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Fonterra must lose ‘commodity trader’ tag. PAGE 9

Shelters do the trick PAGES 34-35

CHINA-BOUND MPI’s top man in Beijing PAGE 3 APRIL 15, 2014 ISSUE 310


FRESH MILK EXPORT BOOM Local processor, Chinese trader flying 5-10 tonnes of fresh milk to China every week PAGE 5

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NEWS  // 3

Smoothing way for exports to China PETER BURKE

Green light for dryer. PG.19

Nitrate poisoning risk high after rain. PG.39

Effluent expo draws in the crowd. PG.60

NEWS�����������������������������������������������������3-23 OPINION�������������������������������������������� 24-25 AGRIBUSINESS����������������������������� 26-31 MANAGEMENT������������������������������ 32-42 ANIMAL HEALTH��������������������������43-49 MATING MANAGEMENT����������������������������� 50-54 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS������������������������������������� 56-62

MPI’S NEW boss in China says his status there as a senior government official will help him build strong, long term relationships, smoothing the way for New Zealand exporters. Roger Smith, son of an Auckland dairy farmer and a cow milker in his youth, is the highest-ranked MPI official ever posted overseas. He holds the title regional director Asia, but he is in fact a deputy director-general of MPI. MPI deliberately made this high-level appointment to the Beijing post. Smith has no illusions about the quantum of the challenge: it’s “huge”, he says. In Asian cultures, such as China, a person’s seniority carries considerable weight and Smith told Dairy News this will enable him to develop long-term relationships with very senior Chinese officials and politicians. Following Smith’s move to head its operations in Beijing, MPI will send five more people there within months. MPI’s move to up the ante in China results partly from such disasters as meat being delayed at the Chinese border and the Fonterra botulism scare. MPI was said then to have been ‘under-

staffed’ in this number-one market. Smith was on the team that negotiated the FTA with China in 2005-07, then working for the Customs Department. He describes that as a ‘transactional relationship’ – a good ‘Kiwi’ model. “The ideal is to go in, get a deal, leave, then let business get on and do what business does best. However that is not necessarily a long-term sustainable model within Asia. Everybody needs to know that you have to build relationships, you need to spend time in a country. If you read any 101 learners guide to exporting to China it will say you have to spend time [there]. We need to follow that advice ourselves and make sure we form a government perspective to build a much better longterm relationship with Chinese officials so we can better understand their thinking.” So Smith’s role is to do “some stargazing” and get a better understanding of what China is thinking and what its needs are. Food safety tops their agenda, he says. “We have to get a little ahead of the game now and think about what’s going to come up in future. For example, what are their concerns and how can we address them? Frankly it’s not a case of New Zealand telling China ‘this is the model’. It’s a time to be working in partnership with China in a way we have always done with Brussels, Wash-

ington and Canberra – working in partnerships and developing partnership solutions.” Though Smith declined to comment on the specifics of the Fonterra botulism issue he Roger Smith acknowledges it gave New Zealand a chance to ‘reflect’ on how it deals with China. The magnitude and acceleration of dairy exports to China took many people by surprise and many were slow off the mark to deal with this expansion, Smith says. “With growth rates like that you have to be careful you don’t stub your toe. If you want to be in the market you have to commit to understanding that if China has specific regulations and requirements, particularly in the infant formula market, you have to meet these. They have the full right to food safety and traceability.”

NO FIREFIGHTING OR DEALING WITH GLITCHES ROGER SMITH says he doesn’t see his role as ‘firefighting’ and dealing with glitches. Other MPI staff well-versed in technical matters will deal with such issues. He will instead work with New Zealand exporters to China and has been talking to many chief executives and chairmen of big companies exporting there. He will work with New Zealand China trade associations and their counterparts and will accompany Chinese trade del-

egations to New Zealand. Smith sees no problems in him being the regulator “walking side by side” with industry and helping them on their sales trips to China. “I am going to be the face of the Government for primary industries in China and that’s a pretty important face to have for them…. We are all focused on the same thing: New Zealand having continued access to China. If you want to sell to China you should be able to do so and maximise


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the FTA and not get stuff stuck on wharves or any other surprises.” Smith has worked for Customs for most of his career, during the past 14 years dealing with international trade. He has served in Washington DC and Brussels. “The most powerful driver to make sure I get this right is my 94-year-old dad. As a dairy farmer from Clevedon he’s very passionate about making sure things go well,” Smith says.


4 //  NEWS

Formula makers, sellers abuzz at workshop PAM TIPA

CONFUSION OVER complex regulations governing infant formula lead to the Infant Nutrition Council (INC) holding its first compliance and marketing workshop in Auckland last week. It was attended by companies manufacturing and marketing such products. “The regulations are quite complex and infant formula, being the sole source of nutrition for a baby, is the most regulated food product,” says INC chief executive Jan Carey. “So there’s a lot of confusion about regulations, what companies can put on their websites, what they can say on their labels and the voluntary marketing code of practice which the Infant Nutrition Council has – part of the New Zealand’s Government’s response to the World Health Organisation’s code for marketing substitutes. “We decided we would have a

workshop to provide an overview of New Zealand marketing and labelling requirements. We also decided we should open it to the whole industry not just the nutrition council members.” Carey said she sits on the New Zealand government compliance panel that looks at complaints against the industry on the marketing code. “Often the complaints are about companies that are not members of the INC so they do not properly understand how to market their product

appropriately so that marketing doesn’t undermine the public health goals to support breast feeding,” she says. The council is the industry association for Australia and New Zealand and it is trans-Tasman because many of the large infant formula companies in New Zealand are multinationals run out of Australia. The council now represents about 95% of the volume of infant formula manufactured and marketed in New Zealand. Members include Fonterra.

THUMBS-UP FROM INSPECTORS NEW ZEALAND got the thumbs-up during last month’s inspection by Chinese authorities of local dairy processing and infant formula production facilities, Infant Nutrition Council chief executive Jan Carey believes. “I don’t think anything of-

ficial has come out but I think the New Zealand food safety systems were found to be quite good – we already knew that but it is nice to know that is recognised. I think they got a pretty good report card,” Carey told Dairy News last week.

Abbott Nutrition, Aspen Nutritionals, Bayer, HJ Heinz, Nestle, Nutricia and Synlait. Associate members include New Image Group, Westland, and Dairy Goat Cooperative. The two countries have the same food code standards so it makes sense for Australia and New Zealand to work together on infant formula issues, says Carey. “But in the last year or so all the issues have been New Zealand and we have had many new members from New Zealand – start-up companies, smaller companies that are brand managers and medium-size to quite large companies like Westland and Synlait have all joined,” says Carey. With senior officials from the Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry of Health and AsureQuality, the council put together a programme considered valuable to the industry. “We got over 70 attendees – there was a buzz in the room, lots of opportunity

Jan Carey, Infant Nutrition Council.

for them to network with each other and ask questions directly of government.” Carey says it is the first time the council has done anything like this and from the response they got, it is likely to do more. “I think the INC will be doing more training type workshops because we need to be showing leadership in this area and we want to have the best possible industry we can in New Zealand. We have a pretty good industry but because it is complicated there is always room for self-examination, improvement and knowledge.” New Zealand is currently a more active market than Australia and most new members are from New Zealand. They will at some stage do a similar workshop in Australia but “we felt that New Zealand was ready for it”. @dairy_news

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NEWS  // 5

Fresh milk exporter buying farms SUDESH KISSUN

FRESH MILK exports to

China are booming and a key Chinese player in the trade is now buying New Zealand dairy farms. Oravida has been selling fresh New Zealand milk in Shanghai via direct order since May 2012. Business has increased 100% since the launch and every week 5-10 tonnes is freighted. Oravida is said to be charging NZ$20 for a 2L

container. The company recently bought a 300-cow farm south of Auckland, close to the Green Valley Milk plant which processes and packs Oravida milk for China. Green Valley also packs milk for Ruima Foods, which sells in Guangzhou. Green Valley general manager Corrie Den Haring says orders are received weekly. Milk is processed at 4am every Monday at the Mangatawhiri plant, put on Air New Zealand’s

BRAND ENTERS SUPERMARKET MANGATAWHIRI DAIRY processor Green Valley Milk is spending up to $8 million to double processing capacity. The company hopes to add 150% more floor space within 12 months; a second filling line is already up and running. Green Valley general manager Corrie Den Haring says the expansion will help the processor to grow domestically, where the current volume and growth sits. Green Valley supplies fresh milk to small retailers and hospitality. It has recently partnered with Lewis Road Creamery to put the company’s branded milk, artisan butter and cream into 120 Countdown and 30 New World supermarkets in the North Island. Green Valley has not previously been in supermarkets. It now sells product in supermarkets via third party brands.

direct flight to Shanghai on Tuesday and is in Oravida’s warehouse on Wednesday. Consumers get to buy it before the weekend. Oravida is the main partner in the business, and “very professional,” Den Haring says. “A very good customer; we can’t speak highly enough of Oravida and the relationship we have,” he told Dairy News. Chinese generally mistrust dairy products but New Zealand is seen as the home of quality dairy. Den Haring says so there’s strong trust in and around products from New Zealand. “Some latest scares tested this but most people have a high degree of trust in our products. Based on this trust, business for us is growing every week.” Green Valley’s confidence in Oravida has been boosted by the purchase of the 300-cow farm which begins supplying on June 1. “Our Chinese partners have invested in dairy farming and they are interested in the pasture to the plate concept.” The Green Valley owners also owns Marphona farms milking 2,000 cows and plans to raise

this soon to 3,000 cows. It also buys milk under contract from nearby farmers. It gets milk from Fonterra under DIRA and buys organic milk and cream from the co-op. Den Haring says Green Valley and Oravida are looking at moving the Chinese business into organic milk, seen as another point of difference and ensuring consumers remain ‘close to nature’. But Oravida is unlikely to use organics as its main marketing tool in China,” Den Haring says. “We won’t sell it as organic milk…. We’ll say this is New Zealand milk and by the way it’s organic.

Green Valley Milk general manager Corrie Den Haring says Oravida’s decision to buy dairy farms has boosted their partnership.

It’s a point of difference but not the main selling point.” He believes organics help farmers reconnect with urban dwellers. “The farming commu-

nity needs to understand the city people are their customers. You can sell them products but you better have the right story on the product.” Green Valley processes

about 25 million litres of milk annually. The China fresh milk trade makes up only 3% of the business. Growing the domestic market in New Zealand remains its main focus.

53% PRICE RISE HURTS GREEN VALLEY Milk general manager Corrie Den Haring says doing business in the dairy industry is tough. The raw milk price has increased 53% since June 1, squeezing profit margins. “Anytime you have wild swings in raw milk pricing it makes business tough because you don’t know whether it will go up or down. “Any business taking an impact on its fundamental input cost of 53%, that’s difficult to deal with… especially in a fresh milk market, where we have little opportunity and appetite to pass costs to consumers.” The seasonal supply in New Zealand also worries Green Valley. “The faster we move our thinking out of seasonal supply the better for the industry, the better for Fonterra and for every dairy company in New Zealand.” Food safety and quality remain paramount; the challenge is to keep all the bureaucracy and paperwork on time. MPI operates 8am-5pm Monday to Friday, but he wants an extension to those hours of service. “As a big exporting country, an extended service will benefit not just Green Valley and Fonterra but all primary product producers with short shelflife products.”

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6 //  NEWS

Old school 50/50 giving way to better THE CONCEPT of ‘50/50’ sharemilking is now nothing more than an old-school term, says the chairman of Federated Farmers Sharemilking section, Neil Filer. He told Dairy News people today talk about ‘herd ownership’ agreements rather than 50/50 agreements. The principle of 50/50 remains but the numbers aren’t quite the same and the contracts themselves vary widely, he says. In simple terms one party provides the herd and the labour and the other the farm and whatever else is included in the agreement. “People negotiate different terms because there is so much room to move within the contract.

People talk about grazing clauses, they talk about calves reared, they’ll talk about percentages of milk and income split, and they can negotiate who pays for the irrigation or who pays for the bought-in feed. “You simply set up a contract that suits both parties and get a win-win contract sorted out at the start of your term. As long as both parties are happy it doesn’t matter what the arrangements are.” The move from a straight 50/50 split has arisen in part from the advent of large, high-producing irrigated farms in Canterbury, Otago, Southland and Waikato, Filer says. Those owners have spent so much on their farms that they need a better return than they

can get from the older 50/50 model. Even Federated Farmers now sells a herd-ownership rather than a 50/50 agreement proforma. Even with lower-order contracts there are variations and room to move, Filer says. “The message is that the whole lot is negotiable: if you can sort out an agreement between two business parties that suits both you can do what you like.” The number of sharemilking jobs is declining as farms get larger. Often two farms next to each other will merge and instead of two sharemilking jobs there will only be one. “Once upon a time the average herd size might have been 200 cows; now it’s about 400 cows.”

But Filer believes sharemilking is still a good and viable pathway to farm ownership. He lowerorder sharemilks 700 cows and has bought the farm next door on which he runs 280 cows of his own.

50/50 sharemilking agreements are being phased out in favour of herd ownership deals.

Fonterra fine ‘proportionate’ FEDERATED FARMERS says the

$300,000 fine imposed on Fonterra for charges relating to the 2013 whey protein concentrate recall is proportionate. “To a shareholder, $300,000 is much better than what the cooperative potentially faced,” says Willy Leferink, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson. “Given the size of negative coverage relating to the non-botulism scare and the dent it put in the coop’s reputation, the size of the fine is pro-

portionate, especially given Fonterra did not contest the charges brought by MPI. Even the Crown prosecutor acknowledges Fonterra has swiftly moved to put its house in order. “As supplier shareholders and unit holders will ultimately meet the cost of the fine, we are certain Fonterra’s management has got the message loud and clear.” The charges carried a maximum fine of $500,000, although Judge Peter Hobbs said Fonterra deserved a discount for its early guilty plea,

co-operation with the regulator and steps it had taken to improve its procedures since the incident, reducing the fine to $253,000. He said he was required to take into account the financial capacity of the defendant to pay the fine. Typically, this reduced the fine, although he said there was no dispute that Fonterra, New Zealand’s largest company, had the capacity to pay more. He raised the fine to $300,000 to reflect the fact that the lower fine could dilute its impact as a deterrent.

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NEWS  // 7

Rain like politics: promises but little action PETER BURKE

FARMERS IN drought

areas are being urged to plan how they will manage their way into next season. DairyNZ’s Craig McBeth says a lot of rain and some reasonable temperatures will be needed to rebuild pastures. “Do your planning and work through scenarios: for example, what if it doesn’t rain for ten days and if it does rain it gets cold? At that point temperatures could limit pasture growth. What are your options then? A little extra milk solids production now could end up being quite expensive next season.” McBeth says farmers

should focus on cow condition, their calving date, what supplements they have on hand and make sure they have a management plan with all their targets for next season. The recent patchy rainfall is welcome but was not enough to break the dry cycle in some regions. Farmers need to be drying their herds off, depending on how much supplement they have on hand. “The supply and price of PKE has tightened up and while there are boatloads of PKE coming, farmers short of supplement to bridge the gap between what they have in reserve for winter and spring and through the new season aren’t going to be able to feed their cows adequately to keep them milking.

When will the rains come? Farmers are being urged to prepare for more dry weather.

“It’s hard work putting body condition on cows still in milk, so if cows are light in condition and they have relatively early calving dates they need to get dried off. This is to allow time and feeding to put condition back on because that target of 5.0 for a cow and 5.5 for a first year heifer is critical.” Manawatu Feds provincial president and dairy

farmer Andrew Hoggard says he was hoping for a bumper season but this is now unlikely. Until January things were looking good but the dry has kicked in. “We had that excellent spring and truckloads of grass and we didn’t even have to buy grass silage in this year; we still had heaps of it. So we were able to keep feeding cows well until that grass silage

ran out. “Luckily at the same time all the maize is starting to come in. But then maize silage is straight carbohydrate and very low in protein. It’s not going to drive milk production at this time of the year.” Hoggard last year contracted in some PKE but didn’t use it and this has helped as an additional feed buffer.

Farmer fined $45,000 over water theft AN AUCKLAND drystock farmer has this month been

convicted and fined $45,000 for unlawfully taking water from a stream on his Waikato property over a three year period, including last year’s drought. He kept taking water in defiance of a Waikato Regional Council order to stop. William Robert Blair Coates, of Remuera, pleaded guilty in the Auckland District Court to four charges brought under the Resource Management Act (RMA). The regional council took the prosecution after complaints that Coates’ Jay Rd property at Reporoa was being irrigated during the 2013 nationally declared drought. Council staff found up to 20ha of green pasture at the property while surrounding countryside was brown and barren. Inspections also confirmed the presence of a dam in a stream on the property enabling the unauthorised take of large volumes of water into a substantial irrigation system. It was established that the water take system had also been used over the previous two summers. Council investigations manager Patrick Lynch said: “The RMA allows people to take water for certain purposes without the need for resource consent. However, other takes are restricted to allow for the orderly allocation of water resources.” In sentencing, Judge Jeff Smith said that “...a level of anarchy would quickly follow if such allocation regimes were to be abandoned in times of water stress”.        

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8 //  NEWS

Landcorp signals dairy slowdown PETER BURKE


signalling a slowdown of its dairy expansion

Landcorp chief executive Steven Carden.

programme. Chief executive Steven Carden says the company “won’t be as aggressive as in the past in expanding the dairying part of its business”. He told Dairy News

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that Landcorp has been very “dairy focused” for ten years and this has become a large part of its business. “We’ve still got twelvefourteen dairy farms coming on line in the next three years, plus even potentially some more after that, so we are committed to dairying. We have this long term lease arrangement with our partners. We are largely committed to rolling out a dairy programme. “The way the lease is worked is that you apply the farming model best suited to the land and in many cases this is often dairy and you get charged dairying rates. So if you choose not to use it for dairying you still get charged dairying rates anyway.” Carden says Landcorp, like the rest of the primary industry, is under constant pressure to take good drystock finishing land and convert it to dairy and he says the economics are too compelling not to do that. And while Landcorp looks like putting the brakes on its dairying operation, it is looking at investing more in the sheep and beef sectors,

Carden says. This is part of a strategic review which forsees subtle but significant shifts in direction. Greater innovation and rejuvenation of the environment are two areas for change. More investment in irrigation, for dairying or for creating better finishing country, is another change flagged by Carden. As to the future of dairying generally, he says neither he nor anyone else is expecting the payout to be $8.65 regularly. “I think if the price was in the high sixes or early sevens next year we’d all be reasonably happy. I like others sense dairying is reaching the limits of its sustainability – its natural ‘glass’ ceiling. “Dairying hits access to people, access to water, it has environmental impacts. The country has overall exposure to the dairying sector and commodity prices. [Cows are] a very volatile species to be farming. “As an organisation and probably as a country we are probably close to hitting [the glass ceiling] so we are not looking to do [many] more conversions,” Carden says.

