Leonie Guiney’s parting shot. PAGE 4 LESS STRESS OAD milking joy PAGE 24-25
Spray boom guide PAGE 36
NOVEMBER 14, 2017 ISSUE 390 // www.dairynews.co.nz
GETTING THE BEST FROM BULLS Reporoa farm manager Ian Fraser is using all bulls and no AI this season so it’s essential getting natural mating of the herd right. PAGE 22-23 MULTIMIN® + Cu
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
NEWS // 3
Payout looks shaky PAM TIPA firstname.lastname@example.org
FONTERRA’S FORECAST milk
Words of courage. PG.13
Out fishing while cows milk. PG.27
62 years and counting. PG.29
NEWS������������������������������������������������������3-16 OPINION����������������������������������������������18-19 AGRIBUSINESS����������������������������� 20-21 MANAGEMENT������������������������������� 22-27 ANIMAL HEALTH�������������������������� 28-29 EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT������������������������������30-35 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS��������������������������������������36-38
price of $6.75/kgMS is looking shaky, bank economists agree. Last week’s GDT Event price index drop of 3.5% was the third consecutive decline. BNZ senior economist Doug Steel told Dairy News prices are down a cumulative 6.8% since September. They are now about the same as a year ago. The annual comparisons are set to go negative from the next auction if the decline persists, he says. Chances are now higher that Fonterra will revise down its milk price forecast, says Steel. BNZ has highlighted this risk for some time. “The only potential saving grace has been a material dip in the NZD over the past month or so. Any forecast update will, of course, include Fonterra’s (unknown) effective forex rate.” A business update from the co-op is due on November 22. BNZ’s current forecast is $6.30/ kgMS. Westpac last week downgraded its forecast by 30c to $6.20/ kgMS. ANZ downgraded to $6.25 $6.50/kgMS last month and advises further caution. ASB is sticking with $6.75/kgMS for now given the production outlook, but also warns of downside risk. BNZ’s Steel says rising global milk supply, potential changes to the EU intervention scheme and a relatively weak EUR are key factors behind the price pullback over recent months. “Skim milk powder prices unexpectedly rose by 1.2%. But at
“Asian buyers have had a busy few months purchasing so now have some short-term inventory cover; and Chinese buyers have product ready for the FTA tariff window.” US$1818/t pricing remains weak and is expected to remain that way with ample product in Europe.” Fat prices remain very high, but were mixed last week, says Steel. Butter fell 3.6% while AMF unexpectedly rose, albeit by only 0.5%. “Wholemilk powder prices fell a hefty 5.5%, perhaps as the market senses a pickup in NZ milk production over recent weeks after a very poor start to the season on previous wet weather. The average selling price for WMP was US$2852/t, dipping below US$3000/t (the RBNZ’s medium term assumption) for the first time since April. “The dip in dairy prices (and recent rise in oil prices) is consistent with our view that the terms of trade will ease back in 2018 after posting an all-time high in 2017.” Rabobank dairy analyst Michael Harvey says last week’s GDT result was the largest drop since the start of the year. While both NZ and Australia have had a mixed start to spring, the volume of product in the auction is increasing as Fonterra adjusts its product mix, Harvey says. “Also, Asian buyers have had a busy few months purchasing so
Michael Harvey, Rabobank.
now have some short-term inventory cover; and Chinese buyers have product ready for the FTA tariff window. Hence the biggest fall was for contract period 2 (January delivery).” But it is not all bad news. “The weaker NZ dollar would be partially offsetting some of the falls. For example, the average price of WMP on the GDT has fallen 9% since the August event. In the same period, the NZ dollar has depreciated 7.5%. “Of more concern to the global balance is milk production in Europe which continues to pick up pace. What happens from here through first half 2018 with production in Europe will largely dictate global market movements. Latest data for European monthly milk flows were higher than expected.” But there are many moving parts in Europe, he says. “Of note, farmgate milk prices in key regions have stopped rising. Also, wholesale dairy markets in Europe have started to ease – especially for butter. This will potentially flow through to lower farmgate prices in the coming months.”
Harvey says a Dutch court ruling against dairy farmers objecting to phosphate limits being imposed on their businesses means culling of herds will begin in earnest. Westpac economist Shyamal Maharaj says China’s growth is expected to slow next year as the government focuses on economic rebalancing. That is likely to crimp demand for a range of commodities. While Westpac trimmed its forecast last week for the 2017-18 season by 30c to $6.20/kgMS, the bank is more optimistic in releasing its first milk price forecast for the 2018-19 season. “We expect the payout to increase to $6.50/kgMS, on the basis of a revival in the Chinese economy from late 2018 and supported by a lower average exchange rate over the season,” Maharaj says. ASB says prices can push higher because of the supply impact of a very wet NZ spring. It attributes recent price weakness to the seasonal peak in auction volumes. “The increases in auction volumes contrasts to the production outlook,” senior rural economist Nathan Penny says.
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
4 // FONTERRA AGM
Ex-director gives clear steer to shareholders Former Fonterra director Leonie Guiney left the co-op in controversial circumstances. Guiney says she made herself available for re-election via the independent nomination process but wasn’t endorsed by a key board sub-committee. Here’s what she told shareholders at Fonterra’s annual meeting this month. IT SAYS ‘it starts
Former Fonterra director Leonie Guiney at the co-op’s annual meeting in Hawera.
here’ on all our supply numbers in Fairlie. It’s especially poignant for me that we should be in Hawera today because my life working with dairy farmers began here in 1991.
South Taranaki farmers taught me how to farm a pasture curve for cash. That inspired my entire career in dairying, I developed a particular passion for what is done with that cash, to secure the long term future
of New Zealand dairy farming. Thank you for your support in giving me a mandate to serve on our cooperative and for your investment in me in the last three years. I have poured myself into our
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cooperative, as I have into the industry I love, for 26 years. The co-op is greater than any one individual, and what matters most is that we never forget why the co-op exists. It was formed to give us competitive market strength offshore; the risk of becoming a pricetaking peasant is real, but easy to take for granted when we have known nothing but a strong co-operative. Value can be added anywhere along the supply chain, but the question of who captures that is the reason we need to own and control it. Fonterra’s milk supply depends on shareholders trusting the stewardship of their capital. We need to be sure, not to surrender our business sense at corporate governance level. I was committed to the desire to see Fonterra management allocate time and capital in proportion to where we can best compete and succeed. As a shareholder -- one of many who has built capital from profitable farming of cows -- I remain committed to that. However, the greatest competitive strength of our co-operative -- which competitors can’t match -- is the loyal supply that comes as a result of trust in a collective purpose. That depends on the trust being reciprocated,
on people on the board believing they can entrust farmers with bad news as well as good. Farmers need to be confident that the board is asking the same the questions they (the farmers) would ask if they had access to all the information the (board) has, and that is where our now-undemocratic election creates a risk. Forthrightness and candour with shareholders is not a Fonterra strength yet. An election system that gives a committee of the board the tools to remove their colleagues has implications over time for courage, bluntness and honesty on a board. I congratulate the new directors and genuinely look forward to your contribution. We do have a champion; retaining farmer control of that is in shareholders’ hands. We have a very bright future, if we stay focussed on why we exist and for whom; you can be reassured we have high quality and very committed staff and senior management in Fonterra. It is in shareholders’ hands to elect governors who can give a clear steer to management on why we exist. We need to be careful not to surrender our business sense to corporate slogans. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
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FONTERRA AGM // 5
Farmers watching Beingmate, China Farms performance email@example.com
Duncan Coull ■■
Volumes of 5.5 billion LMEs – 24% of total volumes across the co-op
China consumer and foodservice operations continue growing and profitable, including a normalised EBIT increase of 60% to $209 million -- 18% of normalised EBIT across the co-op
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are a direct result of entities not approved to continue in this market ridding themselves of stock that [will be] effectively worthless when the new regulations are implemented. “Beingmate has not been immune to this and was impacted in sales and profitability; however it was among the first companies to receive regulatory approval and should be well positioned.” Coull says Fonterra’s board and management have consistently believed new regulations in the Chinese market in January 2018 should signal the beginning of a turnaround in this investment relative to the wider China strategy. “The council is maintaining a watching brief and having regular discussions with the board on this topic. Given the significant capital invested, your council, while supportive of the strategy, is in the short term looking to see evidence of a positive turnaround in this business and in the long term a significant return on our investment.”
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For the 2017 financial year, Fonterra’s investment in Beingmate took a $37m impairment charge, reducing its value to $617m. Coull says the $35m impairment “while disappointing, was considered fair by the council’s independent financial advisors”. “While the council remains concerned with the recent events, the significant potential Beingmate holds has yet to be realised and unlocking this needs to be a focus.” He also notes headwinds affecting most Fonterra competitors in China and negative effects on most companies because of the downturn. However the numbers looking forward, as evidenced by consumption trends, suggest a positive long-term outlook. “As signalled last year, participants in the China market have been positioning themselves for the new government regulations due to come into effect on January 1, 2018, focussed on traceability for infant formula products. “Many of the headwinds faced
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are closely watching the co-op’s shaky investment in Chinese food company Beignmate, says Fonterra shareholders council chairman Duncan Coull. In his annual report to Fonterra farmers, Coull noted that its overall China investment is significant: at least $1.5 billion dollars in Beingmate, China Farms and the consumer brands and foodservice businesses. He says while returns have increased, mostly via the growth of foodservice (EBIT $209m last financial year), Beingmate and China Farms are still struggling. “There is significant value yet to be realised in our China Farms business and our investment in Beingmate relative to the capital employed,” he says. Coull notes that Fonterra’s strategic partnership with Beingmate extends beyond direct investment, sitting as part of a larger, profitable Greater China business. “However, when looked at as a standalone investment the performance and return on our 18.8%, $756m initial investment has been poor and the related stock market issues somewhat concerning as Beingmate navigates its way through regulatory reform.” Fonterra bought Beingmate shares in March 2015, valued at RMB18.3/ share; on July 31 this year the shares were valued at RMB 11.97/share. FONTERRA
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
6 // FONTERRA AGM
Water debate united rural communities John Wilson
SUDESH KISSUN firstname.lastname@example.org
nation’s waterways were always going to be part of the national conversation, he says.
FONTERRA FARMERS are worried that suppli-
Wilson says farmers know that NZ needs to address greenhouse gas emissions to meet its international climate change commitments. “New Zealand is already one of the lowest-emissions dairy producers in the world thanks to our efficient pastoral grazing system,” he says. “As long as people choose natural foods like dairy, curbing production here will not solve the issue; it will only add to emissions by moving dairy production to less efficient producers in other countries.” Wilson says if agriculture was included in the Emissions Trading Scheme, or any replacement, we would have to align with how other dairy producing countries treated their emissions, and only be included once farmers gained access to effective mitigation technologies.
ers are leaving the co-op. Shareholders council chairman Duncan Coull told the co-op’s annual meeting that while the ‘retain and grow’ target of 82.2% was reached there continues to be a downward trend in this measure. “There are a number of factors that go into this, some outside our control,” he told about 150 shareholders in Hawera this month. “This number will have greater significance as milk growth slows to a more moderate number. “I can’t stress enough that we all have a part to play at some level to ensure we remain stronger together.” According to the council’s annual report, Fonterra’s total milk collection in New Zealand for the 2016-17 season reached1.5 billion kgMS, down 3% from the 2015-16 season. The decrease was mostly due to wet spring conditions though stronger autumn production partially offset this reduction. Fonterra collected about 82.4% of NZ’s milk production in the 2016-17 season, down from 84.1% in 2015-16. In the annual report, Coull noted this as an important metric to monitor as part of the reason for the formation of Fonterra was to provide critical mass to compete in the global marketplace.
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THERE IS no rural-urban divide over water quality, says Fonterra chairman John Wilson. We all want swimmable waterways everywhere in New Zealand, he told the co-op’s annual meeting in Hawera this month. “Every dairy farmer wants to pass on their land to the next generation in a better condition than they found it. “We also want to keep directly contributing more than $13 billion dollars a year into NZ’s economy, and sharing the rewards of our hard work with all New Zealanders through the hospitals, social welfare programmes, conservation budgets and schools this money helps to fund.” Being an election year, water rights and the quality of the
“While it was disappointing to read about a supposed ruralurban divide being leveraged for political gain, it did galvanise our rural communities and the wider agriculture industry, proving once again that we are always stronger together.” Dairy farming can continue to provide healthy economic returns, and not at the expense of the environment; we can have both,Wilson says. There’s no better example of that than in Taranaki where last month a new report showed the region has recorded its best stream health trends in 21 years. Findings in the Taranaki Regional Council’s 2017 Healthy Waterways Report showed that most measures were improving or not changing significantly in the ecological health and physical and chemical state of 99% of Taranaki rivers and streams.
