Page 1

Lake Rotorua catchment farmers face new N limits. Page 17

it’s all in the family Next generation ready PageS 34-35

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august 13, 2013 Issue 296 //

nowhere to go Fonterra grapples with trade bans in key markets as botulism scare clouds NZ export credentials. PAGES 3-7

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

news  // 3

Crisis raises questions for global dairy PAM TIPA

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News����������������������������������������������������� 3-22 Opinion�������������������������������������������� 24-26

QUESTIONS TO be asked over food safety testing standards after the Fonterra recall have implications not only for the cooperative itself, but for dairy testing standards internationally. Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings confirmed to Dairy News there are wider implications in the “international scene of dairying”. Other industry sources have confirmed that while Fonterra “blew the whistle on itself” it could also have raised the bar on dairy testing in the evolving food safety environment. All the whey products involved in the recall had passed the standard testing under international Codex standards – both by Fonterra and its customers. It was only after further probing when Fonterra saw some elevated readings, that the potentially lethal Clostridium botulinum was found. Those elevated readings seen in March could have indicated at least 100 different types of bacteria, most of which were harmless. It took a deeper level of testing until July 31 to identify the Clostridium botulinum which is extremely uncommon in dairy products. Spierings says that’s when, after consideration, Fonterra decided to go public with a food safety issue. “It was minute – a one-in-a-million chance. But we cannot take that risk. We only knew about it on July 31. In March we knew we had lab results,

Work to rebuild reputation

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but they were within specification and accepted by customers.” Asked by Dairy News whether there are implications for future dairy testing internationally, given that the whey product had passed all standard tests through various stages – including by customers – and that it was picked up only during further probing by Fonterra, Spierings said, “That’s on our minds”. “If you have increased levels of sulphide-producing clostridia which you investigate but it is still within Codex levels and you ship it… we need to talk to Having just touched down authorities and our customers to really from China, Fonterra chief Theo Spierings identify a set of corrective actions and executive and communications what we have to do in the future if we director Kerry Underhill get to face the media find elevated levels. That is a very good ready last week. question.” linum does not survive and, for this reason, it is Clostridium botulinum does not survive in an environment where oxygen is available, not commonly tested for in dairy manufacturing. says Spierings, who has a food technology back- The discovery of this particular form of Clostridground. “All milk products contain oxygen – it ium will be the subject of discussions with regulacannot develop. That’s why the likelihood around tory authorities and our own technologists about this is so low. Codex has certain standards and we requirements for future testing regimes and qualacted within the Codex; that’s the question you ity regulations.” Asked why the elevated levels were not referred have to ask. Once you find these elevated levels, what are we going to do in the international scene personally to him in March, Spierings said this would be looked at in the investigation. “But if all of dairy? “If you don’t test for it you don’t find it; that’s elevated levels which are still within Codex specwhy you have to have the right specifications for ifications had to come to this table, it would be a full table,” Spierings says. the right product. “When exposed to oxygen, Clostridium botu@dairy_news

THE FOOD safety recall was an operational issue

that in the initial emergency stage needed to be left to the management team, says Fonterra chairman John Wilson.

And Wilson said he had “absolute” confidence in that management team lead by Theo Spierings who headed the response and who did the right thing by first fronting in China. Spierings then returned to New Zealand quickly to lead the response and face the media. Wilson said he personally was not more visible during the early stages of the food recall because

it was an operational issue for management. But he was working behind the scenes communicating with farmer shareholders and working with Government ministers. Fonterra now had to work to rebuild its reputation, particularly here in New Zealand where criticism had been highest, Wilson said. However the to page 4

Dairy News august 13, 2013

4 //  news

Politicians unhappy, inquiry possible peter burke

THE LACK of information from Fon-

terra has been frustrating, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy. He told Dairy News he’s been in touch with the industry and farmers and they are disappointed this has occurred. Many of the questions farmers and government have been asked about Fonterra will be answered through “some form of an inquiry,” he says. Guy says politicians are “unhappy” with Fonterra, but he stopped short of saying they have lost confidence in the co-op. He noted there was concern about the time Fonterra took to tell MPI about the scare and again hinted at an “inquiry”. “The Government is disappointed this has occurred…. a lot of those things we want answers to will be answered in the form of an inquiry [to] get to the bottom of what’s happened, how it happened and reassure our markets this type of situation can’t happen again.” Guy hinted food safety regulations could be strengthened, saying farmers realise food safety is paramount and that they understand MPI has been working with the Ministry of Health and other government agencies to protect the health of consumers in New Zealand and elsewhere. “This incident has affected New Zealand’s reputation, but as a food producing nation of over 100 years exporting to around 200 countries we will recover

from this. Our markets appreciate our quality food systems.” Former Federated Farmers Dairy head, Lachlan McKenzie, says Fonterra’s contamination scare has been a PR disaster. He told Dairy News that to restore farmers’, politicians’ and the public’s faith in the company either the chief executive Theo Spiering or chairman John Wilson should resign. Asked at a press conference last week whether he believed he should resign, Spierings said it was for the board to decide. But McKenzie says the failure of Wilson to front on the issue is a major problem. “I’ve had several people ring me up asking me if I had John Wilson’s cellphone number because they can’t contact him. I said they should ring the Fonterra office but they told me they just got fobbed off. No one can contact John and some farmers are starting to send him some terse emails.” But Wilson told Dairy News it was an operational matter and he left it to the management to deal with the media. He says he is working “behind the scenes” with Government officials. McKenzie says when he’s been faced with disasters in the past he’s always fronted and says Wilson should have done the same right at the start. “Theo went to China and supposedly fronted up there, but the reports from China suggested he didn’t do a very good job,” he says. @dairy_news

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Humility key to placating China THE LEVEL of Fonterra’s humility and sincerity hold the key to minimising the fallout from the contamination crisis, says an expert in agribusiness at Lincoln University. Senior Lecturer Nic Lees says what happens will be determined by the how Fonterra manages the damage control. “One of the key things for the Chinese is the humility with which New Zealand handles the situation. In some ways it’s not so much the information given, but how it’s given. “Some of the comment we’ve seen in the Chinese media is really not surprising. In the past the Chinese have been shown up over their own food safety standards and I guess New Zealand has kind of been held up as being far superior to that and their own products. “This is a situation where we have slipped up and it’s important in Chinese culture that you are willing to acknowledge and be humble and take responsibility for it.” Lees says while the Chinese may want to see “heads roll” over this incident, he says the “humble attitude” is more important. “The Chinese need to see that we take a humble attitude towards this and that we don’t attempt to cover it up. It’s not so much that they need to see heads roll; it’s more a cultural thing in that they

Fonterra presented this graph to journalists last week to show the movements of potentially contaminated WPC80.

want to see us take responsibility, acknowledge the mistakes and guarantee this is not going to happen in the future.” Lees says one problem has been confusion about tracing affected products; he is surprised Fonterra doesn’t appear to have better tracing systems. Of the eight customers informed about possible contamination of products containing whey protein, Fonterra said three are food companies, two beverage and three make animal feed, among others. Nutricia New Zealand Ltd, owned by French dairy giant Danone, recalled two Karicare infant formulas sold in New Zealand with specific batch numbers. Coca-Cola  China had quarantined about 5000kg of whey protein bought from Fonterra. The com-

pany said external and internal experts have confirmed the products are safe due to the product’s ultra high-temperature manufacturing process and low acidity. However, “it was recalling all products from these batches it finds in the market. To prevent such incidents from occurring again, we will strengthen our supervision of Fonterra.” Danone Dumex (Malaysia) has also recalled specific batches of four infant formulas. China has banned the import of whey protein from Fonterra. China is a key market for Fonterra and consumers are particularly sensitive about infant formula since 2008, when at least six children died and 300,000 became sick from milk containing dangerous levels of

melamine, a chemical that mimics the properties of protein, allowing producers to water down milk without apparently diluting its nutritional value. Fonterra owned a stake in one of the companies at the center of the scandal, the now-defunct Sanlu Group. Russian regulator Rospotrebnadzor has also banned dairy products from Fonterra. Media reports say Sri Lanka has also banned Fonterra powder. Trade Minister Tim Groser told Parliament last week only China has suspended imports of certain products, while Russia, Singapore and Vietnam have recalled affected products, and Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong are reviewing the situation.

Work to rebuild reputation from page 3

absolute transparency on food safety issues was respected by customers and overseas markets and actually served to maintain that reputation. That could be seen in the Global Dairy Trade result last week, which was one of the biggest single ever. This surely showed that confidence in Fonterra had been retained, Wilson said. However management of the whole issue including how information was disseminated will be the subject of internal and external reviews.

Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings said Fonterra’s reputation in the short term would be affected. “In China the customers and authorities had appreciated the openness from day one, they appreciated that we went out on the food safety issue, the corrective action and speed and how we cooperated with customers. And they appreciated the engagement with authorities. “My conclusion in China is our reputation will be restored based on the action we have taken. The Chinese people said that human errors happen but it depends how

you address the root causes, and investigation and corrective action. “My conclusion is that Fonterra has taken responsibility in the last four to five days, we will fully investigate why it happened and it will keep everyone in the loop on our findings.” Spiering said there was rumour of a ban on all milk products into China. “This was not the case; there is temporary suspension on whey product and base powders containing whey products.” All other products are moving which is why the Global Dairy Trade is continuing.

Dairy News august 13, 2013

news  // 5

Chinese buyers unfazed gareth gillatt

WHILE New Zealand politicians and media may be talking up the impact of contaminated whey powder on Asian markets, China’s consumers appear to be taking it with a grain of salt – an impression gained from China’s biggest Twitter equivalents Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo. Of the 538 million internet users in China (40% of the population), 93% use Sina Weibo and 87% Tencent Weibo. Many of these ‘microbloggers’ either

shared news of the incident without comment, or praised Fonterra and New Zealand officials for moving fast on consumer information and product recall. Theo Spiering’s swift trip to China also got the thumbs up. On Wednesday the neutral term “NZ milk powder” was used in about three million posts – three times more than the word “botulism” and 66 times more than “NZ poison milk powder”, a China state media-coined term. Many of the people referring to “NZ poison milk powder” were also positive, some even saying the company showed “very good

crisis PR”. On Wednesday, 34 of the first 100 posts supported Fonterra, saying they “absolutely believed in New Zealand milk” and “I have trusted New Zealand milk powder in the past and will do so in the future”. Others didn’t see it as such a big deal: “They are so silly that a pipe not cleaned out immediately created a worldwide recall.... If New Zealand’s milk isn’t safe to drink what else can I drink?” Fourteen of the first 100 posts mentioning “NZ poison milk powder” criticised New Zealand milk powder in general and Fonterra in particular though this could be driven by a

state media nationwide scare campaign on August 6. This lead to an increase in local milk powder sales in some areas and some Taobao NZ milk powder sellers complained they were often asked by customers for a refund. • Gareth Gillatt lived in China eight years and his wife Joey is a Chinese national.

Storm in a teacup

Farmers back Fonterra gareth gillatt

NEW ZEALAND media is blowing a whey powder

recall out of all proportion, say Northland farmers. Farmers who spoke to Dairy News are cautiously ambivalent about the incident saying they feel the media has made more of the story than there actually is. Hikurangi dairy farmer Chris Lethbridge said as crises go the incident was “pretty shallow”. “Fonterra has done a good job, they have admitted to the problem and have been doing everything correctly. It sounds to me media is blasting it all out of proportion.” Northland Federated Farmers Dairy chairman Ashley Cullen says initially he felt heads needed to roll but is now more confused than anything. “There’s been so much conflicting news floating around; all we have to gauge things on are emails from John Wilson. We hope what we’re getting from them is correct.” While the international dairy auction showed only a small drop of 3% for the first global whole milk powder and skim milk powder auction in August, Cullen says the situation will take time to resolve. “It’s not going to be fixed in five minutes; it’s going to take a few months to get this sorted.”

WAIKATO FARMER Lloyd Downing suggests everyone takes a breath and slowly counts to ten. “The board of Fonterra should have stated at the start that there may be a problem, flagged it and set about getting things right.” He pointed out that many industries – food, cars, etc – often recall batches of products for retesting even if they only suspect a problem. “Fonterra hesitated and the whole thing grew out of all proportion or, as they say now… “it went feral”. “Doomsayers love bad news, so if the auction price had dropped 20% they would be forecasting the end of civilisation as we know it.”

A former member of the Shareholders Council, David Gasquione, of Hinuera, also believes there has been a gross overreaction to the matter. He comments that the board of Fonterra must have been completely unaware of the situation and its damage potential. “The previous week they had announced the milk price and the increase in the forecast payout and they certainly would not have announced these figures if they had known this was lurking in the background.” He comments that following the drought, this season has started off well with plenty of feed and mild weather hopefully leading to another record production season. – Tony Hopkinson

Business as usual WESTLAND MILK says its infant formula base products have tested clear of clostridium. There are no disruptions to export orders, the Hokitika co-op says. Westland chief executive Rod Quin says Westland is continuing to load out orders to China and other overseas customers. He says no extra requirements for tests have been requested by MPI although Westland is aware that information could change. Listed processor Synlait Milk says it has also not used any of the whey protein concentrate WPC80 recalled by Fonterra in the manufacture of its nutritional powder products such as infant formula.

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

6 //  news

Lessons learned from botulism scare PAM TIPA

THERE WILL be “learnings” from

the Fonterra botulism scare and how it was handled, says Shareholder Council chairman Ian Brown. However the council supported the way the issue was handled as there needed to be a three-stage response; dealing with the initial food safety issue first, he says. While farmers were concerned at the beginning of the week, this diminished as information unfolded, he told Dairy News. “Fonterra is our cooperative and we absolutely take food safety and the quality of our product really personally,” he says. “There was some concern from the start of the week, but we’ve been getting regular updates from John

[Wilson, Fonterra chairman] to farmers. We’ve seen the share price bounce down and move back up and the GDT has been a lot more positive than some of the commentators were predicting Monday morning. “As time moved Ian Brown on a bit they were less worried than they were at the start of the week, which is understandable.” As an initial response the management needed to work through the issue of product identification and recalls and dealing with customers and consumers, and talking with Governments and other industry bodies including the New Zealand Government. “That’s absolutely appropriate and that’s their role and I support

the approach they are taking there. “But like any of these events that occur, there will be some learnings out of it. I break the response into the immediate, the intermediate and the longer term.” Last week was the immediate phase. “It is just like any other industry … there absolutely are some questions that will be asked, some answers and some learnings from it. “We need to be patient, wait till some facts get on the table and try to remove as much emotion as we can out of the issue.” In terms of the damage to the brand in China, Brown says “I think the reality is we just don’t know. To comment is really speculating”.

“In any organisation there will be times of challenge and it’s how you respond to those times of challenge. The outcome will only be known in the longer term.” In terms of the handling of communications, Brown says the Shareholders Council “absolutely supports the approach. “Number one you’ve got to identify the issue and then absolutely go and manage it, which is what has been happening”. They had to deal with the food safety issue first. “But that may be one of the learnings out of the issue – was the approach right, what can we learn from it?” Asked if he thought it had been blown out of proportion by the daily media, he said he understood the job the media had to play and that it is news. “As an organisation we’ve always got to expect that sort of response; whether it’s blown out of proportion or not, time will tell.

DCANZ support THE


representing all the dairy companies in New Zealand, DCANZ, says it’s been getting briefings from MPI. DCANZ executive director Kimberly Crewther told Dairy News it supports the Government’s actions in Kimberley Crewther ensuring consumers are safe from tainted product. “The primary focus of all DCANZ members [is] consumer health and safety,” she says. “[And] DCANZ members are talking with their individual customers to reassure them about the status of their products or products supplied to them.” Crewther says it’s not clear whether all dairy companies will be required to do extra testing of their products because of the Fonterra crisis. This may be required for exports to China. As Dairy News went to press this had not been confirmed. Crewther admits the crisis is time consuming, but says it’s important the industry is kept up-to-date on developments. Fonterra, a DCANZ member, has been talking regularly with other members and explaining developments. Meanwhile Miraka chairman Kingi Smiler says it may have to test its products as a result of the crisis – a move which will cost them. He says it’s too early to determine whether the resulting costs should be met by Fonterra.

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

news  // 7

Beehive has its say PETER BURKE

FONTERRA SEEMS destined to

incur the wrath of politicians once the food safety scare is over. In Parliament last week they made it clear they feel let down by the actions of the dairy giant and no longer trust it. The crisis prompted a special ministerial statement by Prime Minister John Key and statements by the leaders of the other political parties. This was followed by a snap debate on the crisis – a move only sparingly allowed in Parliament. All were united in wanting to clarify and resolve any health risks and commiting to supporting initiatives to limit the damage to New Zealand exports of dairy and other primary products and to the New Zealand brand. United they are at resolving the immediate problems, but it would seem they will also in time be united in finding out what caused the problem and especially the way Fonterra handled the fallout – and they want punitive action. Key noted the establishment of a

ministerial response team of eight to develop the Government’s response to the crisis. He made it clear dealing with the immediate issue was the priority, but suggesting embedding ministers and officials in Fonterra shows the Government does not trust the co-op. Appointing Steven Joyce, Key’s ‘go-to’ man, to head the crisis fallout shows how seriously the Government is taking the matter. “It’s not the time for recriminations; that’s for another day,” John Key noted John Key quite pointedly. But Opposition leader David Shearer, while going through the niceties of supporting Government moves to deal with the crisis, launched into Fonterra, saying the company had let the country down and that its strategic communications were “hugely lacking”. “The issue is bigger than politics, but Fonterra is not bigger than Parliament,” Shearer stressed. “When

the time is right we’ll be demanding answers.” He noted that Fonterra came into existence under a special law giving it rights to largely operate outside the rules of the Commerce Act so as to maximise the returns to New Zealand. “But with rights comes enormous responsibilities. As our only truly global company that includes protecting our reputation as a source of safe, high quality food. Why did it take so long to detect the contamination and… to tell people about it? What protocols did MPI and Fonterra have for handling these situations and have they followed them? What can we do to prevent this kind of shambles ever happening again?” he asked. Green co-leader Russell Norman questioned whether the food safety regulations were adequate. “Does the regulator have a sufficiently independent and powerful position over the industry?”