PICKING THE WAY THROUGH DROUGHT LANDCORP CHIEF executive Steven Carden says the drought has affected production on many of its dairy farms in Northland, Hauraki Plains, Waikato and the central plateau. But lower North Island and the South Island are fine. Carden says before February the production figures for dairying looked good, but this has changed in the last six weeks. It shows the importance of irrigation in dealing with dry conditions, he says. “We are doing a lot of work on more drought tolerant species such as tall fescue and lucerne and others that might be suitable. Everything you can do to ‘summer dryproof’ your business is worthwhile but it can be expensive.” Carden says the former Crafar farms now owned by Shanghai Pengxin and managed by Landcorp are going well. Record production is expected. And the relationship with Shanghai Pengxin is strong. “By the end of this financial year there will be about $12 million spent by the Chinese on improving those farms: new fences, new dairy shed, new effluent systems, new houses – the full works. “Some of the farms were in terrible condition when we took them over so that’s all positive. We talk frequently with Shanghai Pengxin about other opportunities.”


NEWS  // 9

Farmers must prod Fonterra forward – marketing guru “Fonterra talks about turning to higher value products, but they need to get on with it.”



move faster to higher value products and farmers should show leadership to make this happen, says a visiting UK food marketing expert, Dr David Hughes. New Zealanders need to ‘change their DNA’ which is programmed to be commodity producers, he says. “Fonterra talks about turning to higher value products, but they need to get on with it,” says Hughes, a UK professor of food marketing and an international speaker on food trends. “That’s a farmer problem. Farmers own Fonterra. Farmers tell Fonterra ‘don’t do anything clever, just sell the milk powder for as much

David Hughes

as you can and send as much of that money back to the farm’. “That disallows Fonterra to invest in more R&D so they can develop specialty high value food ingredients, and it gives them insufficient budgets to invest at the level they need to in brands.” The shift requires farmer leadership, he says. “They have to at some stage say ‘send less back, invest more in brands and R&D and in the longer term that will benefit us

disproportionately’. “But if you don’t allow that to happen, you will continue on the commodity path.” As the international dairy market grows, New Zealand domestic production will not keep pace so market share will decline. “You must go outside New Zealand to produce dairy which to a degree you are in China but you would expect more. But if you can’t keep up with sheer volume production at home you should produce higher value products, so your value share doesn’t decline.” Sixty per cent of global growth in infant formula in the last five years has come from China and

Hong Kong. New Zealand has provided the raw material, but infant formula is highly branded with the biggest global food companies, Nestle, Danone, Mead Johnson and Abbott Laboratories, having their own brands and 50% of global market share. “Infant formula is largely milk powder with pixie dust and a strong brand. But the margins are made by the brand

Fonterra’s late entry into the lucrative infant formula market has been questioned.

owners so you guys are commodity orientated and providing the raw materials. Fonterra does have an infant formula brand but it’s a very new one and still at the pilot stage, so it prompts the question, ‘why weren’t you into that earlier’? Brands are not in the New Zealand DNA, he says. “There are examples

of good regional brands if you look in Asia: Anlene is an example, but there are too few of them. In history you see yourselves more as commodity producers and very, very good ones. “As the cost of production in New Zealand increases because of higher land prices, more difficulties with planning

regulations and environmental requirements, it would be helpful if you were into higher value products. “This means intellectual property, patented special ingredients or more branded products. That’s a journey you are on at the moment but you still have a very long way to go,” Hughes says.

A WORSE YEAR HARD TO IMAGINE THE DAIRY industry in New Zealand had a ‘annus horribilus’ (horrible year) in respect of its international reputation last year, says Hughes. “If you put yourself out there with that wonderfully effective phrase ‘100% Pure New Zealand’ – once you’ve made that promise, you have to deliver.” Problems relating to a whole sequence of events last year served to muddy that: Hughes cited the DCD residue debacle, headlines like

‘China sours on NZ milk powder’ and the fresh cream contamination. “You had a decade where New Zealand dairy industry performance with regard to supply chain integrity was impeccable and then suddenly you’ve had a bad year. That concerns people and suddenly you are not lily white.” ‘Annus horribilus’ was a term used by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992 in a year when the marriages of three of her children fell apart and the palace caught fire.

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10 //  NEWS

Farmers should hone up on global trends PAM TIPA

KEY TRENDS in food, nutrition and health are good news for dairy because they all align in favour of dairy products – but not the traditional ones, says a visiting UK expert. Farmers should stop thinking only as producers and start learning about what their product is made into because it’s important for the future, says Dr David Hughes, professor

of food marketing at Imperial College London. Consumers in the western world are interested in naturally functional foods. There’s a huge interest in energy foods and protein, seniors’ and kids’ nutrition and healthy snacking. All these relate to dairy products. Similarly there’s concern with weight management and its link with protein, Hughes says. “All the big megatrends are facing in the same direction for dairy which is good news.” In the biggest con-

sumer markets in the world, such as the US, the new products doing extraordinarily well in the last few years have been dairy-based. “Chobani, a Greek-style yoghurt, has gone from nothing to $1 billion in, say, five years; that is astonishing. A brand that’s available in New Zealand, Danone’s Activia (a probiotic yoghurt), is a multimillion dollar brand.” At least half the most successful new products launched in the US recently are dairy includ-

ing another Greek yoghurt – Danone’s Dannon Oikos. “But even the traditional products which have been relaunched, like chocolate milk, are doing well because we are now adapting those products, reducing the amount of sugar and fats. “We are giving mums permission to go out and buy products children like to consume – no highfructose corn syrup and added essential nutrients. We’ve got 21st century products emerging from products that have been

Growth in Greek yoghurt like Chobani in the US, has been astonishing, says David Hughes.

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around for years.” Hughes says you know dairy is important when the “really big boys” get involved, such as PepsiCo’s joint venture with Muller, the German dairy company, to launch food products in the US. And Coca Cola is launching a joint venture for milkbased energy products. “If you see PepsiCo and Coca Cola move into milk then you see a lot of dynamism in modern milk markets – that’s good stuff. “In the western world it’s pretty good news: there are new dairy products doing very well. However the dairy products of yore – block cheddar, regular butter or fluid milk – in many developed country markets are going backwards. They are seen as too fatty, too inconvenient, incompatible with 21st century lifestyle. “Most developed countries say milk consumption is going backwards. In developed countries you expect to see low growth

in classical product areas. The growth is in new products such as Greek yoghurt which has done astonishingly well.” Hughes says the developing world is a different story. Global population growth could be 2 billion in the next 40 years and disproportionately that population growth will be in Asia and Africa. As their incomes go up they trade up to higher protein foods. However this is where New Zealand also faces being squeezed out by brand-orientated multinationals unless it quickly moves to higher value branded specialty products and ingredients. • Hughes was speaking last week at a Dairy Summit in Christchurch hosted by animal health company Zoetis. He spoke about emerging trends in food and retailing and their impact on New Zealand’s farming and dairy industries. @dairy_news

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12 //  NEWS

Levy meet turnout low, expectation high PETER BURKE


DairyNZ levy meetings has so far ranged from 14 at one event down to just

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one farmer, but that’s not worrying the organisation. The meetings concern maintaining the levy at the present rate of 3.6 cents/kgMS until at least May 2016. Continuing legislated government support for the levy requires that at least 50% of eligible farmers vote in favour, hence DairyNZ’s barrage of publicity. The vote is taken every six years. Only eight farmers attended an evening meeting at Levin, but DairyNZ director Ben Allomes says this signals farmers are happy with DairyNZ and will vote in favour so don’t need to attend a meeting. “Farmers engaged with DairyNZ see the benefits we provide. “The challenge is to get the ones who aren’t engaged… so they can also see the benefits. [But there would not] be one farmer who, once engaged with DairyNZ, would believe it’s a waste of time or money.” Allomes says he doesn’t fear that farmers will vote against the levy or not vote. He is comfortable with DairyNZ having to obtain farmer endorse-

THE ACCREDITATION scheme set up by DairyNZ

Rick Pridmore, DairyNZ, addresses a meeting on the levy vote in Levin this month.

ment for the levy every six years. “It’s important to have a line on the ground to make sure we as an organization keep relevant and that we prove to the farmers that we are vital.” Strategy and investment leader sustainability, Dr Rick Pridmore, who addresses the meetings, says it is challenging to explain to farmers about DairyNZ’s big changes during the past five years. While the ‘face’ of DairyNZ is its consulting officers, it now has other large groups – “a policy and advocacy team, six of the best water quality scientists in the country, a big economics team and… [we

are] training people to be farm business managers. In addition to cows and grass, the consulting officers are also concerned with nutrition, the environmental and animal welfare. Many DairyNZ programmes and research taken for granted and which benefit farmers wouldn’t exist if the levy was voted down or not supported, Pridmore says. And he’s not worried about low attendance at the meetings. “There may not be a lot of people at any one event, but we have all kinds of different groups…. We can get about 50% of the farmers in the country attend-

ing our discussion groups. That figure used to be 30% so in the last five years we have raised the participation dramatically. “Our research also shows that a third of the people attending these groups say they now make major changes on their farm as a result of that.” Pridmore says while he votes in every general election he doesn’t attend any political meetings and he says the same could apply to dairy farmers who are busy and don’t feel they need to attend a meeting to help them decide to vote. Voting papers will go out on April 24 and the vote closes late May.

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for effluent system designers and builders has led to few new systems failing, says the organisation’s sustainability spokesman Dr Rick Pridmore. Before the scheme’s inception some people in that industry weren’t as good as they should have been – out of touch with what farming requires in today’s world, he says. “They probably shouldn’t have been in the trade. I have seen farms advised by people in the effluent industry and that farm was non-compliant from the day it was built.” Hence the accreditation schemes and codes of practice for effluent-industry trades that formerly didn’t have a professional body to regulate them. “All the big players have supported us and things have tightened up. I don’t think there are many farms now with bad effluent systems design.” Now there’s a standard for professionals. “[For] engineers, [a] professional body sets the standards, but in effluent they didn’t have that, so we encouraged it and… they have got on top of it. “The same thing happens with the nutrient management advisors. It was good for fertiliser companies to have their own standard but how [could] a rural professioal get a ticket in nutrient management?” The certification scheme allows everyone who wants to get certified the opportunity so they don’t lose business opportunities, Pridmore says.


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THE 33 finalists in the 2014 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards showcase the talent the dairy industry is attracting. National convenor Chris Keeping says many of the finalists are relatively new to the industry, having changed careers, and are tapping into the resources and knowledge available to make rapid progress in the industry. “Entering the dairy industry awards is one way they have identified they can improve their knowledge and skills, meet rural professionals and other like-minded farmers, lift their confidence, have some fun and enhance their reputation,” Keeping says. The finalists are competing in the 2014 New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions. The sharemilker contest is celebrating 25 years in 2014, making it the country’s longest-running dairy farming competition. The winners will be announced in Auckland on May 9 where the 33 finalists will compete for national honours and nearly $160,000 in cash and prizes. The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards are supported by national sponsors Westpac, DairyNZ, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda Motorcycles NZ, LIC, Meridian Energy, Ravensdown, RD1 and Triplejump, along with industry partner Primary ITO


NEWS  // 13

Fixed milk payout to give certainty FONTERRA FARMERS may choose to lock

in the price they will get for a proportion of their milk in the 2014-15 season. The co-op says its guaranteed milk price (GMP) will nail down a portion of a farmer’s income and allow longer-term contracts with customers. The GMP will be offered on 60 million kgMS in two tranches. Applications to supply 40 million kgMS will open in June, offering a 12 month GMP. In December, applications will open to supply 20m kgMS with a six month GMP offered on production from December 1. The co-op will provide more details next month, including the process to set the GMP price and allocate volumes to farmers applying. The GMP for the 201415 season follows a popular pilot involving 328 farmers who supplied 15 million kgMS for a guaranteed price of $7/kgMS this season. The $7 price

was based on the opening forecast for the season. The pilot attracted applications to supply 37 million kgMS – so many that participants were scaled down to 40% of the number applying. Chief financial officer Lukas Paravicini says the pilot shows that farmers see the GMP as useful for managing price volatility and securing income certainty. Having opportunity to apply for the GMP in December allowed farmers to follow the farmgate milk price trend for the first half of the financial year before deciding on whether to accept the GMP for some of their production in the second half. “GMP has given them certainty about a proportion of their income for this season, [allowing confident] decisions on servicing debt or making capital investments especially when prices are volatile. This certainty comes regardless of the final milk price.

“Some may want to use it every year, others when they want financial certainty to undertake major projects or negotiate debt. “The GMP also gives [the co-op] certainty. We

Fonterra will be offering its farmers a guaranteed milk price on 60 million kgMS next season.

can lock in longer-term contracts with customers at a set price and attract a premium knowing there will be no risk with those contracts from price volatility,” he says.

Nutrition advice on offer DAIRY FARMERS looking to drive production and

profit can now join a progressive independent farmer group called the ‘Dairy Club’. Aimed at farmers who want to improve the productivity of their herds through better nutrition, the Dairy Club provides information, training, support and tools. “Nutrition is such an important part of milk production and yet there is so much conflicting and confusJames Hague ing information out there,” the club’s technical manager James Hague says. “More and more farmers are looking for good practical nutritional knowledge and advice that will help them increase production profitably.” Dairy Club members will gain access to a wide range of technical information and software all aimed at improving their understanding of nutrition, management of the herd, feeds and technology. Technical notes will be emailed to members on a regular basis and will cover all aspects that impact on production and the bottom line. New members will each receive access to the online milk prediction system Tracker. This allows them to predict production week by week on their own farms. Visit

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14 //  NEWS

New plant will be Asian star FONTERRA’S NEW

Fonterra’s Anlene brand is a market leader in Indonesia.

$36 million blending and packing plant in Indonesia will be operating by March next year. This first plant, located in West Java, will make the co-op’s consumer brands Anlene, Anmum and Anchor Boneeto. The plant is the most expensive it has built in

Asia in ten years. Managing director of Fonterra Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA), Pascal De Petrini, says the plant will supply Indonesia’s growing demand – 5% per year to 2020. “This… is the next step for our business in Indonesia, where we already

have a strong and established presence. [It] will support the local expansion of Fonterra’s consumer brands, and increase our capabilities critical to long-term growth.” At least 150 full-time jobs will result in the Cikarang and wider Bekasi communities around

Ensure your production is no fluke

the plant. It will have capacity to blend and pack 12,000 tonnes of base and advanced milk powder products annually, daily equivalent about 87,000 packs. Paul Richards, president director, Fonterra Brands Indonesia, says the plant will embody Fonterra’s world-class design standards, knowledge, expertise and technology. “It will provide local staff with training and development opportunities in food safety, quality and

operational standards.” Indonesia has bought New Zealand dairy products for at least 30 years, since the industry began selling bulk dairy ingredients to Indonesian companies. Indonesians consume annually 11L of milk per capita, whereas in Singapore consumption is 51L per capita. Fonterra Brands Indonesia is a large contributor to the co-op’s Asian business. It has 194 staff working with distribution and retail partners selling via 60,000 outlets.

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suited a herd of cows well enough, but bamboozled their owner. So said a trustee of Putauaki Trust, recounting his early dairying experiences to attendees of a recent Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists’ field day. Waaka Vercoe (pictured) as a youngster, with his uncle milked cows for a pakeha farmer in Bay of Plenty. They spoke to the cows in Maori. One day the farm owner told Vercoe and his uncle to take Sunday afternoon off and leave the milking to him. “Come Monday we were in the shed milking and the pakeha turned up and he was shaking and we could see he was upset so we asked ‘what’s the matter?’. “He said ‘last night I was milking my cows and they couldn’t understand a word I was saying. From now on I want you boys to speak English, not Maori, to my cows.’ “So we said ‘ok’, but my uncle said ‘take no notice of that; they probably give more milk by being spoken to in Maori than in English’. “I thought that was wise advice so we just kept speaking Maori to the cows. Whenever he spoke to them in English they just looked blank.” Vercoe says the farmer then hired a pakeha to milk the cows, but the animals were upset at being spoken to “in a foreign language”. Eventually the farmer gave up milking. Vercoe is a former economist who worked for 20 years at the Reserve Bank and represented New Zealand at posts in London and Washington.


NEWS  // 15 Oceania Dairy’s new plant under construction at Glenavy.

Oz farmers fear dairy traded off in FTA UNITED DAIRYFARMERS of Victo-

Milk plant on track for July opening SOUTH CANTERBURY’S newest

dairy factory will start producing in July. Oceania Dairy’s new $214 million milk plant at Glenavy will use its first four-six weeks of supply to run performance tests, chief executive Aidan Johnstone says. “We are working towards a final handover of the factory from con-

struction to production by mid September.” Forty-six suppliers have signed contracts with Oceania for 160 million litres in the 2014-15 season. At full capacity the plant will be capable of processing 300 million Lper year, generating 47,000 tonnes of milk powder. Construction is on schedule. All

the main boiler components are now in New Zealand and erection of the furnace panels has begun. 11kV and 33kV electricity supply works by Alpine Energy are on schedule and installation of transformers is underway. The office building and site laboratory are finished and awaiting connection of services.

ria president Tyran Jones says he hopes “dairy hasn’t been traded off” in the FTA with Japan. “Japanese car manufacturers have been given free access to the Australian market,” says Jones. “All we’re getting out of this FTA is a few million dollars of tariff relief at best.” He accused the Federal Government of failing to recognise world dairy markets are undergoing significant transformational change and that tariff relief was critical. “The US and European Union are set to swamp the global marketplace with subsidised dairy products, making it even harder for Australia to compete on a level playing field,” says Jones. Dairy farmers currently pay A$116 million a year in import tariffs on A$511m of processed dairy products going into Japan. About 130,000 tonnes of Australian dairy produce is exported to Japan each year. The National Farmers Federation says the agreement with Japan falls short on a number of fronts. NFF president, Brent Finlay, says he

understands the difficulties involved with negotiating such an agreement but is disappointed with the overall outcomes for agriculture with a number of sectors facing marginal improvements or limited commercial gains. “The sensitivities surrounding some parts of Japanese agriculture has made reaching an agreement more challenging,” says Finlay. “Australia is the first major agricultural exporter to achieve some movement on some of Japan’s high import barriers. While the agreement has provided some concessions, Australian farmers needed more. “The ultimate objective with any trade agreement is to obtain tangible benefits to farmers. Agreements must be comprehensive. That means, no sector carveouts and elimination of tariffs. “The Japanese agreement falls short of the mark on a number of fronts in this regard. The agreement does not improve—or marginally improves— market access and terms of trade for a number of sectors such as dairy, sugar, grains, pork and rice.” – More on page 16

Nikki Heale, ANZ Southland Agri Manager. When she’s on a farm she’s right at home.

