Page 1

John Monaghan signs off. PAGE 3


Moving with ease PAGE 23


Key staff essential PAGE 14-15

NOVEMBER 10, 2020 ISSUE 459 // www.dairynews.co.nz

TRIPLE RIPPLE Ex-All Black Kevin Schuler is New Zealand’s only farmer milking cows, goats and sheep on three different systems on the family farm in Te Aroha. PAGE 6







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Now it’s our turn True partnerships are defined by trust and commitment. As you know – all too well – the business of milk can be volatile, with supply and demand rising and falling with market pressures and global events. It’s in these moments that proving ourselves matters most. That’s why we think now is a great time for us to come together and talk through the most recent data and reports for your farm, so that you can plan your future with confidence.

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Monaghan signs off SUDESH KISSUN sufdeshk@ruralnews.co.nz


Minister of Plate to Paddock. PG.10

man John Monaghan says he will keep a watchful but silent eye on Fonterra from the back paddocks. In his final address to shareholders as chairman in Masterton last week, Monaghan paid tribute to the co-op shareholders. He says farmer shareholders have been brutally honest to him during his governance days and he found that refreshing. He also thanked the

Fonterra board for their work over the last two years to change the cooperative strategy. Monaghan who took over as chairman two years ago says the board is a cohesive team. “We fronted up to some big challenges during the past two years and we had to make some big decisions.” After two consecutive years of losses, Fonterra embarked on a new strategy and returned to profitability in the last financial year. Fonterra’s chairmanship has been

taken over by Peter McBride, the former Zespri chairman. Former National MP and Fonterra shareholder Shane Ardern remembered Monaghan turning up at Parliament in 2001 to propose the formation of a dairy company of international scale. “The sky was going to fall...no one was taking the proposal seriously,” recalled Ardern. He says Monaghan is leaving the co-op and board behind in good shape. Monaghan told the meeting that international scale is one of the reasons the co-op was established. “It remains a key strength.

Our people have worked hard to leverage that scale, shifting our New Zealand milk into the products and places where we can earn the highest possible value under the circumstances. “This year has also shown us that even in the middle of a global pandemic, our strategy will deliver.” Monaghan also paid tribute to the co-op for pulling together during the Covid pandemic. “We are in no way immune to Covid-19, but this year’s performance shows the diversity of our earnings, which has helped us to manage the impact of the global pandemic.”

FARMERS UNDER PRESSURE Built tough for NZ farms. PG.20

State funding for recycling. PG.22

NEWS����������������������������������������������������� 3-10 AGRIBUSINESS������������������������������������� 11 OPINION�����������������������������������������������12-13 MANAGEMENT��������������������������������14-16 ANIMAL HEALTH�����������������������������17-18 FARM BIKES & ATVS������������������� 19-21 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS���������������������������������������22-23

John Monaghan

OUTGOING FONTERRA chairman John Monaghan says the co-operative knows the pressure farmers are under due to environmental regulatory changes. However, Monaghan defended the decision to work closely with the Government on looming regulatory changes. He was commenting on a question from a Southland shareholder at the co-op’s AGM last week about looming regulations. Monaghan says the business is committed to moving forward in this space. “We have a healthy relationship with the Government, past governments and will have with future governments,” he says. “We do have a seat at the table and we are part of those discussions.” One shareholder took exception to the co-op working with the Govern-

ment. “There’s no need for us to suck up to the Government who screws harder on us,” the shareholder told the annual meeting in Masterton last week. Monaghan denied that Fonterra was sucking up to the Government. “It’s very easy to throw rocks and be in a position where you are not even part of the discussion. “We can achieve that position very quickly …it’s a lot more responsible and benefits our farmers by taking part in those discussions and helping shape the outcomes.” Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell told shareholders that more and more customers were now asking about the co-op’s environmental credentials. He says, historically, large customers gave the co-op a month’s notice to visit farms and ask questions around sustainable practices. Now they turn up unannounced and tell Fonterra which farms they want to visit.

OUTGOING FONTERRA chairman John Monaghan says the co-op knows the pressure farmers are under due to environment regulatory changes. Bt Monaghan defended the decision to work closely with the Government on looming regulatory changes. He was commenting on a question from a Southland shareholder on looming regulations. Monaghan says the business is committed to moving forward in this space. “We have a healthy relationship with the Government, past governments and will have with future



Co-op on the home straight SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz


executive Miles Hurrell says work will continue this year on the co-operative’s business reset. He told about 180 farmers at the co-op’s annual meeting in Masterton last week that it was now “on the home straight”. “We’ve got momentum and 2021 is going to build on that,” he says. “We won’t forget the lessons learnt from our

Fonterra chairman John Monaghan talks with shareholders before chairing his last meeting last week.

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past, but you will see us shift our focus to the future.” This is reflected in its three priority areas: Cooperative, Performance and Community. Hurrell says the co-op is off to a good start. “We already have some good runs on the board.” Hurrell highlighted three numbers for shareholders. The first was the improved gross profit – up $200 million to $3.2 billion. Key drivers of this were the Ingredients business, which did benefit from a softening milk price in the second half of the year. Hurrell says the other

key driver was its Greater China Foodservice business in the first half, prior to the emergence of Covid-19. He also highlighted the 24 cents per share earnings— at the top end of its guidance range of 15-25 cents. The final number he highlighted was the $1.1 billion debt reduction. “One of the questions I’ve been asked a few times over the last couple of months is, ‘what is the key number in this year’s annual results?’ Putting aside the $7.14/kgMS and what this also means for the country, it’s this $1.1 billion reduction in debt that I keep coming back to.”



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FONTERRA CHIEF executive Miles Hurrell says the days of significant milk growth are over for the co-operative. He told Fonterra’s annual meeting in Masterton last week that some people may see this as a downside. “The good thing is it means your milk will become a scarce resource in the global markets – a valuable, scarce resource.” To grow demand and add further value, Fonterra is differentiating farmer milk through its strengths: sustainability, innovation and scale efficiency. “By being closer to our customers than we have been in the past, we’ll make sure the New Zealand-ness of your milk is being understood and valued more. “We’re clear about the consumption categories we want to be in – Core Dairy – that’s both base and advanced ingredients, foodservice, sports and active lifestyles, medical and aging nutrition, and paediatrics.”


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Capital structure review on the cards SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

A CAPITAL structure that gives farmers flexibility is a priority for reelected Fonterra director Brent Goldsack. He says the board will have a dialogue with farmers on a capital structure that matches its strategy for more value added earnings and a sustainable milk supply. Goldsack says the cooperative will remain 100% owned by New Zealand farmers. The Waikato farmer and former financial adviser with PwC is humbled to be re-elected by farmers for another three-year term. Goldsack polled the highest votes among six candidates.

Brent Goldsack

“It’s a privilege and great honour to serve on the Fonterra board,” he told Dairy News. “This is an industry and a cooperative that I am positive about. I feel a great sense of responsibility.” Goldsack says as a director he is part of the team of board members and is proud of what the

team has achieved in the last three years. He lists the revised strategy, changing advance rates for payout and the Co-op Difference programme as some of the board’s achievements. There’s no doubt a lot of work is ongoing, he adds. Goldsack is currently chair of the co-operative relations

committee, a member of the milk price panel, the safety and risk committee, the capital structure committee, the divestment review committee, and the disclosure committee. In addition, he serves as the Fonterra representative on the ‘Dairy Tomorrow’ Steering Group – which focuses on the strategy for the dairy industry. He also holds several governance roles, including director of Rabobank and chair of Waitomo Petroleum Group. He was previously on the board of Canterbury Grasslands Limited and the New Zealand National Fieldays Society. His family owns three dairy farms in the Waikato milking 1,500 cows.

