Page 1

NAIT chief defends system. PAGE 5 LABOUR OF LOVE Greenie at heart PAGE 31

JOINING THE BIG LEAGUE Mini’s big show PAGE 41

MAARCH 13, 2018 ISSUE 396 // www.dairynews.co.nz

GAGGED!

Farmers in the dark over Fonterra’s court injunction against a former director and the news media. PAGE 3

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

NEWS  // 3

Still in the dark SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA’S HIGH court injunc-

Breeder denied compo. PG.04

Dermatitis on the march. PG.25

tion gagging a former director and the news media is in its second week and farmer shareholders are still in the dark. The court order means no one is prepared to talk about the case. Federated Farmers and Fonterra shareholders council members discussed the issue briefly last week in Wellington at their routine sixmonthly meeting. Ironically, the injunction has drawn media speculation, much of it negative about the co-op’s performance. Federated Farmers dairy chairman Chris Lewis says the injunction against South Canterbury farmer Leonie Guiney and news media was discussed at the start of the meeting to “get it out of the way before

other matters were discussed”. He told Dairy News that he left the meeting not knowing any more about the injunction than has been reported in the media. “To be fair, we got no more information out of them but we had an Chris Lewis open and frank discussion.” Lewis says farmers were also contacting Federated Farmers wanting to know what the injunction was about. “Farmers want more information and they are asking questions but there is a vacuum; what the injunction is all about only time will tell.” Lewis urges Fonterra shareholder to question the co-op directors and management during the next round of farmer meetings later this month. “Get to a meeting and ask your

questions; you are a valued part of the co-op. And don’t leave the meeting until your questions have been answered,” he says. Lewis says he has received lots of messages and calls on the issue, mostly from media fishing for more information and a few farmers expressing concern. A former Fonterra director contacted by Dairy News refused to comment directly on the injunction. “Without knowing the details I am in no position to judge,” he said. “I can only assume Fonterra thinks it is a significant matter. And I can only assume the board would have considered the pros and cons on the action they have taken.” However, he believes Fonterra

NO PLAN B - LIC CHAIRMAN Multi-tasking tractor. PG.42

NEWS������������������������������������������������������3-19 OPINION��������������������������������������������� 20-21 AGRIBUSINESS�����������������������������22-23 MANAGEMENT������������������������������ 24-26 ANIMAL HEALTH��������������������������28-30 EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT������������������������������� 31-38 MACHINERY &   PRODUCTS��������������������������������������39-42

LIC SHAREHOLDERS will meet this week to vote on a new share structure. And chairman Murray King wrote to shareholders last week, making it clear the co-op has no ‘plan B’ in the event of voting not supporting a single share structure. The proposal must garner 75% support to pass. King says feedback from some farmers was that a ‘no’ vote would result in a second vote on a revised deal.

“To avoidance any doubt, this [idea] is completely wrong,” says King. LIC directors and “expert advisers” have been working on this proposal for over two years, he says. “We have considered the issues closely and it is clear this is the fairest, balanced and most transparent way of resolving them. “We have no plan B. If there is a ‘no’ vote we will not go away and revise the deal with an eye to coming back for a second vote in

the near future. “Although clearly disappointed we would respect the decision of our shareholders and focus on making the best out of carrying on with the existing share structure.” King says that two classes of shares with unequal rights are not suitable for a modern, progressive co-op. LIC’s special meeting will be held in Hamilton on March 14. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

will have no option but to be very open on the matter at the upcoming shareholder meetings. The former director did add that the “irresponsible action” of Guiney has probably just taken 20-30c off the Fonterra share price due to hysteria. “Her actions change nothing other than destroy value. For most shareholders this is an irritation.  For the 2% of shareholders under the most pressure from the banks, this might be the final nail that drives their equity position to the point that banks sell them up.  Someone should remind Leonie of that.”

JUDGE OUTLINES REASONS IN AN updated ruling last week on Fonterra’s injunction against Leonie Guiney and news media, Justice Karen Clark laid out her reasons. She says Fonterra had established “there is a serious question to be tried”. “In considering overall justice, the importance of protection of confidential information in this context and for this limited period is in the public interest.” Fonterra’s substantive claim will be heard later this month when Justice Clark will make the final orders in the case. Fonterra claims breach of contract and breach of confidence against Guiney, who served on the board for three years until November last year. Other details of the case remain suppressed.


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

4 //  MYCOPLASMA BOVIS UPDATE

Breeder says MPI reneged on compo NIGEL MALTHUS

JERSEY BREEDER

Peter Hansen believes MPI has reneged on compensating him for its ban on his planned one-off importation of breeding cows from Australia because of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. Hansen, who runs the Lilac Grove Jersey Stud at Fernside, near Rangiora, had bought four elite cows from an Australian breeder but was prevented from importing them because of the discovery of M.bovis in July. By then the cows were in quarantine waiting to be flown across the Tasman. Hansen has broken his silence over the dispute after MPI wrote to him on February 26 saying he would not be compensated. Hansen bought the four cows in late May

STILL HOPING PETER HANSEN still hopes to import his Jerseys from Australia but says it may be too late if matters are not sorted in six to12 months. Meanwhile, imports of semen and embryos were still allowed. “I’ve got to get the OK from MPI to be able to flush them, so that’s up in the air too. If and when we get the OK to do that we still plan to flush them and hopefully bring their genetics in like that.” Hansen said people in Australia

from the Kenarie Jersey stud at Murwillumbah, northeast NSW. “We did our research and found we could import them if we did certain quarantine protocols. So we went and bought them, got them taken down to the quarantine farm and put through a couple of months of quarantine and extensive testing,” said Hansen. “There was one final test and a plane trip to

and NZ had been excited the importation was happening, and to get knocked back was “pretty disappointing”. He believes semen or clothing are the more likely sources of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak, rather than live cattle. Hansen, who also runs a drainage contracting business, took over the Lilac Grove Stud on the retirement of his grandfather, who set up the business in 1936.

come, and we were told they could no longer come,” said Hansen. “We were about seven days away from them leaving Australia to come to New Zealand.” MPI’s Mycoplasma bovis response controller David Yard confirmed the import permit was denied because of the risks associated with the disease. Hansen said he had spent $26,000 on the cattle and between

$25,000 and $28,000 on the quarantine and testing. The four cows tested clear for Mycoplasma bovis and a PCR test on the milk of the whole herd of origin had also tested negative, he said. “They’ve probably been tested more than some of the herds they’ve declared free over here.” In his claim for compensation, Hansen sought about $350,000. About

Peter and Claire Hansen, Lilac Grove Jersey Stud, Rangiora. PHOTO: RUBY WILSON

$50,000 was for quarantine and other costs to date, but most of it was the estimated cost of having the four cows flushed of embryos which would then be brought across the Tasman to recipient cows here. He believed the claimed amount was justified, in that the money would have ‘squared’ him up to the position he had anticipated had the cattle been able to come. Hansen said that when the import was blocked MPI invited him to make a claim and indicated it would be considered “on moral grounds”.

“We put that in expecting to get paid in a month or two then it dragged on and on. We expected we would at least get compensated for our quarantine costs.” He has now asked for MPI’s complete file on his case. “When I’ve got that in my hands we may talk to lawyers but it depends how much money we want to throw at it.” It is believed it would have been the first import of live cattle in about four years and the first of Jerseys in about 30 years. “What frustrated me a bit was they were some new genetics which the

dairy breeds sorely need in New Zealand. That was a big motivation for bringing them in,” said Hansen. The cows are bigger than NZ Jerseys. “They’ve got an elite type. Their udders and frames were very true and correct and their production was extremely impressive as well.” One had recorded 700 - 800kgMS, which Hansen said is about double the Jersey average in NZ. The cows are now being held by friends of Hansen on a stud at Tamworth, where they have calved and are being milked.

TAXPAYERS’ MONEY AT ISSUE MPI SAID in a prepared statement

that Hansen’s compensation claim was declined because eligibility criteria were not met. MPI’s director, animal and animal products, Paul Dansted, referred to criteria detailed in section 162A of the Biosecurity Act. “This is taxpayers’ money and this is the key test. Compensation is only paid for verifiable losses as a result of

MPI exercising its powers under the Biosecurity Act for the purpose of control or eradication of an organism. “None of these powers were exercised on Mr Hansen. According to the Act, ‘compensation must not be paid if the person’s loss relates to uncleared goods’. The cattle concerned were not cleared and were not in New Zealand.” Dansted said the Import Health

Standard was suspended as a precautionary measure. The suspension was not an exercise of powers to control or eradicate the disease; it was a measure to prevent any further introduction of it while management measures took place. He added that the import permit documentation made it very clear that a permit did not guarantee the animals would be given biosecurity

clearance. The animals still needed to satisfy the provisions set out in the Import Health Standard, which could change rapidly. “This is what occurred in this instance,” he said. When the IHS was suspended, the cows had not then met all the IHS requirements and the Australian authorities had not issued them an export certificate, said Dansted.

Nor had MPI received confirmation from the Australian authorities that the cows were negative for Mycoplasma bovis, as claimed. Dansted denied that Hansen received an assurance regarding compensation. “MPI officials had advised him he was able to submit a claim for compensation, but did not say he would receive it.” – Nigel Malthus

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

MYCOPLASMA BOVIS UPDATE  // 5

NAIT ‘well-designed’ THE NATIONAL

Enquire about our all NEW Chlorinator Federated Farmers West Coast dairy chair Renee Rooney (right) and NAIT chief executive Michelle Edge at the meeting.

church. Interviewed later, she said provisions for enforcing farmers’ compliance were available in the scheme. “I think further application of compliance

needs to occur but there’s definitely some need for farmers to be diligent around their requirements.” Two committees have been steering a review of the system and are near

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experts are clear that the movement of infected cattle has been the underlying cause of the spread of M.bovis to other properties.” Encouraging all cattle farmers to update their NAIT records, Lewis said record-keeping “has not been as good as it could be” on the infected properties. The reasons for non-compliance with NAIT were many and complex, and some farmers see NAIT as a compliance cost. The disease is a wake-up call, said Lewis. “Other countries have learned to live with M.bovis. New Zealand farmers would rather live without it.”

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use, farmers will comply.” At the start of the meeting Lewis recalled nine months of frustration watching the spread of Mycoplasma bovis. “We should strive to get back to the situation where at least the North Island is clear. It should then be easy to stop the spread of infection north of Cook Strait and get on with containing it and hopefully in the long run stamping M. bovis out.” He had been frustrated at times with the response of MPI and “I wouldn’t be the only one”. “It’s unclear whether an improved NAIT scheme would’ve been better to contain the spread of the disease, but the

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BUT CLUNKY SOFTWARE GETS IN THE WAY FEDS DAIRY section chair Chris Lewis said NAIT chief Michelle Edge took lots of questions from council members at the Christchurch meeting. It was good to get the questions asked and answered, he said. Lewis said NAIT must be changed to make it more userfriendly. “We’re in the 21st century now. We want iPads and apps.” “At the moment NAIT software’s quite clunky and that’s why people get frustrated. Do I need to keep two or three software programs for herd records? Or is there one which talks freely with the main provider? If the system’s easy to

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kept their accounts up to date. We’ve been able to trace stock.” Edge spoke in a closed session to a recent Federated Farmers dairy and sharemilkers’ combined council meeting in Christ-

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Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) system has provided MPI investigators of the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak with nearly 1000 reports since the disease was identified last July. At a time when farmers’ non-compliance with NAIT is blamed for making MPI’s response much harder than it should be, NAIT chief executive Michelle Edge is defending the system as “philosophically welldesigned”. “The system has functioned as it needed to, where the data was in it and where farmers have

that the system of traceability – having to tag an animal, register it, register your premises and register your movements... those philosophical elements are unlikely to change because that is the basis of any system in the world.”

stock, how movements need to be recorded, and the roles and responsibilities of various players involved in the system. “There’s obviously a focus on compliance and what’ll be applied there. “The one message I want to give is essentially

finalising their recommendations. Consultation will follow but the timing will be in MPI’s hands, said Edge. “I can’t give any specifics yet but I can say that there are recommendations associated with the identification of live-

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

6 //  NEWS

Global co-ops find it tough in China SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA IS not the only global dairy co-op struggling to save a joint venture in China. European co-op Friesland Campina has bought the remaining stake in its joint venture with Huishan, officially ending its partnership with the embattled Chinese dairy company. FrieslandCampina’s woes in China are similar to Fonterra’s trouble with its JV partner Beingmate. It bought a 1.1% stake in China Huishan Dairy Holdings in 2015; at the

Jane Li

time Huishan employed 40,000 people. The two partners launched Dutch Lady branded dairy products, a big hit with consumers. However, in December 2016 concerns were raised about Huishan

‘inflating’ its earnings, and early last year Huishan’s shares plunged 85% in just 90 minutes, before trading was suspended. FrieslandCampina took a $50 million hit as a result of the failed JV. But Chinese dairy

expert Jane Li says FrieslandCampina will pay a bigger price for the bad investment decision because a Chinese court has ruled against the co-op. It’s another disastrous investment, she says. “It seems not enough due diligence is being done and not enough risk is being factored in to China investments. “Friesland may have only spent $2 million for the remaining 50% of their JV, but they are now liable for the outstanding debt of 800m RMB. Including the initial 700m invested in the

THINGS COULD BE WORSE ACCORDING TO Jane Li, Fonterra may end up facing the same scenario in China as FrieslandCampina -- the jointventure partner fleeing debt and a Chinese court ruling the co-op liable for that debt. “Beingmate will certainly be marked ST (on watch to forced delisting) after their next financial report and investors will lose more confidence causing the

share price to likely fall further, especially after a Shenzhen stock exchange audit uncovered financial irregularities last month. “We already know that the company doesn’t own or control any retail stores or distribution network so it is impossible for Anmum sales to increase fast enough to turn the business around and realise the strategic

investment. “But this is not even the worst-case scenario,” she says. “There is potential for more serious risk exposure, so I think all consequences need exploring at this stage and options tabled, even including a potential exit from the JV.” Fonterra will report on its Beingmate investment with its half-year results on March 21.