Farming is in Nikki’s blood. She grew up on a sheep and beef farm and for the past 4 years she has worked closely with farmers around the region to find the best solutions for their agri business, making her a familiar figure in Southland’s

farming community. Nikki is part of ANZ’s dedicated Agri Business Team of 14 industry specialists providing expert local service to Southland. To find your local ANZ Agri Specialist, visit or call Nikki herself on 03 203 9345. ANZ Bank New Zealand Limited




Tariff calls fall on deaf ears Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Tokyo last week.


THE DAIRY industry’s

calls to the Government to reduce restrictive tar-

iffs “fell upon deaf ears”, Australian Dairy Industry Council vice-president, Robert Poole says. And there could be worse to come, he warns.

All levels of the dairy industry have expressed their disappointment since Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced a Free Trade Agreement with Japan earlier this month. Japan is the single most important market for the Australian dairy industry, with A$511 million in exports in 2012-13, which was 19% of Australian dairy exports by value. There were high hopes restrictive tariffs would be removed or lessened, which would make Australian exports more competitive. However, under the deal, Australia’s duty-free cheese quota of 27,000 tonnes will be increased to 47,000 tonnes. The Government says Australia exports 27,000 tonnes of cheese dutyfree under a global quota but under the new deal has gained a preferential, duty-free Australia-only quota, which will grow to 20,000 tonnes. Japan will also eliminate 5.4% tariffs on protein concentrates and casein immediately. However, the Australian dairy industry will save just A$4.7 million in the first year of its implementation rising to an estimated A$11.6 million by 2031, out of a total export market of A$511 million. This equates to 0.1 of one cent per litre for Australian farmers in 20 years’ time. Poole, who is also a senior Murray Goulburn executive, says the agreement fell well short of the industry’s expectations with minimal progress having been achieved in reducing a range of trade barriers. “We are extremely disappointed with the deal announced by the Prime

Minister,” Poole says. “We were hopeful Government had heeded the industry’s message in regards to freeing up market access in Japan, however it now appears our words fell upon deaf ears. “There has been no movement in this agreement on fresh cheese – the number one objective for Australian dairy, with tariffs to remain at 29.8%. “A successful outcome on this tariff line would have delivered approximately A$60 million in tariff savings – instead we have received nothing and the tariff stays in place.” Poole says Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status has been put in place for cheese in Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreements. However, the exclusion of all other product lines leaves Australia vulnerable to one of its competitors reaching a more wide-ranging deal with Japan that could leave the Australian dairy industry worse off. “This has been an agreement over six years in the making and sadly from the dairy industry’s perspective, will end up providing no meaningful benefit,” Poole says. “This deal sends all the wrong signals to our key trading partners and is particularly troubling in the context of the upcoming FTA negotiations with China. “As we seek to grow dairy exports to China we have one opportunity to get a China trade agreement right and it’s time for the Federal Government to recognise the potential in dairy food export growth and prioritise this in trade negotiations.”

Check out our websites


NEWS  // 17

Oz dairy leaders worry about China trade deal STEPHEN COOKE

DAIRY LEADERS have expressed concern that the industry could receive little benefit in the proposed Free Trade Agreement with China. Australian dairy has high hopes that tariffs and other trade restrictions will be significantly reduced to enable increased exports into this rapidly growing market. New Zealand signed an FTA with China in 2008 and now pays between 0-7% in tariffs, which will fall to 0% in the future. Australian exports currently attract tariffs of between 10-15%. However, the minimal concessions achieved by Australia in the recent FTA

with Japan have caused concerns. United Dairy Farmers Victoria president Tyran Jones says the Japanese agreement had mainly ignored Australia’s $A13bn dairy sector. “This really doesn’t bode well for a meaningful trade agreement with China,” says Jones. “The track record’s there. We didn’t get much out of Korea, and we got even less out of Japan.” Australian Dairy Industry Council vice-president, Robert Poole, said the deal with Japan sent “all the wrong signals” to Australia’s key trading partners. “(It) is particularly troubling in the context of the upcoming FTA negotiations with China,” Mr Poole says.

“As we seek to grow dairy exports to China we have one opportunity to get a China trade agreement right and it’s time for the Federal Government to recognise the poten-

always needed foreign capital to develop and wants access to the billions of dollars held in China. China is pushing for greater access to investment in Australia, prompt-

“We have one opportunity to get a China trade agreement right.” – Robert Poole, ADIC ing speculation that the threshold of $244 million which triggers automatic assessment by the powerful Foreign Investment Review Board will be lifted in line with deals given to Japan and Korea. Josh Frydenberg, parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister, says Australia wanted to replicate the deal achieved by New Zealand.

tial in dairy food export growth and prioritise this in trade negotiations.” Prime Minister Tony Abbott held one-on-one talks with China’s Premier Li Keqiang just days after concluding negotiations on the FTA with Japan. He used the talks to promote his economic reform message, stressing that Australia welcomes foreign investment, has





Frydenberg says New Zealand has more than doubled its exports to China since the two nations signed a free trade agreement, including a six-fold increase in dairy exports. “We want to replicate that sort of growth in twoway trade and we can do that through an FTA,” Frydenberg told Australian Sky News. Frydenberg says there are sensitive issues still to be discussed, including the $248 million cap on Chinese investment without Foreign Investment Review Board approval Speaking on ABC radio, Trade Minister Andrew Robb said the focus of China FTA negotiations was to ensure Australia’s


trade strengths like agriculture, resources, education, health and medical research and tourism, were advantaged by the agreement. In return, he said Australia would “liberalise areas that China is strong in”. “To get Premier Li making these statements

about the priority and the acceleration of these negotiations sends a signal to everybody throughout his administration, and it certainly gives us the encouragement to bring it to finalisation,” Robb said. “I see no reason that we can’t conclude this satisfactorily within this year.”

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18 //  NEWS

Hoggard seeks Feds dairy chairmanship from Massey University next step and said ‘I can and is a fourth generation do that’. is to stand for election to dairy farmer. Originally “Certainly I have the Federated Farmers the family farmed near always been throwing board in July. He will seek Upper Hutt, moving to ideas upwards and it’s to be the dairy section Manawatu in 1998. director, succeeding Willy easier to get your ideas He says technology has put in place if you are at Leferink who will comenabled him to plete his three-year “At each level of Feds I farm, look after term. have been involved at I his family and Hoggard is now participate in deputy chairman of have enjoyed it.” Federated FarmFeds Dairy section ers. the top of the food chain and provincial president Hoggard has recently rather than waiting for the Manawatu/Rangitikei. He told Dairy News he’s person at the top to imple- led Feds’ battle against Horizons Regional Counment them.” enjoyed the challenges cil’s infamous One Plan. Hoggard is an equity he’s had in the federation He has spent hundreds of partner and manager of so far and is ready to step hours writing and presentthe family farm north of up to the role of director. ing submissions to the Feilding. It runs 560 cows “At each level of Feds council. in two herds on 220ha. I have been involved at Hoggard regards himThe farm has a modern I have enjoyed it. I have self a supporter of the rotary shed. never had an end goal in free market and is “not He has an agriculplace but when I’ve been into government running tural economics degree in one role I looked at the ANDREW HOGGARD





everything”. But while he has strong free market views he believes govern-



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the table and screaming at people and saying ‘my way or the highway’. “There have been times when I looked at an issue and [conceded] there is often more than one way to skin a cat,” he says.

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schemes. He is seen as one of the new smart breed of Feds leaders – a far cry from the old, more outspoken radical leaders. He is not one for “thumping my hand on

CROWN IRRIGATION Investment Ltd will spend $6.5 million on the Central Plains Water scheme in Canterbury. Crown Irrigation is financed by the Government to help kickstart regional water infrastructure projects. IrrigationNZ chief executive Andrew Curtis welcomed the decision. “Cantabrians will see a faster rebuild now because agriculture, more than any other New Zealand industry, has the potential to pay for the infrastructure Christchurch and the wider region need. “At the same time, the CPW irrigation scheme has the potential to create hundreds of jobs and businesses. [At this news] the prospects for the region look brighter.” Central Plains Water is expected to restore stream flows, improving the state of eco-systems and relieving pressure on underground aquifers by irrigating from surface water in stage 1 rather than deep groundwater. Irrigators will have to sign up to farm management plans which will monitor environmental effects. Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy says Central Plains Water will help irrigate 60,000ha of the Canterbury Plains once all three stages are complete, boosting the region’s economy. “Without this funding, it’s unlikely the scheme would be developed to the size and scale required,” Guy says. “This is important in unlocking the major opportunities water storage and irrigation can provide. “After the extreme drought most of the country suffered last year, and dry conditions now in Northland and Waikato, the need for better water storage is obvious.” All decisions by Crown Irrigation are made by an independent board. Conditions apply to technical feasibility, consents and governance.


NEWS  // 19

Westland gets green light for new dryer INDEPENDENT


processor Westland Milk has land-use consent for its new $100 million nutritionals dryer. Subject to there being no appeals, the co-op expects work on the Hokitika project to begin immediately. General manager operations Bernard May says the hearing commissioner’s conditions are what were expected. The company itself had suggested several conditions, seeking to get alongside potential objectors. “This is an excellent decision for the growth and direction of Westland Milk Products,” May says, “positive for shareholder incomes and bringing economic benefit to our community. “Westland has a history of producing high quality milk powders and butter but we have [decided] to shift fur-

Westland is building a nutritional dryer at its Hokitika site.

ther production toward highend nutritional products such as infant formula. Nutritionals consistently deliver higher margins than milk powders and will lead to better payouts… and a more secure and sustainable future.” May says the consent

conditions will have little environmental impact as the Hokitika factory will still be able to operate under existing air and wastewater discharge permits. Shareholders were told of the council’s decision this month and will be fully briefed

in May. The new dryer will produce an extra 23,000 t of nutritional product per season. Babbage Engineers are project managers and the plant will be built by Tetra Pak. Commissioning is due in August 2015. Annual sales of $115 million are




IN BRIEF Dutch veteran joins Fonterra

Fat gene milestone

A DUTCH dairy veteran, Henk Bles, has been appointed to the newly-created Fonterra role of managing director international farming ventures for a six-month period from April 14. This follows Fonterra’s decision that the large scale farming operations of International Farming Ventures will become a standalone unit with full financial and operational accountability, reporting to the chief executive Theo Spierings. A global search has begun for a permanent appointee. Bles has held leadership roles in the international dairy farming industry for 30 years, in dairy cattle, genetics and dairy development. He has also established his own businesses, Bles Dairies Livestock BV, Bles Dairies Genetics / Eurostar Genes and dairy development company The Friesian.  He is also an advisor to Semex Global and is a director of the Dutch Cattle Association.

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH by Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) has discovered a ‘fat gene’ – a genetic explanation of why some cows produce higher fat content in their milk than others, says Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy. It’s another milestone passed by the Primary Growth Partnership scheme, he says, in this case the ‘Transforming the Dairy Value Chain’ PGP scheme, led by Dairy NZ and Fonterra.  “This is one of only a few cases worldwide where the underlying gene affecting differences in milk composition has been identified,” Guy says.  It shows why PGP helps boost productivity and profit in the primary sector.  MPI is now seeking applications for new Primary Growth Partnership schemes.  Applications must be received by MPI by 12pm on Wednesday, June 25.  See the PGP webpage on MPI’s website for further information and guidance.

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NEWS  // 21

Chemicals maker offers bio products CROP PROTECTION

CHEMICALS maker Bayer has launched a range of ‘biological’ products to help farmers raise the quality of their produce. Bayer New Zealand managing director Holger Detje says the global giant doesn’t see organic farming as a threat; it wants farmers to combine traditional chemical-based products with its new range of ‘biologics’. “We offer farmers a

more integrated solution in crop protection,” Detje this month told Dairy News on Motutapu Island, where the company funded the release of rare Coromandel kiwis. Detje says a key area of investment by Bayer is in biological products. Two years ago it paid US$425 million to buy AgraQuest, a US company supplying innovative biological pest management products based on natural


Motutapu is 1510ha, mostly in farmed pasture


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About 75ha of native forest has been planted by volunteers.

microorganisms. The first Bayer biologic product in the New Zealand market, Serenade Max, is a bio-fungicide/ bactericide to aid in the control and suppression of powdery mildew and botrytis and sour rot in fruits and vegetables. Serenade Max has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity. Additionally it also stimulates natural plant defence mechanisms and has demonstrated increased plant growth effects. In this regard it has been used to manage PSA in kiwifruit previously. Depending on the product label, biologic products can be used throughout a season and provide growers new solutions for residue-free produce. With the New Zealand BioGro certification organic farmers can use Serenade Max and potentially other biologics, Detje

says. “So that’s new for us and we want to participate in that sector. “But I see the opportunity more for combining the traditional inputs we have in the crop protection industry with the biologic products – a more integrated solution.” Detje says organics alone cannot meet the growing demand for food. “We cannot feed nine billion people by 2050 by organic farming alone. This relatively small portion of the market is important and it is great that consumers have a choice. “If consumers want to choose organic foods in a country like New Zealand, over conventionally grown food, that’s fine. And at Bayer we are able to provide inputs for good quality produce in all sectors.” Bayer has “a rich innovation pipeline” supply-

A touch of kiwi: Bayer New Zealand managing director Holger Detje (left) holds a kiwi, watched by Andrew Nelson, Auckland Council biodiversity team.

ing its crop protection business. This will help New Zealand farmers produce premium quality produce for the global market, Detje says. “The world population is growing and global food demand is increasing and that’s a great opportunity for New Zealand – not just the dairy industry but other sectors, in particular horticulture.

“A few years ago we were talking about the global financial crisis… I think we are well over that: the wine industry is improving, the apple industry is recovering and there are positive signs in other industry sectors. “So agriculture is doing well and will continue to do well long-term, and with that companies like Bayer, involved in provid-

ing solutions for higher yields and better quality food, are also benefitting.” Supporting the Motutapu Restoration Trust, financially and through volunteering, with native tree planting on the island and release of the rare kiwi are among the company’s “give-back to the community”, he says. @dairy_news


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22 //  NEWS

Farmers doing more with less Federated Farmers Rotorua-Taupo provincial president and Reporoa dairy farmer Alan Wills recently spoke to the Maori Research Institute Charitable Trust’s ‘Walk the Talk’ Conference in Rotorua. Here are edited excerpts from his speech:


to find the right balance between our productive opportunities and the community. Farmers too want water that is drinkable, swimmable and fishable.  I can say my cows want good quality water too. Other industries have their specific challenges, such as the impact of Psa on kiwifruit, now behind them. Their R&D and plant breeding organisations have helped renew confidence in that industry. Improved returns for our sheepmeat and wool industry are a work in progress.  Some would say they are struggling to see progress but it depends on who you talk to. If we can get the industry better organised beyond the sheep farmer’s gate, then the pressure to convert to dairying, forestry or other more viable land use, declines. Beyond doubt is our ability to do more with less – productivity.  This is the real impact of agricultural science, breeding and

extension over 25 years. Our ewe flock is about half that of 1990, but we are still exporting similar volumes of meat products. That has all happened on farm. And it means the carbon intensity in each item of agricultural product has fallen by about

Alan Wills

1.3% each year. I would like to see dairy conversions slowed down considerably. Better returns for sheep products would do that. And I wonder how many in this room are wearing natural fibres as opposed to the stuff which originated in a barrel of oil. If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a whole community to improve water quality. A small army of advisers at

DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, processors and regional councils are all working on this issue with us. Then you have the people I deal with who advise me on how to farm better for productivity and the environment. The two aren’t so different. As a Fonterra supplier and a dairy farmer, I get audited by the company I part own and then from a regulatory perspective by the regional council. They check that dairy shed effluent is being spread correctly in overall compliance with the RMA.  There is no shortage of advice and encouragement to help farmers across the line. This process has worked well: we are seeing many fewer problems and prosecutions over effluent management. Good effluent management represents good business management because it recycles phosphorus and nitrogen as free fertiliser – a win-win for farmers and the environment as I can shave my synthetic fertiliser costs

Fonterra farmers have fenced off 22,000km of waterways.

by about a sixth. Fonterra’s ‘Supply Fonterra’ scheme also looks at riparian margins, stock exclusion from waterways and nutrient management. I help to meet the salaries of these consultants as regional council inspections are done on a cost recovery basis.                  Fonterra dairy farmers have spent $100m-$200m on fencing 22,000km of waterways – all GPS mapped. Given that farm efflu-

ent codes continually change – I can show you at Reporoa the legacies of old effluent systems we’ve been encouraged to retire – it costs $50,000$250,000 per farm to upgrade effluent systems. It’s probably conservative to say the industry has spent $3 billion on environmental works. We are currently spending $150,000, over the two farms, to improve storage and extend the underground lateral and

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hydrant systems. It is a huge investment in proportion to our business but we are heading in the right direction.  Farmer buy-in says ‘let’s do this properly and with plenty of capacity.’ Then we have other advisers and consultants on implementing farm nutrient management plans to keep nutrients within the top soil and not running into the groundwater.  Many farmers have also planted trees and created wetlands on their farms. The farms at home have a common back boundary and we have two streams running through both properties, from the forest to the Waiotapu River. They are all fenced and we have an ongoing annual planting programme of indigenous flax, grasses shrubs and trees. We also have a wet-

land we are developing. I am looking forward to the day that I can show the grandchildren a tui or two. This fencing is for trapping nitrogen and phosphorus and for keeping sediment onfarm and out of water. A heap of work is going on and our iwi partners deserve much credit, as do scientists and researchers.  I am pleased to say the NZ River Awards recognised the Ngongotaha Stream as most improved in our region.  At Reporoa, Alison and I are involved with 25 other farmers in a study known as ‘Tomorrow’s farms today’. DairyNZ said recently there are 11 such groups. Our group is working with a facilitator, Alison Dewes, looking at sustainable and resilient business practices coupled with our nutrient footprint.

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WORLD  // 23

European co-op gets closer to nature EUROPEAN DAIRY

processor Arla says it has developed a global strategy for sustainable dairy farming. The new strategy, encompassing climate, waste and animal welfare, will help Arla farmers to improve their environmental credentials, the company says. European dairy farmers are said to be highly rated in mitigating their climate impact. The Arla strategy is capable of helping its suppliers achieve more sustainable milk production, says chief executive Peder Tuborgh. “We can and have taken a stand on animal welfare, climate change, sustainability and other environmental issues. In Arla, we believe that by working with sustainable solutions across the entire value chain we will increase our competitiveness.” The strategy was unveiled in 2013 in the countries where Arla has farmer owners: Sweden, Denmark, UK, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. Company staff and farmer

shareholders contributed. The goal is that by 2020 the carbon footprint per kg of milk from Arla farms will be reduced by 30% compared to 1990. “Farmers… [are] comfortable that sustainability is not to the detriment of financial performance,” says Arla chairman Åke Hantoft. The strategy is based on findings from four focus areas: animals – ensure a high standard of animal welfare; climate – reduce the carbon footprint of milk production at Arla members’ farms; nature – encourage and inspire Arla’s farmers to protect biodiversity and ensure a more sustainable feed supply; and resources – reduce waste and increase reuse of resources at Arla farms. On-farm carbon assessments have been done on 1500 Arla farms in UK, Sweden and Denmark (voluntary and free for the farmers). About 280 farm workshops have been held in the UK, Sweden and Denmark, for small groups of Arla farmers,


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Farm workshops began in 2010 in UK; in Sweden and Denmark they started in 2013. In UK, workshop topics included eight themes including improving cow fertility, reducing energy use, using renewable energy and increasing feeding efficiency;


Every year new activities will be offered to support the aim of the strategy.

aimed at reducing the carbon footprint by better management and less waste in the production cycle. Arla says it and expects to do 800 carbon assessments every year. The company has set global

As part of Arla’s new strategy for sustainable development, it is offering free and voluntary farm inpsections to shareholders.

targets for follow-up ensure that 2020 targets are reached. The strategy does not place new demands on farmers, over and above the standards already included in the Arlagården programme.


