Page 1

Decline in global dairy prices halts. Page 3

TPP trade talks

Dairy must be included Page 10

See page 26

june 24, 2014 Issue 315 //

Spy in the sky Time to stop the aerial torment of farmers.







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Dairy News june 24, 2014

news  // 3

‘Broken-down typewriter’ threatens farming’s future PETER BURKE


Top gong for Wills. PG.18

Robotic milking spreads global reach. PG.29

Taking the heat off mating. PG.41

News�����������������������������������������������������3-20 Opinion���������������������������������������������22-24 Agribusiness�����������������������������25-27 Management������������������������������ 28-35 Animal Health���������������������������36-41 Effluent & Water Management������������������������������� 42-51 Machinery & Products��������������������������������������52-58

backlash against the agricultural sector is a threat to New Zealand, says Deputy Prime Minister Bill English. He urges the farming sector to help itself by moving to present a positive view of its activities to the public. English made his comments at an economic seminar run this month at Tauranga by the Bank of New Zealand just prior to the announcement of winner of the Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Maori dairy farm of the year. English says public backlash could shut down growth in the agricultural sector. “It drove me mad to know that one guy with broken-down typewriter – the Fish & Game guy – was winning this public argument up against this multi billion-dollar, highly sophisticated agricultural industry. He won the ‘dirty dairying’ argument. “Some people think that doesn’t matter, but agriculture is one of the bigger drivers of productiv-

ity in recent years. That’s why we have invested four-five years in this exhaustive collaborative process of getting a freshwater framework right. Now we are starting to see agricultural businesses with multi billiondollar balance sheets spending more time understanding the science and exerting influence.” English says farming has a lot of credibility with the public and it often underestimates this. Leaders such as Feds president Bruce Wills have done much to raise issues in a reasoned way and claw back lost public credibility. He also says farming must help train and encourage young people to work in the sector. “Too many cockies expect they should just be able to go to the market and find people who can do all sorts of stuff, who are cheap and don’t mind working 16 hours a day. But those days are coming to an end and a bit more investment by the industry is needed. “Getting farmers to work together is almost impossible, but it can happen and more collective

Bill English with Maori agribusiness leader Kingi Smiler in Tauranga.

effort on the skills base is going to be required.” English says public opinion is beginning to change for the better, moving out of an era when farmers were too defensive in their messaging. “Going on about how urban people don’t understand farming is precisely the wrong thing to say. You say that to them and they say ‘oh yeah, I don’t understand it’. It’s just ridiculous: urban people are quite capable of understanding agriculture and in fact they are quite interested in it.” It’s possible to sensibly discuss

with anyone how our environment has ended up the way it is and who manages it. “I often [tell city people] that an environmental manager is a 22 yearold up at five o’clock in the morning opening the gate and chasing the cows around in the rain. And they reply ‘oh yeah, I suppose so’. Then I say ‘now let’s have a discussion about how you want them doing things differently’.” English says it’s important farmers aren’t defensive, that their arguments are based on good science and that they treat any audience with respect.

Global markets level at last GLOBAL DAIRY Trade prices rose on average 0.9% at last week’s auction, ending a fourmonth slide. “It was good to see it finally stop going down,” Federated Farmers Dairy vice chairman Andrew Hoggard told Dairy News. “But you can’t take too much from one result. If it plateaus for the next two months then maybe we can say the cycle is over and we’re starting another one.”

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The levelling of prices was also welcomed by economists, many of whom had predicted prices would stabilise sooner and were surprised by the June 4 dip of 4.2% which left Fonterra’s $7/kgMS forecast looking vulnerable. Last week’s result saw whole milk powder, which makes up just over 60% of sales on GDT and mostly comes from New Zealand, up 2.4% overall with all contract positions now within a US$100/t range, from a high of US$3715/t for

August shipment to US$3617/t for November shipment. Skim milk powder, the second highest-volume commodity but with more US, European and Indian supply, as well as New Zealand, was down 0.2% to average US$3855/t, while anhydrous milk fat was down 3.8% at US$3898/t. Butter milk powder was up 17% but it is a minute fraction of GDT sales. @dairy_news



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Dairy News june 24, 2014

4 //  news

Chopper off that weight pam tipa

PERMANENTLY BANNING helicopter moni-

toring of farm effluent issues would lift a big weight of anxiety off farm-

ers’ shoulders, says a Waikato farmer spokeswoman Lisa Lile. “Farmers are on edge when they hear those helicopters flying over,” the Waikato sharemilker told Dairy News. “They feel like they are going through

customs all the time. They start wondering why the helicopter is flying over or whether something has happened in the past week that their farm is now noncompliant. There’s that fear of retribution all the time: what’s gone wrong?

Why is that helicopter flying over my farm?” Lile wants to see a full ban on flights. She also wants dairy company and council enforcement staff to work together to rationalise inspections. Lile was among farming

Flying over less often AS MANY as 1000 farms a year were helicopter monitored by the Waikato Regional Council in 20092012. It has since done about 600 inspections a year. In the past five years 24 flights have each monitored 100-135 farms per flight. “From 2009 to 2012, a thousand farms a year were selected on a purely random basis,” a council spokesman says. “These farms were then grouped in areas and flown over. Only those farms with possible effluent compli-

ance issues visible from the air were subsequently inspected by groundbased staff. So we ground inspected about 450 farms a year during this 2009-12 period. “From 2012 we have flown over only 600 a year and then ground inspected all 600. This comes after a letter telling those farmers ‘this is what we will be doing’. After the flight any signs of significant non-compliance are followed up promptly. “We then inspect the rest of the farms after making an appoint-

ment. We then work one-on-one with the farmers to make any necessary improvements to effluent systems to ensure compliance 365 days a year. Farmers have been positive about this monitoring system. With this method, we have been aiming to visit every Waikato dairy farm over six years.” The council will decide on Thursday whether to accept the environment committee’s recommendation to halt helicopter monitoring while enforcement methods are reviewed.

Lisa Lile (left), Dana Lile (15), Hamish Lile, Hayley Lile (11) and Sir John Kirwan.

representatives who spoke to the Waikato Regional Council’s environmental performance committee about stress caused by the helicopter monitoring. The committee has

now recommended to the full council a temporary halt on random helicopter checks pending a review of the council’s enforcement methods. Lile and her husband

Hamish recently went public via the National Depression Initiative (NDI) fronted by Sir John Kirwan, about Hamish’s experience of being depressed. Lile has also

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

news  // 5

of worry been involved with Farmer Mental Wellness Strategy and Action Plan chaired by the Dairy Womens Network. Lile says the pressures of compliance are hitting farmers aged 45-plus. Three farmers committed suicide in one week last month, compliance being implicated in at least one death, she says. Quad bike crashes get huge publicity but little is heard about farmer suicide, she says. Farmers want to comply but smaller farms struggle with the expense

“They have to understand we can’t just pull $150,000 out of our back pocket and pay for it tomorrow. It is something that has to be worked on.” of a new effluent system. “The council comes onto the property after doing a helicopter flyover and says ‘you’re not complaint anymore; you need to do this, this and this’. The farmer gets a price and realises it will cost him $150,000 plus and the council turns around and says ‘I want it fixed yesterday’. You can

imagine the kind of stress that is putting on farmers.” Whether the compliance official is helpful or on an “ego trip trying to intimidate people” depends on who you get on the day, she says. Ninety-nine percent of farmers want clear waterways and a clean, green

image for New Zealand. “We understand farming is evolving; we want to evolve as well.” But compliance officials – be they company or council – want it done tomorrow, she says. They forget about the need to help farmers become compliant. “They have to understand we can’t just pull $150,000 out of our back pocket and pay for it tomorrow. It is something that has to be worked on.” Pressure for compliance is also coming from all the dairy companies

why not call at the door? THE HELICOPTER monitoring method is intrusive and farmers feel harassed and watched, says Federated Farmers Waikato president Chris Lewis. “What farmers are saying to the regional council is ‘instead of flying over the top of us, make an appointment and we will show you our farm’,” he told Dairy News. “You may fly over in a helicopter and tick boxes and say you’ve checked the farms but farmers would prefer you to come onfarm, have a look around and discuss issues and work in a constructive way to get better outcomes.” Lewis says until about two years ago the council was doing about 10 helicopter flights a

year, inspecting 100-120 farms per flight. This year it’s down to six flights. But Federated Farmers is not asking for a complete ban at this stage; it wants a review. “We would like to see it reduced and some better outcomes for the environment, for farmers and a better [acknowledgement by] the urban public that farmers are doing the right thing for the environment.” Lewis says many older farmers are suspicious of helicopter monitoring, just as they don’t completely trust the internet. “They haven’t grown up with that surveillance. We’ve got to have that level of trust don’t we?” Some farmers face the stress

of farming a difficult property and doing the right thing by the environment and everyone concerned. “Some people don’t have a big pot of gold. Being told by people ‘you are doing a bad job’, and needing to spend more money where it is not available can be very stressful.” So are threats to take a farmer to court. Lewis spoke at the hearing and says the regional councillors listened to their arguments and seemed motivated to do better for the farming community. “Hopefully they will engage the farming community to get a better win-win situation; they will get more buy-in to what they’re doing and hopefully better education,” Lewis says.

Waikato Regional Council has monitored up to 1000 farms per year from the air.

and Quality Control New Zealand which does the on-farm checks for dairy companies. Every farm must be inspected every year by the dairy companies, so all inspections should be aligned so farmers are not hit with a “double whammy”. Quality Control New Zealand could do the checks and report back to councils on farms which may not be compliant in five years. “They could start working with them over how

they can become compliant. That will take the stress and anxiety away. They will be able to operate a better farming business because there won’t be the fear of retribution anymore.” Having the Fonterra payout plastered all through the media gives the impression farmers have plenty of money for compliance. “But by the time we’ve paid all our expenses we are lucky if we’re earning 20c for milksolids.”

At the Waikato hearing she told the councillors “you are not only invading our farm with your helicopters but our home: it is personal to us”. Ceasing those flights would be a big step in reducing farmer stress: “That’s the one that really stresses farmers out.” She has already had phone calls over the temporary halt to flights. “One farmer said he felt a weight lift off his shoulders.”

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

6 //  news

Miscanthus for shelter bedding, fuel? andrew swallow

A SUGAR-CANE like grass, mis-

canthus, could solve the conundrum of providing shelter on pivot-irrigated pasture. And shelter could be just one of its uses, a meeting in Ashburton last week heard. Within three-four years of establishment the rhizomatous plant puts up a forest of 4m shoots every season, providing dense, flexible windbreaks. “The reason it appeals is because you can let it grow to its maximum height and the centre pivot just passes straight through it,” Lincoln University researcher Chris Littlejohn explained. Come autumn the plants senesce, losing leaves, but stems are sufficiently sturdy to remain standing to provide some winter

shelter too. The increased permeability of the shelter following senescence may even be an advantage as semi-permeable shelter provides a wider sheltered strip in its lee. “To get that distance effect you want 50-60% permeability. If you’ve got that you should get shelter for 15-20 times the height of the shelter belt.” But shelter for livestock is only part of the equation. Increased pasture growth and reduced evapotranspiration are other known benefits of shelter. In the trial, pasture growth is being mapped across six paddocks with miscanthus shelters on their boundaries. The miscanthus strips have been planted in 7m-wide strips on the Aylesbury farm to allow for harvesting while still leaving a width for shelter, but if shelter was the only aim a 3-4m strip would suffice, Littlejohn suggested.

Flexible shelter: irrigators will pass straight through, Lincoln researcher Chris Littlejohn explains.

If harvested green the miscanthus makes a low quality baleage: tests on November-made bales came out at 9.1MJ of metaboliseable energy (ME) per kg drymatter, with a 17% drymatter content. Cut and baled in winter, drymatter was 58% but ME tumbled to 4.6MJ/ kgDM. Leaving harvest until late winter can see drymatter climb to 80%,

making the miscanthus suitable for use as fuel or, if chopped, livestock bedding. Project supervisor professor Steve Wratten is looking into other benefits of the crop, such as habitat provision boosting biodiversity and improved farm aesthetics. “We counted up to 13 benefits of this on the dairy farm. That’s quite a good marketing story,” he noted.


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Retailing revolution THE GLOBAL food industry is on the eve of an online retailing revolution, says Rabobank. The bank warns this will mean fundamental changes for players along the supply chain, from processors through to retailers. Brands and private-label food processors of every size will have to exploit opportunities and tackle the challenges of securing on-screen visibility. In its report ‘Food Processors Challenged by Online Growth Dynamics,’ Rabobank looks at the growth of online food retail as a game changer for processors, similar to the introduction of self-service supermarkets in the 20th century and later the arrival of ‘hard’ discounting and private labels. “In theory the online grocery market should be a place for everyone to sell everything,” says John David Roeg, senior analyst, Rabobank. “But food processors face the danger of being pushed to the back of the e-shelf. It’s not enough to change the packaging or formulations; in the face of increased competition and opportunities for commercial advantage products need to be ‘online-proof’.” From large FMCGs to B-brands and private-label producers, different strategies will be required to make products stand out against the competition. In the end it will be the squeezed middle that find it difficult to break the top-line search results dominated by the most popular (A brands) or the cheapest (privatelabel) products, it says.

Dairy News june 24, 2014

news  // 7

Small Maori landowners combine to taste success A TARANAKI farm owned by four Maori trusts scooped the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming trophy. Te Rua o Te Moko Ltd was one of three finalists in the competition, held each year. The other finalists were Putauaki Trust – Himiona Farm, and Ngati Awa Farms – Ngakauroa Farm, both located near Whakatane. The farm trust’s chair Dion Maaka says its success validated the decision by 1100 owners to combine their land to establish the farm. Maaka says it stood out because it was an amalgamation of four separate Maori trusts, representing at least 1000 landowners who combined their small, uneconomic blocks into one more viable dairy farm. The 170ha farm is run by 50/50 sharemilkers Michael and Ruth Prankerd, whose 500 cows produced a record 190,000kgMS last season.

shareholders whose lineage traces back to the land, and for other young people. Called Land Based Training, last year it graduated eight youngsters who then got jobs on dairy farms. Eight more are now in training. Ahuwhenua Trophy management committee chairman Kingi Smiler says Te Rua o Te Moko Ltd was a shining example of how Maori are collaborating with small trusts cooperating to create larger, more economically viable enterprises which better serve local people and New Zealand. “All the finalists were an amalgam of smaller entities which had put aside individual interests for the greater good of a larger whanau,” says Smiler. “ This collaborative approach began 81 years ago when the Minister of Maori Affairs Sir Apirana Ngata encouraged Maori to work in this way. Today the collaborative approach [is] resulting in outstand-

gain [is not] at the expense of Maori values,” he says. BNZ head of agribusiness John Janssen says that by amalgamating a smaller land holdings Te Rua o Te Moko is able to drive growth until now only achieved by larger

“All the finalists were an amalgam of smaller entities which had put aside individual interests for the greater good of a larger whanau.” ing achievements.” Smiler says Maori agribusiness has become a powerhouse of the New Zealand economy and has come of age, as shown every day as Maori trusts and incorporations are besieged by consultants, advisors and investors wanting to be a part of the action. “One of the reasons for this is that trusts such as Te Rua o Te Moko Ltd, the other finalists and many others have lifted their game and become highly successful multimilliondollar businesses. “In the early years of the competition the winners were held up as great role models. The modern day finalists and ultimate winners are the same. Today they can benchmark successfully with all farms – not just Maori farms. They are adopting all the technologies modern farming has to offer.” But their “quest for financial

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Maaka received the Ahuwhenua Trophy from Governor-General Sir Gerry Mateparae at an awards dinner in Tauranga earlier this month. He was also presented with a replica of the trophy by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and the winner’s medal from BNZ chief executive Anthony Healy. The trust also receives about $40,000 in prizes donated by sponsors. Maaka says bringing the blocks together into one large farm marked the beginning of a new era for the 1100 landowners and has given them an exciting vision for the future. “Individually the blocks were too small to be farmed economically, but as a collective unit they are able to provide a much better financial return for their owners.” Te Rua o Te Moko Ltd also runs a training operation for descendants of

land owners. “Every year the Ahuwhenua competition highlights and shares innovative farming business practices driving growth in the agribusiness sector, and this year is no exception.”

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Dion Maaka with the Ahuwhenua Trophy.