$6.50kgMS payout still possible

JV, it will end up costing Friesland over 1.5 billion RMB with only a factory in Shenyang to show for it. “It seems an outrageously high amount to invest from the beginning.” Li points by comparison to Hong Kong-listed Ausnutria which recently entered a similar joint venture with Westland Milk on the West Coast. “In a 60:40 split, Westland supplied land worth $3m, Ausnutria paid $4.5m in cash and loaned $32m to build a new infant formula factory. “Foreign dairy companies need to set up more sensible JVs like this in China right from the beginning to help avoid expensive dramas playing out later on. “This is also the case with Fonterra’s Beingmate joint venture: it was set to fail from the beginning as the rationale for investment was flawed because Beingmate doesn’t actually own stores or control distribution networks as some thought.”

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THE GDT auction last week was close to expectations, and even included a slightly positive surprise with a 5.5% jump in skim milk powder prices, says BNZ senior economist Doug Steel. Overall dairy prices eased 0.6%. “This was close to expectations,” Steel told Dairy News. “If anything, the decline was not quite as big as the indicators intimated. The GDT Price Index is up 12.2% year-to-date and 9.8% on a year ago.” Whole milk powder (WMP) prices fell 0.8%, to an average price of $US3232/t. BNZ is now forecasting a $6.30/kgMS milk price for the 2017-18 season, but Steel says something like $6.40 or $6.50/kgMS is easily within the realms of possibility. “Ultimately, the final figure will depend on what effective exchange rate Fonterra has managed to achieve. “Fonterra is due to provide its half year update later this month, where the co-op will provide its latest guidance for milk price (which sits at $6.40/kgMS) as well as for earnings and dividend.” With the focus shifting to the next season, Steel says the general view is that dairy prices will ease later in 2018. This is based on expanding supply, particularly out of the EU, and the influence from the EU intervention programme. “However, there are a few global weather issues now challenging this thinking, including cold weather across parts of Europe [that could materially restrict near term production],” he says. “Drought in Argentina and dry in parts of the US that, combined, have seen grain prices push higher over recent weeks are also worth watching. – Pam Tipa

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

NEWS  // 7

Stink bugs causing no stink MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

DESPITE THE stink bug nuisance, farm machinery distributors are seeing little or no effect on their logistics chains because most of their products are containerised, except for large tractors and harvesters. These are normally landed in the spring in preparation for post-new year harvest and cultivation. A large distributor of excavators

tells Dairy News a ship carrying 200 machines has been returned to Japan with an infestation. The pest -- Halymorpha halys (brown marmorated stink bug -- is native to China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Shield-shaped and measuring 17 x 17mm, it accidentally arrived in the US in 1998, and by 2014 had been seen in 41 of the 50 states. More recently it has appeared in Europe, notably in Italy and Romania. This sucking insect uses a proboscis to pierce plants, causing dimpled

(necrotic) areas on the surface of the leaves, leaf stippling and seed or fruit loss. Hard to kill with normal pesticide because of its mobility, the pest quickly bounces back from spraying; it overwinters in homes or buildings, waiting for spring. In Japan parasitic wasps are on trial to control the pest, but with caution. Machinery distributors tell Dairy News all shipments from Europe and America are fumigated, and strict rules apply to pre-sailing wharf stor-

SHIPS CRUISE IN, OUT THE STINK bug issue has the potential to get worse fast, given the number of ship berthings required at Auckland and their vehiclecargo numbers. Arrival schedules show that in the next 33 days, 28 ships (pure car carriers - PCCs) will arrive with 40,000 vehicles. At time of writing, the PCC Tokyo Car is unloading at Bledisloe Wharf and the PCC Sepang

Express is anchored off awaiting berthing, fogging and inspection. Mitsui OSK Line says PCC Morning Christina has been berthed, fogged and inspected. PCC Courageous Ace and Glovis Caravel have gone back to Singapore for treatment, a faster option than the estimated wait-to-land at Auckland -- the wait caused by MPI requiring 20% of cargo from every deck to

Stink bug.

be heat-treated and inspected, even though no live stink bugs are found. MPI says treating and inspecting high-risk vessels can take 20-30 days per vessel due to the limits of the port’s heat treatment facility. Vessels that did not berth at Singapore are unaffected by the stink bug issue and will be turned around in the usual times.

age times for vehicles or containers. Many large distributors operate authorised transitional facilities, allowing them to unload containers at their premises in a secure area, with trained staff. Containers are then moved direct from the port without MAF inspections, although roll on-roll off vehicles are checked. If distributors find the pests they reseal containers or vehicles, tell MAF, and methyl bromide fumigation is rolled in.

Gerald van den Broek, operations manager for the Power Farming Group in NZ and AU, says all its logistics staff know the implications of pest invasions. “They continually attend courses to learn what to look out for. We operate a policy of better safe than sorry, so we call MAF about anything we are not happy with. We’re in constant communication with our freight forwarders about vigilance at the point of departure‑.”


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

8 //  DAIRY AWARDS – REGIONAL FINALS

Finalists lining up for annual i A FLURRY of awards nights are being held this week as several regions announce their winners in the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards. The first regional winners were announced in Hawkes Bay on March 1, while the West Coast/Top of the South region will be last to name its winners on March 27. All winners from the 11 regions will contest a national final in Invercargill on May 12. The awards, which oversee the Share Farmer of the Year, Dairy Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions, have attracted 374 entries. Along with the national Dairy Industry Awards facebook page, each region has its own page where local events are promoted; full details of the entrants and sponsor events can be found at www. dairyindustryawards.co.nz. Pam Tipa reports.

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SHARE FARMER OF THE YEAR THE 2018 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winners Thomas and Jennifer Read say it’s been excellent for networking, growth and knowledge of their business. “It’s been a huge benefit to receive feedback from the judges on ways we can improve our business. Plus we love the thrill of the competition,” they say. Thomas and Jennifer Read, both aged 28, and their two children, 50:50 sharemilk 260 cows for Shane and Lydia Read on their 91.5ha property at Dannevirke. They would like to progress to farm ownership and as a good start won $9250 in prizes. “Ultimately we want to create a business that goes beyond our generation.”

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TRAINEE OF THE YEAR THE 2018 Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Dairy Trainee of the Year is Brock Cumming (21), a farm assistant on Jane and Larry White’s 1030-cow farm at Ashley Clinton. He won $5680 in prizes. He wants to progress to a 2IC position. “I want to manage staff in a manner that makes them happy to come to work every day and enjoy the job as much as I do.” He feels his strengths lie in his wide range of knowledge and skills. “I’m not limited to just milking cows and growing grass. I’ve learnt much about electricity, mechanics, engineering, waterways and the environment.” The Hawkes Bay Wairarapa Dairy Industry Awards field day will be held on March 21, 2018 at 375 Armstrong Road, RD8 Dannevirke.

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

DAIRY AWARDS – REGIONAL FINALS  // 9

l industry awards MANAWATU

SHARE FARMER OF THE YEAR THE 2018 Manawatu Dairy Industry Awards Share

Farmer of the Year winners Richard and Wendy Ridd say being part of a progressive industry was the key to leaving their roles as a contractor and a veterinary technician, respectively. “We both love working outside and with animals, and the farming lifestyle enables us to create for our family,” they say. The Ridds are in their third season 50:50 sharemilking 410 cows on a 209ha Ashhurst property owned by Richard’s parents Andrew and Caroline Ridd. After enduring the low payout in the first year, they have focused on equity growth through herd value and debt reduction.

DAIRY MANAGER OF THE YEAR THE 2018 Manawatu Dairy Manager of the Year is Angela Strawbridge. She won $6500 in prizes. Strawbridge (37) is herd manager for Stewart Dairylands, on James and Debbie Stewart’s 180ha, 420 cow property in Bunnythorpe. She sees pasture management as fundamental to their system of being free-range, having grass-fed animals and working with the natural environment in producing cost-competitive feed. “It is a privilege and great responsibility to be able to make a living from the land,” she says. “Great care and good management are needed, with ongoing education to limit farming’s footprint.”

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TRAINEE OF THE YEAR THE 2018 Manawatu Dairy Trainee of the Year is Samuel White (22), a farm assistant on Colin MacMillan’s 150ha Palmerston North farm. He won $6305 in prizes. Despite being born and raised in the city, White has always had an affinity with the land. He is passionate about the environment and believes it is possible to succeed on farms and care for the planet. “I want to get myself into a position where I can have an influence on farm practices, and intend to continue my learning through the various courses available.” The Manawatu Dairy Industry Awards field day will be held on March 22 at 710 Ashhurst Road, Palmerston North.

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

10 //  DAIRY AWARDS – REGIONAL FINALS

Finalists line up for awards TARANAKI

SHARE FARMER OF THE YEAR

TRAINEE OF THE YEAR

THE 2018 Taranaki Dairy

Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winners Owen Clegg and Hollie Wham say entering the awards enabled them to learn about themselves and how much they actually know. Owen and Hollie, who won $13,111 in prizes, believe their strength lies in their team approach to business. They are in their second season herd-owning sharemilking on Murray and Edna Saxton’s 56ha Patea property, milking 180 cows. Hollie (25) holds a Bachelor of Business Studies and Owen (26) has studied all stages of PrimaryITO; he started in the dairy industry at 16 as a farm assistant. Farming goals include an equity partnership or farm ownership of a 250 cow farm.

DAIRY MANAGER OF THE YEAR WINNER OF the 2018 Taranaki Dairy Manager of the Year competition is James Holgate (26), who was the Taranaki Dairy Trainee of the Year Runner-Up in 2014. He won $7438 in prizes. He is herd manager for Tony and Lorraine Lash on their 130ha Midhurst property. Coming from a town background, he became a farm assistant at 18. He believes the strengths of the business lies in a well-developed farm. “This allows more time to focus on stock and pasture…. We have a strong wellbred herd with better replacements and improved genetics.” Next year Holgate and his partner Tracy will contract milk on the same farm. They would like to be 50:50 sharemilkers in five years.

THE WINNER of the 2018 Taranaki Dairy Trainee of the Year grew up on the farm he now manages. Andrew Trolove (24) spent his childhood summers bale stacking and relief milking. After working for an agricultural company and travelling, he returned to the family farm last year. “Being on a family farm, I wish to prove to myself that I have the ability to succeed on my own merits,” he says. “I’m proud of making it through my first spring on the farm, which was also the wettest on record, followed by a very challenging dry summer.” Andrew is farm manager for Mark Trolove on his 210ha, 610-cow farm in Opunake. He won $7208 in prizes. The Taranaki Dairy Industry Awards field day will be held on March 28 2018 at 71 Manawapou Road, RD 2 Patea.

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

12 //  NEWS

Cardboard trumps drums THE DAYS of storing anhydrous milk fat (AMF) in giant drums may soon be over, says Fonterra. In a claimed industryfirst, the co-op has launched packaging for high-quality milk fats (AMFs). As an alternative to the industry norm of storing the light-shy product

in giant drums or frozen packs, it has developed 15L cardboard packs that stack and handle easily and can be stored at room temperature. AMF is a butter alternative used in ice cream, confectionary, baked goods and others. Fonterra Dairy Foods category director Casey

Thomas says Fonterra saw a need to pack AMF conveniently without refrigeration, and airtight. It overcame oxidation challenges and worked with packaging firm Sealed Air (NZ) to develop a foil barrier bag with a specially designed valve to keep light and oxygen out. The lightweight 15L

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cartons are easy to handle and can be efficiently and safely warehoused, saving costs on refrigeration, storage and transport. A new manufacturing process quickly chills the AMF to create a fine texture and allows customers to scoop it straight from the box without needing to melt it first. Says Casey, “This new packaging is hugely beneficial to small bakeries and artisan food manufacturers: more convenient and cost-efficient in smaller amounts that match the volumes they need.” A customer in Taiwan has signed to buy, and customers in Algeria,

South Africa and Peru are interested. Fonterra general manager Taiwan, Sera Cheng, says the co-op has been selling AMF to customers there for 20 years and “we know our customers welcome the new, easy-to-open format”. The first shipment of the cardboard packs has landed in Taiwan and has withstood being shipped. “Based on our prelaunch customer survey, our customers can’t wait to receive the new packs,” Cheng says. The new packaging will save the co-op manufacturing costs. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

NEWS  // 13

Farming systems to go – DairyNZ PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

ENVIRONMENT MINISTER David Parker has

told DairyNZ he wants action fast on water quality, says Carol Barnao, DairyNZ general manager policy and advocacy. During a visit to speak to the board he was open and honest about his expectations, Barnao told the Agcarm summer conference. “He was openly challenging us, saying ‘I don’t want to hear rhetoric, I don’t want to hear words, I want to see actions’,” she says. The actions needed must hang off the commitments in DairyNZ’s refreshed strategy. These include environment protection, resilient farming systems, producing quality dairy nutrition, animal care and building great workplaces and growing vibrant communities. “So the actions have to hang off these commitments and... pretty fast, to make sure we can demonstrate with some credibility that we are taking it seriously and we are changing things.” One of the big things the new government is talking about is transformational land-use change, says Barnao. The conventional one-to-five way of defining farming systems is likely to change. “We have used that as the model or template for providing advice based on the number of cows,

Carol Barnao

how much feed you have, whether you are totally housed, whether you are totally in pasture… these sorts of things. “We are smart enough to read the messages from the new government about transformational land-use change; what we are talking about is having a totally different dynamic…. “We need to seriously think about what this means for farmers and what change we can put in place to have a lower environmental footprint.” Productivity and efficiency must continue, but they are looking at a behavioural change programme so that farmers understand why they need to change, how they need to do it, what they need in support and what new technologies will assist them. “Whether its AI, apps, new technology… what can we do to support farmers so they can progress through what is going to be a change process?

