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Semen unlikely disease source. PAGE 5 DIESEL-DRIVEN PUG-OUTV ARRIVES Inexpensive to run PAGE 39

METER Measuring pugging PAGE 31

AUGUST 15, 2017 ISSUE 384 //

WATER TAX A MONEY MAKING EXERCISE? “It is badly thought out, badly implemented and damages the most productive sector of our economy – primary industries.” – Nathan Guy PAGE 3&4



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‘Small royalty’ pledge PAM TIPA

$240m milk plant. PG.12

Poo-powered power. PG.32

IF ELECTED, Labour’s charge on water for irrigation will be a “small royalty” for all “substantial takes”, says spokesman for water and the environment David Parker. “Bottled water is a higher value use of a more pristine form of water that would attract a higher royalty than irrigation water,” Parker told Dairy News at the Environmental Defence Society ‘Tipping Points’ conference in Auckland last week. “But nevertheless irrigation water in our view should incur a small royalty and the money would go back to the regional councils.” That is for all “substantial takes” of irrigation water. “We are not worried about the little lifestyle farmers.” Dairy farms using large quantities of water for irrigation would face a small royalty, he says. While the royalty would be in

the cents/litre for bottled water, it would be cents/cubic metre (1000L) for irrigation water. “You’ve got to leave the profit in it for farmers.” Labour leader Jacinda Ardern had earlier told the conference that Labour’s policy is to set a royalty based on three principles. “The royalty should be fair and exclude municipal and domestic users including stock water, it should be proportionate and the process of setting the royalty should be collaborative. “That is why I am not going to provide specific royalty rates here today. I can say the price will be different for premium aquifer water often bottled for export versus irrigation water, for example, for which the price will be based on cubic metres instead of litres. “In both cases we will make sure there is always a good profit margin for the user and in all cases we will provide certainty about long term prices that is needed to encourage

investment.” The royalty will go to the provinces, she says. “We will resolve the Maori claim recognised by the Waitangi Tribunal. The balance of the royalty will go back to regional councils who can use it to improve waterways or reduce rates and to assist with fencing and riparian planting.” She wants to talk to those affected. In her first 100 days she will host a round table at Parliament on water. “I will invite all the affected sectors – agriculture, horticulture, exporters and environmental groups.” Ardern

says farming is in her family: her grandparents were dairy farmers along the Waihou River. “Farming has played a role in the decline of our waterways but the path forward lies not in blame but in a collective commitment to do things differently. “NZ has always had a reputation as an agricultural innovator. Where there were challenges NZ’s farmers had ingenious solutions. This is just another challenge.

David Parker

BLANK INVOICES SUCK – GUY Waterways cleaning easy. PG.38

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THE LABOUR Party has sent “blank invoices” to farmers around the country, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy. The invoices don’t have “any details about the price,” he says. “There is something different about this invoice compared to an invoice a hard working farmer receives after buying feed, a new tractor or repairing his irrigation system. “The farmers have received the bill but they don’t know how much

it will cost them,” he told Dairy News. Guy says the proposal to charge a royalty for irrigated water on farms is a ludicrous policy. He is urging farming leaders to meet Labour’s new leader Jacinda Ardern over the next two weeks and seek more detail on the proposal. “Labour must be upfront with the farming community rather than hiding until after the election.” Guy says Labour is also pro-

posing large setbacks for riparian planting on farms. Dairy farmers have already planted 27,000km of fences along waterways, fencing off 97% of them. Guy says pushing back riparian planting would result in loss of productive land and impose further costs like mechanical cleaning of waterways with diggers, which most farmers do once a year. “Labour wants all the posts and wires ripped out and pushed back; is it one metre or four metres fur-

ther out?” He told Parliament that Labour’s proposed water policy sucks. “It is badly thought out, badly implemented and damages the most productive sector of our economy -- the primary industries. “Labour has slammed the door shut on the primary sector. Damian O’Connor (Labour’s rural spokesman) got smashed to pieces…. he got smashed by a caucus more excited by the urban vote than the rural vote. – Sudesh Kissun



Labour will get water clean-up back on track PAM TIPA

LABOUR PARTY leader Jacinda

Ardern says after National came into power it shelved the Environment Court judge David Sheppard’s national policy statement (NPS) initiated by the last Labour government. “That NPS would have controlled increases in livestock intensity. The national dairy herd has since increased by one million cows producing effluent equivalent to 14 million people, most of which is discharged to land, much of which is leaches into waterways,” she told the Environmental Defence Society ‘Tipping Points’ conference in Auckland. “Nine years on, nitrate levels are still increasing in 55% of monitored waterways. In 2015 over 60% of monitored river sites are graded poor or very poor for swimming. “In some areas, dairy conversions or battery beef lots or more intensive farming systems using irrigation or intensive winter grazing on steep slopes are doing enormous damage to our rivers and estuaries. Effects are spreading out to sea blocking photosynthesis of kelp beds and clogging

up sands with fine silts.” Labour plans to introduce a new National Policy Statement (NPS) for Freshwater Management based on an original NPS drafted by a board of inquiry chaired by Environment Court judge David Sheppard in 2010. Sheppard said an increase in land use intensity such as a large dairy conversion or putting in a beef lot or irrigation should always require a resource consent so that a point of control exists to prevent intensification of land use making water quality Jacinda Ardern worse, Labour’s spokesman on water David Parker around the body – ‘blue baby syntold Dairy News. Parker acknowledged this is drome’. The Parliamentary Commisalready the case for dairy in many sioner for the Environment has regions. “In respect of the dairy plat- said there is a “clear link between form there are parts of South- expanding dairy farming and land with inadequate controls on increasing stress on water quality. winter grazing; some sediment Even with the best practice mitiloads and nutrient loads from gation the large scale conversion winter break feeding are beyond of more land to dairy farming will generally result in more and more the pale.” Ardern said the Canterbury degraded fresh water”. “To some in politics this medical officer of health has told mothers not to feed babies bot- doesn’t appear to be a threat tled milk from South Canterbury worth worrying about,” Ardern water bores because nitrates are told the conference. “They think so high they disrupt oxygen flow the environment and public

should simply carry the cost. The past decade of political inaction has legitimised this pollution and current land use policies have institutionalised it. “The current government’s first replacement NPS required a low wadeable standard which most New Zealanders ridiculed. They then proposed fencing of mid country waterways many years from now, sometimes not until 2030. “Under pressure in their ninth year of government they have now introduced a draft swimmable target which has been widely criticised by scientists. They shifted the goalpost on E.coli. “The NPS says a river is swimmable even if livestock effluent and nutrient pollution or low flows from irrigation extraction are causing excessive slime growth. “That is not what I call swimmable, not even for my friends the eels. “Their standards allow nitrates at levels perilously close to toxic for plants and macro-invertebrates. They use floods as cover to ignore adverse test results for up to 20% of the time.”

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Chris Allen says with the absence of detail on Labour’s new water tax policy, voters will be sailing blind into the election Allen says while the pledge to consult with those affected if Labour is part of the new government is appreciated, farmers need information before the election. “Surely at least they have a starting figure in mind, to open negotiations with water users and to give voters a clue on the quantum of tax they

envisage. “Ten cents a litre has been suggested for exporters of bottled water, which has been contested as a thousand times exaggerated for the royalty that might apply to large commercial users. So what is the figure?” Allen says. Federated Farmers is strongly opposed to a water royalty when it would essentially be an extra tax on electricity, food and exports. “If the problem is with bottled water, then let’s just fix that problem.”

Better ways to fix waterways A MASSEY University agribusiness expert says

Labour’s newly announced water policy is problematic in several ways. Better ways exist to make New Zealand’s waterways cleaner without punishing specific sectors and damaging property rights, says senior lecturer Dr James Lockhart. He says the policy is born of unsustainable growth by the dairy industry and foreignowned bottling plants exporting water at no cost and creating little, if any, benefit to NZ. “No doubt some of our waterways have been degraded by the intensification of land use,” he says“This is due to many things; water extraction for irrigation, reducing flow levels, is only one. “But if these are the problems Labour is trying to solve, then the policy cabinet is full of tried and true methods to rectify them.” He says the impact on farmers will be immense, especially those in regions where water supply is at risk, including the Heretaunga Plains, Marlborough, Nelson, Canterbury in particular and North and Central Otago.


NEWS  // 5

Semen unlikely source of disease NIGEL MALTHUS

THE MINISTRY for Primary Industries is still assessing the likely means of entry of the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis, following its discovery on two dairy farms in the Morven area near Oamaru. Mycoplasma bovis had never been recorded in New Zealand before its discovery in mid-July on one, and then a second, of the 16 dairy farms operated in the area by the Van Leeuwen family. The disease causes pneumonia, mastitis, abortion, arthritis, tendinitis, middle-ear infection and endometriosis. Management is only by culling. However it has no effect on other animals nor implications for human health. One of NZ’s major semen importers, World Wide Sires, welcomed comments from MPI which it believed ruled out imported semen as the source of the outbreak, but MPI says that is not necessarily the case. “The ministry’s view at this time, following a preliminary review of the scientific information, is that imported semen is regarded as a possible means of introduction, but is considered low risk due to the hygiene practices in collection and distribution. A formal

reassessment of the risk posed by imported semen is ongoing,” said a spokesperson. The Van Leeuwen farms’ vet, Merlyn Hay, of Vetlife Oamaru, said it would be very difficult to identify the source,

Dr William Rolleston

and difficult to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis now it is confirmed in NZ. But she agreed imported semen is now looking unlikely as the source. “We certainly looked very hard at the semen and there were 12 bulls associated but there was no fixed pattern. It was always a real long shot, so I would expect that’s true.” Hay said that as a contact-spread disease, live animal import is a more likely pathway. She said the Van Leeuwen farms are “in a holding pattern” waiting for MPI’s test results to come through. Affected animals were being culled, but the disease is very slow-moving and healthy stock did

not need culling. Former Federated Farmers president Dr William Rolleston remains unconvinced that imported semen is in the clear. He said no-one was accusing the importers of negligence but the issue is that the import standards do not actually require semen to be tested for Mycoplasma bovis. “The issue is the import standard which just says that bulls that supply semen should never have tested positive for Mycoplasma bovis, not that they should have tested negative for Mycoplasma bovis -- and those are two totally different things. We need to be very aware of that.” Rolleston had attended a meeting of local farmers where he had had to oppose calls to destroy all Van Leeuwen’s cattle. “That would just send a message to all farmers not to test your animals for Mycoplasma bovis otherwise you might find your herd gets destroyed. So you’d never get to the bottom of where this disease is.” “If it’s been here for 20 years and there hasn’t been enough of an issue to have noticed it, then that just indicates our farming practices are not conducive to this disease causing a real problem,” he said. “This does seem

to be a reasonably hard disease to spread. It’s not airborne-spread so it should be containable with the sort of measures MPI is putting in place.” World Wide Sires had said it was delighted at “MPI’s validation that

Hank Lina

imported semen was not the cause of the mycoplasma outbreak.” It had quoted an email to semen importers from Angela Snell, senior advisor for MPI’s animal imports team, which noted that all suppliers operate strict regimes to control contamination, including various combinations of antibiotics. “Antibiotic resistance must be considered; however, New Zealand has been importing semen for many decades without incident and at this time there is no evidence that resistance has developed or that standard hygiene practices have been breached,” Snell said in the email. World Wide Sires NZ general manager Hank

Lina said they and other importers of bovine semen had been working with MPI to isolate and identify the source of the outbreak. “We sell more than 19 million straws of semen to 80 countries around the world and, over several decades, have developed semen production and processing procedures which are amongst the most rigorous in the world. “They need to be because farmer confidence is at stake and we would never jeopardise that trust; they have to know our product is safe. “MPI’s validation that imported semen was not the cause of the mycoplasma outbreak is bitter-sweet; we’re naturally delighted to have this confirmation of our standards and systems but our hearts go out to the Van Leeuwen family who are living through a farmer’s worst nightmare.” Lina said Select Sires – World Wide Sires US parent, said to be the world’s largest dairy farmer-owned co-op -had sponsored research into identification of Mycoplasma bovis by microbiologist Kristina McDonald. “Dr McDonald’s PhD made use of modern PCR-based techniques to detect Mycoplasma bovis in semen. She developed efficient methods

for growth, culture, DNA extraction and PCR-based detection. “No evidence of Mycroplasma bovis was found in any of Select Sires’ 1700 bull team

either during the research programme or since,” Lina said. Lina commended MPI on the depth of their investigation to identify and isolate the outbreak.

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NEWS  // 7

Parts of Hauraki Plains flooded earlier this year.

