Dairy News 13 May 2014

Page 1

Need for three strong co-ops working together. Page 4

walk and record

an eye on costs

LIC’s pasture cover app Page 34

Move to OAD milking Pages 30-31

may 13, 2014 Issue 312 // www.dairynews.co.nz

a winning formula Infant formula maker’s ‘black box’ traceability scheme wins Chinese tick of approval. PAGE 5

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news  // 3

China FTA under fire PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

Black beetle population explosion. PG.32

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News �����������������������������������������������������3-23 Opinion �������������������������������������������� 24-25 Agribusiness ���������������������������� 26-29 Management ������������������������������30-36 Animal Health ��������������������������39-45 animal health & stock feeds �������������������������������46-48 Machinery & Products ������������������������������������� 49-54

NEW ZEALAND’S free trade deal with China

has been questioned as the dairy industry grapples with that country’s new rules on infant formula imports. The chairman of the New Zealand Infant Formula Association says the free trade agreement (FTA) with China doesn’t feel like a FTA to him in the light of the impasse. Michael Barnett told Dairy News the rules being imposed by the Chinese are distorting and regulating the New Zealand market and calling into question the FTA partnership. Barnett says the problem centres on the Chinese backing down on some ‘transitional’ arrangements that would allow entry into China of infant formula products already produced or on their way. “The Chinese testing agency had been in New Zealand and had audited a sample of infant formula manufacturers. “They indicated they would get back to MPI by May 1 and would identify those who had passed the audit and were therefore capable of sending product into the China market. “Just prior to May 1 we were advised that of the 13 audited, one had passed, but we were advised by MPI that they felt they would be able to get more across the line.” Barnett says the difficulty at that point is that as well as manufacturers there is a range of brand holders – people who have a brand and get a manufacturer to make that for them and export that into the China market. “What the Chinese said was that they would insist on their being a ‘close relationship’ between the brand holder and the manufacturer but they did not identify what that ‘close relationship’

was. “They asked the sector here in New Zealand, and MPI, to make some suggestions as to what that might look like. As a transition they said that if there were other brand holders who had product made by [these approved] manufacturers – product either made, on a [New Zealand] wharf, on the water or on a wharf in China – there would be a transitional period during which they would accept all that product.” But the Chinese changed the rules last week and scrapped the transitional arrangements and it is this decision that’s upset the Infant Formula Manufacturers. “My frustrations are two-fold,” says Barnett. “Firstly, the sector here in New Zealand is dependent on MPI to create a platform that’s going to allow us to do business, and at the moment we don’t have that platform. “Secondly, the Chinese agencies themselves have not been able to agree on their own processes so they have used a blunt instrument to control the supply chain. “Another major frustration for me is that there seems to be constant reference to brands, whereas it shouldn’t be the number of brands that is the issue, but rather the quality of the content in the containers.” Barnett says though MPI appears to have the interests of his group at heart, he wonders if the ministry has been caught out by the speed at which the Chinese have acted. He also wonders if MPI is still finding its way from being a regulator to being a trade facilitator. While Barnett says the move by China appears to favour the larger companies, he sees no reason why smaller companies cannot meet the criteria.

Michael Barnett

“It is possible for a small exporter to be able to manage and provide the traceability required. What the Chinese have asked for is that the exporter and the manufacturer be in a ‘close relationship’, but they have not determined what that is. “About 20-30% of the market is the small innovative creative entrepreneurial companies that have created a supply chain into a market and they are not to blame. “Sanlu and botulism were not caused by the small guys, yet the small guys seem to be subject to collateral damage. They are absolutely dependent on MPI creating a platform for them to continue to do their business and at the moment that’s not being delivered.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

4 //  news

Three strong co-ops needed pam tipa pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz



John Wilson wants to see “three very strong cooperatives” in New Zealand’s future dairy industry. Fonterra also needs to provide more flexibility to farmers, he told the DairyNZ Farmers Forum at Mystery Creek last week. Fonterra, Westland and Tatua are New Zealand’s three dairy cooperatives. His comments were made in answer to a question about whether working cooperatively with other New Zealand industry players was part of Fonterra’s strategy. “I want to see three very strong cooperatives in NZ. You will see a very strong relationship across our cooperatives in New Zealand and I make absolutely no apologies for that,” he said. Wilson also said the DairyNZ and Fonterra relationship was better than ever and in the past 18 months they had worked closely to find solutions to industry problems.

Fonterra needed to provide more flexibility to farmers, Wilson said, in answer to a question about its strategy in the face of increased competition from offshore investors. The questioner said capital was arriving in New Zealand looking to secure food with a short term view of return on capital. Wilson replied: “We need a very tight cooperative – we need right strategy and execution and we have to provide more flexibility to farmers. We have an open mind and continue to evolve with the rights and needs of New Zealand dairy farmers.” Wilson said a common question was “Are we too exposed to the China market?” “No – we are comfortable. Last year volumes to China were 20% of our total volume of exports. But we must grow our other strategic geographies to match this China growth.” By 2025, 4.2 billion consumers out of a global population of 7.9m will be consumers – many from markets such as Africa, Central Asia, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Eastern Europe, Latin Amer-

ica, the Middle East and South East Asia. The OECD and FOA just released a report showing demand from emerging countries will grow by 2% a year, as compared to the developed world’s 1%. Butter, cheese and skim milk powder are forecast to grow 1.6-2% annually. New Zealand is expected to maintain its strong position in whole milk powder and should retain 50% of whole milk powder exports through to 2022. The US is expected to increase its market share including butter, cheese and milk powder and whey powder. Dairy exports from the US are now 16% of total volume and growing at 15% per annum. “The forecasts are encouraging. Are we seeing this translate into reality? “Yes, but with significant volatility.”

MPI officials on the case THE GOVERNMENT is taking the impasse over

John Wilson

China infant formula exports very seriously, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy. About 50 New Zealand government officials are trying to sort out issues arising from Chinese authorities setting new rules governing the export of infant formula into their country. Guy told Dairy News that officials are talking to Chinese authorities to resolve the concerns of some New Zealand exporters of infant formula who fear some of their product on the way to China might get stopped at the border. He’s hopeful that on a case-by-case basis they will get these products through. The infant formula manufactures were led to believe that, under a transitional arrangement, goods made or in transit to China before May 1 would be allowed in, but now this is in doubt. “It’s clear there has been a rule change and it’s difficult to answer why this has happened,” Guy says. “But it’s not just New Zealand, every country is affected. In the case of New Zealand it’s affecting just two or three weeks of product. “We export about 39% of our infant formula volume to China and we export the rest to 40 other countries. The infant formula market in China is important to us and is worth about $200 million. Our total dairy trade into China is about $5 billion and it’s grown by 75% in the last 12 months.” – Peter Burke

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

news  // 5

‘Black box’ helps baby formula manufacturer get green light SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

A‘BLACK box’ trace-

ability concept is behind one of New Zealand’s most innovative infant formula manufacturers winning accreditation in China. The concept, involving capturing and storing closed circuit television camera images and information from various data points and stages of the production line at GMP Dairy in Auckland, impressed auditors from China’s Certification and Accreditation Administration (CNCA). Earlier this month a Chinese television news team visited the company’s factory in East Tamaki to do a story on the black box. GMP quality assurance manager Nicola Scholes says it’s a simple system to ensure traceability from the moment raw material arrives in the factory to shipment of canned powder to China. The Chinese auditors found the concept a practical traceability tool for infant formula, Scholes says. Information is captured in real time by CCTV cameras, sensors, batch readers and x-ray images and

other measurement devices along the production line and stored in a server. As a back-up it is also recorded on tapes and stored in a fireproof vault. Scholes says if a Chinese consumer has a query about a GMP product, the company can access information from the black box to show when it was produced and what’s inside the can. CCTV images will show the temperature and pressure in the production rooms at the time the can passed through the line. “We can show you all the CCTV pictures and an x-ray image of what was inside of the can as it passed through the production line,” she told Dairy News. GMP has operated pharmaceutical plants in Australia and New Zealand for over 20 years and began making infant formula in New Zealand for export four years ago. It holds HACCP and RMP quality systems registration, essential for dairy manufacturing in New Zealand. It also adheres to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards for the manufacture of infant formula. GMP Dairy deputy general manager Ravinesh Kumaran says the pharmaceutical mindset is to test raw mate-

rials and validate key equipment and processes at every point. “Pharmaceutical production standards for the production of infant formula products are utilised by GMP Dairy and this was a key success factor in the audit by CNCA.” Kumaran points out that infant formula is treated as just another dairy product in New Zealand, whereas in China infant formula is seen as a special product, especially after the melamine scandal in 2008. “Manufacturers have to make sure product is absolutely safe for babies and it is treated as special,” he says. “Traceability from the

raw materials stage, processing, packing in cans, shipping to China and ending up with mothers… manufacturers must make sure they have control over the entire supply chain. That’s what China wants.” The close association test introduced by the Chinese means manufacturers and brand owners must work together, Kumaran says, with each having control over the other’s processes and fronting up if there’s a food safety breach. Four CNCA auditors and five MPI officials visited the factory as part of the audit. GMP was informed by MPI that it was the first to be registered by the Chinese Government for the

GMP quality assurance manager Nicola Scholes says the traceability system impressed Chinese auditors.

export of infant formula products to China without any corrective actions. Kumaran says his company feels good to have achieved the accreditation, but it was always confident. “We are the only infant

formula manufacturer practising pharmaceutical standards and that helped us secure the accreditation.” Eight New Zealand companies – five canning plant operators and three ingredient suppliers – have

been accredited by CNCA. A total of 41 manufacturers have been accredited worldwide, with New Zealand having the highest number of accreditations. Australia has two, Netherlands six and France five.

China consolidating supply – Woodford NEW ZEALAND is being treated like every other country by China as it imposes new accreditation criteria on suppliers of infant formula. That’s the view of China expert and professor of farm management and agribusiness at Lincoln University, Keith Woodford. Speaking to Dairy News from China where he is involved in agribusiness projects, Woodford says the Chinese simply want to consolidate their suppliers from

127 to six. “There have been a lot more tiny infant formula companies out of New Zealand than anywhere else. Switzerland has only a few very big companies, including the likes of Nestle, but New Zealand has had a proliferation of small-scale companies. “It’s the same in China itself so the rules are not being played out any differently in New Zealand. It is simply that we have this huge proliferation of brands specifically

for China.” Woodford says the Chinese want an integrated supply chain. “They want to see companies that have control of the supply chain from the time the milk comes out of the udder of the cow right through to the final formulation, and they want to be able to talk to one person who has control and who can make decisions and report on the whole supply chain.” The Chinese want big compa-

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nies right through all the products, be they powdered or retail milk, he says. “In the infant formula area there many sensitive issues over the health of small babies. They simply want a few large scale companies they can be confident have total systems in place which they can monitor. But when you have 60 or 100 different brands coming into China, they are saying this is hopeless for guaranteeing food safety.” – Peter Burke

Dairy News may 13, 2014

6 //  news

Small brands fade as China tightens rules SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz


formula manufacturer GMP Dairy is doubling production capability: a new production line to be commissioned next year will allow the company to manufacture over 30 million cans annually. GMP is one of the five manufacturers accredited this month by Chinese authorities to export infant formula to China. The company manufactures infant formula under its own brands- Cowala, Carrick-


more and GMP - and also for a few selected third party brands. While the company declined to name the brands packed under contract, it confirmed that some original equipment manufacturer (OEM) brands had dropped off since the false botulism case involving Fonterra WPC80 last year. GMP deputy general manager Ravinesh Kumaran says some smaller brands already found it hard to recover from the botulism scare and the recent rule changes in China have further



GMP’s stable of brands include Carrickmore, Cowala and GMP.

reduced the number of brands. “We are left with very few brands. Also, we have set tough criteria to select brands to work with and have rejected requests,” he told Dairy News. GMP Dairy started in 2009 and the plant was officially opened by Prime Minster John Key in 2012. A strong demand from China saw the company processing and packing more products for the Chinese market; today 80% of its infant formula ends up in China. Other export markets are Korea, Australia,


Singapore and Taiwan. While food safety standards are also high in other export markets, Kumaran says infant formula has become ‘a political matter’ in China since 2008.



“It’s a very sensitive issue and the media always pays big attention to it,” he says. “The higher standards apply not only to New Zealand but all infant formula manufacturers. It’s good



to have high standards.” The influx of many brands into China was also an issue. Kumaran believes there are about 3000 brands of infant formula sold in China and authorities found

it hard to regulate the trade. GMP buys its infant formula base powder from Fonterra. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

adding value a no-brainer NEW ZEALAND needs to reduce its role as a commodity trader and look at more value added products, says Ravinesh Kumaran. He says GMP decided to move into value added production when it realised New Zealand was exporting a lot of low value products but had the potential for being processed into high value products. “To grow the economy we have to add value rather than just export commodities,” he says. “There’s a lot of potential to add value, that’s why GMP’s good business model identifies low value commodity products and processes them into high value products for Asia and other markets.” Kumaran says New Zealand has a good reputation in China but the false botulism scare had an impact.


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Kumaran believes demand will continue for high quality and safe dairy products, including infant formula, in China.

Dairy News may 13, 2014

news  // 7

Bold plan for Southland dairy showcase andrew swallow andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

PLANS FOR a uniquely large dairy demonstration, research, extension and educational facility are progressing in Southland. The Southern Dairy Hub (SDH) would be a 300-400ha farm running four herds of at least 200 cows to allow multiple research trials within a commercial farming environment, with purpose-built facilities for extension and education. “And as long as it’s possible with the council, we’d like enough office space so that all the industry participants involved are in the one place too,” explains Maurice Hardie, a director of the present Southland Demonstration Farm. SDF’s nine year lease on a 295ha farm at Wallacetown, just outside Invercargill, expires in 2016. While that arrangement has worked well, SDF and parent body the Southern

Lease running out: SDF’s directors are looking at taking the demonstration farm concept to a new level.

Dairy Development Trust are keen to take things to another level with their own farm and dedicated facilities. Hardie points out that initial failings at SDF have been turned around and the unit is now a top performer. “It was considered the Southland Disaster Farm by some for a while but that’s all changed. The performance now is top quartile.”

That’s helped SDF accumulate a chunk of capital, predicted to be at least $2m by the end of the lease, which will seed-fund the new venture. But the total capital requirement of the proposal is $26.5m with 55% as equity, hence SDDT is seeking financial partners, including DairyNZ. The levy-body has helped develop the proposal so far but the level of

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its capital input will depend on the commitment and engagement of local farmers, says Hardie. SDDT is now asking every dairy farm in the region for a $2000 donation which will be acknowledged on a plaque at the new facility. A platinum sponsorship deal is available for those who want to donate more. “We are looking for a quarter of the equity to come from the southern dairy farming community,” Hardie told Dairy News. It’s expected that 25% of the equity will represent about 7.5% of the total asset value on completion. Southern dairy farmers will be the biggest beneficiaries from the hub as sustainable whole farm systems suited to the region’s soils and climate can be tested and developed with robust science and demonstrated at commercial scale, he says. The proposal will be discussed in detail at Thursday’s Southland Demonstration Farm focus day. Alternatively email info@demofarm.co.nz

Market slide slows LAST WEEK’S Global Dairy Trade auction

was down 1.1% on the previous sale with an average winning price of US$3950/t. While the result was the sixth fall in a row – a fact made much of in mainstream media – it represented a levelling of prices after a fall of 2.6% three weeks earlier, and 8.9% before that. At US$3950/t the average winning price is 21.7% down on the February 4 peak of US$5042/t. However, the New Zealand dollar has appreciated 7.7% over the same period, from US80.8c/NZ$ on Feb 4, to 87c on May 7. At those exchange rates the Feb 4 peak equated to NZ$6240/t, and last week’s average winning price to NZ$4541/t, a 27% fall. Processor’s forex hedging will have buffered the impact of the dollar’s rise on this season’s output, but if it remains as high as it is, it does not augur well for next season’s forecast. Westland was talking to its shareholders last week with an update on its forecast for the current season. Fonterra is expected to update its forecast and make its first signal for the 2014-15 season at the end of the month, following a board meeting on May 26-27.