“The old traditional way of farm systems one to five is over time needing to change; it is inevitable. We need to manage that process in the smartest way possible so DairyNZ can support farmers and the dairy sector can support themselves in the way forward.” DairyNZ knows the new government is asking for rapid change to improve water quality. “You can’t do it overnight but we are investing a lot of our science to manage this.” Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions work has some interdependencies with water quality. “All sorts of other issues have impact... not the least is when you have climate change extremes you suddenly have animal welfare issues because of drought. The world is no longer as tidy as it used to be and we are recognising a whole bunch of new priorities we need to address.”

TALKING TO ONE ANOTHER DAIRY FARMERS do feel under pressure at times, says Barnao. Farmers want to step up to new rules and regulations but it’s DairyNZ’s job to support them to do that. “We have started a group called Dairy Environment Leaders. We find in the industry that the best thing to influence farmers is other farmers talking to farmers.” And they have noted that farmers talking to politicians or government agencies is much more powerful than just policy advocacy representatives doing so. The Dairy Environment Leaders group gets farmers to champion these issues themselves, within

their communities and in Wellington, to make sure their viewpoint is heard. They are picking up issues mostly in animal welfare and the environment. Asked if it was too late to try to convince urban people that dairying isn’t a villain, Barnao said urban people are also finding they have issues. “So we need to find a way collectively to manage the process.” The millennials are a problem so they are trying to rebrand and change the slogan. “It is pretty hard… but the most we can do is showcase our commitment and show the good things we are doing.”


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

14 //  NEWS

Sport nutrition play FONTERRA IS tap-

Fonterra is tapping into the global sport nutrition market.

ping into the $200 billion global sport nutrition market. The co-op’s innovation investment arm, Fonterra Ventures, is teaming up with German active nutrition start-up Foodspring via an investment in its parent company Good-

minton AG. The partnership will give the co-op access to a market forecast to expand markedly, says Judith Swales, Fonterra’s chief operating officer, velocity and innovation. She forsees new business and market development opportunities.

“Fonterra is a global leader in protein and high value, advanced ingredients, so we should strive to be at the forefront of the active nutrition market. The partnership with Foodspring will accelerate our progress in the category by giving us direct access to a new

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tures on board and the synergies we can capture from our partnership,” says Tobias Schüle, chief executive and co-founder. Says Komal Mistry, general manager Fonterra Ventures, “Our partnership with Foodspring is just the beginning: Fonterra Ventures has an exciting vision.” The Germany company Goodminton AG is a venture capital-backed holding company that specialises in sports and lifestyle nutrition brands. The deal is subject to approval by the German Federal Cartel Office.

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consumer segment. This investment is a first for Fonterra and supports our strategy to grow in high value categories. “Foodspring’s growth trajectory is supported by its direct-to-consumer channel and digital nutrition and wellbeing coach.” Founded by Philipp Schrempp and Tobias Schüle, Foodspring is a Berlin start-up. Notable products include whey protein shakes and organic superfoods. The products are sold online in Europe and Asia. “We look forward to welcoming Fonterra Ven-

24/01/18 5:22 PM

STATE-OWNED PAMU Farms of New Zealand can

thank the red meat sector, rather than dairy, for its half-year result. Reporting on the half-year ended December 31, it posted a net profit of $22m -- made possible by a $39m gain attributed to the value of its livestock. Without that it would have recorded a $6m loss due mainly to the weather. It made $6.9m profit in the half year to December 2016. Steven Carden Pamu chief executive Steven Carden says despite its livestock valuation having jumped, the wet spring and then drought pushed up onfarm costs, mostly for extra feed. “These conditions had a flow-on impact on milk production,” he said. Milk revenue decreased 8.5% on the first six months of 2017. “An increase in revenue from red meat has been pleasing and helped offset less revenue from dairy and the climatically driven increase in farm costs,” says Carden. The company advanced on its overall strategy in the half year, including lifting its stake in Farm IQ as part of the latter’s capital raising, and launching the Pāmu Academy to give a oush to health and safety training in farming and beyond. “While the [weather] remained challenging in January, we are forecasting a full year EBITDA of $33m to $38m,” Carden says. Prevailing climate and commodity price variations confirm Pamu’s strategy of growing shareholder returns by adding value right along the food production chain, he says. “While farming remains at the core of what we do, we are also taking a cautious approach to finding high value niche markets for our high quality product, with credible, experienced partners.” He says the company will only export Pāmu-brand products that are thoroughly tested and where a suitable return on investment can be assured.


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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

16 //  NEWS

DAIRY

Diary

DATE

EVENT

DETAILS

March 15-17

Central Districts Field Days

Manfeild, Feilding – New Zaland’s largest regional agricultural event with over 600 exhibitors and over 25,000 visitors over three days. www.cdfieldays.co.nz

March 21

Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Copthorne Hotel and Resort, Bay of Islands, Paihia. northland@bfea.org.nz or Ph 022-090 0613

March 21

Bill Richardson Transport World, NZ Dairy Awards, Southland/ Invercargill. Otago Awards night www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz

March 22

Smaller Milk and Supply Herds Field Day

Maungaturoto 10am-2pm - Topics: new milk cooling regulations and health and safety on farm. www.smallerherds.co.nz

March 22

Taranaki Ballance Farm Environment Awards

Contact Claire Hunn at taranaki@bfea. org.nz or ph 027-254 9548

March 22-28

Dairy Women’s Network 2018 Conference

Energy Events Centre, Rotorua. Take the opportunity to connec with like-minded women. www.dwn.co.nz

March 27-28

Rotorua - bringing together technology Mobiletech Primary Industry leaders, innovative developers, early Conference adopters and the next generation of primary industry operators.

March 27

West Coast/Top of the South Club Waima, Richmond, Nelson from awards Dinner 6pm. www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz

March 28

Contact Kate Taylor East Coast Ballance Farm eastcoast@bfea.org.nz Environment Awards Evening or ph 027-603 2200

Tell the dairy farming community about your event through the Dairy Diary. email event info to editor@ruralnews.co.nz

Auckland farm to educate youngsters HAURAKI PLAINS

farmer Julie Pirie will lead a board heading a new educational farm in Auckland. The 74ha dairy farm in South Auckland was gifted to NZ Young Farmers by the late Donald Pearson last year; Pirie will chair the five-member Donald Pearson Farm Board. Pirie, who farms 850 cows with her husband Brian at Ngatea, said she didn’t need convincing to take on the role.  “I’m thrilled; I’m passionate about promoting farming and connecting school children with the land and where their food comes from,” she says. “It’s a great fit with my interests.”  The farm will remain in dairy until June 2019. “That gives us 15 months to develop a vision and strategy for what we’d like the educational farm to look like, and to start implementing it.  “Analysing options to partner with different organisations and businesses to help achieve our plans will be a key focus.”  The farm’s location is seen as ideal for getting urban students to

Julie Pirie

look into career prospects in agribusiness and food; 39% of New Zealand high school students live in Auckland. “We want to use technology to convince secondary school students that the primary industry is a viable career,” says Pirie, (BAgSc, Massey), a Fonterra shareholders councillor and a former Tauhei member of NZ Young Farmers. Each spring she opens her farm to local school children, who each raise a calf for pet day.  “For 12 weeks the children come to our farm and feed, brush and care for their calves and get them ready for calf club day,” says Pirie.  “It gives them an

understanding of farm life and the importance of the dairy industry to NZ.” Pirie applauds NZ Young Farmers for assembling a board with diverse skills.  The other four directors are Tiaki Hunia, general manager of Maori strategy at Fonterra; Manurewa High School principal Pete Jones; Bryan Cartelle, a friend of the Pearson family; and Terry Copeland, chief executive of NZ Young Farmers.  The board met last month for the first time. The Red Meat Profit Partnership and DairyNZ currently give money to NZ Young Farmers to help it promote agri-food careers to school children.

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

18 //  NEWS

Co-op’s hedge kept Canadians out S LA B

CONCRETE

E XT R A B A Y

K TAN ER

without them we don’t have an industry so it’s important to work together.” Saputo Junior says his company will make the same commitments to MG suppliers. “We will provide market leading prices for milk and we will grow infrastructure; if you are loyal to us we will be loyal to you.”

R

R

L ER

coming after us. “Over the last four years we have paid leading prices, promoted talent from within and spent A$40m on upgrades and acquisitions.” He promised “more of the same” in future. “We believe the lifeblood of our industry is the suppliers;

A R T EX T CE N S LU G NT RAN E T O OF I N C R LU G NS IN A F R O

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INT

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GUTTERING & DO W N PI P E NG

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CANADIAN PROCESSOR Saputo says it is committed to forming strong relationships with farmer suppliers. Lino Saputo Junior says his company is not thinking of its Australian dairy business “year to year, but generation to generation”. “So the decisions we make today will affect the generations

SHEDS ROLLER DOOR

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INTER-GENERATIONAL OUTLOOK G E IN P R I E P T WN UT O

T R A N SL U C E N T R O O F IN G

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Lino Saputo Junior (right) chats with Richard Lange, Milk2Market at the Australian Dairy Conference..

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on the verge of becoming Australia’s largest dairy player, looked at investing in New Zealand 16 years ago. Saputo chairman Lino Saputo Junior told the recent Australian Dairy Conference that three countries had appealed to the company when it looked at the international market: Australia, NZ and Argentina. Today Saputo is one of the top three dairy processors in Argentina; if the listed Canadian company gets regulatory clearance to buy troubled Australian co-op Murray Goulburn, it will leapfrog Fonterra to become the largest processor in Australia. Saputo Junior says unfortunately the NZ dairy industry was back then controlled 95% by Fonterra. “We thought that might not be the best platform for us,” he told the conference. But Saputo Junior and his father -retired board chairman Lino Saputo -visited Australia in 2002 and “fell in love” with the assets of Warrnambool

GA T E S

CANADIAN PROCESSOR Saputo,

INTERNAL WALL

sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

quality… The heritage and lineage are here… fifth- and sixth-generation farmers who know the industry extremely well. Australia is a key dairy producing country; the infrastructure was here [and we would not have had to] develop infrastructure to collect and process milk here.” Australia’s ability to supply the international market was also a factor. Saputo Junior notes that 40 - 50% of Australian dairy products are exported. “There are not enough consumers here for the total production; regulations here are also favourable. So Australia became‑ an important pathway for Saputo.”

LE OR OL O R D

Cheese and Butter Company (WCB). However, WCB said they were not for sale and the Saputos turned their attention to Argentina, in 2003 making their first purchase outside North America; they bought Argentina’s third-largest processor Molfino Hermanos S.A. But Saputo Junior says his company never lost sight of how important Australia could be in developing and serving Saputo’s growing international customers. In 2013 an opportunity arose when listed Australian processor Bega Cheese made a hostile bid for WCB. The Saputos returned to WCB and renewed their offer to buy the company; by 2013 they had staved off Bega’s bid and became majority shareholders in WCB; last year they bought all the remaining shares in WCB. Saputo Junior then outlined why his company has invested large in Australia. Notably, milksolids from Australia are held in high regard by international customers, he says. “Every single market, without fail, would compare [the quality of our solids] with that of solids from Australia, which has a reputation for high

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

WORLD  // 19

Oz processor attracts milk from rival LISTED AUSTRALIAN

dairy processor Bega Cheese attracted an extra 100 million litres of milk during the second half of last year. The 25% volume growth during the same period in 2016 came mostly from disgruntled Murray Goulburn (MG) suppliers switching to Bega. In its half year results last month, Bega said it made 19% more cream cheese and 33% more mozzarella from the extra milk. Executive chairman Barry Irvin told Dairy News the milk growth came mostly from northern Victoria (up 8%) -- long-term suppliers increasing production and ex-MG suppliers. But the movement of suppliers from MG has slowed and competition for supply remains fierce among all major processors including Fonterra. “Murray Goulburn is rewarding suppliers staying back, so the movement has slowed down,” he says. “We’re not seeing

the significant movement of suppliers seen earlier.” For the half year ending June 30, 2017, Bega’s gross profit rose 46% to A$51.7 million; profit after tax jumped 31% to A$20.6m. Irvin says the business has performed well, particularly given the high cost of recent acquisitions and the highly competitive business environment. Bega’s opening milk price for 2017-18 season is A$5.62/kgMS. Milk production in Australia rose 3% in the second half of last year. But Irvin says circumstances of the last two years have affected the confidence of dairy farmers. Caught out by low global dairy prices, MG said it had paid farmers too much for their milk and began a deeply unpopular ‘clawback’. Frustrated farmers switched to rivals after MG slashed milk payments.   MG has since closed factories, fired top execu-

tives and will soon be sold to Canadian dairy giant Saputo. Irvin says the price clawback and problems facing MG have eroded confidence. “It will take time to

operating large plants in Victoria and NSW. Last year it bought the Australian and NZ Vegemite and peanut butter business of Mondelez International (formerly Kraft).

