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Westland Milk’s payout forecast lifts morale. PAGE 9 PEST HIT-LIST

Landowners protect native birds PAGE 16

STANDING TALL Morrinsville’s colossal cow PAGE 5

JUNE 13, 2017 ISSUE 380 //




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Westland Milk’s payout forecast lifts morale. PAGE 9 PEST HIT-LIST

Landowners protect native birds PAGE 16

STANDING TALL Morrinsville’s colossal cow PAGE 5

JUNE 13, 2017 ISSUE 380 //

PKE-BASED GRADING LOOMS Farmers to incur demerit points for excess fatty acids in milk. PAGE 3




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NEWS  // 3

New PKE regime ‘no big deal’ SUDESH KISSUN

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FEDERATED FARMERS Dairy chairman Andrew Hoggard says not many farmers would need to adjust their palm kernel expeller (PKE) feeding regime. Most farmers are maximising pasture, the cheapest form of feed on farms, he says. “We all grow grass so there’s no need to throw PKE in there…grass is the cheapest form of feed so maximise that; it’s common sense,” Hoggard told Dairy News. His comments came as Fonterra wrote to farmer suppliers last week, outlining it will be establishing a demerit-based grading system from June 2018. The co-op says feed trials conducted with DairyNZ and AgResearch confirmed an increased use of PKE feed does change milk fat composition, specifically the fatty acid profile. After more than 100 shed meetings across the country, it has a test for fatty acid changes caused by PKE. The test, called the Fat Evaluation Index (FEI), was rolled out across the tanker system and all farms nationwide in April this year. Farmers have been receiving results dated back to January this year. Fonterra chief operating officer Farm Source Miles Hurrell says results this season would not incur demerit points.

Fonterra says fatty acids resulting from high PKE feeding, impacts production.

“This timeline meets our earlier commitment and gives all farmers a full season to understand how PKE use affects the FEI results for their farm and time to adjust their farming systems to meet the cooperative’s limits. “Over the next weeks and months, we will consult with farmers to finalise the grading system details, using our existing grading framework as a basis.” Fonterra farmers will be told by the end of December. “For this season, the current FEI levels remain a guideline only and there will be no demerits,” says Hurrell. Hurrell says most appreciate the need for the co-op to optimise its production capacity. “However with 10,500 shareholders there will be some who will have a negative feedback to the proposal,”

he says. Hoggard says results from his farm shows there is no need to change anything. “We feed our cows little bit of PKE each day so for my farm there’s nothing to worry about.” Hoggard says he has seen some

farmers tweet their results, which were “in red”. “These farmers would need to make changes.” Hoggard says Fonterra has been flagging the issue since 2015 and farmers should not be surprised.

LIMITS APPLY TO LACTATING COWS FONTERRA SAYS its feed trials support the use of PKE “at certain levels”. “We recognise that PKE is a valuable tool that many of our farmers choose to use as part of their feeding systems,” it says. “However, when used in excess, the co-op may have subsequent challenges manufacturing or meeting our customer specifications. “If the PKE trend continues, the potential cost to the co-op is across all of our products.” Fonterra’s fat evaluation index limits (FEI) will apply for lactating cows. Farmers will be allowed to feed PKE at levels above the guideline to non-lactating cows and young stock.


4 //  NEWS

More weight to fat story PAM TIPA


story was reinforced at the latest GDT event with butter up 3.3% to a fresh auction record high of US$5631/t, says ASB senior rural economist Nathan Penny. The fat trend has several positive implications: it is likely to be ongoing and it means the global

dairy market is turning from supply to demand driven. “Particularly in North America but elsewhere we have seen a move back to butter and fat in general as it is no longer seen as bad for your health as the science has proven. “So people have started to put it back on their menus. One symbolic example of that was McDonalds in the States moved to put butter back

on its McMuffins. It did away with margarine or similar and replaced it with butter,” Penny told Dairy News. “Those sort of moves are being replicated in various places across the US and that really has seen butter and fat sales increase. “Given that the science probably won’t change back the other way, we think fat prices are likely to remain high until





supply can catch up a bit further. That may mean prices come off these record highs but over the longer term fat prices are likely to average higher than they have over the past 10 years or so.” Overall last week’s GDT Event prices went sideways (price index rose 0.6%), says Penny, with whole milk powder (WMP) dropping slightly by 2.9% to US$3142/t. The reasonably good production season – with a better second half than first – was behind the dip in WMP prices. “But demand is really part of the story now. It is not just demand correcting around the world, it is also firm demand and particularly for milk fats. So we expect that to continue into the new

Nathan Penny, ASB.

season.” ASB is holding its new season forecast at $6.75/ kgMS. But Rabobank dairy analyst Emma Higgins says while dairy fats “creamed it” again at the last auction, she sounds a note of caution. “We now have a situation where Oceania dairy is pricey compared to other regions. The US now has significantly

cheaper butter than EU and New Zealand. “The US$200/t premium for NZ butter is sizeable and something we haven’t seen for the last couple of years. This will be something to watch going forward as the US stocks continue to mount.” The highest average prices for butter in GDT history were helped by a European shortage of product, she says. While AMF dropped by 1.2% to land at US$6569/t, the drop only took the edge off what continues to be exceptional AMF prices. “However, weaker prices for contract periods (i.e. delivery) towards the end of 2017 suggest that buyers are looking for short term AMF cov-

erage at these expensive prices and raises questions of buyers substituting dairy fats for vegetable oils in some food applications in future.” Weaker WMP prices for contracts in October and November 2017 suggest the market is anticipating strong NZ milk supply, she says. All other dairy products are in positive territory: cheese climbed 14.5% and skim milk powder (SMP) leapt up almost 8%, albeit from a low base. ANZ rural economist Con Williams says all up some caution is warranted on early season milk price forecasts until there is more certainty of a supply/demand balance during the seasonal peak. TO PAGE 7





BNZ RURAL economist Doug Steel has dared to mention $7 for the new season milk price, but with very strong notes of caution. There were “many moving parts” and the new dairy season was only seven days old, he said, commenting to Dairy News last week. But overall the outlook is positive for dairy farmer and New Zealand income, he says. “From a macroeconomic perspective, higher dairy prices is one reason we think NZ’s terms of trade will hit an all-time high in 2017.” Indications are an upside risk to BNZ’s $6/kgMS milk price forecast for the 2017-18 season. “Indeed, on our calculations, if current pricing persists for


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the whole season, something around $7 is possible. “But we remain wary of more milk production over the coming year (in NZ, EU and US) because recent pricing encourages supply (as does low grain prices). This is expected to weigh on dairy product prices over the coming season.” The dip in the WMP prices at last week’s auction fits with this thinking. “We are also conscious of the NZD pushing higher of late, up 3.5% since the previous auction, which, if sustained, would be a negative for milk price computations. On the plus side, demand indicators look solid. “There remain many moving parts and the new NZ dairy season is merely seven days old.”

Details of last week’s event were generally in line with BNZ’s expectations, including: ■■ A near 3% fall in WMP prices, with an average price of US$3143/t, as more volume was forecast for later in the year ■■

An almost 8% rise in SMP, following gains elsewhere likely related to peak EU milk production being dented by poor weather and a lift in import quotas in Japan


Fat prices remaining strong, including those for butter. Current tightness in the butter market is obvious with near term prices spiking up above US$6300/t, while product priced for a few months’ ahead was marked nearly $1000/t cheaper.

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NEWS  // 5

Colossal cow standing tall MARK DANIEL

THERE’S THE colossal carrot at Ohakune and the oversized L&P bottle at Paeroa; now Morrinsville, the capital of Cow Country, has its own giant -- a bovine behemoth located on the western approach to the town. The idea came from the late Laurie Maber who, with his wife Yvonne, ran the family farm machinery business Maber Motors and served as mayor of the dairy supply town. He wanted to put the town on the map, hence the giant cow. Meanwhile, a herd of 15 ‘normal’ (model) cows showed up some two years ago, sponsored by local businesses; each had a theme and was decorated by different local artists. At that time ‘Pop’ Maber said to son Geoff “let’s build a giant cow” and in doing so resurrected the original idea.

ago he milked 1000 cows through one of the first rotary sheds in the country. “We miss him dearly, but we’re sure he’s up there with a grin on his face today.”

$1b from within a 25km radius of Morrinsville. “My father knew how important dairy was to our machinery business and was a dairy farmer in his own right, buying a large peatland farm out to the west of the town, where about 50 years

ing director Geoff Maber commented, “Pops always said that Morrinsville was the Cow Capital of New Zealand and today’s statistics prove he was right. Dairy contributes $16 million of the country’s exports; $5b of that comes from Waikato and

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had grown out of the seeds Maber sowed at the Maber Motors business that started in 1946, son Geoff growing the group into the largest privately owned tractor and farm machinery business in the southern hemisphere, with some 500 employees and turnover of about $400 million. Laurie Maber was known for his no-nonsense presence, which got things done, and quickly, so once the family got



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6 //  NEWS

Aussie farmers secure but m LAURIE WALKER

WITH THE end of the 2016-17 season at hand, the Australian dairy industry continues to deal with profitability, trust and confidence issues, although farmers’ underlying confidence in their own businesses and future remains robust. Many farmers in many regions are struggling financially and are frustrated and mistrustful of some in the supply chain. This is confirmed by findings of the annual National Dairy Farmer Survey, which showed that trust in processors has been damaged (27% of farmers either have changed processor or would like to), and profitability is at a three year low (only 45% of farmers anticipate making a profit

in 2016-17). Unsurprisingly, the events of the last 12 months have hit farmer confidence: 53% of survey respondents overall feel positive about the industry’s future, versus 67% in

likely 8.95 billion litres -- about 7.5% below last season. At April 2017 there were 5810 registered dairy farms in Australia, representing a 4.8% decline in total dairy farm numbers

Many farmers in many regions are struggling financially and are frustrated and mistrustful at some in the supply chain. last year’s survey. Culling numbers for 2016-17 remain about 40% above the five year average, despite a slowdown since October 2016. This follows heavy culling in the 2015-16 season, which was notable even before the late season price stepdown in April. Consequently, Australian milk production has fallen sharply in 2016-17 to a

from the 6102 reported in Dairy Australia’s In Focus 2016. The largest decrease occurred in Victoria, where 263 dairy farm licenses were cancelled. Some 241 of these cancellations were ‘bulk cancellations’ processed in August 2016 -- effectively an automatic biennial cancellation of the licences of farms that had

Australia’s milk production this season has dropped 7.5% to below 9 billion litres.

ceased production at least six months prior. This suggests that many of the Victorian dairy farmers who left the industry had decided to do so long before the late season price step-downs in 201516. Victorian dairy farms

now number 3899, versus 4141 farms at June 30, 2016 (there were also 21 new registrations). Faced with lower supply, Murray Goulburn has said it will close three milk processing plants in northern Victo-

ria and Tasmania because lower throughput makes these plants uneconomic to keep running. This means MG must cease making some products and categories as it seeks to rationalise its production mix.

The business environment for milk processors may become yet more difficult, because several new or upgraded plants starting production in the next six months will cause greater demand for a diminished national milk


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NEWS  // 7

t mistrustful pool -- processors will compete more fiercely for milk. Given farmers’ diminished trust and loyalty towards processors, this suggests we are likely to see continued churn in suppliers; the processors will find it tough to secure ongoing, stable supply. Despite lower milk supply, Australian exports (by tonnage) increased in the 12 months to March 2017. At the same time Australian dairy imports have grown even more: cheese, infant formula and butter, mainly from New Zealand, have all increased, even as Australian exports of the same products have either remained fairly stable or grown. This points to Australian processors trying to maintain export market relationships at the expense of servicing

segments of the domestic market. Given the importance of Australia’s long-term business relationships with, say, the high-value markets of Japan and much of Southeast Asia, it is understandable that processors would seek to protect their business in these markets. Australia’s reputation as a reliable dairy trade partner has been questioned, given the industry turmoil and lower production. Its status as a major exporter will depend on a recovery of Australian milk production. That recovery is likely to be modest next season: the forecast growth is 2-3%, implying a total of at least 9.2 billion litres. This assumes favourable weather, stable input costs and the slowdown in monthly culling rates

since October 2016. It also assumes processors’ projections of improved farmgate milk prices are correct. The effects of heavy culling and reduced confidence are likely to be the chief limitations on production growth in 2017-18: 38% of NDFS respondents nationally reported having cut their herd sizes, and respondents also said they spent less on equipment. Looking beyond next season, 63% of farmers nationally expect to increase production in the next three years -depending on business conditions. Many producers will likely need at least one or two good seasons before considering raising their production. Forty-six persent of respondents nationally reported taking a new loan or extending their

overdraft, and 30% have refinanced their business or deferred their obligations, suggesting that consolidating business finances and reducing debt will be a greater priority than expansion for many. • Laurie Walker is an analyst with Dairy Australia.

Australia’s dairy imports are growing – with more cheese, infant formula and butter coming from NZ.