Calf milk replacer recall complete ANDREW SWALLOW

THREE CALF milk replacer (CMR)

manufacturers received batches of whey protein concentrate (WPC80) at risk of being contaminated, including Fonterra subsidiary, NZAgbiz. Two of the manufacturers are Australian and exactly how much of the recalled product went to them wasn’t clear as Dairy News went to press however NZAgbiz received 0.4t, which went into Ancalf and Brown Bag CMR. By the middle of last week it was all accounted for. All but five bags went to one customer who had used it with no adverse animal effects. “He’s quite happy,” a spokeswoman told Dairy News. The other five bags were still in stock. MPI was alerted to the risk of contaminated CMR having been sold and expert advice was received that the risk to animal health from the feed was low. Australia manufacturers that received affected WPC80 were Maxum, Queensland, and Ridley Agriproducts, Victoria.

Ridley said the defective consignment of animal grade infant formula was used in two production runs of its powdered livestock milk replacer products. As a “prudent precautionary measure”, it instigated a product recall on the afternoon of August 3 for all potentially affected powdered milk replacer products, most of which were still warehoused in Ridley-controlled facilities. Ridley also advised relevant Australian state authorities and said it was working with those agencies to ensure appropriate containment and quarantine processes. The NZAgbiz products affected were Ancalf batch numbers JX24 X6494 to JX24 X6509 and JX26 X6542 to JX26 X6573, and Brown Bag CMR with batch numbers IX21-B0974, IX21-B0975, IX21-B0979 and IX21-B0983. Calf rearing specialist vet Bas Schouten told Dairy News he’d never seen a case of botulism in calves and stood up for the quality of calf milk replacers in general. “I’ve not seen a contaminated milk powder in the last 15 years. There are fewer bugs in a CMR than in an open bottle of milk in your fridge.”

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

news  // 9

The IRD is auditing over 100 herd owners.

Big bills coming from tax tweaks The New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management last week held its annual conference at Lincoln University, with many sessions in the three day event covering topics relevant to dairying. Andrew Swallow relays a few of them. OVER A hundred herd owners are Institute of Chartered Accountants. Of those 400, about 30 businesses being audited by IRD because they are suspected of breaking the new rules “put their hands up” and admitted on switching from Herd Scheme (HS) their reasons for the switch were not valid, while 140 now livestock valuation face audits. to National Standard With the switch Cost (NSC), chartered for a 750-cow herd accountant George Coltypically yielding a lier told delegates at the $600,000 tax deducNZIPIM conference. tion, IRD could About 400 got letdemand repayment of ters from IRD in the that sum and impose past year requesting interest and penalty further information charges on top, Collier on the reasons for the told Dairy News. switch, said Collier, George Collier Meanwhile further who’s a director of Alexandra firm ICL, and a member of the changes to NSC coming into effect regional advisory committee of the this year will have “quite a big impact”

for businesses which have been using only that valuation method. Values of dairy heifers have been hiked from $488 to $543 as one-yearolds, while two-year-olds will now be valued at $1029. “It was $662/head for these R2 heifers,” noted Collier. That near $400/cow increase in valuation will filter through the herd over the coming eight years, which, for a 750-cow herd could add up to an extra $91,000 in tax over that period. The changes are being phased in over three years, and the further five years reflects the time it takes for the whole herd to become made up of cows which entered the herd under the new valuations, Collier explained.

Act before you have to RESTRUCTURE YOUR business

and develop a succession plan well before events force you to do it, says the head of a seven farm dairy business in Canterbury. “I was left a hospital pass the day dad stopped breathing,” managing director of Spectrum Group, Mike O’Connor, told the NZIPIM conference. His mother was still alive, but tensions likely to emerge when she dies became apparent with his father’s death. Of his six siblings – he is the sharemilker brother, the others are not farming – some would be looking for a cheque when their mother’s death occurs, he suggested. For the business to meet that expectation would be much easier with a structure built around shareholder needs, as it would come the day his children – none of them farmers – inherit his farms.

“Better to leave them shares in a well organised business with a strategy and great people on board… than leave them a bloody farm to run. My belief is you need to consider succession to make these wellearned businesses long-lasting.” Mike O’Connor Restructuring businesses to create a shareholder structure wouldn’t necessarily be easy, he warned. “You can’t do business for 17 years and then restructure without there being a certain amount of emotion coming through,” he told delegates. And while he drove the process

with Spectrum Group – “I was the only one who could get away with some of the things we did” – the structure has to be one that will endure should the head of it, for whatever reason, suddenly become unavailable. “I was now the biggest threat to the business.” Similarly, it should prevent any one individual making potentially reckless decisions. A strategy should be determined by a board, that is measurable, and management roles in the business defined and controlled by the board: “…so I can’t be a dictator and just do what I wish.” More stories on p10


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Dairy News august 13, 2013

10 //  news

Sharebrokers face TAF woes andrew swallow

THREE WORDS describe Fonterra’s structure under TAF – complex, convoluted, and conflicted, said Forsythe Barr head of research Andy Bowley last week to NZIPIM conference delegates. “It is exceedingly complicated and that makes our life [as one of four Fonterra sharebrokers] quite difficult,” Bowley said of the parallel share

and unit markets. The conflict is because 95% of farmers’ income is in the milk price, whereas for the unit investor, milk price is a cost to the business, and 100% of their income is dividend. “These are quite divergent messages about where the income flow is coming from, for the unit holder and the farmer.” TAF got “a big tick” for stabilising the cooperative’s capital but whether it has created the financial flexibility intended for farmers is “a moot point,” he added.

“There are some pretty big margin pressures coming on this business in the next six months.” “In theory, it does, but in practice that’s not been the case. Those who have benefitted have been those who have exited. Those growing their milk supply, or joining the cooperative, face a higher cost to do so.” The board’s consequent attempts to talk down the share price on the NZX because of their concerns about that cost of growth are “very unusual”

behaviour for an NZX listed company, he said. Price movements also indicate some investors have a questionable understanding of Fonterra’s profit drivers. “There have been several circumstances when we’ve seen big lifts in milk prices and corresponding lifts in the Fonterra share price. That’s

Drench resistance concerns COWS DYING from worm burdens

could become an increasingly common problem with cases of Ostertagia developing resistance to macrocylic lactone (ML) drenches such as Ivermectin, it seems. Agresearch’s Ian Sutherland warned delegates that while resistant cooperia is widespread and wellknown, resistant populations of Ostertagia are a relatively new development.

“These kill cattle and they kill adult cattle,” he warned. Such deaths were seen regularly “30 or 40 years ago before the MLs were introduced” but have since become a rarity, thanks to treatments. While strategies to combat resistance are well understood in sheep, similar measures for cattle aren’t nearly as advanced. “The paradigm with resistance is it only gets worse. We have developed

effective tools to manage it in sheep but we’ve only scratched the surface in other species such as cattle, deer, and horses.” Sutherland told Dairy News parasitism is a significant problem in the dairy industry, particularly in young stock, where it may contribute to heifers not reaching target weights. Even where drenches are used, resistance means they may not be effective, he said.

Ian Sutherland


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nonsensical when the milk price is a key input cost to Fonterra.” Under TAF an increasingly corporate mentality in the way the cooperative is managed is emerging, reflecting increased transparency required with an NZX listing, and the greater scrutiny a company comes under, added Bowley. At current values, about $7/share or unit, Forsyth Barr’s recommendation is “sell”, he said. The firm’s “target price” is $6.60. “There are some pretty big margin pressures coming on this business in the next six months.” On the farmer share side of the market, Bowley said there’s “a fair bit of farmer buying still to come” before the December 1 deadline to share up for this season’s supply. Uptake of contract supply with a commitment to buy into the cooperative over an extend period had, he understood, been very limited. As for the WPC80 contamination incident, that represented the fourth word used to describe Fonterra, he said. “Cock-ups, but let’s not go there!” @dairy_news

Dairy News august 13, 2013

news  // 11

MPI’s Shane Olsen watches PKE unloading at Tauranga Port.

Feds on PKE factfinding mission adam fricker

CHRIS LEWIS and fellow Federated Farmers dairy sector executive Kevin Robinson are on a fact-finding mission following recent negative press about imported stock feeds. They recently visited the Port of Tauranga with officials from the Ministry for Primary Industries and J Swap management to see palm kernel expeller (PKE) being unloaded and to hear from MPI and J Swap how the supply chain works. They then followed the supply chain from the port to J Swap’s storage facility in Matamata where the PKE is screened and loaded for delivery to farms, often being mixed with local grain first. They have now reported back to Federated Farmers on what they’ve seen so far and plan to visit other importers. “It was good to see it up front and I was impressed,” says Lewis. “The only question we still have is does enough screening of the product happen at the source.”

Importer J Swap screens all PKE before delivering to farms, putting it through a fine mesh screen and running it past strong magnets to extract any stray metal. “Compared to what we saw at Swaps, the screening done at the source doesn’t seem as good.” MPI officials explained to the delegates that the potential risk of foot-and-mouth disease is at best minimal, but they were taking additional steps to make the supply chain even safer, including drawing up a list of approved suppliers that had to meet more stringent standards. In June MPI released audit reports that showed good biosecurity systems are in place in the two main PKE-supplying countries, Malaysia and Indonesia, but recommended “some tightening up…to ensure New Zealand’s standard is met”. MPI’s deputy director-general, compliance and response, Andrew Coleman said the reports concluded that any biosecurity risk from the importation of PKE is “very low”, but the strengthening of import require-

ments would be accelerated, the focus being to ensure that PKE from unapproved facilities cannot be exported to New Zealand. “The MPI guys were reassuring,” says Lewis. “They’re doing a good job inspecting facilities and testing PKE and ensuring point-of-source is safe by drafting a list of approved suppliers, demanding fumigation, and requiring permits and phytosanitary documents from all approved suppliers. “They’ve definitely taken the concerns on board and responded with positive measures to ensure a safe supply chain.” Lewis says someone from the Feds dairy section will probably go to Malaysia soon to look at the real situation. He says he never had an issue with PKE and is confident it’s safe, although that is not always the perception. “It needed a bit of balance back in the [PKE] story. It’s an important complementary feed for the dairy industry.”

Huge investment in feed handling J SWAP is known as a big PKE importer but is also buying as much local grain as it can acquire. Director Stephen Swap says demand for special blended feeds is growing rapidly. “We’d use more South Island grain but the freight costs make that difficult,” he says. When Dairy News visited Port of Tauranga recently, a convoy of J Swap trucks was disgorging a shipload of South Island grain. J Swap is buying more auger trucks – it now has seven – to service a growing number of silos installed on dairy farms with in-shed feeding systems. Farming at Pukeatua, near Te Awamutu, Waikato, Federated Farmers dairy sector executive Chris Lewis feeds 1200

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South Island grain unloaded at Tauranga Port.

tonnes of complementary feed each year, including 800 tonnes of PKE, to his 1100 cows. As part of a fact-finding visit to J Swap’s storage and processing facility, Lewis got a first-hand look at the scale of investment required to supply the dairy industry with complementary feed. “Swaps deserve recognition,” says Lewis. “It’s very


capital intensive for importers like them and they’re obviously reinvesting a lot into that infrastructure for the dairy industry. “They told us they can store up to 50,000 tonnes at Matamata and have about 2ha of warehouse space in Matamata plus the big new shed at Mount Maunganui. “They’re big contributors to the local economy.”

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

12 //  news

Buyers take WPC scare in stride andrew swallow


products on Fonterra’s fortnightly auction GlobalDairyTrade appear to have taken the whey protein concentrate (WPC) contamination scare in their stride. Prices at last week’s auction were back 2.4% on average but New Zealandorigin product maintained its normal premium. BNZ economist Doug Steel described the outProduct

come as “a pretty solid result” and an indication that international markets haven’t been spooked by Fonterra’s WPC80 recall. The result for whole milk powder, down 1.6% on average to US$5021/t but firming in the more forward positions, was a standout from a New Zealand perspective. “November through to February whole milk powder was averaging over $5000/t which is really positive for New Zealand as it’s right in the heart of this season’s

production…. A chunk of milk’s been sold at really good prices and that’s very positive for the payout.” While it is early days for the 2013-14 season, at this stage it is “shaping up to be a very good revenue season for dairy farmers. “This [GDT] result tells us international markets are still very tight on the back of the last southern hemisphere season and the northern hemisphere season’s not been terribly good either. “That said, we do see the market declining

Ave price /t US

Change since July 16













Rennet Casein












through 2014 as supply returns to some sort of normality.” Lower grain prices and the firm dairy market will spur production in the US and elsewhere, he predicts. A factor which could derail New Zealand’s season is a fledgling La Nina weather pattern, but while it was a La Nina that “crushed” Waikato’s output in 2008, that’s not always the outcome and more rain in the east can see production increase, notes Steel. On the demand side, world growth is holding up and the developed world economies are showing signs of recovery. “The only question is China and what’s gone on with whey protein this [last] week but this is quite a robust result.” Rabobank’s head of Agribusiness, Hamish

Milk powder prices dropped slightly in the latest GDT auction.

Midgley says everyone was looking to the GDT auction to gauge reaction to the WPC scare. “I guess we were very pleasantly surprised to see the decrease at only 2.4

Maheno Farms Ltd a sizeable dairy operation Comprising three dairy farms, two support blocks and an irrigation company; The Oaks - 424 hectares The Poplars - 217 hectares The Willows - 110 hectares Whartons Road - 191 hectares Mountain View - 302 hectares Total land area - 1,244 hectares Maheno Farms has achieved up to 1,013,562kgMS to date with production assured through robust irrigation infrastructure. This group of properties are offered to the market as one parcel although consideration maybe be given to individual options.

The dairy platform of 751ha is supported by two on-farm dams (1,300,000m3 and 173,000m3 capacity) irrigating approximately 760ha at present, with surplus water offering many options for substantial future development and extremely cost effective water. The company has a consent to take 500 litres per second from the Kakanui River and has 250 North Otago Irrigation Company shares. Converted over the past five years the farm currently carries approximately 2,400 cows which are milked through three dairy sheds.

Mountain View, the dryland 302ha runoff block winters 1,600 cows and grazes some summer stock. Whartons Road, the 191ha irrigated support land adjoining the dairy platform, is used for the grazing of young stock and supplement harvesting. It could be converted adding another 600 cows. CRT Real Estate offers this large scale operation with exciting growth potential to the market via Expressions of Interest. Contact us for an Information Memorandum. Property ID: WA1103

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Maheno Farms Limited - The Willows Island Stream Road, North Otago

Total 424ha, 332ha effective, 12/13 season 482,447kgMS from 1,200 cows. Irrigated flats and fertile gently rolling hill. Seven pivots. Consistently produced in excess of 1,500kgMS per ha. Irrigation infrastructure finished to an excellent standard. Quality homes and a specialised dairy shed. Milking 50% of the 2,400 cows. 17ha holding pond, 1,300,000m3 storage.

Total 217ha, 196ha effective, 12/13 season 357,182kgMS from 760 cows. Converted four years ago with all new pastures and fencing. Flat to easy rolling contour. Well laid out lane ways and a centrally positioned 54 bail rotary dairy shed. Irrigation via four centre pivot irrigators and a small amount of k-line. 8ha water storage dam able to store 173,000m3. Two four bedroom homes.

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been harmed out of these events to date. “I would expect Fonterra will deal with this issue and it’ll be business as usual.” It’s important to remember the global dairy trade index is about 75% above where it was this time last year, so markets are still at historically high levels, he adds.

in brief

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% across the board which realistically is just normal seasonal movements.” Some easing in the market as milk flows from the southern hemisphere season come on stream was to be expected anyway, he says. “We’d expect Fonterra to get on top of this crisis very quickly and we’ve got to remember that no one’s

New Landcorp CEO

LANDCORP’S NEW chief executive says he wants to the build on the existing base of the company. During his first six months in the job he will focus on learning about the business and getting to see the farms and meet as many people as possible. Steven Carden took up his role at Landcorp last week and spent some of that time looking at farms with the departing Chris Kelly. Prior to his appointment at Landcorp, Carden was the general manager of PPG Wrightson Seeds in Australia. He has an LLB and BA from Auckland University and an MBA from Harvard. He has a strong commercial background having worked for large and small companies in the US, Australia and New Zealand. He told Dairy News the attraction of Landcorp was the opportunity to work in the largest farming operation in New Zealand – too good to pass up “What I like about Landcorp is the size and scale of what it does. The fact that it’s involved in so many different areas is central to agriculture in the future. It’s the chance to work with iwi, government, the industry and also the R&D relationships we have.” Carden says with the dairy industry it’s an opportunity to get involved in technologies, push out the envelope and show how these technologies can be adopted on farm. He’s also keen to explore relationships and business opportunities with iwi.