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EUROPEAN DAIRY co-ops Arla Foods and EGM Walhorn could merge within three months. Both boards have put a proposal to members, who will vote in mid-May. Subject to approval from shareholders and competition authorities, the merger will be finalised late July. Both co-ops are owned by farmers in different countries. Arla Foods has about 12,600 members in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and UK. EGM Walhorn has 800 members in Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. EGM produces 550 million kilograms of milk per year. Arla is the world’s sixth largest dairy company and has ambitious growth plans, in the EU and markets outside the EU. In 2013 Arla processed 12.7 billion kilos of milk.

18/03/14 2:42 pm




MPI does it at last

MILKING IT... Economy flying high THE DISCOVERY of a fruit fly in Whangarei in January sent a wave of fear thorugh the hort industry. The single fruit fly found in Whangarei in January cost taxpayers $900,000, as authorities tried to determine if it was part of a breeding population. The cost was $733,536 for service contracts, $67,162 publicity, $82,716 staff overtime and $33,000 staff travel, accommodation and expenses. Now, MPI staff have descended on Whangarei again after another fruit fly was found this month. There’s one silver lining to this; Whangarei’s economy is surely getting a boost.

Lock the gate

Cry baby

RURAL NEWS, sister publication of Dairy News, recently called on farmers to take a stand against Fish and Game’s biased negative campaigning against dairy farming. Rural News said that until Fish & Game ousted its stuckin-the-past executive and adopted a more constructive dialogue with farmers, they should “lock the gate” on hunters and fishers. Fish and Game’s response to Rural News underlined their failure to communicate with industry – complete and utter silence.

WHEN YOU’RE the leader of the Opposition, job number one is surely to make an effort to look like a Prime Minister-in-waiting. Labour leader David Cunliffe doesn’t get this. Despite dire poll results for his party and for himself as preferred PM (or perhaps because of those polls), Cunliffe last week whined from the sidelines that John Key was getting more time with the visiting royals than him. That’s because he’s the Prime Minister, David. Get over it!

Milk loves women GOOD NEWS for women, bad news for men. A glass of milk a day can keep osteoarthritis at bay, at least for women with the disease affecting their knees, research has shown. Increasing consumption of fat-free or low-fat milk was found to slow progression of the degenerative condition, which wears away the joints. Women who drank at least seven 230ml glasses a week had much less space between their joints than those who drank none after four years. However, no association was seen between milk consumption and reduced joint space width in men.

THE DECISION by MPI to send one of its top people to Beijing to look after its interests there is long overdue. Why this was not done years ago beggars belief and shows a dismal complacency and lack of strategic thinking at the ministry. It suggests China was taken from granted and not accorded the status of a major trading partner. The so-called ‘transactional’ relationship that had existed was verging on unprofessional. Sadly, it has taken disasters such as the meat hold-up on Chinese wharves and the Fonterra botulism scare to awaken MPI from its slumbers. But the upside is that Roger Smith seems the right person for the job: experienced in the dairy industry – he knows about milking a cow – and his father, working on the family farm, may help to keep him on the ball. Smith has a good track record of dealing with international trade and everything he’s says makes sense. He is there to proactively manage the relationship with Chinese officials and to win their confidence and support. He is right in defining his role as relationship building and leaving most of the ‘technical’ work to his staff. With his status as a senior government official he will have access to the movers and shakers in the large and complex Chinese bureaucracy. Now that MPI has played it’s part by putting up a senior official to smooth the way for exporters, it behoves them to get their act together and not do anything wrong or stupid or worse still spring ‘surprises’. Brand New Zealand is one of the great assets of this country; it had best not suffer from silly mistakes and inept public relations campaigns to cover error. Let’s hope Fonterra has also learnt its lesson. Roger Smith main attention will be on China, but he will also be able to look elsewhere in Asia. Let’s hope the Government will further beef-up its resources in this area. The Smith appointment is money well spent.

GOT SOMETHING ON YOUR MIND? GOT SOMETHING on your mind about the latest issues affecting our dairy industry? Put your pen to paper or your fingers to your keyboard, and let our readers know what you think. Contact us by either post or email. Don’t forget to put your name and address. Note: Letters may be edited. POST TO: LETTER TO THE EDITOR PO BOX 3855, AUCKLAND 1140. OR EMAIL:

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OPINION  // 25

Pong wafting from rural trader’s profit JACQUELINE ROWARTH

IT SHOULD be a case of ‘Denis, break out

RD1 posted a healthy profit selling rural supplies to farmers.

competitor companies. Farmer spending boosted by the strong forecast for farmgate milk price should not be a reason for a cooperative to post record profits. An increase in spending should, by the RD1 website logic, enable improved purchasing power and hence lower prices to members of the cooperative, not result in increased profits for the company. It would appear that instead of having the needs of the farmer shareholders first and foremost, the company has followed a traditional business model of taking what appears to be an opportunity to make additional profit.

the good stuff…’ but Fonterra shareholder farmers are already questioning the 11% profit posted by RD1. Should a cooperative really make a profit? How does doing so benefit the members of that co-op, and how do they have any influence on what happens to that profit? Similar debates are being held nationally about the Transpower profit. Is it appropriate to be making money from customers? The Cooperative Bank makes a big deal about record profits because the profits are returned to the members. For Fonterra shareholders, however, the source and the destination of the profits are not clear, and concerns are increasing about how much the farmers have paid for product. RD1’s profit featured in Fonterra’s Jacqueline Rowarth interim report released at the end of The New Zealand Companies Office March. The statement was that “RD1 continued to perform well, delivering growth states that a cooperative organisation is of 11% in normalised EBIT over the prior run for the mutual benefit of its shareperiod, with farmer spending boosted by holders/members and is established so its shareholders/members can purchase the strong forecast farmgate milk price”. It is difficult to tell more, as the goods or use services of the organisation. It accounts are presented within “Ocea- is not established for the purpose of earning profits for invesnia” which includes tors. “consumer and out- Rural supplies is a In cooperatives of-home food ser- tight competitive such as fertiliser vice in Australia and market. companies, savings New Zealand, dairy are passed back to processing in Austra- Unquestioning the shareholders lia, as well as the RD1 support for any through dividends. rural supplies chain”. cooperative will doesn’t have This has resulted waiver if value is not RD1 such an obvious proin farmers wondering cess, although does how the 11% profit apparent. Clarity in was achieved. Was accounting would be a contribute to the Fonit from the “massive first step in improving terra bottom line. And Fonterra does pay divvolume of products understanding. idends when doing so that drives buying power” reported on the RD1 website, or does not compromise the sustainability of from optimising business? Was it from the company. Rural supplies is a tight competitive sales to non-Fonterra farmers? Or was it larger mark-ups on product to Fonterra market. Unquestioning support for any cooperative will waiver if value is not farmers? RD1 is part of the Fonterra coopera- apparent. Clarity in accounting would be a tive. The theory is that by farmers join- first step in improving understanding. The ing together and supporting their own accounts should include some indication purchasing company, that company com- of custom from Fonterra farmers in commands lower prices and passes them on to parison with non-shareholders. In addition, RD1 should stand behind the shareholders. The RD1 website states: “We won’t be the website statement that it won’t be beaten on price. It’s a bold promise, but one beaten on price – or withdraw the statethat we always keep. Combined with Fon- ment on its website. Information about how profits are reinterra, each year we buy a massive volume of products and this substantial capacity vested should also be included. In the future RD1 posting record profdrives our buying power. As we’ve said, we listen to our customers, and low prices are its could be something to shout from the rooftops in the knowledge that the farmer top of your list.” The reality is, however, that RD1 members will benefit. At the moment, is not the cheapest supplier of many however, the 11% is a mystery and mysteragricultural goods, whether or not you are ies need investigation. a Fonterra shareholder. RD1 sales staff are  • Jacqueline Rowarth is professor of agrilikely to say “We can’t match that price” business, The University of Waikato, and a when challenged with lower prices from Fonterra shareholder.

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How to surf the volatility wave THE 2014 South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) returns to Invercargill. This year’s theme ‘Riding the Wave: keeping your balance in volatile times’, reflects economic commentators’ forecasts of increasing volatility. SIDE event committee chair Paul Marshall says this year’s event June 23-25 will help cater for the greater uncertainty farmers are facing, bought on by commodity price surges, exchange rate fluctuations and variable weather. “This year’s SIDE conference is on how

farmers can better structure their business to provide increased resilience in response to greater swings in farming inputs and outputs,” says Marshall. Rabobank’s director of dairy research, Hayley Moynihan, will open the conference with her perspective on global dairy matters and risks and opportunities. Risk is also a theme Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings will pick up, offering insights into how his expectations have married with reality. Justine Kidd, BEL

Theo Spierings

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governance structures within family businesses. “And to talk about building effective teams, who better than Rob Waddell, New Zealand’s Olympic team chef de mission, who will tell us how to get the best out of people,” says Marshall. Other speakers

Hayley Moynihan

include health and wellness expert Ed Timings, with a message that nothing is more important in business than wellness and worklife balance. Landcorp chief executive Steven Carden will discuss dairy’s development trajectory

and sustainability – an insight into the workings of New Zealand’s largest farming company. “Steven will also take one of the three BusinessSIDE sessions, peeling back some of his learning in strategic planning and implementation,” says

Marshall. The BusinessSIDE seminars are for owners, sharemilkers and equity partners interested in investing off-farm. Tickets to these seminars are at extra cost to the three-day SIDE ticket. The other two BusinessSIDE seminars include one on business risk – identifying risk and strategies for effective management, and another on the practice of governance and its interface with management. Workshop topics will include environment, technology, cows and grass, and staffing. Comedian Ben Hurley will be MC at the SIDE dinner.

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why, and how we can optimise productivity,” Haylock says. She says it’s important to look at what farmers are actually trying to achieve to maximise environmental and financial sustainability. Haylock spent a year prior to her studies working for a veterinary specialist in equine reproduction and as a working pupil at a show-jumping and eventing yard. She also helped prepare horses for the Karaka sales. She aims to develop her skills to a sufficient standard to allow her to pursue a career in farm management or consultancy. “I have a strong interest in how animal health husbandry and nutrition can improve performance and productivity. “I’m keen to explore opportunities to pursue this interest,” she says. Away from the farm, Haylock is a keen event rider.

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Forum to discuss competition Attendees may at the event cast their vote in the milksolids levy referendum. The levy vote happens every six years, on whether to keep a levy on milksolids to fund industry R&D and other activities. “We’ll be encouraging farmers to take the opportunity to vote onsite and making it easy for them to do so,” Mackle says. “The forum will also share the results of our latest scientific work to help farmers see and discover new ideas, tools and techniques to manage risks to their business.” Day two includes a panel of farmers discussing their experiences as regional focus farmers in Northland, Hauraki and Bay of Plenty. Attendees may choose from 12 workshops including decisionmaking on environmental controls, how to strengthen a farm business, automatic milking, developing staff teams and high input farm systems.

CHALLENGES TO the dairy industry’s competitiveness will be addressed by speakers at the DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum on May 7-8 in Hamilton. DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says the conference will chiefly address market issues outside the farmgate and how dairy farming can compete responsibly in a changing world.

Day one keynote speakers include Fonterra chairman John Wilson, Reserve Bank governor Graeme Wheeler and McDonald’s Corporation’s Lisa Isaacs. Day two’s keynote speaker is the Minister for Economic Development, Steven Joyce. “There are global and domestic challenges facing farmers in the near future, so this year we’ll discuss our competitive edge as an industry, and give practical onfarm advice,” says Mackle. What: DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum 2014 “DairyNZ’s general manWhen: May 7-8 ager for development and Where: Mystery Creek Events Centre, Hamilton extension, David McCall, Presenters include: went on a fact-finding trip ●   Fonterra chairman, John Wilson to the US last year. He’ll ●  Minister for Economic talk about how the US is Development, Steven Joyce our biggest competitor in ●  ANZ chief economist, Cameron export dairy markets.” Bagrie The two-day forum at ●  McDonald’s Corporation’s Lisa Mystery Creek Hamilton, Isaacs is expected to attract 800 ●  Reserve Bank governor, Graeme Wheeler. farmers. It is free to levy-paying farmers and their staff.

Waikato farmer Chris Tomalin (left), with Fonterra South Waikato area manager Rob Woolerton.

Milk app rollout FONTERRA’S FENCEPOST smart-

phone app is being rolled out to farm consultants and on-farm staff. About 3500 farmers have so far downloaded it. The Fencepost app was launched for Fonterra’s farmers in February. Approved third-party Fencepost users may also now download it. The free app gives farmers and people they nominate access to production and quality information anywhere, any time. Fonterra director of milk supply, Steve Murphy, says farmers like the easy access to milk production figures. “They value having this information on their smartphones.” Waikato based farmer Chris Tomalin

manages three farms and says the app is great for time management. “I can grab that key information, from wherever I may be, in the field or even off the farm. There’s no time wasted heading back to log in to my computer. And I can get that information much earlier in the day.” Murphy says the app advances the co-op’s quality assurance and service delivery to farmers. “They can now make more timely on-farm decisions and can be alerted of any possible quality issues wherever they are.” Data is available from the last 10 days of milk collection, plus month and season summaries.

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Fonterra seals Oz supermarket deal FONTERRA WILL

supply and process Woolworths-branded milk in Victoria for 10 years. The deal will give farmers the certainty needed for investing in their businesses, the co-op says. Woolworths’ existing contracts were for one year only. The milk will be processed in a $30 million plant to be built on the Fonterra site at Cobden, south west Victoria. It will be commissioned next year. Thirty new jobs will result. Contractual arrangements for a binding supply agreement are yet to be finalised. Fonterra Australia managing director Judith Swales says the proposed arrangement will “help us deliver on our strategy to provide healthy, nutritious dairy foods in every dairy category to Australians. It expands our white milk

[business] complementing our Riverina Fresh milk business in New South Wales. “Using Fonterra’s global innovation leadership and high quality milk from our farmers, we can optimise the freshness and shelf life of milk to ensure a better product for Woolworths Victoria customers. “Australia is our second-largest milk pool outside of New Zealand, so we take a long-term view and aim to deliver profitability, growth and sustainability in the Australian dairy industry.” Woolworths managing director of supermarkets, Tjeerd Jegen, says the new contract will be a win for farmers, Woolworths customers and Victoria. “Fonterra has told us that with the certainty of a long-term contract they and their farmers can invest and innovate.

Genetics firm appoints product manager CRV AMBREED has appointed US dairy industry marketer Danyel Hosto, BSc, to the role of product manager genetics. Hailing from Wisconsin where her family farms a 60-cow Holstein Friesian herd, Hosto joined the New Zealand firm in February from CRV’s head office in Arnhem, Holland. Hosto has worked for CRV in various dairy genetics product and market development roles. She joined the US firm as a Danyel Hosto new graduate and helped set up its marketing operations in her home town. She then moved to the Netherlands to a global marketing role including supporting the company’s Brazilian, USA and New Zealand sister offices. Hosto first worked in New Zealand last year while on maternity leave. She had returned to her role in the Netherlands when the product manager genetics role in New Zealand became vacant. “I understand New Zealand’s dairy farming challenges well from working with different business units during my time at head office. I also know CRV Ambreed’s domestic products and services.” Hosto early on was invited by her father to select new sires for their family’s herd, and she had her own cows until 2005, then sold them to help pay for her studies.

“Changes like integrated seals for milk containers and stateof-the-art processing equipment would not be possible without the

investment brought about by this certainty. “These innovations will see better tasting, fresher milk available in Woolworths stores.

“We don’t want to see milk shipped long distances which only adds cost and increases the time between the farm and the supermarket shelf.”

Fonterra Australia managing director Judith Swales.



Tech giants crowding banks’ space PAM TIPA

TECH GIANTS like Google and Apple are the biggest threat to banks – rather than the traditional competition of banks one against another – because of tech firms’ ability to redefine the payment space, ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman told the Dairy Women’s Network conference. She was outlining forces of change buffeting the banking sector – forces that are also affecting the farming sector. “Both sectors are under enormous pressure to become more productive and use technology to increase efficiency, eliminate waste and improve quality,” Chapman said. “There’s a sense of urgency about innovation. There is a compelling reason banks are competing so fiercely on leadership and innovation. “Banks are facing the same disruptive forces that have already altered business models in industries such as media, publishing and retail.” Similar upheavals are likely in financial services. “Over the last five years, competitive threats for banks have changed dramatically. Apple, Google and Amazon are potentially a bigger threat than traditional players thanks to rapidly evolving internet speed, new devices, new apps and accessible

and usable data. “They have the ability to redefine the payment space as users abandon things like credit cards and debit cards and use interactive payments through new digital means. While it is unlikely we will see an Apple or Google bank in the near future, these and other technologies have deep pockets and a big desire to diversify into new markets. “They have resources, they have technology and they can build or buy the capacity to spearhead moves into financial services.” Apple already has 500 million credit cards on its files. Not only the big players are game changers. A Cyprus social network share trading company allowed users to watch the share trading activities of others and copy it. The banks no longer have a stranglehold on many traditional payments and products and services, Chapman says. But she believes the changes are “exciting and challenging”. “On the face of it you would think banking and farming couldn’t be more different. But in many ways the forces of change buffeting us in the banking sector are having a similar impact buffeting you in the farming sector. “Both sectors are under enormous pressure to become more productive and use technology to increase efficiency, elimi-

nate waste and improve quality.” She has visited a number of rural customers over the past few months and it was “eye-opening” to see the technology available to manage farming business. The willingness of the New Zealand farming sector to try new

approaches and constantly face challenges to do better is why we excel on the world stage. We have a world-class reputation for R&D and innovation in things like seed technology, genetics and bloodstock management. “The hard-learned lessons of leadership, reputation and innovation are

now being transferred into emerging fields such as water, nutrient management and stock managing. “On my most recent trip to the South Island I was amazed to see the impact of the North Canterbury irrigation system and the transformational change it was offering farmers in that region.”

