Page 1

Beingmate’s boardroom battle. PAGE 3 STAFF POWER Developing good people PAGE 17

MOVE OVER STEEL Plastic bale feeder PAGE 27

APRIL 10, 2018 ISSUE 398 //

HAPPINESS BEFORE SUCCESS “The industry needs to shift from only one way of measuring success” – Loshni Manikam, Dairy Woman of the Year PAGE 4

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NEWS  // 3

Chinese whispers in Beingmate’s boardroom SUDESH KISSUN

The top cheese. PG.06

Defending fodder beet. PG.19

Plough ahead with power. PG.29

NEWS������������������������������������������������������3-13 OPINION���������������������������������������������� 14-15 AGRIBUSINESS������������������������������������16 MANAGEMENT���������������������������������17-18 ANIMAL HEALTH���������������������������19-20 MATING����������������������������������������������� 21-26 MACHINERY &   PRODUCTS�������������������������������������� 27-30

FONTERRA’S PLAN to turn around its disastrous investment in Chinese baby food company Beingmate won’t be smooth sailing. This is because the Beingmate founder and cornerstone shareholder Sam Xie decided last month to take over as chief executive of the company. The relationship between Xie and Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings remains frayed, hindering the two stakeholders in their efforts to plan amicably to salvage the company. Xie’s return after a seven-year hiatus is triggering a power struggle and rocking the board, according to Chinese media reports. A vote was recently held to replace Liu Xiaosong, a retiring independent director who also chairs the audit committee, with Xie’s hand-picked director Ma Juan. Chinese media report that all nine directors attended the meeting; six voted for Ms Juan, one voted against her and two abstained. One Fonterra director of Beingmate, Johan Priem, voted against the candidate however, and another Fonterra director and head of its China operations, Christina Zhu, and Beingmate vice chairman He Xiaohua, abstained. Fonterra said in January that four Beingmate directors, including the two designated by Fonterra, had reservations on some aspects of Being-

Fonterra is still hopeful of salvaging its infant formula business in China.

mate’s financial management and reporting practices; this triggered a freefall in Beingmate’s share price and soured relations with Xie. China dairy expert Jane Li says with Xie back at the helm, Fonterra will struggle to have any influence in Beingmate. Li says a recent report in People’s Daily, the ruling Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, stated that Beingmate had seen Fonterra as a strategic investor to help turn around the company’s declining situation. But since then, things have gone

from bad to worse. “Beingmate’s main problem is that the company hasn’t managed the relationship with its distributors well, so retailers and consumers have lost confidence and forgotten the Beingmate brand already,” Li says. “The Beingmate/Fonterra JV is now being held up in state media as a ‘case study’ for all other Chinese dairy companies to learn from. The key learning point is that when Chinese dairy companies experience trouble, don’t expect investment from a foreign company to

turn things around.” She says three top Chinese dairy experts who spoke to People’s Daily agreed Beingmate has lost the confidence of its distributors, retailers and consumers, and the only solution is to regain that trust. “One expert said at least the situation has bottomed out now, while another said Beingmate needs to start from scratch.” Spierings says Fonterra lacks majority control in Beingmate and this is hindering efforts to turn it around. He says the co-op has been transforming its businesses around the world with great success. For example, its Australian business had lost money for years but returned to profit last year. “We do know how to transform,” he says. But Fonterra’s problem with Beingmate is that it only owns 18.8% of the company, whereas in Australia it owns 100% of the business. “It’s easier to transform a 100% owned company than one where we only own 18.8%,” says Spierings. “We have only 18.8% stake of Beingmate so we are not the only one at the table.” Spierings says Fonterra is using its two directors on the Beingmate board to “protect the company going forward”. Fonterra’s board has approved a $405 million impairment in its halfyear results announced recently, valuing its stake in the infant formula trader at $204m. The co-op paid $750m for its stake in 2014. • More on page 5


4 //  NEWS

Happiness comes before success PAM TIPA

THE DAIRY industry

has been successful, now it needs to be happy, says 2018 Dairy Woman of the Year Loshni Manikam. And the former lawyer and human behaviour and leadership expert hopes a profile of the prestigious Dairy Womens Network national award will enable her to help get that conversation started. The industry needs to shift from only one way of measuring success,” she told Dairy News. “At the moment the one way of measuring success is financial success. Having that cul-

ture that measures our success purely on financial success or failure is a big contributor to the increasing rates of depression and suicide that we have. “We need to have other key performance indicators (KPIs) of success -- an understanding of what we as humans need in order to thrive. “Things like connection and quality of relationships, and a sense of identity and purpose which goes beyond being just a farmer or just a mum… we are much more than that. “As soon as we understand that and embrace all the other aspects of ourselves, the better it

Dairy Woman of the Year Loshni Manikam.

LET’S TALK ABOUT INDUSTRY CULTURE LOSHNI MANIKAM also points to Google’s workplace philosophy which is to create the happiest, most productive workplace in the world. “The first thing they focus on is happiness. They are using this kind of language in their strategies and culture. “There are Fortune 500 companies that spend millions of dollars a year to improve the wellbeing and happiness of their people.... These are amazingly successful companies that understand that if people are happy everything has a positive spill-on effect, especially productivity. “As human beings we understand that on an instinctive level.” When we are happy we can pay atten-

tion, focus and contribute more, Manikam says. “We are better mothers, wives, husbands, we are better bosses; we are better able to deal with the things life throws at us.” As a culture, dairy has not yet embraced all the KPIs it needs to in order to be happy. “Our culture has been really good; it has served us well up until this point. That focus on financial stability has driven our industry to be as successful as it has been. Now we need to add other things into that mix…. “Once we start having these conversations, it will resonate and people will come on board because they understand this at an instinctive level.

“We just need to start the conversation; let’s talk about this, let’s put it on the table. Let’s talk about our culture and see whether it is still serving us or whether we need to make changes.” She hopes the Dairy Women of the Year Awards will enable her to help start a conversation with industry leaders, companies and organisations. “We talk about disruption and innovation in the primary industry with things like synthetic meat and milk. It is time to talk about disruption and innovation in our dairy industry culture because we have so much to gain and nothing to lose. “I’m certain I’m not the only one who feels this way and I’m a great believer in collaboration.”

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will be for us as individuals and for our families, farming businesses, communities and our industry.” Manikam, originally from South Africa, milks 600 cows with her husband and three children in Winton, Southland. In 2007 they were named Southland Sharemilker of the Year, before progressing to their current equity partnership. A former lawyer, Manikam transitioned from dairy farming to leadership coaching after receiving her coach certification in 2012. She is the founding director of Iceberg Coaching and a strategic consultant for Farmstrong, working to support the wellbeing of farming communities. She is a trustee of the Southern Dairy Development Trust, a coach and facilitator of the AgriWomen’s Development Trust’s Escalator Programme and a Federated Farmers Southland executive member. Manikam says the industry needs to collectively agree to prioritise people and support its people to find ways to thrive. “We need to put people at the front and centre of everything we

do... to lift our culture [and] keep growing and thriving.” That’s how the industry can keep improving, she says. She refers to research that shows when people are happy the positive impact is wide reaching. Focus on people’s happiness will help develop the industry’s untapped potential for improved environmental stewardship, animal husbandry, staff management and increased productivity. “You are leaving benefits on the table if you don’t prioritise people’s happiness because there is such a positive impact on everything else. I am not the only one who sees the link between increased happiness and, for example, increased productivity. A number of highly successful companies are focussing on the happiness of their workforce.” At the DWN conference the chief executiveagribusiness of Theland Farm Group, Justine Kidd, talked about their focus as a group on four things – happy people, happy cows, clean air and clean water. “They are a highly successful group and the first thing they focus on is happy people,” says Manikam.

VISIONARY FROM WAY BACK FOR 10 years Manikam was mostly a stay-athome mum and a supporter of their farming business. As the kids got older she had to rethink her identity. “Like a lot of dairy farming women I had lost sight of what made me come alive.” After much searching and talking with her husband Donald she kept returning to thoughts of how she enjoyed being part of people’s journeys and seeing them thrive, “and how valuable that was for individuals and everyone around them”. “That is when I did a lot of research and I took a big step in backing myself to do my coaching certification in 2012 and then to setting up my coaching business. That evolved and led to wonderful opportunities with the Agri-Womens Development Trust and other organisations.” She started as a coach and progressed into facilitation and leadership development with the Agri-Womens Development Trust. She is now a consultant working with DWN, Farm Strong, MPI and Landcare Trust, with a focus on growing and developing people. “My core belief is that people are the most important part of a successful farming industry.” Getting involved in governance also helped her develop the view that people are a core part of the industry.


NEWS  // 5

WMP prices still cause for smiles were lower by 4% would have helped this result. The major drivers dragging overall results down were weaker skim WHOLE MILK powder saw a small milk powder (SMP) prices and a lift of 1.6% to US$3278/tonne at last sharp decline in anhydrous milk fat week’s GDT auction despite the small pricing.   “Yet while the average SMP price decline in overall prices of 1.6%, says Emma Higgins, from RaboResearch.   dropped by -1.8% to US$1849/tonne This is the highest average price there is price support for NZ SMP, which remains at a premium to most since May 2017, she says.   “Contract periods out across the European sourced SMP offered.”     The northern hemisphere peak new season’s flush were in positive territory and New Zealand product will put pressure on prices and there is still trading at a premium to EU is a risk of higher feed prices globand US sourced whole milk powder ally. This will turn down production pressure over the close of 2018 and (WMP).” Confirmation by Fonterra that into 2019. Emma Higgins, RabResearch milk collections for February 2018 PAM TIPA

BOARD GAMES IN CHINA CHINESE MEDIA say Fonterra’s two directors on its joint venture, Beingmate have expressed reservations about a new independent director approved by the board recently. Fonterra Chinese operations head and Beingmate director Christina Zhu is quoted saying the outgoing director Liu Xiaosong had extensive experience in financial accounting and internal control. He played an important role in

corporate governance and internal auditing as the audit committee chairman. “The company is currently faced with many complex financial, internal control and accounting issues, and has been repeatedly concerned about inquiries by the Chinese Securities Regulatory Authority. “The company is also in a difficult business environment and faces many challenges. Therefore, it is urgent to have a person

with rich financial and accounting experience – an independent director with an internal control background and experience in corporate management and/or financial accounting practices to succeed Mr Liu Xiaosong.” The reports said that while new director Ma Juan is well educated and has an academic background, she does not have a professional accounting background or knowledge and financial audit experience.

