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Election stunt doomed to fail. PAGE 3 FASTER INTERNET

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SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 ISSUE 386 // www.dairynews.co.nz

TREATING BOBBIES WITH CARE “The industry expects all farmers to be compliant.” – Chris Lewis, Federated Farmers Dairy chair. PAGE 11

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

NEWS  // 3

Election stunt doomed to fail PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE GREENS proposed ‘nitrogen tax’ is a vote Iwi, farmers join forces. PG.23

Switching to robots. PG.24

Irish technology arrives. PG.36

catching policy which is highly unlikely to see the light of day, says Federated Farmers vice-president and dairy farmer Andrew Hoggard. However the problem with such an election stunt is that it perpetrates misconceptions, he says. “The best way of improving waterways where they need to be improved is by a catchment focus basis,” he told Dairy News. “With the Greens’ policy, they are focusing on just nitrogen and only from one source. If a catchment has an issue with nitrogen you need to focus on it from all sources. “Nitrogen is not the issue in all catchments; if swimmability is what people are after then it’s E.coli they need to be looking at; sediment may be a big factor.” The Greens proposal is just a vote catcher, says Hoggard. “Will it ever be implemented? No. Once it has seen the light of day and you’ve had some bureaucrats looking at it, it will be thrown away because it is impractical.... How could you ever implement it given the variances with Overseer? “I don’t think it is ever going to happen. It

Andrew Hoggard

shows a lack of understanding of science. “You had the Greens agricultural people asking questions on Twitter about seven days ago about Overseer. One thinks it might be a policy they have just come up with in the last couple of weeks because Labour stole their ground and they are looking at a bit of a doomsday scenario of not being in Parliament anymore, so they wanted to get one up on them.” The problem is that it perpetuates misunderstanding. “That’s the problem; everyone in town is thinking it’s just nitrates and dairy cows that

LEVY ON NITRATE POLLUTION NEWS������������������������������������������������������3-19 OPINION��������������������������������������������� 20-21 AGRIBUSINESS�����������������������������22-23 MANAGEMENT�������������������������������24-27 ANIMAL HEALTH��������������������������28-30 MILK QUALITY�������������������������������� 31-35 MACHINERY &   PRODUCTS��������������������������������������36-38

THE GREENS propose a moratorium on new dairy farm conversions. The party also wants a levy imposed on farmers for nitrate pollution, to help protect rivers, lakes and aquifers, which would raise about $136.5 million in the first year. The Greens wants to transition away from palm kernel expeller/extract (PKE) to alternative feed stocks from 2018.

The party also wants to set up a ‘Good Food Aotearoa New Zealand’ national sustainability accreditation scheme for food products, processors and farmers, “so those who work with the land, not against it, can prove it to consumers at home and overseas to fetch a higher price, offering products more attractive to export markets”.

are the problem. “All this about ‘all our rivers are stuffed and we’ve got the worst in the world’ – everyone is just repeating this but it is not based on any real stats. “Yes, we’ve got waterways degraded and a whole bunch of them not as we’d like, but ‘worst in the world?’ Really? “I’ve been to a number of parts of the world, and trust me our waterways are pretty bloody good. They could be better and as an agricultural community Katie (Milne, Feds president) fronted that pledge a couple of weeks back. We expect we will make them better and we will work hard on doing that. “[The Greens] are just playing into this whole scaremongering thing that is going on.” Hoggard says he looks at his own catchment, his own waterway. He looked at the stats the other day and saw it is swimmable; all the levels are where they need to be… the trend in terms of nitrogen is improving. “It shows me all the farmers in my catchment; and I also hand it to the local communities with their sewage treatment plants; they are all investing in the right things.”


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

4 //  NEWS

No need for ‘leper’ treatment NIGEL MALTHUS

NORTH OTAGO is

being treated “like the leper colony of the South Island” over the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak, says Federated Farmers North Otago dairy chairman Lyndon Strang. Even beef farmers and others with no trace of the disease are being affected, with reports of stock sale contracts being broken and stock buyers looking outside the region.

“I think there is a real stigma, just purely based on our location,” said Strang. “It’s unfair on breeders and other people who have no connection with those affected farms and are running good biosecurity systems.” Mycoplasma bovis, common overseas, was detected for the first time in New Zealand in midJuly on one Oamaru farm belonging to Van Leeuwen Dairy Group (it owns 16 properties). As of early September, the disease had been confirmed

Letter of the HEADER Ferist et quati aut pedici te vollab imod quamet atur soleniet quiatibu. PAGE 15

HEADER Ferist et quati aut pedici te vollab imod quamet atur soleniet quiatibu. PAGE 23

RURALNEWS TO ALL FARMERS, FOR ALL FARMERS

WEEK

on six properties, most of them VLDG farms but one a lifestyle block near Rangiora which had received animals from a North Otago farm before the Ministry for Primary Industries containment response began. But Strang said stock movements to and from properties not under MPI movement controls remain safe. “What’s concerning me most is a lot of scaremongering going on and the unnecessary steps people are taking.” Strang said he knew of a local dairy farmer who

Farmers are shunning bulls in North Otago in fear of exposing their herds to Mycoplasma bovis.

usually sourced 20-30 Jersey mating bulls from a local rearer, but this year had specifically asked his agent to source bulls from outside the area. “To me, that [seems] a little unfair on those bull rearers; this is how silly it is. It’s our own crew doing it to us too.” One unidentified beef farmer told Stuff he had a contract for 200 calves to go to a Canterbury operation but the buyer pulled

out when he told him his animals were being tested. “That cost me $100,000 -- one conversation, just like that.” The farmer said his stock were tested because his farm is adjacent to one of the Van Leeuwen farms, although not one considered at risk. About a month ago MPI had tested 130 (about 10%) of his stock and the results had come back negative. “I was on tenter-

NEARING THE HALF-WAY MARK

HEADER

Ferist et quati aut pedici te vollab imod quamet atur soleniet quiatibu.

PAGE 24

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The most recent MPI update revealed that the campaign was nearing the half-way mark, with no further positive results outside the known six properties. MPI expected to do at least 39,000 tests and to date had received 15,788 samples and completed 14,500 tests. MPI said farm visits, sampling and testing were “progressing well.” MPI was also testing samples from the nationwide surveys and so far no samples from other properties than the ones known to be infected had been positive. Meanwhile, all calves on the Rangiora lifestyle block had been euthanized and the property remained under movement restrictions. The

animals were autopsied by an MPI veterinarian and a large number of samples taken from them. “These will improve our understanding how Mycoplasma bovis behaves under NZ conditions,” said MPI. The number of infected places was still expected to increase as animal movements were traced and testing progressed. However, MPI stressed that all detections to date were linked to the original infected properties via animal movements and had been caused by close animal contact. Despite intensive testing, no adjacent properties had yet been identified as infected.

hooks waiting for those results to come through but we’ve got two more rounds of testing yet and that’s going to be another four weeks. “But with all the farms coming up positive and all the surrounding farms around them that need testing, I’m picking those four weeks will be stretched out to about six,” the farmer told Stuff. “That’s a big issue in terms of cashflow, and if I have to hold the calves I was contracted for I’m going to run out of grass and I’ll need more baleage, and it’s going to put me in a more difficult position. The rest of my contracts can’t be fulfilled therefore all my cashflows [will be] down,” he said. Strang said it would be prudent for buyers to ask for more traceability on animals, but reneging on a contract was a step too far. “A person you’ve got a contract with should just sit down and go through the history of those animals a bit more: ‘Where did they come from? Can

you show not just one owner back, but two previously?’. “Those are the questions they should be asking, not just cancelling contracts or sourcing their mating bulls from Southland or Canterbury, because there’ll be just as much chance there’ll be an infected farm there, as there is in North Otago. “[We need to] get the message out there that sourcing stock from North Otago is safe. Farmers who aren’t involved in this are putting good biosecurity measures in place. Purchasers would be prudent to ask for more traceability but I think we have some guys here who are getting affected when they have no connection with it whatsoever.” Strang said farmers want an independent test to quickly confirm that cattle are not infected, but that is not available at the moment because all testing resources are tied up in the control effort. However, he was confident the disease is contained.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

NEWS  // 5

Be an innovator, not a fast follower COMPLACENCY IS a

Ian Proudfoot, KPMG.

We need to make sure we don’t become complacent and “to be alert to the fact we are playing in a global market that is changing very very quickly”. “The only thing that will keep us relevant in that market is changing as fast as, if not faster than, the market. I always come back to what I have said for a very long time: NZ is the only developed country that relies on growing

products and selling them to people to pay for most of its schools, roads and hospitals. “So it is critically important we are on the edge of innovation and not a fast follower; we can’t afford to be a fast follower.” NZ must think about the evolution of alternative proteins, how they will be used together with traditional proteins, how they will fit into people’s

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respected, where water is not compromised, where animals are treated and respected properly, where people are kept safe and go home every day. All these are important to our consumers here as well.” While every country has slightly different expectations, we produce such a small amount for the total global food system – less than 1% – that we need to sell it to the people with the most money. “They are the premium consumers with the highest expectations, who put the highest requirements on our farmers and on all parts of our industry.”

H

pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

luxury the dairy industry cannot afford, says Ian Proudfoot, KMPG global head of agribusiness. Dairy and beef prices are likely to start dropping again in six to 12 months, he says, a personal view based on changes in the US (see sidebar). New Zealand needs to be an innovator, not a fast follower, he says. Trends and warning signals for the primary sector published mid-2017 in the KPMG Agribusiness Agenda are now “starting to become apparent,” he told Dairy News. “We’ve significantly more awareness of the role the consumer plays in the value chain. Every organisation in the primary sector is starting to think a lot more about ultimately who will eat the food and the actions they take or the role they play in the value chain. “So whether you are the seed producer, the fertiliser supplier, the farmer, the processor – everybody has to be thinking about the consumer and we think that is becoming more of an established

is emphasising “New Zealanders’ fundamental expectations that we will manage and respect the land, and we can’t ignore that. We’ve got to respond [by doing] what they expect otherwise the ability to farm will be significantly constrained,” he says. Consumers in NZ have exactly the same expectations as those worldwide. On taste our expectations are different but we generally have premium consumers here in NZ because we are an affluent country. “They want to eat food produced sustainably, where the environment is

diets and when people will eat different foods. Innovative healthy new products are being created in Europe on this basis. “We have to be alert to what is going on around us. If you are complacent the focus on what is going on around you is lower. “Every time I go offshore I find something that blows my mind in terms of innovation, entrepreneurs and governments taking action.” We are doing some great work in NZ but we need to do as much as possible in all areas, he says. The election campaign

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Can Handle PRESIDENT TRUMP’S energy policies could affect the US dairy industry, causing more milk to come the US, says Proudfoot. Trump is moving away from biofuels and back towards fossil fuels. Subsidies for farmers growing products to feed biofuel production are being removed and those farmers need to find alternative markets for their products. The logical place for that is stock feed. That

will drive down the cost of milk production and because the dairy prices are good there will be incentive to produce more. “I expect we will see more milk [and beef] come from the US and that will impact on our prices. “Political changes in policy areas unconnected to agriculture can have a direct impact on what happens here in New Zealand in terms of the prices we receive for our products.”

We need to be open to all these changes as we live in a complicated interconnected world. We need to look at all possible explanations to understand the trends. Proudfoot says we need to recognise we are an artisan player in a global food sector. We need to focus more and more investment on “positioning our product every single season” towards existing high value artisan opportunities.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

6 //  NEWS

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announce a mid-winter pick-me-up for loyal readers. Rural News and Dairy News have teamed up with the good folk at Yamaha and put a brand new Yamaha AG125 up for grabs.

The AG125 first broke cover at the 2017 Fieldays and has been deemed by reviewers a worthy successor to the legendary AG100, with special attention given to the little details that make a bike easy to live with day by day – a farmbike developed on Kiwi farms for

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Green stream has council seeing red

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SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

THE DISCOVERY of a South Waikato stream running green with effluent has the council urging farmers to ask for advice on effluent management. Waikato Federated Farmers president Andrew McGiven says council staff “are willing to listen and provide advice and this is a resource that I wish more farmers would use”. He was responding to a council report of a stream running green with effluent from two separate sources on an Otorohanga dairy farm. “The council is concerned that one of the discharges to the stream appears to be ongoing and deliberate,” says investigations manager Patrick Lynch. The contamination was found in the stream west of Otorohanga two weeks ago after a tip-off. “We do not usually report this kind of incident until after it has been through a court process,” says Lynch. “However, what we found this time is of real concern. We have many farmers doing the right thing by the environment in our region but some don’t seem to care.” McGiven was notified by the council last week.

“I am extremely disappointed and frustrated by this farmer’s actions which have brought the dairy industry into disrepute, especially now that we are under so much scrutiny with the election around the corner,” he told Dairy News. “Waikato Federated Farmers does not condone or tolerate this type of behavior. “I can only hope the actions of these few laggards do not tarnish or subvert the achievements of the many thousands of farmers making their farms more environmentally friendly and sustainable every day. “Though these individual actions are upsetting, overall the dairy industry is making great progress and if regulation and prosecution don’t force these people from our industry then peer pressure will if they don’t improve their systems.” Lynch applauds the person who gave the council good intelligence about the pollution. “This person had noted that a stream that normally runs clear was running green over several days, particularly early in the morning. Our incident response team on Friday morning were at the stream at first light. They observed the pollution in the stream and tracked it back some distance to its source. “We will launch a formal investigation and it is likely enforcement action will follow.” 