Short-term demand remained strong for dairy products at the last event but buyers remain wary about future commitments. “This was highlighted by stronger results for near-term delivered product versus those for the coming seasonal peak for NZ milk flow. Short-term milk flows are often dictated by farmgate prices, seasonality, general weather and

supplementary feed prices. “Apart from what the general weather conditions might deliver, all of these indicators look positive heading into the second half of 2017. This seems to have buyers cautious about making large forward commitments at present, preferring ‘hand to mouth’ buying. So not unlike other seasons, the weather looks like it will play a key part in price direction over

the next six months.” The weakening in WMP will be of concern, but not unsurprising given the lift in forecast supply. SMP rose as expected with lower than expected European production. “Milkfat prices maintained their lofty heights and are unlikely to soften until after holiday period buying diminishes later in the year,” says Williams.


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8 //  NEWS Sixty farms are taking part in the trial.

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South Island. The pilot will demonstrate how farmers can get real-time information about what is going on all over their farm through an array of sensors connected to Spark’s new, low-power network dedicated to providing connectivity for the ‘Internet of Things’, or IoT. The Internet of Things simply means the connection of many devices or sensors to the internet, and the pilot enables data they collect to be analysed in real time from multiple areas across the farm to support farm decisions. Connecting Farms will also give farmers better connectivity through improved WiFi capability at their place of work which may be the dairy shed, implement shed or workshop. This allows the pilot farmers to be connected to the internet and trial the on-farm decision tools developed by the partners during the trial. It will also mean that farm suppliers like Ballance Agri-Nutrients, Farmlands and NIWA will be able to use the Wi-Fi network separately when they visit the farm. Spark’s general manager Smart IoT Solutions, Michael Stribling,

says that the Connecting Farms solution will help farmers take advantage of the opportunities of improved connectivity on farm and what the Internet of Things (IoT) offers. This will help the New Zealand agriculture sector capitalise on the huge digital-driven changes that are sweeping the world. “We’re excited to be working with our partners to put solutions into the hands of farmers, giving them real time information about their farm’s performance,” says Stribling. Farmlands chief executive Peter Reidie says Connecting Farms is the future of farming in New Zealand. “Connecting Farms will help farmers in New Zealand make more accurate decisions through live data,” Reidie says. “Our 65,000 farmer shareholders nationwide want better, faster, lower cost solutions and we are enthusiastic about developing the opportunities that can deliver them.” Ballance chief information officer, Dave Scullin says partnering with Spark Ventures on Connecting Farms is a fantastic opportunity to harness real time information for our customers.


NEWS  // 9

Westland’s milk price boosts confidence PETER BURKE

WEST COAST farmers are hailing Westland Milk’s opening payout forecast range of $6.40 $6.80/kgMS for the new season as good news and

a sign that WMP is back on track. The news comes at the end of a hard season for Coast farmers hit by low payouts and bad weather. Most of the region’s cows are now dried off, but many have been down to once-a-day milking for

months. WMP general manager shareholder services Tony Wright says at the end of May milk production was down by 42.2 million litres on the previous season, a drop of 5.72%. Chiefly this was because a cold, wet spring

in 2016 was followed by very wet conditions until February 2017. Some areas had double their normal rainfall and their wettest season for 20 years, hard on stock and farmers. “These adverse growing conditions


need to monitor their situation onfarm and make appropriate decisions. That’s the message from DairyNZ consulting officer Ross Bishop, who says farmers on the Coast have found the last three years exceedingly difficult to get through. He was referring to the financial challenges facing Westland Milk Products (WMP), the low payout and terribly wet weather which has persisted until comparatively recently. Wet weather has meant low yields of winter crops and the pasture situation for some farmers is variable, with many not having the reserves they would normally expect at this time of the year. “Supplements are still coming in from east to west and as we go into the winter these supplements

get more expensive. It’s going to require careful management through the winter to ensure they hit the [necessary] targets at the start of calving. PKE tends to be a popular option because, unlike Fonterra, WMP is not putting pressure on farmers to reduce their use of PKE.” Bishop says cow condition on the Coast is reasonable, but some may have been milked a little longer than they should have. Such a phenomenon is normal and people often regret doing this, but he notes the pattern doesn’t seem to change much from year to year. He also notes that most cows are now dry. “Whilst it was very difficult season to move through I think farmers made the best of a bad lot. Some are finding life difficult but they were not in a good posi-

tion going into the downturn and a couple of years of new debt won’t have helped,” he says. Cow numbers have dropped slightly and this has given the farmers who have done this a small feed buffer. With WMP’s payout in the $6.40 - $6.80/kgMS range, things are looking a lot brighter for next season and that’s injected a degree of positivity into the rural community, Bishop says. “But there is still a bit of reservation around that like the rest of the country. “Farmers have been down this road before so they are keeping watch and will lock it in when it does happen. People are saying this would be great if it came to fruition, but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves too soon.” – Peter Burke

Westland Milk’s high forecast payout is good news to its struggling farmer shareholders.

impacted on pasture quality and cows’ milk production throughout the West Coast. Farmers have done an exceptional job of keeping their animals in good condition in this trying period, keeping a close eye on animal welfare and ensuring their stock were still ready for calving.

This will also ensure cows are in top condition for upping production to take advantage of higher payouts for 2017-18,” he says. The drop in production was expected and Westland has been able to partially compensate for the shortfall with boughtin milk.

Meanwhile WMP chief executive Toni Brendish is expected soon to start announcing changes to the company’s management structure. News of at least one appointment is imminent and others will follow, part of the review of WMP by its board and Brendish, who took over late last year.




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10 //  NEWS

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TWO WEST Coast dairy farmers were named in the Queen’s Birthday honours list. The 2016 Dairywoman of the Year, Rebecca Keoghan, who lives in Wesport, was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit. She is a director of Westland Milk Products and Buller Holdings, a partner in a family dairy farm and heads five Landcorp farms on the Coast. Ross Scarlett, a dairy farmer at Karamea, was also made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the dairy industry and local government. He is a former chairman of Westland Milk who led the formation of the company when the dairy industry was restructured. He was also chairman of the Westland Regional Council. Scarlett has played a huge role in the development of the West Coast in his dual roles as chairman of a dairy company and the regional council. He has farmed all his life at Karamea, the Coast’s northern-most settlement; he still has two farms with about 700 cows. Scarlett led the move for WMP to go it alone and not join up with Fonterra when the dairy industry was restructured in 2001. He says

this was a huge test for a company for a balance. “Dairying has a place in the enviwhich until then had no experience in exporting. It had supplied all its ronment but we have to be sensiproducts to the NZ Dairy Board to ble about how we manage our farms. We have had some bad press because sell on their behalf. you will always get bad But Scarlett says farmers and that tends the balance sheet on to colour the thinking of WMP was very strong. the people in the cities. “We were afraid we “In the past there may have got crucicould have been issues fied in the market but about the environment in the end we wanted but dairying now is very to be independent so conscious about what we sought advice from the rest of NZ thinks an Australian. He told of them and they are shareholders there concerned about doing was no more than just Rebecca Keoghan things right for the envinormal commercial risk and that gave them the confi- ronment. Gone are the days when dence to go it alone; it has been very people could fragrantly pollute rivers and the environment.” successful and I have no regrets.” Scarlett agrees there is an issue Though the company has been in the doldrums for the last couple of about increased dairy cow numbers years, Scarlett says things appear to and their likely impact on the envibe back on track and the company ronment; he sees the concern as valid and needing attention. He apprecihas good opportunities. Last summer was the worst he has ates that farmers and regional counexperienced on the Coast, adding to cils are working more positively together. farmers’ woes. Others to receive Queens BirthHe says in his time as chairman of the Westland Regional Council day honours were the former Minand WMP he made a point of keep- ister of Agriculture Jim Anderton; ing the two jobs separate to avoid Doug Avery, noted for his work in being accused of conflict of inter- mental health and growing lucerne; est. He says the dual roles gave him Peter MacGregor for his services to a good insight into the dairy industry Maori and agriculture; and Nick Pyke and the environment and the need for services to the arable industry.


Arable Research (FAR) chief executive Nick Pyke has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours, recognising his services to the arable industry. Pyke was appointed FAR’s research director in 1995, with a vision from which FAR has developed world leading arable research; this has contributed to the economic and environmental sustainability of the NZ arable industry. A FAR spokesman says Pyke has developed and maintained strong links with farmer based research organisations locally and internationally. “The strength of FAR’s international reputation and Nick’s vision combined in 2012 in the

FAR chief executive Nick Pyke.

formation of FAR Australia, a FAR subsidiary providing project management, research, extension and training services to the Australian grains industry and

fostering better research and extension links between the Australian and NZ agricultural research sectors. “Under Nick’s leadership, FAR was one of the

first organisations in the primary sector to recognise the importance of whole farm systems over individual crop and management issues. “Biosecurity is another key issue for the industry and Nick facilitated industry responses to recent black grass, velvet leaf and pea weevil incursions.” Pyke has also ensured levy payer access to research and demonstration sites. Trials are run in all arable regions, notably research sites in Canterbury (Chertsey) and Waikato (Tamahere); and in 2016 FAR leased the 15ha irrigated Lincoln arable site, aiming to expand seed production research and to strengthen seed industry links with Lincoln researchers.


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12 //  NEWS

Migrant rules backlash NIGEL MALTHUS


posed new rules on migrant workers will make it harder to employ and retain good staff. Submissions to MBIE over the changes have now closed, but Dan Schmidt, of the DairyNZ

New rules on migrant workers will impact the dairy industry, says DairyNZ.

people team, is encouraging farmers to talk to their MPs if they think their businesses will be affected. The new rules are due to take effect in August. Schmidt would be discussing the rule changes with Canterbury farmers at two forums, in Culverden and Ashburton, on

June 15. Under the proposal, all migrant workers earning at the low end of the pay scale -- less than $23.49 an hour -- would be eligible only for one-year work visas, renewable for three years before a one-year mandatory standdown. Partners and children would not be allowed in

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unless they qualified for a visa in their own right. DairyNZ says that would apply to many workers in the industry. Those earning at the high end – more than $35.24 an hour – would be eligible to apply for fiveyear visas, to bring family and to have a pathway to residency. However, workers earning $23.49 - $35.24 an hour would be eligible for three-year visas, with family – but only if they were classified as skilled workers under the ANZSCO (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations) system. That includes farm manager and assistant farm manager, but it leaves lower-skilled classifications including herd manager and dairy assistant eligible only for the lowest-level visas. They would have to be earning unfeasibly high wages before being allowed off the bottom rung. “There’s no mid-skill band for these guys,” said Schmidt. $35.24 an hour represented an annual salary of about $73,000 for a 40-hour week or about $90,000 for a 50-hour week. He said it was a quite high threshold for them to have to meet. Schmidt said the affected workers were making a valuable contribution to the industry. “In every interaction with people that we have, [farmers] say these guys are as important as the farm managers. There needs to be a pathway for them to stay in the country – recognising that if after three years they don’t meet the $23.49 then perhaps there’s an argument to say they’re not skilled; but trying to get them from the low paid band to more than $35, that’s a very tough path.” He said the problem was the way the proposals used a combination of remuneration and ANZSCO gradings to define eligibility. “There ought to be a

mid-skill level, and actually salary is a much better proxy for judging skill level than ANZSCO because there’s a difference between, say, a herd manager who is perhaps in the Waikato on a 300cow farm, versus a herd manager in Canterbury on a 1000-cow farm. “There’s a difference in responsibility and quite likely there’s a difference in salary. Using remuneration as a proxy for skill level is much fairer and takes away some of that subjectivity that’s been around immigration for a while.” Schmidt said he would encourage people attending the meetings to talk to their MPs about the proposals. Although submissions to MBIE had closed, they could still influence the process before the changes were implemented in August. He said employment in the dairy industry was not necessarily a case of choosing either migrants or Kiwis. A stable core workforce gave farmers a better chance of taking on the local school leaver. “You can’t expect people to mentor and train Kiwis if they’re struggling, fighting fires, trying to retain people.” However, Schmidt said one proposed change was very positive – the announcement of a South Island Contribution Visa which certain workers who he said had been “stuck in a no-man’sland” until now could now apply for residency. Despite contributing to New Zealand for years they had had no pathway to residency because while the industry considered them skilled, ANZSCO did not. Schmidt said DairyNZ wanted to dispel a common misconception that the programme was first in, first served, and limited to 4000 people in total. He said there was no need to rush because the number was only an estimate, and eligible workers had until May 22 2018 to apply.

