Page 1

DWN membership boom catches officials off-guard. PAGE 6 GONGS FOR RURAL SCRIBES

Dairy News journalists scoop awards. PAGE 20

OCTOBER 29, 2013

ISSUE 301 //

BUTTERMILK ‘LAKE’ FEARS ALLAYED Regional council says no risk to environment but orders Fonterra to stop dumping any more by-product. PAGE 4


NEWS  // 3

Bid means business as usual for Synlait Synlait founder John Penno, will make an $85.7 land investors had their chance. “When we did the first IPO [in 2009]… we million takeover bid for Synlait Farms. Shanghai Pengxin is the same firm that last didn’t get it away. That was an opportunity for year, after much public debate and a lengthy Over- locals to invest, but they chose not to.” China’s Bright Dairy took a 51% stake in the proIF CHINA’S Shanghai Pengxin takes a 75% slice seas Investment Office approval process, secured of Synlait Farms it will be business as usual for the the 16 former Crafar Farms in the North Island and cessing business, Synlait Milk, in 2010 and now the farms business seems set to become majority overcows and staff on SF’s 13 dairy properties, build- contracted Landcorp to manage them. Maclean, Penno and the third major founder seas owned too. But Maclean points out Synlait ing on current capacity rather than rushing to add shareholder remaining in Synlait, Ben Dingle, has “grown and been successful with the support extra area, says the farms’ chief executive. have made a pre-bid agreement of overseas investment from the start,” alluding to “It’s really important to the with the holding company, SFL Japan’s Mitsui shareholding from the early days. new partner that the current The team and culture of the business has also Holdings, to sell the 50.18% of management stays in place so Synlait Farms shares they con- been multicultural from the outset. “We’re accusfrom the point of view of change, trol into the holding company. tomed to working with non-Kiwi-born partners…. there will be little change,” Juliet Dingle will not be part of the It’s just part of our DNA.” But the possibility of Maclean, told Dairy News. new structure and is “pursuing Shanghai Pengxin using Synlait Farms as a trainHowever, a promised $20m different opportunities,” says ing ground for Chinese dairy farmers “hasn’t even injection into the farms should been mentioned.” Maclean. accelerate planned and wish-list Similarly Synlait Farms operating in China is The balance of Synlait developments such as Protrack Farms’ shares are held by about “something that’s not been discussed.” Shanghai in all rotaries, new milking silo 100 minority shareholders who Pengxin’s current farming interest in China is in and system technologies, and should have the detail of the sheep, not dairy. embedding the firm’s continuous *In Sync: ‘In’ for innovation, ‘Syn’ for Synlait, SFL offer in early November. improvement, lean manufacturSynlait Farms chief executive If 90% accept the $2.10/share and C for Continuous improvement through innoing programme and culture, ‘In Juliet Maclean. bid, a 31% premium to the last vation. Sync’*. @dairy_news “[The] change there will be positive change,” traded price on Unlisted, then the takeover code stresses Maclean. “Giving us more resources to allows SFL to buy the remainder work with means I’ll be able to resource the team at the offer price without requiring a little more thoroughly and that’s quite exciting.” agreement of the shareholders conFEDS’ CAUTION Unsurprisingly for a business that prides itself cerned. will be “watchMaclean says offering long-term on its people management, staff were informed of FEDERATED FARMERS says it at Synlait ely” clos very the plans on the same day official announcements shareholders an exit strategy at a good ing developments gxin’s subPen ai ngh Sha s note were made. Reactions were positive, says Maclean. value, as she believes this offer does, Farms, and North Island “They know that equity raising has been on has been a board objective for some sidiary is seeking to add to its portfolio. the cards for some time and they understand the time. It also meets the board’s goal to ” says “We need to get the full picture, opportunities it will bring for them.” That includes make the business “financially robust” ed erat “Fed s. Will e Bruc t, iden Feds’ pres a share scheme for senior staff. “If you want people so it can take opportunities to grow e are real ecother re ensu to es wish ers Farm to perform at a high level and be loyal to the busi- and improve, while remaining loyal to farming and nomic benefits to New Zealand ness it’s nice to give them some involvement in the existing management. lf.” itse to New Zealand Shanghai Pengxin’s was one of five business.” ip of The prospect of vertical ownersh ties is enti Her comments follow Synlait Farms’ announce- offers received, all of which involved s land and processing by oversea ney, jour any with ment that a holding company, 75% owned by some overseas ownership. Maclean concerning, he adds. “As but out t star you re whe Shanghai Pengxin subsidiary New Zealand Stan- declined to comment on the detail of rily it is not necessa up.” end dard Farm and 25% owned by Maclean and fellow other offers, but points out New Zeawhere you ANDREW SWALLOW

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4 //  NEWS

Buttermilk ‘lake’ fears allayed PETER BURKE

BUTTERMILK DUMPED by Fonterra near Taupo poses no significant risk to the environment, says Waikato Regional Council. But Fonterra has been told not to dump any more buttermilk at the Atiamuri property and WRC is investigating the “authorisations” for the buttermilk ‘lake’. Fonterra has been dumping the but-

termilk from several plants in Waikato and Bay of Plenty as it grapples with massive extra production caused by spring growth. Milk production is up 10% on average and Fonterra’s processing and normal disposal systems are not coping. Environment Waikato’s compliance and education manager Rob Dragten told Dairy News they are now reasonably satisfied the material poses no significant risk to the environment. But Fonterra has been told to desist, he adds. “Milk by-products are produced Fonterra has been told not to dump any more buttermilk on this farm at Atiamuri, near Taupo.

SEASONAL SUPPLY CHALLENGES DAIRYNZ CHAIRMAN John Luxton says one of the great challenges facing the dairy industry is coping with seasonal supply. The industry has to invest a lot of money in stainless steel to cope with the peak milk which may occur only for a month or so. He believes the supply curve is now flattening out. “Fonterra has continued growing its processing capability. Darfield has come on-stream and some of the North Island milk has been going by rail to Darfield.” Other Fonterra plants are being upgraded and some smaller processors are upgrading, Luxton says. The processors are responding positively but he concedes this season – “one out of the bag” - poses a challenge.

year-round by processing plants and a range of companies have resource consents to spread this material as fertiliser on land. It has nutrients useful for farms growing grass so spreading on land is a good way to dispose of it.” Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings says Fonterra is not spilling milk, just some products, including buttermilk, not being processed. “Processing is at capacity because it is a very big year – much bigger than the first half of last

year before we had the drought,” he told Dairy News. The co-op is storing some buttermilk to be used as calf feed. The peak is expected to last four to six weeks. Dragten says early signs point to the spring flush as the cause, meaning more buttermilk is being produced than usual, and more than can be spread immediately, so it has been temporarily stored in the lake awaiting spreading as soon as possible.

“We’re now having to look at rules on how this material was placed and [under what] circumstances; that forms the next stage of our inquiry. In general terms consents are required for any kind of contaminants on land where they may potentially end up in water – surface or groundwater. In this case we are relatively satisfied this discharge has been handled well so we are not concerned from an environmental perspective.” But Dragten says they are in contact with the people involved in the decision making – how the decisions were made and the authorisations, which could take months. Milk products are toxic to water because they strip the oxygen out of it, he says. “Everything that lives in the water needs oxygen to survive so it can be catastrophic if large volumes get into waterways. But it’s routine and normal practice for by-products from milk processing to be spread on land as fertiliser and the residual components in the milk products provide a good supply of nutrients back to the land and grow more grass.” @dairy_news

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NEWS  // 5

Co-op running harder to keep pace with change PAM TIPA


cows will be milked in the South Island than the North, says LIC chairman Murray King. “Traditional areas are changing and those bigger farms in the South Island are harder to manage and they need a different way of dealing with things,” he told Dairy News. “What works in a 300-cow farm in Waikato is different from a 1000-cow opera-

tion in Canterbury.” ‘LIC does not stand still’ was the main message of his annual report to the annual meeting last week, he says. “Every year we are generating new products and services as our farming systems change, our farms change and the location of our cows change. We have to do more and more to satisfy an ever-growing range of requirements.” The board has approved $42.1m for a major upgrade of the backroom IT systems, which

will take several years to complete. “We can also develop new and more high-tech IT type products,” he says. He earlier said there were now more mobile phones in the world than toothbrushes. Earlier King told the meeting one million cows have moved out of low cost pasture based farming systems and into more intensive farming systems reliant on ever increasing supplementary feeds. Pastoral genetics had not kept pace with the increased genetic gain in cows.

Farming structures are changing with fewer herd owning sharemilker positions and more large scale equity sharing partnerships. Cross bred cows are already the most common breed at about 50% of the total cow population and growing. Jerseys have diminished to just 12%. “All these subtle changes challenge us in the range of products and services expected by our shareholder customers,” he says. Many products and services developed by LIC

are taken for granted by farmers. “We now have farmers who never have a bull on the farm and all cows are automatically detected and drafted ready for mating. Herds of 1000 cows are milked by a single person and, in the not too distant future, those cows will be genotyped for specific attributes and characteristics to generate high value products for specific markets.” King says LIC paid a record dividend to shareholders of $16.75m ($12M

LIC chairman Murray King says it creates new products every year to cater for changing farming systems.

in 2012). This represented 80% of underlying earnings and was at the top end of the co-op’s policy range. King says there is a perception sometimes relayed to LIC that the cooperative is making too much money and that its charges are too high. LIC costs have averaged 10c/ kgMS, or 3% of total farm costs over the last 11 years. Farm running costs have

increased by about 58% but breeding and herd improvement costs have decreased slightly. A recent study showed productivity gains from genetic improvements were worth $390 m per annum to the economy. LIC believes its contribution to that is about $373m. @dairy_news

LIC profit soars on higher sales PAM TIPA

LIC MADE an after-tax operating

profit of $20.9 million, up 39% on last year, chief executive Wayne McNee says. Revenues increased by 12% to $199.5m as sales grew in most product categories. Highlights included New Zealand semen sales of 4.14m straws, up from 3.88m straws in 2012. Revenue of $82.2m from this product was $11.2m higher than in 2012. This reflects growing cow numbers in New Zealand. Farm software revenue of $42.9 m was $6.5m

higher than in 2012. Every dollar of revenue earned by LIC is either re-invested in the business or paid back to New Zealand dairy farmers as dividends, says McNee, who has been chief executive for three months. Eight years ago LIC was a threeproduct focused business that turned over $100m, made $3m or $4m per year and invested $5m or $6m in the business’s future. Today it is a $200m business that invests $25m to $35m into the business, and returns shareholders $10m to $15m in dividends. Capital investment in technology, systems and R&D is likely to remain in the $25m to $35m per annum range

• Fresh sexed semen with for the next few years in capital near normal conception rates development and major projin third season breeding of ect initiatives. About $21m is Holstein Friesian heifers invested each year in prodfor Fonterra export. It uct development and R&D is proposed this product which is about 10% of revebe extended to all three nue, a high proportion combreeds in all regions pared with most New Zealand in 2014. However volcompanies. umes will be limited due New products proto challenges in supply posed for 2014 include: Wayne McNee and distribution in the • Short gestation Whiteface bulls providing farmers with short term. McNee says demand for heifers in a white face marker to clearly differentiate dairy beef calves from dairy replace- China has created opportunities for ments, with an average 5-6 days shorter contract mating and heifer mating programmes. LIC’s liquid sexed semen gestation.

technology has been the key to producing more heifers for export and inseminating heifers prior to export to China. The programme has created extra income for about 300 farmers involved. LIC will have 152 new technicians this year and another 150 next year, needed for the growth in demand for inseminations. Artificial cows were being used for training – “not too good for milking but very good for training”. Before they were introduced only about 60 technicians could be trained a year. Overall McNee says LIC has had a great start to the 2013-14 season as has the whole industry. “There is a really great feeling out there,” he says.

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6 //  NEWS

‘Speed wobbles’ as DWN ranks swell PAM TIPA


Women’s Network in the last year had caused some “speed wobbles” executive chair Michelle Wilson admitted at the annual meeting last week. Membership grew 68% in the year to May 31, 2013, she told Dairy News, adding a further 900 members to exceed 4000. It is still growing at a phenomenal rate, sending out sixeight welcome packs each week. The rate of growth had put pressure on staff and volunteers. The network had planned for growth

of 500-1000 over threefive years but had achieved this in less than a couple of years. “We didn’t have the resources in the office to support the membership growth; we only had parttimers.” Wilson says that issue has now been resolved with the chief executive and office manager roles now fulltime and other key positions and support services in place. An announcement on the new chief executive is expected early in November. Wilson says the appointment to replace Sarah Speight, who resigned as chief executive in April, has taken this long so they could get the right structure in place. They had spent the last six

months developing a business strategy. Wilson, re-elected trust board chairwoman at the annual meeting last week, stepped in as interim chief executive fulltime after Speight resigned, as required by the constitution. Wilson told the annual meeting that alongside membership growth the year had been exceptionally busy with several highlights including being a key partner in developing the Strategy for Sustainable Dairy Farming, securing a $180,000 grant from the Sustainable Farming Fund to develop Project Pathfinder – the country’s first leadership programme for dairying women, and wel-

coming Ballance AgriNutrients as a major sponsorship partner.  Other highlights included an increase in the number of regional group meetings from 112 to 122, announcing the

ENCOURAGING DIVERSITY in business thinking is valuable in finding solutions to problems, says Supply Fonterra programme director Lisa Payne. “I am keen on diversity, but it doesn’t have to be gender diversity,” says Payne who spoke at the Dairy Women’s Network annual general meeting about her journey through the Global Women’s Breakthrough Leaders Programme.


