Page 1

Fonterra eyes 3% milk growth. PAGE 6 CLEARING PADDOCKS Powerful and fast PAGE 28


Demand up for bulls PAGE 20-21

OCTOBER 10, 2017 ISSUE 388 //

STAND PROUD “You can let popular misconceptions eat you up or stand tall and be proud of what you contribute. – Mark Townshend, Ngatea PAGE 4



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NEWS  // 3

Young Kiwis offered priority training PETER BURKE

THE DAIRY industry has launched Hereford bull sale. PG.13

Uterine infection. PG.24

Stalking worms. PG.29

an ambitious scheme to encourage young New Zealanders to make careers on farms. Spearheaded by Federated Farmers and the Primary ITO, with support from DairyNZ, iwi entities, dairy companies and others, the scheme will provide for dairy farming apprenticeships open only to New Zealanders. The scheme is designed to achieve better working conditions than many young trainees have endured in the past, and to provide structured training and mentoring leading to a good qualification and excellent prospects. A pilot programme launched online last week had within hours attracted expressions of interest from dozens of young people. According to the head of Federated Farmers dairy section, Chris

Feds dairy chairman Chris Lewis and Primary ITO chief executive Linda Sissons at the launch.

Lewis, the Dairy Apprenticeship Scheme is similar in many ways to the dairy farm cadet scheme that launched his dairy farming career 25 years ago. He and others recalled similar

200 ENTRIES IN FIRST YEAR NEWS������������������������������������������������������3-14 OPINION���������������������������������������������� 16-17 AGRIBUSINESS������������������������������18-19 MANAGEMENT������������������������������ 20-23 ANIMAL HEALTH�������������������������� 24-25 HAY & SILAGE���������������������������������26-27 MACHINERY &   PRODUCTS��������������������������������������28-30

PRIMARY ITO will have a crucial recruiting role in the apprenticeship scheme. Chief executive Dr Linda Sissons says they hope in the first year to have 200 apprentices and twice those a year later. The scheme is a marriage made in heaven for the agriculture sector, she says. The industry has always had cadets and the apprenticeship scheme is a modern day version. “An apprenticeship is a formal arrangement that has a clear qualification outcome,” Sissons says.

experience and began discussions with the Primary ITO; so the new dairy apprenticeship scheme was conceived, Lewis says. “When I went farming 25 years ago I lived in an outside room beside the boss’s house and I was very lucky that my boss’s wife was an ex chef so I was fed well and got other help. I was living with a family and being mentored by the farmer and eating breakfast, lunch and dinner with them.” Lewis says a key to the success of the scheme will be a series of documents, including a charter, produced by Federated Farmers with DairyNZ which set out obligations for both employees and employers. “It’s about getting better employ-

ment conditions onfarm and so the farm charter is recognising that the employer has a big part to play in the future success of the employee,” he says. The guarantees in the charter and apprenticeship documents are intended to assure parents of youngsters considering the scheme that they will be well cared for and treated properly. He says in his own case the guarantees in the cadet scheme 25 years ago helped him get his parents’ support for his start in the industry. The scheme is in response to calls to get more ‘Kiwi kids’ into farming and hire fewer migrant workers, Lewis says. “The minister of immigration has said to us many times that you can’t keep relying on immigrants to fill the roles and so this is aimed at a local pool of Kiwi talent and making sure they are looked after and well trained and then, if need be, filling the gaps with migrants,” he says. Lewis says the scheme will show the public that farmers are serious about treating staff well and will help them retain their social licence to farm. And he says while young people today don’t expect to find a McDonalds or Burger King outlet in the middle of rural NZ, they do want to keep in touch with their friends via social media, hence the importance of fast rural broadband for recruiting youngsters. @dairy_news


4 //  NEWS

Don’t let the blowtorch burn you THE RECENT political blowtorch on farming is affecting the morale of younger farmers, says Ngatea farmer Mark Townshend. But dairy farmers should feel “very proud’ of their achievements, he says. A notion is gaining ground that some younger dairy farmers do not now feel proud to be dairy farmers in mixed company, Townshend says. “This is against the backdrop of an election process where political parties on the left used farmers, in particular dairy farmers, as political footballs. “While undoubtedly farmers have an important role in protecting our NZ environment, the issue is far wider than just farming. Nonetheless this wider attack has affected some farmers personally. And older farmers... winding back the clock see some similarities.” Reflecting on 1988, in his younger days of farming, Townshend distinctly remembers the “demeaning process” of then prime minister David Lange, who said on television that dairy and sheep farming were sunset industries -that sheep and dairy farmers got what they deserved for not diversifying to goats, deer and kiwifruit. The remarks were made during a cyclical downturn in commodity returns, in tandem with finance minister Roger Douglas’s removal of subsidies and a terrible winter when cyclone Bola hit in early autumn and farm conditions were still unseasonably wet through to October. “The Douglas reforms were necessary, but unluckily they coincided with other headwinds at that time,” says

Townshend. “I clearly remember the negative feeling farmers had in being unfairly singled out by the prime minister. “The positive part of the story is that from that adversity emerged a generation of farming entrepreneurs who have grown successful agribusinesses and some who have become industry leaders.” Townshend has a message for younger farmers: don’t get disheartened or sidetracked by politicians and their misguided attacks. “As young dairy farmers, numerically you may be a minority but your contribution to NZ is significant. You can let popular misconceptions eat you up, or you can stand tall and be proud of what you contribute. “Part of the reality, if you stand proud, is that you must ‘walk the walk’ in meeting the operational and environmental standards that are good practice and expected by NZ. “And the comfort that comes with age is that it is easier to shrug off illinformed comments by the masses.”

Eight reasons why you should feel proud MARK TOWNSHEND lists eight

reasons why NZ dairy farmers should feel proud of what they do: 1 We live in a time “when many Kiwis have abdicated the responsibility to feed their families to a small minority of food producers”. The average NZ dairy farm supplies milk and dairy products each year to feed 400 Kiwi citizens. And the quality of NZ milk and dairy products is second to none in the world. 2 The average NZ dairy farms supplies another 10,000 people globally with their dairy product nutrition. 3 NZ dairy farmers, via Fonterra and other innovative smaller firms such as Tatua and Synlait, have turned NZ grass-fed milk into a dynamic food category. In the 1960s NZ produced six basic milk products and sold them to five countries. Today the industry supplies dairy ingredients to at least 100 countries, and processors turn milk into “the most dynamic pharmaceutical and nutritional spe-

Ngatea farmer Mark Townshend.

cialist foods known”.

4 NZ dairy farmers are not the sole reason for NZ’s economic prosperity when measured against the best developed countries. “But the three most significant contributors to NZ’s increased competitiveness over the last 20 years are a stable, corruption-free government and business environment under the leadership of Clark, Key and English, and strong growth in the tourism and dairy sectors.” 5 NZ dairy farmers are resilient and determined business people. During the 2014-15 and 2015-16 dairy seasons of low international milk prices, at least 90% of dairy farmers would have had negative cashflows for fully two years. “Would any other sector of NZ business have been able to weather such an economic storm? The drop-out rate of farmers through this severe period was minimal.” 6 Farmers, in particular dairy farmers, have a large responsibility to protect our environment. Maybe this recognition has come later than it should have. If we have been polluters it has been through lack of knowledge of the consequences of our farming practices rather than any intent. Dairy farmers can stand tall knowing that they have invested more heavily than any other sector in recent times for environmental betterment. 7 Global climate change will attract increasing discussion. Opinions, causes and solutions will vary, but evidence suggests that the sixfold rise in world population over the last 200 years is changing our

planet. “The issue is the number of people on earth, not the number of cows. While NZ has high methane and nitrous emissions per capita, it has low emissions per unit of food produced. NZ has the best and most efficient dairy farmers in the world, not because we are better people but because we have almost total revenue exposure to world milk prices.” If NZ reduces milk production, there is only one of two outcomes. Either people in the world go hungry or other countries replace our milk with a bigger carbon footprint. 8 Farmers should feel “rightly proud” of promoting irrigation schemes in NZ, often battling against the odds and when emotional Green propaganda stretches reality to the limits. For example, the Central Plains irrigation scheme in Canterbury, participating farmers pay significant financial dividends to NZ for health, education and pensions services all NZ citizens want and demand through tax and net GST revenue. This recent scheme has only positive impacts where a small portion of the water (less than 5%) that would normally flow straight to sea is diverted for irrigation. The moment river levels reach a lower than required flow level, additional water is purchased and released from Lake Coleridge. The use of river flow water means hundreds of deep well bores drawing on aquifers become redundant. Taking dry-land drystock farming to a more intensive farming use multiplies jobs by 12 times, increases revenue by 12 times and delivers NZ substantially increased tax and GST funds to offer social services such as health and education.





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NEWS  // 5

Tatua targets growth in valueadded business WAIKATO MILK processor Tatua will use retentions to grow its cream and protein based value-added products, says chief executive Brendhan Greaney He says Tatua will be making more specialty nutritional products for key markets China, Japan and the US. The co-op has announced a final payout of $7.10/kgMS to farmer shareholders for the 2016-17 season; it has retained 50c/kgMS to help fund capital projects and maintain a strong balance sheet. Tatua achieved operating revenue of $335 million and earnings of $114m, equating to group earnings of $7.60/ kgMS before retentions and taxation. With these results the co-op has again topped the milk payout table. Suppliers applauded, Greaney says. The co-op processed 15m

Tatua closed the year with a strong balance sheet with a gearing ratio (debt divided by debt plus equity) of 35%.

Brendhan Greaney, Tatua chief executive.