Dairy News june 24, 2014

8 //  news

Young Ahuwhenua champion on track for farm ownership A GOOD sense of

humour, an easygoing attitude and love for the land make a great farmer, says 2014 Young Maori Farmer of the Year, Wiremu Reid. Maori have these qualities and therefore do well as farmers, said the 24-year-old after collecting the award at the Ahuwhenua Trophy awards earlier this month in Tauranga.

Reid, a Southland sharemilker, has his heart set on owning a farm by age 30. The fourth-generation dairy farmer grew up in Whangarei and moved south with his partner Bettina in 2009. They have since been building their equity, making many sacrifices along the way, hoping to own a farm by 2020. “I’m confident we’ll get there,” he says. “Ultimately we want a run-

off, or a lease block with conversion possibilities, but for the short term we would like somewhere to graze our own stock.” Reid said the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition raises the bar every year and he thanked everyone who helped him develop as a dairy farmer. “People make it all possible, that’s what Awuwhenua Trophy is all about.”

Reid and Bettina are in their first season 50/50 sharemilking 1150 cows in Ranfurly with the support of his parents. “We’re all doing a big marae style partnership,” says Reid. “My parents are helping out with the wintering and mating. Having them involved means there’s more time to do extra jobs that will help us get to where we want to be faster.” To improve his business management skills Reid is studying towards a diploma in agribusiness management through Primary ITO, a course that helps improve business knowledge and skills. Though dedicated to achieving his goal, Reid recognises the importance of family and strives to spend time with his young sons William and Manu. “My parents always made time for us so Bettina and I do the same. We try to take the boys back north during the calm parts of the year as I think it’s important they have a relationship with Whangarei.” Wiremu was one of the

Wiremu Reid and partner Bettina.

three finalists in the competition, with Waikato sharemilker Joshua Macdonald and Clutha herd manager James Matheson. Sponsored by Primary ITO, Te Tumu Paeroa, Te Puni Kakiri and Allflex, the competition was set up in 2012 as an addition

to the Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Maori Excellence in Farming Award. It alternates each year between dairy and sheep and beef farming, giving deserving young Maori the opportunity to be recognised for their achievements. This year the award is for dairy

farmers. Applicants were assessed on such matters as commitment to farming, training and education, expertise relevant to the position, their community involvement, plans for the future and personal attributes.

about ahuwhenua THE AHUWHENUA Trophy competition dates back to 1932 when it was introduced to encourage skill and proficiency in Maori farming. The inaugural 1933 competition was open to individual dairy farmers in the Waiariki Land district and was won by William Swinton from Raukokore, Bay of Plenty. The following year the competition was extended to include entrants from North and South Auckland, Gisborne, Wanganui and Wellington. In 1936 the cup was won by Henry Dewes, a sheep farmer from Tikitiki who displayed

it in a shop in Waiapu. A year later the shop caught fire and the trophy was destroyed. It was replaced in 1938, only to be lost six years later during a train trip from Rotorua to Wellington. It was eventually found in 1946 in a Frankton store after being mislaid with someone’s personal belongings at the train station. In 2005, the Ahuwhenua Trophy management committee decided on a new structure for the competition with sheep and beef and dairy competitions being run in alternate years.

Dairy News june 24, 2014

news  // 9

Fonterra disagrees with Farmers need a ruling, pays $150,000 view of three financial scenarios THE NEW Zealand Market Dis-

plan and experiment with options because dairy farming is full of options. “Model that picture – now is the time to do it. When you are flat-out calving it’s UNCERTAINTY OVER payout and pretty hard to come up with a brand new interest rates is causing a huge conflict in plan. You should think about it now while dairy farmers’ minds at the moment, says you’ve got some time up your sleeve; you Brian Eccles, managing director of farm can adjust it later on. The software gives management software company CRS Soft- that flexibility. “You can have two farms ware Ltd. on similar land, same size “They are aware of the and everything else and the old maxim that sometimes two farmers can do things you have to spend money quite differently and end up to make money. And somewith the same result. In a year times you’ve got to cut the like this when prices have cost to suit,” he told Dairy dropped a little you’ve got to News. think about what’s the better “The correct answer lies way of doing it.” somewhere in the middle of Eccles says there’s uncerthose two. If they do things tainty about interest rates like they did last year they Brian Eccles says dairy over the next 12 months. “The will end up with a deficit. farmers should model different financial Things will have to change, scenarios for the coming official cash rate is going up but that isn’t as tightly related so where are they going to season. to the future cost of mortgage fit in the continuum?” Eccles says farm management software interest as perhaps we had thought a week such as CRS’s Cashmanager Rural can help ago,” he says. Banks are sourcing funds from outside them look at different options, experiment and put together a spending plan in New Zealand at lower rates than they have the coming season that will work for them. been getting for a while. “Interest rates will “When you prepare a spending plan in farm probably go up but by how much we are software it is far easier to experiment with not sure at the moment. I hadn’t realised different options and look at it from the the banks had some alternative sources of money outside New Zealand that they can good, bad and the ugly. “If you do it in longhand on paper it is get at a relatively low interest rate.” Masterton-based CRS Software was very hard to experiment but software is really good at that. Our software is unique established in 1981 and started using ‘cloud in that it is designed for dairy farmers to be computing’ for farm accounting in 2009. Eccles says it is a “game-changer” allowing doing this particular job.” Eccles says dairy farmers should make farmers, accountants, banks and farm mana really optimistic plan, a really pessimistic agers all to access the same information. pam tipa

ciplinary Tribunal says Fonterra breached its rules by not releasing information to the markets as soon as it was aware of potential contamination of product during last year’s false-alarm food safety scare. Fonterra disagrees with the tribunal’s findings, but has agreed to a settlement of $150,000. The tribunal says Fonterra should have told NZX as soon as soon as it was aware of results from AgResearch testing of potential botulism contamination on Wednesday, July 31, 2013. Instead it told NZX after midnight on Friday, August 2, after the markets had closed. After a massive international recall of three batches of whey protein concentrate WPC80 manufactured at Fonterra’s Hautapu plant, the Ministry for Primary Industries announced on August 28 that fur-

ther conclusive testing showed the batches did not contain the botulinum strain of clostridium and that the affected product posed no risk to the public. Fonterra’s group director governance and legal Mike Cronin says Fonterra had co-operated fully with the NZX and the NZ Markets Disciplinary Tribunal throughout the investigation. “As part of a full and final settlement, we have acknowledged the tribunal’s views and agreed to make a payment of $150,000. “Following the Fonterra board’s independent inquiry into WPC80, and as the tribunal’s statement sets out, Fonterra has made significant changes to ensure improved identification, management and escalation of emerging risks across the cooperative, with a particular focus on food safety and quality. “Fonterra remains committed to

fully complying with the rules governing the Fonterra shareholders’ market and the NZX listing rules,” Cronin says. The tribunal says in its findings that while Fonterra cooperated fully with the inquiry, it was “concerning and disappointing” it has not accepted a breach of rules had occurred. “The tribunal also records that Fonterra could have managed its compliance with continuous disclosure obligations better in this case. “The tribunal reinforces the need for organisations, and particularly those of the size and standing of Fonterra, to devote proper resources, time and training to their continuous disclosure obligations and to foster a culture of openness and transparency in relation to continuous disclosure issues.” – Pam Tipa

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

10 //  news

TPP may not reduce tariffs but could still be attractive pam tipa

NEW ZEALAND needs to accept that

limited areas of trade will probably not achieve zero tariffs in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, says trade consultant Stephen Jacobi. That could apply to any products – including dairy, he says. “But there are other ways of dealing with this,” Jacobi told Dairy News. “For example the Japanese could open up various tariff quotas – perhaps at zero – for trade to occur. “They may not open up trade com-

pletely beyond the tariff quota but could aggressively reduce the tariff quota to zero. That is a second best option but it is attractive to New Zealand exporters. “It depends how the deal is constructed. The main thing is to keep pressing the need for as much tariff elimination as possible or very few exceptions. They need to demonstrate trade can occur even in those areas where zero tariffs have not been achieved.” If an agreement is reached with some tariff elimination across the 12 nations, New Zealand needs to be involved. But if dairy was completely taken out of the agreement then New Zealand could not

Nothing but zero - dcanz THE TPP negotiations must continue on the principles agreed at Honolulu for comprehensive coverage of all products and for full tariff elimination across all countries, says the chairman of the Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, Malcolm Bailey. “Recent comments from a range of sources indicate that this objective may not be achieved and that less than full elimination will be considered an acceptable outcome,” says Bailey. Japan’s tariffs on dairy imports are as high as 200% to 300%. This is coupled with limited acMalcolm Bailey cess through tariff quotas. “While elimination can occur over a time period, it is crucial that there is an endpoint of a zero tariff and a transition regime that allows entry of product at zero tariffs,” he says. “TPP has been promoted as a high quality agreement. Anything less than elimination reduces its impact and the quality of the end result. And excluding particular products or tariff lines is not acceptable either.” Bailey says Canada also has tariffs of 200% to 300%. “They effectively seal off all the Canadian market to imports and maintain a very high-cost industry. Tariffs in other countries in TPP including the USA and Mexico also act as impediments to trade.”

“The main thing is to keep pressing the need for as much tariff elimination as possible or very few exceptions.” possibly sign, says Jacobi, now a private consultant but who has held high level trade and diplomatic positions for New Zealand. Jacobi says the TPP negotiations were stalled until President Obama went to Tokyo in April. This unblocked negotiations but “there are some negative signals around the final ambition”. President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also seem to have agreed that something other than complete tariff removal may be negotiated. Japan has previously said it would not reduce tariffs on key agricultural imports including dairy. “This is the thing that dairy companies and other business organisations, including some in the United States, are reacting very negatively to,” Jacobi says. “If we can’t get to zero tariffs in TPP, which is what we always hoped, we will have to make sure any exceptions are very limited. And that everything agreed between Japan and the United States applies to everybody, not just them.” Japan was the last country allowed into the TPP negotiations, in April last year. “There was concern that without Japan the deal would not have been big enough for the President to have got it through the Congress. By including Japan it is a much bigger deal and gives the US agricultural interests more of an interest in seeing this deal concluded, which means they will have to liberalise their own market.

“Without Japan, the US dairy or pork industries might not have been willing to liberalise their own markets. But now they want access to Japan, they’ll have to do the same for their own market.” The US dairy industry also wants access to Canada and having Japan in the deal is also attractive to Canada, giving it incentive to liberalise its very restrictive dairy regime. “These are closely connected: kicking Japan out or not letting them in was never really an option. Of course we want to see them liberalised to the maximum extent possible. “They are already moving quite a long way, but they knew the rules of the game when they came in. If they are departing from those rules they must explain to everybody how the original objectives will be met.” Negotiators are meeting now: there was a New Zealand team in Japan this month and vice versa. A meeting of the lead negotiators will be held Vancouver on July 3-12. “I suspect we’ve got a wee way to go. I can’t see that this can be brought together much before the US congressional elections (November). Although attention has been focused on Japan it

Stephen Jacobi

has not been so obvious that although the United States has committed in principle to opening up the market, I am not sure it has committed in detail. Until they do I can’t see how we could bring this to a conclusion but I am happy to be proved wrong.” Overall Jacobi says it will be challenging to get to zero tariffs but “we will get to zero in a lot”. “What I am hoping is any exceptions or exemptions [from zero] will be very restricted and that trade still needs to be able to occur even in those areas. An important outcome of TPP also needs to be that everything has to apply to everybody, not just certain participants,” he says.


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Dairy News june 24, 2014

12 //  news

Oceania on track for September handover

Taking shape... Oceania Dairy’s new plant at Glenavy.



Oceania Dairy’s $214m milk processing plant at Glenavy, South Canter-

bury, will start next month with a final handover expected mid September, says Oceania chief executive Aidan Johnstone. “All milk received from late July will be processed in the ODL (Oceania Dairy

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Limited) plant,” he told Dairy News. Since March another couple of farms have signed, taking expected supply for the season to 166m L from 48 properties. Local dairy farmers Aad and Wilma van Leeuwen, who sold the land to Oceania for the factory, are cornerstone suppliers with 20 of the farms. Johnstone says ODL has committed to paying 10c/kgMS above the Fonterra milk price for the first three seasons. Suppliers’ contracts are “open ended” three-year deals and include paying an advance rate of 80% from the beginning of the season. Capacity of the plant has previously been signalled as 300m L/year intake, to produce 47,000t/ year of milkpowder which will be exported to China where parent company Yili will make it into infant formula. Johnstone says ODL intends to top up farm milk supply with “close to the 50 million litres permitted under DIRA” from Fonterra, which suggests the plant will be operating at about 70% of capacity this season. Previous statements have indicated ODL’s aim is to be at capacity by 201617 but 166m L of farm supply is well ahead of the original first season target of 130m L. Whether ODL is now on course to be full for the 2015-16 season Johnstone can’t say. “We have not considered supply levels for

the 2015-16 season as yet, although a number of potential new suppliers have registered their interest.” Johnstone says ODL’s supply criteria are similar to Fonterra’s and as all supplying farms are close to the plant there’s been no need to levy transport costs. Its target collection area is a 50km radius. Many of ODL’s suppliers, including the van Leeuwen’s, were among a group which switched from nearby New Zealand Dairies (NZDL) to supply Synlait in 2011 but fell out with the Dunsandel-based processor – which is about 180km away up State Highway One – over extra charges for collections from south of Timaru for the 2013-14 season. The resulting dispute was acknowledged in Synlait’s initial public offering documentation last year (Dairy News, July 23, 2013). “Some of those [NZDL] suppliers have notified us that they regard any imposition of a distance surcharge on them as a breach of contract,” the IPO prospectus noted in the risks section. “We [Synlait] believe in our entitlement to introduce the distance surcharge. However, this may ultimately need to be determined by a court.” Dairy News’ enquiry to Synlait as to whether this dispute had been resolved was unanswered when this article went to press. @dairy_news

down comes the crane IN A media update earlier this month ODL said the dismantling of a tower crane that’s been on site since October was “a great sign of progress as we move towards completion of the factory build”. “The tower crane was originally designed for use on oil rigs but it has been converted for use in dairy factory construction,” explained ODL chief executive Aidan Johnstone. Commissioning of chilled, bore and waste water systems has started and boiler construction is also on schedule for completion in time for the performance tests that are an integral part of the factory’s commissioning.



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Dairy News june 24, 2014

14 //  news

Disease lab to bring sector up to speed PAM TIPA

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy with scientist Courtney O’Sullivan. The Government has announced a $65m bio-containment lab at the AgResearch Wallaceville facility.

THE NEW $65 million

biocontainment laboratory at Wallaceville in Upper Hutt will support

our international trade agreements by confirming our disease status, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy. As with the present 40-year-old lab, it will provide the necessary assur-

ances for trade in animals and animal products – including dairy, Guy told Dairy News. The work carried out at the new facility will be much the same as at present, but the new lab will be even safer, more

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secure and have greater capacity to handle emergency situations. “Any outbreak of a serious animal disease would have major impacts on the dairy industry. The new lab will play a crucial role in managing and responding to any such crisis.” He says the Animal Health Laboratory at Wallaceville is a vital part of New Zealand’s biosecurity system and the only one of its kind in New Zealand. “It identifies and tests high-risk exotic diseases which can infect animals and people. The laboratories play a crucial role in responding to disease outbreaks, protecting public health and providing international trade assurances about our animal disease status.” “In any outbreak, its main role would be diagnostic and identification services – analysing samples from livestock and identifying the presence or absence of the disease,” Guy says. “In a foot and mouth outbreak, the laboratory

would be used to confirm the disease, determine the strain type, help to determine and limit its spread, and eradicate it. It would also have an important role to play later on, providing confirmation to our trading partners that the disease had been eradicated and allowing trade to resume.” He says the existing laboratories at Wallaceville are up to 40 years old and nearing the end of their design life. There’s been 100 years of animal disease diagnostics at the site. The current laboratories have a good service record, but new, fit-forpurpose facilities are needed.  “These will be equipped to current international standards, prepared to withstand earthquakes and able to deal with a large-scale emergency situation.  “They will be able to test the large number of samples required if a serious disease like foot and mouth arrived in New Zealand – around 40,000 to 50,000 samples a week.”