Wet makes tough job tougher PETER BURKE

FLOODS IN April and continuing rain

are costing some Bay of Plenty farmers up to $700 per cow to repair damage and buy extra feed. Their average herd being 370 cows, these farmers face an extra $260,000 in operating costs. Bay of Plenty Federated Farmers president Darryl Jensen, a dairy farmer, cites the cost of extra supplementary feed, offfarm grazing, pasture renewal and repairs to farm infrastructure. “The wet trying conditions are making life very difficult and I am still personally involved in flood recovery around the Whakatane Eastern Bay district. We are still dealing with issues from that and the farmers want to see some sunshine to help dry things out. “A lot of supplement is being used because the ground is so wet and pasture growth rates are not where they need to be; farmers are mindful of the need to minimise pasture damage.” Jensen says the higher payout is very welcome by farmers, especially those hit badly by the floods. Despite the wet conditions calving is going pretty well but they are making a tough job tougher. He hears of vets having to do more assisted calvings than normal. “I have spoken to a few farmers whose stock has come back from winter grazing not quite in the condition they wanted

them to be in; they put this down to the hard conditions that have made life a bit more difficult for everyone.” He says the farmers struggling the most are those in wet, low lying areas; those on the slightly elevated hill country are faring better. In northern Waikato, pasture damage on some farms is as high as 80-90%, says Feds provincial president Andrew McGiven. The ongoing rain is compounding the problem caused by the floods in April. It takes only 3mm of rain for the ground to be suddenly sodden again. “I’ve never seen so many pugged paddocks. The guys with standoff facilities have been using them overtime -- I certainly have. We thought we were going to have a good autumn but it’s turned out a bit of a nightmare.” McGiven says most dairy farmers, himself included, are using more supplement than normal and pasture utilisation has been poor. Some farmers have had to regrass their pastures two-three times and other farms are so badly damaged they won’t support grazing for a year. “Everyone is tired of the rain. We are all doing our best with what we have. We are well aware of the requirements under animal welfare rules and are trying to look after the stock which is where our money comes from and minimise the pugging.” McGiven says most guys coping well have a plan in place to deal with their predicament; and they appreciate the help from the Rural Support Trust and Feds.

WORN OUT DAIRY FARMERS are physically and mentally worn out by the wet conditions, says Federated Farmers Dairy section head Chris Lewis. Most have handled the situation well and stock are looking good but the wet weather makes it hard for farmers to cope. “I am seeing aquifers and springs pop out of places I’ve never seen them in before so the groundwater must be fully up to the limit. It’s causing issues in paddocks where

you four-wheelers or two-wheelers stuck. “We’re day in and day out in wet weather gear that’s muddy and so weighs another 10kg; it slows you down a bit. You definitely know you have done a hard day’s work because you are physically worn out.” Lewis say calving is slow and empty rates are higher than a year ago. He predicts August and September will not be big production months.

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NEWS  // 9

Intensive farming model needs to change – Landcorp PAM TIPA

NEW ZEALAND has been extremely

good at farming intensification but that model now has to change, says Landcorp chief executive Steve Carden. We became extremely good and efficient at intensification to produce more milk, meat and wool. “NZ farmers are unbelievably successful on a global scale at farming,” he told the Environmental Defence Society ‘Tipping Points’ conference in Auckland last week. The problem we have all identified is we have now reached our economic, social and environmental limits on that model. The intensification model needs to change and new strategy is needed for creating wealth from our farms. The challenge is, however, that the world population is on track for 10 bil-

lion by 2050. More food must be produced with less water and input. “Those of us in the food sector haven’t figured out how to do that yet,” Carden said. About three years ago Landcorp was heavily criticised for its intensification strategy and the Steve Carden desire to shift a lot of its land into intensive dairying. The company decided it was sick of the “you win we lose” type of conversation that was happening. It decided to get together with the people most concerned about farming and ask them to help solve the problems. The group included critics who have been “an extremely effective part of our business,” Carden says.

“We’ve had some really difficult, awkward and at times unpleasant conversations. You have to be prepared to have those to solve these problems rather than take entrenched positions from which people are actually shouting at each other through the media.” Landcorp has also started to measure everything. Every farm has a score card produced on a real time basis. Now it is starting to replant, reforest -- going back to the past putting much of the steep hilly land back into trees. “We need to start getting our carbon footprint looking much more

responsible than it has been.” Palm kernel has been removed from their system “because people don’t like that with their farmers”. “And actually it is a great way to farm – many farmers have approached me saying ‘thank goodness you decided to do that’.” “We’ve just stopped dairy conversion – pulled back a whole lot of plans to convert more land to dairying. We are trying very hard to think of alternative land uses to give us a good economic return with much lower environmental costs. “So we have started to walk the talk on farming more sustainably.” Big data and technologies which come with it “are our friends”. “We can be much more specific now about the nutrients and water we apply to the plants we farm to produce just the right growth we need to optimise the production from that farm.” @dairy_news

FEDS BOARD MEMBER QUITS A NEW Federated Farmers board

member, Lynda Murchison, has quit two months after election to the role and before the new board’s first meeting. She confirmed to Dairy News that her reason for doing so was because no one was prepared to take on her previous role of provincial president for North Canterbury. She says she will now return to this role. Murchison was seen as a great asset to the board, especially given her professional role as a planner. She played a major role in dealing with the effects on farmers of the Kaikoura earthquake and the drought in that region. It is understood the Feds national council will discuss a replacement at its November meeting.


10 //  NEWS

Dung beetles on farmers’ radar PAM TIPA

DAIRY FARMERS are taking a strong interest in dung beetles as a potentially important tool for meeting environmental obligations, says Dr Shaun Forgie, of Dung Beetle Innovations. As a percentage of all visitors to the recent Fieldays, dairy farmers were a large group, from Manawatu, Waikato and King Country -- the main catchment areas for the Fieldays, says Forgie. “DairyNZ is slowly looking into investing in the idea and Fonterra is slowly getting into it. The main interest is from iwi, Federated Farmers, Landcorp and Beef + Lamb NZ: they seem to be taking it by storm,” he says. “We’ve started the ball rolling in waking people up to seeing this as one of the innovative sustainable solutions we need for water quality improvements.” The idea of using the beetles in whole catchments is gaining momentum, he says. “We’ve started that process; catchments we are looking at are Hawkes Bay Regional Council, Taranaki Regional

Council, Greater Wellington Regional council; they have always been behind us so we are looking at the idea of trying to incorporate dung beetles as one tool to address water quality. “It is early days yet [on whether we use] existing funds or create new funds to be able to incorporate them. “We have riparian planting and fencing; now we have to get our minds around using dung beetles as the only low cost, selfsustainable preventative measure for controlling pollution coming off pastures. It is the only preventative solution; all the others are basically fix-it jobs after the pollution happens.” As a commercial entity Dung Beetle Innovations is in its third year but the project started about seven years ago with an end-user group called Dung Beetle Release Strategy Group making application to the government. Commercial scale releases of the beetles are now in their third year demand seems to exceed supply, Forgie says. “This year we’ve had such a large number of people wanting beetles that we have run out of capacity for our produc-

Shaun Forgie

tion facility to cope. We are looking at expanding our facilities even more to cope with the increased demand.” Based at South Head, Helensville, they are looking at moving close to Auckland for better access to staff and casual workers during the peak season from December to April. “We had a presence at Fieldays and that was hugely positive for us. “Now to get huge benefits in water quality we need catchment level releases; that means all these farmers joining in their catchments -- or multiple catchments -all backed up by councils to get a big lift in water quality.” The company held a big meeting in Wellington with a couple of ministries, iwi, Landcorp and other entities that are now assessing national

scale releases. Forgie says the dung beetle proposal presents as the lowest cost option -- $10 and $41, respectively, for sheep and beef and dairy farms. “Compare that to, say, riparian planting with an 8m buffer and no 8 wire fences. That is extraordinarily expensive – something like $2500 more per hectare. Dung beetles are a cheap alternative and the only self-sustaining one. “We need to incorporate it as part of the toolbox -- use this with fencing and planting. It is a matter of people becoming aware that such a tool exists.” But given that the first commercial releases hap-

Dung beetles could help dairy farmers meet environmental obligations.

pened only three years ago it is still early days to see those environmental benefits kick in. “For a farm to get to saturation point, where they see economic and environmental benefits sustained, is probably around year nine onwards. We are in the third to fourth season for the earliest farms; we don’t typically see beetles present or covering them

until year two or three. But some farms are giving feedback that they are seeing beetles or evidence of beetles after year one.” They will take longer to establish in the south than the north, Forgie says. It may take nine years to fully establish beetles on a farm, but it can take 15 years for riparian planting to fully function as an environmental tool.

Dung Beetle Innovations has permission for 11 different kinds of beetles but currently has seven on its books. One type just out of containment is a winter active beetle. When this comes onto the books next year, the company will be able to offer yearround coverage. Currently the beetles available are active for about two thirds of the year.

BETTER THAN EARTHWORMS DUNG BEETLES are among the most studied insects in the world because of the services they provide, says Shaun Forgie. “We are effectively completing a broken recycling process,” he says. “For 160-170 years we have not had a natural recycling process and that’s why we need these management practices today because there is nothing regulating the dung. “It is a control process which has always co-evolved with livestock -- a no-brainer com-

mon sense solution.” Current management practices such as stock rotation, letting pastures recover and farrowing are necessary because there is nothing actually removing manure, he says. “Earthworms are an expensive, long process given how long it takes them to establish, let alone establish in pH range tolerant soils. “You might as well use dung beetles which get rid of the dung in up to 48 hours as

opposed to four-five weeks or more for an earthworm. “The earthworms we tend to use come from the same areas most of our dung beetles originate in, so they are beneficial to each other. In studies now we are finding at least a four- to five-fold increase in earthworm biomass; and the depth they occur at is much greater following dung beetle activity because of all the resources in the ground now available for the earthworms.”

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12 //  NEWS

$240m milk plant on schedule NIGEL MALTHUS

MATAURA VALLEY Milk’s new plant near Gore is on track to begin production at the start of next season. The venture, first mooted by local farmers and businessmen nearly 10 years ago, took off in 2016 with the major investment backing of the China Animal Husbandry Group. Construction of the $240 million factory at McNab began early this year. Commissioning is expected take place through mid next year with the first production in August 2018. General manager Bernard May says the company aims to be the “world’s best nutritional business,” manufacturing and producing premium infant milk formula mainly for export. He says the plant will be the first in Australasia to be certified not only to MPI standards but also to USFDA standards. It is also unique in having external auditors monitoring all construction. Farmer suppliers will need to meet more stringent farm practices including refrigerating milk to lower temperatures to meet its standards

and in turn will be paid accordingly, said May. “The farmer shareholders already on board are embracing the opportunity of superior returns by supplying milk into a fully integrated nutritional business.” May said continued recruitment of milk supplier/shareholders and staff will be major focuses in the next six months. Farmers have shown keen interest in becoming shareholders and he is confident of having the 25 to 30 needed by December, May said. “There’s competition for milk, and farmers are looking at where they can get the best return for the milk they sell and that’s why it’s particularly attractive for a farmer to supply MVM.” China Animal Husbandry Group is one of the largest of China’s stateowned enterprises working in the agriculture sector. Hamilton-based

An aerial view of Mataura Valley Milk’s new milk plant. Inset: Dave Yardley (left) and Bernard May.

BODCO, itself partly owned by CAHG, also has a small shareholding in Mataura Valley Milk and will handle the canning of some of MVM’s product. With farmers’ shareholding expected to reach about 20%, CAHG’s holding will be diluted to just under 72%. The McNab plant is expected to

process about 500,000 litres of whole milk a day, producing about 30,000 tonnes of infant formula a year at full capacity, with 80-85% exported. It will have about 65 fulltime employees. Mataura Valley Milk milk supply manager Dave Yardley said farmers he has met to date are excited about the opportunity and he has a busy schedule of meetings. “The small size of the business, the connection they will have as shareholders, and the fact we’re going

to the higher end of the value-added market are piquing farmer interest. “Positivity has returned to the dairy sector so people are seeing it as a good time to review where they are, and whether they have a better choice out there,” Yardley said. May said the plant’s construction is on schedule with the drying tower already at its maximum 40m height. “We’re confident that right here now, we’re building the world’s best nutritional formula plant,” he said.


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14 //  NEWS

Sooner is better for award entrants THE RUNNERS-UP

in the 2017 New Zealand Share Farmer of the Year Award say sooner is better for intending entrants. Start preparing your entry now, say Carlos and Bernice Delos Santos.

Carlos and Bernice Delos Santos.

Entries for the 2018 NZ Dairy Awards open in October, and it takes time to gather data and records, the Delos Santos say. “Because we entered several times in the Share















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Farmer of the Year competition, we can differentiate the amount of preparation we did from when we didn’t make it, to when we became finalist to 3rd place and then becoming the regional winner,” explains Bernice. “When we won the regional title this year, the planning started soon after the previous awards dinner. We said to ourselves, ‘we want to win next year’, so subconsciously, everything we were doing was leading up to the presentation for the next year’s awards.” Carlos arrived in NZ in 2001 and Bernice immigrated in 2007; getting work in the industry was tough at first, he says. “I remember sending CVs to a lot of jobs, but without experience at the time I wasn’t getting much of a reply. When I did, during a phone interview, I couldn’t quite converse in English which I found very frustrating.” Perseverance paid off and the couple have worked their way through the industry, Carlos jointly winning the 2007 East Waikato Dairy Trainee of the Year award.  Now they are 50/50 sharemilkers and won the 2017 Central Plateau Share Farmer of the Year, also collecting four merit awards and named the 2017 Runners-up NZ Share Farmers of the Year, as well as winning the Ecolab Dairy Hygiene Award. They believe the awards and recognition helped them to be more confident.  “Having those titles certainly makes a difference on our CV. Entering the competition also made us review and scrutinise our management system and make necessary changes to adopt best practice in all aspects of our business.” The Delos Santos’ awards experience has been positive, Carlos says.