2016-17 payouts 1. Tatua $7.10/kgMS 2. Synlait $6.30/kgMS (average) 3. Miraka $6.23/kgMS 4. Fonterra $6.12/kgMS (plus 40c/ share dividend)

5. Open Country Dairy $5.75/kgMS million kgMS last season, down to $5.95/kgMS (average) 600,000kgMS on the previous 6. Westland $5.18/kgMS. season. This reflected the less favourable farming conditions coming season at $6.30 to $6.60/kgMS. during the spring; milk quality In the previous season its payout was continued to be outstanding. Tatua closed the year with a strong $6.23/kgMS. Chief executive Richard Wyeth says balance sheet with a gearing ratio (debt Miraka was happy to be able to offer divided by debt plus equity) of 35%. Meanwhile Maori-owned Miraka $6.23 last season and says the signs for Dairy Company near Taupo has set the new season are promising despite the price range for its payout for the the slight drop in last week’s GDT.

“Our production this season is up. Last season we increased our budget by 4% and so far this season we are up on that which is a good result. Although we have had a lot of rain like everyone else, our production is holding up reasonably well and a reason for that is many of our farmer suppliers are on pumice soils so we can handle a

bit more rain than other regions.” Wyeth says farmers are telling him it’s still wet onfarm and some are having to fly on fertiliser. He believes another reason for the increase in production is the higher milk price for this season. “That tends to lead to higher milk production,” he says.


6 //  NEWS

Fonterra eyes 3% growth SUDESH KISSUN


John Wilson

weather conditions over spring will be crucial to this season’s milk production. While Fonterra is forecasting a 3% rise in milk

production this season, Wilson points out that comes off a poor 2016-17 season. Last year it collected 1.526 billion kgMS; this season’s forecast is 1.575b kgMS. Wilson says last year’s season was impacted by a poor spring. “We had a difficult

spring and quite a good summer and autumn, yet we ended 3% down,” he told Dairy News. “This season, we looked at what a normal spring would be like and given that some regions might be drier than others, overall we are looking at 3% more milk based on last year.”

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Wilson says conditions so far have been challenging; the last nine months saw normal 12-month rainfall across much of the country. In the North Island such difficult conditions have not been seen for many years. “It has been difficult for farmers, their families, staff and stock,” he says. “A lot depends on what sort of weather we get over the next three to four weeks; it’s getting warmer and that’s a good sign.” Wilson says at the moment milk production is flat on last year but he expects it to rise as the co-op moves towards peak production later this month. ANZ rural economist Con Williams agrees the weather will play a crucial role. Right now New Zealand production is on a “knife-edge” and could go either way. “Pasture remains sodden in the North Island but generally better in the South Island. “But equally last year’s poor performance through the seasonal peak for milk production would appear difficult to repeat, especially with farmers using more supplementary feed to maintain pasture quality and cow condition and to fill feed deficits.

“So all eyes will be on the weather for the next month or so.” Williams says the latest dairy auction disappointed and it may now take more than a NZ production downgrade and reduced GDT volumes to hold the milk price at $6.75/kgMS. “Prices fell for all products apart from cheese.” Noticeably milk powder and milkfat curves were all going down. “That means that while there is still short-term supply/demand pressure, the market appears to be banking on a rebound in NZ supply and increases elsewhere [namely Europe].” He says last week’s auction confirms that the only thing holding up whole milk powder and butter prices recently was short NZ supplies. While Chinese demand has been solid, it hasn’t been spectacular. Other Asian and Middle East buyers have stepped up to the mark but have struggled to absorb the higher GDT supply (Oct is peak). “All up, softer NZ production could still see a milk price of $6.75/kgMS, but if not it seems something around the mid-$6/ kgMS is more likely,” says Williams. @dairy_news

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NEWS  // 7

Prices could soften if rain persists PAM TIPA

THREE BANK economists see a

risk of downside to farmgate prices from last week’s GDT auction where the overall price index dropped 2.4%. But ASB, ever the optimist, still sees a chance prices will go higher if New Zealand production continues to be hampered by weather. Last week’s GDT event was described as a “poor result”, by Rabobank’s dairy analyst Emma Higgins, and a “slap in the face for expectations of a moderate increase” by BNZ’s senior economist Doug Steel. ANZ’s agri economist Con Williams says the result “disappointed”. Overall prices dropped to an average US$3223/tonne, with butter prices down by 3.6% to US$5837/t and the whole milk powder index (WMP) down 2.7% with an average price of US$3037/t . But ASB’s senior economist Chris Tennent-Brown says volumes sold at the event were the highest in a year. Prices may “spike higher over coming months if conditions for production don’t improve soon,” he says. However Higgins says higher farmgate milk prices have resulted in more milk from the major exporting regions. That pace will continue to increase although NZ weather will dictate how strong the spring flush will be, she says. “We still anticipate Chinese buying during the remainder of 2017 to help soak up some of the additional milk; but as the northern hemisphere milk starts to flow for their new season, we are likely to see pressure on commodity prices become evident,” Higgins says.   Rabobank forecasts a 2017-18 fullyear farmgate milk price of $6.50/ kgMS for NZ. At last week’s GDT event there were declines in all categories bar cheddar and rennet casein, says Hig-

gins. “This is the largest fall in aver- in NZ due to recent wet weather, age pricing since March 2017.  While would offer some near-term support the result could have been worse, it to prices. Not so.  “Prices are important at this time is important to note that October is a crucial selling month from a farmgate of year as they are essentially pricmilk price perspective as this is when ing the bulk of NZ’s seasonal supply.” The Golden Week holiday in the bulk of NZ product is locked and loaded – forward sold or shipped off.” China last week may have temporarily weakened Dairy fats led demand.  the slump, she However says. The anhySteel says gendrous milk fat erally lower price declined prices at this by 3.4% to auction – and USD$6504 /t, with all contract Fonterra indiprices for delivcating a higher ery through to effective NZD/ the beginning of USD exchange the second quarrate in its recent ter, 2018, moving Chris Tennent-Brown, ASB results comlower. Butter pared to those prices also dropped by 3.6%. previously assumed – changes the The WMP drop was “a disappoint- balance of risk on a $6.75/kgMS milk ing result given how wet conditions price forecast, he says. have been for the season so far,” says “Risks are to the downside if Higgins.  international prices do not bounce,” “The WMP volumes on offer he says. overnight were the largest for the NZ milk production figures for 12 months. However, it seems as September and October will be though the market is comfortable important to watch. that NZ production will not be too  However ASB”s Tennent-Brown adversely affected by the poor start says NZ production was weak over to the season.   August and the very wet weather is “This space will be one to watch slowing spring production. over the next couple of GDT events: “As long as the wet spring weather the window closes for Chinese buyers continues, it creates the risks that to obtain dairy product and have it prices will spike higher over coming shipped ready to receive a lower tariff months, if production at this imporrate in the new year.” tant time of the year is impacted.” BNZ’s Doug Steel says the bounce ASB is comfortable with its $6.75/ in the US dollar is putting downward kgMS and says it could spike higher if pressure on prices and the EU inter- production does not improve. vention buying scheme has stopped Despite the decline in milk fat for now while the euro is weaker, prices at the latest auction, butter making European product more com- and anhydrous milk fat prices remain petitive. extremely high compared with a year “And it is known that grain prices ago. remain weak and oil prices have “Global butter demand continues edged back a bit from recent highs. to surge while supply is struggling to But we and the market thought keep pace. With this dynamic in mind southern hemisphere milk supply we remain upbeat on the outlook,” challenges, including a slow start says Tennent-Brown.






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Candidates on why you s DairyNZ ran a candidate Q&A for its upcoming director elections; three key questions were put to candidates and here are their responses: What do you see as the three top priorities for a DairyNZ director? ■■ Improving the public perception of dairy and championing New Zealand dairy farmers’ willingness to be seen to be doing ‘what is right’. ■■ Challenging our priori-

ties to ensure we are all profitable and sustainable. ■■ Providing leadership for the rest of the agri sector. COLIN GLASS


■■ ■■

Maximising the return to our levy payers by the efficient use of

resources and funding. Having a futurefocused and proactive approach, and a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges ahead. To focus on outcomes which continue to enhance onfarm profitability and sustainabil-

next 10-15 years. Risk management: during the 2013-2015 seasons, we all experienced lower production levels that ultimately reduced DairyNZ income. Can the organisation deliver on its strategy with fluctuating production levels? What sort of risk management strategies are in place? COLE GROVES ■■

Mark Slee

ity as part of a DairyNZ strategy refresh. MARK SLEE

be aware of the good work farmers are doing already. ■■ Ensure we are connected to our farmers so that we appreciate what the key issues are, what solutions they need and then ensure those solutions are delivered. Issues and solutions may be unique to different regions. JIM VAN DER POEL Good governance principles that will guide DairyNZ’s management team and ensure our levy is used wisely. This includes maintaining a clear focus on providing tools, research and solutions to assist profitable and sustainable farming. ■■ Advocacy: we need to get better at telling the story of NZ dairy farming, using facts and science, and celebrate our successes, innovations and contributions within our communities. ■■ Collaboration between agricultural leaders: as levy payers, farmers have a stake in all farmer-owned organisations including milk, breeding and fertiliser companies and other agri sector organisations. To succeed we need to work together starting at the top. GRANT COOMBES

What are the biggest challenges facing dairy farmers now and in the next three years? ■■ Our licence to operate: the ever-changing goalposts for environmental compliance, the pressure from urban people to have higher


Focus on the current DairyNZ strategy refresh, to clarify how the resulting strategic objectives will be set and achieved. ■■ Effective use of levy payers’ funds to optimise benefits to the levy payers. ■■ Appropriately assess and monitor the risks to DairyNZ. IAN BROWN ■■


Ensure DairyNZ continues to provide the means -- based on our pasture systems – of


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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


A director of DairyNZ is responsible to shareholders for the use of levy money in delivering on the strategy of the organisation. As directors, we need to set a strategy for the next generation. Adding value from the grassroots up. Directors need to understand what is happening in the paddocks, and what the farmers are going to need from the organisation now and in the

Jim van der Poel


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standards all round. Attracting the next generation into the industry: we need to present as an attractive career option, adding to the work we already do. I grew up in Auckland and know that careers advisors know nothing about the primary industries. ■■ Animal husbandry and welfare: the outside pressures are increasing to reduce our use of antibiotics, treat bobby calves well and reduce stocking rates to meet new regulations and public pressure. COLE GROVES ■■


Being compliant: many



u should vote for them farmers are struggling with all the additional regulations. DairyNZ’s role includes developing tools that will help them. ■■ Maintaining a cost effective and competitive farming system given the extra costs in compliance, staffing, etc. ■■ Keeping a healthy relationship with urban New Zealanders. Without that farmers will be susceptible to unreasonable regulations being imposed on them. JIM VAN DER POEL The process of change our farmers are now undergoing. Increasing societal

effectively tell our good news stories. ■■ Maintaining our profitability while also being environmentally responsible. ■■ Ensuring that our businesses remain competitive with international dairy farmers. COLIN GLASS

farmers? I bring to the role vast governance experience as the director of many boards, and strong coaching skills working with a diversity of people in a variety of large scale agribusinesses and companies.