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SENIOR FONTERRA manager Kelvin Wickham, currently president greater China, has been appointed to the new position of managing director global ingredients, effective August 1. And Johan Priem, now a member of the office of the chief executive officer, will become president greater China, when Wickham assumes his new role. Chief executive Theo Spierings says the appointments will strengthen Fonterra’s ‘front bench’. “This year one of our top business priorities is to optimise our global ingredients and operations so we can better manage price volatility and increase value, while ensuring a total focus on food safety and quality and our customers’ needs. The co-op recently appointed Robert Spurway as managing director global operations. Wickham will lead the business that sells all ingredients globally, delivering solutions to global accounts, tactical optimisation of demand and supply and managing the NZMP brand. Says Spierings, “Driving a focused international ingredients business is part of Kelvin’s DNA, having previously held senior global sales and marketing positions in Fonterra and earlier at the NZ Dairy Board.” In March this year Fonterra’s current director global sales Tim Deane was appointed managing director of Fonterra Brands NZ, effective August 1.





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Dairy News june 24, 2014

16 //  news

Banker sees more businesssavvy corporate dairying PETER BURKE

Karen Silk, Westpac.

DAIRY FARMERS are growing more sophisticated in their business management practices, says Westpac’s general

manager corporate and institutional, Karen Silk. After eight years in Australia she now has a new role at the bank, including agribusiness, where farmers need to increase their skills, she says. Service providers such as banks

are focused on this and will help build farmers’ capabilities. Silk has also noticed that “the trend that started ten-twelve years ago towards multiple farm ownership – almost a corporate model – has picked

up pace,” she told Dairy News. “I saw this trend in the early-mid 2000s. This has picked up in pace and it won’t stop because of the need for increasing productivity which you get through scale.” The drop in the Fonterra payout to about $7.00/kgMS should not present any problems to the majority of farmers, she says. “We’re picking $7.10/ kgMS, still a substantial payout, so we’re not picking that any real issues will come out the back end of this. With average farm costs, even if you’re running at $4 to $4.50/kgMS there is still a substantial surplus sitting in between the payout number and the net farm input costs.” Silk comments that though some dairy farmers are highly geared, that is their choice and they can reduce debt by selling assets or with new forms of equity. On borrowing, Silk says the bank chiefly wants to know a farmer’s ability to make a profit.

And he must be able to manage within new environmental limits, by “quality management”. “It doesn’t matter what business we are lending to, quality of management… and compliance with environmental regulation are fundamental to our understanding of the viability of that business.” On China, Silk says there is no doubt that demand coming out of there has the potential to create concentration risk. “The key thing to understand is what’s driving that demand and how sustainable is that position. New Zealand is not unique; we will see increasing competition from other [countries] in that market…. But with the rate of urbanisation in China and their focus on food safety, you’re not going to see demand diminish for New Zealand products.” Silk says despite strong Chinese demand the Government is right to look for new opportunities for FTAs to diversify our markets.

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SYNLAIT MILK ingredient and nutritional sales teams are now combined, led by Mike Lee as general manager sales, reporting to managing director John Penno. Lee has 15 years dairy industry experience in business development and sales in New Zealand, Asia and Europe. He was for three years Synlait Milk general manager ingredient sales. Penno reports good progress especially with ‘tier one’ multinational customers. “We are increasingly selling a range of products to them and we need to provide a single point of contact to better manage these relationships. The change to the senior team structure will also increase accountability and reduce operating complexity. “The infant formula market in China is important to us and new opportunities are emerging as the regulatory changes in that market begin to bed down.” The company has also appointed Tony McKenna as regional sales manager China nutritionals, reporting to Lee. “Tony has 12 years experience in the China market, four while working at Synlait Milk, and this appointment will allow us to… further develop our infant formula and nutritional business,” says Penno. Synlait Milk is now completing a $27 million dry blending and consumer packaging plant, and expects registration to export finished infant formula to China when MPI has approved its risk management plan.


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Dairy News june 24, 2014

18 //  news

More farmers know what’s going on The DairyNZ site was popular at the recent field days.


scientist Dr Eric Hillerton made a surprise appearance at the organisation’s site at the recent field days in Waikato. Hillerton says the site was popular with visitors, who asked him all sorts of questions. “People are interested in forage value systems and in theileria because that is a big issue in this area,” he told Dairy News. “My most interesting discussion was with a farmer who, when he first got on his site, looked at composting toilets. “He realised he needed a toilet near the dairy shed for his sharemilkers because the house was too far away. “It’s interesting that people are starting to think that way… about making the working environment and conditions better for those involved.”

Bruce Wills (left) receives the award from Landcorp’s Steven Carden.

Top gong for Wills OUTGOING FEDERATED Farmers president

Hillerton talked with people from Gore to Northland and places in between. Many realised the industry

is developing and changing and that they must keep up with developments and make it attractive for young people.

Bruce Wills has won the 2014 Landcorp Agricultural Communicator of the Year award for 2014. He got the award at the Guild of Agricultural Journalists dinner in Hamilton during the recent field days in Waikato. Wills is the 28th winner since Landcorp began sponsoring the award in 1987. It was first made in 1982, then called the Brian Talboys Award after the then Minister of Overseas Trade. The first winner was the late Colin Follas. The award to Wills recognises his outstanding work as president of Federated Farmers over the past three years in communicating the interests

of farming to the rural and urban sectors. Wills farms with his brother at Te Pohue, on a sheep and beef farm carrying 7500 stock units. The farm is 1134ha – 800ha farmed, some in trees and 110ha protected through the QEII National Trust. Wills quit a 20-year career in rural banking to return to the family farm and has invested heavily in its long-term sustainability. The award is regarded as the premier honour for agricultural communicators. Landcorp chief executive Steven Carden presented Wills with a greenstone and timber trophy with previous winners’ names engraved on the back.


Dairy News june 24, 2014

world  // 19

Oz co-op thirsty for new beverages AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST dairy co-op Murray

Goulburn (MG) will spend $15 million upgrading its Edith Creek plant in Tasmania, aiming to develop ‘innovative’ dairy beverages. Managing director Gary Helou says the co-op expects worthwhile growth from new packaging plant for dairy bev-

erages. The Edith Creek upgrade will be part of a larger $137m capital investment announced in May. “The investment will expand Devondale Murray Goulburn’s capability to produce a range of formats…. The technology will replace existing production lines.” The upgrade will fur-

Good-citizen Kiwis can try for residency AUSTRALIAN DAIRY farmers are helping Kiwi

counterparts to gain residency there. United Dairyfarmers of Victoria (UDV) has worked with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to simplify the rules on business innovation and investment, a permanent visa which targets migrants good for the economy. Last week 20 New Zealand farmers attended an information session to learn how to apply. UDV manager Vin Delahunty says this is a priority because 200 former New Zealanders now dairy farming in Victoria have been unable to gain residency and citizenship. “Without permanent residency, these farmers… aren’t able to get citizenship…. So they’re excluded from activities the rest of us take for granted. They can’t vote in government elections or get student loans for their children. “Also, some were unable to get special assistance during extended droughts, despite their neighbours on either sides of the fence receiving funding.” At the information session, attendees learned about the two-phase nomination process (state and federal) and the strict eligibility requirements. This new system, although in place since 2012, has only recently gone up on Immigration Department websites. “Until a few months ago, both the state and federal department websites didn’t list that New Zealanders were eligible to apply for this programme,” Delahunty says. “At the UDV’s insistence, these and other changes were made to ensure consistency in website information and application processes.

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will be trained to produce the new, higher value products.” The work will begin with the new financial year and startup is expected mid-2015. MG has increased its stake in the Tasmanian Dairy Products (TDP) joint venture from 56% to 76%; Mitsubishi Corporation holds the

remaining 24%. Helou says this “further demonstrate MG’s commitment to Tasmania and [our intention] to become the first-choice dairy foods supplier to customers and consumers in Australia and overseas. The co-op expects to markedly increase underlying farmgate returns for MG suppliers.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

20 //  world

Irish expansion underway ANDREW SWALLOW

Cow numbers are increasing in Ireland.

O M G Non

AS EUROPE prepares for the removal of milk quota next April, a researcher says the “dairy expansion train has already left the station” in Ireland. Researcher Laurence Shalloo told a June 10 seminar – ‘Financial Plan-

ning for Expansion’, run by Teagasc, the Irish farming and food development authority – that increases in dairy cow and replacement heifer numbers over the past three years* show large numbers of dairy farmers are expanding. But he questions how prepared they are financially, noting that relatively few have detailed business

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plans, and he highlights the ‘lag phase’ between their buying more cows and getting returns from them. Shalloo says farmers should prioritise spending to conserve scarce cash and optimise their cashflow. Rapid expansion can generate higher returns and get cash in sooner but it’s a riskier approach than gradual expansion. Which is best will likely come down to the person and their attitude towards risk, he says.  Another seminar speaker, Donie Cashman, a dairy farmer and former president of the Irish Farmers Association, reflected on Ireland’s dairy boom in the run-up to quota being imposed in 1984. Cashman told the audience to expect ‘shocks to the system’ and urged them to protect themselves with budgets and plans. There must be sound financial reasons for expansion with proper financial planning, close attention to management accounts and good farm practice, he stressed. Teagasc financial management specialist Kevin Connolly called for a new view of financial planning –

from it being just a means to secure finance to a management discipline feeding into multi-year financial plans. Three major banks operating in Ireland told the audience of their experiences of funding expansion, all three highlighting the scarcity of well thought-out financial plans. The bankers also spoke of the difference between preparing a plan to get a funding proposal ‘across the line’ versus a farmers using a plan as a tool to monitor financial performance in subsequent years. * Dairy cow numbers in Ireland fell steadily from about 1.5m when quotas were imposed in 1984 to about 1m in 2005, remaining unchanged until 2010. Ireland’s Central Statistics Office December 2013 survey of livestock numbers report shows as steady increase since then, to 1.08m in December, with 1-2 year-old heifer numbers also up from 0.8m in December 2011 to 0.9m in December 2013, though no distinction between dairy and beef is made in the young stock data.

Dairy demand soars in India INDIA IS on track to become the world’s second fastest-growing market for dairy products in 2018, says a market research company. Canadean says India’s rising urban population wants dairy products in convenient packaging. In 2013 there were 378 million living in India’s big cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad, where daily growth is in the thousands. The cities offer higher salaries, but also long working hours, hence growth in demand for packaged food. Dairy products in particular have jumped in popularity. Canadean says the Indian dairy food market is likely to reach $14 billion in the next five years. This would make India the second fastest-growing dairy market (by volume), just behind Brazil.  Snack foods such as cheese and yoghurt replace meals for busy consumers, says an analyst at Canadean. These include dairy snacks that offer an energy boost, such as yogurt enriched with extra calcium and protein. Flavoured milk and milkshakes are also set to become more popular, and they are ‘hassle-free’ – no need to add powder or concentrates. Increased availability of re-sealable plastic bottles and lightweight cartons help take milk products outside the home. “The growth of service sector companies in India’s cities will continue to drive consumers to migrate from villages, towns and smaller cities in search of jobs,” says Canadean. “And infrastructure development in urban areas will help the distribution of dairy products, leading to a diversification of packaged dairy options.”

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

22 //  OPINION Ruminating


Lauding Maori dairying

milking it... Singing for their supper

AT THE recent Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards for the top Maori dairy farm, representatives of the main sponsors, eg MPI, Fonterra and DairyNZ, were invited to say a few good words to the 900 attendees. That was the easy bit; more challenging was that each speaker then had to sing a waiata in support of ‘their’ person. To give them credit they tried, but a few dollars spent on singing lessons might be a good investment.

More publicity please

ONE WOULD think organisers of the recent field days in Waikato would be happy with all the publicity they can generate. However, the top brass are coming down heavily on anyone using the field days to advertise their products and make money, without contributing to their coffers. Even this newspaper and our sister publication Rural News have been chastised for running the map of the field days exhibitors. For an organisation that depends on publicity for its success, this is a dumb move.

It depends who you ask AN OPPOSITION politician told this joke at a recent primary industry meeting: the Australians are starting to do some polling for their next election. There is growing concern about the numbers of illegal migrants in Australia, a concern shared by New Zealand. Official Australian sources put the figure close to 60,000 illegal migrants, but Aboriginal sources put the figure at about 22 million. Let’s hope this doesn’t come back to bite him should his party win power and he becomes the Minister for Primary Industries.

Idea easy to swallow

A TEXAS start-up wants to bring universal connectivity to cows. The company, Vital Herd, proposes feeding electronic pills that will sit in their stomachs and transmit their vital signs to farmers who can head off costly livestock illnesses or death. This envisions letting consumers and manufacturers remotely observe and control products in the ‘connected cow’. But the company isn’t sure about the take-up of this technology by farmers. It admits dairy cows and steers on feedlots are still monitored by sight for signs of problems. That approach “roots back to the cowboy days, and it really hasn’t changed,” it says.

THERE ARE events and events, but the Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Maori dairy farm takes the prize in New Zealand agribusiness. About 900 people attended the awards dinner in Tauranga recently and what mattered was who they were as much as their sheer number. The Governor-General, leading politicians from various parties, chief executives, senior managers from the private and public sectors, consultants, investors and top media people where there to honour and celebrate the success of Maori agribusiness. The event was magnificently and professionally run and had a delightful spark of fun and culture that made it special. It was a serious show but a fun and relaxing one with the injection of Maori culture. The Ahuwhenua Trophy was inaugurated by the great Maori politician Sir Apirana Ngata and the governor-general at the time, Lord Bledisloe, in 1933. The goals set then to encourage Maori to reach new heights as farmers are as relevant today as they were 81 years ago. The success of Maori seldom makes headlines in the mainstream media. Negative statistics about Maori are more likely to be aired than those about Maori success. But the three finalists in this year’s competition, and others in previous years, are exemplars of what Maori is achieving. Their achievements are magnificent: in summary, Maori farmers produce about 10% of all milk and about 15% of the sheep and beef. One Maori trust – PKW – in Taranaki, is Fonterra’s largest supplier in that province. Maori have embraced technology and education and the results are showing. Yes, there are some mediocre Maori farms, but there are some pretty terrible non-Maori ones as well. At the other end of the spectrum some Maori dairy farms compare well with non-Maori. Maori are fast becoming a large engine in the New Zealand economy and as more of their land is brought up to productive capacity they will be major players in the economic and sustainable growth of the country. The Ahuwhenua Awards is a very public showing of how successful Maori are, especially in dairying.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

opinion  // 23

Target energetic but not visionary Opposition primary industries spokesman Damien O’Connor recently spoke at the Primary Industry Summit on the Government’s plan to double primary sector exports by 2025. Here are parts of his speech. has charged the primary industries with the goal of doubling primary sector exports to $64 billion by 2025. The Government’s Business Growth Agenda wants to lift the percentage of primary sector exports from 30% to 40% of GDP. What does this really mean? Double the volume? What about the value? Increasing volume doesn’t necessarily mean value. While we are told otherwise, I fear volume over value is the objective of the National Government. Too often, we just focus on maximising production and then selling to anybody who is able to pay. This has seen a ‘produce, process, flog’ mentality. This is what I fear is the Government’s simple approach with its double volume goal. For me “double the exports” is not a vision, but a simple target to convince people something positive is being attempted. The absence of a real vision for New Zealand by the Government means whatever action they attempt may be defeated by a lack of coordinated efforts. A classic example is this Government’s efforts to improve the current state of the meat industry. Some of you may have read the report from Rabobank’s agribusiness division. A key message from it was the statement that “New Zealand risks a ‘golden opportunity’ to grow its agricultural base unless we adopt a co-ordinated, joint approach to improve our competitiveness”. This is wise and not necessarily new advice for agribusiness sectors. We can take the pure market approach and rely on ever-changing commodity prices, manipulations of the market by traders, and subsidised production around the world to deliver supposedly fair market returns to our individual farmers. Or, we can take the approach that says, unless we organise and collabo-

rate, our efforts as individual farmers will leave us with little or no leverage over the prices paid in the increasingly competitive protein and fibre markets. It is through this collaborative approach that Fonterra and Zespri have become such significant international players and now dominate their sectors so successfully. Both these organisations owe their existence to Labour Government leadership. Labour will make the hard decisions such as capital gains tax, restructuring the meat industry and moving to ensure water quality degradation does not destroy our environment. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment in reports and submissions to Parliament has provided a wakeup call for all of us, with a particular focus on pastoral agriculture. Other reports have highlighted the abysmal state of water management in our largest city, Auckland. We share the huge challenges that Auckland, Christchurch and some other cities face with the continual pollution of their waterways and coastal environment but there is no doubt the intensification of dairying is having a major impact on our waterways and possibly aquifers. We need to push sustainable solutions in urban and rural environments. There is no doubt that large irrigation schemes subsidised by the Government will increase dairy farm effluent and nutrient pollution of our rivers without adequate safeguards. There is no question robust and useful… freshwater management is desperately needed for our country. Most New Zealanders expect to be able to drink clean water, to swim and enjoy local rivers and ensure that none of our recreational or industrial practices undermine our valuable international brand reputation.