Big worry – DCANZ bovis response. “Biosecurity rules are in place for good reason and there is absolutely THE DAIRY Compano excuse not to follow nies Association of New them” said DCANZ Zealand (DCANZ) says executive direcit would be tor Kimberly “deeply conCrewther.   cerning” if “DCANZ any legal supports MPI breaches fully investigatcontributed ing alleged legal to the arrival breaches. We will of Mycoalso support MPI plasma Kimberly Crewther taking strong bovis in NZ. compliance action if the DCANZ was current investigation responding to news determines this should that warranted offioccur.” cers from the Ministry DCANZ said the for Primary Indusarrival of M.bovis and tries’ compliance investhe consequent biosecutigations team had rity response was affectsearched three proping many people and erties during the M. animals.  If not eradicated it would incur long-term costs for farmers and regions.  “The absence of NIGEL MALTHUS

“The Beingmate company is facing a lot of financial and internal control issues, and the independent director will also serve as a member of the audit committee. “Although Ms Ma Juan has the qualifications for a single director, she is not suitable at this time as a candidate to replace Liu Xiaosong.” Zhu and Priem recommended another candidate for the board but that person did not succeed.




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many pests and diseases that are present elsewhere in the world makes NZ a special place to live and underpins successful agriculture, horticulture and tourism industries. It is important that we all take biosecurity protection seriously.” MPI officers simultaneously searched properties in the North and South Islands on March 27. Its manager of compliance investigations, Gary Orr, said the searches related to possible breaches of legislation related to the M. bovis response. “We recognise there is strong interest in the rural sector concerning how M.bovis may have entered NZ,” Orr said. MPI will tell farmers the results as soon as it can.

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6 //  NEWS

Engineer excels at cheesemaking SUDESH KISSUN


Hauraki Plains, could easily be mistaken for just another countryside café but that’s where you go to find New Zealand’s best cheese. Standing on a 40ha farm, The Cheese Barn owners Kelvin and Cathy Haigh won the 2018 Countdown Champion of Champions Cheese Award - Commercial at the recent NZ cheese awards. Their organic cumin seed gouda was described by the judges as “an absolutely superb cheese”. Set up 20 years ago

with second-hand plant and machinery, The Cheese Barn range today boasts 25 organic products -- cheeses, yoghurt, butter and ghee. Kelvin is an engineering and dairy science graduate of Massey University who decided to try his hand at cheesemaking after working for local dairy companies and overseas building dairy factories. He told Dairy News that while working in Australia commissioning milk pasteurisers, he saw an Italian man stretching mozzarella and decided that could be his dream job. “This Italian man

owned the farm, milked his own cows and made cheese…. I fell in love with the idea,” he says. But he had to start from scratch, buying “old pieces of machinery and plant” and storing them in his brother-in-law’s hay barn. He also did a cheesemaking course at Massey University and sought advice from the top four cheesemakers of the time -- Myer, Mercer, Whitestone and Mahoe. In 1997, at last summoning the courage to buy the farm at Matatoki, just outside Thames, he moved in, milking 85 cows in the morning and putting together his factory piece

by piece during the day. “Nothing was done off the farm; we went up to milking 110 cows and it was very hard work,” he says. The Haighs applied for BioGro certification to go organic, and three years later they were officially an organic farm. Milk was sent to Anchor Foods – later Fonterra. By this time The Cheese Barn factory was up and running; Kelvin started making a few basic cheeses, drawing milk from the farm. “The first cheese made at the plant was camembert and I threw it out; it wasn’t up to my


Cathy and Kelvin Haigh with their awards.

THE CHEESE Barn started making the award-winning cumin gouda three years ago; it’s now the flagship product. Kelvin Haigh says winning the top award reflects on the quality of its raw product – milk -- and exceptional staff. “We’ve won lots of awards but this is our first major award,” he says. “Consistency is very important to us; if you are getting milk from many suppliers you don’t really know how it’s going to react but if you have the same suppliers you get a fix.” Master judge Russell Smith said the cumin seed gouda was an absolutely superb cheese, hence its champion placing. “The flavour profile exhibited

all the best characteristics of this traditional style, the piquancy of the cumin blending beautifully with the slightly sweet yet savoury notes of the cheese.” To be eligible for the Champion of Champions Commercial award cheesemakers must produce at least 25 tonnes per annum. The Cheese Barn has also won awards for sheep milk cheese and has “dabbled” in goat and buffalo milk. Kelvin is the chief cheesemaker; Cathy looks after the accounts and the café, which is open seven days. Up to seven staff are employed in the café and the factory, mostly packaging and labeling products.




standard,” he says with a chuckle. “We had a few disasters along the way but we soon started drawing more and more milk and finally stopped sending milk to Fonterra.” As cheese production increased and the café started drawing business, Haigh sold his cows and started collecting organic milk from neighboring

farms. Now The Cheese Barn processes organic milk collected from two only farmers -- via the Organic Milk Hub. Most of the milk goes into cheese, the rest into butter and yoghurt. The products are sold at the café and at selected supermarkets, organic stores and specialty stores such as Farro Fresh.

Kelvin Haigh with the winning cumin gouda organic cheese.


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IMPRESSIVE BUGS KELVIN HAIGH says though staff and top quality raw milk underpin his award-winning cheese, people forget to acknowledge another important input. “We need to pay homage to the bacteria that go into making the cheese; I know this sounds silly but they work tirelessly all the time yet everyone forgets to acknowledge the bugs. “We are all very lucky our starters come from people who make them from fresh, wholesome milk.” Haigh says NZ is also fortunate to have dairy experts “willing to help out, and they need to be acknowledged”.


NEWS  // 7

North Canterbury Federated Farmers dairy chairman Michael Woodward has signed up for the scheme.

Scheme to attract 100 apprentices NIGEL MALTHUS

A DAIRY apprenticeship scheme jointly

developed by Federated Farmers and PrimaryITO could have 100 apprentices nationwide by June. Federated Farmers’ dairy section vicechair, Wayne Langford, Golden Bay, said the scheme was launched in October after “a good year’s work” had gone into planning it. After a quiet summer, they are now “getting back into” encouraging farmers and prospective apprentices to register. Almost 150 farmers and 120 apprentices are ready to go. Langford hopes to have about 100 paired-up and working by June. “Then long term, potentially, we could get about 500 annually, working through the industry. That would be a positive result.” Langford heads the working group overseeing the interests of the employers

in the scheme. He said farmers taking on apprentices must sign a farm charter, agreeing to payroll, health and safety, and other systems all up-to-date and up-to-scratch. One farmer supporting the scheme and signed to take an apprentice is North Canterbury Federated Farmers dairy chairman Michael Woodward. He said fewer people are entering dairying, so the scheme is aimed at attracting motivated people and prompting farmers to become “employers of choice”. “There’s a survey [employers] fill in and that will identify areas you need help with. “Some employers may be great people but they just don’t know about current legislation because they either haven’t employed people or stuff has changed since they last employed people. “It helps the people on both sides to get the skills they need to become better employees and better employers.”

FULL PAY, NO BULL THE APPRENTICESHIP scheme will run on the same training guidelines and Level 3 and Level 4 qualifications as offered by PrimaryITO – but better. Wayne Langford said they might be accused of “reinventing the wheel” but too few apprentices are taking the existing PrimaryITO courses. “Farmers wanted to improve some of the quality of the students coming through the apprenticeships, and really sign their name to what they were doing,” he said. The scheme differs from others in offering Feds support for employers, ensuring they are signed up to the charter and have good employment practices, he said.

“Typically in the past you’ve heard of some pretty poor working conditions in the dairy industry and we’re trying to do our best to fix some of those beliefs.” Langford said farmers would be expected to pay full wages to their apprentices without any discount or subsidy. “We haven’t pushed for that. We’ve said ‘no, we want our apprentices to be fully paid’. “It may be a cost to the farmer in year one, but the benefits that will come the following years from having the same person on farm, and the knowledge and understanding of the farm systems that they will get, we think the payback should be tenfold.”


8 //  NEWS

Oz dairy co-op sold THE GROWTH of Australia’s dairy industry is now down to the two main players Fonterra and Saputo, says dairy analyst Steve Spencer. At issue is the commitment of the two large players and how they can restore trust in the industry for farm investors and owners, he says. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission last

week approved Saputo’s takeover of beleaguered co-op Murray Goulburn; the takeover when completed will leave no big dairy co-ops in Australia. With MG in its fold, Canadian dairy giant Saputo will edge out Fonterra to become Australia’s largest dairy player. The ACCC decision requires Saputo to sell the MG Koroit Plant in western Victoria.

Spencer, Fresh Agenda, told Dairy News he wasn’t surprised by the ACCC’s decision. For the Australian dairy industry, it means competition will not ease, he says. “Another player will get a larger foothold with access to Koroit and its milk supply and there will be no dairy co-op in the future.” Spencer noted that MG has been in a weak state for years. “So the nature of processor-

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farmer relations, the market shares of milk intake and the product mix of the industry will evolve further. “We’ve got a fair way to go before change is over. I’m not sure it means the industry will grow as a consequence of the loss of MG, but that depends on the commitment of the two large players and how they can restore trust in the industry for farm investors and owners.” – Sudesh Kissun


DAIRYNZ HAS endorsed a raft of new animal welfare regulations on various procedures such as castration, docking and debudding, and stock transport. Approved by Cabinet at the end of March, the rules will strengthen New Zealand’s animal welfare system, said the Associate Minister of Agriculture responsible for animal welfare, Meka Whaitiri. “These regulations will have a significant effect on the humane treatment of our animals,“ she said. DairyNZ strategy and investment manager Jenny Jago said the new regulations are a positive move. “NZ is already recognised Jenny Jago as having a strong reputation for animal welfare and these regulations will further strengthen the framework that underpins this. “Cows and people are the heart of every farming business and the majority of dairy farmers take real pride in their herd’s care and how farming practices are undertaken onfarm. Many dairy farmers are meeting these regulations now. Jago said the new rules align with the aim of having NZ farmers world leading in onfarm animal care. Meka Whaitiri said most animal welfare offences are not very serious and may not warrant a prosecution under the Animal Welfare Act. So the new regulations introduce penalties and fines to deal with such offences. “For example, people who leave distressed dogs in hot cars will be liable for a $300 fine and people can now be fined where sick or injured farm animals are transported to slaughter plants,” she said.  “These regulations were developed during three years work by industry and advocacy groups, and after formal public consultation. Over 1400 submissions were received and analysed, and most supported the regulations.

PAIN RELIEF THE MAIN regulations for cattle include: ■■ Trucking: animals with ingrown horns or horn injuries, lame animals, animals with injured or diseased udders and with advanced cancer eye will not be acceptable for trucking unless a veterinarian has provided a certificate. ■■

Tail docking: nobody may shorten or remove the tail of any cattle beast.


Castration: when castrating or shortening the scrotum of a bull over the age of six months, pain relief must be used (for any method of castration). If high tension bands are used to castrate an animal, local anaesthetic must be used to provide pain relief (at any age).


Disbudding: pain relief required at all ages.


Dehorning: pain relief required at all ages


Assisting calving cows: no use of traction with a moving vehicle, motorised winch or any other device that does not allow for the quick release of tension.

Other regulations cover cattle with ingrown horns, prohibited methods of milk stimulation, a minimum weight for the use of electric prodders and approved methods of castration. Most of the regulations come into force on October 1 this year, except for the pain relief requirements for disbudding and dehorning cattle which come into effect in October 2019.