Grant Coombes

I have a high level of financial literacy, a strong focus on good returns for levy payers and I like to listen, collaborate and focus on constructive governance. I represent the next generation of farmers: I know the challenges we face and I

believe we are in a position to grow, innovate and do it better. GRANT COOMBES I am a sitting DairyNZ director so understand the organisation and what is required. I have farming experience

in the North and South Island and have a clear understanding and experience of what it takes to be successful in farming. I have governance experience including 12 years with Fonterra and I TO PAGE 10

Ensuring NZ dairying protects and enhances its social licence to operate. ■■ Continuing to evolve our farm systems to remain sustainable and profitable, despite challenges including pressure from regulators and disruptive technology. ■■ Attracting and retaining the right people in our industry. ■■ With strong, smart leadership we will turn these challenges into opportunities. GRANT COOMBES ■■

Environmental performance: farmers have seen a tremendous investment in time, money and resources go into identifying what environmental best practices look like, and then implementing strategies to achieve these. ■■ Public perception: this is linked to customer perception and as food producers we must get ourselves closer aligned with our consumers. We must promote animal welfare and environmental integrity. ■■ Biosecurity is an everincreasing risk on farm. Mycoplasma bovis and theileria are recent examples. DairyNZ needs to keep closely aligned with MPI to ensure we have adequate resources and safeguards in place. MARK SLEE

Ian Brown

pressure and expectations about the sustainability of our resource use is having an effect onfarm. DairyNZ is well placed to provide confidence, tools and solutions backed by sound science, innovation and leadership to ensure our farm systems remain profitable, meet the requirements of a changing operating environment and create opportunities for growth. IAN BROWN ■■

Improving our communications to more

Colin Glass

What particular skills or experience do you bring to the table that will add value to DairyNZ’s board and to


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10 //  NEWS

Confidence makes a comeback

THE NUMBER of dairy farms

coming on the market is seen as a sign of confidence returning to the industry. The head of agribusiness for Westpac, Mark Steed, says his staff have seen a lot more dairy farms come up for sale, marking a turnaround from the past few years of low payouts. The prospect of a $6.75 payout this season has dairy farmers relieved and buoyed up about the future. Steed says the only uncertainty that hangs over the sector is what will happen on the political front -- the composition of the new government. The other imponderable is the weather and what effect this may have on production

quite a good time to be selling,” he says. Peacock says this season’s $6.75 payout has lifted confidence in the dairy sector, influencing the decisions people make. While the trend is for dairy farms to be larger there is a still a market for smaller farms. “These small farms are picked up by the first farm purchasers and others who want to step back from a larger unit,” he says. Smaller farms tend to be in traditional dairy areas in the North Island such as Taranaki, Waikato and Northland whereas the larger ones are in the South Island and are often conversions from sheep and beef to dairying.


have a great track record of getting outcomes. JIM VAN DER POEL Over the last six years I have been heavily involved in governance through my involvement with New Zealand Young Farmers board. Good governance requires experience plus development. Having completed several governance development programmes, including the 12 month Fonterra Governance Development Programme, I am confident I can contribute significantly to DairyNZ. Skills I will bring to the DairyNZ board: real connection to the next generation; excellent communicator and public presenter; big picture focussed; calm and unflappable; passion for our brilliant industry. COLE GROVES

industry Communication skills, ability to engage in constructive debate, ability to interact with farmer groups and other stakeholders ■■ Time available to commit to the role of a DairyNZ director ■■ Ability to take a longer term strategic view of issues ■■ Listening skills, consideration of all views, able to make a decision ■■ Ability to work in a team ■■ Strategic leadership ■■ Financially literate ■■ Exercise common sense and sound judgement ■■ Sound understanding of governance, representation, management and the difference between the roles. IAN BROWN ■■

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within our industry with a key focus on profitable and sustainable practices. ■■ Collectively I have over 20 years governance experience with three different irrigation entities: Irrigation NZ, MHIS and RDRML. This has given me a first-hand view of how rapidly things have changed in the primary sector, and the importance that innovation, collaboration and strong governance play. MARK SLEE I have been involved in multi-farm dairy businesses for at least 20 years. This has enabled me to understand what drives farm performance, but also what is crucial for success. I have a strong financial understanding and I am aware that success comes from a clear and simple strategy and the ability to take people with you. COLIN GLASS

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for the season. Many regions are reporting production is down, and Steed says what happens with the weather over the next three months will be important. Mark Steed Meanwhile the Real Estate Institute’s spokesperson on rural issues, Brian Peacock, says quite a number of farms are coming on the market, especially in Waikato. “There is mix of reasons for this including a combination of [farmers’] age and stage, coupled with the climatic conditions and labour issues. Also, people tend to move up and down in size and scale when they deem that the market is pointing upwards as it is now and this is probably seen as



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12 //  NEWS

No to ETS, no to subsidies – Feds PAM TIPA

A WAIKATO proposal that farmers be assisted while they transition to an emissions trading scheme

Andrew McGiven, Waikato Feds president.

is rejected by the region’s Federated Farmers. The proposal suggests some form of subsidy, says Waikato president Andrew McGiven, which would not appeal to farmers and could be used


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against New Zealand in trade negotiations. The Waikato Regional Council made the suggestion in a submission to the Productivity Commission. It asked for feedback on its issues paper on transitioning to a low emission economy released in August. McGiven told Dairy News at this stage Waikato Federated Farmers stands by keeping agriculture out of the emissions trading scheme (ETS). Any effort to reduce

able than those elsewhere in NZ and other countries, McGiven said. In the Waikato Regional Council’s view, some form of transitional assistance for farming could help ease the financial impact of any future inclusion of agriculture in the Government’s ETS. Cows and sheep produce a large part of NZ’s greenhouse gases and Waikato hosts a large proportion of the national dairy herd, the council says.

“As farmers we are proud of the fact that we don’t accept financial subsidies.” greenhouse gas emissions should understand that not all greenhouse gases are created equal, he says. “Carbon dioxide is the dominant greenhouse gas from human activity, and is persistent in the atmosphere. Efforts to reduce emissions should continue to focus on reducing carbon dioxide over methane and nitrous oxide,” says McGiven. “[The idea] that farmers be paid in order to transition into an emissions scheme suggests to me some form of subsidy, and as farmers we are proud of the fact that we don’t accept financial subsidies that could be used as a negative bargaining tool by our overseas trading partners.” McGiven says personally that if biological emissions were ever included in the scheme he would also like to see farmers being able to offset these with the carbon sinks they have created. These include riparian plantings, pasture, shelter belts and wetlands as well as the soil that is farmed, and that would require substantial remodelling of the current measuring tool. “It must also be noted that farmers, like other sectors of the population, already pay for carbon emissions through fuel and power levies.” A move to a regional ETS would make the farmers of the Waikato less productive and profit-

But agriculture is currently excluded from the scheme. A submission by the council on the Productivity Commission paper says it will be difficult for New Zealand to transition to a low-emissions economy as long as agriculture is excluded from the ETS. Inclusion is necessary for the scheme to be effective, the council asserts. However, its submission says the council recognises that to include agriculture may be difficult for the sector and suggests “it may be worth investigating whether some sort of offsetting tax cuts or credits on farm incomes could be used so that the overall effect on farm incomes is neutral”. The Productivity Commission paper says dairy, sheep and beef together accounts for about 40% of NZ’s goods exports. But agriculture accounts for nearly half of NZ’s total emissions, which is high for a developed country. However, NZ is recognised as being among the lowest emitters of agricultural emissions per unit of agricultural output. The report outlines various aspects including technologies, possible scenarios for land use change and agricultural transition. See the report at www.


NEWS  // 13

Hereford bulls on sale.

Hereford sale WET, WINDY weather did not deter vis-

itors to Hangawera Station, east of Hamilton, for the tenth Hereford bull sale, says Tainui Group Holdings. It breeds and rears Hereford bulls, run by operations manager Ian Mathieson. The sale saw 205 animals aged 18-24 months offered to bidders from Kaitaia in the north to Gore in the south; the average

sale price for the day was $2500. All bulls were pure-bred and had undergone fertility testing over the weeks preceding the sale and been double-vaccinated and tested for BVD and EBL, says Tainui Group. Buyers appeared to be a mix of dairy farmers looking to restock and beef breeders with long associations with the breed.