PRIVILEGE TO SERVE AUCKLAND LAWYER and new Fon- issue and the board has said it will be terra director Cathy Quinn is looking discussing capital structure with shareforward to making a positive contribu- holders. “Balancing the demand by customers and communities in terms tion around Fonterra’s board table. of sustainability – and NZ Quinn, who narrowly dairy farmers are the most missed out last year, says sustainable dairy farmers in she’s delighted to have the world – with increased received shareholder supregulatory and other costs port. Quinn received the on farm is an issue-dairy second highest number of farming does need to be votes among the six candieconomic. dates. “There are also plenty of “It’s a huge privilege to Cathy Quinn global issues that the Fonserve Fonterra shareholdterra team is aware of and ers. Fonterra is so important to all our shareholders, our staff, our needs to manage its way through.” Quinn, a commercial and corporate investors, local communities throughout New Zealand and New Zealand lawyer with MinterEllisonRuddWatts until end of last year, has significant itself,” she told Dairy News. Quinn says her priority is to be the expertise in governance, equity capital best director she can be for sharehold- markets, mergers and acquisitions and private equity services. She was made ers, Fonterra people and investors. “I look forward to making a pos- an Officer of the New Zealand Order itive contribution around the board of Merit for services to law and women table, which will now be led by Peter in 2016. She is now a director and shareMcBride.” Quinn says there are plenty of chal- holder of Thistlehurst Dairy Limited, based in the Waikato. lenges and opportunities ahead. Her current board memberships “In my mind, retaining milk supply Fonterra has is the key. Consistent include Fletcher Building, Tourism financial performance is part of that, Holdings, Rangatira and she chairs Ferbut capital structure is also part of the tility Associates. – Sudesh Kissun






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6 //  NEWS

Diversifying into goat, sheep milking all about stability SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FORMER ALL Black Kevin Schuler says diversifying the family farm with his brother Paul into three milking systems – cows, goats and sheep – is all about creating a better and stable business. Higher payouts for goat and sheep milk, a lower farm environmental footprint, and the creation of smaller, efficient farming units prompted Schuler Brothers Ltd (SBL) to look beyond cows. SBL owns a 236ha

(215 effective) farm in Te Aroha West, which started as a small farm bought nearly 100 years ago by Schuler’s grandfather who came from Switzerland. Over time, five other neighbouring farms were acquired for milking cows. At its peak, the farm milked 850 cows; today it milks 350 cows, supplying Fonterra. Seven years ago, the farm invested in dairy goats, now peak milking 1400 goats and supplying Dairy Goat Cooperative Ltd in Hamilton. This year, the business decided to dip its toes in sheep milk.

From late August, 640 ewes have been milked in what was an old cow herringbone shed. It now boasts a new Rapid Exit Milking System fitted by Waikato Milking Systems. Kevin says the company spent around $500,000 on the conversion which included the shed conversion, fencing new paddocks and sheep Schuler Brothers Farm, milking: proofing ➤ 350 cows existing ➤ 1400 goats paddocks, ➤ 640 sheep races, ➤ 10 staff town water

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supply, effluent system, and sheep handling facilities. While the conversion project was delayed due to Covid-19, the ewes have been milking for over a month now and Kevin is pleased with how things are going. “We aren’t too worried about the milk yield this year, we know there will be good genetic advancement and longer lactation going forward,” he told Dairy News. “Next year will be a more normal year for the sheep milking operation and that will be a real measure of our success.” Maui Milk, which takes sheep milk from the farm, is paying its suppliers $17/ kgMS. Kevin says that is an outstanding payout. He says the recent volatility around cow milk payout has created uncertainty for the dairy cow industry. “We know what our costs are but we don’t know what Fonterra’s payout will be,” he says. “One element we have sought around diversification is creating stability. We supply the Dairy Goat Co-op which has consistently delivered a strong payout. So this gives different strings to your bow.” He notes that both

Maui and DGC use milk for infant formula products rather than commodities. “For us it’s about moving out of commodities; ultimately you get into business to have good cashflow and make profit.” This year the Schuler Brothers farm has allocated 40ha for sheep, 70ha for goats and 105ha for cows. About 45ha of support land is used for growing maize and running young stock. Kevin says being able to create smaller farms forms part of the succession plan for the family business. “When we look at the future, we think there will be less buyers for big farms, and smaller 40 to 60ha farms will be more affordable and appealing. Sheep and goats make this scale of farm possible. “If we decide to keep it in the family, that will be great but we will have no problems selling smaller efficient farms.” The lower environmental footprint of goat and sheep milking is also a factor. “We love our cows but indications are there about the lower carbon footprint of goats and sheep and this puts you in a better space as well.”


NEWS  // 7

Price dip a blip? SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz


last week after three consecutive rises but economist Nathan Penny, Westpac, says the dip is likely to be temporary. He says it’s assumed that the 2% drop in Global Dairy Trade’s whole milk powder prices last weeks is Covidrelated. Global daily cases have hit fresh record highs recently, forcing parts of Europe to go back into lockdown. Penny says these developments are likely to dampen global dairy demand and thus prices, at least temporarily. “With that in mind, we note that China and the rest of Asia have led the rebound in dairy demand and prices, and on that front, Covid developments are more benign. “Accordingly, we anticipate that the dip in dairy prices is likely to prove

temporary.” Last week’s price dip surprised the market with the futures market forecasting a 1% rise. ASB economist Nathaniel Keall says while there is some disappointment to see the winning streak end at the auction, prices are moving less dramatically than they were earlier in the year. “Back then we saw some real rollercoaster moves up and down,” says Keall. Keall notes that GDT volumes remain stubbornly down on year-ago levels. The total volume sold at last week’s auction fell about 8% compared to the same time last year. Volumes sold have been down on year-ago levels at every auction since the beginning of July, after rising sharply earlier in the year as buyers rushed to secure supply amid fears of wide-scale Covidrelated supply chain disruption and a slowdown in international trade. He says the shape of

the contract curve is shifting too. “Over recent auctions there has been a bit of a ‘kink’ in the curve, with demand for nearer-dated contracts much higher. “At the latest auction, the curve shifted in the opposition direction, with demand lower

at the nearer term and then rising out to longer dates.” He says this might suggest buyers have built up good stockpiles for the time being after the lifts over recent auctions. ASB is retaining its $6.75/kgMS forecast for the 2020-21 season.

Grass growing conditions over the summer months will be another key variable to this season’s milk price.

“Now we can monitor the herd performance day to day really easily” Dion van Leeuwen

WATCHING HOW GRASS GROWS GRASS GROWING conditions over the summer months will be another key variable to this season’s milk price, says Nathaniel Keall, ASB economist. Last month NIWA released its seasonal outlook for the beginning of summer, confirming that New Zealand is highly likely to experience La Niña weather conditions. Keall says La Niña conditions are typically associated with above average temperatures across the country and near-normal rainfall conditions in the upper North Island, but can also mean lower-than-average rainfall in the rest of the country. “That should mean grass growing conditions are good in the Waikato but much weaker elsewhere. “Milk production is currently running about 3% of last year, and we continue to expect it to finish the season higher, but there is the real risk it could taper off if things really dry-off.”

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8 //  NEWS

Waikato makes world’s first Tea Gouda SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz


ducers have joined forces to create the world’s first tea-infused cow’s milk cheese. The Tea Gouda cheese is a fusion of green and black tea grown in the Zealong Tea Estate near Gordonton and Gouda cheese made by Meyer Cheese, which runs its

dairy farm and cheese factory just outside Hamilton. The cheese is sold online via Meyer Cheese website. Meyer Cheese general manager Miel Meyer told Dairy News that the collaboration was not a one-off idea but an evolution of thoughts after a few years of connecting, drinking tea and eating cheese and discussion around business and

Waikato related topics. “We are thrilled that we have been able to produce a product which is a world first but also supports our business values and maintains the quality that our products are known for,” he says. “We have been able to produce a well balanced cheese which supports the ‘hero’ flavours (green tea and black tea) the natural colour is also clearly visible for the consumer.  Miel Meyer and Zealong Tea Estate general manager Sen Kong at the cheese launch.

