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2018

Sheep

$12.00

incl gst

October 2018

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

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October 2018


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October 2018

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“RMPP has given us the opportunity to drill down to a specific area of our business and get some good objective data.” – James Donaldson, farmer, Northland

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Are you a red meat producer wanting to improve on a specific area of your farm business? Join an Action Group today and connect with like-minded farmers. 9 Farmer-led, farmer-focused Action Groups

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Register your interest now www.actionnetwork.co.nz or call us on 0800 Country-Wide 733 632Sheep to find out more 4 October 2018


EDITOR’S NOTE

Little to lose, a lot to gain NEXT ISSUE November includes: • DEVELOPMENT: A Southland farmer who recognised the potential of buying a swampy, gorse farm and using Texel genetics is cashing in after only four years. • SAGELY ADVICE: A retired sheep breeder urges more co-operation across breed societies. • MILKING IT: A new sheep milking venture is a chance to diversify a farming business and involve the whole family. • THE RESISTANCE MOVEMENT: Sheep farmers fighting back against drench resistance and advice from experts.

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ith lamb schedule prices nudging $8.50/kg the question on many farmers’ lips is how long will they stay up? Will there be a big bang and collapse due to overpricing like they did in 2012? Industry sources are saying it is well-overpriced and must come down. Already it is too expensive in Europe and the United Kingdom. However, unlike 2012, the demand is well spread and China wasn’t a significant player back then (see Markets, p18). Whatever the price farmers need to have a plan to improve profitability, like Jon and Fiona Sherlock (p40). The couple have been following such a plan for the past four years to move to the next level. A key part of the plan is to lift lamb production at weaning from 88,000kg to 126,000kg. At 106,000kg they are halfway there and cashing in on the higher sheepmeat prices. At a recent seminar on profitability (p46) farmers were told that increasing preweaning growth rates by 30g/day would add 3kg/lamb on to the weaning weights. This adds up to 3900kg which at $3/kg is worth an extra $11,700. While sheepmeat soars, coarse wool languishes. Many farmers consider it is just another byproduct, but one that creates a

farm expense. More are looking at wool-less sheep genetics. Like sheepmeat, wool became overpriced at $6/kg about three years ago. The industry hopes the smaller incremental price increases will be sustainable. A lot of hope is being placed on a consumer backlash against synthetics which will be why DuPont wants wool and other fibre in its carpets. However, it will take more than environmental concerns to lift wool growers’ returns. My wife and I are about to replace the carpet in the house, but I’m battling to get a woollen one. Price, colour, fading and biased salespeople are all working against the case for wool. It doesn’t help that the carpet we are replacing is 80% wool, 20% nylon and only lasted eight years. Grower-owned Primary Wools and Wools of NZ are trying to lift returns through partnerships and innovation. Why don’t other farmers support them with at least part of their clip which is becoming increasingly worthless to them? There is little to lose, but a lot to gain.

Terry Brosnahan

These ewes know how to count Bruce and Denise Cameron farm 270ha near Palmerston, Otago, running 1300 Wairere ewes and 70 steers to finish. “High performing stock is the key to our operation. We need to make every lamb count. The great mothering ability of our ewes and the super low wastage is the key to the result. Our scanning averages 182% and lambing at 163%. We usually draft around 500 POM at weaning at 17kg, with the balance going over the next four months between 17 and 18kg.”

Bruce and Denise with grandson Reid

“These sheep really can count.”

www.wairererams.co.nz | 0800 924 7373 Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

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More: p54

BOUNDARIES Now, the farm police.

8



Scientists speak out.

9



HOME BLOCK Charlotte Rietveldt finds herself heading for rust rehab.  10 Paul Burt reflects on a time when sheep were different.  11 Smile, you might be on camera, Blair Drysdale warns. Suzie Corboy reckons her ewes fail their basic maths. Edmund Cousins tries fencing in an Icelandic summer. 

12  13 14

Joanna Hodgkins tells of fire in a scorched landscape.  15

NOTEBOOK 17

What’s on when and who’s doing what

MARKETS

Mel Croad forecasts lamb prices to break new ground.  18 Exporters warn farmgate prices may yet soften. Sheepmeat exports hit new highs.

24



26



Exporter targets Europe over leg-focused UK.



Flexibility vital in unpredictable China.

28 29



30

Production ethics drive rising US lamb value. 

BUSINESS Triplet mob rears 244% lambs.

32



Quota split plan alarms exporters.

34



Beef+Lamb’s Andrew Morrison reflects on the lamb rise. 36 Trimming the workload.

Contents

MANAGEMENT Moving up a level on hill country.

Country-Wide Sheep is published by NZ Farm Life Media PO Box 218, Feilding 4740 General enquiries: Toll free 0800 2AG SUB (0800 224 782) www.nzfarmlife.co.nz Editor: Terry Brosnahan, ph 03 471 5272; mob 027 249 0200; terry.brosnahan@nzfarmlife.co.nz Managing Editor: Tony Leggett, ph 06 280 3162 mob 0274 746 093, tony.leggett@nzfarmlife.co.nz

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Set-stocking early a good option.

42



Lamb survival: A year to make money. 

46

Converting drymatter into profit.

48

Deer Farmer Editor: Lynda Gray, ph 03 448 6222, lyndagray@xtra.co.nz

Sheep

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Sub Editor: Andy Maciver, ph 06 280 3166, andy.maciver@nzfarmlife.co.nz Senior Designer: Joanne Hannam, ph 06 280 3167 Junior designer: Cassandra Cleland Production Planning: ph 06 280 3164 Social Media Coordinator: Charlie Pearson, ph 06 280 3169 Reporters Andrew Swallow ph 021 745 183 Anne Hughes ph 07 863 3361; Lynda Gray ph 03 448 6222; Robert Pattison ph +64 27 889 8444; Sandra Taylor ph 021 151 8685; Tim McVeagh 06 329 4797; James Hoban ph 027 251 1986; Russell Priest ph 06 328 9852; Jo Cuttance ph 03 976 5599; Rebecca Harper ph 06 376 2884.



Partnerships Managers: Janine Aish, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, ph 027 890 0015 Janine.aish@nzfarmlife.co.nz Tony Leggett, Lower North Island, ph 027 474 6093 tony.leggett@nzfarmlife.co.nz David Paterson, South Island, ph 027 289 2326 david.paterson@nzfarmlife.co.nz Subscriptions: nzfarmlife.co.nz/shop ph 0800 224 782 or subs@nzfarmlife.co.nz Printed by PMP Print, Riccarton, Christchurch ISSN 2423-060X (Print)

ISSN 2423-0618 (Online)

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Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


LIVESTOCK ‘Complete’ sheep prosper on Riverina Station.



Ferniehurst set to maximise high lamb prices. Facial eczema risk spreading.



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Protocols for raising multiple, orphan and pet lambs.

80  86

Newbies finishing with a flourish. Ewe prolapse and prevention.

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ANIMAL HEALTH Drenches: Reversing resistance.

100



Rachel Fouhy gets off-farm to see a conversion to wine. 104 Drinking habits of sheep under study.

107



Sara Sutherland is feeling down about down ewes. Trevor Cook sees results from extension programmes. 

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More: p86

110

ENVIRONMENT

GENETICS ARDG: Advancing the Romney.



Sheep no longer on cliff edge.



Encouraging survival of the fittest.



116

Science: Defence against the dark arts.

120

Keri Johnston: We all have an impact. 

122

Denis Hocking: Forestry – foe or fortifier.

124

Parasites: Look no drenches. A different approach to controlling worms.

125



FORAGE

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146 147



TECHNOLOGY

Alan Royal finds smartphones for oldies.

148



Search Engines: Kirstin Mills clicks for instant news.  128

Raphnobrassica revisited. Herbal mix on the hills of Braemar Station. Kale: Feed crop a full flush.



Results with lucerne pasture.



YOUNG COUNTRY

131

Success comes in threes.

133

Bark Off: Pulling and driving sides.

129



149

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157



COMMUNITY

WOOL Wool new luxury brand centrepiece. Wool a store for carbon? Investment return looms.

 



136

Glamping: Camping in luxury.

139

Old dog learned all the tricks.

141

More: p136

160



161



SOLUTIONS Action Group partnering for profit.

164



165

Double demand for Combi Clamp.  Farmers saving on the wool. Yard design solutions. Yards designed for your farm.

166



167



168



BREEDERS DIRECTORY



174

FARMING IN FOCUS More photos from this month’s Country-Wide. 

@CountryWideNZ

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October 2018

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@CountryWideNZ

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BOUNDARIES | NAIT

Farm police

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eports MPI is recruiting 30 new NAIT staff, most as compliance officers, are concerning, particularly as August’s reform of the NAIT Act means they’ll have search and surveillance powers greater than those of the police. The traceability scheme needed a rev-up, but is this the start of farm police. Animal welfare compliance is “a secondary purpose” according to the job ad but, with a raft of new rules coming into force on October 1, NAIT compliance looks like a Trojan horse. Applicants must be able to obtain a firearms licence so will they be armed farm police?

BTW - M bovis now notifiable

Cattle welcome Cattle, excluding calf classes, will be welcome at the New Zealand Agricultural Show in November, Canterbury A&P Association has confirmed. After extensive discussion with MPI and the Royal A&P Show hosted by Hawke’s Bay, the association developed updated procedures to be followed during this year’s show. The systems were approved by MPI. The show is on November 14-16 in Christchurch. 

What’s in a name

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osstan Mazey sounds more like the name of a racing car driver, but the Wools of NZ boss says he’s not that exciting. The name came about after his parents couldn’t decide which of his grandfathers to name him after. One was called Ross the other Stanley. Mazey is a French name Anglicised.

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f you think any of your stock may be suffering from Mycoplasma bovis it is now an offence not to notify the Ministry for Primary Industry. The change in the disease’s status was buried among a list of changes to NAIT law announced in mid August by Biosecurity Minister Damian O’Connor and also mentioned downpage in MPI updates on the disease in August. There was no media release from the ministry itself and as of early September M bovis was still listed as “unwanted” rather than “notifiable” on MPI’s website. And if you fail to notify, the penalties could be up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000 as an individual, or a fine of up to $200,000 for a corporation. Like many things in this disease outbreak, it could have been done better.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


BOUNDARIES | SCIENCE

Better late than never It’s great to see Ravensdown chief scientific officer Ants Roberts speaking out against pseudo-science. As winner of the Ray Brougham trophy he has been on a national speaking tour debunking the Albrecht system, the use of humates, fine particle fertilisers and more. What a shame he didn’t speak out earlier. Fellow scientist Doug Edmeades has been battling pseudo-science for more than 15 years at great personal cost. Both scientists used to work together for MAF. Edmeades was silenced from speaking out on pseudo-science in the early 1990s by the then Director General of MAF, Russ Ballard. It was the fallout after the Maxicrop case in which the owners, the Bell-Booth group sued MAF. After a year-long court case, the judge agreed with MAF and television programme Fair Go that the

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October 2018

liquid fertiliser product cannot work, but Ballard wanted no more controversy. Edmeades later quit MAF’s successor, AgResearch and set up a consultancy business so he was free to speak Doug Edmeades out. It continued to cost him as has been unsuccessfully sued, threatened with legal action and banned from the SIDE conference for speaking Ants Roberts out against a sponsor’s dodgy product. Interestingly, Roberts has also criticised reverted superphosphate saying regular super and lime does the same job. Ravensdown sells reverted fertiliser.

HUMOUR

GOOD COMPANY An elderly woman called Pat was lonely after her cat died and decided she needed another pet to keep her company. So, off to the pet shop she went. She searched and searched. None of the pets seemed to catch her interest, except this ugly frog. As she walked by the jar he was in, she looked and he winked at her. He whispered, ‘I’m so lonely, too. buy me and take me home. you won’t ever be sorry!’ Pat figured, what the heck! She hadn’t found anything else. So she bought the frog. She placed him in the car, on the front seat beside her. As she was slowly driving down the road, the frog whispered to her, ‘kiss me and you won’t be sorry!’ So, Pat figured, what the heck, and kissed the frog. Immediately the frog turned into an absolutely gorgeous, sexy, young, handsome prince. The prince then returned Pat’s kiss. Pat felt herself transforming from his kiss. Now can you guess what Pat turned into? She turned into the first motel she could find.

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HOME BLOCK | COLUMN

John Deeres once again began to breed.

Vince with a long-lost love.

Heading for rust rehab when my beloved informed me he was in fact off to his old stomping ground to retrieve something from his younger years. For most blokes, such a journey down memory lane may involve returning with a six-foot, size 10, busty blonde from days gone by. But not my dear husband. For a man who married a short, aging, immediate and blatantly apparent – we well-rounded red-head, you could argue I had an outbreak of Iron Disease. should have seen it coming. Turns out a The Boss’s battle with Iron Disease is retrieval from my husband’s past involved nothing if not well documented. But picking up a weather-beaten, wide-axle, less so is that of my husband. Infamous barely-moving rusty old truck. for an insatiable attraction to plant and The Boss’s Iron Disease relapse was machinery, Iron Disease sufferers can similarly historical. Living up to her name, frequently be heard talking of “time many years ago The Chief Inspector had to upgrade”, following this with false personally supervised the promise of promises of selling older incumbent trading in two old John Deere tractors in models. order for The Boss to purchase the latest Severe cases can count on one hand model. Time passed, memories faded and the number of times they’ve acted on the John Deeres once again began any such sale talk. Instead they prefer to to breed. The new model was quietly relegate old models to secret augmented by the even-newer sheds in isolated paddocks, living model, though in the hope of by the mantra of “that might be confusion, never the two shall be useful one day”. parked together. Busy wishing away a Last month spring’s delights were mild winter, I had failed evident – new arrivals RAKAIA GORGE to notice that warmer were appearing not only weather meant in the paddocks but in the sheds too. slightly less time Clearly a severe winter would have killed required for basic off all rodents but alas, the mouse had survival of man and broken free and by now was hit. The oldest beast. This availed both father and son-inenforced trade-in tractor had irresistibly law just enough time and energy to peruse reappeared on a watchlist and you guessed hidden sheds, clearing sales and the worst it, an historical wrong was righted. offender of all; the watchlist. All four of us are now staying very quiet Initially I was fooled into merrily and well clear of trouble – two for fear of farewelling Vince off on a nostalgic boys’ being sent to rust rehab, the other two for weekend away. Thoughts quickly morphed fear of a new-model trade-in. 

With a mild but wet winter almost behind her, Charlotte Rietveld was caught napping by the re-emergence of Iron Disease on the family’s Rakaia Gorge farm.

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ith almost everything calculated and quantified, modelled and measured, it’s not often you hear of farmers discussing how to get through spare winter feed. These days keeping animals adequately fed through winter normally involves a sprint-finish with just enough to get through. Not so this winter. Despite the usual storm-predicting doomsdayers, winter never did fire. If anything, crops and grass continued to grow as we enjoyed a run of wet but mild months. One of the lessons of my eternal Miyagistyle apprenticeship is that everything has a flow-on effect. With a nod to the doomsdayers, I was convinced the mild winter would be no exception to this rule. Fears of nitrate levels gave way to a risk of overweight ewes. Next on the list was clostridial diseases, moving on to an abundance of winter over-staying broadleaf weeds and insects. It was only as I was convincing myself of the pinnacle perennial fear – summer drought – that I realised I had been completely out manoeuvred. So distracted was I fearmongering the flow-on effects of a gentle winter, I failed to notice that its impact was in fact

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October 2018


HOME BLOCK | COLUMN

When sheep were a different animal Matata, Bay of Plenty farmer Paul Burt reflects on the major changes to sheep rearing over his lifetime in the business.

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f there is a word that connects affection with utter frustration, it would sum up my relationship with sheep. However, if the frustration part can’t be cured, 44 years of association may be coming to an end. When you consider what we as farmers have expected the humble sheep to become over the last 70 years, you have to give the species credit for their adaptability. The sheep roaming our hills today are a far cry from the few first transported to these shores and even further from their wild undomesticated ancestors. Years ago in the Mohaka River catchment I encountered a few remnant merinos that had reverted to a wild state. They were small with little wool and bare legs, bellies and tails. They were as alert and fleet-footed as deer, and had obviously evolved a tolerance to normal sheep parasites such as worms and flies. In the quest to keep todays’ sheep farming an economic proposition, we have bred an animal that would have difficulty surviving without our intervention. In the 1950s a breeding ewe was worth half a week’s wages and her average 0.8% of a lamb couldn’t match the value of her wool clip. An economic unit held 600700 ewes. There was enough value in the business to intensively husband these sheep and the labour component on sheep farms was relatively high. As economic parameters shifted, farmers asked the stud breeders to produce a more freely moving sheep with higher fertility. Economics has forced the number of ewes

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October 2018

per shepherd higher and higher and as the value of wool declined, ewe flocks have to produce twice as many lambs on average to compete with the return from other land uses. And this is when the frustration comes in. We have bred a flock that scans 200% with 65% twinning and more triplets than singles. I look after the five-year and B Grade ewes and try as I might, no regime can minimise losses in the multiplelambing animals. As I paddock the triplets MATATA out I know up to 15% won’t survive and the only consolation is lots of dog tucker and a few successful caesarean operations. With up to 20kg of foetal product in a 65kg frame bearings are a problem and virtually impossible to repair successfully. Because our ewes are restless I limit my shepherding to ridge-top drive-bys, only intervening for animal welfare reasons. I could go completely easycare but that would deny me the one real pleasure of lambing time, tipping over a cast ewe and recovering $300 with the flick of a boot. We now wean more lambs and much more weight of lamb per ewe so is the overall 3-4% wastage an unavoidable by product of improved production? It is easy to rationalise the economics but it is hard not to be affected by the thought that more could be done to save those lives. On a normal one-man unit how high would the lamb schedule have to be before those triplet ewes could be intensively managed indoors. My guess would be so high that sheepmeat would be priced off the market. Our historical response to an economic

squeeze has always been to increase production. The fallout from this process is becoming increasingly socially unacceptable despite how well we farmers think we are managing it. Animal welfare, water quality and environmental protection are important issues and rightly so, but should they be left to “the market” to decide who foots the mitigation cost. The economic, social and physical demands of producing ethical, minimally processed, additive free, healthy food need to be appreciated more by consumers. Affluent societies have the luxury of taking food security for granted. Associated with this smugness is an assumption that there will always be farmers willing to produce. And it’s not just food that New Zealand farmers are relied on for. Disallowing the 5% who practice poorly (about the same as in any profession) we are the caretakers of the orderliness and variety of the country scenery which by and large every New Zealander takes pride in. Unless wallets are opened to share these responsibilities and improve what needs improving there will be unintended consequences. There can’t not be when the pressure for change is so emotionally charged.

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A good mate of mine bought a few “Muffpots” back from Canada with him and I got the drop on one, Blair says. Mount it to any part of your tractor’s exhaust system, throw a pie in and Bob’s your uncle, a hot lunch. I’ve just mounted mine to my main ag tractor and can’t wait to give it a test run as soon as ground conditions allow.

HOME BLOCK | COLUMN

SMILE, you might be on camera Mud may not be a good look, but as Blair Drysdale reflects from his Balfour northern Southland farm, sometimes in a wet winter it’s unavoidable.

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ell winter is over, technically, depending on whether you subscribe to the astronomical or meteorological definition. I’m going with the meteorological definition just because I want this winter to bloody well end! However, it’s still only the very beginning of September and here in Southland lambing is underway for some, so mother nature is quite likely to throw a snow ball at us anytime about now. We’ve finally had a few sunny days which has given me motivation to finish fencing off some wet areas and ponds to develop and plant out in native trees. It’s also meant the start of the spraying and fertiliser programmes on the autumn-sown barley and wheat which is a seemingly never-ending process until late November or early December depending on how the season pans out. As all the stock are about finished their winter rations, it’s also time to start working up those now-bare winter paddocks, full of muddy foot prints, in preparation for drilling spring barley and young grass. And while not perfect by any sense of the imagination, the damage to soils here this year is minimal and won’t require too much diesel to achieve a good seedbed. Unfortunately, that’s not what we saw recently on One News, quite the opposite in fact. Cows up to their bellies in mud and very deep tractor ruts. Now it’s not a great look, but I’m going to play devil’s

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advocate here for a minute and say that even with best management practices in place, for reasons out of our control it happens. We have no control over the weather and while driving on the grazed part of the paddock is generally a no-no, sometimes we have to. Sick stock need treating and dead stock removed, animal welfare trumps all. But why can’t SAFE see that? And in behind them Farmwatch who continually pass on illegally gained footage that ends up plastered over all forms of media. It’s a vegan-based agenda to end all livestock farming and nothing more. No one condones what we see from these two organisations, but them continually sticking the boot BALFOUR in and the TV networks (TVNZ is taxpayer-funded, from our profits remember) giving them a biased platform achieves little. The playing field for New Zealand food producers on our TV screens is far from level, we’ve only got Country Calendar who do a fantastic job of putting the very best food producers into the lounges of Kiwi households at 7pm on Sunday evenings. But that’s the only good reference I’m making that includes “Sunday”, because that particular programme, backed by evening news programmes, is at the very heart of a seemingly left-driven media, hell-bent on

destroying food production systems. Do these people not need food for sustenance? I don’t understand the logic. The food producer is nothing without the consumer and vice versa, there’s no winner in one trying to take out the other. Here’s an outlandish conspiracy theory for you. Maybe it’s because the only “charitable” exchanges SAFE make is under the table backhanders to someone for their footage to be aired. I know, it seems crazy right, but none of their other tactics are above board either. Possibly the only way to even up the playing field is to get a reality TV series funded by NZ On Air. Because reality TV is all the programme directors want on TV these days. I know, I’m really dreaming now. Because what farmer in their right mind would expose themselves to that sort of public scrutiny and the subsequent Stuff articles with endless abusive comments from faceless keyboard warriors underneath? No one I suspect. We only have to look across the ditch to our farming mates in Australia, especially to those in New South Wales, where the media is driving the message for the government and public alike to support their drought-stricken farmers. Major TV networks and newspapers are leading the cause, such endearing support is a pipe dream here. On a brighter note we’ve just weighed the store lambs and took 86 off at an average empty liveweight of 53kg, which means they should be on the hooks at 22.5-23kg carcaseweight. With the $8 schedule in mind I was a very happy man running the handpiece over them before they went on the truck. And just like I did while crutching those lambs in the yards, smile. You might just be on camera. 

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


HOME BLOCK | COLUMN

Ewes fail their basic maths A range of breeds has arrived on the Catlins farm of Suzie Corboy and husband Paul as they test what breed might suit their once-mated heifer system best. OWAKA

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heep, what sort of fool would choose to farm them. You feed them all winter and only one or two die, then once the grass starts to grow they have a competition, whose turn is it to die today for no apparent reason. It isn’t quite like that, some decide to do a bit of sunbathing to try to get some spring warmth on their belly, and forget how to roll over to warm their back. Others don’t do their pelvic floor exercises and can’t hold their uteruses in the right place when the pressure comes on, and when they do finally drop their lambs, some forget their basic maths skills, and can’t count to two or three when they decide to go shopping for some more grass. It is spring again, and although it was a mild winter in South Otago, and not overly wet, we chose to have our winter crop on a block on the far corner of the farm, and the previous owner had told us it was a wet area. We agree with him now. Access was through three grass paddocks with no track, but now there is a rutted track from where we had to tow trailer loads of bales for the 200 calves on fodder beet. The steeper, uncultivatable blocks kept us fit, break-fencing them for the ewes, but thankfully the swedes, that weren’t the swedes the bag said they were,

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October 2018

did not cause any problems and we even managed to get the ewes off winter crop on the week we had targeted, one month before lambing date.

Some decide to do a bit of sunbathing to try to get some spring warmth on their belly, and forget how to roll over to warm their back. Scanning went well, very slightly back on last year, but the mixed-age ewes still scanned over 200%, so no shortage of lambs. We just need to do a few more arithmetic refresher lessons for the ewes, grow some grass so they don’t have to walk far for their grass shopping and hope the weather is warm and calm, with minimal rain. Dreams are free. By the time you read this reality will have hit. We mate all our hoggets for two cycles, and kill all the dries. This year fewer than 8% of the 640 were dry so we have more hoggets to lamb than we want to keep as replacements, but I suppose there are worse problems to have.

At 137% the percentage was lower than last year, mainly due to less twins. My heading dog is getting excited about hogget lambing already, me, not so much. Our farming system involves very minimal supplementation. We have not made any balage or hay in the past six years, and only buy in hay or straw for roughage to feed to the calves on winter crops. We aim to grow enough swedes and rape for all the sheep, except the five-year-old ewes and the hoggets, to be on crop for about 60 days. We previously had hoggets on swedes, but since we started hogget lambing, many years ago, we found that the hoggets kept their condition better on grass. We believe this is due to them changing teeth at a critical time in their pregnancy. Paul and I both had the odd day off over winter, but not together. With cattle being moved on fodder beet daily, and all sheep behind electric fences, sometimes it is just easier to do it yourself, rather than ask someone else to do it for you. Paul went to Wellington and Wanaka for meetings, I did a few paid day shifts on the ambulance. Neither of these would be classed as relaxing, but they were a change of scenery. Often a change is as good as a rest.

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HOME BLOCK | COLUMN

Agriculture in Iceland, off the beaten track Edmund Cousins took time out from a visit to the UK and Netherlands to experience fencing in the tussock of Iceland.

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hile on a recent visit to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands the opportunity presented itself to make a 10-day excursion to Iceland, as I was fortunate to have a couple of very good farming contacts. Iceland is a three-hour flight north from London with a population of 330,000, half living in the capital, Reykjavik. I was met at Keflavik airport by Bjarni (farmer/fencing contractor) in his American-sized V8 truck and laden with supplies, we made a three-hour journey north to the summer base, located on the Arctic Circle with stunning views over the ocean. Along the journey we passed pockets of productive farmland, hugging the coastline with a backdrop of volcanic mountainous terrain, covered in sparse tussock, patchy snow and glaciers. During summer (June-October) Bjarni and his wife (Eyrun) run a fencing business along with three Estonian employees. Iceland is subdivided into 11 fenced “sheep proof” zones to assist in the control of the disease scrapie. In early autumn the short-tailed Icelandic composite sheep unchanged for past 1100 years are gathered on horse

Baleage made on flats beside coastline with land quickly ascending into mountains.

14 

and foot from the summer grazing of the mountains and then sorted by farm earmark in a large rostrum. The lambs are slaughtered at an average carcaseweight of 16kg earning $5.70/kg with the slaughter season from August 10-November 1. From late autumn until spring (April) most sheep are housed indoors and typically receive one bale of baleage/sheep. Bjarni’s role at the start of each summer is to undertake the maintenance contract on 200km of government fences in western Iceland and while staying with Bjarni and Eyrun I was able to enjoy the experience. The day started at a leisurely hour with the loading of three, six-wheeler, Polaris motorbikes on to an eight-metre trailer along with wet weather gear, barbed wire, “matchstick” posts and a mountain of food for a day’s fencing. At road end, in damp ice-cold windy conditions, we drove the bikes a further 10km across very swampy, rough, undulating terrain to the fence line. I quickly learnt why a six-wheeler is the preferred option due to added flotation, traction, deck space for fencing supplies and food. Arriving at the six-wire barbed fence at 10.30am we started the annual repairs, which involved fixing broken barbed wires from winter snow and sledge-

hammering down wooden posts which had lifted with the freeze/thawing process . Steady progress was made, however by 2pm my stomach was hanging out for lunch which involved a gas BBQ to cook lamb and pork chops to satisfy any hunger, including the pet dogs, while we all huddled behind the bikes for shelter. We continued the repairs and by 7pm another BBQ was had to heat the toasty sandwiches. At 10.30pm we finished our day’s fencing, having completed 15km of repairs, with another hour’s drive by bike back to the road finally arriving home at 1am still in daylight. It was an experience that will never be forgotten! Dairy farming in Iceland is some of the most technologically advanced in the world. A large majority of farms use milking robots, made easier by the smaller herds (50 cows), housed indoors for 10 months of the year and only grazing outdoors for 60 days during June-September to meet government regulations. The Icelandic cow, similar to a Jersey, is the only breed and has remained unchanged since its arrival with the Vikings 1100 years ago. Agriculture subsidies contribute 30-40% of farmers’ annual gross income, thus there is plenty of fat in the system, with a little bit of metal disease on most farms. I was not only was impressed by the level of technology but also the enthusiasm and hospitality offered to me, well off the beaten tourist track.

Edmund Cousins is the eldest (26) of three boys in his family who were brought up on a sheep and dairy support farm near Feilding. Since completing a B. Com Ag, at Lincoln University in 2013, he has been travelling overseas with a focus on experiencing agriculture, while taking turns, with his brothers, working on the family farm. He is working at home while his parents travel in the United States.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


HOME BLOCK | COLUMN With everything tinder dry a flint on the knife started a fire.

The month of our lives A wet spring, followed by a scorching summer has brought plenty of challenges for Joanna Hodgkins and husband Robert on the farm in Hertfordshire, England.

A

fter slogging through a record wet for lambing and spring drilling then coming straight into a record drought with just 4mm in 65 days Rob and I didn’t know what harvest yields and weaning weights were going to look like. Crops died off rather than ripened up to a month early and the sheep have been eating ‘standing hay’ for at least the last month. Winter crops were down, spring cereals held about normal for us and all pulses (apart from the one hectare of lucerne for silage) have been a disaster. The light at the end of the tunnel has been switched on in the last few days. Our recruitment for staff of both a head shepherd and a trainee arable manager have gone really well and we should have both guys in place by early October (just houses, trucks, phones, kennels etc to sort by then). We have also come across a rather useful Harper Adams Ag College student – James and have adopted/abducted him to help out. Between combining, drilling green manures and forage crops, weighing and weaning we have been shopping – tooling up to take all of our arable in-house. I have been shooting off all over the country to buy the best bargains and after today’s

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

final trip we’re done – just got to figure out how it all works. Fifteen years ago I wrote a letter to Farmers Weekly ‘how will I buy a tractor’ (as machinery dealers never talk to me – always opting for my male companions) the answer I now know is to leave the men at home! I won’t lie, it has been intimidating and probably amusing from the sellers’ perspective but we got there! The recent price hikes have also helped us to see the light – being offered £220/tonne for malting barley seems unbelievable – one to tell the grandchildren about! We had a bit of a setback while cutting the spring barley – before the weather broke, with everything tinder dry a flint on the knife started a fire. Rob and I gathered up our predecessors’ collection of antique fire extinguishers (about 20) and flew down to the field, along with the gamekeeper and a friend of his we just about kept the fire out of the standing crop until the fire brigades came from 10 stations. We were going to bale the straw and the fire was racing up the swaths so I got the forklift to push the straw back and three neighbours brought cultivators to create breaks. About 10 acres of crop were lost and another 80 odd acres of stubble

burned but no one was hurt and no machinery lost. After we emptied the local store of bottled water for all the firefighters and everyone had left, we got a curry, went home, had a beer, and hugged our kids. My favourite comment from the kids this harvest has been from my middle daughter Evie, while I was bailing out the induction pit for the old bin store both girls picked up brooms to ‘help’. When George, our youngest, tried to pick one up Evie said to him “out the way Georgie, this is girls’ work”. On the sheep side, we have taken a very hands-off approach, with the lack of grass the country has been de-stocking, hitting our ewe lamb sale quite hard, weaning weights on the lambs have been lower than last year. At weaning we have tried to prioritise grass to fat lambs almost ready for market (>37kg) and those ewe lambs from twin bearing ewes that we should be able to tup. After weaning, the ewes looked pretty shocking, so we drenched them all to try and help them put condition back on. We have decided to be extra hard in picking culls this year to upgrade the flock with an extra injection of ewe lambs. With Brexit coming the mood is one of despair and low prices are certainly not helping. Wool remains at NZ$1.70/kg. Dead weight lambs are making $7.60. I expect the national flock numbers to decline sharply as people either get out of farming till Brexit settles down or reduce their flock size to reduce risk. We are expanding the flock by another 1000 ewes – fortune favours the brave but I can foresee a good few sleepless nights.

15


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Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


NOTEBOOK

IRRIGATION TRAINING

YOUNG FARMER OF THE YEAR District finals for the 2019 FMG Young Farmer of the Year Contest kick off around the country. More? www.fmgyoungfarmercontest.co.nz

Supported by B+LNZ, IrrigationNZ has developed a one-day training course and resources aimed at farmers beginning irrigation development. Tuesday, October 9. Cromwell, Central Otago. More? www. bit.ly/2Q31kBo

SHOWTIME With arrival of spring, we welcome back the annual A&P shows, where rural New Zealand comes to town to show off its best:

ENVIRONMENTAL CHAMPS It’s time for farmers to pit their operations against the rest for 2019 Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Entrants are judged on their sustainable profitability, environmental awareness, good business practices, social and community responsibility. More? www.nzfeatrust.org.nz/ enter-awards

Matamata Agricultural & Pastoral Association show, Saturday, October 6, Station Road Matamata. More? matamataaandp@gmail.com

North Island Premier Showing Championships, October 12, 14, Equidays Mystery Creek Hamilton, More? rhiannon@equestrianelegancenz.com

Waikato Agricultural & Pastoral Association (Royal Event – Alpaca), October 26-28, Claudelands Event Centre, 800 Heaphy Terrace, Hamilton. More? www.waikatoaandp.co.nz

Amberley Agricultural & Pastoral Association, October 27, Amberley Domain, 6/50 Douglas Road, Amberley. More? amberleyaandp@gmail.com

Ashburton Agricultural & Pastoral Association, October 26, 27, Ashburton Showgrounds, 66 Brucefield Avenue, Ashburton. More? www.ashburtonshow.co.nz

Ellesmere Agricultural & Pastoral Association, October 13, 1650 Leeston Road, Leeston. More? www.ellesmereshow.co.nz

Northern Agricultural & Pastoral Association (Rangiora), October 19, 20, Rangiora Showgrounds, 158 Ashley Street Rangiora. More? www.rangiorashow.co.nz

Southern Canterbury Spring Horse Show, October 6, 7, Waimate A&P Showgrounds, 26 Hakataramea Highway, Waimate. More? info@scshow.co.nz

THIS IS ‘IT’ Bay of Islands Food and Wine Festival, with band Fly My Pretties, Saturday, October 6. More? www.facebook.com/ itbayofislandsfestival

RESEARCH GRANT The National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee has launched the Aotearoa New Zealand Three Rs Awards, including a $50,000 research grant. The grant will provide funding for research specifically targeted at developing ways to replace, reduce, or refine the use of animals in research, testing, and teaching. Applications close October 5. 2018. More? https://bit.ly/2A7BB73

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

NOTEBOOK If you have something you think might be suitable for the Notebook page please send an email or Word document (.doc) to Andy.Maciver@nzfarmlife.co.nz along with any pictures as .jpg attachments.

17


MARKETS | OUTLOOK

Lamb prices to break new ground Amid record farmgate prices for lamb and mutton, the 2017-18 season is drawing to a close. The key question is what the prices will be when spring lambs start flowing from November. AgriHQ senior analyst Mel Croad reviews the markets and looks at what may happen this season.

B

ased on current pricing levels, it is clear opening farmgate prices for the season will break new ground. When the new processing season kicks off on the October 1, those with old season lambs left to process will watch farmgate prices surpass the previous October record set back in 2011 of $7.96/kg in the North Island and $7.60/kg in the South Island with relative ease. That year the market went on to peak at $8.20/ kg and $8.00/kg respectively in early November. With farmgate prices already eclipsing previous levels, farmers are becoming divided on whether this good run has the legs to continue. Sheep breeders are now in the mindset of lambing and what fortunes the new season holds.

18 

The early regions are already docking and were gifted relatively mild conditions through lambing. There is plenty of hope that they will have good numbers of lambs available to capitalise on these record prices. By early September, farmgate lamb prices were averaging $8.40/kg and $8.25/kg in the North and South Island respectively. Earlier on these levels were being reserved solely for October peaks, but occurred four weeks prematurely. This was a result of increasing procurement pressure as lamb supplies tightened. Minimum price contracts for October look to be just that, with the expectation procurement levels will continue to remain well above average. We are mindful however of the growing trend to offload larger numbers of old-season lambs through October, instead of September, to

try and maximise returns. Already meat companies are advising that carcaseweights are well up on normal. A surge of heavy lambs through October that don’t meet Christmas chilled specifications will simply cause frozen stocks to start building early. However, if farmers heed processors advice, it could potentially bring the kill forward a few weeks. While many may be happy to see the market for old season lambs lift to record levels through September and October, nobody wants to see the market push beyond its capabilities. If farmgate pricing levels get distorted by competition for the small number of old season lambs left on farm through to mid-October, the implications for the new season tally of 20 million lambs could be far greater.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


Hot summer dampens demand

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

supplies start lifting. The Christmas chilled period ends in early November, but can be extended by airfreight if positive market conditions prevail. The

North Island  lamb  slaughter  price  ($/kgCW) 8.5

$/kgCW

7.5 6.5 5.5 4.5

Oct

Dec 5-­yr ave

Feb

Apr

2016-­1 7

Jun 2017-­1 8

Aug

Oct

Source: AgriHQ

South Island  lamb  slaughter  price  ($/kgCW) 8.5 7.5 $/kgCW

K

ey global markets have been paying more for New Zealand lamb this season and this trend has been well maintained through the quieter winter months. As the Christmas chilled negotiations got underway in early September, there was evidence of some softening in values particularly for frozen product in some markets. A hot summer through the Northern Hemisphere dampened demand for lamb as consumers looked to barbecue items. This led to some inventory building. Chilled demand however remained on par with previous years albeit at higher values. Pricing in the United States remains on an even keel, despite stocks of lamb building in US coolstores. Demand from China looks to be back on track as consumption rates start to seasonally lift. A few unknowns with regards to China could change the landscape in the short to medium term. However, longer- term overall demand and supply fundamentals appear strong. The question is: will the global appetite for lamb be sustained at these values as supplies seasonally ramp up through the summer months. A weaker NZ dollar, if maintained, will support but not prevent export returns from easing, as killable

end of the chilled period is reflected in a reduction in average export values. The general rule of thumb is that average export values fall by 35-40c/kg between October and November. This fall also coincides with a lift in spring lamb supplies which flows through to easing farmgate prices. The fall in export values can be reduced if supplies remain tight. While we can’t rule this out for NZ supplies yet, it is possible the delay in the finishing of Australian lambs due to earlier drought conditions may increase their availability on global markets through this period. At the time of writing, the expectation was for October farmgate lamb prices to lift to the mid to high $8/kg range, if not reaching $9/kg for a short time. Based on the average movement in lamb prices between September and October, this push higher is not out of the question. Out of the last 10 years, North and South Island farmgate lamb prices have only dropped three times between October and November. Generally, the drop was around 30c/kg on average. In 2017 we saw a 7-9c/ kg lift between the two islands, as killable supplies slumped in the first two weeks of November. This year, indications from meat companies are that prices will reduce significantly from their October peak through to Christmas. This backs up the

6.5 5.5 4.5

Oct

Dec 5-­yr ave

Feb 2016-­1 7

Apr

Jun 2017-­1 8

Aug

Oct

Source: AgriHQ

19


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October 2018


expectation that procurement will have the ultimate say through October. By December farmgate prices are expected to fall even further. The medium to long term trend shows prices fall on average by 45-50c/kg across both islands. Last year average farmgate prices eased by just over 25c/kg in the North Island, with the South Island only recording an 11c/kg drop.

Lamb average  export  value  (NZD)

11

NZD/kg

10 9 8 7 6

Oct

Dec 5-­yr ave

A surge of heavy lambs through October that don’t meet Christmas chilled specifications will simply cause frozen stocks to start building early.

Feb

Apr

2016-­1 7

Jun 2017-­1 8

Aug Source: GTT

Lamb average  export  value  (USD) 7.5

USD/kg

7.0 6.5 6.0 5.5

Meat companies appear more transparent with their pricing expectations into the new season but a fall back to ‘about $7/kg by December’ looks ambitious. However, if achieved, it will indicate one of two things, the fallout from too higher procurement earlier on or a significant slump in overseas pricing and demand. Higher farmgate prices may entice more lambs out from the earlier lambing regions, but we don’t expect it will be enough to see prices fall by the expectations of meat companies, at this time.

5.0

Oct

Dec 5-­yr ave

If pricing expectations come to fruition and the subsequent fall in farmgate prices is realised through November and December, then farmgate prices will be falling much harder than ever before through this period. Some may wear this, given the average November farmgate price for lamb will still start with an 8. Yet

NZ lamb  export  volume  (tonne)

45

Tonnes

40 35 30 25 20 15 10

Oct

Dec 5-­yr ave

Feb

Apr

2016-­1 7

Jun 2017-­1 8

Aug Source: B+LNZ

Australian lamb  export  volume  (tonne)

30

Tonnes

25 20 15 10

Oct

Dec 5-­yr ave

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

Feb 2016-­1 7

Feb 2016-­1 7

Apr

Jun 2017-­1 8

Aug Source: DAWR

Apr

Jun 2017-­1 8

Aug Source: GTT

it doesn’t instil much confidence within the industry and plenty will and should question why farmgate prices needed to push so high through October. An earlier Chinese New Year and a later Easter will support a lift in demand and pricing levels for NZ lamb into January, but it is crucial these key markets step up to the plate. Earlier forecasts from Beef+Lamb NZ reported the 2018/19 lamb crop to be the smallest ever. While there may be some revision higher of the current season lamb crop, declining export numbers are coming at a time when key overseas markets are demanding more lamb and consumption rates are forecast to grow. Despite two seasons of favourable pricing levels onfarm, we have yet to see any strong evidence of a rebuild of the national ewe flock. The strong prices received for mutton this season have equated to an 11% increase (+370,000 head) in the national mutton slaughter, compared to last season. This will continue to stifle flock rebuilding unless ewe lamb retention is seriously considered or advancements in on-farm productivity can be realised. While the drought may have taken flock rebuilding off the table in Australia this year, farmers there continue to indicate their desire to rebuild flocks when conditions next allow. This is because they hold long term confidence in the sheep industry and are positioning themselves to capitalise on it.

›› Creaming the top p23 21


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Creaming the top

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October 2018

volume through this period lifted 23% or 14,000 tonnes year on year to 76,000t, while NZ exported 87,000t, more than 10,000t more than the same period a year earlier and up 7000t compared to the fiveyear average. This increased volume, from the two major global sheepmeat exporters which supply 70% of the world’s product, did little to suppress prices and generates a clear picture of just how strong demand has been for sheepmeat this season. Driving the demand hasn’t been limited to one market. Export statistics show demand for NZ lamb has been widespread. Reports show that in the first ten months of the 2017-18 season, NZ exported 285,000t of lamb, a 10,500t increase on the

Schedule as  %  of  export  price

A

fter bottoming out at $5.80/ kg January, farmgate lamb prices surpassed the $7/kg mark in March this year and have never looked back. In fact, prices have lifted week on week since, particularly in the North Island. It has been a stellar year for sheepmeat. After a very swift start to the season, supply wise, there was concern the markets may have been swamped with lamb and mutton, however international demand defied the odds. Helping this has been the limited stocks of lamb which has allowed the increased supplies to remain current within international markets. Average export values lifted to levels last seen in 2011, however since June these values have surged ahead of those achieved seven years ago. This has given farmgate prices the room to move consistently higher. The average export value in July was $10.40/kg, 90c/kg above July 2017 levels and $2.00/kg higher than the fiveyear average for July. This trend has continued despite higher export volumes flowing out of Australia and New Zealand. Drought conditions upped the sheepmeat production levels in Australia from April and favourable conditions here saw production levels climb. In the three months to July, record volumes of lamb were exported into key global markets from both NZ and Australia for that time of the season. Australia’s

80%

previous season. Back in 2011 when the market was just as strong, NZ had exported 250,000t over the same period. Market development has been a strong focus for exporters in recent years. The rise of China as a key outlet for lamb is unmistakable. Back in 2011, China accounted for 33,000t of lamb through those first ten months of the season. This compares with 98,000t to July this year. NZ lamb exports to China look set to eclipse 100,000t for the first time this season. This focus on China has dragged some lamb away from the EU, with France showing the largest fall and the UK not too far behind.On top of stronger global demand, procurement competition between processors has been a feature of the market this season. The supply of lambs to processing plants by late winter was tighter than normal. Plenty of lambs were sourced for processing via the prime pens at sale yards, at levels fuelling returns at the farmgate. This led to further advancements in procurement pressure as processors looked to maintain plant throughput albeit at reduced capacity. Heightened procurement competition has been a feature of the lamb market this season. The race to secure lambs has seen procurement track at 69% in January lifting to 79% by August. This compares with the five-year average of 70% in August. This means processors are handing over a larger chunk of the returns than normal to farmers. This scenario tends to reduce processor margins. However, while procurement pressure has intensified this year it has been in step with lifts in average export values. On average this season, processor margins have been similar to previous years. 

Procurement competition  (schedule  v  export  price)

75% 70% 65% 60%

Oct

Dec 5-­yr ave

Feb

Apr 2016-­1 7

Jun 2017-­1 8

Aug

23


MARKETS | PRICES

Warning of softening farmgate prices WORDS: TIM FULTON

C

ustomers may turn away from New Zealand sheepmeat unless prices soften, exporters say. The biggest lamb exporter, Alliance Group, expects farmgate prices to remain comfortably above five-year averages but is preparing farmers for a lower schedule. “The prices are very, very, very strong from a New Zealand point of view and we need to be mindful that there’s a couple of key markets that have got a little bit of inventory, and it’s high-priced inventory. They’re not screaming; they’re just saying ‘be cautious’,” general manager, sales, Murray Brown said. The United Kingdom was coming off an extremely hot summer so barbecue products sold well while lamb sales were probably down 8-9%. “They’re coming off a little bit of low confidence and they’re also aware they’re not going to get a lot of product in (from NZ) over the next two or three months.” Brown said farmgate prices were exceptional but he expected them to ease. “Next year’s pricing is still going to be, on average, higher than the previous five years. I suspect it could be $1.50kg better than a five-year average.” ANZCO general manager, sales and marketing, Rick Walker, said current

24 

schedule prices can’t hold and it had customers in Japan and Europe who were reducing their sheepmeat exposure. ANZCO tried to maximise value from chilled product and sell into premium markets. The industry had to be wary of a “race to the bottom” in which companies tried to offer farmers unsustainable prices in order to secure stock as it would increase the chance of a crash in the market, Walker said.

for retail consumers but SFF was actively promoting the range in different ways to encourage people to include lamb in their meals at home in non-traditional ways, Robins said. The growth of casual dining meant lamb was not just a fine dining experience. The typical lamb rack cut had evolved into innovative use of secondary cuts like neck, belly cuts and slow-cooked shoulders, he said.