All dairy farmers, sharemilkers and dairy farm lease holders are urged to have their say in the milksolids levy vote. DairyNZ is the industry good organisation that represents all New Zealand dairy farmers. The levy is 3.6 cents per kg of milksolids and is invested in research and development, on-farm change, extension, environment and people, as well as providing farmers with a voice at both central and local government levels. Voting is simple – farmers can vote by internet, by post or by fax. This is an important vote – and every vote counts

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

8 //  dairynz farmers forum

Warning on dairy debt PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

NEW ZEALAND dairy farmer debt has almost trebled to $32 billion over the past decade, says the Reserve Bank governor, Graham Wheeler. It is concentrated in a small group of highly leveraged farmers with 10% holding half the debt. Dairy production techniques are more intensive so the breakeven payout has increased for individual farm profitability. “A significant decline in the milk payout could place some highly indebted farmers under financial strain particularly with the market for farmland being more liquid in times of stress,” he says. Highly indebted farmers are also exposed to rising interest rates with 70% of dairy debt in float-

ing rate mortgages. But some are “being cautious in the current cycle and many are using higher incomes to buy more property and do farm improvements without taking on debt.” In many cases they are also repaying debt. Farm building consents are rising steadily and dairy conversions are increasing, while dairy farm prices remain well below 2008 levels and farm credit growth remains moderate. “This caution is encouraging to see given the vulnerability of the sector and its already high debt load.” Using the example of General Motors and how the US Government now had a 56% stake as part of a bail-out, he said “it illustrates how even the most dynamic enterprises can lose competitiveness and suffer major losses in market share.” He said the dairy industry was strong and

Graham Wheeler warns that a big decline in the milk payout could affect highly indebted farmers.

the future looks bright provided challenges were met. A questioner asked what effect default by the 10% of highly indebted farmers could have on the whole New Zealand economy. Wheeler said it would not have a

major macro effect unless it reverberated in the banking sector. A large fall in dairy prices, something that comes out of China, a big change in dairy prices which affects land prices, could have a wider effect.

Getting better at producing milk NEW ZEALAND dairy farmers

are more efficient and produce at least twice as much milk per hectare compared to 50 years ago, according to a DairyNZ economic survey published last week. Since 1963-64, the dairy industry’s economic survey has tracked changes in milk price, costs, profits, debt and the market value of assets. “Despite economic and climate challenges and new environmental requirements, farmers have increased profitability, particularly in the last five to six years,” says DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle. “And they’ve done that by farm-

ing more efficiently. “We have had to make these competitive gains to sustain the industry and dairy farm businesses. The survey shows farmers are doing that, which is good news because we predict that growing environmental requirements will add financial pressure to keep farms profitable. “It’s also vital we use actual farm data in these surveys to measure and analyse the impact of policy and regulatory change on farms and local communities.” One trend the DairyNZ 2012-13 Economic Survey shows is that the inflation-adjusted cost of produc-

tion held at a constant level about $4.70/kgMS for 25 years from the early 1990s. “Keeping the cost of production in check, along with increasing milk production per hectare, has been the catalyst for farmers having a higher level of operating profit – mostly over $1000 per hectare since 2000,” says Mackle. “This has been reinvested back into farms, creating opportunities for dairy farms to grow and contribute to the wider economy and the environmental sustainability of their farms. “That growth has included the expansion of dairying in the South

Island, where the national herd has increased from 11% in 1990 to 38% in 2013.” The Economic Survey’s first 25 years, from 1963-64, saw operating expenses steadily increase, offsetting milk price increases. “So in the last 20 years we’ve ultimately improved what we do and kept costs down onfarm. This means we’re better at managing pasture and feed to produce more milk. “But it also means the pressure is on to research and deliver farm systems that increase profit, but reduce the environmental footprint of farming,” says Mackle.

Look to India, says bank head NEW ZEALAND should position itself for the dairy market in India, says Reserve Bank governor Graham Wheeler. He signalled warnings about China’s growth and questioned whether we had diversified our markets sufficiently. China is our largest export market for every agricultural commodity except beef, he told the Farmers Forum. China buys a third of our dairy exports and if it keeps expanding that could trend higher for two or three decades. But if China maintains 7-8% annual growth over the long term it would make it an outlier among middle income countries. The labour force is starting to decline and it has an ageing population. It needs to rebalance towards stronger consumption and higher value exports, meet massive infrastructure demands and address large income inequalities in central and western regions. The country has major issues of corruption and the environment. They face extremely ambitious reforms and need to manage the rapid build-up of local government and corporate debt. “While the long term dairy trade with China seems assured, there are risks of temporary disruption on the way,” he says. Wheeler says two particular issues are whether we have diversified our dairy export markets sufficiently and, secondly, could our market leadership in exports of whole milk powder be challenged? India rather than China is forecast by the Australian Bureau of Agricultural Sciences to be the major new market opportunity for dairy exports. The bureau predicts the global demand for dairy products to increase from US$7b in 2007 to US$85 billion dollars in 2050. By 2050 India’s import demand for dairy products is projected to be $48b – more than three times China’s $15b given the projected growth and China’s domestic production. World Bank projections suggest that by 2050 China and India could be the world’s largest and third-largest economies at that time. “A second risk is that a strong competitor enters the Chinese market and threatens our market share,” he says. New Zealand supplied 70% of China’s dairy imports in 2013. – Pam Tipa

Dairy News may 13, 2014

dairynz farmers forum  // 9

Levy vote has wide spin-off

Fonterra chairman John Wilson addressing farmers last week.

jacqueline rowarth

Consumers gaining on strugglers in changing world THE WORLD is undergo-

ing the “biggest economic shift since the industrial revolution,” Fonterra chairman John Wilson told the Farmers Forum. For the first time in history, the consuming classes will outnumber those struggling just to get food, he said. It was a good time to be in dairying, but we needed to stay ahead of challenges, which include continuing volatility, changing consumer expectations, rapidly evolving marketplaces, food safety and supply chain integrity, and demands on how we farm. The younger generation in China had ‘leap-frogged’ financially and socially. Rather than taking their cues and advice from the older generation, they are shaped more by social media and their peers. “These consumers will be exposed to far more infor-

mation and misinformation, they will shop online, they will expect food to be pure, natural healthy and safe. Understanding these dynamics and the resulting disruption in traditional sales and supply chains is critical to providing strategic advantage and driving growth in markets like China.” While the trends are positive, farmers the world over will chase the margins and increase production. The US is up 1% this year, Europe will have production growth and volatility will be a big factor. The Fonterra board recently reviewed the numbers and saw no reason to shift from the $8.65/kg milk price plus 10c dividend. “But there is downward pressure and the board will again meet at the end of May and will update then and give the forecast for next year,” Wilson said. Fonterra “must move

faster,” he said. We have the competitive edge with efficient farmers with years of experience and a cooperative model, but we need to protect the advantage of low cost production. Fonterra will continue to favour powders. When Fonterra was formed the aim was to be a significant global player and it had the right strategy, was driving it and executing it. “But we need more milk. We need to compete for this here and globally.” In answer to a question on dumping product, Wilson says the spring peak has moved from a 40-day to a 50-day window. They clearly needed more capacity and $400m in spending is being brought forward to provide that. About $50m is being spent “debottlenecking” sites particularly in the North Island.

FARMER INVESTMENT in research and development in New Zealand has never been more important. It isn’t just the challenges ahead that need science as preparation; it is society’s perception of where the onus lies. New Zealand’s export economy relies heavily on the dairy sector, which is also being blamed for impact on the environment. With economic growth New Zealand can afford to protect more of the environment to a better standard. This can occur at the national level (funding for the Department of Conservation and the Crown Research Institutes, for instance) as well as at the individual farm level (with feed pads and fencing, for instance). For R&D at the farm level, it is DairyNZ, funded mostly by farmer levy, which provides what is required. More than that, only DairyNZ is operating in the regions. The importance of DairyNZ’s work was showcased last week at the Farmers’ Forum held in Waikato. Speakers such as Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce and Reserve Bank governor Graham Wheeler told famers about the importance of their contribution to the economy

and economic growth – affirming the importance of productivity. They told farmers about the latest research, including comparisons with systems in New Zealand and overseas, and such topics as employment and environmental management. DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle’s overview of activities past, present and future showed how far the dairy industry has come.

Mackle also urged farmers to vote on whether or not the levy should be continued; the closing date is May 31. The levy is currently 3.6c/ kgMS and will be left at this rate until at least May 2016. This means the average farm is being levied about $5000 dollars each year for research that adds value to their bottom line. And notably, when the Government sees investment it is prepared to support more, through

the Primary Growth Partnership, for instance. The way farmers can help DairyNZ do an even better job of R&D, and communicate with society, is to give their support by voting on the levy, and then address the direction of activities through feedback to management and the directors. The Farmers’ Forum provided the opportunity to talk directly, but many board members weren’t present. Their commitment should be questioned at the next round of elections and appointments of independents. Farmers have influence and choices; participation at all levels is vital. But a huge issue for the future is the legislation creeping up on farming. DairyNZ spends about 14% of the levy money on ‘industry advocacy and industry promotion’. Successful advocacy is based on research and is backed by member numbers. Advocacy is with local and national politicians and with society. For dairy in the future, DairyNZ’s mandate through the levy is vital, then dairy farmers can fine tune the direction. • Jacqueline Rowarth is Professor of Agribusiness, The University of Waikato.




























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Dairy News may 13, 2014

dairynz farmers forum  // 11

McDonalds tackles questions pam tipa pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

A NEW consumer website, ‘Our Food Your Questions’, launched by McDonalds requires massive supplier support and is a sign of things to come, says Lisa Isaacs, national purchasing manager for McDonalds Australia. It asks for details from suppliers like Fonterra and Tatua which have never been asked before, she says. It is seen as an effective way to counteract misconceptions and rumours about McDonalds food from pig fat in shakes, to whether the cheese is plastic. “It is critical, short and long term, to be able to have customers trust our food and brand. More and more customers want to know what’s in our food, where it comes from and how it’s made. These expectations will only increase over the time.” Traditional forms of communications such as television commercials, shows and packaging had not had the impact they would like. Many customers have a lot of unanswered questions. The initiative launched in November last year in New Zealand and Australia

takes social engagement to a new level. “It puts customers in the driving seat; they can ask every question about their food and get an answer. Those left are on-line for others to get answers.” They have answered 2500 questions with 150,000 unique visits to the website. “This has required massive supplier support; we have had to ask details we’ve never

“So people are really wanting to know about the supply chain.” Many questions focus on individual ingredients and their nutritional value. “We’ve engaged heavily with suppliers Fonterra and Tatua to ensure we have the right information there.”

Isaac also spoke about McDonalds supplier business model, a ‘threelegged stool’ arrangement in which suppliers are seen as equal business partners. They had strategic suppliers but did not do vertical integration or joint ventures. Strategic suppliers such

as Fonterra are a large proportion of the spend. Fonterra is regarded as a technical expert in dairy and they are working in partnership to improve a key dairy product. The results will be shared with other dairy suppliers in Australasia and perhaps worldwide.

Is the cheese real? McDonald’s new website is answering such questions from consumers.


Lisa Isaacs

asked before.” Isaacs said at the DairyNZ Farmers Forum that farmers as producers should visit the site to get an idea of what people want to know. Pig fat in shakes and whether the cheese is real are global questions always asked. They are asked where the food is sourced from – here 90% is sourced in New Zealand. They are asked if they use meat from dairy cows that have passed their useful life.

Dairy vital to menu DAIRY IS highly significant to the McDonalds menu, says Lisa Isaacs. Its two New Zealand suppliers, Fonterra and Tatua, export to 15 other countries for McDonalds in mainly emerging markets. This includes 10 million kilograms of cheese from Eltham and both cooperatives are exporting sundae and frappe mix. In New Zealand Fonterra supplies 1.2m kg of cheese, and 1.8 million litres of fresh milk to its restaurants. Fonterra and Tatua together supply 3.3m litres of dairy mixes for products such as shakes, sundaes and frappes. In New Zealand McDonalds serves 150,000 customers a day and Australia 1.2 million. Globally McDonalds serves 70 million customers a day in 118 countries. Dairy in the McDonalds menu includes cheese in McMuffins and in bagels, the shake and frappe mixes, the Calci-Yum on children’s menu and milk in hot chocolate. Most burgers have one or two slices of cheese. “We tend not to be able to develop one without it,” Issacs says. Dairy also plays a big role in desserts – sundaes, McFlurries and ice creams. The relaunched steak, mince and cheese Georgie Pie has been successful since its launch, Isaccs says.

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

12 //  news

MPI consulting on LIC changes ANDREW SWALLOW andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

LIC chief executive Wayne McNee says there are no immediate plans to change the way it operates.

HERD TESTING charges could be

cut for some but hiked for others if a proposal to lift regulatory restrictions on LIC goes through. But the cooperative says while it is seeking to have the restrictions removed, it has no intention of changing the way it operates its herd testing service in the short-term. The Ministry for Primary Industries has begun consulting on LIC’s request that legislative restrictions on its business associated with its former role as manager of the national herd database be removed. Those restrictions dictate that LIC must provide nationwide herd testing services at uniform prices within regions and offer postal voting. It must also seek ministerial consent for constitutional changes that restrict share ownership, changes to maximum voting rights, and cancellation of registration under the Co-operative Companies Act 1996. LIC chief executive Wayne McNee, who was director-general of MPI before he joined LIC in August last year, told Dairy News there are no immediate plans to change anything in the way LIC operates, and the request to lift the restrictions was made a couple of years ago when the process of transferring the national database to DairyNZ began. A recent review at LIC resulted in a “very strong commitment” to it remaining a cooperative and the changes, if granted by the minister, would not be the precursor to an initial public offering of shares. At present all LIC customers must buy shares corresponding to the level of their business with the coopera-

tive. Such shares carry voting rights in the company but the investment shares listed on the NZX’s alternative market, which are only available to customer shareholders and company employees, do not. McNee says LIC is committed to offering herd testing for at least the next five years but developing technologies such as inline metering and analysis may mean the service has to be reviewed beyond that. Removing ministerial sign-off for constitutional changes will make little difference too because a shareholder vote would still be required. “And of course, the [voting shareholders] are all dairy farmers.” Federated Farmers Dairy chairman Willy Leferink says Feds will be making a submission on the matter and while that’s a work in progress, his own view is that the restrictions should go. “We want to make it a level playing field and open it up.” However, that does not mean he would support LIC abandoning its cooperative status or principles, such as equitable pricing of services such as herd testing for co-op members. “They would be silly to go away from a cooperative model. Look at

Rabobank: the company can be just as strong as a co-operative as it can be as a [company].” But he believes LIC “must have plans” given the changes it is seeking. Announcing the consultation, MPI said the Government’s main objective is to ensure New Zealand’s dairy industry can benefit from genetic gain in the national dairy herd. “To achieve this we need to ensure the dairy core database is fit for purpose, that services are accessible at competitive prices and above all farmer’s interests are protected,” said Marianne Lukkien, acting director sector policy. “We recognise there is a need to ensure regulation is fit for purpose for the future direction of the industry. This is an opportunity for LIC, farmers and other stakeholders to identify issues relating to these requirements on LIC. “This process will help the Government decide whether it is appropriate to continue to regulate Livestock Improvement Corporation after the transfer of the dairy core database to DairyNZ.” Consultation closes 5pm Friday 23 May. For more see www.mpi.govt.nz

Fonterra WPC80 inquiry enters final stage THE FOURTH, final and arguably

the most important inquiry into Fonterra’s botulism scare is set to resume this week. This was announced by the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy and the Minister for Food Safety Nikki Kaye. Guy says the inquiry will examine how the potentially contaminated whey protein concentrate entered the New Zealand international markets and how this was addressed. This is part one (delayed) of a three part ministerial inquiry into the incident headed by Miriam Dean QC. Parts two and three have already looked at the regulatory and best practice requirements relating to the production of whey protein. The 29 recommendations from that inquiry have been accepted in principle by the

Government. But part one was delayed until Fonterra completed its inquiries and MPI its regulatory review which saw Fonterra prosecuted and fined $300,000. This final part of the inquiry will cover all the organisations and individuals involved in the scare, including MPI. That is why the secretariat for the inquiry is based in the Department of Internal Affairs. The inquiry has been labeled a ‘fast track’ version of a Royal Commission and it has the power to subpoena individuals and organisations. Despite continuing litigation Miriam Dean says there is a need for the inquiry to be completed promptly. But she says this needs to be balanced

against giving the inquiry team time to take a considered look at what happened and ensure a fair process takes place. The whey inquiry team is headed by Dean, past-president of the Bar Association, a former partner at Russell McVeagh and a director of various companies. The other two team members are Tony Nowell, who is a director of Food Standards Australia New Zealand and a former chief executive of Zespri, and Dr Anne Austin who set up the dairy food safety authority in Victoria. Professor Alan Reilly, chief executive of the Irish Food Safety Authority, will peer review reports. No date has been set for the inquiry team’s final report. – Peter Burke

what you do in autumn

sets you up in spring


Set up your farm for early season growth with PhaSedN. With PhaSedN, an autumn application does more than boost your pasture heading into winter – it’s also a great way to set your farm up for early spring growth.

sulphur remains in the soil over winter, slowly releasing to provide adequate levels in spring when pasture starts growing again.