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the Effluent Expo in Hamilton on October 17. The event is run by Waikato Regional Council with support from DairyNZ. Hundreds of farmers have attended in previous years. The expo, now in its sixth year, enables farmers to talk to industry professionals about effluent management and infrastructure. Notably the expo is to help farmers ‘do it once and do it right’ when upgrading farm effluent management systems. The event promotes a holistic approach to farm effluent management and provides a one-stop shop for water, effluent storage and effluent application advice. “The event aims to help farmers increase their effluent knowledge and have well-managed, fit-for-purpose effluent systems on their farms,” says council sustainable agriculture advisor Mark Gasquoine. “Information will be available on a range of systems to help compliance with relevant rules and good management practices in the region.” Council farming services team leader Stuart Stone said farmers are working hard to meet effluent management

rules, although compliance data for the last financial year shows gains are still needed. “The farming services team appreciates the efforts individual farmers are making to lift their game in compliance, whether it’s having the right infrastructure in place or sufficiently trained staff to ensure infrastructure is working as it should. “We continue to work with farmers, often one-on-one, to support them in their efforts and investment to get their effluent storage complying 365 days a year. “Progress is excellent and this expo reinforces the science, tools and support available.” Attractions include suppliers’ exhibits and seminars throughout the day. Entry is free. Seminar subjects include: ■■ Waikato Regional Council monitoring ■■ getting effluent storage volumes sorted ■■ extracting value out of farm dairy effluent. The expo will run from 9am to 3.30pm, at the Claudelands Conference and Exhibition Centre in Brooklyn Rd, Hamilton.

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14 //  NEWS

Miraka farmers lift milk quality the season (reduced pro rata depending on how many points a farmer gets). Last year one Miraka supplier got 98 points. “We are starting to see good engagement right across the board,” Jackson says. “We have seen our mean somatic cell count, which is a very distinct indicator of milk quality, drop by an average of 10,000 cells per year in just one year simply because we are incentivising people to be better, rather than penalising them when they are not. That number is a

The scheme, called Te Ara Miraka, now in its second season, is producing amazing results, Jackson says. It rewards suppliers for meeting five criteria – people, environment, animal welfare, milk quality and prosperity. Within these are 31 criteria of which 13 are mandatory. These in turn are extrapolated out into a points system – all told 100. If a supplier passes on the mandatory items he gets some incentive, but if he gets the full 100 points he will earn an extra 20 cents/kgMS at the end of


AN INCENTIVE scheme to get suppliers to the Taupo-based Miraka dairy company to produce better quality milk and adopt best-practice systems is producing stunning results. That’s the view of Miraka’s milk supply manager, Grant Jackson, who says only four of the company’s suppliers are not in the scheme, though they will be when they sign up to new supply contracts by the end of the year.

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operators. In the normal course of events he’d expect the average additional incentive payout to be about 10 cents, but he says in the first year alone

fessionals who can help them achieve their targets. “Rather than us saying ‘here are the initiatives, go get them’, we are actually supporting them with resources and templates. Yes, there is a commercial cost to that but we believe the outcome is worthwhile and something we can leverage off to build our own consumer brands, and it means we are talking the talk about our organisational values,” says Jackson. He says as more farmers achieve the present standards, it’s likely that over time Miraka will update these to reflect new trends and objectives.

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uct from Miraka, a Taupo Maori dairy company, is weeks away from launching in Singapore, Malaysia and New Zealand. Chief executive Richard Wyeth is just back from Singapore where he finalised arrangements for the launch. Called Whai Ora (in pursuit of wellness) the product is a powdered smoothie drink targeted at lifestyle consumers, especially women. It consists of milk powder blended with oats, honey, fruit and vegetables, all natural products sourced in NZ. It will be sold in a 400g can for mixing in a blender with water to produce the smoothie. Wyeth says arrangements are finalised with the supply partner in Singapore, and his visit gave the company’s new Singapore brand manager opportunity to meet key

people in that market. “It’s all exciting and positive. We had lunch with some yoga instructors who tested the product and they couldn’t wait to get it. They were excited about its being all natural ingredients. Our new brand manager coming in was keen to understand what they thought of Whai Ora and was delighted at their response.”

Singaporeans will be able to buy Whai Ora from specialty retail stores and cafes. Whai Ora will be available in all three markets by late October-early November. In NZ a website will enable people to buy online and it will be available in specialty retail outlets but not in supermarkets. – Peter Burke

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Feds show the way

MILKING IT... No watery grave Sanction busting IT’S NOT every day a fireman gets a call to rescue cows from a water reservoir. But such a call was taken last month by New Zealand Fire and Emergency; two cows managed to keep afloat for an hour inside a water tank before being rescued. The cows got into their predicament while walking on the roof of a hillside water reservoir in Ormond, north of Gisborne, which collapsed under their weight. Officers had to use sledgehammers to bash a hole in the concrete side, drain the water then bring the cows to safety.

SANCTION-HIT QATAR is flying in food from abroad, including milk from the UK. It comes from a Midlands farm, making a 3000-mile trip because of sanctions imposed on Qatar by four neighbouring Arab states. It takes four days for the goods -- exported by Birmingham company Y International -- to arrive, then it goes on sale with other British milk selling for at least £5. The liquid milk is a business boost for the dairy farmers who appreciate the guaranteed price. Qatar has also airlifted cows into the emirate to help overcome the sanctions.

P... p... pea milk THEY SAY It’s never been easier to avoid dairy, thanks to an ever-expanding array of plant-based ‘milk’ -- rice, soy, hemp, oat, coconut, almond, macadamia, hazelnut and cashew. But nut or soy allergies prevent some people from drinking these. Women may be concerned about the estrogen-like compounds in soy. And such beverages may lack certain vitamins and protein. Enter pea milk, the newest non-dairy beverage on the block. It’s vegan, nut free, soy free, lactose free and gluten free. It’s better for the environment than almond milk, said to waste water during production. And it has more protein and calcium than other alternatives.

Fewer cows, more Canadians CANADA NOW has fewer cows than at any time since the early 1990s and, say analysts, it’s partially millennials’ fault. On January 1, Statistics Canada counted 11,850,000 cows in Canada — a 26-year low. Now US estimates of the Canadian cattle population are that by 2018 it will be down to 11,725,000. “Canadian cattle farm numbers have continued to contract as ranchers retire without successors,” reads a new report by the United States Foreign Agricultural Service. Canada’s ratio of cows to citizens remains in steep decline: in 1945 there were seven cows for every 10 Canadians; early this year that ratio had dropped to three cows per 10 Canadians.

THE BOUQUET of the week goes to the unfairly maligned dairy sector, in particular the initiative shown by Federated Farmers and the Primary ITO. The Dairy Apprenticeship Scheme devised by the two organisations and several others will help draw the sting of the arrant nonsense preached by politicians, journalists and the smallbut-vociferous anti-dairy lobby in the lead-up to the election. Smart people in Feds, including Katie Milne, Andrew Hoggard and Chris Lewis, have with ITO put together a brilliant scheme to encourage young New Zealanders to make careers in the dairy industry (although it does have a bit of the look of a former dairy cadet scheme). It’s no secret that some dairy farmers have been terrible employers and managers of their land and have given the sector a bad reputation. But now Feds is showing leadership by initiating this scheme and putting in place guarantees in the form of a farm charter and a promise to monitor and enforce standards with the goal of ensuring a safe and enjoyable workplace for the apprentices. For too long the odds on getting a good employer or employee on a farm have been dubious for both parties. But under the Apprenticeship Act this is removed and the whole process has become a formal one with obligations on both parties. Feds will mentor the farmers and the ITO will look after the training and pastoral care of the employees; hopefully over time will emerge highly trained young managers who can take the industry to new levels. Primary ITO calls the joint venture with Federated Farmers a marriage made in heaven for the agriculture sector. The dairy industry has always had cadets and the apprenticeship scheme is a modern day version of this. Formal training and mentoring was common in all jobs 40-50 years ago, so it seems logical that as the baby boomers move on it’s timely to reintroduce training and mentoring for -- who knows -- excellence. This initiative is not just talk about getting young people, it is walking the talk; Feds and the ITO and others deserve all the plaudits in the world for making this happen. May this marriage last for years.

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WAIKATO: Ted Darley ........................... Ph 07-854 6292, 021-832 505 WELLINGTON: Ron Mackay ........................ Ph 04-234 6239, 021-453 914 SOUTH ISLAND: Kaye Sutherland ..............Ph 03-337 3828, 021-221 1994


OPINION  // 17

National leader Bill English on election night.

