of contact

throughout your entire building experience with Starplus Homes, from discussing the initial wish list through the build and handover process to after sales/possession care. The Starplus team includes an in house colour consultant and designer allowing us to convey your ideas to concept plans on the spot, which means the total experience is a true one stop process for you. Whether it is a contemporary suburban home, an inner city townhouse or rural lifestyle home Starplus Homes will build you a quality home at an affordable price. The Starplus Homes team look forward to hearing from you or seeing you at one of our Show homes and being given the opportunity to welcome you to the Starplus Homes Family.

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103 Aquila Cresent, Horsham Estate, Hamilton Mark Watts 021 832 686 Michaela Churstain 021 335 372


Waikato Farming Lifestyles October 2012

Fishing, Hunting

Outdoors

Tourist attraction follows the footsteps of history The rugged grandeur of the Coromandel has attracted a fair number of visitors over the years — both Kiwis keen to experience one of the ‘crown jewels’ of our natural heritage and overseas tourists drawn in by the panorama of mountains, forests and sea But in the early days of New Zealand it was gold which attracted people to the hinterland of the peninsula, growing towns such as Paeroa and Waihi from miners’ camps to bustling frontier outposts. The path they carved into the hills and valleys between Thames and the Bay of Plenty is marked by colossal workings, bridges, and tunnels driven through sheer rock, and over the decades it has been largely reclaimed by the bush. Now a unique opportunity to follow in the footsteps of those pioneers winds its way through the picturesque country between Te Aroha and Thames — though modern travellers need not resort to ox carts and horses. The Hauraki Rail Trail is part of the larger New Zealand Cycle Trail, and as such it is a scenic …the breathtaking Karangahake two-day bicycle journey taking gorge — one of the in wonders both natural and man made. ‘14 wonders of New Zealand’ Opened this May, the rail trail has already proven popular with cyclists, and a large number are predicted to make their way along its 77kms of bush-clad paths Phone 027 620 8388  •  A/H 07 866 4606 this summer. Along the way they’ll bluewatermarine@xtra.co.nz take in the Te Aroha mineral pools, Refts • Valet int the goldfields of old Waihi, the world Repair • Ma enance • famous ‘big bottle’ of Paeroa, and, of Certified Boat builder and Marine Spray painter course, the breathtaking Karangahake • Wood and Fibreglass Repair gorge — one of the ’14 wonders of • Custom Interior Wood Working New Zealand’. • Marine Spray Painting • Boat Valet / Polishing The twists and turns of the Gorge • Marine Electrical and Wiring give way to the overarching spans of • Antifoul / Airless bridges, and the trail then plunges • Refits • Zincs into the kilometre long Karangahake Blue Water Marine Services can supply you tunnel, after passing by the Victoria with a wide range of marine parts and services: Battery, a relic of colonial mining. The Anodes, Altex, International paint, Maxwell, 3M, easy grade and relaxed pace of the Sika, Rule, Chain, Anchors, etc. trail means that this is no extremeWorkshops and covered boat sheds at sports challenge — the trail has 29b Bryce, Whitianga and Whitianga Marina been designed for the enjoyment of www.bluewatermarineservices.co.nz all visitors, young and old.

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Thames Hunting and Fishing 26 Kopu Rd, SH25, Thames 07 868 8260 Waikato Hunting and Fishing 417 Te Rapa Rd, Hamilton 07 849 0297 Taupo Hunting and Fishing 27 Gascoigne St, Taupo 07 378 4449


20

October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Dairying

Soil Matters — with Peter Burton O’Neill eNgiNeeriNg lTd

REAL STEEL FARM BUILDINGS

How fertiliser nitrogen applied now may cause your land to devalue in the future I was approached recently by a dairy farming family passionate about their farm and dedicated to the dairy industry. Their concern was the steadily escalating cost of producing milksolids and the rapidly declining amount paid for them. Specifically they were concerned about the cost of their fertiliser programme which included the cost of urea. Although they said those costs were not rising rapidly they had drawn a link between fertiliser and what seemed to be declining pasture production. Having already voiced their concern about total pasture production to the representative of their local fertiliser company, a soil test had been taken and the recommendation was to increase the level of all inputs particularly phosphorus and nitrogen. That didn’t sit well with them, and they didn’t see it as an answer to the increasing damage by flea and weevil each year resulting in greater areas of pasture requiring renovation or renewal in autumn.