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
8 // NEWS
Farming people the biggest concern
MORE EXPORTS AN EMPTY paddock five years ago, Fonterra’s UHT site at Waitoa now produces 80,000 cartons of UHT milk and cream every hour. With global demand for UHT milk and cream rising, Fonterra is expanding the plant; a new line will have started by the end of the year, the third new line to be installed in the last 12 months. The new line will bring the site’s total processing capacity to at least 250m L of UHT cream and milk per year.
PAM TIPA email@example.com
IF YOU think milk price or weather are dairy farmers’
biggest concerns, think again – it’s people. That is what a survey by Dairy Womens Network (DWN) has revealed. Chief executive Zelda de Villiers says the results were “quite surprising” and provided a clearer picture about what is important to dairy farmers. ‘What is Important’ was the theme of the recent DWN annual meeting where the survey results were presented. “When farmers were asked about the difficulties they faced on farm, issues like financial, weather or milk price, none of those things made the top deck of challenges,” de Villiers told Dairy News. “The first group of challenges were people: having quality staff, onfarm communication, managing staff, time to work on their business and not in their business and management. “People were very much the biggest challenges: finding the right staff, managing staff, keeping staff and ensuring they are managed in a professional way.” DWN ran an online survey of 250 people then did face-to-face interviews with a range of dairy women and men in various regions and career stages. Trained researchers did the in-depth interviews with 15 participants onfarm, surveying owners, sharemilkers, contractors and employees. After people, the next group of concerns was public perception and portrayal. “As a group they feel very much in the limelight right now. And it is not a pleasant place to be,” de Villiers says. The next group of concerns was about more compliance and the administration and paperwork that entails. “Those were the challenges. Then when we asked them why they are farming they said animals and being outside were number-one. “Number-two and three were freedom of choice, freedom of their destiny,” including being boss of their own destiny, building their own business and family/life balance,” de Villiers says. “And an absolute passion for the dairy industry is why they farm.” With farmers living and working onfarm and valuing the animals, the outdoors and being masters of their own destiny, de Villiers says you can understand why the current spotlight on farming “becomes really personal”.
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CLARIFICATION Dairy News inadvertently published wrong payout figures for OCD. Here’s the correct payout table.
2016-17 FINAL MILK 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)
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
NEWS // 9
DairyNZ delivering the goods “When I was interested in finding out about once-a-day dairy farming there was firstname.lastname@example.org a wonderful set of discussion groups on OAD. “If something takes your interest and HIGH PRAISE for the help DairyNZ proyou want information, DairyNZ is likely vides to its levy payers. It came at the annual Grasslands Asso- to have it and it’s accessible on their webciation conference in Whangaui where a site. Research is valuable and it’s a great credit to the dairy indusleading dairy farmer in the try.... Sometimes we farmdistrict, David Pearce, sang ers take it for granted but the praises of DairyNZ to the value is huge,” he says. 300 attendees. The lack of indepenHe says DairyNZ has a dent advice since MAF’s complete package of unbidemise is a problem, ased advice for its dairy Pearce says. He recalls a farmers, and he notes fertiliser rep trying to perthat this service resemsuade him not to buy a bles what the former Mincheaper product. istry of Agriculture did in Farmers should analthe 1980s before the poliFarmer David Pearce. yse the advice they get and ticians dismembered it. “The government of the day did agri- work out what might be missing, he says. culture a huge disservice when it broke They should note who is sponsoring an up the department. When this happened event and be aware that any advice may their advisors largely went out and worked be leading to a commercial opportunity as independent consultants and took the for such a sponsor. Pearce notes a lack of funding for the ethos of the department with them. “Now they are retiring and those of us science of grazing management. Much who are sheep and beef farmers are bereft of the research into this is being done on good quality land on research farms, of good independent advice,” he says. Pearce says that of the levy-based whereas he believes it should be done on farmer organisations, only DairyNZ has second-class land where the biggest gains tried to replace what MAF was. He cal- could be made. “The amount of research done on secculates that for every cow on his farm he pays about $13.70 to DairyNZ via its ond-class land is pitiful,” he says. He adds that pasture management levy, in return getting back real value for research is a long term project. money. PETER BURKE
PRAISES FROM GRASSLANDS HEAD THE PRESIDENT of the strong for several Grasslands Associareasons: its ownership tion, Dr David Stevens, structure, where everyalso lauded the dairy one wants to achieve; industry for its support [Fonterra], for which structure for its levy most are working in a paying common purfarmers. pose that helps He told engender the Dairy News sense of comthat the munity; and the dairy invery structure of dustry has DairyNZ, which always had itself supports a strong that commuDavid Stevens sense of nity.” community with strong Stevens says the links between scienGrasslands Associatists and farmers. tion has a long history Stevens says the of linking science with discussion groups farming and agribusirun by DairyNZ link it ness is now recognised directly to its farmas sitting somewhere ers, and issues can be in the middle. quickly raised with sciThe Grasslands entists as in the former membership (900) is MAF days. still strong and they “The community in want to continue to dairy has always been build links and fill
the void left by the dismembering of MAF. Much more progress was made under MAF, compared with the patchwork approach now taken by government to funding science in agriculture. Stevens says the dairy industry’s approach to funding research is an excellent model. “Its levy is based on a cents/kgMS which means that the more successful the dairy industry is at producing milk, the more money there is available for research.” Stevens admires the dairy industry’s investment in the whole forage area and in the persistence of grass species, all of benefit to farmers.
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
10 // NEWS
$78m savings reflect co-op’s new culture SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
TROUBLED MILK pro-
cessor Westland Milk is on track to achieve a target of saving $78 million, says chief executive
Toni Brendish, Westland Milk.
Toni Brendish. The savings are equivalent to $1.20/kgMS for the co-op and its 350 farmer shareholders. However, Brendish cautions that the cost savings must be more than a one-off.
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“The efficiencies and savings have to be embedded as part of the way we work; this has included a review of our strategy to ensure it is fit for purpose for the dairy market and, more specifically, the future of Westland,” she says in the co-op’s 2017 annual report. After a rocky couple
of culture at the co-op. Extensive new thinking had come into the company with new management, a revised board structure and better ways of working, he says. “The 2016-17 financial year for Westland Milk Products was characterised by challenge and change,” Morrison says.
“The efficiencies and savings have to be embedded as part of the way we work.” of years Westland Milk is on the road to recovery; it posted a break-even profit of $29,000 before tax for the financial year to July 31. Last year’s dismal result brought shareholder discontent to its peak and prompted big changes to the company’s leadership. The co-op has announced a forecast payout range for the current season of $6.40 $6.80/kgMS. Brendish is spearheading a recovery achieved by increasing efficiencies and cutting costs in key areas of the business. Notable tactics are making it right first time, efficiencies in transportation and logistics, getting sales and IT right, improving procurement processes and contracts, and getting much better at sales and operating planning. Westland chairman Pete Morrison agrees the new ways of working at board and management levels have led to a change
“We began the 2016-17 year under considerable financial pressure. Shareholders, quite rightly, were demanding answers and calling for the board and management to do much better and reverse the loss making result of the year before.” Morrison said shareholders, boosted by an industry-competitive payout prediction, are now showing more confidence in their company. “We have a new way of working at board and management levels, and this has permeated throughout the staff, where I am seeing and hearing a new confidence and culture emerging. “This will be reflected in our shareholder community as we restore and grow pride in our company and utilise its heritage as an asset. Establishing our point of difference and securing our place in a growing and increasingly diverse international market is vital.”
ONE YEAR ON WESTLAND CHIEF executive Toni Brendish, one year into the role, says the co-op has overhauled its structure and business systems. “There was a lot of excellent work going on, but the company was not operating so as to build and sustain a prosperous future. “To that end, we looked at all aspects of our business operations and structure. We drove change from the very top, bringing in new leaders at senior management level, while simultaneously examining every role in Westland to ensure the position was needed and working efficiently, and whether the right people were in the right place to deliver on the company’s objectives. “We looked at our processes with a focus on ruthless efficiency and considered our costs. Ultimately, it was costing our company a lot more to process its ‘bucket of milk’ than our competitors, and this had to change.”
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
NEWS // 11
Fresh suspects not dashing hope NIGEL MALTHUS
THE MINISTRY for Primary Industries says “suspicious” test results for the bacterial cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis on two more farms in the South Canterbury region are not dashing hopes for containment and eradication. MPI has placed two more properties under Restricted Place Notice, restricting the movement of animals and other risky goods on and off the farms until testing is completed. MPI describes the move as a precaution only. Results were still pending further confirmatory tests. MPI’s director of response Geoff Gwyn said the two new farms are a single operation: a dairy platform and its runoff, both neighbours of Van Leeuwen Dairy Group farms. The suspicious tests came only from the dairy platform. Gywn said he was not assuming the spread, even if confirmed, came from a VLG farm. “Investigators on the ground, through NAIT records, animal status declarations and interviews, will establish all stock movements on and off the
“This is exactly why we are doing this testing work – to know where the disease is in order to contain and remove it.” farm back to January this year, which is the risk period we’re concerned with. “It’s too early to say whether or not there’s any relationship with the Van Leeuwen Group other than geographical.” Gywn said the further two properties were identified through MPI’s “very comprehensive” surveillance programme, which had now tested at least 40,000 samples of milk, blood and swabs. “This is exactly why we are doing this testing work – to know where the disease is in order to contain and remove it,” said Gwyn. “We do not believe the new suspect properties represent a game changer. These farms are in the same geographical area as all known infected properties and neighbour Van Leeuwen Dairy
Group farms. “Our investigators are still building a picture of how animals on the farms could have been infected, if indeed they are, and what stock movements may have taken place onto the farms.” Mycoplasma bovis spreads through close, prolonged contact between animals and through the direct movement of stock. “The discovery of the new potentially positive properties has not changed our position on this. We do not believe there is a significant risk
of disease spread across fences,” said Gwyn. So far only seven farms have been confirmed to have the disease -- five of them part of the Van Leeuwen Dairy Group where the disease was discovered for the first time in New Zealand in July. However, the new development brings to 22 the number of properties under Restricted Place Notices. Last month MPI announced a decision to cull all cows from infected farms – about 4000 animals. It says the cull is “progressing steadily and to
plan”. Meanwhile, the total number of samples required is being revised upward, largely because MPI has decided to test more low-risk properties than first estimated. Gwyn said MPI is still working to find the source of the outbreak, assuming six broad possibilities: germ plasm (semen and embryos), feed, live animals, biologicals (veterinary medicine), fomites (machinery and equipment surfaces) or other animals. The strain is also being genotyped to help identify the likely overseas origin, and that is expected to be known by the end of November. “My position would be that the public of NZ want us as much as possible to eradicate this disease. And just because we can’t specifically identify an entry pathway I don’t think that would change.” Gywn said if M.bovis were found to be endemic there would be no point in culling stock but it would become a matter of management. “But we’re not in that space. We’re quite confident it is localised.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
12 // NEWS
More workshops, learning options for 2018 conference PAM TIPA firstname.lastname@example.org
DAIRY WOMEN’S Network (DWN)
is planning more practical content for its 2018 conference that is open to all in the industry. “We want everyone to come away with solutions and plans to put in place when they get home,” says conference committee chair Jodie Goudswaard. More workshops and learning options will be offered in “a conference that is up to date, with workshops relevant and timely to what’s happening in the industry,” Goudswaard says. DWN will mark its 20th year in 2018. Registrations are now open for DWN18 – Our Land, Our People on March 22-23 at the Energy Events Centre in Rotorua. DWN chief executive Zelda de Villiers says the conference will focus on the two key elements at the heart of the dairy industry -- land and people -- and celebrate the network’s grassroots com-
munity and ability to bring people together. “It’s clear to us why our members are drawn to farming: they’re proud to be part of a close-knit, supportive community, it’s a great lifestyle for their families, and they enjoy working in the outdoors and with animals.” Three motivational speakers will take part, including TEDx speaker Zelda de Villiers Cam Calkoen; and there will be at least 30 exhibition stands and nine practical workshops including finance, animal health, sustainability and wellness. Anyone in the dairy industry may attend – women, men, rural professionals, farm workers
and organisations supporting the industry. New on the programme will be a pre-conference tour of farms in the area to see new farming technology in action. DWN was set up in 1998 by several leading dairy women to develop and educate women to add value to the business of dairy. Founding general manager Lynda Clark says the conferences have evolved to meet the changing needs of members. “Technical workshops addressing the key areas women are involved in onfarm and ones focused on manage-
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US investment FONTERRA IS buying a large holding in a US whey protein manufacturer. The co-op is joining US dairy cooperative Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) and dairy producer Threemile Canyon Farms as equal shareholders in the Oregon whey protein concentrate and lactose manufacturer Columbia River Technologies. Columbia, founded in 2013 as a joint venture between TCCA and Threemile Canyon Farms, has been producing whey protein products for five years at Boardman, Oregon, adjacent to the TCCA’s satellite cheese making plant. Since 2013, Fonterra has had the exclusive sales agency for these products. Fonterra regional director ingredients America Joe Coote says joining the joint venture as an equal shareholder is a natural progression of its long-term relationship with TCCA and Threemile Canyon Farms. It enables Fonterra to meet growing demand for whey protein from places outside NZ.