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FARM FINANCES IN TRANSITION THE FINANCING and management of farming is changing too, says ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman. ASB is a strategic partner with Xero which is offering a farming in the cloud service – real time, single ledger reporting to the farm. “The service will allow our farmers, accountants and banks and rural service companies to work together from the same set of online real time data. “It will likewise provide one central home for farm management tools and potentially provide farm managers with the ability to focus on productivity and better, more accurate and timely decisions about financial information.” Another similarity between farming and banking is that both operate in a highly regulated environment. That has its own opportunities and challenges, particularly in sustainability. “I see Kiwi farmers working hard to get the right balance between productivity and sustainability and innovation plays a big part of being able to achieve this.”

ASB chief executive Barbara Chapman says tech giants are a competitive threat to traditional banks.

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Gong for high achievers A HIGH-ACHIEVING

Tikorangi dairy farming operation, described by judges as an outstanding example of best dairying practise, is the inaugural winner of the 2014 Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards. The region’s first Supreme title was presented this month to Gavin and Oliver Faull, Faull Farms Limited, and their sharemilkers, Tony and Loie Penwarden. The Faull Farms Ltd/Trewithen Partnership also collected the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, the LIC Dairy Farm Award, the Massey University Innovation Award and the PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award. Gavin and Oliver are directors of Faull Farms Ltd, which owns the 371ha property near Waitara. The

Penwardens have been sharemilking on the farm since 2004 and currently milk 850 spring-calving cows and 300 autumncalving cows on a 282ha milking platform. Last year the opera-

tion produced almost 488,000kgMS and this season it is on target to achieve 540,000kgMS. BFEA judges described the business as a strong example of dairying and what can be achieved with

TARANAKI WINNERS Supreme award, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, LIC Dairy Farm Award, Massey University Innovation Award and the PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award; Gavin Faull and Oliver Faull (directors), Tony and Loie Penwarden (sharemilkers), Faull Farms Ltd/ Trewithen Partnership, Tikorangi. Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award, Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, Donaghys Farm Stewardship Award and Taranaki Regional Council Sustainability Award; Robin and Jacqueline Blackwell, Mangaotea. WaterForce Integrated Management Award; Kenneth and Rachel Short, Shortland Farm Ltd Partnership, Opunake. Meridian Energy Excellence Award; Tim and Sue Hardwick-Smith, Kohunui.

“two businesses combining effectively to service the aspirations of both”. Judges were impressed with the determination of the partners to achieve best practise in all areas, noting the outstanding adoption of technology and innovation, excellent per hectare and per cow production levels and an “admirable focus on people”. They said a long term approach has been taken to minimising the farm’s environmental impact. Good progress has been made on riparian planting, with a sound management plan in place. Judges also praised the partnership’s “very good understanding of soils and how soils impact on the business” and the integrated approach to effluent management. All paddocks are soil tested and 136ha

Farm owner Oliver Faull (right) with Loie and Tony Penwarden.

of the milking platform is piped, allowing carefully timed effluent applications to be delivered via two smart hydrants, each with six guns. The farm has four fulltime staff and six parttime “milk harvesters” and BFEA judges said the commitment shown to staff and their families is “exceptional, above and

beyond the norm”. Cows are milked through a high-tech 60-bail rotary dairy which is automated to enable the collection and analysis of much performance data. A former farm dairy has been converted into a calf-rearing complex with a computer controlled feeding system. With ties to the farm

stretching back to 1867, the Faulls foster input from more than one generation of their family. Visitors to the farm include agricultural students, schools and special interest tour groups. Judges also commented on the “remarkable community focus” shown by the Faulls and Penwardens.



Top farm sustains high input, makes profit OKAIHAU DAIRY farmers Roger and

Jane Hutchings are the supreme winners of the 2014 Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Judges described the Hutchings’680-cow business in the Bay Of Islands, Lodore Farm Ltd, as a sustainable high-input system profitable in all its aspects. “There is a clear balance between the financial performance of the operation and the environmental and social aspects.” The Hutchings received their award at a ceremony on April 2. They also won the Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, the LIC Dairy Farm Award and the Meridian Energy Excellence Award. Judges said the 270ha (effective) dairy farm with two support blocks (totalling 160ha effective) is overall an aesthetically pleasing property that was well presented. The original farm was bought by Roger’s parents, Malcolm and Marilyn,

who remain involved in the business. Lodore Farm’s mainly pedigree Ayrshire cows are milked in two herds. One herd consists of the older cows on twice-a-day milking and the other comprises the heifers which are milked once a day. This year’s production target is 240,000kgMS, equating to 353kgMS/ cow or 888kgMS/ha. Judges said the Hutchings showed good awareness of a wide range of financial key performance indicators and had farm working expenses consistently below the Northland benchmark. The couple showed a strong passion for their livestock, maximising the performance of their cows through attention to detail, genetic gain from the elite Ayrshire herd and utilisation of an embryo transfer programme. A moderate stocking rate of 2.5 cows/ha and the use of supplements, including meal, helps to maintain the condition of the cows while extending lactation into June.

Judges noted the couple’s good knowledge of the soils on their farm and their nutrient management plan that gives optimum results. They commented on the Hutchings’ sound business practises and their focus on sustainable staffing and bringing young people into the business. Staff members Brad Stewart and Sam Rapuna bear a lot of responsibility, and the Hutchings grant them weekends rostered off and regular time away. Lodore Farm’s long-term biodiversity planning and execution is impressive, judges said. This includes bush and waterway fencing, weed and pest management, kiwi listening and fostering and a no-dog policy. The property has one of Northland’s top 150 wetlands, fenced with generous margins and planted with regionally suitable native trees and plants. The farm sits within the Puketotara (River) Community Pest Control Area (CPCA). This has resulted in cutting the numbers of pests and increasing

Roger and Jane Hutchings

bird life and canopy cover in protected bush areas. Judges said the couple have shown

“a conscientious desire to use sustainable energy” by installing solar panels on the roof of the farm dairy

NORTHLAND WINNERS Supreme award, Ballance Agri-Nutrients Soil Management Award, Meridian Energy Excellence Award; Roger and Jane Hutchings, Lodore Farm Ltd, Okaihau Beef+Lamb New Zealand Livestock Award; Andrew Kirk, Kapiro Station, Landcorp Farming Ltd, Kerikeri. Hill Laboratories Harvest Award, Donaghys Farm Stewardship Award, Northland Regional Council Water Quality Enhancement Award; Ann and Stephen Kearney, Puketotara Trust, Kerikeri. Massey University Discovery Award, PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award, WaterForce Integrated Management Award; Rebecca and Patrick Malley, Onyx Capital Ltd, Maungatapere.



Shelters not SUDESH KISSUN

THREE YEARS ago Matamata farmer Rex Butterworth’s farm faced a list of issues: to limit overgrazing, eliminate pasture damage, control nutrient leaching and improve effluent storage capacity. Butterworth, who sells rural real estate when not tending to his 500-cow farm in Walton, was after a solution “that ticked all the boxes” including a good return on investment. After doing his homework, he settled for two HerdHomes shelters, each 75m long and housing 250 cows. They have proved

Rex Butterworth (left) with HerdHomes chief executive Hamish McMillan in the HerdHomes shelter.









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wanted to minimise nutrient leaching. We were already in the bottom quartile in our region but the writing is on the wall, sustainability is major issue that we all need to consistently re-address. The farm also needed an effluent storage facility.” Butterworth notes it would have been easier and cheaper to build an uncovered feed pad to solve the overgrazing and pugging issues. But this would not have provided covered effluent storage, nor would it have sheltered the cows from heat and cold. An effluent pond to cater for the existing farming system would have cost Butterworth $45,000. Adding a feed pad would have lifted the effluent

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economical and have lifted his average milk production by 35000 kgMS. They provide cow comfort and take care of environmental issues. HerdHomes were the most expensive option, costing him about $1780/ cow (which includes concrete and fencing works after the construction of the shelters), but Butterworth has no regrets, and expects the shelters to pay back within five years. Butterworth’s farm has a high stocking rate: 5 cows/ha, and with overgrazing there was pasture damage and pugging during the wet. “We needed to do something about it,” he told Dairy News. Then there were environmental issues. “We



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HERDHOMES CHIEF executive Hamish McMillan says the shelter doesn’t make a farm business complex. He says Rex Butterworth’s results show the benefits depend on how the farmer utilises the shelters. “The traditional message out there is that feeding supplements and having shelters or both make the business more complex and more prone to losing money,” he told Dairy News. “Here’s a farmer coming with none of these and building two shelters and saying the opposite. That’s the general feeling among farmers we deal with.” HerdHomes is getting more enquiries from farmers with bigger herds. Smaller 150-200 cow farms have always been in this space. “Whether you have 100 cows or 1000 cows the benefits are scalable,” he says. He also points out the HerdHomes shelters are different from cow barns used in Europe. HerdHomes shelters are based around pastoral grazing systems. “It’s not a fully housed system. A farmer might use it 24/7 for periods of the year, but it has flexibility [and still is] reliant on grass.”

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20% MORE GRAZING TIME REX BUTTERWORTH’S message to farmers is simple: if you can afford a HerdHomes shelter, go ahead and do it. “We have always been profit focussed keeping our cost per kgMS to around $3.50. Thanks to the Herd Homes we are on target to lower this $3.01 due to increased production at no extra cost. Don’t read too much into reports that say farmers lose money when using supplements and shelters. That’s why it took me so long to decide. I was reading all this about not going down the path of shelters but talking to farmers who were going in the opposite direction. I knew this would work and have no regrets.”

The two HerdHomes shelters on Rex Butterworth’s farm in Walton.

pond cost to $200,000 because of extra catchment. There was also the option of a covered feed pad. “A cover over the feed

pad would reduce the size of the pond and effluent storage needed, but then you’re a long way towards [the cost of] building a herd home,” he says. In December 2012, he

decided to build the first HerdHomes shelter. The results were impressive and he decided to build the second one last year. Matamata can get extremely hot summers –

hot days with little or no wind. The winters are mild and at times extremely wet. “So with a HerdHomes shelter we have a covered feed pad, combined with

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effluent storage bunkers underneath the shelter that are 25% bigger than standard providing plenty of effluent storage eliminating the need to irrigate when it’s wet. By having cows stood off when the soils are too wet to farm efficiently we are able to reduce our nutrient losses

He believes the two HerdHomes shelters on his farm decreased feed costs, through better utilisation and feed conversion. “There is no waste. If I took away this shade these cows would not be eating. Shade is critical in bringing down the cow’s body temperature so they will eat.” Milk production during summer has increased because cows spend more time under the shelter where there is feed and water available. “Our cows now have the opportunity to eat, drink and display normal behaviour all year round, this is where I believe most of the pay back is being generated.”

by a further 40%. We also get the benefits of shade in summer and shelter during the cold.” Butterworth says he doesn’t regret going for the most expensive option. “A feed pad would have been lot cheaper; this is the most expensive

option and in my opinion by far the best option. The investment’s huge… that’s what stopped us from rushing out and building one. I wanted to do my homework first. I wanted to make sure we were spending the money wisely and not just on a whim,” he says.


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New sponsor for coast monitor farms CRV AMBREED has joined Westland Milk Products and DairyNZ to become the third major sponsor of the West Coast Focus Farm Trust’s monitor farm programme. The company will donate semen products to the value of $27,750 to the trust every year for the next three years. CRV Ambreed’s West Coast regional manager Helen Lash says the coast as a milk production region presents unique challenges. “There are different farming conditions and microclimates which create a unique environment for dairy farmers and challenges exclusive to our region. This is why the trust’s monitor farm programme is essential.” CRV Ambreed’s sponsorship will be an annual donation of 1500 straws of semen which the trust will tender to West Coast dairy farmers in March and April every year. The market value of the semen is $27,750, but more money could be earned for the trust if the region’s farmers get behind the tender. “Dairy farmers are good at supporting initiatives that benefit the industry, and we are asking them to put their best price forward because all the money earned goes to the trust. It then comes back to the coast’s dairy farmers through extension from the research and information gathered by

the Trust,” says Lash. She says the sponsored semen would be tendered in 50 and 100-straw parcels made up of five nominated bulls of the farmers choice from the company’s high ranking HolsteinFriesian and Jersey sires, or its crossbred bulls. “This is a great opportunity for the coast’s farmers to select genetics that will provide the traits and gains they want to see in their cows while at the same time supporting the monitor farm programme.” Tenders are open to West Coast dairy farmers through Westland Milk Product’s supplier website. Tenders close at 3pm, April 20 and successful tenderers will be notified by April 30. The monitor farm programme began in 2005 with one farm. Today four farms from Buller to Hokitika take part. The farmers involved are Cheryl Gallagher (Westport), Andrew Mirfin (Ikamatua), Andrew Robb (Greymouth), and Tane and Rachel Little (Kowhitirangi). The trust’s one fulltime employee Gwen Gardener walks the farms’ paddocks each week to gather pasture growth information which is then analysed and interpreted by DairyNZ. The results are then shared weekly via email so that West Coast dairy farmers can use it for pas-

ture management planning and decision making, for example annual feed budgeting and farm system setup such as calving dates and stocking

rates. The information is also shared with farmers at fieldays on the focus farm properties and extending the results at discussion groups.

West Coast Focus Farm Trust chair Nathan Keoghan says the trust is pleased to see the company getting behind West Coast dairy farmers.

Helen Lash, CRV Ambreed

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HOW TO avoid effluent ponds leaking or even collapsing is the topic of an education day to be run by Waikato Regional Council at Putaruru, with Debbie Care of AgVice. “Such failures can cause pollution of waterways and groundwater, and mean that valuable nutrients are lost to farming systems,” said council spokesman Ross Wightman. South Waikato pond failures will be discussed, plus design points when building new effluent storage. The field day will run from 10.15am-1.30 pm on Wednesday, April 30 at Jack and Elizabeth Scheres’ property on 169 Leslie Rd, Putaruru, Fonterra, supply number 77783.



Profit discovered in dairy support GARETH GILLATT


dairy farms has turned into a winning formula for a Waikato agricultural business. David and Dale Swap have controlling interests and own 1100ha of farmland in Waikato. Their focus is on supplying the dairy industry with in-calf cows and Hereford, Jersey, Friesian and Angus Breeding bulls. David Swap, his father Joe, brother Lewis and son Stephen have made a name for themselves as farmers in Waikato and elsewhere as dealers in grain supplements, rock and sand, bulk storage, haulage and contracting services. Their latest venture, while still being a support service for agriculture,

involves on-farm management. For six years the Swaps have bought empty cows and heifers with high production worth and breeding worth scores, improving their body condition scores, getting them in calf with Hereford, Angus or Jersey bulls and selling them to local farmers. Buying them in small lots of one or two from local dairy farm stock agents Mark Begovich and Joe Harris, they are very careful about cow selection. “We tend to get mostly Friesians but we do buy the odd Jersey.” The cows tend to be of a high quality (BW 140-180 and production scores 160400) and Begovich says they are at risk of being discarded if not bought by the Swaps. Stock is reared on 647ha

the couple own, lease or have a controlling interest in around central and eastern Waikato. Cows are kept on a 200ha rolling run-off in the Kaimai Ranges and a 40-50ha property in Te Kawa; heifers go to their new 161ha rolling finishing property 15 minutes northwest of Matamata. David Swap says heifers get preferential treatment due to their age. “Cows do a bit better if they’re walking a bit.” He says a lot of work was needed on the Matamata property for it to be used as an intensive drystock operation. It had only a handful of fences and no cattle races. The farm was reorganised, laid out in 1.62ha sections tied together with well-developed races allowing stock to be broken up into small mobs and

shifted frequently, especially in winter. Tailings from a neighbouring J Swap quarry helped put a good surface on races. Swap says they will build a stand-off shelter to further preserve pastures, and while such structures are more commonly seen on dairy farms than drystock operations, he intends to keep the property as a drystock unit rather than convert it to a dairy farm. “There are so few drystock units out there in this region and the cost and effort of converting is huge. “It’d be better to get a farm that was already running as a dairy unit.” However, with a stocking rate that normally averages about 3.75 cows/ha and can vary between 500 and 600, this can make management of big mobs difficult, especially as the property is prone to pug-

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and Lewis’s father, Joe, bought the stock ownership in the late 1980s. Swap attributes much of the farm’s ability to produce bulls known for their good temperament and easy-calving progeny to the sharp eye and stockmanship of his wife Dale. A common sight around sales and Hereford pedigree farms in the wider Waikato region, Dale says she tends to select cows on low birth weight, temperament and markings, all of which she describes as key factors for dairy farmers looking for bulls to put over the tail end of their herds.

off early allows enough supplement to be grown from the property without putting any pressure on stock. The extremely dry conditions this year have meant that he has had to supply hay, silage and meal to maintain body weight gains on cows as well as bulls. The Swaps carry Jersey and Angus bulls on the finishing farm, sending Herefords to service empty cows. The family farming operation has long been known for its 300-cow commercial Hereford herd for 30 years, since David

ging in winter. Despite heavy stocking rates, farm manager Vaughn Armstrong is able to harvest 3000 conventional bales and 600 silage bales off the property as stock numbers are halved from September to February. Rising one and rising two bulls are all sold in September with in-calf cows being sold between April and May in an onfarm facility especially built for the sale. Armstrong says the style of farming suits the property as summers can be very dry, winters can be very wet and getting stock

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Nitrate poisoning risk high after rain RAIN IS high on farmers’

wish lists as dry weather pressures pasture growth in many regions. But rain can come with a sting in the tail, says Ballance Fertilisers. The risk of nitrate poisoning of stock increases when a dry spell is followed by rain or a run of moist, overcast days, says science manager Aaron Stafford. “During a severe drought, lack of moisture stops plant roots from absorbing nitrate. When the rain finally arrives, roots suck up nitrate rapidly, with the pasture accumulating high levels

Nitrate concentrations are generally higher in new plant growth and decrease with age. Stalks are highest in nitrate content, followed by leaves and then grain. Notably, young pastures (e.g. those re-sown in the last 1-2 years) generally present greater risk to grazing livestock than older pastures. “Nitrate poisoning progresses quickly and has no ready cure so prevention is important. Testing pasture and feed for nitrate is one option but there are other ways to mitigate the risk.” Farmers who suspect

This requires adequate supplementary feed to cover this most at-risk period. Stock lightly, so animals can selectively graze and avoid hard grazing - the lower part

Avoid giving stock high nitrate feed, says Aaron Stafford, Ballance.

of stems have the highest nitrate content. Provide a lot of clean drinking water for stock on high nitrate forage. @dairy_news


“After a drought-ending rain, it could be two weeks before nitrate levels in pasture stablise at safe levels.” they have a high nitrate risk can use the following strategies: Split nitrogen applications late in the season to distribute nitrogen better. Apply nitrogen after grazing. Don’t put hungry stock on high-nitrate feeds. Give them a low-nitrate feed first, preferably one that takes a while to digest (such as straw or hay) so they are less likely to gorge themselves on risky pastures. Dilute high-nitrate feeds with low-nitrate feeds. This helps microbes in the rumen adapt to high nitrate feeds. Adjustment can take three to four weeks. Pasture nitrate levels are highest overnight and in the morning. Where possible restrict stock access to pasture (particularly in the morning grazing) until animals have been supplemented with low nitrate feed.  This could involve in-shed feeding, use of feed pads or laneways, or fencing off areas on pasture to feed out supplementary feed and reduce pasture access. Minimise stock intake of pasture in the first 1-2 weeks following drought-breaking rain.