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securing funding from DairyNZ for two new roles in the network’s operational team to support its 30 regional groups nationwide.    Changes to the net-

work’s board in the past year included the retirement of trustees Neal Shaw and Sue Lindsay, and the addition of Barbara Kuriger and Hilary Webber, she adds.



second Dairy Woman of the Year which was won by Justine Kidd and sponsored by Fonterra Milk Supply, launching a series of workshops on recognising and responding to mental unwellness, and

Cathy Brown, (left) DWN deputy chairwoman, and Michelle Wilson, chairwoman.

However she told Dairy News she does believe that women specifically need to be encouraged to step up, pointing to a recent study which showed women will only apply for jobs if they meet all the criteria required, whereas men will apply if they meet about 60%. Payne says Fonterra is supportive of the Global Women, with four Fonterra women, either staff or dairy farmers, partici-

pating in the latest programme. Payne says she is encouraging them to now join her in providing coaching services to others in Fonterra, setting up a team and coaching leadership to complement other programmes. As Supply Fonterra programme director Payne heads the programme of on-farm initiatives that help grow and maintain a sustainable milk supply for the co-op.



NEWS  // 7

New MPI head tuned to farmers’ laments

More cheese please!

THE MPI director-general designate,

BOOMING ASIAN demand for

Martyn Dunne, who takes up his role next month, has a strong dairy connection. Talking to Dairy News from Canberra, where he is the New Zealand High Commissioner, Dunne said his wife’s sister and husband have a dairy farm in the Waiuku district near Auckland. “I have endured 40 years of listening to family issues about dairying farming. I don’t pretend to have any expertise in it but I am widely versed in the trials and tribulations facing dairy farmers. It’s been good times and bad times and recently of course it’s been good with the prices they are getting. Let’s hope they can be sustained.” Dunne says anything MPI can do to help dairying will be done but he points out the success of the industry is largely in the hands of the people who are running it and doing that effectively. He declined to

comment on the recent crisis facing the industry. Referring to immediate priorities in his new role, Dunne says he aims to turn the organisation into a high performing one. He sees its recent reorganisation and reshaping as having been done well. “I intend to bring in as many stakeholder groups as I can. From my time in Customs [as chief executive], if I learned anything it was to have a close association with all stakeholders you are dealing with, including ports and airports where you are talking about biosecurity, and exports. I also want to meet with other organisations including the lobby groups such as Federated Farmers. It’s important they get to know early on who I am and I get to know who they are.” He is keen to visit the 50 MPI locations and to get out on farms. – Peter Burke

Danone notice no surprise DAMNING THIRD

quarter figures and comment about Fonterra from France-based dairy giant Danone come as no surprise, says Lincoln University agribusiness professor, Keith Woodford. “When I was in Shanghai recently I was reliably informed by industry sources that Danone were at that time down to 10% of their pre-botulism sales of infant formula in China.  The issue linking

their Dumex infant formula with ‘poison’ went totally viral,” he told Dairy News. Woodford has published a column detailing his analysis of the botulism scare, and where things might have been done better, on his website, http://keithwoodford. (Dairy News, Oct 15). He said last week that if there is compensation to be paid – “and I emphasise the word ‘if’” – then

it should impact Fonterra’s profit rather than milk price. “I think all we can now do is watch from the sidelines how Fonterra and Danone negotiate this out.” Danone said €170m of sales were lost in its third quarter due to the botulism scare, and it expects a €350m loss in sales for the year. A €280m hit on sales margin is also expected as it incurs extra costs in efforts to rebuild sales. – Andrew Swallow


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and DairyNZ funding through the western foods is behind a $72m PGP project Transforming the Dairy upgrade to Fonterra’s mozzarella Value Chain. Fonterra’s director foodservice, plant at Clandeboye, South Canterbury, says the cooperative. This will double production capacity of IQF (individual quick frozen) grated mozzarella at Clandeboye, which, with Fonterra’s other mozzarella plant at Waitoa, will take national capacity to at least 50,000t. Clandeboye mozzarella cheese The current plant at Clanformers Brett Lewis deboye uses the patented ‘C21’ and Mark Hunter. production technology developed by Fonterra at Palmerston Rene Dedoncker, says there’s draNorth, making the popular pizza matic growth in pizza restaurants in cheese straight from milk in a day, China with key customers such as compared to two months by con- Pizza Hut brand-owner Yum! and Domino’s Pizza expanding aggresventional methods. Clandeboye’s C21 line was com- sively in new and existing markets. “Demand for high-value dairy missioned in 2008. After some initial production and customer accep- products like mozzarella is being tance issues this month’s announce- fuelled by changing dietary habits, ment suggests those are all in the particularly in Asia where there is a significant move toward more Westpast. The new line will use an enhanced ernised diets.” Growth in the foodservice catversion of the technology, developed with the help of Government egory in Asia is forecast at 13% per

annum. Dedoncker says it’s one of seven strategic paths identified in Fonterra’s business strategy and was one of the stand-outs in Fonterra’s results released in September. “Our progress last year shows that our strategy is delivering the results we want in our priority areas.” In Asia, Africa and the Middle East Fonterra achieved 45% normalised EBIT growth in foodservice, he points out. “We also achieved double digit growth in China where foodservice grew 28%.” Foodservice sales include full and quick service restaurants, institutions, hotels, airline catering and other commercial kitchens. The Clandeboye investment is the final stage of a technology upgrade. It will start mid 2014 and should be finished September 2015. Dairy News understands it will add more staff to the 45 or so currently employed in the C21 plant and will operate round the clock during the production season. – Andrew Swallow

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8 //  NEWS

A trip down memory lane STORIES EMERGED

last week at Stratford as the colourful history of the New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year competition unfolded during opening celebrations of the event’s 25th anniversary. About 70 people attended in the A&P showgrounds hall, in the town that hosted the first competition in the 1970s. It was the brainchild of now retired dairy farmer Murray Cross, who wanted to create a contest to showcase what sharemilkers could offer prospective employers. Cross was one of several speakers, along with former Federated Farmers Dairy chair Mark Mas-

ters, the first New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year winners Kevin and Diane Goble, 2008 New Zealand Sharemilker of the Year winner and dairy awards trustee Ben Allomes, former chair of the contest’s organising committee Greg Maughan and current chair Gavin Roden. The sharemilker competition is New Zealand’s longest running dairy farming contest. It aims to give sharemilkers an opportunity to raise their profile and reputation among employers and rural professionals such as bankers. Maughan says the effect of entering the sharemilker contest can be life changing. “The enthusiastic atmosphere, acknowledgement of achievement and raised awareness of possibilities often has a lasting effect. Success or receiving a

merit or place is often quoted in the curriculum vitae of sharemilkers and is valued by lending institutions as a measure of capability.” Maughan, a former Manawatu/Rangitikei/ Horowhenua Sharemilker of the Year, has attended 21 of the 24 national sharemilker awards dinners, including the last 17. Some have nicknamed him ‘Mr Sharemilker of the Year’ given his history and extensive involvement including entering, convening, judging, chairing, being a trustee and most recently dairy trainee study tour leader. He says the camaraderie of the awards is something he values most. “The friends and contacts I have made over the years are priceless.” Allomes says he recalls the judging when he and his wife Nicky first entered the contest in 2003. “We

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had a typed story five pages long, a spread sheet and a farm map. It took one hour to present. We still have it in the office. We didn’t even show the cows because they were at the back of the farm.” They won the first award of the night for best first time entrant. “We went up and got our prize and sat back down. We didn’t realise we had to make a thank-you speech – oops! We were as green as grass, but we were hooked. “It is unbelievable to think that 10 years ago, new to the industry, we could be doing what we are now. We are products of our dairy industry and the Dairy Industry Awards – our training and experience has all come from an industry that invests in its people, in the present and for the future.” Allomes, now a DairyNZ director, says the strength of the awards

Former NZ Dairy Awards chairman Greg Maughan (left), national convener Chris Keeping and current chair Gavin Roden at the launch.

and the regard they are held in is a reflection of the strength of the dairy industry. “The growth in entries and prestige of the competition shows the relevance and importance people put on the awards to upskill themselves and promote their business.” The sharemilker contest is part of the New Zealand Dairy Industry

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AWARDS TWEAKED MINOR CHANGES to achieve a better experience for all entrants have been made to the 2014 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards scheme. The changes are to the judging process and how entrants get the judges’ feedback, chairman Gavin Roden says. “People enter the awards for a number of reasons, but one of the greatest benefits they receive is a free analysis of their business by the three judges who visit their farm. It’s hugely valuable in enabling them to push their business further and lift performance or profitability. “For the first time in 2014 judges will complete their analysis online and feedback will be sent by email directly to the entrants.









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10 //  NEWS

Small is big in Taranaki PETER BURKE


TARANAKI IS now a billion dollar

milk producer, thanks mostly to small, well-managed farms, says DairyNZ chairman John Luxton. DairyNZ statistics show Taranaki now has 490,500 cows – 17% of the national herd, though the average herd size in the province is 283, well below the North Island average of 332. DairyNZ held its annual meeting in Taranaki recently, showcasing the success of dairy farming in the region. Taranaki has many more smaller herds than are found in traditional dairying regions, but they are merging Luxton

THE TWO sitting DairyNZ directors, Barbara Kuriger and Alistair Body, were re-elected at the organisation’s recent annual meeting. The pair were challenged by Kevin Ferris and Tom Walters. It was the first DairyNZ annual meeting in Taranaki and about 60 people turned up for the meeting in Hawera, agreeing on an increase in the chairman’s remuneration from $74,000 to $78,000 and directors’ from $39,000 to $42,000. The day before the meeting members visited the dairy research farm at Hawera and a farm at Okaiwa owned by the large Maori trust Parininihi ki Waitotara.

says. “And quite a lot of sheep country, particularly in South Taranaki down by Waverley, has been converted to dairying in recent times.” Small dairy farming operations can monitor and manage more accurately than some larger operations Luxton says. But he notes there are also big farms in Taranaki doing extremely well. Many young people are farming in the province, as shown by many entries in last year’s dairy awards. “Lots of good young bright people are coming into the sector… [many of them] new farmers with univer-

sity degrees; that is also upping the ante in the sector.” Milk production in Taranaki has been good this season; the province is a “star of the dairy sector,” Luxton says. Farmers there have improved their pasture management and overall herd management as reflected in positive statistics. And the region’s dairy farmers have shown the way with responsible environmental stewardship. About $80 million has been spent on fencing and vegetation to protect waterways. The regional council reports that farmers have completed 2882km of new fencing and 1463km of riparian planting.

John Luxton

Trust aims for 3 million kgMS cial owners in Taranaki. Its operations include 14 dairy farms and four support blocks. The herds range from 150 to 900 cows, totaling 7000 cows on 2160ha. The farms are variously managed by sharemilkers and managers. PKW won the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori Dairy Farming Excellence in 2006. PKW chief executive Dion Tuuta told Dairy News they are currently 11%

ahead of budget. “This time last year our production was about 7% ahead of budget. This season with the good conditions and the Fonterra milk price it’s looking positive, but of course we were saying exactly the same thing this time last year.” Tuuta says their focus this year is on managing costs to maximise the margin. “The aim is to return as much profit as we can but we are also looking at what

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opportunities we have to expand our operations, what acquisition opportunities we might have to increase our overall production. If things stay on track, if the climate continues to be good to us, we could crack 3 million kg milk solids this year.” Tuuta says PKW has now signed up to DairyNZ’s Dairy Base so that it can benchmark its operations against national and regional averages.