Election chill dampens mood in farming NICK CLARK

WELL, THE election has

been held and although the National Party ended the night the largest party by a healthy margin its margin wasn’t big enough (unlike 2008, 2011, and 2014) to make its return to the Treasury benches a foregone conclusion. The final outcome is now subject to negotiations, with Labour and National courting NZ First to get them over the line. On the face of it the election campaign had a chilling effect on farmer and business confidence as evidenced by two surveys released last week. Rabobank’s September quarter Rural Confidence Survey saw a fall from June’s record highs.  Net confidence in the agricultural economy for the upcoming year fell from +54 to +38, with potential government policy figuring as a significant concern.  Rabobank noted the prominence during the election campaign of policies impacting on farming. Looking at farmers’ own business performance over the coming year there was a much smaller drop in net confidence, from +47 to +44. Sheep and beef farmers tended be less optimistic than dairy farmers for both the agricultural

economy and their own business performance. General business confidence also took a dive in September in ANZ’s monthly Business Outlook Survey.  In September a net 0.0% of respondents expected general economic conditions to improve over the coming year, down 18 points on August.  This means optimists and pessimists were evenly matched.  For agricultural respondents the net figure was also 0.0%, down 23 points on August. As with the Rabobank survey, own activity held up rather better.  Overall, a net 29.6% expect their own activity to increase over the coming year, down 9 points on August.  For agriculture, the figure was a net 40.0%, unchanged from August.  These are still healthy figures and indicative of solid economic growth. Clearly the election campaign spooked many in the business community. With the election over it will be important to get a government in place to provide certainty for business and for confidence to recover before weaker sentiment impacts on investment and employment.  Hopefully this won’t take too long. Change has also come to the Reserve Bank with governor Graham Wheeler stepping down

and an acting governor (Grant Spencer) in place while a replacement is sought. The first review of the official cash rate in the post-Wheeler era was held this week with no change at 1.75% and no change to the accompanying statement’s studiously neutral tone. The statement concluded with the comment that “monetary policy will remain accommodative for a considerable period. Numerous uncertainties remain and policy may need to adjust accordingly”.  No change there either. The next OCR review (and monetary policy statement) will be on

November 9. Exported goods were up in August but there was still a big monthly trade deficit, according to Statistics NZ’s monthly merchandise trade statistics. Goods exports were $3.7 billion in August 2017, up 9.0% on August 2016.  Fruit (up 28.9%) and wine (up 10.4%) both posted healthy gains.  Meat was up 1.5% but exports of milk powder, butter and cheese were down 2.6%.  Wool was down 23.6%. • Nick Clark is Federated Farmers general manager policy. @dairy_news

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Call for Maori entries MAORI DAIRY farmers

are being urged to enter the 2018 Ahuwhenua Trophy for dairy. The competition was formally launched recently by DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle at Waikato-Tainui College for Research & Development in Ngāruawāhia.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy, now in its 86th year, is competed for annually, alternating each year between dairy and sheep and beef farming; the 2018 competition is for dairying. Ahuwhenua Trophy management committee chairman Kingi Smiler

says it is a great opportunity for Māori to take up the challenge and enter. Entrants benefit from having a group of expert judges come and work with them to give them a good idea about what sort of progress they are making on their farms. It’s also great for those

who are at the pinnacle of their operations to show other Maori farmers what they are capable of doing. Smiler says getting farming practices aligned in such a way that they care for the environment is critical for New Zealand. He says NZ has prob-

ably been too slow in taking up the challenge of balancing farming practices so that the environment is properly cared for. And unless the industry itself takes up the challenge, others will force farmers to do things and some won’t cope and will go out of business.

Kingi Smiler with the Ahuwhenua Trophy.


He says the entrants, finalists and winners of the trophy have all played a part in growing the legacy of Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe who inaugurated the competition. “They wanted to train our people to ensure they were able to build sustainable practices for their business over time, the objective being to sustain themselves through the generations. “These principles are as important today as they were then because of the water quality issues; and because the country hasn’t been taking care of the environment it has become a problem that needs to be addressed.” Smiler says training is fundamental to that, and not enough is being done to make sure every-



one working in the dairy industry understands that and is trained to apply those practices better. Mackle says Māori values fit well with DairyNZ’s focus on a sustainable, competitive profit based system -- making a profit out of the actual business rather than relying on capital gains to make that profit. Mackle says DairyNZ has been involved in the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for ten years and that his organisation has gained a lot by being involved. Entries close on November 24 and entry forms and other details are at www.ahuwhenuatrophy.Mā The winner will be announced at a function in Christchurch at the end of May 2018.

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BALLANCE AGRI-NUTRIENTS wants to award four scholarships to people “passionate” about the future of sustainable food production in New Zealand. The scholarships -- $4000 a year for up to three years -- are open to would-be students of primary industry or agribusiness. Ballance’s general manger people and capability, Edith Sykes, says there are broad scope and exciting opportunities in these sectors. “Our focus is on helping NZ farmers and growers get ‘future ready’ and there we need talented, curious minds to help producers lead the world in sustainable food and natural fibres. “Our scholarship programme is to support innovation and inspire new leaders of all ages in agribusiness.” Emma Simpson, who won a Ballance threeyear scholarship to study agri-science (horticulture) at Massey University this year, says the benefits of the scholarship go beyond financial support. “The opportunity to access mentors within Ballance and the guidance and support from a wider network in the industry has been great,” she says. “I’ve also secured a 13-week summer placement with Ballance, which I’m looking forward to.” The scholarships are open to anyone of any age and at any stage in their career, planning to study at university in 2018.



Provenance story not just clean and green PAM TIPA


LEGISLATION RECENTLY don’t bury our heads and say NEW ZEALAND’S provenance passed in Europe forbids it’s dairy or nothing. story is not always based on clean calling substitute dairy “We are seeking to and green; often it relates to the products by dairy names, says understand where the friendliness of the people, says Piper. competition comes and Mark Piper, Fonterra’s director Legislation is also going what’s the difference?” group R&D. through in the US about the Although they see some The NZ Story and how it resosame thing, he says. trends for milk alternatives nates depends where in the world “We look at all those they also see trends along the you are, he told an ExportNZ conthings as they come through, lines of non-GMO and grassference. we connect globally, we are fed that run counter to those. “To be honest, when you go looking to openly innovate While more non-traditional with people as well, so we foods such as plant based around the world you would struggle to find somewhere where NZ doesn’t resonate – be it the Hobent price points. We are doing a bits or the clean green image of in some cases as well.” Asked to outline Fonterra’s lot of work on how we formulate water tripping down the snowinterest in developing markets, our products so we can meet that capped mountains. “NZ has a good reputation; it is Piper says they have been selling market as those people move up not just the country, it is actually into Africa for a number of years. the value chain and become con“We have just put our brands sumers…. the people. “We are looking everywhere all “When I meet people all over business into Ethiopia…. India is a the world they always talk about little more tricky; there is a lot of the time. We already sell into 140 countries.” NZ. Some of them have A key message Piper never even seen a photo of gave at the conference it but they’ve got a friend “NZ has a good reputation; was ‘get close to your who has come back and told it is not just the country, it is customers, understand amazing stories about the actually the people.” what they are doing and people they interacted with. why they are doing it’. “So as a culture and a “You’ve got to be out there and people we have great reputations government control. But as with for being genuinely nice and for any country, you ignore it at your stay connected. If you think what being innovative. So that does peril. We do actually sell into India. you are doing today is still going “We have had people based in to be relevant in five years you are carry well; it is not all on the back of clean green although that obvi- India surveying the landscape, we kidding yourself.” An interesting learning came continuously look at these counously helps as well.” The NZ story is one which tries. China is fantastic, it has been from a product released in China will continue to be told, Piper a great market but I am always -- a high protein milk with a kiwisays. The provenance story has cautious of us putting all our eggs fruit flavour. Blind testing showed the kiwifruit flavour wasn’t being enabled Fonterra to build the in any one country’s baskets. “In Africa a big focus is how picked up although testers thought Anchor and NZMP (NZ Milk Products) brands. This is even true for we get the next-generation con- it was a nice flavour. Instead of going back and reforproduct sourced from other than sumer coming through; there are NZ because of what it stands for. a lot of people below the poverty mulating the product as they might “We don’t put our stamp on some- line and our job is selling nutrition. have done in the past, they put thing unless it meets strict require- Dairy is nutritious so how do we the pack in front of them which ments, so it actually transcends NZ get that nutrition at these differ- showed what we were trying to

substitutes are coming onto the market, “we are just seeing an increase in consumption, full stop,” he says. Milk protein products used to be only infant formula for infants who couldn’t consume breast milk, or for gym junkies and the ageing. Now it is used in all sorts of products for people wanting to maintain an active lifestyle.

Mark Piper, Fonterra.

achieve so they could get the full experience. “On social media in China it is blowing up as one of the best kiwifruit flavoured products on the market. “ The key learning was to just try a different element first before going back to the drawing board. They are also looking at where people might consume products, for instance, on a train in Japan, riding a bike in China or in the heat in Dubai. “What is it and how are they experiencing it…? “You really have to go to the consumers, see how they are using your product, see what they like about it and what they don’t like about it. “One of the trickier things to understand is what they are substituting it for. In some cases it is not what you think it is. Your competitor is not necessarily who you think it is.” You’ve got to prioritise the customer. “Don’t go chasing every rainbow; we’ve made that mistake ourselves. Understand where and why you have a right to win, and understand those customers.”

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Teasing out a good business i hard to find them unless there’s a teaser bull in the herd.” The Teaser Bull ComTHE SLUMP in dairy pany leases young sterile prices over the past few bulls to farmers; the bulls seasons proved to have help farmers identify a silver lining for the cows on heat, improving woman who founded New submission rates in herds. Zealand’s first teaser bull Once the leasing busi“To me that’s a form of lease is over, ness. Waikato flattery because I know that the teaser bulls are sold dairy farmer obviously they value the to freezing Jennie Macky, whole teaser thing.” works. who started Macky cites the Teaser Bull a study by Dunsandel vet them to do, to try teaser Company in 2013, won Chris Norton in the 2007bulls to reduce veterithe best agri-business08 season, which showed woman of the year title in nary intervention and also not have to purchase that running teaser bulls the Fly Buys Mumtrepreat the start of mating high-value beef stock. neur Awards of 2015, just resulted in an extra 7% as the dairy downturn was [The downturn] actually of cows coming into heat improved my business.” starting to bite. over the first 21 days; 6% Meanwhile, LIC intro“Mumtrepreneur was more cows in calf at four duced short-gestation just before we had those weeks; on average a 2.7 semen. couple of years of hard day reduction in time “So we found that times in the industry,” taken to get back in-calf; people may take a break said Macky. “I thought, and a leftward shift in the and use bulls, but then ‘man this is going to be cumulative in-calf curve. they’ll start AI-ing again tough’. I assumed we Macky, brought up later, using short gestawouldn’t lease out many bulls and things would go tion semen. And they love in nearby Tirau, is herself a vet, having graduto have teaser bulls then, very quiet. But actually ated from Massey in 1997. because there’s only a the reverse happened.” She and partner James few cows on heat and it’s Macky said veterinary intervention such as hormone-release CIDRs was very expensive, as was buying bulls to put over the herd, at a time when the beef schedule was also extremely high. “So it became an economically viable thing for


Teaser Bull Company founder Jennie Macky.