“We are very excited to bring this out to our local trade show and gauge consumer response.” Meyer says the Tea

Gouda will be available for tasting at the Auckland Food Show later this month. Miel says working with

Zealong has been inspiring. “Their story and their passionate team resonate what we at Meyer Cheese

are all about.” There are two versions of the Tea Gouda, both made with cows’ milk, one with Zealong Green tea and the other Zealong Black tea and aged on wood for four weeks with turning daily. Zealong Tea says not many people would have expected the two companies to make for an elegant and delicious pairing. “But this is what defines these two companies, Zealong Estate and Meyer Cheese,” the company says. “Both are local, both passionate about their product and both driven by collaboration and the energy of bucking the trend.”

PRAISE FOR ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR SCHEME FEDERATED FARMERS dairy vice chairman Richard McIntyre says the associate director scheme run by DairyNZ is awesome and he would thoroughly recommend it to anyone. The role allows the two successful candidates to join the board for a year and fully participate in all the discussions but they do not have voting rights. The aim is to provide up and coming leaders in the sector with experience in governance. DairyNZ has just concluded a recruitment campaign for its next two associate directors. McIntyre is about half way through his term as an associate director and is full of praise for this DairyNZ initiative. He says he’s been encouraged to participate in


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the debate at board meetings and told not to just sit there and listen. “They encourage you to voice your opinion and share it with the rest of the board. It is great in that respect because I have never felt like I couldn’t or shouldn’t contribute. They assigned you a mentor on the board so that you talk about how meetings have gone and about your contributions, and to see if you could have asked a question in a better way or more constructively, which is really cool,” he says. McIntyre says he’s had the opportunity to talk to other board members and they are keen to help and give good feedback. He says reading through board papers gives one a great insight into the dairy industry.

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He says he applied for the role because he wanted to broaden his knowledge and experience in the area of governance. McIntyre says his roles in Federated Farmers have mainly been in the area of representation and saw the associate director role as a great opportunity to build on that and gain new skills for future governance positions. Already he is involved in two governance roles – as councillor for Fish and Game and as member of the Dairy Industry Awards Trust. McIntyre says every year he endeavours to do some form of personal development and looking to the future he is keen to get on the Fonterra Governance Development Programme. – Peter Burke

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10 //  NEWS

Minister of ‘plate to paddock’ PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz


has been put in a unique position in the Labour Government’s new cabinet line-up announced last week. As well as retaining his role as Minister of Agriculture, he’s been handed the Trade and Export Growth portfolio previously held by David Parker. In that sense, O’Connor has control over the primary sector from paddock to plate. Dairy News is unaware that this has ever happened before in the modern political era. O’Connor told Dairy News that he is very excited, happy and humbled to be given the opportunity to contribute positively in these two

crucial areas of the New Zealand economy and says the two portfolios are interrelated. “We are a nation of food and fibre producers and 95% of our efforts all have to go offshore so that we can survive. There are too few of us to consume the production that we generate and we have to knock on doors and ask governments to allow their people to buy our products,” he says. O’Connor believes there is a growing recognition across the primary sectors that ultimately consumers drive the success of NZ primary producers. He says he takes up his new roles at a time when, worldwide, there are a lot of protectionist views being expressed. “But because of Covid there is also a growing awareness of food security

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor is happy to have picked up additional portfolios of trade and export growth.

and the interdependence between the trade of food between countries and the production of food within them,” he says. O’Connor says now that overseas travel is

restricted by Covid, he and other trade ministers around the world are going to have to learn how to develop relationships using new technologies such as Zoom. He

says it won’t be easy, but NZ has just got to continue to battle hard and get its message across that historically we are honest brokers, treat people as equals and are

good trading partners. While O’Connor is firmly in charge of the overall primary sector in the new cabinet, there are a number of other portfolios that relate to the pri-

mary sector. This includes David Parker who remains in the somewhat controversial role as Minister for the Environment. Willie Jackson takes over from Nania Mahuta as the Minister of Maori Development, meaning he will have a significant role in shaping Maori development in the primary sector through Te Puni Kokiri and Te Tumu Paeroa. Stuart Nash has Forestry, Ayesha Verrall is Minister of Food Safety and Kiri Allan is Minister of Conservation. O’Connor has two ministers outside cabinet who will assist him. Phil Twyford is Minister of State for Trade and Export and Meka Whaitiri makes a comeback with the role of Associate Minister for Agriculture with responsibility for animal welfare.


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Ex-farmer lends a helping hand EX-FARMER DANIEL

Payton is now using his knowledge and practical experience to help farmers make changes to their system, while retaining a viable and profitable business. Payton, 37, is Perrin Ag’s newest consultant. One of his first projects is working as part of a larger team to complete work for the Government’s One Billion Trees Programme – an initiative that aims to increase tree planting across New Zealand, targeting one billion trees planted by 2028. Perrin Ag is being funded by Te Uru Rākau (Foresty New Zealand) and key industry organisations to develop case studies from ten farms across the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Rangitikei. The aim of these studies is to demonstrate how different species of trees can be successfully integrated into a variety of farming systems. He started with Perrin Ag in June and brings both farming and business know-how to the job. Originally from a dairying background, he also worked as a business manager for Landcorp Farming where he was responsible for large scale sheep, beef and deer operations, predominantly on the North Island’s East Coast. He has also spent time in rural finance and banking, as well as eight years dairy farming, which included contract and variable order sharemilking roles in the Taranaki. “From a young age I have lived and breathed

agriculture and had a deep connection with the land,” he says. “I enjoy helping clients find solutions to achieve their business goals, but I also love the human element of my role, that is building relationships and helping people grow in their business,” he says. His varied career has allowed him to specialise in both dairy and sheep and beef operations. His corporate farming experience means large systems do not faze him. “From time spent farming myself and running a business, I know what it’s like to be on the ground in gumboots every day,” he says. “This experience means I can drill down into the mechanics of what’s happening on a farm and understand issues and challenges from a farmer’s perspective.” And when it comes to trees on farm, Daniel knows his stuff. He says in New Zealand there has been a real focus on planting radiata pine as the main commercial species. “The One Billion Trees Progamme aims to identify alternative species to pine. The case studies we’re working on are based around a philosophy of the right tree in the right place, for the right purpose. “What our work demonstrates is the potential for other species to be used within the farming system, while still achieving the Programme’s aim, the landowner’s objectives and allowing for land

diversification.” The case study results from the One Billion Trees Programme will be released later this month. The One Billion Trees

Programme is funded by Te Uru Rākau, with supporting funding from DairyNZ, Living Water (Fonterra-DOC partnership), Waikato Regional

Council, BOP Regional Council, Forest Growers Research, Horizons Regional Council and Farmlands Cooperative Ltd.

Daniel Payton, 37, is Perrin Ag’s newest consultant.

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The next three years

MILKING IT... No has-beens, thanks FONTERRA FARMERS have spoken, rejecting an ex-politician and an exboard member making a comeback to governance roles. Last week’s board election results show farmers value the contribution of incumbent Brent Goldsack. He amassed 527,362 weighted votes and finished top. Lawyer Cathy Quinn joins the board with 361,716 weighted votes. However, former Ag Minister Nathan Guy misses out with 285,869 votes. Farmers also rejected exdirector Nicola Shadbolt who finished fourth in the field of six. Fonterra farmers have made it clear; they will accept fresh blood but no has-beens.

Late nights NEW ZEALAND’S top farmer advocate Andrew Hoggard has just signed himself up for more late night work. We know he wakes up at 4.30am to milk cows on his Manawatu farm and at least once or twice a month it’s going to be midnight or 1am starts as he joins online northern hemisphere meetings. Hoggard has just been elected as global dairy farmers’ rep on the International Dairy Federation (IDF) board. The IDF is the only organisation which represents the entire dairy value chain at global level – from farm gate to retailer fridge. With overseas travel in limbo and Zoom calls the way to go, good luck to Hoggard.