We would like to see a few more Zespris and Fonterras in the international marketplace.

‘Double our exports’ is not a vision it’s an action. And from what we see so far it is an uncoordinated

Damien O’Connor



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action. The question any government should ask is why we do these things and what is the vision for our country into the future? Labour has already started down this track.

Dairy News june 24, 2014

24 //  opinion

TPP ‘bus’ likely to tour Asia Pacific Tim Groser

TRADE MINISTER Tim Groser recently visited the Philippines – his first visit as a minister. He took a business delegation and spoke about our export opportunities in the Asia Pacific region. The following is from his speech.

AS WE look forward, the

challenge for New Zealand and the Philippines is to secure our place in the sophisticated network of regional production and

investment networks that increasingly define Asia. And as businesses position themselves to take advantage of these evolving value chains, so too must governments. I have already talked about New Zealand’s close connections with ASEAN. Our own process of integration into the wider region started more than 30 years ago. Until we made a decision to open up the highly protected sectors of our economy, New Zealand adopted a highly defensive position in international trade negotiations. We protected almost all our industries and several of our then highly uncompetitive agriculture sectors behind the developed world’s last remaining import licensing system, augmented by highest average tariffs in the developed world. We needed reform, we needed structural adjustment, we needed to do something to improve our productivity and export performance in our highly protected sectors.  Finally, we came to the conclusion that this would never be done unilaterally. We needed the impetus of external competition. We then began a long, slow process of opening up the protected sectors of our economy, first with our then largest trading partner, Australia, later the world. Fast forward 30 years, and we now have free trade agreements covering half our total exports to the world, and that will rise to 75% when we conclude pending FTA negotiations.  Indeed, governments everywhere are responding by negotiating trade and investment integration agreements. Three crucial megaregional deals are also under negotiation globally. TTIP – the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – is intended to unite the 28 members of the EU with the United States. In our region,

New Zealand and the Philippines are part of the negotiations towards a regional comprehensive economic partnership (RCEP). And then there’s the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is by far the most mature negotiation of these mega-regional deals, but a word first on RCEP.   This is a world of ‘competitive liberalisation’ and if TPP falters, RCEP – either in its current full form or some ‘slimmed down’ version – is likely to take leadership of the process of Asia Pacific integration. RCEP includes 16 countries; all but one (India) are APEC economies and they share the distinction of having an FTA with ASEAN.  Crucially, RCEP does not include the US but does include China and India. TPP is of course centred on the United States and Japan – respectively, the world’s number one and number three economies. TPP is now at a crucial stage. I think of it as a negotiation in two parts, though this is a simplification. The first part is a negotiation over rules designed to meet the realities of the 21st century. The second is a negotiation over market access. They are inextricably linked: we cannot sign off 21st century rules and ignore 20th century unresolved market access issues, of which deep pockets of high protection in agriculture (negotiators call this ‘tariff peaks’) are unaddressed. What may be of interest to you is that the ‘TPP bus’, if we complete the negotiation, will carry on to other destinations in the Asia Pacific. Though TPP may yet still stumble if governments finally lack the courage to take the final decisions to confront their highly protected sectors, there is every reason to believe TPP will be the decisive influence in creating the entire FTAAP or free trade area in Asia Pacific.

Dairy News june 24, 2014

agribusiness  // 25

Assert values, culture for an upward path SOME OF my recent

assignments have been to help businesses define their values and culture so they can be more selfdirecting and, as a result, self-correcting. This is particularly relevant as the new dairy season begins and new personnel start work. It requires effort and patience but will be well rewarded compared to the negatives of a wait-and-see leadership approach that usually causes problems when peak workloads put stress on people and systems. Justifying the time involved is part of the dilemma many employers and team leaders wrestle with. Commitment to this

is essential if leaders are to reduce the need to be hands-on and hold operations together. The biggest benefit is increased capacity to be strategic and achieve greater returns from everyone’s energies and expertise. Leaders who constantly need to cover for or remedy inferior performance are less motivated and effective. Ensuring a team is committed to agreed values increases the ability for staff to self-manage any drift away from excellence. This translates to greater job satisfaction and reward at all levels. There are three key areas to focus on. First, ensure people joining the business in

management or supervisory roles ‘win’ authority rather than having it extended to them auto-

induction. This is especially important with older applicants newly starting in farming. If they don’t

“Ensure staff are engaged with the values and culture of the business.” matically. This requires balance. I have seen more problems come from misplaced belief in the capabilities of new management personnel than I have for those who prove their capabilities before they get responsibilities. Investigation during interview of the expertise of those applying for a role must be followed by confirmation of their skills and understanding once they join the business. This is fundamental to effective

learn the basics they will suffer limitations as they take on more responsibility. All parties will benefit from taking time to prove expertise rather than take it for granted. New appointees must also learn the systems that best work for the business. While senior people need autonomy, that should not extend to them ‘reinventing’ the system. Everyone will benefit from this. Farming operations that develop procedures for

accreditation and proof of skills can plan and delegate with greater confidence. Staff whose abilities have been validated can more quickly build on their expertise to enhance career prospects as they are part of continuous improvement of the system. Second, ensure staff are engaged with the values and culture of the

business. Values must be defined then converted to behaviours. It’s one thing to aspire to reliability, accuracy or cooperation. It’s another to see these values come alive in behaviours such as punctuality, ‘measuring twice and cutting once’ or communicating in ways that put colleagues in a position of advantage. These will directly affect profitability, sustainability and job satisfaction and will promote time effectiveness that will keep the team focused and fresh. Third, leaders must accept that they won’t just get only what they pay for but, rather, what they ask for. I’ve seen far more

problems arise in teams because of lack of clarity and assertiveness by leaders than I have from clear and direct communication about expectations and how people will know when they have performed. A focus on proof of capabilities, and clarity of expectations and behaviours that align with agreed team and business values, have potential to turbocharge a team. People will never be totally self managing, but driving for standards that enable all involved to be ‘self-directing and self correcting’ can be well worth the time and effort. • Kerry Ryan is a Tauranga agribusiness consultant.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

agribusiness  // 27 Quantec founder Rod Claycomb.

Acne cream made from New Zealand milk.

Kiwi cows yield protein for acne cream SUDESH KISSUN

A NEW, clinically proven

acne treatment from Hamilton company Quantec Personal Care Ltd is based on an active derived from New Zealand cow’s milk. Epiology acne cream contains immune proteins found in milk, said to have antioxidant, antiinflammatory and antibacterial properties. Quantec founder and managing director Dr Rod Claycomb says using New

Zealand milk is important. “We did not have to use New Zealand milk but we want to,” Claycomb told Dairy News. “The clean green image of the dairy industry and the quality milk produced by our farmers has boosted our product.” He says the enzymes and proteins in the cream are essentially the same as those produced by mammals as protection against potentially harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. “These enzymes and

proteins… naturally occur and provide a protective function in saliva and around gums, tears, raw milk and throughout the gut. This raw ingredient, which we call IDP, is the key component of the acne cream.” When applied to the skin, it leaves the natural and beneficial bacteria of the skin largely unaffected, “creating an ideal scenario for managing acne. In addition, the bio-proteins interact with inflamed tissues and cells to help quell the inflam-

about quantec: EPIOLOGY SKINCARE is the first product range from Quantec Personal Care Ltd, a subsidiary of Quantec Ltd, Waikato Innovation Park, Hamilton. The skincare firm was set up in 2013 to commercialise consumer

products with IDP as their active ingredient. Quantec Ltd discovered and patented its milk fraction, comprised of native immune defense proteins with antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

matory response, which is a primary cause of acne,” says Claycomb. Quantec says it has has spent seven years on the project. During 2012 it ran randomised double-blind trials in the US on 84 subjects with mild-to-moderate acne. The Epiology cream was compared with two other products with FDAapproved acne-active ingredients, one a US retail brand containing 2% salicylic acid plus retinol, the other a salicylic acid-based formulation. After six weeks the leading US brand and Epiology reduced acne lesions to the same degree. But the Epiology cream did better overall in reducing acne-related redness and inflammation, Claycomb says. Epiology products are sold in pharmacies.


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Outdoor access heroes vie for awards KIWIS WHOSE efforts to open or

enhance access to rural walking places are again in line for a national award. The 2014 Walking Access Awards recognise people and groups working on public access to the ‘outdoors’ or strengthening New Zealand’s walking access heritage. The awards are presented by the New Zealand Walking Access Commission. Chief executive Mark Neeson says the awards are the commission’s way of saying “your work is not going unnoticed. New Zealanders from all walks of life will benefit… and we are saying ‘thank you’ on their behalf.”

Nominations are open to individuals, community groups and central or local government agencies. Nominees may be people who maintain a walkway, a community group working to open a track or a council intent on enhancing or maintaining access or resolving a dispute over public access. The winners last year were Nelson farmers Ian and Barbara Stuart, Dunedin public access advocate Alan McMillan, and legal advisor and author Brian Hayes, living in Wellington and Dunedin. The Stuarts created a public walkway across their farm when Ian’s

father set up the Cable Bay Walkway in 1984. Brian Hayes is the author of research reports and papers on the law regarding access, especially on unformed legal roads and rivers. Alan McMillan is chairman of Public Access New Zealand, working to uphold public rights of access. Neeson says the net is cast wide for deserving award nominees. “If you know someone or an organisation that deserves one of these awards, please consider putting their name forward.” Nominations close on Friday 18 July at 5pm.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

28 //  management

N tool available this spring as MORE accurate placement of

nitrogen fertiliser is in view with a new test and interpretation service soon to be available from Ballance Agri-Nutrients. Branded N-Guru, the service results from the co-op’s $19.5 million Clearview Innovations scheme, $9.75m taxpayer funded via a Government PGP (primary growth partnership). Balance says the seven year project has reached its mid-point; nitrogen and phosphorus fertiliser efficiency is its priority, says Ballance R&D manager Warwick Catto. “If you are constrained in the amount of nitrogen you can use on farm then [N-Guru] will tell you where to put it to get the best biological response,” he told Dairy News. “Also, it will probably reduce the amount of leaching but we’ve not quantified that yet.” The work won’t predict exactly what

response pasture on a particular sample point will achieve from a certain nitrogen fertiliser rate at a certain time, but it will predict the relative response compared to other areas of a farm sampled, Ballance says. For example, if you’re expecting a 10:1 response in one paddock, N-Guru analysis might show areas of the farm where only 7:1 response is expected, and others where a 15:1 response is expected. Soil samples are collected as usual in cores to 7.5cm from the pasture, and at the normal soil sampling frequency. A proviso is that paddocks must remain in permanent pasture, because the scheme is so-far proven only on ryegrass-clover pasture, and normal principles of timing of nitrogen fertiliser still apply. “Nitrogen is a growth accelerant. If pasture’s not growing, you won’t get a response even from the highest response areas.”

spreaders wade into debate REGIONAL COUNCILS imposing nitrogen caps on farming will not only limit the country’s ability to earn export dollars but also risk destroying rural infrastructure, says the New Zealand Groundspread Fertilisers’ Association (NZGFA). NZGFA president Stuart Barwood says there doesn’t seem any rhyme or reason for harsh limits, such as those associated with the Hawkes Bay’s Ruataniwha dam proposal, without evidence of a downstream benefit from those limits. “To impose restrictions on nitrogen that are 14 times more stringent than that for drinking water is ridiculous and will restrict all agriculture,” says Barwood. “Further, it will have a massive effect on those supporting our rural industries, including

the groundspread fertiliser industry. “Farmers do not apply fertiliser to have it run off into waterways. They can’t afford to.” Groundspread fertiliser operators with Spreadmark accreditation apply fertiliser precisely where farmers want it, with a GPS map provided to show exactly where the fertiliser was applied. “It is all a precise and scientific operation carried out by trained operators in trucks where the spreading pattern has been assessed and audited. “All that becomes totally irrelevant if you impose left-field and ridiculous restrictions on farming.” Nitrogen limits will be on the agenda at the NZGFA’s conference at Pahia, Bay of Islands, early next month.

Typically those areas are the lightest soils with lowest total nitrogen content, including organic matter. Catto says Balance expects the relationship between total soil nitrogen and response to fertiliser nitrogen to hold on other permanent crop species, but the research to prove that hasn’t been done yet, so N-Guru can’t be recommended in such situations yet. The relationship is unlikely to work on recently cultivated ground as there is “too much noise and variability” in nitrogen availability due to mineralisation, which is why cropping farmers sometimes use a test for mineralised nitrogen to fine-tune their applications. Overall, Ballance says the aim with N-Guru is to increase nitrogen uptake efficiency on farms using it from the usual 10:1 return to 15:1. Another tool, MitAgator, is targeting 20% increase in phosphate fertiliser efficiency while also minimising losses by identifying areas at high risk of losing phosphorous, sediment, nitrogen, and microbial contaminants.

Unlike N-Guru, it takes data files from the Overseer nutrient management model and links it with a georeferenced farm map, a soil map and a digital elevation model. Once the base risk maps are developed, mitigation and management strategies can be targeted at an individual paddock, or even part of it. MitAgator will be available early 2015. So far in Ballance’s PGP 24 work streams have been whittled down to 10. Besides N-Guru and MitAgator, more effective forms of nitrogen and phosphate are being field tested, as are “product concepts” for biological control of grass grub and porina. Catto says they knew not all avenues would lead to “promising destinations” which was why hard yards were done up-front to narrow the focus to projects that will achieve objectives. “Eliminating the projects which may be technically successful but not commercially viable means we can now put our efforts into the ten or so concepts with the greatest potential to boost the profitability and sustainability of farm-

Fertiliser spreaders are unhappy with nitrogen caps being imposed on farming.

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ing in New Zealand, and spend the rest of our time concentrating on delivering these to market.” An example of a product concept that’s been shelved is use of alum to mitigate phosphorus run-off from pasture. “It is used successfully in water treatment, but for mitigation of phosphorus run-off the effective rates proved cost prohibitive.”

Dairy News june 24, 2014

management  // 29

Housing no overnight fix ANDREW SWALLOW

FOR ALL the talk of housing cows as a solution to the environmental regulation rolling out nationwide, it seems such system changes aren’t about to sweep the country.

However, there is a gradual migration to more off-paddock measures and to date it’s generally not been for environmental reasons. “The drivers are very simple,” Harmen Heeson, a consultant specialising in establishing off-paddock systems, told Dairy News.

“The cost of the losses are exceeding the cost of the infrastructure required to avoid them.” For example, last week he visited a farm near Lake Ellesmere (Te Waihora) which had a fantastic season up to Easter, but lost an estimated 10,000kgMS in potential

‘working on it’ DAIRYNZ STRATEGY and investment portfolio manager Jenny Jago says the only data on offpaddock facilities dates from 2008 when fewer than 1% of farms had any except in Otago and Southland where 3-6% had some form of stand-off. “We don’t have good numbers on it. Certainly down south it’s increasing but to what level we’re not sure. The main driver down there is wintering but in other parts

of the country the drivers may be a bit different…. You will be seeing more activity from DairyNZ in this area.” Stand-offs or housing versus crop wintering in Southland was analysed in detail in the Southern Wintering Systems Project which is reported on DairyNZ’s website, she points out. “A lot of the information from the Southern Wintering Project is relevant to other regions.”

production from the 500cow herd over the closing weeks of the season due to the wet. “The cows lost condition too. It’s demoralising because you see your whole year’s production going down the gurgler.” Location of the farm is the key to whether offpasture facilities are going to pay. In areas where the weather rarely creates problems for grazing cows, and pasture production is reliable for most of the milking season, the numbers are unlikely to work, but where weather ‘bombs’, southerlies and saturated soils are regular occurrences then it’s a different story. “The return on investment in most hybrid models is higher than conventional pasture in

South Canterbury farmer Aad van Leeuwen’s freestall system.

adverse conditions,” says Heeson. Hybrid models are just one stop short of the permanently housed total mixed ration systems which are the norm in parts of the United States and Europe. In New Zealand they’re the top end of a spectrum that starts with a stand-off pad, then feedpad, covered feed-pad, wintering barn, and finally, free-stall barns designed to house lactating cows for several months or more every season. DairyNZ doesn’t have any current figures on the number of such facilities but Heeson estimates there are 80-85 free-stall barns nationwide now.