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BEGA CHEESE lost the Coles house-brand cheese contract to Murray Goulburn but last year won the contract to supply Woolworths’ housebrand cheese. The Coles contract had a 12-month transition period; for a time last year Bega was uniquely supplying Coles and Woolworths. Bega also makes cream cheese, sold mostly in the Japan, China and South Korea food service sectors. Mozzarella made by Bega Cheese is sold locally and exported, mainly to Asia.

recover; it’s great to see the dairy industry coming back with the 3% milk production increase in the first half of this financial year.” Bega is Australia’s leading cheese manufacturer,

Barry Irvin, Bega Cheese executive chairman.

delaval.com | 0800 222 228


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

20 //  OPINION RUMINATING

EDITORIAL

Here to stay

MILKING IT... Excluded

Milk is biggest

THE BALLS-UP that is the latest census is a fine example of how assumptions about all things online are excluding many in society. The general awareness that the census is even happening is apparently low, but worse, many are simply excluded because of the online bias of the promotion and execution of the census. Reports of older folk anxious about missing or not being able to do their duty as citizens have been common. Many younger folk who are not always engaged in public processes like elections and a census don’t seem to know about it either, despite being very much online. And perhaps worst of all, people in poorer areas have not been engaged and are unlikely to participate in large numbers and so won’t be counted. District health board funding is apportioned by population as determined by a census. We see similar assumptions among groups wanting to reach farmers. The fact is though, no online option will include all farmers all the time.

A2 MILK company may not be as well known as Fonterra but it can now claim title to being New Zealand’s biggest listed company (by market capitalisation). A2 Milk shares last week jumped to $12.56, valuing a2 Company at $9.1 billion, toppling Auckland International Airport at $7.75b, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare at $7.37b and Meridian Energy at $7.29b. Fonterra, which has a market capitalisation of $9.5b on NZX despite not being a public company, recently joined forces with a2 to process and market infant formula and other products.

Better from grass

Now get out!

A NEW study shows milk from grass-fed cows has more of a nutrient linked to heart health than conventional and organic milks. Organic Valley, Wisconsin, collected 1163 samples over three years of its Grassmilk, a product line of milk from entirely grass-fed cows, and had the fatty acid content analysed. The study compared the omega-3 fatty acid levels in the milk from grass-fed cows to conventional and organic milk. Researchers found that milk from grass-fed cows had 147% more omega-3 than conventional milk and 52% more than organic milk. Omega-3 fatty acid has been shown to prevent heart disease and help control arthritis.

THE BEINGMATE saga now rocking Fonterra is unsettling farmer shareholders. One former Fonterra director -- one not facing a gagging order by the co-op -- suggested to Milking It that heads should roll. This person points out that Bill English resigned from Parliament, Ralph Norris (a former Fonterra director) is stepping down from Fletcher and someone could take responsibility for the Beingmate saga and do the same – exit Fonterra.

THE TWO main competitors to Rural News are quitting rural publishing. NZX (the stock exchange operator) and Stuff (formerly Fairfax) are, respectively, selling and closing their weekly farming newspapers. This move may be seen as signalling that neither print news media nor the farming sector are worth investing in. Wrong! As a publisher, Rural News Group (including Dairy News) exists to gather and publish trustworthy news and information. Both are crucial in this era of ‘fake news’, an era when mainstream (i.e. town) publishers titillate their readers for website ‘clicks’ and choke off the cash they should be spending on newsgathering, so hobbling themselves in telling readers ‘what the hell is going on out there’. More than ever, farmers need reliable, believable, relevant news and information. This is not so much because farming is ‘pressed on all sides’ by interest groups trying to drive them out of business -- though there’s some truth in that -- but because farming needs to keep evolving to retain consumers’ trust, market access and the ‘social licence’ to do what it does. News and information shared by the entire farming community is vital to this evolution. Kiwi farmers have an enduring strength: they have always evolved collectively by sharing their advancements and standing united, so gaining for their produce the ‘NZ Inc’ brand that is envied worldwide. Farming newspapers delivered to all farmers – and related websites and social media feeds – remain the only way to ensure a free and open flow of relevant news and information to the entire industry. Digital media -- good as they are -- simply do not reach all farmers all the time. The average age of farmers is late 50s. Internet coverage remains patchy at the fringes of the network, so if we rely only on digital news media many farmers will be excluded from the news round-up. In contrast, a quality newspaper delivered free to all farms by the NZ Post rural delivery service does not exclude young and internet savvy farmers. Digital media offer great opportunities to farm businesses and communities. Rural News Group uses these (e.g. www. ruralnews.co.nz); we are not against them. But to glue the entire farming community together and keep information flowing, farm newspapers must be in the mix. Rural News Group is a family-owned business with strong farming roots and 50 years experience of publishing for farmers. We enjoy doing it, we’re committed to it and we’re here to stay.

Publisher: Brian Hight ...................... Ph 09-307 0399 Head Office: Top Floor, 29 Northcroft St, Takapuna, Auckland 0622 Phone 09-307 0399. Fax 09-307 0122 Postal Address: Published by: Printed by: Contacts: Advertising material: Rural News on-line: Subscriptions:

PO Box 331100, Takapuna, Auckland 0740 Rural News Group PMP Print Editorial: sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz davef@ruralnews.co.nz www.ruralnews.co.nz subsrndn@ruralnews.co.nz

ABC audited circulation 27,023 as at 30/09/2017

ISSN 1175-463X

Editor: Sudesh Kissun ................ Ph 09-913 9627 Sub Editor: Neil Keating .................... Ph 09-913 9628

NATIONAL SALES MANAGER: Stephen Pollard.................. Ph 09-913 9637, 021-963 166 stephenp@ruralnews.co.nz

Machinery Editor: Mark Daniel...................... Ph 07-824 1190 Reporters: Peter Burke....................... Ph 06-362 6319 Pamela Tipa...................... Ph 021-842 220 Nigel Malthus .............. Ph 021-164 4258 Subscriptions: Julie Beech ...................... Ph 09-307 0399 Production: Dave Ferguson ............... Ph 09-913 9633 Becky Williams ................ Ph 09-913 9634 Website Producer: Jessica Wilson.................. Ph 09-913 9621

Dairy News is published by Rural News Group Limited. All editorial copy and photographs are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. Opinions or comments expressed within this publication are not necessarily those of the staff, management or directors of Rural News Group Limited.

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


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

OPINION  // 21

Dairying not all bad, tourism not all good

Yes, farming must be environmentally responsible and sustainable, but farmers must not be held accountable unfairly. ing the best of NZ to the rest of the world. Like many glib statements, the truth is often more complicated. If you have recently tried to rent a car, stayed in a motel, driven on our main tourist routes or visited a tourist site you will have experienced some of the negative impact of the tourist industry. If we look at the economic impact of tourism the picture gets even worse. Tourism generates about $14 billion annually. The industry employs 13% of our workforce. While this is good for employment, unfortunately the sector generates only 8% of NZ’s gross income: each worker in the tourism industry generates $44,000 of annual income. The average worker in NZ contributes $74,000 to our gross income. A job in the tourist industry is only worth about 60% of the value of a job in the rest of our economy. If we compare tourism workers with dairy industry workers it gets even worse. Each of the 50,000 dairy workers in NZ contributes about $700,000 to our economy -- nearly 20 times the amount that a tourism worker gains for our economy. The dairy sector provides much higher quality, higher earning jobs than tourism does. NZ’s stan-

ure salute and refused to pay, knowing they would leave NZ and ignore the fines. Often it is taxpayers and ratepayers who bear the costs associated with the tourism industry. Tourists increase road congestion that slows traffic, and increase transport costs to local businesses. NZ residents’ quality of life is negatively affected when we find our favorite holiday location booked up and busloads of tourists filling the area; try visiting Akaroa when a cruise ship is berthed there. Tourists by their nature are transient, so controlling or disciplining them is often impossible. Dairy farmers are on the other hand are easy to control, legislate against and discipline. It is not easy for them to up sticks and move if life get too hot. All of us involved in farming know of the controls and constraints imposed on farmers. Yes, farming must be environmentally responsible and sustainable, but farmers must not be held accountable unfairly. If we want greater income nationally we need more industries like dairying. We need to improve our productivity and improve individual incomes. Over the last five years we have had vir-

industries is a sure way to lower our average income. The last thing we need, as a country, is a reduced standard of living. • Alastair Frizzell, BAgSc, is managing director of Frizzell Agricultural Electronics.

Is dairying the worst offender when it comes to environment protection?

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Zealand dairy industry is criticised while tourism is lauded? Overseas income from tourism is now claimed to exceed the dairy industry’s export income. Dairy farmers are accused of polluting not only our waterways but now also our air as a result of burning farm waste. Tourism is said to be ‘clean and green’, rapidly growing and promot-

tually no improvement in our productivity; in fact we have lost ground relative to other OECD countries. Increased tourist numbers and more employment in tourism

DAYS

IS IT fair that the New

dard of living declines as we employ more people in the tourism sector. To increase our standard of living we need to increase the number of higher value jobs, as in the dairy industry. But the problems with the tourism industry go beyond the low wages the industry pays. Last year Christchurch City Council issued fines to freedom campers who defecated or urinated in public places. Half of the people issued with fines gave the council a two-fig-

DAYS

ALISTAIR FRIZZELL


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

22 //  AGRIBUSINESS

Synlait linking with Massey for R&D INDEPENDENT DAIRY processor Synlait is to set up an R&D centre at Massey University, Palmerston North. Synlait managing director John Penno says the move is aimed at developing expertise and capability in food technology. Prompting this is Massey’s “excellent” food technology set-up, including Food HQ, and the opportunity Synlait staff will get to rub shoulders with other disciplines, to the company’s benefit. The Massey proximity and the presence of FoodPILOT -- one of the New

Zealand Food Innovation Network’s four hubs -- will see the Synlait facility at the forefront of innovative food technology research and commercialisation. Synlait will initially spend $7 million on the facility and employ four R&D staff there permanently. It will lease laboratory space and use some of Massey’s technical facilities including its pilot dairy plant, in the same building. The R&D centre will focus on new product development, process technology and packaging.

Says Penno, “After many years of specalising in spray dried products -milk powders and infant formulas -- we are now moving into a category we call ‘everyday dairy’. “We are now building a large facility in Canterbury where we have a contract with Foodstuffs South Island to supply all its house-brand milk products. That’s a start, but we have ambitions to use that as the base for a range of liquid export products.” These could include drinking milks, cream products, fermented drinking products and even liquid infant

UNIVERSITY DELIGHTED SYNLAIT’S INTENTION is immense, says Massey University vice-chancellor Jan Thomas. Massey has always worked hand-in-glove with industry partners, she says. Synlait working on campus at its business will allow the university to help with research and give the students opportunity to work in the business.

She wants the university to get an on-the-ground sense of what the real problems are for industry, she says. “We can assist in the solution which then drives that innovation and productivity.” Thomas wants to see benefits flow for companies and for New Zealand. “We would like to see more of that co-location on our campuses



for likeminded businesses, so we are able to work for mutual benefits especially in food and technology. This is critical for the Palmerston North campus, for Manawatu and for NZ.” She says the deal with Synlait links perfectly with Massey’s desire to integrate its research and teaching with industry.

Synlait managing director John Penno.

formula. “For years, in the market, we have seen these products and the growth in demand; we’re wondering why they couldn’t be made here and shipped to China and South East Asia. Obviously because of the distance they would have to be long lifestyle products.” The R&D facility will help Synlait understand more about milk and its uses, Penno says. The firm has a long way to go in fresh products, with their new disciplines and manufacturing processes. “We can employ people with a history in these things but it’s a different area of expertise from what we now have in our organisation; and there is Massey’s pilot dairy plant.” Penno champions interdisciplinary research and is a good example of it

himself, having an agricultural science degree and a PhD from Massey, supervised by professor Colin Holmes (died June 2016). Great research is done in collaboration, requiring people who understand the technical elements you are trying to deal with then working with a company with a channel to market and a focus on consumers. “I have learned about manufacturing, the market and the modern, wealthy consumers we are targeting; they know about the world and want to know about products -- that they are produced in the right away and in a way they can be proud of. And they know the quality of products is more than just what happens in the factory: it goes all the way back to the point of production.”