My recommendation was to apply more calcium in the form of lime in conjunction with DoloZest the biologically active product based on dolomite. Maintenance amounts of phosphorus, potassium, and sulphur were also recommended, along with a steady phasing out of fertiliser nitrogen. Information collected over the last eight years showing DoloZest based programmes to have increased total pasture production, improved animal performance, reduced damage by pests, as well as increasing the sense of pleasure and well-being of farming families, was presented.

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Still a little sceptical they asked if they could speak to farmers using the programmes. Several clients that have been using DoloZest for more than five years were spoken with, along with customers that started within the last twelve months. Despite having received only positive responses there was still a reluctance to place the order. The reluctance to change eventually surfaced, ‘nitrogen grows more grass, doesn’t it?’ The answer is, in the short term yes, and in the longer term no, depending on quantity and frequency of application. It has since been explained to me that some farmers have become conditioned to short term fixes, with a subsequent loss of long term perspective. Increasingly local body authorities have been drawing lines on maps and stipulating the conditions under which farmers particularly intensive dairy operations may continue to operate. One regulation that is being put in place throughout the country right now stipulates the quantity of nitrate nitrogen permitted to leak from farms and in some instances the time by which the standard must be met. Farmers no longer have a privileged position when it comes to their environmental footprint and should they decide not to comply with regulations on nitrate nitrogen losses they are likely to have to relocate, and eventually the net will spread. The effect that will have on current land values could be catastrophic. There are however nutrient programmes that include strategic use of nitrogen fertiliser which may well allow intensive pastoral farming to continue in even the most sensitive water catchment areas. These programmes are supported by long term grass growth figures, total farm production records, and most recently nitrate nitrogen leaching figures. Not proof as that will take at least ten years of work by research institutes, but enough data to show there is a sound long term alternative.

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles October 2012

Dairying

Notes from the

shed

Hoof Print With Fred Hoekstra

A beautiful autumn and early winter took a horrible turn at end of the winter. We have had an amazing amount of rain. Some farmers have told me that it washed the tracks clean! We have been inundated with phone calls to book lame cows in for trimming. Calving is the period when many farmers don’t have the staff resources available to trim cow’s feet over and above the extra work load they already have at this time. So, what sort of problems are we seeing? Most of it is severe bruising — a sure sign of laminitis. What has happened is that all that rain has had an effect on the grass. The fibre in the grass breaks down and becomes less effective, whilst the protein becomes more rumen digestible. Severe changes in the weather substantially increase the stress the cows are experiencing, especially when coinciding with calving time when there are a lot of hormonal changes also going on in their bodies. Have a look at some of the cow’s hooves of cows that have only calved today — they will have bruising as well. This would not have come from any physical damage because these cows will have only had one or two days of walking on hard surfaces. The bruising would not have had enough time to grow out into the hoof as far as it has in just a couple of days. You will find that this situation occurs with many cows, even in a nice, dry winter and

Folding Frame

spring, let alone in a wet, calving season like we have had thus far. So, what can we do to prevent it? Nothing! Laminitis is a normal occurrence in our dairy cows. Our aim should be to just keep it under control or managed. The key is to minimise stress and feed the cows sensibly. With that I mean making straw available and not making sudden changes to their diet by taking them off winter crops one day and putting them on grass the next. Feeding straw will create more body heat and it creates a better rumen function, therefore, the cow will be more content. Straw also helps the transition from winter crop to grass but it won’t eliminate laminitis if the transition is overnight or too sudden. Another precaution that you can take, which may seem obvious, is to put the cows in sheltered paddocks to minimise the stress. Soon after a wet period there will be more laminitis which obviously makes the cows’ feet more tender. It is particularly important not to push cows and be impatient with them at these times. Laminitis needs to be managed. Some of you will say that the suggestions I make are not workable on your farm. My response to that is that if you really want something you can usually find a way to make it work. Minimising the effects of laminitis is in your best interest and in that of your — corrected cows.