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13/03/14 10:45 am





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Dairy News may 13, 2014

news  // 15

Premature close for some Coasters andrew swallow andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

ANOTHER DELUGE on the West Coast last week was the final straw for some, bringing the season to a premature close. But processor Westland Milk Products says overall the slowdown this season hasn’t been unusually rapid and

it is still on for a record intake. Hokitika had 45mm of rain Monday, 11mm Tuesday, and 61mm Wednesday while Westport had 50mm, 5mm and 44mm respectively, yet Westland Milk Products’ operations manager Bernard May told Dairy News it was the wet in Canterbury that was “a little unusual”. “It’s affecting our farms over there and we are starting to see production drop.”

Minister applauds pluck ASSOCIATE PRIMARY Industries Minister Jo Goodhew visited winddamaged areas of the West Coast on May 3 and noted the community response since the April 17 storms. “In true West Coast style the community has rallied around and demonstrated extraordinary resilience,” she said. “Almost all dairy farms have resolved access and milking issues. No animal welfare issues are expected in the short term, however some farms may need to dry off cows earlier than expected.” During the storm the strongest gust recorded Jo Goodhew at Westport was 130km/h and damage elsewhere suggests there were even more extreme winds in some areas. MPI is advising on such issues as milling storm damaged indigenous timber, and is also holding sessions on how to safely clear windthrown trees.

The Easter storm which trashed trees, buildings and feed crops along the West Coast caused a 20% dip in production but collections had recovered to about 10% short of the pre-storm output. “After the storm four or five farms stopped milking. We expected more but most have carried on milking through.” Overall, whatever happens now, it will have been a very good season, May says. “We’re 22% up on last year thanks to a combination of increased productivity, particularly from our West Coast suppliers, and from adding suppliers.” West Coast supply is 11% ahead of last year, busting a budgeted 4% increase, with the balance of the overall 22% increase coming from new and increased supply from Canterbury. May says Westland expects a 9% increase in its Canterbury supply next season, and another 4% increase on the Coast. “We’re taking on some additional farms in Canterbury but not a huge number. We’ve been able to fill most of our spare capacity from over here on the Hokitika side.” The extra milk promises to “sweat

Damage caused on a West Coast dairy farm during the Easter storm.

the assets” of the co-op with the Hokitika site expected to be operating at full capacity, including a new infant formula plant due to be commissioned in September. Assuming no appeals on the consent for that plant were received by the end of last week, work was to start in earnest on it Monday, said May. At Whataroa, one of the areas worst hit by the Easter storm, farmer Dale Straight last week told Dairy News the week’s wet weather would probably bring the season to “a premature close”.

“We’ve had about 120mm in the last three days which isn’t excessive for down here but on top of a fairly wet April it’s just not worth pushing it… We were going well until April 17 but it’s crashed and burned since then.” Besides ripping trees and battering sheds and houses, the wind flattened crops and shredded longer pastures which have subsequently rotted. Straight was hoping the fine forecast for the weekend would eventuate. “We need it badly, that’s for sure.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

16 //  news

Migrant worker farms inspection starts PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE THIRD phase of

labour inspections of dairy farm starts this week, this time focusing on farms which employ migrant

Labour inspectors are visiting farms to look at working conditions for migrant workers.

workers. Similar to the second phase of the dairy strategy, this new phase will see labour inspectors visit dairy farms across New Zealand, says the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment. They

It’s back! Bigger and better.

will identify breaches of minimum employment rights such as insufficient wage and time records and seasonal averaging. “The key difference is that visits in the third phase will focus on farms employing migrant labour,” the ministry told Dairy News. “Migrant workers are a particularly vulnerable section of the workforce and are an increasing focus of MBIE’s compliance action.” And farmers are being warned of a “strong enforcement response” in this phase. Financial penalties for not complying with employment laws can range between $10,000 for individuals to $20,000 for companies. Farmers need to lift their game in complying with minimum employment rights, says MBIE labour inspectorate central region manager Kris Metcalf. At least half the farms visited in the second phase of its national dairy strategy showed half were in breach of employment laws. Most of the breaches related to insufficient record keeping. Farmers need to keep accurate time and wage records to ensure they are meeting their obligations for minimum wage and holiday payments, Metcalf says. The inspectorate announced in November 2013 that it would be visiting dairy farms to check

compliance with minimum employment rights. Metcalf says the visits were part of a longterm operation. “In total 44 farms were visited between December 2013 and early April 2014. Of these, 31 were found to be in breach of minimum employment rights. “The level of non-compliance is disappointing, with most of the breaches relating to insufficient record keeping. The labour inspectorate has taken enforcement action in response to the identified breaches, which has resulted in 22 enforceable undertakings and one improvement notice being issued.” “The farmers were given 28 days to comply and the inspectorate is now following up compliance,” Metcalf says. The inspectorate recovered arrears in one case, with a farmer paying an employee $6000 for breaching the Minimum Wage Act 1983. Several cases are still open with the possibility of more serious enforcement action pending. Metcalf reminds farmers that examples of sufficient wage and time records can be found on the IRD and Dairy NZ websites. MBIE encourages anyone concerned about their employment situation to call our contact centre on 0800 20 90 20.

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FEDERATED FARMERS has developed a ‘new employers pack’ to help first time employers meet their employment obligations and develop better working relationships on farm. “We want all employers to be able to put their best foot forward and this pack allows them to do that,” says Milne. “The pack is in response to an overwhelming demand for it from our members. In a member survey 97% wanted an employment pack produced. So Federated Farmers has created one, which helps farmers get it right from the start, and that ticks all the boxes. “As a farmer myself, I know farmers would prefer to know they are doing it right and understand what is required of them. This pack is designed for all farm types. “We have streamlined the process so it will save farm employers time, money and frustration. Ideal for hands on farmers who would rather get on with their day job, knowing there is security and comfort in meeting industry best practice.

Dairy News may 13, 2014

news  // 17

Grass key to investment farms PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

ALL DATA analysis shows dairy farm profitability is strongly correlated with the amount of grass grown and eaten on farms, MyFarm director Grant Rowan told an investment seminar in Auckland. Rowan, who buys the investment farms for MyFarm, was speaking at a seminar on why farms should be included in a balanced asset portfolio. The dairy industry is rich in data, he says. “A good quality farm is one that does not suffer from too many floods or droughts. We want to select one that’s in a reliable environment that will grow grass year in, year out,” Rowan says. He says the correlation between profitability and grass could be a mantra for the industry. “Because if we ever lose our way in terms of cost effectiveness it is because we are not focusing on growing and eating grass with our cows.” With the need for reliable grass growth, MyFarm hasn’t had a dairy farming syndicate in the North Island

since 2007. “We have big focus on the areas of reliable production, so that’s Canterbury under irrigation and Southland where we have reliable seaGrant Rowan sonal pasture growth because it rains in the summer.” Forage crops are important and so is breeding new pasture species. A “grass seed bag” is an important part of technological development for farming. Herd selection is a key focus at the start of setting up an investment farm. Growing grass and harvesting also come down to soil quality. “When we are looking for farms we think about what’s the quality of the soil: is it going to enable us to be flexible in our management? “As you see in the media, no doubt we will have to deal with issues over the environment. Soils that drain extremely freely, or not well at all, restrict our productivity.” To deal with volatility a key attribute





is a moderate debt level. “We set them up around 30%; the industry average is about 50%. It is about ensuring we are not here just for capital gain… we want to focus on quality of earnings with some growth.” Even during the downturn of commodity cycles they want still to pay some returns to shareholders. Rowan said finding the right staff

was a key to business success. It is easier to find good staff for farms located reasonably near population centres so family needs can be met. Homes and on-farm infrastructure appropriate to the size of the farm are also important. “It is time-consuming to milk 800 cows with a 30-aside herringbone shed.” An appropriate size shed could halve the

need to spread investment risk MOST major investment funds have direct assets such as farms as part of their portfolios, says Paul Richardson, a director of MyFarm and Mint Asset Management. Richardson says most of the investment industry understands the need to diversify and spread risk around asset classes. Smaller funds such as Kiwisaver will have a spread but tend not to invest in direct assets because they cannot be sold down quickly. “If you look at the major funds, the sovereign wealth funds like

the NZ Superannuation fund known as the Cullen Fund, the Norwegian Fund, the Harvard Trust – you see a wider spread of assets; a lot less of the financial assets such as share, bonds, etc, in those portfolios and a significant number of direct assets like private equity forests and farms. This has been happening over the last couple of decades and it might surprise people.” Some advisers will advise against direct assets as you might want to sell your shares and bonds in a hurry, he says. The
























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decision is specific to your own portfolio. “Why these very large investment groups globally are looking at these other sorts of assets, particular farms, is that there are benefits in the portfolio. “In farms there’s land, stock, shares in Fonterra, plant – and this is a business that generates cashflow, it’s not just a bit of property. For your own portfolio, I am not saying don’t buy shares or bonds, but you might like to buy other sorts of assets as well,” Richardson told the MyFarm investment seminar.




milking time with more time to focus on maintenance and productivity. For some farms attractive in other ways, infrastructure upgrading is factored into the purchase price. With corporate farms that are too small, management overheads can dig into returns; too large and there are issues about making it work effectively.


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Dairy News may 13, 2014

news  // 19

Scheme to aid pupils transition andrew swallow andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

KIDS IN Southland

forced to move schools mid-term this changeover day will hopefully find the experience smoother than in the past. A DairyNZ supported initiative is encouraging schools losing pupils due to parents’ moving jobs to complete an online form with the pupils’ details. Those are then forwarded to the pupils’ new schools so teachers know who is coming to them, when, and from where. Pupils’ literacy and numeracy levels, and any special needs are also detailed. “From a teaching perspective these newcomers cause a fair bit of disruption,” explains DairyNZ brand marketing manager, Andrew Fraser.

“Schools’ funding is based on the number of kids at the start of the year and they might have ten more arrive on the first of June. For some of them English is their second language too so they may need more teacher aides.” The issue was brought to light by Ministry of Done, a company with which DairyNZ has a contract to promote dairying-related educational resources in schools. While it’s not yet known how effective the pilot programme will be, Fraser says the feedback from teachers so far has been positive. “They’ve welcomed the fact the industry is listening and helping by providing the tools to deal with this issue.” On the back of that DairyNZ is already working on extending the

scheme into Canterbury, but whether it becomes nationwide remains to be seen. “At this point we’ve not committed to that but we will be talking to North Island schools about it.” Fraser says the transfer of pupil information should be a responsibility of the Ministry of Education but because the dairy industry stands to benefit substantially from the scheme DairyNZ has stepped in. He also believes having the industry address the issue will help combat teachers’ often negative perceptions of the industry. “Typically they’re from urban backgrounds and their perception of the industry is driven by media headlines reporting the exceptions rather than the rule.”

tips for parents From the employer and levy-payer’s point of view, he says the scheme should help staff settle into a new job faster and be more productive. “That’s what it comes down to. If a worker’s kids transition to their new school more easily, their family’s going to be happier and they’re more likely to stay and be focussed on their work.”




He suggests dairying employers taking on new staff with school age children introduce them to the local school, if possible, before changeover day. “It’s not just about the farming. You’ve got to think about their family and how you can help them integrate into the local community.”

The latest issue of DairyNZ’s Inside Dairy magazine advises: ■■ Notify old school and new school well in advance ■■ Visit new school with child before they start, or if impossible, look at website together ■■ Provide new school with academic details and any special needs ■■ Accompany child to new school on first day, and meet teacher ■■ Inform school of contact details and best times to call ■■ Record school key dates and info, including socials ■■ Remind child it’s ok to be nervous and talk to them about how they’re feeling ■■ Check in with new school after first fortnight.

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

20 //  news

Fonterra’s global investment ‘needs another rethink’ pam tipa pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA SHOULD look again at the extent of its overseas investment in the light of French giant Danone’s purchase of New Zealand drying, blending and packing plant, says agribusiness expert Jacqueline Rowarth. Danone’s local subsidiary Nutricia said on May 1 it will buy Gardians drying plant near Balclutha and Sutton Group’s Auckland blending and packing plant, subject to Overseas Investment Office approval. Both were on the register released also on May 1 of eight New Zealand manufacturing facilities approved for infant formula export to China. Rowarth says it’s a pity Fonterra didn’t have the money to buy the plant. “We should be doing some analysis about whether investment offshore, for instance in China, is more valuable to us than actu-

ally securing our own,” says Rowarth, professor of agribusiness at Waikato University. “It’s a pity we didn’t have cash within our country. Why do we keep investing offshore rather than onshore? “It is a terribly complex argument but money going offshore is not being used to secure our benefits onshore and here is a classic example. We’re investing lots of money in China where labour is cheaper but apparently milk is more expensive.” She bases that on an 2012 Forsyth Barr report that Yashili and Yili were investing in New Zealand for the cheaper milk. “How much has DIRA to answer for here, because they are coming here?” Rowarth asks. “The Overseas Investment Office is saying they will do these good things for the country like developments, technology and education. This is what we ourselves are doing in China: the new science hub John Key launched

when he was over there was about that. “I don’t think we should give approval to overseas purchases just because they are investing in the country. I want to know what their innovation proposition is. Are they just powder? They are competing directly with Fonterra. “Where’s the innovation proposition which actually allows us, New Zealand, to capture some value because innovation is being done down here?” Rowarth says the purchase may mean Nutricia no longer needs Fonterra to process ingredients for infant formula, but it will still need New Zealand milk. On the issue of China regis-


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tration of New Zealand infant formula manufacturing companies, Rowarth says she thinks it is tremendous “that 90% of our supply has been triple stamped/accredited by another country”. “We keep talking about independent review. Having secured 90% we can work out how to get the rest of it over the line. Imagine if it hadn’t been that way round. We should be lauding, praising the groups that got through.”

Jacqueline Rowarth

Sharemilkers urged to vote DAIRY FARMING leaders are urging sharemilkers to have their say on the future of the industry. DairyNZ board member and Manawatu herdowning sharemilker Ben Allomes says 28% of DairyNZ’s levypayers are sharemilkers. Until May 31 they and other dairy farmers can vote on whether to continue the levy on milksolids that is used to fund activities including dairy farming research. “Sharemilkers don’t always get a say in industry issues like Fonterra votes because you have to be a shareholder. “But this is a levy vote and because sharemilkers supply milk to a dairy processor they get a vote like any farm owner. Many sharemilkers don’t realise that. “We are spreading the message on social media including Twitter and Facebook, reaching levy payers in a way not done before. A new generation of farmers is coming through and we want to reach them in [new and] traditional ways like calling them up on the phone. Our future depends on having a levy that can fund the research and development we will need to keep dairy farming competitive. We have a lot at risk and the most to gain in this vote.” Allomes is an equity partner in a dairy farm and a sharemilker. He was New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year in 2008 and president of Young Farmers for three years.

Dairy News may 13, 2014

news  // 21

Dairy award catalyst for political aspirant pam tipa pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

WINNING THE title of inaugural Dairy Woman of the Year in 2012 helped Barbara Kuriger on the path to standing for Parliament including cementing aspects of her political viewpoint. Kuriger has been selected as the National candidate for the ‘blue’ seat of Taranaki-King Country to replace retiring MP Shane Ardern. She will also work hard for the party vote during her campaign. The agribusiness leader and director/shareholder of three family farms says she has been offered great opportunities through the rural sector. These include the Dairy Woman of the Year title from Dairy Womens Network, and the Global Womens’ Breakthrough Leaders programme which was part of the prize. “People have invested a lot in me over the years and it is my turn to step up and take what I have learned into Wellington and give back,” she says. One motivation for

entering Parliament is to increase understanding of rural areas including the regions. She holds strong views on how to bridge the urban-rural divide, notably that this will be accomplished by communication rather than confrontation. As the first rural woman in New Zealand in the Global Woman Breakthrough Leadership programme, she was on the course with 20 women from Auckland and four from Wellington. “We talk a lot about urban rural divide, which is something that irks me because we are all one country. We had 25 on that programme; we all had common interest, common purpose. “Some of those women worked for Fonterra but some of them worked for energy companies, banking, finance, insurance or telecommunications. You realise all those sectors are strongly linked to the agricultural industry anyway. “It is easy to sit in our own space and say the other side doesn’t understand us, but when we get together we have so much in common. That is one

of my drivers for being in Wellington as well: you can always find things in common rather than looking for differences.” Kuriger says economic growth is the major driver for her candidacy. “I have

a real connection with the idea of doubling exports by the year 2025 and some will be agricultural and some creating a diversity of other industry that can supplement that as well. “I just want to see a

Barbara Kuriger

strong New Zealand.” Her campaign strategy is to get out and listen to people in the large electorate which stretches from Stratford in the south to Hamilton Airport in the north.