“We wanted to get our name and story out there for future employment possibilities. We were overwhelmed by the amount of publicity this competition brings.” They affirm the dairy industry has opportunities for everyone who works hard, as they have done over the years.  “When you start with nothing, it’s always hard and difficult but when you get the ball rolling it somehow gets easier,” says Bernice.   “It still takes hard work and sacrifice but with the experiences we encounter we learn different things and different ways to cope with difficulties.” There is no secret to their success, they say. They have continually analysed the bigger picture and learned not to worry about the small stuff. “All we’ve done over the years is try to improve farm management, financial management, people management and so forth. “We have met a lot of people while entering the awards, from previous winners to the finalists and winners this year, as well as other contacts within the dairy industry that we wouldn’t have been able to do if we hadn’t entered.” Their advice to newcomers is simple: “Learn as much as you can, gain qualifications, look after your reputation and save as much as you can.” “Winning the regional competition, and being runners-up in the national competition, is something I am most proud of,” says Carlos.   “I used to just dream of winning the regional title when I was still a worker, wondering how long it would take me to get there. “It seemed like forever waiting for this moment but now I can tick it off as one of my accomplishments.” 

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NEWS  // 15 iCORE




COWSCOUT Ravensdown has received approval to upgrade its top-dressing planes. Inset: Greg Campbell.

Fert co-op pushes ‘smarter farming’ PAM TIPA


different from even five years ago, says Ravensdown chief executive Greg Campbell. Big challenges lie ahead in reducing environmental impacts, but it is a positive opportunity to reset the sector’s position, he told Dairy News. Farming must ensure it is seen as a trusted and leading sector, and Ravensdown can contribute to this in the services, agronomy products, science and technology it provides. “Some farmers are pushing forward, others are just starting the journey. I don’t see any farmers, contrary to urban newspapers, wanting to see degradation of their capital or their natural environment,” he says. Ravensdown is focusing on ‘Smarter Farming for a Better New Zealand’ consisting of high quality products and particularly new agronomy products, providing strong expertise in market and new technologies. “All that assists farmers with reducing their environmental impact in farming and in optimising, maintaining and increasing the value they extract from their land,” he says. “So it’s a big challenge ahead and we are [adapting] to meet that challenge.” The public wants greater transparency by farmers doing their best to reduce environmental impacts. “We want to stand shoulder to shoulder with our shareholders and farmers in meeting that challenge. “All our innovation is focused on this but the environmental team is a large growing part of our business where we have highly trained, educated and competent people to assist our farmers in meeting their social licence.” Campbell says the co-op’s environmental consultancy, which helps farmers to mitigate their impacts and work within regulatory frameworks, is its fastest-growing service.



LOOK FOR THE BIG TICK FARMERS SHOULD make sure their agronomy products, particularly fertilisers, do what they are claimed to do, says Greg Campbell. They need to understand the science behind the products they use, he says. “And products should be Fertiliser Quality Council approved; if they are not, farmers should be asking why not,” he says. “The Fertiliser Quality Coun-

Farmer demand for N-Protect, which is the only Fertmark-certified urease inhibitor in New Zealand, shows farmers share Ravensdown’s concerns about reducing nitrogen loss to the atmosphere. It advises using N-Protect only in conditions where it gives a material advantage. New technology called HawkEye was introduced to replace Smart Maps and help farmers assess and alter their nutrient levels on paddocks on an easily understood and readily shared map. The Civil Aviation Authority has approved the co-op upgrading its topdressing planes to the precision application service called IntelliSpread. “As this service is phased in, it will enable greater control and accuracy of topdressing planes because the computer-controlled hopper doors adjust to deliver the fertiliser where it’s needed. Research released in February showed that on average 9% of hill country land assessed was nonproductive or environmentally sensitive which means IntelliSpread could avoid those areas. Compared to blanket rate applications of fertiliser, this targeted rate application was estimated to save on average $43/ha after 10 years.” Campbell says this year’s results show a continuation of the good performance of the last three or four

cil is the only independent body that looks at disclosures on fertilisers and effectively ensures that farmers are getting what they pay for and the benefits.” A number of products on the market now are not Fertiliser Quality Council registered, he says. “Farmers must understand that what they are buying will deliver, and the [product] differences companies are claiming.”

years. “The balance sheet continues strong and the value of the company keeps increasing,” he says. Ravensdown is paying a total annual rebate of $45/tonne following a third year of strong results. The 10% increase in rebate on purchased products compared to last year was due to continued balance sheet strength, growing market share and a profit before tax and rebate of $51 million from continuing operations. Ravensdown chairman John Henderson says the strong performance is now part of a consistent pattern Ravensdown has established. “Strong years in 2015 and 2016 meant at the start of the last financial year we were able to set ambitious targets to invest in infrastructure, improve market share and develop new technology,” says Henderson. “For the third year in a row our targets were achieved and we will remain in the black after rebate and taxes.” Sales volumes were up by 2% as the co-op gained new customers butt revenue fell 5% to $627 million because of price reductions. For farmers who bought solid fertiliser before May 31, 2017, $20 of the total rebate has been in their bank accounts since June 9. For fully paidup shareholders, the remaining $25/ tonne will be paid this month.

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16 //  NEWS


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Council decision strangles industry PETER BURKE


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A HORIZONS Regional Council (HRC) report foreshadows a grim future for the economic viability of the primary sector in the region. The report, presented to regional councillors last week, comes after three months of analysis by council staff into the implications of the decision by the Environment Court on how the One Plan must be implemented. The court’s ruling followed an appeal by Fish and Game and the Environmental Defence Society about how HRC was implementing the plan. The court sharply criticised the council and set a series of tough new requirements it had to meet. But the HRC has been trying to see how it can implement the One Plan as per the courts ruling and it seems this is nigh impossible, meaning farmers face huge uncertainty about the economic viability of their operations under the new consent regime. The report, which focuses on dairy farms,

Federated Farmers Tararua president Neil Filer.

says that the way the council is now being forced to operate means that a significant number of existing farms are unlikely to be able to meet the One Plan’s nitrogen-reduction requirements while remaining economically viable. The report contains a table which shows that in meeting the new requirements of the One Plan the profitability of some dairy farms in the Tararua District would drop 24-61%, and arable properties in the Rangitikei District will drop by up to 64%. The HRC says low intensity dairy farms and arable farms would struggle to survive and would


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AFTER SPENDING nearly a day discussing the report on the One Plan, councillors have, as predicted, opted to investigate a plan change, a move that could take a long time and a lot more money. But HRC chairman Bruce Gordon says if the council didn’t go down this track a significant number of farming businesses would no longer be viable. He says the council is responsible to its community and wants to reassure farmers that while the intention is to improve water quality, they are unified in not wanting to bankrupt many businesses. Gordon says in the meantime new application forms and guidance material for applicants seeking intensive land use consents under the One Plan have been produced as required by the court’s decision. “While the new application forms have been reviewed externally and will be available by the end of August, the legal pathway for applicants to get consent is hugely complex and likely unachievable for many farmers. There is no certainty that in many situations restricted discretionary consents could be issued,” he says. Gordon says applicants should talk with the council.

have to implement systemic changes to meet leaching targets. Ironically it notes that intensive systems which use herd barns are less likely to suffer financial problems. One of the main stumbling blocks for farmers applying for consents under the new regime is meeting a requirement to accurately assess what impact any nitrogen leached from their farm will have on the total leached in the catchment. This is known cumulative effect and the applicant for the consent has to prove this to the HRC. The report notes that while a legal pathway for doing this may exist, in practice it believes it

will be very difficult to achieve. Applicants will have to provide more information for their consents than in the past and the costs for restricted discretionary consents will likely require the involvement of more technical experts such as planners, farm consultants and scientists. The effect of this, the report concludes, is that a consent could cost $20,000 to $30,000 and more if it had to be notified. A report by one of the consultants hired by HRC to review the court decisions, Dr Terry Parminter, suggests that many farms will not survive the magnitude and pace of change the One Plan requires. Finally the report concludes what many had expected -- that a plan change is unavoidable. Such a move could take years, millions more dollars and leave dairy farmers in a limbo and reduce the economic contribution the primary sector makes to the region. Even if the council decides to try to work its way through what the court has decreed, it says this will take at least 12 months and will not be straightforward.

FARMERS IN LIMBO FEDERATED FARMERS is backing Horizons Regional Council’s decision to investigate a change to One Plan, saying it’s a big positive and that things are now heading in the right direction. Tararua Federated Farmers president Neil Filer said since the Environment Court rulings on the One Plan, many hundreds of farmers and growers in the region have been operating without a resource consent through no fault of their own and with no clear path forward. “We’ve been in limbo, and the council has been struggling to catch up. The frustrating aspect for farmers -- and no doubt the council -- is that we were making significant progress on water quality milestones. For example, of 168 consents granted to date for existing farms in target catchments covering nearly 33,000ha (20% of the region’s dairying area), farms had reduced nitrogen leaching by about 9% or 100,000kg. Things were on track to double that total reduction by the time the estimated 400 consents for existing dairy farms were processed,” he says. Filer says it’s good that HRC staff are gathering more detail on likely social and wider economic impacts. He says it’s common sense that when farmers are under the financial cosh so are the rural communities and towns. “The whole situation is entirely unsatisfactory and unsettling for farmers.”

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18 //  NEWS

State funding to protect waterways THE WAIKATO

Regional Council is getting $1.6 million in state funding to help protect waterways. The money is some of national grants totalling $44m from the Government. One of the council’s projects, to lift water quality and enhance the habitat at Lake Whangape, has received $900,000. This $2.8m project is a joint effort by the council, DOC, Waikato-Tainui, Waahi Whaanui Trust and Nga Muka Development Trust.  The other project, getting a $740,000 boost, is a partnership between the regional council and Pūniu River Care Inc to improve water quality on a 16km stretch of the

Lake Whangape, Waikato.

Pūniu River. “We appreciate this Government funding which will help us greatly at Whangape and for the Pūniu,” said council chair Alan Livingston.  “We have a strong focus on boosting water quality in our region in partnership with others.”  At Lake Whangape, sedimentation and nutrient loading from intensive dairying, coupled with aggressive spread of alli-

at $2m, is aimed at gator weed, has led to a decline in the water qual- improving water quality and helping restore indigity and habitat. The projenous fish habitat and ect is aimed at restoring the health of the lake and land biodiversity. Activities include associated wetlands. Work riparian fencing to will include fencing to exclude stock, erosion exclude stock, revegetaprotection works and the tion of lake margins and wetlands, accelerated alli- planting of 160,000 native trees. gator weed containment A bilingual guide for and implementation of a kaitiaki monitoring frame- marae-based restoration will be prepared. work.                                              Meanwhile the work @dairy_news at the Pūniu River, valued

TOP IN RURAL CONSULTING at Lincoln, before joining AgFirst in its Belton, Hamilton, has been named the Northland office three-and-a-half years Farmax Emerging Rural Professional of ago. She has been based at the Waikato the Year. She beat four other contes- office for 18 months.    “I love my job and tants. put a lot of effort into it; Belton was one  of it is a great feeling to be three category winners recognised as contributannounced at the Rural ing to the industry.”  Professional of the Year   Commenting on Awards last week. the calibre of the five The judges were woman contestants, the impressed with the calchief executive of the ibre of the five candiNZ Institute of Primary dates and said there was Industry Management, little separating them.   Stephen Macaulay,said   They noted that Stacey Belton the judges “had a tough Belton had  extensive job  in selecting this knowledge of farm management systems and the self-awareness year’s award winner, as each candidate to understand what areas she needed to was clearly knowledgeable and highly develop further to more effectively ser- regarded by their peers in their chosen field.” vice her clients.  The finalists also reflected the changShe plans to spend the prize money on doing a project on how to attract ing face of the rural profession, he said.  “It’s great to see more women entermore young people into the consulting ing the rural profession. All the candiprofession.    Belton graduated bachelor of agri- dates clearly see opportunities in the cultural science (hons) with honours rural profession.” 

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NEWS  // 19

LIC teams up with Jerseys SOME OF the country’s

top Jersey genetics from joint breeding by LIC and Jersey New Zealand are now available to farmers. Breed society, Jersey NZ and LIC signed the Jersey Future agreement in June last year, and have worked together since to jointly select and prove the genetic merit of top young Jersey bulls. Jersey Future aims to increase genetic gain in the breed for NZ dairy farmers, and produce more bulls for the Jersey breed that have diversity, reliability and longevity. A limited number of artificial breeding (AB) straws from the seven Jersey bulls are now available for farmers to purchase from Jersey NZ for the upcoming mating season. Casey Inverarity, LIC bull acquisition manager, points to the benefits the

scheme will bring to the breed and dairy industry. “Jerseys once dominated the dairy industry in NZ. Focussed breeding programmes like Jersey Future help ensure there is enough genetic diversity and gain for the breed to continue to strengthen and develop.” Jersey NZ board member Steve Ireland says the relationship between LIC and Jersey NZ was valued, and the sort of collaboration Jersey Future offered was important for the breed’s growth and the dairy industry’s continued success. “Jersey Future offers us the opportunity to prove bulls in a widespread manner which I’m certain will generate high quality animals for the industry, and that’s our way of helping with continued genetic gain within

the Jersey breed.” To ensure the success of the programme, a minimum of 70 herd tested heifers per bull within 35 herds have to be gener-

ated. By purchasing straws from these golden sires, farmers will be doing their part to benefit the Jersey breed.

LIC bull acquisition manager Casey Inverarity.