NEWS  // 9

Consultant to head DWN MANAGEMENT CONSULTANT Jules Benton will take over as Dairy Womans Network’s chief executive on May 16. Former chief executive Zelda de Villiers is leaving for a new business venture in Northland. Benton was recently general manager for Wolters Kluwer CCH New Zealand, a research and workflow solutions company. Previously she spent ten years consulting in leadership development, process streamlining and professional development and Jules Benton education. Dairy Women’s Network (DWN) chair Cathy Brown refers to Benton’s experience in leadership, education and strategy development -- key areas of opportunity for DWN and the dairy industry as a whole. “Jules’ knowledge, skills and experience are perfectly matched with DWN and the role we play with women in dairy,” says Brown. “She has experience in managing stakeholder interests and competing deadlines, and in streamlining operations to ensure businesses and projects run effectively and effi-



ciently.” Brown acknowledged de Villiers’ contribution to the network, which she “leaves in a very strong place and we wish her well in the future”. Benton says she is looking forward to helping members make the most of opportunities. “I knew I could bring something to this organisation... in leadership development and helping people gain the skills and tools they need to do well at all stages of their careers.” Benton will be responsible for representing DWN at an industry level and focusing on its strategy. “Dairy women are a driving force and make extraordinary contributions at all levels of the industry. The New Zealand public hasn’t yet fully grasped the breadth of knowledge and skills women bring to the dairy industry.” With charitable trust status, DWN receives project funding from DairyNZ and has a stable of influential agribusinesses and industry sponsors. It has about 10,000 members.




April 14-15

NZ Ploughing Championships, Southland

Competitors will come from all over New Zealand to Thornbury, Southland, to contest the right to represent NZ at the World Ploughing Championships in Germany.

April 26

Smaller Milk and Supply Herds (SMASH) seminar, Cambridge

How do the public feel about dairy and what drives their perceptions? We hear a lot about the rural/ urban divide. Is it true that the public hate dairy farmers and is there a media beat-up? Come and hear DairyNZ’s findings on public perceptions and how the media portray dairy. Don Rowlands Centre, Karapiro.

May 8-9

DairyNZ Farmers Forum, Hamilton

Get the latest insights and opinions on global trends from influential dairy leaders and commentators. DairyNZ’s Farmers Forum will be held at Mystery Creek.

May 12

Dairy Industry Awards national finals, Invercargill

Eleven regional finalists have been named in the Dairy Industry Awards. The national winner will be announced at a gala dinner at the ILT Stadium, Invercargill.

Do you have a dairy industry event coming up? Put it in the Dairy Diary. Send event details to







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Regional finalists lined up t Regional winners of the Dairy Industry Awards have been announced and the eleven regional winners will square off for the national titles in Invercargill next month.


SHARE FARMER OF THE YEAR DANIEL AND Paula McAtamney, the major winners in the 2018 Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Industry Awards, are relatively new to the dairy industry and believe their success is due to

their full involvement in their business. The McAtamneys, aged 30 and 25 years, are contract milking 1150 cows on Rob Wilson’s Rangitata Dairies 300ha farm in Temuka. They won

$13,982 in prizes. They entered the awards to learn and challenge themselves. “The competition process has enabled us to analyse our system and encourage our drive for the future,”

they say. Before dairying, Daniel was a beef, sheep and deer farmer, and Paula was nursing. They entered the dairy industry in 2014. “We are proud of what we have learnt and achieved, given the short time we have been in


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Tradition meets Technology

DAIRY MANAGER OF THE YEAR WILLIAM GREEN (28) spent three years working on his family’s dairy, beef, sheep and cropping farm in the UK, before entering the New Zealand dairy industry three years ago. He won $6825 in prizes. Green is the farm manager for Kieran and Leonie Guiney on their 240ha, 830-cow farm at Fairlie. “The awards process has enabled me to benchmark myself against the best in the industry,” he says. Will, who holds a degree in agriculture from Harper Adams University, believes pasture utilisation is a strength of his business.


(20) was runner-up in the 2017 West Coast-Top of the South Dairy Trainee competition and says the feedback from judges was invaluable. He is in his third season in the dairy industry and is assistant manager on a 750-cow, 198ha property at Temuka. Salem won $6630 in prizes. Salem enjoys the challenges of farming and says it’s a great lifestyle. His goals include farm ownership. The Canterbury-North Otago Dairy Industry Awards winners field day will be held on April 17 at 131 Rangitata Island Rd, Temuka.



p to contest national titles SOUTHLAND-OTAGO



SIMON AND Hilary Vallely

WOMEN WERE represented strongly in the 2018 Southland-Otago Dairy Manager of the Year competition, achieving first and second places. The winner is Jaime McCrostie (32). She won $9200 in prizes and is

believe strong relationships with all the people they deal with are the key to their successful business. The Vallelys, both aged 31, are 50:50 sharemilking 475 cows on David and Valerie Stafford’s 160ha farm in Gore. They won $20,010 in prizes. They believe their different strengths and interests make their business stronger. “We also have an excellent relationship with our farm owners and we value the relationship,” they say.

the farm manager for her employer Steve Smith and farm owners AB Lime on the 370ha, 930-cow farm at Winton. “I love cows and being outside working with stock. I love the multidisciplinary challenges onfarm and that there is

always something new to be learning,” she says. McCrostie believes entering the awards highlights areas for improvement. “It also forces you to consolidate all your farm data and help benchmark, reflect and justify decisions.”

TRAINEE OF THE YEAR SIMONE SMAIL (24) entered the awards to meet like-minded people who are passionate and want to progress in the industry. This is her third full season dairy farming. “I wanted to challenge myself,” she says. “You never lose, you either win or learn.” Smail is herd manager on an Invercargill City Council farm, working for Steve and Tracy Henderson on the 780-cow, 310ha property at Invercargill. She won $6380 in prizes. She discovered her passion for working with cows while studying for her Certificate in Veterinary Nursing. The Southland-Otago Dairy Industry Awards winners field day will be held on April 11 at 86 Charlton Siding Road, RD 2 Gore.





CARL WILMSHURST and Anna Boulton, both aged 27, are contract milking 390 cows on Bryan and Brigitte Wilmshurst 160ha farm in Kowhitirangi, Hokitika. They won $5750 in prizes. They were runners-up in the 2017 West Coast Top of the South Share Farmer competition. They see their effective time management as a strength of their business, ensuring the necessary jobs get done to increase the productivity of the farm and livestock.

ANTHONY LAMBORN was born and raised a dairy farmer and has worked in the industry for 25 years. He won $4550 in prizes. Lamborn is the farm manager for the Birchlea Trust 255ha, 700-cow farm at Kikiwa, Nelson. He came third in last year’s West Coast Top of the South Dairy Manager competition. “As a teen I tried my hand at city work, but my life always pulled me back to what I loved – cows,” he says.


unsure what work he wanted until he began in the dairy industry three years ago. “After the first season on the Rosser Holdings property I knew dairy farming was for me.” He won third place last year in the West Coast-Top of the South competition. The West Coast-Top of the South Dairy Industry Awards winners field day will be held on April 19 at 730 Johnston Rd, Kowhitirangi, Hokitika.

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NEWS  // 13

Heart-and-soul farmer wins community award TAUPO DAIRY farmer Kylie Leonard says the dairy industry is in her heart and soul. This has won her the Dairy Women’s Network’s 2018 Dairy Community Leadership Award, celebrating the unsung heroes of rural communities. She collected her award at a gala dinner recently during DWN’s conference in Rotorua, an event marking the network’s 20th year. Leonard milks 400 cows at Oruanui, Taupo, with her husband Rick and daughters Kate, Isla and Eloise. Her family has long farmed on the Central Plateau; her grandparents walked from Te Aroha, in Waikato, to Reporoa to set up their dairy farm in the 1950s. Leonard trained as a teacher, then in 2011 she and her husband went into a farm equity partnership with her parents; now she milks and rears calves while teaching children with learning disabilities part-time. She says the award honours her promotion of the dairy farming lifestyle. “The dairy industry is in my heart and soul, and seeing others involved and succeeding is a great feeling. “For me, connection is all about authenticity and

inclusion – whether that’s sharing a positive story about the industry or putting my hand up to question something. I pride myself on being a positive role model to others.” Leonard regularly promotes and hosts visits to her farm by playcentres, kindergartens, primary schools, colleges and visitors. “Sharing a positive story and my love for our cows and our land is something I aim to do daily -- on social media, at school, at an event or socialising. I never let an opportunity to share go past. “Long-term I would love to encourage more people to enter our industry and help them take advantage of the wonderful opportunities out there.” Leonard also supports AgITO students, chairs her children’s school’s board of trustees, is patron of Taupo Family Playcentre and is on the Taupo board of the Rural Education Activities Programme (REAP). Dairy Women’s Network chief executive Zelda de Villiers says Leonard’s passion for dairy farming and her community shows in all she does. “She’s a big supporter

IN BRIEF Get a job online DAIRYNZ HAS launched Go Dairy, an interactive website designed to encourage young people to consider a career in the dairy sector. The website is aimed at high school students, people in their 20s, people seeking a career change, parents and teachers. It recommends appropriate school subjects, tertiary study and training. The site also links to job search sites and information on DairyNZ’s awards and scholarships. Dairy NZ channel marketing manager Andrew Fraser says the sector needs motivated, passionate people with skills that “ensure we continue to have a successful industry, and to meet current and emerging challenges”. Roles range across dairy farming, agribusiness and agriscience. The website has a fun quiz pointing to types of career that best suit individuals. “A great thing about the dairy sector is you learn skills that are transferable to other roles. You may start as a farm assistant and end up as a farm owner or rural professional, for instance,” Fraser says.

of diversity in the farming workplace and is always the first to lend a hand on the farm or help someone through a personal issue,” says de Villiers. “It was clear to us that Kylie is someone very vis-

ible in her community and leading by example. Her passion for the dairy industry is infectious, and her dedication to sharing her passion, knowledge and skills make her a truly worthy recipient of the

award.” Leonard will receive a scholarship, sponsored by ASB and Tompkins Wake, to attend the Community and Enterprise Leadership Programme at the University of Waikato.

Kylie Leonard




‘Are you there?’

MILKING IT... Not like townies Railroaded NEW RESEARCH about farmers’ media habits has dispelled the myth that town and country are the same. Marketers wanting more data on the rural media landscape prompted four publishers to have independent research done of farmers’ and growers’ media habits. The Rural Media Habits Survey 2018 shows that in the internet age, rural newspapers and magazines are still accessed at least weekly by most farmers. The publishers say this research about farmers’ media habits is well overdue. “Assumptions about how to market to farmers and growers are often made on the assumption that they consume media the same way as their city cousins. This is not true. “People working in the industry have long known the rural market behaves differently from other sectors. This research finally puts solid data around this.”