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

NEWS  // 7

Raw milk sales suspended NIGEL MALTHUS

A NEWLY established raw milk supplier has been forced to suspend operations after a positive test for Listeria. The Ministry for Primary Industries announced on September 1 that Southland’s Go Farming Ltd was recalling specific batches of its Go 2 Raw Milk brand unpasteurised milk as the product may contain Listeria monocytogenes. Batches 32, 33, and 34 with use-by dates of August 18, 20 and 21 were implicated and MPI advised buyers to discard it. “There have been no reports of illness, however if you have consumed this product and have any concerns about your health, seek medical advice,” MPI said. Run by the Guise family, Go Farming Ltd is based on Guise Road, Apirama, near Otautau. Their website shows it is a fourth-generation family farm, previously a sheep, beef and grain farm which was converted to dairy three years ago. It is understood they run about

400 cows, with 25 reserved for the raw milk operation, which began only about four months ago. Contacted by Dairy News, a spokesman was reluctant to discuss the issue but said the farm was working though MPI’s requirements. “We’re in the process of doing all that.” A note on the website says the operation is closed until further notice. Raw, unpasteurised milk may only be produced for public consumption by farms registered under MPI’s regulated control scheme (RCS), which applies strict conditions, primarily to milk collection hygiene. Farms may sell only by delivery or farm gate sales, direct to consumers. Go Farming delivers in 1L glass bottles to subscribers in Southland and Queenstown. MPI emphasised that Go 2 Raw Milk was registered and is complying with regulations. No cases of listeria had

been reported, MPI said. “As per the requirements, this operator has stopped supplying raw milk and to my knowledge is working through the process with their verifier and MPI’s oversight. Following the detection of Listeria monocytogenes in the raw drinking milk, Go 2 Raw Milk has stopped supplying raw drinking milk while they review procedures and retest the raw drinking milk.” MPI referred to other problems reported throughout the country, associated with raw milk producers. “Because of the way raw milk is produced and in the absence of pasteurisation, it is not unusual for pathogens to be present in this product. Raw unpasteurised milk from any animal may be contaminated with illness-causing bacteria including shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), Listeria and Campylobacter. Raw milk may also be a source of tuberculo-

Go 2 Raw Milk has suspended sales.

sis (Tb).” Listeria bacteria can cause an infection called listeriosis. It may cause few symptoms in healthy adults and children, but may be more severe in the very old, very young or immune-compromised, and is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, potentially causing miscarriage, premature labour or stillbirth. Mark Houston, chief executive of Village Milk Ltd, Takaka, a raw milk pioneer which also acted as a consultancy for other producers, said MPI would be “quite pleased” that the testing regime was working, picking up the contamination before anyone got sick. He said listeria is a commonly occurring bacteria often associated with stainless steel which, despite its shiny appearance, had microscopic pits in the surface which could harbour germs, even sometimes closing down dairy factories. “So if the cleaning’s not up to standard then listeria can establish.” MPI lists 25 raw milk suppliers registered under the RCS, ranging from Okaihau in the Far North to Gore and Otautau in the south.

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8 //  NEWS

Dairy markets finely balanced PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

BNZ IS sticking with its $6.75/kgMS milk price forecast – or perhaps a little more – while the ASB says $7/kgMS could be on the cards if rain persists. BNZ economist Doug Steel says there are plenty of factors to watch but nothing to alter its 2017-18 milk price forecast of $6.75/kgMS. “This view includes a mild drift lower in dairy product prices from current levels as global milk supply increases. Low grain prices are part of this view,” he told Dairy News. “On the other side, offering some support are a stronger Euro (making European product less competitive) and stronger Chinese Yuan (lifting Chinese purchasing power). “At present, risks to a $6.75/kgMS milk price forecast seem reasonably balanced, if marginally to the upside.” Last week’s 0.3% rise in the GDT was again a touch weaker than futures markets implied, says Steel. “Milkfat price strength continues. Butter prices rose 3.8%, with near term

pricing over US$6000/tonne. Anhydrous milk fat prices rose 3.6%. “High milkfat pricing is occurring despite more milk being channelled toward fat products, indicating strengthening underlying demand.”    In contrast, milk powders eased, with skim milk powder down 1.2% at a low US$1944/t and whole milk powder fell 1.6% but is still at a healthy level of US$3100/t. “There is no sign that the market is overly concerned about a wet winter denting NZ production in spring, with powder prices drifting lower. “The NZ production outlook remains a focus; we look for NZ production to be up about 3.5% for the season as Doug Steel a whole. “Or if there is concern Rabobank dairy analyst Emma Higabout NZ (and AU) production it is being offset by other factors: perhaps gins says last week’s result was “fairly there is some angst creeping in about benign”. “Futures markets were suggesting future demand as geopolitical risks rise whole milk prices (WMP) were likely in North Asia.”



to increase at least 3%. But the WMP index was down 1.6% with an average price of US$3100/t and would be somewhat disappointing for farmers. “Outside of WMP, healthy demand (and global supply shortages) for butter and dairy fat continues to be an important driver and saw prices rise sharply again,” she says. “Milk production data... continues to confirm a period of growth ahead. For example, Irish milk production in the first half of 2017 was up 6.6% and Fonterra reported its NZ milk collection was up 10.4% in the first two months of the season (albeit, these are low volume months). Meanwhile, US milk production for the 12 months to June increased by almost 2% versus the same period in the previous year. “Fortunately, Chinese import pur-

chasing has been active, helping keep markets in balance. The latest data shows NZ total exports to China reached 84,272 tonnes for July (+ 86%), and WMP exports to China were also up, reaching 32,884 tonnes (+114%).” ASB rural economist Nathan Penny says the rain is starting to hurt production. “Reportedly, production is down versus last season in some key regions.  While it is still early spring, if the rain continues and production remains weak, prices will rise. “Meanwhile, global demand for milk fats continues to surge.  In Europe, butter shortages have led to a price spike in European prices to US$7750/t, well above current NZ prices.  At these levels Europeans buyers are likely to turn increasingly to NZ for butter supply. “These developments are a recipe for higher prices.  Time is running out for NZ weather to improve.  If it doesn’t soon, we see potential for this season’s milk price to quickly move to $7/kgMS or above.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

NEWS  // 9

Water tax would lead to more cows – survey LABOUR’S PROPOSAL to impose a

water tax on irrigators will lead to more intensive farming, says Irrigation NZ chief executive Andrew Curtis. A survey by IrrigationNZ found 40% of farmers will increase the number of stock on their farm to pay for the water tax. About 63% of farmers and growers said they would reduce their spending in local communities; over 80% of farmers are already doing environmental improvement work such as fencing streams or riparian planting but half of those surveyed said they would have to reduce their spending on this to pay the water tax. Curtis says the survey raises serious concerns about the potential unintended effects of a water tax and whether these outcomes are desirable. “Environmental lobby groups who support a water tax blame intensification for water quality issues but our survey shows the water tax is set to lead to more intensive farming as well as reduce spending on environmen-

tal improvements and spending in rural communities. “The tax would not just affect farmers but the rural economy, with the potential for job losses in local shops and businesses in many areas of New Zealand.” IrrigationNZ surveyed 124 farmers to gather information on the potential impact of the water tax (at 2 cents/1000L). Of the 59 arable, sheep, beef or mixed cropping and sheep or beef farmers participating in the survey, 48% said they would consider converting their property to other uses such as dairying, dairy grazing, horticulture and more intensive activities to make their farms viable enough to fund the cost of the tax. Two property owners said they would consider selling up.  One arable farmer explained his reasons for considering converting: “We have continued to hold off converting to dairy, while many around us have done just that. We believe we are doing a good job, but every year our bottom line is diminishing, while we work

harder and are more productive. Soon dairying will be our only viable option.” Curtis says many people would assume that taxing water would result in less water being used, how-

ever the results indicate farmers would have less money to spend on more efficient irrigation systems and less to spend on crop monitoring to apply water only when needed. “Equally, the comments

from arable, sheep and beef farmers indicate that many of them would consider moving to more intensive farming such as dairying which would consume more water – not less.”

Andrew Curtis

HIGHER COSTS The survey found that costs would vary widely if a 2 cents/1000L tax was introduced: ■■ 30 % of irrigators would pay less than $10,000 per annum ■■

19% of irrigators would pay $10,000 to $20,000 per annum

■■

29% of irrigators would pay $20,000 to $40,000 per annum

■■

22% of irrigators would pay $40,000 or more; the highest cost cited was $175,000 per annum.

MEETING EXPENSE ■■

40% of farmers said they would need to increase the number of stock on their farm to pay for the water tax

■■

Of the 59 arable, sheep, beef or mixed cropping and sheep or beef farmers participating in the survey, 48% said they would consider converting their property to other uses, like dairying, dairy grazing, horticulture and more intensive activities to make their farms viable enough to fund the cost of the tax. Two property owners said they would consider selling up.

■■

63 % farmers said they would reduce their spending in local communities

■■

56% said they would look at reducing debt payments.

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RURALNEWS

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Q: What publication did you see this promotion in? Answer: .......................................................................................................................... Name: .............................................................................................................................. Address: ........................................................................................................................... ......................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................... Phone: ...................................................... Email: ............................................................................................................................... Terms and Conditions: Information on how to enter the competition forms part of these terms and conditions. Entry in to the Win a New Ride quiz is deemed acceptance of these terms and conditions. Entry is open to all New Zealand residents except for employees of Rural News Group and their immediate family. Each entrant may enter more than once. To be valid, each entry must contain the correct answers as determined by the Rural News Group. The competition opens on Monday 4th September, 2017 and closes Friday 24 November, 2017 at 11pm. The prize winner will be drawn on Monday 27 November, 2017 and will be contacted by phone and email by Wednesday 29th November, 2017. The winner will be announced to all entrants via email by Friday 1st December, 2017.The promoter’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to. By accepting the prize, the prize winner consents to the promoter using his/her details, photographs and recording of the prize acceptance for promotional and media publicity purposes. There is one prize, of a 2017 Yamaha AG125 motorbike. The winner may be required to pick up their prize from their nearest Yamaha dealer. The prize is valued at more than $4,000. The prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. All insurance and any on-road costs are at the winner’s expense. All entries become the property of the promoter. The promoter is Rural News Group, First Floor, Bayleys Building, 29 Northcroft St, Takapuna, Auckland 0622


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

NEWS  // 11

Most farmers doing it right SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FEDERATED FARMERS dairy chairman Chris Lewis believes most farmers are now compliant with new rules on handling bobby calves. He says farmers have worked for years on setting up proper bobby calf handling facilities. “The industry expects all farmers to be compliant but we know human behavior… there are always one or two who won’t be compliant,” he told Dairy News. “There was a media report about some farmers choosing to shoot calves onfarm instead of putting them in a pen. Let’s hope only one or two are

doing this, for whatever reasons.” From his farm at Pukeatua, south of Hamilton, Lewis sends about 500 bobby calves to the works every year. A sheltered pen, from where calves are picked up by trucks, has been in place for several years. He built the shelter after seeing them on farms in the South Island. “Initially it had no roof, but a lot of work has gone into it over the years, and we now have trucks backing right up to the shelter and calves climbing in.” Lewis says the industry is rightly expected to humanely despatch bobby calves to the works. The Ministry of Primary Industries’ new rules on loading and unloading bobby calves took effect on August 1.

SHELTERS ON SALE CHRIS LEWIS says driving around Waikato he has seen new bobby calf shelters on many farms. Shelters have been readily available from major rural traders.

“Lots of companies are selling them; they are on display. “All you need to do is buy one and the truck will turn up and drop it off.”

Federated Farmers Dairy chairman Chris Lewis.

Loading and unloading facilities must be provided when young calves are trucked for sale or slaughter. Calves must be able to walk onto and off vehicles unaided, and truckers must take all reasonable steps to use these facilities. Suitable shelter must be provided for young calves before, during and

after trucking. Lewis says the industry has done much to get the new rules in place on farms. “Some farmers will think they’re a waste of time and stupid; with any rule change there’s always a bit of pushback. Farmers don’t like extra costs

lumped onto them. “From my perspective, the truck drivers turning up here in the last two years think [the rules are] wonderful.” Lewis uses an old deer shed to keep bobby calves in pens; they walk up a ramp to the pick-up shelter on the day the trucks arrive.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

12 //  NEWS

Recovery options exist for sodden pastures SODDEN PASTURES

could become a major feed issue for lower North Island farmers even after

Paddocks damaged by wet weather won’t grow as much grass.

the rain stops and growing conditions improve, says Agriseeds agronomist Laura Akers, in

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Manawatu. Paddocks damaged by constant wet weather will not grow as much grass as normal during summer and autumn if they are not repaired. “The good news is that there are recovery options available, however,” she says. “The sooner farmers take stock of their situation and make a plan to restore paddocks affected by all the rain, the faster they will get back on track feed-wise.” Damage has been widespread and unavoidable during the wettest season many farmers have ever experienced. “In some cases it won’t be possible to fix everything straight away,” Akers says. “The key will be to work out what can be repaired in the short term and what your feed needs are for the rest of the season so you can get organised and be ready to act as soon as conditions improve.” Akers says the main concern is filling the gaps left after pugging or treading damage before pastures become overrun with weeds and/or unproductive grasses like poa annua. Remaining ryegrass will not fill those gaps because ryegrass is not a spreading plant. Repair options vary, depending on how badly each paddock has been damaged, so it’s important to prioritise them according to their condition. Where whole paddocks have been severely pugged, the best option is to consider full pasture renewal, either through a summer crop like 501 Chicory, or, in summer

wet/irrigated areas by grass to grass. On farms with several distinct areas of damage, she encourages farmers to mark all of these areas on a farm map and get a contractor to come undersow them with Shogun hybrid

Laura Akers

ryegrass as soon as soil temperatures rise above 8 degrees C. “Shogun establishes quickly at cooler temperatures because it is winter active. That combined with its high dry matter yield make it valuable for undersowing in these conditions.” To fix small patches of damage, she recommends farmers oversow ryegrass and clover seed, to keep weeds at bay. Soil temperatures need to be above 10 degrees C for this to succeed. Another potential issue caused by continual wet weather is that many farmers have not been able to graze paddocks down to correct residuals during spring, she says. This will reduce future pasture quality and growth if it continues. “The best thing to do now is to make a conscious effort to get on top of this in the second grazing round, to set pastures up well for the rest of the season.”