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14 //  NEWS

Attacks on farmers deeply unfair – Guy PAM TIPA


on farmers were deeply unfair, says the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy. “It was incredibly disheartening to read recently that some schoolchildren were being bullied for coming from a dairy farming family,” he said at the Ballance Farm Environment Awards. “It’s also disappointing to hear calls to put a ‘cap’ on the number of dairy cows in the country. This is cynical politics for a number of reasons. “First, it deliber-

ately isolates one particular farming type as the sole cause of water quality issues in New Zealand. These issues have built up over decades from a variety of land uses, both rural and urban, and will take decades to fix. “Second, it’s naïve to [criticise] the yearly event of calving, when the population of cows almost doubles in a short time. “Finally, it ignores the process by which the impact of farming on our environment is regulated: at a regional council level, managed on a catchmentby-catchment basis.” That is how we will achieve the goal of having 90% of rivers swimmable by

2040, Guy says. “About three quarters of our waterways across the country are in good shape, and achieving our goal of 90% will be a longterm project that will cost the country about $2 billion – that’s taxpayers, ratepayers and farmers. “We are going to achieve it in a practical, realistic and sustainable way that doesn’t ruin our economy at the same time. This is a long term issue and we’re all in it together. “A huge amount of work has already gone in with new rules, standards and monitoring which simply didn’t exist 10 years ago. About $450 mil-

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lion has been committed towards freshwater cleanup projects. “In recent years there has been a huge reduction in pollution entering our lakes and rivers from dairy sheds, factories and town effluent systems, and billions has been spent on upgrades. “There is also a huge investment in science and good ideas from both Government and industry looking for new technologies and ways to improve farming practices.” Guy says a few weeks ago he commented on not being able to double the number of cows in NZ, which attracted attention. “For some people my comments were surprising and seen as a ‘flipflop.’ “That’s because many believe a myth that this government somehow determines who farms what, and has a preference for dairy,” he says. “Of course, this myth ignores the role of regional councils in setting environmental limits and granting consents, and more importantly the role of the farmer who alone makes the decision and carries the risk associated with their business. “For any farmers reading those articles, my comments about not

Nathan Guy

being able to double the number of cows was obvious. Farmers have a better understanding of their land and its limits than

anyone else.” Farmers are environmentalists and their land is their legacy he says. An environmentally sustain-

able farming operation is not just a source of pride within a community; it’s an asset to pass down to future generations.

TELLING OUR STORY THE RURAL story needs to be told straight from the woolsheds and dairy sheds, says Guy. “It’s going to need to be from someone in a Swanndri, not a suit.” Who else is going to explain that farmers have spent at least $1 billion of their own money towards environmental measures on farm? he asks. Guy says he recently got a letter saying farmers were taking too much of an unfair kicking, and the writer asked him what we was doing about it as Minister of Primary Industries. “My answer was that I’ll continue working my butt off, but if we really want a message to change the public perception of farming, it can’t just come from a politician like me.”

Who else is going to explain that farmers have fenced enough waterways to cover the distance from Auckland to Chicago and back again? he asked. “And it’s important to understand that while farming may not be the sexiest thing around, food is,” he says. “Maybe we stop calling ourselves farmers, and introduce ourselves as food producers? “My challenge to all of you here is to set yourself some goals of promoting your industry to your friends and family who might not know much about it. “In the age of social media, everyone here has the ability to influence public opinion more than you’d think.”



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NEWS  // 15

Calf loading facilities worth every cent BUILDING THEIR own calf loading facilities has resulted in better biosecurity and smoother loading for Otorohanga farmer Greig Furniss and his herd manager Tom Orlowski. Furniss and Orlowski were sparked into action after attending a DairyNZ discussion group about the new calf welfare regulations in April last year. They went home and built a loading ramp and raised pen in time for last calving season – well ahead of the new rules coming into effect this August. It took them and a helper three to four days to build their loading facilities, working three to four hours a day, and they estimate it cost $2000$3000. “There are several farm supply companies offering them as kitsets and fencing contractors are building them too,” says Furniss. “But they’re relatively expensive and if you buy a kitset, you have to assemble it anyway, so

we decided to build our own.” Basing their design on DairyNZ specifications they bought some of the building materials and recycled others they had on-farm. They constructed a sturdy 2.4 sq m loading ramp, leading to a covered, raised pen. This pen comfortably holds 15-20 calves, depending on breed and size. “We rarely send more than a dozen calves at a time though, so our calves have plenty of room,” says Furniss. Orlowski says the new facility worked a treat last season and made their transporter’s job so much easier. At 1.2m from the ground, the holding pen is designed to align with the back of the truck, so the pen is level with the trailer deck. “The driver just opens the pen gate and the calves walk into the truck,” says Orlowski. Having a ramp and holding pen has also improved biosecurity on the farm.

“Before we had the loading facility, drivers would be coming and going in the shed with dirty boots and lifting stock onto the truck,” says Furniss. “They’d already been to several

other properties, so there was always a risk that infection could be spread from one place to another. The new loading arrangements remove that risk.” Furniss’ advice to other farmers is to make

sure their loading facilities are constructed sturdily. It’s a good idea to ‘overbuild’ to withstand wear and tear, he says. • Article first appeared in Inside Dairy June 2017 issue.

Greig Furniss (left) and herd manager Tom Orlowski with their new loading facility.

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NEW RULES New regulations for loading and unloading young calves come into effect on August 1. Any farmer who sends calves off-farm for sale or slaughter, as well as transport operators and meat processors of young calves, will have to: ■■ provide suitable shelter for young calves before and during transportation, and at points of sale or slaughter ■■

provide and use loading and unloading facilities when young calves are transported for sale or slaughter, or as a result of sale.

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16 //  NEWS

Landowners keep pests on their hit-list KILLING PESTS needs to be a must-do for all landowners, says DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle. He says the damage to native wildlife by pests such as possums, stoats and rats is huge. Dairy farmers’ milk solids levy contributes $28.6 million annually towards killing

possums, helping fund the TB-Free scheme. NZ dairy companies are also contributing: $3m over two years in the Zero Invasive Predators research project. Mackle said this after a new report by the parliamentary commissioner for the environment, Jan Wright, called for more

action to save NZ’s native birds. Mackle backed Wright’s comments that everyone “wants to see the restoration of abundant, resilient, and diverse birdlife on the New Zealand mainland”. Declining native bird numbers is serious, DairyNZ says, acknowl-

edging Wright’s recognition that dairy farmers’ work on their land is helping birds, notably by improving rural water quality by fencing waterways and by riparian planting. Says Mackle, “the contribution of dairy farmers, alongside the wider agricultural sector, is recognised by the report”. Farmers have placed 4000 covenants into the Queen Elizabeth II trust, fencing land and often planting native species, so creating habitats for native flora

and fauna. The Sustainable Dairy Water Accord year 3 report, released on May 15, says 26,197km of dairy farm waterways are now fenced. “Farmers plant out the margin between the fencing and the water with native species such as manuka, flaxes and

sedges, which help to further protect the waterway and surrounding habitat, encouraging native birdlife,” Mackle says. Wright notes that fencing streams and planting vegetation on banks (riparian planting) is

increasing. Regional councils, the dairy industry, and many individual farmers and community groups are doing this. “As well as

improving water quality, such riparian planting can create corridors for birds and other native wildlife, linking up fragmented patches of habitat. “In Taranaki, for instance, planting along creek banks on the ring plain is creating corridors of vegetation that radiate out through farmland from the mountain to the sea. Since 1996, corridors with a total length of about 7500km have been established. “But if birds are to live within and move along these corridors, they must be safe. To some extent, wildlife corridors will also become highways for predators.”

Dairy farmers are doing their bit to protect native birds, says DairyNZ.

Get on that technology bus PETER BURKE

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY will be the key to farming in

the future, says DairyNZ’s general manager for research and development. Dr David McCall says to some extent this is a generational thing: baby boomers were not brought up on computers, tablets and smartphones, but the new generation of farmers will take to using information more than older dairy farmers. Science has progressed much in the last five years, developing new ways to help dairy farmers manage environmental issues, he says. Five years ago there was a question mark over how much science could do for farmers, but many things are now in the pipeline.

from being revealed; when that happens their impact on public perceptions will start to turn things around. “On the urban/rural issues, we need to remember we are all Kiwis with many things in common. I wonder [if rural people] get a bit too sensitive.... Many urban people back dairy.” McCall finds it interesting to look at the Irish public perception of farming there. NZ and Ireland have much in common in their agriculture, but Irish farmers have the luxury of public backing. But he warns this may be short lived as their dairy industry expands with the lifting of EU controls on the amount of milk farmers can produce. “They are running into the same problems we are having to deal with here.”

“We are now looking at the nutrient problem and finding more ways to manage this including breeding a cow that produces less N, and feeding cows pasture species that dilute their urine -- exciting possibilities. “Science takes a while to come through and it can be a bit invisible. But we are starting to feel confident about some things that are coming even though it may take another three to five years before we hit the ground running. The key is to break down problems and deal with them step by step and just keep plugging away.” Science now has a significant role in changing some of the perceptions about agriculture, McCall says. A lot of dairy industry money, matched by government, has gone into greenhouse gas research and exciting scientific finds are not far

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NEWS  // 17

Poor policy delivers global butter spike STEVE SPENCER

IT’S STRANGE times for the global dairy market. One of the crazier things we’re seeing is how the butterfat market has performed lately: prices have surged in recent weeks. As this article goes to press, butter prices in the EU are at record highs, which has knocked on the prices worldwide. How did we get here? There’s been a gradual rise in demand for butter and dairy-based spreads over several years, after the messages to consumers about the health benefits of natural dairy fats cut through, dispelling myths about the advantages of vegetable oils. We’ve seen that in the numbers for supermarket sales of spreads in Australia (sales of butter and spreads grew 23% in the five years to 2016) and in wider butter use in food service and manufacturing. The rise of butterfat is a global phenomenon, evident in massive consumer markets of the US and Europe, including some recent high-profile decisions by major fast food chains to replace vege oils with butter. The threat to the integrity of some brands from use of palm oil has also helped. Demand has built in other markets as well. Global butter trade grew 20% over the five years to 2016, and it could have been greater had there been more supply from major exporters. The change in EU’s export trade has been more dramatic: it grew at least 40% in the year to September 2016. However, the surge in butterfat prices in global markets is not simply due to a sudden lift in demand. While demand has steadily built, the crisis has come because of a recent fall in supply. Ironically, the situation is due to a glut in the supply of protein, which has mostly been triggered and worsened by a series of government policies. European milk supply

boomed after the EU Commission removed production quotas. Milk output grew so rapidly without those limits and with a perfect season that an impressive stockpile of skim milk powder (SMP) quickly built, crashing prices worldwide for commodities. Farmgate prices in Europe followed, tractors rolled into Brussels and milk cannons were aimed at police and government buildings. The policy response from the commission -- to help stabilise markets and improve milk prices for EU dairy farmers – was to re-open an old device, an intervention scheme to take a significant volume of skim milk powder ‘off the market’. The resulting intervention stockpile of 350,000 tonnes of SMP still overhangs the market, with the commission’s stated selling price well above the market since buying stopped. Low SMP prices have discouraged the production of fresh SMP and therefore butter, as the returns from this manufacturing combination were much worse (and more uncertain) than those from cheese and whole milk powder. In the second half of 2016, the commission laid on another reactive policy measure, offering cash incentives for dairy farmers to produce less milk – which worked – compounding the problem for butter buyers. New Zealand’s lower milk output from a wet season and its preference for WMP and cheese hasn’t helped alleviate fat shortages. EU milk supply is on the way back in 2017, now almost at previous-year levels, yet butter output is still well down in preferences for milk use. A recent further burst in prices came as a cold spring slowed the EU’s milk recovery; buyers expected the usual spring flush would bring better butterfat supplies. Demand for butter will slow at record prices, but by how much will be interesting, given the changes in buyer preferences. When the full

effect of higher prices reaches shoppers there will be a response, but it’s hard to say by how much because we’re in untested territory given the shifts in eating preferences. • Steve Spencer is a director

of the Australian food consultancy Freshagenda.

The rise of butterfat is a global phenomenon.


18 //  NEWS

$20m for Te Rapa plant expansion FONTERRA IS pumping another $20 million into its Te Rapa site to produce more export cream cheese and minidish butter to meet rising demand. Robert Spurway, chief operating officer global operations, says this rise shows the shift in food preferences in China and wider Asia. “Much of the demand we’re seeing for mini-dish butter is from hotels, restaurants and commercial kitchens in China – all out-of-home eating places where consumers are choosing dairy.

Demand for mini-dish butter is rising, says Fonterra.

“Many of these markets have in the past

trended towards nondairy creams and spreads;

now we’re seeing a desire for natural dairy in food

preparation and at the table.” The foodservice aspects are important, the co-op says, but more interesting is consumers daily choosing more dairy. Consumer and foodservice volumes in China grew 40% in the financial year to date versus the same period last year. Recent butter imports have grown 20% annually -- from 17,000 tonnes in 2009 to 63,000t in 2016. “Recently we’ve seen demand, particularly from China, exceed supply,” says Spurway.