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Dairy News august 13, 2013

news  // 15

Sustainability: are we doing enough? Officials MERE LIP service to sustainability is not in itself sustainable, says chemical company BASF. The company’s New Zealand marketing manager, Fenton Hazelwood, says agriculture must balance productivity with the environment and consumer demand. But sustainability has become “a politically correct throwaway word” and stakeholders have differing views on what it is and how it can be achieved, he says. Earlier this year BASF organised the Perspectives for Agriculture - Sustainability Symposium in Berlin, which Hazelwood attended. It brought together environmental lobby groups, leading experts from the food industry, farmer organisations, academia, regulators and agribusinesses. In taking this initiative, BASF laid the foundation to bring forward solutions for sustainability assessment, an essential part of the agricultural business. Hazelwood questions “the true meaning” of sustainability: is it just having a clean and green image? Is it just a marketing tool for agribusinesses? In New Zealand, the dairy sector is facing questions over its sustain-

“For most farmers the able farming methods. returns are not enough The industry recently to effectively deal with released the Sustainable sustainability,” he says. Dairying: Water Accord. Unlike EU farmers, who With Fonterra aiming to get subsidies to farm in have all waterways and a sustainable way, New streams fenced off on its Zealand farmers have to supplier farms by December this year. Fenton Hazelwood fork out money to set aside land for wildlife and Hazelwood acknowledges that the dairy industry is grow trees. “In New Zealand, we don’t have making great gains on sustainability. But he questions whether those subsidies, so how do we comfencing off productive strips near pete in the sustainability race in the waterways is just an attempt to sat- long term?” As part of its sustainable agriisfy public opinion and send a posiculture programme, BASF has tive message to the market. “While this is a positive step, is launched AgBalance™, a scheme it truly the way forward for farming that evaluates the holistic sustainensuring our land is available for the ability performance of agricultural next generation? Or are we doing products or processes in respect of the economy, environment and just enough to tick the boxes?” The financial cost to the farmer society. To date, BASF has conducted 15 to meet sustainable farming goals set out by consumers and regula- studies from Brazil to China, measuring and identifying more sustors also play a key role, he says. He points to potato chips maker tainable processes and techniques Bluebird, which sets a high standard in agricultural production. BASF’s guiding principle is ‘You for suppliers. However, only some family farms and corporate farm- can only manage what you have ers, who have the money, can meet measured’. “For the prosperity of agriculture in New Zealand, it is funthose standards.

damental to manage and show progress in its sustainable development” says Hazelwood. One of the major outcomes of the symposium was that sustainability assessment needs common principles in both the agricultural and the food supply sectors, so that the assessment tools the producers and their partners use speak the same language globally. Hazelwood says there will be challenges. “There is still is a big challenge in front of us, in the journey of sustainability of the food supply chain. Every link in that chain has to understand their role and comply with it, and not transfer responsibilities upstream. While this is a journey that every country in the world is on at some level, New Zealand is not showing the leadership appropriate to its 100% Pure international branding. “While we can sympathise with Fonterra’s recent product quality challenges, this episode may be exactly what we all need to provide appropriate focus on sustainability of our land, our people and the people of the world we feed.”

burn the midnight oil

AT LEAST 100 officials at MPI, the Ministry of Health, Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise have been working around the clock trying to sort out the mess created by Fonterra’s WPC contamination scandal. The acting director-general of MPI, Scott Gallacher, says his staff have visited Fonterra premises in New Zealand and Australia to clarify the status of the contaminated product and ensure it is held secure. He says 38 tonnes of contaminated product was turned into 900 tonnes of finished products. “Officials are continuing to work with Fonterra, auditing their production and distribution data and checking compliance with MPI requirements at their processing facilities. We’ve still got a lot of work to do to make sure we can provide consumers in New Zealand and overseas with the certainty and clarity they require.” Gallacher admitted it’s been a challenge trying to get clarity and says in the first 72 hours of the crisis the situation was “fluid and dynamic” and that he took a “cautionary” approach when revealing what was happening. “The questions we’ve been asking in recent days and the information we’ve been asking from Fonterra, and what we have received, has not shifted or changed since Monday.”




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Dairy News august 13, 2013

news  // 17

Rotorua N limits come closer andrew swallow


in the Lake Rotorua catchment will have to make sweeping system changes, if not relocate, to meet nitrogen limits set by the regional council, says a farmers’ representative at the heart of the negotiations. Bay of Plenty Regional Council last week announced a catchment nitrogen limit of 435t/year, which, it says, will require a 270t cut in losses from pastoral land.

five years. A lot of work has been done already with feed pads, effluent systems and detention dams going in, but for the 20 or more dairy farms in the catchment, whole management system changes will be needed to reach the target, he says. What form those changes will take is “anyone’s guess” at this stage but herd homes and/or reduced stocking rates are among the possibilities. “It may even be that, to an extent, we see farmers exiting the catchment.”

“It will be important for land owners to start planning as soon as possible what they need to do to meet their individual targets.” While the limit is what was agreed by the stakeholders group, former Federated Farmers provincial president Neil Heather says questions about it still remain, especially as lake water quality, as measured by a trophic index, is already ahead of a target set for 2032. “Why is the modelling so wrong? Originally they said it would get worse before it got better but it’s not done that, and we’ve not got an explanation yet.” Alum-dosing of streams to remove phosphate entering the lake has probably helped but the improving trend started before that temporary solution was initiated, he points out. Also, if there was a summer when water would stratify and quality problems arise, last summer was it, with many hot, windless days; but it didn’t happen. He also questions the council’s focus on nitrogen when phosphate is understood to be the main problem. All farmers will have to change their ways to achieve the 270t nitrogen cut, 70% of which is to be met in 10 years, with a review of the targets in

Bay of Plenty Regional Council says nitrogen enters the lake from a range of sources, including agricultural activities, urban wastewater, forests and rain. To reach the sustainable nitrogen limit a reduction of 320 tonnes is needed, of which it estimates 50 tonnes can be reduced through in-lake initiatives, leaving 270t “to be achieved through reducing nitrogen from pastoral land use”. Council general manager natural resource operations, Warwick Murray, says the proposed regional policy statement would set rules to allocate nitrogen to land uses to “ensure” catchment limits are met. “An incentive scheme will also be designed to help reduce the impact of the rules and help landowners to make the necessary changes to their operations.” The first step is to determine how to allocate loss limits to land uses in the catchment, he says. Council staff have met the lake stakeholder advisory group monthly since September to develop the rules and incentives. The advisory group includes representatives

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

18 //  news

Co-op to ship another 4500 cows to China ABOUT 4500 cows are being readied to ship to China as Fonterra prepares to commission two more dairy farms near Beijing. Fonterra’s Peter Moore told Dairy News shipments of cows to China will continue as they seek to develop more farms with the ultimate goal of producing a billion litres of milk there. Three farms are now producing, collectively milking about 10,000 cows. “We’ve got farms four and five under construction and due to be commissioned towards the end of this year…. That will require another 6500 cows, taking us up to milking 15,000—16,000 cows depending on the time of the year. Obviously we’ve got our supporting stock as well.” Sexed semen is used by Fonterra to grow heifers numbers in China and Moore says generally this has been successful. They are producing more heifers than they need at present but these animals will be used on future farms. North American genetics are used to increase the volume of milk from the cows in China as that market is largely a ‘liquid milk’ market. Such cows can produce 8—10% more milk than the ordinary New Zealand cow, but Moore points out that the base genetics is still Holstein Friesian . With the exception of the first

Steve Maharey (left) and Steven Joyce at the Food HQ launch.

‘Food hub to boost ingredient business’

Fonterra is setting up two more farms near Beijing.

pilot farm, the farms are in a hub in Herbei province which makes for easy management. The big difference is the design: lessons from the pilot farm have been incorporated into the design of subsequent farms “Farms four and five are similar to farm three. We learned a lot from farm one and so farm two was quite different. Farm three has some minor differences from farm two and we have sort-of landed on what we consider the ‘roll out’ design for

the future,” says Moore. Each of the two new farms – four and five – will have about 3000 cows plus replacement heifers. Feed is being sourced from local farmers, helping build relationships with the local community. The farms are also good for local employment: at least 300 local people work them and only five ‘expats’. As the two new farms near completion Moore and his team are thinking about the next ones. “We

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hope to develop those next year and we are still in the process of finalising where those will be and the agreements to lease land, which we haven’t done yet but we are well advanced in those discussions.” Moore says the success of the farms is in no small part due to the New Zealand genetics which have “suited us pretty well in China”. But with the farms’ rapid expansion it’s possible they may ship some cows from Australia to supplement their needs.

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

world  // 21

Oz politicians urged to come clean on farm policies AUSTRALIANS GO to the polls next month and politicians have been told to come clean about their agricultural policies. The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) says it is looking to politicians to be clear on their policies, and commit to action for the agriculture sector. NFF president Duncan Fraser says Australian agriculture needs to be a priority for all sides of Parliament in this election. The NFF will be looking for agriculture to be elevated in the policy debate between major parties. “Now that we know the election date, we’re looking for equal certainty in policy issues, so farmers can get on with their job. We encourage all political parties to consider how they can best serve a strong, vibrant agriculture sector. “In the National Food Plan, The Asian Century White Paper and [recent] media comments by the Prime Minister, the Government has signalled that food, fibre and agriculture are a priority. Similarly the Coalition has indicated its commitment to the sector with agriculture as a key policy pillar. What farmers and the broader rural sector now need to see is the detail behind the rhetoric, so that they can make up their own minds about what the major parties and independents have to offer. “Between now and September 7, major political parties will be judged by the NFF on their commitment to the agriculture sector and long-term policy vision. A scorecard system will provide an evaluation of the policies of each of the parties, available for farmers and anyone else interested in pursuing a strong vision for Australian agriculture.” With five weeks until the election, the NFF has five key policy priorities: ■■ Growing Australian agriculture: reprioritising agriculture in the national agenda. Key actions required: a commitment to imple-

ment blueprint priorities and to increase agriculture’s share of the federal budget. ■■ Investing in R&D: driving innovation and productivity through increased investment in agriculture R&D. Key action required: increasing total expenditure on R&D by 1% (of total national expenditure on R&D) by 2015.  ■■ Increasing competitiveness and profitability: ensuring we are a globally competitive and our farmers remain profitable. Key actions required: reduce red tape by harmonisation of state/federal regulations; ensuring fair competition by delivering the balance of market power; and driving investment in infrastructure needed by farmers. ■■ Building a stronger workforce: encouraging greater uptake of agricultural careers and delivering improved labour solutions. Key actions required: embedding agriculture into the national curriculum and allowing individuals flexible agreements when taking jobs. ■■ Balancing agriculture and the environment: ensuring our natural resources can continue to be managed while also increasing agricultural production. Key actions required: ensuring infrastructure and other efficiency measures are in place prior to any water purchases in the Murray-Darling Basin; and helping farmers to improve preparedness and response to extreme climactic events including an overhaul of drought support measures.  “All sides of Government need to remember that the future of food, fibre and agriculture is dependent on policy decisions made today.

“These decisions are not just important for farmers but for the millions of Aus-

tralians who eat, drink and wear what we grow,” says Fraser.

NFF president Duncan Fraser (right) with former Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig.

Dairy News august 13, 2013

22 //  world

‘Boxed’ milk powder packing good to go are running it; start-up is scheduled for October. “When we are to test new markets it’s important to be close to the market, to be able to adjust the production according to the demand,” says Bent Strandfelt, responsible for the new plants. “With the new mobile packaging facility we don’t have to build a permanent facility straight away.” The plant is in total 90m2, and painted a sandy yellow colour. The interior is lined with easily cleaned vinyl on ceiling, walls and floors. The roof holds 96 solar panels giving selfsufficiency in electricity. All fittings and welds are



Foods will soon be packing milk powder inside shipping containers and insists the process is safe. It has developed a mobile milk powder packaging plant housed in three 40-foot containers. This makes it easier to test new markets for milk powder in Africa. The plant has been sent to Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where Arla, with a local partner, will sell milk powder in small consumer-ready packages. Seven local employees

Powdered milk packed inside Arla’s mobile container plant.

proof against insects. The ventilation system limits indoor temperature to 25oC. The can handle 40 sacks of milk powder

of 25kg each. The milk powder sacks, delivered by Arla Foods Akafa, are emptied into a large funnel, and closed pipes send the powder to a

packaging machine. Each consumer pack holds 25 grams, enough for one glass of milk. The plant includes a laboratory, changing room and toilet.

More research linking dairy, bone health NEW AUSTRALIAN research has added weight to dairy’s beneficial role in protecting bone health. Released as part of the National Healthy Bones Week, the research focuses on dairy’s ability to improve muscle health and mobility in older woman, helping reduce frailty and, in turn, the risk of fractures – a common complication of osteoporosis that is linked with shorter lifespan. According to the new study funded by the Dairy Health and Nutrition Consortium, published this month in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, higher dairy intake has been shown associated with greater whole body lean mass, better physical function and a trend of lower prevalence of falls in older women. A research group at the University of Western Australia led by associate professor Kathy Zhu and professor Richard Prince investigated the effects of different amounts of milk, yogurt and cheese on muscle, mobility and risk of falls in 1456 Australian women aged 70 to 85 years. Women who ate more than two serves of dairy foods a day had more muscle mass, particularly in the legs and arms, greater hand grip strength and improved mobility compared to women who had less than 1.5 serves a day. The study also showed the rate of self-reported falls tended to be less in women who had more dairy foods, after adjustment for non-dairy protein intake. About one-tenth of time spent in hospitals by people aged over 65 is directly attributable to falls, says Zhu. “Our results suggest having enough dairy foods is associated with greater lean body mass and better physical function. We’re not exactly sure how dairy foods play a role in muscle mass, however it’s likely to involve a combination of dairy components such as high quality proteins and calcium working in synergy. “The ageing of the population is placing a strain on the community and health care system that shows no sign of slowing. The number of older people who are frail and sarcopenic (losing strength and muscle mass) is increasing, as is the number of Australians with osteoporosis (brittle bones). “It’s therefore important to identify lifestyle factors associated with reducing the impact of ageing.

The shipping containers have been sent to the Ivory Coast.


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Bent Strandfelt says the mobile packaging plants will allow Arla to test new markets.

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

24 //  OPINION Ruminating


The putting right that counts

milking it... Convenient crisis

Where’s Wilson?

Where’s the milk?

Season of apologies

MILKING IT suggests ministers’ criticism of Fonterra’s communications over the clostridial contamination issue is a bit rich, considering the Government itself is in the gun over being less than forthcoming about ‘communications’ on the GCSB bill. While the WPC80 recall is serious, wheeling out no fewer than eight ministers to comment on the issue, from the Prime Minister down, smacks of a concerted effort to divert media attention. Sadly, it succeeded, and likely exacerbated overseas reaction to the incident in doing so.

FONTERRA CHAIRMAN John Wilson’s absence from media conferences over the WPC80 recall has caused plenty of comment. Milking It reckons he’s right to have left management to front the meetings, but his failure to respond to media requests for comment until last Thursday, even from the likes of Radio New Zealand, isn’t good enough. At the very least a statement that the recall is a management issue, hence it would be inappropriate for the chairman to comment, was needed. Either the chairman, or more likely Fonterra’s costly corporate communications advisors, got it very wrong – again.

JOURNALISTS RUSHED to the Fonterra HQ on Saturday morning, August 3 as the co-op held its first media conference on the WPC80 fiasco. As the cameramen set up their equipment, a group of scribes headed to the table where coffee and milk facilities are located. But there was something missing- milk! When a television journalist pointed this out, Fonterra staffers were quick to get in several jugs of the coop’s signature product.

WHILE FONTERRA has been suffering a PR disaster with WPC80, MPI isn’t far behind. Firstly, they sent out an old media release dated August 5 and duly apologised. Then MPI acting directorgeneral Scott Gallagher apologises for providing wrong information about the Government-owned food tester AssureQuality’s involvement in WPC80 fiasco. Milking It wonders what Minister Nathan Guy thinks about all this?

WELLINGTON’S HIGHLY successful electrical appliance business L.V. Martin & Son stakes its reputation on founder Alan Martin’s slogan ‘it’s the putting right that counts’. Martin accepted things would go wrong, as they do, but he had an instant plan to deal with a problem. Fonterra could learn a lot from Martin’s humility when it comes to public relations and putting things right. This is the third time the co-op has been involved in a major scare: Sanlu melamine, DCD and now this. But it seems they have learned little. Yes, Theo Spierings went to China, but where was chairman John Wilson? While Chinese media bayed for blood and rubbished ‘Brand New Zealand’, and politicians in Wellington were preparing to pounce on Fonterra, Wilson was nowhere to be seen. Logic suggests that with the chief executive off to China, Wilson should at least have headed to Wellington to engage with politicians and face the nation and the media. But he didn’t – a mistake. Wilson has been emailing shareholders regularly since August 2 with updates. He also met with a team of Government ministers. But as the chief representative of the owners- the farmers, Wilson had an obligation to make a public statement. Opposition leader David Shearer’s words rang true: “This issue is bigger than politics but Fonterra is not bigger than Parliament.” Clearly the politicians are mad at Fonterra. Its decision to move to Auckland was arguably a bad one because it disconnected the dairy giant from its real masters – the politicians and government officials. Fonterra is New Zealand’s love child and it must have everyone’s unconditional love and backing, but its behavior needs modifying and fast. Wilson’s no-show is one problem, Fonterra’s unwillingness or inability to answer legitimate questions from the media and others on the timeline of revealing the problem is another. Behind all this lurks its failure to trace product quickly and to the satisfaction of officials; let’s face it, the co-op had months of warning. The public confusion is due to the ineptness of Fonterra’s PR response. Fonterra has let down New Zealand; its ‘putting right’ is well below par.