‘The prices are very, very, very strong from a New Zealand point of view and we need to be mindful that there’s a couple of key markets that have got a little bit of inventory, and it’s high-priced inventory. They’re not screaming; they’re just saying ‘be cautious’,’

Silver Fern Farms general manager, sales, Peter Robins, said prices were certainly under pressure but inventories in-market and in NZ were much lower than in 2012 when the price last fell dramatically. Some minor price-easing was likely to help stabilise markets, Robins said. Domestically, pricey NZ lamb was an expensive treat but chefs were preparing it differently to keep it on the menu. Lamb was an expensive niche protein

Walker, moved from Fonterra to ANZCO 10 months ago and immediately noticed the “dislocation” between farmgate prices and markets. The company was trying to pay farmers well while still keeping lamb within reach, he said. “You get to a point with lamb, which is a nice problem (for farmers) where people will just give up on it.” Brown said chefs in mid-range restaurants were innovating by preparing

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


% of  revenue  in  schedules

80%

Share of  export  returns  put  into  slaughter  prices

75% 70% 65% 60% 55% Jan-­14

Oct-­14

Jul-­15

Apr-­16

Jan-­17

Oct-­17

Jul-­18

Source: StatsNZ/AgriHQ

dishes like temperature-controlled sous vide shanks or pulled product from shoulders. A growing permanent NZ population and tourism helped sustain demand, although lamb wasn’t necessarily a novelty for visitors and new immigrants, he said. Chinese ate their own home-grown lamb in hotpot and might have NZ lamb once a year. Alliance Group was trying to market

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October 2018

lamb, in NZ and abroad, to middle-aged Chinese with concern for safe, naturally produced food. “There’s ongoing work in that space and what we’d like to see (in China) is more western-style restaurants, opening up on the back of the experience the tourists are taking home with them.” Max Shen, a consultant for the industry’s redmeat marketing company, Beef and

Lamb NZ Inc, said some Kiwi-style restaurants in Auckland reported up to 80% of their diners were Chinese visitors. Lamb leg seemed popular although one Chinese butcher shop told him they sold lamb belly or shoulder and didn’t sell lamb racks. Chinese visitors were generally keen to try Kiwi food although thinner cuts remained a staple in hotpot shops, Shen said.

25


MARKETS | EXPORTERS

Sheepmeat export prices hit new heights

S

heepmeat was the stand-out performer in red meat over the past 12 months. Meat Industry Association (MIA) chief executive Tim Ritchie said while volume of exports increased by 6% to 394,906 tonnes for the year to June 2018, the value was 24% higher and generated $3.4 billion in export revenue.

NZ lamb  exports  (Oct  -­ Jul)

120 Thousand tonne

This was the first time since 2009 that annual sheepmeat exports were worth more than $3b – the highest annual value for sheepmeat exports on record. Ritchie said the increasing value could largely be attributed to strong international prices, particularly in China where the free on board (FOB)* averaged $5.77/kg over the year compared to $4.72/ kg for the previous year.

100 80 60 40 20 0

China/HK

EU (xcl.  U K)

5-­yr ave

Mid East

Last year

UK

This year

US Source: B+LNZ

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October 2018


300

2.5

250

2.0

200

1.5

150

1.0

2008-­09

2010-­11

2012-­13

Export volume

Prices also steadily recovered into the United Kingdom, New Zealand’s second largest market. Following the Brexit vote in mid-2016, the FOB value dropped to just over $6.00/kg, but had steadily recovered since to now average $9.30/kg. In the United States, NZ’s third largest sheepmeat market, the average FOB value for the year was $14.38/kg, an increase of $2.60/kg from 2016/17. Ritchie said while North Asia had overtaken Europe as NZ’s largest market region for sheepmeat, Europe continued to be a cornerstone market for the industry, particularly for high-value chilled lamb. Chilled exports made up just over a third

Property Brokers Ltd Licensed REAA 2008

2014-­15

Export value

2016-­17

Thousdan tonne

Billion NZD

3.0

NZ lamb  export  value  and  volume  (Oct  -­ Jul)

100

Source: StatsNZ

of total sheepmeat exports to the region by volume, but about 40% by value and worth $583 million. While there was a 6% decline in the volume of exports to the largest market within the region, the United Kingdom to 50,784t, the value increased by 15% to $476m. Factors contributing to this included the lower value of the NZ dollar against the pound during the year and reported tight domestic supply. The other major destinations within the EU were the Netherlands (19,151t, worth $307m), Germany (18,568t, $316m) and France (9422t, $107m). “The pattern of exports to the EU

reinforces why the New Zealand red meat sector is absolutely opposed to the UK/EU proposal to split New Zealand’s WTO quota for sheepmeat,” Ritchie said. Five years ago sheepmeat export volumes were split roughly 50/50 between the UK and the rest of the EU. However, in 2017/18 the UK accounted for 43% of total sheepmeat export volumes to the EU 28, with the remaining EU 27 countries importing 57% (a difference of some 15,000t). “This constant change in trade patterns is due to New Zealand exporters responding to consumer demand and market conditions and trading in a manner that preserves market stability. It highlights the critical importance of maintaining the quantity and quality of New Zealand WTO market access rights to allow New Zealand exporters to operate profitably and responsibly in what is a dynamic market region.” *Free on Board, or FOB, is the current market value of goods in the country of origin, including all costs necessary to get them on board the ship or aircraft.

Article supplied by Meat Industry Association

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Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

27


MARKETS | EUROPE

Exporter targets Europe over leg-focused UK WORDS: TIM FULTON

E

urope has increasing appeal as an outlet for a variety of cuts and dishes. ANZCO general manager, sales and marketing, Rick Walker, said it did good business in Europe and felt there was more opportunity to grow there post-Brexit than in the United Kingdom. Europe generally wanted a wider range of product including loins and racks whereas the UK was focused on legs, he said. In ANZCO’s experience, the UK was a highly cut-throat retail market in which New Zealand lamb was used as a lossleader. As a “best in season” product filling gaps in local seasonal supply the UK did not provide year-round business, whereas Europe provided steadier trade. Focusing on continental sales fitted Anzco’s strategy of operating in premium markets, Walker said. Alliance Group general manager, sales, Murray Brown, said NZ had not filled EU quota for many years and overall UK growth was static, partly because of a Buy British campaign and the NZ industry’s move into other markets, like China. “I don’t see the UK growing at all and less and less frozen has been going into that market.” NZ was still a strong supplier at peak periods like Christmas and Easter but the new opportunity was in smaller

Thousand tonne

75

volumes of higher-value frozen product. He said it was too early to predict a postBrexit European sheep and lamb quota as the World Trade Organisation still has to ratify any decision on the proposal by the EU and the UK to split the quota. Silver Fern Farms general manager, sales, Peter Robins, said it usually tried to sell the whole carcase and prices varied for different cuts. High value cuts, such as lamb french racks, gave high per kg returns but were also more expensive to produce than lower value product. Beef + Lamb New Zealand Economic

NZ lamb  exports  to  Europe  &  UK  (12-­month  rolling)

70 65 60 55 50 Jan-­14

28 

Irena Obadovic: A significant increase in New Zealand exports is not expected in coming years.

Oct-­14 UK

Jul-­15

Apr-­16 Jan-­17 Continental Europe

Oct-­17

Jul-­18

Source: B+LNZ

Service figures show the value of European Union (EU) exports is on a flat track and exports are gradually declining as product is diverted to other markets. By volume, the country exported just over 100,000 metric tonnes compared to 114,000/t. By tonnage, the average Free on Board (FOB) value for the past year was just under $12,687/ tonne, compared to just under $9000/t five years ago. And by value, NZ exported $1.276b of FOB product in the nine months to July 2018, compared to just over $1b five years ago. Two major factors for exporters are the extent to which NZ benefits from a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union – currently in negotiation – and a possible revision of EU-UK quota rights after Brexit. University of Canterbury doctoral candidate, Irena Obadovic, this month published her thesis on the impact of agricultural trade on an FTA deal. Obadovic said the new generation of EU FTAs did not provide high protectionism on sheepmeat, although New Zealand may attract more protectionism as it shipped a substantial amount of product into the market. She compared New Zealand’s tariff quota for sheemeat with five nations that recently signed a Europe FTA: South Africa, Mexico, Chile, South Korea and Canada. The new generation of EU FTAs did not provide high protectionism on sheepmeat but compared with the other five EU trade partners analysed, NZ was the largest producer of sheepmeat. Obadovic said a fall in NZ exports of sheep and goat meat to the EU market in the past decade could be explained by weaker demand in the EU and increased demand in Asia. “A significant increase in New Zealand exports is not expected in coming years,” she said. Obadovic’s economic analysis of EU-NZ trade indicated an FTA would be more significant for NZ because it would lower EU barriers on agricultural goods.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


MARKETS | CHINA

Flexibility vital in unpredictable China WORDS: TIM FULTON

I

nternational trade friction and domestic policies are keeping exporters alert in China. North Asia, dominated by China, is New Zealand’s largest market region for sheepmeat by volume and second largest by value. In 2017/18, the region imported 48% of NZ’s total sheepmeat exports for the year. But overall NZ was a small player in China’s sheepmeat trade, Alliance Group general manager, sales, Murray Brown said. “When you step it back, New Zealand’s only 3% of their sheepmeat consumption so it’s important in New Zealand’s view, but China, not so. It just shows the power and the size of the market.” A 2017 report for the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, An Investors’ Guide to the New Zealand Meat Industry, said China had gone from producing a fifth as much lamb as NZ 40 years ago to more than four times as much today. However, the report concluded China was a growing customer and unlikely to be a threat in key markets within the medium term. Supply was primarily counter-seasonal lamb for consumption around the time of traditional religious holidays (Christmas, Easter and the end of Ramadan). Lamb production was flat-to-falling in these key

Thousand tonne

160

markets and lamb consumption per capita falling due to an increasing price gap with other more efficient meats, like chicken. NZ’s four lamb meat processors accounted for 70% of export volume, the report said.

‘You’ve just got to be very flexible and understanding that there can be complications created by some very quick decision-making within their country.’

Brown said the China market was steady but the trade war between the United States and China was creating challenges with US pork being forced out of China due to higher tariff rates being introduced for imports. The volume of pork staying in the US could mean downward pressure on all proteins including sheepmeat, he said. It was also becoming harder for some Chinese manufacturers to process products like wool and casings because of a downturn in demand and government moves to control industrial pollution. Some hide and skin plants had been closed and other manufacturing had also been

NZ lamb  &  mutton  exports  to  China/HK  (Oct  -­ Jul)

120 80 40 0

Country-Wide Sheep

2007-­08

2009-­10

October 2018

China

2011-­12

2013-­14

Hong Kong

2015-­16

2017-­18

Source: B+LNZ

China is a growing customer for New Zealand lamb.

affected. It was a reminder that China could be unpredictable. “You’ve just got to be very flexible and understanding that there can be complications created by some very quick decision-making within their country.” Silver Ferns Farms general manager, sales, Peter Robins, said China was holding up well but exporters were wary of a USChina trade war. China devalued its currency 7% against the $US as a first step in the economic battle. Devaluation meant importers paid more for their products, which could eventually put downward pressure on pricing. China’s domestic kill had been quiet and consumption remained strong, although in-market inventory was reported to be building and this could quieten the market, Robins said. RaboResearch general manager Tim Hunt said China was an opportunity for NZ because it was poor in arable land and water relative to its population; it prioritised rice and wheat over red meat production because of a history of food embargoes and famine, and it was highly conscious of food safety as a result of the melamine crisis a decade ago. As red meat consumption grows in China, much of it would be met by imported product. NZ should be able to win a solid share of that business, including sales of offal and secondary cuts. This would help exporters to receive good value for the whole sheep rather than just premium cuts, Hunt said.

IN THE NEXT ISSUE: A British report has raised concerns about Chinese demand for sheepmeat as China becomes more self-sufficient.

29


MARKETS | UNITED STATES

Production ethics drive rising US lamb value WORDS: TIM FULTON

T

he value of sheepmeat sales to North America rose nearly 20% in the past year. Beef + Lamb New Zealand Economic Service figures show the value of the entire market to New Zealand rose from $250 million FOB to $412m over the same period. Importantly, value is rising with volume. Meat Industry Association (MIA) chief executive Tim Ritchie said while volume was up by 6% over the 2017-18 year, value increased by 18%. In the United States, the average FOB value for the year was $14.38/kg, an increase of $2.60/kg from 2016/17, MIA figures indicate. By tonnage, the average *free on board (FOB) value for the past year was just under $15,000/tonne, compared to about 9000/t five years ago. North America imported 37,000t of sheepmeat worth $481m. Just under three quarters of that

8.5

trade was to the US, which was NZ’s third largest individual market for sheepmeat. NZ’s major sales force for sheepmeat in North America is the Lamb Company, a partnership between the three largest lamb exporters Alliance, ANZCO and Silver Fern Farms.

There was particular demand for antibiotic-free, hormone-free, GM-free and ethically farmed product. The Lamb Company has spent 54 years jointly developing the market. ANZCO’s general manager, sales and marketing, Rick Walker, said each shareholder was expected to sell a certain amount of sheepmeat into the market but companies have the right to sell it elsewhere if they could get a better price.

Five-­rib forequarter

US$/kg

7.5 6.5 5.5 4.5 3.5 2.5 Jan-­14

30 

Oct-­14 Jul-­15 Apr-­16 In-­m arke t (US$/kg)

Jan-­17 NZ$/kg

Oct-­17

Jul-­18

Source: B+LNZ

Lamb was still a niche protein in the US but it was valuable and growing. There was particular demand for antibiotic-free, hormone-free, GM-free and ethically farmed product, he said. It was a “very hot topic in the US” and NZ should be able to market its ability to meet those criteria, Walker said. Alliance Group general manager, sales, Murray Brown, said North American returns were rising partly because of population growth and the improved US economy. Globally, consumers were increasingly wanting to know the provenance of their food. With that, in the US was growing awareness of the environment and a call for more sustainable products that were ethically produced. Farm Assured, antibiotic-free products were more important than ever and there was growing demand from time-poor consumers for convenience-type products. In restaurants, chefs often wanted frozen French racks that they could use as needed. Silver Fern Farms (SFF), general manager, sales, Peter Robins, said SFF was selling a full range of cuts to all sectors of the US market. High prices had kept volumes in check but were in line with expectations, he said. *FOB is the current market value of goods in the country of origin, including all costs necessary to get them on board the ship or aircraft. Based on FOB value, the US paid an average of $2.60kg more for NZ sheepmeat in the past year.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


Paparata Te Moata Farm Station Manager Rach Law. Te Kuiti Meat Processors 2018 'supplier of the year'. year' 9,276 lambs killed at 17.73kgs. Average price $122.50. Paparata Stud Romney's (Flock 1881) Faci al Eczema Ge ne tic Trend

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October 2018

31


BUSINESS | TRIPLETS Orphan lambs feeding on a farm involved in the Beef + Lamb NZ innovation farm programme.

Triplet mob rears 244% lambs Country-Wide first profiled Richard Dawkins’ triplet lambing operation in 2017. It was so successful he’s running the intensive indoor lambing for a second year, with a few tweaks to the system to improve margins. Joanna Grigg reports.

R

ichard Dawkins has turned starts by using ram harnesses at tupping for 2018, mothered on to single-bearing triplet ewes from a liability to to identify lambing date to within seven ewes and raised as twins. Then the family an opportunity. to 12 days. Five days out from lambing, units move to downland quality pasture Lambing triplets indoors has ewes are introduced to lucerne hay and pea with ad-lib clover. boosted triplet lamb survival supplements. Ewes spend about seven days The Dawkins’ 1400 Longdown ewes from an average of 200% to 244%. under covered yards, where they lamb and are at the front of the pack in terms of Dawkins told 80 farmers at the then bond with their triplets. prolificacy. In the record-breaking year of 30%Beef Marlborough Farming for Profit and They are then moved back to pasture 2016, mixed-age ewes scanned 217% but + Lamb NZ innovation day, the positive nearby where lambs are observed to catch losses saw the lambing percentage end flow-on benefits for the rest of the any fading triplets. up at 156%. In spite of best shepherding 25% 645-hectare down and hill country farm These slow-starve lambs are removed endeavours from Chris, it was still difficult are significant. and raised as orphans or, in a new practice to exceed 200% survival from triplets “Our lamb mortality average over the 20% 30% whole flock, before indoor lambing triplets, was 24% but it dropped to 15% in 2017.” Graph A: Improved Lamb and Ewe Survival 25% 15% Having no triplets to deal with outdoors across the Whole Flock, The Pyramid. has made his father Chris’s outdoor 20% lambing beat for twins and singles much 10% more effective. 15% The cost in 2017 was $65/ewe but with cuts to feeding time and type, and5% labour 10% savings, they have managed to slash costs to close to $30/ewe this season. 5% 0% “But for most people taking on the ong term 2017.  With  130  ewes 2018.  With  203  ewes system first-up it will be better to work on Outdoor  only  (l 0% $65 dollars a ewe,” Richard says. Outdoor  only  (l ong  term 2017.  With  130  ewes 2018.  With  203  ewes average) ,  some  orphans through  Indoor through  indoor average) ,  some  orphans through  Indoor through  indoor “Following best practice in year one is reared reared a good idea, then refine your system from there.” Lamb  loss  over  whole  flock Ewe  death  rate Lamb  loss  over  whole  flock Ewe  death  rate Richard’s triplet management system

32 

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


lambed outdoors. The Dawkins reacted by lowering tupping weight by 10 kilograms the following year, to try and cut triplet conceptions. Then Richard took his experience from seeing indoor lambing in the United Kingdom and created a Dawkins hybrid indoor/outdoor method. It’s not for everyone, Richard says, but considering the benefit to the farm-wide operation, they repeated it. This season they had 250 triplet-bearing ewes and, by August 25, had a 244% lamb survival rate. After following the ‘no expense spared’ best practice in 2017, this year the Dawkins have cut back on costs. The cost of labour and supplements has fallen from $65 to $26 per ewe. Four weeks of supplements has dropped to five days, with the ewes being especially quick to eat the offered supplements if they could see other ewes already eating it, Richard says. “Return triplets had a good memory too.” Ewes are fed peas instead of speciality nuts alongside lucerne hay as it’s 30% cheaper. Straw bedding is not changed daily, just new straw laid on top. “We have a more relaxed approach to hygiene,” Richard says, but a dry ventilated shed is key. They also built their own gravity-fed automatic milk feeder for the orphans, which was cheap to make and has dramatically reduced labour costs. “This simple system suits us as our ewes were intensively managed already and used to people, we had a covered shed with morning sunlight and roller doors for ventilation.” “And we have a family team willing to do long hours over lambing.”

Death rate drops 38% The Dawkins partnership of Richard, Chris and Julia, used support from the innovation farm programme to trial and monitor indoor lambing. Lamb death rate in the 1400 Longdown ewes has dropped by 38% (by nine percentage points to 15% of total). This trend continues in 2018 with a lamb death rate farm wide of 17% to date. Tripletbearing ewe deaths was typically 10% but has dropped to 3.8% in 2017 and 2.5% this year. Looking at the triplets in isolation, it stacked up in Year One although just marginally above outdoor lambing; about $1500 ahead. However, when calculating the improved lamb survival across the twins and singles as well, the profit was around $14,000, Richard says. In 2017 the Dawkins sold 316 lambs out of a potential 390 at an average of $139. The average lamb weaning liveweight for triplet lambs kept on the ewe was 30kg. Identifying starving triplets a week after lambing has been an important part of reducing deaths; 41% of the orphan lambs were from this scenario, although this has dropped to 25% this year. Growth rates pre-wean were 265 grams/head/ day for orphans. Richard describes this as “acceptable for cow colostrum, which is sometimes considered an inferior product”. Keeping costs to $28/ewe has meant net profit is looking to leap to $79/triplet lamb (sold as a $90 store lamb). Richard lists wider benefits as more highly fecund triplet ewes surviving for another lambing, improved genetics, pasture saved outdoors, a big head start on tailing and the peace of mind of having animals indoors. “All of this is difficult to quantify.”

Richard Dawkins.

Having an interest in a dairy farm on the West Coast means a reliable supply of cow milk at a quarter of the cost of milk powder. Richard says on a milk powder system, it takes about $100 to raise an orphan lamb. Orphan lambs need more labour making it marginal. Hence the change to mothering orphans on to ewes with singles. Richard assisted one third of the births in 2017 and 25% this year although some may have resolved without help, he admits. “The benefit of having the ewes indoors is you don’t have to take any chances, just give a helping hand when required.” The Dawkins were pleased with the farmer interest in the field day. “It’s certainly a topic farmers’ are interested in, even if it doesn’t always suit their system.”

TABLE A: Dawkins Indoor/outdoor system, 2018 Lamb loss whole flock %

Triplet lamb survival (potential 300%)

Ewe death (triplet bearing)

Cash value of ewe death over 130 ewes (not including lambs)

Input cost/ewe over lambing. Labour ($20) and Feed (grass vs hay and nuts/peas)

Profit from lambs (excluding whole flock benefits). Assumes lamb $90 at weaning at 30kg

Profit incl ewe death loss

Outdoor intensive shepherd average

24%

200% average

10%

13 x $200 = $2600,

$23.48/ewe Total = $3052

Over 130 ewes 257 lambs $3052/257 = $11.88 $78 profit X 257 lambs = $20051

$17,451

Triplets Indoor 2017 + orphans mainly hand reared

15%

243%

3.8%

5 x $200 = $1000

$65.38/ewe Total = $8500

Over 130 ewes 316 lambs $8500/316 = $26.90 $63 profit X 316 lambs = $19940

$18,940

Triplets Indoor 2018 + orphans mainly mothered on

17%

244%

2.5%

5 x $200 = $1000

$26.57/ewe Total = $5394

Over 203 ewes 495 lambs $5393/495 = $10.90 $79.10 profit x 495 lambs = $39155

$38,155

Comparison of the Dawkins’ outdoor triplet lambing vs outdoor/indoor hybrid systems 2017 and 2018. Note: 2017 figures are over 130 ewes, 2018 over 203 ewes to date. Excludes capital costs from both systems (e.g. bike, yards, milk warmer). The Pyramid, Marlborough.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

33


BUSINESS | BREXIT

Quota split plan alarms WORDS: NIGEL STIRLING

A

t five minutes to midnight on the Brexit clock veteran farmer-politician Jeff Grant finds himself in London fighting to preserve valuable sheep meat market access in Europe. It is the latest in a career littered with fights for access to global markets for New Zealand sheep meat. As deputy chair of the Meat Board in

the 1990s Grant was donkey-deep in the Uruguay round of global trade talks. It was those talks that secured NZ’s annual quota entitlement for 228,000 tonnes of sheep meat to be exported to the 28 countries of the European Union without facing tariffs. The quota underpins the EU as the single most valuable market for the NZ sheep meat industry. But with Britain due to leave the EU by March 2019 the future of that access is up in the air.

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When Country-Wide spoke to Grant in early August he was several weeks into an initial 18-month stint as the meat industry’s Brexit representative in London, jointly funded by the Meat Industry Association and Beef + Lamb NZ, with a top-up from agricultural research fund AGMARDT. By then the European Commission had tabled with the WTO proposals for carving up more than 150 quotas covering exports from third countries to the remaining 27

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October 2018


members of the EU following Brexit. In the case of sheep meat NZ’s quota would be split down the middle with exporters only able to send half as much to the EU as they do now before out-of-quota tariffs of 50% kick in with the balance redistributed to the United Kingdom. NZ exporters can now send up to 228,000t to either the UK or the continent as market conditions demand. Because of the growing importance of the Chinese market NZ has not filled the

quota for some years. The WTO rulebook was But Grant says if it is split in designed with countries joining half as proposed with 114,000t trading blocs like the EU in mind, apportioned to the UK, and not leaving. the same to the continent, “Even the WTO secretariat is it could have serious future saying that although to an extent consequences for the NZ sheep they have some rules at a certain meat industry. point it becomes the law of the “If for some reason China Jeff Grant. jungle because nobody knows for coughed tomorrow, then the sure what the process should look first market we would come like. back to is the UK and Europe and it would “It may go through completely cleanly not take long to fill that quota at all.” and operate in an orderly way but the fact The quotas as they stand are set out in is nobody is giving a guarantee of that.” the EU’s schedule of commitments at the Yet more uncertainty is swirling with the WTO. odds increasing of the UK leaving the EU Both the EU and the UK will need to without a free trade deal. resubmit schedules including new quotas Such an outcome would be calamitous for approval from WTO members. for UK sheep farmers who would be shut Part of Grant’s job is to represent the NZ out of their biggest export market by far by meat industry’s interests in Geneva as an high EU tariffs. interested party in that negotiation. But Grant sees an opportunity from the Since the 2016 Brexit vote the industry no-deal scenario to recruit support for NZ’s has maintained that WTO rules will aim of retaining full flexibility to export protect NZ’s quota rights, in particular, up to 228,000t to either the UK or the the WTO’s underlying principle that no continent as it can now. country should be left worse off by any “My explanation to the Welsh farmers new trade deal. However, Grant says Article is that you want the capacity for NZ to 28 of the GATT under which schedules are export into Europe rather than the UK so being resubmitted is not clear cut. we do not crash the market.”

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October 2018

35


BUSINESS | OPINION

THE RISE OF SHEEP WORDS: ANDREW MORRISON

C

ould sheep be the saviour of our farming industry? According to a recent opinion piece in the New Zealand Herald, sheep could well be the economic and environmental saviour of NZ agri-business. It would be hard be disagree.

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The positioning of NZ lamb as a niche, grass-fed product, the swing against plastics and synthetics and sheep’s relatively small environmental footprint all bode well for the future. One of the big challenges we as an industry have is the public perception about farming and retaining a social licence to farm. The agricultural industry has captured the media attention recently, with concerns expressed about farming’s impact on the environment and animal welfare. As one of this country’s largest sectors and income earners, it is inevitable we come under public scrutiny and it should be welcomed. The frustration comes from misinformed commentary, particularly about our outdoor, natural pastoral farming systems. We are fortunate to be able to farm livestock outdoors in a natural environment all year round which means we don’t have the animal health issues associated with indoor housing and the need to use antibiotics. Winter feed crops have come under the spotlight this year and for good reason. Animals feeding on wet, muddy crops are concerning from both an animal welfare and environmental point of view but these poor management practices are the exception. The majority of farmers value feed crops as an option to get stock through a feed deficit and make sound decisions around their management. Along with DairyNZ we do have a lot of resources and information available on our websites about how to mitigate and minimise the environmental impacts of winter feed crops and this starts at crop establishment - so make use of those this spring.

Animals feeding on wet, muddy crops are concerning from both an animal welfare and environmental point of view but these poor management practices are the exception. Earlier this year, the board of Beef + Lamb NZ, consulted with our levy-payers about a proposal to increase the levies by 10 cents to 70 cents per head for sheep and 80 cents to $5.20 per head for beef. This increase will take effect on October 1. We had more than 63% support in favour of a levy increase and this will generate an extra $4 million we can invest - on your behalf - in market development, biosecurity, the environment and telling the farmer story. The Taste Pure Nature brand and Red Meat Story was launched earlier this year and is now in the critical execution phase. The marketing team talking to meat companies about the activation plan and we will report on progress within the next month. We will be taking a targeted approach, as without the vast war chest available to our competitors, we need to be clever - and we are. We are fortunate to have some great talent in our team doing a fantastic job on your behalf. I’m looking forward to a good season ahead. The winter has been kind and stock are generally in great condition. Prices are looking strong and while there will always be challenges, I am feeling optimistic about the future of this country’s sheep industry.

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Andrew Morrison is the chairman of Beef + Lamb NZ

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


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37


BUSINESS | GENETICS

Trimming the workload Coopworth ewe and lambs: Many commercial farmers are already achieving scanning percentages above 170% in their mixed-age ewes.

WORDS: TONY LEGGETT

R

am breeder complacency is a big issue facing the sheep industry, Coopworth Genetics president Kate Broadbent says. She surveyed a group of younger farmers recently, asking them what their expectations are for sheep in a decade’s time. “Nearly all of them said they want sheep that thrive with reduced inputs, ewes that are efficient with better longevity in the flock. They want more for less really, like clearer breeches so there’s less dagging and crutching required,” she says.

Broadbent says ram breeders have achieved tremendous performance improvements over a long period, thanks to better feeding, selection technologies and research. But there is a risk that complacency would prevent breeders from seeking the next level of performance. Many commercial farmers are already achieving scanning percentages above 170% in their adult ewes, so managing large numbers of ewes carrying triplet lambs is now a critical challenge. She says most ram breeders have got high performance sheep.

The Coopworths and Perendales might have led the way in terms of performance years ago, but now the composites are right up there too as are most breeds where breeders use performance selection. From her survey, farmers were saying they wanted the opportunity to not dock tails from single lambs and kill them all at weaning time so workload on them is minimal. None of the farmers mentioned wool in their responses. Most are more concerned more about minimising it so the workload dealing with dags and crutching

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is reduced. Soundness, good feet, mouths, and constitution are rising up the list of requirements. She has noticed a move within her own ram breeding clients away from buying rams out of hoggets to buyers selecting rams out of older ewes that have always reared multiples and never shown up with any problems.

‘Farmers are saying they want sheep that can cope with feeding challenges at certain times of year, but bounce back, just like the traditional beef cow breeds do.’ “Farmers are saying they want sheep that can cope with feeding challenges at certain times of year, but bounce back, just like the traditional beef cow breeds do,” she says. Broadbent would like to see breeders putting more emphasis on resilience to worm challenge and facial eczema.

Most farmers want to minimise the workload dealing with dags and crutching.

“We should all know facial eczema is a huge challenge now, yet some ram breeders pay minimal attention to this in their breeding programmes,” she says. She is concerned at the minimal investment made by Government, through its research investment, into finding solutions to parasite challenge in sheep and beef. As a Beef + Lamb NZ farmer council member, she is heartened to hear farmers asking Beef + Lamb to run more Wormwise

workshops so they can get the latest advice on how to deal with internal parasite challenges. She says poor drench management across the country and inappropriate use of longacting capsule drenches is very concerning. Her own Nikau Coopworth stud will be one of the first to gain WormFec Gold status, signalling her commitment to breeding for worm tolerance and offering rams that have passed an agreed standard of resilience. 

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39


MANAGEMENT | WEANING WEIGHTS

Moving up a level Waikato farmer Jon Sherlock shares his and wife Fiona’s plan to improve the farming operation so they can capitalise on higher lamb prices.

W

ith lamb schedules sitting well above $8/ kg, plenty of lambs already running around on the hills, and pastures growing well under them, conditions (so far at least) look ripe for a cracking season in terms of sheep income. Year after year, good sheep farmers across the country have continued to alter, adjust and tweak their management to improve the performance and profitability of their breeding ewe systems. It’s when lamb prices reach today’s lofty heights, that these farmers are in a great position to be well rewarded for the improvements they have worked hard on achieving. When Fiona and I took the reins on the family farm back in 2014 we challenged ourselves to follow the example of other successful farmers and come up with a plan to improve the profitability of the farm business. At that stage we reviewed where the business was at and what the opportunities were to improve our profitability. Our

40 

600-hectare farm is based in Waingaro in the western Waikato. This is hard North Island hill country with about 50% over 25 degrees slope and only 40ha cultivable. Given the limitations of the country it was clear to us that our breeding ewe enterprise would remain the engine room of the business. As a result one of the key goals we had to move the business forward was to improve the performance of the ewe flock.

Then with every $1/kg increase in lamb schedule the ewe flock would be generating another $50,000 at weaning.

My father kept impressive records over the decades he farmed the place and this data was hugely valuable to us when it came to reviewing the ewe

Fiona and Jon Sherlock: Capitalising on higher lamb prices.

flock performance and looking for opportunities. We homed in on data for the previous 10 years. The average year had 3000 ewes scanning 144% and lambing 120%. Lambs were weaned at an average weight of 24kg and ewes were put to the ram at an average of 52kg. Overall the ewe flock had weaned an average of 88,000kg a year.

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October 2018


TIPS

This is hard North Island hill country.

ground, we still need to work on hitting our target of a 28kg lamb weaning weight. At that time we set a target of aiming to Our focus this year was trying to lift the produce 126,000kg of lamb at weaning. average pasture cover at set stocking. That target felt like a bloody lofty one. It Strategic use of nitrogen, a slightly lower represented a 40% increase in lamb weaning stocking rate, and a relatively kind winter weight from the same number of ewes. has allowed us to achieve an average The key opportunity we saw was to focus cover of about 1550kg drymatter (DM)/ on better feeding of our ewes to allow them ha at set stocking. This is a record for us. to more fully express their genetic potential. And with twinning ewes set stocked at The goal was to add another 10kg to our ewe 6.3-7.3head/ha and singles at 8.5hd/ha we mating liveweights – target a 62-65kg ewe feel like we’ve given the girls every chance at mating. The aim was for these ewes to go to hit a decent lactation peak and grow on to scan 180%, lamb 145% and wean 28kg their lambs. Our challenge now will be to lambs. maintain pasture quality later in the spring At a $6/kg lamb schedule those 28kg to keep lamb growth rates pumping. lambs would be worth roughly $70/head at weaning. That’s a total value of $317,500 which is $95,700 higher than our flock was generating over the last 10 years (at the The other area we need to seriously same $6/kg schedule). Then with every $1/ improve on is mating and growing out our kg increase in lamb schedule the ewe flock ewe hogget replacements. In the first two would be generating another $50,000 at years we decided to hold fire on mating weaning. our ewe hoggets given their liveweights It’s now four years in and we’ve made and autumn feed levels. some very satisfying progress towards our In those seasons we successfully hit our goal. We’re not there yet and there’s still target of achieving a 62kg two-tooth at more to do but it’s great to look back on mating. Then in the last two years we took the progress we have made. In that last few the plunge and mated around half of our years ewe liveweights at mating have lifted ewe hogget replacements. Unfortunately to 62kg. the results have been disappointing. The ewes have consistently scanned The hoggets scanned 100% last year between 170-180%, and lambed at 135which we thought was a fair starting 137%. Last year we weaned a total of point from where we could improve. 107,000kg of lamb – that’s halfway to our Unfortunately this year the hoggets target of 126,000kg. scanned a miserable 40%. So while we’ve done well at feeding We are still investigating the causes of our ewes better to get more lambs on the this poor result. It’s easy enough to come

SETTING A TARGET

BITTER PILL TO SWALLOW

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

• Make a plan to improve – set a few mornings aside to make it happen • Review your performance and profitability – set the baseline. • Identify the big levers you can pull to improve (eg: ewe mating weight and/or condition score, pasture cover at set-stocking etc). • Set some simple but lofty goals – make these measurable and time-bound (eg: be producing 126,000kg of weaned lamb in five years’ time). • Work out the value of achieving that goal – this can be very motivating (eg: an extra $95,000 of lamb value at weaning). • Set targets that will be important to achieve the main goal (eg: average ewe liveweight at mating of 65kg, average pasture cover at set stocking of 1600kg DM/ha etc). • Tell people your plan – get feedback from others to improve it. Get input and feedback from your husband/wife/partner, staff, consultant, shareholders, board, bank manager, family, friends, mentors, discussion group etc. These people can also help motivate and hold you accountable. • Measure, weigh and record what you need to during the season to measure your progress (eg: ewe liveweights/condition scores, pasture covers at key times). Don’t get carried away here if measuring and recording is not your gig. Just do the essentials. • Review your plan – what’s on target, what’s not. What do we need to change to make better progress. • Analyse your failures and celebrate your successes.

up with excuses at this point – but the bottom line is our attention to detail and focus on this high-priority stock class was left seriously wanting. That’s a bitter pill to swallow. But we learn plenty from our failures – so the pressure is there to put that result right next year. 

41


MANAGEMENT | STRATEGIES

Set-stocking early a good option A vet and four farmers shared their knowledge and experiences in a seminar focussed on strategies on how to maximise productivity in the spring. Sandra Taylor reports.

G

etting ewes off lambing paddocks as early as possible in winter will ensure good pasture covers at lambing. Stockcare consultant and vet Pete Anderson said it can be as early as ram removal or scanning. This feed can be used earlier if winter feed runs out. He outlined management strategies farmers should be considering to maximise productivity in spring at a recent Beef+Lamb NZ Farming for Profit seminar in Canterbury. “It’s better to set-stock earlier on high covers than push the ewes in the last part of pregnancy.” He recommends getting the flock scanned into two mobs, the early and lates. To do this, farmers should ask the scanner to foetal-age the first 100 ewes and work out where the half-way point in lambing is. This means set-stocking and animal procedures can be done in groups, easing the workload pressure. Tailing can be done in the same way. Anderson says farmers should err toward set-stocking early, especially when

42 

ewes are on winter feed crops. Most of the problems with feed crops are associated with calcium, protein and other vitamin and mineral deficiencies (magnesium, iodine, vitamin D and E) which can cause metabolic problems. “There are a lot of subclinical metabolic issues which have a huge impact on lamb survival.” This, he says, is all to do with suppressed immune function and which can also cause problems such as mastitis and weight loss. Unless the ewes have access to a very high-quality supplement (lucerne baleage) or a good run off, they should be taken off feed crops as they get close to lambing. Ewes on fodder beet in particular should be given a vitamin supplement. Vitamin E is associated with lamb vigour and survival and giving Vitamin E (drench is preferable) will help both. Old pastures are very low in Vitamin E. He cautions against giving five-inone vaccines too early before lambing. The peak response is 10-14 days after injecting.

Joe White: Okawa Station While at an altitude of 500m, the 750ha effective farm has a large area of rolling flats with some hill country. Along with cattle they winter 4500 ewes. The two-tooths winter on swedes and these are transitioned off swedes and on to grass on September 6 for about 10 days. They are then set-stocked on to the hill at 4/ha as close to lambing as possible. The mixed-age ewes winter on grass and are set-stocked at roughly 10/ha at lambing. The lambing paddocks are sheltered and these are grazed early in winter then left to allow pasture covers to build. Joe says the stocking rate is adjusted to mob size during lambing beats, so at tailing all set-stock country has equal grass covers. The single-bearing ewes lamb in six paddocks and are then moved into rotation mobs of 250-300.

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October 2018


Rory Moore: Inverary Station, Ashburton Gorge

Matt Collins: block manager Big Ben Station, Rakaia Gorge

Big Ben is a 3500-hectare farm running 10,000 stock units comprising Angus cows and Headwater ewes. The farm runs from 400-800 metres above sea level and has an annual rainfall of 700800mm. They run a split lambing with 1500 terminal sire ewes lambing on September 1. These ewes are scanned mid-June and are on winter feed crops for 50 days. Fifteen days before they lamb, the triplet-bearing ewes get a five-in-one vaccine and a capsule, the rest just get a five-in-one. Eight to 10 days out from lambing the ewes are set-stocked on to paddocks and are driven around daily to get them used to a vehicle. The twin ewes are set-stocked at 8/ha, the singles at 10/ha and the triplets 5/ha. This year some of the triplets will be lambed on lucerne. These lambing ewes are checked once or twice a day, picking up any cast ewes and helping any having problems lambing. The balance - 4000 ewes - start lambing on the hill on October 1. These ewes are scanned in mid-July and are on winter feed for 60 days. Again, the triplet-bearing ewes are given a five-in-one and a capsule and the balance a five-in-one. The ewes are set-stocked eight to 10 days before lambing as winter feed runs out. The twin-bearing ewes are set-stocked on the developed hill country at 8/ha and on the better hill blocks at 4/ ha. The singles are spread around the harder blocks at 4/ha. The triplet ewes lamb on the lower hill country close to paddocks and are stocked at 2-3/ha. They are well spread out to help maximise survival. After tailing these triplet lambs come down onto the paddocks and are put onto lucerne.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

Inverary covers 4300ha, running from 500m to 1400m. The farm winters 5500 Romdale ewes and 550 Angus cows and replacements. The ewes are wintered on grass on two-day breaks. They run a split lambing, lambing 1800 terminal sire ewes in mid-September and the balance start in early October. The set-stocking policy on Inverary varies according to where the ewes are going, but thanks to the good lane system on the farm they can take the ewes out when they are close to lambing and let them wander up the lane systems to their lambing block. They try to set-stock the ewes as late as possible because the feed on the hill is of poorer quality than the paddocks and the ewes are being setstocked before spring growth really kicks in on the hill country. However, they do get better lamb survival on the hill than they do on the flats which are more exposed. The single ewes are on the harder, colder country at the far end of the property and they are set-stocked a week before lambing. The ewes on the closer hill country are often not set-stocked until two to three days before lambing. The overflow lamb on the flats. The triplet ewes are lambed on the paddock country and are checked daily, although they have a policy of minimal disturbance. Lighter ewes, body condition score 2 are run on the better country but most ewes are lambing under 800m. Inverary is carrying out a lot of development work unlocking significant potential as pastures are developed. The ewes are wintered on these pastures, they lamb on the hills and are brought back to the developed pastures soon after lambing.

Hugh Copland: Ashburton In contrast, Hugh Copland farms 650ha just north of Ashburton, 500ha of which is irrigated. Sitting at 150m above sea level, they run sheep, beef and grow crops. They lamb 2600 ewes from mid-August and this includes 200 stud ewes. This year they have 450 ewes bearing triplets. The ewes are break-fed on pasture from May and six to eight weeks before lambing they are given a supplement of lucerne baleage. The ewes are scanned in late June. In August the ewes are separated into the commercial and stud flocks and drafted into two-tooths, single-bearing and multiple mobs. The late-lambing ewes go onto fodder beet. At lambing, each mob is moved every day with the unlambed ewes being shed off from those that have. Each mob has its own rotation of lambing paddocks. Three to five days after lambing the ewes and lambs are run into larger paddocks where they stay until weaning in November. Hugh says they do a lambing beat twice a day and will mother-on and rear lambs as required. 

››More from the seminar p44 For more on the seminar go to www.nzfarmlife.co.nz

43


MANAGEMENT | LAMB SURVIVAL

A year to make money WORDS: SANDRA TAYLOR

Growth targets

S

heep farmers have colossal potential to make money this season, farm systems scientist Tom Fraser says. He says mixed-age ewes with twin lambs were conservatively worth about $400; that is $120/lamb and $160 for the ewe. Saving 10 twinbearing ewes will therefore be worth $4000. Therefore, saving between 1-5% of in-lamb ewes will be worth a significant amount of money this year. A good autumn in many regions meant

Singles

Target

Birthweight

Achievable target

5kg

5kg

First 33 days

400g/day (500)

13.2

16.5

Mid 33 days

300g/day (400)

9.9

13.2

Last 33 days

200g/day (300)

6.6

9.9

35kg

44.6kg

Twins

Target

Achievable target

Birthweight

4.5kg

4.5kg

Weaning weight

First 33 days

350g/day (425)

11.5

14

Mid 33 days

250g/day (325)

8.2

10.7

Last 33 days

200g/day (250)

6.6

8.2

31kg

37.4kg

Weaning weight

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twin lambs at 300g/day. Weaning a 35kg lamb would require lambs to be growing at 300-500g/day but would need to average 300g/day throughout lactation. The heavier the lamb at weaning the more options farmers have.

Tom Fraser: The key driver of income on sheep farms is the kilograms of lambs weaned per hectare.

‘This is the year to take full advantage of the opportunities in front of us so you need to keep as many ewes alive as possible.’

scanning percentages were generally up – which means a lot more triplets – again an opportunity to generate income if the management is right. He told the Farming for Profit seminar the key driver of income on sheep farms is the kilograms of lambs weaned per hectare. This is made up of the number of lambs born, growth rates and weaning weights. Most farmers are happy with their

Research has shown that the average ewe flock in NZ has a body condition score (BCS) 0.5 below optimum at lambing. Typically, ewes have good BCS at mating and scanning, but lose condition in the last four to six weeks of pregnancy. A lift in 0.5 BCS is worth an increase in lambing weaning weight of 3kg per lamb in twin lambs. A thousand ewes lambing 130% produce 1300 lambs. Increasing pre-weaning growth rates by 30g/day or 10% will add 3kg/lamb on to the weaning

stocking rate and scanning, but lamb survival is where the opportunity lies. “If 20-25% are not making it through to tailing then that’s a significant loss.” Lamb growth through to lactation is also an opportunity to increase returns. The average weaning weight in New Zealand is 27-28kg so pre-weaning growth rates are typically about 220g/day. Fraser says all the sheep genetics in this country produce ewes capable of growing

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weights. This amounts to 3900kg which at $3/kg is worth $11,700. Fraser says there is significant money to be made by achieving growth targets – it’s all about the spring forage supply.”

All down to feed A 65kg ewe growing twin lambs at 300g/day requires 18-20kg of wet pasture every day. That is a lot of pasture and in order to harvest that amount, Fraser says every bite she takes needs to be significant. The ewe needs to be physically able to take enough bites in a day to meet her energy requirements, this means she needs high pasture covers. In spring pasture quality looks after itself - the challenge is quantity. Spring grass has a metabolisable energy (ME) similar to that of clover, but quality declines from late spring as temperatures increase. Air temperatures of 17-20C will put grass under stress and it responds by thickening the cell wall resulting in a loss of quality. Young stock will grow twice as fast

on spring pasture as they will on similar-looking pasture in summer or autumn. Spring is the easiest time to grow pasture as typically there is enough moisture and warmth. Fraser says until six weeks before lambing foetal requirements are quite small. In the last four to six weeks of pregnancy foetal requirements increase significantly and will take energy away from the ewe if the ewe’s energy intakes are insufficient. A 65kg ewe requires 3kg DM/day. If she is getting this amount of energy, milk production will be maintained, below that and this lack of energy will have a major effect on milk production, particularly if she is at a light BCS. This has a compounding effect by reducing the ewes’ BCS even further. Tom recommends following the dairy industry’s example of putting a 1 BCS on their cows before calving. It is no different for twin lambs, otherwise the ewe will struggle to eat enough to maintain herself and feed her lambs.

Returns per 100 twin-scanned ewes Increased lamb growth

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3kg

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510kg

Increased lamb survival (5% of 170)

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10.5 MJ ME (0.9 kgs DM)

To feed twin foetuses in late pregnancy

6.0 MJ ME (0.5 kgs DM)

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www.wrig.co.nz Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

47


MANAGEMENT | PROFITABILITY

Cattle enterprises are generally favourable with sheep. The exception is autumn calves.

Converting drymatter into profit A comparison on the power of different policies to produce profit is needed, not on the ability of your hectares to grow feed, Graham Butcher writes.

A

good place to start a discussion on sheep, cattle and deer stock policies is relative profitability and the simplest place to start is to look at how well those different policies turn what your farm grows (drymatter) into profit. It’s one, only one, of the many factors that drives the direction of what you do on the farm. I think looking at this from the point of view of profit per unit of drymatter is more relevant than profit per hectare. We want a comparison on the power of different

48 

policies to produce profit, not on the ability of your hectares to grow feed. We are focusing on the policy not the hectares. Again, it’s one factor in the process to choose a direction. It’s just as important as elevation, summer dry, growth patterns, aspect, drainage, water supply, slope, infrastructure, and all those things you need to deal with when running stock. With this drymatter approach we assume the drymatter is the same if it’s grown on fertile flats or at 400 metres on a south face.

Common sense will allow you to make calls on what is possible and what is not. As of September 2018, taking current pricing and costs with a forward-looking adjustment, the relative profitability of various stock policies are shown in Table 1 (pg51). The c/kg DM returns are calculated as gross margins, which are direct income from that enterprise less direst costs. Fixed costs are ignored, they are paid regardless of what you do on the farm so can be ignored.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


We assume the drymatter is the same if it’s grown on fertile flats or at 400 metres on a south face.