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NEWS  // 11

‘Charity’ misgivings go as milk scheme grows PAM TIPA


tially wary of the Milk for Schools scheme because they thought it was charity, Fonterra’s chief executive Theo Spierings told Dairy News. But it was an important part of the strategy because milk consumption among children had been dropping, he said. That meant the children were not getting the health benefits of milk and Fonterra faced missing out on the next generation of consumers. When he first came to the cooperative the public was concerned about waterways pollution and milk for children in schools. The co-op has addressed both, but Spierings sees Milk for Schools as the “jewel in the crown”, delighting in the scheme being rolled out nationwide as he had pushed for it. But he did not want the limelight on Fonterra management, instead he wanted credit for farmers as providers of the milk for children. At the launch of the scheme at Three Kings School, Auckland, Spierings said he was passionate about child nutrition. Fonterra had about 10,500 farmers and about 1000 schools getting milk in the

scheme. That equated to about 10,000 children, so each farmer was providing milk to about 10 children. “That’s connecting the beginning and end of our supply chain,” he said, a link connecting communities and building pride in New Zealand. “When I came [to Fonterra] I said I want to make milk accessible, affordable and available because we are the biggest in the world and if we don’t feed our own children properly, that’s absolutely unacceptable.” Fonterra also wanted to protect the waterways of New Zealand. They now had 100% of all the waterways mapped and 85% fenced – a doubling of what it was 15 months ago. “We would like to ask children – after they get Milk for Schools – to help our farmers put plants around the waterways,” he said. “That will be our next step.” Three Kings Primary School principal Josephine Wilmoth said getting their first delivery of milk from Richie McCaw was a highlight of the year.  “Signing up for Fonterra Milk for Schools was an easy decision. It allows us to provide our children with great nutrition that will support their learning,” said Willmoth.   McCaw, a Fonterra ambassador, says Fonterra’s long-term investment

Japan softens stance on TPP A DAIRY industry leader says he senses a softening of

Japan’s attitude towards trade liberalisation. John Luxton, in Japan this week to attend the World Dairy Summit, says Japanese officials are ready to make changes in their agriculture sector. Japan and New Zealand are two of 13 countries involved in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks. Japan has until recently been seen as a possible stumbling block to a TPP deal being signed because of its desire to protect its own dairy farmers. But Luxton told Dairy News he thinks their hard line is changing. “There certainly seems to be a genuine willingness on the part of the Japanese Government to make quite substantial changes in the agricultural sector. This is exciting because Japan is an important market for New Zealand but it’s also got some micro-climates which can be farmed more like New Zealand instead of the intensive United States systems of farming. “Currently a large proportion of Japanese milk is produced using feedstuff imported from the US.” – Peter Burke

in the health of New Zealand’s children will benefit kids in years to come. He was advised by a nutritionist to drink milk daily to achieve optimum health for rugby training. Milk for Schools is now in 11 regions from North-

land to Southland, reaching Auckland last week. Eventually at least 1300 schools will get the milk. Auckland will have the most, 130, all enrolled by the end of term one 2014. @dairy_news

Milk for Schools is the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Fonterra’s social responsibility stance says chief executive Theo Spierings.


12 //  NEWS

Jersey milk set to cream the market

Peter Cullinane says his organic Jersey milk and cream will provide ‘a better tasting option’.


principal of Lewis Road Creamery, Mangatawhiri, believes Jersey is to milk what Angus is to beef. In a first for New Zealand, his company will launch organic Jersey milks said to offer a ‘from-thefarmgate’ taste. Cullinane says his Organic Jersey Milk is the first 100% Jersey whole milk available on supermarket shelves, bearing the distinction of richer flavour and creamier texture; and it has no connection with permeate or palm kernel expeller. “It’s milk the way it should be,” Cullinane told Dairy News. “My fundamental belief is that Jersey is to milk what

Angus is to beef.” It’s the first time a milk producer has separated out Jersey milk from other milks. “I use the analogy of a winemaker combining all the various grape varieties into one big tub and making a generic product called ‘wine’, rather than celebrating each varietal,” he adds. “As a dairy producing nation, we would expect the milk we produce to be something special. But with the big [companies’] focus on technology and volume, more emphasis seems to go into the packaging than the product inside. We’re [focused] on quality ahead of quantity and [will offer] New Zealanders a less processed

and better tasting option.” In standard practice, milk producers combine the milk of various cow breeds then break the resulting product down into its constituent parts before ‘reassembling’ it. Cullinane says milk should not be treated as a commodity but instead celebrated as an example of New Zealand dairying at its best. Lewis Road Creamery products are bottled by Green Valley Dairy, also at Mangatawhiri. The milk comes from dedicated Jersey herds and undergoes minimal interference during its journey from milk shed to bottle. And it is free of permeates, Cullinane says. “New Zealand lags behind other

countries [in supplying] mainstream permeatefree milk. In other markets there’s been resistance to the addition of the watery, green-coloured by-product of the milk production process. We don’t see any reason why it should be in our milk. Neither is PKE used to produce the milk. Compared to milk from Friesians, Cullinane says, Jersey milk contains less water and lactose, and more beta-casein, protein and calcium. The new Organic Jersey Milk comes in four varieties: non-homogenised, homogenised, light and calcium enriched low fat. The milk bottles are traditionally shaped and recyclable.

Lewis Road Creamery is also launching Organic Jersey Cream and Organic Jersey Double Cream with higher-thanaverage 48% butterfat. In August 2012 it launched its Premium Butter and Artisan Butter earlier this year. Says Cullinane, “We’re on a mission to shake up the dairy aisle and deliver produce that tastes like dairy produce used to, and should, taste.”

CREAM RISES TO THE TOP Lewis Road Creamery’s 100% Jersey Milk: ❱❱ A first of its kind in New Zealand supermarkets ❱❱ It hasn’t been broken down and reconstituted like other milk ❱❱ Permeate-free ❱❱ Palm kernel expeller (PKE) free ❱❱ The creams don’t contain any gelatin or other thickening agents

Prices: milk, 750ml, RRP $3.19; cream, 300ml, RRP $3.99; double cream,

300ml, RRP $4.49, in Auckland supermarkets, wider distribution to follow.



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14 //  NEWS

Fonterra farmers urged to quiz candidates FONTERRA FARMERS are being urged to

take part in next month’s candidate roadshow for the co-op’s director elections. Fonterra Shareholders Council chairman Ian Brown says the roadshow enables shareholders to

Ian Brown

board seats are up for election. One was vacated by former chairman Henry van der Heyden who stepped down in May. The roadshow starts on Sunday November 10 at Invercargill and ends in South Auckland on November 15.

meet, question and hear the five contenders. Sitting directors Ian Farrelly and Malcolm Bailey are standing again. The three other candidates are Donna Smit, Whakatane; Eric Ray, Te Aroha; and Michael Spaans, Waikato. Three

     

Brown says the roadshow is important for the co-op and its farmers “as we have the opportunity to elect three people who will be making key decisions affecting our business”. “It is vital we vote for the candidates who have the governance skills to drive the Fonterra strategy and will enable our co-op to succeed in the global marketplace. “We all have the responsibility to make an informed decision, and attending the roadshow will provide shareholders

with a greater understanding of each candidate’s governance ability and experience.” Brown says participating in the roadshow is an important part of demonstrating shareholders’ rights of ownership and control. “It is important we build on the record attendance set at last year’s roadshow by getting to the meetings in large numbers. Shareholders have asked for the meeting and received it. If they want it to stay in their area they have to support it.”


November 10, Invercargill Nov 11, Balclutha, Oamaru Nov 12, Christchurch, Nelson Nov 13, Palmerston North, Stratford Nov 14, Te Awamutu, Matamata, Rotorua Nov 15, Whangarei, Pukekohe.

IN BRIEF Ballance scholarships


TIME IS short to apply for one of four Ballance Agri-Nutrients scholarships, available to students looking to study at tertiary level either in primary industry or in process engineering. The scholarships are for $4000 per year for up to three years, open to family members of any Ballance shareholder or shareholders, or shareholders of an entity (and beneficiaries of that shareholding) with shares in Ballance, as well as family members of company employees. Ballance R&D manager Warwick Catto reports good interest in the scholarships. “New Zealand scientists are world-leading and we’re deeply committed to further developing science in New Zealand,” says Catto. “We are looking for tomorrow’s leaders and our scholarships make a real contribution. The primary industry is the backbone of the New Zealand economy and we need high quality people who can solve real world problems – today in our fields and paddocks and also in the future.” At least 60 students have won Ballance scholarships since 2002. Applications opened on September 1 and close on October 28.

                   Water consent applications DAIRYNZ IS urging Waikato farmers to attend  Variation 6 events that will help them complete the Waikato Regional Council’s water consent  application.  The council’s Variation 6 requires dairy farmers to get resource consent for water takes                   greater than 15m3/site/day (or about 215 cows),  used for milk cooling and dairy shed wash down.   “Applications must be lodged with the Waikato Regional Council by January 1, 2015,   at the latest, but we’re holding the events to   encourage farmers to act now, especially if they


  


  

   

have grown their herd or converted to dairy since 2008,” says DairyNZ environment policy manager, Dr Mike Scarsbrook.

By im mproving my 6 week in-cal will improvve my fertility, pr f rate I od and profiitaability. Watch m uctivity y progress at


Enda Hawe, Oxford


16 //  WORLD

Back FTA talk with action – Oz farmers AUSTRALIAN FARMERS want urgent action

by the Government to secure free trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and China. The National Farmers Federation says such

trade deals would benefit the entire agricultural industry and need to be a priority. “Senior government ministers [have talked about] trade in the last week or so, and while it’s

good to hear them talking, farmers need action to back up the words,” NFF president Duncan Fraser says. “We and our members are becoming increasingly concerned that our

competitors are gaining advantages over Australian farmers in key markets such as Korea and Japan. We are urging the Government to make sure Australian farmers are paramount when these deals


Duncan Fraser






Supreme Winner 2013

Lincoln Field Days Agriculture Innovation Award

“At Kintore Farm we have been using the Conedose system to get both micro and macro minerals into the cows on our two dairy units, we have found it to be more reliable and accurate than dusting and water dosing proven through blood test results. It is also labour efficient and more cost effective than mineral feed pellets. I would recommend Conedose to anyone who is looking at reliably getting minerals to their high producing cows in a cost effective way.” Nick Hoogeveen - General Manager Kintore Farm Ltd.

Waikato - Nelson

Jamie Stephens 021 838 261

Taranaki - Manawatu

Jamie Stephens 021 838 261

North Otago - Canterbury Staz Roberts

021 863 345

Southland - South Otago

029 201 7361

Jo Scharvi

TO ORDER: phone 0800 MOLASSES (800 6652 7737) or phone our Winton Office 03 236 6089

are negotiated. “We believe trade agreements are beneficial for agriculture and should be progressed. There is a general understanding that Australia can play an important part in supplying food and fibre to growing Asian markets, but we can do this only if we reach comprehensive agreements and commercially driven outcomes,” Fraser says. Since its election victory two months ago, Prime Minister Tony Abbot’s Liberal/National Coalition has stepped up negotiations with China, Japan and South Korea. Japan privately is keen to get the jump on its Asian competitors. Recently Abbott met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Brunei. Abbott is said to have emerged from those talks describing Japan as Australia’s best friend in Asia. Japan places import tariffs as high as 800% on beef and rice, while the tariff on cars imported into Australia is just 5%. But the NFF has cautioned against signing a

deal at any cost. “Critically, any free trade agreement with China – like those in negotiations with Japan and Korea – must take a holistic view of Australian agriculture and not leave key agricultural commodities out,” says Fraser. Fraser’s comments come as a report currently being finalised by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) examines the implications of recently implemented trade agreements. The report suggests that Australian agriculture is disadvantaged by bilateral deals completed by some of Australia’s neighbours. “The RIRDC report acknowledges what Australian farmers have known for years – that we continue to do our best, but we are up against agreements that put us at a disadvantage. This cannot continue; we need Government to play its part and negotiate hard for.” Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss says agriculture will be at the centre of free trade agreement negotiations with key export partners.

IN BRIEF Upbeat across ditch MILK SOLIDS prices for Australian dairy farmers “should exceed A$6/kg” this season, says National Australia Bank. The bank also says ample autumn and winter rain, and now an average rain season forecast for southern states, should mean a better production year. “This should ensure the availability of irrigated water supplies will not be a constraint, while an expected bumper crop for southern grains should also lower supplementary feed prices,” says NAB’s Neil Findlay. “These factors are helping drive improved sentiment with 73% of dairy farmers in August saying they were fairly-to-very positive about the industry’s future, compared to just 44% in February, according to Dairy Australia’s latest National Dairy Farmer Survey.” At last week’s exchange rate of A$0.88/NZ$, A$6/kgMS is NZ$6.88/kgMS.


WORLD  // 17

Bidders are lining up for Warrnanbool Cheese and Butter, Victoria.