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“So this expansion is in response to the market -investing in capacity and delivering on our valueadd strategy by converting more milk into higherreturning products. “It will also give us more choices in the products we’re able to make so we can be more responsive to our customers.” The expansions will see Te Rapa go from six cream product lines to eight, and butter production at least double from 250 million to 650m minidishes per year. The additional cream cheese line will increase

plant capacity from 30,000t to 33,500t per year, and add capability to make 5kg blocks in addition to the 20kg ones now produced. The Te Rapa factory was built in 1967 for powder drying. The cream plant was built in 1997 to make consumer and bulk butter and cream cheese.  Another cream cheese line was added in 2013. Te Rapa employs about 500 staff and makes 80,000 tonnes of cream products per year. @dairy_news

There’s money in honey THERE’S MONEY in honey – specifically manuka grown on marginal land, says Manuka Farming NZ general manager Stephen Lee. The company will run free Fieldays seminars at which experts will tell landowners how they can create sustainable new revenue from manuka plantations. ‘Make money from manuka honey’ is the theme. Lee says there is misinformation about growing mānuka plantations “so we will present key findings from the High Performance Mānuka Plantations Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme so that landowners can hear from experts”. The talks “will cover the whole value chain that can enable a landowner to understand how to get money from the honey”. The speakers will come from apiculture, forestry, finance and academia. Topics: financial grants and financing options, designing plantations for optimum production, dealing with disease risks such as myrtle rust, and ways to optimise bee health. Mānuka Farming NZ is interested in property owners or investors with at least 20ha, and hill country landowners, who could use mānuka to protect erosion-prone land. • Pre-register at


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20 //  WORLD

Co-op praised for ‘honest’ forecast AUSTRALIAN DAIRY

Murray Goulburn has announced a conservative opening forecast in Australia.

farmers have welcomed dairy co-op Murray Goulburn’s “honesty and transparency” in announcing its 2017-18 milk price. The beleaguered milk processor says it will pay

an opening milk price of A$4.70/kgMS, and it forecasts a full-year payment of A$5.20 - $5.40. United Dairyfarmers of Victoria president Adam Jenkins says it recognises MG is in a challenging sit-



uation trying to navigate its way from the past into the future, but a A$4.70/ kgMS opening price presents a serious challenge for dairy farmers still recovering from the events of last year. “The importance now is for MG to deliver returns to farmers as soon as the returns are realised in the marketplace,” Jenkins says. The UDV passed a motion at its annual conference in May to call on milk processors to release their opening prices by June 10 each year, ahead of the season. Jenkins says the early release of an opening milk price showed Murray Goulburn had listened to the industry and the farming community. MG chief executive officer Ari Mervis says that in setting the forecast the co-op had taken a “prudent view on key assumptions for commodity prices”. “Although global commodity prices have shown some recovery since this time last year, whole milk powder and particularly skim milk powder prices remain under 10 year averages,” he said in a letter to suppliers. “This has been somewhat offset by firmer butter and cheddar prices. We have also had regard to Global Dairy Trade

auction results over the past two months and current futures pricing, both of which suggest some ongoing price volatility in global markets.” Mervis says while the opening and forecast prices are an improvement on the current season, Murray Goulburn’s performance remains below his expectations. He says the co-op has begun a comprehensive review of all aspects of MG’s strategy and corporate structure, including its profit sharing mechanism and capital structure. “I see this review as a fundamental next step to strengthen MG for the future,” he told suppliers. “While the previous decisions resulting from the manufacturing footprint review, including the announcement of three site closures, were necessary, I do not consider them alone to be sufficient to move the business forward. “Given the timeframes associated with the site closures, the expected financial benefits are not expected to be fully realised by MG until FY19. “A further update on the strategic review is expected to be provided at the time of MG’s full year results in August.”

STAFF, PRODUCTS MOVING ON MURRAY GOULBURN says 140 employees will leave the co-op in the next two months as part

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of a plan to close three milk plants. The employees, from Rochester and Kiewa sites, will move as production transfers to other sites; remaining employees will leave in stages prior to the site closures in mid-February 2018 and June 2018 respectively. MG supplier relations director Cameron Smith says the decision to close Edith Creek, Rochester and Kiewa is part of its ongoing efforts to improve the operating efficiency of MG. In some cases, such as Liddells, cream cheese and cheese, production of relevant

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22 //  WORLD

Low opening the final straw for Oz farmer RICK BAYNE


has been a loyal Murray Goulburn supplier for 48

years but the latest price blow could be the final straw. “Murray Goulburn has ruined me physically, financially and mentally,” says the Woolsthorpe

farmer. “I’ve had a gutsful. You can only get belted over the head so often; you can’t keep coming back.” McLaren had hoped for an opening price about

A$5.50 but more realistically expected A$5.30 with step-ups to boost it towards A$6 later in the year. However, the season opening of A$4.70/kgMS

with a forecast closing price of A$5.20 - $5.40/ kg MS has him “gobsmacked”. Now McLaren is weighing up options for transferring to another


Australian farmer Brian McLaren.



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company, although he admits his choices are limited. “I’m looking elsewhere now but my options aren’t great. We will look at Saputo or the Midfield Group or give it away. “At $4.70 and when you factor in the 10 cents promised for loyalty it’s $4.60 I can’t make a living; nobody can.” “I’ve been a Murray Goulburn man for well over 40 years. I’ve been supplying them since the Grassmere factory closed and they initially came to the district.” McLaren has spoken to his accountant and says he will make a “calculated decision” on his future. “We haven’t done the sums. We don’t want to jump out of the frying pan into the fire. It has to be a commercial decision.” McLaren, who milks

700 cows, says starting at the low price would cost him A$480,000. “We produced 480,000kgMS last year and if we’re a dollar under our competitors that means I just lost $480,000.” He remains frustrated about the cooperative’s problems. “I understand they’re hamstrung in regard to what they can do, but I want to know why. “If Saputo are trying to source millions of litres to run a cheese factory -Murray Goulburn has one at Cobram; why can’t we sell the same product and chase an extra 10 million litres.” McLaren (65) is now considering his future. “I’m working my arse off for nothing. I don’t mind working hard but I want to be paid for it.”

IN BRIEF Parmalat dispute ONGOING DISPUTE over milk prices between Parmalat and its suppliers is taking its toll, says Queensland Dairyfarmers president Brian Tessmann. “Since the beginning of the year just under half of all Queensland dairy farmers have technically been without a contract despite still supplying Parmalat,” says Tessmann. “The milk price dispute between Parmalat and the collective bargaining group that represents most of their Queensland dairy farmers -- Premium Milk -- continues to cause financial and emotional distress to affected dairy farmers.”

UDC milk price

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AUSTRALIA’S NEWEST milk powder factory, the A$80m Union Dairy Company plant in Penola, South Australia, will start production in July. UDC managing director Daniel Aarons says much of the first two years of WMP and SMP production had already been sold. UDC is a joint venture between Midfield Group, Warrnambool, and the agribusiness giant Louis Dreyfus Co. It plans to dry 30,000 tonnes/ year, using milk sourced from the state’s southeast and from south-west Victoria.




Cheap feed source under scrutiny

MILKING IT... Squeeze the other one

They must have Ban on beef Rule by cow a lot of bras THE INDIAN government has THANK GOODNESS

ASK THE person next to you where chocolate milk comes from. If they answer “from the carton” or “from the supermarket” pat them on the back. But if they say “from brown cows”, do the world a favour and educate the poor dears. Because apparently we, as a society, haven’t been doing a great job of telling people “no, brown cows do not magically produce chocolate flavoured milk”. A recent survey of 1000 people by the Innovation Center for US Dairy found that 7% of adults – yes, adults – believe chocolate milk comes directly from brown cows. That means 7% of the adults surveyed believe in chocolate cows. The researchers found 70 people who believe this; they believe that if you squeeze a brown cow’s teat, chocolate milk will come out.

VISITORS TO this week’s National Fieldays are being urged to bring along unwanted bras (underwire or otherwise). Sweet Louise, New Zealand’s only charity solely dedicated to incurable breast cancer, is behind the call. Sweet Louise chief executive Fiona Hatton says of their unorthodox request of Field Days visitors, “We are aiming to collect 570 preloved bras”. Each bra will represent one of Sweet Louise’s 570 members nationwide. aged from mid-20s to late 80s. The Sweet Louise team intend to create a giant chandelier from the bras to highlight incurable breast cancer. The work of art will be unveiled in Auckland in the lead-up to NZ Fashion Week.

issued a nationwide ban on selling cattle for slaughter, the toughest measure yet imposed to protect cows, an animal that conservative Hindus regard as sacred. Under new rules issued last month, the government ordered that no cows or buffaloes could be traded at a livestock market without a signed declaration by the owner that the animal was not being sold for slaughter. Anyone buying livestock would have to present a document showing that he or she is an ‘agriculturalist’. The rules came as part of a tough new law against animal cruelty, but commentators say they are aimed at placating hard-line Hindu supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s nationalist government. Hindus form an overwhelming majority among India’s 1.3 billion people, and many of them eschew beef out of respect for the bovine. But beef, which is cheaper in India than many other sources of protein, is a major part of the diet of Muslims, Christians and Hindus from the lowest rung of the ancient caste system, known as Dalits (untouchables).

for paddocks on our farms. In Nigeria, a viral video circulating online has shown cows invading the premises of Ohovbe Model Primary School in Edo State. This disrupted lessons as the pupils were forced to abandon their classrooms for fear of the animals. In the clip a man was heard lamenting the excesses of herdsmen who are known to lead their cows wherever they please. Some act violently against residents who challenge their uncontrolled grazing. In Ekiti State, the government is allowing citizens to kill any cow found wandering in places inhabited by the populace. This is in response to reports of unprovoked attacks by Fulani herdsmen who have murdered innocent people in eastern Nigeria.

FONTERRA HAS serviced notice to its farmer suppliers - it’s time to reduce your palm kernel expeller (PKE) usage on-farm. The co-op says PKE fed to cows leads to changes in the milk fat composition – at a certain point the fat becomes difficult to process. This isn’t a new issue; in 2015 Fonterra came out with a recommendation to farmers to only use 3kg/cow/day. That didn’t go down too well with farmers, with some accusing the co-op of interfering in their on-farm management. PKE is produced from the mechanical extraction of oil from the fruit of the oil palm and is popular with dairy farmers as a cheap source of supplementary fibre, particularly in droughts and floods and when grass runs out. In 2009, New Zealand imported 1.4 million metric tonnes of PKE; last year imports touched 2.5m MT. There is little doubt that PKE helps the dairy industry produce more milk; farmers see it as a cost-competitive as a yearround source of protein and dry matter. Feeding palm kernel to stock doesn’t require specialist heavy machinery. It can be mixed with other products such as maize or grass silage or fed straight from trailers or other portable containers. Because of its dry nature, cows do not tend to gorge themselves on palm kernel, ensuring that every cow in the herd will be fed. On the other side of the coin, Fonterra needs to optimise production at its sites to ensure maximum returns to shareholders. Then there is the social pressure; Greenpeace says we should stop using all PKE. However, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) says that palm oil production is OK as long as it sustainable, and certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Fonterra has been the target of many Greenpeace protests at its Auckland offices for importing PKE and allowing its farmers to feed them to cows. And public pressure seems to be working. State farmer Landcorp is to phase out its use on the Landcorp farms. Auckland boutique dairy company Lewis Road Creamery is talking to Landcorp to obtain the PKE-free milk to add to its growing range of milk products. New Zealand’s strength lies as a grass-fed producer of milk; however, PKE remains a key back-up feed for many farmers. Fonterra understands this and says its science shows PKE can be safely fed at levels above the guideline to non-lactating cows and young stock. But for lactating cows, the co-op is keen to introduce restrictions of PKE usage as a feed. The co-op has signalled its willingness to work closely with its farmers on the issue: it’s up to farmers to let the co-op know how they feel.

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OPINION  // 25

Fake dairy products need policing JIM MULHERN

AFTER YEARS of frustrating inaction by government regulators who have failed to protect the integrity of dairy food labels, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can no longer ignore the growing demand that it enforces its own regulations against fake dairy foods. This is a welcome development for the entire dairy chain, which for decades has done a slow burn as the FDA turned a deaf ear to our complaints that standards of identity for milk, cheese and yogurt are being violated by an expanding list of plantbased imitations that are undeniably not dairy foods. But now there is a welcome sign that our effort to challenge the mislabelling of dairy imitations has reached a tipping point: the passage of a resolution at the recent biennial meeting of the National Conference of Interstate Milk Shipments (NCIMS).  At an FDA gathering in Grand Rapids, Michigan to consult on milk safety issues with state milk regulators and industry groups like NMPF, attendees voted unanimously to ask the FDA to work with them to ensure the proper use of milk product labelling terms.  State officials have seen the trend all of us in the dairy sector have seen:  when the regulatory cop is not on the beat, clever marketers will capitalise on that void and violate long-standing food labelling standards by marketing almond ‘milk’, soy ‘cheese’ and rice ‘yogurt’.  And when the latest ‘milks’ are made from pulverised quinoa, algae and hemp, something needs to be done. Through the NCIMS resolution, state regulators said clearly that they need federal supervision of all products labelled using standard dairy terminology.  This wake-up call to the FDA not only should make things clearer for regulators and dairy

Jim Mulhern

marketers; ultimately it also will benefit consumers, who face a confusing array of imitation dairy products, all wanting milk’s halo without offering the same consistent level of nutrition. This same concern is behind efforts on Capitol Hill to pass the Dairy Pride Act, which was introduced in the Senate and House earlier this year. The DPA is Congress’s expression of distress about the FDA’s passivity in the face of an explosion of ‘alternative dairy’ foods that are in violation of the Code of Federal Regulations.  The Dairy Pride Act doesn’t change those standards of identity; it merely requires the FDA to enforce what’s already on the books.  We’ve been working on a bipartisan basis with lawmakers to move the DPA forward. And I was encouraged by the recent endorsement of the DPA by the American Cheese Society: “cultured nut products” labelled cheese is yet another disturbing trend that needs to be challenged. Also fascinating is how the makers of the plant-based imitations are responding to this pressure.  On the one hand they’ve dissed the Dairy Pride Act, and the need for the FDA to take enforcement action.  But at the same time they appear to be feeling the heat. A few weeks ago they held an industry meeting to discuss what compliance challenges their products may have with the FDA’s standards of identity.  Despite their cheeky public disregard of FDA policy, these fake food marketers know they are playing fast and loose with labelling regulations in a way that exposes them to potential legal liability. They appear to recognise that their

continuing to rely on the FDA to do nothing is a shaky strategy, placing their brands in jeopardy. Certainly, there’s a market for dairy alternatives that, while small on a volume basis, is going to be filled by some nondairy beverages. We have never contended that consumers should be

denied that choice. But the purpose of government food standards is to prevent false and misleading labelling.  Co-opting the name, imagery and packaging of real milk, while not offering the same nutritional content, is false and misleading marketing.