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In the NZFSA (New Zealand Food Safety Authority) Code of Practice it states: “Milk must be cooled to 18 deg C or less at the completion of the first milking into the bulk milk tank, and should not exceed 13 deg C at the completion of subsequent milkings and milk must be cooled to and maintained at 7 deg C or below within 3 hours of the completion of milking and kept at 7 deg C or below until it is collected or the next milking.” This is a tough ask for a lot of dairies with primary chilling water for some at over 23 deg C during summer. It is a reality, however, that the dairy companies are quickly toughening up around this Code of Practice. Dairy companies will now not pick your milk up if it is over 18 deg C after the morning milk or above 14 deg C after subsequent milkings. Unfortunately, the solutions are not cheap. They have to be designed to

suit your dairy and your milk load to ensure your milk gets into the vat and is maintained at the right temperature. Any cooling system has to be maintained properly to be cost effective. It is the long term solution that you need to focus on when upgrading your cooling systems. At Milfos we have the iCONVERTER Cooling Solutions that can snap chill the milk into the vat at around 5 deg C, maintain the vat temperature and supply free hot water up to 85 deg C in abundance. It can also save you around 35% of your electricity costs. You don’t need to have a Milfos dairy to enjoy the benefits, so check out our website www.milfos.com for details or a consultation. You will find a lot of details about Cooling options available in the market in our new catalogue on the website.

New! ADR 500 Effluent Screening Plant

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Rolling Frame

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This pond took only 12 weeks to go from crusty and stagnant to aerobic and biologically active. The EPS Stirrers come in a All the bearings are above the water line and are number of different Hp sizes and all of them fitted with auto greasers that grease for 12 months are very low kW/Hr, starting at .75kW. unattended. www.plucks.co.nz Call us now to find a distributor and installer in your area enquiries@plucks.co.nz Main South Road, Rakaia 7710 0 8 0 0 7 5 8 2 5 7 Mid Canterbury

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22

October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

Dairying Treating Calf scours! Rotagen and Vetsan the combined approach 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

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).

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.

The Rotagen Combo range remains unique as non-toxic, nonwithhold vet only antibody treatment for calves affected by common pathogens like Rotavirus 6 and 10, Coronavirus, Salmonella, Cryptosporidium, and or 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 spray-dried, heat-treated and standardized to a determined IgY titre. This is then formulated into a Rotagen combination product by Vetpak here in NZ. Any Rotagen combination of the above IgY’s can be produced on request to meet a specific challenge.

Calves of any age or weight can be treated at the same dosage rate. For prevention, the recommended dose is 10 grams per calf per day for five days. For treatment, dose calves with 10 g twice daily for the first day, then 5 g twice daily for three to seven days.

New Zealand is the only country in the worldwhere specific antibodies against specific pathogens — (Rotagen Combo) — is a registered animal remedy. The Rotagen Combo range is based on Globigen, a

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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 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. The product can be used with calves of any age and treatment can be initiated at any stage of infection. It can be used to both prevent and treat specific calf scours. A recent addition to the range is Rotagen Crypto, a cryptosporidium specific treatment for calves. Approved by the ACVM as an aid in the prevention and treatment of calf scours caused by cryptosporidium,

Appropriate rehydration is essential and Rotagen can be used in conjunction with electrolytes or milk feeding. Treating the calves with Rotagen is one part of the equation, reducing the effects of environmental contamination is also important in reducing the effects of an outbreak within your calves, this is where another Vetpak product Vetsan can help, Vetsan is a santiser and disinfectant that is effective against all major organisms including Rotavirus, Coronavirus, E Coli, Salmonella Sp and Cryptospordium. One of the major benefits of Vetsan is that it is a very safe product which can be sprayed around and over your calves without any affects to them and it is also non toxic to humans. Vetsan comes in two forms, one is a ready to use product and the other is a concentrate mixed at a 1to 4 ratio, Vetsan should be used with a fine nozzle or mist sprayer or it is suitable for use with a fogger. A litre of Vetsan will cover 36m2 compared to many products on the market only covering 3m2 per litre of product and Vetsan also has residual activity over 7-14 days meaning the product keeps working longer.