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

opinion  // 25

Don’t ignore council monitoring report This is the first in a four part series by Hans van der Wal, a resource management specialist lawyer at Duncan Cotterill. He looks at steps dairy farmers should take to avoid hefty fines. IGNORING COUNCIL

resource management non-compliance reports can risk incurring a fullblown prosecution and a crippling fine. Addressing them properly and quickly is central to avoid getting bogged down in resource management red tape, court proceedings and big fines. Very rarely does a Resource Management Act prosecution come out of the blue. There is a pattern where a minor noncompliance is noted by a council officer, brought to the consent holder’s attention and then not immediately dealt with. Further non-compliances follow until the council decides to prosecute, citing as a key reason the failure to address recurring noncompliances. The court takes that into account and is likely to impose a stiffer fine because of the alleged failure. What starts as a minor irritation becomes a fullblown crisis with major implications for the viability of your business. The key to managing this is to respond immediately to the report of noncompliance, be that an inspection or monitoring report, or verbal indication. That response must not only address the problem; you must get written confirmation from the council that the problem is remedied and that there is now full compliance. If the monitoring officer was wrong and there was no non-compliance, you still have to respond. In this instance, you need to get written confirmation that the non-compliant rating was a mistake and you were, and remain, fully compliant. While there is nothing in the law saying you must get written confirmation, it is an important insurance against being accused of ignoring council instructions and not caring about compliance. A note or email from the council shortly after the non-compliant rating, notification or report, stating that the non-

compliance has been fully addressed and you are totally compliant, is far more effective than your own protestations after a further non-compliance that the incidents are not connected. Being able to show from council emails or notes that you address non-compliances quickly and properly is always going to help you, either by persuading the council not to prosecute for a further incident, or by helping you to counter accusations of lack of care if you are prosecuted. Importantly, the effort and cost involved in fixing the initial non-compliance and getting written confirmation that you have done so is always less than results if you are prosecuted. This becomes worse if the court finds you had failures in your system that remained unaddressed even after being brought to your attention by the council. Repairing a fence to keep stock out of a stream is going to be cheaper and quicker than responding to a prosecution for disturbance of the riverbed and discharge of effluent to water. Likewise, servicing or replacing a travelling irrigator that frequently breaks down involves far less hassle and cost than a prosecution for dairy effluent ponding or runoff. Even the significant cost of upgrading effluent storage will not be more than that of a prosecution involving repeat over-application incidents caused by insufficient storage. It costs nothing, or at worst the fee for one monitoring visit, to get a note from the council confirming full compliance. So, next time you get a report of non-compliance, hold onto it until you have written confirmation from the council that it has been addressed and that you are fully compliant. It will be a lot less painful than the potential consequences of ignoring it. • Hans van der Wal is a special counsel at Duncan Cotterill Lawyers, with particular expertise in resource

management and related prosecutions. h.vanderwal@ Disclaimer: the content of this article is general in nature

and not intended as a substitute for specific professional advice on any matter and should not be relied upon for that purpose.

Hans van der Wal

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26 //  opinion

A tangible sign of progress john donkers

LAST MONTH IrrigationNZ hosted a

group of nearly 30 irrigation representatives on a study tour to the Murray Darling Basin in Australia. While I was unable to attend, the feedback from my colleagues was largely positive. If Australia, with water issues of a scale unknown here, can bring disparate groups together to agree on viable irrigated agriculture and environmental outcomes, then New Zealand has a similar opportunity. The take-home message from the tour was about the value of co-operation. In the Murray Darling Basin, a massive $A15 billion of Government funding will be spent between 2008 and 2024 upgrading and improving the efficiency of irrigation schemes and distribution. In return, irrigators will put water savings back into the environment. It’s a win-win model based on mutual respect for the value of agriculture and the environment to the community. My irrigator colleagues were buoyed by the examples they saw, which

reminded them there is plenty they can do to achieve environmental objectives. It got me thinking about what we are doing right here that gets little attention: our industry’s cooperative efforts and on-farm initiatives. Too often we focus on data and tools, rather than the outcomes we all want like maintaining recreational opportunities and protecting species. We forget that co-operation is the best way to achieve results. Last month’s launch of the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord went largely under the radar, but it spelt something significant for irrigators and the community alike. The accord is a tangible sign of progress in ensuring water resources are well looked after – not just by the dairy sector, but by aligned industries as well. From IrrigationNZ’s perspective, becoming a supporting partner to the accord is part of the co-operative approach we believe is needed to solve our water issues. Irrigators are already well aware of the responsibilities that come with har-

Prime Minister John Key with Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord backers. Photo: DairyNZ

nessing New Zealand’s water resources. Our industry has been in the public spotlight for some time and we’ve responded to community concerns by improving practices on the ground and working more closely with regulatory authorities to increase compliance from our membership. In the accord, IrrigationNZ has made a key commitment to continue to build capacity in the irrigation sector to define and deliver good management practice in water use. For irrigators, this means we now

need to think about our aspirations and how we can achieve them in a more environmentally sensitive manner. If we are to develop more irrigation, we have got to be able to manage water quality in a way that is sustainable, both financially and environmentally Many schemes and individual irrigators are already moving towards more efficient spray and drip technologies – away from old technology like open channel border dyke. A greater uptake of tools such as soil moisture monitoring sites will ensure better decision making

on the need to irrigate. And new schemes such as Central Plains Water will deliver over time a significant boost to the health of lowland streams, while also reducing the pressure on groundwater in Canterbury. For IrrigationNZ, our contribution will ensure our membership has the required training and resources to support irrigation initiatives that deliver best practice and address environmental

concerns. There will be issues we need to address, like the debate on nutrient limits, but again a collaborative approach will allow us to come up with the most appropriate limit setting framework. The Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord will help deliver on that while minimising the negatives for the environment. • John Donkers is chairman of IrrigationNZ

Dairy News august 13, 2013

28 //  agribusiness

Chinese consumer watchdog slaps fine on co-op FONTERRA HAS been fined about $900,000 following the conclusion of a review by Chinese authorities into the pricing of dairy products in China. The review was undertaken by China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Fonterra said it had operated “fully and openly” with the NDRC throughout the process. “We accept the NDRC’s findings and we believe the investigation leaves us with a much clearer understanding of expectations around implementing pricing policies which is useful as we progress our future business plans,” says Kelvin Wickham, President of Fonterra Greater China and India. “We understand that a number of companies in the dairy industry were fined, with Fonterra’s fine being in the lowest range.” As a consequence of the investigation Fonterra will provide additional training

to its sales teams and will review distributor contracts to ensure clarity around how pricing policies are implemented through the distribution chain. Fonterra had already slashed by 9% the price for its Anmum maternal health products sold in China following the probe by Chinese authorities into infant formula pricing. Major international dairy companies have cut infant formula prices in China by up to 20% after the NDRC launched a probe into price fixing. It has said infant formula prices have jumped 30% since 2008. Fonterra does not supply infant formula to China; its Anmum products are targeted at pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, although it has a product for children over one year of age. The 9% price reduction will apply to Anmum Materna and is effective from August 1.

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Better checks and balances needed AN OCCASIONAL “lackadaisical” attitude in our communication and systems could ruin our well-deserved reputation for top quality food, says one dairy industry player. And our Western European competitors are likely to take full advantage of New Zealand’s now tarnished image with the latest infant formula scandal, says Peak Nutrition chief executive Stephen Julian. “This has sent shockwaves around the world,” Julian told Dairy News. “In other countries, for example China, when something happens they point the finger straight away and push the information out relatively quickly. “But because of the size of our economy, our resources are a bit lackadaisical sometimes. An example is the time it took release information and the time it took to say who is involved in this process.” His comments come as China’s State-run Xinhua news agency in an editorial criticised the New Zealand Government over its attitude to trade, asking “where’s the quality control?” and slated Fonterra’s failure go public sooner. Citing the problems with meat certification and the DCD issues, it said New Zealand’s quality-control problems were no longer looking like one-offs, but systemic. And Julian says competitors Holland and Germany are already well positioned to profit from these types of criticism. Holland already exports $8 billion in dairy compared to New Zealand’s $10 billion annually. The Dutch market has been “hot on our heels” for a long time, and Germany isn’t far behind. Julian says New Zealand’s biggest advantage is its ‘clean and pure’

philosophy. “These last three incidents have given a lot of credibility towards other developing markets like the Dutch and the German markets.” But Julian says the demand for New Zealand milk is always going to be there. “When you are selling it to a country that has limited environmental resource and not the same type or calibre of dairy we have here in New Zealand, your product is always going to be in demand. “Instead of reinventing the wheel, we need to put a few more spokes into it. We need more robust testing processes, more due diligence on who can set up a manufacturing plant or packing or production plant. We need to know that all our checks and balances are in place and maintained – that’s all we need to do.” Julian who has been exporting food and beverage products to China for at least a decade, has for some time been advocating greater controls on labelling to maintain the integrity of the New Zealand brand in the local and Chinese markets. “Because of the marketing restrictions involved in the infant formula industry in New Zealand, it stops the market from being transparent. Transparency is something that needs to come out with this market. Any brand that comes out of New Zealand needs to be covered by a

Stephen Julian

robust testing regime. “Product labels can be misleading to parents who read them and think they are buying a Kiwi-made product when that’s simply not true.” Julian says the ‘Made in NZ’ label should not be used without regulation and should only be used on products manufactured and packed locally. “Sometimes all the ingredients cannot be sourced in New Zealand as they are simply not produced or manufactured here. This needs to be stated on labels so the consumer is aware and can make an informed decision; this is what we do on our [company’s] labels,” says Julian. Peak New Zealand is a 100% Kiwiowned and operated company established in 2012.

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

30 //  agribusiness

Sign of the times need change jan davis

HOUSTON, WE have a prob-

lem. We don’t know what we are eating. More specifically, one major supermarket chain, Coles has a serial problem with truth in advertising. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has just fined Coles A$61,200 for selling imported navel oranges and kiwifruit in supermarkets in Queensland, NSW, Western Australia and the ACT while advertising them as Australian-grown. They were on sale beneath signs reading Helping Australia Grow and displaying the triangular Australian Grown symbol. The ACCC also found the signage was being used in other stores that showed imported asparagus and almonds as being Australian-grown. You will recall Coles also being investigated for allegedly mislead-

ing conduct over its European produced Baked Today, Sold Today bread, the veritable epitome of a half-baked claim. Coles’ explanation for the violation over navel oranges and kiwifruit was that the signs were mistakenly left in place when old stock was moved out and the new stock put in its place. Yeah, right. This happened in five supermarkets. Don’t they have quality assurance systems in place? If these systems don’t work, then how can we trust anything they say? Coles paid up but professed its innocence “as a matter of practical expediency to avoid a lengthy and costly legal action in defending our position”. That strikes me as an interesting way to protect your reputation. The crime here is that consumers have been duped into believing they have been buying Australian-grown produce. From our point of view, that means those consumers have been trying to do the right thing by their country and their farmers

of duping, even though it might be inadvertent, destroys faith in the entire labelling system. It also brings into question the systems that the supermarkets employ to guarantee that what we think we are buying is legitimate. Australian farmers are increasingly up against low-cost imports. They have to cut their costs to remain in business, because they can’t increase their prices. It is not fair to tilt that muchtouted (and imaginary) ‘level playing field’ even further by flouting the rules and allowing foreign foodstuffs to be sold as Australian. Self-regulation in our supermarkets clearly doesn’t work. It is time for a mandated code of conduct, as is currently being pursued by NFF. There is no bigger business in Australia. It has to be transparent, and they have to do better. • Jan Davis is the CEO of the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, Australia.

Australian supermarket Coles has been fined for selling imported food as Australian-made.

- but they have been conned. Truth in advertising has to be non-negotiable. People have to have faith in the retail system and truthful labelling is key to that. Instead they not only get duped at the supermarket, as in these

instances, but they have to try to interpret the weasel words “made in”, “grown in”, “product of”. Really, what do they mean? Consumers are not interested in where the majority of the processing may have taken place. They want to know the

provenance of the bits they actually eat – where it was grown and what happened to it after being harvested. Australians say they will buy Australian produce first, provided it meets the tests of price and quality. This latest example













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Dairy News august 13, 2013

agribusiness  // 31

Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters, Moana Esposito from Rotorua Seventh Day Adventist Primary School and Paiaterangi Kapa from Te Kura o Te Whakarewarewa toast the start of Fonterra Milk for Schools in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne regions.

School milk flows to fifth region CHILDREN IN the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne regions had their first taste of school milk last month as Fonterra launched the scheme in this fifth region. Twenty-two children from nine schools visited the Parekarangi Trust Farm for a morning milking, before joining a Fonterra convoy through town. James Warbrick, chairman of Parekarangi Trust, says: “The children brought some energy to this morning’s milking. Our team loved having them on-farm and enjoyed hearing how much they are looking forward to their school milk. As milk lovers ourselves, we

understand.” The kids then joined Rotorua MP Todd McClay and Rotorua Mayor Kevin Winters and community members at Owhata school for a morning tea, before heading back to school while the adults visited Fonterra’s Reporoa site. Fonterra Reporoa operations manager, Sam Mikaere, says: “We have had everyone from teachers to farmer shareholders come onsite and it has been great to share the farm-to-factory journey of dairy with them.” Fonterra director global sustainability and social responsibility, Carly Robinson, says the cooper-

ative is “excited about this milestone. Getting Fonterra Milk for Schools up and running in the Bay of Plenty and Gisborne is a great achievement. “Fonterra Milk for Schools is making milk available to primary-aged Kiwi kids in years 1 to 6 on a daily basis. It’s a big undertaking, but with a team driving it and the support of the schools and communities, the rollout is running smoothly,” she says. Fonterra Milk for Schools will start in Wellington, Manawatu-Wanganui and Hawke’s Bay next. The scheme will be nationwide by the end of term one, 2014.

Co-op posts record results BALLANCE

Graham, retiring as chairman in SepAGRI-NUTRIENTS shareholders will this month get a record tember, says Ballance has performed exceptionally well to achieve a record rebate and dividend of $65/tonne. The co-op’s share value is also increas- trading result of $92.6 million despite the drought drying up fertiliser demand and ing 60c to $8.10/share. Ballance chairman David Graham says impacting sales volumes. This compares to the previous year result of the payment has been brought $77.3 million. Group sales volforward to reward shareholders umes at 1.33 million tonnes were and help them with cashflows at 7.6% behind the previous year, the start of the season. reflected in group revenue at “The drought may be over but $878 million compared to the the financial impacts are not, so previous year’s $915 million. we are fast-tracking the payment “We are proud of the fact we to shareholders in recognition of have achieved a record result that so they can gain the full benin a very trying year, and more efits of a good year for their co- David Graham importantly in a year in which operative.” we held or reduced fertiliser Returns to shareholders will vary according to purchases, but based prices. We started strongly, with a good on an annual purchase of 100 tonnes, the first half, but the drought quickly took its rebate and dividend represents a $6500 toll on demand. Despite this, we mainreturn to a fully paid shareholder. In total, tained a good performance…. I can step Ballance’s 18,300 shareholders will get $65 down as chairman… knowing the co-operative is in excellent financial and operamillion. The recommended share value increase tional shape.” The co-op’s equity ratio is at a record will represent a $1800 gain for a farmer holding 3000 shares to cover 100 tonnes high of 71.3% compared to last year’s 64.2%. Net debt was down $90m to $6m. of fertiliser purchases.

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and earn you more? It’s not easy to see exactly what’s going on inside your cows and whether their gears are in order or are at risk of being infected with endometritis. This infection remains hidden and animals can show little or no external symptoms. Up to 20% of your herd are at risk of developing endometritis post calving, leading to reduced conception rates and therefore fewer days in milk and increased culling. This means a potential loss of revenue of thousands. To avoid endometritis becoming a costly issue on your farm, the best practice is: A. Identify, Record, Metricheck™ and Treat all of your ‘at risk’ cows B. Have your veterinarian Metricheck™ your whole herd in 2-weekly batches from 2 weeks post-calving, C. Your veterinarian will treat all cows that show any signs of pus with Metri-Clean which is introduced by passing a pipette into the infected uterus of the cow. Metri-Clean is made in New Zealand and is the only intra-uterine treatment available in both a single syringe treatment and multi-dose presentations. If you’re looking for an endometritis treatment that delivers benefits to your farm speak to your veterinarian about Metri-Clean.

Restricted Veterinary Medicine. Available only under veterinary authorisation.

Your vet knows the science and benefits behind treating endometritis and how it can add value to your farming operation. We entrust Metri-Clean to your veterinarian - your animal health expert.

Dairy News august 13, 2013

34 //  management

New additions take family TONY HOPKINSON

THE SINGH farm at

Upper Atiamuri is a 72ha (eff), described as “flat to very flat” milking 214 pure bred Friesian cows producing 104,000kgMS in the 2012-13 season. This production was done with some bought-in feed because of the dry spell. It is a true family farm with owners Gunna Singh and his wife Kuldeep recently being joined by their daughter Mellina. He formerly milked cows on a family farm at Hora Hora and started share milking in 1989 for his parents on this farm and then had the opportunity of purchasing the farm in 1991. First year production in 1989 was 33,000kgMs. The Singhs are Fonterra suppliers.

