Page 1

Act on poor assets, Fonterra told. PAGE 3 SAVING KIWIS Farmers lend help PAGE 25

SEPTEMBER 25, 2018 ISSUE 409 // www.dairynews.co.nz

FONTERRA BOARD NEEDS SHAKE-UP

Fonterra has got into the current pickle because of the way it elects its board. – Trevor Hamilton, corporate farmer PAGE 5

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

NEWS  // 3

Time for action on poor assets SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

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NEWS������������������������������������������������������3-19 OPINION��������������������������������������������� 20-21 AGRIBUSINESS�����������������������������22-23 MANAGEMENT�������������������������������24-27 ANIMAL HEALTH��������������������������29-30 MILK QUALITY�������������������������������� 31-34 MACHINERY &   PRODUCTS��������������������������������������35-38

FORMER FONTERRA director Leonie Guiney says she expects the new leadership team to act on lossmaking assets. She says shareholders seemed prepared to give the new chief executive Mile Hurrell a chance and she was encouraged by his presentation at a shareholder meeting in Ashburton last week. “I would expect action on lossmaking assets in the near term if he is to be able to strengthen our position to invest where we have advantages,” Guiney told Dairy News. Fonterra directors and management met farmer shareholders around the country last week for an annual results update; the co-op last year suffered a shock $196 million loss, the first in its 17-year history. The Ashburton meeting was also attended by Fonterra chairman John Monaghan and chief financial officer Marc Rivers. Guiney says farmers asked lots of “good probing questions” on the coop’s balance sheet. They also questioned the co-op’s China strategy, some asking what changes will be made to it. The tone of the leadership’s intentions encouraged her, she says. “They talked about a complete stocktake of where our capital is allocated, how it is delivering and whether it can continue to. “The test of that sentiment is

whether they are prepared to depart from existing strategy and exit lossmaking investments even if they are part of ‘integrated strategy’. I got the impression from Miles there was a preparedness to do that.” Guiney believes the poor financial results have arisen from years of poor investment decisions. “I remain concerned as to whether there is acceptance that this result is not just a consequence of management and dividend decisions from one year; that this is chickens coming home to roost after years of allocation of capital outside our capability, and prolonged defence of the same with the consequence of eroding equity.” Guiney disagrees with Fonterra leadership’s view that the balance sheet is strong and the co-op is in good heart. “Current debt levels are high risk in an environment where we are losing milk and have much to do to regain the trust of shareholders and the NZ Government; but it can be done.” She notes “the jewel in our crown is our strong ingredients business and that management’s commendable progress in higher value ingredients is being overshadowed by the overall business performance”. “But the jewel is subsidising the rest of the business and I would have liked to have seen a stronger commitment to ending this ero-

sion of value and protecting our balance sheet and hence our future as a farmerowned co-op.” Guiney says she heard no indication that shareholders favour splitting up the co-op as

some commentators have suggested. “That is not the solution; I heard a desire for change in the way we operate, not to abandon the co-op model.”

Leonie Guiney says farmers want action on lossmaking assets.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

4 //  NEWS

Capital gains tax on the cards NIGEL MALTHUS

FEDERATED FARMERS vice president

Andrew Hoggard says someone who has recently bought a farm and may be highly leveraged could be hit by the introduction of a capital gains tax pushing down land values. “Suddenly your equity position doesn’t look so hot and you may be in a bit of strife with the bank,” Hoggard told Dairy News in response to the interim report by the Tax Working Group chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. “Obviously if you’re planning to buy a farm after this comes in you might think it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. It depends where you are in your farming career, I think,’ says Hoggard. The possibility of a capital gains tax, including on agricultural land, is raised in the report. While emphasising that the group’s work is not yet complete, the report says one potential option for extending

Andrew Hoggard

capital income taxation is to extend the tax net to include gains on “assets not already taxed” such as from realisation of land other than a family home. “This includes all other residential property, commercial, agricultural, industrial and leasehold interests not currently taxed,” says the report. However, the report also recognises the possibility of ‘roll-over’ relief, where taxing the capital gain may be deferred, such as when a farmer sells a small farm in order to buy a bigger one. The interim report also canvasses new environmental taxes including on greenhouse gas emissions

from agriculture, although it notes that emissions are hard to accurately estimate. The report notes that the modelling tool Overseer lies at “the more precise end of the spectrum” but it has been criticised over its accuracy, while processor-level charges are “simpler to administer and encourage some mitigation, but do not reflect differences in farming management practices”. “There is still much work to do on this issue, but the group notes that even imprecise approaches could provide a useful price signal that accounts for land use and intensity decisions.”