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

14 //  NEWS

Dairy conversions falling DAIRYNZ SAYS a fall

in the number of dairy conversions in Canterbury signals strongly that fears of a big rise in dairying there are unwarranted. Environment Canterbury (ECan) reports 20 consents were granted for new dairy farms in the last financial year -- nearly half last year’s figure and a huge drop on the 110 granted in 2011. The last year in which only 20 conversions were consented was 2007. The number of dairy conversions can be derived from consent applications relating to dairy effluent, increasing herd size or an amendment to an existing effluent consent. The slowdown is likely partly due to looming regional rules that put stricter limits on nutrient leaching and require farm-

Virginia Serra

ers to farm to good management practice. DairyNZ’s regional manager for Canterbury and North Otago, Virginia Serra, says Canterbury dairy farmers are protecting and enhancing their local environment and waterways. “Dairy farmers in the region have farm environment plans... to farm in an environmentally sustainable manner 365 days of the year.” The farm environment plans approved by ECan include the DairyNZ Sus-

tainable Milk Plan system, and a key focus is to protect onfarm waterways from sediment, nutrients, and harmful bacteria. “Another major focus is on efficient water use, including good management of irrigation where more farmers use the latest technology water meters to ensure no more water is used than necessary. “Technology also comes to the fore showing farmers exactly when and where to spray recycled effluent onto their paddocks. DairyNZ has a range of tools for farmers in this area, including an app that allows farmers to make calculations out in the paddock using their smartphones.” Serra says Canterbury dairy farmers are also keen proponents of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord, a voluntary

initiative that has seen $1 billion spent over the past three-four years by dairy farmers on environment related work. “This investment

includes fencing and bridging waterways to exclude stock. Farmers nationally have installed 26,197km of fencing.” She says farmers coun-

trywide have also planted millions of native plant species as riparian buffers along the fenced waterways to assist with protection.

Farmers have also installed effluent management systems that are council approved. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

GRASS GROWING TIPS FOR SCHOOLS DAIRYNZ SAYS its education

programme delivered 200 science kits last term to teachers who requested its newest learning module called ‘How does your grass grow?’ They included a teacher guide and fact sheet, providing teachers with the means to enable children aged 8-10 to study the factors farmers must balance when planning their grass growth. Each of the 200 classrooms ran an experiment on the impact of an independent variable (soil, temperature, water or sunlight) on a dependent one (speed of growth,

amount of growth or height). The module was to teach that changing one thing has an impact on the outcome of a simple experiment. Waiuku’s Aka Aka School principal Michaelene Nu’u says her class enjoyed the hands-on nature of the study and it gave children an insight to the different roles of a farmer. “We talked about why it might be important to consider weather and soil conditions for growing grass and the students understood the need for farmers to produce feed for their animals. “The children could explain

that farmers would need to grow as much quality grass as possible to keep the cows producing milk,” says Nu’u. “From doing the experiment, they learnt that the conditions seeds are planted in affect how much grass is produced and how quickly it grows. “We learnt that it’s not just the soil, but also the amount of warmth, light and moisture that affects the rate of growth and quality of grass produced. “It was interesting for the kids to compare rates of growth depending on the conditions.”

2015

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1/09/15 3:57 pm


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

NEWS  // 15

Stay profitable, farm within enviro limits

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WHEN CANTERBURY

dairy farmer Alister Body became a DairyNZ director 12 years ago, he was motivated by his desire to be part of industry decisionmaking. Now preparing to move on in October, Body hopes to encourage other dairy farmers to put themselves forward for the “fantastic job” of director. Two positions on DairyNZ’s board are now up for election; farmer nominations closed last Friday. As DairyNZ’s longeststanding elected director, Body has had a front-row seat as NZ dairy farming transitioned into a worldleading food producer. In 12 years, the industry has grown from an average 322 cow herd to 419 and the national milking herd from 3.8 million to 5m cows. And whereas the North Island once dominated with 69% of milk production, now the south is catching up with 43%. These changes and the aligned need for sustainable farm systems have

kept Body motivated in working for dairy farmers. “The industry has grown incredibly and so has DairyNZ. With the huge increase in demands on farmers over those years, DairyNZ has played a key role in supporting them -- policy, advocacy, information and tools for the farm.” Body has worked with seven other directors in navigating the industry’s future. “Looking ahead, we must stay competitive, profitable and farm within environmental limits, and that is a huge challenge,” he says. “Our farm systems research will be increasingly important.” When Body began on the Dairy Insight board (a DairyNZ predecessor) he was a Methven dairy farmer wanting more industry involvement. He saw the merger of Dairy Insight with Dexcel. “There were two organisations for industry good and it was believed putting them together would be better for farmers by being more efficient and

effective. “I have enjoyed my time with DairyNZ; it makes a difference for farmers and the industry. And working with people

who live and breathe dairy farming, it’s great to be part of that.” Body has also been chair of the dairy environment leaders’ group, the

former human capability leadership group and the newly formed Canterbury dairy leaders group. He is also a Pastoral Genomics board member.

Outgoing DairyNZ director Alister Body.

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ALISTER BODY says any dairy farmers considering a directorship will use their farm experience to channel industry investment and have a broad oversight and input into DairyNZ operations. “I hope this gives an opportunity for someone new to use their governance experience and add to the industry with their passion for dairy and willingness to dedicate time to the industry.” After DairyNZ, Body will continue as Ashburton Trading Society (RuralCo NZ) chair and pursue other opportunities in governance. DairyNZ chair Michael Spaans says Body’s industry experience and commonsense at the board table has been invaluable. “Alister has always had dairy farmers at heart and understood the impact DairyNZ can have for them, which has added value for levy payers. Being the only South Island director also gave us a great connection to Canterbury, along with his drive to expand our role in Southland. “The board thanks him for contributing to DairyNZ’s direction on behalf of dairy farmers, and we wish him all the best for future.” In late September, voter packs will be sent to all registered DairyNZ levy payers, with voting closing October 24. The successful candidates will be named at the DairyNZ annual meeting in Rotorua on October 25.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

16 //  NEWS

Rural Women cheers internet upgrade RURAL WOMEN NZ says better broadband and more mobile towers will improve connectivity to rural homes. RWNZ president Fiona Gower commends the Government’s decision to spend $270 million on ultra-fast broadband to 190 more rural towns. The benefits are immense, she says. “The services will lead to greater economic growth and better access to online education, social services and health information. “Rural residents will feel safer with better mobile coverage, and the connectivity will reduce the feeling of isolation of people living in remote areas.” Communications Minister Simon Bridges says rural broadband will be extended to another 74,000 households and businesses. The Government is also

advancing the completion of the UFB network by two years. By the end of 2022, at least four million NZers will have access to “world class” internet, Bridges says. Once completed, UFB will be available to 87% of the population and 99% will have access to high speed internet. In the past few years, RWNZ lobbied nationwide broadband and mobile service providers and government agencies to get rural connectivity seen as a top priority. RWNZ is a member of the Telecommunications Users Association of NZ (TUANZ) and has informed Crown Fibre Holdings on the social and economic benefits of improved rural connectivity. RWNZ policy work includes submissions on the RBI 2 and mobile black spots programmes, the draft digital technologies education

curriculum and the review of the Telecommunications Act 2001. Most UFB installing is done by Chorus and a joint venture between Spark, Vodafone and 2 Degrees; smaller wireless internet providers (WISPs) will get work worth $13m. “RWNZ is pleased to see that WISPs will receive more funding, so they can offer connectivity in remote rural areas which now have no broadband or mobile services due to rugged terrain and/or low density housing,” says Gower.

BROADBAND INVESTMENT IMPRESSIVE – FEDS FARMERS SAY the Government’s

RWNZ president Fiona Gower.

new investment in rural broadband is reassuring the primary sector. Feds national vice-president and telecommunications spokesman Andrew Hoggard says $325 million more spending on rural connectivity “is impressive and certainly needed”. “In the last seven years, we’ve seen investment and commitments to rural connectivity from the Government and industry combined grow to over $650 million. “This is akin to the reforms of the 1980s, a step change for farm

business, this time emerging from opportunity rather than desperation,” Hoggard says. Feds believes sustainable farm businesses must take opportunities from new technologies to deliver higher value products to customers overseas, to meet the environmental standards set by their communities and to attract and retain key staff. Better connectivity also allows for diversification into other businesses and pursuits -- tourism, professional services or the creative industries.   “This investment provides certainty to rural businesses and farms; many can look forward to better and fast services soon,” says Hoggard.  “We will be looking to work with the successful bidders and our members to get the roll-out happening better, faster and further.”

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

NEWS  // 17

GDT eyes auction platform for European products FONTERRA’S ONLINE dairy sale

platform is looking at a joint auction for European dairy products. Global Dairy Trade (GDT) is in talks with the European Energy Exchange (EEX) and the parties have signed a letter of intent. GDT runs twice-monthly auctions for generic, large-volume products, attracting at least 520 registered bidders from 80 countries. EEX’s offering of European dairy products includes financially settled futures on skimmed milk powder, butter and whey powder. Since the launch of agricultural products in mid-May 2015, the EEX

derivatives market for dairy products is said to have continuously achieved record volumes and grown steadily, becoming the leading exchange market for dairy risk management in Europe. EEX and GDT plan to consult with dairy product buyers and sellers on jointly offering price discovery for European dairy products via an auction designed for that market. EEX head of agricultural commodities Sascha Siegel says such an auction could benefit the dairy value chain by providing another business channel for exports, and by creating data for new risk management instru-

ments. “With its expertise in dairy auctions, Global Dairy Trade is the ideal partner for such a project,” Siegel says. GDT director Eric Hansen says EEX is highly respected and the only European market operator recording large numbers of dairy futures contracts. “We look forward to exploring the potential for a joint initiative that would enable us to better meet the needs of European buyers and sellers,” Hansen said. “This initiative forms an important part of our growth strategy.”

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THEFTS OF HONEY, HIVES ON THE RISE THEFTS OF honey and beehives are a growing issue for beekeepers. Chief executive of Apiculture New Zealand Karin Kos says the thefts are costing the industry millions. And the police are taking the increase in honey and beehive thefts very seriously, she says. Apiculture NZ and the police are working together on improving intelligence at national and regional levels, and are educating beekeepers on how to keep their honey and hives safe. Hawke’s Bay’s largest honey producer is stepping up security after having nearly 500,000 bees stolen.  Arataki Honey’s John Walsh has reported the theft of 19 hives from a remote pine forest block in northern Hawke’s Bay.   “We are shocked that someone has targeted the site and taken

the bees. We have been wintering these bees, spending a lot of time feeding and protecting them over the winter. We believe it would be about $20,000 in losses. “I think it was a planned operation and the person who took them was someone who knew what they were doing. You don’t just take off with a boot-load of bees without having some beekeeping expertise.”  Walsh says it is challenging to monitor rural and remote sites.   “We’re working hard on security and trying to get the hives behind locked gates, but these guys know what they are doing.”   Last season Arataki had 16 hives stolen from the NapierTaupo Road. These two thefts have prompted the company to begin installing better surveillance systems in remote areas.   “We need to monitor these rural areas better.  We are con-

cerned that the problem’s becoming more widespread as the honey industry is on the rise,” says Walsh. Arataki beekeeper Duncan Johnstone made the latest discovery, and says in his 20 years on the job, bee thieving is at its worst.  “I’m annoyed because we put a lot of work into these hives over the winter, feeding the bees and running varroa mite protection. It’s gutting that this hard work has gone to waste.  “The industry used to be a real gentleman’s game and now all of a sudden this ‘underground’ element has crept in.  It’s hugely disappointing.”   Johnstone says the thieves sifted through the best hives where bee numbers were highest, leaving five hives that weren’t so good.  “Manuka honey is driving the crime as it is now one of NZ’s highest priced exports.”

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

18 //  WORLD

Sun shines on Arla products, suppliers EUROPEAN CO-OP

Arla says sales are booming in China.