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

AGRIBUSINESS  // 23

Wide expertise among women’s award finalists THREE FINALISTS are contest-

ing the 2018 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award: a dairy consultant, a district mayor and a leadership coach. Consultant Rachel Baker is from Hawkes Bay, mayor Tracey Collis is from Tararua district, and coach Loshni Manikam is from Southland. The winner will be announced at a ceremony during Dairy Women’s Network’s (DWN) conference in Rotorua on March 22. DWN chief executive Zelda de Villiers says the three finalists highlight the wide skills and expertise evident

among women in the dairy industry. “The role of women in this industry is unique and unparalleled, and we’re proud to recognise and celebrate their success,” says de Villiers. “The skills and experience Rachel, Tracey and Loshni bring to the dairy industry range from local government and leadership development through to board and governance expertise. “These women show unwavering commitment to progressing the dairy industry internationally, yet still retain their links and involvement at a grassroots level in their home

regions and communities.” Jo Finer, Fonterra’s general manager NZ industry affairs, says this is the eighth year of the co-op’s sponsorship. “No other award in NZ recognises and encourages specifically the capability and success of women in the dairy industry,” she says. The winner takes a scholarship of up to $20,000 for professional and/ or business development. Ashburton Trading Society director and Fonterra shareholders councillor Jessie Chan-Dorman won Dairy Woman of the Year last year.

THE FINALISTS RACHEL BAKER farms in Central Hawke’s Bay with her husband and three children. During 20 years in dairying Baker has worked as a veterinarian and dairy consultant. She and her husband won the Manawatu Sharemilker of the Year title in 2009, then went large-scale sharemilking before buying a dairy support unit in 2017. She is chair of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards executive and a consultant for private dairy clients and Manawatu farm syndicate MyFarm. She often guest-lectures on MANIKAM, from South Africa, now lives in Southland, milking 600 cows with her husband and three children. In 2007 they were named Southland Sharemilker of the Year, before progressing to their current equity partnership. Manikam is interested in human behaviour and developing current and emerging leaders in the dairy industry, since she believes people are the most important part of the industry. A former lawyer, Manikam switched from dairy farming to leadership coaching after receiv-

dairy production systems and sharemilking at Massey University. She is a Kellogg scholar, a Fonterra networker and has also been a Primary ITO tutor. She is involved in her community and school, and coaches junior netball. Baker sees her nomination as recognising the support and guidance of many people she’s worked with who have encouraged her involvement in the industry. “It’s an opportunity to highlight that being involved and giving back

LOSHNI

TARARUA DISTRICT mayor

Tracey Collis milks 220 cows with her husband and four children in Eketahuna, Manawatu-Wanganui. They have judged several Sharemilker of the Year awards, having previously won the Manawatu/Rangitikei/Horowhenua region award in 2003. Collis advocates the advancement of regional farming businesses and farmer wellbeing. She is a member of the Institute of Directors and her local Chamber of Commerce, and is a Fonterra

ing her coach certification in 2012. She is the founding director of Iceberg Coaching and a strategic consultant for Framstrong, working networker and graduate of the Fonterra Governance and Agricultural Women’s Development Trust Escalator programmes. She served a term as a councillor before being elected mayor of the Tararua district in 2016. She has a passion for farming, business and the environment and is a resource management commissioner, a dairy environment leader and a member of Horizons dairy leaders group. The nomination is an honour by her peers, she says. “It demon-

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to the industry is a fantastic way to meet new people and open doors to new experiences and possibilities,” she says. to support the wellbeing of farming communities. She is a trustee of the Southern Dairy Development Trust, a coach and facilitator of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust Escalator programme and a Federated Farmers Southland executive member. Manikam says being nominated for Dairy Woman of the Year shows the value and success of ‘ordinary’ dairy farming women. “It shows you can raise a family and still progress through the industry, reach the top and have a say at industry level.”

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strates to other dairy women how easily transferable our skills are and how much we contribute and offer to the industry, our communities and NZ.”


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

24 //  MANAGEMENT

Plantain showing its mettle NIGEL MALTHUS

THE PLANTAIN product Ecotain has been shown to reduce nitrate leaching from urine patches in dairy pastures by up to 90%, says Agricom product development specialist Allister Moorhead. Moorhead was reveiwing the product at the recent Lincoln University Dairy Farm Autumn Focus Day; it was held at Lincoln’s nearby Ashley Dene research farm rather than LUDF itself, largely so attendees could inspect an experimental paddock of plantain and white clover. Moorhead said that while plantains had been sold for many years as a means of adding diversity to a pasture, Ecotain was the first farmers could sow specifically for its environmental value. Not all plantains work the same way, he said. The product is an existing cultivar whose properties were only recently identified, via the Forages for Reduced Nitrogen and Greener Pastures projects. Repeated lysimeter work had shown nitrateleaching reductions of up

the ground Changes in the soil brought about by the plant itself reduce the speed at which ammonia in the soil turns to nitrate. However, Moorhead told the focus day that plantain is not a perennial. While it can re-seed itself it cannot set quality seed heads. “It is a plant that sits inside a pasture environment as a secondary or even sometimes a tertiary species, which means the stronger your ryegrass environment the more successful you are as a ryegrass grower; sometimes the harder it will be to keep Ecotain inside your landscape for a long time.” He said there is no easier way to get an elevated plantain content than by sowing it within a new perennial ryegrass pasture, but the plantain content will decline through years two and three. South Island Dairy Development Centre chief executive Ron Pellow said plantain can become a critical part of nitrogenleaching reduction. It would not be a silver bullet “tomorrow” but could become impor■■

Allister Moorhead, Agricom

to 90%, said Moorhead. “The consistency of that research is outstanding when you consider that we didn’t have a clue about this four years ago. “Now when you can get figures of that amount coming out of lysimeters and you’re under pressure to make change on your farm to meet future expectations in nitrogen loss, suddenly getting something that creates that big a difference is a big deal.” Ecotain works in four distinct and independent ways: ■■ Urine is more dilute because of the plant’s high water content ■■ The nitrogen eaten is partitioned differently in the animal’s body so less makes it into the urine ■■ Secondary compounds in the urine act as nitrification inhibitors in

A paddock of plantain and clover on Lincoln University’s Ashley Dean research farm.

tant “the next day,” said Pellow. “We need to start now... thinking about how we’re going to get to where we want to be in five years with it.” Pellow presented graphs showing how a 50% reduction in N-leaching from year one after sowing a paddock in a plantain-mix, could be expected to drop to 15% by year four but could be maintained by re-introducing plantain at regular intervals, say, in years five and eight, by broadcast or direct drilling.

On a farm doing 10% annual regrassing that would eventually get to a 30% reduction on the whole farm. “That needs more work, to see what it will look like on an individual farm and how you’re going in maintaining that plantain percentage,” said Pellow. Moorhead said the biggest issue farmers would face would be weed control because plantain is a broadleaf herb susceptible to herbicides. “It’s always been our problem with the adop-

SILAGE NT A L U C O IN R E W O L AT A COST!

registered chemistries that can be used with plantain, and more on the horizon. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

Professor Grant Edwards addresses the field day.

PADDOCK CLEAN OF WEEDS

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tion of herbs in pasture that we don’t have a wide variety of herbicides effective on tougher weed species.” However there are two

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THE PRESENTATION took place in a recently grazed paddock of plantain and white clover. Moorhead noted that apart from a lone nodding thistle nearby, the paddock was clean of weeds. Lincoln professor Grant Edwards explained that the paddock had been established with Roundup and cultivation, followed by early autumn sowing so the plantain and clover could establish. Weed control since consisted of grazing and mowing. The main weed had been fathen, he said. Edwards presented various research findings on plantain’s performance, saying it provided “substantial” reductions in nitrogen loading. Cows grazing pasture containing more than 50% plantain recorded urine concentrations of about 3g of nitrate/L versus about 5.5g for a control pasture. “This is important because the greater the nitrogen loading of the urine patch, the greater the risk of nitrate leaching particularly in the autumn-derived urine patch,” he said. Lysimeter studies showed that was crucial in reducing the amount of nitrate available for leaching.


s

DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

MANAGEMENT  // 25

Dermatitis on the march in hooves PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

DIGITAL DERMATITIS, which left

unchecked can lead to lameness, appears to be slowly increasing in New Zealand, says Neil Chesterton, Vet Education Transfer Services. He used to say only four main lesions causing lameness should concern NZ farmers: white-line damage, sole damage, axial cracks and foot-rot.

“However, now I am starting to think that one day we might have to add a fifth condition – digital dermatitis (DD),” he told the NZ Veterinarian Association dairy conference in a paper. In 2012 he investigated lameness in Chile where DD was causing a huge problem on pastoral farms. Simple white-line injuries, sole injuries and axial cracks were infected with DD bacteria and refused to heal. Returning to NZ he

SURPRISES IN STORE THE AIM of this second-year project was to examine in more detail the observation that some herds had changed from negative to positive and vice-versa. Fifty-seven herds were selected to be screened five times at six week intervals; each had been ‘positive’ during the previous season. At the first screening of the 57 herds selected no lesions were found in 24 herds. At the second screening only nine herds had no lesions found. By the end of the five screenings only two herds remained ‘negative’ at every screening. The average prevalence within herds had dropped from 2.52% (0-12.64%) in the previous season to 1.12% (0-8.46%) this season. Part of the explanation for the drop was possibly the treatments and prevention measures used by some farmers. Although the average prevalence was only 1.12% throughout the season, the lesion incidence average per farm was 3.45% over the whole year. A total of 608 different cows had lesions seen. An interesting observation was that, despite the low prevalence, exactly 50% of the positive animals (304 cows) had lesions in both rear feet. A lot of data is still to be examined and this is being done by a Massey graduate. But Chesterton noted both the prevalence and incidence was higher in rotary platforms than in herringbone sheds. “We suspect this could simply be because it is easier to examine feet when the cow is at right-angles to the observer. This prompts the question ‘is the incidence higher in herringbone sheds than is recorded in this study?’ “ With no front feet inspected and no lifting to check between claws “we expect both the incidence and prevalence figures in this study are conservative”. The same Massey PhD student screened herds in four other provinces in the 2016-17 season to see if the disease had a similar prevalence to Taranaki. Herds were sourced in Waikato (40 herds), Manawatu (41), West Coast (27) and Southland (19). The surprising result was that in all regions except the West Coast there was a significant number of positive herds: 85% of Waikato herds were positive, 36.6% of Manawatu herds and 73.7% of Southland herds. Not one West Coast herd had a visible case of digital dermatitis. As found in Taranaki, the percentage of cows positive in the herds was very low, averaging between 1.1% and 2.9%.

found here six reports of suspected cases, the first in 2004. After writing newsletters to Taranaki farmers and talking at NZVA branch meetings around the country, 40 positive herds were identified in the following two years. A bovine digital dermatitis working party was set up at Massey University. In 2013 in North Taranaki, they were aware of four farms with lesions diagnosed as DD; all were small and none of the cows was lame. “We postulated there could be undiagnosed farms in our district; this needed investigation.” A screening project was set up for North Taranaki in 2014-15. A total of 224 herds (60,445

cows) were screened between September 2014 and February 2015. “To our surprise, at this initial screening, 143 (64%) of the herds had at least one cow with a DD foot lesion. “The average withinherd prevalence of the 143 positive herds was low at 1.91%, with a range of 0.18% to 12.64%.” The laboratory findings confirmed that most of the lesions sampled were consistent with a diagnosis of DD. It was decided in March 2015 to repeat the screening of the first 114 herds to see if the prevalence had changed with time and season. At this repeat screening, 68 (59.6%) of the 114 herds were positive.

Digital dermatitis is another cause for lameness in herds.

“An interesting finding was that 11 of the now positive herds had been negative at the first

screening. To complicate things further, 19 herds found previously positive were now negative at

the repeat screening. This surprise finding led us to the design of the second year of the project.”

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

26 //  MANAGEMENT

How to choose the best ryegrass JEREMY KLINGENDER

CHOOSING THE correct perennial ryegrass can be daunting when all sales reps are saying they have the best.