Waikato Farming Lifestyles October 2012

PASTURE management

Stimulating soil biological activity — how and why? Part 3 — The Role of Nutrients Dr Bert Quin, fertiliser and soil fertility consultant

In Part 1 of this three-part series of articles, we looked at how organic matter levels have built up under agriculture, and asked the question ‘Are there benefits in getting this organic matter to turn over or cycle more rapidly?’ The answer to this was assumed economic benefit for New Zealand, we to be yes, because the best producing have to be fully aware of the potential paddocks on a farm always seem to have adverse impact on the environment. As the most active soil biology. we run out of suitable land to convert to In Part 2, we looked at the main types dairy farming, we have been increasing of soil microbes, their abundance and production on the land we have by using what their roles were, and what makes more nitrogen fertiliser, and by importing life difficult for them. We concluded that rapidly increasing amounts of feed, since microbes, unlike larger organisms especially PKE (palm kernel extract). like earthworms, are so easily distributed This enables more stock to be carried by weather, animals and machinery, per hectare, but increases the risk of simply applying cultures of microbes is soil drainage, aeration and nutrient rununlikely to be much help. We concluded off problems. Feeding out on pads or in that having good soil conditions — good cow homes helps avoid these problems, aeration and drainage particularly — is but is capital intensive, and is ultimately a key factor. limited by how much effluent loading the In this final part in the series, we land can cope with before soil microbial look at how nutrient efficiency can help activity and water quality are affected too optimise the entire soil-plant system, and severely. Once we start to damage the level of microbial activity with it, production. in the soil, we become Even with the best soil It is becoming dependent on increasing aeration and drainage, amounts of fertiliser just to soil biological activity ever more important maintain existing production and plant growth will not to find the most levels. reach full potential if one efficient forms of Sooner or later, region or more nutrients are individual nutrients, by region, catchment limiting. But to simply by catchment, limits on throw more fertiliser and the most on to try to ensure that fertiliser use and broughtefficient ways of nothing is limiting is both in feed will be (and in some expensive and harmful catchments already have applying them to the environment, been) set. Once these particularly to water quality and emissions limits are in place, further increases of greenhouse gases. Moreover, excess in production can only come from quantities of nutrients can induce improved plant and animal genetics, toxicities in plants and animals, and can better soil management, and increased suppress uptake and utilisation of other nutrient efficiency. The longer it takes nutrients. the dairy industry to demonstrate that So it is becoming ever more important it understands the significance of what to find the most efficient forms of is happening and start planning for the individual nutrients, and the most efficient future, the harsher will be the limitations ways of applying them. This is particularly that will eventually be imposed on their so given the massive intensification farmers’ suppliers. of dairy farming that has been taking It has already been scientifically place in New Zealand in the past 15 proven that the efficiency of urea — by years. While this has had enormous far the major source of fertiliser N in

New Zealand — can be literally doubled by applying it either as a thick fluid or more dilute liquid incorporating urease inhibitor. In other words, less than half the amount of N is required to achieve a certain increase in production. There is no magic to this. By applying urea in this form, foliar uptake is optimised, as is the root uptake of the coarser particles that reach the soil. N that was lost to the environment either as leached nitrate or gaseous losses of nitrous oxide greenhouse gas, are minimised. The nutrient cycle is tightened, as it is in nature. Most of the other major nutrients provide some, but less spectacular,

23

increases in efficiency when applied in this way. The efficiency of many trace elements can be tenfold or more higher when applied in this way compared to solid form. The major impediment to the wider adoption of fluid application has been the higher cost of application per unit of nutrient. However, recent advances in both ground and aerial application of fluids has greatly reduced the cost premium compared to solids. This, combined with the reductions in nutrient requirements, means total costs are already lower in many situations. So yes, help is on the way!

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24

October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

PASTURE management

Dealing with pests Win the battle for greener pastures With spring well and truly here, farmers are turning their attention to raising a bountiful crop of grass to fuel milk production. It’s all about maximizing that all-important DM or dry mass (pasture minus water) — the crucial tonnage of feed which keeps the herd healthy and productive. But green pastures have many enemies, and this time of year it’s time

to take the offensive to these pests, guaranteeing goodpasture growth. Pests take two major forms — insects and weeds. Weeds can be insidious — many were in fact introduced species, and still flourish in country gardens, spreading their seeds via wind and birds to ruin paddocks. Knowing how weeds such as gorse,

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Pugged paddocks won’t grow the best crop, so the roller may come into play as well, before nitrogen is spread for maximum soil fertility. Regular grazing throughout the season and the year helps too — your herd can do their part by nipping some of those shoots literally in the bud, and by preventing overgrowth. Sometimes it’s possible to let nature take prevention one step further, by using biological control methods. This means introducing a new plant, insect or other living thing into the environment specifically to target a pest. While this approach can initially cost more than sprays and seems slow to get started, the long-term results of biological control are economically very viable, and of course it’s the ‘green’ option too.