Arla Foods says its halfyear revenue is up 3%. It has also achieved a 19% lift in ‘performance price’, which measures the value Arla has generated from each kilo of milk

supplied by the farmerowners. In its report on the half-year ending June 30, 2017, Arla says the improved results follow a much-needed recovery in the global milk prices

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after nearly three years of low prices. “This was a direct result of lower-tounchanged milk production versus the prior year in most dairy-producing markets, combined with improved demand for milk and dairy products in Europe, US and emerging markets.” Despite reduced total milk volumes from farms and adverse currency moves, group revenue grew 3.4% to Eur 5 billion (from Eur 4.85b in firsthalf 2016). The underlying revenue growth, excluding currency effects and divestments, was 6.6%. Arla’s performance price jumped 19% over the period to 35.8 Eurcent/kg, versus 30 Eurcent/kg during the first half of 2016. Arla Foods chief executive Peder Tuborgh says the global dairy market has improved, responding to the sustained rally in global dairy prices while continually improving product mix across key markets. “As a result, in the last 12 months, we have increased by 42% the prepaid milk price to the farmers who own our company. They needed that, as the past two and a half years have been tough for most dairy farmers around the world.” Strong sales growth is reported by Arla Foods Ingredients, a fully-owned

subsidiary and a global leader in whey based ingredients for many food categories; it reported a 24% revenue growth in the first half of 2017 to Eur 313m versus Eur 252m in first-half 2016. The natural whey ingredients business remains the most profitable part of the Arla Group. Tuborgh says the co-op continues to take lead and invest in technology that sets the industry standard for quality, innovation and food safety. “I expect this business to continue its high growth rates for the rest of the year via strong performance in value-added protein ingredients for the child nutrition and medical nutrition markets.” Europe is Arla’s core commercial zone with revenue of Eur 3.2 billion in the first half of 2017 (excluding European revenue from Arla Foods Ingredients and trading), equal to 63% of group revenue, and was unchanged from Eur 3.2b in first-half 2016. Higher sales prices and improved share of branded sales had a positive impact on Arla’s revenue in Europe, however these were offset by lower milk volumes and adverse currency moves, primarily in the Great Britain pound, which impacted revenue negatively by Eur 135m.

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ARLA AIMS to substantially expand its sales outside Europe, specifically in the Middle East, North Africa, China, Southeast Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, US and Russia. Overall, Arla’s international business grew 10% to Eur 792m for the first half of the year, mostly on strong performance in sub-Saharan Africa (up 32%) and China and Southeast Asia (up 36%). “Demand for dairy products continues to rise in Asia and Africa as an emerging middle class population looks to add more nutrition to their diets through dairy and other sources,” says Natalie Knight. “Affordable family-nutrition product sales are growing fast in urban areas in West Africa and Southeast Asia, and we continue to offer more innovative products in those regions.” For the full year Arla expects further improvement in the performance price versus the half-year level. Revenue is expected to be 10b to 10.5b Eur, up from Eur 9.6b in 2016.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

NEWS  // 19

Butter, cheese sales boost payout to Euro farmers EUROPEAN DAIRY co-op Royal

FrieslandCampina says the milk price paid to its farmer shareholders rose 27% during the first half of this year. In its half year report, the co-op says milk supply from farmer suppliers declined by 1% to 5435 million kgMS. Total payments to farmers rose 24.1% to 2.1 billion euros; the pro forma milk price paid to member dairy farm-

ers reached Euro 38.37 per 100kgMS. FreislandCampina chief executive Roelof Joosten says the milk price for farmers recovered this year after several disappointing years. “The higher sales prices for primarily butter and cheese lie at the root of this recovery,” he says. “In Western Europe we were successful in passing on the higher guaranteed price in the sales prices. This is reflected in the

increased revenue. “The total payment to member dairy farmers increased by 24% versus the first half of 2016. High growth levels were achieved in Indonesia and Vietnam, and with cheese and butter. In Germany, the Philippines and Nigeria result trends are not as positive due to local market conditions and negative currency effects, the latter particularly in Nigeria.” The co-op’s reve-

FrieslandCampina says milk payout to farmers rose 27% in the first half of this year.

nue rose 10.7% to Euro 6.1b on volume growth in Southeast Asia, with food service products, addedvalue segment cheese and pharmaceutical lactose; consumer volumes in Europe in particular were

under pressure. Operating profit rose 7.8% to Euro 275m primarily due to the strong recovery of cheese and butter sales prices. Joosten attributed the increase in revenue

MG OFFLOADS BRAND, PLANT STRUGGLING AUSTRALIAN co-op Murray Goulburn

has sold part of its milk processing and manufacturing to a Victorian company. Kyvalley Dairy Group has agreed to buy the Kiewa Country brand and plant from MG. Kyvalley Dairy says the deal will see “an iconic brand remain not only in Australian hands but in Northern Victorian hands”. Kyvalley Dairy Group is owned by brothers, Wayne, Peter and David Mulcahy, the fifth generation of a family that has been part of the Australian dairy industry for 160 years. Kyvalley says the Mulcahy family understand the impor-

The Kiewa Country brand is staying in Australian hands.

tance of a strong dairy industry together with supporting farmers and jobs for regional Victoria; they employ 120 staff and are

growing domestically and internationally. Peter Mulcahy says Kyvalley Dairy believes in the Australian

dairy industry and investing in its future. “With the purchase of Kiewa Country, we are continuing our support of local communities.” Kyvalley Dairy chief executive Alastair McCredden says as a family owned fresh milk business the purchase provides an opportunity to relaunch a cherished brand and continue jobs growth in regional Victoria. The acquisition supports regional growth in Northern Victoria and will provide Kyvalley Dairy the opportunity to increase supply of fresh milk domestically and internationally and will boost the Australian dairy industry. facebook.com/dairynews

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

20 //  OPINION RUMINATING

EDITORIAL

Who do you believe?

MILKING IT... No, they want more

Strewth, those Kiwis are voting

JOKERS ARE having the usual fun with election hoardings: one has, ahem, fine-tuned a Winston Peters’ election sign in Tauranga. The NZ First leader’s ‘Had enough?’ hoarding on Mount Maunganui’s Totara St has attracted ‘additional content’: the slogan now has Winston appearing to say, ‘I’ve had enough whiskey’. Tauranga candidate Clayton Mitchell said it appeared someone was “having a laugh”.

THE AUSTRALIAN media is waking up and taking notice of the upcoming general election in New Zealand. One report says ‘Jacinda from Hamilton is eerily similar to Kevin from Brisbane’. This refers, of course, to Kevin Rudd, the Queenslander who in 2007 led Australia’s Labor Party to a crushing defeat of John Howard, who had led the country for 11 years. But Rudd’s grip on power was spectacularly stripped by his own party three years later; he returned as PM but was annihilated the election in 2013.

Cooler by far INNOVATIVE COOLING technologies tested on dairy cows at the University of California are working at less cost. The usual fans and water sprinklers use lots of electricity and water, so the new technologies are designed to use 86% less water and 385% less power. Two ideas stand out: conduction cooling has a bedding area cooled by heat exchange mats that cows lie on. Water flowing in the mats is cooled by a ‘sub-wet bulb evaporative chiller’. Then there’s targeted convection cooling: fabric ducting directs cool air onto the cows while they lie down and when they eat. The air is cooled by evaporation.

Keep dem bells ringing COW-BELLS ARE spoiling the holidays of wealthy Europeans – secondhome owners in southeast rural France who are tired of the tinkling. Twenty residents of a village (pop. 600) in the Haute-Savoie region are petitioning to have the cows with bells moved elsewhere. But mayor Henri-Victor Tournier is not impressed, saying that the cows are giving the milk for producing delicious Reblochon cheese and are providing another important service.  “It costs us €50008000 euros to trim the grass neatly. At the moment, the cows graze it for us and it’s pleasant,” Tournier says.  The cows will not be moved, he insists.

IN LESS than two weeks everyone will know who is in the box seat -- the prime ministership of our country. It remains to be seen whether voters will stick with the triedand-tested policies of National or join the bandwagon of ‘Jacindamania’. The rural sector faces many unknowns going into this election; many remain in the dark about Jacinda Ardern’s policies. Federated Farmers vice president Andrew Hoggard rightly says that on the cusp of the election voters are still in the dark about what taxes they might be hit with if Labour dominates the next government. To Ardern’s credit she has told voters the truth: a water tax would be imposed and a tax working group would guide her on how to impose a capital gains tax. But voters, especially in the rural sector, are clamouring for more information. Hoggard says Ardern has refused to rule out a capital gains tax, a land value tax, and an asset and wealth tax, but she insists the family home would be exempt. “For Labour to say they’re not able to be more explicit about what they have in mind until they have recommendations from the yet-to-be-named members of a tax panel is a cop-out and certainly doesn’t help voters,” he says. Farmers’ homes and surrounding lands also happen to be their business and livelihood; even if farmhouses were declared exempt the owners would still cop far more from new taxes than would their urban counterparts. Hoggard and other farmers are rightly worried. The prospect of a land tax in particular is alarming to the rural sector, because of its severe impact on land-extensive businesses and others that are ‘asset rich and income poor’. According to Feds, the last time a land tax was considered (2010), the agricultural taxable land base was $105 billion, meaning a 0.5% land tax would have cost farmers $525 million per annum -- a massive hit on the sector and thus on regional economies and rural towns. “Farmers already pay whacking great rates bills in many parts of the country, often disproportionate to the services they are delivered or actually use,” Hoggard said. He points out that Labour gave more detailed information on its water tax proposal when pushed into it by Federated Farmers, Irrigation NZ and other groups. Voters deserve more details on Labour’s preferences for other taxes before polling begins; Ardern seems to believe in fair play. The rural community is asking for more information before they cast their votes; fair enough.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

OPINION  // 21

Irrigation protest missing the point DEREK CROMBIE

GREENPEACE HAS called for Cantabrians to join a peaceful civil disobedience demonstration against ‘big irrigation’. Earlier in August they targeted a Central Plains Water worksite in a protest against ‘big irrigation’ but unfortunately many facts they were espousing were incorrect or coloured. To balance these claims, Cantabrians need to fully understand projects like the Central Plains Water Scheme and its positive effect on the Selwyn Te Waihora (Lake Ellesmere) catchment and its role in restoring it. A study by Irrigation NZ shows there is no correlation between areas of high irrigation development and regions with poor water quality. In fact, here on our doorstep Environment Canterbury has already discovered that the restoration of Te Waihora cannot be achieved without the CPW scheme and its ability to protect the aquifers. Concern about our waterways is high and to say that irrigation and/or

Central Plains Water is responsible for the condition of the Selwyn River or Te Waihora is wrong. CPW has been operating for only two years; the Te Waihora issues have been known for decades. Key to the establishment of CPW is our desire to protect and enhance Canterbury’s water quality. We want to be recognised environmentally as a world leader and we will do this, over time, by protecting and enhancing the surrounding waterways. If we fail in this aspect, then the scheme has no future. Like farmers, we are caretakers protecting the quality of our land. How will we do this? There are two key ways. 1) Protecting the aquifers. By taking water from the Rakaia River in a controlled way we are protecting the aquifers, because farmers need no longer rely on groundwater wells and artesian supplies. Stage 1 has already completed its second successful irrigation season and is showing exciting benefits such as existing groundwater irrigators only abstracting 25% of their groundwater allocation during the 2015-16-17 season,

Stage 1 of the Central Plains Water Canal.

leaving 60 million m3 of water in the aquifers. Year-on-year, these quantities of water flowing through the aquifers will be very good for Te Waihora and the surrounding waterways. An indicator of our ambition to be a guardian of the environment is that we have recently agreed with ECan to discharge 3.5 cumecs (45 million m3) per year into the Selwyn to replenish the flows. The claim that irrigation is all for dairy conversions is not correct. Yes, some farms will convert but they will have to manage within acceptable nutrient levels, as already mentioned.

Many farmers do not want to go dairy farming and some soils are not suitable, so cropping, sheep, beef and deer will continue to be a major land use. In our stage 2 area, indications are that only 15% of the area will convert to dairy and the remainder will continue to be top quality cropping land. 2) Controlling and reducing use of nutrients. Nutrient levels on farms inside the CPW scheme are monitored and audited yearly and with every farm having its own management plan, the reduction in nutrient application is one of the key environmental pillars on which the scheme is built.

In the long term, even with the completion of stage 2, our nutrient discharge levels will be lower in 2022 than they are today because of new management practices and consent requirements. As part of this environmental focus, we have set up at least 50 monitoring points downstream of the scheme, have established an environmental management fund of about $160,000 per year and also the Te Waihora Enhancement Fund ($160,000/year). We also work with the Selwyn Waihora water zone committee, which is implementing the Canterbury water management strategy in the area. Today’s water issues are the result of problems that have developed over several decades, but with today’s greater knowledge and understanding of environmental issues, the creation of the Canterbury water management strategy, the introduction of the land and water regional plan and the effort and desire of companies like CPW, more constructive steps are being taken to address and remedy our water issues. • Derek Crombie is chief executive of Central Plains Water Ltd.