With this information, you can start thinking about what might work better on your farm, remembering always that short-term high profit enterprises work well for their duration but you have to fill in the gaps when that enterprise in finished. What I do with these policies is add a winter feed component as a direct cost. If conserved feed or crop is required it is added in as a cost. You will see other analyses where this is not done on the basis that any class of stock could use the crop/conserved

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

feed so it should be ignored as a fixed cost. By adding in the cost of winter feed, you get a more relevant comparison with the likes of dairy cow winter grazing, winter lambs, summer lambs etc. Each of the policies in Table 1 are

analysed on Farmax to work out feed consumed, then a gross margin is done separately. With this information, you can start thinking about what might work better on your farm, remembering always that short-term high profit enterprises work well for their duration but you have to fill in the gaps when that enterprise in finished. Looking at Table 1, we could say the cattle enterprises are generally favourable with sheep. The exception is autumn calves. High calf prices lift the profitability of beef cows selling weaners but reduce the finisher’s margin.

›› continues p51

49


50 

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


TABLE 1: Relative Profitability Stock Policies Sep-18 c/kgDM consumed

Enterprise Brdg ewe, 135%, no hgt mating

13.4

Brdg ewe 140%, 50% hgt mating

14.8

Brdg ewe 155%, 85% hgt mating

15.8

Brdg ewe, store , 135%, no hgt mating

12.0

1 Year Ewes, 130%

13.2

Hogget grazing, no lambing. $1.65/wk year round

12.8

Summer Lamb Trading (early purchase)

22.4

Winter Lamb Trading (50% on brassica)

29.3

Breeding cow, calve 2yr, sell weaners

14.0

Breeding Cow, calve 2yr ,finishing

10.7

Once bred heifers

12.1

Bull Beef - rearing

17.4

Bull Beef - rear and high performance

20.5

Bull Beef - 100kg purchase

15.5

Autumn purchase steer calves

7.5

Autumn purchase steer calves high performance

8.0

Dairy heifer grazing ($6.00 and $10.50)

15.0

Dairy cows -winter at 14kg/$28

14.0

Wagyu Beef

21.3

Hinds, finishing

17.0

Wapiti.Elk, early kill

22.0

Hinds, selling weaners

16.3

Purchase weaner deer, finishing

16.9

Velvet Herd - Non Selected

27.2

Industry Average

32.1

Elite

42.1

Beef cows selling weaners is as profitable as a respectable sheep operation. If you add that beef cows consume lower-quality feed than sheep, the advantage is on the cow’s side. Just as an aside, I adjusted the calf price to make the c/kg DM equal to calf producers and finishers – it came out at about $2.90/kg liveweight for calves. However, if an 8c return is what fits best with pasture grooming for sheep, who can argue? Bull beef makes for a very favourable comparison and I do put a repairs and maintenance cost in the gross margin as variable cost with bulls. Wagyu beef is a very recent addition to the analysis; it looks good at this stage. Venison and velvet are a cut above, particularly velvet. Dairy support is competitive. If you take on winter cows as a pasture development project then you have the added advantage of accelerated pasture development. The question that prompted this article was about how sheep compare now given the current better lamb prices. Ten years ago sheep were at 8c to 10c return (this comparison has been going since 2008). So, despite wool, they are a much better position now but still serious competition from beef, venison/velvet and dairy support. The processing sector needs to keep this in mind, market developments that enhance farm gate returns are as important as they have ever been. Given the imperative nature of keeping sheep profitability moving forward, where is the next on farm quantum step forward going to come from? Consider Table 2, this shows the DM

 ›› continues p52

Facial Eczema testing for over 30 years, so all you need to focus on are the traits that make you money.

• 2018 Sires average in top 10% for DPCR (reproduction) • Mating all ewe hoggets • 2018 Sires average in top 20% for DPS (survival) • High Meat and Growth sires with good constitution selected • Minimal drenching of lambs to challenge tolerance. No Waimai Romney ewes drenched

Enquiries always welcome. Sale by private Treaty and at Mid Northern Romney Sale, 1st November, Claudlands.

Alastair Reeves

Country-Wide Sheep

M +64 (0) 27 457 3615 P +64 (0) 7 825 4925

October 2018

waimairomney.co.nz waimairomney@gmail.com

51


Venison and velvet are a cut above, particularly velvet.

feed allocation of a high performance 155%/85% hogget lamb flock. The “white” part of the graph shows the feed allocated to finishing lambs. The balance goes to ewe lambs, ewe hoggets and ewes – all classes of stock

that need to be maintained to produce the mixed lambs for sale. While this feed produces wool, low net after shearing, and ewes for sale, the bulk of gross income comes from lamb sales. We need to make the white part of the graph bigger. We could push for

TABLE 2: DM allocation for 155%/85% hogget lamb flock 4.5 4.0

kgDm/ha/d

3.5

Ewes Ewe hoggets Ewe Lambs Mixed Lambs Rams

3.0 2.5 2.0 1.5 1.0

production beyond 155%/85% or we could decide to lamb ewes every eight months – three lambings in two years. This is not a new concept. It has been done on a small scale using Dorset ewes back in 2005 on a farm near Lawrence. With better lamb returns and strong wool suffering, is it time to blow the cobwebs off split flock, eight-month lambing – any takers? The art of farm management is to select a mix of enterprises that gives the highest average annual return for the conditions you face on your farm. It’s not just about picking short-term high profit enterprises; it’s about an appropriate mix of enterprises that maximizes pasture utilisation and average return for c/kg DM across the board. As I’ve said, c/kg DM is a good place to start thinking about enterprise mix. 

0.5

J A S O N D J F M A M J

PROTECT  YOUR  FUTURE  FLOCKS  

PROTECT  YOUR  FUTURE  FLOCKS   WAITEIKA  HILL  COUNTRY  ROMNEYS     RAMGUARD  TESTING  SINCE  1985    *****RATING  

  WAITEIKA  HILL  COUNTRY  ROMNEYS  

Graham Butcher is a Gore-base farm consultant.

Farmax

Puketauru

Coopworth rams bred with an emphasis on

fertility & lamb survival selection for twinning and mothering ability since 1968

facial eczema tolerance

RAMGUARD testing at .6 level • Robust  functional   sheep  that  survive     lean meat production •   Monitoring  Parasites                                                             RAMGUARD  TESTING  SINCE  1985     *****RATING   Eye muscle and C T scanning     •   No  ewes  worm  drenched  ,  dipped  or  vaccinated   wool weight and quality hogget fleeces assessed for weight and quality •   Robust   functional  sheep  that  survive   •   Dag  and  condition  scoring                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Tom & Anne Abraham RD 3, Marton • Monitoring  Parasites                                                             Phone 06 327 6248 Puketauru@mac.com Keith  Abbott   •   No  ewes  worm  drenched  ,  dipped  or  vaccinated   Raglan  027  4639859   www.waiteikaromneys.co.nz   •   Dag  and  condition  scoring                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Genetically linked to Waimai & Kikitangeo Romneys 027 276 2148 www.puketauru.com Genetically  linked  to  Waimai  Romneys  

Puketauru Coopworths

Keith Abbott    

Raglan 027  4639859  

52 

www.waiteikaromneys.co.nz  

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


Buy with confidence “If one of our Romneys or Maternal Composites break out with facial eczema,, we will refund your entire ram purchase.” Will Jackson

• FE testing for 35 years, and above FE Gold Standard for 6 years • All Romney and Maternal Composite Sires tested above 0.6mg of

Sporidesmin/kg of liveweight • Ewes run in commercial conditions under no drench policy • Modern and prolific ewes lambing between 140 - 150% on hard hill country • All rams guaranteed for soundness and structure for 2 years • Romney and Maternal Composites have a lifetime guarantee against FE

• Romney

• Maternal Composite

• Perendale

• Suffolk

Will Jackson phone: 07 825 4480 or email: william@piquethillfarms.co.nz

www.piquethillstud.co.nz


LIVESTOCK | ONFARM

‘Complete’ sheep prosper Stock must be fit and mobile to cut it on the rugged hills of a Wairoa station where the horse, not the bike, is king. Russell Priest paid a visit. Photos by Joanna Higgins-Ware

W

airoa’s Riverina station is an unpredictable environment where lambs can get flystrike a week off the shears. It is a place where an abundance of feed can disappear fast and where 100mm of rain in 24 hours is not uncommon. It doesn’t faze Gavin Bowen, 39, who is enjoying the management challenges and achieving good results. “I’ve learnt to adopt a proactive and long-term approach to management in this environment and be prepared to move quickly if certain indicators start appearing,” Gavin says.

54 

Gavin lives on the station with his fiancee Anna McNicol, 36, who works at Farmlands in Wairoa four days a week. The farming company Riverina was initially owned by Gavin’s parents Olive and Arthur, but in 2004 ownership was

transferred to a trust. About this time the trust bought an adjoining hard 500 hectare hill-country block called Avalon. Before Arthur’s death in 2013 the two blocks had been put on the market but didn’t sell. Gavin was appointed manager and in

MATING HOGGETS Mating hoggets is a new initiative on Riverina. Last year the cut-off weight used was 38kg liveweight (LW) on April 1. A few hiccups were encountered resulting in only 50% being in lamb. Significant foetal reabsorption possibly caused by campylobacter or vibrio was detected at scanning. Hoggets were not vaccinated. Mating rams were harnessed with only those hoggets marked being scanned.

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October 2018


Horse power: Shepherds Sam Wright (right) and Josh Hopkirk (left).

‘I’ve learnt to adopt a proactive and long-term approach…..and be prepared to move quickly if certain indicators start appearing,”

View across Riverina showing development in background.

KEY POINTS • Riverina station, breeding and finishing farm. • In a challenging environment for sheep. • Hot and humid in summer, subject to heavy dumps of rain. • Animal health a major issue particularly for sheep. • Mobility important trait in Riverina’s ewe flock. • Most of the stock work is done on horses.

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October 2018

2016 the trust bought a further adjoining 340ha of easier hill country known as Carters giving a total area of 2590ha (2147ha effective). Most of the ineffective area is occupied by manuka, kanuka and blackberry. With a 12km hike to the back of the station, contour that in places is approaching steep-to-overhanging and animals that require regular shifting it is vital that stock are naturally free moving. It’s no surprise therefore that Perendale is the sheep breed of choice. Gavin said his father used to run Perendales when he farmed in Southland. Riverina was stocked with Perendales when they bought it. “So it was only natural we continued farming them.” He says they suit the country and are extremely mobile, albeit challenging at times. “I find them exciting to farm and other than a slight lack of fecundity they are the complete sheep in my opinion.” “Our average lamb slaughter weight is 19kg and we have store lamb clients finishing them at 23kg with good grades so there are no problems with them growing on.” “When we took over the Carters block it was running Romneys and while they are good producers we find them very

frustrating to muster as they lacked the mobility of our Perendales.” Riverina is used mainly as a sheep breeding and finishing unit while all the replacement sheep and cattle are grown out on Carters. Mating the ewe flock on five different dates helps to spread the workload. The five-year ewes are mated to terminal sires starting at the end of February. “B” flock ewes (1400 rejects from the breeding flock and Romneys from the Carters block) are also mated to terminal sires but three weeks later. The mixed-age (MA) Perendale breeding ewes are mated to Longview Perendale rams on April 1 and the two-tooths to similar rams on April 7. Cheviot rams run with the heaviest of the Perendale ewe hoggets from May 1. Rams run with the ewes for 35 days at a ratio of 1:70 and with the hoggets for a month. Any dry or wet-dry ewes and cows are culled. Ewes generally scan about 160% and dock between 135 and 144%. As part of the station’s drought management policy all one-year ewes and their progeny must be off the station by the end of November destined for either slaughter or the store market. This frees up a significant area making more feed available for other stock. Also as part of this strategy an additional



›› The pasture groomers p56 55


GOING HUNTING Both Gavin and Anna share their love of horses by being heavily involved in the sport of hunting. Station work naturally conditions them for the sport. Horses play a vital role in mustering on the station and along with running a team of dogs are a compelling reason why Josh Hopkirk (head shepherd), Sam Wright (junior shepherd), Raymond Takarua (fencer/ general) and Dan McGregor (Carters block) sought employment on the station. Casuals are employed in peak work periods.

1200 lambs must leave the station by Christmas either finished or as stores, leaving about 8000 lambs on the station. A week each month is required to muster and drench these. Tail-end lambs are dispatched to the easier country at the back of station while the remainder are either finished or sold as stores off the 20-30ha of chicory grown on the flats at the front of the station. Normally 50% of the lambs produced are finished at about 40kg carcaseweight (CW). Replacement ewe lambs are trucked to the Carters block at weaning and ewe hoggets/two tooths having been

there since the previous year are walked back to Riverina. Shearing takes place every six/eight months with 3000 ewes shorn prelambing and the rest with lambs at foot to spread the workload. Riverina gets first pick of the Maxwells’ Longview Perendales and places a lot of emphasis on FE and worm tolerance, fertility/fecundity and weaning weight. The only adult stock Gavin drenches are light conditioned ewes (below condition score 3) and twinning two tooths. In lamb hoggets and one-year ewes get a drench capsule.

Mixed-age Angus cows

The pasture groomers Seldom does one see extensive hill country carrying pastures with little or no roughage and of the quality displayed on Riverina Station. This is not only a tribute to Gavin’s management but also to the vital role the breeding cow plays in providing quality feed for other stock classes. Running such a relatively large capital stock herd (600-650 cows) in such an unpredictable environment can be both risky and challenging, however Gavin has several other stock classes he can sell before he needs to sacrifice breeding cows if a drought takes hold. Run in a complementary role with sheep the large Angus herd is a high performer achieving an in-calf rate of 90% (R2 heifers) and 95-97% (MA cows). Gavin believes that if cows are well fed pre and post-calving they can be

56 

‘worked’ over the winter cleaning up those areas of roughage that may have developed over the previous spring/summer without affecting their production. They can afford to lose some fat off their backs but not the lot. So during the winter cows on Riverina tidy up paddocks in mobs of up to 150 sometimes running with ewes and if their job is finished early are set stocked on their calving paddocks of autumn-saved pasture at 2.5/ha. These easier-contoured paddocks are stocked with weaner steers after their final autumn drench at a rate light enough for the grass to continue growing under them in readiness for the cows. Few if any calving problems are experienced by the MA cows although cows calving at the front of the station need supplementing with magnesium.

›› p58

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


Country-Wide Sheep Country Wide Sheep 4October 2018 Monday, 10 September 2018 1:01:05 PM

57


STOCK WINTERED • 7687 ewes • 2232 replacement ewe hoggets • 1326 trade hoggets • 90 rams • 477 MA cows • 197 in-calf R3 heifers • 221 R2 heifers • 262 R1 heifers • 233 R2 steers Mixed-age ewes paddocked out for lambing.

R3 heifers are calved closer to home and checked every three to four days. Heifers are first mated as two-year-olds to bulls with low birthweight EBVs on November 20 for 42 days. MA-cow mating begins on December 1 after calf marking when mobs of up to 100 cows are formed and rotated around sheep paddocks with bulls at a ratio of 1:30-40 for three cycles. Bulls are swapped around the mobs after

• 262 R1 steer • 22 bulls

1½ cycles. Riverina has been yard-weaning its calves on balage and hay for the last six years. “Good temperament is our number one selection criterion for cattle and yard weaning has had a positive effect on this. If a weaner heifer doesn’t respond to handling we won’t breed from her. Any stroppy animals go into a cull mob

where more regular handling helps to quieten them.” All weaners are wintered; the steers on Riverina and the heifers on Carters. Live export accounts for some of the yearling heifers while those not required for breeding are sold store at 18 months or finished for local trade in excess of 420kg LW. Steers go through two winters, the second being block-grazed on nitrogenboosted grass, balage and hay. Depending on the feed situation the better ones may be killed at 300kg CW with the remainder sold store or alternatively they may all be stored if the situation dictates. Most will be gone by early January because growth rates stall after this as pasture quality declines. Many of the stores go to the Manawatu where they achieve slaughter weights of 350kg CW at 2½ years and have been known to reach 750kg LW. Riverina buys its Angus bulls from the Crawshaws’ Kenardt Stud at Nuhaka. Gavin places a lot of emphasis on temperament, growth, milk and ease of calving coupled with soundness.

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October 2018


Riverina mixed-age Perendale rams.

Animal health a constant challenge Low soil copper levels on Riverina mean both sheep and cattle need regular supplementation. This comes at an annual cost of $30,000. All calves receive a capsule at marking and at weaning while older animals get an annual capsule. Ewes get a copper injection after scanning. Internal parasites particularly barber’s pole are a constant threat over the summer as is flystrike. Preventative treatment for fly occurs at docking, again at weaning and every month after that until the threat no longer exists. Goats are endemic to the area and it is well known they can harbour large internal parasite populations. For this and other reasons Gavin keeps their numbers

under control with an annual cull of about 500 which also provides the station and staff with additional income. Buying in facial eczema (FE) tolerant rams is paying dividends for Riverina. There are the odd clinical cases, but a fullblown outbreak has so far been averted.

Gavin knows that fungal toxins in the pastures cause health problems for his horses so he believes it is fair to assume they are also affecting sheep and cattle performance.



›› Tough country p60

Thanks to FE tolerant rams full-blown outbreaks have been averted.

www.mindahills.co.nz

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

JH0092394©

Mark & Lorraine Illston 06 388 7804

59


Tough country

Riverina station manager Gavin Bowen with his faithful workers.

ACROSS THE DITCH AND BACK The youngest of six children, Gavin grew up on a farm in Southland’s Te Anau basin where climatic conditions could not have been more dissimilar to where he now farms. Gavin’s parents Olive and Arthur moved from Te Anau to Queensland in 1995 where they farmed 100,000 hectares for five years before returning to New Zealand in 2000 and buying 1750ha Riverina Station situated just off the Tiniroto Road 22km north of Wairoa. After attending North Otago’s Waitaki Boys, Gavin completed a short stint on northern Southland’s Glenaray Station before heading north and spending seven years working on stations around the Hunterville/Taihape area - Ohinewairua, Otiwhiti, Ferndale, Kelly Land Company and for John Taylor. By 2005, having completed his apprenticeship, he was ready to come home to Riverina and join his father.

60 

Riverina station lies in a geographical area around Wairoa where the climate is considered by some to be the most challenging for sheep in New Zealand. High temperatures and humidity stimulate a range of parasites and toxins that severely challenge sheep performance. Summer temperatures in the 30s are common and while the higher parts of the station may get the odd sprinkling of snow in winter few frosts are experienced. Rainfall is extremely variable but averages about 1600mm. Cyclonic moisture-laden air from the north and north east can bring massive dumps of rain while dry north-westerly winds can turn the shallow-top soiled northfacing slopes brown overnight. January/ February can be extremely dry. Soils on Riverina are predominantly sedimentary with a light mantle of ash and are particularly deficient in copper and to a lesser extent selenium. Phosphate and particularly sulphur levels need regular attention. All three blocks have received regular fertiliser applications for a long period. PHs at 5.6-5.8 and Olsen Ps at 20-30 are excellent however sulphurs (sulphate S at 5 and organic at 8) are a little low. Total fertiliser applied last year was 600 tonnes. The rolling and medium hill country received 320kg/ ha and 250kg/ha of superphosphate respectively and the remainder of the station received 200-220kg/ha of sulphur super 15. A small quantity of urea was used on steer-wintering paddocks. Riverina has about 120ha of cultivable land and the rest is easy-tosteep hill country. Altitude ranges from 30-320 metres above sea level. About 50ha of hill country has been developed in the past two years out of scrub. This has been by cutting, burning and aerially applying Hogan ryegrass, 2t lime/ha plus a capital dressing of 300kg/ ha DAP 13S. It also gets 70kg/ha of urea in the spring to give the grass a boost. Hogan was followed by a crop of chicory over the summer and permanent pasture in the autumn. Sub clover is an important component of any seed mixes sown on the hills.

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October 2018


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LIVESTOCK | ONFARM

Set to maximise high lamb prices North Canterbury’s Ferniehurst looks like a demonstration farm, but getting there has involved tough decisions and hard work. Sandra Taylor reports.

I

n the middle of August John Fitzgerald could be forgiven for feeling just a little bit smug. Autumn-saved pastures were ready for set-stocking, weed-free lucerne stands had a spring-like green tinge and well-conditioned ewes were about to run on to a 12-tonne rape crop which would provide their high nutritional requirements in their last weeks of pregnancy. Barring weather, Ferniehurst, the 1800-hectare North Canterbury hill country sheep and beef farm John, 42, manages for owners Richard and Catherine Wilding, appears well positioned to maximise the opportunities created by high returns for lamb this season. While Ferniehurst looks like a demonstration farm for best-practice ewe flock management, the road to getting there has not been without some tough

62 

John Fitzgerald has shown that if done properly, the focus on legumes and body condition can be game-changing.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


A focus on body condition scoring and culling at weaning has made for an even ewe flock.

Maternal ewes lamb on hill country.

decisions, hard-work, times of doubt and significant investment. Even setting the farm up for spring takes a lot of effort and John says it soaks up a lot of land, but it is worth it to optimise production over that time of the year.

The farm is on late country and spring pasture growth doesn’t really start until well into September, which means they have a short window to maximise lamb growth rates before the height of summer.

John is quick to acknowledge that Ferniehurst, tucked into the hill country near Hawkeswood has a lot to recommend it.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

The farm has a good balance of country with 300-400ha of cultivable country including river flats and paddocks with deep, heavy soils running up to steep hill country. About 400ha is ungrazed land including native bush and long-established trees which provide outstanding shelter and aesthetic value. The farm has an annual rainfall of 1200mm - higher than many other areas of North Canterbury and the moisture-sucking Nor West goes straight over the top of the hills. Snow is not an issue. Ferniehurst also has owners who have been willing to invest in the significant – 200ha/year – pasture development undertaken during John’s six-year tenure as manager and support the changes he has made to farm policies. Conversely, the farm is on late country and spring pasture growth doesn’t really start until well into September, which means they have a short window to maximise lamb growth rates before the height of summer. Ferniehurst also gets very wet in winter and June this year tested everyone’s mettle

with 320mm of rain falling while cattle were being grazed on fodder beet. But subsequent mild weather means they have been able to build pasture covers and feed banks for late winter and early spring. The farm now has 140ha of Venus lucerne and these stands are typically surrounded by paddocks of short-rotation ryegrass (Tabu) and Rustler red clover and Kakariki white clover which John uses to lamb on. They also grow kale and rape and these are all part-and-parcel of the push to improve the quantity and quality of the drymatter grown. John says they have tried a number of different approaches to crop establishment and pasture renewal including growing kale as an autumn feed for flushing ewes and then drilling a grass and oat mix straight in behind for lambing ewes. They have also improved the cultivable hill country pastures by increasing the legume content of these pastures and lifting the quality of the grasses grown. This includes Safin cocksfoot and subterranean clover mixes (Denmark, Antas, Woogenellup).

63


Significant pasture development carried out over the past six years has allowed them to recover quickly from the recent drought.

Rape crops – used for feeding ewes in late pregnancy – are followed by fodder beet which is used for wintering R1 and R2 cattle. This year the fodder beet – all dryland – yielded an impressive 30t/ha. John admits this aggressive approach to establishing lucerne, feed crops and highquality pastures has been expensive and during the drought he questioned whether they had done right thing - even though

they were initially grateful for the extra feed. But once the drought broke, these improved pastures and forages responded rapidly to the moisture and meant recovery has been fast. The lucerne, which cost $600/ha to establish (not including capital fertiliser which had been built up slowly through the cropping programme) but it is producing 700kg liveweight of lamb/

ha through to weaning. The hill country generates 160kg liveweight of lamb/ha to weaning. Short-rotation grasses and clovers cost $500/ha to establish. John says all the development is cashflowed and farm working expenses sit at 58% of total farm income.

›› Keeping the score p66

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October 2018


COOPWORTH GENETICS NEW ZEALAND INC

www.coopworthgenetics.co.nz Coopworths celebrate 50 years. National Ewe

Hogget Competition winners The Border Leicester was chosensection as it had the highest lambing

After the 2nd WW scientists at Lincoln College investigated crossbreeding to lift lambing percentage.

percentage of all breeds available in NZ at the time. The first cross ( F1) Border Romney ewes produced 20 to 30 % more lambs Farm Congratulations to Romani owners, Rossindividual and Ruth farmers Richards, than the straight breds. The College and some for winning the Coopworth began inter-breeding and stabilizing the cross; producing sheep section of the 2018 National Ewe with superior performance to the original F1’s. Hogget Competition. 1968 saw a Breed Society formed Their and the Coopworth storyan aver1012 hoggets had age weight 45kg 25 and began. Named for Prof Coop at Lincoln the basis ofon theApril breeds scanned 135%. success has been performance recording. His vision, and that Romani Farm runs 12 su/ha and of the other breeders involved, was to select sheep based on has a sheep policy with minimal measured performance and continuously record and drench and nomonitor dipping. progress. At the time this flew in the face of the accepted Show Scene where the size of the ram and his topknot were criteria for Farm’s ewe hoggets, winners use. The Coopworth Concept put Romani performance above pedigree of the Coopworth section in this year’s and appearance. National Ewe Hogget Competition. 50 years forward and the Coopworth is a well-established breed with a reputation for unmatched mothering ability and ewes who rear their own weight in lambs.

Group’s founder recognised for his The Best Dam Breed commitment and inspiration

Todays breeders are at the fore for selecting for traits that farmers are interested in:

righthogget from thelambing beginning. 2016 results Beef and Lamb NZ Sheep The willingness of this group to work together sharing genetics • and 59 information, % Killed off has mother at 17.8 kg Industry Awards. resulted in the most well-connected 2017 Sheep Industry Awards for breeders in the with top performance figures. • group 90 %of killed by mid Jancountry at 18 kg ave Currently 29 Coopworth flocks are involved in the group.Trait The Leader for Parasite Maternal Graph: How the NZOSR flocks have performed for Maternal Worth + Year Number to the ram together Dockingto% NZOSR continues to work share rams, ideas and Resistance. Meat compared with all Dual Purpose flocks in the SIL evaluation. make genetic progress as a group. Congratulations to winnerNikau Coopworth 2007 1063 100% Romani Coopworth also nominated Country-Wide Sheep October 2018 106% 65 2010 849 in this category. Kate Broadbent George Tatham 2013

1050

117%

Nikau Coopworth

B+LNZ Farmer Director

37©

• FE tolerance Left: John Wilkie, founder of NZ Ovine Sire Reference Group, The New Zealand Ovine Sire receiving theresistance President’s Award from Coopworth Genetics in • Worm Reference Group (NZOSR) was recognition of 50 years of dedication to the Coopworth breed. founded by John Wilkie, Waione • Meat and carcass traits Coopworth, Wanganui, in 1985. • Longevity and efficiency An innovative group formed and committed to performance Large Flock Award Finalist Ewe Hogget Competition recording, sharing records and circling rams around the group Congratulations to Whitford Farms, Romani Coopworth to prove them in differing Waikaretu, for winning the Coopworth Ross and Ruth Richards 1000 Coopworth hoggets wean 110 % on the Taumarunui hills environments and to link the Section of the Ewe Hogget Competition run in a commercial environment. Overall lambs killed ave 17.5kg . Wool production members. for thephilosophy 2nd year. was to choose The 5.8kg/ssu. Whitfords usingand Coopworth referencehave sires been each year Effective area 660ha, 12 su/ha use these inand the members’ rams for 35rams years a focus on hogget fl ocks, either through artifi cial lambing has seen consistent lifts in insemination or natural mating. Progeny were retained and performance. A true Coopworth success evaluated on each farm. story. Facial eczema tolerance was included in the selection process


THE BEST DAM BREED Strong Maternal Instincts Ideal Ewe for any Sire Easy Care Lambing Improved Lambing g% High Survival

Otago Coopworth GLENRAE Breeders RAMS Gains

COOPWORTHS

Annual Elite Flock Ram Sale

All Sale Rams have Indexes over 2900 Commercial Meat Yields average 56%

AVAILABLE: RAMS Wednesday 5th December 2018 • Coopworths to breed 4pm. Gore A&P Grounds. Goretop • Coopdales performing • Pollwww.otago-coopworths.co.nz Dorsets • Southdowns ewes and high

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Sale Date: 6 November 2017 Sale Date: 6 November 2017 09 233 3230 09 233 3230 Sale Date: 6 November 2017 Sale date: 5 November 2018 www. nikaucoopworth. co.nz www. nikaucoopworth. 09 233 3230 co.nz 09November 233 3230 Sale Date: 6 2017 www.nikaucoopworth.co.nz www. nikaucoopworth.co.nz 09 233 3230

Ross & Ruth Mitchell 0274338613 Elaine G LGeorge E N && M I C HFletcher E L L E 0274334773 M ITC H E LL Fraser 0274978104 R D 4 Fletcher LUMSDEN 9794

JH0089192©

Romani Coopworths Coopworths Romani Romani StrengthCoopworths Tested Sires Sires Strength Tested Strength Tested Sires Romani Coopworths Strength Tested Sires

Marlow C O O P W O RT H S

• • •

66 

Inspection Welcome

Inspection Welcome Rams Guaranteed RamsSmith Guaranteed George 2 RD Wyndham

Ross & & Ruth Ruth Richards Ross Richards Ross & Ruth Richards Taumarunui Taumarunui Taumarunui Ph:07 07 895 895 7144 Ph: 7144 Ph: 07 895 7144 romani@farmside.co.nz romani@farmside.co.nz Ross & Ruth Richards romani@farmside.co.nz Taumarunui Ph: 07 895 7144 LAWSON-LEA romani@farmside.co.nz

03 206 4925

George Smith 2 RD Wyndham The Poplars Dual Purpose 03 206 4925 Coopworth Rams

• COOPWORTH • TEXEL • COOPTEX • SUFFTEX

For Rams bred with the commercial farmer in mind

LAWSON-LEA GENETICS All animals Production Recorded on SIL

• • COOPWORTH • TEXEL • COOPTEX • SUFFTEX • High fertility • High Forgrowth Ramsrates bred with the • Eye muscle scanned for more meat commercial farmer in mind • Great mothering ability Low of input for maximum return $$$ • • Ease lambing

203/04 Industry

Super Sire NZOSR Steve Wyn-Harris All sale rams carcase RD 1, Waipukurau scanned for eye muscle 06 855 8265, swyn@xtra.co.nz area www.marlowcoopworths.co.nz SIL DPP indexes all over 2000 Sires used pass FE test at 6 203/04 Industry Dams all sired by rams passing Super Sire FE test at 6 Steve Wyn-Harris

• High and fertility Breeding selecting on production since • High growth rates 1978 so you can buy our rams with confidence. • Eye muscle scanned for more meat Contact: Graeme or Raewyn Black • Great mothering ability Southland Phone 03 224 6369 • Low input for maximum return $$$

Breeding and selecting for over 30 years, so you can buy our rams with confidence. 6©

www.alphasheepgenetics.co.nz www.coopworth.org.nz

GENETICS

Marlow C O O P W O RT H S • 45 years of performance recording • Stud a member of NZOSR • All sale rams carcase scanned for eye muscle area • SIL DPP indexes all over 2000 • Sires used • 45 years of pass FE test at 6 • Dams all sired by rams passing performance recording FE test at 6 • Stud a member of

COOPWORTH, COOPTEX, ROMTEX, TEXEL www.alphasheepgenetics.co.nz

RS0089195©

Rams selected by achieving good growth, muscling and low dag score, despite restricted feeding and minimal drench input.

Coopworth and Coopworth Texel Cross Genetics are Cumulative

RS0089195©

ContinuingEdward EdwardDinger’s Dinger’s 40 yearsofofaward award • • Continuing • Continuing Edward Dinger’s4040years years of award winning winning genetics winning genetics genetics Highfertility fertilityand andFE FEtolerant tolerant • • High • High fertility and FE tolerant • All rams eye-muscle scanned plus10% 10% CT CTscanned scannedtoto to •rams All rams eye-muscle scannedplus 10%ofCT • •AllContinuing eye-muscle scanned scanned Edward Dinger’s 40plus years award improve accuracy improve accuracy improve winningaccuracy genetics Rams selected by achieving goodgrowth, growth, muscling Rams selected by achievinggood good Rams selected byand achieving growth,muscling muscling • and High fertility FE tolerant low dag score, despite restrictedfeeding feeding and score, despiterestricted restricted and and low low dagdag score, despite feedingand and minimal drench input. • All rams eye-muscle plus 10% CT scanned to minimalscanned drench input. minimal drench input. improve accuracy

JH0089194© JH0089194©

www.nikaucoopworth.co.nz

JH0089194©

ph 03 248 7080 fax 03 248 7080 email glenandmoo@velocitynet.co.nz

Across Flock & Breed Records Commercial conditions

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quality Breeders:

Flock 1138in400 Top 10% NZ Coopworth ewes

The Poplars Dual Purpose Coopworth Rams • Highly FE Tolerant flock SIL 5 star rating • SIL recorded, emphasis on fertility, meat yield, lamb growth rates and wool weight • Industry leading sires used

• Highly FE Tolerant flock SIL 5 star rating Phone Robert and Suzanne 07 896 7020 • SIL recorded, emphasis on 07 fertility, meat yield, Phone Travis Carter 895 3348 email: unca.rokit@xtra.co.nz lamb growth rates and wool weight 136 Kirikau Valley Road • Industry leading sires used 3993 RD 3, Taumarunui

Phone Robert and Suzanne 07 896 7020 Country-Wide Sheep October 2018 Phone Travis Carter 07 895 3348 ©

Genetics for

TAMLET TAMLET COOPWORTHS


COOPWORTH GENETICS NEW ZEALAND INC COOPWORTH GENETICS Registered COOPWORTH N E W Z E A L A N D I N C breeders have used Sire

T

St Id Ea Im Hi

Referencing since 1985 to identify and benchmark Registered COOPWORTH breeders have used Sire superior genetic Referencing sincemerit. 1985 to identify and benchmark superior genetic merit.

Genetic trend graphs prove sire referencing groups Genetic trend graphs prove sire referencing groups havehave advanced performance. advancedCOOPWORTH COOPWORTH performance. Coopworth the high high performance easy-care breed breed Coopworth is isthe performance easy-care

www.coopworthgenetics.co.nz www.coopworthgenetics.co.nz Waione Coopworths Waione Coopworths

Waione Coopworths FI. 32 FI. 32

Ditton Ditton Farm Farm Ditton

Foundation member NZOSR Sire 50 years selection in• FE environment • Performance recorded since 1966, Reference accessing best Coopworth years selection FE environment • 50 Foundation memberinNZOSR Sire genes since 1985

Reference accessing best Coopworth • Foundation member NZOSR • Breeding forSire superior meat yield, FE index, genes since 1985 quality lamb survival & mothering Reference accessing best wool, Coopworth • Only top 50% flock rams offered • genes Breeding for superior meat yield, FE index, since 1985

06 327 6248

Puketauru puketauru.com

KAAHU GENETICS

06 327 6248

p uk e t au r u . c o m 06 327 6248 Coopworths

FE TOLERANT – SIL RECORDED

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Shifting – ability, FE TOLERANT SILperformance, RECORDED soundness, guaranteed

Coopworths

Phone Murray Sargent 07 882 8899 www.kaahu.co.nz murraysargent@hotmail.com

Iand Selecting mothering fertilityfor with an ability. emphasis on growth Irate No and exotic blood used. survival.

JH0089206©

Coopworth & Romney Coopworth X & Romney Coopworth Inquiries

COOPWORTHS ROMNEY x COOPWORTHS TEXEL Coopworth X x COOPWORTH

Coopworths

n FE Tolerant n Worm Resilient n Meaty carcase & good bone MYOMAXTM muscling gene n SIL Recorded n Top Performance

JamesIFalloon Selecting

COOPWORTHS ROMNEY x COOPWORTHS Edward Sherriff 06 327 6591 or 021 704 778 TEXEL x COOPWORTH

- 52 years selling performance tested rams -

ability. I No exotic blood used. James Falloon

FE TOLERANT – SIL RECORDED Shifting ability, performance,

Inquiries

JH0089025©

JH0089025©

n Top Performance

1. Ashgrove 2. Nikau Coopworth Inquiries Phone Murray Sargent 07 882 88993. K Broadbent J Parsons www.kaahu.co.nz RD 5, Tuakau RD 2, Dargaville 0372 09 438 8563, 021murraysargent@hotmail.com 206 3208 09 233 3230 Edward Sherriff 06 327 37th Annual sale Nov 18 Sale Date: Nov 6 www.nikaucoopworth.co.nz www.ashgrovegenetics.co.nz

JH0089206©

COOPWORTHS

soundness, guaranteed n FE Tolerant n FE Tolerant ROMNEY x COOPWORTHS n Worm Resilient QUALITY SIRES - 52 years selling performance tested rams n Worm Resilient FE Gold™ certi fied flocks n Meaty carcase & good bone - TEXEL x COOPWORTH Inquiries Phone Murray Sargent n Meaty carcase & good bone -027 392 7242 TM MYOMAX muscling gene Edward Sherriff 06 327 6591 or 021 704 778 www.kaahu.co.nz High producti on TM MYOMAX muscling gene Shifting ability, performance, n SIL Recorded Registeredn members of NZOSR and Coopworth Genetics n SIL Recorded Top Performance soundness, guaranteed Romani

Ross & Ruth Richards - 52 years selling performance tested rams -

Phone Murray Sargent 07 882 8899 www.kaahu.co.nz murraysargent@hotmail.com FE Gold™ certi fied fl ocks certified flocks

Ngapuke Rd, Taumarunui

07 895 7144 6591 or 021 704 778 romani@farmside.co.nz

High producti on 5. Hinenui 6. Kaahu production BR & LM Teutenberg Murray Sargent Registered members of NZOSR RD and Coopworth Geneti csRD, Mangakino 3492 2, Gisborne Genetics 4. Tautari JA Mills RD 2, Oparau 07 871 0706

06 862 8768 Nikau Coopworth Nikauwww.hinenuigenetics.co.nz Coopworth

1. 2. 1. Ashgrove Ashgrove 2. JJ Parsons K K Broadbent Broadbent Parsons RD RD RD 5, 5, Tuakau Tuakau RD 2, 2, Dargaville Dargaville 0372 0372 09 09 021 2068563, 3208021 09 233 233 3230 3230 09 438 438 8563, 021 206 206 3208 3208 Sale 37th 16 5 Sale Date: Date: Nov Nov 6 6 37th Annual Annual sale sale Nov Nov 18 18 www.nikaucoopworth.co.nz www.ashgrovegenetics.co.nz www.nikaucoopworth.co.nz www.ashgrovegenetics.co.nz

3. 3.

Hinenui Hinenui 2. Nikau Coopworth BR Teutenberg BR & & LM Teutenberg K LM Broadbent RD 2, RD RD 2, Gisborne Gisborne 5, Tuakau 06 06 862 862 8768 8768 09 233 3230 www.hinenuigenetics.co.nz www.hinenuigenetics.co.nz Sale Date: Nov 6 www.nikaucoopworth.co.nz

Sheep October 2018 4. Country-Wide Tautari 5. Hinenui JA Mills BR & LM Teutenberg

Ph 06 372 4882 Email: james.falloon@xtra.co.nz 1

James Falloon 2

3

6. 6. Kaahu Kaahu 3. Romani Murray Sargent Murray Ross & Sargent Ruth Richards RD, 3492 RD, Mangakino Mangakino 3492 Ngapuke Rd, Taumarunui 07 882 07 882 8899, 8899, 027 027 392 392 7242 7242 07 895 7144 www.kaahu.co.nz www.kaahu.co.nz romani@farmside.co.nz

6. Kaahu Murray Sargent

5

Ph 06 3724 4882 Email: james.falloon@xtra.co.nz 6 If you are 11 not you are being

07 882 8899, 027 392 7242 Romani www.kaahu.co.nz Romani

Ross Ross & & Ruth Ruth Richards Richards FE Gold™ certified flocks Ngapuke Ngapuke Rd, Rd, Taumarunui Taumarunui 07 07 895 895 7144 7144 High production romani@farmside.co.nz romani@farmside.co.nz Registered members of NZOSR and Coopworth Genetics 4. 5. 4. Tautari Tautari 5. 1. Ashgrove JA JA Mills Mills J Parsons RD RD 2, 2, Oparau Oparau RD 2, Dargaville 0372 07 07 871 871 0706 0706 09 438 8563, 021 206 3208 37th Annual sale Nov 18 www.ashgrovegenetics.co.nz

for mothering

Ph 06 372 4882 Email: james.falloon@xtra.co.nz

JH0089204©

Whangaehu RD 11, Wanganui Coopworth & Romney Coopworth X Ph: 06 342 6883 or 021 267 4425 Email: coopworths@waione.co.nz

I Bred, born and raised Rams Coopworth on the I Bred, born and raised Wairarapa hills. on the I Breeding for constitution Wairarapa hills. and fertility with an I Bred, and raised I Breeding for constitution emphasis onborn growth the rate on and survival. and fertility with an I Selecting for mothering Wairarapa hills. emphasis on growth ability.rate and survival. I Breeding for constitution I No exotic blood used.

22

55

33 44

16

6

If you are not 2 3

you are being 4

6

If you are not

5 RS0089208© RS0089208©

Whangaehu RD 11, Wanganui Ph: 06 342 6883 or 021 267 4425 John Wilkie Email: coopworths@waione.co.nz

JH0089199©

Puketauru p u k e t a u ru . c om

JH0089204©

JH0089199©

Email: coopworths@waione.co.nz

• Only topJohn 50% Wilkie flock rams offered

Coopworth Rams

Puketauru

quality wool, lamb survival & mothering

• Breeding for superior meatJohn yield,Wilkie FE index, Whangaehu RD 11, Wanganui • quality Only top 50% flock rams offered wool, lamb survival &6883 mothering Ph: 06 342 or 021 267 4425

Farm

Coopworth Rams

RS0089208©

• Performance

• Performance recorded since 1966, FI. 32years selection in FE environment recorded50since 1966,

67


LIVESTOCK | ONFARM

Keeping the score

U

nusually for North Canterbury, Romneys have always been run on Ferniehurst and in recent years North Island genetics have been introduced into the flock which have helped lift fertility. Not long after John took up the reins as manager, John and Richard went through each of their 6000 ewes at weaning, body condition scoring and ruthlessly culling any not up to scratch. In that first year about 1200 ewes were sent down the road and this process has been repeated every year, although the number of cull ewes has diminished. John admits this process of body condition scoring and turning each ewe up and checking udders and feet at weaning makes for some very long, hot dusty days, but it is invaluable. When he first decided to try body condition scoring, John got their vet to spend an hour with him to teach how to correctly measure body condition and “get his eye in.” It is now a critical part of their flock management as it allows them to partition better quality feed into lighter ewes to lift their condition before going into mating, while the heavier ewes can be maintained on harder hill country over summer. Ewe condition is monitored throughout

Terminal sire Romney ewes about to run onto rape.

the year, although the work done at weaning and immediately after has meant the flock is now very even. Coupled with a lift in feed quality, this focus on body condition has lifted scanning to be consistently around 175180% up from 130-140%. While John had seen other farms lift their scanning and lambing percentages through these kind of management changes, he felt they often fell down when it came to growing the lambs, hence the drive to plant lucerne. John says a plan is needed to ensure the changes happen year-after-year. Otherwise they could end up with a lot of small lambs and make no progress. “You can trick yourself and twist the numbers but it’s about being financially sustainable. “While we want to be good at what we do we also want to be consistent.” Lucerne has been planted on different areas of the farm, including free-draining river flats and on some of the heavier soils. These are essentially forage hubs and close

by these hubs are paddocks of autumnsaved short rotation ryegrass and clovers used for lambing. Ram harnesses are used at mating, identifying terminal sire ewes mated in the first 10 days, second 10 days and then the balance. This means the ewes can be setstocked according to their lambing dates and then run on to a lucerne rotation with their age cohorts. John says he is still tweaking stocking rates on the lucerne. He has found 13-14 ewes/ha is too high so will be dropping this back to 12/ha this season. John admits he has to be very disciplined about saving the short-rotation grasses for lambing and says it’s always tempting to get “just one more grazing” out of them before closing them up in early winter, but looking at the high covers (1800kg DM/ha) in August it is worth the sacrifice. The terminal sire ewes start lambing at the end of August and the maternal ewes lamb from mid-September out on the hill. The hoggets lamb from late September. JH0089194© JH0089194©

Romani Coopworths Romani Coopworths Strength Tested Sires Strength Tested Sires

• Continuing Edward Dinger’s 40 years of award genetics • winning Continuing Edward Dinger’s 40 years of award winning genetics • High fertility and FE tolerant Strength Tested Sires • All High fertility and FE scanned tolerant rams eye-muscle plus 10% CT scanned to improve accuracy •• Continuing Edward Dinger’s 40 years of award winning genetics All rams eye-muscle scanned plus 10% CT scanned to • High fertility and FE tolerant improve accuracy Rams selected by achieving good growth, muscling

Romani Coopworths

and low dag score, despite good restricted feeding and Rams selected by achieving growth, muscling Rams selected by achieving good growth, muscling minimal drench input. and low dag score, restricted feeding and and low dag score, despite despite restricted feeding and minimal drench input. minimal drench input.

68 

& Ruth Richards RossRoss & Ruth Richards Taumarunui RossPh:&07Ruth Richards Taumarunui 895 7144 Taumarunui romani@farmside.co.nz Ph: 07 895 7144 Ph: 07 895 7144 romani@farmside.co.nz romani@farmside.co.nz Country-Wide Sheep

JH0092419©

• All rams eye-muscle scanned plus 10% CT scanned to improve accuracy

October 2018


CATTLE PROGENY RETAINED

Winter holiday

T

he hoggets have only been mated for the past three years and it was a relationship built with a Mid Canterbury arable farmer during the drought that has allowed them to do this. John says they had always struggled with their hoggets, they didn’t reach good weights over summer and never grew in winter. During the recent drought, the ewe lambs were sent away to Mid Canterbury and returned well-grown out hoggets and

John and Richard were keen to keep this arrangement going. On June 2,000 hoggets are sent away and return in August weighing about 60kg. Having 2000 mouths off the farm over winter has other benefits as it means there is more feed available for ewes and this has allowed them to increase ewe numbers by 700 over the past three years, as winter feed supplies were always the limiting factor. John says grazing the hoggets off-farm has been a game-changer and he calculates

The farm runs 240 Angus and Angus Hereford breeding cows which stay out on the hill all year round. All progeny is retained or finished as two-year-olds and 90100 heifers are mated annually. This makes for a 70:30 sheep to cattle ratio. Any poorer Angus are put to a Hereford bull and while they have been trying a three-way cross with a Charolais bull, John is undecided whether they will continue with this. The steers, both R1 and R2s, are wintered on fodder crops supplemented with lucerne baleage. John says he is very cautious about transitioning on to the crop and isn’t afraid to stretch the transition out over three weeks. All R2 steers are finished on grass by November. Over spring, cattle are used to keep on top of the “rocket fuel” pastures to ensure the quality is maintained, particularly for the lambing hoggets. Until recently, Ferniehurst only ran trading cattle so breeding cows are a recent inclusion into the farm business. John says they are aggressively growing breeding cow numbers by retaining heifers.