Stuck on trampoline

No Zoom for cows

A HERD of 40 cows went on the run in the middle of the night last month in rural Victoria, Australia, NCA NewsWire reported. Most were rounded up after a truck driver saw the cows and knocked on the door of the nearest home to tell the neighbours, many of whom woke to see the animals in their yards, the outlet reported. Kay Laing, a local dairy farmer, said she spotted one of the cows sitting on her in-ground trampoline and unable to get off. She told 3AW that the cows’ owner brought a tractor to her house to hoist the cow off the trampoline. “I would have loved to have seen her get on,” Laing said. “I’m sure she must have been thinking, what the hell?” She told 9 News that she hoped the cows learned a lesson. “Not on my tramp, and certainly not in my yard!” she said.

DURING COVID, we’ve all had to get used to communicating across a distance and it isn’t the same as personal interaction. A new study by the Institute of Animal Welfare Science, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, Austria found that cows, too, prefer ‘in-person’ interaction. The study was set up to find out whether cows— heifers, in this case—can tell the difference between digitally recorded and live human interaction, and what that difference might be. The researchers hooked up the cows to heart rate monitors and carefully monitored physical indicators of stress and relaxation, which include the position of the animal’s ears. Human testers then spoke gentle, soothing language to the cows while stroking them. Interestingly, the cows’ heart rates didn’t drop while being stroked; they actually rose a bit before dropping to levels lower than prestroking.

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THE DUST from the 2020 general election has settled and Labour has been given the mandate to govern New Zealand for the next three years. With the Greens roped into a cooperation agreement by Jacinda Ardern and handed two portfolios, including Climate Change for co-leader James Shaw, farmers should be under no illusion that there will be any let-up on the state’s crusade on clean waterways and farm greenhouse gas emissions. While thankfully the Greens radical ideologies, like reducing cow numbers and phasing out the use of synthetic nitrogen, are off the table, David Parker has retained the Environment portfolio, much to the dismay of many farmers. Federated Farmers expects there will be little difference to what occurred during the past three years – two major pieces of legislation relating to healthy waterway and Zero Carbon both creating challenges for farmers. Farmers will be watching closely how Parker uses his party’s absolute majority to make more draconian changes to this legislation. The Labour Party’s policies on freshwater management are established and some have already come into effect. There are new limits on farm practices deemed higher-risk, such as winter grazing and feed lots, and interim limits on agricultural intensification. A national cap on the use of synthetic fertiliser will also be imposed, to be reviewed in three years. Labour also introduced new rules for intensive winter grazing that came into effect in early September. These included not allowing winter grazing on sloped land with more than a 10-degree angle, and limits on the depth of pugged soil. It also gave a deadline of November 1 to farmers for sowing winter crops. If farmers couldn’t comply, resource consent would be required. The Government then walked back on some parts of the regulations after admitting they were impractical. Pugging around stock troughs became exempt, and the definition was amended. Farmers would be hoping that the Greens’ influence on Ardern’s Government would be minimal. The Greens are not expected to let up on their flawed campaign for clean waterways and the environment. Parker has proven that he is happy to sing from the same song sheet as the Greens. But one would hope that the large number of Labour electorate MPs from rural constituencies would go into bat for farmers. Here’s hoping.

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OPINION  // 13

Time to review strategy, not the council Former Fonterra Shareholders Council chair and Waipu farmer Simon Couper suggests they should be reviewing strategy not the council. THIS IS the first of five articles aiming to demonstrate dairy industry strategies in NZ and provide a perspective for viewing Fonterra’s strategy. The aim of this article is to briefly explain why strategy is important, identify the key strategic positions within the NZ dairy industry and outline three observable firms that lead in these positions. So what is a strategy and why is it important? A strategy is a framework for how we make business decisions. Every decision within an organisation should fit in or be guided by the strategy. A good strategy should determine an organisations purpose, what its long run goals are and scrupulously prioritise its capital of natural resources, intellectual capability and financial assets to achieve them. If a strategy is unfocused an organisation runs the risk of going in too many directions, suffering confusion and loss of its competitive advantage. Later on we will look at the key elements a good strategy should contain. Right now we will look at the three distinct strategic positions currently available in the NZ dairy industry. COST LEADER – (lowest cost producer) PRODUCT LEADER – customer intimacy (customer intimacy and specialised products) PRODUCT LEADER - differentiation (identifiable point of difference ) OPEN COUNTRY DAIRY (OCD) – cost leader OCD describes its vision, business and values as taking pride in creating quality world class dairy products. We all know that OCD’s core strategic advantage is the low cost production of dairy commodities. OCD incurs little research and development, marketing cost and has low overheads. Producing less than 30

entiation of its product. products keeps the operWith ownership of patation simple and efficient. ents and clever strategic We can measure OCD’s supplier agreements it success by observing its has (at this stage) locked growing infrastructure other milk producers (factories), 18% debt to out of this market. As a debt plus equity and an milk marketing company 11% Return on Capital (a2 owns shares in SynEmployed (ROCE)*. lait) and is now potenTatua – product leader – Simon Couper tially buying into Mataura customer intimacy Valley Milk)). Tatua describes its The triangle below illustrates vision and business as striving to be “the leading global supplier of spe- the three firms occupying three cialised dairy products”. With a clear different strategic positions. They

Rethink cups on customer focus its values describe how it aims to achieve this. As has been clearly observable, Tatua’s core strategic advantage as a product leader is its ability to provide specialty ingredients and value add products. Tatua’s success can be measured by its low debt to debt plus equity of 37%, leading payout to farmer suppliers and a ROCE* of 19%. a2 Milk Company – product leader - differentiated a2 Milk Company clearly commands a point of differentiation in the dairy market. At this stage success of a2 can be observed by its market capitalisation (now greater than Fonterra) and a stranglehold of the a2 consumer market. a2 Milk Company has achieved success by focussing on marketing the scientific differ-

have the competitive advantage for their respective strategic positions as defined by ROCE, balance sheet strength and growth of supply or capitalisation. These three firms have been outlined to identify the three distinct areas within the NZ dairy market where a strategic business advantage can be found and how it has been achieved. With a ROCE* of 6%, where would Fonterra sit within this framework? In the next article we will look further into how processing companies seek to defend their strategic positions in their pursuit of operating at the efficient commercial frontier. • Return on Capital figures are 5 year average sourced from TDB advisory 2019.

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Living on an organic island Running an organic dairy farm is a bit like living on an island where one has to be completely self sufficient. That’s how Tony Dowman who’s in charge of the Pamu, or Landcorp, dairy farm complex at Moutua, near Foxton in the Horowhenua, describes running an organic dairy farming operation. Peter Burke went along to look at one of the farms that Pamu has converted to organics. objectors was built in the area, partly because it was a long way from public transport, there was flax to cut, and it was also considered a somewhat ‘uncomfortable location’. Tony Dowman is in

also wet in winter and spring. It’s fair to say the land is damp and that’s why there was a large flax growing operation there in the past. In WWII, a camp for conscientious

ALL THE Pamu farms at

Moutua are close to the winding Manawatu River and large stopbanks are required to protect from major floods. The soils in the area are highly productive but

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charge of the seven Pamu farms on which 31 staff are employed. The farm I visited is called Tasman, which runs 305 cows on 155 hectares and is now fully certified organic. Last season it produced 138,000kgMS. Tony Dowman was involved in the conversion of Tasman which started in 2016. “This farm was amalgamated out of two and a half conventional dairy farms. They were running on a system four to five with a stocking rate of about 3.1 cows per ha, but when we converted to organics we dropped this to 2.1 cows per hectare and moved to a system one, self contained pasture based system. We specifically did that on day one to ensure that we farmed as we intended to farm,” he says. According to Dowman, they did this because they had seen others who converted to organics trying to hold onto cow numbers and milk production, but the pasture didn’t always keep up with this approach. He says the 30% reduction in stocking rate saw production fall correspondingly by 30% but on a per cow basis production has stayed equal and he says in the last year they have managed to increase this over previous levels. Another key factor in