Water trading not a good idea CHRIS ALLEN

FELLOW FEDS board member Andrew Hoggard and I have just returned from a five-day study tour in Australia hosted by Mercury Energy. The power company sent 36 of us there, representing Waikato River catchment interests such as power generators, iwi, Niwa, the Ministry of Environment, Fonterra and Waikato Regional Council. The aim was to learn about the Murray Darling River water management plan and how water trading is working. The Murray Darling river system occupies

a vast basin the size of France and Spain. It traverses four states, all of which are deemed to own their water. We heard about the origins and struggles of state governments competing for a share in the water resource, and about the complexities of operating a system so modified by man that it can take three months for water to travel its length, while trying to deliver water to customers for abstraction and environmental purposes. The whole system is being modernised at a cost of about $13 billion, including onfarm grants from the federal government. Efficiency savings

are enabling a return of about 30% of water back to the environment. In New Zealand water for irrigation is attached to the land. It is not owned and no one pays for water; we only pay for infrastructure, delivery, etc, and require consents

to be renewed every few years. In Australia water is separated from the land and within certain rules can be freely traded (you can buy water to release down a river). No one pays for water in Australia either; there is a water

charge for management and maintenance of the system. Australia spent many billions and still had water shortages, so they wanted water trading, hence the need for disconnecting the land from the water. I am yet to be

convinced that water is flowing as intended in Australia, as much of it is moving to high value crops that don’t require the same size communities to support the farms. Two key points we noted: 1. When the government

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

22 //  AGRIBUSINESS

Inspiring leaders to contest $20,000 DWN award DAIRY WOMEN’S Network (DWN)

is putting the call out for the next inspiring industry leader. Nominations open on September 11 for the 2018 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year Award. This is the seventh year of the award contest, which celebrates outstanding leadership by women in dairying. Jessie Chan-Dorman won the title in 2017 for her wide-ranging contributions at governance level. She is a Fonterra shareholders’ councillor, director of the Ashburton Trading Society and a member of the Institute of Directors and New Zealand Asian Leaders. The 2018 Dairy Woman of the Year will also be in good company with the five previous winners: Rebecca Keoghan, Katie Milne, Charmaine O’Shea, Justine Kidd and Barbara Kuriger. Keoghan is business manager at Landcorp Farming, Milne is the first woman president of Federated Farm-

ers, O’Shea is chair of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust, Kidd is chief executive agribusiness for Milk New Zealand, and Kuriger is the National MP for Taranaki-King Country. DWN chair Cathy Brown says the network has a history of celebrating the success of women in leadership in the industry. “Often these women are driven by their own perceptions of success and don’t realise what they’re doing is exceptional. These awards are to celebrate that success and give others in the industry something to aspire to.” Brown says the 2018 winner, who will be announced at the network’s conference in March, will be someone passionate about the industry, who leads by example and contributes at a leadership or governance level. Dairy Woman of the Year has been sponsored by Fonterra since it began, with winners receiving a scholarship prize of up to $20,000 for professional

or business development. Fonterra’s NZ industry affairs general manager Jo Finer says no other award in NZ recognises and encourages specifically the capability and success of women in the dairy industry. “As an organisation we are 100% behind initiatives like this.... Each year we see high calibre nominations and I know we will find another outstanding woman for the award in 2018.” Three finalists will be selected by a judging panel drawn from DWN, Fonterra, Global Women, Ballance AgriNutrients and the previous winners. The 2018 award will mark 20 years since DWN was set up. “The network started primarily as a way for women in dairy to connect with each other,” says Brown. Our purpose has evolved to match the needs of members, and more than ever we are providing development opportunities to dairy women getting involved in the business side of

farming. “Our core driver is to give dairy women opportunities. As the business of dairy becomes increasingly complex, our members are gaining valuable education and experiences in the sector, and as that experience is built on we see

those women being nominated.” Anyone can nominate a DWN member for the award. Visit dwn.co.nz/ dwoty to find out more about the awards or to make a nomination. The closing date is February 9, 2018.

2017 Dairy Woman of the Year Jessie ChanDorman.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

AGRIBUSINESS  // 23 iCORE

DRAFTING COWSCOUT

CLUSTER REM

HERD MANAGEMENT

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DRAFTING

NKONWM chair Hona Edwards and dairy farmer Shayne O’Shea during the planting on O’Shea’s dairy farm.

AUTOMATIC TEATSPRAY

Iwi, farmers join forces on water A PLANTING day on a farm at Kokopu, Northland, this month saw the first of 20,000 plants put in the ground to help local efforts to improve water quality. Taking part were Nga Kaitiaki O Nga Wai Maori (NKONWM representing seven local hapu), the Integrated Kaipara Harbour Management Group (IKHMG) and the Northland Regional Council’s Mangere stakeholder catchment group. The event, attended by Kelvin Davis, MP, a Ngapuhi, had Kokopu School students plant 400 native plants on a dairy farm on the banks of the Mangere River. The plants were the first of 4000 donated to properties in the catchment. NKONWM chair Hona Edwards says a range of karam, flax, cabbage tree, kānuka and mānuka plants were donated by Te Arai Nursery. “This is the first planting event of this scale by NKONWM and we are positive of its success now and for any future opportunities,” says Edwards. “Riparian planting is important on many levels, as is building sup-

portive community relationships for success.” Year 5-8 Kokopu School students got involved in the planting through Soozee McIntyre of Whitebait Connection who organised the 45 children, teachers and parents to do the planting on the 93ha dairy farm of siblings Shayne and Charmaine O’Shea. “It’s important to NKONWM and the Kaipara Harbour Management Group that we find farmers willing to participate; 10 of the 18 dairy farmers in the catchment took up the offer of donated plants,” says Edwards. DairyNZ catchment engagement leader Helen Moodie is on the catchment group working to improve the water quality of the Mangere River, and worked with local farmers to get 3000 plants onto dairy farms. Although the Mangere, which flows into the Wairua River and Kaipara Harbour, was among the worst of Northland’s monitored rivers in the past, recent trend analysis showed this is no longer so. In fact, in 2014 the catchment won a prestigious NZ River Award for being the fourth-

equal most improved river nationally. “Dairy farmers play a key role in community projects, and riparian planting on farms will contribute to improving local waterways,” says Moodie. “DairyNZ water quality scientists say keeping stock out of water and having grass filters or native plantings along streams helps improve water quality. “Scientific work has shown it results in significant reductions in waterway contaminants, especially sediment and E. coli that have been identified as key issues for Northland’s waterways.” NKONWM aims to improve water quality and fish habitat, increase fish stocks and build community relationships. Hona says this planting will help with all this by mitigating against sedimentation and providing habitat for native fish and their food supply, freshwater insects. Along with the 4200 at Kokopu, the remaining 16,000 plants went to properties in Akerama, Whakapara, Ruatangata and Poroti. It is seen as an annual event, says Hona.

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Kokopu School students help with planting on a local dairy farm.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

24 //  MANAGEMENT

Milking robots offer extra advantages WITH WELL over 40 years of farming

experience, Graham Turner reckons he made the right decision in filling the pit of his 20-year-old herringbone shed in preparation for four Lely Astronaut A4 milking robots. After 40 years farming in various regions he sold most of the sheep and beef farm he had been running but kept 55ha for a run-off. He has since spent the past two seasons developing a 200ha dairy farm at Kaukapakapa, northwest of Auckland. Now he awaits the installation of the robots for his 200 dairy cows. “The advent of higher technology and systems makes obvious the need for automation,” Turner says. “Individual cow analysis versus whole herd analysis is the most progressive reason behind the change to Lely robots. Soon everyone will need to know more about their cows and robot-

ics allows for that.” He chose Lely as a “more forwardthinking company than its competitors”. The robots are scheduled for startup by December. Meanwhile Lely Center Waikato’s team is working with Turner to enable him to keep milking through the herringbone shed while the new shed is built, then the farm will gradually convert to pasture-based automated milking. The cows will have access to three pasture blocks via three separate races over 24 hours. The Lely ABC grazing system essentially gives cows freedom to milk when they choose, regularly visiting the milking robot. Cow health is

Kaukapakapa farmer Graham Turner in his old 24-aside-herringbone shed.

optimised and production increases. Turner says the robot advantage far exceeds the ability to milk 24/7, 365 days a year. The robots will enable him to “tread softly on the environment” and raise production without having to increase herd numbers. Graham Turner says he will know more about each of his cows with the new Lely technology.

“The discharge of cow waste will be less by a large proportion. With the robots, cows will stand for only ten minutes and this will lower waste material significantly.” He plans to gradually convert to split milking and expects to increase production from 60,000 to 90,000kgMS per year. He will also aim to rear more calves year-round and send all replacements and beef cattle back to his run-off block, which will be made easier by the split calving system.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

MANAGEMENT  // 25 From left: Adrienne Dalton, John Walter and Gary Dalton.

Shredders deal with more plastic waste nationwide processing of plastic ders are enabling Agrecovery to from the farming sector. Purpose-built mobile shredboost the volumes of used conders were developed by Envitainers it recycles from farms. Associate Environment Min- roWaste Services Ltd, the ister Scott Simpson last week company collecting the used extended the accreditation of chemical containers and drums. Agrecovery as a product steward- The first of two shredders were ship scheme for the agrichemical unveiled at the accreditation ceremony. and rural sector. The shredders’ greater capac“This is a vote of confidence in our scheme which since July ity and higher speed will “allow 1 is being managed solely by the EnviroWaste to respond quickly, Agrecovery Foundation,” says especially in the busy season, general manager Simon Andrew. when farmers and growers are Since the scheme began Agre- returning lots of empty chemicovery has diverted 1800 tonnes cal containers and drums,” says of plastic from landfill or burn- Andrew. Farmers and growers may ing. Now there is a plan to boost recycling to clear 60% of plastic deliver empty plastic containcontainers and drums by 2020.  ers, free of charge, at 74 drop-off “This is a huge increase on the points nationwide. Pick-ups can 40% we are clearing today,” he be arranged if volumes are large.  Agrecovery also offers free says. The accreditation coincides disposal of large drums and with the launch of new plant for unwanted chemicals. TWO NEW plastic waste shred-

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Associate Minister Scott Simpson (left) and Agrecovery general manager Simon Andrew with new collection equipment.

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Dalton and the Te Whangai Trust in this year’s Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards. Winning the region’s Hill Laboratories Harvest Award made it even sweeter, Gary says. The trust was set up in 2007 from the Dalton family dairy farm at Miranda. It runs native plant nurseries and does environmental planting work, and it helps give skills and experience to people unemployed long-term or struggling to get work or training (both are via Ministry of Social Development contracts). It has grown to employ 25 people on four ‘training platforms’ in North Waikato, South Auckland and Auckland. It expects to produce 600,000 plants this year. “We were happy the work we do was recognised,” Adrienne says. “We’re not a farming enterprise directly but we work to reduce the cost of environmental mitigation and offer work to second-generation unemployed people. “We’re killing two birds with one stone and it’s huge for us to be recognised through the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.” Gary Dalton’s forbears began farming their original block in 1868. The Daltons live on their 270ha dairy farm, which is managed by son Marc alongside the nursery. Gary and Adrienne are the founding trustees of Te Whangai Charitable Trust, which honours the memory of Gary and Adrienne’s daughter Leigh. “The trust relies on word of mouth with no advertising or marketing,” Gary says. “We’re different from other entrants in these awards, which makes us hard to judge alongside the other farms. But it’s huge encouragement for what we do. “Everything we do is against the norm and we get more knock-backs than knocks forward so simple encouragement is huge for us.” They have already won Green Ribbon and sustainable business awards and they are better known because of their Ballance awards win. Adrienne says they have made presentations to local water care groups and Federated Farmers and already work with Farm Source. Entries are open for the 2018 Ballance Farm Environment Awards; this is the third year of Auckland involvement. Entries close on October 31.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

26 //  MANAGEMENT

Groundwater level up, nitrate down NIGEL MALTHUS

A PILOT project to remediate groundwater in the Hinds District in MidCanterbury is a success, according to a report into its first year’s operation. The report presented last week to the Ashburton water management zone committee said groundwater levels below the site have risen as much as 5m and nitrate levels fallen to levels well below the committee’s 2035 targets. The Hinds/Hekeao managed aquifer recharge (MAR) pilot project consists of a purpose-built unlined ‘leaky’ pond about 10km inland of SH1 south of Ashburton. It is fed by water from the Rangitata River via the Rangitata diversion race and Valetta irrigation scheme, and allows it to

percolate into the underlying gravels to recharge the aquifers. The project has three aims: to raise groundwater levels, reduce the nutrient load in groundwater by dilution, and restore habitats in the lower catchment by increasing flows into the spring-fed lower drains. The report confirms that the first two aims are being met and the third not yet, only because the plume of recharged water moving through the aquifers has yet to reach the lower springs. The report said the trial has successfully demonstrated the viability of MAR to improve groundwater quality and stored groundwater volumes in the aquifers. “No ‘fatal flaws’ have been identified in the use of MAR to support the Ashburton zone com-

Chief hydrologist Bob Bower.

mittee in achieving community objectives for groundwater quality and levels within the Hinds catchment,” said the report. “However, significant questions remain, such as ‘what are the optimal MAR site designs?’ and ‘where will the future source water come from and how much will it cost?’ “These questions will

be addressed in the next phase of the project.” Local farmer Peter Lowe, chairman of the governance group overseeing the project, emphasised that the recharge technique has to be seen in conjunction with onfarm mitigation. It is just one tool “to help the community achieve its water quality aspirations without buggering the economy”.

Simply not taking water from the aquifer will not meet the second aim of the project -- to dilute the nutrient load. ECan rules are now in place, the water take is capped, and farm environment plans and nutrient budgets are required, said Lowe. The report identified some sediment build-up (clogging) responsible for slowing the infiltration

rate in the later stages of the trial, but said that is a standard operational issue in MAR schemes, requiring ongoing management. The water used for the trial is an unused Ashburton District Council allocation. An estimated 2.4 million m3 has gone through the pond, leaving another 13.3m m3 still available for further testing. Lowe said the next stages in the five-year pilot project will be to redesign the site a little to improve the filtration rate, and write a business plan for setting up more MAR sites across the Hinds Plain catchment. It is hoped to test about 12 potential new sites. The trial’s chief hydrologist, Bob Bower, said a fourth main goal of the project is to start an education and outreach

conversation with the community over groundwater. “We’ve done well in that space. There are still concerns about what the project may or may not do, and there are arguments over the water, but we have a consortium of environmental groups, the local marae and the irrigators, so we have the right people together at the table talking about concerns and issues; that’s a success.” Bower said the project has achieved a “nice” 12km footprint of increased water levels – one of the very few areas in the Canterbury region to have recorded improvement in a recent regional groundwater report. Bower said further sites will now be evaluated for suitability, including soil types and feasibility of water supply.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

MANAGEMENT  // 27 From left: John Hunter, Pam Hunter and Danny Nathan.