Coopworth | RomWorth | Romney

Specialising in breeding Facial Eczema Tolerant sheep with high production

Brett & Lucy Teutenberg, 218 Pakowhai Road, RD2, Gisborne. P: 06 862 8768 E: brett@hinenuigenetics.co.nz www.hinenuigenetics.co.nz

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

THE TEAM: Phil and Deana, Lucy and Brett with Ella, Freddie and Hamish.

69


it benefits the business by $150,000 including costs. This works in conjunction with lucerne’s ability to hold a high ewe stocking rate as it makes the surrounding area available for lambing hoggets. The ewe lambs are grown out on lucerne and John aims to have 1800 lambs at 40kg liveweight by the time the ram goes out in May. The terminal sire ewes are weaned in early December (the lambs are an average 85 days old) with around 35% finished off the ewes. John says he targets a 34kg weaning weight and over the past two years the average has been 32kg. This is a significant increase on the average of 27kg six years ago, before the benefits of the development programme kicked-in. This breaks down into pre-weaning growth rates of about 350g/day. The maternal ewes are weaned in early January. Having the feed available means they are not at the mercy of the “price of the day” store market and can finish lambs on lucerne and summer feed crops without it being at the expense of ewe condition. As John says, they can carry a lot of lambs on 140ha of lucerne. Another advantage of lucerne is low worm burdens and this has enabled them to cut back on drenches and instead of the traditional 28-day drenching cycle they now drench strategically based on faecal egg counts. Animal health costs amount to 5% of total farm income.

70 

LIME CRUCIAL Alongside the investment in pasture and crop development has been a fertiliser programme aimed at ensuring the lucerne and new pastures have the nutrients they require to maximise production. Under the lucerne, pH levels sit at 6.1-6.2 and 1t/ha of lime is applied every year in a bid to lift it just a bit higher. Sulphur is the limiting nutrient and maintenance fertiliser is applied to the hill country annually. To set up pastures for spring growing DAP is applied in August. The stands of native bush and exotic trees are a feature of Ferniehurst. They provide shelter and amenity value and provide habitat to a number of native birds, including kereru. John has attended a Beef + Lamb New Zealand workshop and has drafted a farm environment plan.

Running the business John and Richard enjoy a close working relationship. Living within a short distance of each other on the farm, they see each other daily to discuss the day-to-day management of Ferniehurst. While John looks after the budgets, Richard takes care of all the accounts and pays the bills. While John hasn’t had any formal farm management training, he says he gets his knowledge from reading and surrounding himself with knowledgeable and skilled people. He gleans information from the people providing support services to Ferniehurst (agronomists and vets etc) and is a member of a strong local discussion group. The focus on body condition scoring and growing more legumes has

John Fitzgerald has been managing Ferniehurst for Richard and Catherine Wilding.

had a huge impact on the Ferniehurst business and while these are messages repeated by agricultural scientists and farm consultants, John has shown that if done properly, they can be game-changing. “If you do it, it works well, but you’ve got to follow through with it and not cut corners, which sometimes is tempting to do.” 

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


P rogeny trials – 8 years E mphasis placed on meat and wool

NZ Maternal Worth with Meat (MW+M) Perendale Flocks Average Dual Purpose Flocks Average

R eproductive rate continues to climb E we Longevity N ew Zealand – best for survival D ual Purpose sheep all NZ A ccelerated lamb growth & meat yield

SIL Dual Purpose Lamb Growth Perendale Flocks Average

L eading edge – proven performance

Dual Purpose Flocks Average

E nquiries always welcome SIL Dual Purpose Survival

W: perendalenz.com E: perendalenz@xtra.co.nz P: 03 312 4116 Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

Dual Purpose Flocks Average

JH0092290©

Perendale Flocks Average

71


Perendale NZ AWAPIKO PERENDALES PERENDALES SiresAWAPIKO facial eczema tolerance Sires tested facial eczema Herangi Bred Ewes and Sires SIL Recorded tolerance tested Herangi Bred Ewes and Sires SIL Recorded

• Oldest performance recorded stud in the country (SIL no. 2) Oldest performance recorded stud in the • • Stud breeding in the harshest conditions country mated (SIL no. • Hoggets to 2) ensure two tooth • replacements Stud breeding in of thehigh harshest are naturalconditions fertility • Hoggets mated to ensure two tooth Breeding technologies to improve your replacements are of high natural fertility bottom line: Breeding technologies to improve • Carla - Testing immune response to your internal parasitesbottom line: - Testing immune response • • Carla5K - Genomic accuracies for to internaltraits parasites various - Genomic accuracies for • • Foot rot 5K gene marker test various traits • DNA parentage - Leading to high • accuracy Foot rot & gene confimarker dence test • DNA parentage - Leading to high accuracy & confidence Tim & Sue Anderson 03 319 2730 Woody Anderson 027 469 2378 Tim & Sue Anderson 03 319 2730 kalimera@farmside.co.nz Woody Anderson 027 469 2378 www.mtguardian.co.nz kalimera@farmside.co.nz www.mtguardian.co.nz

JH0089176©

High Confidence in High Performance High Confidence in High Performance

Bred on big hill country for NB & LA Langlands strong constitution 282 Road Bred on big hill country for NB Haku & LA Langlands Highstrong fertilityconstitution Pio Pio 3791Road 368 Kirikau Valley GoodHigh woolfertility Quality Ph/Fax Neil 07 896 8660 Taumarunui or Dan 07 877 8661 FlockGood No 532 wool Quality Ph/Fax Neil 07 896 8660 JH0089177© JH0092431©

Do you want Production Performance from your Perendales?

“HAUTERE PERENDALES”

Born and reared under Perendale conditions on the eastern side of the Puketoi range. To ensure genetic gain in both the Hautere flock and also Ram Clients flocks, only 2th ewes and rams with a “NZ Maternal Worth plus Meat Index” above 1800 on the “SIL NZGE Across Flock Analysis” are retained or offered for sale.

Flock No 532

or Dan 07 877 8661

Kamahi Kamahi Perendales

Perendales

✓✓

Also “Highland Cheviots”. The ideal sire for hogget mating

Warren Ayers Wyndham Warren Ayers Phone: 027 226 4290 Wyndham Phone: 027 226 4290

JH0089178©

John Henricksen Ph 06 374 3888 Korora Road R.D.1 Dannevirke j.henricksen@inspire.net.nz

JH0089178©

Constant genetic improvement results in the bar continually being raised.


Perendale NZ AWAPIKO PERENDALES PERENDALE Sires facial eczema tolerance tested SIL Recorded

Herangi Bred Ewes and Sires

z 80 approximately Top Perendale Rams

JH0089176©

For quality, commercially focused, easy care Perendales, come and see us!

24th Annual High Confidence in High Performance NI Ram Sale from 10 North Island Breeders Oldest performance recorded in the of vendors z Rams• all selected from topstud20% country (SIL no. 2) flock• Stud breeding in the harshest conditions • Hoggets mated to ensure two tooth replacements are of high natural fertility

Taihape Showgrounds 1pm Wednesday 21st November 2018

Perendales 



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 

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November at SH3, Mahoenui

Tuesday 20th November 2018 at 12 Noon

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Thursday 1st November at 110 Burrell Rd, Whanganui

– ON FARM SALE –

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Tuesday 6

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Bred on big hill country for NB & LA Langlands strong constitution 282 Haku Road High fertility Pio Pio 3791 GoodEnquiries wool Quality Ph/Fax Neil 07 896 8660 to Philip & Christine Mitchell, or Dan 07 877 8661 FlockProgress No 532 Valley, Tokanui

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• Oldest performance recorded stud in the country (SIL no. 2) INQUIRIES WELCOME: • Stud breeding in the harshest conditions Richard & Kerry France • Hoggets mated to ensure two tooth 1419 Moa Flat Road replacements are of high natural fertility RD 2, Tapanui Breeding technologies toZealand improve your New bottom line: (03) 204 8339 Ph/Fax: france@yrless.co.nz Email: • Carla - Testing immune response to internal parasites • 5K - Genomic accuracies for various traits • Foot rot gene marker test • DNA parentage - Leading to high accuracy & confidence Tim & Sue Anderson 03 319 2730 Woody Anderson 027 469 2378 kalimera@farmside.co.nz www.mtguardian.co.nz JH0089177©

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Raupuha Perendales Tuesday 20th November Mahoenui Contact: Russell Proffitt z Phone 07 877 8977

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• • • •

Breeding technologies to improve your bottom line: Carla - Testing immune response to internal parasites 5K - Genomic accuracies for various traits Foot rot gene marker test DNA parentage - Leading to high accuracy & confidence

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Hardy sheep bred on hard hill that perform on any country

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Progeny testing sires for meat yield through via scan at Alliance

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Stud ewes haven’t been drenched for 25 years

Internal Parasite Resistance

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2129 Tapanui Raes Junction Highway, Edievale, West Otago

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Performance recorded High fertility, survival, growth and muscling Minimal drench policy Large mob sizes, vigorous culling margins Large commercial flock Stud and commercial flock lambed unassisted at altitudes above 570m Stud and commercial flock consistently wean over 150% ewes mated to lambs weaned Now also breeding Hardy High Country Suffolks fully recorded for early growth and meat • Enquiries welcome

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SIL Dual Purpose Wool 

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Snowdon

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Weaning weight eBV

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SIL Dual Purpose Reproduction

Snowdon Overall

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Dual Purpose Production – Survival

Snowdon   Overall

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LEAPING GENETIC GAINS SINCE 1972

ALSO AVAILABLE: NEWHAVEN ROMDALES AND NEWHAVEN PERENDALE TEXEL X SIRES


LIVESTOCK | DISEASE

FE risk spreading With warmer summer-autumn weather in recent years, the risk of facial eczema has spread to most of the country. Tony Leggett reports.

W

arming average temperatures mean more of the country’s livestock farms are under threat from

facial eczema (FE). Once considered primarily a northern North Island problem, the noticeable rise in average temperatures in the past decade has increased the risk for the entire island and much of the upper South Island, where previously FE was observed infrequently, in warmer years. AgResearch scientist Dr Tricia Johnson told farmers at a recent field day, on Mark and Lorraine Illston’s property near Taihape, this decade has already endured six of the warmest summer-autumn periods on record. Before 2009, FE was evident most years in flocks running on farms in the upper North Island, East Cape, a few spots in lower North Island and upper South Island, and parts of the West Coast. But the past decade has seen a definite rise in incidence and duration, based on the published graphs of spore counts across the whole North Island and upper South Island. Johnson highlighted the particularly warm period in 2011 when spore counts

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

spiked early, and remained elevated from January through to early May, on a large percentage of farms in the known risk areas.

Hot humid weather also brings other, bigger animal health challenges from internal parasites, particularly Barber’s Pole worm, and other diseases associated with this sort of weather such as pneumonia. Then in 2016, during one of the hottest summer-autumn periods on record for New Zealand, counts went higher than 2011. They rose early and had long “tail” right into May when they would normally start dropping. Earlier predictive modelling by AgResearch estimated that an increase of 3 degrees over the rolling average

temperature would see significant areas of the North Island and the top of the South Island impacted by FE. “This is pretty much what happened in 2016. In fact, it was an Dr Tricia Johnson. under-estimation of what did happen because more of the higher altitude area around Taupo was affected by FE,” she said. It was accurate for the top of the South Island and down the West Coast where some dairy cows were so badly affected they had to be euthanised. Not surprisingly, 2016’s summer and autumn were one of the hottest periods in history. But Johnson said that year has been surpassed by the same period earlier this year. The current record of 1.1C over the average temperature was set in 1938 and tied in 1999, but this year is expected to be 1.3C above the average. Previous other severe outbreaks of FE occurred in 1938, 1955, 1956, 1999, 2016 and this year.

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Johnson says hot humid weather also brings other, bigger animal health challenges from internal parasites, particularly Barber’s Pole worm, and other diseases associated with this sort of weather such as pneumonia. She says if the predictions are correct, and a gain of 3C is accurate, then much of NZ will be impacted. “It is hard to know how soon we will see this greater spread across NZ,” she says. For farmers, the biggest challenge with FE is understanding the hidden cost from sub-clinical (unobserved) damage done to the liver of affected animals.

When observed in sheep or cattle, clinical damage looks similar to rape scald. The faces of stock become sensitive to the light and skin starts to flake off. “But it is one of those tip-of-the-iceberg situations. The reality is that if farmers are seeing one or two clinical cases, there are a whole bunch impacted by sub clinical disease,” she says. Earlier work by AgResearch predicted if 5% clinical damage was observed in a flock, then up to 50% of the flock would have sub-clinical damage occurring. However, there is help at hand from a range of options, from dosing with zinc, to

WHAT IS FACIAL ECZEMA? • Occurs when stock ingest sporidesmin from consuming pasture which carries spores from Pithomyces Chartarum fungus • Pithomyces Chartarum fungus proliferates in humid warm conditions • Clinical effects – photosensitivity but liver damage already high • Sub-clinical effects – lower level of damage to liver • Consider treating sheep with zinc when spore counts go over 20,000 in your region • Pre-treat with zinc capsules in heavy challenge areas

managing grazing of stock to avoid known challenge areas of the farm. But a better long-term solution lies in selecting rams from a stud that is breeding rams with tolerance to FE. Using data from a multi-breed stud enterprise farmed in a high-FE challenge area of the country, Johnson was able to demonstrate the progress made in building tolerance through genetics. By splitting the stud flock performance into low and high tolerance groups – based on a blood sample measuring liver injury during the 2016 outbreak in the stud’s Perendale and Romdale flocks, it showed a significant gain for the higher tolerance group in the number of lambs inside ewes at scanning, alive at weaning, and weight of lambs weaned, over the lower tolerance group. Modelling 1000 two-tooth Perendale ewes from each group (low and high) the highly tolerant group produced 59% more value of lamb at weaning over the lower tolerance group. For the Romdale ewes, the difference was 26% more value. “There was a 1.4kg difference in weaning weight between the Perendale

GOLDSTREAM

sale day

F A R M

34 ANNUAL SALE

Mon 5 Nov, 2018 Tuakau Saleyards

th

OF PERFORMANCE RAMS SUFFOLK & POLL DORSET

Tuesday 27th November 2018, 12 Noon, Te Kuiti Selling Centre 86/14 Goldstream Poll Dorset – Rank 5 in Central Progeny Test 2017, Maraetotara Site (37 Rams of all breeds) Sold at our annual sale. 391/14 Goldstream Suffolk – Rank 12 NZGE Trait Leader Terminal Sire Lamb Growth. (402 Flocks of all breeds). Sold at our annual sale. 228/15 Goldstream Suffolk is the sire of the highest WWTBV Ram on the Suffolk Across Flock Selection List (1066 Rams). Sold at our annual sale.

• Sheep Industry Award Winner Maternal Trait Leader for Parasite Resistance

• Highly FE Tolerant - 34 years testing. • Robust genetics with a focus on structure, longevity and efficiency. • Farmed in a tough environment for parasites, viral pneumonia and Facial Eczema. • No drench ewe flock - Consistently weaning 175%.

Nikau Coopworth bloodlines are consistent high performers at scanning time; notably in the more challenging seasons. Results in the top 25 % Andrew Noble-Campbell, Pregnancy Scanner

• Hoggets grown on grass with minimal drench. Weaning 120%. • Selecting for performance under pressure with low input.

All sires are foot scored

Visit our page for more information www.nzsheep.co.nz/suffolk/goldstream

ENQUIRIES CONTACT

Bruce & Thelma Rapley Phone/Fax: 07 873 2818 RD 2, Otorohanga Warwick & Rebecca Rapley Phone: 07 870 1714 Email: info@goldstreamfarm.com 78 

www.nikaucoopworth.co.nz

09 2333 230 Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


Mark Illston drives a flock of rams.

groups, so you’re talking about something in the order of $33,000 difference in potential lost income (per 1000 ewes) if you don’t have highly tolerant ewes,” Johnson says. “This really highlights the value of genetics as a tool in the toolbox to combat facial eczema,” she says.

Tolerance is highly heritable at 0.42 for sheep so it is possible to make good progress quickly by exploiting genetic variability between animals within breeds for FE. For ram buyers, Johnson has a warning – you must have a long-term commitment to achieve the lift in

tolerance to FE that your flock requires. “You can’t just use one ram once in your flock and think the job is done. It’s not a short-term fix,” she says. Her advice is to find a ram breeder that is testing and selecting for more tolerance in their stud flock and then “piggy back” on their rate of gain. Testing of rams is available through Ramguard, a programme operated by AgResearch to assess levels of tolerance on individual rams. It provides more certainty of progress on tolerance for ram breeders and their customers. Some ram breeders have gained FE Gold status, which recognizes their commitment and progress within their stud on FE tolerance. To qualify for FE Gold, breeders must be testing all their stud sires to agreed minimum levels, have at least 10 years of testing history and be testing at least 10% of their sale rams on Ramguard each year. Johnson says few breeders are selecting terminal sires for tolerance to FE. Her advice when using terminal sires in known high FE areas is to capsule rams before mating to prevent FE challenge.

A powerful source of genetics information for commercial & stud farmers.

Freephone 0800 10 22 76 www.pggwrightson.co.nz Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

Helping grow the country 79


LIVESTOCK | LAMB REARING

Protocols for raising multiple, orphan and pet lambs WORDS: JOHN SMART

I

nterest in artificially rearing lambs has risen with the increase in lamb price this season. Not only are farmers considering the usual waifs and strays but also taking one lamb off those ewes with triplets. This has the advantage of: • Improving lamb survival. Unless you already have loss rates of less than about 15-17% then there is probably room

for improvement. Often loss rates can approach 25%. • As ewe fecundity increases, the percentage of triplets increases. Triplets invariably have a much lower survival rate than twins. Twin survival rate is usually in the range 78-94% whereas triplet survival is 54-82%. • The two lambs left on the triplet ewes do better.

• If there is a good lamb rearing setup there is more of an inclination on the shepherd’s part to remove those lambs that are looking “dodgy” to the rearing facility rather than wait and see what happens – this fact alone helps improve lamb survival. • It removes the mothering-on workload. Using these guidelines, it is possible to rear a lamb on about 7kg of milk powder

ANUI STUD LIVESTOCK ROMNEY | DORSET DOWN | TEFROM

Wiltshires Wiltshires

2th 2thRams Rams for forsale sale October October/ /November November

Martin, Martin,Mary Mary&&Daniel DanielTaylor Taylor

1019 1019Mangaorapa MangaorapaRd Rd Porangahau Porangahau

- Fully SIL & Studfax performance recorded - Stud ewes farmed on high hill country Mangatuna, east of Dannevirke

Ph: Ph:068555322 068555322 Email: Email:taylors@glenbraestud.co.nz taylors@glenbraestud.co.nz www.glenbraestud.co.nz www.glenbraestud.co.nz

- We use eczema tested sires up to .6 as well as test progeny - Sires DNA tested for sheep 5K - Worm resistance programme in place

INSPECTIONS WELCOME Willy Philip 102 Laws Road, Dannevirke Ph: 06 374 8857 Email: anui@xtra.co.nz

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John Philip 923 Mangatuna Road,Dannevirke Ph: 06 374 2861

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


Example of a rack feeder.

and 20kg of concentrate costing around $54 in total. There are other costs (teats, wood chips, disinfectant etc) but provided labour is available rearing lambs is certainly economic and at the same time it addresses the welfare aspects. As far as labour is concerned, women are generally better at it than men.

FACILITIES A warm, clean, dry and draught-free environment is best.

Use haysheds or implement sheds not previously used by adult sheep. Ideally avoid any contact with sheep yards and woolsheds. Pens can be made from straw bales, wire gates etc. Line gates with windbreak cloth to cut draughts. Put 10-12 lambs per pen with 0.5 square metres of space/lamb. Woodchips/shavings are probably best but straw or sawdust can suffice. Provide unrestricted access to drinking water. Meal troughs – 2 x 1.5m of V-shaped

wooden troughs/pen placed preferably 150-200mm off the ground but can be at ground level. Plastic spouting also make good troughs. Offer a minimum of 300mm length/head. Ad-lib access to straw or hay from day 1 – this can be obtained from the pen walls. Ideally, provide a sloping floor of sand or clay. Ventilation – the shed must be closed on three sides facing away from the prevailing wind. Beware of all sharp objects – edges of troughs, wire nails and plastic as lambs are very vigorous feeders. Any lamb that is dribbling should be quickly identified and treated with penicillin.

LAMB SELECTION No particular selection is necessary. Any odd-sized triplet lamb could be selected or select a ram lamb, leaving two ewe lambs on the ewe. Weak or comatose lambs should be revived by intra-abdominal injection of 10ml/kg of 20% Dextrose or by stomach tubing and placed in a lamb warmer. It is probably best to assume all pet lambs have not received colostrum so the first feed could be colostrum if available – a

›› Feeding p84



Talk to the Genetics Specialists. pggwrightson.co.nz/genetics

NATIONAL TEAM. LOCAL KNOWLEDGE. Freephone 0800 10 22 76 www.pggwrightson.co.nz Country-Wide Sheep October 2018

Helping grow the country 81


Iona-Lea Texel & Sufftex 13th Annual Iona-Lea Texel &Sufftex Ram on Farm Sale 27th November 2018 at 2pm 120 Big High Yeilding Sires

Rams with Big Butts Nuts & Guts Enquiries Geoff Howie P:0272408002

KALLARA TEXELS High Yielding Lambs

Use Kallara Texel Rams

Growth EMA & CT Scanning used Survivability and fertility SIL recorded

Kallara sired lambs consistently yield 60% or better. They have won the Canterbury Mint Lamb competition twice. Dual purpose and terminal sire rams available.

Paul Gardner 027 495 6451 or 03 302 4888 kallara@xtra.co.nz

BLACKDALE TEXELS Will be offering High Nationally Ranked, High Growth Rate sons of top British Sire. VJU774.16 Vorn Yardstick, at the Southern Texel Ram fair at Gore, january 2019.

Hogget Sons of Vorn Yardstick

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Enquiries: Peter Black Ph: 03 224 6059 Email: matblackdale@gmail.com

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


High performance with...

HIGHGROUNDS TEXELS

IN CONJUNCTION WITH

EST 2007

GRASMERE TEXELS

High performance with...

Est. 2007

• • •

Texel, Coopworth and Perendale sires Ramguard tested for FE tolerance C.T. to I.D. high yielding carcases D.N.A testing for footrot and cold tolerance

2 TOOTH RAMS TERMINAL GENETICS USED FROM CPT PROVEN SIRES • Muscling genetics • Low fat/high yield • Terminal/maternal • Worm tolerance • High bulk wool • Sire reference benchmarking MATERNAL GENETICS USED from CPT PROVEN SIRES

TEXEL

CROSSBRED COMBINATIONS

“Breeding Texels for increased yield and growth.” Quality 2th rams and ram lambs available from December 40 Sidey Rd, RD 24 St Andrews ENQUIRIES; Hamish 0210 232 0627 / getatexel@gmail.com

Per/Tex & Per/Tex/Fin Rom/Tex • Rom/Tex/Fin Coop/Tex • Coop/Per/Tex Early maturing

POLLTEX

ENQUIRIES WELCOME Rams priced on SIL index from $800

PREMIER/GRASMERE YOUR BEST INVESTMENT Contact: Rob Forsyth Roger Weber Email: robandkath@farmside.co.nz

Ph/Fax 06 858 4383 Ph/Fax 06 374 5229 Mobile 027 604 0044

WAIRARAPA TEXEL DEVELOPMENTS Wairarapa Texel Developments was formed in 2016 by Andy Phillips and Stewart Cowan. The base flock of Texel ewes were sourced from the original Wairarapa Texel Developments which was one of the first Texel studs in New Zealand. With the purchase of Fairlea Stud from the Manawatu 2017-18 also a well known established stud, Wairarapa Texel Developments has become one of the larger Texel studs in New Zealand. Currently lambing 650 ewes at Motumatai, 20 minutes east of Masterton. The partners have addressed the of lack of selection pressure within the Texel stud breeding industry. All stud ewes are run within a commercial flock of 2700 ewes at Motumatai. Thus allowing us to breed Texels that have true selection pressures put on them. Ewe hoggets are mated. All male and female progeny are EMA scanned with only the best retained for stud. A continuous concentrated effort by the partners to insure structure, muscling and fertility are abundant in our flock, has led to strong sales of well grown functional terminal and maternal sires. With the Myomax gene ( muscling) present, lambs are higher yeilding often $8.00 to $11.00 per head on yeild grading processing.

FLOCK No 10 SIL No 2960 Stud sires are:

-Microphthlmia clear -DNA footrot scored -DNA cold tolerance scored -Myomax Gold only -Brucellosis accredited

With over 100 Rams for sale this year !

We look forward to your enquiry Andy 063722770 halfy490@gmail.com Stew 063722770 texels4u@gmail.com Or Facebook page: wairarapa texel development

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

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total of 15% of body weight is required in the first 24 hours so a 5kg lamb needs 750ml total given in three feeds of 250ml/ feed. Cow colostrum that has been frozen is suitable or feed colostrum powder. Put new lambs in their allocated pen immediately and teach to drink in this area. After two days lambs should be regrouped according to size and suckling ability.

FEEDING Whey-based lamb milk replacers appear to give the most consistent results. Either Sgt Dan Lamb Meal – a ground pelletised palatable meal, 20% protein and ME of 14. Contains a coccidiostat. Or Moozlee – a high-quality steam flaked texture feed, 18% protein and 12.5 ME. Contains coccidiostat. Meal fed should contain no palm kernel, copra meal or tapioca as lambs don’t like it. Provide fresh water and feed hay ad lib. Lambs need at least 10-15% of their bodyweight in milk daily so: • Lambs <4kg 500 - 600ml/day • Lambs 4kg 600ml/day • Lambs >5kg 800ml/day • Mixing rate: 200gm/litre • Temperature: Very warm 35-40C

Example of a multi feeder.

Daily Schedule: • Day 1: 125ml 4-5 x daily (for a 4kg lamb) • Day 2-4: 250ml 3 x daily • Day 5-11: 300ml 3 x daily • Day 12-21: 400ml 2 x daily • Day 22-30: 600-800ml once a day

FEEDERS Lambs should be bottle-fed individually initially. They learn to suckle very quickly (no more than two days). They can then be bottle fed in rack systems or multiple

fed via a multiple feeder. Start on soft teats and once feeding well move to hard teats. Rack feeders – With rack feeders such as the Lamb Bar system each lamb gets access only to its allocated amount of milk. Best fed in batches of 10-12 for good observation of suckling speed and milk intake. Multi feeders – With multi feeders all lambs drinking get access to the reservoir of milk so these are more suitable for use after a week of age. Watch for slow and fast drinkers – rearrange into even drinking

HEMINGFORD CHAROLAIS • ROMTEX • SUFTEX • TEXEL

COMMERCIALLY FARMED TOUGH HILL COUNTRY GENETICS Romtex – Fertile Modern Maternal Suftex – Identifiable Terminal Texel – Multi-trait Dual Purpose 1950 Fully SIL recorded Stud Ewes • 250 Texel Ewes • 750 Stabilised Suftex Ewes • 950 Stabilised Romtex Ewes • Plus 750 mated Hoggets

RAMS SOLD PRIVATELY ON FARM IN DECEMBER

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CONTACT: Sam Holland

Romtex 2th Ewes April 2016

HEMINGFORD LTD Culverden, North Canterbury 021 181 4868 • 03 315 8689 E: vikiholland@amuri.net hemingfordgenetics

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


groups. Teats need to be at 200mm centres for lambs above 5-8kg and 40-45cm above the ground. Design should be such that greedy lambs cannot push other lambs off the teat.

FEEDING MILESTONES The best weaning criteria is meal consumption. Lambs can be weaned off milk when they are consuming 200g/day of Moozlee/Sgt Dan or when they weigh 10-12kg. This is usually between four and five weeks of age. After weaning the concentrate consumption will likely increase to around 400g/day. Moozlee/Sgt Dan should be available ad lib and must be continued to be fed in conjunction with grass at the rate of 400-700g/day until 20kg of weight at 8-10 weeks. Lambs can find these meals very palatable and lamb intakes may need restricted by around week 10 to 700g/day. Lambs to be rotated around paddocks of high-quality pasture (not less than 1600kg DM/ha) to encourage grass intake. The above regime should result in about 5-7kg of milk replacer and 20kg of concentrate being fed/lamb.

AD-LIB FEEDING Where lambs are being ad-lib fed: • Initially feed the lambs a restricted amount of milk (750ml/day) as above in three feeds to identify any lambs not drinking well, relocate if necessary. When all lambs in the group are drinking well introduce them to the bulk ad-lib feeder. • One ad-lib feeder per 60 lambs. The feeder should have 1 teat/5 lambs with the teats at least 8cm apart and 40-45cm above the ground. • Milk should be fed cold to restrict milk intake and the container should not be empty for longer than two hours. The daily milk intake is likely to be around 1-1.8litres/day.

FEEDING COW’S MILK The formulation of ewe’s milk is 30% fat, 23% protein and 27% lactose on a DM basis with a concentration of 200g/litre in the liquid form. Cow’s milk has 26% fat, 26% protein and

40 - 45% lactose on a DM basis with a concentration of 125gs/litre in the liquid form. Clearly cow’s milk is lower in fat and has excessive amounts of lactose. Total DM and energy is also much lower. Cow’s milk can be modified to more closely resemble that of ewes’ milk by three methods: • Add cream at the rate of 30g/litre – expensive? • Fortify with a lamb milk replacer to lift the concentration. This can be done by adding 75g of replacer/litre or 7.5kg/100 litres of cow’s milk. The actual brand of replacer is probably not too critical but again the whey-based powder with its higher fat level would, on paper anyway, be best. • Modify the lactose level by ‘yoghurtising’ the milk. The Lactobacillus bacteria will use the lactose to make the yoghurt. This will be thicker than milk and may be harder to go through the teats. Works very well in calves. John Smart is a senior veterinarian with Clutha Vets Animal Health Centre, Balclutha

For a full version of this column, including advice on dealing with common animal health challenges in artificially reared lambs, visit nzfarmlife.co.nz.

ARVIDSON WILTSHIRES-NO MORE SHEARING NZs No1 Facial Eczema Tolerant Meat Breed Flock Fertile - More Lambs With More Meat Labour Reduced Up To 70%

Phone David 09 296 0597, 027 277 1556 Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

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Selling Wiltshire Rams, MA Ewes, Hoggets, Lambs.

85


LIVESTOCK | ONFARM

Newbies finishing with a flourish Finishing lambs and cattle on a collection of lease blocks has allowed Matt Thomas to expand his business. Rebecca Harper reports. Photos: Mark Coote.

M

att Thomas gets a kick from seeing healthy, big fat lambs leaving his Wairarapa finishing farm. Relatively new to the lamb finishing game, Matt,42, and his wife Nicki,41, live just out of Martinborough, Wairarapa and have two lease blocks, predominantly dedicated to lamb finishing. This year they plan to finish 6000 lambs with weights getting up and beyond 25kg CW.

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The main lease farm is the Tremlett block, between Greytown and Carterton. The operation is mainly lamb finishing, but they also trade about 100 cattle annually. The farm is 110 hectares and Matt also leases 5ha each off two adjoining neighbours, giving him 120ha total. This year they’ll finish 6000 lambs on the block and 2500 lambs on another lease block they’ve just taken on in partnership with his dad Rex that’s 110ha, south of Martinborough. The new lease block they took on in March is all flat, a mix of

KEY POINTS • Buy the best lambs you can • Focus on animal health and feeding • Don’t get too hung up on the numbers • Surround yourself with good advice and people you trust

vineyard country through to heavy silt loam. The plan is to grow maize, winter cattle and trade lambs there as well. The lease block at Ponatahi, Carterton which ends soon, is 30ha of flats and about 30ha of gullies and gorse. “It’s good dirt though. We grow a bit of maize to sell there and that gives us some balance in income.” Previously, Matt worked in his own contracting business, Wairarapa Cross Slot, which he still runs. With the bulk of the work being in spring and autumn,

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


All Round Performance – Using a steep hill country property (rising up to 637m ASL) as a breeding testing ground has enabled a hardy, easy-care type of sheep to evolve. Particular focus on growth, fertility, survival and meat yield are a trademark of this 1500 performance recorded ewe flock. This proven performance has been reinforced selling and leasing maternal and terminal rams to 147 clients last season.

PAKI-ITI ROMNEY & ROMTEX

PAKI-ITI SUFFOLK & SUFTEX • 154 clients lastone year purchased or leased dark Paki-iti face rams performance recorded Growth with Meat - With of the largest, • Bred on hard hill country rising up to 637m asl (2090f asl) breeding programs in constitution, NZ, the emphasis hassoundness been onandfast growth, high • Breeding for longevity, structural performance PAKI-ITI SUFFOLK survival & high meat yields, utilising C/T and EMA scanning. • Constitution = moderate frame, deep bodied type of sheep • Performance = Growth, fertility, survival, hogget fertility, meat yield and

Ram longevity is also a key driver with the ram hoggets being put to the test incorporating FE tolerance by being wintered on the-149% hillswith at 43 Paki-iti, ourShepherding testing ground. • 5-year average lambing years of Nil at lambing time • 100% of sale rams are 5K DNA tested for greater accuracy – a first for the NZ sheep industry • Eight years of breeding Romtex, utilizing a stabilised recorded Romtex flock NUMBERS TELL A STORY • Romtex rams sold as 22th rams • 147 clients purchased or leased Paki-iti rams last year • High performance – Romtex base bloodline ram (over 700 progeny) ranked in top 1% in NZ for Maternal Worth, top 5% for fertility and top 1% for growth. • 97% terminal sale rams fully SIL performance recorded • 400+ Suffolk and Suftex rams sold and leased last year • 5 years of C/T scanning • 10 years of wintering ram hoggets on steep hill country • 97 years of breeding rams

PAKI-ITI SUFFOLK

PAKI-ITI SUFTEX

BUT BREEDING IS MORE THAN NUMBERS Wairarapa farmer Matt It is about longevity, structural Thomas brings in lambs to soundness, constitution then theon performance beand weighed his leasenumbers. NUMBERS TELL A STORY propertyVisit between Greytown • 147 clients purchased or leased Paki-iti rams last year and Martinborough.

BREEDING VIDEO

to view our breeding programs • 97% terminal sale rams fully SIL performance

LK0089872©

recorded the winter lamb finishing complements it PAKI-ITI SUFTEX • 400+ Suffolk and Suftex rams leased last Stewart Morton 06 328 5772 • Andrew Morton 06 sold 328and 2856 perfectly. year PAKI-ITI SUFFOLK & SUFTEX R Dslot 54 drills, Kimbolton, • pakiroms@farmside.co.nz “I’ve got two cross direct Manawatu • 5 years of C/T scanning • 10 years of wintering ram hoggets on steep hill country drilling, and we do about 1500ha a year • 450 Suffolk and Suftex rams sold and leased last year • 97 years of breeding rams around the Wairarapa. Seasonally, the • Breeding for constitution, longevity, structural soundness and performance BUT BREEDING IS MORE THAN NUMBERS farming is a good way to get some winter • Constitution = moderateconstitution frame, deep bodied type of sheep It is about longevity, structural soundness, income and now it’s grown its own legs. • Performance = Fast growth, high meat yield, high survival and incorporating and then the performance numbers. meat quality traits The more land I get, the more I enjoy it, Visit • 5 years of C/T scanning and want to keep going. to view breeding programs • our 11 years of wintering ram hoggets on steep hill country - constitution “It’s a good lifestyle with the kids and • Suftex bred for darkness the lamb finishing means I can be flexible Stewart Morton 06 328 5772 • Andrew Morton 06 328 2856 with my time.” R D 54 Kimbolton, Manawatu • pakiroms@farmside.co.nz The biggest plus for Matt is working with the stock and seeing the difference Visit to view our breeding programs between when the lambs arrive at the Stewart Morton 06 328 5772 / 0274 453 110 farm, and when they leave the gate. “Weighing lambs and seeing what they’ve • Andrew Morton 06 328 2856 grown into, that’s my buzz.” R D 54, Kimbolton, Manawatu • pakiroms@farmside.co.nz

CC0092409©

paki-iti.co.nz

LK0089872©

RS0089101©

paki-iti.co.nz

paki-iti.co.nz

Visit paki-iti.co.nz to view our breeding programs

›› The right advice p90

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

Stewart Morton 06 328 5772 / 0274 453 110

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Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


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THE RIGHT ADVICE

GATHERING NO MOSS The busy couple have two sons, Ben, 10 and Henry, 8, and run a glamping site on the farm where they live, as well as their contracting business, Wairarapa Cross Slot. Nicki is studying towards her law degree at Victoria University three days a week, as well as being mum and helping run the glamping business (see p160). Despite having a farming background, Matt didn’t have much interest in being a farmer himself, until recently. “We shifted to a farm five years ago to help a guy, while our house was rented out. The lease (Ponatahi) had came up, we thought we’d have a crack and managed to get it.” Matt enjoyed the farming and the desire to expand his farming operation grew. “I just enjoyed doing it for myself. I like seeing good lambs go on the truck and got a kick out of it, so I started looking for more.”

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Matt isn’t afraid to ask questions and has surrounded himself with people he trusts in his new lamb finishing venture. “I rely a lot on my agent, Andrew Jennings from PGG Wrightson, to give me good advice. He will quote lambs and I trust his word… he’s bloody good, and he’s a mate. He keeps me in the loop with what they see coming forward.” Also key has been Ovation livestock manager, Andy Darling, with Matt killing all his lambs through Ovation at the Feilding plant. “I seek advice as well. If I have questions I’m certainly not afraid to ring and ask.” Not having the capital to outlay on buying lambs to get started, Matt has financed all his livestock through the PGG Wrightson Go-Lamb programme and says it’s worked well. The lambs are bought and owned by PGW, but the programme allows the farmer to choose when and where they will be sold. In early September, Matt said the average buy in price was $137/lamb. “I go to sale and buy lambs, or my agent does, PGW pays for them and charges us interest. It is subsidised by Ovation. When the lambs are sold, PGW are paid out by Ovation, who then pay me the difference between the purchase and kill price, minus the fee. “It’s really easy to keep track of. I’ve only been doing this for three years and I didn’t have the capital to buy the stock, which was the main driver. It takes the trepidation out when it comes to buying large numbers. You can make decisions not so much based on your bank balance, but more on feed levels and the numbers you’re trying to carry through winter.”

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


A SIMPLE SYSTEM Buying the best lambs possible, focusing on animal health and feeding stock well is a formula that’s working for Matt. The Tremlett block is a wellmaintained farm, with a central laneway running the length of the property, and one paddock on either side, making it easy for him to run solo. Lambs usually start to come on in December, once the spring-sown crops are close to being ready to graze. “It can vary depending on the season, but we basically keep buying as we go. I don’t do a whole lot of planning in terms of when and how many, I just play it as I see it. If we have feed, I buy animals to eat it. If we haven’t got feed, I won’t.” Matt says it is a simple system, but obviously one that’s working, with an average margin/lamb last season of $60 and this season it’s looking close to $50/ head. They buy forward store lambs, only males, and Matt targets a heavier carcaseweight lamb, averaging about 22kg CW. “Last year we tried buying smaller lambs earlier to try to keep our buy-in average down, but there’s too much work in them. If you buy good, healthy lambs it’s easier to put weight on them. As the season goes on the lambs get heavier. The last lot of lambs were 24.5kg CW and once they get to that weight that’s the lightest they will go. “That’s a 56kg average live weight lamb - but they eat a lot as well.”

Matt and a friend went halves in a Te Pari Racewell auto-drafter three years ago and Matt weighs his lambs every time they come in to be drenched.

R2 cattle - Matt also finishes about 100 cattle annually.

MULLER MERINO STUD • Breeding true dual purpose 18 – 20 micron Merinos, both horned and polled • Incrementally increasing muscle and fat whilst staying focused on wool quantity and quality • Stud scanning 185% M/A ewes and 149% 2ths • ASBV’s and full recording information including muscle scan available • View Muller Station on facebook • Ideal for adding value to your wool cheque Phone: 03 575 7044 Cell: Stephen 027 474 8865 Mary 027 474 8869 E: info@mullerstation.co.nz www.mullerstation.co.nz

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

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We’ve had the highest scanning ever despite going through two droughts back to back. We keep going back because it works. It’s about performance and profit in a harsh environment including, snow ice and summer droughts.

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October 2018


ABOVE: R2 cattle - Matt also finishes about 100 cattle annually RIGHT: A chicory, plantain and clover mix, over-sown with Winter Star annual ryegrass in the second autumn.

CHICORY UNDERPINS FEED

ABOVE: Matt preparing to weigh lambs in the yards.

‘Weighing lambs and seeing what they’ve grown into, that’s my buzz.’

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

The lamb finishing system is based on chicory pastures, with some brassica crops. Matt tries to grow feed year-round and the pasture is mostly chicory, plantain and clover mixes for summer, though he is moving to just chicory and clover, along with rape and swedes for wintering. “I look around and see they’ve eaten less of the plantain, which tells me they don’t really like eating it. And it’s harder to manage with the chicory, which is another reason I’m going away from it. “This year I put 10ha of swedes in to try out and see how many we could stack on there. We also have about 20ha of rape for that pinch period in late summer early autumn.” When the lambs arrive they generally go on to grass to grow out a bit before being finished on the rape. Sometimes Matt uses the rape to grow them out further and then finishes them on the chicory. “If a lamb’s eating brassica and it’s finished, that’s great, they yield well. But if you can take them on from there because there’s excess chicory, they just fly. I’m not a very good planner, I figure it out as I go along. There’s no set formula, it’s just based on what feed we’ve got.” Because he has his own gear, it’s easy enough for Matt to put some seed in the ground - he’d rather have feed and see stock do well. As well as feeding, animal health is a big focus and Matt drenches his lambs every three to four weeks, religiously. “A lot of people say it’s too much, but I don’t want to see a lamb that’s crook and

react - I’d rather prevent it. They’re not here for long, so I don’t see (drench) resistance as too much of a problem. “I try to buy good lambs, keep them healthy and not be too greedy. At the moment it would be easy to hang on to them because the money is so good, but we keep trickling them out.” Matt weighs his lambs regularly, but tries not to focus too much on the numbers. “I don’t pay huge attention to growth rates or grams/day, but they do pretty well and I think that comes back to buying good lambs.” Every time the lambs come in to be drenched, they are weighed. Matt went halves in a Te Pari Racewell auto-drafter with a mate three years ago, and reckons it saves him a labour unit. “I do weigh lambs a lot, it keeps me interested. I like the figures and seeing what they’re doing. The monitor records their weights and stores them, so the next time I come back I can compare.” Despite his love of figures, he’s happy to keep lambs in a holding pattern over winter, as long as they’re not going backwards. “I try not to get too hung up on what they’re doing until spring, and then we get them cranking. I try to keep them going forward in winter, but I’m more focused on them being healthy. If they only put on 5kg in that time, so be it, we back ourselves to put the weight on them in spring. “The big thing for me is not getting too hung up on things, because it’s pretty cool (work). I think people get too worried about the numbers and that would suck the enjoyment out, for me.”

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FUTURE EXPANSION For now, Matt is a one man band, in both the farming and contracting businesses, but he knows that if he wants to keep expanding, he’ll have to employ staff. The challenge is finding the right people. “I’ve been doing the contracting for 16 years now and I don’t particularly like driving a tractor, but I enjoy the clients and most of the guys who use us are very good operators.” Matt first went out on his own in 2005, when he bought his first drill and tractor from his father. “Dad or my brother give me a hand if I’m really under the pump. Dad still has the other contracting gear and my brother runs it for him. I would like to employ someone but it’s kind of a leap of faith, finding someone who cares as much as I do - at the end of the day it’s my name on it. Service is very important.” The contracting and lamb finishing

work in well together, but Matt would like to expand the farming side of the business. “I want more of it really, more land, bigger scale. If that means employing people, that would be great. As far as the tractor goes, it’s finding the right person to really become involved in the business with me.” All the land the Thomas’s farm is leased. “The downside of leasing is that it can be taken away at any time, but in the meantime we farm it as if we own it. We have agreements in place with our landlords regarding capital expenditure and I reckon it’s a win-win for both parties.” Looking at the well-maintained fences, yards and presentation of the property, it’s hard to argue with that.

›› The Thomas glamping business p160

Another hard day at the office.

Matt working with lambs in the yards.

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Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


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October 2018

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hen it comes to the prickly subject of vaginal prolapse (bearings) in sheep, vets will not always have a ready solution. It was not until recently when I read a ruminant obstetrics text book and pieced together all the scraps of New Zealand science on the subject that I could begin to explain why they happen. Vaginal prolapse is a function of internal pressure and vaginal wall integrity. The internal pressure changes come from: • Rumen • Bladder • Uterus • Abdominal fat • Gravity There is only so much room for stuff in the abdomen. More stuff means more pressure. This explains why ewe carrying triplets have the greatest risk. Triplet ewes are 11 times more likely to prolapse than a single ewe.

FEEDING HABITS Most farmers will tell you ewes gorging on feed is a risk factor and that feed changes and bulky feed are the main culprit. The mechanism must be that the rumen expands rapidly and produces more methane gas when not fully adjusted to feed. The gorging, and sudden increase in rumen fill and subsequent pressure increase, may explain why single day breaks resulted in higher bearing rates than four-day allocations in one study. Farmer comments like: “I seem to get more bearings when I first set stock on grass after being on a crop” might be explained with the gorging and feed change theory. Sitting down for long periods, and high-water content feed like fodder beet or swedes, can be a risk. The mechanism for this is probably a combination of increased rumen pressure and the increased bladder fill. Farmer comments like: “I seemed to get fewer red bags when I feed the crop in the morning then the baleage in the afternoon” might be due to a more constant rumen fill and less time sitting down, more bladder emptying and more exercise.

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October 2018


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FAT AND BCS In Hawke’s Bay veterinarian Richard Hilson’s national POP study in early 2000s, gaining body weight from mating to scanning increased the incidence of bearings. The increasing amounts of abdominal fat must be part of this mechanism. However, in the same study overall body condition score of ewes was not correlated with bearing rates. That is, ewes with more condition on their backs did not have more bearings than lighter ewes. Perhaps there is a difference between accumulation of abdominal fat and back fat? Given these findings of early pregnancy weight gain, it is recommended to attempt to hold ewe condition after mating, feeding poorer quality, maintenance feeds. It is not until after scanning that multiple ewes need preferential feeding anyway. It does trouble me to hear farmers deliberately under-feeding ewes in late pregnancy to avoid bearings. The damage this does to lamb survival and milking capacity is probably greater than any benefit in bearing reduction.

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Shearing mid-winter appears to reduce the bearing incidence of multiple ewes. One theory is that some of the abdominal fat is mobilised for heat production post-shearing, and the increased metabolic rate may also increase activity and fitness. Mid-winter shearing can increase lamb birth weights by on average 400g/lamb and improve lamb vigour. You would think that bigger lambs might increase the bearing risk, but obviously burning off fat and running around trumps bigger lambs in the balance of bearing protective/risk factors.