SHANE JONES did well to keep a straight face last week when he tried to sell the Government’s transport funding overhaul as a win for rural New Zealand. The 9 - 12 cent hike in fuel taxes is largely earmarked for Auckland light rail -- $4 billion no less. Even Aucklanders will question whether rail from the CBD to the airport should be a national spending priority. The intention to spend some of the extra tax take on road safety will be welcomed in the regions. The proposed reduction in speed limits to 70km/h will not, nor will the axing of new roads that would have improved access to regions like Northland. And as Freightways boss Mark Troughear noted, the regions will also be hit in the wallet “for every package they send” because the extra fuel costs will be passed on to customers. He says money from a fuel tax should go to roading not rail. The Greens have had a win here; Jones and the regions not so much.

Turner turns from Fonterra

Fitness tracking for cows

FONTERRA IS losing another senior executive. Long-serving Philip Turner is leaving the co-op to become New Zealand’s new ambassador to South Korea. Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced the appointment but Turner’s departure as director of global stakeholder affairs had been common knowledge for months. He has been at Fonterrs since 2007, holding a string of high profile positions including the head of its China operations. Prior to joining Fonterra, Turner held several roles in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, including postings to the NZ embassies in Tokyo and Brussels

THE DAIRY industry is turning to fitness trackers to monitor cows’ health and wellness as part of a growing craze. Swiss Lane Farms in Alto, western Michigan uses the devices on a fourth of its dairy cows. The trackers, called T4C by Lely, are similar in appearance to the Fitbits people wear to monitor aspects of their health, although the cows wear them around their necks. Each cow’s tracker monitors how many steps it has taken, milk production, how many times it gets milked each day, weight and how much it chews. The trackers use sensor technology to record and transfer information to a software system monitored by the farm.

NEW ZEALAND is a step closer to tasting 5G cellular technology but the worry is that rural regions may be in for another round of second-class treatment. While the technology may be available to many by 2022, many rural areas may still lack basic cellular coverage which even now is awful to say the least. 5G mobile technology was tested in downtown Wellington last week and the industry is talking about installing this next generation digital gear from 2020. But Federated Farmers rightly points out that plenty of towns and provincial hinterlands still limping on without broadband and with only patchy mobile coverage if any. Federated Farmers vice-president Andrew Hoggard is reminding the Government that primary producers play a dominant role in earning the nation’s living and technology is pervading every aspect of agriculture.  With poor or no access to ultra-fast broadband and mobile, farming businesses and family life suffer. And there’s a serious safety issue. What happens when there is a fire or a medical emergency?  With communication ‘black holes’ farmers, their staff or family members can be reduced to driving around trying to find a location from which to send a call for help. 5G technology can offer nine times the data speed now available, but many rural folk are a long way off having the access urban Kiwis have taken for granted for years. Rural Women NZ says news of the 5G cellphone technology rollout is bitter sweet. It will be great for some but not for all. RWNZ says about half of New Zealand has no cellphone coverage due to geography; this leads to isolation and inability to connect in this ever-increasing digital world, and this is not good enough. “Rural NZ deserves high quality technology, given the economy’s reliance on primary industries and tourism based in rural areas,” says RWNZ. “NZ cannot afford for anyone to be left behind in the digital age.” A Government paper discussing spectrum for 5G cellular technology suggests the process to parcel out the rights could begin in 12-18 months. In the paper, 5G is described as a step change in the provision of mobile telecommunications with peak data rates of 20 Gbps and fast response times of 1 millisecond. The technology is likely to require double the number of existing cell sites in urban areas but the pay-off is that 5G will enable technology such as self-driving cars. Trials of 5G are now being seen at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast. Andrew Hoggard says authorities must push on for the best technology available, “but let’s take all New Zealanders with us”. There is much to do to bridge the urban/rural technology divide.

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OPINION  // 15

Kiwi farmers’ food validity at stake DEBORAH RHODES

AS WE stare down the

barrel of a global consumer revolution we need to be brave to tell them what they want: not what they demand, but what we are going to supply them. The concept of appealing to every whim of the consumer has driven our farming mentality to that of the oil business: reap now and pay later. Now we are starting to pay as we scramble towards trying to prove in our dairy business that we are different from the rest, and we are -- but for how long? As a small family farm in the top of the south, Golden Bay, we have been challenged by cyclone Gita winds and rain, by a water conservation order for Te Waikoropupu Springs, by the demise of the Takaka Hill and the need for our local community to evolve and future-proof ourselves. To become the first sustainable region in New Zealand, we must look at all aspects of our behaviour; this means defining what is best farming practice here in the Bay, for us all. Our farming practices must therefore be reflected by our cooperative business operations. We need to be brave as farmers to ensure our cooperative business (as a ‘consumer’) reflects that our milk is socially and

environmentally sound and label it so in all forms right to the end of the production chain. We don’t want to be ‘local and imported product’ branded; we deserve to be ‘NZ Milk’ branded, from whatever co-op. This may mean taking a lesser price and sucking up the margins, but at least we could then say we were truly authentic. Our world has become shrouded in half-truths and media-spun messages, but individuals who make up communities, who populate regions and countries and continents are starting to push back, to rebel and demand change from the few. As NZ farmers we also must demand a reiningin to protect our authenticity. We cannot combat the notion of fake food, fake milk and fake proteins unless we stand out as a compatible model of authentic food production as befits our honest Kiwi personality. We have supplied ourselves for generations with home grown fruit, vegetables, meat and milk and have come to share that with parts of the world. We have supplied them with what we offer and as they have demanded more we have deluded ourselves that we can produce more. We can only produce from the resources of soil, land and people, that allow us to do so renewably, that makes us sus-

tainable and responsible, and so be the parents of a demanding consumer child. It’s time to listen to our ancestors, our whakapapa and act honourably towards the ‘fruits’ of

our personal labour and demand that all along the supply chain our products are labelled ‘NZ Made’. • Deborah Rhodes and her husband Tim are dairy farmers in Collingwood, Golden Bay.

Deborah and Tim Rhodes.
















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Natural health a winner for firm THE HAMILTON dairy biotech company Quantec won the supreme award at the recent Natural Health Products NZ annual awards in Nelson. The event recognised the successes of New Zealand companies developing, manufacturing and exporting natural products, functional foods, complementary medicines, ‘cosmeceuticals’ and ‘nutraceuticals’ industries. The supreme award acknowledged Quantec as the best overall entrant in the four awards categories open at this year’s event. Quantec chief executive Dr Rod Claycomb says it’s great to be recognised. “We’ve experienced sustainable growth over the past nine years – a factor I imagine played a part in us receiving this award. “We’re a small business with science at our heart, yet we’re experiencing commercial success here in New Zealand and in several key mar-

Quantec chief executive Dr Rod Claycomb.

kets overseas. “We’re a relatively young company: we started our natural dairybased ingredient activities in 2009. It’s been a challenging road to get to this point and heartening to be recognised by the industry for our successes along the way,” says Clay-

comb. Quantec also won the Fernmark License programme growth award and was recognised as highly commended in the Cawthrown Innovation Award category. Quantec manufactures a patented dairy ingredient -- IDP -which is used by its customers to make products such as dietary health supplements and skincare. Its largest market for the ingredient is China. Quantec also manufactures antiacne products under the Epiology brand which contain IDP. Epiology is distributed through NZ pharmacies and Mexico is the company’s largest export market for the antiacne skincare range. The company set up a company in China in February this year, hiring staff and planning to expand. Quantec is a past finalist in the NZ Innovator of the Year Awards and has won a Kudos Hamilton Science Award.

Deer milk industry in the pipeline SUDESH KISSUN

STATE FARMER Landcorp says it is working on creating a deer milk industry. The SOE is talking to global customers and trialling products in markets for consumer feedback. Landcorp general manager dairy operations Mark Julian told Dairy News it’s early days. “It’s [not] like the sheep milk industry which has products in the market,” he says. The deer milk project is mostly R&D and looking at selective milk powder and skin care products for the global market. Speaking earlier at the Pioneer Rural Professionals Conference in Taupo, Julian floated two possible futures for Landcorp: either a production-led future or a market-led future. Landcorp is not look-

Mark Julian, Landcorp.

ing at wholesale changes to its business model; it recently adapted Pamu as its brand name. Julian says Pamu “works to establish products and partnerships to give our business the best chance of succeeding moving forward”. He noted that Landcorp was keen to move from a pasture farming company to a food and farming company. “Our core business will always be farming; our traditional sales will drive

our revenue for the immediate future but brand business will provide us the consumer insights that hopefully take the risk out of our core business of farming.” Julian says the sheep milk joint venture Spring Sheep, in Taupo, has been a winner: two years since its inception Spring Sheep has won awards for food and innovation. “It’s a huge boost to our belief that differentiation and unique offerings are areas to target.”


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FONTERRA IS planning to market cheese in its Anchor product range. Fonterra Brands New Zealand director of marketing, Clare Morgan, refers to the brand’s tradition of a love of dairy and innovation. “When pioneer Henry Reynolds launched Anchor in 1886 he would have never imagined that over a century later more than 150 Anchor products would be sold every minute.” As well as the traditional Tasty, Colby and Edam, the range will have two additions – Protein+ and Zero Lacto. “Our Zero Lacto cheese is another option for Kiwis with lactose intolerance,” Morgan says. Protein+ has 26% more protein than Anchor Tasty and is an easy way to increase protein in a diet. At least 160 Anchor products are sold in 80 countries.

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Good people develop better people A PEOPLE Expo event in Taranaki this week will give dairy farmers direction on how to look after their farm staff. The DairyNZ People Expo, in Stratford on Wednesday, April 11, will present ways dairy farmers can build positive team culture, and will discuss ideal working hours and farm safety practices. Manawatu dairy farmer Stuart Taylor is one of three speakers at Taranaki’s People Expo and will share his experience of turning his business into one which grows careers and lifestyle for his employees. Taylor has seven staff managing 1000 cows, but similar principles apply to family farms and teams of two or more. “Ninety percent of success in leading people is what the leader does, not the capability of the people,” says Taylor. “Good people develop better people, the good make great, and from good people you get solutions to everything else that is important in farming. We are 100% reliant on the people who run the farm, so people are our priority.”

Manawatu farmer Stuart Taylor.