Fonterra silent on Oz acquisition prospect SUDESH KISSUN

FONTERRA IS remaining coy on

whether it will join a growing list of bidders for Australian dairy processor Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory. Three processors, including two WCB cornerstore shareholders – Murray Goulburn and Bega Cheese – have bid for Australia’s oldest dairy processor. Canadian dairy giant Saputo is also in the running. Australian media are speculating that major Asian dairy companies may also be interested in WCB and its 800,000L milk supply base. Some reports suggest an Asian dairy company may team up with Fonterra to make a bid. But Fonterra’s chief executive Theo Spierings told Dairy News he could not say whether or not Fonterra would bid. Fonterra is the second-biggest collector of milk in Australia, but it is a highly competitive market with a tough trading environment. “You have to have a ticket to the game to compete,” Spierings says. But the value of the company must be taken into account because A$8/ share was “very high”. “I cannot say

whether or not we would make a bid at present.” Bega, which already owns 18% of WCB, last month launched its takeover bid for the listed processor. Bega, also a listed dairy processor, offered 1.2 shares and A$2 cash for each WCB share. But the offer was rejected by WCB directors as inadequate. Saputo made its move earlier this month by offering A$7/share. WCB directors unanimously recommended Saputo’s bid at that time, “in the absence of a superior proposal”. But the bidding war was turned on its head by Murray Goulburn, which has a 17% stake in WCB. It announced a A$7.50 cash per share offer. WCB says it is studying Murray Goulburn’s offer and will make a recommendation to shareholders. But the fight is far from over. Warrnambool’s shares raced to a record A$8.11 this month, nearly twice what they were six weeks ago, as investors consider whether offshore raiders will join the bidding war. There is also a strong expectation that both Bega and Saputo will increase their bids as they attempt to secure control of WCB’s assets. At Bega’s annual meeting this month, chairman Barry Irvin told shareholders the stockmarket was lift-

ing the value of the company’s bid for WCB by increasing the value of Bega’s own stock. “Anybody that follows your share price closely at Bega Cheese will note that the offer has moved up every day as the market has reflected the fact that they believe this offer is a great opportunity to consolidate the Australian dairy industry,’’ Irvin says. “So the market has actually moved our offer closer and closer to the Canadian’s offer.’’ Bega shares were valued at A$3.15 when it made its offer for Warrnambool. They were A$4 last week. Irvin says the Bega offer continues to be compelling for Warrnambool’s shareholders. “We are focused on still being in the race and positioning ourselves for the run home.” If its takeover bid fails, Bega still has plenty of opportunities for growth and value creation for shareholders, he adds. The Australian dairy industry needs to consolidate, but it needs to be in Australian hands, he told shareholders. Foreign-owned dairy processors in the Australian market include Fonterra, Japanese food and beverage giant Kirin and French company Lactalis which bought Parmalat’s Australian business in 2011.

SCOPE FOR GLOBAL CLOUT MURRAY GOULBURN chairman Philip Tracy says its takeover bid is a historic opportunity for suppliers and shareholders of the two listed companies. They can merge to create a larger-scale, globally competitive Australian dairy food company, owned and controlled by Australian dairy farmers, Tracy says. “Importantly, it will retain the primary objectives of a cooperative in maximising farmgate returns for farmer owners.” Lino Saputo Jnr Murray Goulburn said it had secured financing for the deal, which it said would create one of the top-20 dairy companies in the world and protect the interests of Australian dairy farmers. Saputo chief executive and vice-chairman

Lino Saputo Jnr says his company’s decision to invest in the Australian market through Warrnambool has been at least 10 years in the making. “We have been looking at the Australian market since 2002-03. Our first interaction with Warrnambool was 10 years ago,” Saputo told a news conference. “We are not hostile type people; we can only be buyers if there is a seller. “We’ve always been extremely patient, we’ve never lost hope, and I think it’s starting to pay off now.” Saputo plans to grow WCB’s domestic presence as well as using it to expand its operations into Asia. Saputo has a sales office in China, selling product from Argentina in Asian markets including China, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. The WCB name and brands will be retained.




High time the city caught up

MILKING IT... No Brown at white-stuff event

EMBATTLED AUCKLAND mayor – maybe ex-mayor by the time you read this – Len Brown’s cancellation of his appointment to launch Milk for Schools in Auckland last week left Milking It wondering who pulled the pin on who? Was it Brown who again ducked for cover, rather than fronting media who were sure to ask about his widely reported extra-marital affair, or was it Fonterra which feared Brown’s presence might sour Milk for Schools?

Synlait Farms does Fonterra a favour

FRENCH INTERNATIONAL dairy giant Danone’s third quarter update said it expects Fonterra’s botulism scare to cost it over $1bn in lost sales and extra costs. The news made only a brief appearance on New Zealand’s business pages as Synlait Farms’ proposal to sell a majority stake to China’s Shanghai Pengxin took centre-stage. For once it seems Fonterra has something to thank its foreign-owned rivals for.

Monaghan mess

Wilson selling up?

GINGER GROUP Meat Industry Excellence last week slammed Alliancespurning Fonterra director John Monaghan’s candidacy for the meat co-op’s board. Fumed John McCarthy, “Chairman Murray Taggart and the Alliance board have rejected a qualifying candidate of extraordinary talent and experience, willing to do the hard yards required to stand for election and, if successful, work to turn this co-op and the industry around.” Milking It suggests Alliance’s board did Fonterra a favour. Better to have Monaghan fully focussed on milk, than trying to sort out the mess that is the meat industry.

A MATE from down south who seems to know who owns what just about everywhere flagged a certain Bayley’s real estate advertisement the other week. “Lochan Mor is an exceptionally well presented 340ha (316ha eff) dairy farm located near Ashburton Forks,” it stated. The owner? Apparently, in partnership with several others, none other than Fonterra chairman John Wilson. The location has “slightly higher rainfall than other parts of Mid Canterbury,” continued the ad. That’s quite a selling point when half the irrigators in the area are still being patched up after September’s storm!

MAINSTREAM MEDIA cries of crisis over the so-called buttermilk lake near Taupo again shows how far our townie cousins are from the real world. A lake of buttermilk seems to be perceived as a national environmental disaster up there with the MV Rena. As the sensible man from Waikato Regional Council pointed out, this is no big deal, it’s simply the dairy industry disposing of waste in a responsible way. Fonterra does this every October when milk production peaks, but this year’s exceptional milk supply requires huge dumping of by-products. Yet city people are told it’s pollution and a threat to civilisation as we know it. In the city, pouring discarded engine oil or paint down a stormwater drain is sort-of acceptable, regardless of these pollutants showing up on a pristine beach. City folk never pollute – yeah right! Visit any city landfill and you will see all sorts of nasties about to leach into the soil and end up in a nearby stream or on a beach. This latest incident highlights the gap between town and country and shows that city folk need to be educated in what is normal in the country. The phrase ‘dirty dairying’ rolls off the tongue easily, but its perpetrators include those who have spread didymo from stream to stream and lake to lake. It could be called ‘dirty fishing’ but dare we criticise these ‘environmentalists’? The dairy industry is doing the right thing and disposing of waste in a responsible way, yet city journalists don’t get it, perceiving a legitimate practice as an environmental disaster. The reality is all industries produce waste and the primary sector is no exception. It’s time city folk caught up by acknowledging the farming sector has by and large got its act together.

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OPINION  // 19

Calf rearer fingers farmers after grim winter of deaths PATRICIA HOSKING


for the fainthearted. It is fraught with risk, hard work, aggravation and distress. Last spring my purchase of three pens from the local calf saleyard, a total of 61 rearer calves, led to the discovery that stock agents had mixed 20 farmers’ calves to create the three lines, and that sawdust in saleyard pens, despite being a source of disease, was not replaced until the end of each selling season. As four-day-old calves have poor immunity to disease, both these practices place calves at great risk of contracting a disease at the saleyard. The 61 calves I bought started scouring the following day and contaminated my new shed with salmonella. After a missed diagnosis and incorrect drug treatment, the disease was finally controlled but a large number of calves died. Because the calves were bought from the saleyard and had been mixed, there was no possibility of identifying the source of the disease and no compensation. Every year large numbers of calves die in rearer sheds; mixing calves and poor hygiene in saleyards contribute to the problem. Lack of colostrum is also a major cause. This year I avoided the

saleyard. I collected 80 Friesian bull calves over three weeks from three farms. The calves had the recommended colostrum, none developed disease, all quickly reached weaning weights and were taken off CMR within six weeks. The calf sheds were emptied, hosed clean and a second lot of calves collected. The second intake being white-faced calves were sourced from different farmers. Again all the farmers guaranteed the calves would have adequate colostrum and would be healthy four-dayold calves. Thirty-five calves from the one farm all transitioned smoothly to CMR and pellets and thrived, but not so the calves from other farms. On arriving home the calves from one farm refused to drink and immediately scoured in my hosed-clean pens. They were loaded back into the trailer and returned to the farmer that same afternoon. Six of the 11 calves from another farm became seriously ill over a week. They were unable to stand within hours of developing scours and despite aggressive electrolyte replacement and antibiotics all died or were euthanased. Calves in the same pen sourced from another farm were mildly affected and all recovered. Blood samples from the dying

calves showed they had had inadequate colostrum. When I relayed the information and offered to forward the lab results to this farmer he continued to demand payment for all eleven calves or the return of all including the dead. Among the consequences of a disease outbreak are rearer fatigue and depression. It is difficult watching

calves die, it is highly labour intensive attending to sick calves, and the financial costs including calf replacement, vet bills, electrolytes, CMR and antibiotics make it unprofitable. 500,000 Friesian bull calves are reared each year and the profit margins are small. Dairy farmers are paid considerably more than bobby calf price by rearers

Calf rearing is fraught with risk and distress, says Patricia Hosking.

and in exchange ask only that calves get adequate colostrums, without which the calf is not a rearer calf. Successful calf rearing depends on honest, committed relationships between rearer and dairy farmer but these relationships may be rare. Twenty five percent of rearers exit the business after only four years; the main factor is

unacceptable mortality rates in calves. My plea to dairy farmers who sell rearer calves is to ensure calves have adequate high quality colostrum within 12 hours of birth. High quality colostrum is that produced by the cow with 24 hours of calving. My suggestion to rearers is, if calves fail to thrive get blood samples done

for colostrum (Bovine IgG). They cost about $20/ head and should be done within 10 days of birth. Calves rarely do well, despite vet visits and expensive treatments if they have no immunity to disease. • Patricia Hosking has an intensive bull and beef fattening property near Rotorua.


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Milking technology firm in expansion phase DAIRY TECHNOLOGY manufacturer Waikato Milking Systems will next month open the first stage of its new $12 million complex. The first 3900m2 building, now in the final stages of construction, brings together three of the company’s manufacturing divisions on the same site for the first time. Waikato Milking managing director John Anderson says the purpose built complex will give it the opportunity to streamline the manufacturing processes and make the business more efficient. New technology includes an industrial robot welder automated to move around different work stations for different welding functions. The company has used robot welders before, but mobilising the robot will save more time and money. No jobs will be lost, but there will be big gains in efficiency, Anderson says. “We will be able to process more products in less time without losing anything in the quality of the work,” Anderson says.  The robot, from New

Peter Burke and Pam Tipa.

Dairy News journos scoop awards

An artist’s impression of the new complex.

Zealand company Carbines Engineering, cost about $60,000 and the upgrade to it about $20,000. The company has also spent $100,000 on a new bridge crane to improve raw material handling, saving $200,000 in building costs. Previously the company stored steel until it was needed but now the crane will deliver the steel immediately to the saw. Other improvements include a move to ‘lean’ manufacturing principles in making rotary milking platforms. Lean manufacturing helps businesses

become more profitable and sustainable by identifying and eliminating sources of waste. The company is also negotiating ‘just in time’ supply arrangements, where suppliers deliver materials only when needed. The company will save money in storage costs but will still get discounts for bulk buying. The second stage of the complex is scheduled to open toward the end of 2014. This will include a new head office, and design and manufacturing facilities. The new complex is at Northgate Business Park, north of Hamilton.


journalists Peter Burke and Pam Tipa were among winners in the 2013 New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators awards. Burke won the Rural Photography Award sponsored by Federated Farmers for a photo that appeared in Dairy News of a herd silhouetted on the horizon at dawn. Tipa won the guild’s award to encourage and recognise excellence among journalists with three or less

years reporting on agricultural issues. Tipa is an experienced journalist, but is new to agricultural journalism having joined the Rural News Group, publishers of Dairy News, in 2012. Her portfolio included a Dairy News story on the Fonterra botulism scare and another on the Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations. Susan Murray, a Radio New Zealand journalist on National Radio’s programme Country Life, won the top award.