Tony Dowman heads Pamu’s dairy farm complex at Moutua, near Foxton.

the conversion to organics was choosing the right date to start the process. Dowman says the process takes three years for the land and one year for the animals. He says on start date for the animals they cannot use any nonorganic supplementary feed that might be available on the farm. “We have to clean this out at key dates within the three year conversion process, then start again ensuring the feed is of equivalent status to the conversion process.. So the conversion date is really important. We didn’t do it on the 1st of June because it’s really difficult to be able to fully feed cows through

July, August and September. We decided to do it on the 10th of October so that allowed us to get through that spring peak and then to have our pasture in a growing position and we could harvest our own silage to get us through summer,” he says. The soils at Moutua are well developed, highly productive and resilient and there is no need for irrigation. The risk comes in winter and spring with the rains and Tasman, unlike other Pāmu farms at Moutua doesn’t have a feed pad. This says Tony Dowman, requires careful grazing management and maybe having sacrifice paddocks or other

management plans to deal with the wet. Organic farming is about farming within quite prescribed limits. Tony Dowman likens it to living on an island and being completely selfcontained. In terms of supplementary feed they grow roughly 15 hectares of maize that’s harvested in autumn. They also grow turnips and have plantain and clover crops and when they convert the paddocks that have been used for maize and turnips back to pastures they use a mixed sward which includes rye grass, cocksfoot, white and red clovers, prairie grass, timothy and plantain.

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We need to be smarter than just focusing on planting and fencing. MPI supports planting, fencing and “other initiatives to prevent farm runoff ”.



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MANAGEMENT  // 15 KEY STAFF TONY DOWMAN is originally from Taranaki where his parents owned a berryfruit orchard. But for Tony it was the dairy industry that attracted him the most and he did a course at the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre in Wairarapa and later a Diploma in Agriculture at Massey University. He then worked on dairy farms in Taranaki and later oversaw the dairy farming operations at Taratahi before joining Pamu in 2014 and taking charge of the Moutoa dairy farming complex. The manager at Tasman has made his own and unusual conversion to dairy farming. Mahraaz Hussein started off life in Fiji as a graphic artist and web

designer and then came to NZ. He says one of his friends introduced him to the dairy industry and he began working for Pamu

in Canterbury in 2015. Last year he and his wife Suzanna and their two children relocated to Moutua. Suzanna also works part time on the farm looking after calves and other chores. “It’s been a big change joining the dairy industry but since doing it I haven’t looked back. I find it quite a peaceful environment working on a dairy farm and think I am going to continue in dairy,� he says. Somewhat ironically, Mahraaz says he enjoyed the colder climate in Canterbury more that the warmer weather where he is based now. But he says his wife prefers the warmer weather of the North Island.

scratch was about getting over the perception barrier of what organic farming may or may not mean. He says in one sense it is simply farming in that you feed cows and they produce milk but on the other hand it’s about working through the strict organic requirements. “We do have some restrictions and this starts with the likes of synthetic fertilisers that we aren’t able to use. At present we use OSFLO which is a form of composted chicken manure which we apply at the rate of two tonnes per hectare to land that is not part of our effluent areas. “We are not allowed to utilise brought in feed unless it’s organic certified, which limits the feed available. But the biggest thing we have to deal with is what we can use in terms of animal health,� he says.

Dowman says they can’t use antibiotics and rely on homeopathic products and an increased management focus to deal with such things as mastitis. He says sometimes a product will work and sometimes it won’t, so it’s often a matter of trial and error and going through a triage programme to find a solution. He says for him and staff it’s partly a mind-set issue and building up experience and confidence. While the operation at Tasman is working well with nice healthy cows, good animal performance and a low death rate, Tony Dowman says they still have a long way to go. He says the question is whether the system is repeatable and resilient, should there be changes to the cropping and grazing management? “I think we may still have a lot to learn,� he says.

Mahraaz Hussein left a graphic designing career in Fiji to work with cows in New Zealand.

THE CHALLENGES TONY DOWMAN says one of the challenges in converting to organic was filtering the wide range of advice that is on offer because it is so diverse. He says Pamu’s move to organics was a business or commercial decision which probably differs from the philosophy of some organic dairy farming operations. “We have probably designed a system that is quite management intensive for an organic dairy farm. An example of summer management is where the cows get milked in the morning, go to a pasture break, then to a clover plantain break, then a turnip break and then come in for afternoon milking and back out to pasture. For us its getting the most out of feeding the cows very well and that’s how we have achieved the production we have,� he says. Tony Dowman says setting up an organic dairy farm from


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Balanced approach to breeding paying off SIMON WORTH

THE MOTIVATION of dairy farmers to create herds that are more efficient converters of feedto-profit is long-held, but a balanced approach to breeding is paramount for optimal on farm success. A balanced approach to breeding delivers profit on farm by ensuring productive cows have good shed-attributes, the physical capacity to compete (i.e. get their share of feed), and an ability to walk, conceive, and stay in-calf. The feedback LIC has received from farmers is

such as a heavier focus on udder conformation and adjust for things like protein to fat ratio. Ultimately LSI enables us to better deliver the elite genetics our farmers are seeking and expect and its application is proving powerful when used with other data to better identify quality cow families, consistent maternal performance, conformation, and longevity traits. As a result, and together with the powerful application of LIC’s genomic tools, we’re witnessing impressive trends over time for BW and the all-important conforma-

that they want us to breed bulls that sire cows with the above balance and attributes. In response LIC first incorporated an internal index, called the livestock selection index (LSI) about 20 years ago into our already-robust breeding programme to ensure we can graduate the desired bulls. Today it’s supporting our purchase of more young bulls sired by genomic sires than those sired by daughter proven genetics. The benefits of LSI LSI is highly-correlated to breeding worth (BW) and enables our selection team to allocate weightings across specific traits

A balanced approach to breeding is paramount for optimal on farm success, says LIC’s Simon Worth.

tion and workability traits We will continue to review our LSI to ensure it aligns with the chang-

ing needs and wants of LIC shareholders. For example, when it comes to optimal liveweight

requirements, most farmers are now seeking a medium-sized Holstein Friesian, a consistent KiwiCross or a larger Jersey cow. With genomics now adding more to the mix, our tool-kit for a balanced approach to breeding is quite formidable. LIC’s genomic model (the Single Step Animal Model) – launched in February – combines ancestry, phenotypic and genomic information all in one step. It’s already improving the efficiency of LIC’s breeding scheme and delivering farmers with clearer information on the most profitable

and efficient cows on farm for better breeding and culling decisions. LIC has invested $76 million over the last three decades to improve the accuracy of its animal evaluation system with improved data providing better predictions on breeding worth for our farmers and industry. As genomics continues to progress worldwide, our breeding decisions are also improving at faster rate of-knots benefiting our farmers, their herds and ultimately our economy as we move forward from Covid-19. • Simon Worth is LIC livestock selection manager


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LIC fresh liquid bull semen straws being prepared for shipment to the South Island.






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ANIMAL BREEDING company LIC says its fresh liquid bull semen is literally flying out the door as demand rockets. The cooperative chartered a plane this month through Mainland Air to airfreight over 70,000 straws of semen (its biggest interisland shipment) from Hamilton to Nelson, Christchurch, Invercargill and Dunedin. The shipment is just one of many LIC will be making as its team works to impregnate four million cows over the coming months. The 12cm long straws were stored in secure chilly bins as cargo during the flight with care and speed of delivery critical to maintaining the semen’s integrity.