Vertical mixer, feed pad gives flexibility to grass-fed system MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

PAM AND John Hunter milk 435 cows

on 130ha (eff) at Eureka, in the heart of Waikato dairy country, supplying Open Country Dairy. Their philosophy is to look after their cows and get them back in calf. Their stocking rate is 3.3 cows/ha, and production 530kgMS/cow/annum. A key part of the system is keeping animals well-fed by way of a total mixed ration (TMR) regime centred on the recent arrival of a new Keenan vertical mixer, the first delivered in New Zealand, and a significant departure from the better known paddle mixer sold by the company for 30 years. The Hunters were already Keenan converts, having run the traditional machine for several years at a previous property; the change to a vertical format machine arose from a need to increase mixing capacity without the need for a larger tractor to cope with a steep site. The vertical format allows this at a lower machine weight and greater capacity. Feeding at a rate of 13kgDM, the mix typically comprises straw, soy hulls, DDG, tapioca, maize silage, PKE, whey product, molasses and urea. As grass growth comes on stream the ration is typically reduced to 7-8kgDM to make full use of the core product. Pam Hunter says “the TMR produced by the Keenan is a means of complementing our grass-based system. Grass will always be our main source of feed for the cows, but the mixer and feed pad give us flexibility”. “During heavy rain such as we have recently encountered we can keep cows off the paddocks. In periods of drought we have much more stability and consistency.”

Looking at the machine in more detail, the VA2-24S comprises a tub with two vertical augers, driven by Comer gearboxes to transfer PTO input into a reduced rotational speed. A heavy-duty chassis carries three load cells for accurate weighing at about +/2%, with mixed material being delivered to a front mounted, bi-directional delivery conveyor. Additional chopping blades can be introduced hydraulically into the tub to create a finer mix when required Comparing the end-product to their experiences with the conventional Keenan, the couple see little difference in mix quality, except that very dry straw isn’t chopped quite so well and care needs to be taken with low volume ingredients such as magnesium flours to ensure they are incorporated thoroughly. This is confirmed by Danny Nathan, the third member of the farm team, whom the couple describe as “the glue in the system”, getting things done in a calm and methodical way that belies his youth. Nathan draws attention to the Keenan PACE system fitted to the machine, by which ration composition is input, then giving a visual display of the ingredient type and weight required during loading, based on the number of cows being catered for. Any adjustment of the diet required by changing cow numbers or more reliance on grass is also easily accommodated. Overnight, an integral SIM card transmits the day’s activities to a central database, which sends details of the loads mixed and amounts fed to the users. This can be used to compare daily milk collection data, so giving an early warning of developing trends. Completing the package is 24/7 support from the Keenan distributor in nearby Morrinsville; operational and technical support are given by Padraig Meany and nutritional advice by regional consultant Seamus Callanan.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

28 //  ANIMAL HEALTH

Cow’s productivity needs early start A calf should drink at least 2L of fresh colostrum during the first six hours of life.

TO SET up a dairy cow for a long, productive life you must give her the best possible start, says DairyNZ. Extra effort now will pay dividends all her milking life. Heifers that reach

target weights make successful milking cows and growing them well starts from the day they are born. All calves, including bobbies, must have adequate fresh colostrum

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within their first 24 hours and should be fed colostrum, or a colostrum substitute, for at least their first four days. Always handle calves gently and with care. Do not allow anyone to throw, hit or drag a calf at any time. Do not use electric prodders. Calves seperated from their mothers must be sheltered to stay warm and dry. Calf pens must be fit for purpose and well maintained. Bedding areas must be comfortable, clean and dry, with adequate ventilation but draft-free at calf level. Exposed concrete, bare earth and mud are not acceptable. Calves should be fed at the same times each day to minimise stress; ensure their access to plenty of fresh water. Feed calves adequate quantities of good quality feed to rapidly achieve weaning weight with a well-developed rumen. A calf should drink at

least 2L of fresh colostrum during the first six hours of life to get protective antibodies. To achieve this, pick up calves twice a day and give them gold colostrum Gold colostrum is valuable even if it contains blood or clotty mastitis milk. It is best fed fresh but may be frozen for up to six months. Thaw/heat in warm water; do not microwave. Test the level of antibodies in a batch of colostrum using a Brix refractometer, available from a vet, farm supply store or a home brew shop. Brix higher than 22% is best for newborns. Store colostrum in several drums (to reduce risk of loss), in a cool place and out of direct sunlight. Stir twice a day. A colostrum keeper or yoghurt starter, available from supermarkets, can be added to each drum to preserve it. Alternatively, preserve colostrum with potassium sorbate.

GOOD HYGIENE, HEALTH PRACTICES ■■

Scrub all feeding equipment well with hot water and detergent

■■

Remove sick calves promptly to a designated sick pen

■■

Frequently clean and disinfect pens where sick calves are treated

■■

Disinfect hard surfaces

■■

Ensure bedding is regularly refreshed

■■

Control the spread of disease by minimising movement between pens. Calves of the same age should stay in the same pen. However, small or unthrifty calves may be better off with a healthy younger group.

Vaccinate, treat for parasites and provide access to shelter. Diseases that people can contract from handling dairy animals in New Zealand include Leptospirosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Campylobacter, Salmonellosis and Ringworm. To keep humans and animals healthy, it is important to maintain high cleanliness and hygiene standards and vaccinate your herd where possible with advice from your veterinarian. ■■

An injection of Multimin® + Cu one month prior to mating is proven to enhance the reproductive performance of your cows and heifers. Injectable combination of copper, selenium, zinc and manganese. International and local trials have demonstrated earlier conception. in treated animals.1,2 Optimise antioxidants prior to the stress of mating.

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ACVM No. A9374. 1. Hawkins D, DCV Newsletter March 2007. 2. Mitchel et al, Trace Elements in Animal Production Systems 2008.

www.ruralnews.co.nz www.dairynews.co.nz


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

ANIMAL HEALTH  // 29

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Similar systems but big nutrient differences: why? JOE McGRATH

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a little deeper into the real causes of metabolics at calving. While Dairy NZ has done an excellent job of explaining the use and benefit of magnesium before calving, many farmers still have questions about their cows’ health at farming. Why do farms differ so much in their metabolic health? We know the national average for hypocalcaemia (clinical and sub clinical) is close to 40%, but the variation is puzzling. Consider the hypothetical cases of Farmer Con and Farmer Max, both running cross-bred cows in Waikato, both producing a little over the national average of 400kgMS/cow and 1200kgMS/ha. Both dust Mag Ox before calving, but Con hardly sees a downer cow while Max sees at least 20%. What is going on? If you were to look at their production and cows and mineral practices you would wonder why this is so. The production stats suggest they are getting similar amounts of energy, but there is much more to be considered. For starters, they might be using different fertilisers. Con concentrates on well balanced fertiliser programmes, making sure his lime is up to date and maintains only moderate levels of potassium and phosphorus based fertilisers. He keeps nitrogen usage to a minimum and tries to maintain a healthy sward including clover. This probably results from a slower round, meaning more mature grass matched with regular but small amounts of supplementary feed. Importantly, his vitamins and minerals are in the feed in the right forms. Plus, he gets to make silage with the extra grass and uses it

in dry summers. Ideally this approach results in pasture with a more beneficial mineral content and regular feed intake with greater feed efficiency through the cow. On the other hand, Max likes to keep things simple. After all he is a New Zealand grass-only farmer. He uses urea as much as possible and does not worry about limestone fertiliser. He uses KCl (muriate of potassium) whenever he needs a pasture boost. He runs a short round, is not interested in legumes and never feeds any supplementary feed. That is until a summer drought when he pours on the bought in feed at up to 10kg a day until it rains in autumn. If the cattle appear short of magnesium he puts magnesium chloride in the water and takes it out at Christmas: he can get them drinking up to 100g of magnesium chloride when it is hot. This approach results in pasture with poor calciumto-phosphorus ratio, and low availability of magnesium (Reeves 1996). Grass utilisation in the cow is inefficient. Ironically, both farmers use about 1 million tonnes of bought in feed per cow per year. Both farmers probably have similar fertiliser and feed input costs throughout the year. So what is the difference? The key is in the availability of the minerals and vitamins in the pasture. What does the cow actually absorb from the diet? This is a simplified overview. As nutritionists, we have to concede we have only touched the surface of what is really happening in the pasture fed cow. But if we keep it simple some basic things are clear. The first is the availability of calcium. A range of factors drives it,

including vitamin D, magnesium and the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the diet. Con is feeding a slightly more mature grass that also has a better mineral ratio. He has fewer issues with excess potassium and efficient utilisation which should give the gut more time to absorb key minerals. Max has constant magnesium deficiency caused by excessive potassium and nitrogen. Further to this he is loading the cows with an anionic salt during spring, leading to loss of calcium from the animal (Oehlschlaeger 2014). Then when the summer drought hits, his supplementary feed is lacking in calcium and often has excess phosphorus, not to mention an excess of fatty acids which can cause many issues. When it comes to calving time, Con’s cows have been able to replenish their skeleton, building reserves of calcium and phosphorus because they have been present in the right ratios. He never sees broken bones and the cows respond well to the most basic transition programme. On the other hand, Max’s cows never seem to be right. He occasionally sees a broken shoulder in his heifers (Dittmer 2016) and the milk fever is rampant. Spring is a procession of downers, followed by dirty cows, early stage mastitis and even poor fertility. His labor, health and involuntary culling costs are becoming a problem. This is a simplified example of how two relatively similar systems can have huge metabolic nutrient differences. There are many more extreme examples of this and we will try to cover some of them during the year. • Dr Joe McGrath is a nutritionist with Sollus Complete Nutrition.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

30 //  ANIMAL HEALTH

Semen remains possible entry path for disease – MPI WITH SPRING mating of cows at hand, the Ministry for Primary Industries is reminding farmers worried about Micoplasma bovis that semen remains a possible entry path for the disease. MPI says farmers should make an informed decision on the use of local or imported semen, based on available information. MPI recommends farmers ask their semen supplier: ■■ What assurance can you give that insemination of my herd will not lead to an outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis on my farm? ■■ Have the donor bulls been tested for Mycoplasma bovis?

Can your semen company provide an assurance that their semen is free of Mycoplasma bovis? MPI says there is a low risk of transmission via semen, and no studies showing that it happens in practice. Embryos are also a possible source of infection but are also considered low risk. MPI says it still does not know how or when Mycoplasma bovis entered New Zealand although strenuous efforts are being made to find out. Mycoplasma bovis is present in most other countries, including those from which NZ imports of semen are sourced. The Import Health ■■

Infected farms What happens if a farm has infected animals? ■■

MPI will place a legally-binding restricted place notice on the property, restricting the movement of animals and other risk goods off the farm.

■■

MPI will work with local vets to give advice to the farmer on managing sick animals.

■■

Support will be available through MPI and the Rural Support Trust.

Standard (IHS) that regulates the importation of semen recognises semen is a potential pathway for Mycoplasma bovis. The IHS has controls on the husbandry and health status of donor bulls to reduce the risk of introducing disease. However, tests for

Mycoplasma bovis in semen are not particularly reliable, antibiotics routinely used in the processing of frozen semen may not be completely effective in killing mycoplasmas, and Mycoplasma bovis can survive freezing. MPI says the highest risks of Myco-

plasma bovis transfer are: direct animal-to-animal contact ■■ feeding milk from infected cows to calves ■■ moving infected animals to other herds/ husbandry groups ■■ equipment (e.g. calving equipment, calfeterias) in contact with the body fluids of infected ■■

animals. MPI says it is working with dairy companies to take milk samples in the Waimate and Waitaki districts. Led by Fonterra and Oceania, this involves testing bulk milk and milk from cows with mastitis, lame and otherwise sick. “All farms in the two districts will be tested.

Farms connected to Mycoplasma bovis are our priority; we are testing all the farms connected in some way to the farms we now know have tested positive for Mycoplasma bovis. This includes neighbouring farms and those that have received animals from positivetesting farms.”

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

MILK QUALITY  // 31

Beware mastitis jumping from cow to cow SPREAD of pathogens is the chief means by which contagious mastitis is transmitted, mostly at milking. The bacteria generally responsible for contagious mastitis are Staph. aureus and Strep. agalactiae. These bacteria live on the teat skin or in the udder. Spreading occurs when infected milk contaminates the teat skin of clean quarters or other cows. This can be by milk on milkers’ hands or on teat cup liners, by splashes or ‘aerosols’ of milk during stripping, and by cross-flow of milk between teat cups. Staph. aureus invade udder tissue and can form pockets of infection (micro-abscesses) and scar tissue; infection is difficult to cure, espe-

COW-TO-COW

cially during lactation, so prevention is essential. In contrast, Strep. agalactiae tends to be located in the duct areas of the udder where antibiotics are effective. It is very sensitive to penicillin, so treatment has a relatively high cure rate. Strep. uberis has become the major cause of mastitis in New Zealand; it usually behaves as an environmental pathogen; sometimes Strep. uberis can spread contagiously. Strep. dysgalactiae is another major pathogen that can be isolated from sites on the animal and can spread contagiously. Teat end damage is a risk factor for mastitis caused by Strep. dysgalactiae. Coagulase negative staphylococci (CNS) are minor pathogens that

can cause clinical mastitis but are generally associated with subclinical mastitis. These pathogens share characteristics with cow-associated, contagious bacteria and environmental bacteria. Corynebacterium bovis is a minor pathogen that causes subclinical mastitis, and it rarely causes clinical mastitis. It is usually associated with poor teat disinfection and is considered highly contagious. Both CNS and C. bovis are generally associated with the skin of the cow. The spread of contagious mastitis can be minimised by good hygiene -- keeping teat ends healthy, using milking equipment that is operating well, and disinfecting teat skin after milking. • Article sourced from dairynz.co.nz

Spreading occurs when infected milk contaminates the teat skin of other cows.