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Balance growth and consolidation THE OPTIMISM about dairying fuelled by high milk prices is likely to prompt businesses to expand. While it is important that growth options are constantly evaluated, experience has taught me that new investment should only occur after careful consideration so farms have excessive debt, an appropriate balance much of it resulting from between growth and conland purchases at previsolidation is maintained. ously inflated values and Taking growth opporthe accumulated impact of tunities is usually the deficits driven by drought more straightforward or trading volatility after choice. A decision to conthe global financial crisis. solidate requires greater These buoyant times discipline, especially offer a chance for busiwhen it means resisting nesses to improve their the temptation to move equity levels. Achieving towards new horizons. stronger balance requires There are various reaI like the Nevada PondBoom it’s saferand and easier commitment sons consolidation maybecause be patience to manage thechoice. pump than having itbut on athe floating rewardpontoon. will be a the best Industry

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from which to springboard when the next growth opportunity occurs. My attitude to businesses with excessive debt is that they need either to ‘grow into it, or get out of it’. The need is to select a strategy to ‘right size’ the business. Ignoring the need for consolidation and pursuing continued growth invites into an operation what I regard as ‘business cancer’: it increases business risk through greater pressure on people, cashflows and vulnerability to climatic and economic volatility. When this occurs some operators develop a ‘live in hope’ mentality.

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determine the required level of profitability so physical performance and cost structures for the operation can be quantified. Second, get into the habit of repaying debt. Wherever a surplus occurs it should be committed to debt reduction before it is consumed with new equipment, personal spending or other discretionary choices. The business’s reputation and the credibility of its owners will be enhanced by this approach. Conversely, ambivalence and lack of discipline will undermine confidence, especially of bankers. Actions speak louder than words.

Rather than setting clear targets to drive towards debt reduction, they can be inclined to focus solely on physical performance and hope market prices or economic conditions will rescue them. This relatively hands-off style of management can result in the business simply going from crisis to crisis. So what some response strategies? First, work on a sustainable capital structure through clearly defined rates of debt repayment. Discussions with bankers and professionals will enable calculation of optimum debt levels based on long-term ‘steady state’ budgets. This will in turn

Debt reduction strategies could include securing the favourable interest rates that have been available in recent years. Committing the savings in servicing costs to additional principal repayments can be a way to accelerate debt reduction. Finally, when managing excess debt, the focus should be on the excess debt rather than the total debt. Failure to acknowledge this often results in borrowers wrestling with the burden of their total exposure and banks increasing interest rates and penalising the business as higher margins are applied to the total debt. My view is that lenders

could give much clearer signals about where the real challenges lie if they primarily focus on penalising the excess debt. The 2014 season to date, in most locations, has kept on on giving. The grass has grown exceptionally well and so far milk prices are moving in the right direction. This combination offers a classic opportunity to capture surpluses for consolidation that will create equity structures to ensure profits are the norm not the exception. • Kerry Ryan is a Tauranga agribusiness consultant available for face-to-face or online for advice and ideas.

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IN BRIEF Hunt for best pasture THE HUNT is on for the best dairy pasture in Waikato and Bay of Plenty. Entries are now open for the Pasture Renewal Persistence Competition run by the DairyNZ-led Pasture Renewal Leadership Group. Competition organiser and DairyNZ farm systems specialist Chris Glassey says last summer’s drought was a serious challenge for pastures, as was the drought in 2008. “Farmers were keen to look after their pastures during the 2013 drought, and indications are that this lead to improved recovery and establishment of new pastures compared with 2008. And we’re keen to discover what farmers did to manage their pasture and pasture renewal so well this year,” says Glassey. Farmers can enter in two categories: best Waikato/BOP first year pasture sown this year and best Waikato/BOP pasture sown more than three years ago. Prizes are two seed and herbicide packages valued at $1000 each. The Pasture Renewal Leadership Group is a DairyNZ-led industry group of researchers, the seed industry, farmers and contractors. Tel. 0800 4 324 7969

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Don’t run out of feed FONTERRA’S RECENT forecast of a

record milksolids payout of $8.30 is great news for farmers. Getting the most production out of this season by keeping cows in milk has to be a key focus. There is a huge opportunity cost associated with drying cows off too early because they have run out of feed. I’m aware of a Bay of Plenty farm that netted an extra $30K last season simply by having enough feed on hand to keep the cows milking. At the current payout this would have climbed to over $80K. It has been a bumper spring in many districts but pasture cover levels can change quickly, partic-

ularly if the summer turns out to be yet another dry one. Maize silage is the ideal supplement to have on hand to complement pasture, as (1) it can be fed in large amounts, and (2) it is cost-effective. 1. Maize silage can be fed in large amounts. The amount of concentrates (e.g. grain or dairy meal) that can be fed is limited because these feeds have the potential to cause acidosis (also known as grain overload). Palm kernel is not highly palatable and for many herds intake peaks at 3-5 kgDM/cow. In contrast maize silage is a highly palatable forage which can be fed at up to 50% of the total dietary intake in the late lactation. 2. Maize silage is cost-

effective. Most New Zealand farmers can grow maize silage crops yielding 18-24 tDM/ha for just 16-21c/kgDM. Crops grown on high fertility dairy land (including effluent paddocks) can be grown for 4-5c/kgDM less*. How much maize silage do you need and what is the likely return? The maintenance requirement for a preg-

nant Friesian 12 weeks pre-calving is about 6.5 kgDM. If you were to feed her an extra 6.5 kgDM (= 70 MJME) feed, she would produce about 0.88 kgMS/ day. The gross return (from which the cost of feeding out, labour, depreciation and milking costs must be deducted) is as follows: Feed cost: 6.5 kgDM maize silage at say, 40c/kgDM fed = $2.60 Milk return: 0.88 kgMS, at say $8.62 ($8.30/kgMS + $0.32 dividend) = $7.54 Gross return: $4.94/cow/day (feeding out, labour, depreciation and milking costs must be deducted) Most farmers will feed a higher pasture allowance

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Pasture cover levels can change quickly so having supplements on hand to complement pasture is a good thing.


and graze to lower pasture residuals in the late lactation and then use the balance of their maize silage to increase pasture cover levels and put weight on their cows over the dry period. It makes sense to do this, as the energy in maize silage is used 50% more efficiently to put weight on cows than the energy in autumn pasture. Another key benefit

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of having an extra stack of maize silage on hand is that it can be fed if it is needed, but can be held over for months or even years if the feed isn’t needed. The interest cost of carrying over maize silage for 12 months is normally about 1c/kgDM. Running out of feed could be the most expensive mistake you make this season. Revisit your

feed budget today and make sure you will have enough maize silage on hand to enable you to milk through, even if the grass doesn’t grow! *See Pioneer® brand Maize for Silage 2013/14 catalogue, pages 37 and 38, for a full list of assumptions. • Ian Williams is a Pioneer forage specialist. Contact him at iwilliams@genetic.

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Benchmarking group targets economics TONY HOPKINSON

KEVIN CLARK as a farmer has always wanted to benchmark himself and his farming methods to see what he could do better by learning from his own experience and that of other farmers. He farms in partnership with his wife Felicity. He has been runner-up in the Sharemilker of the Year Award contest and was Bay of Plenty Farmer of the Year in 1996. He recently hosted a field day run by DairyNZ as part of its DairyBase scheme under which at least 23 farmers using varying systems compare their farm business – financial or physical – to learn of their strengths and diagnose problems. Clark is one of five farmers in eastern Bay of Plenty classed as System 5 for using high inputs of bought-in feed allied with a high stocking rate. He has been three years in the scheme. “I like to think we are a forward-thinking group, all with the aim of targeting the economics and benefits of our methods and still caring for the environment.” He grew up and has since 1981 farmed in the Waimana Valley, off SH2 midway between Taneatua and Opotiki. The valley leads into the Urewera National Park and Clark’s farm surrounds the Waimana School. It is 120ha (eff) with 100ha flat and the balance steeper; 38ha is prone to flooding by the nearby Waimana River. Average rainfall is 1800mm and is well spread with the local hills attracting showers. “If we get a downpour of 100mm I know that further back in the park they will be getting 200mm. With the huge catchment, all that water has to get through the narrow Waimana Gorge before it enters the Whakatane River; that causes flooding on our farm and other farms in the valley – something we just have to live with.” In one season they have seen seven serious floods and an “unbelievable” amount of debris. He aims to grow as much grass as possible as cheaply as he can using 170-200 units of N/ha and Projibb to maintain a high stocking rate so the cows harvest most, if not all, the grass and supplementary feed, ensuring they are always fully fed. Feed inputs are 25-30% of their total ration – maize silage and PKE – and totals 2.0-2.5t per cow annually. The 440 Holstein/Friesian cows are fed on feed pads

adjacent to the dairy shed for an hour before the afternoon milking. Top production is 200,000kgMS. The dairy is in the centre of the farm and the last paddock is 1.5km distant. No supplement is made and 6ha is cultivated for maize silage which is stored in pits. The herd is milked by a contract milker and an assistant. For many years Clark has had a Holstein/Friesian stud, Glenmead, “my special hobby”, formerly using overseas genetics and more recently New Zealand genetics as they have evolved. Each year he flushes his best cows, implanting 100 embryos in his own herd and recipients in another herd. He rears 190 heifer calves and 50 high index bull calves. “This is a good earner for the farm as I sell about 100 heifers each year generally to China along with the bull calves both attracting premiums.”

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The spy who tweeted me Agent_186

A SECRET agent of a different kind is making herself known to farmers worldwide and proving there’s more to life onfarm than meets the eye, says LIC. The ‘spy cow’, known as ‘Agent_186’ on Twitter, says she will report progress on her Waikato farm using technology and sensors that record everything she does in

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a day. “Agent 186 reporting in, ready to relay important news,” was her first tweet. Since then, she has declared her body condition score, posted a ‘selfie’ photograph from the shed, made a cow joke and counted the steps she took in a day. “The shiny blue pedometer around my neck says I took 4749 steps yesterday. Not a bad effort; maybe one day I’ll reach 10,000.” The crossbred cow is one of 338 on the LIC 104ha dairy farm at Rukuhia. There the co-op researches, tests and develops new technologies, products and services. Each cow in the herd has recently been fitted with non-invasive sensors as part of a trial to record behaviour during mating. Agent_186 is sending data via a lightweight pedometer around her neck, a rumen bolus in one of her stomachs to measure core temperature, and information from the farm’s technology including a weather station, inline milk meters, herd and pasture management software, and an in-shed automation system with automatic cow identification, drafting and a heat detection camera. Depending on the day, and her mood Agent_186 may tweet about how much she moves and how far she walks, how hot she is and her body temperature, what the weather is like, whether she’s on heat and going up for mating, where her paddock is, and what the pasture cover is like, and how much milk she’s producing.

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Tweets are automated as data is collected, although she got help with the selfie, says LIC senior scientist Kathryn Hempstalk, who set up the program and Twitter profile as a bit of fun, and so the information could be shared with farmers worldwide. “We have heaps of sensors on the farm now, and it’s fascinating how much information we can get from a cow and the farm that can assist with daily management and decision making. “The technology available these days opens up a whole new world for farmers and the information they can collect from their land and their cows, but it can be expensive so we decided to share our information with them and we thought a tweeting cow would generate some interest.” As for cow number 186, Hempstalk says she (the cow) is none the wiser, other than being aware of the equipment and perhaps special attention onfarm. “We asked the farm staff to choose a cow for the job and they came back with number 186 who is the top cow in the herd.”


Spy cow reporting progress from lives on LIC’s 104ha farm at Rukuhia, south of Hamilton


Three-year-old F8J8 (Friesian/Jersey crossbred) 


Top cow in the 338 herd with BW 228 and PW 385


Dad is Aim, an LIC Jersey bull


Currently trying to bulk up for mating


Likes long walks, having her picture taken and sunny days on the farm. Follow @Agent_186 on Twitter.