Kinston, who have five children, are 50% equity partners on a 1000-cow farm at Parawera and milk 230 cows on a leased farm at Kihikihi. She no longer works in

a veterinary practice, but her experience includes working through the huge 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak in Cumbria, England, which she described as “a pretty amazing expe-

rience”. With mating now starting in the North Island, Macky’s season has begun and teasers have already been delivered to some clients. She is also about

to begin vasectomising next year’s teasers. One testicle is removed entirely to provide an external marker, and a large piece of the vas deferens of the other

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s in hard times is removed. That is sent to the lab for confirmation that the procedure has been done properly. She does them when they’re young, so there is plenty of time before they are put to work and no chance of unintentional pregnancy. “I’m about to start. In October-November I’ll do all the 200 that will be used next year. So there’s loads of time. I do them now because the smaller they are, the easier they are to control.” Macky has usually provided yearlings as the lease animals. Clients accustomed to the yearlings were happy with them but she said many farmers couldn’t “get their head around” the idea that a yearling was big enough for the job. She had also tried two-year-olds but clients found them too big and too “bolshie” and she wouldn’t use them again.

However, having switched her main herd to autumn calving she has found the happy medium: raising autumn bulls which go out as teasers at 18 months old and about 50kg heavier than yearlings. “It’s their bigger frame; they’re just a little older and a little more aggressive. They’re just starting to get that spunk about them, getting a bit more boy-like, and they’re big enough that the farmers like them.” An alternative to vasectomising was to push the testicles up against the abdomen and remove the scrotum so the body heat suppresses sperm production. Macky said she would not recommend that, although she has a client with a bull fixed that way that has been successfully used as a teaser for six years. “When I was still practising I was doing teasers

for lease, but also vasectomising a lot of teasers for my clients. I got a lot of my clients into it. “To me that’s a form of flattery because I know that obviously they value the whole teaser thing. They rate them, they value them and they think they work,” she said.

“But there are always farmers out there -- sharemilkers and farmers who don’t have the ability to or are not allowed to keep bulls -- who don’t have that opportunity. So there’ll always be an opportunity for me to lease to people who can’t do it themselves.”

Teaser bulls ready for leasing.

MAINLAND, TOO A TEASER bull leasing service is now also available on the Mainland, with the launch at Ashburton of South Island Teaser Bulls by James Kinston’s cousin Juan Gray and his wife Laurie. The Grays, both vets, started in business a couple of years after Jennie Macky’s Waikato operation, when they realised there was a market, based on the number of enquiries Macky was getting from the South Island. Laurie Gray said this is their first season in full operation, with a website and Facebook page now up and running. They have 70 animals for lease this season and are rearing 100 bull calves for next season. Like Macky, the Grays do the vasectomising themselves. Juan is a fulltime practice vet, as is Laurie, concentrating on dairy cattle before her current maternity leave. Laurie said the New Zealand fertility trial of 8 to 10 years ago highlighted that heat detection is high on the list of reasons for poor reproductive performance in dairy herds. “I think a lot of farmers are onboard now with knowing that they have to use as many aids as they can.” Yet she estimates that only 5-10% use teaser bulls, leased or otherwise. Surprisingly, she said, a number still used entire bulls. “They’ve realised there’s a bonus in having a bull among the cows but haven’t quite changed over to the idea of having a teaser bull and not having those beef calves,” she said. “It’s a massive topic and there are many different things you can improve or focus on as a farmer, so we’re just providing an extra source of help for heat detection, basically.”


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Waikato rotaries central in 10,000cow China farm TWO 80-BAIL Waikato

Milking Systems (WMS) rotary platforms are at the heart of a new 10,000 cow dairy farm in China. The 400ha farm in Huaxian, in Shaanxi province northwest of Shanghai, is owned by the big dairy processor Bright Dairies. Its animal welfare and processing standards are said to be among the world’s most stringent. Just back from visiting the new facility, WMS’s country manager China, David Morris, says the installation is one of several it has built on Bright Dairies’ farms. “Bright Dairies was formed in 1911 and is today among the largest milk processors in China; its farms provide milk for a broad range of fresh milk, yoghurt and dairy products for the domestic market. “Trust is big in China and you earn that by delivering what you promise. We put huge effort into building and sustaining relationships built on trust and brand integrity. “The innovation and manufacturing standards of our products and the depth of our customer

Twin Waikato Milking System rotaries on the China farm.


service complement the standards Bright Dairies applies to every aspect of its farm operations,” Morris says. Dairying in China has evolved in response to environmental challenges, and the standards new conversions must meet are among the most stringent in the world – tougher than in New Zealand, says Morris. All animals intensively farmed are housed yearround in US-style barns where they are fed alfalfa, silage and corn, some of it grown on the farm but mostly imported from the US and Australia. “About 75% of feed is brought to the farm – 60% coming from the USA – and thousands of tonnes of hay are

imported from Australia each year.” The cow barns have no walls and a flat roof; optimum temperatures prevail year-round. “Dairying land is leased from the Chinese government; getting consent to convert to dairying is via an extensive regulatory process applying to animal welfare, preservation of the environment, biosecurity, etc.” The new installation at the Huaxian Bright Ecological Demonstration Dairy Farm is the latest WMS rotary platform in China. The two concrete Orbit rotary platforms, commissioned in October 2016, now milk 3000 cows three times daily, 365 days a year. As the infrastruc-

ture builds and matures, the herd size will increase to a maximum of 10,000 cows. Cow are milked 20 hours a day and the plant is cleaned during the other four hours. By law, Chinese dairy plants must be washed every six hours and the dairy is set up so the platforms continue to rotate during washing. The new dairy has milk metering and each cow is fitted with a pedometer that provides milk yield and activity data fed to herd management software. The system also has automatic sorting and weighing. Morris says all milk produced in China must be able to be traced back to the farm and the animal.

that would not be possible with a lower level of staffing. “Effluent management is very sophisticated: water is removed from effluent, then it is heated and sterilised for use as bedding for the cows. Farms have huge storage ponds and inject effluent into the ground in a concentrated form or as fertiliser granules, avoiding leaching. “You simply cannot walk onto a modern dairy farm in China without first being kitted out in protective gear and then being required to walk through ultraviolet lights before you come into contact with the cows. Disease containment and prevention is also behind new regulations which prevent visits to two different farms within three days. “In contrast with NZ, where dairy floors tend to be concrete,

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Uterine infection hits production NIGEL MALTHUS

WET SPRING weather is having “a huge impact” on the number of ‘dirty’ cows, says veterinarian Paul Daly, of Selwyn-Rakaia Vet Services, Dunsandel. “I want to make sure you guys are getting on top of those dirty cows, getting them checked and

getting them treated,” Daly told attendees at a recent DairyNZ farm systems group meeting at a nearby farm. Dirty cows are those suffering the uterine infection endometritis following calving, which causes poor subsequent reproductive performance. It is detected by a procedure known as ‘metrichecking’.

Daly told farmers at the meeting that detection too late was costing them “a lot of money.” He said a trial done on 15,000 cows in the North Island had emphasised the value of early, versus late, metrichecking. Early checking leads to 18% of cows being treated; late checking to only 6%. But while that requires treating a lot of cows,

the early intervention increases the six-week incalf rate by 3%, he said. “So even though you’ve spent two or three grand -- depending how big your herd is -- you get a 3% increase in your sixweek in-calf rate by going in early. I know your time is precious but you need to be doing this. “Keep on top of it. To get the benefit of the six-week in-calf rate you need to be on this.” Daly said endometritis is normally diagnosed from three weeks after calving. It has a big impact on fertility levels and how quickly those cows get back in calf. Although vets see it routinely every year, this season had been bad “on some farms”. “A cow with an adequate or better immune system is going to be able to fight off the infection. Due to the hard weather, milk fever cases, trace ele-

Vet Paul Daly

ment deficiencies… all these impact on the levels of endometritis you see. “So you try to take a holistic approach -- deal with the trace elements, make sure their copper and selenium levels are up, try to reduce the number of milk fever

cases you get; you try to promote a healthy cow, a cow in good condition, well fed. And all those will help reduce the number of cases.” Daly said wet weather knocks cows energywise, and in some cases if they had a bad calving in the

wet it would also knock their immune system. “There’s no one factor; everything gets tied in like a jigsaw so you have to have all the pieces fixed to try to reduce it.”


Ceva Animal Health is introducing two anti-infectives to New Zealand, packaged in unbreakable bottles. The company says its long acting amoxicillin for cattle and pigs, Vetrimoxin LA, has a uniquely balanced pharmacological behaviour (hydrophilic and hydrophobic) for improved absorption. “It is rapidly absorbed with a high plasma peak and long action up to 48 hours,” the company says. “It is easier to resuspend and inject, and its formulation can be used in a range of temperatures without blocking needles, even tested down to -20 degrees C.” Tenaline LA is the second product, containing the more com-

monly used active oxytetracycline. This is said to have perfect tolerance on injection, to reduce site issues and it has fast absorption. Tenaline LA is packaged in its patented CLAS non-glass bottle -shockproof and easy to handle. “It is much thinner [than glass], making it much easier to syringe; the less force you have to apply the less chance of damage at the injection site.” Ceva Animal Health says many farmers have requested a move away from glass bottles. “Breakages can result in broken glass to clean up, lost money and often an

unplanned trip to the vet.” CLAS bottles are made of a polymer blend with qualities very similar to glass but with the benefit of plastic.