On Taylor’s farm, rosters are adapted to suit each team member’s lifestyle, farm roles factor in goals and aspirations, a rotation system improves skills and work variety, and overall farm goals are shared to help give a sense of direction for the business. Other speakers at the Taranaki People Expo include Fonterra manager of social responsibility Matt Trent on international trends in working hours, and Rural Safe founder and managing director Debbie Robertson on belief-based

safety and how a person’s actions keep people safe. Other People Expo events are in Waikato (April 10), Rotorua (May 1) and Invercargill (May 9). Each region’s People Expo provides farmers with an opportunity to ask the experts questions and share their own ideas with other farmers on what works and what doesn’t, along with novel ideas and practical tips. To register for the expo and for more details visit

PLANTAIN CAN HELP REDUCE EMISSIONS USING AN alternative plant type like plantain in grazed pastures could help lower a farm’s greenhouse gas emissions, AgResearch scientists have found. The scientists, with funding from the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre (NZAGRC), set out to compare emissions of the potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide from soils containing different types of forage – perennial ryegrass, white clover, plantain and lucerne -- during different seasons at a dairy farm in Waikato. Agricultural soils, and the urine deposited by grazing animals, are the main source of nitrous oxide emissions globally and are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human influence. “A significant finding from this study was that in autumn and winter, nitrous oxide emissions were 39 to 74% less where plantain was planted, compared to perennial ryegrass,” says senior scientist Dr Jiafa Luo. “Lucerne also saw lower emissions compared to the ryegrass in winter

and autumn, but smaller reductions than in the case of the plantain. In summer, we found emissions from the plantain and lucerne were actually higher than the ryegrass, which is something that needs to be explored further.” Luo says previous studies have shown plantain can reduce the amount of nitrogen excreted in the animals’ urine; however in this latest study the same urine type (from animals fed ryegrass and white clover) was applied to all of the plant types tested. “So other factors may be involved, and one may be that plantain releases biological nitrification inhibitors into the soil which reduce the nitrous oxide emissions. “What this research tells us is that incorporating plantain into grazed pastures could be an approach to reducing emissions. However we need to do further work to examine the process by which the emissions are reduced, and how this is impacted by different conditions in the different seasons.”

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First-time entrant strikes gold A FIRST-TIME entrant

has won the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Award. Parkhill Dairy Farm, at Ashley Clinton, Hawke’s Bay was entered by owner

Parkhill Dairy Farm owner Andrea Barry with farm manager Craig Pennell.

Andrea Barry and manager Craig Pennell. Parkhill was one of the first three dairy farms converted by Barry and her late husband Peter Barry in 1994. She is proud of the work done

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and is still being done on Parkhill. “When you go to the top of the hill and look over the land, it’s amazing how it has changed in 23 years,” she says. “It’s a beautiful property that deserves to be showcased. I’m ready to show it off. We haven’t entered environmental awards in the past because of people’s perceptions of dairy. Here’s our chance to change that.” The Barrys bought Parkill in 2000 through an equity company called Longrow Pastoral Ltd. They changed the name to Longrow Dairies Ltd then bought Barry Farms in 1996 and Ashton in 1998 (as part of Epic Agriculture). The three different entities were combined into one operating unit in 2000: BEL Group is made up of Barry Farms, Epic and Longrow. It employs 65 staff working on 2600ha of milking platform and leased dairy support land. “It’s a credit to Andrea and Peter for their vision at the start and we are carrying on that passion,” Craig Pennell says. He has managed Parkhill for three years with the help of a herd manager and two assistants with casual extras at

busy times. A former Fonterra networker, Pennell has previously been sharemilking in Southland and Bay of Plenty and contract milking in Waikato, but this is his first position with a corporate enterprise. “There are lots of opportunities here to make a difference. I love sharing my knowledge and experience with others still coming through.” Parkhill peak milks 880 mostly Friesian cows from a 268ha milking platform. Total production last season was 177,076kgMS from 770 cows on 220ha (809kgMS/ha). To date, the farm is on track to surpass its target of 275,000kgMS (1026kgMS/ ha). A history of being grade free shows the team’s attention to detail on milking procedure and hygiene, as well as herd health, the awards judges said. Record keeping is done on the computer daily, including rainfall, soil temperature, effluent application rates, samples taken for nitrates and any maintenance done. They also use the Fonterra diary for animal treatments, plant cleaning and checks, water usage and milk quality compliance such as vat temperatures.

PASTURE-BASED GRAZING SYSTEM PARKHILL RUNS a pasture-based grazing system with about 500kg tonne of dry matter bought as pasture and maize silage. About 20ha of turnips is used for feeding in January/February.  Effluent is spread by a travelling irrigator on a quarter of the farm. An annual nutrient budget with nitrogen fertiliser is used to support pasture production. The judges said BEL Group was aware of the requirement to meet nitrogen leaching limits under the Tukituki Catchment Plan Change by May 2020. “As part of their sustainable milk plan, BEL Group is using Overseer to test scenarios and determine the best way to remain compliant. They are working with the council proactively on this.” Native, blue gum and pine trees were planted in critical source areas when the farm was first converted. The farm has extensive shelter belts and some fenced wetlands. Stock is excluded from relevant waterways and a Fonterra riparian management plan has been completed. Temporary fences are used to keep stock out of some waterways. Cropping is avoided on rolling land and minimal tillage is used where possible.



Phosphorus heads off fodder beet problems AFTER 16 years experience of feed-

large quantities of beet. From April 1 to dry-off at the end of May the cows would get a maximum of 5-6kg -- only about a third of their diet. Ribbonwood runs 1000 cows in two herds, on 300ha. The cows winter on a neighbouring farm, and Woods grows fodder beet on both farms. Woods also contracts some lifting beet as insurance against adverse weather such as snow. “The beet is [great] at that point because you can get it into the animals; there’s no wastage at all,” said Woods. Fodder beet gives quality of feed because the metabolisable energy is “absolutely always” 12, said Woods.

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were going on in the background, eventually identified as phosphorus deficiency. That would affect only certain farms but affected Ribbonwood in particular, said Woods. Since then Woods has made fodder beet a cornerstone of his farm system, providing nearly 40% of all feed consumed. But it is always fed with the phosphorus supplement DCP (dicalcium phosphate). Woods calls DCP “really cheap insurance”. “You’re better to use it and know with confidence you’re not going to run into a problem. It turns out very few farms really need it.”




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abdominal windows allowing direct sampling of the rumen. “That was the start of the research,” said Woods. “He brought his fistula cows here and started putting the picture together over what was going on. “All literature prior to Jim said anything over 3kg was toxic. Animals would die – which they did. We had to look behind that to see what was causing it.” The breakthrough was the discovery that large quantities of beet caused acidosis but acidosis could be controlled by gradual transition. They then realised other problems

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BRENDON WOODS uses fodder beet through June, July and some of August, also in spring if short of grass in the second grazing round when previously he might have fed silage to fill the gap. In autumn, beet has replaced maize. Dicalcium phosphate (DCP) is used whenever beet is fed. Because DCP is not watersoluble, Woods mixes up a slurry each day and pours it into bales of straw, which are fed out first thing the following morning before the herd goes onto a fodder beet break. He says he gets no health issues in the herd during lactation because he’s not feeding

Farmer Brendon Woods in his 10ha fodder beet paddock.



ing fodder beet to his dairy cows, Brendon Woods says he would hate to be without it. Woods was an early adopter of fodder beet in dairy production and a key collaborator with Lincoln University senior lecturer in livestock health and production, Dr Jim Gibbs, in ironing out the early problems of acidosis and phosphorus deficiency. Like Gibbs, Woods is a keen promoter of fodder beet and, like Gibbs, he was annoyed at reported concerns from DairyNZ senior scientist Dawn Dalley over its long-term health effects. “I’ve spent a lot of time travelling around the country talking to other farmers, farmer groups, trade groups, trying to promote this, as an individual. And to see that stuff put in the media annoys me because it’s just not true,” said Woods. Woods runs 1000 cows on his Ribbonwood Farm near Burnham. He started experimenting with fodder beet 16 years ago in search of something to replace kale. Feeling his own way without much outside expertise to draw on, Woods said he had little success for the first couple of years but when he got better at growing the crop the problems started, with “huge” numbers of cows dying. At that time Gibbs was investigating ruminant nutrition using fistula cows – animals surgically fitted with




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Stock feed prices on the rise – get sorted early THIRTY YEARS ago

who would have predicted that one of the many spin-offs of ‘Globalisation’ was the evolution of the kiwi palate? New Zealanders’ tastebuds back then were confined to the staple diet of ‘meatand-three-vege’ whereas over more recent times they have been bathing in a ‘sea of spice’ and ‘high octane’ craft beers (how the mind boggles!). To a lesser extent, down on the farm the same phenomenon has taken place. The vast majority of NZ cows once, content with a basic diet of ryegrass and clover, now also have access to a wide selection of feeds coming from left over by-products of the food and bioethanol industries. Both the abundance of these feeds and their adoption into ‘mainstream’

farming systems has enabled widespread intensification of the industry, especially in the past 10 – 15 years. The extent of this trend can be quantified in data obtained from DairyNZ. Their figures showing from the 2000/2001 season to the 2013/2014 season, the percentage of medium to high input systems grew from 30% to 70% (at the expense of low input systems). This supports the fact that a significant percentage of the New Zealand industry is now reliant on these by- products to provide dairy cows with adequate nutrition. While intensification of farming systems has proven very successful in terms of reducing the impact of traditional challenges faced by farmers, like managing feed deficits, the

Securing next season’s feed requirements early makes good sense.

move towards greater intensification has brought about another set of challenges. One such challenge will be faced next season by farmers who have used a significant proportion of PKE. To lessen the detrimental effect of oil rich PKE on the Fatty Evaluation Index (FEI), PKE will need to be replaced by

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alternatives especially towards the end of lactation, a time of the year where lesser amounts of PKE appear to have greater influence of the FEI. The basic rule of supply and demand therefore spells higher prices of these alternatives going forward! Already we are seeing an ‘upswing’ in the price of maize silage of approximately 20% rel-

ative to this time last year. Based on this fact we are urging farmers to get organised sooner than they normally would. Employing an ad-hoc ‘wait and see’ approach, where farmers start shopping around for prices at the beginning of the season, may not coincide with the bottom of the market as it has in the past. On this basis, being proactive by assessing and securing next seasons feed requirements early makes good sense. To ensure your cows thrive and your bank manager keeps smiling, help with feed selection is best sought through your farm advisor, nutritionist or veterinarian. • Greg Jarratt is a vet and director of Matamata Veterinary Services This article brought to you by