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ment and leadership are all topics of interest to women in the industry,” says Clark. “Now we’re also seeing full rooms for workshops in health and safety, sustainability, and education on environmental issues such as nitrogen leaching.” Whakatane dairy farmer Jodi Malcolm will attend next year; she has attended more DWN conferences than she can count, she says. “The first conference I went to I took my baby daughter in her cradle and now she’s 20, so I’ve been going to them for a while. “It’s important to take time off the farm and reconnect with our friends and fellow dairy women.” The Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year and the Dairy Community Leadership awards will be announced at the conference gala dinner on March 22. DWN18 is sponsored by livestock management company Allflex. To register for DWN18, visit dwn. co.nz/dwn18-conference
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
NEWS // 13
Words of courage for rain-hit farmers FARMERS AFFECTED by a year of heavy rain in the lower North Island recently received a special visitor. Victoria Cross holder Willie Apiata visited six communities in Taranaki, Manawatu, Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay, speaking a message of solidarity to farmers, says trip organiser Westpac. Apiata is a Westpac NZ ambassador. Westpac Taranaki agribusiness area manager Rhys Fulton says the idea came in talking to the local branch of Rural Support Trust. “It’s been a long wet year for farmers... a hard time calving and a hard time getting through spring. “We thought it would be great for the farmers to hear from Willie, who’s experienced his share of adverse conditions
Willie Apiata addressing farmers in Taranaki.
and might know a thing or two about resilience.” Apiata spoke to farmers about the importance of family and communication in maintaining a healthy life balance. He recalled the comradeship and brotherhood he experienced during his 23-year military career
and encouraged locals to support each other through challenging times. Fulton says Apiata’s the perfect guy for the task. “The farmers out on the land have a lot of affinity with a guy like him who’s had a hands-on career.”
And the informal sessions have a secondary benefit in allowing farmers to get together and chat about challenges they’ve faced during the wet winter. “It’s about getting together and having a chat over a cup of tea.” @dairy_news
BIOSECURITY VIEWS SOUGHT DAIRYNZ IS keen to sign a biosecurity response and
readiness agreement with the Government. But first it wants to know the views of farmers. It recently mailed yellow ‘Protect Our Future’ packs to farmers detailing the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response (GIA). DairyNZ proposes signing the GIA on behalf of dairy farmers, but is first asking farmers for their views – by December 6. Do this online at www.dairynz.co.nz/gia and see also details of conference calls for farmers to question specialists and other farmers. The GIA is aimed at protecting the future of farming in NZ by having the right biosecurity in place. DairyNZ’s policy general manager, Carol Barnao, says “as the recent incursion of Mycoplasma bovis has shown, diseases and pests have a toll on the bottom line of business and impose an emotional toll. “Signing the GIA is an important step in making sure dairy has a voice at the decision table of Government, both on preparedness and response outcomes and on funding; we want farmers to let us know what they think.” Other farming groups have already signed the GIA, Beef + Lamb NZ and Deer Industry NZ having first consulted their farmers. “We are confident that DairyNZ’s signing is the best way to provide our farmers with more influence and certainty,” says Barnao.
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
14 // NEWS
China dairy shortfall growing PAM TIPA firstname.lastname@example.org
2020 shortfall in the supply of dairy products will be 17 million tonnes liquid milk equivalent, says Tim Knox, MPI director of market access, trade and policy. This estimate, from the Chinese Ministry for Agriculture, is one example of how the gap between supply and demand for food and other primary products is expected to continue there, Knox says.
China is by far the largest market for New Zealand primary sector products, taking 25% of our exports, he told the Infant Nutrition Council conference ‘Feeding the Future’ held recently in Auckland. But Knox warns that NZ is facing issues in China in terms of the “airtime” we have with our counterparts. “When we signed the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China in 2008 we were the first country to do so; that was great, we had lots of air-
time then. There are now over 150 countries that either have an FTA or are negotiating an FTA with China. “So our counterparts in [China’s] regulatory agencies are being inundated with other [countries’ demands] to do the same things we’ve done. “So we have to think about how we use the airtime we have with our counterparts in China in the best possible way. We need to focus on reciprocity – win-win outcomes; you hear it all the time up there.
China is lifting its standards around sale of dairy products including infant formula. Inset: Tim Knox.
TELLING THE TRUTH PAYS OFF NEW ZEALAND’S truthfulness when we have had problems in the Chinese market has strengthened our reputation, says Knox. If you don’t have the relationships in China you don’t make any progress on anything, he says. “It is a trust-based society and that requires effort to build real relationships, not just superficial ones. Once you build relationships you actually start to make progress. “That is something we have learnt, that is why we have such a big commitment to that market.” Reputation is critical, he says.
“Fortunately we have a very good reputation despite some of the challenges we have in recent years. “In many ways those challenges have actually strengthened our reputation for being a trusted provider of safe food. “[Our telling] China early about the problems we had, and working with them to make sure they were comfortable and confident in how we were dealing with it, has reinforced their faith in the credibility of our regulatory system and willingness to deal with issues when they go wrong.”
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“It doesn’t mean this product for that product but it does mean we need to find ways of ensuring China gets some benefit out of the relationship and it is not just one way. We do that with a lot of cooperation activities with China and they value our technical expertise and knowledge.” Trade growth has been significant, particularly since the FTA was signed. “We expect that growth to continue, albeit not at the same pace and perhaps with a wider diversity of products.” Chinese consumers continue to increase in wealth and purchasing power. “The gap between what they can produce domestically and what they consume continues to grow. While we con-
stantly hear a lot of noise about imports damaging domestic production of dairy products in China, it is clear they will never be able to produce sufficient to meet their demand and that is going to continue. “So we see significant opportunities for growth in value and range of NZ products into that market and we will continue to work hard to support business and companies to do that.” There is certainly risk in this market, he says. “We aim to get as much advance warning of thinking and change as might be in the wind.” There is a massive shift towards dealing with some of the environmental damage that occurred during the industrial period of China’s growth. “I think we are going to see a massive shift in emphasis by the Chinese government to lift environmental standards to produce products in a much more sustainable way.”
Organic production is on the rise in China and it is seen as a very important part of the agricultural agenda there. “We are seeing significant generational change in attitudes toward food purchasing and consumption… an increase in protein consumption, a growing diversity of products. “The origin, safety and authenticity of food is absolutely critical to Chinese consumers.” Longer term, the sustainability of the production of that food will also become an issue the Chinese consumers are focused on, he says. The other big change is the channels used to purchase product. E-commerce is a significant part of the environment in China, which is continuing to deepen and strengthen its regulatory systems. “The infant formula industry has been at the forefront of that; but it is across the board that
China is looking to lift its standards,” he says. “And not just in relation to safety: product quality, authenticity and truthfulness in labelling are big focuses for them. Domestically there is big emphasis on proven compliance with standards; they have a long way to go, they admit that themselves.” Knox says in his view the mobile phone is the most important shop for Chinese. “They use it for almost everything, pay for everything, cash is almost nonexistent… half the places don’t even accept credit cards anymore. “There is a huge appetite for technology. We need to ask ourselves, are we well positioned to respond to that change and what is coming next? I don’t know, but it is going to be technology based.” Technology is king in the China market and it is something NZ exporters need to think about.
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
NEWS // 15
Chinese baby boom crucial time for brands PAM TIPA firstname.lastname@example.org
NOW IS an important time to cement infant formula brands in China, says Pier Smulders, Alibaba’s business development director for New Zealand. “There is a bit of a mini baby boom going on with the increasing relaxation of the one child policy,” he told the Infant Nutrition Council conference in Auckland. “This is an important time to establish brand relationships and consumer relationships.” Alibaba is the biggest e-commerce company in China and the largest retail platform in the world. Huge numbers of customers are being reached through cross-border e-commerce (such as Alibaba) and the numbers will keep growing, Smulders says. Mother and Baby is one of the largest categories and that’s where infant formula
products sit. Fortified milk powders fall into the closely related category of food. Alibaba is strong in the categories that Chinese consumers want to buy through cross-border e-commerce. There is a sophisticated border clearance payment and logistics system that is all integrated. It is called ‘trade single window’, and products are moved from a bonded warehouse where they are picked and packed and cleared to enter China as a personal parcel delivered to an individual consumer. Infant formula falls into a more sensitive category and is regulated more stringently than other categories. Smulders says until cross-border e-commerce was formalised it was a very difficult situation for the Chinese Government to handle. Everything was coming in through the post, grey channels and personal carry. As Chinese
consumers were demanding more imported foreign products, there was an unstoppable flow coming in and no regulation, no tax and no control. “China has undergone a supply chain revolu-
tion if you look at crossborder e-commerce,” he says. “It has gone from personal carrier or postal to a sophisticated system now through cross-border e-commerce which goes through a bonded ware-
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‘NEW RETAIL’ ‘NEW RETAIL’ is a term first coined by Alibaba founder Jack Ma and now widely adopted in China, referring to the disappearance of any distinction between online and offline e-commerce. “It is about understanding the consumers and integrating the supply chain to deliver products and communicate brand information to consumers wherever they are and wherever they want to shop,” says Smulders. “You will see it in retail formats in China that are fast becoming multi-channel environments where you go into stores and people can scan things to buy online.” Alibaba is innovating in ‘new retail’ as it is important for brand building. “It’s important you don’t just look at the percentage of product moving on line; it is really important you understand where consumers are engaging with brands and where they are learning about brands.” Another “exciting new project” is providing a trusted framework for food products. Brands that buy in and participate in a ‘trust framework’ will have a significant advantage. “It is also about standardising supply chain tracking methodologies. Everyone is tracking supply chains in China and elsewhere probably; the problem for the consumer is there are so many different ways of doing this that it becomes confusing. “We are trying to apply some sort of uniformity in how we provide consumers with trust in products sold online. The great thing about an online sale is it can be tracked right to the end consumer, which is quite different from an offline environment.”
house channel.” Daigou and postal channels still exist. But with the bonded warehouse channel, traceability, quality control and the logistic and supply chains are much improved.
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
16 // NEWS
Leading on the riparian way PETER BURKE email@example.com
DAIRYNZ IS working on
several projects designed to help farmers to do a better, more efficient and cost effective job in riparian planting, with the goal of improving water quality. DairyNZ freshwater scientist Aslan WrightStow says the website has a tool called Riparian Planner that helps farmers map the waterways on their farm to find the best location for riparian planting. It includes a planting list of the best plants, what suits individual regions, where to plant these and fencing options. A cost calculator is included. “People are getting confused because there
is a lot going on, so we are keen to support farmers. Riparian Planner eases the task, offering options on where to start, how wide and how long a riparian buffer could be. It’s designed to cater for those challenges. There is a lot negative stuff in the media about riparian planting and we want to show people it works.” Wright-Stow says the dairy industry is leading the primary sector in riparian planting, and DairyNZ is working with NIWA to improve the quality of information and advice to all farmers and people in urban areas. An ambitious project – National Riparian Restoration Database – is underway to identify all riparian projects nationwide from about 60 years to now. While the dairy industry has good knowl-
DairyNZ is working with farmers to improve riparian planting around waterways.
edge of what its farmers have done, the same can’t be said in other primary sectors and the urban environment. NIWA and DairyNZ are asking farmers to go to www.riparian.niwa.co.nz to record their riparian
work. Wright-Stow says they know a lot of riparian work was done in the 1960s to mitigate problems in various regions, including around hydroelectric power stations. And much work has been
done in recent years. The overall benefits of this are well known but now they need better data to improve decisionmaking. “There are still important, outstanding questions such as, what is the
optimal riparian buffer width? how long should a buffer be to improve water quality if the landscape is pasture? and should you start at the top or bottom of a catchment? “This project is to get a handle on the number of riparian projects and then bring in science to come up with answers,” he says. Wright-Stow expects it may take 12 - 18 months to get a nearly complete picture of NZ’s riparian projects. Then they will probably select 50 plus sites and study their water quality. A key to this will be selecting sites based on regions, different types of catchments and the length and width of buffer zones, and then selecting plantings that range from new ones back to those
done 60 years ago; also urban and rural sites. “By doing that we can develop a broader picture of what and where it works most efficiently and we are aiming to get optimisation as a management tool,” he says. Once the 50 or so sites have been selected, Wright-Stow says groups, individuals and ‘citizen’ scientists will be asked to monitor the sites and feed information into the national database for 12 - 18 months. NIWA will provide the equipment and training. The ultimate goal of the project is to have top quality data that can be developed into tools to make future riparian plantings -- on dairy, sheep and beef farms or in urban areas -- more cost effective and to improve water quality.
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
18 // OPINION RUMINATING
Time to bring back MAF
MILKING IT... But don’t cry for Oz cows for us Qatar
Law ripe for change?