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CREAMY TEA DRAWS CROWD FONTERRA’S TEA topping has Chinese queueing

Brian, Cathy and David Yates, Karaka, 170 cows Our farm had been in the family for six generations, but when my kids decided on careers in the city, it was nearly ‘6 and out’. Having seen the reality of modern dairy farming after we put the robots to work, the kids and grandkids now see dairy farming as an exciting career opportunity. It’s an approach that works for me, it works for my family, and there’s no reason it  wouldn’t work for you. Visit  to find out how robots brought my son back to work on the family farm. | Grant Vickers 021 704 691 DEL0208

wildly to get into tea houses, says the co-op’s global head of foodservice, Grant Watson. People will queue for two hours to get into a Tea Macchiato tea house, a new twist on the traditional and ancient Chinese tea house. Watson says it has become so popular in the last 12 months that if the trend continues these tea shops could be Fonterra foodservice’s fifth-largest customer this financial year. A blend of cream, cream cheese and condensed milk – with a salty flavour depending on the formulation – sits as a head on top of a traditional hot or cold tea. The tea and toppings are sold in many different flavours. “It’s going gangbusters – it is quite amazing,” says Watson. People will pay others to wait in the queue, then replace them when they reach the front. The tea houses are used for business or entertainment – similar to New Zealanders catching up with others over a coffee, wine or beer -- and the tea houses are open late into the night. “Like a lot of things do in China, it started in the south,” says Watson. “We started working with some of the operators in the south. Our chefs, using our products, worked with them to help develop the right formulation. “In China when you compare our competitors’ cream with our cream, functionally ours is the best product for them. It is all to do with the cream not bleeding into the balance of the tea; it is quite technical. “We worked with some of the leading customers in the south to develop the right solution for them.” – Pam Tipa


















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WORLD  // 21

A farmer with a difference MARK DANIEL

GIVEN THAT the average farm size in

northern Italy is 9.8ha, the operation run by Dario Soresina and his family at Crema, just south of Begamo, makes him a slightly different type of dairy farmer: he has a background in engineering and loves all things mechanical. Members of a Power Farming Europe study tour group visited the farm on a sunny day in mid July. Dario and his wife Bernedetta farm 75ha (eff), of which 30ha is used to grow forage maize and the rest grass. In a good season, up to six cuts of grass are conserved as high quality silage. The farm carries 200 large-frame Holstein dairy cows and 200 followers, housed indoors year-round except for cows due to calve, which have access to outdoor areas for two months prior to calving. All animals are fed a complete ration, delivered by a self-propelled mixer wagon; this high quality maize and grass silage is fed out three times a day.

Cows are milked in a 20-point rotary shed at about 80 animals per hour with no in-parlour feeding; typically they produce 9500L (790kgMS) per season. The milk-price in June 2017 was Euro 0.375/L, suggesting the gross output per cow fetches NZ$5600 at today’s exchange rate. Soresina spends large on mechanisation and dairying is only part of the overall picture; his eyes light up when he starts talking about his impressive biogas installation, commissioned in 2011 at a set-up cost of Euro 3.5 million, funded by a grant from the EU. The plant produces 5 million kWh of electricity annually (enough for a town of 1500 people), sold to the local electricity company for Euro 1.5 million. Biogas heats the farmhouse, powers the dairy shed and heats water to 70oC. A subsidy of Euro 0.28 is paid for every kWh produced, a deal struck for 15 years provided 50% of the biomass needed to feed the system is home produced. The system is impressive: a 1500m3 holding tank takes a daily mix of 17 tonnes of maize silage, 240m3 of sewage, up to 10t of animal manure,

Each cow on this Italian farm produce 790kg/MS every season. Inset: Dario Soresina.

1t of maize flour and 15-20t of cereal biomass to generate daily about 15,200kWh. Fermentation produces methane in a 4 million m3 digester, which in turn powers a diesel engine to run a generator. Waste digestate is stored in two 2m m3 holding tanks; this can be irrigated on surrounding maize ground or

screened to remove solids which are used for soil conditioning. The plant and process are controlled automatically and there is no odour; and other than the diesel engine/generator plant, which is heavily soundproofed, there is very little noise. The size of the plant requires biomass feedstock to be brought from

neighbouring farms. Home farm expansion is stymied by the fact that land rarely comes up for sale in the area, and if it does it commands Euro 76,000/ha ($121,000). • Mark Daniel travelled to Italy as a guest of Power Farming Group. @dairy_news

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22 //  WORLD


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Fonterra resumes pizza cheese production in Oz FONTERRA IS eyeing a bigger slice of the booming Asian pizza business for its Australian-made cheese. Mozzarella production is resuming in Australia, at the co-op’s new cheese plant in Stanhope, northern Victoria; the plant will be officially opened on Friday. Fonterra Australia managing director René Dedoncker says China, particularly, has strong demand for the cheese, which tops at least half the pizzas made there. “In China, the growth in Western-style foodservice outlets has meant more opportunities for Chinese people to try cheese and many are developing a taste for it, particularly on pizza. The market potential is enormous,” says Dedoncker.

Farmers Jared and Courtney Ireland run a 450-cow dairy farm in the rural town of Lockington in northern Victoria. Their fresh milk is supplied to Fonterra’s Stanhope plant and will be used to make mozzarella for China. Courtney says he enjoys seeing his milk going to high-value mozzarella for China. “My family loves eating pizza... and we can tell our children our farm’s milk goes into making mozzarella for pizzas in China. “Stanhope’s new cheese plant coming online gives us confidence in a strong, sustainable future for dairy in Australia.” About 40% of people in urban China now eat at Western-style fast


food outlets once a week, and the use of dairy in foodservice has grown 30% in five years. “As disposable incomes rise in China, spending on dining out is growing, and pizza is a popular menu choice. “This supports our strategy to be Fonterra’s global ingredients hub for cheese, whey and nutritionals, complementing our consumer and foodservice businesses. “This helps us move our farmers’ milk up the value chain into highervalue dairy products, which means sustainable returns for everyone in the supply chain, starting at the farm gate.” @dairy_news



Mozzarella will be made at Stanhope’s new cheese plant


Making mozzarella takes three months


Stanhope’s mozzarella will be made for Fonterra’s Australian consumer, foodservice and export markets


A$140 million investment to rebuild and expand Fonterra’s Stanhope cheese plant in northern Victoria


Stanhope cheese plant will open on August 18


Mozzarella is the most popular variety of cheese, topping 80% of pizza in Australia, China, South East Asia and the Middle East


Protein intake in China has climbed sharply and much faster than any other markets between 1980 and 2009. Total protein per capita per day in 1980 was 54 grams, and by 2009 this had reached 94 grams a day, overtaking Japan.


·73% of Chinese consumers are willing to pay a premium price for items proven to be healthier, such as dairy, which is 125 above the worldwide average.



WORLD  // 23

Welsh farmers brace for Brexit MARK DANIEL


in Wales has changed dramatically in the last 30 years: in 1984 the country had 6500 producers; now it has 1730 achieving the same production. Challenges abound, notably because of the 2015 removal of quota on milk production, and Brexit due to take effect in 2019. The quota removal prompted higher cow numbers in Ireland, Germany and Denmark, and this coincided with the embargo on the supply of dairy products to Russia. Over the last two seasons, cow numbers have reduced, but the net result is 330,000 tonnes of milk products held in EU intervention storage, hanging over the industry like a sword of Damocles. At the recent Royal Welsh Show, Dairy News caught up with Aled Rhys Jones, chairman of the NFU Cymru (National Farmers Union of Wales) Dairy Board, an eighthgeneration dairy farmer from Caernarfon in North Wales. Milking a large herd of Holsteins whose output goes to a private dairy company on the Welsh border, Jones is well placed to comment on the industry as it tumbles towards Brexit. “The exit from the EU is a challenge, and dairy farmers will need to get a whole lot smarter… become price makers rather than price takers,” says Jones. Farmers now get 28-29 pence per litre for milk destined for bottling or cream, and 36p/L for milk for cheese production. “The exit will mean export outlets to mainland Europe will likely be closed or at best protected by border levies, making that outlet uneconomic,” Jones says. “We need to look at sales further afield, and we might need to look at joint ventures with global players such as Fonterra.”

He suggests a change of thinking to embrace long term supply contracts might help remove price volatility, which puts pressure on cashflows and farmers’ ability to pay bills as they fall due. UK dairy giant Muller used the show to announce a direct futures contract which allows producers to agree a monthly price for up to 25% of their milk volume for 12 months ahead. Welsh producers face challenges similar to those seen in NZ: labour shortages are prompting a move to robotic milking; the rising popularity of the ‘green’ lobby, particularly in urban UK, is pressuring animal husbandry; and maintaining production in nitrate-vulnerable zones -- these cover much of the better land in the principality – is tough. Dairy farmers on both sides of the border face a rise in tuberculosis in herds, and badgers are seen as the causal link, bring a call for culling. Evidence fingers these nocturnal animals as the key vector yet public opinion is against culling, despite 9500 dairy animals being destroyed in 2016 alone. Jones remarked on the anomaly of a public outcry at a few hundred fish being killed by pollution in a river, yet they appeared blind to the wider implications of tuberculosis. Meanwhile, Brexit: exiting Europe will mean the UK government will have GBP 13 billion it need not pay to the EU from March 2019; the government has committed to match support payments until at least 2020. Looking at Wales, the payments to the EU in support of the Common Agricultural Policy and European Structural Funds amounted to about GBP 658 million in 2014. Dairy industry leaders are worried that if the redistribution of funds is calculated under the current Barnett Formula (the

system now used for calculating the distribution of subsidies) Wales could end up out of pocket. Then there’s the question of who controls the

distribution of funds, given that devolution was passed to Wales 17 years ago, the Welsh assembly deciding where support was needed.

NFU Cymru Dairy president Aled Rhys Jones.

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MILKING IT... Dying in the water

Happy all the time

Feed them spuds

Health cards for cow ID

LABOUR IS proposing a water tax, so who do you blame? National, of course. ACT leader David Seymour says National’s weakness and inaction on water has allowed Labour to fill a political void, whacking farmers and growers while they’re at it. He claims National could have preempted Labour’s announcement with a water policy that protected both the environment and farmers. Instead, the Nats’ complacency has led to farmers being threatened with punitive, politically determined charges that will flow on to consumers.

WE ALL know that happy cows produce better milk. The finding is not new; the California Milk Advisory Board has been saying it for years. But now a team of researchers, working with the University of Wisconsin’s Dairyland Initiative, is helping farmers have happier herds. They’re telling farmers a bed of sand is a good place for cows to lie down during the day. The deep, soft bedding of sand creates an environment where cows can rest half the day -very important to cows. Farmers must also provide bigger stalls, use more fans to keep the animals cool and feed all their cows at the same time. And it’s a good idea to keep cows with their usual group of friends when birthing time arrives; it helps lessen the stress for the cows.

IN 1993 Jim Herr, the owner of Herr Food Inc, in the US, most famous for its line of potato chips, confronted a problem. The state of Pennsylvania was beginning to tighten enforcement of wastedisposal regulations, and Herr found himself with no way to dispose of thousands of pounds of potato chips, pretzels, cheese curls and other products not good enough to sell. So Herr bought a farm and 300 cows and let them snack away, and he worked with a nutritionist to determine the best mix of chips, grass and other feed. Thirty-four years later the meat from the farm’s cows is now being sold direct to restaurants and consumers. According to chefs , the chips, pretzels, and cheese-dusted snacks are helping the flavor of the beef.

THE ANIMAL husbandry department of an Indian state has stepped up work to provide health cards to cows. In Tamil Nadu the project is going ahead on a pilot basis in seven districts; health cards are being issued to 120,000 cows. A unique 12-digit number is tagged on the ear of the animal. Details of the cow, quantity of milk yield, name of owner and her cellphone number will be uploaded. A copy of the health card containing all the details are given to cow rearers too.

CALL IT what you like -- water tax, royalty on water use or a water use charge -- it’s an unfair proposal, another ploy by the Government to charge its coffers at the expense of the country’s hardworking farmers. Labour’s talk of a ‘royalty’ for irrigation water has put the farming sector on edge; the idea of a 10c/litre charge as proposed by the Greens is now more than a dark cloud on the horizon. And if Jacinda Ardern wins the key to the top office in the Beehive next month she will be working with the Greens. Farmers are terrified by the potential effects on farming families, rural communities and the entire economy. Ardern says she would consult widely if she gained office, but she has already hinted that a royalty on water is coming; it may not be 10c/litre but would be close to that. Farmers and irrigators are rightly demanding more information from Labour; they fear the devil could be in the detail. How could a water tax possibly be implemented in practice, given the differences in weather and water use across the country? It would be a complex administrative nightmare. Irrigators are already indicating that the water charge proposed by Labour has the potential to affect every New Zealander. The extra costs of a water tax would inevitably be passed on to consumers, meaning higher prices for dairy products, food, wine, beer and more. Are we going to penalise communities whose drier climate needs more irrigation? Companies taking pristine New Zealand water and bottling it for export have raised the ire of environmentalists. Those opposed to such exports should push the Government for a tax on them. A general levy on irrigation water makes no sense. Farmers are opposed to any royalty on irrigation water, especially when it remains unclear what purpose it would serve other than collecting revenue. Federated Farmers says its members are working hard to farm within the limits imposed by environmental standards and the desire by all New Zealanders – farmers included – to clean-up water quality hot-spots. Adding an extra cost in the form of a water tax is a perverse incentive for farmers to intensify their activity, and deprives them of income, at worst putting them out of business and at best leaving them with less money to spend on environmental protection work. And most dairy farmers already spend heavily on water reticulation, whose repairs and maintenance the farmer pays for. Water is not free for farmers now; Labour’s proposed royalty will simply impose another cost.