LIC says for the first time it has chartered a plane for its semen delivery to the South Island, ensuring there is no interruption to its supply chain during the pandemic. It also supports other traditional air and land transport options the cooperative is currently using to transport fresh semen quickly. LIC’s general manager NZ Markets, Malcolm Ellis, says the shipment marks an exciting milestone as it’s the biggest individual consignment to date to the South Island by LIC. “We’re seeing strong demand across our AB product options this year. Our delivery of fresh semen via our powerful Premier Sires teams continues to be a defining

contributor of genetic merit to the national herd. “This year we are particularly experiencing phenomenal growth in the area of fresh sexed semen which delivers a 90% chance of producing a heifer calf enabling farmers to target valuable heifer replacements from their most productive cows ensuring the rate of genetic gain within their dairy herds is optimised.” It’s exciting to see the scale of this delivery taking place and ensuring the continuation of our incredible national dairy herd supported by committed and passionate farmers.” Caption: LIC fresh liquid bull semen straws being prepared for shipment to the South Island.



Farmers care about animals, says vet PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

A LEADING veterinarian says in

his opinion farmers are doing a better job now than ever in regards to animal welfare. Richard Hilson is the managing director of Vet Services Hawke’s Bay, which has a staff of 120 people including about three dozen vets. Hilson says he gets frustrated when he sees a lot of publicity given to people who treat animals badly. He says the reality is that these few individuals unfairly give farming a bad name. In recent months there have been several high profile cases of animals being mistreated and people being prosecuted for failing to adequately feed cows to killing a lamb. Hilson says there is a greater

awareness about animal welfare and often people who harm animals find that others who know them report them to the authorities. Hilson says these days, people realise that it’s not okay to mistreat animals. “When you look back at some of the things we did 10 or 20 years ago we are not doing them now,” he told Dairy News. “We are doing a better job. We are more humane and much more conscious of animal welfare. It just seems that the cases reported get a high profile in the media. I think it would be quite nice for every story that some fellow got potted, quite rightly so for welfare, to see 100 stories about farmers doing a good job,” he says. Hilson points to the greater awareness of animals suffering from pain and that has been considered with the greater use of painkillers

when treating them. He says welfare standards have lifted and that farmers have done this because they accept the science and the need to do the best for their valuable stock. “Very few people beat their cows or break their tails these days. It is true that sometimes people get angry and do things they immediately regret,” he says. Hilson says he and his staff spend a lot of time with farmers and says the issue of animal welfare is seldom raised because he says there is simply no need to because farmers get the issue. He says in his experience the thing that upsets farmers the most is the misreporting of their industry. “Farmers feel so beaten up new regulations, health and safety and a raft of other issues that they feel isolated,” he says. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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Dave Mackenzie says farmers were able to bid online.

Record audience at bull sale A RECORD numbers

of farmers took part in the largest service bull sale in New Zealand – many from the comfort of their own homes. This year’s Huntly bull sale marked 14 years since friends Dave MacKenzie and Greg Straker combined forces to provide farmers with access to quality grade beef and dairy bulls.

MacKenzie recalls that the sale quickly became renowned for bulls which were well grown and provided the breed diversity dairy farmers were after. “Until this year the NZ Farmers Livestock auction has meant that bidders needed to be ringside – but this year farmers were able to register to bid online

via our hybrid auction platform which enables ring-side and online bidding.” NZ Farmers Livestock general manager Bill Sweeney said the sale was very successful “with return buyers and around 100 registered buyers. Around 440 2yr bulls in outstanding condition and with excellent temper-

ament went under the hammer”. “The top Herefords realised up to $2,800 with an average of $2,400 while the average for Angus and Jersey was $2,300 and $1,950 respectively – up slightly on the prices achieved last year. Buyers were from as far away as Otago and Whangarei,” Bill Sweeney said.

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Nothing beats milking elite Jersey cows SOPHIA CLARK didn’t think she would end up a dairy farmer but a season milking Jersey cows showed her that a career in farming could deliver both a business and a lifestyle.

Sophia and her partner Aaron Mills are 50/50 sharemilkers for Bernie and Gaye Hermann at Paengaroa, near Te Puke, where they milk a herd of 550 elite Jersey cows. Sophia says the herd,

which is in the top 1% of herds across all breeds based on breeding worth (BW), is perfectly suited to the farm. “We are a hilly farm, running a lower input system and milking once-

a-day over summer. Jerseys are well suited to our operation and enable us to farm the way we want to farm – not too much time spent on the tractor or too many bells and whistles – just a simple,

efficient, profitable system.” “We have found Jerseys to be a hardy, low maintenance animal. They have good fertility, are easy calving, and with a flatter lactation curve

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Does your NAIT tag match your NAIT location?

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Remember to register your animals after tagging. Failure to comply with NAIT obligations may result in fines or prosecution issued by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

NAIT is an OSPRI programme

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they truck along on oncea-day without stripping condition, even through a dry summer. Our simple system allows us to achieve a work-life balance,” says Sophia. After graduating from Lincoln with a Bachelor of Commerce and Agriculture, Sophia, who is not from a farming background, went shepherding before spending time overseas. Upon returning to New Zealand she took a job on a dairy farm near Cambridge, where she met her partner Aaron. It was Sophia’s first taste of milking Jerseys. She says she liked the simplicity of the system with a focus on doing the basics well and achieving profitable production. When the couple purchased their first herd, comprising crossbred and Jersey animals, they experimented with breed options before breeding the herd back towards Jersey. “It might be a controversial opinion, but we felt that breeding cross over cross we were getting animals that had the frame of a Jersey but the conformation of a Friesian,” says Sophia. “We wanted a uniform herd of strong capacious animals with good conformation that would get in calf easily and produce well under a low to medium input system.” After sharemilking in Matamata for four years the couple had the opportunity to purchase their dream herd. “It was a hard decision to make, as we were

proud of the herd we had built up, but we had the opportunity to move up in herd size and purchase an elite group of animals with strong indexes and over 60 years of breeding behind them.” The investment has paid off. The couple have several animals contracted to LIC this season and have found huge demand for their surplus stock. “This season we sold almost all of our surplus calves. There has been a huge demand for both our surplus Jerseys and also our Jersey Angus, and while calf sales are not our primary focus as dairy farmers, it is a nice bonus.” The couple is busy with mating now and will AB for five weeks using LIC’s Jersey Forward Pack, followed by five weeks of short gestation Angus bulls. They are targeting a six-week in-calf rate of 78% and an empty rate of under 10% from their 10-week mating. The couple doesn’t use any intervention for the herd but says that they’ve always achieved strong submission rates from their Jerseys.  “Jerseys are easy calving and even the slightly larger Jersey Angus calves are no problem. The benefit of that is the cows recover quickly and cycle well pre-mating as we are seeing in our herd,” says Sophia. “We are really looking forward to getting our first season under our belts, and see what can be achieved with an elite Jersey herd.”



Grizzly SE builds on beaut base MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz


become increasingly popular with operators looking to tow heavy loads, be it feed or animals, so it was great to throw a leg over the range topper from Yamaha, the Grizzly 700 Special Edition, which builds on the success of the standard model with a number of ‘sporty’ refinements. Featuring the well proven single cylinder 686cc engine, mated to Yamaha’s Ultramatic transmission, it would be fair to say that this combination never feels short of grunt, is prompt off the mark and quickly hits maximum velocity. Indeed, during an afternoon’s logging, when an 8x5 trailer was loaded

Yamaha’s Grizzly 700 Special Edition

just a little too ambitiously and the route to the woodshed included a steep slope, the SE might have scratched for grip, but it never looked like failing. Momentum was maintained by selecting 4WD at the handlebar button, then using the same

system to choose limited slip or fully locked diff; in this case the former sufficed. On the return trip, this time with slightly smaller load in mind, the transmission took care of engine braking going back down the slope, using the integral sprag clutch to keep things under control.