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Networks will persist, grow STRONG NETWORKS will be one of her key strengths in Parliament, says Kuriger. That includes the Dairy Womens Network which now has 5000 members, her contacts through her work with Young Farmers and wide networks of farmers and others in regional areas. A director of three family-owned farming businesses, Kuriger is a director of DairyNZ, Dairy Training Ltd, Primary ITO, New Zealand Young Farmers, Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, Te Kauta and the Dairy Women’s Network. She is chair of the Primary Industries Capability Alliance. She chaired the governance and ethics committee of the Fonterra Shareholder’s Council in 2003-05. In 2012 she won the inaugural Dairy Women of the Year title, attended the Rabobank Executive Development Program for Primary Producers in 2005-06 and was awarded the Wellington Institute of Directors Aspiring Director Award in 2006. In 2006 she was awarded a scholarship by AGMARDT to FAME (Food and Agribusiness Market Experience) which gave her an insight from ‘farm to plate’ in Europe, Asia, China and Japan. She was a member of the ANZ Agribusiness Tour to the World Expo in Shanghai 2010 and a delegate to the APEC Women Leaders Forum 2013.


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Dairy News may 13, 2014

22 //  world

Oz co-op to expand three milk plants AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST dairy co-op Murray

Goulburn is spending A$127 million to improve processing and packaging at three plants. Murray Goulburn managing director Gary Helou says the upgrade will further transform the cooperative and the Australian dairy industry. The work, at sites in Victoria and Tasmania during the next 12-18 months, will involve spending A$74 million on consumer cheese plant at Cobram, A$38 million on infant nutrition plant at Koroit and Cobram, and A$14 million on dairy beverage plant at Edith Creek, Tasmania. Helou says the co-op

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is upgrading Devondale Murray Goulburn to deliver higher farmgate returns. “We’re striving to meet and serve the growing needs of international consumers and customers for Australian made dairy foods. We are building a better connection with key markets to [restore] the Australian dairy industry to profitability and growth, ensuring our relevance in the global market. “The three projects involve [new plant for]… dairy foods destined for Asian and Australian consumers. The plants will [better] customise dairy products for local preferences with efficiency and speed.” The factory upgrades will secure sustainable, skilled jobs in regional Victoria and Tasmania, and

add to higher farmgate returns. Helou says the co-op aims to increase the farmgate milk price by A$1/ kgMS by 2017, so encouraging existing and new suppliers to invest in their farm business and profit-

ably grow milk production. The projects depend on upgrades to regional infrastructure, particularly energy, and Murray Goulburn will seek to work with the Government and energy providers to deliver the upgrades.

bigger and better ❱❱ A$74 million Cobram project: cheese cut and wrap facility to serve Australian and Asian consumer and food service markets ❱❱ A$38 million at Koroit and Cobram: more capacity for producing nutritionals for international infant markets ❱❱ A$14 million at Edith Creek: to install a flexible small-format cup and bottle filling line to commercialise dairy beverage products for consumer markets in Australia and Asia.

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now contain a high proportion of low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Combined with paperboard, ‘bio-based’ LDPE made from sugar cane increases the renewable-ingredient content to as much as 82% in a Tetra Brik Aseptic​ 1000ml package, the company says.​​ In February Coca-Cola Brazil, in a pilot trial, became the first company to use the new packs for its Del Valle juice beverages, previously sold in regular cartons. That pilot is now being extended to all 150 customers buying from Tetra Pak Brazil, representing 13 billion packs every year.​​ “We are proud to be the first in the industry to use bio-based LDPE in carton packages,” said Charles Brand, vice president marketing and product management at Tetra Pak. “We have an ambition to develop a 100% renewable package, building from an average of 70% today. This launch is an important step in that direction.” ​​ Produced by Braskem, a leading biopolymer producer, bio-based LDPE used in Tetra Pak cartons has the same physical and chemical properties as fossil fuel-derived polyethylene. No modification of the machine is needed for customers to switch to the new packaging materials.

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

world  // 23

Dairy products could prevent eye disease DAIRY FOODS may

prevent a common eye disease that causes blindness, according to Australian research published in the May edition of the British Journal of Nutrition. The Blue Mountains Eye Study by the University of Sydney’s and Westmead Millennium Institute’s Centre for Vision Research monitored the eye health and nutrition of 3500 Australians for 15 years. The study assessed the relationship between consumption of regular and reduced fat milk, cheese and yogurt and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

dries the macula or ‘late’ and ‘wet’, when it leaks fluid and blood into the eye. Late AMD can lead to sudden and significant changes in vision. It is unclear which of the ten essential nutrients found in dairy is responsible for the protection against late AMD. “Dairy foods contain a host of essential nutrients including calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin D and proteins. And they have a range of healthy fatty acids and anti-inflammatory properties. It could be any one of these components or a combination of many that helps protect against

While dairy foods have long been known for building bone density, various studies have for 10 years revealed its benefit to overall health. “We found that over a fifteen year period people who consumed less than one serve of dairy a day had a higher risk of developing late agerelated macular degeneration compared to people who consumed more than 2.75 serves of dairy a day,” research leader Dr Bamini Gopinath says. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive, chronic disease of the central retina and is the leading cause of vision loss in older people worldwide including Australia. AMD can be ‘early’ and ‘dry’, when it thins and

late AMD,” Gopinath says. While dairy foods have long been known for building bone density, various studies have for ten years revealed its benefits to overall health. “The Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recognises that milk, cheese and yogurt can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and some cancers, and may reduce our risk of Type 2 diabetes,” says Dairy Australia dietitian Amber Beaumont. The NHMRC Australian Dietary

vision blurred by age AGE-RELATED MACULAR degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision impairment in people aged over 40 in Australia. It results in a blurring, dimming or darkening of the central field of vision (the macula) because of damage to the retina. Risk factors include family history, age and smoking. The Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) established baseline data of eye health and dietary records of 3564 people 49 years and older between 1992-94. Participants were then re-examined in 1997-99, 2002-04 and/ or 2007-09. The results are adjusted for age, sex, smoking, white cell count and fish consumption.

Guidelines recommend 2.5 serves a day from the dairy food group for most adults. This increases to four serves for women over 50 and to 3.5 for men over 70 years. One serve of dairy is 1 glass (250mL) of milk or 0.75 cup (200g) of

yogurt or two slices (40g) of cheese. “About 8 in 10 Australian adults are missing out on these health benefits as they’re not meeting the recommended intake for the dairy food group.”

Dairy foods may help prevent a common eye disease.

Dairy News may january 13, 2014 28, 2014

24 //  OPINION Ruminating


Is it really free trade?

milking it... Corn too tall

PUBLIC INTEREST in what happens on our farms is inevitable but sometimes unwelcome, especially when misperceptions colour the public’s view. Water quality and animal welfare issues are two that regularly crop up in New Zealand. In Nebraska, USA, a couple of unlucky farmers had to defend themselves all the way up the judicial system to the Nebraska Supreme Court. The charge? Growing corn taller than seven feet at an intersection, thus allegedly obstructing driver vision and causing a fatal accident. Common sense finally prevailed, the court finding in favour of the farmers, ruling that the drivers, not the farmers, were negligent.

And the government taketh away

AUSTRALIA’S Coalition government is this week delivering its first budget since winning office last September. After promising not to introduce any new tax during the election campaign, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is set to announce a ‘deficit levy’, basically a new tax on high income earners. The junior partner in the government, the Nationals, oppose the tax. After all most of their supporters, who are farmers and rural dwellers, will be asked to fork out more money to reduce the country’s financial woes. Former Julia Gillard went back on her word (not to introduce a carbon tax) and was haunted throughout her premiership. Abbott obviously is not worried.

Jumping on the Asian bandwagon

Moo swings

A THREE-year long war on Queensland’s home turf is seeing no prisoners taken; troops are instead being forced to look offshore for support. Instigated by Australia’s two supermarket giants, the infamous dollar-a-litre milk campaign has imperiled Queensland dairy folk, leaving them no option but to seek other markets. Leading the way is Lockyer Valley Regional Council mayor Steve Jones, who is jumping onto the lucrative Asian bandwagon to keep his farmers in the business. While plans are still in their infancy, fourth generation dairy farmer Luke Stock, Dalram Jersey Stud, Glenore Grove, says it would be his last resort. “It disappoints me greatly to think our milk would be leaving Australia,” Stock says.

NOW WE have another good excuse to cull cows due to bad temperament. Producers that routinely breed cows artificially realise that unruly and nervous cows are less likely to conceive by artificial insemination. University of Florida animal scientists recorded disposition scores over two years on 160 Braford and 235 Brahman x British crossbred cows. They wanted to evaluate the effects of cow temperament and energy status on the probability of them becoming pregnant during a 90-day natural breeding season. Presumably the lowered conception rates were because they have been stressed while passing through the working facilities and restrained while being synchronised and inseminated. So it appears that even in the serenity of a natural breeding pasture, cows with bad dispositions are less likely to conceive when mated with bulls.

WHEN IT was signed, New Zealand’s free trade agreement with China was hailed as a great leap forward and it is; it has opened up that market and has been great for New Zealand and the primary sector. But when such agreements are signed the fine print may be downplayed and insufficient mention made of the regulations, in both countries, that govern such a high level agreement. Non-tariff trade barriers can easily frustrate or thwart what appears to be a free-for-all access arrangement. Also subject to the ‘soft pedal’ may be the mechanisms by which officials from the two countries will work together and whether there will be any alignment between the two bureaucracies. And how will cultural differences, in respect of how business is to be done, be handled and at what level? Traditionally the New Zealand Government has got the deal and let businesses or exporters work out the finer details themselves. But Asia and China are different, so it should not surprise New Zealand that it faces ‘challenges’ in the infant formula market. Some of the smaller brand exporters of infant formula have found themselves caught up in a high level strategic move by the Chinese to reduce the number of suppliers to their market, ostensibly to ensure maximum food safety. The Chinese seem to be saying bigger companies with full control of milk products from the cows’ udders to the dining tables are best placed to provide traceability. The small manufacturers will argue otherwise, saying they can provide the necessary traceability, but convincing the Chinese of this will never be easy. They rely on MPI and other government agencies to be their voices at court and again there is another challenge. The New Zealand government bureaucracies have understandably been caught short in keeping pace with the astonishing growth in the Chinese market. To give them their due, MPI has significantly increased its staff in Beijing and in Wellington to deal with China. But coming up to speed with the way China works will not happen overnight and special effort is now needed to keep the goods flowing without niggling delays.

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

opinion  // 25

Should irrigators pay twice? andrew curtis


major concerns about Labour’s proposed tax, or resource rent, for irrigation. David Parker’s announcement this month that Labour is considering such a tax was not wholly unexpected, but the party has failed to consider its implications – particularly how an irrigation tax would be practically implemented. Let’s start with a fact: irrigators already pay for water in New Zealand. Regional councils charge for the recovery of water resource management costs from consent holders and the cost of building, operating and maintaining irrigation infrastructure (i.e. irrigation schemes) is levied separately onto resource users through a series of charges. These

reflect capital tied up in the infrastructure, energy and staff costs and operational and maintenance needs. There’s no free lunch for an irrigator. On top of this, farmers with access to water pay a premium as the value of this water is captured in the property valuation. Irrigated farms have a greater level of capital improvements so irrigators pay a pseudo ‘water charge’ in the form of higher rates. Many water takes involve combinations of irrigation, hydropower and domestic supply such as the Opuha Dam or the Rangitata Diversion Race. Our question to Labour would be how will these complex takes be split apart to allow for irrigation related resource rents? More importantly, it is not equitable to do this

given that private energy companies, Trustpower for example, and commercial businesses connected to domestic water supply systems also prosper from the use of water. A resource rent will mean increased cost for domestic water supply and electricity alongside food price increases; such a tax would therefore most affect low income earners. Additionally, this increased cost to the farmer will affect production and importantly prevent farmer investment in improved environmental management to meet the water quality limits now in place in some regions. Ultimately it will see the demise of the traditional New Zealand family farm. Despite Mr Parker’s statement that irrigation is funded by subsidies, this is not the case. The Crown

Irrigation Investment Fund is an investment company receiving market returns, for example the recent $6.5million loan to Central Plains Water. New Zealand does however need to consider the

Andrew Curtis

benefits of subsidising modern irrigation scheme development: it would allow increased farmer investment in improved environmental management enabling them meet new standards more quickly. Mr Parker’s comment

that irrigation is a wealth transfer that only benefits rich land owners is disingenuous. Irrigation is well proven to benefit everyone – lots of independent socioeconomic studies in New Zealand and overseas demonstrate this. Because of the consensus view In New Zealand that our waterways are important and integral, all proposed irrigation schemes in New Zealand incorporate sustainability and environmental improvements. Irrigation schemes provide infrastructure that allows opportunity for communities to grow. The reality is irrigation underpins thousands of jobs and entire communities in New Zealand, and it keeps food affordable. Blenheim, Ashburton, Timaru and Oamaru are all examples

of this. Sustainable solutions and environmental safeguards – many driven and agreed on by the 62-member Land and Water Forum – have begun in earnest with compulsory water metering, stock exclusion from waterways and water quality limit setting. As a result at least $2 billion ($5000/ha) has been spent on converting flood and older spray irrigation systems to modern centre pivot irrigators. These measures already in place will help ‘clean up’ dirty rivers and lakes over a generation, increases in intensity of land are already being controlled through nutrient allocation limits imposed on irrigators, and improvements to farm practice are underway to offset environmental burdens caused by

intensive farming. IrrigationNZ agrees with Mr Parker that New Zealanders can have their ‘cake and eat it’: good water quality and a vibrant farming economy are achievable with a better defined environmental management framework for irrigators to operate within. Reducing uncertainty is the key as it allows for investment. The future depends on developing policy that enables irrigators to buy the latest technology to improve water use efficiency and decrease their impacts on water quality. Fairly funded and properly regulated irrigation is needed to achieve the next level of prosperity and sustainability in New Zealand. • Andrew Curtis is chief executive of Irrigation NZ.

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

26 //  agribusiness

Top farmers join judging panel TWO NEW judges have joined the panel that chooses the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards national winner. The panel will select the next holder of the Gordon Stephenson Trophy from ten regional supreme winners of the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA). The winner will be announced in Christchurch on June 26. The panel is chaired by Simon Saunders, deputy chair of the NZFE Trust. Other members are Jamie Strang, BFEA national judging coordinator; Warwick Catto, head of research and environment, Ballance Agri-Nutrients; Paul Lamont, regional manager, Rabobank; and newcomers Charmaine O’Shea and Bruce Wills. O’Shea and her brother Shayne were Supreme BFEA winners for the Northland region in 2013 and Charmaine won the 2014 Dairy Woman of the Year title. She is a chartered accountant doing farm accounting, and has 20 years experience in dairy farming and business management. Simon Saunders says O’Shea has contributed much to the New

Bruce Wills

Zealand dairy industry and that her business, people management and environmental skills will be an asset to the panel. Wills is president of Federated Farmers of New Zealand. The Hawke’s Bay sheep and beef farmer is a longtime champion of environmental sustainability and an enthusiastic supporter of the BFEA.

“Bruce brings a strong have farming skills and support environmental ethos and political sustainability, “so the next step for sensibility to the judging panel. In his the judges is to find people who can role as president of Federated Farmers go out beyond the farmgate and be he has always been willing to debate great ambassadors for New Zealand the issues surrounding environmental agriculture.” The judging is in sustainability. Bruce two stages: firstly, a spent 20 years in the farm visit by three banking world before “The next judges looking at he went farming and step for the the sustainability of he is conscious of how judges is to their farms (physical urban people perceive find people environment, farmers. production, “We’ve been lucky who can go profitability, and to get Charmaine and out beyond relationships with staff Bruce on board for this the farmgate and the community). year’s competition and Entrants will also be I think they will find it and be great quizzed about the a tough but rewarding ambassadors direction of New experience.” for New Zealand agriculture and Saunders says Zealand how they contribute. choosing a national Secondly, a winner challenges the agriculture.” 30-minute interview judges because entrants with the national are already known as supporters of the values of the awards judging panel. Entrants will be and have contributed in their region asked to comment on New Zealand through economic, environmental, agriculture and its position in the international marketplace. They will community and industry activities. All the supreme winners also outline their values and strategies

Charmaine O’Shea

relating to their farm, leadership, urban and rural relationships and future threats and opportunities for New Zealand agriculture. Last year’s national winners were Craige and Roz Mackenzie, Canterbury. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews





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Dairy News may 13, 2014

28 //  agribusiness Partners in sustainability (from left): Hannah Franklin, Lincoln University PhD student; Grant Matthews, Pioneer business manager; Dr Jacob Kleinmans, Pioneer forage products manager; and professor of ecology Nick Dickinson, Lincoln University.