Hoggard said that when Federated Farmers submitted to the review they pointed out how Nitrate leaching was already being managed through regional council policy statements and regulations. “Why would you add a whole another layer of complexity to it?” Cullen says the group had made a wide-ranging review to assess the structure, fairness and balance of the tax system. “The thousands of public submissions have given us a clear indication of the key challenges and opportunities for the tax system. “We see clear opportunities to improve the balance of the system by introducing environmental taxes, while measures to increase tax compliance would increase the fairness of the system. We have also identified important issues regarding the treatment of capital income in the tax system.” The group’s final report is due in February 2019.

Andrew McGiven, Feds Waikato president.

TIME TO PUT THINGS RIGHT SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FEDERATED FARMERS Waikato

president Andrew McGiven says it’s up to Fonterra’s leadership to reverse its awful financial result. “It was certainly disappointing and the size of the loss was surprising,” McGiven told Dairy News. “But the ball is now firmly in the directors’ and senior management’s court as to how they review/revise the strategy to reverse this result. “The key to this will be an improved communication and PR strategy towards shareholders and suppliers to ensure there is improved confidence from the grassroots so that milk supply is guaranteed.” McGiven says while the $196 million net loss was “exacerbated by the Danone payout and the Beingmate writedown,” it’s not a good look for the co-op.

At its results announcement, chairman John Monaghan said the co-op is being clear with farmers and unitholders on what it will take to achieve the forecast earnings guidance. “For the first time we are sharing some business unit specific forecasts. Among others, these see the ingredients and consumer and foodservice businesses achieving an EBIT of between $850 million and $950 million, and between $540 million and $590 million, respectively. Lifting the performance of the co-op is a key priority for FY19, Monaghan said. “We are taking a close look at the cooperative’s current portfolio and direction to see where change is needed to do things faster, reduce costs and deliver higher returns on our capital investments. “[We will assess] all investments, major assets and partnerships against our strategy and target return on capital,” Monaghan says.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

NEWS  // 5

Fonterra’s board is the problem PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

A LEADING corporate farmer is blaming Fonterra’s board for the co-op’s financial debacle, saying the directors run a system of “cloned governance”. Trevor Hamilton, who owns eight dairy farms in several regions and supplies Fonterra, Synlait, Westland and Miraka, describes the co-op’s financial performance as a disaster. It has caused him to write $1.6 million off his

company’s balance sheet because of the drop in the value of Fonterra’s shares, he says. His business owns about 1.7 million supply shares relating to the four farms that supply Fonterra. “Since January 1 those shares have dropped from $6.50 to under $5.00. Not only have they not performed in terms of the dividend, but the shares have dropped away as well and a 10c dividend on a $5-$6 share is nothing short of pathetic,” he says. Hamilton says Fonterra got itself into its

current pickle because of the way it elects its board -- “cloned governance” whereby the existing directors effectively select who they want on the board. “Read what the Directors Institute says is good governance: diversity of debate that creates better outcomes. That’s what it is all about -- celebrating diversity of debate. “But Fonterra has stopped that debate; they don’t want it and they don’t want to be challenged. Therefore by stopping that you do not

Corporate farmer Trevor Hamilton.

get management accountability; that’s the problem we have.” Hamilton says senior management needs to be seriously challenged on the Beingmate, China farms and other issues such as the setting of the milk price. Hearing different

points of view on a board makes for good governance, he says, pointing to former director Leonie Guiney having challenged the board and soon afterwards being dropped. “When I stood for the board you had to like Henry van der Heyden. I was asked by him to

stand but the moment I told him I could drive a bus through TAF (trading among farmers) he ditched me like a cold cup of sick and I missed out on being elected. I am ok about that; I went on with my own life.” Hamilton says he saw the makings of the pres-

ent financial debacle at Fonterra 15 years ago, due to the way the board was operating. The co-op needs an independent chairman, he says. “One of the questions I have for John Monaghan is ‘explain to me what is the essence of good governance’.”