Other countries do a much better job of enforcing milk labelling terminology, which is why you will not see ‘almond milk’ and ‘soy milk’ on the labels on plant beverages sold in the EU, the UK and Canada. Their makers of plant-based imitations have found other ways to label their products.



One big irony is that if a dairy processor did what purveyors of these fake milks are doing – mixing dried dairy powders (like whey and lactose) with water and selling it in the dairy case as ‘milk’ – consumer advocates and the FDA would be howling “deception!” Real milk is undeniably

dairy. The imitators may try hard to deny their products’ origins by clever formulations and splashy packaging, but the FDA needs to deny them the use of dairy names. • Jim Mulhern is the president and chief executive of National Milk Producers Federation, representing US dairy farmers and co-ops.

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New GDT platform for small dairy sales booming A NEW Global Dairy Trade Marketplace platform launched a year ago has attracted registered sellers from Europe, USA, Asia and Oceania. Eric Hansen, director of Global Dairy Trade (GDT), says the 24/7 dairy Marketplace trading platform has proven to be an attractive conduit for buyers and sellers seeking to trade in smaller volumes than the larger generic trades executed on the price discovery platform known as GDT Events. “GDT Marketplace provides immediacy and flexibility for businesses wanting to buy or sell a wide range of products in any quantity at any time on a reliable, safe and secure digital platform.”

GDT Marketplace now has 165 registered buyers, transacting with five major sellers. At least 1500 listings have been completed in a broad product range, e.g. generic ingredients like whole milk powders and cheese, and more specialist offerings such as flavoured milk powders and calcium caseinates used in sports nutritional products. “GDT Marketplace is attracting strong interest from dairy companies, and we expect to see further expansion of sellers and products from different regions available through the platform,” says Hansen. A GDT Marketplace buyer says participating on the platform had been

GDT Marketplace has completed 1500 listings in a broad range of products including whole milk powder.

good for business: “It is a convenient sales platform that provides me with visibility of ingredient prices any time, and a simple purchasing process to secure volumes.”

“These positive responses from both sides of the market demonstrate that this innovative service – which acts like a global shop front connecting buyers and sellers – is

effectively complementing our primary GDT Events platform. In its first year of operation, GDT Marketplace has established its ability to discover new demand.”

Virtual fencing – no posts, wires, staples AGRESEARCH AND Agersens Pty Ltd have signed a deal to work together on applying new virtual fencing technology to farms in New Zealand. They will together run trials and evaluate the operation and effectiveness of Agersens’ eShepherd technology in pastoral farming. The technology is an alternative to conventional fencing for livestock, using a collar and an app that enables farmers to fence, move or monitor their livestock using their smartphones anywhere, any time. “We will work with AgResearch to develop new ways to improve the productivity and sustainability of the NZ dairy and beef industries,” says Agersens managing director Ian Reilly. “As a world leader developing and applying new innovation to pasture grazing systems, AgResearch is a great collaboration partner to study the application of eShepherd.” AgResearch chief executive Tom Richardson says this is a new frontier for technology on farms, and “we are looking forward to working with Agersens to see how it can bring benefits to NZ farm system productivity and environmental performance”.









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Dairy upturn buoys Fieldays PETER BURKE


gets underway this week the chief executive of the organisation running it says there is optimism in the dairy sector. Peter Nation says while the last two seasons have not been good for the dairy industry, he senses things are looking up for the sector. He points to positive stories in the media and the industry producing innovative new products, notably the mozzarella cheese made by Fonterra. “Comparing it with last year, we now have a tick in front of the dairy payout, sheep and beef are ok and overall the agricultural industry is in pretty good shape compared with what it was twelve months ago. “It’s obvious that in

the ag industry a bit of adversity makes them very quick at being able to think on their feet and look for improvement. We have seen this with kiwifruit, wine and pipfruit and it’s the same with the dairy industry.” Nation says there is a lot of interest from overseas: of the 20 countries attending, eight have their own sites including the Chinese, Irish and British. “UK Trade and Investment is back after nearly 17 years absence as an exhibitor. In the early days they had their own pavilion. We met with them last year in the UK and managed to lure them back. They seemed to be keen to reach out to this part of the world,” Nation says. China is bringing two trade delegations – one farmers and the other agritech people. Also

coming is the general manager of DGL which runs a huge agritech event in Hanover, Germany. Nation says the DGL representative has heard about Fieldays and now wants to see it for himself with a view to the two organisations working together. “Last year we signed

Nation says all this activity points to the fact that Fieldays is now recognised worldwide as a major agricultural event. 300 media from NZ and other countries will attend. @dairy_news Peter Nation


$3.3m to probe land use, climate change

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EIGHT RESEARCH projects have been approved totalling $3.3 million through MPI’s sustainable land management and climate change research programme (SLMACC). This supports the discovery of new climate change knowledge in agriculture and forestry. Ministry for Primary Industries director-general Martyn Dunne says it’s essential to invest in research to better understand our future operating environment and how we need to adapt. “We set research themes each funding round, based on priority areas we want to investigate further for the benefit of all primary industries. We consult internal and external experts to determine those themes.” This year there are seven priority topic areas under three themes: ■■ Impacts of climate change and adaption ■■ Mitigation of agricultural and forestry greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions ■■ Other issues including economic analysis, lifecycle analysis, farm catchment systems, analysis and social impact. “We received high calibre applications and were impressed with the proposed research projects submitted. Each project will take up to three years to complete, and the findings will help researchers, government and farmers better understand, adapt to, and mitigate climate change effects in New Zealand’s primary sectors,” says Dunne. “At the end of each project a full report will be made available on the MPI website and the Climate Cloud website. User-friendly summaries will be made more widely available.”

an agreement with the organisers of the National Ploughing Championships in Ireland to formalise our cooperation. With our blessing they have modelled their innovation centre on ours. In the long term we could end up sharing our innovation entries which would be great,” he says.

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Sharemilking still a great option LOUISE HANLON


changed much in recent years and career progression is not as straightforward as it used to be. But some young farmers are still using sharemilking to advance in the industry, though farm ownership may no longer be their final goal. Aaron Robertson and Tania Balsom are one such young couple, now in their fifth season 50:50 sharemilking about 200 cows, near Walton, Waikato. The challenges of sharemilking suit this

couple to a tee, Robertson says. “Everything you do out there affects you 100%. So if you do it right you reap the rewards. It goes the other way too: if you make a mistake it is all on you; you learn and you carry on. It has its moments but I wouldn’t chuck it in.” Robertson knew early on that he wanted to go farming. He grew up in town but visiting his grandfather in the country set the seal on his career choice. “I always had a thing for being outside. When I met Tania we had a go at goat farming, then bull

Sharemilker Aaron Robertson.

leasing, but neither were quite right, so we decided to go dairying and we haven’t stopped since.” The farm has been in the Scott family for

almost 100 years. Doug Scott, the owner, is now in a rest home but he still makes occasional visits. “When Doug comes he talks about what hap-

pened 40-50 years ago which is cool,” says Robertson. “The farm has a history; you aren’t just farming someone’s investment, you are farming someone’s life.” Robertson and Balsom like the smallness of their farm business and the flexibility it offers. “I don’t want to increase our cow numbers,” says Robertson. “I enjoy having a one-man unit and I don’t want to have staff. “It can be difficult at times, but I can always call on family and friends to help and the parentsin-law live close by which is helpful. And because we

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people tend to be more open. “They talk to us because they are not our neighbours,” says Robertson. “And we can talk to them because they don’t know us. Going out of the area you can drop your guard and talk to someone without being judged too much.” Robertson and Balsom had big problems with facial eczema last year, so bad that the petfood phone number became the first one to appear on Robertson’s speed dial. However, since then they have been to a SMASH event in Reporoa which focussed on preventing facial eczema and now they have a comprehensive management plan. “It was good to talk to Emma Cuttance, the guest speaker; she was the most on-to-it person on that subject. That helped us to decide where we were going. “We went with zinc bullets early. We bought them through FarmSource using a spread payment and we got a sharp price. People said it was expensive but when you are rolling out petfood once a week you can justify spending a bit more money. “The water system wasn’t working and we can’t drench so it had to be the bullets, and hopefully it has worked.” • Louise Hanlon is an executive committee member of Smaller Milking and Supply Herds (SMASH).


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go once-a-day [milking] from Christmas we have time to do things with the kids, and we can be there to pick them up from the school bus. “It is tough for a small farm to hang in, but you’ve got to work smarter,” says Robertson. Their entry into sharemilking was made possible by a loan from Balsom’s parents and one from the bank. “That was the easy part,” says Robertson. “Then we had to find a herd and a job. “Now it is a struggle with high debt, but we manage our budget to make it work.” To make ends meet Balsom works off-farm during the quieter part of the season. They are sold on the benefits of getting together with other smaller herd farmers at SMASH events. “We were getting pamphlets in the mail and we had always intended going, so we thought ‘Let’s make a day of it’. When we got there we thought, ‘this is the best thing’. “We have gone off discussion groups because they tend to just look after our little district, mainly people checking up on what the neighbours are doing. But SMASH events are different: we get a lot more from them. It is good getting out of the area too.” When Robertson and Balsom are out of their home area they find that



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Plantain emerging from the shadows get two wins at the same time. The studies we have done indicate that by using these alternative species you don’t lose milk solids production, but you do get a gain in reducing urinary concentrations and that’s a plus,” he says. While the plantain works in A fundamental problem of the MIKE DODD, an expert in pasture, is seconded to DairyNZ from urine from cows is a massive out- reducing the amount of N in the AgResearch to see what part new pas- flow concentrated in a small area -- cow’s urine, getting the cow used to ture species may be able to play in almost like a massive injection into eating plantain is not always simple. reducing the amount of N produced the soil and at it tends to penetrate Dodd says cows are not overly familby a cow. It’s about the old theory – deep into the soil. The challenge is iar with plantain and anecdotal eviwe are what we eat. to reduce the concentration of urine dence suggests cows ignore plantain in the morning and go for It is commonly acknowlthe tall fescue and lucerne, edged that ryegrass/white but eat the plantain in the clover pasture typically has “There is evidence of crude protein concentrations diuretic effect of the plantain afternoon when it appears the sugar levels may be that supply more protein than in urine which means it higher. animals need to meet their While Dodd is optimistic daily requirements. The pro- dilutes the cow urine.” about the role of plantain in tein is generally easily digested reducing N, he is also cauin the rumen and this means excess amounts of N are released in or find grass species that can utilise tious about saying that even at this stage they have got the combination the form of ammonium in urine, in the N deep down in the soil. quantities greater than a grass patch Dodd says the trials at Lincoln of plant species right. “When I look at those pastures can use, hence creating an N surplus and Waikato have consistently shown which is now the subject of strict that plantain can reduce the concen- they actually look quite ugly because regional council regulations. tration of N in cow urine by between all three are what we call ‘bunch’ grasses, so there is a lot of bare Dodd and other scientists have 21-39%. been trying to find other plant speBut the plantain solution may not ground in between them. It seems cies that produce less N but without be for every dairy farmer in every that may not be quite the right comcompromising milk solids produc- region. Dodd says there is a prob- bination to maximise our ground tion; it seems they have found a solu- lem in the north of the North Island cover and production but the benetion. where plantain is susceptible to plan- fit of including plantain in those pasIn the trials by DairyNZ in tain moth. But in other regions plan- ture mixes is clear,” he says. Waikato, Dodd says they produced tain is able to persist right though Dodd says the identification of various mixes of pasture species and seasons and last for five-six years. plantain as a plant species which grazed cows on these – a combina- Dodd says it performs similarly to reduces N loss is unique to New Zeation of tall fescue, lucerne and plan- other grasses. land, although other work on mixed tain and these have come out tops. The field trials in Waikato were pastures and improvements in sea“I believe plantain could be a solu- based on modelling work at DairyNZ sonal productivity has been done tion. There is consistent evidence which showed that tall fescue, overseas. He says he’s sure that some farmfrom trials that show a reduction lucerne and plantain, and combinain urinary nitrogen concentration. tions of these, were a possibility and ers will be keen to apply this new science. There is evidence of diuretic effect would reduce N concentrations. “The big thing was to ensure that But he notes that more scientific of the plantain in urine which means it dilutes the cow urine and so has a while reducing N, the plantain mix studies are still being done to get benefit: there is less concentration of would not reduce milk solids pro- an even better understanding of the duction, so it was a case of trying to plantain factor. N in the urine which hits the soil.”