25

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles October 2012

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harrows and rollers visiting your land may be carrying weed seeds in like the old ‘trojan horse’.

Insect pests, such as weevils (these attack clover, and as such are high on the hit-list), grass grubs, army The best modern method of dealing with weeds once worms and the like are also best managed by taking they rear their heads is with agri-spray chemicals — though care of the pasture from a ‘grass roots’ level. Chemicals still better is prevention. A healthy pasture carpeted can be effectively used to quash infestations, but even in long, lush grass is its own protection in many ways, better is the more natural approach as practiced since the blocking weeds from even germinating or growing past a middle ages. Consider planting a ‘break crop’, especially in tiny sprout. summer. Valuable dry mass for feed can be gained from, To stop weeds, take care of the land from the ground for example, a turnip crop in summer, breaking the pest’s up. Cultivate with deep tines and harrows to aerate life cycle by depriving it of its favourite food — and as a the soil, then seed a certified weed-free, hardy form of bonus, alternative cropping and rotation of the paddock grass appropriate to the moisture content and drainage has been proven to help reduce pugging damage and fix soil nutrients. of your pasture.

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26

October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

PASTURE management

New evidence helps stamp out pugging Cattle are no lightweights, and when conditions are damp it’s inevitable that their hooves are going to cause damage to the foundations of good pasture — the effect known as pugging. It’s been a problem for as long as people have cultivated livestock, but with more intensive farming practises and increased herd sizes, it’s an issue which needs more attention than ever It’s not just an aesthetic consideration, either — pugging doesn’t just reduce drainage, leading to more runoff, it also harms the soil in other ways. Pugged soil is less aerated, meaning that soil temperatures remain low, and anerobic conditions can develop down at the root level, robbing grass of the good microbes and the oxygen it needs to flourish. Ryegrass is especially impacted by pugging — the ‘tillers’ which are the roots of ryegrass are delicate, and pugged pasture supports less than 45% of ground cover compared to healthy pasture. Yield can be cut from between 20 to 80 percent by pugging, and the effects can last over half a year, seriously impacting the growth of all important dry mass and thus impacting your bottom line. Obviously, doing nothing about pugging isn’t even an option — but research conducted in New Zealand by the Taranaki Agricultural Research Station has produced some interesting facts. The usual method for tackling pugging has involved the farmer’s old friend, the harrow and roller combination. Levelling the paddock and providing aeration by deep-tine harrowing has an immediate effect, reducing runoff and breaking up the harmful anerobic conditions caused by deep compaction. But alone, these methods aren’t enough. Studies have proven that following up the harrow and roller with broadcasting of ryegrass seed is the most effective method of rebuilding a healthy paddock — 16% better than simply using the machinery alone. Broadcasting the seed was found to be even more effective than drilling. Another option which works on many levels is to plant a ‘break crop’ after regrassing. Crops such as turnips are not on the menu for grass grubs and other pests, ruining their life cycle and killing them off naturally. And of course, a summer crop can provide feed at a better level than damaged pasture, helping lay in a stock of feed for the winter months.

In short, it’s a multilayered approach. Machinery can take a pugged pasture so far back to good health, but it’s also important to reseed, rather than relying on existing grasses to try and re-establish themselves. Vigorous and hardy varieties of grass are readily available through many agricultural companies to kickstart the regeneration process. And in the end, it all comes down to getting the most from your pasture — the most fuel for your herd at the lowest cost both to your bottom line and to the environment.

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles October 2012 Services

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October 2012

Waikato Farming Lifestyles

It’s time to spring into action with Makita Outdoor power equipment at 5XRoads. We have a full range of Makita equipment tools for every task, from spring cleaning to containing the new growth of spring and putting to bed the moss and grime of a wet winter. In fact, there’s a tool for every task, big or small, petrol driven, battery or electric in the Makita range, at 5XRoads now. • RBC2510 petrol trimmer brush cutter for the large garden • RST250 lightweight, high performing bent shaft petrol line trimmer

• Full range of Makita’s legendary 4 stroke machines - powerful, fuel efficient, low noise, low emissions brushcutters, sprayers, blowers and hedge trimmers • 4-stroke lawnmowers one of which also mulches • Split Shaft 4-stroke multi function power head with any of the five optional attachments - pole saw, hedge trimmer, cultivator, strong trimmer and brush cutter.

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Waikato Farming Lifestyles, October 2012