Ostertagia still top of drench charts DESPITE COOPERIA

Ostertagia. Bingham points to getting ‘rockstar’ attenwork done by Egerton tion among its parasite peers, the perennial worm which shows that higher doses of ivermectin are Ostertagia is one farmers need to stay tuned to, says required to kill Ostertagia when given orally animal health company compared to by injecZoetis. tion. A product’s abilThe company’s vetity to kill parasites is not erinary advisor, Dr Clive only related to the drug Bingham, says Cooperia concentration at the site has had plenty of attenof action but also to the tion lately and can presperiod of time the parasite ent more of a problem for is exposed to an effective some farmers than it did 10 years ago. This is partly level of that drug. Using long acting proddue to the more intensive, single stock-class systems ucts such as Cydectin Injection and Cydectin being run today, particuPour-On result in a high larly by dairy grazers and concentration of Moxidecbull beef farmers. tin within the Abomasal “Yes, it is more of a mucosa for a long period problem, but we can’t of time. This is an imporafford to take our eye off tant consideration when Ostertagia,.” treating encysted L4 Cattle will typically I like the Nevada PondBoom because it’s safer and easier Larvae of Ostertagia. develop a good level of to manage the pump than having it on a floating pontoon. When developing immunity to Cooperia drenching programs for after only a few months cattle, the differences in of exposure. Immunity how a parasite feeds and to Ostertagia does not its location in the digestive develop as quickly, and even cattle up to two years tract should be considered. For grazing heifof age can be significantly ers or bull calves weaned affected by it. in summer, oral combiOstertagia can have a nation drenches could greater impact on animal be administered through health at significantly the autumn to cover the lower numbers than CooCooperia risk. Osterperia, and coming into tagia can then be conspring can be a prime trolled with the longer period when Ostertaacting injectable or Pourgia larvae – dormant over winter – reactivate as con- On endectocide products (e.g. Cydectin or Dectoditions become more max) going into and out of favourable. winter. A similar approach Recent work by can also be taken for beef AgResearch has estabweaners. At this time of lished that oral drench year, you are looking at treatments are the best beef weaner animals over way to treat Coope240kg live weight, and ria infestation1, Zoetis there are safety aspects says. However Bingham believes more work needs that need to be considered when it comes to orally to be done to determine the best method of admin- drenching animals of that size. istration for dealing with

Using a drench that has persistent activity against production limiting parasites such as Ostertagia also means cattle don’t have to fight off ingested infective larvae. Instead, protein and energy that would have been used for this can be saved and used for improved productivity. The persistent acting products also allow more time between treatments without impacting on growth rates. Bingham is also said to be encouraged by latest research from Lincoln University indicating the potential to reduce drench usage and maintain cattle growth rates. “One of the biggest problems developing under intensive grazing

Immunity to Ostertagia does not develop quickly in cattle.

systems is a build-up of resistance in worm populations and a lack of refugia. Lincoln’s work has been to analyse weight gain in grazers. Those animals not meeting weight targets get drenched, while those that are, don’t get drenched.” This system provides the opportunity to maintain populations of worms that are not exposed to drench as often and therefore less likely to become resistant to it. “There is no single growth rate figure on such a system to stick to; every farm will be different in terms of weight targets, but it does show promise for maintaining drench effectiveness through

Clive Bingham

refugia,” he says. D.M. Leathwick, C.M. Millar. Efficacy of oral, injectable and pour-on formulations of moxidectin against gastrointestinal nematodes in cattle in New Zealand. Veterinary Parasi-

tology (2013) 191, 293-300. J.R. Egerton, C.H. Eary and D. Sukayda, The anthelmintic efficacy of Ivermectin in experimentally infected cattle. Veterinary Parasitology, 8 (1981) 59-70. J. M. SALLOVITZ, A. LIF-

SCHITZ, F. IMPERIALE, G. VIRKEL & C. LANUSSE; A detailed assessment of the pattern of moxidectin tissue distribution after pour-on treatment in calves. J. vet. Pharmacol. Therap. 26, 397–404, 2003.

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Lepto jabs better done soon DAIRY FARMERS should think sooner rather than later about vaccinating calves against leptospirosis. That message comes from a leading Massey University researcher of the disease, Dr Jackie Benschop, one of a Massey team who spoke last week at a Rural Women New Zealand function in Wellington. Over 30 years Rural Women has raised nearly $500,000 for research into this disease. Benschop says the best time for dairy farmers to vaccinate is “sooner than they think”. “With the calves it’s as soon as we think they can respond, [timed] with when the immunity from the mum winds down. It’s not days after birth – probably we are looking at about eight weeks for the first of three jabs. But… it’s an area of future study. We need to do longitudinal studies in herds to determine that time.” Leptospirosis was once considered a ‘dairy industry only’ problem. But research by Massey University has

shown meat workers – especially those at the start of the killing chain – are vulnerable to the disease. Also at risk is anyone handling stock at close quarters including sheep and beef farmers. In New Zealand at present 110 cases are notified each year, but Benschop says they believe many cases go unreported. “Lepto is a spiral bug and it loves moisture. It’s excreted in the urine so if a splash of urine or contaminated water gets into the bloodstream what generally happens to people is they feel they have got a really bad dose of the flu. It can progress quite quickly to being a severe disease. Doctors talk to me about the ‘golden week’ when if they know it’s lepto they give antibiotics.” The key message to dairy farmers, says Benschop, is vaccinate stock early and keep doing what they’ve always done, including not smoking or drinking in the dairy shed and wearing an apron. Massey is developing a website where more information on the disease will be available. – Peter Burke

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Low somatic cell counts an award winner A SEASON average

somatic cell count of 75,000 would be good for any dairy farm, but for a first-year conversion it’s extraordinary, says dairy technology company TruTest. When Graham and Jane Thomas converted an Ashburton farm to dairy five years ago, they went with Tru-Test MilkHub dairy automation.  “Our farm adviser said anything that would help with mastitis detection was worth trying,” recalls Graham. “We were launching into something new, so it seemed a good idea.” And last year when they converted a second farm, 239ha ‘Grajan’ milking 955 cows, they again bought MilkHub for the 60-bail rotary shed. Grajan manager Richard Pearse had no previous experience of working with automation in a shed, “except for a teat sprayer.” Now the MilkHub is said to be helping him keep excellent control of somatic cell levels, and making animal management tasks more efficient. The low somatic cell count speaks for itself, says Pearse who with his partner Susan Geddes recently won the Dairy Farm Manager of the Year, and a Vet Life award for the second lowest cell count in the South Island. “We were over the moon about that. The best

A low somatic cell count speaks for itself, says Richard Pearse who with partner Susan Geddes won the 2013 Dairy Farm Manager of the Year award.

I’ve had before that was 120,000.” Information collected by the MilkHub in-line sensor system each milking identifies a group of cows to watch closely. “We can set an alert for those cows, which comes up on the screen at cups on, so they get stripped out every milking.” The targeting makes their job more efficient, Pearse says, and it helps with early mastitis detection so they treat more quickly. The MilkHub feed control system enables them to control feeding of grain, to feed to a cow’s production or condition, and ensure no cow is overfed. The keypad helps set up automatic drafting for any purpose “nice and easily”. When it came to the end of the season, Pearse found the MiHub online herd management tool helps manage moving the

cows to once-a-day milking and then drying off. “It provides good information.” For the coming season they’ve added a screen at cups off, so treatments

can be recorded as they’re done, and drafting – for example for mating – can be guided by Minda records. “The information is all right there, in real time.”

IN BRIEF Nutritech buys maize business NUTRITECH INTERNATIONAL has bought the HSR brand and maize seed business. The HSR brand is a natural fit with the company’s business says managing director Tony Manning. “The HSR maize varieties are a fantastic fit with Nutritech’s nutrition and BioSil silage inoculant ranges, with a focus on quality rather than volume alone. Nutritech is also pleased to offer an alternative to New Zealand farmers in the competitive maize market, which is dominated by a few larger suppliers. Nutritech is ISO9001 and good manufacturing practice (GMP) approved. All seed is cold- and warm-germination tested to ensure excellent vigour, the company says. All seed undergoes GMO and phytosanitory testing as part of the quality control programme. Standard seed treatments, such as Gaucho and Poncho, are available. The world’s leading cattle crush. Exclusively distributed in NZ by Veehof.

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FMD initiative gets the tick THE DAIRY industry is

welcoming a Government initiative for an 18-month foot and mouth disease (FMD) preparedness scheme. Announced this month by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, it will address gaps in New Zealand’s preparedness system. A group of 10 veterinarians, farming leaders and MPI staff will take part in FMD training in Asia next year to experience working with the disease first hand. DairyNZ’s chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says it is great to see the Government responding by taking concrete action. “It is critical to be well prepared for what’s probably the most serious potential biosecurity threat to our industry. We are pleased to see that Minister Guy has made biosecurity his number one priority and is willing to tackle the challenges.” “Recent events, such as the outbreak of Theileria and associated anaemia in cattle, and bovine tuberculosis outbreaks in dairy herds, highlight the ongoing risks to the industry from animal diseases. These diseases can result in significant animal welfare issues, costs and stress to farmers and the wider economy.” Dairy farmers

contribute much to biosecurity for the industry; about $16 million of dairy levy money is spent annually on disease prevention, mainly via the TBFree scheme. The FMD scheme will have benefits beyond this disease specifically, lifting MPI’s capability to deal with biosecurity threats in general. Says Mackle, “[By working] with the Government and other livestock industry groups… we are able to achieve significantly more than acting individually.” Guy says while the focus is always on preventing FMD, it is also important we are prepared to respond to such an outbreak quickly and effectively.  “The training will develop a larger pool of people in New Zealand with experience in recognising, diagnosing and controlling the disease.  “This is the latest initiative in a major 18-month programme, which involves MPI and an industry working group.” Other projects under the preparedness programme include: a map of resources for an FMD response and inventory of personnel; pre-agreed notification process for stakeholders; carcase disposal plans; a vaccination workshop held last month

with industry; trade preagreements; identification of recovery needs; and a Trans-Tasman Action Plan. Other recent initiatives have included Exercise

Tim Mackle

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Tru-Test MilkHub In-line Sensors monitor individual cow health at every milking. Measurements are analysed to predict likely mastitis, track yield trends, plant hygiene and efficiency. View daily information in the MiHub online herd management tool to detect problems early and zero in on ‘at risk’ cows. You’ll gain productivity and happily, spend less time in the shed.

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TWO NEW independent and farmer board members have been appointed to New Zealand Animal Evaluation Limited (NZAEL), the independent body that sets the national breeding objectives for dairy cattle. Waikato dairy farmer Scott Montgomerie and Southland dairy farmer Anna Kempthorne joined the board on October 1. Montgomerie has shareholdings in a 2250 cow (800 ha) farm in north Waikato and a young stock grazing operation in South Auckland. He has worked in management and governance. Kempthorne is a shareholder and director of a 588ha dairy and dairy support operation in Southland with her husband Robert. She is also a part-time consulting officer for DairyNZ in Southland. NZAEL chairman Warren Larsen says the new appointments are welcomed, given the breadth of regional knowledge and strong practical dairy farming skills of the appointees.

Taurus, last year, which posed a simulated outbreak, and a desktop simulation held with industry at MPI’s Wallaceville campus in June this year.

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Power savings net $4000 rebate TONY HOPKINSON

AT THE end of his first

Mike Withers

season using a Corkill Dairy Systems Varivac vacuum pump controller, Mike Withers, Southland, had saved 13,064 units of electricity which, at an industry average cost of 30 cents a unit, equalled $3919. “Added to that was less wear and tear on the vacuum pump through not running at full capacity all milking, lower cell counts and improved udder health through lower and more stable vacuum,” Withers says. “So I believe my investment has been well worthwhile.” He was part of a trial by

the Energy, Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to highlight ways of reducing power consumption in dairy sheds. The trial ran from the start of the 201213 season to March 31, 2013. EECA had agreed that if the trial showed substantial savings, it would pay a rebate to farmers supplying historic information and on-going

data (see table above). In the trial were 19 farmers nationwide who had bought a Varivac vacuum pump controller from Corkill Dairy Systems at the 2012 National Fieldays and had them installed for the start of the season. The trial was run and supervised by EECA industrial project manager Kirk Archibald. The first results were


published in Dairy News May 28, 2013, showing the 19 farms had averaged 52% savings on their previous power readings with the installation of the Varivac system. Mike and Sharon Withers, Withco Holdings, have been 50:50 sharemilking on a 152ha (eff) flat farm owned by Aotearoa Trust for 20 years. The farm is 24km from Invercargill and 15km from Edendale. They own a 64ha run-off 30km from the farm where they run young stock and winter 300 head; a further 150 are also wintered off, the home farm being stock-free from the end of May till calving starts on August 10. The farm is rectangular with the dairy shed in the middle with a 36-aside herringbone and a Waikato milking plant. They milk 425 Friesians and a few crossbreds. “We run a single herd for most of the season and then two herds in the autumn with the heifers and older cows separated out and milked OAD to maintain their condition.” They rear about 25% replacements annually. Staff is Mike and Sharon and their son available for relief milking plus a married couple. “Our best season was the last one where in spite of the drought we produced 179,600kgMS.” The farm grows 5.5ha of Chou Mollier for late wintering of the dairy herd when they return from winter grazing. They buy

in 100 round bales of hay and make 70 bales of baleage on the farm. A further 150 bales are bought in and 200t of whole crop silage is stored on the farm. The silage is fed in the autumn to maintain production and condition and the hay is fed with the Chou Moellier to supplement the grass so they have long slow rounds in the early spring. Withers has milked cows since age 13 and has seen massive changes to dairying in Southland in the last few years. “Previously when I went to the pub I was the only dairy farmer and the rest were sheep farmers; now it’s completely reversed and I believe the remaining sheep farmers are almost an endangered species.” Withers and a friend each bought a Corkill Varivac at the 2012 Fieldays. His cost $8000 plus installation costs of almost $1000. At the end of the trial EECA sent him a rebate of $4000. “I believe my electricity savings were near the top of the range.” The power savings were seen immediately on a meter on the Varivac showing the actual power drawn. Their 15kW vacuum pump motor would usually draw 15kW for the complete milking but readings showed the drawings dropped as low as 4.5-4.6kW even with the 36 cups on the cows, “so the savings were there”. Tel. 0800 10 7006 www.corkillsystems.