Robotic milkers spread global reach DELAVAL REPORTS it has doubled its

sales of automatic milking rotary systems during the past six months. The first commercial systems were installed in Australia in 2011 and in Germany in 2013. By the end of 2014 the company expects 10 installations will be operating in four countries. DeLaval says it is the only company in the world to offer an automatic rotary system ready for commercial sale.

Its AMR system is aimed at managers of larger herds (300+), offering “lowest milk production costs, reduced labour requirements and better animal welfare,” the company says. “By automating milking, which is typically a highly intensive job, we reduce labour costs and improve the overall lifestyle of the farmers,” says Robert Jensen, AMR business development manager. “Typically we are noticing a reduction in the global number of dairy farmers, while

Most house about 500 cows, but a few are much bigger. South Canterburybased Aad van Leeuwen is building one of the biggest, capable of housing 1500 cows. He already has several free-stall systems, some with robotic milking, and the new shed will mean he can have at least 5000 cows in milk indoors, out of the 12,000 he currently milks on 20 properties. “It is an extra cost but the reward is still there, especially when you’re getting up to $8/kgMS payout.” Building at such scale means the cost comes in at a little over $2000 per cow

or stall, says van Leeuwen. Heeson says $35005000 would be a more typical range. “It all depends on the resources already on the farm.” He warns that currently there are plenty of builders who will say they can build a free-stall barn, but only a few that have proven they can get it right, and in a timely manner. That limited building capability, and capital constraints on farm, mean there will probably be no more than ten new freestall barns built nationwide before next autumn, he believes. “The money required won’t be readily available for every farmer.”

DeLaval’s automatic milking rotary.

the number of cows being milked per farm is growing. Farmers are looking to manage these larger herds in more profitable ways.” DeLaval’s AMR is said to have the flexibility to operate on a range of farms, from free stalls and loose housing to pasture-based dairying. It can be used as a voluntary or batch automatic system, and encompasses both farming types. Its computer uses robots to do teat preparation, milk cup attachment and teat spraying.




Dairy News june 24, 2014

30 //  management

Code set to speed up innovation A NEW code of practice that outlines steps organisations must take to safeguard farmers’ data will boost the security of information, says its publisher DairyNZ. The Farm Data Code of Practice, launched this month, is a first for New Zealand agriculture. DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says

widespread adoption of the code will increase the security of information and the speed and ease with which it is shared. Long-term, its adoption should encourage faster innovation in farming, he says. “The reality is that the terminology used daily by farmers is defined differently by the range of

organisations with which they communicate and share information. “Organisations adhering to the new code of practice commit to use common terminology and dictionaries to make it easier to share land and animal data in a secure manner. “At the moment, farm data is not moving

working in unity SIX INDUSTRY organisations gave a push to the Farm Data Code of Practice: Beef + Lamb NZ, DairyNZ, Dairy Companies Association of NZ, Federated Farmers, Te Tumu Paeroa and NZ Veterinary Association. It will at first be administered by DairyNZ. An independent review panel will assess applications. The accreditation process involves a selfassessment and statutory declaration of compliance to prove that an applicant’s processes, policies and

systems are up to the highest security standards. Complying organisations receive an annual licence and certificate from DairyNZ and use of the Farm Data Code of Practice trademark. Organisations pay a one-off fee of $1400 to register and an annual licence renewal fee of $900. The code was developed over a two years in consultation with about 60 rural organisations and 200 industry professionals and farmers. Rezare Systems led the work.

between organisations in the volumes it could, often due to differences in data definitions, the need for multiple data entry or complex integration software. “By increasing the rate at which data can securely move between service organisations, the speed of innovation will surely increase. That’s great news for farmers and New Zealand’s rural sector as a whole.” Although development of the code is a dairy initiative, it is relevant to all New Zealand farmers. Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills says that organisations’ adherence to the code will give farmers peace of mind that their farm data is secure when it’s outside their hands, making it easier for farmers to manage their data. “Farmers share a lot of

Tim Mackle and Bruce Wills at the launch.

valuable and confidential information every day…. Organisations adopting the code of practice are able to demonstrate their information management systems are secure, reliable and up to the task. DairyNZ is encouraging all organisations collecting, holding or sharing information about primary producers and farm-

ing operations to adopt the code. DairyNZ strategy and investment portfolio manager Jenny Jago, who oversaw the code’s development, cautions that it is the first of many steps forward for the industry. “Organisations’ adoption of the code is part of a bigger picture – the industry working together to

improve the management and effective use of farm data.” The code is a major piece of work and a key first step, Jago says. “Now it’s up to the industry to action it.” “Over the next year, our steering committee will continue to release additional data standards,” says Jago.

Dairy News june 24, 2014

management  // 31

Top billing for tools to boost farm performance LIVE BUGS, the nutrient budgeting tool Overseer and details of the country’s worst pasture pests were the highlights of AgResearch’s presence at the recent field days in Waikato. Its site featured a miniature environment showing the inputs and outputs measured by Overseer and introduced the concept of nutrient budgeting. Land and environment staff were on hand to show farmers on a big screen what the system can do. Overseer is an agricultural management tool, developed by AgResearch and widely used throughout New Zealand, that assists in examining nutrient use and movements within a farm to optimise production and environmental outcomes. The Clover Time Machine display introduces the work AgResearch is doing in developing new hybrids to help

boost ruminant productivity and meet the challenges of farming in a changing environment. Recent research shows that it stems from the meeting of two plants from different European environments: Trifolium pallescens, an alpine species, and Trifolium occidentale, a coastal species. Glacial movements thousands of years ago forced T. pallescens to lower altitude refuges. The coming together of these two species led to a hybrid with a broad adaptive range: white clover. AgResearch is using this knowledge of where white clover came from to create new hybrids for changing farming conditions. The site featured some of the white clovers we currently use in New Zealand. Some new hybrids being developed by AgResearch and the particular benefits they offer, such as drought resis-

tance root depth and enhanced vigour, were also on show. They highlighted the history and future of one of our natural resources, telling the story of where clover came from and how that knowledge is helping scientists breed new clovers to boost ruminant productivity. The pest map display highlighted some of New Zealand’s worst pasture pests, and introduced Pestweb (www. to them as a practical way of tackling the problem. The stand featured live bugs, videos showing infestations, work we are doing to tackle them and touchscreens offering access to Pe665-315stweb. The pests featured were: ■■ Grass grub and Porina – a glass set up with some live grubs attacking roots. ■■ Black beetle, clover root weevil, Argentine stem weevil: for each

Pip Gerard, AgResearch (left), talks pest with visitors.

of these a potted plant showing damage and live insects in petri dishes, as well as screens showing clover root weevil and plantain moth videos. The display highlighted a new tool for farmers to ensure continued pasture growth and productivity. The AgResearch stand theme was ‘Science for a competitive advantage,’ says chief executive Dr Tom Richardson. “Farmers got the opportunity to

see the origins of one of New Zealand’s major natural advantages, white clover, and where we’re hoping to take it. They also saw what we’re doing to protect pasture with PestWeb and optimise production and environmental outcomes with Overseer, as well as talking to our scientists involved in the work.” “Our staff always enjoy [the Waikato field days] and the opportunity to talk with farmers from around the country. This year was no exception,” says Richardson.

Dairy News june 24, 2014

32 //  management

Farm economic survey points to high-input profit LAST MONTH saw the release

of the 2012-13 DairyNZ Economic Survey1. This fascinating document contains a wealth of data on the average physical and financial performance of 217 owner-operated and 92 50:50 sharemilker herds during the 2012-13 season. This year’s survey is the 50th since the New Zealand Dairy Board published its first one in 1963-64. It contains interesting history as well as the 2012-13 season analysis. According to the survey “Dairy farming in the mid-1960s was vastly different from the large scale, capital intensive and high technology farms of today. Typically, farms milked 75 Jersey cows on 58ha, through either an 8-bail walk-through shed or double-pit herringbone dairy. Milk was separated onfarm and cream stored in cream cans. Milk

collection by tankers began in the late 1950s, leading to a decline in dairy farmers raising pigs on skim milk. The use of milk tankers contributed to the amalgamation of factories as collection became more efficient, and milk could be transported longer distances1”. In the past 50 years, New Zealand dairy farm systems have intensified – more cows per hectare producing more milk per cow. In 2000-01, 41% of dairy farms were system 1 (low input, grass based) and 12% were system 4 and 5 (20% or greater supplementary feed inputs)2. In 2012-13 only 5-10% of dairy farms were system 1 and the number of system 4 and 5 farms had risen to 27-37%1. An analysis of owner-operator data from the past three seasons shows that high input (system 4

and 5) farms produced more milk and gave a higher per hectare operating profit than low input (system 1 and 2) farms. During the past three seasons, high input systems had an average 12.7% return on equity vs 10.0% for low input systems (see table). During the next decade many farms will need to modify their management systems to meet regional council nitrogen leaching targets. There will essen-

tially be three options: (1) reduce stocking rate, (2) keep the stocking rate up but stand cows off pasture and feed them supplements at critical times during the season, or (3) a combination of both. Some farmers believe they are ‘between a rock and a hard place’ because they cannot afford to drop stocking rate or to move to a more intensive system that feeds more supplements. The DairyNZ Economic Farm Survey data is encouraging because it shows well managed higher input systems can be very profitable. 1 DairyNZ Economic Survey 2012-13 2 Greig, B. 2012. Changing NZ Dairy Farm Systems, SIDE 3 DairyNZ Economic Survey 201011, 2011-12 and 2012-13. • Ian Williams is a Pioneer forage specialist. Contact him at

Table 1: Owner-operator systems (DairyNZ Economic Survey data)3 2010-11



System System System System System System 1&2 4&5 1 1 1 4&5 Low High Low Low Low High input input input input input input PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS Effective area (ha)







Peak cows milked







kg milksolids per cow







kg milksolids per ha







Milksolids per full time labour equivalent

43,794 56,034 46,264 58,054 46,880 57,363

profitability Gross farm revenue/ha







Operating expenses/ha







Operating profit/ha







Total return on equity %












WEALTH CREATION Grow in equity (%)


For the full version of this table see

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

34 //  management

‘Simple system works’ WHEN IT comes to milk-

ing systems, reliability, low maintenance and efficiency are important to dairy farmer Paul Bardoul, according to milking system company Read Milking. Last year after deciding he’d had enough with their existing milking system he converted to a Read milk-

ing system for their 46 bail rotary milking operation, it says. Paul and his wife Sue have been milking at Ohaupo, near Cambridge, Waikato for the past thirty years. There they milk 650 Holstein cows on 148 hectares, with the help of their farm manager and three staff.

“We were using a system with electronic pulsators and they were becoming less reliable with age. We found they were also sensitive to moisture and foreign matter interfering with functionality,” says Bardoul. “We’d known of Read Milking Systems for many

years, and after a visit to their factory and to some farms to see it in action, we converted to Read’s a year ago.” He says that the changeover process was “smooth”. “We milk yearround so the changeover process needed to be achieved between am and pm milkings.

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Most componentry was installed while the old system was still in place and functioning and then when this was completed we had a big day implementing the actual system change over. “We’ve found it’s very low maintenance; it’s a simple system that’s achieving above industry standards. Our maintenance costs are slashed, we’re getting better milk out from quarters, lower SCC and milking is now quicker with all bales func-

tioning – with the last system it wasn’t uncommon for 10% of bales to be non-operational. Even the cows seem happier with it.” Bardoul describes Read Milking as “a family company with great values” and recommends it to other farmers. Read Milking Systems are based in Rangiora, Canterbury and provide rotary and herringbone milking systems all over New Zealand and overseas.

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Environment Awards is complete and the ten finalists this week head to their final interviews in Christchurch. They are vying for the prestigious Gordon Stephenson trophy in the context of an interview with the national judging panel at the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust’s national sustainability showcase in Christchurch. Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy will announce the winner at a gala dinner on June 26. Simon Saunders, acting chair of the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust Simon Saunders and chair of the national winner judging panel, says supreme winners in the ten regions contesting the awards have been visited by the onfarm judging team – the national judging coordinator Jamie Strang and Warwick Catto, Ballance. The judges inspected lots of diverse operations, says Saunders, and were “blown away by the calibre of this year’s finalists. “They will have a tough job picking a winner because of the finalists’ fantastic farming skills and approaches to sustainability.” The finalists are Roger and Jane Hutchings, Northland; Rick Burke and Jan Loney, Bay of Plenty; Mike and Sharon Barton, Waikato; Rob and Sandra Faulkner and Bruce and Jo Graham, East Coast; Gavin and Oliver Faull and Tony and Loie Penwarden, Taranaki; Justin and Mary Vennell, Horizons; Matt and Lynley Wyeth, Greater Wellington; Mark and Devon Slee, Canterbury; Wayne McIntosh, Otago; and Andrew and Heather Tripp, Southland.

Dairy News june 24, 2014

management  // 35

Take good care of soils in winter BALA TIKKISETTY

WINTER IS when farm soils can come under pressure from pugging and compaction. So farmers should now ensure, as much as possible, that their soils remain healthy, in the interests of profit and long-term sustainability. If the soil is physically healthy and fertile, crop and pasture production will be high. The physical structure of soil controls the movement of air and water through it, and the ability of roots to penetrate downwards. Soil is the home of many beneficial organisms including earthworms.  Soil with

good structure has many pores that provide aerobic conditions, good drainage and high water-holding capacity. Plants need about 10 elements in large quantities (macronutrients) and about eight in small quantities (micronutrients). Of the major elements, carbon, hydrogen and oxygen are obtained from oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air. Others include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, calcium and magnesium. Minor elements include iron, manganese, copper, zinc, molybdenum, boron, chlorine, silicon and cobalt. In natural ecosystems when plants and animals die many of these nutrients are cycled back

into the soil. But in farming ecosystems, plant or animal biomass is removed with harvesting. So fertiliser and animal effluent become essential, and during winter this investment in soil health and fertility must be conserved. Compaction and pugging of wet soils in winter can particularly damage the soil structure. Pugging is caused by hooves sinking into the soil surface (sometimes as deep as 15cm), causing a ‘puddle’ and often a compacted layer of soil. Such compaction occurs when the soil is compressed or squeezed, sometimes by vehicles or farm machiners. Compaction on dairy and drystock sites reduces

the number and size of pores available for water and gas movement in soil. It reduces aeration, nutrient uptake, root growth and distribution, and may decrease infiltration and increase runoff. The most sensitive indicator of compaction is macroporosity. Research reveals that macroporosity below 10% will inhibit pasture growth. Compacted soil can reduce the amount of dry matter in pasture by 200kg/ha/month. (Aerating the compacted soil at the correct depth and time can increase the amount of dry matter by about 30% within six months .) Pugging and compaction will also cause more frequent and persistent surface

Compaction and pugging of wet soils in winter can damage soil structure.

ponding, and increase sediment, nutrient and effluent losses to waterways through surface run-off. It also takes longer for pugged or compacted pasture to recover after grazing and weed invasion often occurs in the bare sites pugging and compaction create. Here’s what you can do: ■■ Reduce stock density, especially on sensitive, ie wet, paddocks

Don’t feed out on sensitive paddocks ■■ Constantly monitor pugging and compaction during at-risk periods and move stock off before damage occurs ■■ Graze the back of the paddock first. How animals are wintered makes a big difference. Losses appear to be exacerbated by highdensity urine patches deposited at times of the ■■

year when plant growth rates are low and drainage is high – typical in winter. Consequently, on a per hectare basis, nitrogen leaching losses from grazed winter forage crops are high relative to losses measured under pasture. • Bala Tikkisetty is a sustainable agriculture coordinator at Waikato Regional Council. Email bala.tikkisetty@ or tel. 0800 800 401.


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Dairy News june 24, 2014

36 //  animal health

Like any elite athlete, cows need the right diet AUSTRALIAN DAIRY

farmer Dianna Ferguson describes her cows as “elite athletes”, and like any elite athlete, they need the right diet. Dianna and her partner Steve Shipton milk 180-200 Friesians on their 263ha farm at Coolagalite, near Cobargo, in NSW supplying Bega Cheese. They have been involved in dairying full time since 2000 and remain passionate and

committed to the industry. “Steve loves growing grass, I love seeing the cows kept in good order,” Ferguson says. Her great grandparents started milking on the farm about 70 years ago. She and Shipton started working on the farm in 2000 and bought into the property in 2004, firstly through purchasing cows, plant and equipment and then buying the property in 2010.