MATING  // 21

More revenue, profit from beef genetics THE USE of New Zealand sourced genetics in LIC and First Light’s joint Wagyu breeding programme is making commercial sense all along the supply chain, the two companies say. LIC and First Light teamed up in 2016 to start an artificial breeding programme that sees lower breeding worth dairy cows bred with First Light Wagyu sires to produce calves said to be in demand by consumers globally. Richard Spelman, LIC’s acting general manager of biological systems and former chief scientist, is overseeing the Wagyu breeding programme. “Our focus is on increasing the profitability of dairy farms. Over the past few years, milk prices dropped and farmers were looking for other opportunities to increase their bottom line. “This breeding programme is a way for our farmers to improve the profitability of their lower breeding worth dairy stock, increase revenue and address the bobby calf issue. It’s a broader solution that addresses many issues on farm.” Spelman says the breeding programme’s effectiveness requires ongoing selection and improvement of breeding genetics. “The aim of any artificial breeding programme is to improve a herd’s worth, and that will ultimately result in a boost in profits for everyone in the supply chain – farmer, rearer, finisher and marketer. “With Wagyu, the quality and reliability of the genetics is critical. Genetic improvement is paramount in any production system for any species and is permanent and cumulative. It’s a long game but if you continue to invest, you will continue to reap the benefits.” In 2012, supported by a government Primary Growth Partnership, First Light began a three-year progeny trial of Wagyu over dairy cows. These trials mated at least 3000

calves with the NZ grassfed Wagyu genetics from 13 bulls in controlled conditions at Synlait’s farm in Christchurch. “The genetics we collect were bred in the NZ environment in non-variable conditions. On the other side of the fence is ‘genetics by environment’, which have been imported or sourced from animals fed in barns or feed lots. “The genetics that excel in that environment are quite different from a cow that runs around a grass field. One of the main benefits of working with NZ genetics is their having been tested in the actual environment the cows are in,” says Spelman. “The results from the first completed trial in 2016 have enabled the development of genomic indices to rank Wagyu sires based on growth rate, marbling, gestation length and calving ease, says First Light general manager Wagyu, Matt Crowther. “The creation of genomic indices also allows us to provide our consumers with the transparency they demand. It gives farmers and First Light confidence that the product they are marketing and selling is what they say it is.” A steering group was also set up to provide First Light with technical advice on how to enhance the genetic improvement programme and where their selection pressure should be. “There are specific genetic traits that are of interest for us as a Wagyu business,” says Crowther. “With this information we are able to develop genomic tools that will identify the Wagyu animals that possess the best genetics to collect for our artificial breeding programme with LIC. These are traits we are aiming to continuously enhance through genetic selection. “This technology enables us to use the best genetic information available to cross the bottom 15 - 20% of a dairy cow herd with Wagyu sires and create greater value

for farmers, while providing a consistent and reliable source of exportquality Wagyu product for domestic and international markets. It addresses the calf utilisation issue while also pro-

viding a value-added NZ product. “By focusing our efforts on identifying the best genetics, we are giving farmers better quality animals and a reliable, consistent product.”

First Light Wagyu sires.


22 //  MATING

Good – could have done better MARK DANIEL


IT’S BEEN a challeng-

ing season down on the banks of the Waikato River for St Peters School’s Owl Farm. Tracking behind the previous season, the farm is hoping an extended lactation will help pull things back into line. Visitors at a farm focus day in late March were told that overall production is down by about 5000kgMS (-3%) and still trending downward. The farm has more cows (412) than last season (378) but performance per cow has been

OWL FARM, Cambridge, is a demonstration dairy farm run by St Peters School with Lincoln University and supported by seven commercial partners interested in farming. The aim of the farm is to apply proven research and good farm practice to become a leading example of how to farm while meeting financial, environmental and HR targets, achieve high health and safety standards and, ultimately, encourage young people into the dairy industry.

lower, as has the average yield of 363kgMS versus last year’s 370kgMS in the same period. Demonstration manager Louise Cook said the herd’s diet had changed much over last season: maize was dropped and they struggled to con-

sume the feed from the non-typical high summer growth rates brought about by a summer in which about 50% more rain than usual fell during January and February. That extreme growth appears to have caused deterioration in pasture

A low conception rate on the farm and 17% empty rate has been disappointing.

Owl Farm demonstration manager Louise Cook (left) and farm manager Tom Buckley.

quality from late November: testing showed an energy value of 10.8 MJME/kg DM despite being green and leafy with some stem. The cows went onto once-a-day milking from new year, but condition scoring hasn’t improved, which the management team says was caused by the low energy feeds offered through the summer. By contrast, cow weights seem to have remained static, so farm

manager Tom Buckley thinks the herd should be able to cope with a longer lactation to try to replace the current yield shortfall. The team also noted that higher daily temperatures had put the herd under prolonged heat stress, costing the farm about 2200kgMS -- 7kgMS per cow. A further disappointment is a low conception rate with no firm understanding of the cause. The resultant six week in-calf

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and final MT rate sees 71 cows (17.2%) noted as non-pregnant during the focus day. On the plus side, the farm has grown 2.3 tonnes DM/ha, an increase of 20% on the same period last year, helped by the exceptional summer growth rates. The farm’s board is now looking to the future, considering keeping the status quo or changing the farm system. Its ‘must have’ list has a primary focus on profit versus environment, but is also considering sustainability, people, animal welfare, and the hot topic -- public perception. This study, starting out as 18 possible systems, has now been whittled down to two feasible options – lower intensity or spending on infrastructure. The first option suggests a stocking rate of 2.6 cows/ha, a target of 16

tonnes DM/ha of homegrown feed, and 8% of the farm growing summer turnips. This, with a reduction in N loss to 34kg, indicates a higher farm profit. The second option -- more infrastructure – will be partly seen in an effluent pond about to be constructed at a cost of $750k. That choice would see a stocking rate of three cows/ha, a push in home grown feed to 16.5 tonnes DM/ha, and setting aside 8% of the farm for maize production and 8% for turnips. The biggest difference would be the construction of a feed pad for better utilisation of all feeds, and the installation of a stand-off area to prevent over-grazing and, more importantly, capture more nutrients for onfarm use. Shade areas may also be set aside to reduce cow heat stress.

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MATING  // 23

Cost effective off-farm sources of feed is also a factor when it comes to deciding when to dry off.

When is the best time to dry off? JOE McGRATH

FOR THE vast majority of New Zealand dairy herds it is dry off time, or at least rapidly approaching. However, what governs the time to dry off for one particular farm system is most likely not to be the same for the neighbour. Taking a simplistic look at a historical NZ dairy farm system, two things governed drying: calving date and a combination of BCS and pasture cover. Now the availability of cost effective off-farm sources of feed means this paradigm is no longer true. On average the modern NZ dairy cow consumes about 1 tonne of purchased feed per year. This equates to about 3.5kg per day. This number is effectively much larger if you choose to include silage not grown on the platform and contract grazing in the dry period -- both effectively boughtin feed. Since many farms are still pasture-only, some cows are getting much more than the average. What does this have to do with dry off date? Simply put, the date does not have to be governed by BCS and pasture cover as we can easily compensate for both problems with bought in feed. What does this have to do with the cow? Many things. NZ milk per production per cow is growing at about 5% per year; an increase in average days in milk accounts for some of this increase in growth. But also, this growth is largely restricted to a proportion of this industry (what proportion of the industry it is, is unknown). Therefore many of the cows in the industry are growing their milk production and DIM at much more than the above 5%. In many ways this industry is

effectively splitting, or should be, into moderate production (>450kgMS) and low production (<350kgMS). The moderate production farms often make judicious use of supplementary feed along with the rigorous pasture management NZ is renowned for. If we were to assume that there is 100kgMS difference between both groups, we can make the basic assumption that the higher production herd has an extra $600 of income per cow. Some of Joe McGrath this will be spent on bought-in feed, but some also needs to be spent on better nutrition. One of the reasons for this is that cows that have longer DIM basically get much less of a holiday. In the low production system cows can replenish the different storage organs in readiness for another season, namely fat, muscle, bone and the liver. Within these storage areas the cow deposits such nutrients as energy, protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, trace minerals and beta-carotene. When we nutritionally program (basically feed more) our cows to produce more milk and milk them for longer we need to replace these elements because the cow spends a greater proportion of the year putting them in the vat and not on her back. What happens if this is not done? Simply put, you won’t have your cow for very long; she can only give so much. Systems that don’t put back what the cow takes out have much higher proportions of culling and wastage. In extreme cases, like feeding fodder beet without appropriate nutrient supplementation, the wastage factor

is now factored into farm budgets. What does putting back look like? In most cases it means supplementation of non-pasture based feedstuffs with appropriate minerals and vitamins during lactation or whenever she is consuming an unbalanced diet (i.e. fodderbeet). Also, well fed cows aiming to produce their body weight in milk solids will face challenges at calving due to the large amount of milk they are programed to produce. A well formulated transition program that is aimed at preventing metabolic disease is the most effective way of reducing wastage in a dairy herd. One other thing to consider is the cost. Low producing herds cannot and should not be spending lots of money on supplementary feeding of meals or micro nutrients. However, if milk production is going to be dramatically increased the micro-nutrient component will typically cost about 10% of the increase in milk revenue. On top of this the extra feed cost may be as much as 40% of the increase in milk revenue. Sounds a lot? Yes, but it is still a return of 2:1 and I am yet to see my bank offer that. When it comes to drying off this year (if you have not already) you should evaluate your dairy system and whether your timing was for the right reason. If you are running a low production pasture system, then stick to the rules behind pasture cover and BCS. But if you are aiming at body weight production, maximise the productive unit (the cow) in a healthy way. • Joe McGrath is a nutritionist with Sollus.

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24 //  MATING

PW evolution will make things simpler THE 1996 introduction of an index for dairy cows that monitored performance via breeding worth (BW) and production worth (PW) was groundbreaking and played a key part in dramatically changing the breed composition of that national dairy herd, says LIC shareholder councillor Wayne Reynolds. But as the industry continues to evolve, it’s crucial the key index measures remain relevant; that’s why Reynolds is endorsing the first change in 22 years to the way production worth (PW) is calculated. From February 17, somatic cell score (SCS) became the fifth trait in the PW calculation (protein, milk fat, milk volume, and liveweight are the four original traits). “There’s no doubt more change is on the way for the industry,” Reynolds said. “With cow numbers peaking we’re going to have to find ways of doing more with the same resource; and with farm ownership structures evolving, we

all need to be prepared for that. So the index needs to remain a strong management tool. “I’m pleased to see PW evolving at last, because the industry dynamics have changed but until now PW hasn’t. “With the inclusion of somatic cell count (SCC) in PW, it’ll allow farmers to pick our easy-care cows with more accuracy. Over the long term and across the national herd, I’m sure we’ll see overall profit margins of farmers increase as a result.” LIC shareholder council members had lobbied for years for a change to the PW equation, said Reynolds, and high on the agenda had been the inclusion of a fertility production value which, along with body condition score, is being researched further. “I understand the reasons for the delay in the introduction of fertility and body condition score. I feel fertility is of greater economic impact than SCC, but it’s important to get the data and the science right, and it’s clear more time is needed for that so I look

forward to seeing where things are at this time next year.” Reynolds is part of a farmer advisory panel that provides practical genetics advice to New Zealand Animal Evaluation, the DairyNZ subsidiary that oversees BW. • Article provided by LIC

Wayne Reynolds

TIME TO RE-CALCULATE WAYNE REYNOLDS had seen a prototype calculation of the new PW calculation on his herd, meaning he could compare “the old PW to the new PW”. “I looked at a few cows I knew had higher cell counts to see what effect the change would have. I know one cow in particular that I was putting in my cull list because of repeated high cell counts, and she’s dropped by 40 PW points. “It’s what I would have expected, and I have to say the bulk of my herd is unaffected. You don’t

expect much movement from them (healthy cows); it’s the cows that have persistently high cell counts that will drop and so they should. My overall herd PW is very much the same; it’s just the withinherd rankings that have seen some shuffling around.” PW was purely used by Reynolds for culling and selling purposes, but it was not necessarily gospel, he said. “At the moment you pick your low-PW cows, which are essentially your less efficient production

cows, and you make some rather crude selection decisions based on cell count, calving date, fertility or when you have to dry them off in autumn.” “Now that PW incorporates somatic cell, it’s getting closer to being the one measure to cull on; but there will always be things that make cows unsound that PW isn’t aware of, like feet. “The new PW equation means there’s certainly one less thing to think about, so it’ll make things simpler.”