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OPINION  // 25

4500 years of crop protection MARK ROSS

LIKE ALL agricultural innovations, crop protection products have evolved tremendously since their inception. From natural chemical elements, to plant and metal-based insecticides, to synthetic products, formulations have drastically changed for the better. Today’s products are more sustainable, targeted, efficient and environmentally friendly than their predecessors. The first recorded use of an insecticide was about 4500 years ago by the Sumarians, who used sulphur compounds to control insects and mites attacking their food sources. In the first century BCE, Romans made a compound from crushed olives, burnt sulphur and salt to kill ants and weeds in their crops. In 800CE, the Chinese used arsenic mixed with water to kill insects in their field crops and citrus orchards. Other pesticides, derived from natural sources such as pyrethrum from dried chrysanthemum flowers and nicotine extract from tobacco plants, evolved over time. From 1750 to about 1880, farmers began using crop protection products more widely and international trade promoted the use of plant and metalbased insecticides. Until the early 1900s, Europe and the US used compounds made with sulphur, iron, copper, arsenic and sodium to kill weeds in cereal crops and fungus in grapes. In the 1930s and 40s, effective and widely used fungicides were developed along with the first synthetic insecticides. By the 1960s and 70s, farmers began to use integrated pest management (IPM) to control pests.

This is based on the idea that farmers can manage insect pests using crop protection products only when needed. This practice paved the way for the development of more targeted and environmentally friendly products such as pyrethrum-based formulations. With improved

or the environment. In fact, it now takes about US$286 million and 11 years of R&D to bring a new crop protection product to market.

Crop protection products are changing for the better.

• Mark Ross is chief executive of Agcarm, the industry association for companies which manufacture and distribute crop protection and animal health products.


Mark Ross

research, the plant science industry began developing more efficient products that were effective at lower rates, such as 10ml of active ingredient per hectare rather than 180ml used previously. Glyphosate, still commonly used today, was developed in the 1970s. In the 1990s, scientists concentrated on finding active ingredients that better target pests. Through biotechnology, plant scientists also improved the IPM concept using naturally occurring materials such as insect hormone or venom, microbes or plant material extracts like bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) to more accurately and selectively target pests. Finally, weed treatments such as neonicotinoids were developed during this time to protect emerging seedlings from pests while not impacting beneficial species like pollinators. The plant science industry spends heavily on research to develop new products, ensuring they do not pose unacceptable risks to humans


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Taupo dairy sheep farm takes genetic high-road A NEW sheep milking business using a worldfirst combined milking/ feeding platform will start operating by October. The Chinese-owned Super Organic Dairy Company farm at Kuratau, on the southwestern side of Lake Taupo, hopes to milk up to 5000 sheep. It is also investing in the genetic development of a new dairy sheep breed specifically for New Zealand conditions. GEA won the contract to supply the equipment: a feeding system in the form of conveyor belts, a 64-bail internal rotary with a capacity for 5000 sheep, and DairyPlan S21 software for monitoring and recording all aspects of milk production. GEA after market and service solutions manager Grant Coburn says the new platform takes sheep milking in NZ to a new level.

WORLD FIRST THE TAUPO plant combination will be a worldfirst for GEA, says Jason Quertier. “We’re experiencing a global demand for this offering now, but we are holding off selling it to other customers because we haven’t actually tested it yet. “We will do that on the [Taupo] dairy farm, making this an R&D site for GEA. “The beauty of a sheep is that it produces a high value product that has a low environmental impact so it is a great option in some of our environmentally sensitive areas.”

“GEA will play a central role in further reinforcing sheep dairying in this area, including supporting the genetic development of a dairy sheep breed specific to NZ conditions. “This is the first time GEA has installed this combination of equipment on a sheep milking platform and it will be the first installation of its kind for GEA worldwide.” The company won the contract by being best able to meet the

customer’s equipment and genetic engineering needs, says Coburn. “GEA ultimately won the project because we can meet the parameters most important to the customer: to increase sheep milk production on the dairy farm and facilitate a system for them to accurately gather data for the development of this new sheep breed.” All equipment has been delivered and installed at the farm. Coburn says the cus-

The 64-bail rotary and feeder from GEA is a world first.

Super Organic Dairy Farm taking shape near Lake Taupo.

tomer required machinery designed specifically for sheep milking -- cost-efficient to operate, maximising milk production and minimising labor. Also, the customer’s intention to develop a new dairy sheep breed specifically for milking in NZ conditions caused it to favour GEA for its the ability to support this research. “So GEA will not only be an equipment supplier, but also will act as the customer’s partner in delivering the information necessary to aid the genetic development research.” Coburn believes the demand for sheep milk is huge in Asia, where it is sold as a high-end health product due to its many health benefits such as very high levels of vitamins and minerals.

MEASURE TO IMPROVE ASKED HOW exactly GEA equipment will contribute to the customer’s genetic sheep development on site, a spokesman says measurement is the key. The company’s DairyPlan S21 software is central to a herd management system that records milk yield, reproduction, feeding and health for every animal. GEA national sales manager milking and farming, Jason Quertier, says the data provided by the herd management system will enable the customer to make more accurate choices in the genetic development. “The reason is simple: you can’t improve what you can’t measure.” But assembling the perfect combination of equipment was a challenge, he says. After GEA won the contract Quertier attended a sheep milking conference in NZ – sponsored by GEA – and realised that to provide

the customer with the optimal conditions for its genetic sheep development, something more would have to be added to the mix of equipment. “I was listening to a genetics expert talking about genetic sheep breed development and it became clear that the customer would benefit from even more detailed data about its sheep milk production,” he says. “To be able to do that we had to find... a milk composition meter.” This device supplies extra data on the protein and lactose content of the milk, which is much more useful than data on milk volume alone. “We managed to change the scope of the project – after having closed it – and add an additional feature to the mix of equipment that makes it even more customercentric. This was made possible by a joint effort within the one GEA organisation.”

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Fonterra has 56 chefs in 24 kitchens globally.

Food service is co-op’s happy hunting ground PAM TIPA

FONTERRA’S FOOD Service divi-

sion is a New Zealand success story, says director of global food service Grant Watson. In the last few years it has grown at 20% per annum; the rest of the global food service business has grown at about 6%. “In the last two-three years we’ve really accelerated,” he told Dairy News. “You invest and learn and it takes time and then the momentum builds. We have very good momentum now and we expect that to continue.” The growth rate of Fonterra’s food service is partly because “we are focused on where we think we can win. If we choose to sell standard butter to everybody we might be at 6%... but if we choose to sell highly innovative products to the types of business that value that product, that’s where we get our growth,” he says. “We have a simple and focused strategy – and I don’t mean easy, it is a tough game – but we still need to be agile so as trends emerge and change we have to stay to our strategy. But we’ve got to move as well.” They focus on certain business types, he says. “We understand well the bakery sector in China and SE Asia, we understand well the quick service industry McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway, and we understand well the Italian kitchen -- the pizza and pasta business. We have that expertise, but

VICTORY IS TO THE AGILE INNOVATION IN food service often has to happen very quickly; leaving it weeks can be too long, says Watson. “If we weren’t a relevant supplier of Tea Macchiato from the start, we would have left that opportunity for one of our competitors.” Innovating for customers at the front line requires an agile approach to make sense of the trends. “Spending time in China you realise how quickly they move from one thing to the next to the next,” he says.

if we tried to be the experts in fine dining, cafes, hotels or institutional catering… if we tried to understand all the possible channels in food service we wouldn’t be experts.” They are “intentional” about where they choose to operate. “We need to keep innovating, keep staying relevant to trends and remaining focused.” He says the team at the Fonterra Research Centre in Palmerston North are the “unsung heroes” because they are such an important part of what makes food service successful: “It is years of learning, mistakes and getting it right.” Fonterra currently has 56 chefs in about 24 kitchens globally, he says. “In each of our markets we have invested in a physical facility and we have chefs who work with our cus-

“My sense in the Western world is that when someone does something very different we think ‘gee that’s disruptive’; but when you’re in China the way they operate naturally is disruptive. “So it means moving quickly and you have to be agile, quick and very relevant to be part of it. We need to be ready for stuff we haven’t thought of and that agility needs to be built into our DNA and how we operate with customers. “The margins on this business are high.”

tomers. Sometimes they will go out into the kitchens of our customers, sometimes they will bring them into our kitchens. “If we can help them grow their business they benefit from that and we benefit. That is the essence of our operating model in the market. Chefs are front and centre because it starts with food. “Above and beyond food we work with our customers in other areas... their store layouts, or we might provide materials that sit as a backer to a nice display of a product that contains New Zealand butter and help them communicate to their customers and so forth. “There are years and years of [product innovation], making mistakes and improving and getting it right.”




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Getting real numbers on n NIGEL MALTHUS


farmer Tony Coltman is “100% confident” he can conform to strict new Environment Canterbury nitrogen leaching limits due to take effect by 2022. Coltman has already reduced leaching while increasing production, and believes he can keep cutting nitrogen leaching and meet the targets, hopefully without having to de-stock. The aim is efficiency, he says. The recent South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) conference heard a paper subtitled “Reducing N

Leaching in Real Life”, which modelled two different methods of meeting the 2022 standards, using Coltman’s Canlac Holdings farm at Dunsandel as the guinea pig. The paper said several New Zealand catchments must reduce agricultural nutrient loss to improve water quality. Dairy milking platforms in the Selwyn/Te Waihora catchment – including Canlac -- have to cut N losses by 30% below their 20092013 baseline good management practice rate. In Canlac’s case, the baseline was 71kg N/ha/yr so the 2022 target is 50kg N/ ha/yr. The models showed

loading reduced by cutting cow numbers: the first modelled reduced numbers in autumn by early culling of non-pregnant cows; the second modelled a year-round cut of 50 cows while maintaining the current culling strategy. Both scenarios also called for cuts in nitrogen fertiliser and irrigation applications, and a lower proportion of highprotein feeds in imported supplements. The early-culling scenario met the nitrogen loss target, at 49kg N/ ha, but the scenario with fewer stock year-round did not, coming in at 53kg N/ha. Both showed about 5% lower farm income.

While the study used Coltman’s farm for the modelling, and he is credited as co-author of the paper with DairyNZ scientists and others, he does not see destocking or the loss of income as inevitable. Coltman says his farm was already down to an estimated 57kg/ha/ yr in the immediate past season, so only needs to reduce leaching by another 6-7kg/ha to meet the target. “My personal view is that there are mitigations and other things you can do, so we haven’t reduced stocking rate. When we get all those in place let’s see where we sit then we

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Dunsandel farmer Tony Coltman.

can look at what we can do on stocking rates.” Coltman agrees Canterbury may have reached “peak cow” but says people don’t realise what they can do with the numbers they have. It is also sending the wrong message to focus on the possible income loss. “It’s not going to make us broke,” he says. Canlac is 335ha effective and milked 1390 cows at peak in the 2015-

16 season. In just their fourth season on the farm, Coltman and his partner Dana Carver produced 719,000kgMS, up 140,000 on the previous yearly average of 580,000. Yield per hectare has gone from 1700 – 2150kgMS. Coltman says the farm has installed another pivot – half had been under Roto-Rainers -- and doubled the area of effluent spread. They reduced the amount of nitrogen

fertiliser applied by 50kg/ ha (applying at the same frequency but less each time) while harvesting the same amount of grass. Further reductions came from installing a feed pad and changing the feeding mix. Lower-protein feeds like maize and fodder beet are fed on the pad, in spring to reduce weight loss after calving, and in autumn to improve weight gain before drying off. Coltman says the pad



n nitrate leaching reduces waste and pasture damage, and the lower-protein mix also means less nitrogen being imported. The pad has one disadvantage, according to the nitrogen modelling, in that it increases the amount of effluent collected and so counts as a detrimental increase in the effluent load. “I think the model’s wrong, because if you’ve got plenty of storage then we just pump it when the conditions are right to pump it,” says Coltman. “To me it’s better we collect it and put it out when it’s more efficiently taken up by the plants.” He says improving environmental footprint requires efficiency of resources – “efficient use of nitrogen, efficient use of feed, efficient use of irrigation -- the whole lot. Do that first then look at whether you have to reduce your stocking rate. Change your types of feeds if you can. That’s the way I look at it.” Other farmers might decide it’s easier to keep their systems unchanged and just reduce the number of cows. However, he believes it can be harder to manage a lowstocked farm. It can make

it more difficult to control periods of high grass growth and meet high fixed costs such as irrigation. In the paper presented to the SIDE conference, both reduction scenarios recorded improved nitrogen conversion efficiency, reflecting the reduced amount of N brought onto the farm: the N surplus was reduced by 11-13% and the N conversion efficiency was improved by 3%. The paper said both scenarios also showed big gains in ‘eco-efficiency’ -a measure of how much is produced per unit of environmental impact. Measured in kg of milk solids produced per kg of nitrogen surplus, ecoefficiency increased by 64-69%; measured in dollars of operating profit achieved per kg of nitrogen surplus, it increased by 61-67%. Meanwhile, Canlac is one of several farms taking part in the large Forages for Reduced Nitrate Leaching (FRNL) research project, which aims to find pasture plants and forage crops that help reduce leaching by reducing the surplus N intake of animals, reducing or altering urinary N


Dairy farms in the Lake Ellesmere catchment have to cut their N leaching by 30%.