Waste water bothers
THERE WERE tears, laughter and even singing at Fonterra’s annual meeting in Hawera this month. Former director Leonie Guiney gave an emotional farewell speech to 150 shareholders. And another former director, David McLeod, shed tears while thanking his wife for her support and understanding during his six years on the board. But sitting director Nicola Shadbolt’s singing topped it all: she sang a waiata when bidding farewell to a retiring director.
ARE FONTERRA’S hands tied over protecting the environment? Greenpeace head Russell Norman thinks so. He wrote an article asking readers to imagine the impact of Fonterra refusing to collect milk from regions where intensive dairying is doing the worst damage to our rivers. Though sympathetic, Fonterra’s executives will tell you their hands are tied, Norman wrote. The law won’t allow it: DIRA is standing in the way and is ripe for change, he reckons. Farmers would say DIRA is ripe for change but for different reasons: it forces the co-op to supply subsidised milk to competitors.
MATAURA Valley Milk’s proposal for a waste water pipeline is bothering residents, who say if such a pipeline was damaged it would make the Mataura River unswimmable. A drill arrived in Gore last week and tunnelling under the Mataura River and Waikaka Stream for the pipe was expected to begin this week. The Chinese-backed company, which will process infant formula for export, is laying a 500m pipe under the waterways to transfer wastewater from its plant at McNab, 5km north of Gore, to the town’s effluent ponds. Both are under construction and expected to be operational next year.
WILL NEW Zealand cows be next? Qatar’s Gulf Food Production will in mid-2018 start shipping cows from Germany and Australia to a dairy farm, the Qatari newspaper Gulf Times reports. This year, thousands of Holstein dairy cattle were flown from Germany, US and Australia to Qatar to counter the air, sea and land trade blockade led by Saudi Arabia. The Saudis and Bahrain, Egypt and United Arab Emirates launched their boycott over Qatar’s alleged support of terrorism and ties with Iran, all strenuously denied. The Gulf kingdom was heavily reliant on Saudi Arabia for dairy products trucked in.
ONE OF the talking points at last week’s Grasslands Association conference was the interface between farmer and scientist. Questions arose about whether the present system allows for first class communication between the two parties and whether it has the ability to respond in a way that, say, Teagasc, the Irish equivalent of our old MAF, does in Ireland. Are, for example, policy makers attuned to the needs of farmers and are farmers getting the right signals from the policy people? Many of the farmers at Grasslands who experienced the ‘old’ Ministry of Agriculture until it was dismembered by dogma-driven politicians in the late 1980s say that under today’s system they are now less able to get quality independent advice. If so it’s a worry and another thing for the new Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, to address. He hit the nail on the head recently in saying the agri sector has “a lot of leaders and not enough leadership”. Grasslands does a great job in connecting innovative farmers with scientists and top agri-business people, and it was a credit to them that there was a good turnout at their conference. The event showed, in presentations and especially field trips, that many innovative scientists and farmers are doing great work, enabled by the perseverance and achievements of the science community. There was high praise for what DairyNZ is doing in filling the gap left by MAF, but mumblings about why Beef + Lamb NZ isn’t doing the same. There may be good reasons for BLNZ not emulating the DairyNZ model, but the sheep and beef sector needs to lift its game in this respect. BLNZ is talking about a new demonstration farm which sounds good, but perhaps Damien O’Connor has a point when he says this is reinventing the wheel. He notes the innovative work done on Landcorp farms nationwide. Why not more field days on Landcorp or other innovative farms? And we could resume holding open days at the research centres -- always good events in former days, before the unimaginative bean counters killed them off. There is little doubt the present system is not right; fixing it must be a priority.
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
OPINION // 19
NZ can do better in this era I hope the primary industry council and chief agricultural advisor will work industry by industry to find and EXAMINING THE primary sector consolidate leadership that is already policies of Labour, and thus our new within that industry, so working from Government, there are a few things on the ‘ground up’ to improve the value of my wish list, some cautionary notes those industries. It is excellent that a and some plaudits to hand ‘pathway to success’ initiaout. tive is being proposed. ProgI am keen to see a clearer ress has already been made overarching strategy as the in this with GrowingNZ, the last few years of neo-liberal Primary Industry Capability free-market approaches have Alliance (PICA) and the Soil left us a bit directionless in Makes Sense programme agriculture and horticul- Jon Hickford from Lincoln University. ture, especially where a high However, the challenge is to furdegree of post-farmgate processing is ther the reach of these programmes required (e.g. meat, wool and dairy). The establishment of a primary into the urban community. There are industry council and chief agricultural three reasons for this: so that we do not advisor may help improve priority and further enhance the urban/rural divide; direction setting, but I am wary of the so that urban consumers better undercreation of another layer of bureau- stand how and why food production cracy and/or increasing barriers for and agricultural practices are used [i.e. those industries that can, and do, set removing the mystique and misunderstanding] and because too few young about helping themselves.
Was the Primary Growth Partnership ‘corporate welfare?’.
people are coming from the rural sector to sustain, let alone grow, the sector. The emphasis cannot be agribusiness alone, because practical skills and agricultural and horticultural science are critically important too. I am also pleased to see the Primary Growth Partnership going under the spotlight. At its cynical worst it was simply a ‘corporate welfare’ scheme and I don’t think that it added a lot of value onfarm. Re-emphasis on, and growth of, the Sustainable Farming Fund is desirable as it better achieves sustainable social,
environmental and economic benefits for the farming community. It is a success story already. If we are going to create an independent food safety authority, as is proposed, I would want its brief to either broaden from a simple focus on contaminant, chemical and microbiological safety issues, to either directly include an emphasis on nutritional value (e.g. high sugar foods) or, indirectly, that the authority is strongly mandated to align with the medical fraternity and dieticians to ensure that food is the best we can make it in nutritional value.
I see that given the emphasis globally on the intensification of agriculture and typically in highly subsidised/ close to market systems, New Zealand needs to better differentiate its philosophy and direction in agriculture and food production. We need low-intensity, high value production systems that maintain the highest health, welfare, carbon footprint and consumer acceptance standards. We can be different from everyone else. • Jon Hickford is a professor in the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Lincoln University
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
20 // AGRIBUSINESS
Sharemilkers decline as milk price swings THE NUMBER of shareholders in
the dairy industry is dropping. According to DairyNZ, over the past two seasons the number of sharemilkers has dropped to 27% of herds; this had been 33% in the previous 10 years. Sharemilking agreements have been exchanged for contract milking arrangements and, in other cases, for equity partnerships or leasing agreements. DairyNZ economist Angie Fisher says roles in the dairy sector are more diverse than they once were which is helping farmers adapt to increasing volatility. “Anecdotal evidence suggests an increase in variations to the standard clauses in sharemilking agreements on the sharing of milk income. This is evidence of the market adapting to milk price volatility,” she says. With the milk payout bouncing back, farmers who moved to contract milking may revert back to
profit-sharing variable order agreements in 2017-18 and 2018-19. “It is too early to tell, but this illustrates the flexibility of farmers to move with milk price both in operating structures and, as we’ve also seen, in reducing farm expenses.” DairyNZ has created fact sheets to help farmers better understand options available, especially the variations in each operating structure. “Working with AgFirst and Federated Farmers, we’ve created resources that outline the options under four types of operating structures: pre-herd owning, herd owning, leasing and equity partnerships,” says Fisher. “These are aimed at farmers looking to progress, and farm owners who are looking to step back from day-to-day operations and wondering if they should, for example, employ a contract milker or go
Angie Fisher, DairyNZ.
down the sharemilking route.” She says no matter what option farmers choose, it is important to do thorough research before signing any agreement. “It is vital to get the right fit between parties. Going in with your
eyes wide open and clearly understanding your responsibilities will help improve the outcomes for everyone.” There are plenty of resources to help farmers do their homework before signing an agreement. “For example, DairyNZ has a due diligence tool called ‘Do your Homework’, and Federated Farmers produces industry standard contracts and agreements that cover sharemilking and contract milking arrangements,” says Fisher. She adds that DairyNZ’s Dairy Connect service links farmers looking for information on a particular operating structure with another farmer with experience in that area. For more information on farm business pathway options and other resources visit dairynz.co.nz/business-pathways
GUTTERING & DOWNPIPE
IN BRIEF Dewes joins PAMU PAMU FARMS of New Zealand, formerly Landcorp, has appointed Dr Alison Dewes as its head of environment, effective January 8. She is currently a member of Pamu’s environmental reference group (ERG). A second generation veterinarian and fifth-generation farmer, Dewes has been a key member of the ERG since its inception two years ago. She is also a respected commentator on animal health and environmental issues in agricultural. Peter Simone, general manager of people, safety and environment says it is exciting to have someone of Dewe’s calibre joining Pāmu to lead the environment team. “The way we manage the environmental impacts of our operations is of paramount importance to Pamu. Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and a commitment to ensuring our whole approach to farming keeps the environment front and centre.” Dewes says the environmental impact of how Pamu farms is a key business focus which is vitally important to the health and prosperity of the company. “As NZ’s largest pastoral farmer, we are responsible for leading in the environmental space, including carefully piloting new ideas and, ultimately, doing the right thing.”
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
AGRIBUSINESS // 21
Export revenues climb DAIRY EXPORTS
expanded by $1.3 billion dollars to $14.6b in the past season despite a 0.6%drop in production for the season. In its latest Situation and Outlook report update, the Ministry for Primary Industries is predicting dairy export revenue will rise 18.5% to $17.3b for the year ending June 2018. This is close to the record season of 2014 when dairy exports earned $17.7m. But since then earnings have dropped to the levels of 2013 and 2015. Various factors which have led to this comeback in prices, says MPI’s director of sector policy Jarred Mair. He points to New Zealand pitching its products to the top end of the market and making more cash from value add. Mair says NZ is seen as producing food that is
Whole milk powder prices are expected to remain stable.
natural and unprocessed, which appeals to consumers at the top end of the market. The value add may not necessarily be in further processing, but in the natural way we produce our food products, he says. “Admittedly some of the milk powders can be seen as a commodity and
also some of our cheaper cuts of meats But NZ as whole is not doing too badly in both price and mix of products. We are seeing a lot more products starting to come through in higher value market capacity and that is beneficial for NZ,” he says. Worldwide the demand
is rising for butter and other fat products; Europe is short of butter, a far cry from the ‘butter mountains’ of the late 1970s and early 1980s. Butter prices have continued to rise over the past three months and this is helping to cushion the drop in the price of milk powders. “We are seeing great demand for butter in Asian countries which great for us. They are looking for more personal, natural nutrition and butter fits that criteria. There is also a demand for the products the butter is going into such as baked goods,” he says. MPI is expecting WPM prices to remain relatively stable over the next two years because the supply and demand dynamics appear to be balanced. The report notes the
impact of the bad weather in the 2016-17 season which caused a small drop in overall production. MPI predicts production will rise by 2.2% this season over last which will also boost the overall export returns. But there is a warning that this season’s boom is unlikely to continue into the next season and dairy export returns are expected to remain static. Mair says he doesn’t see a risk for NZ’s increasing trade with China which takes 24% of our primary products and is by far the biggest market for our dairy products (25%). “It’s juggernaut in its own right. It just continues to grow and we are a long way from exhausting that market. It’s not matured yet. However I think we will see greater balancing out.”
RAW MILK SCARE OVER SOUTHLAND RAW milk supplier Go Farming
Ltd is back in business after a short suspension over a positive test for listeria affected a few batches of its Go 2 Raw Milk brand unpasteurised milk. The Ministry for Primary Industries imposed the recall on September 1, after the mid-August use-by dates of the three affected batches and after all buyers had been advised. Among the strict rules governing raw milk sales in New Zealand is the requirement to keep a register of buyers. MPI said the product may contain Listeria monocytogenes, but no reports of illness came in. Go Farming is run from the fourth-generation Guise family farm near Otautau. It was converted to dairy three years ago, the raw milk operation having begun earlier this year alongside the regular herd. The unpasteurised milk is sold in 1L glass bottles for collection at the farm gate or delivery as far as Queenstown. Roger and Julie Guise have confirmed the business is back up, after a “soft opening” to make sure existing orders were fulfilled. The Guises point out that listeria is present in the environment and is a risk for all food processors. “By the time the (very delayed) media recall happened, we were almost ready to reopen.”
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
22 // MANAGEMENT
Quest to compare bulls w SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
REPOROA FARM man-
ager Ian Fraser is using all bulls to get his cows into calf this season. With a herd of 373 milking cows, Fraser says farm owner Matt Pepper is keen to see if using all bulls instead of artificial insemination (AI) is more profitable. The farm has chosen 21 Hereford bulls -- 18 of them divided into teams of three. The first two teams were set loose among cows on October 9. One team is rested while the other two teams ‘work’. A Smaller Milk and Supply Herds (SMASH) field day was held on the farm on October 31; about 50 farmers were on hand
Working with bulls on farm ■■
Manage bulls as though they are professionals
Ensure two or more bulls are in the herd at all times
Rotate and rest bulls
Monitor bulls for lameness or sickness
Observe bulls to ensure they are mounting and serving correctly; remove a bull if he is unable to serve correctly and replace
Avoid feeding bulls entering yards
Feed bulls well.
to find out how the first season with all bulls was going at the farm. With the bulls out for nearly three weeks, Fraser says “on the whole things were going on very well”.