Jeremy Klingender, Ravensdown

They tend to avoid the important matter of which is the best for you, so here are some options to look at when choosing a perennial ryegrass. Consider these four main points:

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a surplus; here pasture quality may deteriorate if grazing management is not precise. At this point, late flowering ryegrasses such as Ultra and Matrix (+20- +23 days after Nui) come into their own as the earlier flowering ryegrasses lose their quality. Ploidy Ploidy is a term referring to the number of chromosomes per cell. The two main ploidies are

Choosing and understanding the correct endophyte strain is very important for the longevity of your pastures. AR1, AR37 and NEA2 are all novel endophytes, developed by plant breeders to help protect grasses from insect attack.

tAG, reGister, record

NAIT is an OSPRI programme

1. Endophyte strain (relative to insect pressure) 2. Flowering/heading date 3. Ploidy (tetraploid or diploid) 4. Lineage/breeding Endophyte strains Insect pressure is a key reason perennial ryegrasses don’t persist. The further north you are in New Zealand, the more protection against insects

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your ryegrass will need. Black beetle, porina, Argentine stem weevil, grass grub and field crickets all have a huge effect, stripping valuable dry matter and even killing ryegrass pastures. Choosing and understanding the correct endophyte strain is very important for the longevity of your pastures. AR1, AR37 and NEA2 are all novel endophytes, developed by plant breeders to help protect grasses from insect attack. Getting the timing right A heading date is when 50% of the plants have emerged seedheads. This is key because seed-head development reduces feed quality in late spring and the heading date determines when this occurs. Heading dates are defined relative to the cultivar Nui (about 22 October) heading at day 0. Heading/flowering time is important here as it controls the extent of early spring production and late spring quality The standard heading/ flowering ryegrasses are good for late August-early spring growth as this is when the quality is best, and will carry the farm through the typical spring feed pinch. By mid-spring (October), growth rates are often high and the feed supply often changes to

tetraploid and diploid. • Diploids are the most common, normally found on sheep and beef farms, due to ease of management, and have two sets of chromosomes per cell. • Tetraploids have four sets of chromosomes per cell, which are larger, and generally grow bigger darker leaves, with larger but fewer tillers. They have a higher ratio of water soluble carbohydrate (cell contents) to fibre (cell wall) e.g. higher ME and are preferred by livestock. However, tetraploids take greater management as they are easily overgrazed, so persistence can be an issue. Lineage/ breeding As for top quality breeding stock, it is important to understand the bloodlines or parentage of your grasses. It’s pointless trying to grow a plant that doesn’t belong in your environment. Most of the breeding lines of grasses in NZ come from northwest Spain where the conditions closely resemble NZ’s. The difference is that the germ plasm is millions of years old so the perennial ryegrass has evolved over centuries to be able to survive those conditions. • Jeremy Klingender is Ravensdown seed product manager.


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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

28 //  ANIMAL HEALTH

Empty rates on the rise – what next? OVER THE past 5 years

It’s now not uncommon to find herds with empty rates exceeding 15%.

following the banning of inductions, farmers have reacted by shortening mating periods to prevent a prolonged calving season. As a result, cows must now success-

fully conceive in a much shorter period of time than they had previously. It should therefore come as no surprise that numbers of cows found empty this autumn have continued to increase

with empty rates now about double where they were 5 years ago. Once a rarity, it is now not uncommon to find herds with empty rates exceeding 15%. When facing such numbers, it seems logical to blame adverse weather events associated with climate change for the increase and a challenging mating season like we have just experienced certainly doesn’t help the situation. In reality, the main reason for the increasing empty rates is basic mathematics. On average, the conception rate in cows is quoted to be approximately 53%. Based on this fact, a farmer deciding to finish mating after 10 weeks as opposed to 13 weeks will tend to double their empty rate with all things being equal. For example, a herd with 50 non-pregnant cows after 10 weeks of mating, if allowed to mate for a further 3 weeks (an average oestrus cycle of a cow) would provide all 50 non-pregnant cycling cows another chance of conceiving. Based on this 53% or 26 cows would conceive, leaving only 24 cows empty. The impact to the business through costs associated with these higher empty rates soon add up. There are the obvious additional costs associated with purchasing pregnant replacements which are further compounded by the hidden cost of limiting culling options and needing to retain ‘poor quality’ cows that would be otherwise culled. These ‘poor quality’ cows represent the low producers and ‘problem’ cows with underlying health issues (Mastitis/ high cell counts, bad feet or susceptibility to metabolic disorders). Ultimately these ‘problem’ cows need greater animal health resources to prop them up through lactation. It therefore has to be a ‘no brainer’, focussing efforts to reverse the trend when double digit empty rates start becoming the norm.

As already mentioned, when it comes to mating, time is of the essence. Shorter mating periods require farmers to have all their ducks in a row, more now than ever before and failing to plan is really just planning to fail! Time and time again analysis reveals the same common causes in herds falling behind the ball. Ranking amongst some of the greater issues is the failure to achieve target Body Condition Score (BCS) 5.0 at calving. Also, excessive condition loss post calving is still a major issue. Much of this stems from the ongoing confusion derived from an endless assortment of information of differing quality surrounding feeding practices of modern dairy cows. The good news is, all is not lost and with a little planning and action, significant improvements can be made. Personally, I have witnessed significant gains to both reproductive performance and profitability in local herds that have been proactive. However, I cannot stress enough, it is critical to act now in time to affect next seasons results. Leaving it to dry off, or even worse drafting of low BCS springers is way too late. If you are watching your empty rates creep up and recognise you need to make improvements, take time now to discuss your reproductive performance and your herds’ nutritional plan with your Veterinarian, Farm Advisor or Nutritionist. • Greg Jarratt is a vet and director of Matamata Veterinary Service. This article brought to you by


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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

30 //  ANIMAL HEALTH

Time’s up for wholeherd antibiotics use NIGEL MALTHUS

IT IS time to move away

Jane Lacy-Hulbert, DairyNZ.

from whole-herd antibiotics to protect stock against mastitis at dryingoff, says DairyNZ senior

scientist Jane Lacy-Hulbert. Instead she is advocating internal teat sealant for low-risk cows, while reserving antibiotics for cows identified as infected, such as by

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of using teat sealant alone on the others. She said the study found levels of bacteria a lot lower than expected: 30% of cows had “something” in the udder but only 7% had what would be classed as major pathogens. That meant there was “a lot of space for us to look at reducing dry cow therapy,” she said. The study found that somatic cell count was the best way to identify cows with major pathogens. The last herd test was as predictive of infection status as multiple herd tests, and a herd test in

“The medics are getting it, beginning to change how they’re doing things. In agriculture we are going to need to... use our products, the antibiotic products, wisely.” changes are needed due to rising concerns in human medicine at antibiotic resistance, hence doctors are prescribing fewer antibiotics. “The medics are getting it, beginning to change how they’re doing things. In agriculture we are going to need to... use our products, the antibiotic products, wisely.” Lacy-Hulbert said herds used to have far higher somatic cell counts, and antibiotic dry cow therapy was commonplace under the fivepoint plan. Now there is a much lower level of mastitis in cows going into the dry period. The need to treat cows for pre-existing infections has dropped and blanket DCT is no longer seen as a wise use of antibiotics. The dairy industry world-wide is pulling back. Speaking at the recent Lincoln University Dairy Farm Autumn Focus Day, Lacy-Hulbert said a study last winter of 36 herds (19 in Waikato, seven in Canterbury, six in Oamaru and four in Southland) tested both the process used to select cows for antibiotic treatment at dry-off, and the efficacy

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somatic cell count. The New Zealand Veterinary Association has adopted an “aspirational goal” that by 2020, antibiotic dry cow therapy will only be used in the treatment of existing intramammary infections. Lacy-Hulbert estimated about 70% of farmers are now treating every cow with antibiotics, while the other 30% are taking a more selective, targeted approach using other treatments to protect uninfected cows. “We’ve got to reverse that over the next few years,” she said. Lacy-Hulbert said

6/03/18 3:45 PM

the last 80 days of lactation was equally predictive. Meanwhile, of the cows receiving teat sealant alone, only 1% went on to develop clinical mastitis. Further research would aim to find the “sweet spot” for the SCC threshold. A raised threshold would leave a few more infected cows missing DCT, Lacy-Hulbert said. “But at the same time we also want to move away from treating everything with antibiotics. There’s a tradeoff between the risk of missing the odd infected cow that could’ve done with some dry cow therapy, versus reducing our overall use of dry cow antibiotics.” “What we find is that the outcomes for cows that miss the dry cow therapy are OK; they don’t get worse if they get a teat sealant and they often cure themselves.” Research is underway to test internal teat sealant in different scenarios, to give farmers and veterinarians more confidence to rely on it, she said. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT  // 31

Tree planting passion has stream bank thriving Protecting and nurturing the environment for future generations is a key tactic in the refreshed dairy industry strategy, Dairy Tomorrow. Third-generation dairy farmer Andy Palmer, South Canterbury, is showing how it’s done.

A CHANCE remark in

the late 1990s got Andy Palmer started on his labour of love spanning two decades. That passion has resulted in a legacy of lush riparian planting of native species on his farm near Temuka, which he owns with his wife Sharon Collett. They’ve suffered lots of of blisters, blunted spades and waterlogged gumboots, and had many visitors admire the work and learn from it. For Andy and Sharon personally, the net result today is water that’s ginclear in the arm of the Ohapi Creek meandering past their house on their land. That water quality encourages trout and salmon, attractive vegetation and prolific birdlife. It began when they took out the tradition-

LOGGING THE GOOD WORK ANDY PALMER didn’t document his work much over the years; he just got on with it. Now he welcomes a recently launched national database of riparian buffer zones nationwide. Set up by NIWA with DairyNZ’s support, the database will record riparian work by farmers, with the focus on sites more than five years old. So Andy is now recording his work and urging other farmers to do likewise (at riparian.niwa. co.nz). The information logged will also assist water quality scientists at DairyNZ and NIWA to improve understanding of how riparian buffers benefit waterways, and why some work better than others.

ally styled garden around their home, replanting it with native species Andy had enjoyed seeing while tramping. One day, when Andy mentioned he’d like to extend the native garden along the creek, their

landscape designer immediately saw he needed help and told him to call Environment Canterbury (ECan), which was then keen to launch riparian pilot projects in South Canterbury. ECan wanted to showcase work that

Andy Palmer

would inform and inspire other farmers. “Many farmers then saw ECan as bully boys,” says Andy. “However, from the start they’ve been constant in their support. In fact, one weekend some of the staff came out with the local Fish and Game people to help plant.” Along with hands-on support, ECan connected Andy to sources of funding to help with transforming the creek which, like other waterways NZ-wide had been depleted by many different farming styles – sheep, cows, pigs, and

cropping including grass seed, wheat, barley, potatoes, carrots and onions. Now Andy enjoys the

flourishing riparian planting that stretches along 3km of the creek; he adds to this every year either to extend it or grow plants

in areas where vegetation is sparse. • This article first appeared in DairyNZ publication Inside Dairy March issue.

TAKING A LEAF FROM ANDY’S BOOK A PAST Ballance Farm Environment Award Best Dairy Farm winner, Andy Palmer has good advice for farmers now starting on riparian buffer zones -- or stalled on the job: “Only do an area you can look after; there’s no point planting thousands of plants if you can’t look after them”. He recommends identifying areas to plant out and developing a plan to progressively plant, beginning with clearing, especially, willows clogging waterways – he took the digger to his – and then spraying invasive species such as blackberry, gorse and broom.

Using a residual spray that will last 12 months, Andy sprays a circle for each planting. “This ensures each one gets a good start, and then I use glyphosate around the growing plants to keep the weeds at bay. If weeds get away it can be depressing trying to rescue plants.” Andy’s farm uses irrigation, and he runs the lines right up near the creek so young plants can be watered if necessary. In his early riparian days, Andy lost some plants to frosts, and now he selects more hardy species like carex, toetoe, flax and cabbage trees for the

first stage, avoiding the broadleaves that don’t survive a freeze. Other native species he favours include pittosporum, ribbonwood, coprosmas such

as mingimingi, and gossamer grass. His fencing is kept live at all times to deter stock: “Even one or two cows can destroy two years’ work.”

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

32 //  EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT

Wetlands the unsung heroes A recent review commissioned by DairyNZ may surprise you at the effectiveness of wetlands in preventing contaminants from reaching waterways. DairyNZ water quality scientist Aslan Wright-Stow explains.

WETLANDS ARE often referred to as the kidneys of the land: they filter, absorb and transform water contaminants, so helping to reduce excess reaching waterways. In particular, wetlands can very efficiently remove excess nitrogen by creating environments whose chemistry and hydrology are ideal for treating, in particular, shallow sub-surface flow, and runoff from dairy farms. A recent review of scientific studies in New Zealand, by NIWA for DairyNZ, found seepage wetlands can reduce the amount of nitrate – a problematic form of nitrogen entering them

by up to 75-98%; that’s higher than we previously thought. We already knew protecting and enhancing onfarm wetlands reduces contaminants reaching waterways, but this review has highlighted how effective they can be. Wetlands are also great at trapping sediment and sediment-bound phosphorus, reducing faecal bacteria and providing a habitat that improves biodiversity, while also mitigating flooding risk. Wetlands are areas of land where the soil is permanently or temporarily covered by water saturating the soil. These are the areas where ponding quickly occurs and

remains after rainfall, where springs emerge and where soils pug easily. Seepage wetlands are commonly located where surface and sub-surface flow converge, often where a change of slope occurs in the landform. The main process of treating nitrogen entering a wetland is called ‘denitrification’; it involves bacteria converting nitrate into harmless nitrogen gas before it can reach a waterway. Wetlands work by creating the right environment for these bacteria to thrive. Nitrate removal is maximised during increased soil-water contact periods, water travel-

Wetlands help reduce contaminants reaching waterways.

ling deeper into the soil where oxygen is absent, and plentiful sources of carbon from decaying leaves and sticks. Some nitrate removal

also occurs via uptake by microbes and plants. Farmers can act to improve wetlands’ function and, therefore, their ability to reduce the amounts of nitrogen reaching waterways. These steps include restricting stock access to prevent pugging and soil compaction, promoting the right sort of vegeta-

tion cover, reducing preferential surface flow paths and minimising surrounding earthworks. To make wetland protection and enhancement easy, DairyNZ has partnered with regional councils and Landcare Research to develop regional planting guides and the national Riparian Planner -- free to use at

riparian-planner.dairynz. co.nz. The tool helps you map farm waterways and wetlands, and assists with plant selection, budgeting and the recording of actions needed to meet Water Accord and regulatory requirements. • First published in the February issue of DairyNZ’s Inside Dairy.