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MID-WINTER SHEARING

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METABOLICS AND SALTS High potassium (K) pastures have been proposed as being a risk factor for bearings. The reason is presumably tangled up with the sub-clinical impact from ewes having low calcium. It is well established that high pasture K levels disturb calcium uptake in dairy cows. It has been difficult to build scientific evidence around this in sheep, but it may explain why in high K environments, provision of additional salt (NaCl) is protective against bearings. In contrast, salt supplementation in other situations has been a risk factor. This is presumed to be because of salt driving more urine production and the big bladder exerting more pressure. The smooth muscles in the back-end area of a ewe depend on calcium to function, so it seems logical that if ewes are not ingesting sufficient calcium or not mobilising enough from bones, this may increase the chance of bearings. Giving vitamin D in third trimester to pregnant ewes has also become popular. Activated vitamin D increases the absorption of dietary calcium. If there is a lack of UV light over winter, less natural vitamin D is activated resulting in less calcium uptake. More field studies are

under way, but one farmer who treated half his ewes with a multi-mineral supplement containing vitamin D reduced bearing rates by two-thirds in treated animals.

Lincoln University is looking at body length and its relationship to bearing rates. The thought is that shorter, squatter ewes have more risk than longer, larger frame ewes.

VAGINAL WALL INTEGRITY

TREATMENT

The tissue that makes up this area of the ewe has collagen and smooth muscle. The collagen is the ‘scaffolding’ of most soft tissue. Two-tooths and hoggets have less collagen and thinner walled structures and may explain why they can have higher rates of bearings than mixed-aged ewes some years. Ewes that have had any history of prolapse are 30% likely to do it again next year. Cull them because once they have fully prolapsed much of the framework that holds everything in place has been stretched or damaged.

GENETICS The fact that sheep suffer from bearings more than any other species means there are conformation set-ups that make them prone and, within the sheep subset of set-up genes, there must be types that are susceptible.

There are several treatments that all work to an extent such as harnesses, retainers, and stitching. The key thing is to get the prolapsed uterus back in within a day of finding them without damage to the tissue, infection or bladder rupture. Daily shepherding is required to achieve this. A prolapse needs sorting quietly and calmly as possible. Setting the dogs on to it in a frantic chase is asking for trouble, so too is leaving it until tomorrow hoping it might suck back in. If stitching occurs or if bruised, then treat with penicillin. If a bearing is fresh and cleanly replaced without too much trauma, don’t bother. Taking the bearing ewes home to a hospital paddock and monitoring until they lamb is worth it.

Dave Robertson is a vet with the Oamaru Veterinary Centre dave@vet111.co.nz

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Brett Teutenberg Coopworth and Romworth Romney 06 862 8768 Steve Wyn-Harris Coopworth 06 855 8265 Russell Proffit Perendale 07 877 8977

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ANIMAL HEALTH | DRENCH RESISTANCE

Drench resistance reversible For years farmers have been told there was no way back from drench resistance, but in the first part of a two-part series, Andrew Swallow looks at how a scientist is helping farmers make the comeback.

D

rench resistance can be reversed. A decade ago that statement was unthinkable but world-leading work by an AgResearch Grasslands’ team shows it is happening on a handful of New Zealand farms. “Scientifically we call it reversion, where the worm population reverts towards susceptibility, and it’s not supposed to happen,” Dave Leathwick told CountryWide. “For decades we said resistance is forever and you can’t get rid of it but the good news story is that maybe we can. We can take a bad situation and make it not so bad.” Leathwick is quick to stress the most cost-effective approach is to employ best practice from the outset to prevent resistance arising in the first place. Unfortunately, there’s mounting evidence that on most NZ farms that ship has long since sailed and there’s already a drench-

100 

resistant population of internal parasites eating into annual returns whether farmers are aware of it or not. “The research shows it has got a lot worse in the past 12 months. There’s even been triple resistance found in trichs (trichostrongylus spp) which is really surprising because nobody expected it to happen.”

‘For decades we said resistance is forever and you can’t get rid of it but the good news story is that maybe we can.’

Triple-resistant populations of telardosagia spp, the roundworm formerly known as ostertagia, were first found about a decade ago and are now increasingly

widespread, as the Gribbles Veterinary data shows. Similarly, populations of parasites with resistance to two modes of action are also on the increase. However, whereas once the message was that the best you could hope for was to maintain the status quo when resistance developed, analysis of worm populations on seven farms involved in the best practice parasite management programme (BPPMP) shows they can be managed so drench efficacy recovers. Leathwick says the problem is, it’s not easy and farms have to make substantial changes to make it happen, much more than just switching drench used, or frequency of drenching. “To get there requires a whole new focus on stock management as part of your parasite and resistance management plan and attention to detail.” A first, and subsequently annual step in the programme was to monitor the efficacy of drenches with a faecal egg count reduction test (FECRT).

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


He advises that given the $1000-1500 cost of such tests, excluding farm time and labour to muster and yard stock for the tests, commercially a FECRT should be

done every three years. A simple drench check - a faecal egg count (FEC) 7-12 days after a drench treatment costing as little as $20-30, should be done at least once

Stick to 28-day intervals to minimise pasture contamination.

REVERSING RESISTANCE • Determine resistance status with FECRT* (repeat every third year). • Use only effective drenches, in combination. • Stick to 28-day interval for lambs, max 5-times. • Set lamb drench start date by calendar date/climate, not weaning. • Don’t drench and move - return to previous paddock. • FEC to check drench efficacy and species, NOT to determine need. • Use novel active as exit/knockdown and quarantine drench. • Don’t drench ewes, especially not with capsule or LA injection. • Integrate stock classes in grazing rounds.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

a year in the interim. The FECRT reveals efficacy of drench actives on a farm’s worm population and once that is known, only actives with at least 95% efficacy against all worm species should be used. Lamb drench programmes should start by calendar date - about the start of the spring flush, ie early November in Northland to mid-December in Southland - rather than weaning date, and stick to a strict 28-day programme (Country-Wide, April 2018). Leathwick says this manages pasture contamination and is not about lambs ‘needing’ a drench. “That’s why we never recommend spacing out your lamb drenches or treating based on things like faecal egg count.” One useful strategy is to include a single lamb drench with monepantel (as in Zolvix) or derquantel (as in Startect) in late summer or early autumn - typically about the fourth in that 28-day programme - to prevent contaminating pasture with eggs from worms surviving the first three or four drenches. Monepantel or derquantel should also be used as quarantine drenches when importing stock as triples are no longer good enough, he says. Drench then hold off pasture for 24 hours with hay or baleage or, if that’s impossible, put the drenched stock on recently grazed lamb pasture so any imported worms shed are diluted as much as possible with the existing farm population.

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ANIMAL HEALTH | DRENCH RESISTANCE

Drenching ewes a no-no

Putting drenched lambs straight on to clean pasture should be avoided.

Dave Leathwick’s advice for drenching ewes is simple, don’t other than for quarantine purposes. Yet 80% of sheep farmers drench ewes pre- or post-lambing. Longacting injection and capsule use is a particular problem and manufacturer suggestions that capsules can be successfully targeted to give higher returns (Country-Wide, October 2016, p83-87) simply don’t wash, he says. “There is no evidence that low body condition score ewes have any more worms than fat ewes and their response to a treatment is no different. The low BCS isn’t caused by worms and if you use a drench to try to solve a problem of low BCS in your ewe flock you are wasting your time and money. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the increase in triple resistance is in no small part due to the use of combination capsules.” Healthy, undrenched ewes, and/or other classes of stock, should be used as pasture cleaners behind lambs to mop-up infective, L3-stage worm larvae. In the process they’ll provide an important source of ‘refugia’ (worms not selected by drench) and improve pasture quality for the next time the lambs come around. “Keeping some undrenched animals in your stock rotations is the key

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October 2018


CASE FOR CAREFUL CAPSULE USE

Dave Leathwick says ewes should only be drenched for quarantine.

to managing resistance and this is far easier to achieve using ewes than younger stock.” Leathwick says drenching lambs directly on to clean pasture should be avoided. One option is to return them to previously grazed paddocks for three to five days so they pick up a small infection of susceptible worm larvae to take with them on to the ‘clean’ pasture. Alternatively, follow them on to the clean paddock with a mob of undrenched ewes - two-tooths work fine. “What you are trying to avoid is a situation where only resistant eggs are shed on to clean pasture.” If that happens, the worm population in that paddock will then be almost entirely resistant and when next ingested, resistant worms will mate with resistant worms, amplifying the problem. The exception to the don’t drench and move rule is putting lambs on to winter finishing crops such as a brassica. Any resistant eggs shed there are unlikely to survive the cold and subsequent cultivation and reseed. “This should be a dead-end for resistant worms.”

He says once on crop, there should be no need to continue drenching lambs either. Provided an effective drench was used on introduction to the crop, any dags will be due to diet, not parasitism. By deploying all or nearly all those strategies, the teladorsagia circumcincta populations on the seven farms in the BPPMP reverted from an average 66% susceptible to albendazole in year one, to 90% in year five. Similarly, average susceptibility to levamisole rose from 66% to 85%, and ivermectin from 55% to 86%, though there was considerable variation between farms. At the start of the programme, four of the farms had resistance to all three drench actives, and three had resistance to two. By the final FECRT, three farms still had resistance to all three actives, but it was at lower levels, one had resistance to two, two had resistance to just one active, and one farm had no resistance. Full details of the results are published in the International Journal for Parasitology: Drugs and drug resistance. Go to www.researchgate.net and search for ‘Leathwick reversion’.

Boehringer Ingelheim’s Abi Chase says Dave Leathwick is right to say no research shows twin-bearing, low body condition score (BCS) ewes require a capsule more than single-bearing BCS 3 flockmates, and acknowledges the resistance concerns. “Anytime you use a chemical you select for resistance, but we also have to see it from the sheep’s and the sheep farmers’ perspective. Scour worms reduce intake in ewes by 30% and milk production by 60% - this is why you get better production when you treat the worms.” The problem is ensuring capsule use is limited to targeted treatment, and steps are put in place to maintain refugia. “It’s hard to tell farmers not to use a product that undoubtedly improves welfare of the animal and productivity and profitability of the farm, especially when the only argument not to is a theoretical risk of resistance sometime in the future, which may or may not be manageable and may be caused by other, more risky, practices such as poor quarantine drenching.” Chase says assuming treatment is targeted to lighter, multiple lamb-bearing ewes, the problem then is that fatter, single-bearing ewes are frequently mobbed separately as they need to be fed differently, which removes refugia. “Farmers need to get sound veterinary advice on capsule use and act on it to make sure this doesn’t happen. We need to bring the science back into parasitology management in NZ.”

NEXT ISSUE: Back from the brink. Farmer case studies of getting to grips with resistance issues.

On Farm Auction

Friday December 21, 2018

Open Day: Friday November 30, 2018 For Sale: 320 fully recorded two-tooth rams Maternal Wharetoa Maternal (Coopworth x Texel) • Texel • Coopworth Terminal Meatmaker (Poll Dorset x Texel) • Suffolk x Texel

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October 2018

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ANIMAL HEALTH | INFORMATION

CONVERTING TO WINE Tararua vet and farmer Rachel Fouhy was able to visit a top vaccine factory with a farm discussion group.

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he Tararua area has had a fantastic autumn which resulted in some excellent scanning percentages. Once again lots of our farms were affected by salmonella in the autumn. In our area we see enteric salmonella, which tends to result in sudden death of fat and healthy animals. Some animals are natural carriers and we see outbreaks during autumn periods with abundant feed. The number of deaths and the sudden onset of signs make this a devastating disease. The good news is that most deaths can be prevented with a vaccination programme. Winter has allowed many of us to get off-farm and see some other sides of the farming sector. I facilitate a couple of discussion groups. One group visited the South Island – to check out a sheep and beef property that was having all of its flats converted into vineyard. It was really interesting to see how these two operations were working side by side, and some of the numbers were mindboggling. They put in 650 posts/ha and about 3000 a day – the number of posts waiting to be put in made us understand why we were struggling to source posts in the North Island.

Discussion group members tour a South Island sheep and beef property converting its flat land to vineyard. 104 

There were a lot of parallels with our industry including sourcing skilled labour in peak periods. I wasn’t aware that every vine is touched 20-plus times a year. At 2525 vines/ha that makes for a large labour requirement. We spent the following day looking at some of the earthquake damaged farms around Clarence. It was thought provoking to see the damage caused and the changes in land, environment and business that resulted. We are exceptionally fortunate in our industry that farmers are willing to open their gates and let others have a look around their farms and businesses. Another group I’m involved with hit the capital for an off-farm day. We visited the MPI Science and Policy team and had some time with the Minister of Agriculture and one of our local MPs. This gave us a different perspective on the workings of MPI and Government. We spent the morning hosted by MSD in Upper Hutt including a tour of their vaccine factory. This visit gave us a insight into all the components that are required to make a vaccine. So often we are just the end user of products with little understanding of all the pathways involved. It’s easy to get frustrated when a product is unavailable, due to being held up by testing or if there has been a batch failure. These are intricate biological systems that are closely monitored, and subjected to rigorous testing. Most of the factory is sterile, hence us dressing up the white suits. The final stage of the process where the vaccines are placed in the packets are run under more stringent sterile conditions than most hospital surgeries. Attention to detail is everything in this business. The Upper Hutt factory is a world leader in clostridial vaccines. We are very lucky in NZ that we have a company that makes vaccines especially for NZ conditions. The main vaccines they make that we use in NZ include, Multine, Nilvax and Covexin

Dressed for the occasion: touring a vaccine factory.

10. They also make a variety of products which are exported. The RMPP has been a great thing to get into with Action Networks popping up around the country. Like many farmers, vets and consultants I’ve been lucky enough to benefit from four days of facilitator training via this programme. This has been a great opportunity, with lots of great networking. We have set up an Action Network and had a couple of days so far. It has been great to have a couple of days exploring the other side to our business as opposed to talking about grass and lamb weights. We spent one session on financial analysis and another on business planning, setting and achieving goals. Our next day will be onfarm with Paul Kenyon, exploring the finer details of sheep production. The great thing about Action Networks is the ability to have access to people who are experts in their fields. Having partners coming along to these days has been hugely beneficial for all involved. 

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


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Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


ANIMAL HEALTH | WATER

Rene CornerThomas and a woolly friend.

Drinking habits of sheep WORDS: JACKIE HARRIGAN

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ike other production animals, common perception is that sheep need constant access to clean water – but how much do they drink and how often? While cows’ needs are well documented, very little research exists on how much sheep need and how much they drink, Massey University senior lecturer in sheep production and animal welfare Rene Corner-Thomas says. “As the prospect of fencing off waterways on sheep country is growing, there are implications for the need for and cost of reticulating water, particularly in hill country.” Sheep are well set up physiologically for conserving water, Corner-Thomas says, as they originate in the Middle East where they lived in semi-desert regions. The water content of grass is up to 80%, with winter grasses and forages increasing

to 90% and sheep are generally able to harvest enough water from the grass they are eating to serve their needs. “Sheep might be able to cope with not being offered water, but what are the production implications – that’s what we were setting out to quantify.” In a 2017 trial, sensor-activated cameras were set up to monitor a water trough where a group of 40 mixed-age ewes were offered water on Massey University’s Keebles research farm. Over a period of a month only six ewes went to the trough once each, and during lactation no signs of dehydration were detected in ewes until the start of December after a spring lambing. Once the lambs were weaned, offering them water also had no effect on their growth rates, nor the productivity of the weaned ewes. Last season saw abnormally wet conditions so Corner-Thomas and masters student Nyoni Winchester are repeating the trial this year. So far the

winter results are similar to the first time around. Trial data will be analysed at the years’ end and recommendations made, then the research will widen to monitor how sheep interact with waterways. “We know very little about sheep and waterways – do they like to stand in them? Prefer to drink from them? Avoid them?” Corner-Thomas asked. If the latter hypothesis is correct, watching the footage from the motiontriggered cameras could be the world’s most boring job, but the results could give sheep researchers a contribution for the wider discussion of fencing sheep out of waterways or just running a single wire to exclude cattle.

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October 2018

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ANIMAL HEALTH | LAMB SURVIVAL

n w o d g n i Feel about down ewes New Zealand sheep farms tend to have a high level of lamb losses. Wairarapa vet Sara Sutherland looks at what can be done.

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amb survival at lambing is a major production and welfare issue for commercial sheep farmers in New Zealand. Losses range from 5% to 50% per farm, with an average of 20-30%. This is considerably higher than in other sheepproducing countries, even those with extensive systems. Most losses occur in the first 48 hours. A number of factors influence lamb survival, some we can control and some we can’t. Wind and rain have the most visible effect. Little can be done apart from putting our most susceptible ewes in the most sheltered paddocks. Lamb survival is also influenced by maternal behaviour. This can be selected for genetically between breeds and within a breed. Surprisingly, this is also influenced by pasture cover – ewes take better care of their lambs on 4cm of grass than 2cm of grass. Lambs that stand and nurse quickly are more likely to survive. The energy level of the lamb depends to some extent on the amount of “brown fat” the lamb is born with. This can be influenced by making sure ewes are in BCS 3 before lambing, and on good feed for the last month before lambing. Twins and triplets have less brown fat each than singles do, so good feeding is even more important for multiple-bearing ewes. Once the brown fat has been used, lambs need colostrum. Ewes on low covers will give less colostrum, and less milk. Making sure ewes are on good covers for the last month before lambing will improve milk production. Ewes with crook udders or mastitis give less milk. We are looking forward to the results of a recent comprehensive study by Massey University on udders and udder abnormalities. Death losses of ewes on commercial hillcountry farms are also variable and higher

108 

Lambs that stand and nurse quickly are more likely to survive.

than losses in other countries. Studies trying to quantify the reasons for losses haven’t had a lot of success. Dystocia is lambs getting stuck during lambing, either because they are too big or because several are trying to come out at once. This is another significant cause of death in ewes we can’t do much about. Breeders are talking about an EBV (breeding value) for small size at birth, for rams used for hogget mating, as is done in beef cows, but nobody has actually done it yet. Feeding level of ewes in the last month before lambing will not make the lambs bigger – by that stage lamb size has been set. We know that bearings (vaginal prolapse) are a major cause of ewe death on some farms in some years. A number of possible causes have been studied. There is some suggestion that feeding levels between mating and scanning can have a big effect. Apart from that, the only factor that reliably prevents bearings is to set up a

trial to study bearings on a farm – this will guarantee that few bearings happen that year. Fat ewes are no more likely to get a bearing than skinny ewes. Don’t limit feed to ewes close to lambing in an effort to reduce bearings – it won’t, and will potentially have a major detrimental effect on lamb survival. Another cause of ewe death is metabolic conditions (“down ewes”). This includes low energy (ketosis, also called “sleepy sickness” or “twin lamb disease”), and low calcium (“milk fever”). The balance of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and phosphorus, and their influence on energy, is extremely complicated. First, ketosis. Before the lamb is born, the ewe needs to provide it with energy in the form of glucose. That foetus, or foetuses, will take glucose every day, even if the ewe is not eating. Glucose can come from feed intake, or from fat. However, making glucose from fat requires energy, and puts a load on the liver. The liver has hundreds

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


of important roles in the body and can get overwhelmed. If the ewe is on limited feed, or stops eating because of illness or a spell of bad weather, the liver may just not be able to cope. The outcome is either subclinical ketosis (the ewe survives but the lamb is born dopey), or clinical ketosis (aka sleepy sickness) (the ewe goes down, and dies if not treated). A ewe that has had facial eczema will have limited liver function, as will a ewe that has been too fat (commonly seen on lifestyle blocks, but also keep an eye on the kid’s pets!). Older ewes will have livers that just aren’t quite as good at handling glucose (just like old people don’t process alcohol quite the same way we did when young!). Two foetuses need more glucose than one – so older twin and tripletbearing ewes are more susceptible to sleepy sickness. Secondly, milk fever. Calcium is used for all sorts of things in the body, including keeping the heart beating, rumen moving, muscles contracting, and temperature regulated. In late pregnancy the requirement increases dramatically as calcium is needed to form the skeleton(s) of the lamb(s).

In a normal, healthy pregnancy, the ewe gets calcium from the grass until late in pregnancy when that intake from grass isn’t enough and she starts to pull it out of her bones.

Fat ewes are no more likely to get a bearing than skinny ewes. Don’t limit feed to ewes close to lambing in an effort to reduce bearings – it won’t, and will potentially have a major detrimental effect on lamb survival.

At some point in the pregnancy this changeover from gut to bones has to happen. Unfortunately, it takes a couple of days for the changeover to take place. Spring pasture in NZ is high in calcium, so ewes are used to absorbing calcium from the diet in high quantities every day and don’t become efficient at absorbing it. When they are off feed (weather event, or prelamb shearing for example), they still

have this demand for calcium. They try to draw it from their gut but have nothing in their gut. They can’t switch over straight away to drawing it from their bones, so their blood calcium levels drop and they get milk fever. A ewe that is low on calcium looks identical to a ewe with sleepy sickness – she will be lying down and reluctant to stand up, “dopey” or “sleepy”, and may be bloated. Milk fever and sleepy sickness often happen together, and telling them apart isn’t usually important. Appropriate feeding close to lambing will mean ewes are less likely to get sleepy sickness, ewes are less likely to get milk fever, lambs will be born with more brown fat and be less likely to be dopey because of subclinical ketosis, ewes will have more milk, and ewes will have better maternal behaviour. They won’t have more oversize lambs and they won’t get more bearings. The only downside is you might have to call in a couple of extra teenagers to help with docking because of all the extra lambs! 

Sara Sutherland is a vet with Vet Services Wairarapa

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ANIMAL HEALTH | STOCK CHECK Northland farmer Angus McCraith (right) and farm manager Doug Booth are part of Extension 350 – a Northland-specific programme that aims to improve on-farm profitability and sustainability, as well as farmer wellbeing.

Getting results from extension

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First-hand demonstrations on lifting farm performance and profit can trigger some to change. Trevor Cook reports.

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ifting farm performance and profit is behind most of what is written in farming media, presented at field days, hammered at discussion groups and in general discussion. That is not to say sustainability and biosecurity for example are not hot topics in some forums. In the end these are still part of the profit equation. Extension providers have always agonised over how much change occurs on farms as a result of any extension investment and various surveys after the event try to capture the impact. Because of this background it is so heartening to see when there is significant change as a result of farmers being exposed to something new. I wrote earlier this year of how the impact of seeing the 10-year accumulated benefit of changes being made today motivated a farmer to commit to changes. Last year I accompanied a group of farmers to a field day on Techno grazing. Seeing this first hand and having access to the profits being generated motivated two or three of the group to go home and begin getting such a system in place. Accompanying that same group recently to see farms in the King Country, observation of something working well motivated some to open their minds to how to graze bulls. In this case it was cells across hills running high stocking rates and getting high per hectare weight gains. The common factor that made them successful in driving change was that there was a good financial outcome from a practical or understandable physical and observed process. I draw a lot of my experience and

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


knowledge from discussion groups hence my reference to them so often. Apart from attendees seeing stuff that triggers them to some change, there is an element of peer review. Last June in England I was in a workshop discussing using gathered farm information or data to drive farmer improvement. I discussed the power of discussion groups in spreading information and gathering information. The resident attendees were not impressed with that forum at all and they were surprised with my enthusiasm. A crucial question eventually put to me by one of the discerning attendees was “do members pay to belong to such a group?”. For my groups, yes, for theirs, no. Some ownership can make a world of difference. A large extension programme in Northland, Extension 350, is an innovative attempt to facilitate change. A small number of farmers engaging in a process of change but being observed by other farmers and supported by mentors is a great model. Small groups and moderate expectations are probably the key to success. The moderate description is not necessarily

about the size of change but more often about the time for change. The reality is that for farms that still have a lot of potential to capture, the reasons for being in that space are many and complex. In most cases they know the obstacles for not getting more.

I see farming being full of needing to make compromises. No farmer does it perfectly and at most decision points there is the need for some degree of compromise.

It is how to minimise those obstacles that is the key to unlocking more. This takes time. When working with breeding systems, though, it is frustratingly slow to get measurable change. This was really brought home to me when in discussion with an older farmer

about a change in his sheep breeding programme. He had seven lambings left, so would the breeding programme I was suggesting deliver quickly enough. If a new trait is introduced into a flock it takes about seven years for the genes behind that trait to be distributed well enough in the flock to get the full benefit. I have heard it is more likely to be nine years. For impatient people like me, purchasing females, as well as males, that carry those special genes can make that transition much quicker. This might require some compromise in other areas but what brings the most benefit? I see farming being full of needing to make compromises. No farmer does it perfectly and at most decision points there is the need for some degree of compromise. Is success simply about making the least or less consequential compromises? Getting back to making more, the recipes for doing such are abound and best practice guidelines are readily available yet there is still a huge range in farm performance in every region. Which just confirms that making progress is much more than knowing what to do.

NZ CHEVIOT The magic behind the Perendale USE A REGISTERED CHEVIOT RAM FOR: • Better constitution, mobility and longevity • Less labour and costs • High worm tolerance • Potential for heavy carcase weights with top grades • Unrivalled for hogget lambing survival

For further information contact the secretary Phone 03 318 8260 • jcpascoe@xtra.co.nz See our website www.cheviotsheepnz.com Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

JH0092281©

• More and better quality stock to sell

111


SHEEP DRENCH GUIDE

BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM ANIMAL HEALTH

AGPRO

Product Name

Application Application method rate

Active ingredient

Withholding period

This guide has been complied using companies’ information, websites and their staff’s comments.

Activity spectrum

Comments

AGPRO OPTAMECTIN MINERALISED SHEEP

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin. Single active

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, & lung worms) iodine, zinc)

AGPRO OPTACOMBO MINERALISED SHEEP

Oral

1ml/5kg

Albendazole + Levamisole. Dual combination

Meat:10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, & lung worms) zinc)

MATRIX

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Levamisole + + Oxfendazole. Triple combination

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Non-mineralised. & lung worms)

MATRIX HI-MINERAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Levamisole + + Oxfendazole. Triple combination

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (cobalt, & lung worms) selenium).

MATRIX MINI-DOSE

Oral

1ml/10kg

Abamectin + Levamisole + Oxfendazole. Triple combination

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Twice as concentrated so half the & lung worms) dose of Matrix Hi-Mineral. Mineralised (cobalt, selenium).

MATRIX TAPE HI-MINERAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Levamisole + Oxfendazole + Praziquantel. Triple combination + tapeworm

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Added tapeworm control. Mineralised & lung worms) + (cobalt, selenium). tapeworm

IVER MATRIX TAPE HI-MINERAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Ivermectin + Levamisole + Oxfendazole + Praziquantel. Triple combination + tapeworm

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Ivermectin substituted for abamectin & lung worms) + for added safety in young lambs. tapeworm Mineralised (cobalt, selenium). Greater safety margin for lambs.

TRIMOX HI-MINERAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Moxidectin + Levamisole + Albendazole. Triple combination

Meat: 28 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Persistent activity against Teladorsagia & lung worms) + (Ostertagia) and Barber’s Pole for 35 itchmite days. Mineralised (cobalt, selenium).

SWITCH ORAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Levamisole. Dual combination.

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Non-mineralised. & lung worms)

SWITCH HI-MINERAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Levamisole. Dual combination

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (cobalt, selenium) & lung worms)

IVER-SWITCH TAPE

Oral

1ml/5kg

Ivermectin + Levamisole + Praziquantel. Dual combination + tapeworm

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Ivermectin replaces abamectin to & lung worms) + improve safety in young lambs. tapeworm Mineralised (cobalt, selenium).

ARREST

Oral

1ml/5kg

Levamisole + Albendazole. Dual combination

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Provides some added control of adult & lung worms) + liver liver fluke and tapeworm. Nonfluke + tapeworm mineralised. Very safe in young lambs.

ARREST HI-MINERAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Levamisole + Albendazole. Dual combination

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (cobalt, selenium, copper). & lung worms) + liver Very safe in young lambs. fluke + tapeworm

FIRST HI-MINERAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Levamisole + Albendazole + Praziquantel. Dual combination + tapeworm

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Praziquantel added for tapeworm & lung worms) + control. Mineralised (cobalt, selenium, tapeworm copper). Very safe in young lambs.

GENESIS ULTRA HI-MINERAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Closantel. Single active + Barber’s pole + fluke

Meat: 56 days Milk: 56 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Persistent activity against Barber’s & lung worms) + liver Pole (42 days). Mineralised (cobalt, fluke selenium).

EXODUS Se

Oral

1ml/5kg

Moxidectin. Single active

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Barber’s Pole specialist, 35 days & lung worms) & of persistent activity. 21 days of itchmite persistent activity against Teladorsagia (Ostertagia). Mineralised (selenium).

GENESIS HI-MINERAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin. Single active

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (cobalt, selenium, copper, & lung worms) zinc, iodine).

IN A CLASS OF ITS OWN TRIMOX is the ultimate, ready to use, triple combination quarantine drench.

Proudly available from your local veterinary clinic. Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health New Zealand Limited. Level 3, 2 Osterley Way, Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand | TRIMOX is a registered trademark of the Boehringer Ingelheim Group. Registered pursuant to the ACVM Act 1997 | No. A0107534 | ©Copyright 2018 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health New Zealand Limited. All rights reserved. NZ-18-TRI-139.

112 

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


BOEHRINGER INGELHEIM ANIMAL HEALTH COOPERS ANIMAL HEALTH DONAGHYS ELANCO

BIONIC HI-MINERAL

Oral (controlled release capsule)

40-80 kg/ capsule

Abamectin + Albendazole. Dual combination

Meat 128 days Milk: 128 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Persistent activity (100 days). & lung worms) Mineralised (cobalt, selenium).

EXTENDER SeCo

Oral (controlled release capsule)

40-80 kg/ capsule

Albendazole. Single active

Meat: nil

Broad (gastrointestinal Persistent activity (100 days). & lung worms) Mineralised (cobalt selenium).

EXTENDER JNR SeCo

Oral (controlled release capsule)

20-40 kg/ capsule

Albendazole. Single active

Meat: nil

Broad (gastrointestinal Persistent activity (100 days). & lung worms) Mineralised (cobalt, selenium). Lamb capsule.

EXODUS LONG ACTING INJECTION

Injection

1ml/20kg

Moxidectin. Single active

Meat: 91 days Milk: 180 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Protection against sensitive Teladorsagia & lung worms) + nasal (Ostertagia) for 112 days, Barber’s Pole bot & itchmite for 91 days and Trichostrongylus spp. for 42 days.

EXODUS 1% INJECTION

Injection

1ml/50kg

Moxidectin. Single active

Meat: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Also registered for use in cattle. & lung worms) + nasal Protection against sensitive Teladorsagia bot (Ostertagia) and Barber’s Pole for 35 days.

EXODUS LONG ACTING INJECTION

Injection

1ml/20kg

Moxidectin. Single active

Meat: 91 days Milk: 180 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Persistent activity. & lung worms) + nasal bot & itchmite

EXODUS 1% INJECTION

Injection

1ml/50kg

Moxidectin. Single active

Meat: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + nasal bot

SCANDA

Oral

1ml/10kg

Oxfendazole + Levamisole. Dual combination

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Low volume dose. & lung worms)

SCANDA SELENISED

Oral

1ml/10kg

Oxfendazole + Levamisole. Dual combination

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (cobalt, selenium, zinc). & lung worms) Low volume dose.

CONVERGE

Oral

1ml/10kg

Oxfendazole + Levamisole. Dual combination

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (cobalt, selenium). Low & lung worms) volume dose.

ALLIANCE

Oral

1ml/10kg

Oxfendazole +, Levamisole + Abamectin. Triple combination

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (cobalt, selenium). Low & lung worms) volume dose.

CONCUR SHEEP HIMIN

Oral

1ml/5kg

Oxfendazole + Levamisole. Dual combination

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, & lung worms) iodine, zinc)

DUELL TAPE HIMIN

Oral

1ml/5kg

Albendazole + Levamisole + Praziquantel. Dual combination + tape

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper) & lung worms) + tapes

EVOLVE SHEEP HIMIN

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Oxfendazole + Levamisole. Triple combination

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, & lung worms) + tapes iodine, zinc)

EVOLVE TAPE HIMIN

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Oxfendazole + Levamisole +praziquantal. Triple combination + tape

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, & lung worms) + tapes iodine, zinc)

SATURN SHEEP HIMIN

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Levamisole. Dual combination

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad spectrum Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, (gastrointestinal & lung iodine, zinc) worms)

ZOLVIX PLUS

Oral

1ml/10kg

Monepantel + Abamectin. Dual combination

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Contains new active, Monepantel. & lung worms)

PYRIMIDE 3 WAY COMBINATION

Oral

1ml/4kg

Abamectin + Levamisole + Albendazole. Triple combination

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (cobalt, selenium) & lung worms)

TRIMOX is a unique triple combination oral drench for sheep containing moxidectin, levamisole and albendazole that also contains production enhancing selenium and cobalt. TRIMOX is ideally suited to quarantine treatments with the added benefits of persistent activity against Barber’s Pole and the brown stomach worm.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

113


RAVENSDOWN

NORBROOK (NZ) LTD

NEXAN

JUROX NZ

Product Name

Application Application method rate

Active ingredient

Withholding period

Activity spectrum

Comments

STRATEGIK COMBO

Oral

1ml/5kg

Albendazole + Levamisole. Dual combination

Meat: 10 days Milk: 10 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + adult flukes

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, zinc)

STRATEGIK COMBO + TAPE

Oral

1ml/5kg

Albendazole + Levamisole + Praziquantel. Dual combination + tape

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + adult liver flukes

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, zinc, iodine)

TROIKA

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Albendazole + Levamisole. Triple combination

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + adult liver fluke, nasal bot and itch mite

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, zinc, iodine)

Q-DRENCH

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Albendazole + Levamisole + Closantel. Quad combination

Meat: 28 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & Four-way drench. lung worms) +, mature and mature liver fluke, nasal bot and itch mite.

PARAMECTIN INJECTION

Injection

0.1ml/5kg injection

Abamectin. Single active

Meat: 28 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms)

BIMAX ORAL

Oral

1ml/10kg

Abamectin + Levamisole. Dual Combination

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms)

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt)

TRIPLEMAX ORAL

Oral

1ml/10kg

Abamectin + Levamisole + Oxfendazole. Triple combination

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms)

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt)

TRIPLEMAX ATAPE ORAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Levamisole + Oxfendazole +Praziquantel. Triple combination + tape

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal parasites) +tapes

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt)

MOXIDECTIN SHEEP ORAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Moxidectin. Single active

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal parasites)

Mineralised (selenium)

COMBOMAX ORAL

Oral

1ml/10kg

Oxfendazole + Levamisole. Dual Combination

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms)

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt)

TRIPLEMAX iTAPE

Oral

1ml/5kg

Ivermectin + Levamisole +Oxfendazole + Praziquantel Triple combination + tape

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal parasites) +tapes

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt)

CLOMAX ORAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Closantel + Abamectin. Dual combination

Meat: 56 days Milk: 56 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) +flukes

Miner Mineralised (selenium, cobalt) alised (selenium, cobalt)

NOROMECTIN INJECTION

Injection

0.1ml/5kg

Ivermectin. Single active

Meat: 35 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + itch mite, nasal bot.

ABAMECTIN INJECTION

Injection

1ml/50kg

Abamectin. Single active

Meat :28 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms)

ABAMECTIN SHEEP

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin. Single active

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms)

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, iodine, zinc)

COMBO SHEEP

Oral

1ml/5kg

Albendazole + Levamisole. Dual combination

Meat: 10 days Milk: 10 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + adult liver fluke

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, zinc)

COMBO LOW DOSE

Oral

1ml/10kg

Oxfendazole +Levamisole. Dual combination

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + adult liver fluke

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, iodine, zinc)

MOXIMAX SHEEP

Oral

1ml/5kg

Moxidectin. Single active

Meat: 7 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms)

Persistent activity. Mineralised selenium, cobalt, copper, iodine, zinc)

TRIO SHEEP

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Albendazole + Levamisole. Triple combination

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal Mineralised (selenium, & lung worms) + nasal bot, cobalt, copper, zinc) itch mite & adult liver fluke

N O H H C C T I T I W W S S N O I T C U PROD SISTANCE rs. E me r a f R p e e F OF better results for NZ sh

D e l i ve r s 114 

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


RAVENSDOWN THE DRENCH COMPANY VIRBAC ZOETIS

TRIO LOW DOSE

Oral

1ml/10kg

Abamectin + Levamisole + Oxfendazole Triple Combination

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lungworms)

DUO LOW DOSE

Oral

1ml/10kg

Abamectin + Levamisole Dual Combination

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lungworms)

TRIO TAPE

Oral

1ml/5kg

Ivermectin + Levamisole + Oxfendazole +Praziquantel Triple Combination + Tape

Meat: 14 days Milk: 35 Days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lungworms) + tapes

CLOSANTEL PLUS

Oral

1ml/5kg

Closantel + Abamectin Dual Combination

Meat: 56 days Milk: 56 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lungworms) + flukes

COMBO PLUS TAPE

Oral

1ml/5kg

Albendazole + Levamisole + Praziquantel. Dual combination + tape

Meat: 10 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) plus tapes + adult liver fluke

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, iodine, zinc)

COMBINATION SHEEP DRENCH

Oral

1ml/5kg

Albendazole + Levamisole. Dual Combination

Meat: 10 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms)

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt copper, zinc)

COMBINATION PLUS TAPE

Oral

1ml/5kg

Albendazole + Levamisole + praziquantel. Dual combination + tape

Meat: 10 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms + tapes

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, zinc, iodine)

MECTIN SHEEP DRENCH

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin. Single active

Meat: 21 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms)

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, zinc, iodine)

GOLD DRENCH

Oral

1ml/5kg

Levamisole. Single active

Meat: 10 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms)

Mineralised (selenium, cobalt, copper, zinc, iodine)

TRIPLE A

Oral

1ml/10kg

Abamectin + Levamisole + Oxfendazole. Triple combination

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms)

Mineralised (cobalt, selenium). Low volume dose. Cattle & Sheep.

TRIPLE A PLUS

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin + Levamisole + Oxfendazole + Praziquantel. Triple combination + tape

Meat: 21 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + tapes

Mineralised (cobalt, selenium)

FLUKECARE + SE

Oral

1ml/10kg

Triclabendazole + Oxfendazole. Dual combination

Meat: 28 days Milk: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + immature and mature liver fluke

Mineralised (selenium)

CYDECTIN ORAL

Oral

1ml/5kg

Moxidectin. Single active

Meat: 10 days Broad (gastrointestinal Milk: 84 hours & lung worms)

Persistent activity against Ostertagia for 21 days and Barbers Pole worm for 35 days

CYDECTIN INJECTION

Injectable

1ml/50kg

Moxidectin. Single active

Meat: 28 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + nasal bot

Persistent activity against Ostertagia and Barbers Pole worm for 35 days and Trichostrongylus for 7 days

CYDECTIN LONG ACTING INJECTION FOR SHEEP

Injectable

1ml/20kg

Moxidectin. Single active

Meat: 91 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) +nasal bot & itch mites

Persistent activity against Ostertagia for 112 days, Trichostrongylus for 42 days and Barbers Pole worm for 91 days

CYDECTIN PLUS TAPE

Oral

1ml/5kg

Moxidectin + Praziquantel. Single active + tapes

STARTECT

Oral

1ml/5kg

Abamectin and Derquantel. Dual combination

Meat: 14 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + nasal bots & itch mites

DECTOMAX INJECTABLE

Injectable

1ml/50kg

Doramectin. Single active

Meat: 35 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & Also registered for cattle and pigs lung worms) +nasal bots & itch mites.

EWEGUARD

Injectable

1ml/25kg, (minimum 2ml)

Moxidectin + vaccine (5 clostridial antigens). Single active

Meat: 49 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) + nasal bots

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

Meat: 7 days

Broad (gastrointestinal & lung worms) +tapes Contains a new active, derquantel

Persistent activity against Ostertagia and Barbers Pole worm for 35 days and Trichostrongylus for 7 days

Proudly available from your local veterinary clinic. Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health New Zealand Limited. Level 3, 2 Osterley Way, Manukau, Auckland 2104, New Zealand. SWITCH is a trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Group. Registered pursuant to the AVCM Act 1997 | No. A009970 | ŠCopyright 2018 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health NZ Ltd. All rights reserved. NZ-18-SWI-140. 115


GENETICS | FACIAL ECZEMA

Advancing the Romney WORDS: MIKE BLAND

R

ex Alexander could have walked off the farm after facial eczema wiped out more than half his recorded ewe flock in 1970. But a stubborn streak made him stay and fight. Most North Island farmers of today would be grateful he did. Together with a small band of Ruakura scientists and a hardy group of like-minded sheep breeders, Rex’s ground-breaking work on facial eczema (FE) throughout the 1970s and 1980s saved millions of sheep and helped farmers in FE-prone areas improve profitability. As a top flock master and founder of one of New Zealand’s longest running sheep breeding groups he was never afraid to challenge the status quo, even if it meant ruffling the feathers of traditional sheep breeders. Now retired and living in Matamata, his interest in performance breeding started in the late 1950s and was driven by the humble production of Romney sheep on his Taranaki farm. “In those days ewes had wool from their nostrils to their toes, they were short and stumpy and that made it hard for their lamb to find the teat. Some farmers were getting 96-100% lambing, but anyone who said they were doing better probably fudged their figures.”

116 

Back then, most traditional ram breeders selected on ‘eye appeal’ only and few could provide records to back up productivity claims, Rex says. By the time he’d sold his South Taranaki farm and moved to Pukekohe in 1962, he was “well and truly pissed off” with where the breed was heading. Though it may have been tempting to switch to Coopworth or Perendale, he still had faith in the Romney and was determined to lift productivity.

‘That was almost the straw that broke the camel’s back.’

In 1962 he tagged all his ewe hoggets and began recording wool weights something that was virtually unheard of at the time. He bought small plastic ‘H’-tags and used a set of steel punches to number each tag individually. Gordon Wilson, a young sheep and beef officer with MAF, gave advice on wool characteristics and production and helped Rex and wife Marion set up a recording system. “I realised that by measuring wool production we could make a big improvement in profit.”

The next problem to address was lambing difficulty. Rex and Marion were staggered at the number of ewes that needed help to deliver a lamb. Things reached a peak in 1966 when they lost 26 lambs (choked in the birth canal) in the space of 36 hours. “That was almost the straw that broke the camel’s back.” Two years later, again with Gordon Wilson’s assistance, Rex called a meeting for farmers interested in setting up a group to address some of the performance issues facing the Romney breed. The Auckland Romney Development Group (ARDG) aimed to lift wool production, liveweight and fertility, and improve lambing ease. Rex was appointed central flock master for the group, made up of seven farmers, with members sending their top breeding ewes to the Alexander’s Pukekohe farm. At its peak the central flock consisted of 400 ewes, run with 350 of the Alexanders’ own. Flock ewes were tagged and recorded, though it was a low-tech operation at the start, with lambs weighed on the bathroom scales. The quantity of paperwork required for the recording process was “horrendous”, Rex says. “Marion and the other partners of ARDG members made a huge contribution by doing most of this work, and they still do.”

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


Facial eczema devastates Not everyone was happy with what the ARDG was doing and some traditional Romney breeders accused the group of bastardising the breed. As the group’s front man, Rex copped much of the flak. “Those were perhaps the loneliest years of my life. I believed in what we were doing, but at times it seemed that nobody else did.” However, the scheme showed early promise, with mixed-age ewes lambing at 154% (ewes to ram) in 1969. But then disaster struck. An outbreak of FE in March 1970 wiped out more than half the ewes. “Farmers knew about FE but we never saw it in our district between 1960 and 1970. After that we had five years of it and lost 35% of our ewe lambs. By 1975 it reached the stage where we couldn’t put a breeding flock together without buying in to make up the numbers.” FE had a devastating effect in the upper North Island and forced many farmers in the South Auckland region out of sheep and into beef cattle or market gardening. Rex says the depressing job of picking up a seemingly endless supply of dead sheep almost drove him off the farm as well. “It was Marion who held it all together. She stopped me from going crazy.” But then he noticed something that offered hope. “When we tallied up the dead lambs and looked at the breeding records we

found that two sires had lower death rates than the others. Losses for most rams were in the 16-26% range but these two, a grandfather and grandson, were only 8% and that opened the door to solving the problem.” At the time most agricultural science was focused on ‘production traits’, though there had been a small demonstration conducted at Ruakura Animal Research Centre that showed individual animals reacted differently to FE exposure. Some were severely affected and others hardly at all. In 1979 MAF farm advisor Colin Southey and Ruakura scientists Neale Towers and Chris Morris set up a testing farm in South Auckland. In a spirit of collaboration, 10 sheep breeders, representing a range of different breeds, submitted their best ram lambs to the project. Rams were blood tested then

ARDG FOCUS The ARDG central flock was dissolved after Rex retired. But the group, which has been renamed ‘Advanced Romney Designer Genetics’, now includes many second-generation members and remains focused on the original goals.

Rex and Marion look over a history of the ARDG, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

exposed to pastures with high levels of sporedesmin to identify sires that were most tolerant to FE. This work increased farmer awareness of FE and highlighted its impact on sheep production. Crucially, it also proved that selecting rams for FE tolerance could reduce the effects of the disease and lift profitability. Paddock testing for the trials concluded in 1984 and five breeders then formed a company, Stock Safeti, to produce sporedesmin and offer a controlled testing service to other farmers. Stock Safeti was later bought by Ramguard. In 1993 the Alexanders sold their South Auckland farming operation and bought 283-hectare Pakaraka Farm at Okoroire, near Tirau. Rex retired from the flock master role and was recognised with a life membership. “The ARDG has been a real team effort and I’m very appreciative of the support past and present members have given me.” Rex’s son Ross runs the recorded flock on Pakaraka. In 1999 the Alexanders also bought a 932ha sheep and beef farm at Mt Damper, Taranaki, and this is managed by son Lloyd. Though he forged a reputation as a top flock master who made a significant contribution to sheep performance and FE tolerance, Rex, 84, sometimes wonders what life would have been like if he’d never become involved with performance breeding. “Maybe I should have been a prime lamb buyer instead.”

FE research work being conducted on the Alexander’s South Auckland farm.

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Rex holds an old photo of his siblings on their Taranaki farm. From left: Marjorie, Rex, Ian, Graeme and Don.

Achieving goals At the age of 16, Rex Alexander sat down and wrote a plan with four simple goals. “Buy a farm, get a wife, rear children and be debt-free by 40.” He achieved his first goal a year later, buying 88ha next to his parents’ Ararata sheep and beef farm in Taranaki in 1951. By the age of 22 he’d cleared all debt and charmed a Stratford dental nurse, Marion. They married in 1957 and produced three offspring, Susan, Lloyd and Ross. Rex and his siblings were raised in Tiger country, where the hills were so steep the locals used to say, “if you can’t find the cows, try looking up the chimney”. Their Dad was a tough Taranaki farmer who wanted his children to work hard and do well. “When I was seven-years-old, Dad came home with four dairy heifers and told me and my sister, Marjorie, that if we milked them, we could keep all the proceeds.” Rex and Marjorie also started breaking in ponies. Due to wartime petrol rationing, these ponies were keenly sought after in the district. “We’d ride them into the Hawera sale and watch bidders compete for them. They’d make 18 to 26 pounds, which was good money.” Proceeds from shearing also helped Rex pay off debt and save for his next farm.