They have two support blocks, one 16ha with an adjacent 5ha leased and the second block is 18ha with 13ha (eff). Both are within 3.5km of the farm. One yields four cuts of silage in a good year and the second two cuts as well as grazing young stock. They have a 20-aside herringbone dairy shed with a PPP in-shed feeding system now used all season. The farm is centrally raced to 24 x 2.7ha/av paddocks. The farm uses Ballance fertiliser. “We are targeting and concentrating on per cow production and have recently changed to using Semex bulls as they cater for our type of animals with their increased stature and capacity,” says Singh. All calves are reared

with the Friesian bull calves and Herefords, leaving the farm when they

Gunna Singh

Kuldeep, Mellina and labrador Tana (left).

reach 80kg. They have had only one bobby calf in six years. Cows and heifers are mated to Friesian semen and tailed off with

Herefords. “We have been seasonal suppliers but we have had some trouble with cow fertility so we

seem to end up milking a few cows through the winter.” For this season Singhs have made two large


Dairy News august 13, 2013

management  // 35

farm to new level additions to their farming operation: a large covered feed pad and a weeping wall effluent handling system. “Mellina our daughter has recently finished a New Zealand Diploma in Business level 6 at Waiariki Institute of Technology and wanted to get more involved with the farm with mum and dad.” Mellina, her dad reports, has had a lifelong interest in animals though calf clubs and showing stock at local A&P shows. She now has responsibility of keeping all records for NAIT, breeding and the Minda program as well as being involved with the running of the farm. “We have always been family oriented and we are proud our daughter, the next generation, wants to carry on.” The aim of the covered feeding pad was to neu-

tralise the weather and utilise feed better, options for spilt calving and basically have more days in milk. For the design he went to Geoff Nielson, Ag-First and the building to Archway Construction, Te Puke. (See sidebar). The concrete area for the feed pad was 50 x 28m with a 36 x 28m covered. There are three troughs 36 x 1.3m across x 800mm high. The troughs are 300mm deep and are filled by Singh’s JF Stoll mixer wagon. There are plenty of fresh water troughs. The surface is cleaned with a flood wash using green water from the weeping wall. This water is pumped to a 23,000L holding tank then through a 300mm delivery line to a series of 50mm risers. At the bottom of the pad there is a 300mm outlet back to the bunkers. Singh has two fail-safe features in case the outlet pipe is

partially blocked by debris which also directs material to the effluent bunkers. Singh formerly collected effluent from the dairy shed into a small sump and it was pumped and irrigated on 34ha of the farm. Now the same Reid & Harrison 11.5kW

pump with a two-way tap pumps the green water back to the holding tank or around the farm. The new installation consists of two bunkers 28 x 12 x 1.5m deep. The weeping walls are 3m from the end where the collection sump is. His intention

is to take six months to fill one side before changing and allowing it to further consolidate before spreading on the non-irrigated parts of the farm and some land could also be used for cultivating maize as this has never been grown on the property before.

Mellina and her cow Snowflake.

Builder keen on green MATT HODGSON started

his building apprenticeship in Whangarei and after a couple of moves completed it while living in Hamilton. At age 21, with his wife Amanda, he set up Archway Construction, now based at Pukehina, 20km south of Te Puke. Four years later they are building houses, cowsheds, silage bunkers, feed pads and Matt Hodgson farm buildings, and recently have begun specialising in farm dairy effluent systems. “We have our own company in Te Puke that makes engineered designed pre-cast concrete panels and sections that speed up buildings and installations,” says Hodgson. He claims that with good site preparation he and his eight permanent staff can install a feedpad and weeping wall for shed effluent in 3-4 days. Weeping walls for handling shed effluent have a lot going for them, Hodgson says. “There is a low labour input and all material is completely enclosed and any maintenance or spreading can be done when it suits the farmer.” He has installed eight weeping wall systems in the last four months in time for the new season. Many farmers are recycling the green water for washing down feed pads and dairy yards rather than using fresh water every day. Green water has no stones, sand or abrasive material to damage pumps or to block irrigator nozzles if it is being pumped to pasture. The bunkers holding the concentrated solids need only be emptied once a year and is beneficial to pasture and cropping ground. Tel. 07 533 4177


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Consumption (kWh)

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*The graph above is provided as an illustration of consumption and Meridian seasonal rates only. Your actual consumption and the rates charged to you will vary. The graph has been based on a single agribusiness customer’s installation control point in the Waitaki region. **Terms and conditions apply.

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

management  // 37

LIC farm automation manager Garth Anderson (left) with Taupiri farmer Reece Croasdale.

Mating ‘100 times easier’ with farm automation NEW FARM automation technology is repaying a Waikato farmer by taking the hassle out of drafting cows, improving herd records and generally making life easier. Reece Croasdale, manager and contract milker on his family’s farm near Taupiri, says LIC’s new generation Protrack Vector system is even better than he expected. “It made mating 100 times easier, especially with the mobile app because if I saw a cow bulling in the yard, paddock or on the way into the shed then I just put her number into my phone and she’ll be drafted out and waiting in the pen at the end of milking. “Before we’d use foam to mark them, keep an eye out for them through milking and have to race up the front to draft them manually; it was a bit of a nightmare, but this has made it much easier. “I knew I’d look back and wonder how I did without it, but it’s even better than I thought it was going to be.” With 450 cows on 110ha, the system was retrofitted to the farm’s 30-aside herringbone shed earlier this year, before winter mating of half the split-calving herd. Croasdale chose the redeveloped and recently launched Vector system from the Protrack range,

to make drafting during calving and mating seasons easier and for the computer in the shed which provides easy access to his herd records in Minda. “With two mobs all year round we probably do twice as much drafting as other farms, but Protrack takes heaps of pressure off, and the computer in the shed means we can be fussier with our records. “We can enter everything as it happens, and there’s no more double handling of the information.” As one of four farms involved in trialling the new system, Croasdale has worked with LIC to provide feedback, identify any ‘bugs’ and contribute ideas for improvement. New features of the system include redesigned software that is easier to use, more power to choose what information appears on-screen, the ability to use web-based technology and access Minda on the web, and integration with the mobile drafting app, to name a few. It follows the launch of the redeveloped Protrack Drafter system last year. LIC’s farm automation manager, Garth Anderson, said the new system is what farmers have asked for, and the farm trials are an important part of the development process to ensure the co-operative

has “got it right.” “We first launched Protrack Vector in 2004 and farmers have loved it, but since then they’ve also told us what could be better, and what else they’d like added. We’ve listened, and the new Protrack Vector is the result. “Involving farmers in trials and focus groups is an important part of how we develop and refine these systems; we need to involve them to ensure the product will in fact make their job easier. “It’s great to see the unit delivering beyond expectations on Reece’s farm and that he and the other trial farmers have confirmed it’s as good as we thought it would be.” Anderson says the cooperative works with farmers involved in the trials, with regular farm visits, and staff attending

the odd milking so feedback can be provided on the spot. “There’s nothing like practical experience, and getting in the pit and doing a milking to see it all in action, telling you more than the most eloquent description of what happened, after the event.” The new generation Protrack Vector system, once installed, has computer software released in stages to allow farmers to become familiar with the system piece by piece while ensuring they get the functionality they need for certain times of the year. Anderson says farmers with the earlier versions of the Protrack Vector system can upgrade at a moderate cost, as they already have some of the hardware required.

New Protrack Vector system ■■

Three-way drafting


Touch screen and computer in the shed


Redesigned software easier to use


Integration with Minda on the web


‘Milking’ screen with realtime updates of drafts


‘Actions’ screen identifying cows requiring treatment etc


App to remotely schedule drafts from an Apple or Android mobile device.

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

38 //  management

Upland family show it can For some people in the dairy sector it’s all about size but as Dairy News reporter Peter Burke found out recently, there are many great things being done on small dairy farms.


Topless are two young people who have made their way up the ladder from sharemilkers to farm owners. Their property just south west of Stratford is their first farm. It’s about 500m above sea level and just out the front door looms Mt Taranaki and to the south and west they get a good view of Fonterra’s Hawera plant. The view is magnificent and

the farm itself with its stands of native bush adds to the natural beauty of the place, including 3ha which is under a QE II covenant. The farm is small – 80ha and about 57ha effective – on which they run 135 crossbred cows, a mixture of Jersey and Friesian. They started off as sharemilkers for six years before they bought the present property. They plan to move

Greg and Hannah Topless with their children Nathan and Mark.

The farm is surrounded by native bush.

onwards and upwards. Greg’s parents owned a sheep and beef property in Taranaki but on leaving school he took up a cadetship with LIC. He worked there ten years including a spell in the UK where he marketed New Zealand bulls and helped promote

“It’s our stepping stone into farm ownership and we have plans to move next year – sell this and buy something a little bit bigger.” low cost grazing systems. There he met Hannah. “I was at uni doing a

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museums degree and had no farming background,” she says. “We met in a place called Penrith and now trade under the name of the Penrith Trust. I had no compunction about coming to New Zealand because I’d already travelled overseas and thought I wouldn’t mind living somewhere else.” Within a year they were married and twelve years on they are happily settled with their four children. Hannah’s mother and stepfather have also come to New Zealand and live “down the road”. For Greg and Hannah buying their first farm has given them stability and the flexibility to move to a bigger farm in time. “It’s our stepping stone into farm ownership and we have plans to move next year – sell this and buy something a little bit bigger,” says Greg. “But this has been great. We have been able to come here and just improve pastures and different things and lift production. When we arrived the farm was doing about 30,000 kgMS.

The first year we milked half a herd of heifers as we were building up our numbers after selling the herd, but even then I think we did 41,000 kgMS. The year after that we did 51,000 kgMS and this past season because of the drought we dropped back to about 47,000 kgMS,” says Greg. They have a low input system but are classed as ‘system two’ only because they graze their cows off farm in winter. They calve early August, sometimes a challenge with snow. They are quite high on Mt Taranaki, a challenge during severe storms, but they love the lifestyle and what it will lead to. “We make our own silage and hay though we don’t budget on it; but if need be we’ll just buy in a bit of palm kernel to get us through tight spells,” he says. When they were sharemilkers, they entered the Sharemilker of the Year awards and won the regional final and came third in the national final in 2010. For Hannah that was an awesome experience despite the effort required to enter. They retain an interest in the competition. “In some ways the more times you enter it

Dairy News august 13, 2013

management  // 39

still be done

The Topless farm runs 135 crossbed cows.

the more you benefit from it as it makes you look at your business. It helped us progress more quickly than we otherwise would have. As well there are the other benefits of being recognised by being at the awards with the prizes and things,” she says. Despite her lack of an early life on a farm, Hannah has quickly adapted to farm life. She does the accounts, rears the calves and does relief milking and all the other

Mount Taranaki (shrouded in cloud) looms at the farm’s doorstep.

chores of managing young children and a farm. She loves it here – the lifestyle is “glorious”. Coming up to calving, the cows at the Topless property are in good condition. Greg says their BSC is about 5.0 and the heifers approaching BCS 5.5. He attributes this to the fact that they dried off the cows early and gave them plenty of time to recover. He likes his cows in good condition coming up to calving. He once bought

skinny cows and the problems that caused took a long time and much hard work to resolve. The pair have a strong commitment to the environment and every year have planted at least 400 trees as part of a riparian programme. They have also set possum baits, given the fact that they close to the DOC land. Greg says DOC have done a good job with possum control. This has paid off and he says “flocks of tui” that fly around the farm

show the bush is largely predator free. But for the Topless family the time on this farm is limited. They have already signed up to take over a new and bigger farm by June next year, their last move – they say. The new property is not far away and closer to their extended families. For this young couple the hard work has paid off and they are living proof that farm ownership is still within the grasp of those who want it badly enough.

Dairy News august 13, 2013

40 //  management

Calf feed comparison delivers a winner TAMARA AND Drewe

Calf feeding has become a favourite part of the Finlay children’s daily routine during spring. It’s safe and easy to use the RumenX programme with them in tow, says Tamara Finlay (right).

Finlay did their maths before trying RumenX calf feed, comparing it with all milk and other products, reports the product supplier, Agrifeeds. “We don’t need to take extra milk from the

vat and we have much less work to do making it more cost-effective,” says Tamara. “It’s also clean and easy to handle”. The Finlays milk 270 crossbred cows on 80ha at Orini in Waikato. They rear 60 calves on the home

farm until May, when they go up the road to the runoff and the in-calf heifers come home. The Finlays are enthusiastic about their stock, knowing these animals are their future. “It’s vital they are grown properly before joining the herd,” says Drewe. When they heard about RumenX in 2009 they decided to give it a go. The Finlays set target weights for each animal using LIC Liveweight BVs, and weigh them regularly to make sure they are reaching their targets. Last season they participated in an Agri-feeds weight trial and Tamara

says the results speak for themselves. “With RumenX they are looking fantastic,” says Tamara. “Our calves are healthy, content and quiet, and develop a lovely big gut. They not only hit but exceed their targets.” “As a mother of two pre-schoolers the less time she has to spend out feeding the calves the better.” RumenX is a high quality calf feed that maximises rumen development and allows calves to be weaned earlier, she adds. “Before you know it the calves are out on pasture and all we have to do is feed them meal,” she says.

‘Don’t waste time on GE ryegrass’ THE ORGANIC Dairy and Pastoral Group is

advising scientists and agribusiness investors not to waste any more time and effort – let alone millions of dollars – on trying to genetically engineer ryegrass to withstand drought caused by climate change. “I hope no farmers or politicians are taken in by the exaggerated and emotive pleading of genetic engineering proponents to support work on these expensive and ineffective approaches to the environmental challenges faced by farming today,” says ODPG chair Glenn Mead. “We already have all the science we need on how to drought-proof pastures – and at the same time reduce nitrogen leaching – and it doesn’t cost more than a few bags of seed and the time to sow them.” Two recently released dairy pasture research studies, independent of each other, have shown scientifically that mixed species pastures are more resilient and productive in dry conditions than ryegrass and clover alone. They also leach 50-60% less nitrogen. The organic dairy farms studied by Massey University scientists during the four year Grow Organic Dairy project were already aware of the value of having mixed species pastures in drought proofing and animal health. However, they were not aware of the role of mixed pastures in reducing nitrogen leaching until their farms were measured using the Overseer programme. This effect has been independently verified by the three year Dairy NZ study that looked at the impact of adding three more species (chicory, plantain and lucerne) to the standard ryegrass and clover mix and found that cows fed on mixed pasture excreted half the amount of nitrogen in their urine compared to cows on standard pasture. “This has big implications for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture”, says Mead. “About 50% of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. “We now have three good reasons for converting all pastures to mixed pastures as soon as possible. It will save us a lot of money and prevent a lot of distress.”





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Dairy News august 13, 2013

42 //  management

Faster milk cooling at a lower cost tec Ltd in conjuction with the farm owner and local refrigeration contractor Centigrade. The time to cool the milk was also substantially reduced – at times halved – and average superheat was much lower, improving refrigeration performance and final milk quality. (This system did not have pre cooling) Sales and marketing director Chris Farmer says Eurotec is the major supplier of electronic expan-

pam tipa

HUGE SAVINGS in energy costs and faster cooling times for milk can be achieved by replacing existing mechanical expansion valves with Carel electronic expansion valves on dairy farm milk vats, a Waikato trial has shown. Up to 78% in energy savings were recorded in a two-month Waikato farm trial conducted by Euro-

sion valves (ExV) to the refrigeration industry in New Zealand. The trial was an Australasian first, and possibly a world first. The trial involved two 7800L milk vats each fitted with two Carel ExV and two traditional mechanical thermostatic expansion valves. Their use was alternated every three days and performance monitored every minute over two months. At least 720,000 data points were collected.

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Results of the November-February trial showed that energy savings of up to 78% can be achieved depending on variations of milk volume, temperature and ambient conditions. Conservatively 35 to 40% savings can be achieved on top of the more efficient systems utilising ground water pre cooling. Results show that for the mechanical thermostatic expansion valve (TxV) the average superheat was 20K, the average suction temperature 14.5 °C and the time taken for the milk to reach 5°C was 4h 51m. In contrast, the Carel ExV had an average superheat of 5.9K, average suction temperature of 0.8°C and the time to reach 5°C was 3h 20m. A comparison of two days in early February, showed a whopping difference in pull-down time. For the mechanical TxV it was 5h 20m, compared to 2h 38m for the Carel ExV with similar volumes of milk and ambient conditions Farmer explains electronic expansion valves are widely used in commercial and industrial refrigeration. Eurotec is the first to introduce the technology to the dairy industry. In cooling milk, superheat needs to be con-

The time to cool milk was reduced at trials using Carel electronic expansion valves.

trolled to the optimum temperature. The Carel electronic valve has 480 steps in capacity control – very fine refrigerant control. “That maximises the amount of refrigerant in the milk vat to maintain the superheat setting which ensures the most effective refrigeration across the surface of the evaporator.” Farmer says that control is the main reason for the big energy savings, so the plant runs to maximum efficiency. “That means it is pulling down the milk temperature much quicker and it is reaching 5°C a lot quicker – often less than half the time – compared to the thermostatic valve. Therefore the refrigeration plant isn’t running as long; that’s where you get the savings – more efficiency and operating for less time. “On top of that you get a better quality milk product. The quicker you pull the milk down, the better

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the butter fat solids quality.” Eurotec sales engineer Kelly Larritt also says superheat is a key factor in controlling the refrigeration effect. Referring to two key days analysed in February he says the electronic valves were preset to maintain 6°k superheat, and the average superheat during the test was 5.9°K. With the mechanical valve also set at 6°k superheat, the average was 20K. “That is way out. During the milking it’s ok, but the mechanical valve tends to lose control as the load

increases. It cools it down eventually but it can take up to 4-5 hours. The time for the electronic valve was 3h 20m.” The local refrigeration contractor installs and presets the Carel ExV valves for the farmer and he just turns the switch on; it integrates into his existing cooling system. Fonterra plans to tighten up rules on the time it takes to get milk to a required temperature and also wants to reduce energy costs on farms by 25-35% by 2025, not just milk cooling but all energy costs, the co-op says.

considerable savings Simply replacing a mechanical TxV with a Carel electronic ExV: ■■

Will give considerable energy savings


Investment payback for a typical installation is less than 12 months depending on vat design and refrigeration plant condition.


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MINDA has been a trusted part of dairy farming for generations, and with the release of our first smartphone app it’s sure to be the first thing you reach for at calving. Available at both the Apple App store and Google Play; faster, easier calving is just a click away for the latest smartphones. Check out the future of calving records at

Dairy News august 13, 2013

44 //  management

Dairy breaks enough on kale SHIFTING COWS on kale twice a day makes no difference to utilisation or weight gain, research by a Lincoln University PhD student shows. But the quantity of allotted feed does. “Until now there has been little experimental data on the utilisation and forage behaviour of cows grazing kale in response to changing levels of allowances,” says Innocent Rugoho, a PhD candidate in the department of agriculture, Faculty of Agriculture and

– 8.9kgDM/cow, but on Life Sciences, Lincoln the higher allowance University . that intake included less Rugoho compared stem, hence the energy three equally matched value of the intake was groups of cows fed two higher. different allowances of The result was the kale: high (14kgDM/cow/ quantity and nutritional day) and low (11kgDM/ Innocent Rugoho status of the feed offered cow/day). A control in the high kale allowance ensured the group was fed on grass. He found that on both allowances largest increase in the body condition cows ate quickly for the first three hours score (BCS) of the cows.