Farm manager Ian Fraser says using all bulls for mating cows is going well.
He says the bulls are colour coded to differentiate each team member. With the bulls having to walk around the paddock,
lameness can be an issue but Fraser says any bulls showing early signs of lameness were taken out. “One young bull had a
badly damaged toe but it came right,” he says. No cows have been tail painted to indicate which are on heat. Fraser says the plan is to “keep doing
what we are doing”. “We won’t know the results until we do the pregnancy tests later,” he says. Mating will continue on the farm until Decem-
ber 20. Fraser says using bulls for mating is much easier than AI; the bulls took 10 days to train “They have trained well and go towards
Selecting the best animals to use WHEN CHOOSING bulls to use, you
must consider their age, size, health and the breed-related risk of assisted calvings, says DairyNZ. If you plan to rear heifer calves from the bulls, you also need to consider the bulls’ genetic merit and pedigree. Select bulls from a bull rearer with a reputation of growing and delivering healthy bulls. Older bulls can be temperamental, difficult to manage and are more likely to have injuries to the penis, back or legs. Use bulls that are no more than 4 years old; choose virgin bulls whenever possible as they are less likely to introduce venereal diseases to the herd; but avoid using bulls that are less than 15 months old. Insist on bulls vaccinated for lepto(spirosis) and verifi ed free of tuberculosis (TB), bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD),
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neospora, Johne’s disease and EBL. Consider testing for Trichomoniasis and Campylobacter (vibrio). Select bulls of similar size and age; and from the same mob. This will reduce fighting when they are with the herd. Exclude bulls with deformed feet. Select bulls of similar size to the cows or heifers to be mated, always preferring smaller bull size (Jersey bulls with HolsteinFriesian cows). If bulls are heavier than the cows or heifers, then injuries to both bulls and cows are more likely. Observe bulls serving tall cows; ensure they are able to serve correctly. Use bulls that are likely to minimise the number of calvings requiring assistance. In larger herds, bull matings are rarely recorded and staff can become confused differentiating between AB calves and natural mating calves.
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
MANAGEMENT // 23
s with AI the paddocks without much coaxing; all we are required to do is take the bulls out and keep them healthy.” Working with young Hereford bulls has been easy, he says. “They are good bulls, really passive and a joy to work with.” Having the extra bulls hasn’t put pressure on feed supply on the farm. PKE, winter crops and swedes have helped feed the animals. Vets from Vetora were also on hand to talk about good bull management. They told farmers it is essential to get bulls onfarm at least two months before the start of mating and to have
enough bulls so they could be split into teams. Ideally a farm should have one bull for every 30 non-pregnant cows. However, when using yearling bulls with heifers, one bull per 15 - 20 cows is ideal. The vets say yearling bulls produce 25 - 50% of the semen of two-year-old bulls. It’s essential to rotate bulls, allowing them time to eat, drink and rest; a bull can only serve two cows a day. Keeping an eye out for lame or sick bulls is crucial. A bull with a high fever should be removed from the team for at least 60 days. It takes about 60 days for a bull’s sperm
to reach optimum level. “If a bull’s temperature is raised by 1 - 2 degrees C, the sperm produced is compromised,” the vets say. “It takes on average two months for this compromised sperm to be replaced by healthy sperm.”
Murray Holt, DairyNZ, at the field day.
Ferist et quati aut pedici te vollab imod quamet atur soleniet quiatibu. PAGE 15
Ferist et quati aut pedici te vollab imod quamet atur soleniet quiatibu. PAGE 23
LEARNING THE DANGER SIGNS DAIRYNZ ANIMAL husbandry specialist Murray Holt spoke at the field day about health and safety around bulls. Holt says bulls react differently from humans; they do not see in the same way and must not be taken for granted. There are bull handling principles that every farm worker must get right. Learn to recognise the danger signs, he says. “Agitated bulls often bellow loudly and paw the ground with their hooves. Head and tail positions of cattle also give clues as to bulls’ state of mind.” Holt suggests using a piece of pipe or a long stick when in a paddock with bulls. “This makes you look bigger and may give you confidence when handling difficult animals.” Bulls kept or reared in isolation are more dangerous. Holt’s advises farmers never to turn their back on a bull and avoid handling one alone. “If you get cornered by a bull, shout loudly and strike it repeatedly on the nose with your stick to make it close its eyes, then get to safety. “Use vehicles such as tractors or a ute when dealing with bulls in a paddock; these are better than working on foot or a motorbike.”
None of the cows are tail painted on the farm.
HEADER Ferist et quati aut pedici te vollab imod quamet atur soleniet quiatibu.
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
24 // MANAGEMENT
More farmers tipped to e The future of once-a-day milking was talked up recently at a DairyNZ discussion group near Otaki. Long-time OAD advocate and consultant Leo Hendrikse says the technique has a good future and he sees more farmers succeeding at it. Peter Burke reports. ABOUT 50 people attended a field day held on Kerry Walker’s dairy farm near Te Horo Beach. The event attracted OAD farmers from Manawatu, Wairarapa and Horowhenua, some long-time OAD milkers, some new to it. Walker has a 110ha (eff) milking platform running 250 Friesian cows now in their second season of OAD. Last season he produced 62,454kgMS, versus 75,000kgMS in the previous season. He hopes to lift this to 70,000kgMS this season.
The farm is an interesting mix of low-lying peat which is prone to flooding by a nearby stream and high sandhills which offer a beautiful view of nearby Kapiti Island. Some cows are wintered off the farm, as are young stock. It’s not an easy farm to run at the best of times, hence Walker’s taking the plunge into OAD. He hopes to address calving issues including narrowing the spread of calving, the in-calf rate and the three-week submission rate. The signs are good on all fronts but there’s
“We felt we needed a sea change to our system so we decided on OAD.” – Kerry Walker
still room for improvement. Walker came to the farm in 1983 with an agri economics degree from Massey University and after two years OE. He
Kerry Walker converted to OAD milking two years ago.
moved up from farmworker to sharemilker and to farm ownership. But after years of running
the farm as a twice-a-day (TAD) he made a change. “We just thought we’d plateaued on our farm-
STANDOUT EXPERTISE THE EXPERTISE of long-time OAD farmers is a standout at their discussion groups. One such farmer is Christine Finnigan, for eight years an OAD farmer in Manawatu. Her son also runs an OAD farm in the region. She says in a year of wet weather OAD has made it easier to get through a difficult time. “I have never struck wet like this before and we have been on the farm since 1995; it’s definitely been the worst. We’ve had a buildup of sand in tile drains and the water table has been Christine Finnigan has been milking once a day for the past eight years.
really high. Production has been down due to pasture damage caused by the constant wet,” she says. But while this has been stressful, Finnigan says OAD is an advantage, lowering stress on the cows and on her. OAD milking has given her breathing space and time to think. “Also with less walking we haven’t had any more lameness than normal despite the wet weather being hard on the cows: their teat condition with the mud and the races tend to pack up and they attract a lot of dirt. The difference this year is that you can’t see very far ahead. You have a general plan but you have to reassess the situation each day.” Finnigan says she has had to adopt a very flexible farming system in the wet, even going as far as deciding day-to-day where to move the cows next, given the weather. The flexibility of OAD makes this possible.
ing operation and needed a new challenge. We felt we needed a sea change to our system so we decided on OAD; we had a neighbour and brother who had also done OAD. I felt the farm suited OAD and would give us more resilience to climatic change,” he says. The first year of OAD was successful though production fell unexpectedly, partly because of the transition to OAD and a wet winter. But there were big positives and he got more enjoyment out of farming. An issue raised with Walker by the discussion group was his relatively high farm working expenses, but these do not worry him much. “The focus is on the future and as far as farm working expense is con-
We know your weekends are workdays too.
cerned, we will bear this while we get our management system in place. If I cut too many costs I may have to work too hard. “While profit is important it is probably secondary. I have been farming long enough now that my debt is not the overriding factor it used to be so there is some leeway to take an experimental look at it. Profitability is a goal but it’s not the reason we do OAD,” he says. With the new government in place he feels the operation he is running leaves him well positioned to deal with any role environmentalists may have on changing the way farming is done. He points out that OAD is far less intensive and pays more attention to animal welfare, so it ticks the boxes for
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
MANAGEMENT // 25
o embrace OAD milking the future. Though not a ‘greenie’ by definition he sympathises with the cause. “Farmers want to do a better job and leave farms in a better state than when they took them on. The older and more settled you get in your farming career you naturally tend to be more sustainable,” he says.
DairyNZ consulting officer Gray Baagley explains the benefits of OAD milking to farmers.
DON’T ADAPT ON A WHIM OAD FARM consultant Leo Hendrikse says planning is a key element in succeeding with a conversion to OAD. It may take a few years to get the right cows and infrastructure on the farm but this time and effort pays off in the long term. “Don’t go into OAD on a whim,” he says. The loss in production when farmers first convert to OAD can be as high as 25% or as low as 3%, depending heavily on planning and good professional advice. The key thing is to balance income and expenditure, he says. “So if your production is down by 11% you need to reduce your farm working expenses by 11%.” Hendrikse says most farmers who move to OAD stay with it because it is working for them. Meanwhile Ed Jackson, who milks 190 cows OAD at Ashurst
agrees with Hendrikse’s advice about the need for planning. His good planning enabled him to avoid a loss when he converted to OAD. He was great friends with the late Professor Colin Holmes, one of NZ’s greatest supporters of OAD. Holmes gave Jackson many tips, especially planning to get the genetics right and getting cows that suited OAD. “We have a variety of cows, most of them crossbreeds leaning more towards Jersey. The Jersey
cow has the ability to hold the milk in her udder without the decrease in production you see in Friesian cows,” he says. Jackson also rears extra beef calves, something they have always done. Now in his 5th OAD season, he says he’d never go back to TAD. OAD offers more lifestyle choices, providing time for family, hobbies and sport. Leo Hendrikse
Walker tells other farmers that the dairy industry has a great story. He regards the urban/ rural divide as a myth created by the media and something of an election thing that now should be put to bed while all do their best with the available resources. He loves the concept of the discussion group
which brings a bunch of enthusiastic people together. “It’s a bit like going to a church meeting where everyone is keen and it’s infectious and helps boost you along as well as getting great feedback. You can see how committed these people are. The fellowship is tremendous,” he says.
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
26 // MANAGEMENT
Biosecurity starts at farm gate FARMERS AND rural
Waikato Regional Council biosecurity pest plants officer Ben Elliot cleans a machine after harvesting.
contractors in Waikato are being urged to check that all machinery is clean to protect farms from weed pests. Velvetleaf gets specific
mention by a steering group representing nine agencies. Waikato Regional Council’s biosecurity pest plants team leader Darion Embling says machinery
and vehicles pose high risk. “Machinery and vehicle movements aren’t the only culprits responsible for the spread of pests, but they do pose a high risk,” said Embling. “Last year we conclusively linked velvetleaf infestations on some properties to the movement of unclean machinery, which is why good machine hygiene practices are important. “Ag industry biosecurity starts at the farm gate. Cleaning machinery is a big part of that, to remove plant or soil contamination that might be harbouring pests, weeds or seeds, before entering the next property.” The steering group comprises reps from Waikato Regional Council, Federated Farmers Waikato, DairyNZ, Rural Agricultural Contractors Association, PGG Wrightson, Foundation for Arable Research, Pioneer Seeds, AgResearch and Farmlands. Velvetleaf, among the cropping industry’s worst pests, has been found growing on farms in the Matamata-Piako, Te Awamutu and north Waikato. It has spread to proper-
ties via infested fodder beet seeds from overseas, distribution of infested maize crops and maize silage, and unclean machinery. Embling says 37 properties in the region are infested by velvetleaf, ranging from a handful of plants to hundreds -- even thousands. “And we know the seeds can remain dormant for up to 60 years. “We’re working with farm managers, landowners and rural contractors to manage the risks, and have long term plans to stop this nasty weed from spreading to other properties.” Suspected sightings of velvetleaf should be reported to Waikato Regional Council’s biosecurity pest plants team on 0800 246 732 (0800 BIOSEC). This allows council staff to assess the property and then work with landowners and farm managers on a plan if the presence of velvetleaf is confirmed. Advice on machine hygiene is available at waikatoregion.govt.nz/biosecurity. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
NEW FOCUS ON SAFETY ON DECEMBER 1 the Health and Safety at Work
(Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2017 will come into force. It aims to reduce both the immediate harm to people and longer-term illness caused by hazardous substances in the workplace. “Used safely, hazardous substances can contribute to the nation’s economic growth and prosperity,” WorkSafe’s general manager operations and specialist services Brett Murray says, “but they also pose real risks to the people working with or around them. “The harm from inhaling toxic vapours or having contact with some substances is often unseen. Workers may be unaware they are being exposed, and the effects of exposure may not be seen for many years.” Hazardous substances are a major contributor to the estimated 600-900 deaths and 30,000 cases of serious ill health from work-related disease each year in New Zealand. This is in addition to the fatalities and immediate harm through accidents, such as fires and explosions, and unsafe use. “It’s time this changed,” says Murray. SKP1255 2500 Change_Dairy News 280x187_FA.v1.indd 1
27/09/17 5:40 PM
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
MANAGEMENT // 27
Out fishing while his cows milk “The workforce has been reduced from three to two; they work weekends about, to oversee the farm.” includes yield, fat and protein content, and it indicates developing trends, allowing intervention and remedy, even before a problem becomes
Waikato farmer Graham Barlow.