THAT’S GOLD When a new product is launched you can be forgiven for being a little nervous. However the overwhelmingly positive feedback for our new mastitis intramammary PENCLOX™ 1200, is a huge confidence boost that PENCLOX™ 1200 is a success, because it is effective to treat mastitis for the entire lactation. We’d like to thank every farmer and vet across every paddock and clinic throughout our great country for your great support it really is gold. We’re looking forward to continuing this great kiwi relationship well into the future. That’s gold too. WHY USE ANYTHING ELSE? Your vet knows the science and benefits behind PENCLOX™ 1200 and how it can add value to your farming operation. We entrust PENCLOX™ 1200 to your veterinarian - your animal health expert.


in the stem and leaves. “After a droughtending rain, it could be two weeks before nitrate levels in pasture stabilise at safe levels, provided environmental conditions are favourable. Hail or light frost can also damage plants, affecting photosynthesis and leading to elevated nitrate levels.” Stafford says plants usually absorb soil nitrogen as nitrate and convert most of it into ammonium and amino acids. But weather conditions in late autumn and winter can sometimes interrupt the conversion process, increasing the risk of nitrate poisoning. All ruminants can be affected. Cattle are the most susceptible, sheep the least and young stock is more vulnerable than old. Nitrate poisoning sets in rapidly after an animal eats pasture or feed with excessive nitrate levels (0.21% or 2,100 parts per million and above is considered ‘at risk’).  Stafford says rape is known for high nitrate levels, closely followed by other brassicas. Vigorous ryegrass (especially annuals) can create problems, as can cereal green-feeds.

Restricted Veterinary Medicine. Available only under Veterinary Authorisation.




Award comes as A chocolate cake challenge led Duncan Fraser to agree to enter the New Zealand dairy awards. Now he and wife Kim are Manawatu Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of Year and national finalists. Peter Burke attended their field day with 100 other visitors.

Kim and Duncan Fraser.

KIM AND Duncan Fraser’s passion for the dairy industry is matched by their goal setting and a long term strategic plan. Duncan has spent all his 24 year working life in dairy-

ing and wife Kim entered the sector via an ag science degree at Massey University, a spell working on a dairy farm, then back to Massey and working as a consulting officer

for DairyNZ in the lower North Island. The couple are lower order (22%) sharemilkers on Des and Marion Webb’s farm near Halcombe, near RNZAF base Ohakea. This is their third season on the 172ha effective farm running 445 Friesians. The farm is system three and the main supplement used is maize grown on the runoff block. Turnips are also grown. The property has a 36-bail rotary and irrigation, so it is essentially a pasture based. Kim grew up in Northland and came to Massey, there developing a love of the dairy industry. She met Duncan while she worked at Massey. This is their third year contesting the dairy awards: she was always keen, he not so. Then he told a friend, ‘if you bake me a chocolate cake I’ll enter’. The cake duly arrived and they entered. Kim admits she’s competitive and wanted to benchmark their business against others. “In the first year we entered to see how we’d go and we won a merit award. It was great preparing for that first presentation, just looking at our business, and there were a lot of things we should have been doing that we weren’t. Our summary to the judges for the first presentation was… ‘we know we should be doing this and… this and we will be doing this.’ That was prob-

ably the start of us owning our business; before we were just passengers in our business and now we are in control.” They own two rental properties in nearby Palmerston North and are happy as lower order sharemilkers with no desire to go 50/50. This is about risk management, Kim says. “If the farm owner makes a decision that compromises us being there then we have to pack up and go. As lower order sharemilkers we are in control but we can’t control the farm owner and external risk factors or threats. That is always a possibility. “We had that in a previous job when our job disappeared so we had to move on. That’s why we have never been keen to go 50/50 sharemilking because if that had happened in a 50/50 job we could have been stuck homeless with 400 cows. The lawns are very small on our rental properties.” The Frasers have worked on managing risk and now do it better via their long term strategic plan and more robust analysis of opportunities. For example they state in their plan that they will only invest in ventures that return a year-on-year equity growth of 15% or more. They won’t invest in ventures that put their whole business at risk and come across as conservative in their financial esti-

FINANCIALLY SAVVY, CONSERVATIVE JUDGE GRAY Beagley says the Frasers pay close attention to the basics and do these well and are using grass, their cheapest feed, first. “I think in New Zealand’s situation you have to do that. A lot of people are getting tied into using supplementary feed at an extra cost and I think this driven a bit by Fonterra because they want to fill stainless steel. But it’s still got to be profitable so the cheapest feed is what Kim and Duncan are using first and they are topping up if need be during adverse conditions.” Beagley says the couple have upskilled themselves and are financially savvy. “They are quite conservative which builds in a bit of insurance”. The judges noted that some of their projections were conservative. They have grown quickly over the last three years and if that carries on they will be well ahead of where they think they are going to be.



icing on the cake mates. They spend time together, making time for hobbies and recreation: for Kim tramping, photography and running; for Duncan fishing and hunting. They have even flagged ‘retirement’ in their plan. “It’s quite alarming to have to think about it so soon but we knew when we plugged the numbers in and saw how big they were that we had to start now.” Pasture is what makes us money, says Duncan, and a lot of his focus is on this aspect of the farm as something he can influence for increasing production. “It’s the cheapest feed and cows need to eat every blade of that grass before I think of putting anything else in. It’s keeping up the quality of the pasture and if I can increase my pasture metabolisable energy from, say, 11 to 12 can produce more milk from that same grass. “A lot of the pasture management we do is observation. We use a plate meter and that will give me a figure, but then

Cow numbers have been cut but production has lifted.

cows have to back that figure up and I think that’s where some people get lost. The equation [may say] the cows are getting X amount of feed, but when you go and look at them there is no way in hell they are getting that much feed, so it’s a case of always looking forward.” The stocking rate at 2.6

is low and since coming to the farm the Frasers have cut cow numbers from 470 to 445, but milk solids production has lifted. When they arrived the average was 150,000kgMS and now after three years with fewer cows they are hoping to achieve 200,000kgMS this season. No PKE is used, just

the maize, but Duncan notes that the irrigation is effectively their supplement. Fertiliser is at maintenance level but lime is applied every year adding to the fertility of the pasture. Meanwhile the future beckons. They would like to stay in Manawatu where they have their networks

and contacts, but they concede they may have to move elsewhere. Herd ownership is on the cards and they are in a position to buy up to 500 cows but say convincing someone to take them on with a larger herd and having not gone through an intermediate step will be a challenge.

OWNERS FULL OF PRAISE FARM OWNERS Des and Marion Webb are full of praise for Kim and Duncan Fraser’s efforts. Des has farmed in the area all his life and says the Frasers are dedicated custodians of the land who work hard and are excellent stock managers. It’s a pleasure to work with them, he says. “It’s great for them to win an award like this. And it’s great to see what they can get out of what they have been putting in. This will benefit them in the long term. It gives me a sense of pride in the farm and proves to us that if you put the right people in the right place they can do an excellent job.” Webb says Frasers have ‘tweaked’ the low cost system already in place. He and the farm consultant meet formally with the Frasers every month, and they often meet informally to sort out issues. The challenge for Webb will be when the Frasers eventually leave and he has to find another sharemilker who can perform to the same standards.

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Drought lessons add to production TONY HOPKINSON

REPOROA FARMER Kelvin Thomas on his drought-hit farm last year.

bayer 28x5

Kelvin Thomas is heading for record production despite the dry weather, thanks to his experience

in dealing with the 2012-13 drought. Thomas in March 2013 endured the worst dry spell he had had in 25 years. He had been 35% ahead of the 2011-12 season but at that time he

dropped 5% below on a daily basis. In talks with his advisory officer Daniel Sullivan he made the right decisions. He told Dairy News in mid-March this season that he was already 20% ahead of last season and heading for record production of 250,000kgMS with 70 fewer cows. “This season is also dry but with what we learnt from last season we now have fed less supplements and have more on hand to feed if we need it,” said Thomas. As the drought ended last season Thomas had been drying off cows relative to their body condition score and production, “about five litres daily”. “Once the rain came we had the best autumn, winter and spring possible; it was brilliant.” Thomas milked 150 cows through the winter, with 30 autumn calvers and late calving cows helping cash flow. Following the autumn rains as a quick fix he under-sowed 40ha with

oats and an annual rye for winter and early spring feed. And on June 1 he planted triticale oats with two grazings and a crop of silage by October 12 which yielded 7t/ha. This was followed by brassicas which yielded 17t/haDM. This season Thomas has planned better for a dry spell – reducing cow numbers, conserving 300t DM silage and planting 10ha of barley and peas. “We are feeding that out now and next season might try lucerne.” Another change is using a sacrifice paddock to feed out on; this has plenty of shade and reduces damage to good pasture. With this year’s hot weather he is milking later to reduce heat stress and his staff are happy with the arrangements as they also appreciate the cooler milking times. Thomas comments that last season’s drought affected all the North Island but this season is more localised. [“So now] I am able to source extra feed if I need it.”

LIC director to step down LONG-STANDING LIC director Bryan Guy will

next month step down from the co-op board. The Fielding farmer has been involved with LIC for 28 years – eight years as a regional board member then 20 years on the LIC board. Announcing the retirement, LIC chairman Murray King paid tribute to Guy’s input. “The choice to move from being a shareholder to an active governance role is a conscious decision which, over the years, has generated so much value not only to LIC, but to the dairy industry. Bryan’s father Grahame was a passionate advocate for herd improvement and the cooperative philosophy and Bryan continued his legacy, extending it by extraordinary commitment and representation of farmer interests at the board table. “We will miss his wise counsel but know the relationships he and Joanne have built within LIC will continue.” Guy says the decision to retire will allow the opportunity for someone else to contribute to LIC’s governance. “I am fortunate and privileged to have been a part of LIC and to witness changes in our co-operative and the dairy industry over three decades. In that time we have seen significant changes in technology, farming practices and dairy industry politics. “The people I have met and worked with as a director have left a lasting legacy that gives me an immense sense of pride in knowing so many of them as colleagues and counting so many of them as friends.



Drastic calf rearing changes reap benefits RICK BAYNE

IN JULY 2012 the

McDowall family farm at Childers Cove in southwest Victoria, Australia had a calf mortality rate approaching 30% and many surviving calves were being treated for illness. Calf rearing had been a problem on the farm for many years, but it was getting worse and with a need to increase cow numbers after establishing a second farm, dramatic changes were needed to reverse the trend. Following advice from Dr Gemma Chuck of The Vet Group, the farm totally revamped its calf rearing system, from feeding to housing to health management. The turnaround has been amazing and has given great relief to the family. Today the farm has a mortality rate of less than 2% in pre-weaned calves and morbidity of 5%. McDowall and Chuck spoke at the recent Australian Dairy Conference about the calf rearing changes. “It is a headache that

we no longer have, which is a major relief for the family,” family spokesman Paul McDowall says. The McDowalls had explored many options before but none had worked. “It had been a problem the family had been trying to fix for years but it was snowballing and getting out of hand. It was becoming more costly because there are so many more

Paul McDowall

animals,” he says. The farm had been bringing vets on site each week to monitor the problem. Chuck, who is undertaking additional research into calf rearing through the University of Melbourne, says the farm had been desperately trying to solve the problem. “They worked really

hard to keep these animals alive, it wasn’t through lack of trying,” she said. “The 70% who lived were a credit to them but they were in a sticky spot because they had some very virulent pathogens on their farm. “When you’ve got a combination of different pathogens such as multiple strains of Salmonella, E.coli, Rotavirus, and coronavirus, it was a recipe for

Dr Gemma Chuck

disaster.” It is believed the problem escalated when the farm bought in cows to increase the herd size. “It is likely that they also brought in pathogens without knowing,” Chuck says. Apart from the unacceptable death rate, the surviving calves never reached their full poten-

tial because they had such a long period of sickness which reduced their growth rate and rendered them more susceptible to other illnesses later in life. With bleak survival rates in July 2012, the farm undertook holistic change to correct the problem. “It was attention to detail in all areas,” Chuck says. “You can’t just change the feeding or the housing and expect everything to get better. It is all part of a larger puzzle.” The new system was adopted in the existing farm shed and then replicated at the second farm. The calf shed underwent a dramatic change with an automatic feeder replaced by individual lock-in head bales at the front of newly configured, self-contained pens. “I’m not against automatic feeders but it wasn’t working in their system because there were too many calves of different ages in a big pen. Younger calves weren’t using the feeder. They have a tight calving pattern and could only use the feeder for about 10 days before making room for new calves coming in,”

The McDowall family built a new calving shed for $A60,000.

Chuck says. “It wasn’t good use of the shed space so we changed the configuration and changed the method of milk feeding.” Chuck says it was important to have an individual feeding system for calves when feeding fortified milk to ensure that each calf is getting its correct controlled volume each day. Self-contained pens were installed featuring piped-in water, solid partitions between each pen to avoid nose-to-nose contact, improved ventilation from installation of whirly birds in the roof, and a three-layer bedding system on scoria, shade mesh and woodchip on top. This allowed drainage and warmth and calves can stay in the pen until weaning without the need to top up bedding in between. It also reduces creation of dust and aerosolising of pathogens when bedding needs to be topped up or removed when calves

are still in the pen. Soiled bedding can be easily removed and cleared within half an hour using machinery. There is a six-pen shed at the new dairy and a fourpen pen shed at the home farm. Each pen houses 20 calves. The set up means 200 calves can be fed in just over an hour. The hastily established first trial of the new system was a failure with only three calves surviving from the first pen, but the second pen was substantially better with only two deaths and since then the farm has been virtually without loss. The farm has also adopted a strict vaccination and biosecurity protocol. “Vaccination has been an important health management piece of the puzzle. We strategically vaccinate for various pathogens to help control disease,” says Chuck. The changes have also improved the biosecurity of the herd. “They don’t have to buy-in cows now

and can operate a much more closed system. “They have been realistic and worked really hard and done really well in turning this around,” Chuck added. “It’s not reinventing the wheel but spending the time and effort into adopting best practice to overcome a problem. They have done so well.” McDowall says the farm, which has about 1050 cows across the two properties, was purchasing high quality Holsteins but constantly having major issues with rearing calves that were progressively getting worse. “We had bought top 10% of cows but couldn’t rear the calves as successfully as we wanted even though we put a lot of work and a lot of money into it. Unless we can carry on with that quality and keep the calves and progeny from those cows it’s a waste,” he says. The farm had unsuccessfully tried for years to fix the problem.

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AI sales rep hangs up his gear CRV AMBREED’S longest serving sales rep Don Shaw has retired after 40 years. But his services to the dairy industry will continue, the company says. Shaw first used





BUT WHEN YOU’Re FARMING, ONE THING YOU CAN RELY ON WORKING AS IT SHOULD FOR LONGER IS CYDECTIN. CydeCtin® Pour-On gives you healthier stock for longer, with the longest persistent activity available, controlling Ostertagia ostertagi for 35 days, Trichostrongylus axei and Haemonchus spp for 28 days, and Lungworm for 42 days. With stock free from worms for longer, use of CydeCtin Pour-On has been proven to improve milk production and liveweight gains. Weigh up the benefits and choose CydeCtin Pour-On.

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Don Shaw has retired after 40 years of service with CRV Ambreed.

Ambreed semen on his Paterangi dairy farm in 1973. The following year he took on the regional sales role and started juggling full-time dairy farming with fatherhood and

playing sport. He also provided an AB service, having trained as a technician in 1956. “I look back and wonder how we managed it all, but in those days semen wasn’t sold before June 1, and to start with I probably sold only about 400 straws in the Paterangi area.” When Shaw’s son Mark returned to the family farm, he was able to focus more on sales, which markedly increased. In recent years he’s averaged 20,000 straws. “Rough calculations [show that] after 40 years there’s about 600,000 animals out there that I’ve had some hand in creating.” Shaw says he never wanted to “just sell semen”, but rather to help farmers improve their animals with good advice on how to achieve their goals. His career have been seeing herds improve and getting feedback from farmers about the performance of their cows and their herds. “ ‘Service before self’ is the motto my father lived by and he passed it onto me. Some reps only see their clients when it’s time for the sale, but I believe relationships are everything and you can only build them by keeping in touch and making service personal, which is what I have always aimed to do.” Shaw believes the most important things farmers should be looking for today in their breeding programmes is good uddered, long-lasting cows. This philosophy is said to have started with CRV Ambreed’s breeding division manager in the 1980’s, the late Tom Wallace, who was also Shaw’s mentor. “Longevity is how you make your money. A cow produces most of its milk between four and nine years of age, and by then you also know what types of daughters she produces, so good longevity provides double the benefits in that respect.” Shaw says the average replacement age of cows in New Zealand is alright

– but there is room for improvement. “It is a balancing act between genetic improvement and production. If you go for genetic improvement based entirely on BW you’ll achieve that. But you’ll also cull a lot of cows along the way that will never get the chance to express their full production potential.” In the 40 years Shaw has been with CRV Ambreed, he has had 10 different area managers. What’s kept him with the company is his unwavering belief in its founding values and vision. “I’m not a total BW person and I have always truly believed the genetics I have sold are the most balanced for giving New Zealand’s dairy farmers profitable and productive cows. Instead of only focussing on BW, farmers using the NZMI (New Zealand Merit Index) for their breeding criteria will get a quicker response in breeding good-uddered cows with better longevity.” Dairy farmers need good, independent breeding advice for the country’s increasingly different farming systems, Shaw says. And they need to give breeding decisions as much priority as the other areas of their business, and take charge of the decisions themselves, rather than letting someone else make them. In June he will travel to Holland for the NRM All Holland Trade Dairy Show, a retirement gift from CRV Ambreed. He will visit dairy farms and talk to farmers about their genetic programmes. Shaw is mentoring CRV Ambreed’s new western Waikato sales rep Debbie Young and is providing AB services and is an inspector for the breeding societies. CRV Ambreed’s western Waikato regional sales and service manager Danie Swart says everyone who knows Don Shaw would agree he has made an immense contribution to the company, his community and the dairy industry.