Nitrogen entering the soil from the urine of cows is a big problem. Various ways of mitigating this have been looked at, and now scientists at DairyNZ are suggesting a solution for farmers in some regions. In a word, it’s plantain. Peter Burke reports.


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Has your dryoff raised mastitis risk at calving? ROD DYSON

MOST OF the spring calving cows have now been dried-off and will be enjoying their ‘annual holiday’. This is an ideal time to pause briefly, reflect on the dry-off and consider whether any adjustment to the calving management strategy might be beneficial. Given the difficulties of this season, all costs have been closely scrutinised and treatment cost at drying-off has been no exception. As a result, some farms have needed to compromise on costs at dry-off. The treatment options for cows at dry-off will have included antibiotic dry cow therapy, internal teat sealant (or a combination of both), whole herd therapy, selective therapy and maybe different choices of these

options for different cows or groups of cows. We can consider the impact of a compromise in terms of the two broad goals for dry-off treatment – the treatment of existing infections and the prevention of new infections. Understanding how any changes to your treatment protocols may have influenced cure rates of existing infections and/ or the prevention of new infections will allow you to consider your options at calving. For example, if you elected not to use an internal teat sealant, the effect will be on the prevention of new infections, because the role of internal teat sealants is to provide an improved physical barrier to infection. The major role of antibiotic dry cow therapy is obviously the treatment of existing infections, but

it can often also enhance the prevention of new infections in cows that have been treated. Hence a change may have an effect not only in curing existing infections, but also to some extent on the prevention of new infections in those animals that were treated. But this is not the whole story. The actual dry-off process plays a significant role in the prevention of new infections, because how a cow is dried-off influences the quality of the natural teat plug that forms in each teat canal in the few days after she has been dried-off. A couple of key questions may indicate if that process was not ideal. Have you seen any cows drip milk after dry-off? Have you had any swollen quarters, clinical cases of mastitis or sick cows after dry-off? If so, it is likely there will be an impact

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Treatment options for cows at dry-off include dry cow therapy, internal teat sealant or whole herd therapy.

on the risk of mastitis at calving. For most farms, drying-off is one of the biggest influences on the risk of mastitis at calving and in early lactation, so if you think your dry-off may have increased the risk of mastitis at calving, what can you do? A well designed calving management plan will certainly help to reduce the risk of mastitis at and shortly after calving. A discussion with your Dairy Australia Countdown trained vet

and advisers is likely to explore the key risk factors outlined in the Countdown Farm Guidelines for Mastitis Control. 1. How can you minimise the exposure of teats to environmental contamination? 2. What is your strategy to deal with cows that drip milk before calving? 3. How do you manage cows, especially heifers, with udder oedema? 4. Do you milk freshly calved cows and heifers as soon as possible after calving (preferably within

12 hours)? 5. How can you minimise the exposure of fresh cows to environmental bacteria after calving? 6. How will you rapidly detect and treat clinical cases of mastitis early enough to reduce the risk of spread? Commonly these strategies involve little or no expenditure, but may require a change in management. Take the time to discuss and explore your options with your vet and advisers to see how you

can get the best result. Any supporting information you can bring to a discussion with your adviser, e.g. milk culture results, clinical case records, etc, will improve the value of that discussion. No matter what option you decide on, prevention of clinical mastitis and new mastitis infections at calving must be a good outcome for the rest of the lactation. • Rod Dyson is a veterinary surgeon and mastitis advisor at

Plant a tree, grow a future ON ARBOR Day (June 5) many people would have been out planting trees, but for dairy farmers this is a year-round affair. Although some farmers have been planting trees on their land for ten years or more, over the past three years under the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord the planting effort has ramped up to help improve water quality. As part of the accord, farmers voluntarily – and at their own

expense – fence off and bridge onfarm waterways to exclude dairy cows. To date, the fencing along waterways measures 26,197km.  Along the margins between fences and the water, most accord farmers have planted hundreds of thousands of mostly native species. DairyNZ water quality specialist Aslan Wright-Stow says this riparian planting assists water quality and ecological health by filtering sediment and absorbing or trans-

forming nutrients. “Riparian planting also reduces bank erosion and provides shade over the stream, creating favourable habitats for insects and birds.” DairyNZ, with Landcare Research and regional councils, has produced 13 regional guides to set-back distances, planting density, plant species best suited to the region and when to plant. The guides are at planting-guides

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IrrigationNZ project manager Steve Breneger speaking at a Lincoln University dairy farm field day earlier this year.

comings, promoting “good engagement” with the farmers. “We went out and tested their farms then

gave the farmers a report on their systems. And they had opportunity to sit down with me and the students and talk one-on-

one about their results: where the issues are and what they can do to overcome them.” The programme

showed each farmer must understand his system and maintain it regularly. “One farmer’s DU and application depth showed poor results after the initial bucket testing. He discovered the operating pressure wasn’t high enough so he replaced the regulators on his pivot and got the service company to check the programmable set-up and correct any errors. After re-testing, he’d turned his ‘poor’ result around, achieving 99% of the target depth and overall DU of 0.85, which is considered excellent.”

Final results of the study were unveiled at INZ’s Great Irrigation Challenge workshop in Ashburton in late May. Breneger had earlier presented interim results of the study at an LUDF focus day in late February, when he said 50% of irrigating farmers surveyed needed to “lift their game” in some respect. He said 25% of farmers only did the regulatory checks “when they have to”, and 43% did not know either of the two key performance indicators of their system – pressure and flow.

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farm study of irrigation efficiency in the Ashburton area will provide a benchmark for progress, says the study leader, IrrigationNZ project manager, Steve Breneger. In partnership with Environment Canterbury, INZ employed post-graduate environmental science students to collect data for four months, looking at how farmers were operating equipment, applying water, scheduling maintenance and monitoring soil moisture and run-off. Breneger says the data showed that most farmers were operating within limits and were genuinely focussed on finding efficiencies. “We discovered that most of the systems tested were within tolerance levels and over half of the respondents were doing some form of scheduling. On farms that weren’t meeting efficiency targets, the students then looked at [possible causes]. “The value we gained was that not only did we have actual data from bucket testing, we also had insight from the students: they were able to add context and experience to gain a broader picture of what was really happening on-farm. Where they discovered discrepancy between what the farmer thought he was applying versus what he was actually applying, they were able to look at






operational and maintenance factors as possible contributors.” Breneger says he believes it is the most complete data set yet gathered on on-farm efficiency. “The reason I got involved was that even at Irrigation NZ we only have anecdotal data. We can say ‘we think 20% of farmers may have a significant issue with their irrigation’. I now know that number.” The students tested 244 systems on 131 farms -- dairy, sheep and beef, deer and arable. They tested centre pivots, laterals, travelling irrigators, hard hose guns and sprayline systems. Of the systems tested, 52% achieved good to excellent distribution uniformity (DU); 32% fair DU and 16% poor DU. Possible contributors to poor DU were identified as worn components, sediments in water supply and incorrect hardware. On target application depth, 37% were within 10% of the target depth; 31% were within 25%, and 32% were outside the target by at least 25%. Contributing to poor results were incorrect set-up and commissioning during installation (including components), poor understanding of the system’s constraints, poor maintenance and technology failures. Breneger says the survey succeeded because it included practical advice on fixing the short-


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How clean is your cow shed? GEMMA CHUCK

A CRITICAL way to reduce the spread

of disease from one season to the next is by removing soiled bedding and thoroughly cleaning a calf shed. Ideally, do it as soon as possible after the last calf leaves the shed. There should be easy access for machinery for efficient removal of soiled bedding. This may involve demountable pens with drop pins or clips, or slide doors to gain access to larger pens. Manual removal of soiled bedding is time-consuming and labour intensive and will ultimately lead to the job not getting done. Calf sheds should be designed to reduce the time Gemma Chuck spent on manual labour which in itself reduces the risk of personal injury. Disinfectants will not clean dirt Disinfectants will not clean dirt and all organic material including soiled bedding and dried manure must be removed prior to disinfection. This means the pen walls and floors should be washed thoroughly with soap and water, and allowed to dry prior to the application of a disinfectant. Pen walls should be made of a non-porous material to allow thorough cleaning. Time and UV light alone will greatly reduce the number of pathogens in the environment. There is an array of disinfectants used for varying purposes on dairy farms. Some are more suitable for housing and others for feeding equipment. It is important to know which disinfectant is suitable for what purpose and which mixing rates are safe

to use and when. In calf sheds, a disinfectant needs to be effective against pathogenic viruses, bacteria and protozoa such as Cryptosporidium parvum. For viruses and bacteria, there are many disinfectants available. However the oocysts (eggs) from Cryptosporidia are very stable in the environment and relatively resistant to chlorine-based disinfectants. This can create a problem in calf sheds in that cryptosporidiosis can recur year after year. Few products are registered for the disinfection of Cryptosporidia oocysts either overseas or in Australia and a holistic approach is required for control. This includes twice daily pickup of calves from the calving area, rotation of calving paddocks, good colostrum management, having a clean calf trailer, all-in all-out rearing system and clean ad lib fresh water. Cryptosporidia thrives in damp conditions and calves with access to outside paddocks at a young age can be vulnerable, as the cleanliness of this environment is less controlled. The main classes of disinfectants commonly used are: Oxidising agents (e.g. VirkonS): effective against many bacteria, a broad range of viruses, fungi and bacterial spores. They are relatively stable in the presence of organic material and as such are commonly and effectively used to disinfect calf sheds. They can cause moderate skin irritation and damage some metals. Chlorine-based compounds (e.g. household bleach): eliminate most viruses, bacteria, moulds, and algae,

A clean calf shed helps reduce the spread of diseases.

but not bacterial spores. These compounds are good disinfectants on clean surfaces and are more active in warm water. However they can irritate the skin and damage clothing, rubber goods and some metals. Chlorine-based disinfectants are generally compatible with soaps but should never be mixed with acids. They are ideal for disinfecting feeding equipment which has already been cleaned with soapy water. Phenolics: generally active against bacteria, some viruses, and fungi, but not bacterial spores. Phenolics have good activity in the presence of some organic material but are ineffective against rotaviruses which can limit their use in calf sheds. Quaternary ammonium compounds: effective against many bacte-

ria and some viruses, but not moulds or bacterial spores. Older quaternary ammonium compounds are good on relatively clean surfaces but newer quaternary ammonium compounds can retain activity in the presence of some organic material. They are generally used for the disinfection of the vat or milking machine equipment. Iodophors (iodine-based compounds): have been used as antiseptics and disinfectants for many years. Iodophors are good disinfectants, but are less effective in the presence of organic debris which limits their use as a disinfectant for calf sheds. They are generally less toxic than other disinfectants, but can stain clothes and some surfaces. They are ideal for the disinfection of calf navels

(in a 7% solution). Farmers commonly ask about the use of lime in calf sheds. Lime has a positive drying effect and raises surface pH, which helps inhibit bacterial growth. However there is little evidence to suggest lime reduces the number of pathogens and it should be used with a suitable disinfectant. Regardless of the disinfectant used, always read the label carefully and wear the appropriate personal protective equipment. All disinfectants used for calf sheds as a control measure for disease should be registered by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA). • Gemma Chuck is a vet with Apiam Animal Health Ltd in Victoria.

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ANIMAL HEALTH  // 33 New regulations will require providing pain relief when disbudding calves.

Public sentiment, trade access driving new disbudding regulations PAM TIPA

PROVIDING PAIN relief when disbudding calves is not mandated by regulation but it is coming, says DairyNZ animal husbandry specialist Bruce Eyers. Public perception and market access will be the drivers, he told a Dairy Womens Network workshop in Wellsford recently. While not yet mandatory, use of a local anaesthetic is the recommended practice for disbudding calves, for a number of reasons, the workshop heard. Use of an anti-inflammatory after the procedure is also recommended although is it unlikely to become a rule at this stage. Eyers told the workshop that in their wild state cattle are animals of prey. As a survival technique, cattle try to avoid displaying pain which would indicate they could be a weaker animal in a herd. “So when they are demonstrating pain… they are in a lot of pain.” Indicators of pain in calves include tail shaking, ear twitching, eating less, restlessness, less playfulness, avoiding touch and increased cortisol (a stress hormone). Looking at stress responses, without pain relief after disbudding it takes a calf at least 24 hours for the pain to subside and 40 hours before it has recovered from the painful experience. With the use of local anaesthetic, initially there is no pain but after three to four hours as it wears off they start to feel sore.