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MATING  // 25

Dedicated to breeding a good herd SIMON AND Elle Clarke

are farming their fourth season on 307ha at Hora Hora, near Cambridge. The Clarkes milk 480 dairy cows including 100 autumn calvers, 100 calves and 100 heifers. They average about 190,000kgMS off the 480 cows per year. They and their four children – Toby (11), Hayley (9), Harrison (5) and Blake (3) – love the farm lifestyle. The Clarkes are dedicated to growing their herd of dairy cattle. “I’m trying to breed a good herd of dairy cows that are healthy and efficient and put milk in the vat,” says Clarke. “That means good udder capacity and good general traits.” They farm a mix of Friesian or Friesian-cross (80% Friesian genetics) on 280ha, some of it river flat and steep country. They breed cows to suit their farm environment. “Stature is a big thing; we have a lot of steep country here so that suits a medium-sized cow better. “I’m still in the shed every day so I also pay attention to a cow’s temperament. I want to milk a cow that not only has nice udders and is nice to look at, but is easy to work with.” Clarke uses CRV Ambreed to improve the genetics and traits of the herd. “I’ve been with CRV Ambreed since I first started sharemilking when I was 22. That’s 15 or 16 years I have been with CRV. I like their breeding philosophy and the type of cow they are chasing.” Clarke, who grew up in a farming family, has worked with CRV Ambreed field consultant Bill McLean who’s also a regional sales manager, and more recently Brett Andrews who is a field consultant for Cambridge, Tokoroa, Putaruru and Arapuni. Longevity is important,

and Clarke doesn’t cull cows based on age alone. “There are some cows that I should technically get rid of if I was going by age, but their udders are good, their feet are good, they are still milking well, so I keep them in the herd. Longevity is something I breed for. “I don’t focus on breeding worth (BW); I focus on a healthy, solid cow with good traits and efficiency. In my opinion there is too much focus on BW. However, a lot of people out there do want the CRV Ambreed type of animal.” Each year Clarke also nominates bulls; Clarke says being able to handpick which bulls mate with which cows means he can over time ensure a herd that’s consistent in feed, udders and size of animal. The Clarke family feature on the front cover of the 2018 CRV Ambreed catalogue released in late March. “It was good fun, taking photos with the family down by Lake Karapiro. Farming for us is a family affair, and my wife and children help out a lot on the farm, so it was nice to be featured on the catalogue together.” CRV Ambreed sales and marketing manager Mathew Macfie says the Clarkes are excellent examples of farmers leading the way for the dairy industry in their philosophy and practices. “Their cows are a good example of how breeding healthier, more efficient cows helps improve the farm business over time, given a long-term vision.” CRV Ambreed recently started promoting its Better Life Health and Better Life Efficiency indexes to help farmers achieve a holistic approach to building their herds. The new style of index for sire selection has been brought in as a response to the changing needs of the New Zealand dairy industry.

The Clark family on their Cambridge farm.

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26 //  MATING

Making PW more relevant A LOT has changed in

farming over the last 22 years since LIC launched the production worth (PW) index in 1996, with breeding worth (BW) and lactation worth (LW). BW has undergone a number of reviews and updates; in contrast PW has remained the same since it was introduced.  As an equally important part of an efficient, sustainable farming business, LIC is working to

make PW more relevant for today’s farmers, and the herd improvement decisions they make in their business each day. In 2017, LIC completed a review of PW. They talked to farmers, breeders, industry stakeholders and their own staff about what PW means to them, and how it could be improved. The review found that although PW remains a useful index for farm

profitability, it needs to be updated to make it more relevant onfarm for herd improvement decisions like buying, selling and culling. As a result of the review and the feedback received from farmers, the first update was implemented to PW on February 17 with the AE run. This update added somatic cell into the PW calculation. Somatic cell count is

WHAT IT MEANS FOR YOUR COWS FARMERS COULD see changes in the PW of their cows after the update, to reflect somatic cell scores from their first three lactations.   Across all breeds, half of all cows are expected to move less than 10PW. At an individual animal level, some extreme movements will be observed if high levels of somatic cell counts were recorded in the earlier years of an animal’s productive life. Reliability associated with the updated PW, and individual production values, is dependent on how much herd test data is available to use in the estimations. The more data there is available, the higher the reliability will be. 

important in decisions to cull cows and it can have a big impact on cow health, production and reproduction. It also plays an important part in animal performance and efficiency, as cows which have ongoing issues with high somatic cells will probably still eat the same, but produce less and cost more in health treatments. PW is a significant tool to lead culling decisions, to identify and retain the most valuable cows in a herd, but we know that many farms also review somatic cell data to help inform those decisions. LIC wants to make that secondary consideration seamless by adding somatic cell into PW. The trait was added to BW in 2005.  As per the estimation

LIC is working to make production worth (PW) more relevant.

of other production traits, somatic cell data will be sourced from herd testing, but from the first three lactations only. PW as a whole, primarily focuses on information from the first three lactations so farmers can highlight the lifetime production potential of their younger cows, enabling them to make decisions

on whether they should be retained in their herd or not. Cows that are not herd tested will have an estimated somatic cell score PV based on ancestry information only (and heterosis effects if the animal is a crossbred). The associated reliability will be very low indicating the lack of available

information. New Zealand Animal Evaluation Ltd (NZAEL), a wholly owned subsidiary of DairyNZ, has agreed to provide the economic values for all PW traits including somatic cell, based on the national and industry good economic models it developed and operates. • Article provided by LIC.



HD5 is a big hit with heifers MARK DANIEL


Alistair Hay with his bale feeder. Can Am Defender HD5 side-by-side.

wheels firmly planted. In our test, the HD5 never came anywhere near being stuck or bottoming out, partly thanks to 10.5-inch ground clearance afforded by 25-inch rubber mounted on 12-inch wheels. Comfort was also better than expected, with twin-tube shocks giving 10 inches of suspension travel. The VersaPro bench seat was comfortable and able to carry three adults. And by flipping up the right hand seat, cinema-style, you get extra load carrying space for maybe a bag of feed, a calf or lamb, or the old farm dog who may have the will but not always the energy to get home without hitching a lift. Ahead of the operator, a full-width dashboard offers plenty of storage, with a clever, sealed lift-out toolbox to the right. An overall feeling of simplicity is carried over to the controls: a simple transmission lever offers five choices that engage as smoothly as in any modern automobile; and there’s a

switch for two- or four-wheel drive, and another to switch on the lights. A multi-function display is simple yet concise, showing speed, engine revs, distance and operating hours -the latter used to monitor the 200 hour/3000km service intervals during the three-year warranty period. The HD5 can tow 680kg and carry 272kg in its tray, the latter deserving special mention for its width and general sizing, gas strut-assisted tipping, a ute-like flip-down rear door with a capacity of 113kg, and neat detail such as a built-in tape measure. A full roll-cage offers plenty of protection, with steeply raked front elements to give a feeling of more space; side nets add to the safety, as do seat belts for all passengers, with the operator’s limiting speed to 25km/h if the belt is not fastened. And a big tick from our tester for the flip-up steering column (a must for big guys) and a drop-down central arm rest that hides the obligatory cup holders.


THE ABILITY of farmers to come up

with practical solutions to onfarm problems never ceases to amaze. Some are extremely clever in their simplicity, e.g. the Three Rivers bale feeder. Alistair Hay farms 1000ha near Fairlie, Mid Canterbury, rearing deer and beef and offering dairy support. Using traditional steel and sheet metal ring feeders, he found they were heavy, awkward to handle, suffered a hard life when getting moved around with tractor frontloaders, and quickly fell apart. Looking to build something that was lighter, easier to handle and ultimately more durable he built a bale feeder from alkathene water pipe. Trial and error through five or six

Buckton forage wagons and bale feeders work hard, so you don’t have to.

prototypes resulted in the unit he sells today; it uses medium density pipe for the main support rings and polypropylene uprights that started life as risers for irrigation systems. Now after five years he has 600 units in service. The 1.8m diameter units are the most popular, accommodating 16 cattle yet weighing only 35kg; they are easy to roll or slide about and a breeze to flip over bales. Says Hay, “We had to mess around a bit to get the first units right, but it all came together when we discovered fusion butt welding for the main support rings”. Feeders are available in several sizes for cattle, sheep and horses, and are said to be extremely durable, even in mobs of bulls, and are likely to outlast similar size conventional steel units.


into a vehicle and it feels just right; that’s the overriding impression when jumping aboard the Can Am Defender HD5 DPS, a farmer focused side by side (SSV). Trialled over a wet and windy week in Waikato dairy country, the HD5 took everything in its stride in a composed manner, was easy to operate, appeared frugal on fuel and importantly felt safe at all times. Power is provided by a Rotax single-cylinder engine of 427cc, pushing out a perky 38hp. Interestingly, the HD5 comes with the company’s DESS engine control system that provides a three-stage function for control and safety. Under the front hood you can insert an orange control key that limits the maximum speed to 40km/h but allows full engine torque. This setting should be useful for new operators by allowing plenty of speed and grunt for life on the farm but will kerb users with a heavy right foot. By contrast, a green ‘eco’ key allows the HD5 to hit a top speed of 70km/h, but with a reduction in maximum torque of 10%; and a white manager’s key allows full speed and full power always. Built around a heavy-duty lasercut chassis, the front-end comprises a twin A-arm layout, while the rear sees torsionally travelling rear suspension arms. This allows travel over all types of terrain, particularly the rough stuff, while keeping the

We’ve worked hard to build rugged and reliable forage wagons and bale feeders. Their strong steel construction makes them tough and hard wearing. On top of that, they’re designed to be low maintenance and easy to use. Before long, your livestock will be as big and strong as our engineering. Talk to your local Buckton dealer today, or call us on 07 533 1259.