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Heat detector patches hit the spot HEAT DETECTOR patches made

by Tru-Test helped many farmers during last year’s mating season, the company says. “New Zealand cows and conditions have been to the forefront in our design and manufacture of selfadhesive heat detector patches. The patches are a reliable visual aid to pick up cycling cows in the herd.” With the variable light and weather conditions nationwide the reflective patches are easy to see on the farm or in the shed and have a high retention rate. Product manager Shane Dooley

The reflective patches are easy to see on farm.

explains the thinking. “We know calving patterns are critical in dairy operation and timely heat detection is vital for improving six week in-calf rates and concentrated calving patterns. [Farmers told us their] pain points at mating. “We… [then] developed a product with reliable retention, easy application and visibility and which reliably identifies cows on heat. The result is self-adhesive patches that can be used as standalone visual aids.” The patches are simple and easy to use, Tru-Test says. The design takes into account the shapes of major

cattle breeds in New Zealand. The patches fit well across the cow’s tailbone where pressure from another mounting animal will reveal the layer beneath. Dannevirke farmers Russell and Karen Phillips last year used them on their 720 cows. Now they are back for more. Karen says the patches are “easy to apply, stick well and are highly visible”. The patches can be coupled with the MilkHub heat detection scanner for even greater accuracy.

Oestrus detection easier with ear tag sensor Treating late autumn/early winter is the best time to ensure young stock are well covered during their development and the fertility of cows is not compromised in the coming breeding season.

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A NEW sensor unit that attaches to a cow’s ear is the latest tool for farmers to manage herd information. SensOor has a doublepoint sensor that takes multi-point recordings of body temperature and its variances, plus movements including those specific to eating and

ruminating. The CowManager System, using the SensOor recorder, is now sold in New Zealand by Samen NZ Ltd, a dairy genetics company here for 16 years. Agis Automatisering, in the Netherlands, developed the CowManager SensOor. Research with the labo-

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ratory of the Wageningen University is said to have shown that farmers using the SensOor chip have an oestrus detection success rate of 98%. Herd information management devices are numerous, Samen NZ says: pedometers, neck tags and more recently intra-rumen boluses – all are used to collect information that helps management. “But [ours is] an easy to use, reliable double point sensor that takes multipoint recordings of body temperature and its variances, plus movements including those specific to eating and ruminating.” Data is constantly collected by the SensOor unit attached to an eartag. Because the device uses twin sensors it is able to collect data related to body temperature and cow activity. The combination of temperature and movement generates accurate profiles for fertility (oestrus), animal health (early warnings) and feeding and rumination activity. The SensOor units continuously collect the data from each animal. This data is broadcast to wi-fi units onfarm which in turn relay the data to a router attached to a PC or Mac

computer that sends it to the Agis data centre. From there individual farmers access their data through a web browser on a PC, tablet or smartphone app. The app can be set to alert a farmer or herd manager of cows’ oestrus or health needing attention. This allows the system to be linked to drafting systems so those animals can be automatically diverted and ready for attention next milking. The farmer needs a router, computer and broadband connection. All the collected data can be sent to a farmer’s veterinarian, nutritionist or other adviser. And the herd can be watched from anywhere via a web browser. Samen says this sixyear development is now used by farmers in Europe and the US in barn-fed and pasture systems. In New Zealand a combination of mobile devices and solar charging is being developed to cope with long distances and terrain issues. Tel. 0800 22 02 32

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Improved reproduction, better genetic gain Maximising herd reproductive performance via management or genetics should be at the forefront of every farmer ’s mind to enhance farm profit. NZAEL manager Jeremy Bryant explains: EVERY 1% increase in

cows calving within 42 days of the start of calving is worth $7.18/cow or $7180 for a 1000 cow herd, according to eco-

Selecting the right high BW bulls is very important.

nomic values estimated yearly by DairyNZ subsidiary New Zealand Animal Evaluation Ltd (NZAEL). This value comes from more milksolids produced

“We’ve had a great run - thanks to our vet support, and the proven performance of Eprinex®” Tom Goodwright, 2nd generation dairy farmer, Waiuku

in early lactation, the value of extra replacement heifer calves, fewer empties and improved cow longevity. Double-pronged approach Firstly, farmers should identify whether they have a herd fertility problem. The InCalf Fertility Focus Report is a great start. Also consider obtaining a trait evaluation report from LIC to identify whether the herd is genetically poor for fertility. This report provides average breeding values for all key traits of the whole herd and different age groups. If areas of weakness in reproduction are identified, management intervention should be the first focus. If a herd has low average breeding values for fertility, farmers might also choose to select a team of high breeding worth (BW) bulls that also have positive breeding values for fertility. The best bulls in the NZAEL Ranking of Active Sires (RAS) List have breeding values for fertility of +5% calving rate in the first 42 days. However it is important not to compromise

Jeremy Bryant

BW gains by selecting solely on fertility. Breeding companies have a range of bull selection tools to increase emphasis on fertility in a breeding programme, while maintaining high rates of genetic gain in BW. Effect on genetic gain This combined management and genetic approach will accelerate fertility improvements. As management issues are resolved and enhanced fertility genotypes flow through the herd, and there will be more ability to sell surplus calves of lower genetic merit and cull cows based on production worth. Alternatively, farmers can selectively mate only high BW cows in the knowledge they will have enough high genetic merit replacements. All avenues maximise rates of genetic gain in the herd to deliver more profit.


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ANIMAL HEALTH  // 49 Balanced trace element formulation

Seaweed concentrate enriched

Dr Ray Castle demonstrating the SQ-E21.

Squeeze easy to insert sealants into the opening of a cow’s teat using a syringe, thus preventing infection entering the cow’s udder. But the sealant’s high viscosity means sore thumbs and blisters for a farmer doing, perhaps, hundreds of cows at a time. There was also the hassle of having to warm the syringes beforehand to make it easier to push the syringe plunger. Castle says the new applicator gun saves time and effort. The applicator gun isn’t sold as a standalone. Farmers who bought Intercept before the applicator guns were around can pick up guns from vets. “Some product in the market may not be packed with applicator guns. Our sales team will be supplying those farmers through their vets with the guns until product packed with guns come through.” Castle says he got good support from Bayer management while developing the gun, which is made in Hamilton. Bayer worked with ISL Animal Health on the applicator and the companies both own intellectual property rights to the device. “The SQ-EZI has been well received by dairy farmers and we believe it has the potential to revolutionise the way intramammary treatments are administered,” says Castle.

A technologically superior formulation of trace elements to be added to zinc during the facial eczema season. · Soluble seaweed concentrate – trials have shown powerful toxin binding abilities · Balanced mineral nutrition – maximising zinc utilization · Compatible with eczema zinc formulations · Totally soluble – comprehensive formulation of key elements in amino acid complex form · Easy to use – dose directly into water troughs, dispensers or drenches

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MASTITIS TREATMENT FOR COWS ACCORDING TO Bayer vet Dr Ray Castle, 70-80% of NZ dairy cows receive some sort of mastitis treatment at dry off, be it teat sealant or antibiotic dry cow therapy or both. An effective dry cow therapy strategy is probably the most useful tool farmers have to manage

milk quality, he says. “Teat sealants are rapidly gaining favour and offer cows protection through the dangerous dry period. “It protects against new infections and a number of trials have proven it is an effective strategy,” Castle says.

target summer deficiencies


from inserting teat sealants is addressed by a syringe applicator gun new from Bayer for its Intercept teat sealant. And it requires none of the hassle of having to warm the syringes beforehand to ease the pushing of the plunger. Bayer vet Dr Ray Castle developed the gun, called Intercept SQ-EZI. Each bin of Intercept teat sealant now comes with two guns. Intercept is sold only by rural vet clinics. Castle got the idea in November 2013 while working with a vaccination gun. He took it to an instrument maker and worked with its engineers on a design for an individual syringe. “The initial concept trial was done with this model, then wet testing was done in the field and refined in two or three trials,” he told Dairy News. “I knew we could do something similar for our teat sealant Intercept, but had to [get it to work] with the actual sealant, which is quite thick. “Through clever design and engineering we were able to develop an applicator with the ideal leverage and tension to make injecting teat sealant a much easier process. It doesn’t have to be heated either, meaning less hassle.” Traditionally teat sealants are injected

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Aim to get 85% herd to BCS 5.0 SALLY PEEL

HIGH MILK prices now, but the prospect of lower milk prices next season, increase the temptation to extend the milking season at the expense of cow condition. Such strategy can affect milk production, reproduction and animal welfare. The benefits of reaching body condition score (BCS) targets at calving are well recognised. Ensuring BCS 5.0 for cows and 5.5 for first and second calvers with no

more than 15% of the herd less than BCS 5.0 will make for optimum milk production and reproduction and will improve cow welfare and health. In 2012, the BCS Initiative trial scheme (BCSI) collected data from 300 farms in Manawatu and South Waikato. It used accredited advisors in BCS assessment and feed planning to support farmers in their management decisions. Farm details were recorded and herds were condition scored in January-February, March-April and planned start of calv-

ing (PSC). Key findings from the 2012 trial (Figure 1) Although the benefits are well recognised, only 20% of herds in the BCS initiative achieved the targets, with 6% of the herds having more than 50% of cows less than 4.5. This highlights the importance of accurate information on howto monitor and manage BCS. Averages are misleading Although BCS targets include a herd average, this is not the full story; the most important factor

is the range of BCS within the herd. Data from the BCSI showed that herds at 90 days before PSC had an average BCS of 4.3. However, within these herds 13% of the cows were BCS 3.5 or below while 51% were a BCS 4.0 or below. The BCS range (the proportion of cows below target within the herd) is an important monitor and a useful tool for making drying-off decisions. Getting thinner cows towards BCS targets achieves the most gains in subsequent milk production, repro-

Lower BCS can affect milk production and animal welfare.

duction and welfare. Although increasing supplements and reducing milking frequency to once-daily can improve BCS gains in a lactating cow, these strategies take time and for thinner cows, drying-off and priority feeding is required to reach BCS at calving. Half a BCS gain highlights management Despite it being possible to gain 0.5 BCS during the dry period, the BCSI


showed the average BCS gained over the dry period was BCS 0.5. The initiative indicated that cows dried off late in lactation at less than BCS 4.5 struggled to get to BCS 5.0 by calving. This emphasises the importance of feed allocation and time available to gain BCS.

last month of pregnancy, thus a cow dried-off 90 days before PSC has only about 50 days for BCS gain. 2014 B CS initiative Following the 2012 scheme, the 2014 BCSI is now underway in north Waikato and south Taranaki, to help farm-

Ensuring BCS 5.0 for cows and 5.5 for first and second calvers with no more than 15% of the herd less than BCS 5.0 will make for optimum milk production and reproduction and will improve cow welfare and health. Information is available about the amount of feed needed to gain one BCS unit (DairyNZ’s ‘Condition Scoring Made Easy’). However, the time component of BCS gain is often underestimated. A cow gains little BCS during the first two weeks after drying-off and the

ers achieve BCS targets by calving. Using the initiative’s insights and current research, DairyNZ is developing an online tool to show the impact of different management options on BCS gain. • Sally Peel is a DairyNZ productivity developer.


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A large number of herds are not reaching BCS targets at calving.


A herd’s BCS range (or the proportion of cows below target) is the best monitor of herd condition.


The initiative showed the average BCS gain over the dry period was 0.5 BCS units.


The time available to achieve BCS gain is quite small but is crucial, especially in low input systems.



After 3 seasons and more than 100,000 inseminations LIC is able to offer what no one else can. Sexed Semen with near normal conception rates. In 2014 the availability of Fresh Sexed semen is rapidly growing into as many regions as logistically possible, with the major goal being nationwide coverage in coming seasons. Each straw delivers approximately 90% female cells and conception rates only 3-5% behind normal. There will be two teams to select from; Holstein-Friesian and KiwiCross™. The Holstein-Friesian is offered in combination with a forward contract to supply excess heifers to Fonterra and the KiwiCross™ is available independent of a contract. Supply is limited, so if you are keen to take advantage of Premier Sires Fresh Sexed, call your LIC Customer Relationship Manager today (Expressions of interest are required by 1 June).



Feeding for BCS gain: failing to plan is planning to fail DECADES OF research,

in New Zealand and elsewhere, point to BCS 5.0 (mature cows) and BCS 5.5 (first and second calvers) as the benchmarks during the last third of lactation, to set a herd up for the next-season lactation. To achieve these BCS targets, cows must: • have sufficient feed to eat above the requirements for maintenance, milk production, pregnancy and activity, and • have enough time to increase BCS. The fact that cows require a certain amount of feed to gain one BCS unit is clearly understood, but the amount of time needed is often forgotten. Modern dairy cows and, in particular, the thin-

nest cows, do not partition much energy to BCS while milking. These cows must be dried off early to spend sufficient time dry to gain condition for optimal BCS at calving. BCS and animal welfare Recent research by DairyNZ and AgResearch has shown that animal welfare is more likely to be optimal when cows calve at the recommended targets. Cows fatter than recommended had a higher risk of metabolic diseases, such as ketosis, while thinner cows were at a greater risk of infectious or inflammatory diseases, such as uterine infections. Thinner cows were less able to compete for scarce

Sufficient feed for cows is essential to lift condition score.

feed resources, prolonging hunger and further increasing the risk of disease. Thin cows at calving become even thinner cows at peak milk production1. In the Dairy Cattle Code of Welfare,

any animal below BCS 3.0 must be managed immediately to increase BCS. Although well-managed farms will sometimes have a small proportion of thin cows because of health issues (e.g. mastitis, metritis or

lameness cases), ensuring that young and mature cows calve at the correct BCS minimises the need for intervention. B CS and cold stress The importance of maintaining cows in good condition is greater in

colder climates. In these situations, subcutaneous body fat ( just beneath the skin) acts as an insulating layer between the animal’s core and the environment. Therefore, cows in good BCS are better able to withstand cold. Even when cows have adequate condition reserves, there is a temperature below which the animal must increase its metabolic rate to supply more body heat and maintain a constant core body temperature (i.e. the lower critical temperature). This means that maintenance energy requirements increase. In New Zealand, if a cow is clean and dry and there is little wind or rain, cold stress is rare until

ambient temperatures fall below -10°C. However, rain, wind and mud will result in cold stress at higher temperatures and extra energy is required for heat production. For example, if the ambient temperature is 2°C and a wet cow is exposed to wind and rain in a muddy environment, an additional 16 MJ ME (about 1.5kgDM/day) is required just to maintain body temperature. This is on top of the usual maintenance, pregnancy and BCS requirements, and needs to be watched when determining feed allocation in colder weather. Strategies to achieve B CS gain Four main strategies help achieve BCS gain: TO PAGE 53

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1. Increase feed allocation to lactating cows 2. Once-a-day (OAD) milking 3. Dry-off at-risk cows early 4. Feed dry cows for BCS gain. At this stage of the season, it is too late to rely on the first two options. Increasing feed allowance or supplementing lactating cows has only a small effect on BCS gain, because genetic selection over several decades has resulted in cows that partition energy to milk at the expense of BCS. DairyNZ research found that feeding an extra 3kgDM/day of a high

represents the typical intake of a dry cow being offered pasture and pasture silage (Figure 1a). Best feeds for weight gain New Zealand research indicates there are different efficiencies for BCS gain with different feeds during the dry period (Table 12). The energy in autumn pasture is used less efficiently for BCS gain than is pasture silage, maize silage or PKE. Figure 1b is the same 450kg crossbred cow fed pasture and PKE. If dried-off at 90 days pre-calving and needing to gain one BCS unit, at eight weeks pre-calving she would need to eat 8.6kgDM/day in total. This is made up of 6.4kgDM pasture/ day for maintenance and pregnancy plus 2.2kgDM PKE/day for BCS gain. Once again, if she was milked for longer and dried-off 60 days pre-calving, at eight weeks pre-calving she would need to eat 11.4kgDM/day. This is made up of 6.4kgDM pasture/ day for maintenance and pregnancy plus 5.0kgDM PKE/day for BCS gain. Therefore even when using a feed such as PKE, which is more efficient for BCS gain in dry cows, cows cannot eat enough on a daily basis to gain one BCS unit with a 60-day dry period. Conclusions

energy concentrate to a lactating cow for 100 days in autumn increased BCS gain only by 0.12 BCS unit. Additionally, OAD during late lactation has only a small impact on BCS gain. In a recent experiment, cows milked OAD for 84 days in late lactation were only 0.25 BCS unit greater at dry-off than those milked twice-a-day. Now is the last opportunity to implement a plan for BCS gain. This plan should include: when to dry cows off and how much to feed them when dry. • Article sourced from DairyNZ Technical Series April 2014.

Although the days to gain one BCS unit are dependent on feed type and amount of feed consumed, the examples emphasise the importance of drying cows off with enough time to gain BCS to reach calving targets. Ideally, strategies to reach BCS

targets should be put in place in early autumn. However, now is the final chance to action a plan which may enable these targets to be met. This should involve assessing the herd’s BCS and making decisions on drying cows off, feed type and feeding level.

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FIGURES 1A and 1b show how the days available during the dry-off period to gain BCS can affect the cow’s ability to achieve BCS targets. Figure 1a is an example of a 450kg crossbred cow driedoff at 120, 90 or 60 days pre-calving, at BCS 4.0. The vertical bars represent required feed eaten/ day at eight weeks pre-calving to gain one BCS unit. If dried-off at 90 days pre-calving, she has about 50 effective days to gain one BCS unit. This means that at eight weeks precalving, if she was fed pasture and pasture silage, she would need to eat 9.3kgDM/day in total. In this example, this is made up of 6.4kgDM pasture/ day for maintenance and pregnancy plus 2.9kgDM pasture silage/day for BCS gain. In comparison, if this cow was milked for longer and driedoff at 60 days precalving, at eight weeks she would need to eat 13.7kgDM/day. This is made up of 6.4kgDM pasture/ day for maintenance and pregnancy, plus 7.3kgDM pasture silage/day for BCS gain. Based on these assumptions, cows cannot consume enough energy to gain one BCS if the dry period is not at least 90 days. This is indicated by the blue bar on the figure which

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54 //  MATING MANAGEMENT Body condition score of cows are failing as dry weather sets in.

Time to focus on next season JAMES MUWUNGANIRWA

IT’S BEEN a great season

but with dry conditions affecting pasture growth it may be time now to put in place your plans to achieve body condition score targets and protect next season’s production. Conditions in drought affected areas remain challenging – low pasture cover, no pasture growth, high reliance on



costly supplementary feed for milk production, and herds still milking that are BCS 0.75 to 1.0 below calving target. The following example (see box below) illustrates the current situation and possible options to consider. This shows that if all the potential pasture growth in April/May is consumed, only maintenance demand has been met. No gain in BCS and pasture cover will be made. Therefore to achieve BCS and pasture cover targets will need 100% on supplementary feed. . Increasing supplementary feed will however place pressure on the supply and price of supplementary feeds, such as PKE. There are already delays in the delivery of PKE and gaps in feed supply could occur. Options to consider Reduce feed demand by either: - Drying-off early calvers and young cows and continue milking older cows; or

- Dry-off the entire herd and priority feed early calving cows, younger thinner cows, and at risk cows (BSC at 3.5 or less). While there is a temptation to take advantage of the high milk price by allocating more feed to the milking cows, this is the feed you will need to cover the current feed deficit and ensure next season’s production is protected. The focus should now be on making sure you will achieve BCS targets. Remember cows need time and feed to regain body condition and lactating cows do not put on condition easily. ■■ Make sure contracts are in place for future supplementary feed requirements. ■■ Protect pastures from overgrazing. ■■ Keep reviewing the condition of your cows and the amount of feed on hand. • James Muwunganirwa is DairyNZ’s regional leader for lower North Island.