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“It was bloody hard work. In the 30 years since I left school I only had 10 weeks off.” In 1962 he and Marion bought 136ha of rolling contour between Pukekohe and Waiuku. “We knew nothing about the area at all, apart from that it grew good potatoes. But the contour was a lot better than Taranaki and it gave us a bigger farm, even though there was almost no fencing.” Rex says the new farm came with a rat-infested cottage that did not appeal to Marion. “I don’t know what I was thinking. My judgement was clouded by youthful enthusiasm.”

But the Alexanders developed it into a decent unit, running 1200 ewes and 35 cattle. They later bought two more blocks in the area. In 1968 Rex set up the Auckland Romney Development Group, a group dedicated to producing rams ideally suited to conditions in the upper North Island. The ARDG, which turned 50 this year, is one of the country’s longest running sheep breeding groups and is credited with making a significant contribution to sheep performance and FE research.

Prize-winning ARDG wool.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


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GENETICS | GENETALK

Sheep no longer on cliff edge Keeping the ace up your sleeve, Nicola Dennis writes that improving wool quality is now an option for everyone.

T

here was a time when New Zealand sheep farmers threw their sheep into the sea. This occurred before the pioneer of refrigerated shipping made meat exports viable. Back then, wool was big business and the local population was not large enough to consume all the meat produced. So, farmers “erected yards at the edges of cliffs, into which some thousands of these old sheep were driven, so that they might be knocked on the head and thrown over the precipice” (recounted by William Soltau Davidson in 1918. Alleged sheep throwing occurred sometime before the

first frozen meat shipment left Dunedin in 1881). Let’s take a moment to respect the modern Kiwi farmer and how far farming practices have come! These days it is the wool, not the sheep, that walks the plank. At our place we are quite happy to donate our wool to passing birds. Our small farm is inhabited by Wiltshire ewes who shed their wool when it pleases them, usually in small dribs and drabs on all the fences that they breach. We round up our sheep (from every corner of the property) once at mating and then again for “lamb cheque time” and that is that. No shepherding, no tailing and no shearing. For us, it is best to get less from

Meldrum Meldrum Romneys Meldrum Romneys Romneys

our sheep. We see no benefit in trying to harvest wool from our semi-feral, scrubbashing ewes. Most commercial sheep farmers are not breeding wool-shedding breeds and are, therefore, obliged to shear their sheep. If you are harvesting wool and receiving a pittance for it, then I see two options for your breeding programme. Option 1) start introducing woolshedding genetics and earmark your woolshed for a more profitable enterprise such as calf rearing or wood working etc. Option 2) breed for more marketable wool. You don’t need me to tell you that fine wool is where the money is at.

Terminal Sires Suffolk ◆ Texel x Suffolk ◆ Suffolk x Texel x Poll Dorset ◆ Texel x Poll Dorset

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Coopworths Romney x Coopworth Coopworth x Texel EDWARD SHERRIFF RD 2, Marton 4788 P 06 327 6591 M 021 704 778

42

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FE tolerance. Growth and high fertility. Carcase scanned. SIL recorded. 92

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Performance recorded rams sold for 43 years

CC0092435© JH0089018©

Maternal Romney 2th Rams EM stablished and evolved M aternalRomney Romney 2thsince Rams1970 aternal 2th Rams LEE asting in theand fieldevolved since 1970 stablished stablished and evolved since 1970 DLual purpose superior growth and quality wool asting in the– fi eld Lasting in the field RD obust, resilient–and reliable rams and quality wool ual purpose superior growth Dual purpose – superior growth and quality wool URnder highresilient mob pressure and selection criteria obust, and reliable rams Robust, resilient and reliable rams MUade to high improve flockand performance nder mobyour pressure selection criteria Under high mob pressure and selection criteria Made to improve your flock performance Made to improve yourEnquiries flock performance

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


Economic value  for  fibre  diameter   18.00

Price ($/kg  of  clean  fleece)

As far as a I can gather, as an outsider to the wool world, there are three broad categories of woolly sheep. The standard meaty-woolly sheep (dual purpose breeds which use the NZ Maternal Worth index), the “cut above” woolly sheep breeds (finer wool breeds which use the midmicron index) and the rock-and-sandeating Merino type (which mostly use an Australian index). Some upcoming changes to the genetic evaluation system for the SIL genetic evaluation system for the Dual Purpose and Mid-Micron Wool indices are going to make breeding for more profitable wool a bit more “doable”. At the moment, DPW, the wool component of the NZMW, is focussed only on fleece weight. This was a good start (ie: if you must have wool, then aim for lots of wool), but selecting only on fleece weight tends to push fibre diameter in an unfavourable direction (towards coarser, less-profitable wool). Breeders using the NZMW will now have the option to add a dual-purpose wool quality sub-index (DPWQ). The objective of this new sub-index is to breed for finer, whiter wool, and so it contains traits for fibre diameter and yellowness. Work is being done to develop a less expensive

16.00 14.00 12.00 10.00 8.00 6.00 4.00 2.00 0.00

20

25

30

35

40

45

Fibre diameter  (microns)  

yellowness measurement. In contrast to the NZMW, the mid-micron wool index contains an abundance of wool quality traits (clean fleece weight, fibre diameter, colour, curvature, staple length), some of which may have little bearing on the profit of the wool. Some of these traits are hardly ever recorded. It is proposed that the mid-micron wool quality sub-index be pared back to three elements (clean fleece weight, fibre diameter and a visual score of yellowness). As I said, that is what is being proposed. The geneticists are still seeking consultation on those changes. The biggest news is that the economic

value for fibre diameter is going to be made consistent across both SIL wool selection indexes (DPWQ and Mid-Micron). This means that sheep with fibre diameter measurements that “fall between” indexes (i.e. that have finer or coarser wool than would be expected for their breed) will receive a more accurate index value. This is good news for those hoping to transition to a finer wool class. The new “for everyone” economic value for fibre diameter is going to be non-linear (a curve not a line) to reflect that, in very coarse wool, the price received is not influenced by fibre diameter. 

Sheep farmers

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Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

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GENETICS | GENETALK

Survival of the fittest

L

amb survival is one heck of a tough nut to crack. Many astute scientists, breeders and farmers have thought long and hard over many decades as to what can be done about a trait which is incredibly valuable but very difficult to measure. Economically, lamb survival has a weighting in SIL’s genetic evaluation which naturally reflects the value of an extra prime lamb. Ewe efficiency has the potential to rocket if losses from scanning to birth can be reduced. And thinking ahead, producing more from the same (or even fewer) base of ewe numbers, means our flocks’ emissions intensity can further improve. For a trait that has a heritability of about 2% (if not less) the industry is making reasonable gains in terms of the response on the ground when we select for lamb survival. Farmers buying rams from breeders who are recording and connected

for the standard SIL index New Zealand Maternal Worth, will be receiving a 13% genetic improvement in lamb survival response annually. But remember, lamb survival is influenced terrifically by environmental factors, so visualising 13% in the paddock can be difficult. So, what can be done to maximise the genetics and reduce the environmental factors? First, choose an appropriate ram breeder. According to SIL, there are 365 dual-purpose breeders, of which 129 are connected enough to be able to offer the standard index NZ Maternal Worth to ram buyers (interestingly there are 162 dual-purpose breeders who do not record survival). So, if lamb survival is important to your business, make sure your rams at least have the potential to produce lambs that survive. Use the SIL app FlockFinder

FACIAL ECZEMA FACIAL ECZEMATOLERANT TOLERANT BROOKBANK ROMNEY RAMS BROOKBANK ROMNEYSTUD STUD RAMS OurOur dosing levels now at at 4 5.3 andand going upup each year. dosing levels now going each year

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WHEELER SHEEP SHEEP GENETICS GENETICS WHEELER Verylow lowinput-high input-highoutput output Very low input-high output Very

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(GDF9) LambM X (GDF9) •• •LambM X (GDF9) • High fertility Texels FinnTexel ewes • High fertility Texels FinnTexel ewes • Proven performers •• Proven Proven performers performers MEATMASTER Efficient andHardy Hardy MEATMASTER MEATMASTER •• • Efficient Efficient and and Hardy SheddingComposite Composite Shedding Shedding Composite • Selected for short tails •• Selected for short tails • No Noshearing, shearing,no nodocking, docking, • No shearing, no docking, Low dag score • andlow lowdag dagscore, score,no no no dagging,no nodipping dipping and no dagging, no dipping Very low input-high output no dagging, • Lower input Higher dockingneeded needed Adaptable-- -Hardy Hardy Adaptable Hardy docking •• • Adaptable TEXEL and FINNTEXEL output Lowerinput inputHigher Higher Fertility+ Growth+ Muscle Fertility ++Growth Growth ++Muscle Muscle • • Lower •• • Fertility output • output High lamb survival • LambM X (GDF9) •• • • High fertility Texels FinnTexel ewes CONTACT: CONTACT: CONTACT: Daniel Daniel • Proven performers Daniel 03313 3132204 2204 03 313 2204 03 MEATMASTER • Efficient and Hardy Wheeler Wheeler danielwheeler@xtra.co.nz Wheeler danielwheeler@xtra.co.nz Shedding Composite danielwheeler@xtra.co.nz • Selected for short tails Livestock Livestock • No shearing, no docking, Livestock and low dag score, no no dagging, no dipping docking needed • Adaptable - Hardy • Lower input Higher • Fertility + Growth + Muscle Country-Wide•Sheep October 2018 output

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to find breeders with a genetic objective like yours. There is no silver bullet for lamb survival. Continuing to chip away at the edges and doing all the simple things well is a good approach. The reality is that a key to successful lambing is continual proactive management in lots of areas on the farm. Thinking about being proactive now, is a bit too late. Last season’s weaning was a better place to start. Body condition scoring and making sure that the ewes are primed and set up for going to the ram is a great start and extending your condition

JH0089741© CC0092272© JH0089741©

WORDS: SHARL LIEBERGREEN


DNA parentage means ewes and lambs can be left alone during those critical first few days of life.

scoring into set stocking also helps. “You’ve heard it all before, but having ewes in condition score 3 at scanning puts you in the best place to manage ewes in late pregnancy,” Mark Fergusson, of neXtgen Agri says.

The reality is that a key to successful lambing is continual proactive management in lots of areas on the farm. Thinking about being proactive now, is a bit too late.

Lamb birthweight is just another factor which influences lamb survival. A lower birthweight can increase the risk of starvation and exposure. As we increase the prolificacy of our ewes and potentially reduce birthweights, it is going to be as important as ever to provide the ewe every chance to feed and mother her litter, without distraction and with as much fuel in the tank as possible. Nesting down in a part of the paddock which provides as much shelter as possible

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

while also having enough room and grass to circulate and feed, are important factors in minimising confusion for twin and triplet-bearing ewes. DNA technology has allowed breeders to examine more specifically the genetic factors associated with lamb survival. Not only are we able to interrogate the sheep genome with SNP chips (genomics) for genes or associations with lamb survival, but whole-flock DNA parentage also removes the need for lambing beats. Disturbing the ewe/lamb bonding process when riding a quad through the lambing paddock or putting a tag in its ear for recording purposes can affect lamb survival by as much as 10%. DNA parentage means ewes and lambs can be left alone during those critical first few days of life. It also allows the breeders’ lambing environment to better reflect that of the easy-care commercial farmer. We need to be conscious of the threat that the lamb survival story poses from the perspective of the market and the

increasingly discerning consumer, and their values. Every farmer in the country cares for their animals every day of the year. Whether it be animal management practices, genetics, animal health or shelter, every tool in the tool box is used to maximise the chances of a lamb surviving through to tailing. But losses of 15% or more, without knowledge of practices and systems and technologies to reduce such a number, could be misinterpreted. Lamb survival ticks all the boxes as a trait of global interest; it is of major economic importance and a significant welfare concern for the industry. In a world where transparency means everything, lamb mortality has the potential to be an Achilles heel. Lambing in extensive environments provides plenty of challenges, but there are some real success stories of people doing all they can to make sure they convert as many foetuses to weaned lambs as possible. Continuing to socialise these exemplars and demonstrating continual improvement will be good for farming and lambs.

Kikitangeo Romney Stud Established 1922

Stud sires that are FE tolerant and worm resistant – they have never been drenched. A high percentage of this year’s sale rams willl also have never been drenched

29th Ram Sale – 5 December 2018 Approximately 150 Romney Rams offered for sale • After 31 years of intensive selection for worm resistance - working closely with scientists - we at Kikitangeo have virtually beaten the worm problem in NZ’s most challenging worm environment • All sires tested to a high level for FE tolerance • Kikitangeo has always bred for structural soundness and guarantees all sale rams for these traits

To be added to our mailing list for newsletters and our annual Ram Sale catalogue, please contact Gordon Levet | Tel 09 423 7034 | Email glevet5192@gmail.com.

Catalogue will be available on website prior to sale www.kikitangeo.co.nz

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GENETICS | WORM RESISTANCE

LOOK, no drenches WORDS: ANNE HARDIE

L Stud lambs are tagged at birth.

ast year’s warm, moist conditions were a challenge to many sheep farmers who battled to stay on top of a flourishing worm population in their animals, but it was a good year for Peter and Reuben Moore to test their worm-resistant genetics. In a year of low faecal egg counts, Peter says it’s not necessarily a sign of the animal’s resistance to worms, but rather they just haven’t been challenged. It’s been 20 years since Peter decided to include worm resistance as a major breeding criteria in their stud Romney and Romney-Poll Dorset flock near Nelson called Moutere Downs. Back then they drenched religiously regardless of faecal egg count, whereas today their 2700 commercial ewe flock

and 300-stud ewe flock are not drenched and last year the stud ram lambs got just one drench due to the challenging year climatically, with the total drench cost for the flock adding up to just 96 cents per sheep wintered. The previous year most of the ram lambs had no drenches at all. Peter says wet, humid seasons highlight drench failure and sheep farmers are running out of options. Whereas the worm-resistant genetics have made huge progress in recent years and continue to improve, especially since breeders adopted DNA testing for more accuracy. They’ve been DNA testing since 2012, which enables them to identify top ram lambs sooner and accurately so they can add their genetics to the flock earlier. Ram lambs are tested in January so those with the best results can be used in their breeding programme in March. DNA testing has removed the

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October 2018


environmental aspect which affects individual animals and given them accurate information on which animals are resistant to worms. The challenge now is teaching farmers about that information and encouraging them to use genetics instead of drenches as drench resistance becomes an increasing problem, he says. “A few farmers look for it, but I think in the future it will be a big selling point, especially in the next five years because of the onset of drench failure. Farmers are beginning to recognise the worth of worm resistant genetics.” Only 43 flocks are actively breeding for worm resistance and Peter encourages commercial farmers to ask their ram breeder for the data to back up claims that “we’re using less drench than we used to”. Worm resistance is expressed in one of two ways. First, through a breeding value FEC 1 or FEC 2 where negative figures are good, he says, “because when it comes to worms, less is best”, and secondly, as a DPF index which combines all factors relating to worm resistance, where zero is average and those better than average described as a positive figure. A breeder’s progress and measure of how serious they are about breeding sheep that are resistant to worms will show in their flock’s genetic trend graph, he says. Peter says the next step for breeders like themselves is to market the genetics and to do that, they are looking at being part of a marketing group called Worm FEC Gold. They’ve also enlisted the help of Techion in Dunedin which will look at the opportunities through social media as well as traditional advertising. It will take a few years before a farmer with a commercial flock of ewes and worm problems can reap the benefits of using rams with worm resistance, Peter says, as the progeny is only as good as the ram and ewe combination. But it’s preferable to relying on the possibility of a new drench and Peter says most customers would prefer their meat with no chemicals.

GENETICS | OPINION

A different approach to controlling worms

M

ore than 30 years ago parasitologists believed it would be possible to breed animals to have a natural immunity to worm challenges. However virtually no sheep breeders pursued this course, as it was accepted that the best practice to control internal parasites was the use of efficient drenches which were costeffective compared with booming wool and meat prices. Nevertheless a few sheep breeders took up the “breeding for worm resistance” in the period from 1987 to 1993. After a few years, most of these breeders did not continue because there was no financial return for their considerable efforts and the costs involved. One who did continue was Gordon Levet, with his stud Romney flock, and after 31 years of continuous effort has a flock where a high percentage of his lambs require no drenching. He farms at Wellsford, Northland, where the worm challenge is highest, particularly from the lethal barbers pole worm (haemoncus contortus). “Having had considerable success in breeding sheep that had resistance to foot diseases (footrot and scald) by the principle of ‘keeping the best and culling the worst’, I became convinced that genetics was the key to solving other health issues,” Gordon says. “In periods of high worm challenges, the late summer/autumn period particularly from the blood-sucking barbers pole worm some lambs were severely affected while others appeared normal. Gradually I came to the realisation that this difference was the result of genetic variation, and therefore progress could be made in breeding sheep that were more resistant to worms.” In 1986 he visited Ruakura agricultural research centre and sought the advice of senior parasitologist, Dr Tom Watson on breeding sheep for worm resistance. He advised:

Brookfield ‘thick skinned’ Romneys Massey University research shows that even an extra 1mm of skin depth (2mm v 3mm) will greatly improve a lamb’s chance of surviving cold, exposed conditions after birth. Check us out at: romney-rams-brookfield.co.nz

CC0092437©

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Please contact Ross and Damien Humphrey ■ Phone: 06 328 9890 Mobile: Ross 0274 999 230 ■ Damien 021 678 744 Email: rfh@farmside.co.nz

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

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• Drench all lambs around weaning time • Monitor the lambs for the average FEC (faecal egg count) and when the average egg count reached 1500, take dung samples from each lamb and carry out a faecal egg count (FEC). • Drench all lambs and go through the same process a second time. The worm egg count is an indication of the adult worm population in an animal. A second sample is taken to give more accuracy to what is essentially a fairly ‘blunt instrument’ to measure worm levels. If the second count is lower than the first, this indicates the immune system is responding to the challenge. The next step is to analyse the FEC data. Ideally a number of sires will be represented in the lambs tested and then again around 25 progeny of each sire would give reasonably accurate assessments of the sire for the wormresistant trait. “In the early years of testing I found that there was a significant difference in the average counts of the progeny of sires. A four or five-fold difference between sires was common. In breeding for the resistant trait, one would select a low count ram from the sire whose progeny that had the lowest average egg count. “In these early years ewe lambs were

also accessed for faecal egg counts which enabled the mating of low-count rams with ewes of equal merit. This action would have increased progress.” In nature, all animals – including humans – harbour varying levels of internal parasites, Gordon says. They all evolved to have immune systems to control these parasite challenges via ‘survival of the fittest’. Worm challenges would have been low because small herds and flocks grazed on a variety of herbage over vast areas often in arid environments. Farming animals in large mobs on confined areas of lush pasture creates an ideal environment for worm larvae to survive and be ingested in huge numbers. The worm challenge could be 100 times greater than faced by their feral counterparts. (It has been found that one kilogram of pasture herbage can harbour 10,000 worm larvae. It only takes 500 adult barbers pole worms to kill a sheep or goat). Immune systems which evolved to handle the low worm levels in nature proved to be completely inadequate when challenged by the higher worm levels resulting from higher stocking rates. There were two options to resolve this problem, one being to eliminate worms by drenching or injecting chemicals. The

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second was breeding animals with stronger immune responses to handle the increased parasite challenge. The chemical solution was chosen with the genetic option completely ignored. In the first 10 years of breeding for worm resistance progress was slow, Gordon says. This was understandable because all sheep were susceptible to high worm challenges. “In 1998 I struck the lucky jackpot in using a sire (765-96) which left progeny that were outstanding for worm resistance. By that time faecal egg counts were computer analysed and all lambs tested ranked for worm resistance. “This outstanding sire, known as an ‘outlier’ in scientific and stud breeding circles – had 41 sons out of a total 300 tested. When ranked by computer 22 of

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Gordon Levet – breeding sheep resistant to parasitic worms.


these sons ranked from first to 22nd. In fact all ranked in the top 40% with none in the bottom 60%. Significant progress followed when five sons of this sire were used extensively, all in the top 2% for the worm-resistant trait.” Breeding for worm resistance, using scientifically designed protocols in a farming situation had never been attempted before so far as Gordon is aware. There have been some unexpected outcomes. One was when he departed from normal protocols without informing scientists and did not drench most lambs at the time of sampling, only drenching about 10% with the highest counts. After a further five weeks the lambs were sampled a second time, but not drenched, but left four more weeks when they were sampled a third time and drenched. So about 80% of lambs were undrenched for about four months during the peak worm challenge. The average faecal egg counts were surprising. The first count was relatively high at 4286 taken (18.01.07), the second was marginally higher at 4907 (22.02.07) with the third count decreasing significantly to 1947 (22.03.07). “One would expect a rapid increase in worm levels in undrenched lambs especially where the deadly barbers pole

worm is the dominant species,” he says. There was a huge variation in the egg counts of individual lambs varying from 0 to 28,000 eggs per gram (Counts sometimes go as high as 50,000). However some lambs had low counts every time they were sampled which indicates they possessed powerful early responsive immune responses which kept worm levels low. So what exactly has been achieved after 31 years of concerted effort?

‘I struck the lucky jackpot in using a sire (765-96) which left progeny that were outstanding for worm resistance.’ “We are fortunate to have a reliable measure on genetic progress in the worm resistance designed by geneticists and associates. This is DPF which combines all factors relating to worm resistance. In this measure 0 is average with those better than average having a positive figure with animals that are susceptible to worms having a minus figure.

“In studying the figures the progress made is very positive. In the first 25 years of breeding for this trait, an average figure for all rams evaluated was around 250, with the top lambs slightly better than 500. Six years later, (2018) the average has reached over 500 with a few top lambs exceeding 800. “So, as much progress has been made in the past six years as what was achieved in the previous 24 years. This accelerating trend I believe is likely to continue, which hopefully will see the average DPF reach 800 with the top sheep in the 1100 to 1200 range in the next five years.” Gordon believes there may be many other positives including less cost for farmers and fewer chemicals in the food chain, which will resonate with consumers. “Whether that will affect facial eczema is, I believe, questionable as in my experience no connection is obvious. “Finally, in my opinion the use of chemicals to control worms will become less affective as worms build resistance to every new chemical or combination that becomes available. The time is overdue to give serious consideration to the untapped genetic solution to control worm challenges.” - Supplied by Gordon Levett

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FORAGE | BRASSICA

New crop has nuances

Manson Bell has had great results from growing the raphnobrassic Pallaton on his Taihape farm through drought and wet years (Country-Wide June, 2017)

A new forage brassica is about to hit the market, and test crops have revealed some tricks to get the best from it. Andrew Swallow reports.

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raze harder and earlier are a couple of key findings from two years of limited release and grower monitoring with novel forage brassica, Pallaton Raphno, PGG Wrightson Seeds says. The radish-kale cross, a raphanobrassica, which Country-Wide featured in April, June and July 2017, goes on general release for the first time this spring and a new grower guide has been produced to go with it. The guide details some subtle tweaks on the when, where and how to grow and use the crop, breeder Andrew Dumbleton says.

‘We’ve changed our advice on grazing practice because it’s become clear it does better if stock go into it earlier and harder.’ “Where it’s really performed is in the dry but where it’s got wet feet it’s not worked as well as some growers hoped. It does have the potential to shine in moist areas, but only really on [club root] diseased land. Otherwise the yield is very similar to Goliath forage rape.” In dry areas, such as Wairarapa and the east coasts of both islands, it’s comfortably outperformed Goliath, with a 14% yield advantage at second and third grazings and similar yield at the first graze. Dumbleton says Pallaton Raphno also

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has the advantage of being able to grow during grazing, a feature referred to as “growth underfoot”, thanks to it not having a defined time to maturity. “Traditional forage rapes, once they’ve reached crop maturity, cease growing,” he says. This extra growth adds to total drymatter yield but it does increase the importance of getting stocking rate right at first grazing, because Pallaton may outgrow the grazing livestock resulting in a patchy, uneven crop thereafter. Average yield at first graze from 230 commercial crops monitored in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons was 5.1 tonnes Drymatter (DM)/ha, with that first graze taken, on average, at 69 days after sowing. That’s right at the end of the 50-70day window PGG Wrightson Seeds now believes is the optimum time to get into it. “We’ve changed our advice on grazing practice because it’s become clear it does better if stock go into it earlier and harder,” Dumbleton says. “If you leave too much of a residual behind, we’ve found the laterals that are left will start to flower later in the season, which makes it unpalatable, but if you graze it hard it still comes back really well and it doesn’t run to flower and stays vegetative.” Consequently some growers have been getting four or even five feeds off it. Latest first graze advice has been cut from 120 days after sowing to 100 days. Where plant counts drop below 25/

RAPHNO REVISIT • Radish x kale forage brassica. • Improved insect and clubroot tolerance. • Repeat grazings best use. • First bite at 50-70 days; subsequent grazings at 30-45day intervals. • Sold in 8kg, hectare packs, including seed treatment. • Cleancrop version entering trials.

sq m in autumn, but are still above 15, PGG Wrightson Seeds recommends undersowing with a winter active grass such annual or Italian ryegrass. Below 15, graze hard and spray out for next crop. PGG Wrightson Seeds recommends no more than two brassicas be grown successively and at least a five-year break between brassica blocks to reduce risk of disease build up, notably the persistent soil-borne pathogen, Plasmodiophora brassicae, which causes club-root. Pallaton is tolerant to Pukekohe, Hawkes Bay and Southland strains of club-root, so represents an option where other brassicas may struggle, but the rotation rules still apply, Dumbleton says. Breeding work with other lines of raphanobrassica is ongoing, including ones with an expanded range of club root tolerance. “We’re also working on a Cleancrop version.”

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


Hamish and Julia Mackenzie are pleased with the performance of this three-year-old Shogun and white clover mix.

FORAGE | ONFARM

Herbal mix on the hills Hamish and Julia Mackenzie like experimenting with pasture and forage mixes on the hills of Braemar Station in the Mackenzie Basin. Lynda Gray reports.

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search for a bigger bang for the bucks invested in hill pasture development led Hamish and Julia Mackenzie to trial a plantain, red and white clover mix at Braemar Station. In mid-November 2017 Hamish directdrilled 54 hectares of the herb and clovers on the hill and rough country of Braemar’s deer farm in the hope of getting three to four years of grazing. Hamish likes experimenting with pasture and forage mixes and first trialled plantain about four years ago in a pure sward. However, the broad-leaved herb was difficult to manage. “We found you had to be precise with grazing management. The idea was to graze the ewes with lambs but the timing of when they needed it and the growth of the plantain was all wrong and it went to seed.” He also discovered that plantain went rapidly from zero to hero to seed. “It goes from small to perfectly grown and then overgrown very quickly whereas the red clover holds its quality for longer.” He’s impressed with the red clover although the unknown is how long it will persist, but regardless it’s a keeper. Next time he direct drills the mix, the amount of plantain used will be pulled back so it doesn’t become as dominant.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

FARM FACTS • Braemar Station • Hamish and Julia Mackenzie • Mackenzie Basin • Eastern shores of Lake Pukaki • Hill pasture development • Over the last five years the Mackenzies have been developing and upgrading browntop pastures on the 485ha of deer fenced hill country. The detail: • Subterranean clover mix (on highest altitude country) • 4kg Narrikup sub clover + 4kg Rosabrook sub clover + 8kg Greenly II Cocksfoot + 6kg Nui ryegrass. • The sub clover was inoculated with specific rhizobia, dried then mixed with the grass seed before direct drilling. • Approx cost $190/ha.

Pushing hind productivity through breeding and feeding has been a focus for the Mackenzies over the past five years and has led to the 81ha development of

Some of the 50ha direct drilled into plantain, red and white clover.

browntop-dominant pasture in the deer farm. It’s taken two or three years to transition to the improved pastures starting with two

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PLANTAIN MIX • 10kg Ecotain plantain + 5kg Superstrike-coated Relish red clover + 4kg Superstrike-coated Legacy white clover. • Approx cost $310/ha.

SHORT ROTATION PASTURE MIX • 20kg NEA (endophyte) Shogun ryegrass + 4kg bare Relish red clover + 3kg Superstrike-coated Legacy white clover + 2kg Tonic plantain. Spring sown. • Approx cost $315.00/ha.

Hill country development includes the deer fencing of another 50ha for sheep and deer grazing.

rounds of spray to kill off the browntop then the direct-drilling of ryecorn. “We’ll do ryecorn for one or two years if it’s needed to break up thatch and increase fertility. In some cases we’ve followed that with rape,” Hamish says. The Mackenzies take pasture and forage advice from Farmlands agronomist Dave Schrader who has a long involvement with Braemar Station. He says the Shogun and high sugar mixes are good shortterm performers that pave the way for new generation ryegrasses such as Tyson which has been established on the easier developed hill country. Tyson fires earlier

PERMANENT PASTURE MIX • 18kg AR1 (endophyte) Tyson ryegrass + 2kg Greenly II Cocksfoot + 2kg bare AberLasting hybrid clover + 2kg Superstrike-coated Legacy white clover. • Approx cost $375/ha. (Source: Dave Schrader Farmlands. Prices are rounded to a nearest $5 or $10 and are exclusive of GST.)

than the older ryegrass varieties, providing the scope to nudge production, Schrader says. “Lambing could be brought forward because of the earlier flowering of Tyson which would potentially increase lambing performance… the genetic potential of the stock is excellent but up until now because of the environment has been limited but these new generation grasses should help.” The plantain, red and white clover mix will deliver quality feed and help beef up the nitrogen cycle on the coarse and sandy glacial hill country which lacks organic matter. The addition of Ecotain plantain, rather than ryegrass will give earlier spring growth and hang on longer in the autumn. It won’t be knocked should the Mackenzies need to spray out any regenerating browntop. Ecotain also mitigates nitrogen leaching. Another legume-rich mix of sub clover, white clover and cocksfoot was directdrilled two years ago on 17ha of Braemar’s undeveloped highest altitude country above 760 metres. Again, it’s too early to gauge its success, but the early signs are promising based on runner development. More on Braemar Station deer farming developments in The Deer Farmer, November. 

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FORAGE | KALE

Feed crop a full flush WORDS: SANDRA TAYLOR

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orth Canterbury farmers are using kale as both a flushing feed to drive conception rates and a pasture management tool. Farm consultant Wayne Allan says farmers in the region, many clients, use soil moisture in spring to establish kale crops which are typically used for flushing ewes in autumn. These crops provide high energy, relatively high protein feed at a time of year when pastures can be scarce, poor quality or infected with endophytes and other fungal toxins and spelling pasture, to allow covers to be built for winter, while soil temperatures are still warm and growth is typically strong. Fungal toxins can impact negatively on animal health and oestrous. “The kale crops are guaranteed to

provide high-quality feed and means sheep are off pastures at a time of the year when grass is likely to be growing.” “These covers can then be carried through into winter. “ Once the kale has been grazed, the paddocks are often sown into oats or a short-rotation ryegrass before winter. “It’s a system that works very well.” Allan says this rotation could be more difficult in areas further south where cooler temperatures might mean it is too late to sow crops in behind the kale, but could certainly work in areas of the North Island. In the past, rape crops have been used as a flushing feed, typically they are sown later and yields tended to be variable, unlike spring-sown kale. Allan thought fodder beet or turnips could possibly be used in a similar way, but kale does provide decent bulk and is reliable, particularly in many areas of

Sheep on kale.

North Canterbury where soils have a clay base which does retain moisture well into spring. Another benefit of this kale system is that it acts as a break crop in a pasture renewal programme. Speaking at a Beef + Lamb New Zealand field day, Simon Lee, manager of Mendip Hills Station near Cheviot says they have been using kale as a mating feed to drive conception rates (lifting the scanning in the two-tooths from 162% to 182%). The downside is it does increase the number of triplets which can be a problem in bad weather. 

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FORAGE | LUCERNE

Results with lucerne pasture WORDS: STAFF WRITERS

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well-managed lucerne stand on good land can add $144/hectare across an east coast North Island sheep farm. That’s what the results showed from a study which looked at the higher drymatter production and better

animal performance on a farming operation’s gross margins. The study was the Future Forage Systems project 2011-2017 which studied the role of lucerne on east coast farms. A Farmax model was developed by AgFirst Hastings using data from Beef + Lamb NZ Economic Service. The data from 18 farms represented 975 Class 4 farms on the east coast.

The hypothetical farm was 495ha, 50ha which was flat and used for silage and/ or winter crop. Average DM produced from the flats was 9372 kg DM/ha. The farm carried 2800 breeding ewes and 860 hoggets with no hoggets mated. Only 8% of lambs were drafted at weaning, the remaining lambs finished through summer at average carcass weights of 16.1 kg. Cattle made up 40% of the stock units

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with 90 breeding cows and steers finished at 2.5-3 years. 108 weaner bulls were bought in summer and autumn and sold at 2.5 years. The base model showed a gross margin of $360,266 or $728/ha. The 50ha flat block was assigned to lucerne, assumed to have a seven-year life span. Lucerne stands were followed by annual ryegrass in autumn followed by spring sown lucerne. Thus, the farm had 6.25ha in new lucerne, 37.5ha in established lucerne and 6.25ha in annual ryegrass. Lucerne was grazed by sheep only. Lucerne was spring sown and produced 9.8 tonnes drymatter (DM)/ha in the establishment year and 12.9t DM/ha in subsequent years with a drop-off to 10.3t DM/ha in year seven. Between docking and weaning 610 one-year ewes and their lambs were rotationally grazed on lucerne.

Compared to pasture, lambs grew 15% faster on lucerne during lactation and 117% faster over the summer. Compared to pasture, lambs grew 15% faster on lucerne during lactation and 117% faster over the summer. The model assumed a ewe death rate of 6%, increasing to 6.5% in the lucerne model. A lamb death rate of 2% increases to 4% when grazing lucerne. Data was collected on established lucerne stands on five farms from Hawke’s Bay to Wairarapa from 2010 to 2016. Drymatter production was also measured on nearby resident paddocks.

Ewes and lambs on lucerne.

Across all five farms, lucerne out-yielded resident pasture by 38% (11,600kg DM/ ha vs 8400kg DM/ha). Lucerne out-yielded pasture in three of the four seasons – by 15% in spring, 167% in summer and 30% in autumn. Winter, lucerne growth rates were 16% lower. North Island East Coast properties are typically warm enough to deliver winter pasture growth rates of 1020kg DM/ha/day. Unweaned lambs grew 15% faster on lucerne (285g/d) than on pasture (248g/d). In three trials weaned lambs had average liveweight gains of 178g/d on lucerne compared with 82g/d on resident pasture. Lucerne acted as a force multiplier and the extra feed available to other ewes meant their liveweights increased from 60kg to 68kg over time. Lambing percentage increased from 123% in the base model to 135% in the lucerne model. Lambs were heavier at weaning and more were drafted FOM (8% in base model to 14% in lucerne model). Overall lamb

carcase weights increased from 16.1kg in the base model to 17.9kg in the status quo lucerne model. Heavier lamb weaning weights enabled 440 hoggets to be mated (60% weaning). The combination of heavier ewes, a higher lambing percentage and hogget mating meant 335 more lambs for sale. Spring-sown lucerne resulted in the best establishment but there was a risk of failure in an early and extended summer dry. Lucerne required specialised management around establishment, weed and pest control, and stock management and did not fit with all farming systems. It exacerbated winter feed shortages but delivered better-quality feed in late spring and summer. Lucerne did not like wet clay soil or set stocking. Best practice was rotational grazing.

More? See www.nzforagesystems.co.nz

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WOOL | BRANDING

Wool new luxury brand centrepiece WORDS: TONY LEGGETT PHOTOS: BRAD HANSON

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ool’s extraordinary qualities will underpin a new brand launched last month to promote a range of luxury products made from New Zealand fibre for affluent consumers. Some of NZ’s leading architects and interior designers got a sneak peak last month at the official Hushaberry Heritage brand and the range of products on the eve of the NZ Design Awards in Auckland. Wool carpets and rugs, wall art, drapery and furniture featuring a very wide range of colours and individual designs form the product range of this new brand. Wool’s story of naturalness, sustainability, fire retardancy and sensory appeal are the key pillars in the Hushaberry Heritage brand alongside a heavy dose of design flair and colour. Hushaberry Heritage designer Amie Nilsson and business developer husband

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James have already built a highly successful global brand for their Merino Kids range. They could see huge potential to launch a range of luxury rugs, carpets, wall art, drapery and furniture, all made from or covered in NZ wool. Amie said wool couldn’t be traded as a commodity anymore.

But it wasn’t till they met with CP Wool chief executive officer, Colin McKenzie, and Carrfields managing director Craig Carr that a plan was formed to launch and grow a new brand for luxury products made from NZ wool. Hushaberry is owned equally by the Nilssons and CP Wool in a 50-50 joint venture company.

‘We should be working with insurance companies and asking them to provide a discount on premium because fire won’t spread with a wool carpet …” “We need to create a brand that farmers can be excited about because there are plenty of consumers out there in the world that just love wool and want it in their homes and businesses.” The concept for Hushaberry grew out of discussions the Nilssons had with wool growers, wool industry executives and architects and interior designers they knew.

CP Wool provides the channel for the wool sourced from its 3500 growers and will contribute to the manufacturing of some of the yarn, through its NZ Yarns subsidiary in Christchurch. “There is a huge opportunity for NZ to lead the way on a global scale with wool. The idea is to start in NZ and Australia, prove the brand first and then take it offshore,” Amie said.

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October 2018


The Nilssons developed a taster range of products in time for this year’s National Fieldays at Mystery Creek. James’ family has a farm at Te Awanga just south of Napier and said the response from farmers at the Fieldays was no surprise. “So many visitors to the Carrfields site were just blown away by what we had done with the colours and designs using New Zealand fine, mid-micron and coarse wools,” he said. The Nilssons were surprised by the number of farmers who admitted they had synthetic carpets in their own homes. Several didn’t choose wool because of the sales pitch from retailers promoting claims that synthetic carpets are cheaper, last longer than wool and don’t fade or stain. She said they were farmers who understood how natural, sustainable and how fire-retardant wool is in carpet, furnishings or bedding,” Amie said. “We should be working with insurance companies and asking them to provide a discount on premium because fire won’t spread with a wool carpet and there’s less risk of chemical inhalation being harmful to humans too.” A recent study showed 80% of carpets in NZ homes were made from synthetic fibre rather than wool. Next step after the launch last month for the Nilssons is to talk with more interior designers and architects, to build partnerships with influencers, especially those who want to create change in demand for their range from the luxury end of the market. “Maybe need to think how we deal with that price barrier for wool carpets. We’re happy that it’s premium product, but let’s find ways to make it more available to lower-budget consumers,” she said. Once more established, the Nilssons believe there is scope for online sales alongside the direct-to-retail channel they are developing, in conjunction with logistics partner CP Wool. They also understand the risk of overhyping their plans without first proving their model is viable. “But if we don’t create a brand to take offshore, we don’t have control of our future.” She says if volume can be created so can extra value for growers who need to have a tangible benefit to get their buy-in.

ABOVE: James and Aimee Nilsson of Hushaberry Heritage are quite at home in a woolshed. BELOW: A custom made sofa by Hushaberry.

›› Wide product range p138

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Some of the Hushaberry woollen products including rugs, beanbags and large, mirrored wall hangings.

The Nilssons believe there’s a huge opportunity emerging to tap into the rise of consumer preference for natural, sustainable products, that offer health benefits too. “We see wool as an old product but with clever design and almost unlimited colour options World champion shearer now, it’s not boring and Rowland Smith is a regular part dowdy anymore,” Amie of the shearing team at the said. Nilsson’s farm. She said their expectation was that the brand would spread by word of mouth and strategic promotional activities. “When people feel good about something, they talk about it and it becomes a bit of a cult following.” She said they wanted farmers to feel good about it too, and want to be involved. Her experiences with setting up the brand were similar to Merino Kids. “A lot of people told me you couldn’t do it, and this feels like it again now with Hushaberry.”

WIDE PRODUCT RANGE Most consumers think of carpet, rugs or clothing when asked what wool is made into. But the Hushaberry range will cover much more, across the spectrum of wool diameter from fine to coarse. The range will include carpet and rugs in almost any colour or pattern, but there are plans for colourful wall art, drapes, throws, panels for room dividers in offices, and furniture covered in wool. Costs are still being worked through but there are plans to offer an entry-level range and a high-end segment to appeal to the luxury lodges and boutique hotels around the world. Custom-made rugs will be more expensive. It will also be possible for farmers to have some of their own wool made into a carpet or rug to their own design. A website for Hushaberry has just gone live.

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WOOL | OPINION

Wool a store for carbon? WORDS: ROBERT PATTISON

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uyers of woollen and wool blend carpets have complained for years about poor wear performance related to pile flattening, fading and insect susceptibility. Funding has been allocated to develop and adopt new technology to improve woollen carpet performance to compete with synthetic carpets. Two decades ago synthetic fibre manufacturers were developing products to compete with wool. Now it is New Zealand taxpayers paying for research to discover new products for coarse wool as woollen carpets can’t compete on price and quality with synthetic carpets. Wool Industry Research Ltd (WIRL) research manager, Ian Cuthbertson says the opportunities for NZ coarse wool are huge. While the traditional end uses have been carpets, rugs, bedding and upholstery, wool could turn up in a variety of new

high-value products, he says. “Instead of sending off unprocessed fibre, as we do at the moment, at three to four dollars a kilogram, it may be possible to send it off as an ingredient at $16 a kilogram. NZ’s coarse wool could one day turn up

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woollen textiles,” Cuthbertson says. WIRL was in close communication with Keraplast, a company (formerly owned by Wools of NZ) now based at the Lincoln campus

in Canterbury. “They use soluble materials and are selling medical material but only in tonnes. Our aim is focused on millions of tonnes,” Cuthbertson says. Country Wide understands another environmental credential for wool is that it is a natural carbon store. Wool contains 50% carbon that is captured from the atmosphere and stored in the fibre. This could mean that sheep farmers have a natural carbon store of about 1.5kg of carbon per adult sheep. History shows investing in research; product development and consumer promotion in isolation from the value chain hasn’t resulted in increased wool prices to sheep farmers. Most consumers are price sensitive when it comes to buying interior textile products. Meaning we shouldn’t rely solely on a consumer backlash against synthetic fibres for a revival in coarse wool prices. Synthetic fibres are made from byproducts from petroleum industries. They will always be a cheaper source of textile fibres for carpet manufacturers than NZ coarse wool which has now become a byproduct of the sheep meat industry.

TAXPAYERS FUND RESEARCH The New Zealand Government has poured more than $80 million into coarse wool research since January 2011. Every project proposal claims it will deliver new high value products and increased wool prices. Only time will tell. There is good research going on to discover new products that can be made from NZ coarse wool and to improve the performance of woollen carpets where most of NZ coarse wool is consumed. Taxpayers paid $17.25m from January 2011 over five years for a research consortium tasked with lifting the economic return of the wool industry. This project finished in 2016, coarse wool prices are now lower than they were in 2011. In December 2015, another $8.4m was earmarked to be spent over seven years in a research partnership between NZ Wool Services International, AgResearch, Lincoln Agritech and Otago and Massey Universities in projects that could transform NZ’s wool industry. The Government is spending $11.05m over seven years starting from February 2016 in a partnership with Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and the NZ Merino Company (NZM) to promote the coarse wool sector. In total $22.1m will be spent on the primary growth partnership. NZM claims the project called ‘Wool Unleashed’ will boost the coarse wool sector by $325m. No doubt farmers will wait for increased wool prices with much anticipation. Another $21m of taxpayers’ money will be spent over seven years from June 2016; in a research partnership between WIRL and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for NZ’s coarse wool industry. The research funding is targeted at increasing the price of NZ coarse wool through the discovery of new products. It will also focus on reconstituting wool into high-value protein supplements made from keratin, traceability and securing wools position as a sustainable and natural fibre. In November 2017 another $3m was given to AgrResearch for funding wool traceability. • Robert Pattison is a former carpet mill assistant manager, Wool Board regional officer, wool classer and consultant.

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October 2018


WOOL | MARKETING

Investment return looms $7.2m was spent on product development, marketing and innovation. Another $3.7m was spent on keeping the company running. Previous WONZ chief executive Ross Townsend told media back in 2016, the operating profit of $2.6m for that financial year included WMDC. He predicted that when the WMDC ran out, WONZ would be broke. The WMDC finished in June this year. WONZ’s operating profit for the financial year ending June 30, 2017, was $142,769. This was down on the previous year, $150,583, but 2017 figure included provision of just over $1m for the write down of the WMDC. The company did this because of the high amount of unpaid levies from shareholders. About 60% of shareholders put their wool through their company. Mazey said the company was still finalising accounts for the year ending June 30, 2018, but was looking like it would post a modest profit. The company has engaged more with shareholders and non-shareholder growers to demonstrate added value to their wool

WORDS: TERRY BROSNAHAN

A

fter five years of funding marketing and technology, wool grower shareholders may soon see a dividend on their investment. Wools of NZ (WONZ) chief executive Rosstan Mazey said the company’s scouring technology Glacial XT, which makes strong wool cleaner, whiter and more consistent had underpinned the DuPont partnership. “It is giving us a point of difference.” DuPont and WONZ are developing an eco-friendly synthetic-wool yarn for home textiles. WONZ was still building traction in the marketplace, he said. “Over the next year or so we will see volume build quite considerable and start to see better performance and more money passed back to growers.” Development of the scouring technology was funded by the wool market development commitment(WMDC) fund. WONZ levied shareholders and $10.9 million was raised. From 2013 to 2017,

Wools of NZ chief executive Rosstan Mazey sees improved returns coming for growers.

clips through commercialising WONZ innovations, he said. About 27% of the wool the company handles is sold in forward contracts. Mazey said the company wants to increase the amount contracted. Contracts gave certainty for the customer and the grower. For the five years the company had been operating, the focus was on its 720 shareholders who supplied 14.5 million kg of wool/year. The company was now more focussed on connecting with non-shareholder growers. WONZ’s 2017 annual report stated growers who participated in forward contracts between June 2016 and July 2017 were paid an extra $1,164,000 over and above the spot market price. This was

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the difference between the value of the contract on the day of launch compared with the spot market price that same day for a similar wool type. Mazey said back in 2017 wool exports to China dropped by 48% from 65m kg in 2014/15 to 34m in the 2016/17 season. China was buying about 70% of NZ crossbred wool but when the price went over $6/kg a lot of Chinese manufacturers switched to alternatives.

WONZ wants more growers’ wool to market.

The market was recovering slowly but export volumes were not where they were about three years ago.