DESIGNED FOR NZ FARMERS BY NZ FARMERS A simple easy to use system, whether for milking, calving or wintering—HerdHomes shelters do it all— without increasing work load or effluent problems The future of productive farming M + 64 27 499 0123 P + 64 7 857 0528

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No shortcuts to plant cleaning DAIRY PLANT cleaning is not a job where shortcuts can be taken, however good equipment and systems will minimise the time required, says DairyNZ. The consistent use of a cleaning routine tailored to the milking plant and other available resources (volume and quality of water) will reduce the need to manually scrub or bomb clean the plant. The benefits of ensuring you have the correct cleaning process include:

rubberware. Aim for a temperature of 80-85°C as water exits the hot water storage cylinder. Hot water washes should be dumped when wash water temperature falls below 55°C. Time Hot water must contact the surface for a minimum of four minutes; this should be extended to seven minutes by re-circulating during an alkali wash. Pre-heating the plant will

The consistent use of a cleaning routine tailored to the milking plant and other available resources will reduce the need to manually scrub or bomb clean the plant. Maintaining milk quality. Put in place a process which ensures cleaning is done properly, so that all residues are removed and bacteria are destroyed. Ensure safety issues are considered. Bacteria can enter the plant from cows (teat skin and infected udders) and the environment (drawn into the cluster). The milking environment is ideal for bacteria growth. Effective machine cleaning will control the presence of bacteria in the plant. The quality of the water used is important in achieving a successful clean. There are four key elements to the cleaning routine: Thermal energy which comes from hot water. Time taken for effective cleaning. This is often dependent on the type of cleaning system. Kinetic energy from water turbulence. Dictated by water volume and flow rate (hence the use of a flushing pulsator to improve the cleaning of milk lines and recievers). Chemical energy from acid (pH 2.5-3.0) and alkali (pH 11.5-12.5) detergents.  Thermal Water that is too cool leads to redepositing of the milk residues removed, and water too hot denatures protein, breaks down detergents and damages seals and

help achieve at least five minutes of contact time at the recommended temperature. For the milking plant 10L of hot water per cluster is recommended to achieve sufficient contact time. For the bulk milk tank, the hot water capacity should be a minimum of 2% of the bulk milk capacity or 120L for 5700L tanks or smaller. Kinetic energy Air injectors and a reservoir of water at the end of the milk line can create a slug formation to assist in cleaning the top of the milk line. Small flushing pulsators used to induce turbulence are largely ineffective and regular brushing or use of a large flushing pulsator/air injector may be required. Milk lines generally require turbulence created via an effective flushing pulsator to fill the line and clean the milk line or some alternative effective cleaning system. Chemical energy Acid detergents remove mineral deposits. They can be used in hot or cold water but are more effective in hot water. Acid sanitisers commonly incorporate chemicals which also kill bacteria. These sanitisers are intended to stay in the plant after washing

to extend protection. Acid sanitisers should always be added to the final wash. Alkaline detergents remove fat and protein. If left in the plant they can damage rubber-

ware so they must be followed with an acid wash to neutralise the alkali and leave the plant sanitised. The alkaline detergent is almost always chlorinated, or chlorine added.

The quality of water used to clean dairy sheds is important in achieving a successful clean.



Back-up generator essential A COMPANY selling back-up power gener-

ators for farms says an emergency supply is essential. Energy Authority NZ Ltd, of Christchurch, says despite New Zealand’s reliable power grid, farmers should move to forestall outages caused by bad weather, natural disasters or road crashes. “For farms relying on electricity to power milking equipment, automated feeding systems, heating or refrigeration a back-up generator is essential.” The company sells custom-made generators and standard units. “The high quality parts and engines in our generators are used in military, embassies and industries around the world. “We install our generators with an autostart feature- which means the generator is connected to your mains switch and turns on automatically when the power goes out. Our generators have a portable trailer option popular with farmers for moving between sheds or

sharing with neighbouring farms.” The generators have diesel engines (up to 2000kVA) which can power a whole shed and keep it running as normal. All generators come with at least a 1-year warranty (longer on some models) and the company offers a maintenance service. Generators come standard with an advanced controller system which allows precise monitoring and control of generator functions including a one-button push stop/start. They also come in a weatherproof steel and acoustic sound-

proofing enclosure.

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2 C OW S H E D Follow-up coming on

Faster Milk Cooling At A Lower Power Cost


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.

✓ Time to cool milk significantly reduced ✓ Improve milk quality due to quicker cool down ✓ Reduce power costs ✓ Suitable for existing or new installations ✓ Pay-back in first year depending on vat design and refrigeration plant condition

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:

Cluster selection, set-up poses questions MILKING CLUSTERS need to be carefully selected to suit the milking system, the cows and the milkers, says DairyNZ. A complete cluster comprises a claw and four fully assembled cups (i.e. four sets of shells, liners, short milk tubes and short pulse tubes). Correctly setting up clusters will result in the following benefits: Increased milking efficiency. Clusters correctly set up will be easy to put on and take off and will require no intervention from the milker while a cow is being milked. They will also ensure cows are efficiently milked out. Improved animal health. Clusters correctly set up will not slip. Cluster slip can compromise teat health, increasing the risk of mastitis. Poor milking characteristics in many herds result from the wrong match of cluster components. The most common problems include: ■■ Clusters too light or too heavy in relation to the bore and shape of liner used and/or the system vacuum. ■■ Clusters that do not hang evenly on the udder because the connecting hoses are too long, too short, twisted or poorly aligned in relation to the cow. ■■ Uneven weight distribution between the four cups because the teats are not at a uniform height or are at a convenient distance apart. ■■ A mismatch between the claw inlet and the short milk tube causing partial closure of the short milk tube where this tube joins the claw. ■■ Liner length wrong for shell. ■■ Insufficient constriction where shell meets the short milk tube, allowing air leakage. ■■ The weight of commercially available clusters varies from 1.6 to 3.5kg. The optimum weight for the commonly used liners in New Zealand tends to be in the range 2.2 – 2.6kg. The main benefit of increasing cluster weight is to reduce the amount of milk (‘strippings’) left in the udder when cups are removed. However there are disadvantages to increasing the weight of the cluster, including increased milker fatigue, slipping and falling of cups and teat damage. The choice of an optimum weight usually involves a compromise based on the type of liner used and the preferred vacuum setting. ■■ The average vacuum level in the claw during the peak flow period of milking should be within the recommended range of 34-42 kPa. Note that cluster vacuum is not the same as the working vacuum (as per the vacuum gauge) and requires specialist equipment to measure it. ■■ Uneven weight distribution between the four quarters of an udder is one of the most common causes of incomplete milking, uneven milk-out and liner slips.



New–technology hand shears ease cow tail trimming GARETH GILLATT


years will make cow tail trimming easier says the developer, champion blades shearer Richard Watson. His Watson Multi Shears livestock trimming shears are capable of blade changes. Watson first got the idea for his shears when thinking of ways to fit a tool-grade steel blade onto hand shears. He says the design

of the traditional hand shears used in the dairy shed has changed little since they were first made 300 years ago. The use of high-carbon steel means blades can’t be changed, and they blunt and can bend if dropped frequently. His idea was to take advantage of modern high quality composite tool steels. “Newer, better steels are available and my idea was to take advantage of that.” The problem is that tool steels can’t be made into spring steel and

external blades couldn’t be added to spring steel due to the constant pressure they would be under.

developed a wooden concept model which led to the formation of the business and helped conceptualise the first

“The superior tool-steel blades are better able to withstand removal of dags around cows’ tails because of having better edge retention than the old style clippers.” So Watson experimented with a spring operated bearing system. He and a Rolleston engineer

working prototypes. Wool Board funding enabled Watson to retain Christchurch design company Ross Taylor

Industrial Design to develop concepts. He then spent 20 years testing and improving the shears in his day-to-day work and has now shorn at least 8000 sheep using various prototypes. He says the secret to the longevity is a selflubricating plastic bearing system. “The prototype that has done most of the work has shorn 5000 sheep with no signs of wear. For the casual user these shears are designed to last 20 years.” What sets the shears apart from traditional

shears is their capability for blade changes Watson says. “Cold work tool steel is vastly superior to high carbon when it comes to shearing.” This gives a longer life in dairy sheds. “The superior tool-steel blades are better able to withstand removal of dags around cows’ tails because of having better edge retention than the old style clippers.” Farmers will be able to use the spring-bearing shears off-the-shelf – not possible with traditional shears. “You’ve either got

to get new shears then work on them until they are ready to use, or buy them secondhand.” Originally developed for high country sheep shearers, the new shears have much wider application, Watson says. “We’re looking at lifestyle farmers and dairy farmers.” Watson Multi Shears plans to offer a workshop grinding and sharpening service, and do other maintenance. Tel. 03 314 4419

Soft, but sure, hands on round bales THE NEW Hi-spec bale

strip is to optimise efficiency, says its maker. Hi-Spec says the bale strip enables one person to quickly and efficiently remove plastic and net wrap from round bales, but then also break up the bale to reduce mixing time when using a mixer wagon, or for ease of feeding individual feeders. It comprises two hydraulic bale spikes, plus a unique claw arm mounted on the top of the handler. “On feed out

wagons, a knife is added to the top of the wagon to aid the cutting of the plastic. In operation, simply lift the wrapped bale, keeping the spikes near the bottom of the bale. “To strip and break up the bale, lower the claw arm to securely grab the plastic and net wrap; the two bale spikes are then hydraulically swung outwards, which acts to tear apart the film and net wrap. By continuing to move the spikes outwards this rips apart the bale

allowing the silage to fall into the feeder while the net wrap and plastic are held on top. “This eliminates any plastic or net being trapped by falling silage from going into the feeder. It can be used for any round bale of any size of silage, hay and straw.” The Hi-spec bale strip also acts as a ‘soft hands’ for stacking individual bales. This is done by placing two steel rollers over the tynes .The new HiSpec bale strip is suitable

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loaders. Tel. 027 497 7299

How to fencing guides on you tube “strainrite fencing guides” Contact your local rural supplies merchant or phone 0800 266 258



Tractor world’s most powerful with CVT NEW HOLLAND is celebrating its Genesis tractor’s 20th anniversary by releasing the T8 series. The six-model Genesis T8 series (273-419hp) is powered by state-of-theart ECOBlue SCR Cursor 9 engines developed with FPT Industrial. They are Tier 4A emissions compliant. The largest, T8.420 (419hp) has engine power management making it the world’s most powerful continuously variable transmission (CVT) tractor, the company says. “Like New Holland’s

original Genesis tractors, the new Genesis T8 series will [suit] cash crop producers, large dairying operations, commercial

enhancing features.” The Auto Command CVT offers stepless speed changes and precise speed control up to 0.16km/h.

“Producers will appreciate the innovative, productivityenhancing features.” – Greg Moore hay and forage growers and transport intensive operations,” says Greg Moore, New Holland product specialist. “Producers will appreciate the innovative, productivity-

Nov 1

Controlled via the CommandGrip handle, four modes of operation – auto, cruise, PTO and manual – allow a choice of optimum task or fuel efficiency. Claimed easy to program

and operate, it provides a smooth, seamless application of power: if working in auto mode, the operator selects the desired working speed and the Auto Command will adjust the engine speed and transmission settings to achieve the most efficient performance. The CVT has four points of optimum efficiency where the transmission drives through a full mechanical connection: three points are aimed at field work, and one at haulage. These correspond to the most fre-

team Come and at th visi n the main e Canterb t the ury A pavili & on at Site T P Show M 32 -34.