They milk off less than half the dryland farm, the rest is used for dry cows and heifers and some cropping. Ferguson grew up on the coast at Tathra and studied and worked in Canberra for six years before meeting Mr Shipton, who was a diesel mechanic and had come off a beef farm. From age eight most of her school holidays were spent at the Cobargo farm. “Some of my fondElite athletes?... that’s what an Australian farmer says.

est memories are there,” she adds. In 2000, the couple was returning to the farm to help out which solidified their passion. “That became our number one. We both love the cows and the land and work well together,” she says. “Whether it’s the cows and their genetics or a passion for working with the soils, there is a lot of reward in what we do on the dairy. It gives you a lot of fulfilment.” Since taking over the farm they have concentrated on increasing production. The farm today has a strong in-calf rate and a

Dianna Ferguson.

peak of 33 litres per cow in spring and averages of 28-29 litres across the year.

feed, but aims to make as much home-grown feed and silage as possible

“Whether it’s the cows and their genetics or a passion for working with the soils, there is a lot of reward in what we do on the dairy.” “When you work hard and get cows in calf and produce milk like that, that is one of our proudest moments,” says Ferguson. “We like to maintain their condition and have good feed throughout their lactation,” she says. The farm uses some purchased high quality tested concentrate and fodder

depending on conditions. She admits the intensity has been challenging but at the same time rewarding. Dairying remains the predominant farming practice in the region, with about 80 local farms supplying Bega, and Ferguson is confident about the future.

She represents her area on the Far South Coast Dairy Development Group which likewise has gained momentum in recent years as optimism grows in the industry. Their farm has been involved in succession planning and an environmental program with Bega Cheese that has led to new laneways, biodiversity areas, creek crossings and revegetation works. “When it rains and you’ve got grass and cows in good order, it is very rewarding. That’s what keeps you going,” she says. • Editor’s notes: This story was run in the last issue of Dairy News with the wrong photo. The error is regretted.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

animal health  // 37

Raising grain levels helps milk yield FEEDING GRAIN in increasing quan-

tities brought higher milksolids production for a Manawatu farmer, who countered any tendency towards ketosis using Rumensin Max, reports the product supplier, Elanco. Until June 1 Jason Halford and wife Nikki were 50:50 sharemilking the flat, 265-cow farm, and he simultaneously had been doing farm advisory work for a local consulting firm in Manawatu and Wairarapa regions. Now the Halfords have moved to a 600-cow farm near Dannevirke – “probably more of a typical Kiwi dairy farm, with a bit of flat and a bit of contour,” he says. Halford left the Manawatu property happy with its record production and having learned more about optimising feed inputs to maximise milksolids, says Elanco. A key to this, the company says, was his decision to feed grain in addition to the palm kernel supplement. During their three years on the farm he gradually increased the grain component of the cows’ diet, peaking in 2013-14 at 1

tonne/cow. In year one he fed 680kg grain/cow, producing 500kgMS/cow. In year two he increased this by 100kg/cow, gaining a further 100kgMS/cow. “We ended up this season peaking at 3kgMS/cow/day – 650kgMS/cow for the season. I’m not sure I would have wanted to push up the grain input any further, had I been staying.” He cautions that a move to grain is not for the fainthearted, and it will not compensate for poor grass management. “I learned you first have to be able to feed cows 18kg grass/day, then consider adding the grain, taking advantage of its high ME value and concentration compared to higher ME grass.” He learned to walk the fine line between leaving an acceptable residual in paddocks post grazing, and still being able to dispense grain in the dairy to cows that became aggressive feeders. “Once you start offering that level of input to your cows they expect it, and you can’t go putting them back into a pre-grazed paddock to clean it up.”

farm details ❱❱ Herd size: 265 ❱❱ Area: 86ha ❱❱ Production 20132014: 172,400kgMS ❱❱ Contour: Flat. He also cautions about thinking grain is a useful top-up feed. “The higher payout has probably muddied the water about feeding it; I think a lower payout will clear a few heads about using grain. You still have to pay [careful] attention to maximising your grass input and quality when you are using grain. It’s no replacement for pasture.” To help counter ketosis in the herd he administered Rumensin Max via a medicated trough treatment system, starting 10 days before calving and maintaining it through lactation. The ketosis problems disappeared and the cows appeared to make better

Jason Halford has lifted milk yield by optimising feed inputs.

ground digesting the thick 60-day old pasture in late winter prior to calving. Given the herd’s high production level, he decided to increase the dispensing rate. He decided their ability to better digest spring pasture helped energy conversion, and ultimately cycling come mating time. He says he knew there was a risk of bloat, but lost no cows to this: “Knowing they had Rumensin was peace of mind for me…. [and] they can simply digest

more without getting that uncomfortable bloated feeling.” With no taste the Rumensin did not inhibit the cows’ willingness to drink, and bloat control was achieved effectively. “As a farmer/consultant I get asked a lot about what I do at home. [I advise] ‘just focus on feeding the cows as much as possible, and you have to start in winter, not part way through the season’,” says Halford.

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that sort of thing. And because our young stock “My advice is don’t be on your own with it. Go to your vet, put a plan in place and monitor that plan until you’ve completely finished with it.”

were grazing with other animals, we knew there was a chance they might be compromised.

After the tests, we found out that some of our stock were positive and we were looking for a PI or persistently infected animal. It was really disappointing, but the good thing about farming in New Zealand is that everybody talks to everybody else and soon we knew we weren’t alone. There were a lot of people we could draw on to help us work it through.

Vaccinating has given us huge peace of mind. We knew we wouldn’t completely remove BVD, but stopping young calves becoming PIs was a big step in increasing our herd’s reproductive efficiency – and also making sure the calves grew up and put weight on properly. If you find you’ve got BVD in your herd, my advice is don’t be on your own with it. Go to your vet, put a plan in place and monitor that plan until


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Dairy News june 24, 2014

40 //  animal health Australian academic Dr Abdul Jabbar.

Tool to monitor cow theileriosis DAIRY AUSTRALIA’S

2013 Science and Innovation Award winner, Dr Abdul Jabbar, has used his award to research bovine theileriosis (BT), a tickborne disease similar to

malaria in humans. To date no treatments or vaccines have been available in Australia for BT and no accurate diagnostic tests for livestock producers. However Jab-

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bar’s project has improved the understanding of the disease, prevalent in Australian cattle. Jabbar, a senior lecturer in veterinary parasitology at the University of Melbourne, has created a rapid, low-cost diagnostic tool for regular monitoring of BT.  “In 2011 we were approached by a senior veterinarian to investigate an outbreak of haemolytic anemia in beef cattle near Seymour, Victoria. In this study, we found the outbreak was associated with pathogenic strains of Theileria orientalis – the causative agent of BT in Australia and first time reported theileriosis in Victoria,” Jabbar says.  “Little was known about the epidemiology, diagnosis and economic impact of theileriosis, so we decided to investigate.” For 12 months Jabbar and five other researchers have used his 2013 Dairy Australia award to research diagnosing herds. The research will also further regular monitoring of BT in Australia. “We have developed a high-throughput assay (diagnostic tool) for the rapid diagnosis of BT. Using this, we can detect two virulent and two avirulent strains of Theileria orientalis. This diagnostic tool will be available to cattle farmers nationally through diagnostic laboratories.” During the course of the project Jabbar also assessed whether BT has an impact on milk pro-

duction and the reproductive performance of dairy cows. “Results of this study revealed that clinical BT can cause significant milk production losses in dairy cattle.” The Federal Government awards encourage science, innovation and new technology and help to advance the careers of promising innovators and scientists through the national recognition of their research ideas. Jabbar says that the Dairy Australia award allows for young researchers to develop their career and address important industry projects.  “The current project has played a pivotal role in the development of my research career. I am planning to extend my research activities in the field of tick-borne diseases of livestock. In the next 12 months my focus will be to publish the papers originating from this project and also write review articles on the subject.” Dairy Australia spokesman Dr Mani Iyer says the Dairy Australia award helps to propel innovative young people into dairy industry careers. “The award provides a great opportunity for Dr Jabbar and the Australian dairy industry.” Since 2001 at least 180 Australians aged 18-35 have used Federal Government funding for research projects, industry visits, study, training and development, or conferences and workshops.


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Dairy News june 24, 2014

animal health  // 41

Cow heat watch 99% accurate NEW FARM technology from LIC takes the hard work out of identifying cows on-heat during mating, the co-op says. It even drafts them at the end of milking to a separate pen, ready for artificial breeding. Protrack EZ Heat is installed as part of the Protrack Vantage system. The EZ Heat component includes a camera in the

shed which takes pictures of the heat patches on the back of each cow that passes the camera during milking and checks whether the heat patch has been activated, as a sign of oestrous. This information is sent to the shed’s Protrack computer, and if the patch has been activated or is missing the cow is drafted for attention at the end

of milking. Trialled since 2011, it has achieved 99.9% accuracy, says LIC’s farm automation manager, Garth Anderson. “Farmers in the trial reported easier mating periods, more accurate heat detection, increased submission rates and reduced reliance on staff. “Some also increased AI usage, as the system took the stress out of mating, and reduced bull numbers, some using none at all. “We made some tweaks and refinements throughout the trial process.” The Protrack EZ Heat system was displayed at the recent field days in Waikato.

The Protrack EZ Heat includes a camera in the shed.

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Various factors can affect a cow’s fertility, says LIC.

In-calf possibilities far exceed 65% average LIC IS keen to help farmers work out what could

be holding their herds back from getting in-calf this mating. Greg McNeil, LIC’s reproductive solutions manager, says various factors can affect a cow’s fertility and ability to get in-calf, and it pays for farmers to work it out. “The industry target is to get 78% of the herd in-calf in the first six weeks in mating, but with the average currently sitting at 65%, big gains are possible. “Improving the 6-week in-calf rate can directly affect short and long term profitability, with increased milk production, fewer empty cows, tighter mating and calving periods, and more high quality AB replacements being born.” LIC discussed cow fertility at its site at the recent field days in Waikato. “If they have adequate pregnancy diagnosis information recorded in the database then we can take a closer look at their herd information, and calculate the opportunities available to them from improved herd reproductive performance,” says McNeil. “We’ll be able to give them a dollar figure of how much it would be worth to them, and their business, and also help them identify any areas that could require more attention. “Things like heifer rearing, cow condition and nutrition, heat detection and bull management all have a part to play as it is the herd management practices all year that ultimately impact success at mating time.”

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

42 //  effluent & water management

Pond mixer holds out against crust, deep sludge A NEW Numedic pond mixer

drew plenty of interest at the Waikato field days, says company spokesman Peter Reid. International visitors placed purchase orders, he says. The pond mixer is designed to prevent crusting – especially interesting to farmers with large effluent ponds. “[Some farmers said] they were needing multiple pond stirrers but were still not getting complete mixing; crusts were still a concern.” The Numedic pond mixer will “break up the thickest crust and mix the contents of any shaped effluent pond quickly and efficiently,” the company says. It prevents the accumulation of, typically, 1-2m of sludge at the bottom of a pond which then cannot be pumped.

Effluent storage is crucial for protecting waterways.

Numedic pond mixer.

Says Reid, “Superior mixing enables utilisation of the entire pond, not just the top 70%. All the pond storage capacity remains available. This is achieved with two opposing blades and eight different stirring positions. There is no need for multiple mixers

on the pond, or mixers that need running for long periods.” Also on the Numedic site were travelling and stationary irrigators, effluent pumps, stirrers, hydrants and pontoons.

Tel. 07 347 9974

Storage ‘new norm’ EFFLUENT STORAGE sufficient to ensure no liquid has to be sent out to pasture when it’s too wet is “becoming the new normal for Waikato dairy farmers,” says Waikato Regional Council spokesman Rob Dragten. But he says at least 25% of farms have no effluent storage whatsoever, despite their knowing that storage is crucial for protecting waterways. “Irrigating at the wrong time risks effluent running off into rivers and streams, filling them up with bacteria, sediment and nutrients that can cause algae.” Dragten says the council’s work with Fonterra and DairyNZ, especially, is starting to pay ‘dividends’ for the environment. “We estimate that if an average Hauraki dairy farm doesn’t have enough storage to avoid irrigating during winter months, 600,000L of effluent per property will run off to waterways that empty into the Firth of Thames. “With hundreds of dairy farms on the plains, that would translate into many millions of litres of effluent a year getting into waterways in that area alone. And during one round of farm visits recently in the wider region we found [at least] a quarter of farms had no storage at all.”

The effluent storage efforts of many farmers and industry organisations in Hauraki and wider Waikato “is to be applauded: [correct storage] is becoming the new normal for many farmers.” Dragten says it is now “rare to see blatant, long-standing issues” that can cause problems with waterways and groundwater, though lack of suitable effluent storage “remains the biggest challenge”. The council has been working individually with farmers in areas whose soils raise high risk of effluent getting into waterways or groundwater. Council advice comes with a ‘timeline’ for doing work to enable them to comply year-round with effluent rules. “The farmer response to this approach continues to be positive,” says Dragten, though some farmers question the environmental benefits of big spending on effluent storage upgrades. “We’re prepared to give farmers time to get appropriate advice on the best options for the storage of effluent on their properties. Advice should be taken from an industry-accredited dairy effluent systems designer.” The council “won’t shy away from enforcement action” against farmers who don’t comply.


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Dairy News june 24, 2014

effluent & water management  // 43

Good watchdog stands guard for owner sudesh kissun


vider Smart Farm Systems, Southland, is happy to play a watchdog role on the farm, leaving the decisions to the farmer. Its equipment and technology monitor effluent irrigators: in case of an irrigator malfunction in the paddock, the system switches off and notifies the farmer of the problem. Smart Farm Systems national sales manager Doug Hawkins says under its fail-safe concept the farmer remains in control and decides what to do next. Hawkins says Smart Farms simply pushes the stop button when there is a problem but the rest is up to the farmer. “We say to the farmer, ‘we are the watchdog over your shoulder, we do the logical thing by pushing the stop button but you need to make informed decisions on what to do next’.” Smart Farms does not fully automate the farm and take over controls from the farm effluent manager. “We get asked but we do not allow full automation of effluent operations; a farmer cannot be absent from the farm and also start the irrigator. We will turn off the pump for you but we won’t take over the running of the effluent system.” “Our moral is that the farm effluent manager has to be on farm to run the system, it is your farm, and we are not simply there on farm to make that call for you.” Smart Farms telemetry technology covers a 5km range. Apart from monitoring effluent irrigators, the company has new products that can monitor vat temperature, pond effluent volume (effluent mag flow meter), to add to

the existing products that monitor soil moisture, water troughs, water tank levels and water flow. The product has been on farm for 15 years; all Smart Farm Systems products are designed and manufactured locally. The pond link monitor includes high level and low level probes independently set to suit the situ-

line pressure where it is needed right at the end of the pipe where the pods or guns are. If the pressure drops too low for any reason, the K-Line monitor will stop the pump, and will only allow the farmer to start the pump at the applicator, in the paddock – after addressing the problem. This prevents pollution in the

The hub of Smart Farm Systems notifies the farmer if a problem develops.

off the shelf; its engineers and technicians visit each farm. “We go to each farm and get an understanding of how and why they are doing things, and we position our equipment to suit each farmers operation. The average price of Smart Farm Systems technology is $9000. Hawkins says it depends on what the farmer needs and what’s already on the farm. “I have done a system for $3000/farm and one for $30,000,” he says.

Smart Farm Systems managing director Janet Brooker flanked by national sales manager Doug Hawkins (right) and North Island sales manager Paul Chalmers.

Less travel, less cost FOR FARMERS with travelling irrigators one of the key benefits of Smart Farming Systems is that they can start irrigation down in the paddock at the irrigator. Hawkins says this is a big cost saving for a farmer. “The old way of doing this is with the travelling irrigator; they have to go all the way back to the pump shed to push the button or make

a cell call and have two people involved. “With our system farmers can save time and fuel; our system is designed to be down in the paddock where staff can push the start button. Farmers like the fact the system is not only looking after itself but also looking after their investment.”