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Vaccines control disease in people, livestock MARK ROSS

VACCINATION IS the most effective way to protect against life-threatening diseases such as distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and leptospirosis that affect New Zealand animals. NZ rates of leptospirosis are among the world’s highest, says the NZ Veterinary Association (NZVA). The zoonotic disease afflicts rats, dogs, pigs, cattle and people. It puts farmers, particularly

In human medicine, vaccines have eradicated diseases such as smallpox and polio. Smallpox used to cause death worldwide. Thanks to widespread use of the vaccine, the last natural case of smallpox occurred in 1977. In 1980 the World Health Organization declared that the disease had been wiped out. Vaccines have also helped reduce the number of new diphtheria and measles infections to 95% of peak incidence rates. Vaccination has pro-

continue to use and develop vaccines to limit the spread of disease. • Mark Ross is the chief

Scanda gets your lambs and calves off to a good start. The dual combination oxfendazole/levamisole drench controls parasites and tapeworm, and with just a 10-day meat-withholding period, there’s just a short wait to get your animals on the truck.



foundly influenced and improved human and animal health worldwide and will continue to be a fundamental tool to meet health challenges. The medicines and vaccines produced by the animal health industry have been strikingly successful in controlling many diseases. As the industry association that represents animal health manufacturers of NZ, we seen that supporting the health and well-being of pets, livestock, people and the environment is of vital importance. To this end, Agcarm supports the global One Health campaigns addressing antimicrobial resistance, zoonosis and vaccination. Advances in technology are allowing the development of new vaccines such as the recent creation of a vaccine against the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) in cats. Continuous spending on breakthrough technologies and innovation is imperative to control diseases among animals and their spread to humans, as are appropriate government strategies for eradicating disease. To ensure people and animals remain healthy and productive, we must

Herd vaccinations are vital to prevent the spread of leptospirosis.

Alliance is a quality, low-dose triple combination drench that controls internal parasites, including tapeworms, in sheep and cattle making it ideal for routine and quarantine drenching. It has a 14-day meatwithholding period for sheep and 10 days for cattle.

To overcome the increase in infection and break the cycle, robust herd vaccination is essential. dairy farmers, at risk as it can spread from infected urine in dairy sheds. It is also an occupational risk for meat workers, who can contract the disease in the same way. NZVA says anyone in contact with cattle could be at risk. Cases of leptospirosis fell sharply after herd vaccinations were introduced in 1981. But Radio NZ reported recently that 91 people had contracted the disease in the first half of 2017 and at least two-thirds were hospitalised. Incidence of the disease has tripled in the first half of 2017, worrying health experts. One possible reason for the spike is the recent wet weather and contaminated floodwaters; water can carry the disease. To overcome the increase in infection and break the cycle, robust herd vaccination is essential, along with personal hygiene. The spread of disease between humans and animals isn’t going away.  As global population rises, the risk of zoonotic diseases spreading will increase as humans and animals live closer together; and food sources and agriculture are coming under great pressure.

executive of Agcarm, the industry association for crop protection, animal health and rural supply businesses.

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26 //  HAY & SILAGE

Good silage will serve you well CLIVE DALTON

THE PROCESS of making silage

(ensiling) is very old. It is basically a form of pickling something to preserve it.  It was used by the Greeks and Romans and became popular on farms in the late 19th century.  But you needed a pit or silo, and a lot of labour to feed it out, which meant it was not popular on small farms. The invention of the baler and plastic wrapping now enable small farmers to take advantage of the benefits of silage as a supplementary feed for stock.

There are several good things about silage: you don’t need a hay barn; the wrapped bales or long sausage bags can stand in the paddock. And you can leave the bales where they are going to be fed; the end-product is near the original pasture. You should only lose about 20% of the nutrients in the silage making process. The high-protein green leaf is maintained. It is very cost-effective conservation and now that it’s baled you can buy and sell it. However, there is also a downside to silage. It smells, and some people (and their neighbours) don’t appreciate

Avoid puncturing bale wraps while transporting them.

this; ensure a good fermentation when making. It’s difficult to cart and feed out without proper equipment. The effluent from silage is an environmental hazard and is lethal to wildlife in waterways, as it eats up oxygen. Silage wrap is now an environmental hazard;







Select a good rapidly growing crop high in ryegrass and clover Cut it at maximum of 10-15% seed head emergence Don’t try to ensile short and lush spring pasture Cut when dry on a sunny day, not in the rain Have it cut and conditioned to spread it about to get rapid wilting Rapid wilting for 12-24 hours to

25-30% dry matter will leave good sugar concentrations in the crop ■■



It will also increase dry matter and improve feed value Exclude air rapidly from the pit, and seal the pit rapidly Maintain the pit temperature below 30 deg. C by rolling to stop the plants respiring and using up their food stores. Use a pinch bar to make a hole and drop a ther-



mometer (on a string) down the hole to check temperature Wrap bales soon after baling and transport them with care to avoid puncturing the wrap You can add inoculants to encourage the right sort of bacteria fermentation, but in most cases in New Zealand they are not essential with grass silage. Discuss this with your silage contractor.

produce lactic acid which pickles the crop and prevents undesirable bacteria growing by causing a rapid rise in acidity (pH). Once at pH 3.8-4.3 there is stability and the silage is safe. However, things can also go wrong in the silage making process. If there has been no consolidation you get an aerobic fermentation (air gets in). The bacteria form a butyric acid fermentation which stinks; you will smell ammonia and see moulds. After a while in the stack or bale it will look more like tobacco and is of very little feed value. In fact the stock probably won’t eat it. The protein has been cooked like a boiled egg and is useless. The bales will shrink to half their original size – a sure sign of trouble. • Dr Clive Dalton is a former agricultural scientist. This article first appeared in @dairy_news



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it needs to be recycled, not burnt or buried onfarm. You can lose up to 30% of the original nutrients if the silage is made poorly, and holes in the plastic (even pinholes) can let in air and allow moulds to ruin large quantities. Rats love silage bales, so do stock. In a good silage making process you ensile a good quality crop at the right stage. When it is baled or put in a pit a bacterial fermentation starts. This should be in anaerobic conditions, i.e. no air. Ensure pit silage is consolidated by rolling all the time the pit is being filled. With wrapped bales this is less a concern as baling consolidates the grass and it is sealed immediately after baling. This allows lactobacilli and streptococci present on the plant leaves to feed off the 3.0-3.5% sugars present; these are the good bacteria that we want. The silage smells sweet and like vinegar (lactic acid). These bacteria

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HAY & SILAGE  // 27

Best way to preserve feed surplus DON’T ASSUME you’ll get through the year without supplementary feed. It’s not just the availability in times of crisis, it’s also the cost you hadn’t planned for that often causes most concern.  Isn’t keeping animals supposed to be profitable?   Even on small blocks aren’t they at least supposed to pay the rates?  You can produce dry matter (i.e. feed less the water content) from pasture cheaper than you can buy any other nutrient in. And you won’t get any better quality feed.  If you have to buy concentrates in the form of grain or meal it can work out very expensive per kg of dry matter (DM).  Everything you conserve from green pasture will be of less feed value because everything we do with pasture wastes nutrients.  The worst -- despite the way most folk rave about it -- is hay.  To make good hay you have to wait until there is about 15-20% seed head showing in the crop so you know it’s reaching maturity.  But maturity means lower digestibility -- the animal gets fewer nutrients out of it.  Then we let the sun and wind dehydrate the crop to remove even more nutrients.  You are lucky to save about a third of what was there at the start.  Whereas spring pasture is 70% digestible, medium-quality hay can be about 45% digestible.  So over half of its DM goes in the front end of the animal and out the back end.  It doesn’t go into the bloodstream to produce energy and protein for maintenance, and production of meat, milk, growth, pregnancy and the like.  Animals like hay, so it’s always palatable unless you have shocking stuff full of mould, which should never be fed.  Neither should you breathe in the dust.  Remember that palatability is not always related to feed value.  The best way to

preserve a feed surplus on the farm is silage. This used to be difficult on small farms as you needed a large hole in the ground or a clamp above it.  Most of all, you needed a lot of pasture to get a good fermentation going in a big heap that could be easily consolidated. Bagged silage or balage has solved so many practical problems.  The baler wraps the grass tight and the plastic bag seals it.  It doesn’t need any more consolidation so making a good product is almost guaranteed.  You can have it wrapped in single bags or in a long sausage to save plastic.  There are plenty of contractors around with all the necessary equipment.  The cost per kg/DM can be very low. All you have to be careful of now is accidental splits in handling bags or holes made by marauding rats.  Any holes or splits must be taped up as soon as they’re seen, or air will get in and mould produced. For good balage, wait until there’s about 15% seed head in the crop before cutting.  Cut it in the afternoon if possible when the sugar levels are high in the plant, and let the crop wilt for about 12 hours.  This will ensure a high DM silage with high feeding value.  Then get it baled as fast as possible.  On a small farm get the contractor to put big bales where you want to feed them, as they’re too heavy to move without the right gear.  Big bales vary in weight from 900kg to a tonne, and you don’t want to be taking any risks.  One of these rolling on you could have a very quick end - it has happened!  It’s nice to have a forklift and proper feedout trailer but if you can’t borrow these, then let the stock self-feed from the bale.  Be careful to make sure the stock cannot get at the plastic as they’ll chew and swallow it.  I saw a bull recently slowly devouring about two meters of wrap! Disposal of the wrapping is a real concern

and nobody seems to have come up with any positive ideas. Bury in an approved land fill and do not burn is all I’ve seen. Many contractors are now producing small balage bales which are

roughly the size of a conventional bale of hay. These are much easier to move and feed out. • Dr Clive Dalton is a former agricultural scientist. This article first appeared in

Silage is just picked grass.