KEY PRINCIPLES THE SIDE paper identified some key water and nutrient management principles as: Apply irrigation efficiently by monitoring soil moisture and taking account of the weather forecast and soil water holding capacity. This increases herbage production and plant N uptake, while managing the risk of N leaching, i.e. loss of water containing dissolved nutrients below the root zone. Reduce N inputs by applying fertiliser and effluent only when plants are able to utilise the applied nutrients well (e.g. not during drought, high rainfall or low tem-

excretion and increasing plant N uptake from the soil. Coltman says he joined the study because it was not an area of strength

peratures). This reduces the amount of N cycling in the farm system and the surplus N in the soil that is at risk of leaching. Use supplements with relatively low N content. This reduces the animals’ N intake and hence N excreted in urine. Stand cows off pasture in wet or cold when pasture growth is low. This avoids depositing urine on the soil when risk of drainage is high or plant N uptake is less, and gives the opportunity to spread effluent on crop or pasture at times of the year when plants are growing and utilising the nutrients applied.

for him. “I thought, rather than stand outside and throw stones let’s get involved and get some real numbers.” He has now planted


low-nitrogen plantain on about 10% of the farm and will increase that as paddocks are re-grassed. @dairy_news

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Science helping farms combat wet conditions PETER BURKE

AN EXPERT in dairy

production systems says farmers now have more science based tools to help them deal with

the very wet conditions occurring in many regions, but good farm management still has a big role. Professor Danny Donaghy of Massey University says a lot of research on how to

manage very wet farm conditions has been done by the uni, AgResearch, DairyNZ and Lincoln University. Referring to feed profiles, he says it is not uncommon on a farm over a 12 month period

to find two thirds of the feed comes from 40% of the paddocks. This points to the huge variation in production between paddocks onfarm, Donaghy says. “Farmers know their good and bad paddocks,

Science-based tools are helping farmers tackle wet weather.

but they don’t necessarily always have figures for how good those good paddocks are. So when dealing with wet conditions, when grazing most paddocks is going to make a mess of them, we certainly don’t want to be stuffing up those areas that are producing two thirds of the feed on the farm. “What it means is that we don’t have to take fantastic care of every paddock on the farm but there will be areas where we can’t afford to have bad pugging damage and miss 60% of production in the coming months,” he says. He says farmers are now more experienced at managing droughts, and similar principles of farm management apply to managing very wet conditions. “Some farms have low lying areas under water at this time of the year or too wet to get on without the cows making a helluva mess. “Having an area that is more free draining and drier for the cows to go is important. It doesn’t have to be a sheltered barn; it could be a shelter belt of trees, a widened laneway with good drainage or part of the yards on the dairy. It could be paddocks on the farm with a different soil type that drain a lot better or are a bit more elevated and the cows can stand off on these areas,” he says. Farms on heavy soil types like Massey Dairy 4 lend themselves to having mole and tile drains installed, Donaghy says. This allows the paddocks to shed water faster and recover quickly from heavy rain which in turn allows farmers to get cows and farm machinery back on paddocks faster. Precision agriculture has brought with it excellent tools for measur-

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ing soil moisture -- tools used widely by farmers who have irrigation systems, but just as easily applied by farmers trying to manage wet conditions. By knowing the soil moisture levels, farmers can work out the best time to take cows off pasture and when to put them back on. Traditionally NZ scientists have focused on breeding grass species that will withstand droughts, whereas in Ireland scientists have a focus on breeding grasses that deal with extreme wet conditions. Donaghy says NZ is not at the point where it needs to go the Irish way. PGG Wrightson, AgResearch and Agriseeds are already exploring the ryegrass genome and are looking at species that will meet the different conditions around the country. He says something like the DairyNZ Forage Value Index evaluates the performance of different ryegrass cultivars in different parts of the country and is a useful tool. “While it doesn’t necessarily specifically address the wet/dry areas it does look at the performance of those cultivars in different regions.” To some degree farmers already choose pasture species that suit their conditions. “Farmers will often plant fescue in lower lying areas or areas subject to flood damage because those grasses tend to handle wet conditions. Bromes don’t handle wet conditions or low oxygen soils well but they do better on drier soils, and cocksfoot does better on lower fertility soils and on drier soils.” Good farm management also plays a big role in managing adverse events such as wet conditions.



FOR HAPPY Barn or pad: how to get HEALTHY cows off pasture? COWS

Measuring the actual damage caused by pugging on farms is notoriously difficult, says Massey soil scientist Dr Dave Horne. But as Peter Burke reports, Horne and his colleagues have developed a research tool to help them do this. FOR MANY years

Massey scientists have worked to get science behind the management of wet winter pastures that affect dairy farmers. Much of their research has been done at the Number 4 Massey Dairy farm on the outskirts of Palmerston North where a free-stall barn (herd home) has been built as part of an extensive research programme. This work was done in the wider context of Pastoral 21, funded by MBIE, DairyNZ, Fonterra, Beef + Lamb NZ and Dairy Companies Association of NZ. The overall aim was to see if production could be increased by improved pasture growth and utilisation while reducing nutrient losses to the environment. Horne says the trial compared the use of the free-stall barn to a modern dairy farm equipped with a feed pad, with the aim of seeing which system worked best by taking cows off the pasture. They deliberately went for a relatively high spec dairy farm with a feed pad, rather than one without this facility,

as this is current ‘good practice’. “We were taking pasture and soil protection to a level beyond just standard farm management. The standard farm had a feed pad so they were in a position to practise on-off grazing. But the limitation of these systems is that you more or less have to go out to the grass every day because the cows can’t stand 24 hours on a standard feed pad. But with the free-stall barn we were able to keep the cows off all day or multiple days depending on conditions.” The trial hasn’t been without challenges: in two of the three years the winters were dry but the final year saw the wet arrive. What surprised Horne and other scientists when drawing comparisons between the use of the free-stall barn and the farm with the feed pad was that over the season the pastures on both farms fared about the same -- no more and no less annual pasture growth. This was due in part to the common practice of

Massey University soil scientist Dave Horne.


planting summer crops in paddocks with the worst pugging damage . But it became clear that having a quality stand-off area makes a difference to pasture utilisation and production in early lactation. Part of the trial at No 4 Dairy was to find ways for farmers to tell when and when not to graze their animals and for how long. To this end they ran a series of trials based on grazing cows on pastures with different soil moisture levels. Horne says it’s widely known that

THE PUG-O-METER ANOTHER MASSEY researcher, Jay Howes, who is completing his PhD on the effects of stand-off on pasture production and environmental protection, has been working on developing a tool to help accurately assess pugging damage. To this end he and one of his supervisors, James Hanly, have developed the ‘pug-o-meter’. They are quick to say this is just a research tool and is unlikely to become a commercial onfarm tool. “Measuring pugging can be a slow and laborious process done by a chain method or a pin contour method which is a large frame with pins that drop down. Both are slow and cumbersome and it’s hard to cover large areas of the farm. “The pug-o-meter is a hand-held unit with a GPS attached to it so you can know exactly where you are

plonking it. This device not only tells you the roughness of the pasture but also the depth of the pugging, which from a research point of view is a huge benefit. Because it is GPS enabled you can take a series of measurements from the same area and watch the recovery of the pug marks over time,” he says. As part of his research Howes is also developing a visual scoring system for pugging damage – one being minimal and five very bad. This work will result in a series of photographs being taken of the different scores, on which farmers can base decisions about what grazing regime to adopt. “You use the photographs but after a while your eye is calibrated and it can recognise what is a two or a three,” he says.

soil with a larger moisture deficit is suitable for grazing and that minimal damage will occur. But they wanted to get more information. “We wanted to identify what moisture content we could safely graze at so we had four different treatments. These ranged from a saturated soil that had limited time to dry out through to grazing when the soil moisture deficit was greater than 4mm.

“We then grazed the cows on these trial plots for either four or eight hours and at the same time tracked soil damage and pasture production. This is relatively challenging research to manage especially on small (30 x 20m) plots and we have now done two years work. “The objective is to develop a protocol here that farmers can follow based on the soil moisture deficit,” he says.

ENVIRONMENTAL DIMENSION WHILE THE focus this year has been on pugging and pasture damage, another key element is the environmental side. The use of the free-stall barn and the feed pad are integral components of reducing N leaching at critical times during the year. Associate professor Dave Horne says there is a very strong connection between wet soil management and environmental protection. “That period of late summer autumn and early winter is a critical time for nitrate accumulation in the soil. In early winter when the rains come, much of this N is leached because it is carried down into the soil by the drainage,” he says. Horne says having a free-stall barn and a feed pad can help mitigate some of the N leaching problems and by minimising soil damage losses of phosphorus and faecal material should also be reduced. Overall the work done at Massey and other institutions is putting solid science into farm systems and taking the guesswork out of the equation. More practical tools for farmers will lessen the risk of damage to precious soils.

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Poo-powered electricity, hot water PAM TIPA

A BIOGAS recovery system using

methane from a dairy effluent pond to generate electricity and heat water on a Southland farm was one of three finalists in the Energy Technology of the Year award in the 2017 Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards. The system was installed by John Scandrett of Dairy Green Ltd with Fortuna Group Ltd. The ground-breaking project implementing a prototype methane recovery system on a 950-cow farm in Southland has demonstrated for the first time commercial viability of this technology within a cool climate, says Dairy Green in its award entry. “Performance has exceeded forecasts, providing 30kW electricity and 60kW hot water, providing for most of the farm’s energy needs, including running an electric farm bike entirely from waste product. “Dairy effluent storage ponds are known to produce methane, a greenhouse gas more than 21 times worse than carbon dioxide in effect. Despite

this the dilute nature of dairy shed effluent means it is not suitable for supplying conventional biogas digesters. “The Fortuna Group’s Glenarlea Farms 950-cow property in western Southland has successfully demonstrated biogas can be harvested and used to meet a significant portion of the electricity needs and all the hot water needs of a dairy shed. “The science behind the project was developed by NIWA and monitoring of a Southland dairy shed effluent pond for NIWA by Dairy Green Ltd staff confirmed the commercial viability of methane recovery.” Dairy Green Ltd was contracted by the Fortuna Group to implement methane recovery and electricity and hot water generation at the Glenarlea Farms property. Scandrett designed the water cooling system. Venture Southland arranged EECA involvement and funding NIWA’s initial involvement, completing a feasibility study. EECA provided a subsidy. The project involved building a biogas recovery pond, gas collection and transfer piping and condensate removal. This was followed by filter-

Glenarlea Farm’s biogas recovery system.

ing and compression and storage so the generator could be run on a standby basis. Scandrett says five farms in the South Island are interested in the system. They are at the stage of putting a package together for commercial development. Because of economies of scale the

system will suit larger farms better. But possibly two or three farms could come together and have one setup between them. Scandrett says about 7% of methane losses from the farm are from the effluent pond but a farm with a wintering home probably has about 15% of its methane footprint from stored effluent.

“So covering the effluent and capturing the methane could be capturing 7-15% of the methane from the farm. It is certainly significant as well as being an energy source.” The nutrients in the effluent are not being affected at all, so there are “a whole lot of pluses” to the system, he says.



Metabolics a precursor to herd diseases JOE McGRATH

IN THIS month’s

column, we will look at causes of the involuntary culling taking place in most herds in New Zealand. One of the major issues in NZ is the post calving diseases mastitis and metritis. There can be various reasons for the occurrence of both, but one of the main reasons is clinical and sub-clinical milk fever. In NZ about 40% of the herd will experience either clinical (typically downer or sad cow) or sub clinical milk fever. While cows are rarely culled (outside of deaths) for milk fever itself, they are regularly culled for other reasons that are caused by milk fever. We know that herds with high incidence of metabolics have poor health, but is it really related? In fact, published research has shown that milk fever, clinical or sub clinical, directly increases the incidence of many diseases. In one study early stage mastitis increased the odds ratio by 8:1 and in the case of retained foetal membranes, which lead to metritis the increase was 3:2 (Curtis 1983). Mastitis and metri-

tis are major reasons for cows leaving the herd and costing money. They cost money because we can’t sell the milk and have to treat, and they leave the herd because the chance of getting in calf is much less, especially in our seasonal systems. However, there are two other major costs rarely monitored. The first is the time associated with these diseases: how much time are your staff tending to these diseases instead of increasing the efficiency of your farm? The second is ‘opportunity cost’. If the cow leaves within 50 days in milk she has cost you a full lactation worth of milk because you have already wintered her, calved her and her salvage value was much less than at the end of last season. Why does milk fever increase the risk of these diseases? There are two main reasons. The first is immunity. Recent research has shown that low blood calcium reduces a measure of immunity called ‘neutrophil oxidative burst’, which means the ability of neutrophils to destroy pathogens or diseasecausing cells (Martinez 2014). At this stage we don’t know why this is the case, but it basically means that cows with low

Post-calving mastitis is a major issue.

blood calcium have less chance of resisting infection or fighting current ones. The second reasons is muscle strength. Calcium is critical for muscle strength. Smooth muscles are often the first muscles to lose strength when calcium is deficient. The ones we are concerned about in this case are in the uterus and the teat sphincters. In the first case poor teat sphincters closure means easy access for bugs post milking; a good sign of this in your heard is leaking milk. For

the uterus it means the inability to crunch down and expel the placenta cleanly. DairyNZ has produced a great flow chart on milk fever and muscle strength and how it goes onto affect many components of the cow. Remember it is not just smooth muscles that are effected. Available calcium is key for muscular strength and alertness. It is also suspected to be closely linked to lameness because of the position of the hoof and the ability of the cow to choose how and where she

walks. We have all walked behind sick dopey cows when trying to get them help. They certainly don’t choose where they tread. At the end of the season when you are summarising why cows left your herd during the year and why they are about to because they are empty, think past the initial symptom. Start thinking about the cause. Some farms have more problems than others, and next month we will try to shed some light on what might be the cause. • Dr Joe McGrath is Sollus NZ’s head nutritionist


urging best practice as a means of precluding the spread of disease. The dean of Massey University’s Veterinary School, associate professor Jenny Weston, has spoken out in light of an outbreak of disease due to Mycoplasma bovis on a large South Canterbury farm. Weston says while the outbreak is being contained and investigated, it is important for all farmers to be thinking about biosecurity and what animals, people and vehicles coming onto their farms might be carrying “Nearly all farmers will buy in breeding bulls/rams,

meaning they could also be the number of sources of livebringing in infectious diseases stock. Record all movements (even between like BVD [bovine your own properviral diarrhoea] and ties with multiple Johne’s disease, farms and grazing which are important blocks) through the to look out for, as National Animal well as drenchIdentification and resistant parasites Tracing (NAIT) proand antibiotic gramme. resistant pathogens. Test all incom“There are a few Jenny Weston ing animals for things farmers can do to ensure the health and wel- things that can be relatively fare of their livestock and to easily tested for. Vaccinate and quarantine maintain the smooth running of drench when animals come their business,” Weston says. Movements should be min- onto the farm. Quarantine and imised and preferably minimise keep new animals isolated for at

least 1-2 weeks. Other things to consider include: ■■ Insist on cleanliness of people, vehicles and equipment coming onto your farm. ■■ Provide good washing up facilities, e.g. for boots, aprons, etc for people coming onto or leaving your farm as many pathogens can be transmitted via blood or faeces. ■■ Ideally, look to coordinate grazing rotations with the neighbours so that your animals aren’t “over the fence” from the neighbour’s animals.