WHY I MOVED TWO MILLION KGMS ELSEWHERE TREVOR HAMILTON says his company supplies four processors as a means of de-risking their business. He says the rate of return on the Fonterra shares doesn’t add value to their business, so they have sold down their shares and taken about 2 million kgMS from Fonterra. “When I did this no one from Fonterra rattled my front door because they believed it was because I don’t like Fonterra. That’s not true; it was a business decision and we felt that spreading our risk among several processors would

give us a better outcome and it has. “I want Fonterra to do really well. But I don’t want them to do what they are doing now because effectively they don’t have a good milk price. The corporate dairy companies will only ever match Fonterra; their duty is the shareholders, not to their milk suppliers, so we need a strong Fonterra.” But Fonterra is not currently strong in respect of the milk price “and effectively what Fonterra is doing right now is giving every

corporate dairy company a milk cheque”. Fonterra needs someone to sort out the current mess, Hamilton says. The co-op’s share of the national milk supply is declining and now stands at 82%. He believes it could be as low as 75% in three or four years. He claims that Fonterra directors have told him that the co-op will retain its share of the national supply because of its performance, “but clearly they are not performing and clearly they won’t

hold milk”. He says although his generation supports the cooperative spirit, young people wanting to own a farm may see owning Fonterra shares as too high a hurdle and opt for the corporate dairy processors because that’s cheaper. He also criticises the Fonterra shareholders council for failing to hold the board to account, saying it’s only recently that they have mildly criticised the company. As for the future of the co-op, Hamilton has his doubts. He points

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to the high salary bill with up to 25 staff on $1 million or more a year, plus a chief executive who [last year] got $8m. He sees this chipping away at the margins on milk solids. He notes that in 12 months the co-op has suffered a $1 billion drop-off. And he doubts that the new chairman John Monaghan will effect necessary change. “He’s been there 10 years. Did he not see this coming? The whole organisation needs a broom swept over it.”

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

6 //  NEWS

Synlait’s final payout NIGEL MALTHUS

Leon Clement, Synlait chief executive.

SYNLAIT’S FINAL average total milk price for FY18 has been announced as $6.78/kgMS. This includes a base milk price of $6.65/kgMS (FY17 base milk price: $6.16/kgMS) and seasonal and average

value-added incentive payments of $0.13/kgMS. Synlait said its forecast milk price for the 20182019 season is now $6.75/ kgMS because of declining commodity prices putting pressure on the opening forecast of $7.00/kgMS, mitigated by a weakening NZ dollar.

The forecast $6.75/ kgMS anticipates improving commodity prices in the medium term. “Our milk suppliers are an important part of what we do at Synlait, and we appreciate the role they play in our success,” said Leon Clement. “We’re looking for-

ward to partnering with other like-minded farmers in the Waikato when we begin operations there

in 2019-2020, and we’ve been impressed by the positive responses we’ve had so far.”

PROFIT DOUBLES CANTERBURY MILK processor Synlait has nearly doubled its profit for the financial year ended July 31. The $74.6 million net after tax profit (NPAT) compares with $39.5m in the same period last year. Revenue increased from $759m to $879m. “That is a gratifying 16% growth in top line and an 89% growth in bottom line,” said chairman Graeme Milne. The results were achieved during a time of hefty investment and a renewed focus on the future, Milne said. Higher finished infant formula sales were enabled by new plant for blending and consumer packaging. “In November 2017 we completed our second Dunsandel wetmix kitchen, and the same month commissioned our Auckland blending and consumer packaging facility. Both projects have allowed us to increase our finished infant formula capacity,” said Milne. The company is in its tenth year of operation. “This has been a milestone year for Synlait as we grew in capability and capacity. We’re stepping up our performance and looking ahead at where we want to be,” said Milne. Synlait co-founder John Penno stood down as chief executive in August but will remain on the board. “John has been a wonderful leader for Synlait, taking the company from startup to a market capitalisation of over $2 billion in ten years, said Milne. “Synlait’s new chief executive, Leon Clement, has stepped seamlessly into his shoes. Leon has more than 16 years experience in the industry and is the ideal candidate to take Synlait into FY19 and beyond.” Other leadership changes included Hamish Reid, appointed to the new role of director of sustainability and brand; Deborah Marris joining as director of legal, risk and governance; and Dr Suzan Horst as director, quality, regulatory and laboratory. The company earlier this year said it would begin selling milk branded Everyday Milk on the NZ market. Now it plans to make cheese; it has bought “selected assets” of Talbot Forest Cheese under a conditional deal covering property, plant and equipment at a new 12,000 tonne site at Temuka, the consumer brand Talbot Forest Cheese and customer relationships. “The proposed acquisition builds on our existing high-quality, flexible dairy manufacturing capabilities that can be tailored to meet customer needs,” said Clement. “We will be able to manufacture a variety of cheese products and further diversify our revenue streams.” The company plans to grow its Everyday Dairy milk category in NZ -- a $2 billion market -- and overseas. – Nigel Malthus