Winds of change blow at Hyundai MARK DANIEL

IT DOESN’T seem too

long since Hyundai was the new kid on the block, but the last decade has seen it emerge as a key player. And it leans to agriculture, from its lofty position at the centre of National Fieldays and its sponsorship of TVNZ’s Country Calendar. Already producing respectable SUVs, e.g. the Tuscon and the Sante Fe, it now has a smaller offering -- the Hyundai Kona, apparently named after a southwest wind that blows in Hawaii. This will give SUV lovers a thrill,

given its up-to-date looks and high levels of specification at a modest price. The Kona comes either with a four-cylinder, 2L petrol engine delivering 110kW/180Nm, or a 1.6L turbo diesel offering 130kW/265Nm; both variants can be specified in standard or higher Elite trim packages. The key differences between the two engines centre on the drive-line: petrol gets 2WD and a six-speed auto, while the 1.6TL is 4WD and delivered with a 7-speed dual clutch setup. Living with the 2.0L petrol model for a week, your reviewer motored urban style around Hamilton and made a 650km

one-day return trip to Dargaville for a look at the Northland ag field days. On the open road, the vehicle moved along serenely at the legal limit, burning about 8.5L/100km with a crew of two -- both 1.8m tall -- who agreed the seating was adequate and comfortable, but after 325km “you knew you’d driven it”. Off SH1, heading across to the northwest coast, the vehicle was largely neutral, but its shorter wheelbase made for a slightly choppy ride and the occupants both commented on a slight roll on the corners. On some longer

Hyundai Kona

inclines the 110kW motor seemed to be running out of puff; judicious use of the paddle shifters kept up momentum but clearly many small four-cylinder motors struggle on these climbs. Equipment levels in the Elite set the bar for vehicles in this class: leather trimmed seats, a heads-up display system for speed, wireless phone charging in the centre console, climate air condi-

tioning and bigger wheel equipment than the standard offering. Add to this such highend safety features as forward collision alert, blind spot assistance, lane keeper, rear cross traffic alert and driver attention warning and you can see the Kona represents outstanding value for money; it lacks only autonomous cruise control In the cab a 7-inch full colour touch screen takes

centre stage and controls audio, telecoms and vehicle functions. Apple Play or Android Auto connect to the outside world, and the vehicle connects to the owner’s smartphone to get guidance functions. Add high beam assist, front parking assist, a second 4.2-inch display cluster, rain sensing wipers and LED lighting front and rear and you see a lot for your money. Hyundai’s own Auto

App delivers diagnostic and performance data, the car’s location when parked, service reminders and, of course, the nearest Hyundai dealer. On the outside the car is easy on the eye, with quirky detailing giving a sense of fun; and although it’s small, the Kona projects a certain presence, aided by its daytime running lights. @dairy_news



Joskin, well known for its galvanised slurry tankers, is addressing the problem of moving bales safely, while eliminating the time-consuming job of tying or strapping bales in place. The Wago range, said to be popular in mainland Europe, has front ‘dolly’ and rear tandem axles, and is fitted with hydraulic side ladders or gates to secure the bales at the single touch of a hydraulic lever. In turn the ladders are held secure by check valves in the hydraulic line,

Joskin’s bale trailer


so eliminating the need for straps or load binders. The tubular ladders can be lowered on both sides of the trailer to allow loading or unloading from either side; they allow handling of most popular bale sizes. The manufacturer says the trailer can carry a double row of 90cm high square bales stacked three high, can stack 70cm high square bales four high and, of course, two or three layers of round bales 1.2m in diameter.





V16 SINGLE AUGER/T27 TWIN AUGER 20mm thick augers with 12 knives per auger. Molasses and mineral intake tubes for dietary requirements with front facing conveyor with side shift. Teaser rollers placed at door to break up clumps. 2 speed main gearboxes. Full chassis for strength.

NORTH ISLAND Call Jarred L’Amie | 07 823 3765 | 027 203 5022 CAMBRIDGE | OTOROHANGA | ROTORUA

MADE IN IRELAND SOUTH ISLAND Call James Cochrane | 03 324 3791 | 027 431 7027 AMBERLEY | LEESTON | ASHBURTON | TIMARU | OAMARU




Swedish plough maker strengthens act MARK DANIEL Maschio Attila

Attila looks set to spur root growth MARK DANIEL

SWEDISH PLOUGH maker Overum has launched a new CX2 reversible plough range. Overum is in the Kongskilde stable now owned by global player CNH. Replacing the previous CX series that date back to 1995, the long overdue replacement come in fully mounted three-, four- and five-furrow configurations suitable for tractors up to 160hp. The manufacturer, a plough maker since 1850, says its new modular steel design with fewer welded joints will make the ploughs 40% stronger than standard frames and contribute to reducing overall weight. The CX2 series offers five manually adjusted furrow widths from 350 - 550mm and a choice of Overum bodies that include the

Overum plough

standard XLD version, the slatted XSD or the low-draft XL body. The ploughs are protected by shear bolts as standard, although an optional hydraulic auto-rest system is available. On five furrow versions, the

hydraulic system centres the plough prior to turnover, and this can be specified as an option on 3and 4-furrow variants. The turnover system can be configured to roll under or over depending on the individual sit-

uation. The factory says rolling the plough ‘under’ reduces stress on the frame and turnover mechanism, while turning ‘over’ better suits operators ploughing with a furrow press.

THE USE of subsoilers to

break sub-surface pans helps moisture and air to permeate the soil strata to promote healthy root growth. The new Maschio Attila distributed by Power Farming Wholesale looks a useful tool to tackle this problem. Centred on a heavy-duty frame comprising four boltedup beams, the machine spans 3m working width, carries seven subsoiler legs and suits tractors up to 200hp. The legs work to a depth of 500mm, achieved by an Attila’s legs angled design that pulls its way into the ground progressively. Each 30mm wide leg carries a quick-fit reversible point and works with 140mm wide side deflectors -- these started life as rotary hoe blades -- to lift and shatter the problem area but avoid any soil inversion. Each leg is protected by a traction-bolt safety system that works longitudinally through the leg, effectively ripping the head off when an obstacle is encountered. This incurs none of the wear normally seen in lateral shearbolt systems, where the 14.9 grade bolt is harder than the surrounding metal and so causes wear in the bolt hole, which can lead to premature breakage. As an option, the Attila can be specified with an autoreset, hydraulic break-back safety system. An under-beam clearance of 800mm works in a similar amount between the tines to allow the machine to deal with high levels of plant residue without bulldozing or clogging, and operates at up to 10km/h. At the rear, twin 220mm diameter spike rollers break down clods and chop and mix residues to deliver a uniform finish. Manual adjustment of the rollers is used to control overall working depth, although an optional hydraulic control system allows on-the-move adjustment from the operator’s seat.

Automated milking. Let our system take care of the jobs you hate to do. Perfectly suited to pastoral milking systems just like the Gemmell families, automating your milking means no more time spent milking cows and for Greg that was the most attractive aspect of having a pasture based Lely automated milking system. On their Manawatu farm Greg says he's now saving around 6 hours a day by letting their 3 Lely Astronaut A4 milking robots milk their 240 Friesian cows. It's our system. Is it yours? Compare your costs today.



More reversible ploughs in green, orange MARK DANIEL


extended its range of Cayros reversible ploughs with new models and equipment options across its range. Having added the well-known Vogel & Noot range of reversible ploughs to its line-up in 2016, the company now manufactures five series in the familiar green-andorange livery. The M series comprises three- or four-furrow ploughs for tractors up to 120hp, while the larger XM, XMS and XS series, suitable for 140hp, 200hp and 260hp tractors, respectively, offers even stronger components and construction. The top-of-the-range Cayros XS Pro series comprises three models with four or six furrows. For 2018, a two-furrow M model should provide

an option for smaller operations or those with low power tractors, while newly released threefurrow XM and XMS models are available with a choice of either a mechanical, stepped furrow width adjustment or a hydraulic, stepless working configuration. The XS and XS Pro series also sees equipment upgrades, with a non-stop hydraulic stone release system for models equipped with the mechanically adjustable furrow width, which automatically adjusts the release force via a tractor spool valve, allowing the plough to comfortably and easily adapt to changing soil conditions.

190 AND COUNTING Cayros M two furrow (above) and Cayros XM three furrow (below).

Also new for 2018 is the WX 400 PE plough

body, which has a plastic mouldboard that prevents

sticking when working heavy soils.



THE ACCLAIMED machinery maker Kuhn, known especially for its cultivation and grassland gear, is celebrating 190 years since Joseph Kuhn opened a forge in Alsace, France in 1828. Today the business employs 5000 people, sells in 100 countries and generates Euro 1 billion turnover. It’s a world away from the company that first made weigh scales then, with the opening of the Paris-Strasbourg train line, opened a new factory in Saverne where Joseph was joined by his brothers to begin making farm machinery. By the start of the 20th century the factory was making several dozen machines each week despite the political uncertainties that saw the region become German in 1871, then French again in 1918. WW2 saw a decade of growth end and financial insecurity compel the company to join with the Swiss Bucher-Guyer company for survival. Noted during its 1928 centenary was the manufacture of 1000 threshing machines per year, and in 1970 its delivery of its 1,000,000th machine. Over time it bought many farm machinery makers: the French plough maker Huard in 1987, and the mixer wagon and straw processing specialist Audureau in 1993. In 1996 it expanded its range with seed drills and sprayers when Nodet joined the business, and in 2002 it added the American mixer wagon and manure spreader maker Knight Manufacturing. In 2005 the business bought the precision drill maker Metasa of Brazil, then the French sprayer maker Blanchard in 2008. Also that year the company expanded into balers, wrappers, drum mowers and maize harvesters with the purchase of the Kverneland Group’s Geldrop factory in Holland. In 2011, Kuhn Group took a minority shareholding in the German company Rauch, best-known for pneumatic seed drills and fertiliser spreaders, and bought the American Krause Corporation, a maker of broadacre tillage equipment. Its most recent purchase was the Brazilian selfpropelled sprayer maker Montanna in 2014. – Mark Daniel

BEWARE GRASS TETANY MAGNESIUM SEMI CYLINDRICAL ANODE Release of bio available magnesium by galvanic dissolution Made in Australia

Magnesium Industries Pty Ltd ACN 007276520 LK0080053©

Supreme quality stainless steel feed trays / Exceptional back-up support / Easy to use and maintain First class installations / Robust construction / Skiold Disc Mills Grain Holding Silos / Utility Augers / Mobile Auger

34 Wattlepark Ave, Moolap, Vic 3224 P: 0061-352 482 121 M: 0061-4-1987 6995 E:

Changing systems can be challenging, and preparation is always key. Changing your dry off management method is no different. Making the transition from blanket antibiotics to Teatseal for cows with no infection is easy with a bit of prep and planning. Following simple best practice administration when you insert Teatseal will give your cows the best possible results. You can then save antibiotic treatment for cows with an infection.

Preparation is key, contact your vet or learn more at Zoetis Study No.A131R-NZ-14-251 (A3251). Zoetis New Zealand Limited. Tel: 0800 963 847; TEATSEAL is a registered trade mark of Zoetis. ACVM No. A7294. RVM; Available only under Veterinary Authorisation. ZOE0030BPDN


Dairy News 10 April 2018  

Dairy News 10 April 2018

Dairy News 10 April 2018  

Dairy News 10 April 2018