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sponder collars which allow access to the milking area via a Lely Grazeway electronic gate system. They enter the walk-through robot where they are identified, fed a ration (1.5 – 6kg) based on production and stage of lactation, and have their teats washed and cups attached by a laser guided system. After milking they can take a back-rub from the Lely Luna powered brush, which during Rural News’ visit was showing signs of plenty of use, then head out to fresh grazing or the feed pad. The cows are offered fresh grazing every eight hours or so and milk themselves about 2.6 times per day. Barlow’s thirst for information is sated by the Astronauts, which record yields, analyse fat and protein content and, of course, record somatic cell counts. The transponder collars also provide data on rumination -- or the lack of, indicating a potentially sick animal – and a pedometer watches animal activity, so detecting cows on heat. Cows
clinically visible. The greatest effect on Barlow is a change in lifestyle: on the farm, he can complete jobs without the interruption of afternoon milking, he gets time to spend with his family and for important events throughout the year and, if the weather permits, days off to go fishing. And he has reason to smile when neighbours say, “You were out late working on the farm last night”. “I just don’t have the heart to tell them I’ve been in Auckland with family all day.”
always a likely career path for Graham Barlow, of Fermanagh Farm, in the Piako district of Waikato. The farm name gives a clue to the family heritage: a great-grandfather came to New Zealand from County Fermanagh in northwest Ireland many moons ago. Milking 320 Jerseys calving in March (75%) and November (25%) on 90ha, Barlow went straight from schooling to dairy farming, soon realised he hated milking but was interested in all things technical; he describes himself as a techno-geek. So it’s no surprise that three and a half years ago he bought a Lely Astronaut four-robot milking system, installing it in the building where his herringbone dairy had been. He laid about 1km of extra farm race to tidy up under- or oversized paddocks to allow the grazing area to be split into three blocks. The first two months weren’t pretty, he says, but the team persisted and the cows learned, chiefly via feed at milking time, that robots were the way forward. Today the herd is relaxed, well rested and recording lower somatic cell counts. Barlow says the workforce has been reduced from three to two; they work weekends about, to oversee the farm.
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showing readings that deviate from pre-programmed parameters are automatically drafted to a holding area for checking or the vet’s intervention. Data recording also
Production had typically been 430kgMS/cow before the robots, but is now about 470kgMS and is tracking towards 500kgMS next season. The cows wear tran-
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
28 // ANIMAL HEALTH
AB industry needs umbrella group NIGEL MALTHUS
IN THE wake of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak, one of New Zealand’s main bull semen suppliers is calling for an industry body to be set up to implement country-wide testing and biosecurity standards. The industry must adapt to ensure farmers have confidence in the range of bovine genetic options available to them, said Hank Lina, general manager of World Wide Sires NZ. Individual companies are assuring farmers that their products were safe, but “that, by default, makes it marketing,” said Lina. Farmers do not know what to think. “You could almost say that each company’s trying to profiteer off it in some way and we need to remove that. When this serious stuff happens we need to work together and we need to agree, for the simple reason of giving our farmers answers they can actually hold on to.” Lina said the culling of thousands of cows in the infected herds brought stress and anguish for the affected farmers but the outbreak also meant a more subtle and long-lasting concern for all farmers over the longterm safety of semen supplies. All the semen companies and any other associated business in the herd improvement industry need to be represented in an industry body, Lina said. “We need to have a standards body so we all agree on the same protocols that are proven and accepted, so we work off the same song sheet and we’re all working together.” In the US, the dairy industry has the National Association of Animal Breeders (NAAB) and its subsidiary Certified Semen Services (CSS),
which provide objective auditing of semen and sire health and identification. NAAB protocols include using a cocktail of antibiotics in the extended semen and only using frozen semen. Fresh semen would require more or stronger antibiotics which would then have a spermicidal effect. NAAB said recently that while there have been reports in scientific literature of M. bovis and other mycoplasma species in unprocessed bovine semen, there are no documented reports of transmission through the commercial use of frozen semen. The protocols do not call for individual sires to be tested for Mycoplasma bovis. “The likelihood of Hank Lina potential disease transmission is negligible when healthy bulls are managed in a risk-reduced environment and their semen is processed using a protocol that has documented efficacy against this organism. NAAB members that produce frozen bovine semen adhere to a prescribed semen processing protocol utilising a combination of antibiotics in approved extenders.” Lina said that in the past 35 years there had been no reports of M.bovis being cultured from semen collected, processed and tested to the standard defined by CSS. NAAB members, which include his parent company, accounted for about 95% of dairy cattle semen sales in the US. Those companies had been very competitive in the field but under the NAAB umbrella they came together for the common good of the livestock industry, he said. World Wide Sires’ bulls are mon-
itored from birth and have regular health checks with never any symptoms found, said Lina. Together with the protocols on frozen semen there is no need for further testing of bulls so long as the health checks are maintained throughout the life of the bull, he said. Because of the NZ outbreak, Lina said World Wide Sires sent bulls back to the collection centre in the US for fresh unfrozen samples which were sent for testing at Cornell University, the UK and at Wallaceville. All tested negative, as did samples of stocks in NZ given to MPI for testing. “We’ve been happy working with MPI. We provided semen to the Van Leeuwen Group so naturally it was in our interest to work with them and we’ve done so from the very get-go. I speak very highly of MPI,” he added. Lina said NZ AB companies had understandably been quick to test and declare their bulls free of the disease, which provided some reassurance for the current dairy mating season. Bull breeders had similarly worked with veterinarians to develop a test for all run bulls. However, testing is being done in a number of laboratories and it is the variability of the testing that is being questioned by countries which “have the power of hindsight”, i.e. where Mycoplasma bovis and other diseases are endemic, he said. World Wide Sires NZ is putting its hand up to work with the Government, MPI, DairyNZ and other AB companies to work together and implement a set of standards which will provide the reassurance needed in future, he said.
No M.Bovis in our bulls – LIC LIC HAS confirmed its artificial
breeding bulls are free from Mycoplasma bovis. The co-op says that though it was confident in September that the disease was not present in its bulls, it said then that it would test for it to reassure farmers during the dairy mating season. “We’ve now completed the testing and I am pleased to confirm that all LIC bulls have received negative test results with no sign of Mycoplasma bovis,” said chief scientist Richard Spelman. “The results are as we expected and in line with the MPI investigation which indicates the infection is limited to a few herds in New Zealand. We are pleased to provide our farmers with the confirmation
and greater peace of mind for the mating season which is underway on farms right now.” The PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing – a molecular biology technique that amplifies or replicates tiny DNA samples for easier analysis -- was done at LIC’s MPI-accredited laboratory in Hamilton. Currently commercially available bulls were tested, including the Premier Sires teams, Sire Proving Scheme, SGL and Wagyu. The farmer-owned co-op is the largest artificial breeding company in NZ; at least three out of four cows grazing on NZ dairy farms are believed to have been sired by an LIC bull. Meanwhile, LIC said November 2 had been its busiest day of the
season, with 117,000 straws of fresh semen collected, processed and dispatched to AB techs nationwide. 4.6 million straws of fresh semen will be dispatched by Christmas. From a young age, LIC bulls are permanently kept in strict quarantine under close veterinary supervision. Collection bulls are regularly monitored for signs of disease to ensure the semen is only processed from healthy bulls. Spelman said that would continue as part of normal practice. As a result of the negative test results, he said an extra antibiotic which was being added to the semen diluent is no longer required and will be withdrawn. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
ANIMAL HEALTH // 29
62 years and counting AI TECHNICIAN Don Shaw (79) has been surrounded by dairy cows his entire life, bringing many calves into the world. Raised on an Ohaupo farm, Shaw is a fourth generation New Zealand dairy farmer. For the last 62 years he’s worked as an AI technician, inseminating about 250,000 cows. Although now retired from a sales consultant role at CRV Ambreed, Shaw is still an AI technician, working October and November on four Waikato farms, inseminating cows. Otherwise he works as a TOP (traits other than production) inspector, sire-proving heifers and inspecting older cows for Jersey NZ members and consulting to several local farmers. At 17 Shaw started his artificial breeding (AB) training with South Auckland Herd Improvement. “You weren’t supposed to train until you were 18, but I was going to turn 18 by the time the AB season started so I was able to train,” says Shaw, who lives in Te Awamutu. “It was different then from today. We went to stay in the Grand Hotel in Hood Street, Hamilton,
for two weeks and every morning we were picked up by the supervisor and we’d go to the town milk herds in the Hamilton area. “One trainee in my group was Dryden Spring who became the chairman of the New Zealand Dairy Board, so I was in good company.” Herds in the mid-1950s were much smaller than now. “Most weren’t any bigger than 100-120 cows. My father had only about 90 cows.” Visiting small farms with three other trainees limited Shaw to inseminating only one or two cows at each farm. “Today they go to a school in a freezing works in Morrinsville, and there get to inseminate 100 to 120 cows over five days. When I trained I never had 120 cows to practice on.” Shaw later worked with South Auckland Herd Improvement for two years then did private work as an independent AI technician, before spending 40 years working at CRV Ambreed as a technician and sales consultant. It’s been a busy role
“One trainee in my group was Dryden Spring who became the chairman of the New Zealand Dairy Board, so I was in good company.” but a rewarding one. I’ve got a passion for genetics, and for animals,” he says. CRV Ambreed national AI manager Cara
Don Shaw, CRV Ambreed AI technician.
O’Connor says Shaw is an institution in the AI industry and happy to share his knowledge and skills.
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NIGHTS ON THE PHONE THREE YEARS ago Don Shaw retired from CRV Ambreed as one of its top-ranking sales consultants, based in the Waikato west region (wider Te Awamutu area). “I remember my first year I sold only 275 straws, and by my last year of working there I was selling 30,000,” says Shaw. The secret to his success was building strong relationships with farming clients. “I was on the phone at night and I spoke to clients or visited them at least five times a year. “Now I keep in touch with a lot of former clients and visit them.” Shaw has seen many changes to the industry over the years. “Health and safety standards are stricter now.” He once badly injured his knee on the job, kicked by a cow. “It probably wouldn’t happen nowadays, as there is a bar behind the cow’s back legs.” The tools of the trade have evolved. “We had rubber gloves and you’d use soap to get a lather on them, as a lubricant. Today it’s entirely different. You have plastic gloves, obstetric lubricant and you use thin, stainless steel pistolettes. The old plastic pipettes were half as big again. I look back and think, how did I impregnate cows with them? It was a lot more difficult then.” ELE-01950-DN
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
30 // EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT
Strong turnout to Effluent Expo AT LEAST 500 farmers last month attended the one-day Effluent Expo in the Waikato, many buying water, effluent storage and application equipment. The free event was organised by Waikato Regional Council with support from DairyNZ. “Some of our 46 exhibitors have told us they got more business in one day than they did at this year’s Fieldays,” says expo organiser and council senior resource officer Hamish Smith. “This is great news for the environment, with farmers investing in key infrastructure as well as getting some useful information from the seminars.” He thanked farmers and the wider agricul-
tural sector for being fully engaged, attending the expo to learn and compare different systems and products. “Despite this being a busy time of the year, the turnout showed there’s a commitment to improving farm management.” The council is yet to decide whether it will hold a similar event next year. Over the next few months it will consider how best to help farmers working on their environmental impact. Expo seminars included council monitoring, sorting effluent storage volumes and extracting value out of farm dairy effluent. Council resource officer Scott Cantley spoke about compliance issues
Nick Tait, DairyNZ
“Despite this being a busy time of the year, the turnout showed there’s a commitment to improving farm management.” – Hamish Smith its farm monitoring officers discover and how these impact overall farm compliance. He explained how farmers can prioritise their spending on key farm effluent systems to better comply. He also told attendees, “monitoring officers are generally seeing an improvement in effluent infrastructure on farms right across Waikato”. DairyNZ’s environmental extension specialist Logan Bowler explained the three main inputs of the storage calculator that have the most impact on
storage: the soil’s risk to run-off or preferential drainage, water use in the dairy shed, and low application depths of effluent. He also showed the impacts of these on a ‘normal’ dairy farm in the Morrinsville area. “Farmers need to take ownership of storage calculation modelling, understand any changes to their effluent system that a designer might have included in a calculation, and how this might impact on their day-today management. “Don’t let the designer
give only one volume calculation; farmers need to see all the options open to them,” Bowler said. The value of nutrients was the focus of the seminar by DairyNZ’s Nick Tait, an environmental extension specialist. He compared the value
of nutrients to fertiliser prices and showed the high nutrient and dollar value in effluent well managed. He said getting effluent samples analysed for nutrient concentrations is cheap and easy and gives farmers valuable infor-
mation. Tait also talked about testing irrigator application depths to know how much farmers are applying each pass and how to use DairyNZ’s easy effluent spreading app to calculate spreading depths and loadings.