A choice of ratios includes high, low, neutral, reverse and park, all easily selected by lever to the left of the 18-litre fuel tank. For those looking to do a little work, steel front and rear racks offer 50kg and 90kg capacities respectively, while the towbar, featuring a

standard 2-inch receiver, offers a 590kg rating. Fitted with 14-inch alloys and shod with 27-inch Maxxis Zilla mud tyres, the SE travels well on all types of terrain, although this tester thinks that a little less air in the tyres may have helped them clean a little

better. Although sitting a little higher than the standard models, the SE was extremely comfortable, with the long travel suspension soaking up the bumps, making the most of its 193mm and 231mm suspension travel at the front and rear respectively. Add to that, easily adjusted 5-way preload settings, then the machine can be tweaked to individual tastes. Heading out onto rougher country, the underside of the machine is protected by heavyduty plastic skid plates with recessed fittings to stop the machine hooking up in hidden objects. Pointing things in the right direction is made easy with a speed sensitive electric power steering system, while bringing things to a safe and controlled stop is made easy

with disc brakes on all wheels. Ample storage is delivered by three dedicated compartments, while information is relayed to the operator via a centrally mounted LCD display that monitors all key functions. A 12v power socket keeps the mobile device charged during the day and a high output headlight/work-light does the job on early or late shifts. Meanwhile, for those looking to tackle particularly gnarly stuff, the machine is pre-wired to take an optional Warn 2500 winch set-up. All in all, a great workhorse: with plenty of power, plenty of grip and importantly, plenty of control. www.yamaha-motor. co.nz @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews





Built tough for NZ farms MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

ONE OF Honda’s most loved ATVs, the TRX420FE1, is known for rugged durability, a reliable, grunty yet economical 420cc engine, 4WD and a manual transmission with electric shift. Developed to handle New Zealand conditions, the push-button shifting builds on the rugged design of a conventional ATV transmission, meaning it’s just one button push to upshift and one to downshift – a big plus when wearing heavy work boots or riding in mud or snow. The Honda also offers genuine compression braking for better speed control in steep terrain.

The Honda TRX420FE1, is known for rugged durability.

Reliable performance is a must for anyone who depends on their ATV, in this case delivered by Honda’s Programmed

Fuel Injection (PGMFI), which allows the fuel mapping to instantaneously adjust to any riding conditions, ensur-

ing trouble-free operation in the cold and at altitude, while reducing emissions and enhancing fuel efficiency.

In addition, the longitudinal engine layout aligns the crankshaft front to rear in the chassis, routing the power flow

straight to the wheels, eliminating right-angle detours, meaning reduced parasitic power loss and more grunt to the ground. The TRX420FE1 features a double-cradle steel frame designed for precise handling, a smooth ride and integral strength, offering 170mm of travel in both the front and rear suspension systems to ensure a comfortable and controlled ride. Towing heavy loads of up to 385kg is easy, making use of a swingarm rear suspension with an enclosed, solid axle design for strength and rigidity. When towing, the swingarm eliminates rear suspension squat as the load is placed on the axle itself, not on the rear shock. Front and rear cargo racks feature strong, steel

construction on a large flat area, while also being designed to integrate with the Honda Pro-Connect system, meaning accessories, such as the cargo boxes can be quickly attached and detached without tools. Finishing off the package, new guards extending the full length of the lower suspension arms provide full coverage of the driveshaft and outboard CV joints, which helps protect the running gear of the bike and further improves the durability of this model. Owners looking to customise their TRX420FE1 can select a range of Honda Genuine Accessories. Price; $10,995 exc. www.hondamotorbikes.co.nz

ATV SAFETY RULES COME INTO EFFECT AS OF mid-October, the first tranche of new ATV safety regulations has come into force in Australia. These include machines being tested for lateral stability and displaying a hang tag indicating at what angle the machine lifts onto two wheels and new roll over warning stickers. Machines must also be fitted with spark arrestors in the exhaust system that meets Australian or US standards. Machines must also meet EU and US standards relating to areas such as brakes, clutch, throttle, tyres, drivetrain, headlights, foot wells and maximum


speed capabilities. The initiative, driven by the Australian Consumer and Competition Commission (ACCC) has been brought about to by concerns over injuries and fatalities associated with quad bike use, that will culminate in the mandated fitment of Operator Protection Devices (OPD’s) from October 2021. Elsewhere over the ditch, off-road vehicle manufacturer, Polaris, says withdrawing from the quad bike market hasn’t hurt its overall sales in Australia. Polaris Australia and NZ managing director Alan Collins said for the fourth month in a row, more


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utility side-by-sides were sold than farm quad bikes in the Australian market, with year-to-date data released by FCAI showing Polaris was Australia’s number one off-road vehicle brand. In September, 29 per cent more utility SSVs had been sold than ag quad bikes, he said. “The Australian utility sideby-side market is now up a staggering 41 per cent year-to-date to September as the market transitions from quad bikes and towards SSVs. This transition is only accelerating with the introduction of the new Consumer Goods (Quad Bikes) Safety Standards.” – Mark Daniel


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KingQuad keeps ag sector moving MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

SUZUKI WAS the first on four wheels right back in 1982, when Suzuki importer of the day Rod Coleman developed the successful LT125. Today, with around 38 years of engineering improvements and

comfortable ride, while towing capacity, delivered through a new square receiver tow hitch, climbs to 600kg. Bringing things to a stop safely falls to dual front discs, with 190mm rotors, aided by a sealed, oil-bath multidisc rear brake with 106mm discs, while getting things pointing in the right direction

Suzuki offers an extensive range of genuine accessories.

Up front, a multi-function instrument panel with service reminder icon keeps the operator informed of all the machine key functions, with a handlebar mounted headlight offering excellent visibility for early starts or late finishes. advancement, Suzuki boasts a line-up of ATVs with features that make everyday farming just that little bit more comfortable. Suzuki’s quad range features models with engine sizes from 400 – 750cc, with features like power steering, independent suspension, fuelinjected engines and automatic transmissions with strong engine braking. The latest KingQuad 500 and 750 models utilise a new frame design using heavier 2mm tubing, with updated fully independent suspension offering 172mm and 194mm, front and rear wheel travel respectively. This is complemented by uprated shock absorbers with newly tuned damping forces. Further improvements in the rear stabiliser help deliver a safer and more

is the job of the newly updated power steering system. Up front, a multifunction instrument panel with service reminder icon keeps the operator informed of all the machine key functions, with a handlebar mounted headlight offering excellent visibility for early starts or late finishes. Meanwhile a flush mounted LEDstyle rear taillight is well protected from bumps and knocks out on the farm. Living with the latest KingQuad is also easy with a multitude of expansive storage compartments, including a front waterproof storage and two rear storage compartments that serve to carry all the tools needed out on the property. Of course, for those looking to customise their machines even further,

The KingQuad has a front waterproof storage and two rear storage compartments that serve to carry all the tools needed out on the property.

The latest KingQuad 500 and 750 models utilise a new frame design.











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Promotion available between 1/11/20 to 31/12/20 on new farm vehicles (AG125, AG200, TTR230/A, TW200, YFM350FA, YFM450FB, YFM450FB/P, YFM700FA, YFM700FB/P, YXC700P, YXE850PBL, YXE850PK, YXF850, YXM700), through participating authorised Yamaha dealers while stocks last. Offer available for specified models, and warranty registered on or before 31/12/20. *FINANCE DISCLAIMER: Zero deposit; zero repayments for the first 12 months and 4.95% p.a. fixed interest rate on a 36 month loan term. Asset backed commercial applicants only with NZBN registered for minimum of 1 year. Maximum amount financed is $35,000 and applies to AG125, AG200, TTR230/A, TW200, YFM350FA, YFM450FB, YFM450FB/P, YFM700FA, YFM700FB/P, YXC700P, YXE850PBL, YXE850PK, YXF850, YXM700. Offer available from November 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 with final settlement date of January 31, 2021. Credit criteria, fees, charges and conditions apply including an application fee of $325, $10 PPSR fee and a dealer administration fee. Finance to approved applicants by Yamaha Motor Finance New Zealand Ltd. (YMF) NZBN 9429036270798 FSP 9622. At participating Yamaha dealerships while stocks last. Information provided is general only and does not take into account your particular objectives, financial situation and needs. **INSURANCE DISCLAIMER: Information provided is general only and does not take into account your particular objectives, financial situation and needs. Please read the Policy Wording available at www.yminz.co.nz before you make any decisions regarding this product. Insurance is underwritten by underwriters at Lloyd’s of London acting through its agent Yamaha Motor Insurance New Zealand Ltd (YMINZ) NZBN 9429045857638 FSP 556706.