With pain relief and the addition of anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling around the disbudded site, pain is reduced significantly. “There are definitely benefits to doing the two; and there are definitely adverse effects if you don’t do anything at all,” Eyers says. Another option is also to completely sedate the calf to preclude stress but this does not provide pain

Bruce Eyers, DairyNZ.

relief in itself; a local anaesthetic is still required to reduce pain. The advantage of sedating is that it is less stressful for the calf; they are easier to handle and you can do other jobs as well. And sedation makes the handler’s job easier, particularly in large herds. Even if you don’t sedate them there are definite benefits to local anaesthetics and anti-inflammatories: pain relief causes animals to grow better; pain relief reduces the growth check. Extra body weight means calves can be weaned earlier. That provides significant financial

benefit to the farm business. You do not need to be a vet to administer a local anaesthetic for disbudding but you need a prescription for the drug and a veterinary operating instruction (VOI). This relatively simple process shows capability in administering the pain relief in the right manner for it to work, doing so safely and understanding the side effects. Obtaining the VOI needs to be done seasonally, but the training is only needed once. Farmers should try to ensure those who provide the training or services have plenty of experience in that field. A calf can be disbudded when the bud can be felt. Less than eight weeks is the ideal; most people are disbudding between two and six weeks. The minimum age where you must use a local anaesthetic by law for any procedure is nine months, or six months to castrate a bull. A misconception that pops up repeatedly with farmers is they assume the antibacterial ‘purple spray’ is anti-inflammatory. It is obviously useful as an anti-bacterial but it provides no pain relief. Eyers says the other issues surrounding disbudding are public perception and market access. Use of local anaesthetic for disbudding is coming as a regulatory requirement, he says. “It is not here yet but it is coming.” Sedation and anti-inflammatories will not be part of that mandatory process at this stage. DairyNZ currently has a programme study underway called Heads and Tails to keep farmers ahead of the game on regulatory requirements.

“Teats were soft as a baby’s bum” “We took FIL’s advice on board and learned about the right mixing rates. Within two weeks of adding Teat Conditioner we saw a major improvement. The cows’ teats were as soft as a baby’s bum. We have always been FIL customers because we value the products and we value the relationship.

Sound advice is readily given.“ MARK ROSACKER - Norsewood We’re focused on providing udder confidence to every dairy farmer in New Zealand, Mark’s with us are you? Call 0800 UDDERS today.



Taking control is the big challenge THE SPEAKERS lined up for New Zealand’s premier dairy conference at Lincoln University from June 26 to 28 suggest this year’s event is not to be missed. Steve Booker, chair of SIDE 2017, says mid-year is always a great time for farmers and farm workers to get together, reconnect, meet people and benefit from the social interaction. This year is no exception, with the theme ‘Controlling the Controllable’ promising to get people in the dairy industry talking. We’ve put the

SIDE event programme together with this in mind. “A diverse and interesting range of speakers and workshop presenters will cover a wide range of topics to provoke, challenge and question us on what is controllable.” Booker says the keynote speakers are truly inspiring. “Greg Murphy, Richard Loe and Jake Miller are certain to captivate and motivate; I’m expecting some great stories, while John Luxton and Ian Proudfoot promise industry insight and over-

Delegates at SIDE 2016.

view, which will provide invaluable perspectives for dairy farmers.

Proud Supporting Partner of SIDE SIDE examines the big issues with a local focus. A forum that educates, inspires and challenges. DairyNZ – Helping dairy farmers succeed.

been the global head of agribusiness for KPMG since 2013, having joined the company in London in 1992. He is also now working with industry partners to develop an urban agricultural experience centre and show farm in Auckland to inform urban children about the primary sector’s contributions to NZ and career opportunities. Described as a leading food futurist, he has presented extensively on the strategic opportuni“SIDE is an ideal opportunity for delegates to learn and pick up ideas they can take back to their own businesses to help improve productivity and profitability. It is also a great opportunity for farmers to network with other like-minded people, especially at the evening social functions.” Registrations for SIDE 2017 have opened; information can be found at

GREG MURPHY NEW ZEALAND’S highest profile V8 Supercar driver Greg Murphy is a motor racing great, having clocked up over 400 V8

their fields to inspire. He is also the co-founder and publisher of Unfiltered, his second start-up in two years. He believes a person needs only two things to become a master in their field -- extreme skill and strong networks.


renowned All Black forward prop between 1987 and 1995, representing NZ in three Rugby World Cups. Following retire-

pressure and sharing the true meaning of teamwork.


saw the development of DairyNZ as its chair from 2008-2015. He led the dairy industry through a major growth phase, played a key role in policy and legislative changes in NZ and has championed dairy R&D and education. He has represented the industry as part of the Trade Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, helped launch a new strategy for sustainable dairy farming and a new water accord in 2013, champi-

0800 4 324 7969

Richard Loe

ties and challenges facing agribusiness, particularly on how food will be produced, processed, distributed and consumed in the future.


Controlling the controllable

JAKE MILLER has been

jumping out of planes since he was in nappies (literally). Inspired by Sir Richard Branson, whom he interviewed after leav-

ment from rugby, Loe became a sport columnist for the New Zealand Herald. Despite his physical dominance when he played, Loe is regarded by former teammates as an exceptional character and professional. Known as an ‘enforcer’ on the field, he balanced his abilities with the ball with a tough-tackling


26 - 28 JUNE 2017

Lincoln University, Christchurch

Check out the full programme details and register today at

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Greg Murphy

Supercar race starts, many Bathurst 1000 wins, and places in some of the highest-profile race teams in Australasia. His disregard for detractors and adversity has produced many memorable performances, which is an attitude he applies to his life and business decisions. He is passionate about leadership, high performance, staying motivated under

oned R&D and education in the industry, set up the Waikato Dairy Leaders Group and chaired the Industry Leaders Forum. His overview of the industry will provide dairy farmers at SIDE this year with useful industry insight now and in the future.


Jake Miller

ing school, the 20-year-old adventurer is determined to build world-changing companies. His first business Oompher aimed to ensure fewer people die wondering what they could have achieved, using video interviews from leaders in

prowess -- professionalism and focus skills that can equally be applied to running a dairy farming business. Contact: SIDE Event committee chair Terry Kilday, phone 027-2298130, email terrykilday@



John Luxton

Adapting for change NEW ZEALAND does dairying better than any other country, but it must continue to improve in all aspects of its business. John Luxton, a keynote speaker at this year’s South Island Dairy Event (SIDE), suggests we are in a period of significant change in farming and in society, and he is keen for farmers to consider how best to adapt to change. Luxton oversaw the development of DairyNZ as chair from 2008-2015. He led the dairy industry through a strong growth phase, played a key role in policy and legislative changes in NZ, and has championed dairy R&D and education. “Dairy still exceeds all other primary exports from NZ put together,” he says, “and is similar in value to all other nonfarming exports. But as producers of food, our ways to market are changing. Every day we see the emergence of new technologies, and a widening gap between progress and society’s ability to cope with its consequences. “Who would have thought a decade ago that many of us would today do our purchasing and banking over our cellphones, that we could monitor our farms remotely, and that companies like Uber,

Expedia, Airbnb and Amazon would all be selling services without owning the assets they sell. “But whether it is an impending shift in the nature of work as technology changes production systems, or the ethical implications of re-engineering and what it means to be human, the changes we see around us threaten to overwhelm us if we cannot understand and direct them. “To do this, we need to keep ourselves informed, and put more effort into reaching out to our urban community in a variety of ways. We also need to preserve our ‘social licence’ to continue to farm.” What can farmers control? Obviously, farmers have some control of their farms and into the market through dairy and meat processors. But with so much change, it’s important for farmers to know what can they influence and how. Luxton says farmers can control and improve many things. His presentation will detail 10 controllable aspects of farming available to dairy farmers: people, health and safety, onfarm presentation, sustainability, water, effluent management, animal welfare, cow management, pasture management and food safety.

FIND YOUR PLAN ‘A’ NOW IS an ideal time to talk about

resilience and robustness, as improved milk solids returns start to take some of the pressure off dairy farmers. Planning is the message Debbie Kinder and Noelle Fox, consultants from FarmWise, Livestock Improvement Ltd, will give during their ‘Find your plan ‘A’ business’ workshop at the South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) at Lincoln University from June 26 to 28. This workshop addresses how to make businesses and farm systems economically sustainable at the long-term average milk price. The pair will be looking at how to balance physical and financial performance with milk price volatility across

seasons. “Over the past three years, farmers have focused on improving onfarm cost structures, tightening their belts to combat the low milk price environment. This is an appropriate short-term reaction, but we are now into a secondary phase and it’s time to look at the longer term,” Fox says. Now is a good time for dairy farmers to critically examine their systems and objectively review and plan for what needs change. “It’s not easy balancing finance and performance on farm; dairy farmers are constantly having to juggle demands, from cows and pasture, to environment and finance. What helps people to focus is a plan.”



Getting more from farm with little extra effort WANT MORE for less work?

Come along to the South Island Dairy Event workshop run by Graham Kerr and Janet Montgomery, from Agriseeds, on June 28 at Lincoln University, to get fresh ideas on being smarter with pasture and getting more from your farm with little extra effort. As the key driver of farm profitability in the industry, pasture management is crucial, yet there is considerable variation in how pasture is managed between farms. This workshop offers simple solutions that should be built into dairy farm systems to grow and utilise more pasture by being smarter about process. “It isn’t about spending more on seed or equipment, it’s simply about smarter management; most farms have things they can do better, and some have significant improvement possibilities.” Kerr says a 3% increase in pasture eaten will product an extra $140,000 for an average 200ha unit, so it’s worth reviewing. He has five simple rules he

SIDE delegates 2016

plans to outline at his SIDE workshop, which he is confident will make a difference. These solutions can be applied at the strategic level of the farm operation and in day-to-day pasture management. A key pasture management tip he will share is simple -- communication. Some of the bigger dairy units in the South Island have a number

of employees, and that is often where assumptions are made. Consistency in decision-making on staff is a money saver, e.g. when to take the cows out of a paddock. Staff, particularly the new ones, need to know what a paddock looks like when it is grazed well or what it looks like if it still has grazing left in it. Photos on their phones are a great way to help them know exactly what to

look for. And they need training in how to use a rising plate meter correctly to understand pasture cover. Staff need empowering with the right tools and knowledge to do what they need to do to reach the agreed position. Time spent getting it right now means smarter systems become the norm. Fewer arbitrary decisions mean more control.

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FOOD PRODUCERS TOMORROW WILL BE DIFFERENT THE ONLY certainty for dairy farming is that the future for every farmer in New Zealand will be different from the realities they face today. That’s the message from Ian Proudfoot, KPMG global head of agribusiness, who will speak about the future of food at the South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) at Lincoln University on Tuesday June 27. Described as a leading NZ food futurist, Proudfoot has presented widely on the opportunities and challenges facing agribusiness -- particularly on how food will be produced, processed, distributed and consumed in the future. He warns dairy Ian Proudfoot farmers that the major threat to NZ’s primary sector is complacency. “Many farmers believe that because we are good at growing high-quality food, fibre and timber products, all we need to do is keep doing what we have always done. “While it is comforting, this is built on the belief that change will exist around us but not affect the markets we sell to, or the preferences of the consumers who eat our food. “The reality is markets are changing at a pace not seen before, and the impact this has and will continue to have, on dairying is profound. “While we pride ourselves on producing a clean green wholesome product in our milk, it is easy for us to lose sight of the fact that to the consumer, natural cow dairy products may be just one of their 10 choices of milk, including coconut, almond, cultured, sheep milk and others. “What influences their decision to choose our cow milk is crucial. Will these customers continue to seek out our products as innovations and will changes in the agri-food sector deliver new choices to traditional customers?” Proudfoot says it is reasonable to expect that many of these customers may substitute cheaper or more sustainable alternative products, leaving our farmers competing in lower-value and increasingly commoditised markets. He is often asked how individual dairy farmers can influence what happens further along the value chain. “First, understand that you’re not just growing a product, you’re producing food for people. Everything you do onfarm therefore needs to reflect what the consumer expects and what they want to experience. “The wider community is becoming increasingly interested in where its food comes from and consequently is expecting more from farmers. The people who have a long-term future in dairying are those who understand they are in the business of producing food -- not milking cows -- and what their consumers think of their dairying practices matters. “Don’t be comfortable being part of a co-op; question its direction, take a role in governance, be part of the value chain. Invest in getting to where you want to be; don’t let the future just happen. “Start today; every day you delay change puts you a day further behind your competitors.”