Pluck’s ADR 500 Effluent Screening Plant COVERED BY N.Z. PATENT APPLICATION No. 591985

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ation: once the low level indicator has been reached the irrigation is suspended then restarted automatically when the effluent has triggered the high level probe. This ensures the irrigator’s effluent pump does not run dry and allows flexibility to reset the levels as required. For the travelling irrigator, Smart Farm Systems uses microprocessor technology: the travelling irrigator monitor will automatically monitor the travelling speed while in use and will shut down the pump if it stops for any reason; such as: moving too slow, moving too quick, cannot physically move or just at the end of its run. To re-activate someone must inspect the irrigator and rectify the stoppage, before re-starting at the irrigator. For K-Line & Centre Pivot systems, Smart Farm Systems monitors

paddocks due to system failure and ensures the effluent system operators are across managing their effluent. Hawkins says as a national supplier, it has a good snapshot of the dairy industry, servicing small family farms to large corporate. Education is big part of Smart Farm Systems way of doing business with farmers, Hawkins says, such as educate farmers on managing their effluent which assists them to run their business more efficiency. “There are different pressures on dairy regions throughout the county. However we have a universal system that can interface with a multitude of infrastructure. Every farm is different but [all] are moving effluent out on to paddocks.” Hawkins says the company doesn’t sell systems

r Effluent is clean enough to be pumped into a pivot system if required r Screens out everything bigger than 1 mm Pluck’s, or your installer of choice, can adapt the ADR 500 and twin pond effluent system to work with your current effluent set up, keeping your upgrade costs down. No need

to rebuild what’s already on your farm

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

44 //  effluent & water management

Adequate storage ensures great flexibility Effluent storage facilities must be sealed against leakage.


fit effluent application around farm activities and

irrigation conditions, says DairyNZ. Storage facilities must be sealed against leak-

0800 454 646


TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR THE AGRISHIELD POND LINER PROMOTION. 1. Entry is gained into the promotion by purchasing an Agrishield Pond Liner from Viking Containment during the promotional period. 2. The promotion commences on Monday 7 April 2014 and closes at 5pm on Thursday 31 July 2014. 3. Entries to be made through your Viking Containment Sales Representative and are based on the purchase of qualifying product • Agrishield Pond Liner for Dairy Effluent or Water Storage • The minimum Sales Order Value is $15,000 • Installation of the liner must be completed by 20 December 2014

age and seepage. All areas where effluent or leachate is stored should be sealed to prevent them from polluting groundwater. Avoid storing effluent at sites with high water tables or with a risk of flooding. Well installed, guaranteed synthetic liners (plastic, rubber or concrete) are recommended. Storage must be sufficient for rainy periods when the soil is too wet to irrigate and for busy times when farm labour is stretched, precluding irrigation. Storage facilities also guard against equipment failures (pumps or irrigator) when irrigation is impossible. And adequate storage allows effluent storage for when nutrients are most needed – in drier months or crop sowing. An empty pond may be useful when you can’t irrigate, and helps when extra storage is needed, eg during calving. A full pond may overflow or smell, and may result in financial loss as you lose control of effluent and capital investment tied up in the pond. DairyNZ recommends these seasonal targets: • Spring: the pond is filling with effluent, particularly during wet weather or when the staff are too busy to manage the effluent system. Small volumes of effluent can be irrigated as soil water deficits allow • Summer: keep the pond as low as possible • Autumn: keep the pond level low.

• Winter: keep the pond level low. Try to prevent stormwater from entering the pond, off unused yard areas, etc. Ways to reduce water use: • Guttering and downpipes to direct roof water away from the effluent collection system • Bund the concrete tanker apron to prevent ingress of water from the tanker loop • If your council allows, divert clean rainwater from the yard into stormwater drains and away from ponds • For herd standoff, consider a system that requires less water for effluent collection (e.g. bark peelings pad or a barn system with slats/bunkers to collect effluent) • In high rainfall areas, consider roofing large feed and standoff pads then diverting the roof water so that the effluent catchment area is smaller • Hose the yard before milking to speed washdown • Use a rubber scraper to remove solids before hosing • Reduce the water usage on the milking platform, eg water used to get cows off platform, and automatic cup wash systems. Repair any leaks • Consider using recycled water for yard and pad wash-down. Notice the strict food safety guidelines here – especially minimum distances, water quality and method of application. Contact your milk quality advisor before going ahead with this.

4. The promotion is not transferable and cannot be exchanged for cash. 5. Masport Supreme 210 BBQ to be delivered to the recipient following completion and full payment of the pond liner. Note: Assembly will be required Please contact a Viking Containment sales representative for a full copy of the Terms and Conditions.

key points ● Collect effluent from all sources in a sealed storage facility ● Minimise the water volume of effluent ● Maintain enough storage to meet management and compliance requirements ● Keep storage as low as possible to make the most of the capacity when you need it.

Dairy News june 24, 2014

effluent & water management  // 45

Good care of animals comes first amount of effluent generated, says DairyNZ. It advises planning herd management so that stock spend less time in the yards and dairy; also eliminate slippery surfaces and sources of excessive noise or stray voltage in the yards. Training staff in stockmanship is essential: this essential farming skill can be taught and caught as new and younger farmers work with older hands. From there onwards a farm’s will be decisive in determining levels of effluent and their handling. A stormwater diversion will reduce the amount of effluent generated. And when used properly it will reduce the volumes staff are called on to manage. Stormwater diversion systems can be used only when the yards or feed pads are clean but roof water can be delivered all year. Stormwater must be diverted before it gets to

the stone trap. The best systems are close to the dairy and carry a visible reminder for staff. Train staff in the use of these systems. Reminders can include: ■■ An eartag on the vacuum pump switch which has to be moved before milking ■■ A flashing light visible from the farm dairy and yard area ■■ A flag system on the yard gate latch, which has to be moved to open the yard gate ■■ Diversion system connected to dairy plant power / pump switch Desludging and dewatering effluent ponds are also important, says DairyNZ. “A stirrer system which continuously agitates the entire storage facility will keep all solids in suspension and remove the need for desludging. “Consult your effluent system designer for advice on your system, as stirrers need to be matched to liner type.

“Remember to inform anyone doing any maintenance work on the pond what kind of liner is present. A damaged liner can be an expensive mistake.”

Good stockmanship can help reduce the amount of effluent generated.

tips on desludging ■■

Prior to desludging, stir the pond to mix the various layers before emptying (caution: wave action created by pond stirrers can damage clay liners)


Solids should be stirred and sucked out with a hose to minimise risk of damaging the liner. Do not use excavation equipment for desludging lined ponds due to the risk of damaging the liner


Sludge usually has a higher nutrient content than liquid effluent, so application rates need to be lower.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

46 //  effluent & water management

Travelling cannon spreads far and wide gareth gillatt

The travelling irrigation cannon circles to 75m at 1mm depth.

A TRAVELLING irrigation cannon launched at the Waikato field days by Pumpn can spread large volumes of effluent over a 25-75m radius at depths as low as 1mm, says the developer. Company director Shane Phillips claims to have sold 20 of the Torpedo units at the field days

and 25 from its premises. Phillips says existing systems struggle to keep up with the effluent volumes from the industry’s typically larger herds. Though stationary effluent guns address this need, he says, they can be too slow to use and, of course, must be shifted often. Developing the Torpedo took three years; then six months ago the

company settled on a Pelton drive system that gives operators maximum flexibility in respect of flows and material consistency. Application depths as low as 1mm over a 25-75m radius is by each emission reaching across a 40-102m spread path; up to 44m3/ hour can be spread. The unit can work in stationary or travelling mode. A nylon rope does the towing. A trip function disengages travel when the gun reaches the end of the rope. The fluid trip switch is triggered to tap off at the end of the paddock run to avoid an end-of-run crop circle.

Phillips emphasises their use of 5m Samson nylon rope – “a very careful choice as it was 30% stronger than galvanized wire rope, and doesn’t have the same tendencies to ‘barb’ as steel. And it’s easy to see rolled out across the paddock.” The 6-speed Italian gearbox gives plenty of control over how fast the unit can travel. The direct drive has no chain sprockets or springs - potential sources of problems. The unit was on show at the Reid and Harrison field days site. Tel. 07 873 8673

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Shane Phillips at field days.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

effluent & water management  // 47

Add water to soil only when needed SOIL WATER deficit (SWD), measured in mm, is the amount of available water removed from the soil within the plants’ active rooting depth. It is also the amount of water required to refill the root zone to bring the soil moisture conditions to field capacity. Field capacity refers to the amount of water held in the soil after excess water has drained away. This is typically a day after soil saturation (eg from rain or irrigation). Adding water/effluent at this point will result in ponding, runoff or leaching. Deferred irrigation means irrigation is delayed pending a big enough SWD to allow for more water to be added to the soil without causing runoff, pond-

ing or leaching. The greater the application depth and intensity of the irrigator (ie travellers vs sprinklers) the greater the SWD required for irrigation. It may be inappropriate to proceed with effluent irrigation if: ■■ The soil is too wet following rainfall or irri-


gation: effluent may pond, run off to waterways, or leach through to groundwater The soil is dry and cracked, especially over tile or mole drains: effluent may travel through soil cracks to underground drains and then flow into

waterways The soil is compacted or frozen. Take care when applying effluent at the same time as fresh water irrigation. The SWD principles still apply, and total water application should be considered otherwise there is a risk of leaching or pond■■

how to measure soil moisture ■■

Handheld instantaneous probes are cheapest. They need to be calibrated to your soil type and situation


Permanent in-ground sensors can be read either by hand-held devices or via telemetry and software systems, the latter allowing for remote monitoring


An integrated system which monitors climatic data, effluent

pond level, soil moisture levels, soil mapping, irrigator positioning and run recording: this can be used for full irrigation scheduling, with remote monitoring. You can be sent text alerts and recommendations based on your farm’s irrigation system. Though more costly, they allow precise monitoring and are particularly good for large operations or absentee owners.

Take care when applying effluent at the same time as fresh water irrigation.

ing if soil is over-irrigated. It’s important to evaluate applicator spray patterns, DairyNZ says. Spray pattern uniformity varies depending on the type and condition of the applicator. Sprinkler systems and oscillating applicators have a more even spray pattern than standard travelling irrigators. A fast traveller speed will have a more even pattern than a slower one. Ensuring the applicator is maintained in good condition (eg cleaning, greasing, correct gearing, check rubberware and tyre pressure) will get the best performance out of the system.

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can result in ponding or runoff, if the instantaneous application at certain parts of the spray pattern is higher than the soil can absorb. Travelling irrigator runs must be far enough apart to preclude overlap at the outer edges. The most accurate way to measure the SWD is with soil moisture technology. Get expert advice before buying measuring devices. Have a qualified technician calibrate the system for your farm and provide a soil moisture deficit range for safe irrigation. Make this system simple for the farm staff to use.

Regular servicing and maintenance by a local service provider can save money and trouble in the long run. Also, look out for the effect of uneven spray patterns. Travelling irrigators have a ‘donut’ shaped spray pattern, increasing the load applied to certain parts of the paddock. Areas at the outer edge of a travelling irrigator’s spray pattern receive effluent for longer periods, so there is a band of heavier effluent loading on each side of the irrigator’s run, and a lighter loading in the middle. Uneven spray patterns

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

48 //  effluent & water management

No-brainer to sift out solids first SEPARATING SOLIDS from effluent before any other processing or handling is a ‘no-brainer’, says GEA Farm Technologies. The company sells Houle slope screen separator, and other equipment from this company. Solids in a pond or tank are demanding and costly to manage and will eventually overcome a pond’s storage capacity, GEA says. Hence the need for a passive slope screen, especially effective when used with GEA’s “unique” sand sedimentation pit. The slope screen comes 2.4m wide (140m3/hour), plenty big enough for large farms. Processing rate depends on effluent consistency: yards, feed pads or barns that are flood washed result in effluent typically thinner and this processes faster over the separator screen. Where the effluent is in more of a slurry form, GEA suggests using its XPress (roller press) separator –

efficient and low-maintenance, yielding solids up to 28% dry matter. Solids separation allows a dairy to reuse ‘green water’ for washdown, saving fresh water, the company points out. “The Houle flush system is designed to… maximise the flush volume over a defined area.” This requires a 300mm valve installed at concrete level, air operated to start and stop the flush cycle. The valves operate at 7000L/m, a sufficient flush for proper cleaning. Houle slope screen The air operation separator. allows the system to be Houle also makes pond pumps, automated, making it a one pushbutton operation, or allowing the agitation systems and effluent flush cycle to be pre-programmed spreader tanks. to suit the specific wash area. Two Tel. 0800 432 327 flush cycles are typical, with auto- matic start and shutoff.

New from Plucks Engineering One of our latest model Pond Stirrers V Now with a two year warranty on the new type of motor and planetary gear box

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Permastore offer many advantages for storing effluent, says distributor All Pumps. They contain no liner, said to be the chief advantage over other types. Permastore tanks are made from high-strength glass fused to steel panels bolted together in rings. The glass finish is UV stable and non-corrosive so it will last for decades, says All Pumps. “Reliable and costeffective, these tanks are an ideal containment solution for dairy farmers.”

Because the tanks rest on the ground – not under it – they have minimal risk of runoff, leaching and ground contamination, and have a smaller footprint. Simple, modular bolted-together construction makes for fast installation relatively cheaply. They can be extended in volume. Buyers can opt for PTO driven or electric slurry stirrers, platform, ladder and cage, slurry tanker outlet and roofing. Farmers Alan and Ann Black, who milk 500 Jerseys, have a 4.23m high, 2 m L circular tank on a

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reinforced concrete base in the corner of a paddock. Ann Black says they were quoted for a storage pond, but felt the tank was more cost effective was fail-safe and had a 30-year design life. All Pumps offers a range of diameter and height options. Capacity ranges from 100 – 24,000m3. The firm recently installed New Zealand’s largest bolt together tank – 47.8m diameter and 7.03m high, storing 12 m L. Tel. 0800 4 PERMASTORE www.permastore-nz.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

effluent & water management  // 49

Careful preparation best path to good pond PLANNING TO install a new effluent pond on your farm? If so, says DairyNZ, make your plans carefully, decide how you will work with consultants and contractors, and consider the design options. A good storage pond adds value to a farm, providing temporary storage of effluent for when soil conditions are not suitable for irrigation. Having a well designed and constructed pond will save time and money.

It will also bring peace of mind and increased flexibility: you get to determine when to irrigate, gain more effective utilisation of nutrients and water, and reduce the risk of effluent non-compliance. Four key points should be considered: sealing, to avoid leakage to groundwater; design that allows for ongoing operation and maintenance; size appropriate to the volume of effluent produced now and in the foreseeable future; and compliance with regional and district council and

Health and safety features ■■

Fencing: a mesh fence will prevent stock and children from falling into the pond


Escape ladders: install one permanent ladder or alternative escape means


Anchor points: pontoons need anchor points to improve stability


Signage and personal directions must alert with farm staff, contractors and visitors to hazards


Get advice from a competent person about the construction.

Building Act requirements. “Having a suitable contract in place before design or construction begins ensures both parties are clear about what they should expect,” DairyNZ says. “A written contract will protect your interests and sets out your rights and obligations. It also gives your engineer/contractor an incentive to get things right first time. “Given the cost of FDE ponds, and the risks involved with poor construction, you should ensure you have a written contract.” To best determine the capacity of a deferred irrigation storage pond, use the ‘Dairy Effluent Storage Calculator’, taking into account: ■■ Local rainfall variability: coverage of rain gauge sites by the calculator is patchy for some regions. ■■ There is some variation in the amount of storage different regional councils require. Sizing should be based on DESC recommendations rather than

ol, r t n o tc n e g ed i l d l e e t e n n I it’s e r e wh

A good storage pond adds value to a farm.

a council minimum storage requirement where the latter gives a lesser volume. ■■ The DESC determines pond volume and does not allow for freeboard or sludge accumulation volume. The location of the pond is also critical. DairyNZ says a site investigation prior to design and construction is important to make sure the pond

can be structurally sound given the site conditions and to meet regulations. The location of the effluent source is crucial: minimise the distance between source and storage. The final destination of effluent is also a factor: minimise distance to reduce pumping costs. Watch out for proximity to surface water bodies or artificial watercourses.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

50 //  effluent & water management

Pond course builds expertise CONTRACTORS AND designers of farm dairy effluent ponds can increase their expertise and stay upto-date on industry developments with a course led by Opus International Consultants. The farm dairy effluent pond design and construction course is being held in Ashburton, Palmerston North and Whangarei. Companies can register at

Farm Medix co-director Natasha Maguire with the chlorine dispenser.

Representatives from more than 100 companies have already completed the course but there is still a need to ensure more people are taking advantage of the training offered. DairyNZ sustainability team leader, Theresa Wilson says dairy farmers benefit from having highlyskilled people building their ponds and is urging companies to sign up.

Across the country regional councils are increasingly focusing their attention on storage ponds and wanting to see well-constructed ponds that are sealed to the right standard. Ross Wightman, programme manager at Waikato Regional Council says having a network of well trained professionals is essential so farmers can get a good quality pond built.