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EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT // 31
What’s the real value of effluent? MARK DANIEL email@example.com
FARM EFFLUENT, long viewed as a tedious byproduct of dairying, has real value in replacing bought-in fertilisers and helping business profit. To understand the real value, note the several
variables that can occur: the amount being applied, the nutrients available in the sample and the cost of bought-in alternatives. The amount being applied is best recorded as the depth of the effluent in millimetres applied during a single application. Then there’s the capacity of the ground
to absorb the material in wet conditions and where water tables are high. Note also the rate, or speed of application, much as you would look at rainfall. If 20mm of rain falls in 30 minutes, the average rate is 40mm/ hour. The ideal way to test application rates of irri-
Type of Effluent
Kgs N per Kgs P per Kgs K per cubic metre cubic metre cubic metre
Farm dairy effluent
DE from unstirred pond
Feed pad and DE slurry
Separated DE solids
Stand-off pad solids
Scraping from wintering pad
Scrapings from barn bunker
Type of Effluent
Farm dairy effluent
Type of Effluent
Feed pad & DE slurry
Type of Effluent
Separated DE solids
gators, or rain guns, is to place buckets across their path of travel to see the amount deposited and to confirm the uniformity of the spread across the spreading width. The results can be interpreted via DairyNZ’s website (www.dairynz.co.nz/ environment/effluent-managing-and-operating-effluent-systems). Understanding the nutrient content can be achieved by taking samples of the various materials to a local testing facility for analysis, or as a starting point use AgResearch data from 2011 (manures and slurries); see Table 1. To understand the value of the various effluents you now need to know the average costs of alternatives, which can typically be sourced from fertiliser company price lists. Looking at different products, which in turn deliver varying amounts of active ingredient,
should allow a calculation of the average cost/kg for N, P and K. Typically in September this amounted to $1.53, $3.24 and $1.80/ kg for N, P, and K respectively. Knowing the quantity to be applied, the nutrient value and the cost of alternatives, you can now calculate the value delivered. For example looking at farm dairy effluent (table 2 & 3) Looking at the value of slurry paints a similar picture: the figures in red show a potential problem, with higher application rates showing that local or regional nutrient caps
are being exceeded (as indicated by the red figures, tables 4 & 5). Looking at effluent with higher nutrient loadings, it is notable that these regional limits are easily exceeded, so application rates need to be monitored carefully to ensure compliance (table 6 & 7). Dairy News acknowledges the help of Nicholas Tait at DairyNZ in compiling this article. See the DairyNZ Farm Dairy Effluent Spreading Calculator on the website to calculate nutrient loadings and application rates for dairy effluent.
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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
32 // EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT
Paperwork must certify irrigators are safe WHAT’S THE difference between a centre-pivot irrigator and a toaster? Apart from size, both devices plug into electricity, so both need a chain of paperwork to certify they are electrically safe. This has been a grey area for the manufacturers, importers and installers of irrigation equipment, and the electricians who hook them up, for a long time. Lucky then, says hazardous area auditor and
qualified electrical inspector Garry House, that no-one has been killed by an electric shock from a centre-pivot or other irrigator. House has helped IrrigationNZ resolve a potentially tricky health and safety issue for farmers in the event of an accident. Irrigators are assembled in the field then handed over to electricians who plug them into a power source, usually
a 400V line. The electricians sign off the work, though much of it has been done by the irrigation company’s installation team. House says the field assembly is considered to be part of the manufacturing process and those installing it now need documentation -- known in the electrical industry as a Statutory Declaration of Conformity -- to support the ‘safety chain’. Irrigation companies must
Irrigators must be electrically safe to operate.
get the document for each brand and model of irrigator they sell. The cost for this safety ‘tick’ is about $8000 per model, but it is a oneoff and the paperwork is allowed to be applied to identical models already sold or sold in the future. House says farmers and electricians should ask their irrigation company for paperwork as
“Electricians are connecting machines wired up by nonqualified people following diagrams.” part of their health and safety commitments. “It is best to have some sort of paperwork before the fact than struggle after it. Even if WorkSafe questioned it, everyone has taken reasonable practicable steps to ensure safety. If you have nothing you can’t defend anything.” There is little evidence of irrigation suppliers having been negligent but the loophole needed closing. “The outcome here is safety,” House says. Master Electrician and ElectraServe director Graeme Church says the issue had been a grey area for 15 years but a statutory declaration of conformity was important in the chain of safety and responsibility. The indus-
try had grown so quickly there had been little time for paperwork to catch up, he said. “It has been a big worry for years because non-qualified people assemble them on the farms and have to wire up motors and sensors. Electricians are connecting machines wired up by non-qualified people following diagrams. We don’t know how competent those people are.” Church says electricians had encountered faulty wiring capable of giving a serious electric shock. With new health and safety rules requiring onfarm hazards to be managed, it is important farmers are up to speed. He says hundreds of irrigators are being
imported and farmers should be asking their installers for paperwork when the machines’ assembly. Electricians should also be asking to see the paperwork before issuing a certificate of compliance. Church said irrigators should get their power via a residual current device and be routinely tested and tagged. Peter Stent, who worked for House in the past 12 months reviewing the compliance requirements, said the major players in the industry are on board and able to produce the required paperwork on demand. But some smaller operators or ‘fly by nighters’ have been leaving clients and electricians at risk of punishment in the event of an incident, he says. • This article was sourced from Irrigation NZ News spring 2017 edition.
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT // 33
Unlocking a golden future REGISTRATIONS FOR IrrigationNZ’s 2018
national conference are now open. ‘Unlocking a Golden Future through SMART Irrigation’ is the theme of the two-yearly event to be held at Alexandra from April 17-19, 2018. “With so much public focus on irrigation and water issues in the media, this is an important opportunity for farmers and growers, the irrigation service industry, researchers, academics, councils and other groups to discuss the future of water management and irrigation systems,” says Andrew Curtis, IrrigationNZ chief executive. Keynote speaker Stuart Styles, the director of the irrigation training and research center in San Luis, California, will talk about how New Zealand’s irrigation practices and regulatory regime compare with elsewhere. Dr Ros Harvey, managing director of the Australian agritech business The Yield and co-founder of the Food Agility Cooperative Research Centre and the Knowledge Economy Institute, will talk about the world’s need for 60% more food by 2050. She will argue this is possible without compromising the future and that technology can support farmers and growers to transform farming. Panellists ANZ rural economist Con Williams; vet, dairy farmer and scientist Alison Dewes;
OTAGO AT CROSSROADS THE HISTORY of irrigation in Central Otago is closely linked to the region’s gold rush. Rights to take and use water were first assigned in the 1860s and linked to mining, but were later used for irrigation. The original permits issued for water use were renewable forever. In the 1930s depression the government funded irrigation expansion, e.g. the Falls Dam scheme, as public works projects, and more infrastructure was developed from the 1950s to the 1980s. The Resource Management Act set a deadline for historical water permits linked to mining to expire in October 2021. Otago is now at a crossroads, with the amount of water available for irrigation expected to reduce, and water permit holders needing to look at innovative ways to optimise water use. Local irrigation scheme representatives and farmer collectives will talk about how they are overcoming challenges and working together on innovative solutions.
Central Otago mayor Tim Cardogan; Pioneer Energy chief executive Fraser Jonkers; and law professor Jacinta Ruru will discuss the future of water catchment management with moderator Guyon Espiner, a RadioNZ Morning Report presenter. Central Otago’s summer fruit and wine industries rely on irrigation, and conference attendees will be able to join one of three field trips to see best practice irrigation on a range of different properties and hear from growers and farmers about how they use irrigation to improve their productivity. Attendees may also visit local orchards or vineyards or joining a pastoral farming tour. Each trip will look at how different irrigation systems are being used to
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ROOM WITH A PHEW MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
MACHINERY DEALERS say they can always spot a tractor from a dairy farm: they don’t get the love normally lavished on their cropping mates. The rig in our photo may have suffered excessively and will need a valet before trade-in. Seen in Swansea, Wales (the land of my fathers), this Case IH Puma was on effluent duties pulling a 14,000L vacuum tanker. The rig was on the headland building up pressure to spread the load when the sight-glass mounted at the front of the machine ‘let go’ and fired a pungent, sticky mess through the cab’s open rear window, covering the driver and all with the herd’s finest mix. Driver Liam Price rushed to close the window but the damage was done. So came a bucket to clear the mess, a pressure wash and a few
suit local conditions. The conference will also include an expo of products and services designed to help improve production and irrigation efficiency and save time. “We have chosen Central Otago for our 2018 conference as irrigation has played an important role in the district’s past and because it also provides an interesting example of how water rights could be negotiated in the future which the rest of New Zealand could learn much from,” says Curtis.
days in the sun to dry out. Electrical gremlins have, predictably, been in attendance, and the local gas station is selling air fresh-
eners by the box. The rumour is that the local dealer is not looking for trade-ins “at this time”.
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Slurry Bugs will eat your pond crust! (and now, farmers don’t have to kill them!) Good bacteria that eat pond crust? The immediate cause of your pond crust is pathogenic bacteria in the effluent. These bacteria separate the effluent fibres and the send them to the surface to form the crust. How do you counter these bad bugs? With good bugs. That’s what Slurry Bugs are – helpful bacteria that eat the pond crust. Literally. Not only do Slurry Bugs remove the crust, they transform the effluent nutrients into organic forms that are easily used by plants. In other words, they liquefy your pond and turn it into an effective, spreadable fertiliser. To fix your pond without expensive machinery, use Slurry Bugs. Go to www.slurrybugs.co.nz to find out more.
A new sanitiser that kills pathgogens, not good microbes! Most farmers use Chlorine to clean their sheds. The problem is, when Chlorine is washed into the effluent pond, it kills the good bacteria that are eating the crust. Now there’s a new sanitiser that kills pathogens but leaves the good guys alone! It’s called DX50. DX50TM is Chlorine Dioxide, an eco-friendly chemical engineered to be highly selective in its bacteria killing. DX50 kills 2.46 times better than Chlorine and kills a wider range of pathogens. But it doesn’t harm the good bacteria that eat your pond crust. To read more, go to www.fowardfarming.co.nz
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
34 // EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT
Effluent tankers with an eye to the future MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
David Donnelly of Origin Agroup with a Joskin slurry tanker at the recent Effluent Expo.
FOUNDED BY Victor Joskin in 1968, the Belgian family-owned Joskin company is now reckoned the world’s largest maker of slurry and manure equipment, selling to 60 countries. New Zealand distributor Origin Agroup says shouts of ‘eureka’
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resound from loyal owners of these distinctive galvanised units as they perceive the true value of effluent and the tankers’ standard features. They come in single(5000, 7000, 8500, 10,000 and 11,000L), tandemand tri-axle versions. The tandem-axle units come in a range 12,000 30,000L and the tri-axle holds 32,000L. Origin’s David Donnelly suggests as a guide to power needs that 1hp is required for every 100L, so the 10,000L unit should suit a 100hp steed. Whatever the capacity, many standard features should ensure a long working life and minimal maintenance. Tanks are made from high tensile steel and are lifetime guaranteed against implosion; inside/ outside galvanising protects against the hostile effluent environment. Tanks are supported by over dimensioned cradles; a heavy duty drawbar assembly is pivoted at the rear, suspended at the front and is easily adjusted to suit a wide range of tractors. At the rear of the tank unit an integral rear buttress allows retro-fitment of spreader bars or injection assemblies to deal with changes in conditions or regula-
tory requirements. For this situation, the in-built ability to relocate axles allows repositioning to create weight transfer to the tractor as draught demands increase. Also with an eye to the future, all tanks are fitted with a removable end plate at the front, to allow the fitment of automated filling systems. With high annual production, Joskin rounds up on component suppliers -- typically the vacuum pump manufacturers -- to get a specification that includes better seals, higher-spec bearings and, most important, high-quality, wear-resistant pump vanes. Attention to detail in the standard equipment extends to a unique muffler system -- Eco Pump -- that also traps exhaust oil during the vacuum phase and ensures clean air when pressurising the vessel; both tasks are aimed at extending the service life. Likewise, the Joskin valve acts as an airlock, which evens out the air pressure during the pressure phase. This balances out pump pulses, ensuring that spreading width is constant and even at all times. An extensive option list includes oversize tyre and wheel equipment.