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Mastitis treatment needing no pre-mixing A NEW ready-to-use antibiotic formulation for treating mastitis is now available for New Zealand dairy farmers. Penethaject RTU (ready to use) took seven years to develop, register and launch; it has a unique formulation that requires no pre-mixing. It’s the first time such a formulation has been developed anywhere in the world. Bayer dairy veterinarian Dr Ray Castle says Penethaject RTU will make it easier for farmers to effectively treat clinical mastitis, a condition affecting 10-20% of NZ’s five million dairy cows every year. “The active ingredient of Penethaject RTU, known as Penethamate, previously came in powder form and had

to be mixed with a liquid by the farmer or veterinarian to create an injectable solution. “Developing a pre-formulated version had been a scientific challenge for many years until scientists in Bayer NZ’s laboratories worked with Otago University to create a stable formulation, something that had never been achieved before.” Castle says Penethamate is stable long term as a powder but not as a liquid. “The challenge was to create a liquid formulation in which the active ingredient remained stable and active without caking or sticking together in clumps.” To overcome the caking issue, Bayer worked with Otago University

Dr Ray Castle, Bayer

on adding different ingredients to stabilise the formulation, before finding a formulation that worked. “The whole process, including clinical trials, stability testing, registration and commercial manufacturing, took about seven years. It’s a world-first and confirms NZ’s position as a leader in dairy science.” Castle says the chemistry in Penethaject, a form of penicillin injected into the cow’s muscle, is so

‘clever’ that it allows antibiotic concentrations to build up in a cow’s udder. These concentrations are up to 10 times higher than those achieved by other penicillin formulations. This allows the antibiotic to directly work on the mastitis bacteria, particularly Streptococcus uberis, the most common bacteria responsible for mastitis in NZ. Once the mastitis is treated, the antibiotic quickly leaves the milk,

allowing the cow to be back in milk production, in some cases within 48 hours. Castle says farmers need to be particularly alert to the clinical signs of mastitis, which include changes in the colour and consistency of the milk, and/or redness, heat and swelling in the udder. Penethaject RTU is a restricted veterinary medicine, and is only available under veterinary authorisation.


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AGCARM, THE association representing crop protection, animal health and rural supplier businesses, has appointed its first woman president. Dr Pauline Calvert, who heads the production animal business for MSD Animal Heath in New Zealand, was elected president at Agcarm’s annual meeting last month. Under her presidency, Agcarm will promote the responsible use of products, sustainable agriculture, environmental preservation and sensible science-based regulation

Dr Pauline Calvert

of crop protection and animal health products. “Agcarm brings together a wide group of industries,” Calvert says. “Collectively we share the same passion and interest in the environment, the economy, product stew-

ardship and maximising the opportunities of our primary sector by innovation.” She says her election as president has nothing to do with her gender. “Women contribute greatly to our industry and our board and have done so for years. There are many examples where women have leadership roles in our primary sector and I expect nothing less from the industry I contribute to.” Calvert spent nearly two decades as a field veterinarian in mixed animal practice before venturing

into a regulatory environment as veterinary adviser for the Ministry for Primary Industries. She has been with MSD Animal Health for three years. She is also an active member of the pharmacology chapter of the Australian New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists and is an examiner for the chapter. Calvert takes over from Mark Christie, who was Agcarm’s longest standing president. She says she has “big shoes to fill” as he achieved a lot in his five years as president.


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FOR PAIN, FEVER AND ACUTE INFLAMMATION Latest addition – Rivendell GForce Axel.

RECORD STRIKE OF BULLS FRIESIAN New Zealand (HFNZ) says its joint sire proving programme with CRV Ambreed is breaking records. The Holstein Friesian Genetic Leaders has reached an unprecedented strike rate of bulls graduating to market with the latest addition to the CRV catalogue, Rivendell GForce Axel. With six bulls in the team annually, and at least one bull on average per team graduating to be marketed by CRV, Holstein Friesian Genetic Leaders is the most successful sire proving programme in the bull industry to date, HFNZ says. The Holstein F programme has been running for 22 years, with the aim of ensuring the best genetics within NZ’s own pedigree Holstein Friesian population are sourced and made available to the dairy industry. Over 18 HFNZ-member-owned pedigree bulls have reached market via CRV since 1995 (at least one per year for the last 11 years), realising many and varying benefits to


HFNZ, its members and the wider dairy industry. “We’ve been enjoying success with the Holstein Friesian Genetic Leaders programme for 22 years, and the ongoing, long-term nature of it has seen excellent genetics from HFNZ members’ pedigree herds enter the market,” says Doug Courtman, HFNZ sire proving committee chair. Danie Swart, CRV sire analyst, says that since the massive influence of Top Deck KO Pierre ten years ago the strike rate has been consistently good with bulls like Lornlace VHA Dumpling S3F, Maire Oman Franklin, Middlevale Mint Brave, Maire Mint Richie, and Rivendell Gforce Axel more recently. “Over the last year we’ve received positive feedback (type and production) from farmers milking Richie, Brave, and Franklin daughters.” Another benefit of the Holstein Friesian Genetic Leaders programme is breeder members’ pedigrees holding pedigree status in

the commercial world, increasing their relevance. “Whereas commercial bulls that have been supplementary registered have heavily dominated the market, pedigree bulls are becoming more common, which is great for a pedigree association and its members,” says Courtman. Swart says full pedigree status is important in the marketplace. “Full pedigree cows are becoming harder to find and the Holstein Friesian Genetic Leaders programme can be valuable to breed top sires out of full pedigree cows,” says Swart. “Internationally, the opportunities are growing as the benefits of using Holstein Friesians in developing pastoral dairy markets are becoming more widely recognised. “The partnership with HFNZ has proved valuable in helping to open markets such as Ireland and South Africa to the NZ Holstein Friesian product, and continuing the expansion of our international markets is a key priority for CRV.”

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Your wish is T6’s command MARK DANIEL

NEW HOLLAND has introduced a

new transmission option for its T6 series tractors called Dynamic Command. Buyers can now choose between the 16F/16R Electro Command with 4 stage powershift, the new Dynamic Command offering 24F/24R, with 8-stage powershift, or the stepless AutoCommand CVT. Designed in-house, and built on a new production line at the company’s driveline factory in Modena, Italy, Dynamic Command will take less power to operate, and has potential to increase work rates and lower fuel usage. At the heart of the system, which comprises three main ranges, the 8-step powershift uses a dual clutch concept, like the one being used to operate the range --shifting function within the Auto Command transmission. Four odd numbered gears and a clutch are mounted on one shaft, and four even numbered gears and a clutch on another. Power is modulated between the two clutch packs, so as an odd numbered gear is dis-

New Holland’s Modena factory.

New Holland’s Dynamic Command.

engaged by one clutch, an even numbered gear is being gradually engaged by the other clutch. Power losses are reduced within the transmission using a variable displacement lubrication pump, which only supplies the volume of oil required. Several features have been introduced to exploit the new hardware, including Smart Range Shift, that ensures the transmission is in the right gear after a range change, and Auto Shift, which will shift gears based on adjustable engine speed thresholds pre-determined by the operator. Ground Speed Management allows users to dial-up a required

working speed, which in use sees the system shifting up, and the engine throttling back, while maintaining the target speed, with corresponding savings in fuel consumption. Transport Power Management comes into play above 22km/h, causing the engine to select a different power profile that has the effect of developing more power at higher engine revs, making it ideal for transport operations, by offering constant acceleration rates throughout the rev range. Likewise Kick Down, operates like an automatic car set-up, to promote prompt acceleration. Adjustable Shuttle Aggression allows operators to pick a setting to suit the job at hand, from smooth for loader operations or fast response for prompt shuttling. The new Brake to Clutch function should prove extremely useful for operators who stop often, such as in loading operations. Pressing the brake pedal will slow, and eventually stop the tractor, without the need to use the clutch or select neutral. At this point, the operator can select a change of direction, and as the brake pedal is released the drive will be reengaged.

Cow feet in for a treat RESEARCH IN the UK suggests lame-

ness costs at least NZ$7000 per 100 cows, caused by lost production, lower fertility, poor longevity and high hoof trimming costs. Recently seen by Dairy News at the Royal Welsh Show, a novel design of footbath from the Hoofcount company looks like taking the guesswork out of getting things right. These heavy duty footbaths made from stainless steel come in standard 3m or narrower 3.6m units with sloping sides or bespoke units for robotic set-ups. They are designed for installation above ground level, based on research that shows cows prefer to step up to a bath rather than step into water of unknown depth; the base of the foot-

bath has a rubber matting liner for increased animal comfort. An automated control system uses photo-cell technology to count the number of cows passing; once a pre-set limit is reached the bath empties and is flushed clean and refilled via separate rapid fill valves. Two chemical dispenser add concentrates to the required concentration, then agitation ensures a thorough mix and the system resets to resume counting cows. The system is fully automatic but may be manually overridden at any time in the cycle. Operation is low voltage for animal and operator safety and easily programmed to meet demand for changing parameters during the season.



Waterways kept clear with ease RELEASED AT Fieldays

in June, the Daytech Engineering WaterWay blade offers a mechanical alter-

WaterWay blade allows easy access to weeds and silt.

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native to killing weeds by spraying chemicals. The blade design allows easy reach over fences or obstacles to remove weeds and silt, and is said to have a better reach than many medium sized excavators. The main beam has an overshot mounting layout, allowing the tractor to reverse up close to a fence; it is configured to move up or down to cater for different elevations where the waterway may be above or below the tractor’s parking position.

The main beam also folds for easy transportation. The cleaning blade is reversible so it can work in either direction, and has cut-outs to allow water to drain away easily. The blade also has adjustable, angled skids at each extremity to leave a smooth finish as it is drawn up the bank of the waterway. An optional third ram can be specified to adjust the angle between the blade and the tractor.

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THE MOVE to hybrid or electric vehicles is gath-

ering pace. It is getting a further push from the UK ban on the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles from 2040, and from Volvo’s decision that all its vehicles will be hybrid from 2019. Hybrids continue making converts, and pure electric vehicles (EV) now number about 3800 units registered in NZ, that number being restrained chiefly by would-be buyers’ ‘range anxiety’. More charging stations will bring more EVs, and NZ National Fieldays Society has joined the charge, commissioning two charging points at Mystery Creek during Fieldays in June. Available for use from 9am to 5pm on weekdays (range anxiety at weekends only?), the charging stations are jointly sponsored by Waipa Networks and Hyundai NZ, both keen to promote electrics. Fieldays chief executive Peter Nation says the society is “delighted about the charging points… which fitted perfectly with the Fieldays theme ‘Leading Change’, which recognises the benefits of renewable energy initiatives of this kind”. – Mark Daniel



Diesel UTV arrives MARK DANIEL

WITH UTV’S more popular for getting men and materials to difficult or remote locations, the arrival of the Landboss Diesel, from Mojo Motorcycles, could be considered timely. Used in Australia in a range of industries, the machine is powered by an 800cc Japanese made Perkins diesel, a familiar name to many in farming and construction. The Perkins 400D, 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled motor is said to be ultracompact, quiet and inexpensive to run, thanks to a 500-hour service interval – the norm for most farm tractors. The engine mates to a Canadian CV Tech transmission, offering select-

able 2- or 4-wheel drive, front and rear differential locks and a Turf-Mode setting to eliminate ‘scuffing’ in sensitive areas. Ease of use is helped by electronic power steering, and ride quality is ensured by a dual A-arm set-up independently suspended in each corner. Its full width bench seat has seatbelts and head restraints, and its ROPS certified roll frame has a roof and full windscreen. At the rear, a gas assisted steel tip tray is rated to carry 450kg and the towing hitch is rated to 700kg, offering a combined capacity of one tonne. The Landboss Diesel is equipped with a 3500lb winch which should extract it easily from any difficult terrain, and comes with a comprehen-


Landboss Diesel

sive 2-year warranty. Josh Carter of Mojo Motorcycles comments “besides the virtually unbreakable Perkins

engine, the Landboss offers industry leading carrying and towing capacities which we believe will allow us to

mirror the extraordinary success we have already achieved in Australia”. www.mojomotorcycles.