He says the reason why the usual feed calculations put cows at risk of being underfed is because the low nutrient status of the kale stems is not compensated for. As part of this research, Rugoho also compared the intake and BCS of cows offered kale one or twice a day and found no improvement in utilisation or gain in BCS when feeding cows more frequently.  Rugoho came to New Zealand from

Zimbabwe after completing an undergraduate science degree. His interest in dairying developed while working at Ngamarua Dairies (a Synlait farm) at Rakaia. “Cows need to be fed well throughout the whole year,” he says, “and providing adequate feed in winter is important to farmers who want to ensure their cows regain their condition and are prepared well for the next calving and lactation.”

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Hauraki Focus Farm. Information about the focus farm’s progress will be fed back to the region’s farmers through field days and regular emails. The initiative is led by the P3 Dairy Trust formed in 2010 by dairy farmers aiming to increase the profitability of Hauraki Plains farms, with a flow-on effect to the whole community. The trust is doing this through a number of initiatives, one being a focus farm. The P3 Dairy Trust, which stands for profitable, progressive plains, is supported by DairyNZ and the ANZ Bank. P3 Dairy Trust’s newly appointed chairman Will Tye says the first three years have proved successful. “Generally, we have a lot of support from local farmers to keep a focus farm initiative going. We’ve been fortunate to have the current farm because it’s been of great value to fellow farmers who are going through a lot of the same sorts of issues,” says Will. “We are looking for a self-motivated farmer who has a strong desire to increase the profitability and sustainability of their dairy business, with the P3 Trust’s assistance. Whether you want to take your farm business from average to good or from the top 20% to the top 5%, we want to hear from you. “Work done in another P3 initiative called ‘scorecard’ showed the Hauraki Plains has some high-performing farms, particularly in return on asset (ROA). It has shown us that whether you’re farming heavy marine clay or peat, there is the potential to achieve results comparable to the best in New Zealand,” says Will. Angus and Karen MacInnes, who own a 176ha (effective) property near Waitakaruru, allowed their farm to be monitored for the project’s first three years. The farm, a typical Hauraki Plains dairy property, was selected as the focus farm because of the MacInnes’ willingness to have their business regularly measured and monitored, and their readiness to adopt well-reasoned management practises. A weekly email update goes directly to 350 farmers and rural professionals, which includes information on growth rates, soil, temperature, rainfall and cow condition and the management plan for the next week. The focus farm hosts four field days a year where guest speakers discuss relevant topics and farmers get an update on the farm’s progress and discuss management issues. DairyNZ consulting officer for the Hauraki Plains, Fiona Wade, says the feedback has been encouraging from farmers and challenged the management team’s thinking, keeping all involved focused. Those interested in becoming the new focus farm or wanting to be added to the weekly email updates can contact Fiona Wade on 021 242 2127 or Craig Strawbridge on 027 448 6650.

Simon Worth – Bull Acquisition Manager

The science of genomics has faced some big challenges since inception, but we believe that the industry has already benefited from the availability of elite young sires and that this technology has a lot more to offer. We recognise that evaluations have not always met expectations and we believe there is a better way to utilise the new technology. We have combined the “young and the old” or the “big and the small” to deliver only the highest ranked LIC bulls, bringing together the top Daughter Proven bulls and the cream of the young sire crop. These youngsters have exceptional genomic evaluations, but also solid pedigrees, strong cow families and outstanding ancestry evaluations. Traditional Premier Sires Daughter Proven continues to offer the ultimate in team reliability. Premier Sires Forward Pack delivers the offspring of young Genomically Selected sires years earlier. The science of genomics is continually evolving and there are risks with any new science but we are delighted to offer you the choice.

Dairy News august 13, 2013

46 //  animal health

Avoiding aflatoxins in milk ines rodrigues

FUNGI ARE microor-

ganisms abundant worldwide. Of the thousands of known fungi, only some produce mycotoxins – toxic chemical compounds of low molecular weight assumed to aid survival of the fungi in their ecological niche. Unlike the antibiotic Penicillin, produced by Penicillium sp., not all mycotoxins have such beneficial and practical application in humans and animals. Most mycotoxins, such as aflatoxins, are harmful to animals and humans ingesting or coming in contact with them as they do not trigger an antibody mediated reaction in the body to counteract them. The thoroughly researched group of aflatoxins comprises several

Ines Rodrigues

types such as aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2, mainly produced by Aspergillus parasiticus and A. flavus. Aflatoxins are the most carcinogenic natural compounds known and contaminate important agricultural commodities such as peanuts, maize, rice, cottonseed and copra, especially in tropical and subtropical regions. A food safety issue Because of their high hepatotoxicity, even low

levels of aflatoxins may lead to liver damage and increased susceptibility to diseases and reduced resistance to environmental stress factors. Calves and high-yielding cows are considered to be more sensitive to aflatoxins than other species. The most worrying aspect of aflatoxins in dairy animals is the carry-over into milk of the metabolite aflatoxin M1 (AfM1) and its consequent carcinogenicity in humans. Depending on the amount of toxin consumed and milk yield, as much as 6% of the aflatoxin consumed can be carried over into the milk in the AfM1 form. AfM1 appears in the milk within hours after consumption and does not return to baseline levels until two or three days after removal of contaminated feed from

Aspergillus spp the diet (1). Due to its of research to the topic semi-polar character, AfM1 of mycotoxins and mycotoxin deactivation. distribution in milk is not Mycofix Plus homogeneous and it preand Mycofix Secure, dominates in the nonfat fraction, particularly asso- researched and developed by Biomin and registered ciated with casein, and in New Zealand, have therefore imposes extra risk for milk powder prod- proven efficiency in the management of risks assoucts. Strict regulations exist ciated with mycotoxins. References and a more worldwide to limit the detailed article on the topic amount of aflatoxins in Singapore Pte Ltd. Email: dairy feed and AfM1 in milk are available from the author • Ines Rodrigues is technical upon request. manager, Biomin (Table 1). New Zealand supplies many dairy products into the EU Table 1: Legislated levels of aflatoxins and AfM1 in the European Union (EU) (based on Commission and so regulations Regulation No. 1881/2006 and Directive 2002/32/EC) and in the United States of America (USA) (based on US Food and Drug Administration). generally reflect Aflatoxin M1 (ppb) EU requirements. Raw milk, heat-treated and milk for the Mycotoxin risk US: 0.50 EU: 0.050 manufacture of milk-based products management USA Sum of AfB1, AfB2, AfG1 and AfG2 Biomin is aware of the problems (ppb) associated with Corn, corn products, cottonseed meal, and ingestion of aflaother animal feeds and feed ingredients 20 toxins and other intended for dairy animals mycotoxins by EU Aflatoxin B1 (88% DM) (ppb) animals and has Feeding stuffs for dairy 5 devoted 30 years

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

animal health  // 47

Benefits in treating ‘hidden’ disease ENDOMETRITIS IS a hidden disease affecting reproductive performance in New Zealand dairy cows, says animal health company Virbac, which markets the Metricheck identifying device. Endometritis can be defined as a chronic infection and inflammation of the uterus in dairy cows. After calving, the cow’s uterus is contaminated by bacteria and while most of these bacteria will be cleared naturally, about 10—20% of cows are unable to do so and frequently progress to endometritis. Any of the at-risk factors listed below contribute to the delay of involution whereby these bacteria are not isolated and discharged, reducing the ability of a cow to control this infection, the company says. Endometritis has a negative impact on the reproductive performance of these infected cows: the ability to cycle is affected, they can take up to four weeks longer to get back in calf and have empty rates 10—30% higher than other cows in a herd which can lead to an increase in culling and fewer days in milk due to a wider calving spread. As infections of the uterus carry the risk of impaired fertility, actively managing these at-risk cows is of crucial importance if they are to conceive within an acceptable

timeframe. Endometritis left untreated is the major cause of repeat breeder cows and contributes significantly to culling rates.1 Cows at risk of developing endometritis are those which have had an assisted calving, retained fetal membranes, vaginal discharge, twins and premature births, prolapse, dead (rotten) calves at calving and metabolic disorders, although some cows with endometritis do not fall into any of these groups and remain hidden within a herd. Virbac says to avoid endometritis becoming a costly problem on a farm, the best practice is to identify, record, Metricheck and treat all at-risk cows. The company further suggests having a veterinarian Metricheck a farm’s whole herd in two-weekly batches from two weeks post-calving. The Metricheck tool (pictured) is inserted into the vagina and some fluid is scooped out – a quick, on-the-spot diagnosis. If this fluid contains pus then this cow should be treated. Metrichecking is easily performed in either a herringbone or rotary setup without holding up milking, Virbac says. During recent trials, of all the cows found Metricheck-positive, fewer than one-third of these were from an at-risk group. The lesson in this was that if

benefits for your farm ■■

Improved reproductive performance by increasing submission and pregnancy rates


More compact calving pattern by reducing the interval from PSM to calving


More days in milk


More money


Less stress.

Uterine infections : Causes, management and sequelae Parkinson TJ, Vermunt JJ, Malmo J, Proceedings of the Society of Dairy Cattle Veterinarians of the NZVA Annual Conference, pp 139-153, Jan 2007 Endometritis: check early, check them all. Phil Stewart, VetScript July 2010

only the at-risk cows were Metrichecked, then there was a danger of missing two-thirds of all endometritis cases2. Says Virbac, “Your vet-

erinarian will treat all cows that show any signs of pus with Metri-Clean which is introduced by passing a pipette into the infected uterus of the

cow.” Detecting and curing uterine infections sooner rather than later after calving reduces the number of non-cyclers at planned

Metricheck tool

start of mating (PSM). Herds having cows Metrichecked and treated in three batches about 5, 8 and 11 weeks after planned start of calving (PSC) had

fewer non-cyclers than those where cows were all Metrichecked together about 10 weeks after PSC.


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.

To learn more about BVD visit

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

48 //  animal health

Hectic calving schedule RICK BAYNE Leppington Pastoral Company, Michael Perich says milking three times a day was based on USA and Middle East systems.


plan their calving season; the Leppington Pastoral

Company in Bringelly, west of Sydney, plans its calving year. The farm has an extensive reproduction schedule which isn’t


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dictated by the season. Instead, about 85 heifers are reared each month of the year for a grand average annual total of 1020 heifers. It’s a big undertaking but they are reaping the rewards of a successful reproduction programme. The farm doesn’t follow the traditional patterns of most Australian dairy operations – it also milks three times a day – but the USA-style and ‘think big’ formula is working. The director of the family-owned company, Michael Perich, says the emphasis on high levels of production works for the 600ha property which has 28 staff and milks 2000 Holstein cows. “Our system may not suit smaller seasonal farms, but we have fixed costs and need the higher production,” Perich says. The milking herd is averaging about 12,000L per lactation with total annual milk production of about 24 million L. Leppington Pastoral produces A2 milk and aims to keep all A2 producing heifers. The reproduction system is based on artificial insemination. “We want better genetics and see AI as the best way to achieve this,” Perich says. Leppington Pastoral is using more fixed-time artificial insemination (FTAI), particularly on heifers. As part of a Prosynch FTAI program, the Bayer Cue-Mate helps cows struggling to cycle. “We have good success with that,” Perich adds. Pregnancy rates – again based largely on USA systems and calculated on heat and conception rates – are used to identify success. The farm currently achieves a 24% pregnancy rate, well above the USA average of 17%. The farm has an average conception rate of about 35% and an average calving interval of 13½ months “which we are very comfortable with.” Newly born calves are tagged for monitoring and

fed 2L of colostrum within the first four hours and a further 2L within 12 hours to increase immunity to disease. The calves are fed 6.5L of milk per day in split feedings. Baycox Cattle is also used to stop the coccidian parasite which causes coccidiosis. “We’ve been using that for a number of years and it works well. You only have to give it to them once and it prevents the disease,” Perich says. After being weaned off milk the calves have access to grazing land and are also fed a supplementary ration developed by a nutritionist. At about 12 months they are transported to the company’s 1200ha property, 7km south of the main dairy farm and then bred via FTAI. The dairy platform, a 36-a-side herringbone, was built 13 years ago and works around the clock with three shifts of seven hours milking and one hour of cleaning. Perich says the decision to milk three times a day was based on USA and Middle East systems and while not common in Australia it is working well for the Leppington Pastoral farm. “We do it to get increased productivity but it also results in better cow health. Milking them more reduces pressure on the udder and lessens mastitis and cell count, currently averaging 130,000.” The intensive milking operation incurs increased costs in feeding and particularly labour but Perich says the higher production is worth it. “We’re getting about 38L out of them at the moment. That will go up to 41-42L later in the spring.” Perich says the farm concentrates on Holstein cows producing A2 milk. “We produce for the fresh liquid market and find we get a better return with Holsteins,” he says. The farm supplies seven different processors, most of them with A2 milk.

Dairy News august 13, 2013

animal health  // 49

FMD would cost Australia dairying A$7b FMD is an airborne virus that can survive outside a host animal for 30 days.

Pigs act as amplifiers of the disease; Bonanno says one pig could theoretically produce enough of the virus to infect 300,000 cows. “Biosecurity on-farm is critical and is

eyeballing the contacts crucial THE KEY to controlling an outbreak of FMD in any country is to stop it spreading. This involves working quickly to ascertain who had been on the affected property. “It’s a good exercise for farmers to sit and write down who has been in contact with their farm in the past seven days. You would be amazed,” says Rob Bonanno. “For example, if there was an outbreak, I would ask the farmer who had been on his farm. If it was 50 people, the response team would have to visit those dangerous contacts and see whether there was evidence of infection, and who had been on those farms.

“You build this enormous web of contacts and then you prioritise them. Was it someone that came in and handled the cattle, or a salesman that only made it halfway down the driveway before he was told to bugger off? “This would be the biggest challenge of an outbreak in Australia – building that web of contacts, prioritising them, and dealing with them in a timely manner.” They key to controlling any outbreak in Australia would be minimising the risk in the first week. You might have to get onto 300 farms with dangerous contacts. If you have five vets, that won’t

happen. If you have 50, you have a realistic chance. That is really important.” Bonanno says performing this exercise in the field provided more lessons than completing a desktop exercise. “The group after us, they went into the field and had monsoonal rain. What’s to say that’s not going to happen here? The weather won’t be perfect. “We had 40°C and 90% humidity; I drank six litres of water one day and didn’t need a pee. “Logistically now, we know if you’re going to send people out to Australia and it’s hot, you need to prepare for that.”

something we’ve overlooked for a long time,” he said. “Proper on-farm biosecurity will keep endemic diseases out of a property. If all farmers in Australia worked hard to control movements in livestock on and off property, that would be one way to prevent a small outbreak becoming a big outbreak – of anything.” He says quarantine surrounding imported livestock and genetics was excellent, but Australia’s border security needed to be improved. “The way FMD is likely to get into Australia is in illegally imported foodstuffs, brought in as a gift. The next most likely way is from someone going to a country with FMD, like Nepal or Egypt, returning with the virus in their clothes or on their footwear, and visiting a piggery or farm. “The virus can last up to 30 days. As people trek in Nepal, cattle wander through the streets so it could easily be brought in on someone’s boots if biosecurity protocols weren’t followed. “Undeclared food products could also cause an outbreak. Infected ani-

mals produce infected cheese and meat. If this is brought in and fed as scraps to pigs, it would be disastrous. “I reckon the virus has probably been here many times, that’s my theory, but we haven’t had the virus and susceptible animals in the same room together, thank God. Shepparton – with a large migrant population and large farm sector – is considered a higher risk area. Anywhere with an urban/rural fringe is considered high risk. “Farmers that have backpackers and itinerant workers should remain conscious they are a potential risk. Someone that works on three or four farms is also a risk, as endemic diseases can be transported via clothing.” Bonanno says some people would get rich out of eradicating FMD but many would go broke. Everything on property not made out of wood or metal would be destroyed, including silage, hay, embryos, stored semen and animals. “It would be just devastating, there’s no other way to describe it.”

As the dry flow granules poured into the dispenser, I relaxed, knowing the herd was being looked after.






issue in Australia and on-farm biosecurity is crucial and needs to remain top of mind. Bonanno and other Australian vets recently took part in training commissioned by the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) and delivered by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). Nepal is rife with FMD, so the Australian Government has bought 80 places in the training programme over a 12-month period FMD is an airborne virus that can survive outside a host animal for 30 days. Cows are infected by inhalation.