The market was recovering slowly but export volumes were not where they were about three years ago, he said. A number of the large British and European wool spinners and carpet manufacturers were using Glacial XT in product development work. When Country-Wide spoke to Mazey, he was about to head off to the United Kingdom’s annual flooring show at Harrogate in Yorkshire. There had been renewed interest in wool, especially overseas, he said. People were starting to appreciate the impact of buying decisions on the environment. “So it will be interesting to test the pulse for wool.” He believed wool would be more sought after by manufacturers wanting to substitute it for synthetics. But will the environmental aspect be enough? Synthetic carpet manufacturers have huge marketing budgets compared to smaller woollen carpet makers whose lines are not as well promoted in retail shops. Mazey said one of the benefits of working with DuPont was the company was strong in taking brands to market and creating new categories. He was optimistic that becoming a significant part of their new product range would lift wool in the mid and long term. DuPont will add the 28 micron and stronger wool to produce a natural polymer. The main use will be carpet but it could also be for active wear and suits. As well as the Wools of NZ brand, the company has Laneve, which can only be used on products 100% natural. All

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Synthetic carpet makers are after natural fibres like wool to gain more environmental credentials.

the wool has to be traceable through the company’s integrity programme. WONZ also offers lambs’ wool contracts and has built a partnership with an upholstery manufacturer which contracts lambswool. Mazey said it was encouraging that wool prices were lifting with one or two 3% rises

happening every week for the past month. “For everyone it is best we have a sustained, steady build in the price.” A rapid price shift created uncertainty and nervousness with the buyers. Measured growth over the next 6-12 months would be good and could be sustained, he said.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


ENVIRONMENT | SCIENCE

Defence against the dark arts WORDS: ANDREW SWALLOW

I

f Harry Potter author J K Rowling were a soil scientist, she might have cast Ants Roberts as her ‘Defence against the Dark Arts’ master. Roberts is the winner of the New Zealand Grassland Association’s Ray Brougham Trophy. It entitles the winner to to give a national lecture tour. Roberts has used his to slay several sacred cows of pseudo-science that have beguiled a good few farmers over the years. He called his talk, ‘Soil fertility finangling: a curmudgeon’s view’. Claims about base cation saturation ratio (BCSR) - also known as the ‘Albrecht’ or Kinsey approach - humates, fine particle fertilisers and fertiliser acidification of soil were systematically put to the sword by Roberts with references to published papers from reliable scientific journals. Roberts said BCSR in particular “has a lot of uptake around the world” yet the research on which it is based was flawed. how Bear et al, in 1945, published a paper listing ideal saturation ratios for various cations. “No-one has managed to figure out how the authors came up with those ratios.” William Albrecht subsequently adopted the ratio concept and, in 1975, published papers [The Albrecht Papers. Volume 1: Foundation concepts. Acres, US, Kansas City] apparently showing its efficacy. However, Roberts said the trials, which

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October 2018

were conducted in pots, were compromised by pH changes due to adding lime (calcium carbonate) to change the cation ratios. “Albrecht proved calcium was genuinely deficient for many US crops mainly due to a change in fertiliser from superphosphate to MAP and DAP after WWII,” acknowledged Roberts, however, benefits seen were “more about [correcting] soil acidity than a perfect ratio of cations.” Albrecht’s pot trial results could not be replicated in the field by Albrecht’s own PhD student (McLean & O’Connell, 1972) and in 1981 Eckert & McLean published a paper in the Journal of Agronomy concluding there was no ideal BCSR, as did Koppittke & Menzies in a 2007 review paper. Earlier in his presentation, Roberts’ latched on to one of the latest buzz-words of the alternative agriculture movement: regenerative.

KEY POINTS • No reliable science to support BCSR (Albrecht system). • Sound fertiliser practice beneficial for bugs and worms. • Reverted super? Regular super plus lime does same job cheaper. • Fine particle fertiliser no better than regular. • Humates an expensive ‘drop-inthe-ocean’ of soil organic matter.

Scientist Ants Roberts is on a national speaking tour slaying the sacred cows of pseudo-science.

“It sort of suggests to me that what we’re practicing is degenerative agriculture, which offends me a little bit.” Regenerative agriculture’s aims to revitalise the soil and environment to produce high quality, nutrient dense food while improving land leading to productive farms and healthy communities are laudable aims which we all want, he said. The problem comes when regenerative advocates slam practices such as use of soluble fertilisers as ‘one of the most disruptive practices in modern agriculture’, Roberts said, citing a recent column from a local paper. “He’s using the term disruptive in a negative sense when I would say it is disruptive in a very positive sense!” Roberts said claims that superphosphate fertiliser acidifies soil, is rapidly locked up, works against soil microbial activity and compromises creation of humus are not supported by the published science. Acidification of soil is a natural result

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RATIO THEORY DISCREDITED Australian research found that basic cation saturated ratio (BCSR) doesn’t work and is an inefficient use of fertiliser. Queensland University’s school of land and food sciences carried out the review in 2007 because of the use of “balanced” Ca, Mg, and K ratios, as prescribed by the BCSR concept by some soiltesting laboratories rather than the sufficiency level concept. It concluded the BCSR concept was not suitable for the interpretation of soil analytical data. Full report www.nzfarmlife.co.nz/researchpapers.

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of plants growing in soils as they excrete organic acids, and nitrogen cycling through the soil/plant / animal system. Some fertilisers, such as urea, ammonium and sulphur-based fertilisers do acidify soil, but not superphosphate, as data from 37 years’ records from irrigated pasture at Winchmore, Canterbury, shows (see table). The same trial also demonstrates the consistent, long-term response to maintaining an appropriate Fertiliser feeds earthworms, Olsen P level, maintenance not kills them phosphate fertiliser applications of 188kg/ha/year significantly outyielding untreated year in, year out. Some of the phosphate from fertiliser applications does get bound to soil, but that’s a good thing to reduce risk of loss, and as plants extract phosphate from the soluble pool, bound phosphate is released so more is available. Some of the longest running agricultural trials in the world, at Rothamsted Research Station in the United Kingdom, show that long-term, maintaining the soil Olsen P level by replacing harvest removals leads to 95% efficiency of applied P (Syers et al, review paper, 2010 World Congress of Soil Science).

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As for fertiliser working against microbial activity and creation of humus or soil organic matter, numerous studies such as Fraser et al’s 1994 study of the Winchmore irrigated pasture trial have shown the opposite is true: as pasture production increases in response to fertiliser, so does soil microbial activity and organic matter content. Roberts said what does drop soil microbial activity is cropping, but that’s associated with cultivation, not fertiliser use, “I reckon that’s where a lot of this regenerative agriculture stuff comes from: continuous cropping systems overseas where you pound the soil to hell, lose the soil organic matter and all these problems start piling in on you.”

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October 2018


Superphosphate and pH at Winchmore Superphosphate rate/year for 37 years Soil depth

0

188kg/ha

376kg/ha

0-75mm

5.63

5.57

5.57

75-150mm

5.7

5.57

5.57

150-225mm

5.8

5.7

5.7

Irrigated pasture on Lismore soil, Winchmore. Std Error: 0.049

SUPER FEEDS NOT KILLS Claims super slaughters earthworms were similarly scotched by Roberts citing research by Sears et al in 1953 and Schon et al in 2006. “Just as [with fertiliser] you’re providing more tucker for the animals that graze that pasture, you’re providing way more tucker [as dead leaves, dung and root turnover] for everything that lives in the soil.” As for humates, Roberts said the benefits those selling them claim are simply the benefits of soil organic matter, of which there is already 30-60 tonnes in even the semi-arid brown-grey soils of Central Otago, and up to 300t in the most fertile North Island soils. “I can’t see adding 20-30kg [as humate] is going to do anything at all for soil function.” Those pastoral farmers calling to be credited for building soil carbon should be careful what they wish for, he added, warning what goes up can come down, so credits could become a liability. “You would have to show year-on-year increases.” Fine particle fertiliser claims by the likes of www.fpanz.com double or triple the response to conventional granular fertilisers, better soil condition and biological activity, halved leaching, 38% better water use efficiency and 14% reduced emissions - were also challenged. For example, Korte et al (1996) had shown solid DAP was just as effective as DAP slurry - effectively a fine particle application. Fine lime does work faster than regular ag-lime, he acknowledged, but

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claims the same lift in soil pH can be achieved with a tenth of the rate were rubbished. “No way are you going to get the same pH change for the same duration of time,” he said, citing Craighead’s 2005 NZ Grassland Association paper. Similarly, fine particle urea had been shown by Muir et al (2006) to be no more effective than granular urea, and Morton et al’s just released NZJAR review paper of pasture responses to fine particle fertiliser concludes there isn’t enough experimental evidence to show any agronomic advantage. Roberts added that fine particle fertiliser often has gibberellic acid added to it so care is needed to make sure comparisons with granular fertiliser are “comparing apples with apples.” The cost-effectiveness of the less-soluble forms of phosphate, reverted superphosphate and dicalcic superphosphate, was also questioned. “Lime and super dry-blends cost less and give you the same response.” Only in extreme wet, such as on the South Island’s West Coast, might there be a benefit, or when used for the purpose they were originally designed for: sowing with seed to prevent fertiliser burn of seed from the fertiliser. Roberts’ final plea was for producers not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater”. “Please, please, please get the basics right first based on conventional science to achieve and maintain optimum productivity for your system. After that you can spend whatever’s left of your disposable income on whatever you bloody like!”

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ENVIRONMENT | COLUMN

We all have an IMPACT Dairy farmers aren’t alone in having a potential impact on the environment. They’ve just had a bit of a head-start on the controls. Keri Johnston reports.

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ll types of farming have the potential to impact on the environment. That’s it. Full stop. In my view, many sheep and beef farmers have, in the past, believed environmental issues were not their concern. This view has been exacerbated by dairy taking the brunt of the blame for this in the past, however, environmental regulators are putting rules in place that affect all sectors, and in my view, the “public” have become more anti-farming generally in recent times, not just anti-dairy. Regulators are now also taking the position that it is not the farm type that can have the impact, but it is the practices onfarm. This is the premise of the Good Farming Practice – Action Plan for Water Quality 2018 (GFP), which is a voluntary commitment developed by a partnership between primary sector organisations, regional councils and central government. GFP is the refreshing of the Industry Agreed Good Management Practice Principles, or GMP (which for those of you who read my column regularly, you will be very familiar with by now). These were first applied in Canterbury, but the intention had always been that these would applied across the country, and GFP does this. There are 21 agreed national good farming practice principles covering areas nutrients, waterways, land and soil, water and irrigation, and effluent. The good thing about GFP is that by focusing on the practices, you are able to select and prioritise those that are relevant to your farm. For example, a dryland sheep farm in Western Southland. The critical issues for this farm are likely to be erosion, and therefore sediment, phosphorus and E.Coli management. Therefore, the relevant GFP principles are waterways, land and

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soil and nutrients. Effluent and irrigation principles are not relevant. This allows you to focus on these principles as priority areas and put a plan in place to manage these – essentially a Farm Environment Plan (FEP). To find out more about the GFP principles, go to: www.fedfarm. org.nz/FFPublic/Policy2/National/Good_Farming_Practice-Action_ Plan_for_Water_Quality_2018.aspx Because of the public spotlight on dairy, it could be suggested that dairy farmers are well ahead of other farming types in the implementation of measures such as the GFP principles. It would be fair to say they have been more strongly involved in many of the regulatory processes that I have been a part of and have been more readily accepting of their impacts on the environment, but other primary sector organisations are now stepping up and taking their share of the responsibility. After all, we are in this together, and this is really positive to see. The commitment by the primary sector organisations around GFP are a clear showing of this united stance. So, where to next? A governance group has been set up to report on progress in implementing the GFP Action Plan each year, and the development of systems and tools for monitoring and reporting will be a significant focus for the group up to 2020. Any monitoring and reporting system will need to be robust and credible. After all, it will be the information that comes out of this that will help farming get back the social licence to operate by giving the public trusted and accurate information on the progress farming is making to improve its effects on the environment. 

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ENVIRONMENT | FARM FORESTRY

Forestry: foe or fortifier? Debate rumbles over forestry versus farming. Denis Hocking makes the case for farm forestry – on the right land.

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n the September edition of CountryWide, Trevor Cook expressed serious concern about the impact and “travesty” of a “forestry plan built around an objective of being carbon neutral by 2050”. But two articles sang the praises of farm forestry – Paul Burt arguing “the case for production forestry to form part of hill country agri-business is compelling” and the article on the Vennell property where “forestry strengthens farm business”. I have great respect for Trevor, who may be just talking about carbon sink forestry. But there is no clear distinction between purely sequestration and production forestry. I can quote my case where my very much production forestry still offsets at least 100 years of total farm emissions. The life cycle assessment experts also point out that you can offset more emissions with production forestry than untouched carbon sinks – think about growing biofuel. Shortly after my last Country-Wide arrived the Productivity Commission released its report on the carbon zero future and suggested the Government’s billion tree plan should be increased with more sheep and beef land going under trees. Federated Farmers and Beef + Lamb immediately came back claiming sheep and beef farming deserves all the 5 million plus hectares it currently occupies. In this debate let’s consider these points: Trees don’t need good land to perform and will thrive on lower-fertility, seasonally dry sites. Much more productive to put the trees on the poorer land while agriculture

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October 2018

and pastoralism continues on better land with better performance. This is the basis of the whole farm plan approach. I don’t think trees are a threat to good land.

tussock and danthonia land), while 1.7m ha is in production forestry. A wellplanned shift of a million hectares of the poorer, or relatively poorer, pastoral land into forestry would fortify both sectors while providing some serious off-setting. Trees are certainly the most credible way of sequestering carbon dioxide as their existence is easily established and the carbon sequestration can be readily measured and modelled.

Trees don’t need good land to perform and will thrive on lower-fertility, seasonally dry sites. Much more productive to put the trees on the poorer land while agriculture and pastoralism continues on better land with better performance. Production forestry can be much more profitable than sheep and beef, at least that has been many farm foresters’ experience including myself and the Burts, it seems. Without the forestry this property, with its 50% of poor sand dunes, would probably be a dairy support unit and I would be employed off-farm. I would argue the forestry keeps the other half as a sheepbeef unit. For the New Zealand economy, forestry is a much better export earner than sheep and beef, earning on average at least twice as much foreign exchange per hectare, and off generally poorer land. This has been true for many years, and just imagine if we were serious about adding value. Well-managed forestry is at least as labour-intensive as sheep-beef farming, though like shearers and increasing numbers of farm workers, silvicultural workers seem to prefer commuting. StatsNZ reports about 5.4m ha under sheep-beef, (or 8 million if you include

And yes, it is technically feasible to offset all our hopefully reduced emissions midcentury. Exotic and commercial forestry species, including radiata pine, eucalypts, redwoods, and Douglas fir, do sequester CO2 much faster and earlier than any indigenous species, and have greater root mass for soil stabilisation. However, I do believe we have significant areas that should not be in production forestry and like most people I see a longer-term role for indigenous forestry here. However, it will be in a different climate. I think the nay-sayers’ concerns are over-stated. I honestly believe this is a case where we can have our cake and eat it. The key will be sensible land use decisions but potentially forestry investments could improve the viability of many (most?) properties, reduce net greenhouse gas emissions and improve water quality. Quite a good deal. 

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TECHNOLOGY | SMARTPHONES

Phone for oldies With the growing obsolescence of landline telephones, smartphones that meet the needs of older generations are a necessity. Alan Royal gives his advice from experience.

I

nternational studies have shown, that of those not using the internet, 94% are over 55. Some say they don’t need it (the group I describe as ‘they don’t know what they don’t know’). That age group find the technology overwhelming. They find the smartphone just too smart. Many of us are only used to a landline, but landlines are becoming obsolete. The smartphone has taken over. There are an increasing number of apps that allow us to set up a smartphone that meets the needs of the older generation – easy to see and easy to operate. There is also the advantage of portability – allowing one to dispense with wires and carry the phone anywhere around the world. It is a great emergency tool. Users also have a choice of packages to purchase, depending on how much bandwidth you use, or using a ‘pay as you go’, where you ‘top up’ your phone as and when you need. This eliminates landline service charges. While many of you will have a castoff phone ‘donated’ by family, it is often unsuitable for your purpose. As one of the older generation, I have had to buy phones with large screens to cope with my sight problems. However, the Android apps are able to cope with the screen size issue by the simple process of making the icon images on the screen larger. This not only

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makes them easier to see but also makes them easier for big fingers to locate and touch. If you have a newer Samsung phone you will find in Settings/Display a heading Easy Mode. It will probably show as Disabled.

Android apps are able to cope with the screen size issue by the simple process of making the icon images on the screen larger.

By tapping that heading and selecting Easy Mode, then clicking Done at the top of the screen, you will get a larger view of the common icons. Going back to Settings/ Display you can select Auto brightness which allows your screen to adapt to the light conditions. On the same screen you can select a Blue light filter which makes the screen easier to read at night and reduces headache and migraine effects. Further down the screen you can select a range of font styles, sizes and screen zoom features. For other or older phones you may have to go to the Play Store to select apps for

The smartphone has taken over.

some of these features. However, most phones also have many of the font features under Settings/Accessibility. It is wise to do a Google search for your phone’s manual. There you will find what features are available for ease of access and how they can be changed. The other way to make the phone ‘senior friendly’ is to download a launcher to your phone from the Play Store. Most launchers are simple and easy to use, with big pictures and text so that ‘oldies’ don’t even have to put on their glasses! Using Google search with the keywords ‘android launcher’ will give you a confusing array of these launcher apps. The particular one I recommend is Wiser. The Wiser page at www.wiser.site gives information you need to understand and use this app. Above all it is free. It has a large phone dialer screen for calling, a simple contact manager and text message composer. It allows easy shortcut creation for your favourites, contacts, apps and settings. Wiser can create simple navigation instructions, establish emergency SOS numbers to call and alert people to your location and set up simple and friendly reminders. NOTE: You might have to set Wiser as your default launcher. Go to Settings/ Apps, click the three dots at the top right and select Default apps, then Home Screen and Wiser.

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


TECHNOLOGY | SEARCH ENGINES

Click for instant news As well as a general search engine Google gathers news from a range of sources. Kirstin Mills takes a tour.

Y

ou probably know how to use Google to search online. It’s useful for anything from finding a manual for a household appliance to booking a holiday. But did you know that Google also provides a powerful way to search for news stories? You can go to www.news.google.com or www.news.google.co.nz and you’ll see Google’s curated news stories of the day. It has the top headlines, weather and news by category. If you click on a headline it will take you to the relevant website, eg Stuff, Radio New Zealand or Newshub etc. Google News does not create content; it merely collates it, using an algorithm to rank stories based on a wide variety of factors. If you sign in with a Google account, then you can add favourites and see news based on your interests. Otherwise you will get a more general page. This Google News page is interesting, but what I find most useful is the new search function. You can search from within the page or just do a normal Google search, and when the results come up, click “News” under the search box.

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October 2018

Once you do this you’ll see only news stories appear instead of general websites as well. You can further refine your search by time by clicking on “Tools” underneath the search box and choosing the dropdown list from “Any Time”. You can choose anything from the past hour to the past year or search custom dates.

This is a great way to see only the latest stories or zoom in on a specific period. You can narrow the search further to only New Zealand websites by using the dropdown list beside “The web”. You can sort the results by relevance or date, by clicking on the arrow beside “Sorted by relevance”. You can also search by blog if you want to read opinion pieces about your search topic. Just click on the dropdown menu beside “All News” and select “Blogs”. If the topic of your search is something you want to be kept updated on, you can create an alert for it. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Create alert” button. All you need to do is enter your email, but by clicking on “Show options” you can specify how often to be notified: • as it happens • at most once a day, or • at most once a week.

You can also select the language, the region and whether to see only the best results or all results. Earlier this year Google launched a Google News mobile app. To use it you must sign in with a Google account. Because you are signed in, you can tailor the app to suit you – and Google will learn what you like to look at and shape your feed for you. If you are not keen on Google seeing your preferences, but would like to use the app, you could set up a special Google account to use only with the app. Lastly another great search tool online for news junkies is the Wayback Machine. You can use it on any site, but I find it’s great for looking at old versions of news websites. Perhaps you want to see how the New York Times reported the September 11 attacks on the day itself.

You go to www.web.archive.org and type in www.nytimes.com into the search bar. Up pops a calendar with all the cached versions of the site that the Wayback Machine can find. Click on 2001. Hover over September 11 on the calendar. It will show you the times the page was cached by the Wayback Machine on that day. By clicking on different times, you can see how the story changed during the day. 

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WORK HARD, PLAY HARDER

Trifecta winners Success with lambing tripletbearing ewes

BARK OFF Training a heading dog

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TRIPLETS

Ben and Jen in turnips used to winter the R1 cattle.

Success comes in threes Experience of indoor lambing in England led to a couple bringing triplet-bearing ewes indoors for better survival rates and more profit. Anne Hardie reports.

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ambing triplet-bearing ewes under cover when the weather is rough and bringing them all in to ensure mothers have enough milk achieves a triplet survival rate of 275% for Golden Bay farmers, Ben Lovell and Jennifer (Jen) Cooper. Spring is intense by the time they take a lamb off about half the 200-ewe triplet mob to mother on to ewes with singles, plus take on 40 four-day-old calves and break feed stock, but their intensive strategy is making the 150-hectare farm hum. For 2017, the farm earned $794/ha before interest and tax, compared with benchmark figures for South Island intensive finishing farms of $529/ha and their aim is to make the top 5% in New Zealand. It’s only their second year on the farm which they lease from Ben’s mother and stepfather, Jane and Gavin. As a younger generation keen to make their own stamp on the farm, they’ve planted crops and lifted stocking rates so that they are now running 18su/ha with plans to add another 200 ewes

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into the system next year. Ben is 32 years old, Jen who is due to give birth in midOctober, is 31. To date they run 1000 composite ewes, 350 hoggets, 70 Hereford breeding cows, 70 beef calves from those cows and 80 dairybeef cross youngsters. While 40 of those dairy beef are bought in as four-day-old calves, the other 40 are bought as weaned 100kg calves between eight and 12 weeks old. It allows them to stagger their work load through spring and pay less for young stock to ensure greater profit. Their move back to the family farm just south of Takaka follows Ben’s big OE which turned into a seven-year stint in England. He’d previously worked on a couple of South Island stations, then completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Lincoln before his itchy feet landed him with an indoor lambing job in the south of England. He settled into a routine of seasonal work each year that included lambing, shearing and harvesting, culminating in “somewhere to hunker down for winter” and starting the cycle again. Jen was an accountant in Manchester

when Ben took up work on her family’s farm and the couple soon discovered that it made financial sense to buy a house they could improve with their DIY skills, rather than pay rent. “We’d buy a house, start doing it up and half way through we’d move into it and continue doing it up around us which was pretty horrible,” Ben remembers. But it was worth it and then the opportunity arose to return to NZ and lease the home farm, so Ben had to convince Jen to move to what she initially thought was the “back of beyond”. Instead, she discovered a region of sun, golden beaches and plenty of cafes. The farm lies beside the highway which is the only route in and out of Golden Bay and they are surrounded by dairy farms, making a sheep farm a rarity. Apart from 13ha of rolling hill country, the farm is dead flat on stony loam soils which is “fantastic” in winter, but dries out fast in summer because of its free-draining nature. For that reason, they focus on growing crops to build a feed bank for the summer dry.


Feeding nuts to the triplet mob has resulted in three good lambs at little cost.

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Lambs gain 10kg liveweight per month on the chicory crop.

KEY POINTS • Leasing land from family • Earnings before interest and tax $794/ha • 174% lambing including 275% from tripletbearing ewes • Buy in calves and weaners for greater margins • Crops to build feed bank for summer dry.

SHEDS

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Herb gives finishing firepower Chicory is the main summer crop which powers the lamb finishing. It is essentially grown to finish 50-60% of the lambs before Christmas and get them off to the works, with the remainder finished on it by March 1. Lambs sent off the ewes average 18kg carcaseweight (CW), while weaned lambs that graze on through the summer reach about 20kg. At between $400 and $500/ ha to sow paddocks of chicory, Ben says the crop is well worth it and if the lambs don’t need it, other stock will benefit. Straight chicory crops provide four to five grazings through the season, with mobs of 250 to 300 lambs at a time put on three-day blocks that result in a 25 to 30-day round. In that time, lambs gain between 250 and 300g day with the goal to put on 10kg liveweight a month and Ben says the drier the season, the better the lambs do on the chicory. This past season, 5ha of chicory finished 800 lambs, with a lighter mob coming on to it as the previous mob is finished and sent to the works. “At weaning we weigh everything down to 2kg lots with the aim of getting them up to 40kg liveweight. The Texels will do over 50% yield on mum and once they’re weaned they won’t drop below 47%.” Plantain is also used with chicory and they’ve also been planting between five and 10ha of Tonic plantain with clovers for lambing ewes in spring, which Ben says will last for three years. It won’t last well into the dry, but he says it gets the ewes milking well and the lambs growing. For the cattle, they sow 9.3ha in turnips that will winter 150 rising one year olds, which then go on to mixes of Italian ryegrass with some plantain and clovers

YARDS

BRIDGES

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October 2018


The triplet mob is marked according to lambing dates.

that have been worthwhile for putting weight on the youngsters when they come off the turnips. These pastures also bounce back after being grazed and gives them three to four grazings through winter, despite good frosts, then provide fast-growing, good-quality feed for finishing cattle through summer and autumn. All the young cattle are finished by June 1 the following year at about 300kg CW. “I just love the Italian ryegrass here – you get so much off it .” They break feed on grass (in spring) until it starts to get away. They try to get as much weight on stock as possible. If they need to quit them early, they have weight on the lambs to sell them to the works or as good stores. “It gives us options and I never lay in bed worrying about too much feed.” Feed is only part of the equation

to make the farm profitable though and high-fertility ewes combined with good survival rates gives them the numbers to finish. Their composite ewes are made up of 3/8 Texel genes, 3/8 Finn and 1/4 Romney with breeding rams put over 400 of the ewes and Texel rams over the remainder. The ewes scan high, reaching 198% for the mixed-age ewes this year and 180% for the two tooths to give a combined scan of 194%. For the past two years they have achieved 174% at lambing, despite a “West Coast” climate that can easily deliver 40mm of rain an hour and flat paddocks with little natural shelter. “Surprisingly, we don’t lose a lot to exposure. They’re very easy lambing and big lambs – two good twins can be 3.5kg and 4kg – and the ewes are very calm. We also use a lot of woollen covers and reuse them.”

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October 2018

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The triplet mob which are each fed up to 200g sheep nuts a day from scanning through to 10 days past lambing, brought under cover to lamb when the weather turns foul and all udders checked. Ben says the triplet ewes can’t eat enough grass and stop eating which means they metabolise fat instead. The nuts are palatable and nutritious. “Where we used to get two good-sized lambs and one little rat, we don’t notice any difference between them now.” After lambing, they keep feeding them for 10 days or so and start mixing it with lamb nuts and then put them in feed troughs that only the lambs can get into. They’ll keep feeding the lambs until weaning. “It works out about $10 to $15/triplet-bearing ewe which is pretty cheap when lambs average $100.”

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Through lambing, the woolshed and covered yards have been adapted for lambing, with a polythene sheet over the grating and straw bedding in individual pens that is changed after every set of triplets and sprayed to prevent disease. Ewes will lamb outside in paddocks when the weather is fine, but when heavy rain is forecast, the entire springer mob is brought under cover into large pens. Even those that lamb in the paddock in fine weather are still brought into individual pens for 12 hours to check their udders and make sure every triplet has had a feed, before returning to the paddock. Jen and Ben say it’s worth the effort financially to get more live lambs. “It’s very hard for a ewe to get them up in bad weather, so you never lose just one lamb, but lose two or three.” About half of the triplets will have one lamb removed to mother on to a ewe with a single with plenty of milk. The flock is quiet to work around, and usually smearing a triplet with a single in the paddock is enough for the mothering-on process. “They’ve got heaps of milk and we might as well use it,” Ben says. “It’s about putting that effort into lambing. We’ll aim to only bottlefeed about 10 lambs a year and that’s only the later lambs when you run out of single mothers.” Meanwhile, the twin and single mobs get checked twice a day through lambing, mainly for cast ewes. As Ben points out a ewe with twins is worth between $300 and $400, so picking up a cast ewe is the easiest thing they can do to look after that investment. They’re also roadside farming with “umpteen people a day” driving past their paddocks and they need to be proactive with animal welfare.

Ben and Jen on the Italian ryegrass pasture with plantain.

The cheaper option At the end of August, their beef herd begins calving and in September they buy in the 40 four-day-old calves to rear. This year with the threat of Mycoplasma bovis, Ben and Jen intend buying calves locally from one source and collect the calves themselves. Later, they will buy 40 weaned calves and again will buy from one local source and use their own transport to get them to the farm. “Calves are a cheap option to get into because store cattle are too expensive. You can get a calf bought and weaned for about $450 to $500 including feeding costs, but to buy the equivalent store cattle later the following year, we’re looking at $1100 to $1500. It’s the same with buying store lambs – you’re giving so much to make so little.” Financially, they’ve decided it’s not worth lambing their hoggets and it’s better to get more lambs from the ewes. That’s making the farm more profitable, with the sheep outdoing the cattle and better than dairy grazing, Ben says. The next step for them is taking on a 27ha family block at nearby Wainui Bay where they can graze calves, which will enable them to lamb more ewes at home. Down the track, the goal is to lease a hill country property if they can find one to run more breeding ewes so they can finish more lambs on the abundance of feed they can produce on the home block. R2s on Italian ryegrass that can be grazed three to four times through winter.

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BARK OFF

Stage 2: pulling and driving sides

With a young dog given its heading training, Lloyd Smith moves on to sides to direct and drive stock.

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n the previous two articles I outlined the steps involved to complete Stage 1 of your heading training. I believe the training carried out in this stage prepares your dog for its primary role as a useful working dog – the ability to head stock, pull them back to you in a controlled manner, demonstrating good balance in the process and stopping on command. When your dog can achieve this in a competent and confident manner you can move on to Stage 2 of your training programme which is about off-balance work. This requires teaching your dog sides so you can push them out of a position of balance to allow you to direct and drive stock. Over the years I have tried many different methods of teaching dogs pulling sides so I will explain the one I find produces the best results. We are now on to teaching our young dog re-positioning moves where the dog moves on instruction to wherever is required 360 degrees around the sheep but does so in a clean manner, putting no pressure on sheep in the process. Once the dog is in the desired position it can then make the positive moves taught in stage 1 to achieve the right result. As mentioned in Stage 1 compliance to the stop command is crucial to your ability to enforce every instruction from that point on and no more so than when teaching sides. I take the dog away from the sheep. Equipment required is what I call a merry-goround – a four-metre length of rope attached to a peg in the ground with a swivel on top, that allows the dog to go around in a circle. The rope is attached to the dogs’ collar. To familiarise the dog with this set-up, before training attach the dog to the rope and allow it to move around at will. This way it becomes aware of what it can achieve learning that it can go around in a circle, and as such is less intimidated when you decide to start Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

training on it. To start teaching the dog its sides I hold the rope and walk with it around the inside of the circle with the rope tight, at the same time giving it the appropriate side command. Each time I stop the dog I move toward the centre making the dog hold its position at the end of the rope. As the dog becomes more familiar and comfortable with this I start to insist the dog moves in the appropriate direction using a light stick to haze the dog and encourage the right response.

KEY POINTS

1 2

3 4 5 6

Make sure your dog has a good grasp of Stage 1 (on balance) before moving on to Stage 2 (off balance). Allow your dog the opportunity to consolidate and build confidence at the completion of each stage of training. Familiarise your dog with the merry go round, setup prior to teaching on it. Teach one side at a time – less confusion and better results. Any re-positioning moves need to be completed in a clean manner, not pressuring stock in the process. A good stop is the command that allows you to ensure compliance.

It is also a good exercise in re-enforcing your stop command as you can insist this is obeyed. Less confusion occurs when you teach only one side at a time as opposed to teaching both together. By concentrating on one side and getting them fully familiar with that it takes very little time to teach them the second. The fact you are training off sheep means you have the dog’s full attention with no distractions. I continue this exercise until the dog is fully familiar with both its sides and changes direction on instruction moving in a good wide circle with a tight rope. To apply these newly taught side commands on sheep I once again do it in a controlled situation on quiet sheep. I use a right-angled corner where I can put the sheep in the corner and I can operate between the sheep and the dog to insist the dog not only takes the appropriate side but that it re-positions itself in a clean manner giving the sheep good width in the process. There are two objectives in this exercise, one we have mentioned is the good clean sides but the other is when you have completed the re-positioning move is to get your dog to approach the sheep along the fence which is the first of your off-balance approach moves. Once my dog completes these exercises in a confident and competent manner and there is no confusion on the side commands I then move out to open space where I can get my dog to move anywhere around the sheep on the appropriate instruction. The objective being to not only be capable of positioning my dog but also to get it to approach the sheep from that point which allows me to drive sheep as required. As with other commands, start close at hand where you can monitor its moves and insist the dog conforms then increase the distance and the degree of difficulty as it gets more familiar with the commands and how they apply to controlling stock. Next issue: The third and final stage of training your heading dog. 157


SPONSORED CONTENT

Good parasite control underscores healthy stock

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ith beef prices remaining strong and lamb making record returns and neither showing signs of easing, the signals are highly positive for farmers heading in to a busy spring and new farming year. The strong prices mean the marginal return on good animal health has never been greater for getting stock off on a foundation to deliver them in premium health and weight, either for future breeding or slaughter. Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health NZ technical veterinarian Richard Sides says most farmers appreciate that to achieve that includes giving their young stock “a good drench.” But kicking off this season with a new crop of youngstock is also a good time to give the practice some close scrutiny. This season he is urging farmers to take the time to develop a comprehensive animal parasite control programme with their vet to get a clear profile on any resistance and effectiveness issues they may not know about in their herd or flock. “There has been some talk about triple resistance developing in recent years. That has always been on the cards, the minute you put any drench product into an animal you are applying selection pressure on the parasite population within.” However, he maintains there is no need to panic, particularly if farmers are not even clear on what their own property’s status is. “You don’t know what you don’t know – so the most proactive approach is

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to work with your vet to find out, starting with faecal egg count (FEC) testing.” “Really this should be done as a proper, planned reduction test (an FECRT), seeing what the populations are before and after a drench programme. Just doing a oneoff post-drench check means there are simply too many possibilities you get the wrong information, use the wrong product and possibly make any resistance issues worse.” A vet skilled in parasite management will establish what the efficacy of particular drenches are on the property. They will also help work out methods to maintain a refugia population on the property. At its simplest it will be determining a proportion of the flock or herd that is not drenched, to ensure resistant parasites are well diluted within the worm population. A key factor is ensuring that drenched animals, in particular lambs, do not go straight onto ‘clean’ (parasite-larva-free) pasture. “It is important to also ensure the refugia (undrenched) animals are mixed around the farm and across mobs to disperse that population of refugia parasites. And because of this, it is essential that the resistance status of those

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October 2018


SPONSORED CONTENT parasites is known – hence the need for proper reduction tests. These are easier and cheaper to do than most people realise” Richard has also worked with farmers on other management practices that ultimately result in lower parasite populations in young stock. “We have had one large client who was concerned this year about minimising numbers of tail end lambs and they decided they wanted more feed on the hills earlier in spring to get the lambs fed better and away earlier. That led them to look at using fertiliser early to get that early grass growth on steeper country for the single-bearing ewes, and rational pre-lamb ewe treatments on the flats” Time and investment in good dam health prior to calving and lambing will also reduce youngstock’s vulnerability to parasite levels, and the need to drench more than necessary. “Having your ewes or cows in top notch condition means less stress in spring time, better milk production, faster growth rates and getting youngstock away quicker, reducing parasite exposure in the process.” Avoiding risky management practices, like putting freshly drenched youngstock onto brand new pasture where there is no refugia parasite population, is essential. Effective quarantine drenching is also vital for bought-in stock – again requiring knowledge of drench-status. “Overall, the ‘big picture’ is important for farmers to see. Issues like parasite resistance, and the arrival of M. bovis, are all about biosecurity, risk management, and having quality information available to make the best decisions possible.” In the case of M. bovis it is presently out of the farmers’ hands, but in the case of parasite management the responsibility is still with the individual farm and their personal vet. “The investment in a sound parasite control plan will deliver returns within the season, through maximising growth of young stock, and beyond as the risk of perpetuating resistant worm populations are delayed on farm. “There’s no need to panic, and with some good planning and communication the options remain viable and effective.”

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Camping in luxury WORDS: REBECCA HARPER

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hen Matt and Nicki Thomas were looking for ways to diversify and increase their income stream they hit on the glamping concept. Glamping is fancy camping, the isolation and peace and quiet of camping, but with all the luxuries of visiting a hotel – no cold showers or outdoor long drops here. Their business, River’s Edge Retreat, opened in November 2016 on Matt’s father’s Martinborough farm, just a short drive from the popular wine village. The couple runs the glamping together, alongside their lamb finishing operation and contracting business. It’s a team effort, Nicki takes care of the styling and cleaning, while Matt does the grounds and maintenance. “We lease the land the tent is on from Matt’s dad and are in the process of consenting a second, separate site nearby and plan to start building at the end of August,” Nicki says. They had looked at other opportunities for income and had lots of ideas, but nothing was stacking up. Then they saw a glamping site on Country Calendar, so Nicki did some research and contacted Canopy Camping. Although the couple own the business, River’s Edge is marketed through Canopy Camping, which also takes care The tent is set in a of bookings, for a secluded location, right beside the river. commission. Photo credit: Dan Kerins The private site in the Ruakokoputuna Valley has the added attraction of being right beside a river. And there’s no need to worry about running into other guests, you’ll have the place to yourself. They have made it couples only and a place to completely unplug – there’s no reception. “You have the sound of

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October 2018


River’s Edge Retreat is a luxury Glamping experience, near Martinborough.

the river nearby and it’s peaceful and quiet.” There are still all the conveniences of hot water, a wood burner to keep you toasty and a flushing toilet. The tent is decorated with plush furnishings –squishy vintage leather couch – and rustic touches, like recycled timber, as well as an old chandelier for a touch of glamour. The icing on the cake is an outdoor bath, overlooking the river, with hot water piped to it. Nicki says there is now a push to have Martinborough certified as a dark sky reserve, which may have extra benefits for the business long-term. Dark sky tourism is a small, but growing market for those who are keen on stargazing. “You can see all the stars and Milky Way really clearly, so that’s another bonus for us.” The success of the glamping business has exceeded their expectations and given them the confidence to open a second tent. The investment required to get the first site up and running, including all the consents, was about $120,000, but now that it’s open, Nicki says there are few overheads. “It’s a decent initial investment to do it properly, but we planned it would take three years to recover our costs and we are on track.” Nicki says there have been no negatives, so far. “Our guests have been wonderful. It doesn’t encroach on the farming operation, everyone has been very respectful. “The way we have decorated it and the experience we are providing means we have pitched it as a special occasion place.” Upgrading the track to access the site means guests can now self-check in. For Nicki, the best part of the business is meeting new people. “The top of my list is talking to the people and hearing their stories… I also enjoy having something that’s helping contribute financially to all the goals we’re trying to achieve together. I enjoy everything about it – even the cleaning.” 

COMMUNITY | DOG TRIALS

Old dog learned all the tricks WORDS: ANNABELLE LATZ

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he pull home was nice and straight,” Les Roughan says as he looks back up the hill after his long head event. This Southland farmer is 94, and has only missed two National Dog Trial Championships since his first one in 1974. Flirt, standing attentively close Les Roughan and Flirt. by his side tuning in to every word, is no newbie either. The 13-year-old Border collie’s long head was her final ever day of competition. “She can sit with me on the side-by-side on the farm, I’ll give her the odd little job,” Les says with a fond twinkle in his eye. A life member of Gore and Southland Collie Clubs, and patron of Gore Dog Trials, Les has trained between 60 and 70 dogs in his lifetime.

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a young dog, it’s a lot about patience. “Keep them healthy and keep them in control. They are so like children, if you are not in charge of them, they are in charge of you.” Dog trialing has changed a bit over Les’ time in the sport; more young people, and “more ladies”.

‘I get all the easy jobs, like bringing in the sheep. I told my son he could get a better man for the farm, but not a cheaper one.’

Les Roughan with his 13-year-old heading dog Flirt, compete in the National Dog Trials long head.

Flirt is definitely one of his favourites. Conformation is an important factor for Les when choosing a working dog; not too close in the chest, a good head, and a kind eye. Friendliness is also a very important attribute for the three-month old pupil. “I put food out, and tell them not to touch it. It’s just amazing, these little things.” He knows how to be firm when he has to be. “I give them a wee growly voice. That works in the ring too,” he says, adding that it’s important not to expect too much from

At 16 years old when he first cut his teeth in Southland, Les was considered a youngster in the sport. “I got a cup for the youngest competitor. If there was a cup now for the oldest I think I’d get that!” Winter is a quieter time of year for Les, compared to the summer where he’s lining up on the farm every day at 7am to work alongside his sons who have now taken the reins of the 485-hectare property ‘Otama’ where they run 4000 ewes. “I get all the easy jobs, like bringing in the sheep. I told my son he could get a better man for the farm, but not a cheaper one.” Les keeps great health, which he puts

down to keeping active and having great family support from his children – five out of seven live close by. He’ll lay off the farm work for the cooler months, taking some time training his two and four-year-old Border collies. “I know I’m extremely lucky to be doing this at this age.” The 11-hour drive from Mandeville to Marlborough for the nationals meant quality time with his son Trevor, at his fifth national competition. It’s the companionship and the chance to meet up with other farmers which Trevor says is one of the best parts of this trip. “And it’s good therapy to talk rubbish to other farmers!” Like Les, Trevor is in tune with how to produce a good working dog, which comes down to following good breed lines, and constant training. “And my dad, he’s very gentle on his dogs.” As Trevor watches from the sidelines of the Long Head, he concedes his dad gets more points on the board than him and still keeps fantastic health, even if he does move around a tad slower than he used to. “The judge has been calling the trialists off if they are taking too long or not going very well. They might have the grace to give him a bit of extra time though.” But Les didn’t need it. “Dad doesn’t need glasses, even I wear glasses!”

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SOLUTIONS | FARMER GROUPS

PARTNERING FOR PROFIT

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nderstanding farming costs and how they relate to producing quality meat products is the goal of a new South Otago Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) Action Group. The group, made up of seven farmers, came together to take advantage of the skills and funding offered by being part of the RMPP Action Network. The network brings together like-minded farmers and rural professionals to help put ideas into action on-farm. Andrew Begg farms 420 hectares at Stirling and was interested in hearing from independent experts. He wanted to make informed decisions about what would work best for his location and business. Now, as a member of an action group, he has access to a range of experts who can share knowledge and help support him if he decides to make changes to his farming business. Facilitator Tim Blackler, of Balclutha accountancy firm Shand Thomson, says the group is working towards the aim

of understanding the main drivers of profitability. “To recognise that production does not necessarily translate to profit.” The group gets advice from a range of experts and farmers to understand how to grow feed effectively in the South Otago area, so it could be converted into meat in the most efficient and profitable way, Tim says. Nigel Cowie farms 350ha at Tuapeka West and believes having a better understanding of pasture management will improve meat production. An independent agronomist focused on the needs of his farm helped him develop strategies for maintaining feed all year round, in an area which can have harsh winters and dry summers. In the group’s initial goal-setting workshop, members wanted to gain a deeper understanding of animal performance. In particular, they wanted to learn about lambing percentages, growth rates, feed requirements and genetics and how this

related to producing quality stock. The group also acknowledged different farm management approaches and wanted to explore how stocking rates could affect pasture quality and soil health. Learning new ways of doing things was the major reason Craig Morgan who farms 300ha at Waiwera South wanted to be involved. Improving what he was doing should lead to an improved flock, which in turn should lead to better profitability, he says. Action groups make up the nationwide RMPP Action Network and are for any farmer who owns or manages a commercial farm business that contributes to red meat production. Group members work together with rural professionals to identify ways to improve farm performance, kick-start funding of $4000 per farm business is available to pay for a facilitator and expert advice.

More? Go to www.actionnetwork.co.nz

DOUBLE DEMAND FOR COMBI CLAMP

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t has been a busy year for Combi Clamp owners Wayne and Lynley Coffey. Partnering with rural retailer Landmark in Australia has almost doubled demand for the Combi Clamp equipment range, requiring an increase in staffing numbers at their Palmerston North workshop. With the arrival of their first grandchild,

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the Coffeys are also making plans for the future of the Combi Clamp business. Always proud of the fact that the Combi Clamp is still manufactured and marketed by the original designer, it makes sense that Wayne and Lynley want to keep the business in the family. Their daughter, Fiona, who has always believed in the product and the principles behind it, shares that view. “It is not a

change that will happen tomorrow, but more of a slow transition,” Fiona says. Fiona has been the voice behind the company 0800 number and has noticed a sudden increase in phone calls and inquiries from farmers, mostly hoping to make dagging an easier task onfarm. But the versatility of the Combi Clamp offers a lot more. With easy access to the animal and

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


SOLUTIONS | FERTILISER

ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS FOR 20 YEARS

F Now a family affair, Combi Clamp’s Lynley (left) and Wayne Coffey with daughter Fiona and her baby alongside their truck used for deliveries and transporting gear to field days around the country.

hands-free operation there are few animal health tasks that can’t be completed through the Combi Clamp. “Docking at home this year will include having the Combi set up at the end of the drafting race. Lambs are drafted into the lamb pen and ewes continue through the Combi to be drenched and uddered, making the most of the staff on hand.” Animal health tasks in cattle can also be a hassle which is why Wayne has implemented a new standard feature in the Combi Clamp Cattle Crush. Within the top portion of the side gates an ‘access gate’ has been fitted. This provides a space to access the animal for vaccinating, calf marking and such, while not interfering with the anti-backing ratchet. For practical purposes, this gate is front hung and fitted with an easy open slam catch. Simple, reliable and versatile are hallmarks of the Combi Clamp range. “We welcome new enquiries but also hope that if anyone is having some teething issues that they ring us. With such a simple machine, the answer to problems is often just as simple,” Fiona says.

More?Visit www.combiclamp.co.nz or phone on 0800 227 228.

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October 2018

ertco is celebrating 20 years of leading the way with eco-friendly and innovative fertiliser products that are suited to the growing environmental demands on farmers. The Mount Maunganui company was established by Waikato farmers in 1999 because they wanted a broader range of fertilisers that were more ecologically sound, chief executive Warwick Voyce says. “That was during a time when farmers were relying heavily on nitrogen fertilsers. These farmers wanted to have a more environmental focus and that philosophy still holds true today at Fertco.” Fertco has the largest range of certified organic fertilisers in New Zealand and has the most efficient, yet environmentally friendly, phosphate fertiliser on the market. An increasing number of farmers and orchardists are looking to use these fertiliser products to meet growing environmental regulations, he says. “Organics is the fastest growing part of our business with lots of farmers using them as part of their conventional fertiliser programmes.” In the 2000s eco-friendly and organic became ugly tarnished words, but today using these products on conventional farms helps to improve efficiency and meet industry regulations, Fertco national sales manager Arthur Payze says. “There are a lot of farmers using fishmeal, lime, gypsum and guano – mainly to mitigate nutrient loss “The market has come to us, we have always been doing this, it has always been common sense,” he says. Fertco’s new CloverZone fertiliser programme, which focuses on the physical, chemical and biological attributes of growing clover, is an example of how the company is leading the way with its approach to fertiliser use, Arthur says. “Our focus is designing fertiliser programmes that optimise productivity, while mitigating nutrient loss.” All Fertco fertiliser consultants have

Celebrating: left to right, Fertco directors, Dr Brent Wheeler, Ken Titchener and Ross Karl.

industry qualifications and have all completed a Sustainable Nutrient Management Course. A major strength of the company is the team of people behind it, Warwick says. Many of its employees have been working at Fertco for more than 10 years and the company invests a lot into their capability. “We can deliver on service because of our team, we are very conscious of having good people throughout the business.” Fertco services Northland down to the top of Lake Taupo and sells 30,000 tonnes of fertiliser/year. It supplies the dairy, sheep and beef, equine, cropping and horticultural sectors. It imports its products from around the world, including Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The company has a mandate to use only suppliers that are transparent and produce the product in an ethical manner, without harm to humans, animals or the environment. “We insist on transparency and do our own internal checking of products,” Warwick says. While it holds just 2% of the NZ fertiliser market, there is a strength to staying smaller, Warwick says. A smaller company can deliver better results by delivering a superior service to its customers. “Surviving 20 years in any business is a feat in itself and we are very grateful to our customers for their support over the years.”