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of pathogens and E.coli is a growing challenge met by Farm Chlor disinfection plant, says the New Zealand distributor Farm Medix. The company set up in 2009 selling cow health products, trough cleaning services, and water filtration and purification plant, says co-director Natasha Maguire. “Higher standards are now being set by dairy companies who insist water used in farm dairies and stock watering is completely free of pathogens. Farm Chlor [chlorine plant] is an affordable way to achieve top results in doing this.”

Water from natural sources such as streams, springs and bores and “some storage tanks” is more likely to contain pathogens. The dispensers suit large or small farms, measuring chlorine solution into all water accurately with needle-point adjustment. It has no moving parts and uses no electricity. It dispenses only when water is flowing and is safe and easy to use. Maguire said a farm milking 600 cows and using 100,000L water per day would typically spend $600-$1000 annually on chlorine tablets, replenishing them weekly. The dispenser comes with a steel plate for wall attachment. Tel. 021 440 444

k? lea n’t es do at th m da a ing ild bu t ou ab s iou er S That’s why we use High Density Polyethylene (HDPE). It out performs all other geomembranes! Plus, when installed with our superior sealing technology, it is guaranteed to last!

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

effluent & water management  // 51



Main Hub





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• Effluent monitoring • Proof of placement - GPS • Auto shut-off if too slow • Robust telemetry • Allows future enhancements

See us at the Effluent Expo A voluntary WoF scheme for farm effluent management will cost between $500 and $1000 per farm.

For more information phone 0508 476 278 or visit

Minimise of your risk penalties for illegal e of discharg effluent

Voluntary WoF signals farm is fit for season A DAIRY farm volun-

tary WoF scheme helping farmers identify and address risks moves farms towards being ‘fit for purpose’ and effluent-compliant 365 days a year, says DairyNZ. During a three-four hour farm visit a trained and certified independent professional will assess a farm’s systems and hand the farmer a brief report outlining what he should do to come up to WoF standard. The assessment looks at the farm’s effluent consent or permitted rules: are all requirements being met? It views the nutrient

budget and checks nitrogen loadings, and it runs the dairy effluent storage calculator to estimate if there is enough storage for the farm effluent system. It checks over the storage facility for visible risks and looks at all catchment areas, particularly stand-offs, feedpads and underpasses. Tests are run on the application depth and rate of the irrigation system. It also identifies hazards and notes general health and safety requirements Depending on the size of the farm, a WoF costs $500 to $1000 per farm. The assessor will pro-

five good reasons

❱❱ Have you upgraded the effluent system yourself? Then you might want reassurance that your system is fit for purpose. ❱❱ Have you budgeted for an upgrade to the system? An independent person who assesses the current system will help you in your decision making. ❱❱ Are you buying or selling a farm? You need to know if the system is fit for purpose or whether you need to factor upgrades into the offer. ❱❱ Are you a sharemilker coming onto a property? Find out how well the effluent system is performing. ❱❱ Directors and absent owners can be liable if an inadequate effluent infrastructure is installed on a farm. Find out what the risk is for your farm.

vide a cost estimate before coming to the farm. Farmers first choose a certified assessor, “an independent, experienced industry professional. To become certified, the assessor has completed a three-day training course and passed a competency assessment process. “The assessor is committed to observing a code of conduct to guarantee professional behaviour and independent advice.”

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

52 //  field days

Weather takes some 2

NEARLY 120,000 visitors

passed through the gates at the recent field days in Waikato. Wet weather during the first two days is blamed for visitor numbers being 5000 down on last year. On the final day 32,000 visitors attended, organisers saying the four-day event finished on a high note. “Despite two rough days we have seen just short of 120,000 visitors,” a spokesman says. Tractor pulling was a big visitor draw on the Saturday. Big Brand Leisure Ltd awarded a $10,000 luxury spa package to a draw winner – Eileen Cole from Drury.



1. Latest milking technology from Waikato Milking Systems.

2. Janice Ferguson, Auckland, arrives at Mystery Creek.

3. The official opening. 4. Visitors make their way into field days.

5. Kids painting a Fonterra tanker.


6. Tractors on display.

7. Aerial shot of farm machinery. 8. Lely’s latest offerings.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

field days  // 53

shine off field days 7






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Dairy News june 24, 2014

54 //  machinery & products

Award for ‘hothouse’ seed planter TONY HOPKINSON


of Co Limerick, Ireland, were surprised to win an innovation award at the Waikato field days.

Samco managing director Sam Shine (right) and New Zealand sales and market development manager David Mitchell at the field days.

The Samco system combines three machines in one: it sows, sprays the ground with a pre-emergence herbicide then covers the seed with a degradable film. “I see my machine having application in the

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South Island with seeds able to be planted in cooler temperatures and extending the growing season,” said Samco managing director Sam Shine. He invented the machine in 1996 and it is now sold in 20 countries. The film has a pinhole effect allowing air circulation which promotes the seed’s germination and growth, then protects the plant from extremes of temperature. The film breaks down when the plant is about six weeks old. “We have had increases

of yield up to 25% and we are at present doing trials with Genetic Technologies.” The machines come in 2, 4, 6 and 8-row models, the largest needing 160180hp. Planting is by a pneumatic seed unit to give accurate seed placing and delivery. “Our machines are proven around the world. With demand for maize for silage to supplement dairy herds they will extend the growing season especially in the South Island,” Shine says. Tel; 022 0869 887

Maskill Contracting’s new truck to haul farm plastics.

Crane truck helps haul farm plastics FARM PLASTIC volumes in Manawatu have

prompted the Palmerston North collector Maskill Contracting to buy a truck with a Hiab crane. Owner Wayne Maskill says the volume collected for Plasback made the crane a must-have item, now “making it easier to collect filled liners so we can get in and out of farms quicker. “The tonnage collected over the last two years has steadily grown as more farmers recognise the need to deal with waste silage films properly.” Maskill Contracting ranges across the lower North Island from Wanganui to Napier. It also runs 12 vehicles doing haulage. Plasback scheme manager Chris Hartshorne says three Hiab-equipped trucks, in Plasback colours, now collect waste silage film in New Zealand. The others are Slattery Contracting, Waikato, and Ken Murch Contracting, Southland. Taranaki will be next. A “massive” increase in farmers using Plasback is attributed to a recent ban on burning farm plastics in Canterbury. The law change has focussed attention on the issue, Hartshorne says. He says there is a bottleneck when it comes to baling recycled silage wrap so that it can be shipped for reprocessing. “We have two balers working flat out and we need two more to keep up with the high volumes.” Plasback charges $40 to collect a liner, unchanged since it began in 2006. Tel. 0508 338 240

Dairy News june 24, 2014

machinery & products  // 55

Milking system keeps up with industry demands NEW MILKING point

controller technology from Milfos – called iCore, is designed to adapt and accept new technology as it develops over time, the company says. It was launched at the recent Waikato field days, sharing the GEA Farm Technologies site with that company’s MIone

platform. His system includes an iDentity herd management package that can draft three ways and has the option to feed according to yield or weight through the in-shed feeding system. Avoiding obsolescence prompted Rowling to install the technology. GEA’s iPud (platform

the bail design means cows flow in and out of the bails incurrs less impact of animals with the bail frame. Meanwhile the Milfos iFlow rotary platform is now suspended on nylon rollers (no bearings) that are smooth-running and need little maintenance. It has automatic greasing. Neil Rowling says GEA Farm Technologies’ effluent management systems can be factored into the dairy design.

The user may at any time add extra levels of automation to the milking point, to suit operating needs and budgets.


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robotic milker. GEA marketing manager Nicky Bowden says strong visitor interest is because the iCore accepts upgrades and advances, avoiding risk of redundancy as new dairy technology enters the market. In its most basic form the iCore starts as a highspec electronic cluster remover, economical to install. The user may at any time add extra levels of automation to the milking point, to suit operating needs and budget. A Matamata farmer, Neil Rowling, is an early adopter of the iCore system, installed to help future-proof his new 54 bail Milfos rotary

universal device) incorporates a leg separator template with built-in teat spray nozzles, an illuminated back screen for stripping quarters and cluster support for cups. High output LED spotlights with the iPud help milkers to examine teat condition. With upgrades the iPud can give operators a ‘heads down’ display of colour coded alerts from the iCore management system right where the action happens – easier on workers’ bodies than looking upwards at bail displays. Upcoming upgrades will enable the iCore system to provide information on mastitis,

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iCore milking technology starts as a high-spec electronic cluster remover.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

56 //  machinery & products

‘Humbled’ guy bags the boot WAIKATO FARM manager Jeff Peek is the best rural bloke in New Zealand, say the organisers of the Waikato field days. The 30-year old topped the 2014 field day rural bachelor contest finals, winning $23,000 in prizes and the Golden Gumboot Award. At the award ceremony Peek thanked all involved, including those who came along and supported him: “The Facebook campaign, friends who’ve come

Jeff Peek

to say hello, randoms who’ve come to say hello, and most of all the family and friends who’ve turned up. It’s humbling.” He plans first to go visit his dad, who lives in a Hamilton rest home, to show him the Golden Gumboot. During the week-long event eight finalists, including an Australian, contested heats for best rural bloke. It began with an ‘amazing race’ challenge from a mystery location to the

field days venue. Then came speed fencing, lamb boning and gundog trials. Not all heats were to do with farming. For example, ‘high tea’ had the men wearing aprons and serving eight “lucky ladies”. They assembled trays of tasty treats and made tea. “It was a bit of a challenge,” said Tirau bachelor Brett Steeghs. “It’s all about presentation [but] I’m more of a practical man. As long as it tastes good

then I’m into it.” The men also took a challenge at Barkers Westfield Chartwell, to try their eye for fashion. Runner-up to the title was Fraser Laird (26) who won $1000 from Swanndri, a $500 voucher from Stihl and a $500 voucher from Skellerup. Peek won a Suzuki KingQuad bike, a $2000 Swanndri voucher, a $2000 Stihl voucher and a $1000 voucher from Skellerup.

Sales rep, Jo McLchlan with soy hull pellets.



Soy hull pellets now well-priced feed

Introducing the all new X5000

gareth gillatt

The Hustler tradition of finding new ways to make everyday farming tasks easier continues with the release of the X5000 chainless bale feeder.

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SOY HULL pellets, a new high-fibre, high-energy feed from J. Swap Stockfeeds, are said to be a good complement for palm kernel. The pellets are a by-product of South Australian soy crops: the hulls are extracted from the beans and turned into pellets high in fibre and energy and low in starch, the producer says. About 11MJ/kg energy are contained in kilogram fed, says Newtrition Solutions nutritionist Grant Richards. The supplement is 90% dry matter and the soy fibre is said to be very digestible. Most of the dry matter can go to production - milk or weight gain. Richards says soy hulls have low starch content, making them a safe rumen feed. Cows can eat lots without major risk of bloating or grain acidosis. “Soya hulls degrade slowly in the rumen but are still very digestible with better total utilisation by the cow. They combine well with fast-fermenting starch, making the feed safer when fed.” In the rumen, hulls are said to break down slower than starchy foods but faster than other more fibrous feeds. This allows cows to eat and eat more and potentially produce better on the supplement. Richards says the pellets offer good value for money when compared to other low-cost supplements. Farmers should find them especially valuable in the spring and autumn flush to balance out high levels of protein in grasses at that time. Soy hulls are claimed familiar to farmers in Australia and Europe, but are new to New Zealand. Richards describes them as a good balancing feed in a herd’s ration. “It provides farmers flexibility when trying to balance feed quality with price and milk responses.” Tel. 0800 457 927

Dairy News june 24, 2014

machinery & products  // 57

Volunteers’ big push on new field days site THE South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) will be held at its new site near Kirwee, Canterbury. The ‘green field’ site needs infrastructure and facilities for 25,000 and more visitors. The 40ha property was bought as the organisers foresaw a move from the site leased near Lincoln University since 1951. The 2015 event will be on March 25-27. Agricultural engineer David James, executive committee chair, says there is a “big push” to have the new site ready for

the first field days; volunteers are hard at work. “We had outgrown the Lincoln site, and we examined six or seven venues before deciding on the Kirwee property. It is a large rectangle and provides us a better layout. “We financed the purchase by combining revenue from previous field days and a bank loan. The site gives us greater certainty for the future because it is half of an 82ha property, and we have the option to buy the other half.” The executive has

turned the property over to the SIAFD organising committee, who will develop it from scratch. Rangiora dairy farmer Alastair Robinson, the organising committee chair, manages an 800cow dairy operation. Many tasks remain to be done before next March, he says. “Machinery demonstrations and other agricultural technology have always been the primary focus of South Island Field Days. We will maintain this and will not expand to include crafts or lifestyle displays.

The South Island Agricultural Field Days has said farewell to its Lincoln site.

“To ensure we have a good crop for harvest

South Island Field Days volunteers at the new site in Kirwee, Canterbury.

equipment demonstrations we have organised a half-circle centre pivot irrigator. “We still need to organise power and water supplies, laneways, fences, culverts, storage sheds and a sound system.” Work will go on all year and early next, with working bees every week to get things finished. Organising committee member Daniel Schat, a 50/50 sharemilker on a family farm at Te Pirita, looks after communication and publicity for SIAFD. He’s looking for


sponsors and partners. “Volunteers do most of the work but we pay for services such as catering and traffic management. “We are now look-

ing for partners to help us develop our new site’s infrastructure. In particular we need to put in laneways, remove trees and add fences.”





DISC MOWERS KRONE EasyCut disc mowers have proven exceptionally well around the world. Delivering perfect results, these mowers feature genuine and exemplary KRONE innovations including:

We all agree that teats are a pain-in-the-neck to change or take out for cleaning. Thread-in Peach Teats solve this problem with the world’s first threaded teats.

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Changing or cleaning has never been so easy. Use Peach Teats with the new Ezi-Fit Peach Teats Adaptor and take the pain out of feeding.

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Dairy News june 24, 2014

58 //  machinery & products

Compact SUV tops customer survey The Kia Sportage has topped a German customer satisfaction survey.

THE UPDATED Kia Sportage is

reported by the New Zealand distributor to have topped its class in a survey on owner satisfaction by influential JD Power automotive consultants, Germany. Kia Motors has itself risen five places in the manufacturers’ standings. European drivers, especially Germans, are said to be hard to please and to favour their own manufacturers’ vehicles, so these results matter, says Kia. In the compact SUV category, the Kia Sportage was ranked first in the JD Power 2014 Germany vehicle ownership satisfaction study,. The report, which looks at overall driver satisfaction, also lists other Kia models. Kia entered the top-10 list for the first time. About 18,000 German drivers were asked to rate their satisfaction with their cars – on quality,

reliability, attractiveness and running costs. The Sportage scored 83.6% driver satisfaction and sixth most satisfying car overall. Kia Motors rose to 10th place, five places up from last year, and up from 17th position in 2012.

“The New Zealand market is closely aligned with the tastes of consumers in Europe, in particular Germany and the UK, so this result carries a lot of weight with us,” says Todd McDonald, general manager of Kia Motors New Zealand. The Kia Sportage, is Kia’s best

selling model in Europe. It was launched in 1993 and is now in its third generation. New Zealand and Europe models are made in Slovakia. The 2014 Sportage now has a 2L direct injection petrol engine, or may be bought with a 2L diesel engine.

Rural games organisers get traction NEW ZEALAND Rural Games says PlaceMakers and Wild Buck will sponsor its inaugural event in Queenstown next February 7-8. New Zealand Rural Games was launched last month as an annual celebration of the country’s rural heritage. It will feature wood chopping, shearing, dog trials, gumboot throwing and coal shovelling, plus music and entertainment. Andy Havill, senior brand manager for Wild Buck, says the brand aligns well with the theme. “We’re excited to be the official beer…. Wild Buck is a great tasting New Zealand ale and a perfect match for the hardworking men and women of the country’s rural sector.” Maria Reinbergen, brand and strategy manager at PlaceMakers, says the company likes the idea of supporting an essentially rural event. “PlaceMakers… has been serving the rural heartland for a long time, supplying everything from fencing to sheds. Our Southland PlaceMakers teams will be on the ground next February to… get amongst it.” New Zealand Rural Games founder and trustee, Steve Hollander, says strong sponsor support reflects the rural sector’s contribution to the New Zealand’s economy and national character.

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

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Helping grow the country

Dairy News 24 June 2014  

Dairy News 24 June 2014

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