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Current farm cover = 1400kgDM/ha (target typically 2200-2400kgDM/ha by June 1). Average cow condition = 4.25 (target 5). Average stocking rate: 2.8 cows/ha. Maintenance requirements for two months = 8kg DM/cow/day. Maintenance demand = 23kgDM/ha/d (2.8*8). Average pasture supply for two months = 23kgDM/ha/day (April 10kgDM/ha/d; May 35kgDM/ha/day.)


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Bigger factory widens effluent firm’s scope GARETH GILLATT

A BIG new factory for effluent engineering firm Reid and Harrison will benefit its farmer customers, says director Seaton Dalley. The business remains at Matamata but in premises ten times larger than it had before. Dalley says the business had grown beyond the facilities of its old building by the end of 2009. It was unable to store enough inventory to meet demand at peak times and

was unable to keep all the materials and components it needed on hand. “It’s safe to say as soon as I found out about the premises being vacated I got in first. I especially wanted to get a facility with roadside frontage so I could show off products.” New Reid and Harrison chief executive Keith Cooke says Dalley also bought machinery being sold by the Finnish mining-gear company Metso, whose factory Reid & Harrison took over. “He was walking round the plant and saw the

cranes and machines and said ‘we need to fill up the building as well’ so we went back to the law-

14 came in and unlocked them again as the new facilities for the business.” The move from the

“I especially wanted to get a facility with roadside frontage so I could show off products.” yers and drew up another agreement.” Negotiations took five weeks and Cooke says as the business was sold as a going concern the handover process was simple for both companies. “Metso simply locked the doors and R&H on February

company’s former Peria Road office to its new facility 2km away only took a weekend, though the site layout is not finalised. Gantries and boardroom and training space will allow the company to do more for staff and customers.

Reid and Harrison director Seaton Dalley (left) and chief executive Keith Cooke inside the company’s new fabrication facility.

The gantries make it easy for a customer to drop off a pump, stirrer or other product for repair, says Dalley. “The customer just backs their ute into the shed and the pump is off before they’ve even stopped the engine. “At the old facility they needed to use a forklift which was not always available and just the process of taking it off the truck could take up to 30 minutes.” Training for Reid and Harrison agents will happen soon. “Quite often

I can’t take risks here..

when they got to the old facility the agent would see something and then say ‘oh I didn’t realise you made that’. This will be a good opportunity to get every sales person in the same place. We can also give new staff lessons on how to service and maintain equipment.” Fitting a company of 30 into a facility that previously housed 127 means the pump manufacturer has been left with a lot of tools that are surplus to requirements, something Cooke says they are grad-

ually taking care of. “We just shoved it into a shed and are gradually selling it off.” A covered facility will be set up for product testing and development. The company will test all equipment before it goes out to customers. And its engineers will test new prototypes close to their workshop then quickly make alterations. The testing facility should be ready this spring. Tel. 07 888 8224

Our pump sets come standard with the following features and benefits, for our farming clients: • Stainless Steel Baseplate - gives long-term protection against corrosion, unlike galvanised baseplates. • Silicon Carbide Mechanical Seals - prevent selfpriming issues common with gland packed pumps offered by others as standard. Provide long term sealing against effluent leakage to maintain a safe pumping environment. • Pump Life Expectancy based on our 35+ years of Progressing Cavity (PC) pump engineering by the only PC pump manufacturer directly serving New Zealand farmers - gives us the unique ability to ensure our pumps operate at the most effective speeds for pumping animal effluent, which impacts directly on the maximum pump life expectancy. For information on your nearest Mono dealer, contact: Nationwide Toll Free: 0800 659 012 Auckland: 09 829 0333 Christchurch: 03 341 8379 Dunedin: 03 476 7264

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Mower’s central drawbar lifts flexibility

Fella’s trailed mower.

FELLA HAS launching a trailed mower with transport chassis and centrally linked drawbar. The SM 3065 Trans with a working width of 3.00 m and the SM 3575 Trans with a working width of 3.50 m are both available with

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Because the drawbar is centrally linked the mower can be easily swung.

roller or tine-rotor conditioner. Because the drawbar is centrally linked the mower can be easily swung to the left and right behind the tractor, the company says. This offers the flexibility of mowing to suit the ground surface and any other requirement, for example, when forage is lying on the ground, on sloping terrain and for contour line work. The high lifting height (600mm) of the new trailed mower at the headland is made possible by lifting the transport wheels. The resulting ground clearance is perfectly suited for travelling effortlessly over mowed swathes, Fella says. The freedom of movement of the mower unit in working position of up to 400 mm can be relied upon to prevent the it from contacting the ground and digging into the sward, including even on closely undulating terrain. The trailed hitch attachment of the SM 3065 Trans/SM 3575 Trans ensures good ground

adaptation as well as ground-conserving and fuel-saving mowing. Operator convenience is high, the maker says. Fold-up hoods give good cutter bar access, and steplessly variable cuttingheight adjustment, without tools, speeds the job. A robust pivoting gearbox puts less strain on the driveshaft even in sharp bends. The tool box is integrated in the drawbar. The mower with roller conditioner suits lowimpact conditioning of leafy forage, good for large volumes. With the tine-rotor conditioner version the possibility of adjusting the conditioning intensity in five positions without the use of tools makes for flexibility regardless of weather. The SM 3065 Trans / SM 3575 Trans is fitted with Fella’s Driveguard overload protection as standard equipment. Fella is imported in New Zealand by C B Norwood Distributors Ltd.

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Fieldays bond extended THE UNIVERSITY of Waikato and the New Zealand National Fieldays Society have renewed their partnership. An agreement signed last month will see the university enter its eighth year as a strategic partner of Fieldays – the largest agribusiness event in the Southern Hemisphere. Waikato University vice-chancellor Roy Crawford says the partnership “makes sense” as both organisations have always shared a mutual interest in contributing to, and growing, the agricultural sector.   “Being a part of such an agriculturally rich region we are delighted to once again support an event which is at the forefront of agricultural innovation. Fieldays chief executive Jon Calder says it is delighted to have the University on board as one of Fieldays’ two strategic partners for the next three years. “The relationship between the University and Fieldays has grown and evolved over the past eight years to the point where we now have a true partnership.”



Kent Walmsley and his MF7615.

Big red tractor powers through 100mm cuttings KENT WALMSLEY is a Massey

Ferguson man, not for the paint job, but for their performance. Kent and Diane Walmsley run K and D Mulching out of Tauranga. He needs enough tractor power to mulch 100mm cuttings, robustness enough to cope with knee-deep prunings and a crawl speed of 1km/h. His MF 7615 has a 150hp 6-cyl engine and a Dyna-6 transmission. His first MF was a 6470 and it came when he bought the contracting operation business in 2006. “This one is a big step up. It’s only 20hp more but nearly double the torque, and that’s what we were chasing. We didn’t get a creeper box because it is slow enough without it and we still get a 40km/h gearbox.” The road speed is also important as Walmsley travels up to Waihi, across to the Kaimai Range and down to Welcome Bay cleaning up shelterbelt cuttings and avocado prunings. The work is year-round other Kent Walmsley has beefed up his MF 7615 with steel guards and a belly plate to stand up to the rigours of mulching.

than wet winter days and over the few weeks when bees are pollinating. That means he spends a lot of his life in the cab. He opted for the ‘essential’ cab because he did not want a lot of electronics. “It’s a quiet comfortable cab. It’s on springs and it has an air-suspension seat. I’m a lot less fatigued at the end of the day.” To suit his mulching business he did some modifications to the MF 7615. He put on narrower wheels to make the tractor narrow enough to fit around the headlands in kiwifruit orchards. He also added steel guards to the back and sides, and a belly plate to protect the fuel tank, air filter, electrics and hoses. The MF 7615 has a forestry mulcher on the PTO that cuts soft wood up to 100mm. On the first cut in heavy stuff it crawls along at 1.1 km/h and on the second or third cuts goes up to 2.0km/h. He follows three independent con-

tractors who do the hedge cutting and pruning. “The MF 7615 is a nimble tractor and manoeuvres around rows. We get in some tight spots, especially with kiwifruit but it’s got sharp turning especially with the narrow tyres. “Maintenance is not a problem. It’s easy to access the filters, especially the air filter, and the radiator is spaced out so you can get the air gun in. The grease nipples are on the side for the front axle so you don’t have to crawl underneath.” The engine is a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) Tier 4 common rail. This means it has low emissions and requires a urea product to bind with the nitrogen oxide in the exhaust stream. Walmsley says the additional tank (for the urea), once set up was not a problem. “And the engine is super quiet. It doesn’t smoke when it’s under load; it’s smooth, quiet power. “People are saying ‘flip, that’s a nice tractor’, and if you turn up looking efficient it does help.” It also help that it’s a Massey Ferguson. “Everyone identifies with Massey, I get a big smile when I arrive with a big red tractor; everyone tells me stories of the old 24s that broke in New Zealand.” Kent bought his MF 7615 from Waikato Tractors’ salesman Glenn Greay, who is ‘plain speaking’ – “information without rubbish”. “It was the same with the service guys. Everyone bent over backwards. We had a few teething problems and they talked us through it over the phone. Nothing’s a problem.”



Bigger turnout to effluent expo RECORD NUMBERS

attended the one-day Effluent Expo last month at Mystery Creek, says Waikato Regional Council organiser Electra Kalaugher. About 650 farmers came to see the sites of

50 exhibitors indoors and outside. Exhibits included effluent irrigators, storage ponds and system design services, Kalaugher says, “the turnout showing increasing commitment… to improving effluent

management”. “The expo is seen as a one-stop shop…. About half the expo’s visitors were farm owners, the decision makers [on] upgrading effluent systems.” DairyNZ supported the

event, and Fonterra, Open Country, Tatua and Miraka promoted it to their farmers. Most attendees came from Waikato, others from Northland, Taranaki and Wairarapa. Waikato Regional Visitors at the KlipTank site.

Tasman Tanks had a towering presence at the effluent expo.

Council says it is working more proactively with farmers whose soils risk waterway contamination. Expo seminars included principles for

designing an upgrade or installing a new effluent irrigation system, nutrient management on dairy farms, making the most of effluent irrigation and Irrigators put on demonstrations at the expo.

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NZS 4604

STANDARD RANGE AVAILABLE WITH COPPER BARREL, GALVANISED OR STAINLESS CASE 180 ltr 610 dia x 1330 high 3kW 200 ltr 600 dia x 1295 high 3kW 225 ltr 610 dia x 1550 high 3kW 270 ltr 610 dia x 1750 high 3kW 270 ltr 710 dia x 1350 high 3kW 270 ltr 810 dia x 1050 high 3kW 300 ltr 710 dia x 1330 high 3kW 350 ltr 710 dia x 1660 high 2 x 3kW 350 ltr 810 dia x 1400 high 2 x 3kW 400 ltr 710 dia x 1820 high 2 x 3kW 450 ltr 710 dia x 2010 high 2 x 3kW 450 ltr 810 dia x 1600 high 2 x 3kW

500 ltr 915 dia x 1400 high 2 x 3kW 600 ltr 810 da x 1900 high 3 x 3kW 600 ltr 915 dia x 1500 high 3 x 3kW 700 ltr 810 dia x 2200 high 3 x 3kW 700 ltr 915 dia x 1700 high 3 x 3kW 800 ltr 915 dia x 1900 high 3 x 3kW 800 ltr 1160 dia x 1400 high 3 x 3kW 1000 ltr 915 dia x 2400 high 3 x 3kW 1000 ltr 1160 dia x 1650 high 3 x 3kW SUPERHEAT STAINLESS SIZES WITH PLASTIC CASE 600 ltr 920 dia x 1650 high 3 x 3kW 1000 ltr 1170 dia x 1640 high 3 x 5kW 1200 ltr 1170 dia x 1865 high 3 x 5kW 1500 ltr 1170 dia x 2180 high 3 x 5kW

NEW SIZES AVAILABLE Now with stainless steel inner barrel and stainless outer case 350 ltr 400 ltr 450 ltr 500 ltr 600 ltr 700 ltr

710 dia x 1670 710 dia x 1860 710 dia x 2010 810 dia x 1690 810 dia x 2100 810 dia x 2370

2 x3 kW 2 x 3kW 2 x 3kW 2 x 3kW 3 x 3kW 3 x 3kW

Special sizes available on request. Superheat cylinders include elements, thermostats, valve pack, vacuum break and sight tube.

Put some bling into your dairy shed. Order your dairy cylinder with a stainless steel case.

what the regional council is looking for in dairy effluent monitoring. More details: www. 



Jaguar XJR on the prowl Jaguar XJR

THE NEW XJR epitomises the technology, performance

and seductive design the Jaguar brand stands for in this century, the company says. And it delivers new levels of dynamic ability in a luxury sedan, says Paul Ricketts, brand manager, Jaguar New Zealand. The XJR incorporates chassis and aerodynamic developments to create the most focused, agile and responsive member of the XJ family. Power comes from a 5.0L supercharged V8 engine with 405kW and 680Nm. Subtle exterior styling gives the car an assertive appearance, along with a front splitter, ‘R’ bonnet louvres and quad tailpipes. An eight-speed transmission extends the performance characteristics and the XJR can clock 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds then on to an electronically limited top speed of 280km/h. The 20-inch lightweight forged alloy Farallon wheels carry specially developed Pirelli tyres. Allied to the tyre technology are tuned dampers and spring rates which optimise handling and stability at speed and increase the feeling of ‘connectivity’ with the road surface. The settings for the active electronic differential and dynamic stability control system are calibrated to allow an enthusiastic driver to get a huge blast. And the steering hydraulics and calibration enhance steering feel, response and feedback under all conditions. Price: from $220,000, on sale now.

A n e w a p p r oac h to productivit y

CLEVER TRANSMISSION MAXIMISING THE benefit of the engine calibration is the eight-speed automatic transmission, based on lessons while developing the highperformance XFR-S sedan. This transmission system brings out the sporting nature of the XJR while still maintaining the car’s composure in town and at low speeds. In automatic mode the transmission can detect how the car is being driven by monitoring acceleration and braking, cornering forces, throttle and brake pedal activity, road load and kickdown request. On detecting a more enthusiastic driving style, the transmission will automatically make the gearshifts more aggressive and move the shift-up point higher in the rev range. Steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles also give the driver higher levels of control. Corner recognition senses when the car is negotiating a bend, the transmission holding the correct gear for the exit. The transmission will also recognise when the car is performing a series of overtaking manoeuvres requiring rapid changes in throttle position and, rather than change up, will remain in a lower gear ready for the next demand for acceleration.

The new 5 series tractors from Deutz-Fahr deliver unparalleled on-farm productivity with industry leading features like cab suspension, Stop & Go, 4-wheel braking, an ultra-clean tier 4 engine and a super quiet, ergonomically designed cabin. The 5 series provides the benefits of a big tractor in a compact, muscular 100-130Hp tractor ideally suited to New Zealand farming. Call your local Deutz-Fahr dealer for a demonstration today, and prepare to be impressed.

Check out our websites


0800 801 888 |



App allows wireless machine driving, parts ordering GERMAN-MADE VADERSTAD Tempo plant-

ers can now be controlled wirelessly via the company’s E-Service that also allows parts for the machine to be ordered using an iPad app. Distributor C B Norwood refers to “wireless control through an easy to use and beautifully designed iPad application”. The iPad connects to the Tempo planter’s

secure wireless network. An active internet connection is not required for use in the field. The control system includes: management of the planting process, including seed, fertiliser and microgranules; configuration of the Tempo machine; individual row shut-off (seed, fertiliser and microgranules); tramlining; and logging of data and events. With an Isobus

platform in the tractor, it is possible to use the Isobus terminal to control the machine. A ‘black box’ on the Tempo machine displays the necessary data to Vaderstad-approved virtual terminals. In a non-Isobus environment the operator can control the machine with an iPad connected wirelessly to the Gateway. The Gateway also logs GPS, seed quantity, alarms and other data.

Vaderstad’s wireless service allows parts ordered using an iPad app.

The iPad can also be placed in a custom-designed Vaderstad holder with several function keys

for central manoeuvres. Väderstad E-services is available for 6- to 8-row Tempo machines. The control system will be

available for more product families late 2014. For previous machines, there will be options for retrofitting.

Twin-rotor CR combines.

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

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

PERMACOLOUR REPELL SS Phone 0508 444 555

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

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

Twin-rotor combines have 15% more capacity NEW HOLLAND Twin Rotor CR combines have been further upgraded, the company reports. Notably, capacity has been increased by 15% by means of the maker’s dynamic feed roll – part of the dynamic stone protection system, says New Holland product specialist

MS1152 C B Norwood Distributors Ltd

Greg Moore. “The latest CR upgrades are testament to our unceasing quest to improve the harvesting productivity of the world’s professional farmers and combine harvesters.” “And the largest grain tanks in the segment enhance harvesting productivity.” Dynamic stone protection utilises a aynamic feed roll inside the feeder housing to simultaneously speed up the crop for smoother feeding and automatically directs stones into a trap. The dynamic feed roll, available on all models, improves feeder performance by up to 10% because of greater throughput. And you can keep harvesting on stony ground without stopping. The lighting package on the CR range has improved the spread of light to the front of the combine by 55%. Four HID work lamps mounted under the cab roof light up the full width of the header. A fifth HID light on the left wing mirror strut illuminates the field ahead. Two halogen lamps are mounted on the rear shield, and cast a broad spread of light to enable operators to monitor residue distribution or straw flow. Two extra lamps are positioned to illuminate the area around rear steering wheels. An upgraded seat with deep cushions and extended fore-after adjustment gives all-possible comfort. The cleaning shoe on CR9080 and CR9090 models delivers up to 8% higher performance in high yielding maize. The shoe now has a larger diameter clean grain-cross auger to speed the transition of grain into the elevator. The CR range takes extra tall, large diameter 900/75/R32 tyres with a bigger footprint than flotation tyres.

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

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

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

A service now could save on valuable downtime later. PGG Wrightson Water are New Zealand’s leading irrigation and pumping specialists with over 40 years of experience in design, construction and maintenance. We can service and repair any make and model of irrigator, pump or system throughout the country. To keep your irrigation system operating at peak efficiency, contact your local PGG Wrightson Water branch today.

Freephone 0800 864 774

PGG Wrighston Water branches: Auckland Hastings Kaiapoi Christchurch Ashburton Timaru Cromwell

2/4 Sultan St, Ellerslie 1203 Omahu Road 530 Mill Road, Ohoka 44 Mandeville St, Riccarton 447 West Street 7 Eversley Street 16 Pinot Noir Drive 11 Hughes Crescent

Helping grow the country

Dairy News 15 April 2014  

Dairy News 15 April 2014