$5000 sponsorship to lift sustainability MAIZE AND seeds com-

pany Genetic Technologies Ltd is inaugurating a $5000 annual sponsorship to support Lincoln University projects aimed at advancing sustainable farming. Genetic, which mar-

kets Pioneer brand products, and Lincoln, say the objective of the sponsorship aligns with its interest in finding ways to increase farm profitability without compromising environmental quality.

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This year’s sponsorship will support work investigating the use of plants in, for example, paddock borders and riparian zones, to reduce build-up of nitrates in soil. The root systems of some plants can significantly modify the nitrogen cycle, thereby combating the flow of nitrates, limiting the release of greenhouse gases (such as nitrous oxide) and ultimately reducing the environmental effect of some farming practices. The work will be done by staff in Lincoln’s department of ecology, including third year PhD student Hannah Franklin. The wider aim of the research is to help safeguard the integrity of soil and water. Preliminary research by Franklin and her supervisor, Lincoln University professor of ecology Nick Dickinson, has found that some plants and roots systems can reduce nitrogen gas emissions from soils by up to 80%. The sponsorship will further raise understanding of the

core science involved and help identify the practical, commercial applications onfarm. Lincoln’s assistant vice-chancellor business development, Jeremy Baker, thanked Pioneer, “for its financial support of research that helps us with our key objectives – to feed the world, protect the future and live well.” “Pioneer is a company with a future focus: they recognise the challenges and opportunities in the primary sector. As such, our objectives, as well as our interests, are very much in tune. “We are focused on supplying crop solutions which lift farmer productivity while at the same time improving environmental sustainability,” says Dr Jakob Kleinmans, forage products manager for Pioneer Brand Products. “We see good synergies between the research at Lincoln and our objectives, and are excited to be part of this sponsorship arrangement.”

Budding vets bare all for charity MASSEY UNIVERSITY third-year veterinary students have shed their clothes and posed ‘artistically’ in a rural setting with utes, haystacks and animals large and small to fundraise for New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association (NZRDA) and the students’ halfway celebration day. The ‘Barely There’ calendar is in its ninth year as a fundraiser. Photos are taken in Manawatu region, on and around the Massey Campus in Palmerston North and in Tauranga and Wellington. Coordinator and third-year veterinary student Nadine Hahn says it’s a great tradition, “a once in a lifetime opportunity for the third-year students, and it’s a great way to get to know your classmates.” “It has its own challenges: dogs, kittens, chickens and cows are not known for keeping still around groups. This resulted in a few ‘over exposed’ photographs.” Ten percent of the proceeds from the calendar will go to NZRDA, a charity helping disabled people to ride safely. There are 3200 riders in 55 branches. The vet students chose NZRDA because they “believe their donations will benefit the people and the animals,” says Hahn. All other profits go towards funding the students’ ‘half-way’ celebrations, a class trip to improve morale and unity. “It’s a much anticipated celebration of the hard work and dedication that goes into getting a five year veterinary degree.” The calendar was launched last week. Cost is $15 + postage and handling; buy from the website. The calendar dates from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. www.vetcalendar.co.nz

Dairy News may 13, 2014

agribusiness  // 29

Kiwi calf, goat rearers get EU insights A GROUP of New Zealand calf rearers and dairy goat farmers last month got a close look at what their European counterparts do. Agrivantage, the New Zealand importer of European sourced Sloten Sprayfo calf and dairy goat milk replacer, invited the rearers on a visit in April to the Sloten plant in Holland. They also met specialised rearers there. “This is the second year now we have taken a trip, and found our clients appreciate learning what their peers in Holland are doing, and what is transferrable to a New Zealand rearing system,” Agrivantage managing director Warren Tanner says. The company’s whey based powder formulations are said to be gaining market share here. Sloten’s processing technology places the powder particle’s protein on the outside, and retains the fat on the inside of the particle. This ensures the

critical protein component of the formula is absorbed first, also aided by the ultra small powder particle size, says Sloten. Tanner says goat rearers’ growing demand for high quality powder products has helped raise interest. Until last season goat farmers had no access to a specific dairy goat kid formulation. “Whey formulation has taken longer to be picked up in New Zealand. This trip has highlighted to our clients how common its use is in Europe. “They also got to see the high quality plant used to manufacture it, one that follows human food grade practices and policies.” New Zealand farmers taking part in this year’s trip included calf rearers John and Susie Elliott, Ranfurly. Goat rearers on the trip were Simon and Melissa Juby, Orini. A vet from the Dairy Goat Cooperative, Vicki McLean, also went along.

The Agrivantage tour group on top of the Sloten powder plant in Holland.

Tanner says the rearers impressed the Dutch farmers with their ability to obtain the weight gains they do, despite feeding once a day and often having limited housing facilities. The Dutch rearers linked to the dairy sector are optimistic about their sector’s prospects. “Dutch farmers in particular are very optimistic. The quota system in the dairy sector will disappear next season, so dairy farmers can produce as much as they like from then on.

“Goat farmers continue to receive good payouts due to a global shortage of goat sourced milk products, and their positive prospects look likely to continue,” Tanner says. He felt prospects for veal and beef rearers may differ, with the established doing well; but otherwise the ability to establish or expand was difficult. The New Zealand rearers on the trip had noted the highly automated practices used in Europe, linking electronic calf ID to automated feed

and ration machines. “This has meant they also have more time to focus on detail and per calf performance,” Tanner says. The rearers also gained insight into Sloten’s R&D, including the possibility of greater work in goat formula research, and the company’s plans to expand further into key growth markets, particularly South America. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews


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Dairy News may 13, 2014

30 //  management

Fine balancing act A Maori incorporation in Horowhenua-Tahamata is hoping a switch to once-a-day milking (OAD) will help it return a better profit to its beneficial owners. Recently the OAD discussion group met at the farm to confer with the governing trust. Peter Burke attended the field day. THE 318HA dairy farm is

located at the tiny settlement of Kuku Beach about 15km south of Levin. The land is special to the people of Ngati Tukorehe because it was gifted to them by the much-revered chief Te Rauparaha. The land was farmed by the Candy family until 1974 when the various Maori landowners put it into the Tahamata Incorporation. There are just over 200 beneficial

Supervisor Ron Halford.

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owners in the trust. The farm was badly hit by the recent high winds which wrecked their calf rearing shed, forcing DairyNZ, who facilitated the field day, to accommodate the 50 attendees in a marquee. The farm runs 800 cows and a split-calving system aimed at reducing feed demand during the summer dry which normally hits the farm because of its location on sand country. The farm operates on system three with maize silage grown on a leased block and PKE brought in as needed. About 20% (65ha) is irrigated. Supervisor Ron Halford, a farm consultant, says the farm is complex, having 17 different soil types which make it difficult in respect of regrassing, irrigation and fertiliser. “It’s challenging in the sense that we are in a summer dry situation, so we are prone to summer droughts but also prone to flooding by the Ohau River. So it’s difficult to manage stock from day to day. And summer dry makes it hard to find ryegrasses that will last any length of time, so we are looking at different species to try to make better use of those soil types and this includes lucerne. On the irrigated pastures if you have water and temperature then most things will grow.” The farm is close to the sea and wind erosion on the high sand dunes is a

problem, as is getting fertiliser onto these parts of the farm. Another challenge is the genetic base of the herd, says Halford. “We sold our original herd in 2002 to fund a new farm we bought, then when we came back into farming we bought the outgoing sharemilker’s cows. “Unfortunately he hadn’t kept up with the technology so we started with a low genetic cow base and we are working to improve that. “We are using premium sire AB bulls and rigorously culling but we have been driving our cow numbers up so it’s difficult to make much progress. “We think over the years we have been growing a bit more grass than we used to, but it’s a question of the balance between the number of cows you need for the feed supply and the ability to feed them. Now, with the way the milk solids price is we can run the cow numbers we have on a profitable basis.” Tahamata began OAD at the beginning of 2014 and is targeting 260,000kgMS for the 2014-15 season, which many see as ambitious. The sandy soils, peat and sand dunes don’t make it easy for farm manager Troy Hobson. He’s a Lincoln graduate who until five years ago worked in banking and investment, then came back to Kuku to manage the farm. He’s a local from

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

management  // 31

on sand country the Ngati Tukorehe marae and his ancestors have a lifetime association with this land. Hobson says the move to OAD was to try to reduce labour and general farm working expenses. These and the administration costs had been too high. Then there’s the elon-

gated shape of the farm, forcing cows to walk 3km from the furthest point to the 40-aside herringbone shed. But that’s only part of the problem. “When the river floods it damages the races and the nature of the country means race maintenance is high. We expect one good flood a year and you get a

few small ones; that’s one of the reasons for going OAD,” Hobson says. The high risk of flooding means he must watch the weather: any hint of flooding and he will move the cows to higher ground overnight. Pasture renewal is ongoing: they are re-grass-

ing 15-20ha/year. “We’ve moved to a chicory mix this year with ryegrass and white clover. With the drought the biggest temptation was to get back into the chicory paddocks too early. It was the only stuff growing outside the irrigated blocks but if we’d overgrazed the chic-

ory we would have killed it.” Tahamata Incorporation in its first year produced only 140,000kgMS; they’re working towards 260,000kgMS this coming season. Hobson believes it will be another five years before they are where they want to be.

Farm manager Troy Hobson left a banking career to join the business.

‘Tough ask’ to tick all the boxes FIELD DAY visitor Tom Philips, a senior tutor in agriculture and environment at Massey University, says the owners have done well recovering from a difficult situation with the sharemilker issue and in growing the business and consolidating the land area. “Their challenge is they are not growing enough grass. Though [they] can do things with annuals on the dry country, the real issue is why the irrigation area isn’t producing more grass. Expanding the irrigation area is where the investment should go. “The other big problem is the relatively low genetic quality of the herd – they have to cull hard. The opportunity is to move a much greater percentage of the cows to the spring… and get rid of the autumn winter milk issue.” With insufficient grass growth, buying more cows is not necessarily the right path. “I’d rather use the opportunity to take some cows out and look to move cow numbers up once the grass production is in place and there is a better genetic base.” An issue for Maori farms generally, says Phillips, is a “quadruple bottom line” – cultures, people, environment and profit. “The objectives of a Maori incorporation are different from those of a European family farm; there is always compromise between profit and growth and meeting the environmental and people issues. It’s a tough ask. But if the profit isn’t there in an incorporation or trust they struggle to meet the cultural, people and environmental objectives which are so important to them.”

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

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32 //  management

Mild winter may boost insect nuisance BLACK BEETLE numbers are rising and a mild winter could cause the population to explode, scientists warn. Recent AgResearch trial work shows black beetle populations are on the increase and development is more advanced in autumn 2014 than in the previous five years, says team leader biocontrol and biosecurity Dr Alison Popay. “This means that the adult black beetles will have plenty of time to feed and build up fat reserves to help them through the winter. If warm conditions continue through autumn and if spring conditions are right, some farmers could be facing another serious black beetle outbreak next summer.” A black beetle field day was recently held on the Taupiri farm of Martin Henton, who is part of the Waikato Black Beetle Action Group who got Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF) cash for the project ‘Beating black beetle: developing pest-resistant dairy pastures in Waikato.’ His property was hit hard in the last black beetle outbreak in 20072010 and since then the pest has persisted at higher levels than on many other farms. Because of this AgResearch, the research partner in the SFF project, has used Martin’s farm for trials. AgResearch scientist Dr Kumar Vetharanium has used the trial data and that available from the severe outbreak in the 1980s to build a model that should give farmers more advance warning of outbreaks. “The model predicts that if it’s warm and dry again in the next spring-summer period, we will be heading for trouble and there would be huge problems if this con-



Black beetle populations are on the rise. Inset: Alison Popay.

tinued into 2016,” says Popay. NIWA predicts about a 50% chance of El Niño weather July - September. Waikato farmers may not like the cold wet conditions it may bring, but it should help kill off overwintering black beetle adult populations. Popay says farmers can make decisions now that will prepare their farm for the likely black beetle outbreak if winter is warmer and drier than average. “When renovating this autumn, use a black beetle-active endophyte and manage pastures to ensure no gaps develop where beetle-friendly paspalum and summer grasses can establish. Establish endophyte pasture now to ensure it will be robust enough next summer when pressure from the black beetle increases. “Legumes are not attacked by black beetle. Also consider crops like chicory, which are not a good host for black beetle and can help break the pests’ lifecycle.” Popay warns that endophytes in grasses will be of little use in breaking the life cycle of black beetle if alternative feed sources such as


About black beetles BLACK BEETLE is an African species but has been present in New Zealand for several decades. At the limit of its climatic tolerance, its distribution is restricted to Waikato and Bay of Plenty northwards with a southward coastal extension into northern Taranaki and Hawkes Bay. Black beetle outbreaks occur sporadically and follow above average spring temperatures. It has a high temperature requirement for most life processes. Female longevity, number of eggs produced, egg viability, larval survival, growth rate and the amount they eat are all favoured by temperatures greater than 20°C and are severely inhibited at between 10-15°C. Adult beetles are a characteristic glossy black and about 15 mm long with females being larger than males. They are usually found in the top 1 cm of soil.

C4 grasses (especially paspalum), Poa annua, other grass weeds or endophyte-free ryegrass, including annuals and Italian ryegrass, are available. “These alternative feed sources will only add fuel to the fire as it provides the perfect environment for the pest,” she says. One trial on Henton’s and fellow action group member Stu King’s properties is investigating the possible benefits of liming in reducing black beetle populations. “It is too early to give definitive recommendations from the lime trial other than to say low soil pH



appears to favour black beetle and getting soil pH into the optimum range for your soil type will help pasture production and quality,” says Popay. She advises farmers looking for more information to contact their local DairyNZ consulting officer. DairyNZ also has a black beetle Farmfact available on www.dairynz. co.nz. Further information about the black beetle can be found at pestweb.co.nz, the directory of New Zealand’s most damaging pests and weeds. Farmers can also sign up for advice through the Pestweb Pest Alerts.




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Dairy News may 13, 2014

34 //  management

Pasture covers app makes farm walks more productive A NEW app allowing farmers to walk their farms and record pasture covers on their smartphone is now available from LIC. Once recorded in the Minda Pasture app, the data is automatically

uploaded to the co-op’s pasture management software at www.minda.co.nz, to be viewed as a feed wedge. LIC general manager farm systems Rob Ford says the app will replace the pen and paper and

eliminate the need to enter or convert data files into Minda once they get back to the office. “Minda Pasture is the third app in the series and like the others, it was developed so farmers can record and review more

minda pasture ❱❱ Available to download now, from Google Play and the App Store ❱❱ View and record pasture covers for all your farms ❱❱ Auto upload (via internet) to LIC’s pasture management software, Minda Land & Feed ❱❱ View average farm cover ❱❱ View pasture covers and available feed from the last farm walk ❱❱ Record a farm walk over two days ❱❱ Have multiple people contributing to farm walk information

information in real-time. “All the data entry and collation is done at the same time they complete their farm walk; it will also calculate the available feed in each paddock and further information like a feed wedge and growth rates will be automatically available to view online once they are back in range of an internet connection.” The app will also allow farmers to view information from the previous farm walk and have multiple people adding data, allowing the task to be split between a team. The pasture app follows LIC’s launch of

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Farmers can now record pasture covers on the smartphones as they do farm walks.