GOOD STOCKMANSHIP WINS EVERY TIME COWS’ WILLING entry to a farm dairy depends entirely on g ood stockmanship. Human-animal interactions have marked effects on the behaviour and productivity of farm animals, including dairy cows. Standardising the milking routines in a farm dairy can help raise production. The success of machine milking depends on the willing co-operation of an animal during the whole milk harvesting process. The way in which the cows are brought in from the paddock, handled in the yard and encouraged to enter the bail area, can all impact on milk let-down.

If a cow is nervous or frightened the milk ejection reflex is blocked by the release of adrenaline and this block can last for up to 30 minutes. If the milk ejection hormone (oxytocin) doesn’t reach the udder, then milk let-down doesn’t occur. In contrast, milk yield is higher, milking time per cow is shorter, stripping yields are reduced, and cows dung and urinate less often when the milking environment is pleasant, consistent and predictable. Behavioural responses of the cow to milking can be assessed by the frequency of kicks and steps (the ‘KiSt response’) al-

though careful observation and analysis is required to separate environmental effects (e.g. flies) from machine effects and operator/machine interactions. Also, cows that are fearful may exhibit a ‘tonic phase’, and may not show kicking or stepping behaviours. Research on commercial dairy cows in Australia has shown high fear levels when workers handle animals ‘negatively’, e.g. slap them or hit them with a poly-pipe. In contrast, cows have little fear of humans when they are treated ‘positively’, e.g. patting, talking and slow deliberate movement.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

32 //  MILK QUALITY

Pay less for cooling, send better quality milk MILK COOLING affects

milk quality: the faster the milk is cooled after milking, the better its quality when collected. Choosing the right cooling system for your farm results in lower energy costs and less risk of penalties for milk temperature.

Milk cooling accounts for about 30% of the total energy costs of running a dairy; energy demand and dairy running costs can be reduced by recovering heat from your cooling system. Raw milk grows bacteria rapidly above 7°C. Meeting the new milk

cooling standards, which will apply to all farms on June 1 2018, may demand changes to your system. The Ministry for Primary Industries New Zealand Code of Practice for the design and operation of farm dairies has new milk cooling standards. The rules, which apply

to converted farms immediately and to all farms from June 1 2018, require that raw milk must: a) be cooled to 10°C or below within four hours of the start of milking; and b) be cooled to 6°C or

below within the sooner of: i) six hours from the commencement of milking, or ii) two hours from the completion of milking; and c) be held at or below 6°C without freezing until collection or the next

milking; and d) must not exceed 10°C during subsequent milkings. On farms where milking is continuous or extended, such as in automated milking systems, the milk must enter the bulk milk tank at 6°C or

below. ‘Continuous or extended milking’ is defined as milking for six hours or longer from the time the milk first enters any bulk milk tank, according to MPI regulations.

Raw milk grows bacteria rapidly above 7˚C.

Plate heat exchanger.

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are the most cost-effective way to cool milk. A PHE consists of a series of very thin stainless steel plates. Water flows along one side of each plate while milk flows along the other. Heat is transferred from the milk to the water via the plate. The capacity of a plate cooler is adjusted by adding or subtracting plates. The easiest way to check the effectiveness of your plate cooler is to compare the temperature difference between the incoming cooling water and the outgoing milk leaving the plate cooler. An efficient PHE should cool milk to within 2°C of the water before it enters the PHE. For example, if the temperature of the incoming cooling water is 14°C, the temperature of the milk exiting the plate cooler should be about 16°C. Vat refrigeration In refrigerated/direct expansion tanks the refrigerant is pumped into the jackets (evaporators commonly referred to as ‘dimple plates’) on the internal surfaces of the bulk milk tank. Here the refrigerant expands

as it takes heat from the milk, is pumped out of the jackets, compressed then pushed into the condenser. The hot refrigerant is cooled by air (or water) flowing through the condenser fins. The cooled gas condenses into a liquid and is pumped back into the jackets around the bulk milk tank to start the cycle again. Direct expansion has the disadvantage of maximum power draw during and after milking which is generally at peak rate. If large electric motors are used there can be problems in areas of poor power supply. Direct expansion refrigeration systems are pressurised, which means they require a skilled technician for maintenance. Ice banks Ice banks generate ice along evaporator coils using night-rate power. The ice is used to chill water for the pre-cooler. The warm water is then returned from the precooler to the top of the ice bank and cooled again as it runs down the ice. These systems can require more maintenance than other systems and are not as energy efficient as a

direct expansion vat. If working on night electricity rates they may save money even though they use more energy. Ice banks take up less space than storage of chilled water. Snap chillers Another option is to use a refrigeration system to cool water or a food grade glycol/water mixture. Glycol systems tend to use a very small volume of fluid and create the chilled fluid on demand (at milking time). Note that a system designed to chill milk to 4 degrees C in line, i.e. prior to vat entry, will need a much larger, more costly compressor than an in-vat system. Generally, these systems are a big capital expense. Vat wraps Vat wraps are only used by 20% of dairy farms in New Zealand but can save about 15-25% of milk cooling costs. They insulate milk from outside temperatures and weather, preventing it from heating up and reducing energy used by the refrigeration unit. Effectiveness of a vat wrap will depend on whether your vat is inside or outside and where in NZ you are located.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

MILK QUALITY  // 33

OAD milking worth a good look ONCE-A-DAY MILKING can be used either

strategically (long-term) as the overall farming system or tactically as a short-term response to adverse seasonal conditions. OAD’s advantages will depend on the current farm system or layout, e.g. long distances walked by cows. OAD incurs less time for milking cows, reduces staff pressure and can be ideal for small herds. Full season OAD is the option that requires the most planning, as it involves a change to the overall farm system. Successfully switching to full season OAD milking requires evaluation of your farm system. OAD can be as profitable as twice-a-day (TAD), with the main factors being a minimal decrease in production, and cost savings achievable by adopting OAD. There are many different motivations for using full season OAD milking, and they influence the productivity/profitability change when moving from TAD milking. Generally, the farmers who get the most benefit from OAD are those whose current resources are putting stress on a TAD system. Before changing your farm system it’s important to assess the potential benefits and determine whether it fits with your aspirations and goals. So assessing

OAD milking as an option requires that you complete a budget. Data from the dairy industry good animal database (DIGAD) and levy milksolids database has been used to compare some of the physical differences between herds milking OAD and paired geographically with similar herds milking TAD, giving an idea of what to can expect after making the switch. The results are an association analysis, so cause-and-effect relationships cannot be determined, but they at least give insight into what OAD farmers have changed along with milking frequency, relative to their TAD peers. Herds milked OAD had more concentrated milk, lower milk volume and higher SCC. Herds milking OAD were producing 11% fewer milk solids before adopting OAD (possibly due to farm limitations or running more extensive farm systems). Herds that adopted OAD experienced on average an 11% decrease in milk solids in their first season OAD but here was variation between herds. Despite the production of OAD herds returning to pre-OAD levels in the fourth season of milking OAD, they remained 11% behind their TAD pairs. To retain an equivalent level of profitability, costs must be removed from the farm business when adopting OAD (see the

economics section for more details). Somatic cell count (SCC) was higher by

Once-aday milking reduces staff pressure.

about 20,000 cells/ml after adopting OAD.

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REPRODUCTION RESULTS IN GENERAL, OAD herds had better reproductive results than their paired TAD herds. ■■ Calving rate (determined in previous season when herd was TAD) was not different in the first season of OAD ■■

3- and 6-week calving rates were higher for OAD herds after adopting OAD and relative to their TAD pairs after the first season of milking OAD

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The 6-week in-calf rates and not-in-calf rates were difficult to determine from the data.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

34 //  MILK QUALITY

Keep infected cows last in the queue MASTITIS CLINICAL cases and chronically infected cows are a source of infection for healthy, young cows. But if mastitis cows are milked last, the risk of spreading infection is markedly reduced. SmartSAMM recommends that cows with newly detected clinical mastitis should be drafted out and milked last, after the milking herd has been milked. Cows under treatment with antibiotics should also be milked last, in a separate mastitis herd, once the vat has been disconnected from the milkline. If it is not possible to run a separate herd, make sure treated cows are well marked, are drafted out of the herd at each milking, and are then milked last, once the delivery line has been disconnected from the vat. Bacteria are present in milk

from all infected quarters. They are spread to other quarters and cows by splashes or aerosols of milk that occur during stripping, by milkers’

hoses should not be used directly under or around cows, as these can create aerosols of bacterialaden droplets to form and settle

Cows under treatment with antibiotics should also be milked last, in a separate mastitis herd, once the vat has been disconnected from the milkline. hands, teatcup liners and by cross flow of milk between teatcups. Keeping hands and the milking area under the cows as free as possible from dirt and contaminated milk will help to reduce the risk of transferring bacteria from cow to cow. Low pressure, high volume washing water should be used to sluice away manure. High pressure

on cows. Gloves should always be used, especially when searching for or dealing with clinical cases of mastitis. A bare hand is more difficult to clean and disinfect during milking than a gloved hand. Gloves also protect milkers’ hands from the drying effects of dirt, water and manure. Try to keep gloves clean during

milking: rinse off dirt regularly and disinfect after stripping a clinical case. Change them if they get torn and replace gloves after each milking. Gloves, liners and equipment used to milk clinical cases will be contaminated with bacteria; rinse them with running water for about 30 seconds; also, dipping in a disinfectant solution (e.g. 1% iodophor or 0.02% available chlorine) has a sanitising effect. Rubbing or drying with a paper towel can speed up the rinsing/disinfectant process. Teat disinfectants are unsuitable for disinfecting hands or equipment, as they are formulated for a prolonged contact time. After milking, the whole machine should get a full hot water wash to remove any residues of milk contaminated with bacteria or antibiotics.

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GLOVES ARE IDEAL SAFEGUARD GLOVES SHOULD always be worn when searching for or dealing with clinical cases of mastitis. In fact, there are good reasons for operators to wear gloves for all milking activities. A study in Holland on 27 farms found that the use of gloves reduced bacterial contamination of hands by 75% compared to using bare hands. Although disinfecting hands with a teat wipe reduced the bacterial count by 85%, gloved hands were easier to disinfect: 98% fewer bacteria were found on disinfected gloved hands than on bare hands. Other studies have noted a strong association between farmers who operate in a clean and precise manner and low bulk milk SCC levels and a lower incidence of clinical mastitis. Wearing gloves begins with an attitude change to milk harvesting. When milkers see milking from the perspective of harvesting a fresh pure food, they will be persuaded that hand and teat cleanliness are equally important. In a practical sense, given the typical range of tasks attempted by a dairy farmer in the course of a normal day, it is difficult to achieve very clean hands. But it is not difficult to improve the quality of the contact surface on the operator’s hands by wearing disposable or reusable rubber or latex gloves. An additional bonus is the improved skin condition of the operator’s hands, particularly in winter.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

MILK QUALITY  // 35

Once-a-day milking doesn’t increase the risk of mastitis.

Milking frequency doesn’t affect mastitis risk COWS MILKED either once-a-day (OAD) or twice-a-day (TAD) are similarly at risk of developing new mastitis infections. Milking OAD does not by itself increase the risk of mastitis. After cups-off, it is not possible to inspect the teats/udders closely for the next 24 hours – a much longer time period than on TAD. This longer inter-milking interval may enable mastitis infections to get a stronger grip before the next milking. Cows milked OAD have a somatic cell count (SCC) that can be twice as high as cows milked TAD. This difference starts to show up once cows have moved beyond peak lactation (weeks 6-8 after calving) and remains until the end of lactation. There is likely to be greater increases in SCC during the second half of lactation, which may require high SCC cows to be dried-off early. Farms have shown it is possible to supply high quality, low somatic cell count milk in spite of OAD milking. The best way of achieving this is to keep SCC low in the first half of lac-

tation, meaning days in milk can also be maximised. Preventing mastitis on OAD During milking ensure the teat cups are aligned correctly on the teats, and that they remain firmly in place without slipping. Before cup removal ensure all udders/quarters have been milkedout evenly. After cup removal look for, detect and attend to any abnormal quarters (e.g. full/hard/hot) even if cups are removed automatically. Implement teat spraying during lactation and improve the degree of teat coverage with teat sanitiser. The herd should be stripped more regularly. The use of dry cow antibiotic therapy at the end of lactation will reduce the existing infection levels and lower the risk of calving with mastitis in the following season. Detecting and treating mastitis on OAD Detection by regular herd testing and use of SCC information is an important tool for keeping your

check all quarters/cows with the Rapid Mastitis Test (RMT). Do not put a cow’s milk into the vat unless RMT indicates a low SCC. It is advisable to inspect newly calved colostrum cows twice a day, to minimise losses, e.g. from milk fever. If dusting pastures in wet weather, e.g. with magnesium chloride, do it twice a day. When cows visit the dairy

WHEN THE RISK OF MASTITIS IS HIGH, YOU NEED

SCC levels within appropriate levels. Cows with high SCC should be checked for mastitis by stripping out the foremilk and examining for visual signs, or by using the Rapid Mastitis Test (RMT) or by testing foremilk conductivity. Advice on sub-clinical treatment options should be sought from your local veterinarian. Treat clinical mastitis as you would a cow being milked TAD. Antibiotic treatments with 12-hour treatment intervals should be avoided. Consult your veterinarian for drugs more suited to OAD, including 48 hour treatments. Withholding times If a product is not registered for OAD milking, use the number of milkings recommended for TAD. For example, if 48 hours and four milkings is recommended for TAD, then use four milkings, or 96 hours, for OAD; that is, the withholding time for OAD will be twice as long as for TAD. Consult your veterinarian for drugs with shorter withholding periods. Mastitis loves wet, muddy conditions! And with all this wet weather, the risk of infection is high.