Drafting system suits new, retro fit-outs MARK DANIEL


Systems’ launch of its new NaviGate drafting system should be a drawcard for farmers; it suits new installations or retrofitting to herringbones or rotaries. The NaviGate system – “simple, robust, reliable and durable” -- resolves many of the concerns farmers have about automated drafting. It comes in three versions to suit farm and budget. The entry level Access version is a mechanical (manually operated) gate with pneumatic components and wireless remote control. The Advance ver-

Waikato Milking System’s new NaviGate drafting system.

sion includes all the features of the Access plus an RFID reader that reads the cow’s NAIT electronic ear tag, position sensors

that determine the animal’s position within the gate, and a touch screen so animal numbers can be entered prior to or during

milking. The Premium version offers the benefits of the Advance, plus NaviGate management software which records

drafting lists based on cow performance (days in milk, breeding, etc). Jane Burton, Waikato Milking Systems’ marketing manager, comments “our gates are quiet and prevent push-through, while sensors, electrical and pneumatic components are protected from the weather and the dairy environment”. “All models come complete with a steel footing ensuring the gate is level and configured to easily accommodate weigh scales, which all combine to preclude the frustrations normally associated with automated drafting.” The company’s flagship rotary platform, the Centrus Composite, will also be on display.


Taylor recently finished the first season in their new dairy, equipped with a new NaviGate drafter from Waikato Milking Systems. The dairy was designed so Taylor could milk their 600 cows on his own with the WMS 54-bail Orbit rotary platform. It has SmartECR electronic cup removers, BailGate straps to hold cows on the platform Adam Taylor until they have finished milking, SmartSpray automatic teat spraying and SmartWash automatically programmable washing. Drafting is a one-man job, he says. And it is quiet, easy to use and enables three-way drafting. “There’s never a problem with cows pushing through because a stop gate closes behind the drafted cow and only opens once she’s been drafted out. “The remote control adds further simplicity as it can be used anywhere in the dairy to draft cows, or I can shut off the platform and use it to draft springers on my own.”



$ The latest addition to the Deutz-Fahr mid HP range is the 5105.4G Vista and 5115.4G Vista. Both of these new tractors feature the latest Tier 4, 4.0 litre FarMotion engine. The 4 cylinder 3,620 cm3 turbocharged engine optimises fuel consumption, ensuring the engine always delivers the power actually necessary to perform the specific job. With 40/40 or 60/60 forward/reverse speeds and 2 or 3 speed Powershift, true 4WD braking, Stop & Go clutchless

operation and the option of SDD, the 5G Series gives the operator complete control in a crawl or at maximum speed. Its perfect for use with a front-end loader as it has extraordinary safety systems preventing accidental activation of the rear lift, the PTO and the hydraulic distributors. Starting from just $75,990 + GST, this particularly versatile and safe tractor is ideal for all farms. Contact your local Power Farming dealer for a demonstration today.

* Deposit plus total GST or use your trade, then pay 1/3rd in 12 months then 1/3rd in 24 months at 2.99%.





IN 12 & 2*4 MONTHS

0800 801 888




Companion crop keeps erosion away MARK DANIEL


reduce or eliminate runoff to waterways raises interest in new sowing techniques in Europe. Austrian grass and cultivation specialist Pottinger has looked at the effects of rain on uncropped land with regards to erosion, particularly on slopes, and in crops like maize where large strips of ground are

left open between the rows. The Pottinger Aerosem is a pneumatic drill that can be specified with ‘precision combi seeding’ (PCS) which allows drilling of a primary crop, for example forage maize, but at the same time plant a ‘companion’ crop with potential to markedly reduce soil erosion. Trials with the UCL University of Belgium looked at the optimum seed rates for each crop, seeking to strike a balance between soil erosion

CORRECTION DAIRY NEWS May 23, p40 (‘Vat manager cools

milk…’) carried a statement by Tru-Test that rural insurer FMG says 90% of claims for milk loss are caused by human error. FMG tells us the true figure is closer to 13%. Tru-Test and Dairy News apologise for the error.

Mineral Deficiencies Solved the Easy Way With a PETA Mul��Purpose Dispenser A PETA dispenser is the simplest way to dispense magnesium, trace elements and salts to treat grass staggers or trace element deficiencies. �eveloped by agricultural scien�sts at Ruakura Research Centre, the correct amount of treatment is dispensed per-animal per-day. Available in 24 hr and 48 hr models. Simply place in the trough and the job is done.

reduction and primary crop yields. Those trials determined it was essential to plant both crops at the same time, while paying attention to planting the companion crop in a way that would ensure rapid germination. This thinking ensures that once the maize crop is ready for any postemergence spraying, the companion crop is well established and able to tolerate any such applications. Though such sprays may check plants a little, they will not be

destroyed; they might lose a little height compared to the maize but will grow on unrestricted. As the maize canopy closes over, the companion crop will be growing at full rate again and in time cover the soil’s surface to offer the best protection against erosion. The Aerosem drill combines the features of a conventional drill with that of a precision pneumatic unit; it can be fitted with up to 10 seed elements at row spacing of 37.5 or 75cms, and it can place fertiliser between

Pottinger Aerosem allows planting of a companion crop while drilling for the primary crop.

the seed rows at the time of planting. Planting companion crops requires dividing the seed hopper

into two segments – one for seed, the other for the companion crop or fertiliser. Switching from

normal drilling to precision planting is done by moving this divider.

SUV WITH AN ATTITUDE THE new car market seeming to have an inexhaustible appetite for SUVs it’s not surprising some buyers want something different, so they specify special paintwork or bigger-than-Texas alloy wheels. If going down the bling road is not your style, you may want to look at the latest offerings from Italian premium brand Maserati. Normally associated with rocket-ship sports cars, the company’s first foray into the SUV class takes the shape of the Levante series, said to have


Maserati Levante S

resulted in NZ 2017 sales rising by 140%. Originally offered with a 3L V6 turbo diesel pushing out 275hp and 600Nm torque, the Levante S will show up here later

this year, powered by a V6 Ferrari petrol engine stirred up by twinturbos – 430hp and capable of 0-100km/h in 5.2 seconds. Top speed is 264km/h. Its braking system by Brembo

has 380mm diameter discs up front with six pistons, and 330mm units at the rear. Now for your question, “can I fit a towbar to take a few calves to market?” – Mark Daniel


Purchase a PETA Dispenser from your local rural supplies store or veterinarian.

DAIRY FEED SYSTEMS Other dispensers in the range: • Zinc: 24hr & 48hr - Prevents Facial Eczema • Bloat: 12hr & 24hr - Controls Bloat Easily

Supreme quality stainless steel feed trays / Exceptional back-up support / Easy to use and maintain First class installations / Robust construction / Skiold Disc Mills Grain Holding Silos / Utility Augers / Mobile Auger


The efficient, economical way to healthy animals.



Teleskid loader ideal for livestock NEW FROM global con-

struction machine giant JCB comes the Teleskid, combining the attributes of a telescopic handler and a compact skid-steer loader. The layout will suit livestock farmers: it can load feeder wagons, lift bales, pallets and buckets, and its small footprint allows it to turn in its own length. The maker says it can lift 8% higher and 60% further forwards than a conventional skid-steer machine: the set-up of the offset telescopic boom enables it to lift to 4m, reach 2.25m ahead of the

wheels and – at full reach – handle 611kg. The machine can also dig below its chassis by 1m, prompting JCB to describe the Teleskid as four machines in one -telescopic handler, masted forklift, compact loader and skid-steer. Power comes from JCB’s Ecomax engine, delivering 74hp to Tier 4 emission specs, and coupled to a twin hydrostatic drive line. The enclosed cab is said to be one third larger than the industry standard and can be specified with air conditioning and the JCB myCHOICE soft-

ware package. This allows the operator to configure responsiveness and joystick sensitivity; and the bucket positioning/levelling function allows the bucket angle to be set and automatically maintained

Teleskid, a telescopic handler and loader.

through its arc of travel. Rural News understands the machine will be available in wheel format in the European market and in wheel and track versions in North America.

FEED IMPORTERS 0800 665 277 37


or 03 326 6089


Compaction easy to deal with IF WINTER and/or spring turns on an endless soak-

We deliver to farm from depots nationwide


We have most of New Zealand covered


• • • •

Rigid galvanised frame and bin Scalloped bin allows cows easy access Feed efficient - reduced spillage/waste Holds up to 2 tonne of PKE or 3 bales

st +g




ing, many paddocks will need remediation to deal with pugging or compaction if the aim is to grow a crop for harvest. The Biddy aerator looks like it might be boss of the job: mounted machines in 2.5m and 3m working widths, and trailed units of 3, 4 and 5m, recently joined by a range-topping 6m machine. Operating weights range from 4000-5800kg in the smaller machines and up to 12 tonnes in the case of the trailed AR 6.0. This latter unit weighs 8.25t empty and has a 16t capacity axle fitted with BKT 700/42-22.5 tyres; it folds to 2.9m for transport. All machines have 40-inch diameter roller drums fitted with 8-inch blades made of hard wearing Hardox 500 steel for an extended life. Those blades are mounted in a helix around the drum for a smooth action as they contact the ground, and double-chamfered edges promote clean entry and exit into the sward. Main bearings are 80mm diameter, which create stability and allow running speeds up to 20km/h. In operation, the machine is said to reduce compaction by initially creating aeration in the upper surface levels and, depending on soil moisture content, creating shatter in clay-type soils down to about 14 inches. This allows better drainage, improves utilisation of nutrients and encourages roots to go deeper, so promoting sward survival in dry periods. The manufacturer says the large diameter drum pushes stones back below the surface in spring.

WIDE BIN AND QUICK HITCH Easy Loading Easy Handling Bin Length 5 metres Bin width 1.58M

SOLID CONSTRUCTION No steel less than 3mm thick Quality Welding



Smooth silage cutter delivers better quality feed to cows MARK DANIEL


Centre will introduce the European-designed and manufactured Triomaster S silage cutter to the New Zealand market in time for this summer’s silage season. Claas Harvest Centre’s Trioliet product manager, Blair McAlwee, says the use of a silage cutter helps to maintain silage quality and consistency. “Silage needs to be removed as carefully as possible to prevent air from penetrating the stack, particularly if there is poor compaction.” The Triomaster S is a purpose-designed silage cutting implement that

effortlessly removes up to 45cm of silage from the face of the silage pit. Unlike conventional silage grabs or buckets, which pull the silage from the face, the Triomaster S uses a fixed blade that shears through silage leaving a smooth, well-sealed face that resists secondary fermentation. Available in volumes of 2m3 and 3m3, the Triomaster S can be fitted to any telehandler or wheeled loader with a lift capacity exceeding 3.5 tonnes and using Euro Hitch, Quick Hitch or JCB Q-Fit mounting systems. The Triomaster S comprises a sturdy U-shaped frame, a closed bucket, two hydraulic cylinders and exchangeable,

A fixed blade leaves a smooth well-sealed face on the silage stack.

hardened stainless steel knives. A closed frame prevents spillage in the yard on the way to the mixer where during operation the curved bottom plate means the bucket only needs to be tilted slightly to empty. The machine can also be used to cut round bales

in either direction, and it can handle loose materials or supplements. The geometry of the fixed knife ensures its optimum radial position throughout its cutting arc, minimising necessary hydraulic power and cutter weight. An optional weighing

Trioliet silage cutter helps to maintain silage quality and consistency.

face of the silage pit each week in winter or 2m3 in summer. “This minimises the time between when the silage is exposed to air and when the cows actually eat it, so reducing

system allows the operator to measure loads directly at the pit, avoiding extra transport time or inaccurate loading. McAlwee recommends users remove about 1m3 from across the entire

secondary fermentation which can result in mould formation that reduces feed value, a particular problem with high dry matter material exposed to high temperature during summer feeding.”

A closed frame prevents spillage in the yard.

“Designed by a Farmer for Farmers”

Stop wastage – reduce pasture damage Standard Feeder

Oval Feeder

C5 Bolted & C6 Pinned

Mystery Creek See usDays at Field Site H26 Mystery Creek Site G41

• 1 x size 15 bale • 2m diameter • 15 feed positions • 25-30 animals

NZ Made $100


S2 Pinned

$850 NOW



• 2 x size 15 bales • 3 x size 12 bales • 35-40 animals


$1200 $


1100 EX GST

See us at National Fieldays Site D111

PHONE 0800 4 AGBITS | 0800 4 242 487 WEBSITE

NEW ZEALAND’S PROVEN STOCK FEEDER FOR 24 YEARS • 100% New Zealand Made • 100% New Zealand High Tensile Steel

• • 0800 104 404







$1,000 REBATE $500




$2,000 REBATE*



MAKE TRACKS BEFORE THEY RUN OUT Offers available for only authorised Can-Am dealerships. *For vehicles sold between June 1st 2017 and June 30th 2017. MY16 and MY17 Defender HD5 including base models. MY15, MY16 and MY17 Outlander 450, 570, 650, 850 and 1000. MY15, MY16 and MY17 Commander 800. †The Can-Am “Money Back Guarantee” applies only to new Can-Am Outlander 570 Pro, Defender HD5 (includes DPS) & Defender HD8 (includes DPS) models sold and delivered to customer between May 1st and June 30th, 2017. See full terms and conditions in-store or at BRP always reserves the right to change the campaign, as well as pricing and specifications.









0800 020 074



^3 year warranty covers MY13/14/15/16 Can-Am Outlander, and MY16/17 Can-Am Defender models only. BRP always reserves the right to change the campaign, as well as pricing and specifications.

Dairy News 13 June 2017  

Dairy News 13 June 2017

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