3-15 i

The new Genesis T8.

quently used operating speeds: planting, tillage, baling or road transport. Available in 40km/h and 50km/h options, it enables reaching top speeds at lower engine speeds if loads permit, ideal for extensive transport work. The Auto Command transmission is standard on the T8.420 model and optional on other Genesis T8 Series models. The option of a full powershift transmission is

also available. A new front suspension axle is offered as an option on all T8 series tractors. The new, saddlestyle design increases suspended load capacity and improves traction. It also reduces cab bounce and improves ride and handling during high speed transport operations. The result is an ultra-smooth ride plus maximum traction, stability and steering control, NH says. In the cab, the maker’s

widescreen IntelliView IV monitor is a factoryinstalled option. The 10.5” IntelliView IV colour touchscreen display on the SideWinder II armrest operates tractor functions and precision farming applications on the one screen. Boundary mapping, coverage mapping, data recording and precision application/prescriptions are controlled through the touchscreen monitor.

Central Wormworx Ltd Working For A Cleaner, Greener Solution

Use Tiger Worms to convert your wintering shed waste in to a valuable soil conditioner and save on fertiliser costs. This photo shows the excellent conversion rate a month after the installation of Tiger Worms in to a 30 tonne windrow of waste.

CENTRAL WORMWORX LTD Cromwell • Ph 021-132 2964 • 03-445 0263



Manuka honey hits sweet spot on cows A TEAT care prod-

uct launched this spring extends a link established between cow teat health and manuka honey, says GEA Farm Technologies’ FIL technical manager Drew Chadwick. Chadwick is responsible for developing formulations for GEA’s FIL brand in farm dairy hygiene and teat care products. The company says it has increasingly used manuka honey in teat care formulations in recent years and “this has put it at the cutting edge of new formulations in a market that had seen little change for many years”. It also has FIL running alongside the human health care sector in its recognition of manuka honey’s healing properties, the company says. GEA’s latest FIL teat care product launched this spring also features

manuka honey. The new Teatshield Active is the only chlorhexidine-based teat spray on the market containing manuka honey offering farmers an alternative to iodine based sprays. For farmers who choose not to use Iodoshield Active due to it being iodine based, Teatshield Active is a premium teat care formulation containing manuka honey and based on Chlorhexidine. The product has an emollient matrix that helps condition and restore teats. It has a green food grade dye to help identify sprayed cows. FIL’s manuka honey teat care products first appeared six years ago with Iodoshield Active, prior to Chadwick arriving from his position as product development manager with Comvita honey based products.

FIL had by then worked for four years on Iodoshield Active teat spray, and developed some patented technology that overcame the difficulties

of combining honey into an iodine based product. The manuka honey helped ensure the antibacterial iodine base adheres to the teat surface longer.

Other products include a teat cream containing manuka honey – Active Teat Cream – for soothing cracked dairy cow teats. And it helps farmers’

Drew Chadwick

hands. Says Chadwick, “There is the real possibility for manuka honey to be applied across other areas of animal husbandry and

wound care.” Users have reported using the cream on cuts and abrasions with great healing results.


fROm jusT

$3,999 +GsT

Rethinking the Everyday

Guards prevent tractor glass breakage TRACTOR GUARD, a protection system for win-

dows, doors, lights and wheels on farm vehicles, is now available to farmers in New Zealand and Australia. UK company Tractor Guard Ltd, which makes the guards in England, has a Canterbury representative, James Simkins, to distribute the guards in the southern hemisphere. Developed by farmers, for farmers, Tractor Guards fit over existing windows and doors on tractors and farm equipment, preventing flying debris from smashing glass windows, doors and lights. The guards are made from polycarbonate that’s UV protected and 200 times stronger than glass, but has the same opacity, the company says. In tests, the guards were resistant to a ball bearing shot fired from 10 metres away. The guards don’t require any tools to fit and can easily be installed and removed within two minutes. Each guard is made to measure and custom fitted to any make and model of tractor or farm machine.   Launched in 2011, the Tractor Guard won the Farmers’ Guardian first place award for the most innovative farm invention at Lamma 2012, a UK farm machinery, equipment and services show.    “Tractor Guard was developed on a farm by farmers, and the safety of the individual farmer is still paramount in everything we do. We’re delighted Tractor Guard can now protect the farmers in New Zealand and Australia,” says Matthew Smith, director, Tractor Guard.  

Tel. 021 263 5659

once bitten you’ll be smitten. With farming at our core, and a love for machines our passion – the rethinking of our already successful sprayer range was pure instinct. Katipo from Hustler embodies a raft of new features never seen in agricultural sprayers before – all designed to make your life easier. To learn more, visit

check ouT our full range of sprayers including The new fox1800 >> Call 0800 487 853 to schedule your on farm demo



RAV4 made to last and easy to spot MARK MACFARLANE

A FRIEND of mine has just bought one of the new Toyota RAV4s. “Nice car. It’ll probably see you out,” I told him. He sputtered “I’m only 60!” But in reality, it prob-

ably will. Not just because Toyotas have a reputation for reliability that ensures a premium price new and used, but also because this type of vehicle – the small SUV – is designed to be everything we need in a car. You can load the back with kids, dogs and gear or happily pop to the shops

or the beach or much further afield and it will be just as comfortable and capable as you would wish for. This class of vehicle is the way the industry is headed – practical all-rounders. They offer great visibility and are easy to drive but they are

Toyota RAV4

getting families and reps out of their mid-size and large cars and into the do-all ‘lifestyle’ vehicles. Most will never go off road and to be honest, with a couple of exceptions, aren’t designed to but people love the handguntype reassurance it offers. “I hope I never have to use it but…” The RAV4 is a fine example of this type and one of the biggest sellers. Power is dependent on your fuel type, abundant for the 2.2L diesel versions (110kW and 340Nm) and adequate for the 2.5L petrol versions (132kW and 233Nm) despite having to haul 1600kg. The petrol version is predictably smoother

and quieter but I would consider forking out the extra few thousand for the diesel version. You may not get your money back for some years but the extra power gives a more relaxing and enjoyable drive. I didn’t like the leatherclad wave design of the new dash, but I’ve been out-voted on this. Everyone – even people I hadn’t asked – thought it looked stylish. To me it just seemed out of step with what I thought was a conservative wheel and gauge layout: easy to read and comfortable to use it just seemed to have come from another vehicle. The seats are great, even on a long trip, and

though the front seems cosy for two people, the back seat looks enormous; and there’s 506-577L of boot capacity – depending on whether you opt for the space-saver or a full size spare under the boot floor. Outside, the new design is chock full of scoops, flares and curves combining to make this mid-size vehicle look smaller than it really is. It will fit easily into a carpark at the supermarket, but this is no mini you can’t see in the back row. The new and unusual colour range will help too, if you’re always losing your car and pressing the unlock button to fire the indicators – that is if you’re brave enough to

actually choose a colour rather than cheat and go to a silver default. Only the basic models are shamed with steel wheels: most come with nice 17” or 18” alloys. The range is comprehensive and starts with a 2WD for under the important $40,000 mark, to an all leather, heated seat, moon-roofed diesel version with Sat Nav among other goodies for an hilarious $62,790 plus on road costs. If you are happy to pay that give me a call, I own a section on the moon that you can see though the glass roof – and it’s for sale at a bargain price. or call 0800 TOYOTA

Trusted tractor brand runs in the family ANDREW COOMBE grew up

with Massey Ferguson on his family’s farm at Te Aroha. Now he and his wife Anita own two dairy farms in Otorohanga and three MF tractors. One farm milks 440 cows and 15km down the road is a new conversion with 250 cows. Each farm has a 100hp MF 5445 with a Stoll loader for general farm work and feeding out; Coombe uses an MF 6465 to do the groundwork on both properties. The two MF 5445s have rollover protection but no cabs. “I didn’t want cabs with the farm staff driving them. When there is no cab, there’s no clutter and it’s easy to hose down and keep clean.”


Coombe says the farms have some steep land and the MF 5445s have good power on the hills; low centre of gravity keeps them stable. They have Massey Ferguson’s Dyna4 transmission which provides four ranges each with four powershifts. The driver changes gears with a flick of a lever, and the MF left hand ‘power controller’ gives them the flexibility to change gear and direction using just the left hand. On the Coombes’ bigger farm, the tractor feeds out 300-400 bales and 200 tonnes of maize silage over winter. It has a onetonne maize bucket on the front and lifts it easily. A double pump

system on the hydraulic oil flow gives more power to cope with the loaded bucket or when tipping a heavy tip trailer. The MF 5445 is heavy enough to stay balanced even with the weight out on the loader. On-board weight scales ensure the cows receive the correct amount of feed. The tractor on the newly converted farm was used during the conversion and still has the post rammer on the back. The MF 5445 is a simple tractor, just what Coombe wants, he says. “I wanted a good basic farm tractor that’s reliable. I show new staff what’s what and they grasp it pretty quickly.” The tractors were both bought

new last Christmas from Waikato Tractors. “Their service is really good. The salesman Neil Lawrence knows his stuff and if he doesn’t, he finds out. He calls in from time to time to see how they’re going.” Two years ago Andrew and Anita bought a new MF 6465. “I’d had a 5465 and wanted something more ‘specced up’. It has cab suspension, front axle suspension and auto-drive.” Coombe uses auto-drive all the time to pre-set the engine speed for gear changes – like driving an automatic, he says. The MF 6465 is 130hp from a 6.6L 6-cyl. engine. Coombe uses it to put in 20ha crop every year, mainly maize and chicory. He also

Andrew Coombe uses two MF 5445s for general work on his dairy farms and an MF 6465 for cultivation, drilling and undersowing.

uses it for undersowing. It tows the seed drill, spreads the fertiliser and does contract raking, baling and wrapping. It has a GPS unit used for spraying with a 12m boom. The MF 6465 travels between the two farms and

has a 50km/h road speed, increasing efficiency. Coombe says he is sticking with Massey Ferguson. “I like them. I like the gearbox and they’re as fuel efficient as any other tractor I’ve driven. The control layout is good and they’re comfortable.”






Q: Which worms do I need to worry about in calves?


In calves, the three worm species most likely to interrupt calf growth rates are Ostertagia, Cooperia and Trichostrongylus.


The worms you need to control:


OSTERTAGIA worms are considered the most harmful worms in cattle. These affect the abomasum, or true stomach, and can cause severe effects. One uncommon but devastating example is Ostertagiosis Type II. This is where large numbers of larvae that have undergone ‘arrested development’ in the wall of the abomasum emerge en masse, often killing the host animal.

COOPERIA worms are a threat to calves up to around 15 months of age. They live in the small intestine and are important because of their effect on appetite and growth rates. While not as damaging as Ostertagia, Cooperia are very important as they often cause ‘subclinical’ effects – a decrease in growth rates without any overt signs that calves are unwell. TRICHOSTRONGYLUS species are important in calves and cattle, especially in late autumn and winter. LUNGWORMS can cause snotty noses and coughing if present in large numbers – however, all broad-spectrum drenches are effective against lungworm, and coughing in calves is more commonly associated with a type of pneumonia.

3 Regular drenching with an effective drench will help prevent worms from interrupting calf growth rates. Using an effective combination drench is critical – and you need to make sure it contains actives that target the worm species important in cattle.

Q: Which actives should I look for in a calf drench? A:

A combination drench that contains abamectin (the most potent of the mectin/ML drenches) and levamisole should be your starting point. A triple combination that includes these actives is ideal. Combination drenches greatly reduce the probability of resistant worms surviving drenching, which reduces the risk of drench resistance.

Deal to worms in your dairy calves. Drench right. Choose COOPERS.

Mectins/MLs are considered to be the best drench family for Ostertagia worms. In New Zealand, Cooperia worms have developed widespread resistance to both the ML/mectins and white drenches, which is why we recommend including levamisole in your combination drench for calves and young cattle.

For advice on best-practice drenching, visit or scan the code to take you straight there.

National Drench Resistance Survey 2004-2005¹ showing the percentage of farms where different drenches are failing. Drench tested

Drench Family





White (Benzimidazoles)





Farms passing all groups

% of NZ beef cattle farms where drench is failing


References: 1. Waghorn et al, NZVJ 54 (6), 2006. Registered trademarks. Phone: 0800 800 543. CALF-258-2013. CAUTION: Do not use ALLIANCE or CONVERGE in calves less than 100kg liveweight. Do not drench with milk or milk-feeders, or while calves are suckling.


Note: ‘Failing’ means the drench failed to reduce faecal egg count by a minimum of 95%. These results are likely to be an under estimate of the degree of drench resistance on New Zealand farms.


00874_COOPERS Advertorial_3_2013 FA.indd 1

22/10/13 3:17 PM

We understand that planning is crucial for a profitable year. That’s why our teams are on the ground right now and year round, visiting farms like yours. Our local knowledge means we can plan with you to improve the productivity and value you obtain from your pasture and crops. Plan your season with us now for on-farm guidance and access to specialist advice, from soil tests to choosing the right crops and nutrition plans.



0800 731 266


Dairy News 29 October 2013  

Dairy News 29 October 2013