SEASONAL HERD MANAGEMENT MILKING OAD can bring extra herd management considerations. Cows can be milked OAD from the day they calve. Fonterra’s rules state that colostrum from each cow should be withheld from the vat for at least eight milkings – equivalent to four days for herds milked TAD. While the newly calved cow is still in the colostrum herd,

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TeatX® teat spray gets to work fast on improving teat condition and helping to prevent mastitis. only once daily there is less chance to observe heats during mating. Most OAD farmers use tailpaint to assist with detection of cows on heat. Some use scratch pads also. Some OAD farmers observe cows and their tail-paint for signs of heat only at the oncedaily milking, while some also observe the cows while they are undisturbed in the paddock.

With its ultrafast penetration time (less than 1 second), Teatx® gets to work faster than any other teat spray. And its neutral pH is gentle on cows skin, minimising damage.

TeatX ®, available from leading rural retailers.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

36 //  MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Duncan Ag brings Irish pasture technology to NZ MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

DUNCAN AG has introduced two new machines from Ireland to give Kiwi farmers and contractors options for rejuvenating pasture and aerate soils. The Alstrong Auctus overseeder and Alstrong Aerator are designed and manufactured by farmer and agricultural engineer Alan Winters. The 3.0m wide Alstrong Auctus pasture rejuvenator comprises a HD steel frame and weighs about 4.5 tonnes with the option to water ballast to 5.2t. Ten individually sprung levelling boards scarify and scratch the surface to remove dead grass, expose the soil and create a shallow seed bed. The levelling boards are followed by a heavyduty, toothed roller drum that breaks up surface pugging and allows air and

Duncan Ag’s Alstrong Aerator.

water to enter the surface layer of the soil. A French-made Deblime air-seeder, or optional APV unit, broadcasts seed

behind the roller using splash plates and can be followed by a finger tine or heavy-duty rings for consolidation. Alstrong Aerators have a large drum

fitted with 15cm blades that break up soil pans and shatter the soil structure to a depth of 30cm when used in dry conditions at the correct speed, and in

the case of grassland without affecting grazing. Blades are set near perpendicular to the direction of travel, and incorporate a slight angle which imparts a twisting motion to help break soil pans. The weight of the roller is concentrated on each blade as it enters the soil and combines with working speeds up to 20km/h also to help fracture the soil. They are available as 2.5m wide or 3m wide trailed models, or in a 3m wide linkage configuration; the 2.5m model weighs 3.5t dry and 5.5t ballasted, and the 3m units are 4t dry and a hefty 6t when water filled. Craig McIssac of Duncan Ag says “there are a number of benefits to aerating pasture: besides dealing with compaction by stock and equipment it also helps increase tolerance to drought, releases nitrogen in the soil and improves surface drainage.”

New blue machine powered by poo RENEWABLE ENERGY has made

remarkable progress in the automobile industry over the last few years and could be coming to a farm near you, given New Hollands’ offering at the recent Farm Progress Show in the US. A methane powered concept tractor builds on the technology gathered by sister company FPT Industrial, maker of 30,000 gas-powered engines in recent years. New Holland went public with its quest for such a tractor in 2013, powered by the output of its energy producing farm in Milan, Italy. The latest model is specifically developed for farming, producing up to 180hp and 740Nm torque. A new fuel tank design in the frontal area of the tractor allows it to work all day, and refilling is said to be as easy as conventional fuels, but more importantly it emits zero CO2.

Methane-powered tractor.

The company suggests that farmers of the future will produce biomethane from a mixture of crops, waste plant and food matter and effluent from pig or dairy operations. The resultant digestate will ‘brew’ for about 60 days to produce the alternative fuel used in the tractor, and help reduce fuel costs by 10 to 30% versus conventional diesel fuel. A completely new

look sees the machine sporting an aggressive hood, integrated front fenders and a custom metallic blue livery. The tractor cab has wrap-around glazing offering 360o visibility, with 20% more glass than the traditional layout. In the same vein, 360o viewing cameras do away with the need for wing mirrors, the resultant display being delivered to a screen

mounted in the hub of the steering wheel. Automobile-like features such as voice command allow the driver to keep hands on the wheel always, and of course the tractor can be connected to precision farming technologies such as autonomous control and automated obstacle avoidance. It might be time to invest in a new yard scraper as a pointer to the future.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS  // 37 BKT plant in India.

The driver’s days may be numbered.

Farming without your hands on wheels NOT WANTING to get left behind in the race for driverless tractors, Kubota is reported to have been selling trial machines and could be selling production models within 12 months. Ageing Japanese farmers are typi-

cal buyers in the home market. At NZ$122,000, the tractors sold in June were about 50% more expensive than conventional units. Current models are a 60hp tractor for automated cultivation, a rice planter and a compact 100hp com-

bine harvester. The tractor forms part of the company’s Farm Pilot range, which includes GPS and field mapping technologies; units have sensors to detect objects, bringing the tractors to a stop if such are encountered.

BIG, BLACK AND ROUND DEMAND FOR raw materials for tyre production is rising on signals that the farm tractor and machinery industry is coming out of the doldrums. One such ingredient is carbon black, used as a reinforcing filler in tyre manufacture; it is a product of the incomplete combustion of heavy petroleum products such as coal tar.

The giant manufacturer BKT is spending NZ$32m on a new plant covering 8ha to produce the material; this will be built within its already big facility in Bhuj, India, that covers 120ha, and was opened in 2015 at a cost of NZ$208m. Annual production will be 60,000 tonnes, a small proportion of the annual global consumption of 13.4m tonnes.

Saves a lot of mucking around WHEN YOU decide to buy a

slurry tanker there are normally worries about the size of your equipment: will it be too small? In Ontario, Canada, Nuhn Industries believes the big-is-best mantra, from the appearance of its colossal slurry road train. The quad-steer articulating tank system has a capacity of 38,000 to 60,000 litres, has an articulated ball coupling between each tank and incorporates electronically controlled steered axles at the front and rear of each tridem.

Also working in reverse, the forced steering system’s steering angles reduce as speed increases to improve stability and safety, but more importantly to make the unit driver friendly. Chassis and running gear are rated to 40km/h, while braking is by drums at all 12 wheels; hydraulic suspension offers a smooth ride, particularly when full – important considering the payload alone could be up to 75 tonnes. Field compaction is precluded by super-size 35.5 x 32 tyre equip-

ment, which can be specified with a central inflation system to adjust pressures on-the-go for field and road work. A choice of top fill or vacuum fill is offered, as is the option of PTO or hydraulic pumps with fill rates of up to 11,500L per minute. Built to last with some hose connections using Kevlar reinforcement, both tanks are plumbed together, have a common fill-point and emptying outlet, and for small jobs can be uncoupled and used singly. – Mark Daniel

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

38 //  MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Rakes for all areas MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE LAUNCH of the new Claas Liner 1900, 1800 Twin, 1700 Twin, and 320 swathers enables the company to offer a rake for every requirement, given that it already manufactures 20 different rakes with operating widths from 3.5 to 15m. The Liner 1800 Twin (8.4 m) is a new model, while the 1900 (8.05 m) and 1700 TWIN (8.45 m) are the successors to the existing 1750 and 1650 models, with all three offering a high performance twin-rotor configuration. All machines have a trailed, fully floating rotor suspension controlled via a ball head for maximum freedom of movement, allowing the rotors to adapt to changing ground contours, ensuring a clean raking performance and high feed quality. Tine brackets have a set bending point so that if they hit an obstacle only the affected tine arm is bent, leaving the swather drive-line undamaged. The tines are 9.5mm thick, making them robust yet flexible, with a specially developed shape ensuring gentle and reliable operation, so that large forage quantities are picked up tidily without soiling the material. The new Liner 1800 and 1700 Twin models have telescopic arms, providing the option to lay single or dual swaths. An optional swath guard ensures even tidier

TELL ’EM THEY’RE DREAMING MATE operations. When folded, the main guard is automatically pivoted via a parallelogram which reduces the transport height, or alternatively the swath guard can be locked in the transport position to produce a wide swath. All three new side swathers have four-wheel running gear on both rotors as standard, with wheels positioned close to the tines for clean raking and minimal soil contamination. The positioning of the main chassis at the rear, and large tyre equipment, ensure stability during transport or operation on slopes. An optional six wheel configuration and wheel weights can further improve stability. Steering locks of up to 80o are made possible with

active steering as standard, providing tight turns in small fields. Helping the operator to get the best from the machine, hydraulic sequential switching allows the time delay to be adjusted for raising and lowering of the rotors, eliminating the digging-in of the tines when raising or lowering the rotors. Meanwhile, thanks to a high lift height of up to 50cm, running over transverse swaths at the headlands is no problem. The transport height of the three models is under 4m, avoiding the need to remove arms for transport, while high outputs are maintained as the driver can switch from work to transport from the the cab, and as permissible transport speed of

50km/h. The fourth new model, the Liner 320, is a single-rotor swather ideal for smaller areas and hillsides. A working width of 3.2m uses eight tine arms, each fitted with three tine assemblies. Three-point mounting and lightweight design makes the Liner 320 ideal for smaller farms where work regularly takes place on awkwardly shaped fields or on difficult hillsides. All the Liner models have a hermetically sealed, maintenancefree rotor dome with eight, 12 or 14 tine arms with continuous lubrication of the cam rollers in an oil bath. With proven Profix brackets as standard, faulty tine arms can be replaced directly.

FEED SYSTEMS SINCE 1962

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AN ALL-WHEEL drive, 2L DOHC engine, leather throughout and a host of safety features for $34,900? That doesn’t sound right. But wait, there’s more: add active torque vectoring, which brakes the inner wheels in a curve, pushing more torque to the outer pair, which has the effect of ‘pulling’ the car into the corner and improving steering response. Safety is also at the forefront: the maker’s Eye Sight package oversees a lane keep function, and there’s autonomous cruise control and reverse automated braking. Off course, we can only be talking about the latest Subaru XV, which has evolved into its third incarnation and will set a new benchmark for this type of vehicle. The new XV looks the part, sitting high on 17-inch

Opening the door reveals the hides of numerous bovines used to cover the seats, steering wheels and dashboard capping. alloys that lead to 2900mm ground clearance and a purposeful look. Opening the door reveals the hides of numerous bovines used to cover the seats, steering wheels and dashboard capping. Fit and finish is excellent, and controls layout is functional, extensive and easy to use. Igniting that 115kW boxer engine with the push button starter makes for a pleasant burble, and slipping the shift lever into D brings the Lineartronic CVT into the fray. Initially, engine noise and progress seem to be a little disproportionate, but as speed increases the revs drop off. Once moving, throttle response is slick and speed builds up effortlessly. For drivers wishing to feel more ‘involved’, designers have added paddle shifters behind the steering wheel to mimic the feel of a 7-speed manual box, but it left this driver a little confused. Using the shifters didn’t seem to help straight-line performance, so your reviewer reselected auto pronto. Handling is sporty, and through the twisty stuff that traditional Subaru feeling of being ‘planted’ is noticeable, with minimum body roll and a sure-footed feeling. Off-road driving on a Waikato dairy farm showed that the XV is no Ponsonby poseur, with an adventure into a water-logged paddock leaving 4-inch ruts and giving the feeling that it was never going to get stuck; a pedestrian observer commented “it never spun a wheel at any time”. At the rear, the hatch opens easily and allows easy fold down of the rear seats to a large useable space, although the rear in the up position offered only average boot space that failed the golf-bag test either across or along, but this was easily rectified by popping the left side seat to its lowered position. Alongside the $34,990 Sport as tested, a higher spec Premium version hits the cheque book at $39,990, adding 18-inch alloys, electric sunroof, satellite navigation by TomTom, heated front seats, rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring, to offer what is without doubt, the best value AWD on the market. – Mark Daniel


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Herd health is elemental

TRACE ELEMENT DEFICIENCIES:

Copper (Cu) Ill-thrift, sway back, bone problems and poor reproduction.

Selenium (Se) Ill-thrift, white muscle disease, reduced production and fertility.

Cobalt (Co) Vitamin B12 deficiency, loss of appetite and poor growth.

Iodine (I) Goitre (enlarged thyroid gland), still births, small weak offspring.

Zinc (Zn) Reduced growth, production, reproductive performance, immune systems, skin and hoof health.

You’re working hard to keep your cows in good condition during lactation and mating. We’re here to help you with a full range of dairy cow minerals and custom mineral blends to support the needs of your herd.

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Smarter farming for a better New Zealand

Dairy News 12 September 2017  

Dairy News 12 September 2017

Dairy News 12 September 2017  

Dairy News 12 September 2017