Minda Land & Feed software in 2012, which provided farmers with an easier way to record pasture covers and other farm events, and create a feed wedge. Almost 3500 farmers and consultants now utilise the software and for many it has become a fundamental part of their farm walk routines, to get a clear picture of the farm’s feed supply with

the feed wedge and identify whether they are ontrack to meet animal demand. This app will make the Minda Land & Feed software even better as it simplifies the data entry side of the job too, says Ford. “With the two combined, farmers have a tool to manage their pasture easily, maximise productivity from their land and improve the profitability

of their business.” Minda Pasture is available to download free, from the App Store and Google Play, and will work on the latest Apple and Android smartphones and mobile devices. Its use is at no extra cost to farmers subscribed to LIC’s MindaPro software, no matter how many staff download it. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews


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Dairy News may 13, 2014

management  // 35

Don’t be fooled by rain – fert co-op FARMERS MUST

ensure that nitrogen fertiliser applied to wet soil is retained for pasture growth rather than being lost to atmosphere, says fertiliser co-op Ballance Agri-Nutrients. The co-op markets a nitrogen stabiliser called SustaiN, a urea coated with its Agrotain product. Despite good rainfall, farmers shouldn’t suppose good soil moisture levels and cooler conditions are enough to prevent ammonia loss from urea, says the co-op. New Zealand research has shown that ammonia loss increases with rising soil moisture, while risk of ammonia volatilisation shows no strong seasonality – meaning it doesn’t happen only in summer. Recent Ballance AgriNutrients trials through Landcare Research suggest 10mm of rainfall is needed within eight hours of application to minimise volatilisation and ensure the best nitrogen uptake. But MetService data shows that even with recent April downpours, the days with rainfall exceeding 10mm were not as common as farmers

might expect. For example, Wairarapa has recorded only six April days out of 27 when rain exceeded 10mm, Ashburton and Waikato five, Taranaki four, Whangarei, Rotorua and Palmerston North three and Taupo two. Ballance science manager Aaron Stafford says that, at the upper end of the scale, some areas got 50mm or more rain two days in a row, meaning that if urea had been applied direct leaching would become a risk. This means the window for safely applying urea was further reduced. “In reality with these weather patterns you are unlikely to get above 10 days a month that meet the criteria to mitigate volatilisation with ideal weather. So unless you get lucky, you’ve got about a 70% risk of applying it at a time when volatilisation is likely to occur. Can you afford the risk?” The co-op says its product SustaiN offers farmers more flexibility to apply nitrogen without trying to second-guess the weather, with subsequent improvements in nitro-

New weapon against weeds FARMERS WILL have a powerful new addition to their weed control arsenal this spring. Bayer CropScience New Zealand has just been given registration for its new four-way herbicide Betanal Quattro, which for the first time brings together all four of the main active ingredients in one single product for the control of broad-leaved weeds and annual grasses in fodder beet crops. Bayer herbicides Betanal Forte and Nortron have been used extensively in New Zealand beet crops for many years and Bayer marketing manager, Chris Miln says. Betanal Quattro combines the active ingredients of these two products with the well-proven active ingredient, metamitron, to provide an easy to use, convenient tool for beet growers. “Betanal Quattro provides knockdown contact and pre-emergent activity against many broadleaf and grass weeds,” he says. “Previously farmers have had to mix herbicides together to get effective contact and residual action control of most common weeds, but Betanal Quattro combines these into one convenient product. It utilises Bayer’s SE (suspo-emulsion) formulation technology, and growers will find that it’s tough on weeds, but not on crops,” Miln says.

gen availability and uptake resulting in more dry matter per hectare. “We know SustaiN showed an average 50% reduction in ammonia vol-

atilisation relative to urea, so unless it is actually raining when you apply urea, or you can guarantee 10mm of rain within eight hours, it is a better

solution for minimising ammonia loss and therefore harnessing the best response possible from your nitrogen fertiliser investment.”

Aaron Stafford

Dairy News may 13, 2014

36 //  management

Building a large dairy from scratch gordon collie

BUILDING A dairy herd from scratch with a short-term goal of milking at least 600 cows a year is a challenge that progressive young Queensland farmers Ged and Rachael Mullins are relishing. The couple started in 2009, setting up the former beef grazing property near Leyburn on the Darling Downs. They began milking with fewer than 100 cows the following year and have been on an expansion curve ever since. Rachael has managed the rapid building of herd numbers, a task achieved through a combination of acquiring cattle from as far away as the Atherton Tableland and breeding up heifers by continuous mating using sexed semen. The herd is now close to 400 cows and they plan to be milking 600 in about 18 months with a future feeding capacity for 800. They have a four million litre contract with Lion which they are now close to filling, having introduced three times a day milking last August. “We are milking at 4am, noon and 7.30pm and the new system has boosted our milk production by about 20%. Each milking takes about two hours with a one hour washdown,” Rachael says. Converting their dairy enterprise has been a huge task, but with upsides. “We’ve been able to set the place up how we wanted from scratch which has been good. We started with just a bit of boundary fencing and not much else.” Ged grew up dairying on the Downs at nearby Allora. While two brothers followed father Tom into the family business, Ged spent 14 years as a silage contractor. Rachael had an early introduction to large scale dairying with Moxey Farms at Richmond, north of Sydney, where she met Ged during his contracting travels. “We decided the time was right to set up our own dairy and started looking for

an opportunity,” Rachael says. They were attracted to the 900ha property, Ellangowan, and came up with a novel approach to make an affordable entry into the industry. A 240ha block of sandy ridge country was split off to build their intensive dairy, and the silage contractor for whom Ged had worked bought the balance of the property which includes fertile creek flats. These were set up to grow silage crops and provide hay under centre pivot irrigation. The arrangement let them get a start in dairying with the benefit of a secure feed supply. They set about the task of converting their block, building infrastructure including a large milking shed, yards, feed pad and feed shed. When a 60 cow rotary dairy came on the market at North Richmond the couple grabbed the chance. They did their own demolition and the carefully numbered pieces were transported to their new home in Queensland in seven semi-trailer loads. The huge square shed they built to house the rotary is their own design. The milking platform looks small sitting on 300m2 of concrete slab. Each side has a 10m opening and the roof is 6m high at the eves, rising to almost 10m in the centre. “We wanted a spacious dairy so we could easily move about and milk in comfort,” Rachael says. Ged says the high pitched roof was designed to cope with huge downpours and with the big side openings to provide good air flow. “We can get a big storm with four inches in an hour and you’ve got to be able to get the water away,” he says. The sandy ridge soil is free draining and has been great for cow health. The herd has ad-lib access to a mixed feed ration designed to maintain a steady milk production of 28-29 litres a day at 4% fat and 3.5% protein. “The only bit of pasture we have is for the dry cows,” Ged says.

Ged and Rachael Mullins with Emily and Jack.

Ged built a 48m x 16m feed shed The cows are fed a silage-based The average rainfall is about 650mm a year, mostly in summer and extremely ration, with about 8.5kg a day of cracked with bays for bulk feed ingredients and variable. “Feeding a total mixed ration grain, meal and hay. Grain used is two plenty of storage for big square bales of is the only way to operate a dairy in this thirds wheat with barley or corn. “At the lucerne hay. They bought a high quality stainless moment, I’m mixing about 18 tonnes of area with any security,” Ged says. He laid a 100m x 11m concrete slab feed a day or about 44kg per cow. I work steel lined mixing wagon imported from the USA which has a capacity for a double sided feed pad of 20m3. with 6m in the centre for easy “We started with just a bit of machine feeding and cleaning The property is laid out for boundary fencing and not and 2.5m standing room for the fast, efficient ration mixing cows on either side. The silage much else.” and feeding which Ged estimix is fed directly onto the slab mated took about 120 hours rather than in a trough, which Ged says on having 2-3% of the ration left over of his time every month. minimises wastage. It is a quick and each day and adjust the feed supply to Ged manages the irrigation with easy operation with a tractor and side achieve this so I know the cows are not three centre pivots, one of which is towscraper to keep the feed within reach hungry.” able. This covers a cropping area of 180 Leftover feed is scraped off the pad ha, with 140ha irrigated at one time. The of the cows. Roofing the feed pad is on their with a dozer and fed to dry cows which towable pivot allows about 40ha to be agenda. There is also potential to build also get a ration of straight silage. Three rotated. a second, identical feed pad when cow above-ground silage heaps can each They plan to buy back the rest of the hold about 3000 tonnes of wet feed. numbers warrant. property when finances allow.


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Dairy News may 13, 2014

animal health   // 39

Teat spray debuts with no iodine SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz


and farmers join hands, good things happen; Northland farmers Chris and Pauline Lethbridge can vouch for this. Four years ago, the Lethbridges, milking 360

cows once-a-day, realised they needed a moisturising teat spray that could last up to 24 hours. They got in touch with Hamilton friends John and Amanda Hawken. The Hawkens, both scientists, used to work for Hill Laboratories and Bay Milk on milk quality. Chris Lethbridge

fieldays invite TEAT-MATE TEAT spray will be on show in the innovation marquee at National Fieldays next month. Chris Lethbridge says Fieldays accepted the product last month. “We have been allocated a 3m x 3m booth in the innovation marquee and we’re excited. One in three people at the Fieldays go through the marquee and I do as a dairy farmer to see what is new.”

recalls he suggested using salt water to make a teat spray. “John scratched his head and said he needed to have a think about that,” Lethbridge told Dairy News. Four years later, the Lethbridges and Hawkens are launching a new teat spray, the first without iodine chlorhexidine, or surfactants. Marketed by Beulah Agripharm, the Teat-Mate(TM, Trademark) spray also contains aloe vera, boosting the medicinal qualities of the teat spray. “Ours is the only teat spray on the market to have aloe vera; others have put honey and bits and pieces,” he says. Teat-Mate gained Agricultural Compounds

and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) approval in December, three years after an application was made. “If we had iodine and other chemicals, we would have been registered more quickly because it would have been just a copy of the other products currently on the market. “And this product has never been tested before in the dairy supply chain, says Lethbridge. Currently residues in milk are a big issue, especially in China. Our product tests negative for residues in Fonterra’s normal supplier component testing, adds Lethbridge. He tested the product on his farm; the results were impressive. “Our somatic cell count

The farmer and the scientist... Chris Lethbridge (left) and John Hawken.

dropped by about 20% and the cows’ teats were like a baby’s bum; they came out really nice.” Mastitis has always been an issue on the Lethbridge’s farm, where there’s not only OAD milking, but cows are milked through winter. He says cases of clinical mastitis are now minimal. “We don’t get many; we used to get 20% of the cows with mastitis, now we get about 5%.” Another benefit of using Teat-Mate is that it

doesn’t foam, says Lethbridge. “Iodine foams really bad and with some teat sprays people use, they get half foam and half liquid. Ours doesn’t foam.” Aloe Vera helps provide moisture and its antiinflammatory qualities keep teats in good condition. “We have no more cow pox or cracked teats; even the grainy cracks on my hands are gone; they are super smooth.” Teat-Mate is selling 20L and 200L containers

via the website, wwwteatmate.co.nz with ‘introductory offer prices’. The teat spray is made by Jaychem, East Tamaki, a BioGrow certified manufacturer. Lethbridge is excited about the new product and believes it will be a hit among farmers. “We are confident of making an impact; Pauline and I as very experienced farmers and John and Amanda as scientists have put our heads together to make this one.”


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Dairy News may 13, 2014

40 //  animal health/breeding

Farmer takes up Northland sales role OAKLEIGH DAIRY

farmer and pedigree Jersey breeder Freya Lynch has been appointed sales consultant for CRV Ambreed, managing the HelensvilleWaipu area.

Regional sales and services manager Hank Lina says Lynch “brings a wealth of farming experience and a passion for breeding to the role”. “[Her] knowledge of

dairy cattle genetics will add immense value to [farmers’] breeding programmes so they can achieve the types and production traits they are looking to have in their

herds in years to come. “She is also a valued member of her community… [giving] her time generously to many local and industry initiatives.” Lynch, a first gener-

Freya Lynch

ation dairy farmer with husband Daniel, has been farming for 20 years. They have four children. This year will be their first season on the 110ha farm, which they own.


Milking a mixed breed herd of 225 cows they expect to produce 73,000 – 75,000kgMS. They also own a 400cow pedigree Jersey herd in a 50/50 sharemilking partnership in Waipu. The herd produces 126,000 – 128,000kgMS. Lynch says she’s taken on the CRV Ambreed sales role because she is passionate about farming and breeding cows. “I’m a dairy farmer so I have dealt with all the same situations as my customers. Different farmers have different business drivers, and I will work with them to understand what those drivers are and can recommend the right genetics to help their business grow, whether its longevity, type, breeding worth or high input driven.” Her passion for animals and breeding started with the purchase of the family’s first pedigree Jersey at a Jersey Pride sale in 2008. Her policy now is that every animal on her farm, as much as possible, is sold or reared, and has a range of strategies for achieving this. “We rear all our Jersey bulls with some being sold

to Grazing New Zealand and others we sell ourselves as yearlings. We also rear all our heifer replacements and every year we sell off the bottom of the herd. Coming into this season our Waipu herd has achieved a 180 BW average which is quite high.” A member of JerseyNZ, Lynch is also involved in the local Jersey breeders group and in JerseyGenome and JerseyGenes genetic gain programmes. Lynch has two heifers in the Genome programme, and one bull selected for the Genes programme. “Our personal goal is to consolidate both our herds, keep the best animals and develop one elite Jersey herd.” An active member in the community and industry, Lynch sits on the Whangarei Harbour Catchment Committee, hosts local discussion groups for DairyNZ, is the Waipu Primary School PTA secretary, and is a past convenor and current member of the Dairy Women’s Network. A trained AI technician, Lynch inseminates her own cows.

in brief Theileriosis warning

The cost of BVD on your farm can be substantial and on-going. The key to controlling it is protecting the unborn foetus to prevent Persistently Infected (PI) calves from being born. Bovilis BVD is the only BVD vaccine that helps achieve this by providing foetal protection. You should also keep infected animals or those of unknown BVD status from coming into contact with your herd. Your vet has all the information, talk to them today about a BVD management plan for your farm.


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NORTH ISLAND dairy farmers are urged to look out for Theileriosis in cattle, as reports emerge of an increase in cases. DairyNZ chief scientist Dr Eric Hillerton says Theileriosis had a big impact on farms last spring, when more than 350 cases were confirmed across the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Northland and central North Island. The disease causes anaemia in cows. Hillerton says there is a heightened risk now, due to autumn calving, stock movements and recent rain. “During calving, cows’ immune systems and energy requirements change as they transition to milking and it makes their immune system less efficient and the cows more susceptible to infection.” The recent rain and mild temperatures, along with cattle movement in the North Island, are particular risk factors.

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

42 //  animal health

Three-year DairyNZ study scotches FE myth THE MYTH that applying lime to pas-

ture will reduce the incidence of facial eczema spores has been scotched by a study by DairyNZ. A few other FE myths also took a hit. The study, three years in the running, was aimed at better understanding how to control and manage FE. DairyNZ project leader Jo Sheridan says the project was launched after farmers raised concerns about their high reliance on zinc to control FE in cows. The farmers wanted to know whether more could be done to limit or reduce the amount of spores in pastures. Funding from DairyNZ and the Sustainable Farming Fund allowed the appointment of Emma Cuttance, a veterinarian and post-graduate student who is completing a thesis on FE. “We have managed to examine a

range of options that come up on farmers’ radar when it comes to controlling facial eczema at a pasture level, and also to test some of the recommendations that exist for it,” Sheridan says. One idea was that applying lime to pasture will reduce FE spore counts to harmless levels. DairyNZ got Te Awamutu sharemilker Michael Bennett to test the claims between 2011 and autumn 2013. Trialling lime applications at varying levels against a control of no lime showed there was no statistically significant difference in spore count concentrations on the application areas and the control. “[The trial] proved that short-term liming was not a reliable option, and removed another ‘possible’ treatment you hear about,” Bennett says. The project on Bennett’s farm also

sought to better understand the variability of spore count levels within a particular property. Studying the spore counts at 40 different sites in one paddock revealed significant count variability and reinforced the need to have an accurate spore count specific to the farm, and even to paddocks. “Many farmers will just look in the newspaper to see what levels are doing in their area, but the results showed that’s not good enough – the range is simply too great,” Bennett says. He counts spores every week from early January in a district renowned for its high FE risk. Accurate spore counting early on means he can determine when to start drenching his 450 cows. After the latest rain, and despite having dried them off, he will continue drenching three times

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Dairy farmer Michael Bennett and veterinarian Emma Cuttance.

a week through the farm dairy. The work also showed that spore counting remains the most accurate means of determining FE risk. Meanwhile a pasture study by DairyNZ looked at whether using different pasture species reduced FE risk. “We found tall fescue and chicory could be options, though it needs to be a 100% pure sward of each variety,” Cuttance says. Results from a study done this

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season at North Island FE risk zones will identify farmers who are successful at managing eczema risk. “We will be analysing the results from 110 farms to test the effectiveness of their protocols in protecting their herds,” Cuttance says. “This information will be used with the previous two years of trial work to help revise the best practice approach to facial eczema management for the industry.”

Kiwi, Aussie vets get ready to fight FMD AUSTRALIA AND New Zealand will work together on preparedness for a foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in either country. The Australian Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, and New Zealand Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, met recently in Melbourne to sign an agreement on the joint effort. “Our number-one plan and focus of much of our biosecurity efforts is to keep FMD out of Australia and New Zealand. “But you can’t stick your head in the sand about something this big; you have to plan for the worst,” says Joyce. “Australia [can] deal quickly and effectively with emergency animal disease outbreaks. However, an FMD outbreak could have devastating impacts on our livestock industries, exporting capabilities and trading reputation.” Recent Australian research found the impact of an FMD outbreak could cost the economy A$52 billion over 10 years. Guy says greater collaboration would improve readiness and capacity to cope with an outbreak of FMD or any other exotic animal disease. “We will share intelligence on risk, collaborate on training, share scarce skills in the event of an outbreak and influence international policy on disease management.” New Zealand has now joined an Australian FMD training scheme in Nepal, which has engaged the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to allow veterinarians and livestock industry representatives to experience FMD in the field. An outbreak of FMD would cause huge economic and social damage with the closure of many international markets for animal products, Guy says.