THE AUSTRALIAN Government estimates a small outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) – one or two sites quickly contained and slaughtered – would cost the Australian livestock industry about A$7 billion in the first 12 months. A bigger outbreak would cost about A$15 billion. One case would see all Australian export markets slammed shut, causing the milk price to crash and closing all beef export markets, including those for cull cows. Australian vet Rob Bonanno says biosecurity remains an enormous



Bloat control • Reduced ketosis • Increased milk protein Improved cow condition • Ask your vet Rumenox is a registered trade mark of GVL. Registered pursuant to the ACVM Act 1997, A10896. See for registration conditions. Phone 0800 485 123 (0800 GVL 123)

Dairy News august 13, 2013

50 //  animal health

Free TB tests for service bulls HERDOWNERS SHOULD make sure

There is no fee to TB test service bulls.

leased service bulls are tested for bovine tuberculosis (TB) before allowing them near their exist-

ing herd, says TBfree New Zealand.  Commercial bull lessors should organise a TB test for all bulls before marketing and leasing

them to herd owners, meaning as many animals as possible can be tested in one go. There is no fee to TB test service bulls and it


gives the receiving herdowner peace of mind. If there is any doubt over a bull’s TB status, herd owners should contact TBfree New Zealand on 0800 482 4636 to find out if a recent test has been completed, book a test and learn about the animal’s disease history.  TBfree New Zealand can tell a farmer whether a bull has been in a movement control area, where all animals are legally required to be TB tested at least 60 days prior to being moved.  TBfree New Zealand national disease manager Dr Kevin Crews says most cattle and deer herd infections can be traced back to infected possums in TB risk areas, but stock movement-related infections still occur.  “Protecting the pastoral production sector from TB requires constant vigilance, especially when bringing new animals, such as service bulls, onto a property,” says Crews.  All service bulls must

also be accompanied by an Animal Status Declaration (ASD) form which herd owners need to check has been correctly completed. This includes making sure the TB test date of the animal is recorded and the herd status is supplied so that it is known whether the bull presents a possible TB risk. “Don’t be complacent and don’t think TB is not out there. Make sure you do your checks and you will know you have done everything you can to prevent TB from infecting your herd,” says Crews. With calving approaching, NAIT also reminds farmers that registering this season’s calves at their farm of birth will enable lifetime traceability for these animals. Calves should be tagged within six months of birth or before their first off-farm movement, whichever occurs soonest. They then need to be registered in the NAIT system within one week of being tagged.

New entity sharper on TB

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.

To learn more about BVD visit

The simple solution for a serious disease – Bovilis BVD

THE ANIMAL Health Board has relinquished its role as the management agency for the National Bovine Tuberculosis (TB) Pest Management plan. This passed to a new limited-liability company, TBfree New Zealand Ltd, on July 1. This company and National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) Ltd have become wholly owned subsidiaries of Operational Solutions for Primary Industries (OSPRI) New Zealand Ltd. “Bringing together what was formerly the Animal Health Board and NAIT Ltd will enable the more efficient and flexible delivery of the bovine TB management plan and the NAIT scheme,” says MPI director of preparedness and partnerships David Hayes. “The revised corporate structure will… protect and enhance the primary sector. This new structure will leverage the competencies and expertise already developed within AHB and NAIT, and the partnership with the Ministry for Primary Industries.” New strategies and services are likely in pest and risk management, partnership programmes between Crown and industry, and a ‘farmer facing’ contact centre and other outreach services, Hayes says.

AVAILABLE ONLY UNDER VETERINARY AUTHORISATION. ACVM Registration No: A8237. Registered trademark. Schering-Plough Animal Health Limited. BVD-224A-2012

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. T. in ART TAR all. n T S w S L tc D NG al t sho CAL t CA r nex T c L TI lo c Lt 1L ei E S ur rodu e 1 ree n th T K o f o N R E A o y p fre a G M t t y EA e a for Rep A n v d A e Y L es an ei se E A AR pr ase rec bur your IC N d n I H R T an rch ca eim to E E ut u pu you be r mer T o E o ar is o , V th if y ews on t of f t d Cu an ir y N oup ame ce a is c n cti he D e th and a r t v t p of Sa on Ve sue ic: coup is Clin he t is th Vet ide v e o th pr To ply Sim


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Dairy News august 13, 2013

52 //  animal health

Poor insertions restricting Teatseal’s assault on mastitis RICK BAYNE


slashed mastitis in southwest Victoria dairy herds but poor insertion methods are diluting its effectiveness. The Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic is trying to reverse that trend with training sessions to encourage farmers to adopt best practice methods when inserting the product. These practices include wearing gloves and cleaning teat ends with sterile swabs for strict hygiene, making sure the Teatseal is inserted only in the teat canal and not too deeply in the udder, and ensur-

ing it mimics the teat plug by stripping the Teatseal down to the teat end. Dr Jon Kelly told recent Warrnambool Veterinary Clinic FarmChat forums in Koroit and Mepunga that Teatseal has a proven track record in reducing mastitis at calving but incorrect insertion methods are weakening its effectiveness. “Teatseal is a game changer but it has to be inserted properly,” he says. “There is a phenomenal improvement in mastitis when Teatseal is applied. There is a good uptake of Teatseal in the region and it has been used with great success, but we have seen mastitis creeping back up which is probably due

Farmers in Australia are encouraged to adopt best practice methods when inserting the product.

to how Teatseal is being inserted. “There is a constant need for education on how to apply it, particularly when there are staff changeovers and new people have to learn the proper methods. “The key is putting it in properly. It has to stay in the teat canal, not go as far as the udder, and to treat all quarters in order. It should not be massaged into the udder.” At the first milking Teatseal must be removed in fresh cows by stripping teats 10-12 times. Kelly says reducing exposure to environmental mastitis bacteria during calving is the major reason for Teatseal’s success. Teatseal also works by stopping milk leakage when a cow is dried off, enabling dry cow antibiotic therapy to work and preventing introduction of the environmental bacteria. At least two-thirds of mastitis is caused by environmental conditions – mud and faeces or dust – with Strep Uberis the most prevalent mastitis bug. Methods to reduce exposure to the bacteria include calving on dry clean pasture or a dry clean calving pad, bringing cows into the shed as soon as possible after calving to milk out and check, and taking care with premilking preparations of udders.

Good practices include wearing gloves.

“Most mastitis happens in the first month after calving. Calving is the highest risk factor and it has everything to do with

freshly calved cows twice a day. He says Teatseal, formulated to prevent bacteria entering the teat,

“Most mastitis happens in the first month after calving. Calving is the highest risk factor and it has everything to do with the conditions she is calving in. Controlling mastitis at calving will set up your whole season.” the conditions she is calving in. Controlling mastitis at calving will set up your whole season.” Kelly says farmers needed to rotate springer paddocks as much as possible, and always milk

reduced incidence of mastitis during the dry period and early lactation and prevented clinical mastitis in heifers at calving. “Some farmers might think it is worthwhile for heifers but worry how to

do it. The reality is with some training and preparation 99% will stand there and handle it surprisingly well.” Research by Zoetis shows that heifers produce a similar rate of Strep Uberis infection to cows, so management of a clean environment to calve and teat sealant could be beneficial in reducing the rates of infection, he said. Kelly cited examples of south-west Victoria farms that had saved nearly $30,000 in mastitis treatment costs after introducing Teatseal. One farm had reduced its mastitis rate in heifers from 20% to 4% and in cows from 17% to 4% after applying Teatseal, while another had dipped from

33% to less than 10%. At the same time their BMCC improved. “Prevention is always better than treatment,” Kelly adds. Countdown Downunder research shows the best ways to reduce mastitis at calving are to reduce exposure to environmental mastitis bacteria, take good care with heifers and freshly calved cows, check that milk is suitable to go in the vat and promptly finding, treating and recording clinical cases in freshly calved cows. “Drying off will give your cow the best chance for the next lactation,” he says. “It is a farmer’s only chance to ‘re-set’ the cow with regards to milk quality for the next lactation.”



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Dairy News august 13, 2013

54 //  machinery & products

Korean tractor firm leaps to 100hp tony hopkinson

KIOTI TRACTORS, South Korea, have a solid reputation for their compact machines with until now power range starting at 26hp. At this year’s National Fieldays the company released its PX1002C models rated at 100hp. “This is the first model in this new range and it will be accepted by New Zealand farmers for the value for money Kioti has always had,” said brand man-

ager for Power Farming Wholesale, Alastair Horrocks. They come in cab and ROPS version and can be supplied with factory fitted front loaders plus extras such as front weights. The models have multi wetdisc clutches. The model has a new layout including two rear remotes and rear lifting capacity of 2.4 tonnes. They have synchro shuttle with creeper box and electronic P.T.O. and also auto engage. Tel. 09 902 2200

about kioti daedong FOR 50 years since the founding of Daedong in the years following the 1945 liberation of Korea, Daedong has been the leading Korean maker of mechanised farming equipment, says Power Farming. Daedong was founded in 1947 by the past chairman Sam Man Kim, and has continued to follow his footsteps by responding to market challenges and constantly growing technical knowledge

and production capacity. Starting with its first watercooled diesel engine in 1949, Daedong has pioneered farm machinery technology. Notable products include a power tiller in 1963, then a full line of tractors, combines, rice transplanters and garden tillers. Now the company is investing heavily in technologies and new factories for world class competitiveness.

Kioti tractors on display at the National Fieldays, Mystery Creek. Inset: New cab layout with all electronic controls at hand.

LESS STRESS FOR YOU AND YOUR COWS MAKE SURE YOUR HERD IS PRODUCING ITS BEST BY KEEPING ON TOP OF LAMENESS Hoofmats with the right amount of treatment chemicals placed on the entry to the shed will keep your cows in top condition so they can produce to their potential

With on farm margins getting squeezed every year this is a great place to start cutting costs Over half a million sold worldwide without complaint assure you this is a great investment for your farm Hoofmats Distributed by Shoof International to all farm stores and veterinary clinics or phone

0800 80 80 81 for more information

Email Website

Dairy News august 13, 2013

machinery & products  // 55

Herbicide lifts fodder yields COST-EFFICIENT

Foundation laid to reduce lameness DEALING WITH lame cows is a chore nobody wants. Hoofmat maker, Peter Sweetman of Sweetmans Ltd, Huntly, says it’s dirty, dangerous for the inexperienced and eats up time and money. “It’s a guaranteed stressor of man and beast, and stressing cows increases somatic cell counts, reduces milksolids production, increases the risk of mastitis and lowers fertility. “Lame cows walk slowly and frustrate busy staff, so it’s no wonder that biting dogs and motorbikes don’t help, along with poor race surfaces.” Sweetman says to prevent lameness, mats made by his company are a good place to start. At least 500,000 Hoofmats have been produced over the past 15 years for New Zealand and overseas farmers. There hasn’t been one complaint, he says. “The key to keeping a herd on its feet all season, and cash the subsequent benefits, is to use Hoofmats for the cow to walk over coming into the milking bail, not when she walks out. “This allows time for the mat to produce its full benefit, and keep the amount of treatment chemical and the cost to a minimum.” Sweetman believes animal health costs related to lameness can run up to $150/cow/year. “Hoofmats is the best place to start,” says Sweetman.


control among 2000ha of brassicas helped corporate farmer Dairy Holdings winter thousands of cows this season and also won the business a new Toyota FJ Cruiser, courtesy of Dow AgroSciences. And while Dairy Holdings chief executive Colin Glass was on hand to collect the keys, he didn’t hang onto them for long; the Cruiser was destined to go straight to work on one of the company’s Canterbury farms that was one vehicle short during winter. The recent Cruiser handover in Canterbury was the culmination of Dow AgroSciences’ recent promotion, which offered a total

prize pool of $100,000 for customers who bought any pack size of the herbicide T-Max during the 2012-13 growing season. Sold through PGG Wrightson rural supplies store at Rakaia, the winning entry was drawn under police supervision in New Plymouth and followed Dairy Holdings’ decision to use T-Max herbicide for weed control in much of its 2013 winter brassica crop. The business is feeding 43,000 cows through 10 weeks of winter. Glass says the alternative would have been to use a wider range of herbicides, with tighter requirements for application timing. T-Max is a broadleaf weed her-

Colin Glass (left) and Philip Meares.

bicide launched in New Zealand for forage brassica in 2008 and now widely used. It kills several key weeds species across a wide application window, making it ideal for

Refrigeration Control Technology from Eurotec ✓ Optimise the refrigeration capacity of your plant ✓ Reduce energy costs ✓ Reduce milk temperatures faster (and improve quality) ✓ Payback on investment on a typical dairy vat installation is less than 12 months!

“We’ve got virtually no pugging damage and we’ve got more grass now than I think we’ve ever had” Beef Farmer Quote

HOW? Replacement of the traditional (and old

technology) Thermostatic Expansion Valves (TEV’s) with Carel Electronic Expansion Valves (EEV’s) provides outstanding superheat control of your refrigeration plant. This in turn maximises the cooling in the milk vat. By also installing Carel FCP Condenser Fan Speed Controls you can further maximise the plant potential. Eurotec Dairy Vat Control Panels can easily be upgraded to EEV versions and we now offer panels complete with valve drivers installed as an option for new installations. Ask your Refrigeration Technician or contact Eurotec for more information. Phone us on 0800 111 990

Head Office: Auckland: Tel. 09-579 1990 Wellington: Tel. 04-499 3591. Christchurch: 03-366 0017 Email: • Web:

0800 80 80 81

“Our cows can be inside sometimes for 24hours a day when the weather is bad. They are quite and happy. There is no waste of feed, and they need less food, because they are not using energy to keep warm and the pasture is protected.” Dairy Farmer Quote

the Dairy Holdings cropping programme, not least because of the large areas involved, says Dow AgroSciences Canterbury territory manager Philip Meares.




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Dairy News august 13, 2013

56 //  machinery & products

Better fit for bigger girls SKELLERUP SAYS its milking liner has been up-sized to fit bigger cows better, and it now comes with a multi-fit tail piece for greater convenience. The changes will suit VacPlus Square liner users wanting a larger mouthpiece to fit big Friesians and other cows with large teats, the company says. It will go on sale in September. Skellerup New Zealand national manager Perry Davis says it’s not just New Zealand dairy herds that are getting larger these days, but New Zealand cows as well. “The original 22mm mouthpiece VacPlus Square still does a great job on smaller and mid size cows but farmers wanted something slightly bigger for larger breeds, so we’ve brought out a 23mm mouthpiece to extend the range.” Featuring the same square barrel design that maximises vacuum, resists cup slip and optimises milk out, the liner comes with a new multi-fit 9mm tail piece which fits standard and large milking

claws, making liner selection easier and more convenient. As well as the specially designed bumper section which flexes to allow the liner to fit any claw size from 10 – 14 mm, there’s also a splined impact bumper section to resist impact damage if the cups get kicked off, he says. The VacPlus Square broke with 40 years of tradition when it was first launched, but farmers who use the novel design say they wouldn’t go back to conventional rubberware, says Skellerup. “Milk quality is up, teat damage is down, cows are healthier and milking itself is faster and more efficient.” The VacPlus Square uses a square barrel instead of a round one to increase air-flow around the cow’s teat. That enhances milk flow and reduces cup slip for faster, cleaner and more efficient milk out. There is also less risk of teat damage, and reduced likelihood of mastitis infection.

Calf milk replacer ‘luscious, creamy’ MILLIGANS FOOD Group says

its calf milk replacers are formulated by nutritionists to provide calves with the ideal blend of milk proteins and fat levels to stimulate and encourage growth. Several key factors make CMR a favourite with farmers, it says. “It is 100% dairy protein has a luscious creamy texture and smells delicious…. More importantly, it is easy to mix so there is no time wasted during preparation,” says Milligans Agrifeeds sales representative, Joseph Paton. “Because it is as close to the real thing as a product can be, calves are able to easily digest the milk and take up a full amount of goodness from it. “It’s a good recipe using the best quality milk powders and is generated by our animal nutritionists to enhance growth potential,” he says. Milligans’ animal nutritional division Milligans Feed Ltd is the second largest manufacture of calf

milk replacers (CMR) in New Zealand and is one of the few plants in this country with MPI approval for high quality milk powder exports. Many of the Milligans high protein concentrate feeds are also marketed in the US and Asia. Milligans has been exporting stockfeed milk proteins and its brand of milk protein, Milipro, to the US for many years, and is now the preferred brand in several areas of the States. Milligans is a privately owned company which began production in 1896 in Oamaru and has always used the best local ingredients and resources. The company’s storage warehouses, food ingredient blending plant, cheese shredding/blocking, and milk powder blending plants are based along with its head offices in Oamaru. Specialised food products are blended and packed onsite then marketed in New Zealand, Australia, Asia and the US.

Tel. 0800 475 355



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Dairy News august 13, 2013

machinery & products  // 57

A one-step task gareth gillatt

MOUNTING a fold-

ing rotary hoe onto a tractor can be a one-step task with the new Gangl docking system, says supplier Fieldmaster’s marketing manager Rachel Stock. The German quickhitch system is the first in the country to allow instant PTO and hydraulic connection without the

operator having to leave the tractor. The Gangl uses a hydraulic coupling point attached to the top of the male coupling, allowing the implement’s hydraulic coupling to slip on when the operator raises the male connection into the female one. It’s a first for New Zealand farmers, says Stock, and it offers big advantages to contractors and farmers who need to use

Nifty excavators chip into cycleway project THE GREAT Lake Trail is one of the Government’s funded national cycleways which span 100km of track breathtaking environments and pristine native bush. Bike Taupo is using three Kubota excavators in the construction of the Great Lake Trail – two U17-3’s and a K008-3. Says Rowan Sapsford, chair of Bike Taupo, “Versatility, performance, and the environment are the appealing qualities to Bike Taupo. The Kubota excavators make their way through challenging conditions from pumice to volcanic rock and prove themselves daily. The small footprint of the machines is ideal in sensitive, natural environments. “Bike Taupo is one of only two community groups building these cycleways and value for money is a key factor to us.” Operations manager Chad Hooton says, “The U17-3 is a very efficient and reliable machine, which can be easily broken down and transported via helicopter into remote sites located in native bush. “The fuel tank capacity enables a day’s work without refuelling, while the stability of a zero tail-swing machine makes for safety. “Between the two 1.7 tonne machines, we have had 2000 hours of trouble free operation”. “The K008-3 was purchased to be easily transported by boat and helicopter to provide cost effective maintenance on our trails.” Kubota is imported into New Zealand by C B Norwood Distributors Ltd.

two or three different implements on their tractor every day. “This varies from farm to farm; some change two-three times a day some change six to eight. “Connection is immediate every time you hitch and unhitch; there’s no getting out of the tractor.”