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

NEWS  // 7

Rewards for best practice PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

CORPORATE FARMER Trevor Ham-

ilton is full of praise for the incentive scheme Te Ara Miraka run by the Taupo dairy processor Miraka. Hamilton, who owns eight dairy farms in various regions and supplies Fonterra, Westland, Synlait and Miraka, says the Miraka incentive scheme is great because it encourages best farm practice and rewards farmers who farm well. Te Ara Miraka financially rewards its suppliers for meeting five criteria: people, environment, animal welfare, milk quality and prosperity. Within these are 31 criteria, 13 of which farmers meet. These in turn are extrapolated out

Trevor Hamilton says Te Ara Miraka encourages best farm practice.

into a points system – all told 100. A supplier who passes the mandatory ones gets some sort of incentive, and achieving 100 points will get the supplier an extra 20c/ kgMS at the end of the

season. Hamilton says the good thing about Te Ara Miraka is that it’s possible to get part of the incentive payment in any year, provided you meet all the mandatory criteria.

He says this system allows a farmer to ‘stage’ development projects and still be rewarded. “For example on the one farm we have that supplies Miraka, we put in a lined effluent pond on

the basis that we would get an extra 3c/kgMS. The cost of the pond was going to be $80,000 but the 3 cents would amount to a 12.75% return. So it encourages one to move forward in terms of environment and sustainability,” he says. Hamilton says the other dairy companies don’t offer anything like this, which he describes as a “well thought out scheme”. He says the problems with both Westland Milk Products and Fonterra is because they are cooperatives, they believe every supplier should get the same price for their milk. Hamilton says he also likes the overall Maori culture of Miraka, similar to the culture of his own company: not just what’s good for today, but looking after the needs of future generations.

MIRAKA’S STRONG PAYOUT TAUPO MIRAKA Dairy company has approved its final milk price for the 2017-18 season and has updated the current season’s milk price forecast. The company says the final Miraka base price for the 2017-18 season will be $6.67/kgMS. It says with the addition of the average Te Ara Miraka premium of $0.13/kgMS, that accumulates to a final Miraka milk price of $6.80/kgMS, which is at the top of the forecast range. Te Ara Miraka is an incentive scheme run by the company whereby suppliers can earn up to an additional 20c/kgMS if they meet all the scheme’s criteria. The company says with recent declines in the global dairy markets it has reviewed the forecast base price for the 2018-19 season to a range of $6.30 S6.60/kgMS. When added to an estimated weighted mean Te Ara Miraka premium of $0.15/kgMS, this accumulates to a forecast Miraka milk price of $6.45 - $6.75/kgMS. The company says it has performed well over the past year, achieving a positive net profit while maintaining a strong balance sheet. It is focused on value creation which is providing tangible returns to the business; the net result will be less reliance on the core commodity business in the future.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

8 //  NEWS

Evolving dairy industry now more professional PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

OVERALL THE dairy industry is more professional and in a good space, but volatility will continue, says James Allen, retiring AgFirst chairman. “To our farmer clients we say ‘the payout might be $6 but plus or minus $1; so factor that into your budget’. If you look at the history that is typically the range – the opening forecast plus or minus a dollar. So people have to budget for volatility.” But currently the industry is in a reasonable position. “The payout is forecast to be above $6, we are addressing the environmental concerns and climatically things are ticking along right at the moment,” says Allen, who will now focus on his role as managing director of Waikato AgFirst. “There are some challenges as well: environmental compliance will continue to get harder and harder. For some people in some regions farm system change is going to happen. “I also have confidence there are research and ideas out there that will

Every year AgFirst sees more professionalism in the way dairy farms are run.

enable us to get through this okay.” The dairy industry has been through rapid growth but is now consolidating on those gains. “I would be surprised if we see any significant growth in dairy in those numbers and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a slight decrease,” says Allen. “I think we will see a slow but continued increase in per cow production, we will see an increase in environmental best practice and I am hoping we will see a few more added-value premiums come in at the farm level.”