Dairy News may 13, 2014

animal health  // 43

Unique stock records provide assurance FARMERS GRAZING stock this season can

keep track of their animals by ensuring their NAIT records are up to date. OSPRI New Zealand group manager, programme design and farm operations, Dr Stu Hutchings reminds farmers it’s important to record all offfarm movements of stock to grazing blocks and confirm with NAIT when the animals arrive back on their property. NAIT tags uniquely identify each animal by number, which can help farmers verify that the same animals they sent for grazing are the ones they are getting back, he says. Graziers also have a responsibility to confirm with NAIT when stock arrives on their block and to record the sending movement when the animals return to their originating farm. A recent upgrade to the NAIT system has made it easier for people in charge of animals (PICAs) to manage their NAIT records. Email notifications now contain more detail about what has occurred and clear instructions if any action needs to be taken. Movement related notifications now include a direct link to the NAIT system, where animal movements can be confirmed or rejected in just a few clicks.

Another upgrade to be released this month will enable sending PICAs to view movement details when the person receiving stock records the movement before the sender does. The sender will then be able to easily record a matching movement, or deny the movement if the details are incorrect. “Everyone has a role to play in safeguarding New Zealand’s livestock industry and it’s important that farmers and graziers keep their NAIT records up to date. In the event of a disease outbreak, NAIT data will enable a faster and more efficient response, so farmers can get back to business sooner,” says Hutchings. Farmers moving animals for grazing need to play their part in protecting the pastoral production sector from bovine tuberculosis (TB). All herds being moved must be accompanied by an Animal Status Declaration (ASD) form which herdowners need to check has been correctly completed. “ASD forms record the TB test date of the animal and the herd status to ensure the livestock do not pose a disease risk,” says Hutchings. “Don’t be complacent and don’t think that TB is not out there. Make sure you meet your requirements when moving stock to and

from grazing and you will know you have done everything you can to prevent the disease from spreading,” he said. If you are located in a movement control area, cattle or deer must have

Farmers have been urged to keep NAIT records up to date.

a pre-movement TB test within 60 days before being moved for grazing. To find out the testing schedule for a property, visit www.tbfree.org.nz/ dcamap and enter the address details.

Are you prepared to take a hit?

in brief FARMERS AND environmentalists alike are touting the benefits of planned aerial bovine tuberculosis (TB) control operations this winter in Waipunga near the Taupo to Napier highway. Dennis Ward, of Ngatapu Station, fits into both groups and is also a keen recreational hunter. “When you look at the practicalities of 1080 in improving the quality of life of our native species, it’s a no brainer. People don’t appreciate that possums, stoats, ferrets and rats do more to decimate our native bird populations than anything else,” says Ward. He says scientific research has shown the positive effects of 1080 on native birds and forests. “The evidence has convinced me that it is the best method for use, particularly in rugged terrain like the Waipunga area, where ground control is impractical.” “It is absolutely amazing to see the bush come alive with native birds following a 1080 operation. The way in which the operations are approached and how contractors are careful of sensitive areas, they do their job very well.”


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Dairy News may 13, 2014

44 //  animal health

New tool to tackle mastitis andrew swallow andrews@ruralnews.co.nz

NEXT TIME you’re talking to your vet about mastitis management don’t be surprised if the subject of vaccination comes up, and not just for the coliform strains of the disease. Startvac, made by


Andrew Biggs

Spanish firm Hipra, reduces incidence of both coliform and staphylococcus strains, though not the widespread streptococcus uberis. It has been available in Europe since 2009 and was approved for use here earlier this year. Last week a representative from Hipra, Daniel Zalduendo , and British vet

Andrew Biggs were in New Zealand talking to vets about where the product might fit into New Zealand systems. Biggs runs a masters degree module on mastitis for Massey University so is familiar with the New Zealand industry. He believes the vaccine will be useful on many farms here, but




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warns its introduction must be part of a managed approach to tackling the disease. ■■ First broad spectrum “Talk to your mastitis vaccine in NZ vet,” he told ■■ Covers coliforms and Dairy News. staphylococcus aureus “Find out how but not streptococcus much mastitis uberis you’ve got, what ■■ Two intra-muscular shots bugs you have during dry with boosters in and how good lactation or bad you are in ■■ Use as part of broader managing the disdisease management ease.” programme. Use of the vac■■ No withholding cine without tackrequirement. ling problems in other areas such as cow environment or milk- of three UK herds with known high Staph. aureus ing practice will likely counts found vaccinalead to disappointing tion followed by a booster results, he warns. “It’s no every three months silver bullet.” reduced Staph aureus However, in the UK it has produced some signif- infections from 8.5% to 3.0% and overall clinical icant reductions in clinimastitis fell from 52 cases cal cases and cell counts, per 100 cows to 24 cases and boosted producper 100 cows tion, though the latter “And that’s not the shouldn’t be the driver for only story. There was a embarking on a vaccinareduction in problem cell tion programme. counts, particularly after “That’s a bonus in the system… really you should calving, which could be due to a combination of be looking at using it for better dry period cures or disease control, and not fewer infections picked up just of clinical cases, but in the dry period.” sub-clinical too. Within While those herds, a herd there will always which ranged from just be some cows strugover 100 cows to about gling with infections that no-one knows about. Bulk 300 cows, were known as having a Staph. aureas tank cell counts are a very problem, they also had crude measure of infecStrep. uberis incidence tion levels.” ranging from 15% to nearly Like most vaccines it 50%. is administered as a two“So nearly half the shot initial programme, followed by boosters. How infection in one herd was not covered by the vacoften boosters are necescine but we still saw a simsary will depend on the ilar reduction in cell count herd and disease chaland clinical,” notes Biggs. lenge, says Biggs. Hipra’s Daniel Zal“Because herds are mostly seasonal calving in duendo says a separate seven-farm trial with the New Zealand it may well vaccine found a 231L/ be that you don’t need to cow boost to production do the number of injecover 120 days, with a 7% tions we do in Europe.” increase in protein and Injections are intra5% increase in fat content muscular, ideally in the totalling an extra 12kgMS. neck, so can be adminisHowever, that was on tered by suitably skilled cows producing between farm staff, he adds. 8000L and 9500L/lactaHipra’s recommendation. Biggs suggests any tion is for the first shot 45 production response in days pre-calving and the New Zealand will likely second 10 days prior to be in proportion to the due date, with a booster typically lower per cow nine weeks later. Such production. Another bena programme induces efit of using vaccination immunity from about day as part of a programme 13 after the first injection to reduce mastitis is less until about 78 days after reliance on antibiotics, the third injection, ie 130 reducing the risk of drug days after calving, it says resistant strains of disease on its website. developing. Biggs says a study

Dairy News may 13, 2014

animal health  // 45

PKE contains 11-11.5MJ of metabolisable energy.

PKE a reasonable quality feed source THOUGH NO single,

The digestibility of the ideal measure of feed qual- feed refers to how much of the feed is digested in ity exists, says DairyNZ, the rumen (rumen digestin New Zealand metaboibility or rumen degradlisable energy (ME) is the ability) or along the entire factor limiting milk production in most situations. digestive tract (dry matter Therefore, ME content digestibility). The rumen digestibility of a feed is (MJ/kg DM) is the best important for determinmeasure of feed quality for most farmers to use. It ing the growth of rumen micro-organisms. These does not matter whether supply protein and some a supplement contains energy to the cow. Howfibre, starch or sugar. The cost of each MJ ME should ever, there is a long digesdetermine how you decide tive system after the rumen, in which proteins, which supplement to buy. fats and some sugars are Palm kernel extract (PKE) contains about 11.0 digested and absorbed. - 11.5 MJ ME (mechanically Therefore, dry matter digestibility is a better extracted) and is, theremeasure of feed quality as fore, a reasonable quality it takes into account the feed for dairy cows when whole digestive system short of pasture. and not just the rumen. Dairy NZ principal sciMetabolisable energy is entist, animal science, John Roche says cows sur- estimated from some measure of dry matter digestvive and produce on the ibility. waste products of rumen Protein is important fermentation (volatile because it provides the fatty acids), the microrumen micro-organisms organisms that have with nitrogen to grow – grown during rumen ferthe protein that bypasses mentation, and the feed the rumen is used directly that was not fermented by the cow – and because (i.e. bypasses the rumen). As a result, there are many it also provides some measures of feed quality, including: Protein provides ■■ How much is the rumen microdigested (digestorganisms with ibility) nitrogen to grow. ■■ How much energy is available for production (metabolisable energy. Fats and oils cannot be energy or net energy) ■■ How much protein is in used by the rumen microthe feed (crude protein, organisms and, therefore, do not promote microbial true protein, soluble growth. They are instead protein) ■■ How much fat is in the used directly by the cow as an energy source. feed ■■ Minerals and vitamins. Palm kernel is not very digestible in the rumen. All of these are imporEstimates of rumen tant to varying degrees, depending on what is lack- digestibility range from 50 to 60%. However, this ing from the diet.

does not accurately portray the feed value of PKE for dairy cows. The feed value in PKE comes from the ruminal digestion of fibre, some ruminal digestion of protein (55 to 60%), the protein digested in the small intestine (40 to 45%), and the fat, although the minerals are also important. In most situations, grazing dairy cows are short of ME. They are only rarely short of metabolisable protein (that is protein that reaches the small intestine). Therefore, changing supplement to increase the growth of rumen micro-organisms to further increase metabolisable protein will not be beneficial. Metabolisable energy is the most important measure of feed quality for New Zealand farmers. Laboratory analyses indicate that PKE has an ME of about 11.5MJ/kg DM because of its relatively high fat content, its reasonably digestible fibre and its protein content. However, as PKE is a byproduct, this figure will vary and farmers are encouraged to have their feeds tested by a reputable laboratory. The practicalities of what supplement can be fed should be considered (e.g. liquid vs dry feed, inshed feeding vs feeding in paddock). Supplements should only be offered to cows that do not have sufficient pasture (i.e. residuals are less than 7 to 8 clicks on the plate meter) and every effort must be made to minimise wastage. 3599 Metabolizer halfpg vert.ind1 1

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

46 //  animal health & stockfeeds

Plantain management to help cows

Maize – a high quality forage supplement GRAZED PASTURE generally contains sufficient or surplus minerals for the lactating dairy cow, though supplementation with magnesium (Mg) and with trace elements during spring is recommended, says DairyNZ. However, many farmers are using maize silage as a supplement to pasture in situations where cows would otherwise be underfed.

It says maize silage is a high quality forage supplement. However, it is particularly low in Sodium (Na), Calcium (Ca) and Phosphorus (P), and can be used as an effective carrier to supplement cows with Mg. Magnesium is the mineral of most concern in cows fed pasture, although P, Ca and Na may be deficient and compromising health and production on individual

best time to supplement ❱❱ The most important time to provide mineral supplementation is during the last month before calving and during the first four months of lactation. ❱❱ Supplementation during mid and late lactation is unlikely to benefit milk production, but is an insurance against metabolic disorders (e.g. late season staggers).

farms. Supplementing with Ca is particularly important during the colostrum period to prevent milk fever. When dairy cows consume maize silage, deficiencies in the macro-minerals Ca, Mg, Na and P become more likely, and supplementation with these minerals is both easy and a relatively inexpensive insurance against possible deficiencies. There are a variety of products available for correcting mineral deficiencies. Ensure products are bought from reputable sources as mineral products can contain significant impurities (e.g. heavy metals), which can be dangerous and do not provide a benefit. In addition, prior treatment of mineral products (e.g. heat treatment of CausMag) may render the mineral less available to the animal.

PLANTAIN IS a herb with a fibrous, coarse root system that produces 10-19 t DM/ha/year; it tends to be more persistent than chicory, often producing the above yields above for two-three years. According to DairyNZ, plantain should be grazed at 25 cm height; allowing the plant to grow for longer will reduce herbage quality as older leaves are more fibrous and more stem will have grown. To maximise yield and persistence avoid overgrazing (e.g. lower than 5 cm) and treading damage on wet soil. Plantain is highly responsive to nitrogen fertiliser. Plantain grows throughout New Zealand, but it is best suited to dairy farm situations where the amount and quality of summer feed limits milk production. Plantain plants have a fibrous, coarse root system which provides moderate drought tolerance. Despite this it still requires moisture to grow well, and under severe drought growth will be reduced.

Under these conditions plants will wilt, but they recover quickly following rain or application of irrigation or effluent. Plantain yields recorded in New Zealand over a full year range from 10-19 t DM/ha/year (average = 16 t DM/ha). These yields are comparable to the annual yield of ryegrass pastures. Growth rates of tonic plantain between spring and autumn range between 25 and 80kgDM/ha/day, potentially peaking at 140kgDM/ha/day in summer. Growth rates during winter are lower (15-35kgDM/ha/day). Plantain tends to be more persistent than chicory, often remaining productive for two-three years. Plant numbers will decline over this time, with the rate of decline depending largely on weed control, nitrogen fertiliser application and grazing management (particularly during wet conditions to avoid pugging). Many weeds tend to invade plantain crops over time.

special purpose feed ■■

As a pasture mix

Where plantain is in a pasture mix the paddock should be managed as it would be as a normal grass/clover pasture, grazing to residuals of 1500-1600 kg DM/ ha. ■■ As a special purpose crop Plantain should be first grazed no earlier than the six leaf stage (i.e. the plants have six fully grown leaves). This is normally 7-8 weeks after spring-sowing. This

ensures that plants have well-developed root systems to improve survival. Aim to feed 20% of the cows’ daily diet in plantain over a sustained period as the rumen requires time to adjust to plantain like any change in feed type. Target covers are: Pre-grazing 25 cm height (generally about 2-4 weeks regrowth) ■■ Post-grazing 5 cm height These are the heights of the leaves,

ignoring the stems. Letting the leaves grow beyond 25 cm will not accumulate any more leaf, just increase growth of the lower quality stem. Dairy cows will readily graze lower than 5 cm and management strategies need to be in place to ensure this does not occur. Grazing should be avoided when soils are wet as treading damage has a major impact on plant survival.

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Dairy News may 13, 2014

48 //  animal health & stockfeeds

Feed importer lands grain shipment

Toepfer DDG North Island sales manager Kevin Mayall.


for mid- and high-protein feed supplements is rising, says an importer of golden distillers dried grain with solubles (GDDGS). Toepfer Stock Feeds recently imported a bulk

shipment of the feedstuff via Tauranga. The shipment is the first in many years, says general manager Ross Bowmar. Farmers are becoming more aware of feed nutritional profiles and the value-for-money

questions arising, he says. “Hence, the demand for mid- and high-protein products is on the rise and now justifies more bulk vessel imports. Farmers and blenders have been saying they could not get enough DDGS to meet their protein demands. This shipment helps resolve

is a substantially higher nutritional value product.” Golden DDGS is derived from maize (corn) and is a by-product of the ethanol production process. This product was supplied from the Midwest of America by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). It is being stored

“Farmers and blenders have been saying they could not get enough DDGS to meet their protein demands.”


[that] lack of protein.” The market for distillers’ dried grains and soluble (DDGS) is “tightly held and supply availability limited,” Bowmar says. Wheat DDGS and corn (golden) DDGS are not of equal nutritional value, he says. “GDDG




at Waharoa and Mount Maunganui, from where it will be trucked to farms. Demand depending, the product should soon be available in the South Island. Golden DDG will be available from the importer and selected blending companies.



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Feed quality the most-used measure FEED QUALITY (kgDM) is the most common way

of measuring feed, says DairyNZ. “We often talk about the cost of purchased feeds on a kilograms of dry matter basis. An equally, if not more important measure is feed ‘quality’. “Feed ‘quality’ is the energy value of feed. It is measured by the amount of usable or metabolisable energy (ME) in a given weight of feed.” In New Zealand the energy value of feed is referred to as the megajoules of metabolisable energy per kilogram of dry matter (MJME/kg DM) or M/D for short. The higher the M/D value the better the feed. For example autumn grass with a M/D value of 11 has a higher energy value per kg dry matter than good meadow hay with a M/D value of 8. A cow’s milk production or gain in condition depends largely on the amount of energy eaten rather than the amount of dry matter eaten. For this reason the best way of comparing the value of purchased feeds is to work out the cost per unit of energy for each alternative.

Dairy News may 13, 2014

machinery & products  // 49

Mower’s controller a boon to large-scale operators FELLA MOWER com-

binations have a new control system allowing a clear view of the machine parameters at all times. Distributor C B Norwood Ltd says the Isobus control system helps the mower combinations tackle the kind of demanding work done typically by large-scale farmers, agricultural contractors and

biogas producers. The system comes standard on both butterfly mowers, giving a driver a clear view – on the tractor terminal – of all important machine parameters. All mower functions, such as single lift, conveyor belt operation and slope function, can be operated using a terminal, and can be programmed, if

necessary, on the control lever or joystick. Switching from the working position to the transport position is also completely automated. Thanks to rotation speed monitoring by means of sensors, the driver can react to a possible overloading of the drive train in good time from his driver.