A range of connectors is offered, from the maker’s Hydro connection, which only requires the farmer to engage the PTO manually, to the Master Plus, which allows the operator to engage couplings, hydraulics and the PTO with the flick of a switch. Fieldmaster has put

together several male and female packages which Stock says should provide enough for most operators. “It all comes down to whether you require hydraulics or PTO or both, and how many implements you want to go to.” Tel. 0800 500 275

The new Gangl docking system allows instant PTO and hydraulic connection without the operator having to leave the tractor.

Dairy News august 13, 2013

58 //  machinery & products

Limited editions help lift sales car by 20mm and it has an STI front WRX limited edition model, the Nem- suspension strut brace. New to this limited edition are the esis, with the addition of a body kit and a change of colour to the traditional STi side skirts and STi front lip spoiler. Full privacy glass completes the NemWorld Rally Championship blue. Limited to 12 models with numbered esis look. Subaru’s unique symmetrical alllimited edition badging, the WRX Nemesis follows the Blizzard of early 2013, wheel-drive transmission has a limited and the Crouching Tiger and Ace of slip rear differential, a viscous centre differential in the WRX Nemesis, and a Spades car from 15 months ago. five speed manual gear“These limited edition box. WRXs have reinvigorated Xenon self levelour WRX sales,” says “These limited ing headlights with an Wallis Dumper, manag- edition automatic off system ing director. “They offer and fog lamps light the more performance poten- WRXs have way, the wipers have tial than a standard WRX reinvigorated variable intermittent and a longer list of stan- our WRX function and there are dard features and equip- sales.” four exhaust pipes. ment at a value for money There are four price.” wheel disc brakes – the The WRC blue paintwork is offset by black 17 inch alloy fronts are ventilated – with a four chanwheels and black side mirrors and STi nel antilock system, brake assist and electronic brake force distribution and boot lid spoiler. The Subaru WRX Nemesis quad a vehicle dynamics control function. Six airbags the WRX Nemesis have cam 2.5L turbocharged Boxer motor has been re-tuned to produce 211 kWs, earned the car a five star safety rating compared to the standard WRX’s 195 from European and Australian crash testers. kW and the STI’s 221 kW. The driver can tune an ideal driving Up-rated STI springs lower the

SUBARU HAS launched its latest

Subarus’ WRX Nemesis

position in the high backed seat with a height and reach adjustable steering column and height adjustable seat. All leather upholstery bears a WRX motif stitched into the front seats. A centrally positioned tachometer dominates the red back-lit electrolu-

minescent instruments. Security is handled by a standard engine immobiliser, Datadots, deadlock central locking and an alarm system. Cruise control and the 6-speaker sound system can be controlled from the steering wheel and there is USB and

Bluetooth connectivity and an auxiliary jack point to aid MP3 and iPod use. Warranty is three years unlimited kilometres. Price $54,990. The entry level WRX is $49,990 and the STI is available from $69,990.

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The Tow and Fert offers flexibility in your busy schedule to apply products you know and want, in a timely and effective manner. Don’t wait until you have 60 hectares to spray - the Tow and Fert allows you to mix and apply any product at any time and apply either right in front of the cows or right behind the cows rotation. ASK US ABOUT HOW THE TOW AND FERT CAN SAVE YOU 45% OF YOUR UREA BILL. Call us for a

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Dairy News august 13, 2013

tractors & machinery  // 59

Family sold on Fendt tractors BETWEEN THEIR dairy farm and contracting business, the Spreeuwenberg family runs 13 tractors aged from one to 35 years old. The tractors are a variety of makes but these days when they add a new one to the fleet it is a Fendt. The family – Peter and Julia Spreeuwenberg and their adult children Frank and Belinda – is based at Turua on the Hauraki Plains. Frank looks after the contracting business, and he says he first tried out a Fendt in November 2011. “They couldn’t get me out of it. I had to buy one. The Fendts make us stand out as contractors as there are few others on the Hauraki Plains. “I like the way they drive – the whole operation. They’re quiet and comfortable. They have good suspension, good fuel economy and a short wheel base, which we need around here with the tight gateways. “The Fendts come fully speced, and if you price out other tractors to include everything the Fendts come with, such as the front linkage and PTO, there isn’t really a price difference.” Frank says the Fendts’ fuel economy is noticeable at 2-3L less per hectare on cultivation compared to others. Peter and Julia milk 560 cows on 233ha, with two additional run-offs – one 65ha and another 57ha. They started the contracting business, Hauraki Agri Ltd, 25 years ago but kept it as a part-time, low-level

The Spreeuwenberg family run 13 tractors.

Lely Tigo XR series.

The big boy of combi wagons

business, until about three years ago, when Frank took it on. Contracting services include baling, pit and stack grass silage, cultivation, under-sowing and regrassing, maize harvest, spraying and truck work. Frank takes after his father when it comes to a machinery obsession. He was driving at nine years and by the time he started contracting at 18 he was already an old hand. The first Fendt the family bought was a 718; they bought two more last September (a Fendt 312 and Fendt 415), and then a Fendt 820 in October. All of them were bought new, as Peter and Frank would rather have the warranty and know what they’re dealing with. Peter says they use most of their tractors during the maize season.


This season Frank and Peter contract planted 250ha of maize and they are going to harvest 350ha. The Fendts generally get handed the heavy jobs. The two big tractors have duals for stack work and to spread the weight in the peat soils. The 820 carries a buck rake for stack work. One is set up with GPS. At first it was used to replace the foam markers when spraying, but GPS is one of those gadgets that once you start using it, you keep finding more uses. So it’s also used for fertiliser spreading and drilling. The Fendt 415 carries a front end loader. If you’re ambling along over bumpy ground with a bale raised in the front, the tractor can jerk around.

WHAT MAKES a loader wagon a silage transport wagon? Lely says it has answered this question Tigo XR series, setting a new standard for combi wagons. The Tigo XR series is a new in-house development, usable as a loader wagon and a silage transport wagon. Reliability, capacity and a “nimble footprint” distinguish the machine, the company says. The new wagon’s superstructure has an integrated, hydraulically adjustable, multi-function bulkhead. Making optimum use of the space above the extra wide pick-up provides an extra 6m3 of loading capacity. It also improves the load on the drawbar to ensure stability with large loads.. Inner frame width of 2.36m enables the wagon to hold more in a shorter vehicle. This makes the igo XR the most compact combi wagon on the market, about 1.0m shorter than comparable combi wagons with the same load capacity, Lely says. Crop pickup is claimed “outstanding”, with seven extra-wide tine bars. The new camless pick-up is 200cm wide and fitted with seven rows of tines mounted only 54mm apart. This ensures

clean and efficient crop pick-up. The optional pick-up tracer roller delivers a cleaner job and keeps the pickup out of harm’s way when the going is tough. Rotational speeds of the rotor and pick-up are coordinated for maximum crop flow and an enormous pick-up capacity. A combination of high performance pick-up plus an 800mm-diameter chopping rotor and 1.75m wide feed channel combine to ensure enormous throughput. The seven rows of case-hardened rotor fingers are mounted in a flow smoothing spiral design. The fingers are 25mm wide and give effective and fuel efficient crop transport. Up to 45 knives allow a clean cut with a minimum cutting length of 37mm. “The result is high quality, pre-compacted ruminant forage and a wagon perfectly loaded to maximum capacity.” Chassis options include bogie and tandem or tridem chassis with hydropneumatic suspension with or without weighing system and rear or forced steering. Tel. 07 850 4050

Hire a new Deutz-Fahr tractor from Power Farming this season for as little as $32 per hour,* and experience the power, comfort and exceptional fuel-efficiency that all Deutz-Fahr owners have come to expect from their tractors. It’s the perfect opportunity to see for yourself why Deutz-Fahr is one of New Zealand’s fastest growing tractor brands. We think you’ll be so impressed with your Deutz-Fahr hire tractor, you’ll want to buy it at the end of the hire term. If you do, we’ll deduct the total hireage fees paid (except for the set-up costs) from the overall purchase price. For all the details, contact your local Power Farming dealer or call the free phone number below.




0800 801 888

B&POW0223DN *Price displayed is GST exclusive and relates to a specific model.

Dairy News august 13, 2013

60 //  tractors & machinery

French slurry tankers, spreaders now in NZ A FRENCH range of

slurry tankers and muck spreaders is now marketed in New Zealand by CB Norwood Distributors. The maker, Pichon SA, near Brest, Brittany (Atlantic coast), is family owned, making farm gear since 1970, and slurry and muck gear since 1976. The firm’s products are said to be sold in 45 countries. Custom-built solu-

tions are “definitely our strong point,” Pichon says. “Every tanker is designed to strictly meet the user’s specifications. This approach includes listening carefully to what our customers want, and… the company is able to respond quickly to challenging demands.” Pichon slurry tankers from 2600 to 30,000L are available in single axle,

tandem or triaxle variants The TCI range (tanker with chassis integrated) has been the trademark of Pichon for 40 years. This design feature increases the stability of the tankers. It means the tank is not fixed on an independent frame but is welded integrally with the chassis, offering the lowest centre of gravity on the market.

The rings and the ends are assembled side by side, then welded completely inside and out by the welding process SAW (Immersed Arc Welding). Special tanker ends of type GRC (rounded ends) increase the resistance to vacuum and pressure. The tanks come in thicknesses 5 to 8mm depending on the diameter. Steel is selected for

Pichon Muck Master

strength and aptitude for galvanising. Tankers can be equipped with brackets for extra gear such as rear linkage, etc to be retrofitted. Recessed tanks are offered to enable users to fit axles with large diameter wheels. No loss of volume results; this is compensated by extra length or diameter. Spreading options

Slurry tanker

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The Pichon spreading bar is galvanised and mounted on hydraulic rear linkage. With a choice of nozzles or dribble bars, it is available in working widths from 9 to 28m with several options (eg, single or double distributors with or without macerator). The injectors are available in five versions: the EL5 shallow disc injector with Ø 345mm discs, the EL7 with Ø 640mm discs, the EL8 trailing shoe, the EL61 with tines and the EL63 stubble injector. Spreading by rain gun isuseful on steep land, where the paddocks cannot safely be reached. Pumping is done by the vacuum pump and spreading either through the rain gun, or through the spreader plate. Pichon muck spreaders range from 12.8 to

• Designed and made in New Zealand for New Zealand conditions • A low maintenance no till drill from only $14,950 + GST (GF2014)

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23m3. Standard equipment includes galvanised heavy duty construction, recessed axle for improved stability, Ø16 mm chains, large front protection frame with internal vision, straight body for easy cleaning, 70 mm wide «U» slides, heavy duty chain tensor, 10000 Nm oversized gearbox with hydraulic motor drive. The ultra heavy duty rear beater system is available with reversible cutters. Standard features for New Zealand models include galvanised sprung drawbar, Pichon in-cab electric control box, hydraulic guillotine door and door level indicator. Options include a hydraulic jack, hydraulic deflectors (left and right) and hydraulic chain adjustment.

Dairy News august 13, 2013

tractors & machinery  // 61

Silage in the mornings, hay after lunch TARANAKI CONTRACTOR

Lloyd Gernhoefer’s new Kuhn VBP 2160 variable chamber BalePack is saving him time and labour with its simple bale-and-wrap operation, the machine supplier reports. Gernhoefer bought the VBP 2160 last year, making 11,000 bales of silage and 3000 bales of hay last season. He has run Lloyd Gernhoefer Contracting from home at Eltham for 18 years. His services include hay and silage bales, pit silage, hedge cutting, effluent ponds, fertiliser spreading, trailer work, direct drilling and cultivation. Gernhoefer hadn’t had a Kuhn baler before buying the BalePack but he has owned Kuhn power harrows and a plough. He looked at the BalePack after realising he wanted something a bit different to replace his standard baler. “I was looking for something different from everyone else. I wanted to see what else was available. “It makes a nice bale and it has handled the conditions we have to deal with. Some of my country is pretty hard work, and we’ve got a lot of swamp land around here. I had a demonstration model here the summer before I bought it and we put it on some rough country and it handled it well. “I liked the ease of working on the computer with the BalePack. That was the big thing: the monitor is easy to work… a

The BalePack combines two technologies in one machine.

big advantage at the start.” He bought the BalePack and did most of his silage with it last season. “It’s really good. I haven’t been driving it myself but my guy who operates it finds it good.” The BalePack combines two technologies in one machine. This baler/wrapper combination combines the OptiCut integral rotor and unites it with an innovative wrapper system. The machine can make top-quality bales in all crop conditions and it operates effectively on steep slopes, the supplier says. Fast and reliable bale transfer combined with a high-speed, twin-satellite wrapping unit enable output up to 55 bales per hour. Gernhoefer opted for Kuhn’s IntelliWrap 3D wrapping system, which distributes the total film quantity uniformly and efficiently across the entire surface of the bale. “The 3D system is really good, and you hardly get any rips in the wrap when you’re loading and unloading trucks,” says Gernhoefer. The design embodies fewer moving parts, unmatched crop flow, and outstanding performance and dependability, says the supplier. Gernhoefer says the VBP 2160 allows him to have one less guy out on the job, making his baling operation more efficient. The variable chamber also allows him to go from silage in the morning straight into hay in the afternoon.


Sometimes a new approach meets with resistance. Not the new 7 series from Deutz-Fahr. Instantly hailed as a game changer, the Deutz-Fahr 7250 TTV redefines what you can expect from a tractor. That’s probably why it was judged Tractor of the Year 2013. The great news is that the thinking and philosophy that created the 7250 TTV lives in every one of our models. Experience our industry leading performance, low fuel consumption and reliability at a Deutz-Fahr dealer today.

0800 801 888

Kuhn VBP2160



Dairy News august 13, 2013

62 //  tractors & machinery

Four-rotor rake handles big volumes fast

The new TS12555 PRO.


maker Fella has developed a new four-rotor rake with a maintenance-free head. It handles large volumes of forage quickly.

The new TS 12555 Pro four-rotor rake, with 12 tine arms per rotor and a working width of 12.50 m, deposits swath accurately for following machines,

swadro r o ta r y r a k e s KRONE Swadro rotary rakes deliver excellent outputs and a superior quality of work with features such as...

the company says. The TS 12555 Pro embodies Fella’s newly developed TS5 rake head. The tine arms come with maintenance-free roller bearings. Large-dimensioned bearing tubes support the rotor arms. With a large distance between bearings, this key component is designed for extremely high loads and harsh conditions. Electric height adjustment is standard. The user can easily adjust the working height from the tractor seat. A one-sided wide-angle

Dura-Max – Specially hardened cam tracks with twice the normal hardness and impact strength. Comes with a 3 year warranty. Jet Effect – The forward coupling of the rotors provides a smooth ’touchdown’, thus avoiding soil contamination of the forage when going into work. This extensive range of side delivery rakes covers work widths from 3.5m to 19m to meet all farming requirements.

0800 88 55 624


PTO shaft also comes as standard. Automatic hydraulic sequential control can be individually adapted to the buyer’s requirements. This system controls the delayed raising and lowering of the rear rotors for depositing swaths at headlands. Automatic height limitation in the headland position obviates switching off the rotors. The swath sheet folds up automatically and, in this way, it is possible to travel over transverse swaths without forage loss.

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NZAgbiz SupaCalf™ Calf Milk Replacer 20 kg Premium curding Calf Milk Replacer with essential vitamins and minerals. Contains Actigen® for gut health and Deccox™ to help prevent Coccidiosis.

NRM Ready Rumen® Calf Feed 25 kg A complete nutritious blend of high protein 20% pellets, barley straw and molasses for hassle free feeding. Contains Bovatec®.

NZAgbiz ancalf™ Calf Milk Replacer with Deccox 20 kg Premium curding Calf Milk Replacer with extra calcium for bone development, Actigen® for gut health and Deccox™ to help prevent Coccidiosis. Also available without Deccox.

NRM Moozlee® Calf Feed 25 kg Extremely palatable and nutritious with highly digestible steam flaked grains. Formulated to give calves a head start. Contains Bovatec®.

NZAgbiz Denkavit Plus Calf Milk Replacer 20 kg Premium curding Calf Milk Replacer containing only essential vitamins and minerals with no extra additives.

ALLIANCE® Cobalt and Selenium 10 L Oral drench for sheep and cattle containing Abamectin, Oxfendazole and Levamisole.



NZAgbiz Brown Bag CMR™ Calf Milk Replacer 20 kg Made with quality nutritional milk powders and contains Actigen® to combat Salmonella and E Coli.

Cydectin® Pour-On 5.5 L Promo Pack Pour-on drench for cattle containing Moxidectin.



Agri-feeds RumenX® Calf Starter Rations 15 kg Comes in ready to use pellets. Superior rumen development and early weaning.

Rite-Start 20 L Starter drench delivering a high energy, high calcium boost for cows in every one litre dose.

Normally $179



Also available in 1 L and 200 L.

Valid 1/7/2013 – 31/8/2013 in South Island stores only.


FOR $225 SAVE $43.50

Vitamin B12 Cobalex 2000 500 ml Plain or with selenium for use in sheep or cattle.









Minject 4-in-1 500 ml Pillow Normally $17.90 ea

Calf Electrolyte 3.6 kg

McKee Plastics Grain Feeder 80 L on Skids

Stallion Poly Cone Meal Feeder 55 kg

Normally $70.50

Normally $403

Normally $589

Valid 1/7/2013 – 31/8/2013 in South Island stores only.

Valid 1/7/2013 – 31/8/2013 in South Island stores only.

Valid 1/7/2013 – 31/8/2013 in South Island stores only.

Valid 1/7/2013 – 31/8/2013 in South Island stores only.









Terms and Conditions: Valid for any dates specified or while stocks last. Prices include GST and are subject to change. Some products may not be available in all stores but may be ordered on request. Prices do not include delivery, delivery is additional. Images are for illustrative purposes only.

Dairy News 13 August 2013  

Dairy News 13 August 2013