The MF 6700 S introduces the very latest in 4 cylinder AGCO POWER engine technology to a power band that was previously the domain of 6 cylinder tractors. • The most powerful 4 cylinder tractor in the market with up to 200 HP with Engine Power Management (EPM)* • Choice of Essential or Efficient specification levels to perfectly suit your requirements • CCLS hydraulics as standard with up to 190 l/min flow on Dyna-VT models


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


MF 6700 S SERIES 120 – 175 HP


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

A world of experience. Working with you.



Agco launches new gear, expands plant MARK DANIEL


and machinery manufacturer AGCO is never far

MF’s new TH7038 telehandler.

from the news, so with the grass harvest about to start in New Zealand, two new products from the MF camp will get plenty of attention. The MF TH7038 telehandler offers 3.8 tonne lift capacity to a height of 7m, using a high capacity 190L/minute load sensing pump and electro-hydraulic controls. Power is provided by a 3.4L, 4-cylinder Doosan engine developing 130hp to Tier 4 Final emission regulations. The hydrostatic transmission offers two speeds, doubled by two mechanical ranges said to improve towing performance on the road and allow a maximum speed of 40km/h. A wide comfortable cab makes use of large curved glass panels for visibility throughout the whole arc of movement of the boom, and precise control is achieved with the multi-function joystick that is electrohydraulically actuated. In operation, boom

suspension and a cushion retract function help reduce shock loads on the machine, as well as improving operator comfort. Three steering modes allow easy manoeuvring in all situations, while an ECO mode controls engine speed and hydraulic flow to help reduce fuel consumption. Out in the paddock, the recent sighting of the new MF 2370 UHD baler, ahead of its official launch at Agritechnica in November, will be of interest to farmers, straw merchants and hauliers. Manufactured by AGCO partner Hesston, a specialist in balers, the 2370 is aimed at the ultra high-density market -operators looking to clear paddocks quickly and achieve high tare weights for freight operations The drive-line of the new machine takes the 1000 PTO input from the tractor through a pedestal gearbox to spin the flywheel at a reported

1500rpm, from where a secondary gearbox drives the beefed-up plunger at 50rpm. Ultra-high density is achieved by a longer, tapered bale chamber, and completed bales are secured by a six-knot tying system. The machine is ISOBUS compatible and easily serviced: the fuse box, hydraulic valve bank and reservoir are all accessible from ground level. And on the tractor front, MF parent AGCO recently bought 8ha of land and 30,000m2 of factory space adjacent to its tractor plant in Beauvais in France. Dubbed the home of Massey tractors, the facility is already the largest producer and exporter of farm machinery in France. Next will come ‘lean’ manufacturing techniques and flexibility agreements with the workers’ union. @dairy_news

New MF2370 UHD baler.

ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

QUALITY DAIRY HOT WATER CYLINDERS From 180 litres to 1500 litres

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

Superheat Ltd

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

NZS 4604

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

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

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

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

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

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



Stalkbuster leaves worms homeless MARK DANIEL

FORAGE MAIZE remains the crop

most favoured for feeding cattle in Europe, but over the last 15 years, particularly in Germany, the maize worm or corn borer has become a major pest. Ostrinia nubilalis feeds on leaves and tassels before moving onto stalks and ears, hindering yield and quality. The main method of control is mechanical: ploughing to a depth of 40cm to kill larvae, and also mulching maize stubble immediately after harvest to remove debris which gives the

pest a home to overwinter. Unfortunately, about 30% of stubble is flattened by the tyres of self-propelled foragers and haulage equipment, so in many cases mulching quality can leave a lot to be desired. Recently showcased by Kemper in the run-up to Agritechnica, the Stalkbuster has won a gold medal for innovation at the event. Mounted immediately behind the header of a SPFH, the wear-resistant spinning flails chop and crush stubble to eliminate the borer habitat, before the harvester wheels pass over them. The technique has less risk of fusarium occurring, which in turn reduces Award-winning Stalkbuster.

Spinning flails chop and crush stubble to eliminate the borer habitat.

the need for post-harvest chemical application. An eight-row unit weighs about 500kg and requires 35hp to operate. It is mounted so as to achieve optimal ground following by way of a floating gearbox and an additional pneumatic pressure control system to track changing contours. Kemper, owned by John Deere,

claims the Stalkbuster, which makes for easier post-harvest cultivation, can also save farmers Euro 84/ha versus conventional mulching. Also awarded an Agritechnica silver medal is John Deere’s EZ Ballast Wheel System, designed to make the task of ballasting for task specific operations much easier. Front and rear wheel weight packs are said to be fitted or

removed in under five minutes by one person. The sculpted packages are lifted with a forkhoist or telehandler onto the wheel centre and locked with a unique toggle system; they allow an extra 250kg at each front wheel and up to 500kg at each rear unit (2 x 250kg), giving a total ballast capability of 1500kg.

Pugged ground?


ROTOPICK CULTIVATOR A true one-pass cultivator for repairing winter damaged pugged ground. Unique blade design works the soil fine without creating a pan layer combined with rear leveling bar and packer roller results in a perfectly level seed bed for replanting. Combined with an Air Seeder - do it all in one pass!

KON SEMI CHISEL PLOUGHS Ideal for repairing damaged pugged ground from winter grazing or after crops. Works to 350mm depth leaving a level finish ready for regrassing or new crop establishment. Auto reset spring loaded legs and rear flat bar roller available in working widths of 2.8m to 4.8m fixed and hydraulic folding models.

To find out more or to find your nearest dealer go to

CRAKER SUBSOILER PLOUGH Ideal for cultivation from 350mm to 650mm deep. Used to repair and level damaged winter water logged ground and pugged soil. Drys out soil, improves future drainage and breaks up soil pans to encourage deep plant root growth resulting in larger crop yeilds. Perfect for first pass cultivation prior to planting maize.


30 //  MACHINERY & PRODUCTS Kubota’s compact track loader.

More powerful, more comfortable MARK DANIEL

KUBOTA’S NEW SVL95-2s com-

pact track loader, replacing the SVL90-2, is said to offer users greater multi-tasking capabilities, more powerful hydraulics and more comfort upgrades. Offering a 1451kg rated operating capacity, over 40 inches of reach and hydraulic flow rates ranging from 19 to 151L/min, the SVL95-2s can handle heavy-duty lifting and loading chores, and has the versatility to handle a variety of other work assignments such as ploughing, drilling or trenching.   At the heart of the machine, a powerful high flow hydraulic system can be programmed and adjusted to deliver flow rates from 19 to 151L/

min -- a 19% improvement over previous models -- and line pressures of 3553psi. Operators can use up to three hydraulic circuits in parallel to control the loader, the bucket and an auxiliary device such as an auger or drill, making the SVL95-2s capable of performing all three functions at once without sacrificing performance. Bucket breakout force of 3600kg and a unique vertical lift designed to deliver an exceptionally long reach of should provide outstanding performance and productivity. Power is provided by a turbocharged, liquid-cooled, common rail, 4-cylinder diesel engine, with EGR, DPF and SCR systems, to produce 96hp while meeting Tier IV final emissions standards. A 109L fuel tank will give an 8-10 hour work day without needing to

refuel, and a 19L diesel exhaust fluid tank will last four to five days. Inside the cab, new comfort and convenience features include pushbutton control of the optional high flow hydraulics and a high-back suspension seat for enhanced support and reduced fatigue on long workdays. A wider entrance makes entering and exiting the cab easier, and the hand/dial throttle control is optimal for jobs where constant engine speeds are required. When ordered with a cab, the SVL96-2 is supplied radio-ready from the factory and equipped with an antenna, speakers and mounting bracket. The radiator cooling fan is relocated to the rear of the vehicle, greatly reducing interior noise.


Gagarin was the first astronaut into space and 31 years later the first Lely Astronauts hit the dairy farms of Europe. Dutch manufacturer Lely’s decision to sell its grassland business to AGCO and focus on its dairy automation business coincides with the 25th anniversary of its installing the first Astronaut robot in 1992. Back then, robotic milking was viewed as futuristic -- something adopted by farmers with too much money. Today the concept is widely accepted worldwide,

Early model Astronaut robotic milker.

used by shrewd operators to manage staffing, herd health and water usage. The van den Berg family in the Netherlands, buyers of the first

Lely Astronaut, are about to buy a fourth unit. Owner Ad van den Berg said “we have used Lely Astronauts since the very start of our jour-

ney. They have yielded us a lot in efficiency, and allowed us to spend more time on the things that really matter; the new unit will help the next generation of our family to run a healthy operation”. Lely Dairy NZ has been supplying such systems to New Zealand farmers since 2008. Managing director Sam Anderson says the Astronaut “offers progressive dairy farmers a viable option if they are looking to build or convert an older milking parlour they are likely to outgrow in the future”. – Mark Daniel

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Mastiplan LC is a new lactating intramammary antibiotic for mastitis with a unique formulation that includes an effective anti-inflammatory. Mastiplan LC delivers fast, visible relief that lasts. This means a rapid return to happy cows, producing quality milk.

AVAILABLE ONLY UNDER VETERINARY AUTHORISATION. ACVM Registration No: A11329 Registered Trademark. Schering-Plough Animal Health Ltd. Phone: 0800 800 543. NZ/MSP/0617/0001

Dairy News 10 October 2017  

Dairy News 10 October 2017

Dairy News 10 October 2017  

Dairy News 10 October 2017