One notable feature is beMove – a hydraulic lateral movement system for belt conveyors. This is integrated into the deeper Fella belt conveyor (940 x 2700 cm) with stepless belt adjustment. Using this system, swath gathering can be adjusted variably to the forage consistency. Regardless of whether Swath gathering can be adjusted variably to the forage consistency.

The new control system provides the operator a clear view of the machine.

there is a large or small quantity of forage, beMove enables an operator to achieve optimum swath formation using the Isobus control system. From the tightest position of the belt conveyor, the belts can each be pushed outwards by 300mm using beMove, so that the passage for the forage is 600mm larger. Without having to use tools the driver can adapt the swath size to the harvesters following behind, or to pick-up widths. Regardless of whether a loader wagon, shredder or baler is used, with beMove, the driver can bring flexibility to the harvesting chain.

The maker’s SafetySwing collision protection device prevents damage in the event the mower runs into something. It swings away backwards and upwards around a transverse axis then gently falls back into the working position under its own weight. The Turbo Lift system, which hydro-pneumatically relieves the load on the cutter bar evenly across the entire working width, is fitted to both mower combinations as standard. The contact pressure can be steplessly adjusted using a pressure relief valve. Tel. 06 356 4920 www.fella.co.nz

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See for yourself how Pichon can be integrated into your slurry and muck handling system. Ask your dealer for a demo today!

Phone 0800 667 9663 to find your local Pichon dealer or visit www.equipnz.co.nz.

The name is spreading

C B Norwood Distributors Ltd

Dairy News may 13, 2014

50 //  machinery & products

Women get behind chainsaws for the sake of safety

Women in action: DWN members at the chansaw safety event in Rotorua.


Form an orderly queue! Strainrite Pigtail Standards

three years. The sessions for DWN were run by people qualified to train chainsaw users, and taught women – hands on – how to operate a chainsaw safely. Says DWN chief executive Zelda de Villiers, “Chainsaw safety is hugely relevant to dairy women…. With first-hand safety tips a woman can help make sure chainsaws are used safely at home and onfarm.” Stihl offers these tips for safest and best use: ■■ Use the right safety gear: steel-capped boots, chainsaw chaps, safety helmet, earmuffs

themselves daily with a chainsaw, says Stihl, drawing on ACC data. The company last month ‘powered up’ its Chainsaw Safety Awareness Week campaign nationwide. It hosted women from the Dairy Women’s Network (DWN) at five chainsaw training sessions in Hamilton, Rotorua, North Canterbury and Southland. Stihl quotes ACC statistics recording 185 chainsaw accidents a month, equating to nearly 50 incidents every week. And the figures show an increase during the past




and safety glasses Stop and think! Before you start ensure you have the correct equipment and are in a safe environment to do the job Reduce kickback: hold the chainsaw firmly, be aware of the location of the blade tip and test the chain brake to make sure it works Sharpen up: maintain the chain properly; keep it sharp and correctly tensioned. Keep the machine well-oiled and follow the manufacturer’s specifications for correct depth gauge settings.

Featuring: • Galvanised, bend resistant spring steel shaft • Unique pressed steel foot for superior ground holding and strength • Proudly New Zealand made

Auto Inline Liquid Dispenser

Water Flow Indicator

Dispenses chemicals and minerals into a water supply

See us at National Fieldays Site H63

Check Valve



i s ib

il it y F l o w I n d






Quick Release Couplings

Pressure Release

No Flow Control Valves

Benefits Inlet

Particle Filter E a s y A d ju

Mast available in various lengths

Three models available st m

Flow (Flourescence Visible)



• • • • • • •

Reduce water loss Locate leaks with ease Saves time and labour costs Positive indication day and night Easy to install Stainless steel construction Designed and manufactured in NZ

Can Handle

Hot specials Available now for a limited time: From Farmlands & reputable rural supplies stores NEW

Strainrite Dunkit Pigtail Caddy (Hands free pigtail carrier)

Free Dunkit Pigtail Caddy with every 10x bundles of strainrite pigtail posts

Manufactured by Strainrite Fencing Systems Phone +64 4 524 9027 | Fax +64 4 526 6238


Free Dunkit offer – available from participating retail stores.

For a limited time or while stocks last.

• • • • • • •

Suction Tube

Zinc Magnesium Copper Salt Bloat oil Minerals Chemicals

Ideal for:


• • • •

• • • • • • •

Animal health remedies General water treatments Wash system detergents Horticultural chemicals

Reduces labour costs Easy to install Operates using water flow Any pressure from 10 – 210 PSI Competitively priced Made from high quality materials Designed and manufactured in NZ

Features: • Water driven – no power required • Non-contact indication – no seals to wear • Designed for minimal maintenance • Available in packs of 2, 3 & 5 units Several sizes and mast lengths available

Singh’s Engineering Services 66-68 Mahana Rd, Hamilton, Ph/Fax 07-849 3108 www.setech.co.nz or your local dairy equipment dealer

Contact your local Power Farming and Deutz-Fahr dealer today for unbeatable finance deals across the entire range of award winning Deutz-Fahr tractors.


0800 801 888 | powerfarming.co.nz *Normal lending criteria applies. 40% deposit required plus all the GST. Offer available for a limited time only.

Dairy News may 13, 2014

52 //  machinery & products

Plastic liners cure milkers’ RSI GARETH GILLATT

LIGHTWEIGHT plastic dairy liners are said Warren and Gaylene Burke.

to have cured a Ruawai, Northland couple of repet-

itive strain injury (RSI). The product, made of a new form of soft plastic, was developed by Dariyflo with Bayer and released last year at Fieldays. Warren and Gaylene


Burke, on contract for former Fonterra director Greg Gent, maintain an 85ha flat dairy farm 22km from Dargaville. They are solely responsible for milking 215 cows twice a day through a 23-aside herringbone shed. Over some years they have developed RSI in their wrists and were eventually unable to work without tightly strapping their wrists. They saw the Dairyflo milk liners advertised in Dairy News and set about learning more about the milk liners’ weight savings. Made out of a 100% recyclable, nonabsorbent, thermoplastic elastomer polymer the milk liners are 20% lighter than traditional rubber liners. The Burkes say they felt the difference in weight instantly. Gaylene says the change was so dramatic they were able to leave the wrist supports in the drawer this season. “We needed none of that at all this season.” Warren says that though the liners cost more than traditional rubber liners their longer lifespan (5000 milkings)

is better long-term. “They still look brand new; the other ones would have started to perish by now.” Warren says it didn’t take cows long to get used to the new liners and mastitis problems were few, even though the shed was using older NuPulse clusters. “We’ve had nothing we could attribute to liners.” DairyFlo representatives say the linings also have a much lower bacteria absorption rate than traditional liners. While the liners are tighter when first installed, Warren says he hasn’t had a problem with cows. “I wasn’t too sure about the heifers because the liners felt hard. However, I put them into the herd and had no problem.” DairyFlo representatives say the soft plastic has proven to be soft where necessary while durable enough to withstand the most aggressive hoof damage. Dairyflo are available through Farmlands and RD1. Tel. 0800 55 33 77 www.dairyflo.co.nz

Spray and peel off

The unique auger design in all Kuhn vertical mixer wagons ensures fast easy chopping of all materials. The aggressive top half pulls material into the machine quickly. A flatter profile on the lower auger ensures a minimal horsepower requirement for Kuhn vertical wagons.

The Kuhn horizontal wagon is popular with customers with smaller tractors. They have a lower horsepower requirement than a vertical wagon. We have a number of customers in New Zealand who use the same tractor for loading and feeding.

Self-propelled machines are also

available for large operators. These machines save time in loading and mixing.

ASK your deAler AbouT SpeciAl pricing AvAilAble on 2014 indenT orderS now

C B Norwood Distributors Ltd

FED UP with the colour of your car or want to change the look of the wheels? Spray a new colour from the Plasti Dip range, then peel it off and reveal the original paintwork when you want to change back. “The big appeal is it’s not permanent: you can change your mind and peel it off at a later date,” says Tim Paterson, national sales manager of Griffiths Equipment, which distributes Plasti Dip in New Zealand. “We’ve seen it used on alloy wheels and car body panels and it performs as promised. It works much like the vinyl wraps that can be applied to vehicles, except this is cheaper and can be done by any DIY enthusiast.” There are 17 different matt colour choices available in spray cans, and a gloss finish – Plasti Dip Glossifier – which can be sprayed over the top to increase the level of gloss shine – from just a low sheen, through to semi gloss and full gloss, depending on the number of coats applied. A metallic finish is also available: Silver Metallizer, Gold Metallizer and Copper Metallizer, along with a Pearlizer finish, is applied by spraying over the top of the base colours, adding a metallic sheen. And Smoke finish can be sprayed over tail lights and even windows, as well as the original paintwork or any of the Plasti Dip base colour coats, giving a smoky effect to the colour or surface, but still transparent. The Plasti Dip sprays deliver a fine rubberised layer that builds up with each coating. The more coats that are applied, the easier it is to peel off. www.griffiths.co.nz/video-library-plasti-dip-removal

Dairy News may 13, 2014

machinery & products  // 53 Robert Walters’ loyalty to the Lely brand has earned him a week-long holiday in Fiji.

All you may want in a legendary truck MARK MACFARLANE

Bale-wrapper purchase brings travel reward ROBERT WALTERS of

Walters Contracting has won a trip for two to Fiji by buying a Lely Welger RPC 445 Tornado balerwrapper on indent order from Frank Berkers of Giltrap Agrizone Otorohanga. To celebrate 30 years of selling Lely machinery, Giltrap Agrizone ran a competition with Lely. Every person who bought or placed an indent order on a piece of Lely machinery before March 31 entered a draw for a sevennight holiday for two at the Hideaway Resort & Spa in Fiji. Walters says he is thrilled with his prize and plans to take his holiday in June. Walters Contracting has worked for 20 years in southern Waikato and northern King Country. This wasn’t the firm’s first Lely purchase: it owns three other Lely Welger

balers, two Hibiscus rakes and three Splendimo mowers. Walters says the decision to buy another Lely Welger was easy because of the “level of service and high quality machinery” Lely New Zealand stands for. He opted for the Welger RPC 445 Tornado because he already owns one and is familiar with it. “The RPC 445 is fantastic. It is flexible and easy to use. The bale density, bale diameter, tying material and cutting length can all be controlled from the baler handset in the tractor cab.” The Lely Welger RPC 445 has a variable chamber that easily makes bales of different diameters. With a variable chamber baler “you can always produce bales with optimum efficiency, or adapt to customers’ requirements.”

To operate effectively as a combination machine, the same flexibility is required from the wrapping system, and here the Tornado wrapping system sets a high benchmark, Lely says. All bales are “perfectly” wrapped and the cost of film and wrapping times are “minimal”. Lely New Zealand reports the Welger RPC 445 Tornado as operating “amazingly fast and adjusting the entire wrapping process to the bale diameter. The machine’s quick bale transfer is a perfect example of optimum time saving. The Tornado is already wrapping before the tail gate is closed”. Walters says the staff at Giltrap Agrizone “go the extra mile and gave me a great deal by placing the Welger on indent order”.

CRUISE CONTROL, electric windows, ABS brakes and air conditioning are only a few of the useful features you don’t get in the new Jimny flatdeck from Suzuki. This back-to-basics work focused truck follows in a long line of well respected small 4x4 vehicles from Suzuki and the latest offering is proving popular with farmers not prepared to put up with open air motoring that side-by-side RTV’s offer. A quiet modern interior that is practical rather than luxurious may be the answer to its legendary reliability. The Jimny’s low weight can make it a little skitterish on corrugated roads but great approach and departure angles means real ability

Jimny flatdeck from Suzuki.

when the going gets tricky and 4x4 enthusiasts have long been aware of its uncanny ability to climb out of trouble. The change to 4WD can be made on the fly with high/low range transfer also available at the push of a dash mounted button. A handy 350kg capacity flatdeck is about right for this size vehicle. With just 62kW and 110Nm available, this

is no rally weapon but performance is acceptable and excellent fuel economy in the low 7L/100km range will keep the bank manager happy. Even with a flat deck, arranged by your local dealer, expect to pay no more than $30,000 inclusive. It comes with a two year factory warranty. To have a test drive, go into your local Suzuki showroom, or visit www. suzuki.co.nz

X60 Series

Loads of spec Loads of savings

Tel. 07 850 4050 or 07 873 4004

Concrete Repairs and Protection for Dairy Sheds PERMACOLOUR DAIRY FIX Fast setting high strength cementbased plaster coating for repair and improvements to your shed floors and yard.

PERMACOLOUR KS500 Protects concrete against harsh chemicals and hardens concrete to reduce wear.

PERMACOLOUR REPELL SS Phone 0508 444 555 www.permacolour.co.nz

Water repellant creating an easy to clean concrete surface and reduces bacteria and mould growth.

All products are easy to apply yourself or we can arrange an applicator for you.

Full specIFIcATION AT ecONOmy prIce Powershuttle transmission Front axle brakes 3 D/Acting valves

Electronic hitch Telescopic auto hitch 3 stage powershift

Now with AGTEK’s industry leading 4/4 Warranty (4 years or 4000 hours)

MccorMick LoADEr PAckAgE FrEE Activ loader suspension Superior lift and reach

There from the start. Distributed by

Contact us for further information and your nearest dealer.

p: +64 7 573 8132 www.agtek.co.nz mccormick is a worldwide brand of the ArGO Group of companies

Dairy News may 13, 2014

54 //  machinery & products

Rakes designed to go the distance NEW KUHN semi-mounted GA 8731 and GA 9531 Gyrorakes join the company’s range of central delivery rakes. With working widths from 7.70-9.30m, the units are said to be ideal for intensive silage, hay or straw work. Both models are equipped with the new generation of the maker’s Masterdrive rotor drives and the most recent innovations in tine arms which ensure stability by means of their “hyper-tangential” positioning. The linkage system and frame are compact for manoeuvrability, either working or in transport. Rotors are locked hydraulically and mechanically in their transport position for more stability. The 3D rotor suspension and the wheels being positioned close to the tines enable these Gyrorakes to contour the land perfectly for better raking, says Kuhn. The GA 8731 model has four wheels per rotor and the GA 9531 has six wheels per rotor. Hydraulic working width adjustment and low maintenance make for convenience. Two electric control boxes are offered: KGA01C and KGA10C. Kuhn is imported in New Zealand by C B Norwood Distributors Ltd.

The new rakes are ideal for intensive silage or hay work.

Tel. 0800 585-007 www.kuhn.co.nz

Who has dairying’s most

Our pump sets come standard with the following features and benefits, for our farming clients: • Stainless Steel Baseplate - gives long-term protection against corrosion, unlike galvanised baseplates.

effluent pump solution?

• Silicon Carbide Mechanical Seals - prevent self-priming issues common with gland packed pumps offered by others as standard. Provide long term sealing against effluent leakage to maintain a safe pumping environment.

reliable and efficient

• Pump Life Expectancy based on our 35+ years of Progressing Cavity (PC) pump engineering by the only PC pump manufacturer directly serving New Zealand farmers - gives us the unique ability to ensure our pumps operate at the most effective speeds for pumping animal effluent, which impacts directly on the maximum pump life expectancy. For information on your nearest Mono dealer, contact: Nationwide Toll Free: 0800 659 012 Auckland: 09 829 0333 Christchurch: 03 341 8379 Dunedin: 03 476 7264


The NexT GeNeraTioN of farm DeTerGeNTs has arriveD. easy To Use, easier oN The eNviroNmeNT.

at ecolab we’ve been taking another big step to reduce our environmental footprint. In addition to Optimum2, Optimum we have added Aquaklenz HV Concentrate at a low 0.5mls per litre*. All concentrates are now available in 200 litre MEGA packs equivalent of up to 400-600 litres of traditional formulations. Making them easier to handle, easier to store, and reducing the environmental footprint. Contact one of our 27 Ecolab Territory Managers to find out more about the new concentrated products and a new wash programme.

We work harder so you can work smarter. NorTh islaND 0508 732 733 | soUTh islaND 0508 737 343 | WWW.ecolab.com *On good water conditions

Take the PGG Wrightson “Added Value Promise” survey and find out how we can help you manage your farm resources for a competitive advantage.

As a company solidly grounded in the primary industry, we know that farming is a challenging and complex business. Everyday our staff work with customers to ensure we deliver their immediate on-farm needs while also helping them plan for a successful future. At this year’s Fieldays®, we’re challenging you to take our “Added Value Promise” survey. Simply let us know what you’re wanting to achieve and we’ll book a free, no obligation on-farm visit with a PGG Wrightson representative who will analyse your farm system, with the aim of improving the performance and profitability of your existing operation.




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