State funding for recycling MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz


in July that all farm plastics sold in New Zealand will have to be recycled or reused, the Ministry for the Environment has made two major grants to help this policy become a reality. One will help the onfarm plastic recycling scheme Plasback purchase baling and wrapping equipment, so it can transport waste plastic more cheaply, while the second will help the rural recycling programme Agrecovery devise a scheme to collect farm plastics that are currently

uneconomical to recycle. All farm plastics such as fertiliser, feed and bulk one tonne sacks will become priority products under the Waste Minimisation Act, so will have to be covered by a product stewardship scheme, meaning the farm plastics supply chain, from manufacturers through to consumers, will be responsible for recycling left-over plastic products and plastic packaging. Plasback manager Chris Hartshorne says the Ministry of the Environment’s Covid Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) is donating $442,000 to improve its collection efforts, and Plasback will match this

Plasback says it will use state funding to buy new waste compacting balers.

amount. “We will use the $884,000 to buy three new purpose-built, waste

compacting balers, five stationary wrappers, and three telehandlers. We

will install one baler in Northland, one in the Bay of Plenty and one in

South Canterbury.” Hartshorne cites the logistics of shipping loose plastic from Northland to Matamata, where it is currently baled, making the process very inefficient. A baler located in Northland will help reduce the number of trips made to Matamata by 75 percent. Plasback also aims to keep plastic collection costs from farms as low as possible. Plasback also reports that more companies are recognising the value in being part of an accredited recycling scheme, with silage wrap suppliers Grevillia Ag and Nutritech now joining Plasback, so they can support their customers’ efforts to recy-

cle waste plastic. Agrecovery commercial manager Richard Carroll reports the WMF is contributing $178,200 so that Agrecovery can develop a preferred product stewardship scheme for farm plastic for the Ministry for the Environment. This project will bolster existing recycling services for farmers and growers, like the ones Agrecovery provides for agrichemicals and Plasback provides for silage and bale wrap. Richard says there is considerable scope to reduce waste and increase the recovery of used resources, resulting in environmental, social and cultural benefits.

MORE COLOUR TO LIGHT RANGE ORIGINALLY AVAILABLE with amber lenses only, Narva’s ‘Geomax’ Heavy Duty LED Strobe Beacon light range has been upgraded with the addition of amber/clear, blue and green options, meaning they can now be used for agricultural, forestry, emergency service work and roadside assistance applications. The lamps have Class 1 approved rotating patterns, providing high levels of brightness as required by SAE standards, along with two rotat-

of night mode, reducing light output to 20% of maximum intensity. Manufactured with a tough diecast aluminium base and virtually unbreakable polycarbonate lenses, the units also have IP67 and IP69K ratings for water and dust ingress, which allow the lights to be cleaned using heated pressure washers (up to 80°C). They also feature Class 3 CISPR 25 ratings for electrical interference and are covered by a substantial warranty that includes five years on the LED’s.

ing patterns. They also feature four flash patterns options of quint flash (the heart stopping sequence you see when the cop pulls you over) ultraflash, single flash and steady on. An additional benefit: multiple units can be synchronised to maintain a crisp and uniform flash pattern on any vehicle they are fitted to. The Geomax beacons also feature ambient light sensors that automatically adjust for day or night operation, along with manual override in the case

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Mixer makes feeding easy MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz


near Taupo is a large-scale dairy operation farming 1150ha, including runoff blocks, within a 10km radius of its home base. Milking 1350 cows split into three herds, the enterprise is run with six full-time staff, led by director Patrick Hart. While grass is the primary feed, summers with dry spells of up to sixty days, means the farm also grows 120ha of lucerne, up to 40ha of maize and 75ha of chicory. During those summer months and the latter part of the milking season, supplementary feeding is

used to keep condition on cows and prolong production, but Patrick was always conscious of animals selectively feeding the ration being presented. This led to the arrival, in March, of a mixer wagon from Giltrap AgriZone, imported from County Carlow, Ireland manufacturer Hi-Spec. The T27 is a substantial unit measuring 7.6 metres long by 3.4m high. It has a capacity of 27 cubic metres and tips the scales with a tare weight of 8.66 tonnes Its tapered tub, manufactured with a 20mm thick floor and 8mm thick sides, houses twin vertical mixing screws that mix and chop, utilising 12

tungsten blades mounted on each auger. The action of the screws moves the load vertically and horizontally in a figure of eight motion that ensures a homogenous mix that incorporates all the key ingredients and resists selective feeding. The driveline uses a twin-speed heavyduty reduction gearbox, sourced from Italian specialists Comer, while the running gear uses a tandem axle layout, featuring rear-wheel steering and 4-wheel hydraulic braking – the latter very important when the loaded machine might weigh in at close to 25 tonnes. Patrick says they chose the machine based on its

The arrival of the Hi-Spec mixer has allowed the farm to extend production.

build quality, with a key consideration being the axle layout, opting for the rear-steer configuration to making manoeuvring in the yard easier. “We also noticed that the tyre equipment was more readily available locally than some fitments being used on competitive machines.” Keen to give animals a 1kg “top-up” as they stood around during milking, the operation currently

Dutch tanker spreads the load DUTCH SLURRY tanker

manufacturer Veenhuis has developed a new axle arrange for its Premium range of machines. Said to reduce scuffing during tight turns and increase both contact area in the paddock and driver comfort, the Quadshift axle was first tested by the manufacturer as far back as 2004. The layout sees four wheels spaced across a rigid axle, helping to spread weight over a larger footprint, while also incorporating a hydraulic lateral adjustment function for the outer wheels, allowing them to

be “pushed” out by up to 65cm on each side. This helps prevent the tanker wheels running in the tracks of the towing tractor, reducing soil damage, particularly in the spring Large tyre equipment (620-

80R42) helps create the larger footprint, while an independent suspension system ensures the pressure beneath each tyre remains constant. Fitted to the company’s 15,850 litre capacity machine, the unit is available with a rotary lobe or vacuum pump layout, a choice of self-filling arms on the tanker’s right hand side, ISOBUS controls, coulter pressure regulation and automated dosage control. Options include GPS, automatic section control and an NIR sensor system.

produces one large mix per day, taking around 15 minutes to create, using ingredients such as silage bales, clamped maize silage, lime flour, magnesium sulphate and some water for palatability. From an ease of use perspective, Patrick singles out the floating, antioverflow ring at the top of the mixing tub that stops bales trying to “climb out” and the ease of use of the integral weigh system that

takes away any guesswork when creating mixes. In this case, the DigiStar system features four load cells to offer accurate weight readings and allows the option of creating rations with up to 98 ingredients, 98 different mixes or any combination of both. “The arrival of the HiSpec mixer has allowed us to extend our production through what is usually a very dry period for

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us, typically towards the end of the lactation,” says Patrick. Our records are showing us that the new regime of using a mixer has helped to deliver an extra 30kgMS per animal, during the March to May period, pushing our overall average up to around 545kgMS/cow. The combination of the mixer and some selective breeding should see us topping 600kgMS in the not too distant future.”

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Profile for Rural News Group

Dairy News 10 November 2020  

Dairy News 10 November 2020

Dairy News 10 November 2020  

Dairy News 10 November 2020