More? www.fertco.co.nz or contact your Fertco consultant 0800 FERTCO.

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David Arvidson and Murray Sargent with a top Wiltshire ram.

SOLUTIONS | GENETICS

SAVING ON THE WOOL

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ily sheep farmers are exploiting the benefits of specialisation in meat production to increase profits. Wiltshire ram breeder David Arvidson says the reasons for the move follow the significant shift away from wool to lamb production that started in the 1970s. “The feedback from my client base indicates improved profitability is the main reason for the change to using Wiltshire genetics as their maternal flock base,” he says. He has clients who estimate they are saving up to 70% in labour costs for sheep associated tasks and spending significantly less on animal health and vehicle running costs. On top of the savings, those same customers achieving meat production gains of up to 20% over what they were achieving with dual-purpose breed sheep. Arvidson warns that farmers transitioning to farming sheep for meat

only need to carefully scrutinise every task and process they do to see if they are optimal when farming for meat only. “It requires a whole new way of thinking,” he says after buying his flock in 1995. “It was my aim to transform the breed from one that was put in the back paddock and ignored to a flock that made rapid gains in growth rates and conformation. “To make rapid gains I decided to do very intensive recording on every individual animal through the Animal Breeding Trust at Massey University. Very few commercial farmers were interested at that stage, but the aim was to have the flock competitive with other breeds for when they did start coming.” That influx of commercial farmers began in 2005 and Arvidson says more indicated they would have come if he was breeding for facial eczema resistance. “We started on the Ramguard system for breeding facial eczema resistance and

DrenchMaster

now we have the highest-rated meat breed sheep available, I believe.” This year, central North Island Coopworth and Romney-Coopworth ram breeder Murray Sargent, from the Kaahu Stud at Whakamaru, will start breeding his own Wiltshire flock with the number one selection spot of Arvidson’s ram offering for 2018. “This will allow him to choose the best possible ram that we can provide on all traits but especially facial eczema.” “The benefit to us of having Murray and other breeders aiming to produce facial eczema tolerant rams is that we can then source our rams from a wider gene pool that do not reduce our flock’s own facial eczema tolerance. This means we will be able to make faster progress in other traits,” he says.

Ask for an info pack

drenching / vaccinating / mouthing / uddering

3 W D f 3-Way Draft

Mobile "The DrenchMaster makes jobs like drenching, vaccinating, ear-marking, mouthing and uddering so much quicker and less demanding on the body, as well as time. The drafting gates option saves having to run the mob through again." David Grimm - Farmer **new air assist option**

03 471 4776 / 021 445 920 / wayne@perkinz.co.nz / www.perkinz.co.nz 166 

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YARD DESIGN SOLUTIONS

TechniPharm yards in action.

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ith less labour available right across all levels of the industry, automation can help a great deal to improve productivity. It’s a real issue for many farmers, less labour to get the job done and fewer skilled experienced people to draw from. In addition more specialisation of the end consumer product drives onfarm management. Automation can resolve a lot of this void – intelligent yard design, auto handling and drafting can have a massive impact on effective handling and productivity. Where in the past an eye draft may have been sufficient, segregation between grades of lambs, now with 500g or 1kg variables, can throw the lambs into another grade. TechniPharm provides solutions in yard design and build systems, with robust, well-proven auto drafters, a sheep handler, and EID multi set up combination. You can handle sheep in one unit and draft in the other, in line, or you can choose to draft first and then handle. For instance, you may need to only do

a specific task to a specific category of animal, so you draft the ones you need to work with and the rest go straight back to the paddock. Staff and farm owners can efficiently use their time and mobs are not unnecessarily held or moved . One of TechniPharm’s recent clients had this to say: “We had our first day with the yards today and we are absolutely delighted with how they worked for us. We put about 400 lambs through with the main tasks being weighing and drenching ewe replacement lambs (average liveweight 45kg), weighed and drafted works lambs and drenched the balance. “In general, we estimate that the tasks were taking about one third the time of our previous yards – however, the huge advantage was much less stress on the part of us and the sheep, and very much less frustration on the part of ourselves in doing the tasks.” 

More?Visit www.technipharm.co.nz or call 0800 80 90 98

NZ’s leading 5-in-1 boosted with Vitamin B12 for convenience.

MSD_MultineB12_HP_CW_145x230_01

SOLUTIONS | HANDLING SYSTEMS

Protects stock. Boosts Vitamin B12. Multine® is New Zealand’s leading 5-in-1 clostridial vaccine1, protecting against pulpy kidney, tetanus, blackleg and malignant oedema in sheep, cattle and goats. And now it’s just got better with the boosted convenience of Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for the growth of lambs.2 Ask your animal health advisor for Multine B12.

MADE FOR NEW ZEALAND, IN NEW ZEALAND.

ACVM No A11311. ®Registered trademark. Schering-Plough Animal Health Ltd. Phone: 0800 800 543. www.msd-animal-health.co.nz. Ref 1: Baron Audit Data. June 2018. Ref 2: N.Grace, AgResearch, 1994. NZ/MLT/0518/0001c

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PHOTO: A new sheep yard installation by Landquip on a large-scale lamb finishing operation in Hawke’s Bay.

SOLUTIONS | SHEEP YARDS

DESIGNED FOR YOUR FARM

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ttention to detail and consultation at the design stage is critical to completing a successful sheep yard installation. That’s the view of Landquip director James Fyfe who has had more than 20 years of design, construction and installation experience. “We often start with a base design in mind, but a site visit and discussion are essential with the farm owner, manager or staff who will actually use the yard,” he says. “No sets of yards are identical and the need for flexibility in design is one of the features we bring when we’re talking to farm owners about building a new set of yards on their farm.”

Once a design is approved and signed off by the farm owner, the yard is fabricated in kitset form at Landquip’s site in Hastings before being transported to the farm. After the site for the yards on the farm has been prepared, construction takes place with minimal downtime for the farm owner. Landquip yards are constructed from fully galvanized steel. It costs more than timber, but requires less maintenance and less downtime when breakages occur. Yard panels can be solid or railed, have solid panels just in the top half to avoid the risk of sheep or dogs attempting to jump out of the race. Gates are fitted with slam latches, making the yards safer and faster to operate. “Our panels are coupled together so they can be removed when the yards are

required to be cleaned or fitted with other handling equipment at a later stage,” he says. A popular feature of the Landquip design is the smooth-topped drench race rail that prevents any snagging of drench hoses as shepherds work their way through a pen full of sheep. Landquip’s preference is also to incorporate a ‘bugle’ design into the forcing area leading into a drafting or animal handling race area. “There are lots of older yards designed with a diamond pen at the back of the handling races but that means you’re forcing stock with dogs and staff from a long way back.” “We recommend the bugle shape which is now seen in a lot of stock yards where the animals are gradually narrowed down to single file, so they enter the drafting race easily.” Landquip is a family-owned business which has been operating from its Hastings site since 2007. The Fyfes bought the original business in 1995 and now employ 12 staff in the manufacturing area, making permanent and portable sheep yards, orchard and grape harvesting equipment and tractor-mounted forklifts. 

More? Landquip.co.nz

WOOL OFFERS A SOURCE OF HEALTHIER DIETS FOR PETS

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roteins from wool can be added to the diets of animals to improve their health, AgResearch scientists have shown. The positive findings in the diets of domestic cats open up exciting possibilities for new uses of sheep wool to improve digestive health for a broader range of animals, and potentially human beings. The findings have just been published in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Food & Function journal. “There is a lot of work going on to discover new uses of wool to support the sheep industry in New Zealand,” Dr Jolon Dyer, AgResearch’s science group leader for food and bio-based products, says. “Sheep wool has many useful attributes, and one of those now appears to be proteins derived from the wool that could

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be used as a dietary supplement to improve digestion and nutrition, and therefore overall health.” Scientists used a method called controlled hydrolysis to extract the wool proteins. These protein hydrolysates taken from the wool were then added as an ingredient in a pet food formulation targeted towards cats, and compared against standard cat food formulations. The findings indicate the wool protein

hydrolysates offer promise as a functional ingredient in pet foods, and as a new nutritional ingredient in foods generally. AgResearch senior scientist Dr Santanu Deb-Choudhury, who led the study with fellow scientist Dr Emma Bermingham, says the hydrolysates offer real potential as a supplement for pet diets. The next steps for the research will be to study the effect of the wool hydrolysate on animals other than cats. “There’s a lot of potential in terms of how it can add to the wellbeing of pets and other animals, and even people, but we do need to see how it stacks up in the further research,” Dr Deb-Choudhury says.

More? http://pubs.rsc.org/en/ Content/ArticleLanding/2018/ FO/C7FO02004J#!divAbstract

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October 2018


NEW ZEALAND TRIAL WORK Improves B12 and selenium levels in lambs, ewes, calves and adult cattle1 Extensive New Zealand trials Proven live weight gains1

Flexible treatment options

NEW ZEALAND

RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

Choose the dose required at docking/tailing depending on the fate of your lambs

Developed for NZ farming conditions by AgResearch Manufactured in NZ by Virbac

0.5 ml - lasts up to 4 months for slaughter lambs 1 ml - lasts for at least 6 months (replacement stock) Available as B12 only or in combination with selenium

COST EFFECTIVE Optimal B12 and selenium levels for longer Less than 1c/day in your lambs Fewer injections Reduced risk of viral pneumonia due to yarding Lower labour costs

LONG ACTING B12 and selenium Utilises world-first microencapsulation technology B12 will last for up to 240 days1 Selenium lasts for at least 180 days and in some cases has been shown to last for up to 240 days1

SMARTShot速 is an innovative, easy and flexible long-acting vitamin B12 and selenium injection commonly used at docking/tailing to boost and maintain adequate vitamin B12 and/or selenium levels in young, growing stock. Based on a carcass weight schedule price of $6.60/kg and a dress out of 40%, a 100 g increase in CWT should repay your investment for a 0.5 ml dose. Trials by AgResearch showed lambs with marginal (300 pmol/L) to deficient states (150 pmol/L) when treated with SMARTShot速 experienced a gain in CWT from 1.1 kg to 6.1 kg respectively (120 days from birth to slaughter).

HELP YOUR STOCK REACH THEIR POTENTIAL. ask your Vet about smartshot速 b12 prime lamb OR smartshot速 b12 + Se. nz.virbac.com/smartshot 1. Data on file. ACVM Nos. A9402, A9984


SPONSORED CONTENT | CLOVERZONE

Lifting the clover love

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ertco has launched a new fertiliser programme where the key focus is on growing clover by considering the physical, chemical and biological attributes of the soil and plants. CloverZone® is a soil and plant testing and reporting tool that combines a soil management plan and fertiliser programme designed around the optimum condition to maximise clover growth. To grow high-yielding quality clover, soils need to be in optimal condition, from the chemical levels (nutrients), to its physicality and biology, Fertco national sales manager Arthur Payze says. New Zealand’s natural advantage over the rest of the world is its ability to grow clover, he says. “We forgot that in the 1980s when we had urea.” White clover is an inexpensive, high quality feed source that provides a cheap source of nitrogen in NZ pastures. Fertco is committed to helping farmers achieve the optimum clover growth on their farms and take back the advantage. The Fertco CloverZone® programme monitors 16 essential nutrients through soil and herbage tests and a Visual Soil Assessment (VSA) which gauges the soil’s physical and biological health. The results are combined in the CloverZone® report and Fertco consultants go through the report with farmers to develop a fertiliser and monitoring plan to improve clover growth.

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“We work with farmers on how to achieve their goals and how to get the best bang for a buck,” Arthur says. The CloverZone® programme is weighted toward how farmers can get the most improvement from their fertiliser investment. “You’ve always got to keep a farmers’ budget in mind.” It’s a two-way discussion with farmers, rather than dictating to them what they should be doing with their fertiliser programme, he says. “Farmers are 100% involved in the programme. We want them to be involved so they understand what the realistic outcomes should be. And they can monitor that as time goes by.” Fertco consulted Dr Doug Edmeades, of AgKnowledge, to select the relevant soil and herbage tests to indicate a soil’s ability to support healthy clover growth. “We wanted to use AgResearch-validated science to do broader testing than was normally done,” Fertco chief executive Warwick Voyce says. The result has been to create a matrix of soil and clover chemistry with optimal levels for clover growth, with soil biology and physical research on clover growth that AgResearch did in the 1980s. “What’s important with these tests is they needed to be validated and calibrated. There is not a huge amount in the soil biological space that you can say can be scientifically validated and calibrated, but the tests that are, we are using,” Warwick says. A VSA adds the physicality and some biological parameters to the picture. A VSA scores a soil based on indicators such as earthworm population, plant root depth and nitrogen fixing (clover nodules). It’s an education process to shift the industry to consider the optimal soil chemistry, physicality and biology to grow the best clover on farms. What traditional soil tests don’t look at is some of the other chemical elements that impact clover growth, Arthur says. Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


One example is testing cobalt levels which might not directly impact plant growth, but it does affect optimal biological activity. “Cobalt is important for rhizobia bacteria and the clover nodule. Without it they can’t produce leghaemoglobin and they can’t fix nitrogen. It’s only a little bit, but it’s pretty important.” Fertco consultants have been trained by Graham Shepherd, Warwick Voyce, Fertco CEO. who developed the VSA method, so they can give unit measures for soil physical properties and health. This information together with the laboratory soil and herbage results, are entered into a matrix to give an overall picture of a soil’s chemical, physical and biological health for optimal clover growth. A software programme has been designed with a simple dashboard programme for farmers to see the results and to generate fertiliser recommendations.

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October 2018

The CloverZone® programme is not just a fertiliser programme, it’s a measuring and monitoring programme to map progress on farms, Warwick says. Fertco develops a monitoring plan with farmers to continuously map the soil progress through taking annual samples and snapshots of the situation. Fertco consultants work with farmers to understand how their soil is performing in all three attributes and discuss what can be improved. “We sit down with farmers and we look for opportunities for improvement, from a chemical, physical and biological standpoint. And then we discuss what their goals and objectives are and we design a fertiliser programme designed to help them meet those goals,” Warwick says. A lot of the time a farmer’s key goal is improving productivity, but farmers also aim to improve other factors. For example, they might want to improve pasture root depth to be more drought-resistant with less nutrient leaching. Fertco is committed to helping farmers achieve their goals, from productivity to environmental ethos, he says. With increasing environmental regulation, farmers are looking to use organic and more environmentally friendly fertilisers. Products such as fishmeal, Guano and polymer-coated urea for example are growing in popularity among dairy and sheep and beef farmers. Fertco can advise on how best to incorporate those into a conventional fertiliser programme, he says. “We feel sometimes farmers are frustrated or pigeon holed by their current fertiliser regime. With Fertco they’re able to innovate. If farmers want to try different fertilisers, they can, but from an educated stand point. We will give them science-based advice.” Fertco launched the CloverZone® programme and has had excellent reception from farmers who want to take that step further to understanding their soil, Warwick says. For more information on the Fertco CloverZone programme visit www.fertco.co.nz or contact your Fertco consultant 0800 FERTCO. 171


SPONSORED CONTENT

Spring Sheep Milk Co confident Sprayfo delivers “optimal nutritional value” Key to Spring Sheep Milk Co’s overall operation is maximising the production of each individual animal to produce enough high-quality product for their markets. Their approach is to improve animal genetics long term, while maximising the genetic potential of their current animals. Successful lamb rearing is key, and Spring Sheep is undertaking several initiatives to achieve this; one of which is to rear lambs with AgriVantage’s Sprayfo Primo Lamb milk replacer. In March 2018, AgriVantage hosted Spring Sheep Milk Co on a visit to Holland, home of Sprayfo manufacturer Trouw Nutrition. The main objectives of the trip were to ensure that Spring Sheep had a better understanding of: 1. Trouw Nutrition’s LifeStart principles, and 2. The unique Sprayfo manufacturing process. Both of which are founded on good nutrition as the basis for maximising the genetic potential of young animals.

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“Growing strong and healthy animals is the founding principle of AgriVantage and the key reason we distribute Sprayfo milk replacers” explains AgriVantage Business Manager Warren Tanner. “It’s life start that sets life performance. “Trouw Nutrition’s LifeStart is a wellresearched and constantly developing programme designed to help dairy operations achieve higher performance through a unique focus on nutrition for young animals (in the first eight weeks of life).

AgriVantage’s Warren Tanner discusses lamb rearing protocols with Spring Sheep Milk Co Farm Manager John Ryrie and Rearing Manager Jane Egan at the Monavale Pilot Farm in Cambridge.

The group visited two Sprayfo manufacturing locations and the Trouw Nutrition research farm. Spring Sheep Milk Co Business Manager Thomas Macdonald says the visit to Trouw Nutrition was invaluable. “Firstly, it was good to see the manufacturing process and stringent quality control employed by the manufacturer in ensuring that Sprayfo Primo Lamb is safe and consistently delivers optimal nutritional value to our

“We’re confident that we’re working with the right people and the right product to achieve our rearing objectives at Spring Sheep Milk Co.” “It was important for us to prove to Spring Sheep that by applying LifeStart nutritional recommendations, they can increase individual animal performance while more effectively ensuring their animals grow strong and healthy” continues Warren. “Sprayfo milk replacers and recommended feeding schedules are perfectly designed to meet the animal’s nutritional needs and the Lifestart rearing objectives.”

lambs” he said. “We have a good understanding of the processes that Trouw Nutrition have employed to overcome issues such as batch to batch consistency – which can play havoc with the digestive systems of young lambs. “And we have confidence there is little to no difference between the batches of Sprayfo milk replacer that we receive.

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SPONSORED CONTENT

“Furthermore, their unique spray drying technology (Sprayfo manufacturing process) allows for protein to be attached to the outside of each particle, so it’s readily available for the animal to utilise as soon as it enters the abomasum.” Trouw Nutrition’s Spray Dry System ensures Sprayfo Primo Lamb is a unique and consistently high quality, optimally digestible milk replacer. It’s also specially formulated for lambs. Being whey-based, it’s non-curding and easily digested in the gut, moving through a lamb in 2-3 hours compared to the 5-8 hours it takes for lambs to digest traditional curding (casein) milk powders. And it contains hydrolysed wheat protein, which is proven to have better digestive properties than other commonly used protein sources, such as soy. Therefore, Sprayfo Primo Lamb does not cause bloat and is very safe for lambs to feed on. “Spring Sheep have conducted extensive studies to ensure we give our lambs the best start in life.” Thomas adds, “This is critical to our company culture of valuing animal welfare and the importance of each new generation of lambs as we grow our industry. “We found Trouw Nutrition’s research laboratory to be very impressive. It’s

a world class facility into which they commit a lot of resource into research and development. “Clearly, they are developing nutritional products based on science, they put a lot of work into proving their Lifestart theory and that was highly reassuring.”

Trouw Export Manager Teun Shuurkamp explains a key part of the manufacturing process at Trouw’s drying plant in Sloten, Friesland.

The group also toured top performing sheep dairy operations in Holland, where ewes produce over 1,000L milk in a year. A highlight of the trip was visiting a farm where they had been working on a genetic program for over 30 years. Through the process, they have improved the genetic potential of the stock with ewes producing over 1,000L milk in a year, which equates to nearly 3L/day. In the northern island of Texel, they visited an award-winning cheese producer in the process of setting up their own sheep milking operation (rather than sourcing milk from other farms on the island). This was of particular interest to Spring Sheep Milk Co, who are expanding their operation and looking for different layouts and setups to maximise efficiency. Thomas concludes, “We’ve come away from this trip knowing that Sprayfo Primo Lamb measured up to our expectations.” Spring Sheep Milk Co Business Manager Thomas Macdonald examines fat profiles at the Sloten Spray Dry Factory.

Due to unprecedented demand for Sprayfo Primo Lamb, AgriVantage is unable to take orders for the remainder of the 2018 season. To ensure supply for 2019, please register your interest with our customer support team on 0800 64 55 76.

COO Nick Hammond and Thomas Macdonald with Trouw Nutrition Senior product manager Steffen Rouwers in the control room of the Deventer blending plant. Country-Wide Sheep

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Breeder Directory BREED

NAME

LOCATION PHONE PAGE

BORDER LEICESTER Te Taumata A, E & J McWilliam Gladstone 06 372 7861 CHAROLLAIS Elite N. Jay Lincoln 021 140 7827 Elite S Linklater Feilding 027 548 3578 Kaitoa P & L Barnett Dannevirke 06 374 3555 Waterton C Hampton Cave 03 614 3330 Brabazon A. Brown Masterton 06 372 7712 Hemingford S.Holland Culverden 03 315 8689 CHEVIOT Cheviot Sheep Society J C Pascoe Darfield 03 318 8260 Ashby G & D Timms Palmerston Nth 06 362 7829 Herangi J & M Spellman Pio Pio 07 877 8401 Kaiwhata Farm A & J Tatham Masterton 06 372 3623

107 107 106 106 84

111 98

COMPOSITES Anui W Philip Dannevirke 06 374 8857 85 Pine Park E Sherriff Marton 06 327 6591 120 Piquet Hill P, W & T Jackson Ngaruawahia 0800 379 958 53 Premier Genetics R Forsyth Otane, CHB 06 858 4383 95 Twin Farm Genetics A & R Welsh Gore 03 208 5904 Wharetoa Genetics G & C Shaw Balclutha 03 415 9074 103 Wairere D Daniell Masterton 0800 122 077 5 Wairere A Puddy Masterton 021 222 5100 5 Wairere M Gemmell King Country 07 896 6722 5 Wairere J Reinhardt Masterton 06 372 5970 5 Wairere J Meehan Otago 027 443 5031 5 Wairiri M & M Poulton Woodville 06 376 5576 145 COOPDALE Braeburn Coopdales A & L Cocks Clinton 0800 206 487 121 Glenrae G & M Mitchell Lumsden 03 248 7080 Roslyn Downs C Miller Invercargill 03 230 6144 COOPWORTH Ashaig Farm G M Fletcher Cromwell 03 445 4059 Ashgrove Ashgrove Ltd Whangarei 09 438 8563 67 Ashton Glen R & R Mitchell Clinton 03 415 7687 Awa Mara T & M Hassall Hawarden 03 314 4496 Blackdale P & L Black Riverton 03 224 6059 Colhoun D W Colhoun Ltd Invercargill 03 221 7269 Carthew Genetics S & P Carthew Feilding 027 226 2262 64 Ditton J & J Falloon Masterton 06 372 4882 67 Glendhu Fletcher Bros Cromwell 03 445 4059 Glenlea D & B McCulloch Waimate 03 689 3818 Glenrae H & L Mitchell Lumsden 03 248 7608 Grassendale G & L Williams Masteron 06 372 6671 Hinenui B & L Teutenberg Gisborne 06 862 8768 69 Kaahu M Sargent Mangakino 07 882 8899 124 Lawson-Lea G & R Black Riverton 03 224 6369 66 Lincoln Lincoln University Lincoln 03 423 0670 Marlow S Wyn-Harris Waipukurau 06 855 8265 44 Moeraki Downs Moeraki Downs Genetics Oamaru 03 439 4751 Nikau K Broadbent Tuakau 09 233 3104 78 Pine Park P & S Sherriff Marton 06 327 6591 120 Puketauru T & A Abraham Marton 06 327 6248 52 Queenfield T & J Le Pine Waiau 03 315-6635

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BREED

NAME

LOCATION PHONE PAGE

Romani Romani Farms Ltd Taumarunui 07 895 7144 68 Tamlet G & K Smith Wyndham 03 206 4925 66 Tautari J A Mills Oparau 07 871 0706 67 Te Rae C Wilson Winton The Poplars R W Carter Taumarunui 07 896 7020 66 Waikoura J & A Lee Oamaru 03 431 7819 Waione J D Wilkie Wanganui 06 342 6883 67 Wharetoa G & C Shaw Balclutha 03 415 9074 103 Whitegate M & L Bryson Wyndham 03 206 4448 Woodlands Res Woodlands Invercargill 03 231 3033 Research Stn COOPWORTH MEATMAKER The Poplars R Carter Taumarunui 07 896 7020 66 Wharetoa Genetics G & C Shaw Balclutha 03 415 9074 103 COOPWORTH x ROMNEY Kaahu M Sargent Mangakino 07 882 8899 124 Pine Park E Sherriff Marton 06 327 6591 120 St. Leger A Savage Gisborne 06 863 7106 49 Carthew Genetics S & P Carthew Feilding 06 328 5006 64 COOPWORTH x TEXEL Blackdale P & L Black Lawson-Lea G & R Black Pine Park E Sherriff Tamlet G Smith Wharetoa Genetics G & C Shaw

Riverton 03 224 6059 82 Riverton 03 224 6369 6 Marton 06 327 6591 120 Wyndham 03 206 4925 66 Balclutha 03 415 9074 103

CORRIEDALES Longfield J Booker Hawarden 03 314 4129 Melrose D Rutherford Hawarden 03 314 4180 NZ Corriedale Society D Rawlinson Ashburton 03 308 7728 DOHNE Glencairn Martin Pattie Seddon 03 575 7753 DORPER One Stop Ram Shop Robin Hilson Waipukurau 06 855 8335 One Stop Ram Shop Ross Berry Wellington 04 233 0117 One Stop Ram Shop David Meade Nelson 03 522 4139 One Stop Ram Shop Jeff Moss Clinton 03 415 7707 One Stop Ram Shop Paul Crump Havelock 03 572 8442 One Stop Ram Shop Dave Riddell Winton 03 236 4191 DORSET DOWN Anui W Philip Dannevirke 06 374 8857 Craigneuk Johnny Duncan Ranfurly 027 3272372

85 105

DORSET DOWN x SUFFOLK Goldstream B & W Rapley Otorohanga 07 873 2818 78 FINN (PUREBRED) AND FINN x TEXEL Daniel Wheeler Livestock D Wheeler Kaiapoi 03 313 2204 146 One Stop Ram Shop Robin Hilson Waipukurau 06 855 8335 One Stop Ram Shop Ross Berry Wellington 04 233 0117 One Stop Ram Shop David Meade Nelson 03 522 4139 One Stop Ram Shop Colin Burlace Ormondville 06 374 1843 One Stop Ram Shop Paul Crump Havelock 03 572 8442

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


Breeder Directory BREED

NAME

One Stop Ram Shop Dave Riddell Focus Genetics Richard Lee

LOCATION PHONE PAGE

Winton Napier

03 236 4191 06 839 5836

ILE DE FRANCE Ile de France NZ J Thomson Christchurch 0274 713273 Ile de France NZ J & R Forester N-Canterbury 027 4410486

102 102

KELSO Kelso Tutu Totara M Holden Hawke’s Bay 0800 4 KELSO 35 Meadowslea Rams D Giddings Fairlie 03 685 8027 109 LAMB SUPREME Focus Genetics Richard Lee Napier 06 839 5836 Carthew Genetics S & P Carthew Feilding 027 2262262

64

LANDMARK Focus Genetics Richard Lee Napier 06 839 5836 LINCOLN Waidale I Williams Sth Canterbury 03 614 8388 LONGDOWNS Longdowns C & J Earl Scargill 03 314 3841 MEATMASTER Daniel Wheeler L/stock Daniel Wheeler Kaiapoi 03 313 2204 Willowbank Michael Willis Kirwee 03 318 1536 The Poplars R Carter Taumarunui 07 895 3348

140

146 66

MERINO Muller Station S & M Satterthwaite Awatere Vly 027 474 8865 91 The Gums I Stevenson Cheviot 03 319 8443 162 NEVER SHEAR Para Farm J O Adams Waiouru 06 388 1070 PERENDALE [pages 71-76] WARD 1 Northland/Mid-Northern Awaroa P & A Brandon Waitomo 07 8736313 Rua Peka Peka M Bryant Urenui 06 752 3701 Longspur LW Frank Waitara 06 754 4311 Green Acres C Jury Waitara 06 754 6672 Awapiko N & L Langlands Piopio 07 896 8660 Raupuha R & M Proffit Mahoenui 07 877 8977 Whanau D Randell Te Puke 07 533 1371 Waiotane S. Brosnahan Ohope 06 864 4468 Herangi J Spellman Te Kuiti 07 877 8401 WARD 2 Hawke’s Bay/Gisborne Kerrydale J Harding Otoi I & B Brickell Longview Rangiora Trust WARD 3 Wairarapa/Manawatu Mapari A & P Evans The Heights R & H Gaskin Misty Hills P Griffin Hautere J & C Henricksen Karere Vale W D’Ath

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

Woodville Raupunga Tutira

06 376 4751 06 838 7398 06 839 7412

Kimbolton 06 322 9880 Levin 06 368 0623 Pahiatua 06 376 6113 Dannevirke 06 374 3888 Palmerston Nth 06 354 8951

72 73

74

72

BREED

Otapawa Awataha Te Whiti Ashby Montana

NAME

LOCATION PHONE PAGE

D & D Robbie M & I Rowe B. Low G Timms P Wilson

Eketahuna 06 376 7765 Hunterville 06 322 9814 Masterton 027 693 5690 Palmerston Nth 06 362 7829 146 Martinborough 027 207 2882

WARD 4 Canterbury/Nelson Mt. Guardian T & S Anderson Cheviot 03 319 2730 Chelmarsh T, F & J Burrows Rangiora 03 312 5982 Wangapeka C & B de Vos Wakefield 03 522 4280 Dolomite K & J Elliott Akaroa 03 326 7199 Bluff Farm I & J Evans Oxford 03 312 1585 Grasslands J & M Jebson/G & J Sime Darfield 03 318 8822 Rangiatea B Gallagher Ashburton 03 303 9819 Ben More W James Sheffield 03 318 2352 Glenfinnan A & A Laing Irwell 03 329 1709 Oldendale P Oldfield Geraldine 03 693 9877 Kawatea A Thacker Akaroa 03 304 8651 Snowdon Tripp Partnership Darfield 03 318 6939 WARD 5 Otago Awakiki H & M Gardner Balclutha 03 418 0645 Stern F Darling Dunedin 03 464 0886 Hazeldale/Glenrannoch R & K France Tapanui 03 204 8339 Klifden R Gardyne Oturehua 03 444 5032 Gowan Braes/Matarae M McElrea Tapanui 03 204 0860 Newhaven D & R Ruddenklau Oamaru 03 432 4155 Newhaven B & J Smith Oamaru 03 432 4154 Hillcrest R & R Mitchell Clinton 03 415 7187 Avalon A Richardson Tapanui 03 204 2134 WARD 6 Southland Kamahi W & J Ayers Wyndham 03 206 4506 Hinerua P Christie Gore 03 208 1789 Diamond Peak S & R Sullivan Gore 03 208 1030 Fairmont K & S Harvey Otautau 03 225 4784 Kylemore D McKelvie Wyndham 03 206 4481 Feldwick J & J Minty Otautau 03 225 4631 Calderkin P & C Mitchell Tokanui 03 246 8881 St. Helens J Wilson Gore 03 208 1789 Kinnear H & K Slee Te Anau 03 249 9097 Montana P.Wilson Gore

72

75

75

74 75 76 76

72

73

PERENDALE x ROMNEY (Romdale) Fernvale L Brenssell Tapanui 03 204 0883 111 Mapari P & A Evans Kimbolton 06 322 9880 Meadowslea Rams D Giddings Fairlie 03 685 8027 100 Raupuha R & M Proffit Mahoenui 07 877 8977 St. Leger A Savage Gisborne 06 863 7106 PERENDALE x TEXEL Avalon A & S Richardson Heriot Kaiwhata A Tatham Masterton Newhaven B & J Smith Oamaru Newhaven D & R Ruddenklau Oamaru One Stop Ram Shop Robin Hilson Waipukurau One Stop Ram Shop Ross Berry Wellington One Stop Ram Shop David Meade Nelson One Stop Ram Shop Philip Munrun Fairlie

03 204 2134 06 372 3623 03 432 4154 03 432 4155 06 855 8335 04 233 0117 03 522 4139 03 685 5772

175


Breeder Directory BREED

One Stop Ram Shop One Stop Ram Shop One Stop Ram Shop Premier Texel

NAME

Jeff Moss Colin Burlace Dave Riddell R Forsyth

LOCATION PHONE PAGE

Clinton Ormondville Winton Otane, CHB

03 415 7707 06 374 1843 03 236 4191 06 858 4383

83

PERENDALE X Minda Hills M & L Illston Taihape 06 388 7804 Wairiri M & M Poulton Woodville 06 376 5576

59 145

POLL DORSET Poll Dorset Breed Soc NZ Sheepbreeders Christchurch 03 358 9412 Ashby G & D Timms Palmerston Nth 06 362 7829 Castlerock S McCall Pleasant Point 03 614 8849 Glengarry B & R Pratt Kimbolton 06 328 4827 Glenrae G & M Mitchell Lumsden 03 248 7080 Goldstream B & W Rapley Otorohanga 07 873 2818 High Plains S Prouting Dannervirke 06 374 3661 Te Kawa A Clifton Kimbolton 06 328 2818 Woodbine C & M Irwin Waiuku 09 235 1087 POLL DORSET x TEXEL Kaiwhata Farm A & J Tatham Pine Park E Sherriff Premier Texel R Forsyth Wharetoa (Meatmaker®) G & C Shaw

Masterton Marton Otane, CHB Balclutha

126 78

06 372 3623 06 327 6591 120 06 858 4383 83 03 415 9074 103

POLWARTH Matakanui Rockthorpe A Paterson Omakau 03 447 3573 PRIMERA Focus Genetics R Lee Napier 06 839 5836 RANGER Cheddar Valley Jason McDonald Cheddar Valley 03 315 6285 Cheddar Valley Glen McDonald Roxburgh 03 446 9090 Cheddar Valley John McDonald Cromwell 03 445 3664 ROMNEY BREEDERS NZ Northland/Auckland Kikitangeo Paddyvale Riverdale Hurricane Argyle Aro

G Levet P Morresey M Finlay R Carter M Quinn S Roadley

Wellsford Dargaville Waimauku Kaikohe Kaikohe Maungaturoto

09 423 7034 123 09 439 0749 09 411 7820 021 149 1273 09 401 1933 09 431 8266

South Auckland/Waikato Hillcroft M Crawford Ohinewai 07 828 5755 Aria D Tucker Aria 07 877 7823 Waimai J & A Reeves Ngaruwahia 07 825 4763 51 Fernleaf M Forlong Owhango 07 895 4847 Murvale C Trousdale Ohinewai 07 828 5715 Waiteika K Abbott Raglan 027 463 9859 52 Brookbank C Brears Taumarunui 07 896 6102 122 Waipapanui C Swann Raglan 07 825 6777 Central North Island/Manawatu Karere W d’Ath Palmerston Nth 06 354 8951 Banklea R Brown Feilding 06 328 9738 Rosebank R Brown Feilding 06 328 9760 Ashby G Timms Palmerston Nth 06 362 7829 146 Paki-iti S & A Morton Feilding 06 328 5772 87 Merchiston J Rowe Marton 06 322 8050 Totaranui T Jackson/ D Reynolds Pahiatua 06 376 8400 Kakatai C Thomas Taihape 06 388 0262 Te Ohu R Pettigrew Feilding 06 328 5999 Stormy Point T Clare Feilding 06 323 1801 Brookfield R Humphrey Feilding 06 328 9890 125

176 

BREED

NAME

LOCATION PHONE PAGE

Hawke’s Bay Hollycombe C Campbell Napier 06 839 5735 61 Anui W Philip Dannevirke 06 374 8857 80 Pahiwi D & R Tennent Takapau 06 855 8154 110 Esherel J Kuizinas Waihi 07 863 3343 Hinenui B.Teutenberg Gisborne 06 826 8768 69 Lower North Island/Wairarapa Waio C Matthews Featherston 06 307 7740 Wharepapa The Manager Featherston 06 307 7570 Te Taumata J & A McWilliam Masterton 06 372 7718 Mana M Wyeth Masterton 06 372 7875 Upper South Island Chrome Hills M Irvine Brightwater 03 542 3754 Moutere Downs P Moore Upper Moutere 03 543 2729 127 Canterbury Doughboy H Taylor Nth Canterbury 021 935 244 Waidale I Williams Pleasant Point 03 614 8388 Warrigal K Donaldson Ashburton 03 303 7267 Lynnford P Lowe Ashburton 03 303 7030 Lammerlaw E Laurenson Fairlie 03 685 6186 Gatton Park D Wyllie Ashburton 03 308 0284 Hermiston G Letham Ashburton 03 302 2704 Snowlea D Wason Sheffield 03 318 3771 Jesmond Park S Miller Timaru 03 686 6886 Okaruru B Masefield Akaroa 03 304 8516 Rosehope F Gardner Lincoln 027 227 4056 Otago Ragniue B Rae Oamaru 03 434 7181 Ellenslea D Moffat Queenstown 03 441 4124 Kingsdowne G King Balclutha 03 415 9067 Aurora D Robertson Palmerston 03 465 1919 Glen Leith I Smith Ranfurly 03 444 9063 View Hill B Everett Balclutha 03 418 1753 Silver Peaks M Skelton Alexandra 03 448 8545 Southland Rannoch N Minty Otautau Merryvale J Robertson Gore Paramount D Irwin Gore Eden Bank A Mitchell Gore Korovale M Cumming Gore Braebank H Mackay Gore Ram Hill G Senior Lumsden Merrydowns B Robertson Gore Helenslea R Hore Lumsden Achamore H McFadzien Gore Tamlet G Smith Wyndham Pikoview W Devery Tapanui Blythburn T Anderson Winton Ruakiwi D Addenbrooke Tuatapere

03 225 4885 03 207 6851 03 203 8324 03 203 3741 03 207 1808 03 208 9563 03 248 7649 03 207 6851 03 248 8932 03 203 8063 03 206 4925 66 03 204 8952 03 236 9570 03 225 5655

ROMNEY ARDG Multiple Vendors Upper Nth Island Auckland 50 Fernvale L Brenssell Tapanui 03 204 0883 124 Focus Genetics R Lee Napier 06 839 5836 Gleniti B & D Hume Featherston 06 307 7847 47, 92 Glenview G & B Croker Masterton 06 372 7820 Grassendale G & L Williams Masterton 06 372 6671 47 Hain Genetics S & G Hain Gisborne 06 867 8097 Hildreth D Hildreth Hastings 06 874 2700 39 Hinenui Genetics B & L Teutenberg Gisborne 06 862 8768 74 Holly Farm D,M & C Smith Marton 06 327 6513 Kiwitahi P Lowry Taupo 07 377 6334 97 Mahoe D McRobbie Waipawa 06 857 3871 Meadowslea Rams D Giddings Fairlie 03 685 8027 109

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018


Breeder Directory BREED

Meldrum Motu-nui Ngaputahi Genetics Orari Gorge Pahiwi Paparata Paparata Peters Genetics Peters Genetics Peters Genetics Peters Genetics Piquet Hill St. Leger Te Whangai Turanganui Wai-iti Waimai Waiohine Wairere Wairere Wairere Wairere Wairere Wairere

NAME

J & C Wingate J leGrove F & A Cameron R & A Peacock R Tennent T Johnson S Spence T & K Peters Shane Carter Clayton Peters Morgan Peters W Jackson A Savage H de Lautour M Warren T & Z Wallace J & A Reeves R & B Barton D Daniell A Puddy M Gemmell J Reinhardt S Buckley J Meehan

LOCATION PHONE PAGE

Eketahuna Carterton Pohangina Geraldine Dannevirke Taumarunui Taumarunui Lawrence Millers Flat West Otago West Otago Ngaruawahia Gisborne Waipukurau Featherston Masterton Te Akau Greytown Masterton Masterton King Country Masterton Masterton Otago

06 375 0602 47,120 06 372 3841 47 06 329 4050 03 692 2893 102 06 374 2865 110 0800 390 174 31 07 893 8844 31 03 446 6030 58 027 364 1438 58 03 204 8817 58 03 204 8849 58 07 825 4966 53 06 863 7106 49 06 857 7926 38 06 307 7841 47, 109 06 372 2654 47 07 825 4925 51 06 304 9495 47 0800 122 077 5 021 222 5100 5 07 896 6722 5 06 372 5970 5 06 372 5560 5 027 443 5031 5

ROMNEY x TEXEL Hemingford S Holland Culverden 03 315 8689 Hildreth D Hildreth Hastings 06 874 2700 Mangare R & J Harre Pio Pio 07 877 8383 Meadowslea Rams D Giddings Fairlie 03 685 8027 Mount Linton D Warburton Otautau 03 225 4689 Mount Linton C Lewis Otautau 03 225 4689 Orari Gorge D Anderson Geraldine 03 692 2769 Orari Gorge R & A Peacock Geraldine 03 692 2893 Paki-iti S Morton Kimbolton 06 328 5772 Paki-iti A Morton Kimbolton 06 328 2856 Premier Texel R Forsyth Otane, CHB 06 858 4383 The Gates H Pinckney Waiau 03 315 6433 Wairere D Daniell Masterton 0800 122 077 Wairere A Puddy Masterton 021 222 5100 Wairere M Gemmell King Country 07 896 6722 Wairere J Reinhardt Masterton 06 372 5970 Wairere S Buckley Masterton 06 372 5560

84 39 109 115 115 102 102 87 87 83 5 5 5 5 5

SNOWLINE Cheddar Valley Jason McDonald Cheddar Valley 03 315 6285 Cheddar Valley John McDonald Cromwell 03 445 3664 Cheddar Valley Glen McDonald Roxburgh 03 446 9090 SOUTHDOWN Flockton Partnership J Jebson Sheffield 03 318 3796 Glenrae G & M Mitchell Lumsden 03 248 7080 Waidale I Williams Sth Canterbury 03 614 8388 SOUTH SUFFOLK Glenview G & B Croker Masterton 06 372 7820 Hildreth D Hildreth Hastings 06 874 2700 Holly Farm D, M & C Smith Marton 06 327 6513 Paranui A Yule Hastings 06 874 2852 Shian Stud R & B & S Sherson Taumarunui 07 895 7686 Waidale I Williams Sth Canterbury 03 614 8388 Waterton C Hampton Cave 03 614 3330 SUFFOLK Waterton C Hampton Cave 03 614 3330 Castle Rock S McCall Pleasant Point 03 614 8849 Fernvale L Brenssell Tapanui 03 204 0883 Goldstream B & W Rapley Otorohanga 07 873 2818

Country-Wide Sheep

October 2018

39

BREED

Mangare Pahiwi Paki-iti Pine Park Raupuha Studholme Woodbine Waterton

NAME

R & J Harre R Tennent S Morton E Sherriff R & M Proffit B & D Holmes C & M Irwin C Hampton

LOCATION PHONE PAGE

Pio Pio Takapau Kimbolton Marton Mahoenui Waiuku Waiuku Cave

07 877 8383 06 374 2865 110 06 328 5772 87 06 327 6591 120 07 877 8977 09 235 8776 09 235 1087 03 614 3330 106

SUFFOLK x CHEVIOT Ashby G & D Timms Palmerston Nth 06 362 7829 TEXEL Blackdale P Black Daniel Wheeler L/stock Daniel Wheeler Fairlea H & H Winder Focus Genetics Richard Lee Grasmere R Weber Hemingford S Holland Highgrounds H Cottle Iona-Lea G Howie Kallara Paul Gardner Mangare R & J Harre Mount Linton D Warburton Mount Linton C Lewis Murray Downs S Rodie One Stop Ram Shop Robin Hilson One Stop Ram Shop Ross Berry One Stop Ram Shop David Meade One Stop Ram Shop Jeff Moss One Stop Ram Shop Colin Burlace One Stop Ram Shop Paul Crump One Stop Ram Shop Dave Riddell Premier Texel R Forsyth Roslyn Downs C Miller The Gates H Pinckney Wairarapa Texel Developments Wharetoa Genetics G & C Shaw

Riverton Kaiapoi Feilding Napier Dannevirke Culverden St Andrews Milton Ashburton Pio Pio Otautau Otautau Amberley Waipukurau Wellington Nelson Clinton Ormondville Havelock Winton Otane Invercargill Waiau S Cowan Balclutha

146

03 224 6059 82 03 313 2204 122 0800 328 877 06 839 5836 06 374 5229 03 315 8689 84 021 0232 0627 83 027 2408002 82 027 495 6451 82 07 877 8383 03 225 4689 115 03 225 4687 115 0274 075 875 82 06 855 8335 04 233 0117 03 522 4139 03 415 7707 06 374 1843 03 572 8442 03 236 4191 06 858 4383 83 03 230 6144 03 315 6433 06 372 2770 83 03 415 9074 103

TEXEL x SUFFOLK (SUFTEX) Blackdale P & L Black Riverton 03 224 6059 82 Blackdale L Black Riverton 03 224 6106 127 Fernvale L Brenssell Tapanui 03 204 0883 111 Grove Meat Genetics W Kittow Waipawa 0274 878 332 Hemingford S Holland Culverden 03 315 8689 84 Mangare R & J Harre Pio Pio 07 877 8383 Mount Linton Emma Gardiner Otautau 021 779 485 90 Mount Linton C Lewis Otautau 03 225 4687 90 One Stop Ram Shop Robin Hilson Waipukurau 06 855 8335 One Stop Ram Shop Ross Berry Wellington 04 233 0117 One Stop Ram Shop David Meade Nelson 03 522 4139 One Stop Ram Shop Jeff Moss Clinton 03 415 7707 One Stop Ram Shop Colin Burlace Ormondville 06 374 1843 One Stop Ram Shop Paul Crump Havelock 03 572 8442 Peters Genetics T & K Peters Millers Flat 03 446 6030 58 Peters Genetics Shane Carter Millers Flat 027 364 1438 58 Pahiwi D & R Tennent Takapau 06 374 2865 110 Paki-iti S&A Morton Feilding 06 328 5772 87 Pine Park E Sherriff Marton 06 327 6591 120 Twin Farm Genetics A & R Welsh Gore 03 208 5902 Wharetoa Genetics G & C Shaw Balclutha 03 415 9074 103

106

106 111 78

WILTSHIRES Glenbrae M & M Taylor Porongahau Arvidson D. Arvidson Papakura Mangapiri T & H Gow Otautau Morrison Farming W Morrison Marton

06 855 5322 09 296 0597 03 225 5283 027 640 1166

80 85 36

177


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FARMING IN FOCUS

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More photos from this month’s Country-Wide.

Matt Thomas out and about on his Wairarapa farm.

The Sherlock family out riding on their Waikato farm Hayden Sherlock, 9, checks out the feed situation with his sister Kate, 11.

Lynley Wyeth, Wairarapa, Richard Dawkins, and Ellie Cranswick, project manager of the Wyeths’ orphan lamb system at the Dawkins’ lambing pens. All have been part of the innovation farm programme.

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October 2018

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