DESPITE THE global construction market contracting in 2016, key player JCB bucked the trend with earnings growth of 34%. Its new AgriPro range of Loadall telehandlers, and the 8000 Series Fastracs helped to drive sales in the agricultural sector. The Staffordshire, UK business saw 2016 sales rise by 12% to NZ$4.6 billion versus NZ$4.1b in 2015. Earnings on an EBITDA basis were NZ$506m from 66,000 machines sold. The company noted that global construction shrank, but with large swings in different markets, e.g. India rising by 40% and Brazil fell by the same amount. The UK market fell by 5%; Europe rose by 10%.




$ 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.

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Touch-screen easy on fingers MARK DANIEL

CLAAS HAS extensively upgraded the electronic on-board information system (CEBIS) in its new generation Axion 900/800 and Arion 600/500 series tractors expected on sale early 2018. It has a new 300mm touch-screen terminal, which combines with an ergonomic armrest, ten assignable function buttons and the maker’s Cmotion multi-function control lever operable using just three fingers. Retaining the logical and familiar structure of the previous CEBIS

CEBIS touch screen.

display, the system now has a touch-screen operation, offering simple, intuitive operation using finger pressure and allowing key functions to be viewed and adjusted in a

few steps. The system enables access to many functions via a simplified picture of a tractor on the screen -- the tractor silhouette. Touching the function

area, such as the engine or PTO, opens a dialogue window. The driver can use the direct access buttons either on the armrest or on the CEBIS terminal to go to the last viewed

tractor function to finetune previous settings easily. All CEBIS functions are adjusted using the rotary/push switch on the armrest to ensure all settings can be entered correctly, even on uneven terrain, with only two controls – the rotary/ push switch and the ESC button – needed to open and set all the CEBIS menus and functions. In open dialogue windows, settings can be entered by means of a dial or plus/minus slider, while up to three menu levels are displayed next to each other, making it easy to trace the route back to the starting menu at any time.


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The screen for the new CEBIS can also display video images from external cameras, such as the Claas Profi Cam. CEBIS allows settings for up to 20 different implements to be saved, including CSM

headland management sequences for each implement. Previously recorded sequences can be easily refined and edited without having to re-enter the entire process, saving time as conditions change.

GLASS EYE OF THE FUTURE WITH THE amount of modern technology in today’s tractors, it’s no surprise clever technology is being used to manufacture them. Google ‘Glass’ wearable headsets have had a huge impact on tractor production at AGCO’s plant at Jackson, Minnesota. They allow production workers to check, hands-free, assembly procedures and systems by simply tapping their eyeglasses. Before Glass, operators had to refer to computer terminals or tablets as far away as 6m from the production lines, wasting a lot of time and prone errors. The use of Glass has cut by 25% the production times for the low volume, high complexity assemblies typical of custom built tractors, and it has cut inspection times by 35% and reduced training time 300%. The easy, hands-free access to the instructions and checklists necessary to assemble the tractors has seen defects or faults reduced and production increased. In practice, operators can immediately call up manuals, photos or videos to help them install parts, hydraulics and electrical lines. The device responds to voice commands and can take notes for future reference or to pass to workers on the following shift.

QUALITY DAIRY HOT WATER CYLINDERS From 180 litres to 1500 litres

Superheat mains pressure domestic cylinders now available Available from your local dairy merchant. Manufactured by:

Superheat Ltd

Licence 2509 or phone 03-389 9500 for details of your local merchant

NZS 4604

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

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

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

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

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

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

W O R G o t r e w o p e h t YOUR BUSINESS DEMO models MERLO TURBOFARMER RANGE 115-140HP,

available now













$ 140HP, 6 CYLINDER • Front Axle Suspension (50kph) DEPOSIT OR TRADE 1/3 IN 12 & 24 MONTHS • 120L Hydraulic Pump • 4 Speed Powershift •24x24 Trans OR PAY $1589 MONTHLY** • Only $107,990+GST

105HP, CAB, LOADER COMBO • Tier 4 Common Rail * $ FARMotion Engine • Wet Clutch Power Shuttle DEPOSIT OR TRADE • Power Shift Trans 1/3 IN 12 & 24 MONTHS • Stop & Go Function OR PAY $1267 MONTHLY** • Only $85,990+GST



• Large, fully pressurised and ventillated cabin with optional full cab suspension • Fully hydrostatic transmission using Eco Power Drive (EPD) that reduces fuel consumption by up to 18% • Dynamic Load Control (CDC) increases safety














M 30HP LOADER COMBO • 4WD, Power Steering • 6x2 Trans * • Heavy Duty $ Build DEPOSIT &/OR TRADE • Only 1/3 IN 12 & 24 MONTHS $19,990 OR PAY $226 MONTHLY**




LOADER COMBO • 4WD, Power Steering * • Fwd/Rev $ Synchro Shuttle DEPOSIT &/OR TRADE • 12x12 Trans 1/3 IN 12 & 24 MONTHS • Only $42,990 OR PAY $481 MONTHLY**


KIOTI PX1052 CABIN 100 HP LOADER COMBO $ • 4WD, Power Steering • Only $69,990






• 4WD, Power Steering • Ergonomic Operator Station • Large * 1131cc Diesel $ Engine DEPOSIT &/OR TRADE • Only $12,990 1/3 IN 12 & 24 MONTHS







PARTS AND SERVICE With over 100,000 parts lines and overnight delivery†, keep downtime to the absolute minimum. Here’s a few products available today:

Suitable for Simba Great Plains SLD models.

20 Litre




WHANGAREI Power Farming Northland .......... 09 438 9163 DARGAVILLE Power Farming Northland ............ 09 439 3333 PUKEKOHE Power Farming Auckland ............... 09 239 1200 MORRINSVILLE Maber Motors ........................... 07 889 5059 TE AWAMUTU Power Farming Te Awamutu ..... 07 870 2411 TAURANGA Capital Tractors & Machinery .......... 07 543 0021

WHAKATANE Jacks Machinery ........................... 07 308 7299 ROTORUA Truck & Tractor Services ..................... 07 349 6528 GISBORNE Power Farming Gisborne .................. 06 868 8908 HASTINGS Power Farming Hawkeʼs Bay ............ 06 879 9998 HAWERA Power Farming Taranaki ..................... 06 278 0240 FEILDING Power Farming Manawatu ................. 06 323 8182

To Suit John Deere 750A Seed Drill.



MASTERTON Power Farming Wairarapa ............ 06 370 8240 NELSON Brian Miller Truck & Tractor ................... 03 544 5723 BLENHEIM Marlborough Tractor Services ........... 03 572 8787 GREYMOUTH Power Farming West Coast ........... 03 768 4370 CHRISTCHURCH Power Farming Canterbury ......03 349 5975 ASHBURTON Power Farming Ashburton ............ 03 307 7153




Terms and conditions apply. All prices valid for a limited time only. * Deposit plus total GST or/and use trade-in, then pay 1/3rd in 12 months then 1/3rd in 24 months at 2.99%. Terms and conditions apply. ** Monthly payments for Deutz-Fahr based on 35% plus total GST deposit or/and use trade-in, then 48 monthly payments at 3.99%. Monthly payments for Kioti based on 40% plus total GST deposit or/and use trade-in, then 60 monthly payments at 3.99%. † Only while stocks last. Terms & conditions apply. Pricing valid until 31 August 2017.







• 10cm working depth for effective residue incorporation • SKF Agrihubs (sealed for life) • Duratorque disc suspension • 510mm diameter discs




TIMARU Power Farming Timaru ......................... 03 687 4127 DUNEDIN Power Farming Otago ........................ 03 489 3489 GORE Power Farming Gore ................................ 03 208 9395 INVERCARGILL Power Farming Invercargill ....... 03 215 9039




A workhorse fit for livestock, mixed and cropping farmers MARK DANIEL


launched MF 5700 SL series -- four tractors 100130hp, powered by the

latest AGCO Power 4-cylinder engines – offers best-in-class visibility, manoeuvrability and transmission control, the maker says. A 2.55m wheelbase combines with a 4.8 tonne

DRAINAGE AND SOIL AERATION PAY BIG DIVIDENDS Don’t put good fertiliser on compacted soil which can’t absorb it. If your soil can’t support 15cm root growth and good worm population check for compaction. You could need aeration. In dollar terms, what would 20% production increase mean to your yearly turnover?

operating weight to offer good power-to-weight ratio and agility, which means the tractors ideally suit loader work and a range of field and transport duties. Combining the com-








MAITLAND RD5, GORE. PH/FAX 03-207 1837 OR 027-628 5695

pact dimensions required by livestock and mixed farmers with the performance and power needed for broadacre work, the MF 5700 SL tractors build on the MF 5600 series which is still offered in three options from 85-105hp, says John Horan, product manager. The MF 5700 SL series also includes a new 100hp, 4-cylinder model, the MF 5710 that is an addition to the range, to complement the 3-cylinder MF 5600 tractors. The MF 5700 SL series uses an AGCO Power 4.4L, 4-cylinder engine with the maker’s all-inone SCR technology that combines with the DOC unit in one compact assembly that tucks away neatly under the righthand side of the cab. Employing a special ‘swirl’ system that thoroughly mixes the exhaust gases and diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), the system reduces harmful NOx gas and is maintenance free. A new electronically controlled wastegate turbocharger and common rail fuel injection improves engine responsiveness and performance, and allows the engine to run at lower temperatures, which in turn allows the fitment of

MF 5700 SL series.

a compact cooling package. This in turn allows the use of a steep nose hood which aids forward visibility. Users can specify either the Dyna-4 or Dyna-6 transmissions which both have a useful brake-to-neutral function and the option of AutoDrive, which provides automatic changing of the four or six steps in field work, as well as the ranges when in transport. Both Dyna-6 and Dyna-4 offer clutchless operation, with six or four powershift steps over four electro-hydraulically controlled ranges respectively, with 24F/24R or 16F/16R speeds overall. The MF 5700 SL tractors offer the option of

front axle suspension, using a suspension arm mounted between a special cast engine oil sump and specific, new front axle support with electrohydraulic control, whose design does not interfere with a front linkage or loader assembly. The 5700 SL series tractors come with a choice of two hydraulic systems that offer high flow rates and comprehensive control. All models are equipped with the 100L/min combined flow system. This system can combine the flow from the 58L/min linkage pump along with 42L/min from an additional high pressure pump, which provides greater flow for the loader operations.

When not combined, one pump supplies the linkage and the other pump the spool valves. The MF 5700 SL series has the same cab comfort as larger models in the MF range. Operators get a clear dashboard colour display as used on the top-range MF 8700 series, and this is said to provide better visibility during the day and at night. The new Speedsteer option makes it possible to vary the number of steering wheel revolutions needed to turn the wheels from lock to lock. This helps loading operations and headland turns can be made more quickly and with less effort. @dairy_news


DEMO models



• 3,500kg-4,200kg lift capability, 7m boom height, 115-140HP • Large, pressurised and ventillated cabin with optional full suspension • Fully hydrostatic transmission using Eco Power Drive (EPD) that reduces fuel consumption by up to 18% • Dynamic Load Control (CDC) increases safety

available now









* Offer applies to TF35.7BS. Requires 25% of total price + total GST paid as deposit, then 48 monthly payments of $1226 each. Final payment of residual owed (40%) paid at end of term. Limited stock and available for limited time. Terms and conditions apply. Pricing valid until 31 August 2017.




The MF 6700 S introduces the very latest in four cylinder AGCO POWER engine technology to a power band that was previously the domain of six cylinder tractors. • The most powerful 4 cylinder tractor in the market with up to 200 HP with Engine Power Management (EPM)* • Choice of Essential or Efficient specification levels to perfectly suit your requirements • CCLS hydraulics as standard with up to 190 l/min flow on Dyna-VT models

• Available with a choice of transmissions for a wide range of applications: Dyna-4, Dyna-6 and Dyna-VT • Built in Europe for outstanding quality and reliability • Integrated joystick makes this a perfect loader tractor


BUILT MF 6700 S SERIES 120 – 175 HP


MASSEYFERGUSON.CO.NZ | FREECALL 0800 825 872 MASSEY FERGUSON®, MF®, the triple-triangle logo® is a worldwide brand of AGCO. © 2017.

A world of experience. Working with you.

For technically superior calf rearing products






HIGH LEVEL D ISINFECTION Better for you Better for your Better for surfaces you

The natural answer for viral or bacterial scours. ScourSTOP contains Psyllium. A plant fibre that binds to both viruses and bacteria.

Ideal for cleaning calf sheds. Better for the environment

Better for your surfaces Effective against all

17 virus Better for thefamilies. environment Effective against all bacteria.

ScourSTOP acts as a thickening agent and slows down the release of glucose and electrolytes in the gut.

100% biodegradable.

ScourSTOP results in a decreased period of diarrhoea by 1½ - 2 days.

Safe to use.

Economical 1:100 dilution.

Proven effectiveness. For the prevention and treatment of viral and bacterial scours.

Available over the counter from Vet practices. AsureQuality Approved

Available over the counter from Vet practices.

MPI C32 Approval MPI C33 Approval

ACVM No. A006530

Contact details: Phone: 0800 800 624 Email: Web: HA529


Dairy News 15 August 2017  

Dairy News 15 August 2017

Dairy News 15 August 2017  

Dairy News 15 August 2017