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT  // 33

Farming step-change begins in Waikato ANDREW BROCKSOPP

THE NEXT 10 years will

Andrew Brocksopp

nitrogen leaching losses, calculated using Overseer or another approved model. Under the proposed plan change, people farming properties 20ha or larger, and all commercial vegetable operations, must calculate a NRP. Nutrient budgets explained Nutrient budgets can be produced for many different purposes. The nutrient budget required for regional council regulations will differ from the ‘predictive’ nutrient budget your fertiliser representative may produce, or the ‘year-end’ nutrient report required by your milk company, where the stipulated level of accuracy varies according to its purpose. You must compile a nutrient budget that meets WRC’s regulations for your NRP calculation for the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons, which is the reference period for the plan. WRC nutrient budget requirements for compliance are: ■■ Complete nutrient budget in the latest version of Overseer ■■ Data supplied is verified. (Ravensdown’s database and technologies ensure the data used for the nutrient budgets is accurate and verifiable) ■■ Nutrient budgets must be done by a certified nutrient management adviser using the Best Practice Data Input Standards. • Adrian Brocksopp is Ravensdown’s principal environmental consultant. This article first appeared in Ravensdown Ground Effect, autumn edition.

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require Waikato farmers to make a step-change in how they farm. Changes to the Waikato Regional Council (WRC) regional plan are the first step towards meeting the Healthy Rivers vision and strategy for the Waikato River over the next 80 years. Even in the current hearings phase of the process, farmers still need to be preparing for the changes the notified plan will bring. How it impacts you Most farmers will be required to complete and implement a Farm Environment Plan (FEP) and submit a nitrogen reference point (NRP) for their property or enterprise. In no more than 18 months, FEP registrations must be in for all properties over 2ha; and landowners with properties over 20ha (including commercial vegetable operations) must have submitted their NRPs to the regional council. At least 10,000 properties will be required to register, and 5000 properties will need nutrient budgets for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Putting your best foot forward What you should be doing right now, if it’s not already done: Check your property on the WRC website to confirm your obligations Start work to complete your 2014-15 and 2015-16 NRP with a certified nutrient management advisor as soon as possible Keep good management records to make NRP calculations easier and more accurate. What’s a nitrogen reference point? NRP refers to information on a property’s


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

34 //  EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT

We need a long, cool look at water ANDREW CURTIS

AS YEARS go, 2017 was

dramatic. In February, one of the biggest fires in New Zealand history ignited on the Port Hills in tinder dry conditions, causing thousands of residents to

evacuate. In March, the upper North Island was soaked, with Auckland experiencing its wettest March day in 60 years, and over 300 homes were flooded. July brought flooding to Otago and Canterbury, and snow and strong winds to other areas.

Year’s end saw a marked change, with many regions experiencing record low levels of rain in November. Too much or too little water plagued the country for much of 2017. What’s worrying is that forecasts indicate that last year was not an exception but

a foretaste of things to come. According to the Ministry for the Environment’s ‘Our Atmosphere and Climate 2017’ report, many regions, including Auckland, are forecast to be in drought more often and to have heavier rainfall. Rainfall patterns will

Andrew Curtis, Irrigation NZ chief executive.

also change, for example, in much of the upper North Island: spring rainfall will decrease but rainfall at other times of the year may increase.

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NZ is not short of water, says NIWA. We now get an average of 550 billion cubic metres of rain each year. 80% flows out to sea, supporting river ecosystems along the way, 18% evaporates and 2% goes for irrigation, urban and industrial use. Our population is expected to reach 6 million by 2050. We’ll need to feed more people from the same land area, and supply water and power to new homes and businesses. Reduced rainfall in spring for some areas will affect our ability to produce food during our most critical growing period. With challenges on the horizon and changes to where, when and how much rain we receive, we need to think today about how we will manage our water resources in times of drought or deluge. California, with a booming population and scarce water, is at the forefront of innovative water management. Near Bakersfield, 30 square miles of wetland stores underground water and provides a wildlife habitat for native birds. The site is called the Kern Water Bank. There, rain and water from rivers carried via aqueducts and flood over-

flows from the Kern River recharge groundwater supplies through a series of ‘leaky’ ponds. The recharged groundwater is piped through canals to Bakersfield (population 380,000) and to neighbouring farms to grow crops. The wetland is home to over 20,000 birds, and endangered species like burrowing owls. In Europe, where extensive paved areas in cities prevent natural groundwater recharge and create more stormwater runoff, smaller wetlands are also common. The wetlands recharge underground water and filter pollutants. The solutions we may need to use could have their origins in the past. During the 1930s drought turned much of Canada’s western prairies into a dust bowl. Poor harvests and low grain prices drove farmers off the land or to suicide. Water storage was seen as the way forward. It took until the 1960s for the Gardiner Dam to be completed. It provides water to 40% of Saskatchewan’s population, for irrigation and for hydro electricity generation which powers 100,000 homes. • Andrew Curtis is IrrigationNZ chief executive.

NEW PROJECTS HERE IN NZ we are starting to develop new ways of managing water. A project to recharge groundwater using the same ‘leaky pond’ technology used at the Kern Water Bank has been successfully trialled by farmers near Ashburton, with groundwater levels rising up to 7km away from the pond. Small-scale wetlands are used to absorb stormwater. They have yet to be used on a large scale as part of a strategy to recharge groundwater levels. We use water for drinking, watering gardens, in businesses and industry. This summer, irrigation has helped maintain stocks of local fruit and vegetables during record breaking dry weather. Water also provides much of our electricity, and supports river and lake ecosystems. The first week of 2018 saw campers flooded out, wrecking many holidaymaker’s plans. Meanwhile, a number of areas were still officially in drought.


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT  // 35

Effluent technology set to lift dairy water efficiency JAMIE THOMPSON

NUTRIENT EFFICIENCY is vital to

Ravensdown as a component of smarter farming -good for the bottom line and the environment. Water efficiency is now a catch-cry and the dairy sector is being urged to lessen its water ‘footprint’. Crucial to this challenge is how effluent is managed. Recycling and reusing the nutrients in dairy shed effluent is good practice, showing that dairy farmers are doing the right thing. This comes with a price tag: 70% of dairy farmers’ environmental spending

goes on effluent management (see graph). Challenge to status quo Well-managed effluent forms a key part of the nutrient cycle onfarm, but in spring when cows are calving and spring rains keep falling, effluent ponds can fill and the traditional and viable method of irrigating or spreading of effluent can become a headache. This can lead to accidental breaches of discharge, resulting in potential leaching or run-off of nutrients into surface water, perhaps damage to a farmer’s reputation and the risk of a hefty fine. In a cold wet winter, spreading effluent nutrients to keep ponds

Jamie Thompson

under control can also increase the potential for nitrate leaching. If farmers are also looking to use feed pads more in the winter to

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avoid pugging, as a way to mitigate potential phosphate run-off, then effluent capture, treatment and reuse becomes even more important.

Recycling and reusing water There are a few reasons why the ponds are at risk of filling up too fast – reaching the danger zone.

Without tackling the root cause, the temptation can be simply to build a bigger pond with all the costs and risks entailed. Now a new generation of storage ponds is on its way which, with reporting, management and decision support tech-

nology, a farm would be able to easily track, show and improve its nutrient efficiency and water efficiency– a win-win for all. • Jamie Thompson is a Ravensdown effluent technology manager. This article first appeared in Ground Effect autumn issue.


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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

36 //  EFFLUENT

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A NEW King Cobra 2 travelling rain gun from HiTech Enviro Solutions builds on the success of the earlier Mark 1, carrying over key features that made the earlier model a standout, the company says. It can achieve application depths of only 1mm, and application rates of 4.2mm per hour, over an area measuring 46 x 75m, travelling 400m. A 6-speed gearbox allows the machine to operate from 0 - 3.5m/min, dependent

on the material being applied. Improvements include a nylon tow rope, making it operator friendly -- no ‘frayed’ wire strands to puncture hands and no kinks! A dog clutch makes things easier: it can be easily uncoupled to allow the cable drum to freewheel for easy setting up. Business development manager Rob Johnson says the wider tricycle undercarriage promotes self-centring and better alignment, and a larger main cover allows easier access for setting up and servicing; and it gives more room for monitoring or proof-of-placement devices.


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT  // 37

No more guesswork KENNETH IRONS

EVERY DAIRY farmer knows dairy effluent contains valuable nutrients. And he knows that what happens to water on the land, whether from rain or irrigation, has a direct correlation to what happens with dairy effluent. Put simply, there is no question the wet stuff is all interrelated. The question has been only about what is the value of water in general, and effluent in particular, because until now no technology has existed -in any meaningful way -to allow pulling together all the information onto a single platform to make sense of the relative value of effluent, water and fertiliser. But that is changing, with the launch of MyBallance in partnership with Precision Farming. MyBallance is the newly released farm management platform for nutrient management, compliance and sustainability. It provides startto-finish technology for the planning, purchase, application and recording of farm nutrients. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘nutrient core’, i.e. the central piece of the annual cycle for maximising the value of nutrients. Precision Farming’s role as MyBallance exclusive technology partner is to bring notificationto-spreader and proofof-application electronic resources to this nutrient

core; that is the purpose and value of MyBallance. And the key to the value of MyBallance is that all stages of the nutrient core or nutrient cycle is that every step is now electronic. That means plans, orders, instructions and records are all created and recorded electronically, not on paper or diaries whose data contents must later be transferred into some system to enable sense to be made of it all. MyBallance enables farmers to manage all stages of the nutrient cycle (the core of bestpractice nutrient management) electronically so that records are live, automatic, complete and accurate. Now, with that nutrient core available to all Ballance customers, Precision Farming adds an ‘outer ring’ of complementary services that bring ‘the wet stuff’ into focus. Farm water -- for irrigation, stock water and dairy shed water, and dairy effluent -- can now be measured, monitored, controlled and reported within the same system, in context with the MyBallance Nutrient Core. This greatly increases dairy farmers’ profitability, productivity, compliance and sustainability. Let’s start with profitability and look at water usage for example. It’s an old saying that you can’t manage what you can’t measure, never more true with farm water. If

COLOUR-CODED STAYING WITH productivity, effluent when tested for nutrients and measured by flowmeter for volume, and tracked by GPS for application, leads to known quantities of nutrients applied when and where. Because the Precision Farming third generation effluent fail-safe system measures flow, GPS and time, not only can the farmer see on the Precision Farming website colour-coded paddocks for effluent management, but also the Precision system generates electronic records that are ready to be directly loaded into MyBallance. This means that going into the new season the annual plan for effluent and non-effluent areas can be directly costed, showing the real financial benefits of integrated NPK data. And for compliance and sustainability, accurate, fact-based, audit-quality data makes for easier preparation of compliance records for national and regional council reporting, all within the MyBallance Precision partnership.

a trough or tank is leaking and spilling thousands of litres annually, a simple flow meter will tell if water is flowing more than expected between 1am and 3am. New low power sensors are now so affordable -- just a couple of hundred dollars each -- that it is highly profitable to

know what water is being used where, and how staff can be supported to cut back on water they may not even know is being wasted. Second, consider productivity. Irrigation without fact-based decisions on soil moisture and impending rainfall is guesswork, and can

lead to over- or under-watering, both of which incur increased cost or decreased growth, or both. • Kenneth Irons is managing director of Precision Farming Ltd, Canterbury and West Coast.

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

38 //  EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT

Get serious about water storage WATER STORAGE will help provide a reliable supply of water for urban dwellers and farmers. IrrigationNZ chief executive Andrew Curtis says the world is seeing the effects of poor plan-

ning for the effects of climate change on water “infrastructure overseas, with Cape Town expected to soon run out of water”. “By ratifying the Paris Agreement in 2016, New Zealand confirmed

it would plan for and take action to adapt to the impacts of climate change,” he says. “Developing more water storage to supply towns and rural communities and for food

and energy production is important to protect the future wellbeing of Kiwis.” A new draft government report, ‘Adapting to Climate Change in New Zealand’, highlights that

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droughts are expected to occur more often and be more severe, as will rain and floods. January 2018 was a record hot month in NZ, and in 2017 a shortage or surplus of water caused major problems: severe floods in some regions during autumn and winter, then droughts in spring and summer. “Many areas went for several weeks with minimal rainfall this summer,” said Curtis. “Where water storage was available it [helped] ensure locally grown produce was still available in supermarkets. “But a lot of work is needed to improve the resilience of our communities by improving our water storage.” The 2012–2013 drought affecting the entire North Island and the West Coast also shows the impact climate change could have on NZ’s economy and communities. The Treasury estimates the drought has cost the NZ

economy at least $1.5 billion. NIWA says NZ now gets an average of 550 billion cubic metres of rain each year, of which 80% flows out to sea, supporting river ecosystems along the way; 2% goes for irrigation, urban and industrial use and the rest evaporates. “Maintaining adequate river flows and river ecosystems is important for our future, so is looking at options to store water,”Curtis says. “Overseas water storage projects have combined flood protection works with water storage for urban and rural use. “A range of options is available. “Projects to recharge underground water supplies through wetlands which provide a habitat for wildlife have also been completed as a costeffective way of providing water when needed in Europe and America,” Curtis says.