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT // 35
Take care after big wet BALA TIKKISETTY
IT’S BEEN a wet year alright: MetService is already describing 2017 as “the year it didn’t stop raining” with Waikato rainfall at record levels for January to September. That’s a legacy farmers are taking into spring as they prepare to fertilise paddocks in coming months as saturated soils start warming up. Generally speaking, getting the best bang for buck out of fertiliser while protecting economic and environmental bottom lines is a key goal for farmers. Finding the balance can be tricky for farmers and requires advice from qualified farm consultants and nutrient management advisors Various risks apply to applying fertiliser, so I recommend all farmers have a nutrient budget and a nutrient management plan for their properties and discuss their situation with their fer-
tiliser rep. Our regional plan requires that every farm has such a budget and plan if nitrogen (N) use exceeds 60kg/ha/year. Nutrient budgeting is widely accepted as the appropriate first step in managing nutrient use and it’s the preferred tool for evaluating the environmental impacts of farm management practices. Overseer, a computer decision support model, is used to advise on nutrient management and greenhouse gas emissions. It predicts what happens to the nutrients brought onto a farm in the form of fertilisers and supplementary feed in the same way a financial budget can track money. AgResearch recently released a new version of the Overseer nutrient budget model, downloadable from http://www. overseer.org.nz. An important issue to consider is nitrate leaching. Plants need N for healthy leaf growth, but N is a very mobile nutrient.
Record rainfall in the Waikato this year has left soils saturated.
If more nitrogenous fertiliser is applied than plants can take up, most of the unused nitrogen ends up leaching down into groundwater. Sometimes N will also be lost to waterways as run-off and some is always released back into the air as gas. The amount of N leaching from pastures can be reduced by: ■■ timing fertiliser application to avoid periods when plant uptake of N will be low, such as when soils are sat-
QUALITY WATER IS IMPORTANT
urated, during heavy rain, colder periods and times of low soil temperatures applying N fertiliser in split dressings (as many split doses as possible) irrigating farm dairy effluent to a large enough area adjusting fertiliser
policy for effluent irrigated areas to account for the nutrient value of effluent ■■ using fenced wetlands and well-managed open drains as nutrient traps. The nutrient phosphorus (P) behaves very differently from N because it binds with the soil and
only dissolves slowly in water over time. This means it doesn’t readily leach to groundwater. But it can damage the health of waterways through soil erosion and surface run-off into water. Typically, 80% of P loss can sometimes come from about 20% of the farm area. Farmers can reduce the amount of P runoff by keeping Olsen P to optimum agronomic levels. Other tips include: ■■ following the NZ Fertiliser Manufacturers’ Research Association Code of Practice for Nutrient Management ■■ applying fertiliser when grass is in an active growing phase ■■ leaving a grassed buffer strip between paddock and waterway (the strip filters the P before the run-off
reaches the water) controlling run-off from tracks, races, feed and stand-off pads. There is increasing pressure for farmers to improve their nutrient management because of the effects N and P can have on water, and because improving nutrient use efficiency is equally important for farm profits. So a clear assessment of fertiliser requirements will both improve economic returns from pasture and help avoid contamination of ground and surface water with nutrients -- particularly N and P. • Bala Tikkisetty is a sustainable agriculture advisor at Waikato Regional Council. Contact him on bala.tikkisetty@ waikatoregion.govt.nz or 0800 800 401.
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• Maintain existing fence lines and shelter belts. • Irrigates land inaccessible to centre pivots.
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
36 // MACHINERY & PRODUCTS
Unique lift control suspension on new mowerconditioner THE NEW Kuhn FC 104
Series mower-conditioner includes the FC 244, FC 284 and FC 314 models, with working widths of 2.40, 2.80 and 3.10m, respectively. They are equipped with a unique lift control suspension that combines floatation, a pendulum type articulation and an active non-stop safety system, without the need
for any adjustment tools. Intended for farms doing intensive grass production and looking for equipment easy to use, these allow harvesting of clean crops because of their “impeccable” ground following characteristics; this contributes to lower fuel consumption and skid wear, and promotes faster re-growth. The units also have
higher clearance in headland turn position (and for transport), a larger offset range of up to 19cm to suit a wide range of tractor dimensions, and a good match of front and rear units for overlap. Additionally, a simplified tractor coupling no longer requires adjustment to compensate for the weight of the mowing/ conditioning units, and
an automatic setting to a medium cutting height (45-50mm) position occurs when switching to the working position, without the need to adjust the top link. A re-design of the mowing/conditioning unit attachment, carrying arm and pivot points takes into account increases in tractor speeds and power. Also, the FC 314 is fitted
with suspension for transport and headland turn manoeuvring phases, for increased safety and comfort while working. As with previous generations, all machines have the 100-series cutter bar, well known for quality mowing and optimum forage ejection in all circumstances due to
the bevelled shape of the knives and the shape of the converging discs. To reduce downtime and maintenance costs, the FCs have a quickrelease blade system and the maker’s ProtectaDrive safety system that protects mechanical components in the event of hitting an obstacle.
The conditioning rotor is fitted with V-shaped nylon fingers or pivoting steel fingers. Where necessary, a choice of rotor speeds allows adaptation to delicate crops, or alternatively a roller conditioner can be specified for buyers looking to harvest lucerne. www.kuhn.co.nz
THREE GONGS FOR AMAZONE
Swing Stop Pro spray boom.
THE EUROPEAN farm equipment maker Amazone has won three silver medals for innovation at Agritechnica 2017. The first is for its SwingStop Pro spray boom guidance system, with a new ‘pulse width frequency modulation’ nozzle system. Boom-mounted sensors and electronics calculate the flow rate at each nozzle and adjust the output in milliseconds. The system compensates for changes caused by horizontal movements of the boom, resulting in unprecedented application accuracy over
Magnet nails down phone
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the sprayer’s whole working width. The second medal is for the SmartService 4.0 that allows field technicians to talk ‘live’ (via smartphones, tablets or data glasses) to service staff at an Amazone factory worldwide for repairs or maintenance. The third medal is for Agrirouter, an internet-based platform that enables farmers and contractors to easily share machinery data, including that created using different software. This gets the job done well at lower cost.
FED UP with your phone or GPS sliding around the vehicle and getting underfoot or lost under the seat? A simple remedy: hold them in place with a magnet. Aerpro MagMate magnetic holders on sale at Griffiths Equipment are for use in pairs for sticking phones, GPS/satnav units and tablets to dashboard or windscreen. And a cradle version clips onto air vents or elsewhere for easy access and transportability between vehicles and boats. “A smartphone or GPS rattling loose in a console or on a seat is annoying and unsafe,” says Griffiths spokesman Tim Paterson. “Fixing it securely in place quickly and where it can be easily seen… works equally well on boats, where damage or loss is just as likely to a phone or GPS.” MagMate uses a thin metal plate with an adhesive side that sticks to mobile devices with or without a case. Made from Neodymium rare-earth magnets, the Aerpro MagMate range is claimed to be 30% stronger than others on the market. The plate is slim enough also to be stuck to the battery under the battery cover, between the phone and the case or to the exterior of the case, without interfering with the device’s use.
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
MACHINERY & PRODUCTS // 37
Swadro keeps things tight MARK DANIEL email@example.com
DESCRIBED AS a twin-
rotor rake for farmers or contractors who thought they wanted a singlerotor machine, the Krone Swadro TC 640 is an entry-level, compact unit that suits smaller tractors. It weighs only 1400kg but has a 6.4m working width. The TC 640 uses most of the technology found in its bigger brothers, e.g. the Duramax cam track and maintenance-free gearboxes and tine arms. The rotor diameter of 2.7m is achieved with shorter tine arms which carry three double tines, although there is an option to fit a fourth tine.
Working width is adjustable from 5.7 to 6.4m, delivering a swath width of 1 to 1.7m; this adjustment is manual but a hydraulic control option is offered. The proven cardanic suspension system allows +/- 5 degrees of movement axially and up to +/- 7 degrees in the direction of travel for excellent ground adaptation in changing conditions, and aided by four-wheel bogies with leading steered wheels and rigid rear wheel equipment. The layout helps achieve tight turns and good manoeuvrability in smaller paddocks with shorter headlands. Height control is by a basic crank handle with an indicator scale in milli-
GADGET REPELS RODENTS, DUST DAIRY FARMERS Tony and Vicky Rawlinson,
dairy farmers at Inglewood, have found a product that prevents dust and mice getting into their aeroplane hangar through gaps between the building’s cladding and frame. It’s called Ridgzstop – an insert intended for the ridges of external cladding; it fills the voids, particularly where the roof meets the vertical cladding or where the cladding sits on purlins. The profile suits both Styeline and Ribline sheeting, and when inverted 180 degrees it matches the half-round section of corrugated materials. It’s fastened with nails, screws or blind rivets. Fitted to base plates and bottom girts it will keep out rodents, and can as easily be fitted to top plates to keep out birds. A polypropylene version comes in black or grey, 2mm thick; and a Zincalume version is 0.55mm thick to match common profiles. The cost of either is about 60 cents each. Ridgztop can be fitted during building or as a retro-fit to existing buildings. – Mark Daniel
metre increments. Transport width is 2.55m; transport height is 3.9m reducible to 3.55m with the fitment of optional folding tine arms.
The 2.50m track width is said to offer great stability on slopes, making the design wellsuited to hilly or sidling country.
DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 14, 2017
38 // MACHINERY & PRODUCTS
Designers cheer weigh scale GALLAGHERS HAS won the supreme award from New Zealand’s industrial design community -- a group beyond the farmgate. The company’s latest Weigh Scale system won the supreme ‘purple pin’ at the Best Design Awards run by the Designers’ Institute of NZ (DINZ). It was cited for its high-quality design and functionality in the tough farm environment. Gallaghers also won, in the same category, the DINZ bronze pin for its insulated line post fencing system, a new approach that does not use steel or timber posts. The awards judges described the scale as a complex digital management tool in a rugged but simple product, with user and location kept paramount during the entire design process. They also appreciated the rigorous
design process that included the clever post attachment and over-moulding details. It is a “truly Kiwi design in the best possible way,” they said. The Weigh Scale were released earlier this year after Gallagher recognised the need to completely redesign a piece of equipment increasingly vital in farmers’ businesses. The work took four years -- but 15 ‘man-years’ -- and was developed through 15 prototypes. The need for it to function in a tough, often wet, dirty environment meant it had to combine functionality with durability, while reinforcing the Gallagher brand and all it stands for. A key feature of the Weigh Scale is its full colour display which has a highvisibility screen regardless of sunlight. Also recognised was a need for the scale to interface easily with other gear
Gallagher’s award-winning weigh scale.
for simple use by farmers, with an intuitive pathway easily activated via the touchscreen. And the unit has no fiddly caps on the plug-in points at the base; plugs are instead protected by the scales’ body moulding – said to be a hit with farmers tired of having to try to fit plug protectors before or after use. Gallagher Animal Management Systems’ marketing manager Mark Harris said the simplicity of touchscreen technology had made it a key aspect of the design process. “We had learnt the touchscreen was the interface to deliver a simplified scale. It needed to be something any farmer would feel comfortable using, rather than just farmers already familiar with technology. It had to be as easy to use as the GPS in your car.”
SMALL SUV WITH HUGE POTENTIAL MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
meteoric rise in the SUV market over the last decade, Korean manufacturer Hyundai has launched a small SUV. It’s the Kona (a Hawaii place name) and if first impressions are correct it will mirror the success of the maker’s Tucson and Santé Fe models. Though conventional in its overall shape, this wagon also has modern styling accents to make it a little different. Overstated wheel arch surrounds blend into the front and rear light clusters with triple pur-
pose: housing air ducts to engine and brakes, improving overall aerodynamics, and buffering day-to-day knocks. Up front, several ‘slashes’ across the front grille and along the edge of the hood give a fresh look. Two models are available in two levels of specification: the frontwheel-drive sports a 2.0L naturally aspirated engine producing 110Kw and 180Nm torque; the all-wheel-drive version uses a 1.6L turbo-petrol unit delivering 130kW and 265Nm. The FWD has a 6-speed auto box; the AWD a 7-speed box with dual clutch technology. Specification is
standard or Elite: the former has 17-inch alloys, upholstery of cloth and pseudoleather, manual air conditioning, keyless entry, daytime running LED lights, auto headlamps and a reversing camera; the Elite has 18-inch alloys, full leather, electrically heated seats, wireless smartphone charging, LED tail-lights, climate control and rear privacy glass. Interestingly, neither spec is fitted with satnav, but instead Android Auto or Apple Car Play for guidance. Safety is high on the agenda for all units -blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert,
forward collision warning, emergency autonomous braking, lane keep assist and driver atten-
tion monitoring. First impressions of the interior are of good layout erring on the side
of blandness, but countered by (optional) coloured seat stitching and piping, and extra-
loud seatbelts and trim highlights. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
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Dairy News 14 November 2017