IRRIGATION SCHEMES CAN DO IT NEW ZEALAND’s irrigation schemes have other uses. For example, they supply Timaru, Oamaru and Kerikeri with drinking water and farmers with stock water. Schemes can be designed to allow river flows to be supplemented in times of low flow. Andrew Curtis refers to the Government’s intention to honour existing Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd support of irrigation scheme modernisation and development. “By 2050 our population is expected to reach six million. We’ll need to feed more people from the same land area, and supply water and power to new homes and businesses.”

Check out our websites 0800 438 627 growsmartvri.com

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


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS  // 39

Giltrap takes grind out of greasing MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

TRADING ON its history

of building tough, no-nonsense feeder wagons, Giltrap Engineering showed its flagship RF25 at the recent South Island Agricultural Field Days. It measures an impressive 9.4m long x 2.05m wide x and 3.3m high and holds 25cu.m. The feeder comprises

a double-chassis set-up, interlinked by six 500kg load cells, and weighs about 5650kg empty. It runs on a tandem axle. The unit is configured to allow mounting in one of three positions, to transfer weight to or from the rear of the tractor. Keeping contact with the ground are 400-70 R22.5 flotation tyres; brakes are hydraulic on all four wheels. The body is built

around a 35mm treated, tongue and groove floor, with sidewalls from stainless steel for corrosion resistance. The body also has front and rear mesh screens for load visibility, while feed control is set manually from the front. The floor has a four chain, slatted feed system to deliver material to the front beaters, while at the rear an automated gate allows the unit to be used for bulk discharge.

A recent addition is the option of a Lincoln automated greasing system, using a unit familiar to truckers. Sales manager Eric Crosby says “the auto greasing system takes the hassle out of a messy job and makes sure those hard to access nipples get some grease, while importantly extending the service life and retaining the capital value of the machine.”

Giltrap’s RF25 feeder wagon.

In operation, the unit lubricates 24 points, leaving just two nipples -- on the swivel hitch and the parking jack -- to be taken

care of manually. Holding a 2kg load of grease, the unit is programmable to suit the operating regime, but ini-

tially is set to deliver four shots of grease every 15 hours of operation. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

BEAUT NEW GUMBOOTS GUMBOOTS ARE stepping into the future

with new design features that improve comfort and safety. Skellerup’s new Quatro gumboots have a podiatrist-inspired innersole that accounts for the mechanical workings of the foot, so reducing the risk of repetitive strain injury for wearers. Skellerup, in Christchurch, worked two years with local podiatrist Barbara Rennie on the design. “Gumboots were always designed to suit the environment in which someone is working,” says Rennie. “While they do that well,

apply gypsum now

they often don’t provide enough support or stability to the foot, especially for people standing all day.” Rennie, in her Christchurch practice, is seeing many more over-use injuries – especially heel pain (planter faciitis) and Achilles tendon damage -- caused by lengthy gumboot wearing. The design brief for the Quatro was to replace the existing thin flat sponge sole and help Skellerup design an innersole to give support while standing, and facilitate the biomechanical principles of walking, referred to in medical circles as the ‘windlass effect’.

At the start of a step, as the heel naturally starts to lift the big toe drops down. This flexing movement lines up the metatarsal joints in the foot, stiffening the arch and creating a lever that accelerates the lifting of the heel. The leg muscles then move into action and off you go. Kaikoura farmer Tony Blunt has tested the Quatro gumboots for several months. “These are bloody good hill boots,” he says. “They’re like work-boots crossed with gumboots and are comfortable enough to wear all day.” – Mark Daniel

The benefits of gypsum in soil treatment are well known, but its value goes well beyond this: • Helps mitigate the flow of nitrates and phosphorus in New Zealand waterways • Can be used to address the issue of sodium from applied effluent • Reduces surface run-off and drainage loss, reduces preferential flow of water run-off in soil • Can be applied by a number of different means to target risk zones • Assists with addressing high soil potassium levels Rates vary per farm and soil type. Applications can last for up to three years and can be used as a base layer in stand-off (loafing) pads.

For further information please contact your local fertiliser supplier, phone 0800 100 442, or visit our website at www.gypsum.co.nz


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

40 //  MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Kuhn’s new GMD lift control disc mower.

Disc mowers with lift is a cut above the rest MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

NEW GMD Lift Control 1011 disc

mowers suit farms focused on grass production -- easy to use, clean cutting (without re-cutting) and promoting rapid regrowth by being ‘kind’ to the sward. The range is extensive: GMD 2811, 3111, 3511, 4011 and 4411 models, with respective working widths of 2.67, 3.10, 3.50, 3.95 and 4.35m. The Lift Control suspension combines floatation, a pendulum-type articulation and an active non-stop safety without the need for an adjustment tool.

These features combine to reduce lost time with the break-back system and the machine’s inherent ability to rise upward and move rearwards should it encounter an obstacle. Also, the machine’s service life is extended, and skid wear and fuel consumption are reduced. The machines have higher clearance in headland turns. A larger machine offset range allows fitment to larger tractors to match up with front mounted mowers. A simplified tractor coupling means lower links no longer need adjustment to compensate for the weight of the mower, and automated setting of a 45-50mm cutting height

when the machine is moved into the working position. The GMD 4011 and 4411 mowing units are fitted with suspension for transport and headland turning, and for greater safety and comfort while driving on rough terrain. The new GMDs are, as with former models, equipped with the maintenance-free Optidisc cutter bar in which the discs are spaced to ensure quality mowing and reliable forage ejection. The cutter bar is coupled to the main frame with rubber mounts that absorb vibrations, and the maker’s Protectadrive prevents damage in the event of hitting an obstacle. www.kuhn.co.nz

LEADING FROM THE FRONT AMAZONE CLAIMS

greater spreading precision for frontmounted versions of its “market-leading” ZA-V or ZA-TS fertiliser spreaders. Claas Harvest Centre product manager Blair McAlwee says the new units allow effortless spreading of two different fertilisers using independently controlled front- and rear-mounted spreaders. The operator can optimise the settings of each spreader to perfectly spread each, rather than compromise by applying a blend of the two products. Amazone’s engineers suffered a few headaches getting the front-

mounted spreader to operate in the opposite direction to a rearmounted spreader: the spread pattern is directed to the front of the tractor rather than the rear and, likewise, all the switching points are reversed. To achieve compatibility Amazone redeveloped its software to control all the functions of the front-

mounted spreader in ‘mirror’ reverse, so allowing accurate section control in harmony with the rear-mounted unit. Working widths for the ZA-TS are up to 54m and the machines run at about 20km/h; work rate is up to 50ha/hour. The ZA-V series are equally precise and innovative but have hopper capacity of 1700-4200L and working width of up

to 36m. The ZA-TS has integrated weigh-cell technology, electronically controlled hydraulics, section control technology, GPS guidance systems and easy-to-use ISOBUS-compatible terminals. The machines comply with all transport rules including extra headlights and side lamps. – Mark Daniel


DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS  // 41

Mini excavator joins in the big league MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

A COMPACT (2.6t) exca-

vator from Kubota cleverly puts the operator in the ‘big’ class. The Kubota U27-4, said to deliver power and performance, has the biggest workstation in its class, a gross weight that allows legal towing, and there’s a choice of two models. The standard U27-4 suits general excavation work, while the high-spec model’s oil flow with proportional flow control and auto-shift makes for greater versatility and performance. Bucket digging force is impressive, Kubota says; the arm and bucket are well-balanced, allowing

fast, deep digging. Simultaneous operation of the boom, arm, bucket and swivel is achieved by two variable pumps distributing the correct oil flow to each actuator, enabling continuous digging and dozing. The U27-4’s cab has excellent visibility, an easily opened sliding front window, an adjustable suspension seat and an intuitive forward-mounted panel for simple programme setting. Generous foot space makeds for operator comfort, and the tall, wide door gives easy access . Maintenance is straightforward via a fully opening access door and hood; conveniences include tiedowns and a toolbox.

IT WAS NICE TALKIN’ TO YA MATE THE INTERNET of Things (IoT) has the poten-

tial to increase efficiencies in agriculture, but suffers from at least one inherent flaw, in that products from different tractor and machinery manufacturers do not always ‘speak’ with one another so cannot exchange digital information. In a move to put this right and for better connectivity, 70 companies will take part in the Internet of Food and Farm 2020 project (IoF2020). Companies such as AGCO, CNH Industrial, Grimme and Kverneland will work with, e.g. Aarhus University and Holland’s Wageningen University and Research Centre, getting €30 million from the EU to develop real-time inter-operability between machines, sensors and software. Using the so called ADAPT framework -- an open source software from Ag Gateway -- they will develop a simple plug-in system for exchanging digital information regardless of the manufacturer. The next step will be inter-operability in real time between vehicles and cloud-based communications. The group plans to work with the Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation (200 members) to improve cross-manufacturer compatibility of all components. – Mark Daniel

www.kubota.co.nz

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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 13, 2018

42 //  MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Utility tractor with ability to do many tasks MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

A COUPLE who started

work as dairy farm assistants are nine years later sharemilking 220 Friesian and Friesian crosses on 63 ha. Donovan Croot and Sophie Cookson and their

This small tractor fits into calf sheds, making it easier to clean them out. children moved to their new farm in Waitara, New Plymouth in June 2016 with a tractor budget that looked like funding only a second-hand machine. The farm is a system

two-three, meaning feed is imported to extend lactation and to fill the spring deficit, so they knew a good loader tractor would be important. Wanting a Massey Fer-

Donovan Croot says the tractor handles all jobs with ease.

guson for their reputation, the couple found the budget was enough to go with a new MF 4708ES

and 936X loader, a peaceof-mind warranty and lots of features to make the job easier.

DEEPER, WIDER, LONGER The new Firestone Maxi Traction 65 is BIGGER in all aspects except price • Longer tyre life

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Whilst only 82hp, the Essential-spec 4708 is ideal for the couple’s small dairy farm, and although it’s compact it easily lifts a ten baleequivalent silage bale while carrying another on the rear linkage. Grass silage is made by a local contractor, from where the MF4708, kitted out with Soft Hands is the ideal stacking tractor, its hydraulics using the 65L/ min oil flow to its advantage. A very wet winter had Donovan busy rolling paddocks to repair pugging damage, and he uses the tractor to tow an 8m3 wagon full of silage or other supplements, and to pull a palm kernel trailer. “It handles all these

jobs with ease, and I have not yet got it stuck,” he says. Power is from a 4-cylinder, 4.4L AGCO Power engine driving through a wet-clutch power-shuttle transmission with six speeds, and high and low range (the low range is seldom needed). The change between forward and reverse is simply by flicking a paddle on the steering wheel. This small tractor fits into calf sheds, making it easy to clean them out. It has no cab, which may seem a disadvantage in wet weather, but Donovan says since he’s always wearing wet weather gear and getting off and on, it makes no difference.

Check out our websites www.ruralnews.co.nz www.dairynews.co.nz

Visit bridgestonetyrecentre.co.nz to find your nearest dealer or call 0800 80 20 80 for more information.

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BETTER RETURNS ® WITH CYDECTIN DAYS PROTECTION Cydectin Pour-On delivers exceptional broad spectrum control for longer against important roundworms in cattle, including Ostertagia ostertagi for 35 days.

INCREASE IN PRODUCTION1 With parasites controlled for longer, cows treated with Cydectin Pour-On produced an average of 4% more milk.

WITHHOLDING PERIODS Cydectin Pour-On offers greater flexibility with NIL meat, milk and bobby calf withholding periods.

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With 35 days protection against Ostertagia ostertagi, Cydectin Pour-On kills worms for longer. This Autumn, use Cydectin Pour-On to free your herd from parasites for longer, improving the health and live weight of your stock and all with the added flexibility of NIL withholding periods.

CALCULATE YOUR POTENTIAL RETURNS USING CYDECTIN POUR-ON AT WWW.CYDECTIN.CO.NZ Zoetis New Zealand Limited. Tel: 0800 650 277; www.zoetis.co.nz. CYDECTIN is a registered trademark of Zoetis. ACVM No. A6203. January 2018. CT2152. 1. A.W. Murphy; The effect of treatment with Moxidectin, a long-acting endectocide, on milk production in lactating dairy cows. World Buiatrics Congress Sydney 1998. ZOE0031KSMDN


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Dairy News 13 March 2018  

Dairy News 13 March 2018

Dairy News 13 March 2018  

Dairy News 13 March 2018