Asked to comment on the Fonterra situation, he says although the co-op has had its challenges, part of the reason for posting a loss was that they may have ended up paying too much for milk. So the farmers are getting that milk price but the dividend stream is not high. “If I was purely a Fonterra shareholder I’d be a bit grumpy at the moment,” he says. “For me definitely there is cause for concern about some of the issues at Fonterra. But equally the feedback I

am getting is that some of the recent changes at Fonterra management and governance level have been quite positive. The word on the street is there is a bit more transparency coming through.” On volatility he says farmers are now more aware of it. They have had a few really tough years in the payout, in the climate, in a few regions and in the negative comments the industry has been attracting, unfortunately. “It has been hard work. People are more aware of the challenges; there is a

bit more caution about how much debt people are willing to take on. Some of that is self-enforced and some is enforced by the banks. “You have a bit more fiscal prudence, a lot more environmental awareness and I think every year people are getting better at managing their team.” Every year AgFirst sees more professionalism; they see farms “running more as a business; they are big businesses and they need to be treated as such”. The industry has its challenges. “But the dairy industry has been through plenty of challenges in the past so I am confident what is ahead of us we will cope with.” Consultancy is quite a different business compared to when it first started, he says. “It will continue to evolve. As farms become more professional the whole area of rural professionals is changing and becoming more professional as well.” While there is plenty of good free information out there, people are paying for good advice on how to apply the information, how to make things happen and get good results.

KEEPING THINGS FRESH JAMES ALLEN has stepped down as AgFirst chairman after six years because of “a need to keep things fresh and keep new ideas coming through,” he says. “Typically a chairman of this sort of company might be on there for three or four years; but I have had stayed on for six. It is time to move on,” he told Dairy News. Allen’s day-to-day role is managing director of the Waikato AgFirst team and he is “absolutely keen to keep driving that quite hard because there’re lots of opportunities

out there”. AgFirst has seen growth in regional coverage, growth in the number of consultants in the team and diversification within the teams. “Our clients are more diverse and their demands are changing rapidly. The scale of some of the farm businesses we work with is large these days; they have a multitude of requirements from a consultancy firm,” he says. “When I first started in the consultancy game (1996) a lot of it was technical informa-

tion transfer, whereas today, although farm systems are always our core, it is also environmental management, human resource management, governance and systems and processes to manage the businesses. It is really changing. “The speed of change has been noticeable in the past five years. There is so much technology out there in the market place and a lot of people are just trying to work out how to add value to their business and see where it fits. “We are seeing a lot of

change in that information on farm. But also because of the scale of farms, the issues in people management on farms are changing rapidly. “The third one, environmental, has seen a huge change in the past five years. Farms have always been environmentally conscious but the degree of compliance and attention to what they are doing at farm level has really increased in the last five years. “Some of it has been forced on them, but a lot has been voluntary as well.”

James Allen, AgFirst outgoing chairman.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

NEWS  // 9

Pond drowning shocks industry NIGEL MALTHUS

FEDERATED FARMERS is extending its

“deepest sympathy” to the family of a four-year-old boy found dead in a farm effluent pond near Harihari in south Westland. Reuben Nolan was found in the pond at 4pm on September 15, after being reported missing about 1.30pm. Police said a number of people including volunteers and family took part in the search. The death will be referred to the coroner. Reuben’s mother, Jenna Marie Thomson, had posted on Facebook asking for help to find him. Her Facebook page now carries dozens of condolence messages from far and wide, some from people identifying themselves as complete strangers. “I’ve had comments

from farmers all over the country; their hearts are just bleeding for these people,” said Federated Farmers president Katie Milne. Milne, herself a West Coast dairy farmer, said she knew the family and knew they had “a lot of support around them at the moment”. Westland mayor Bruce Smith described Harihari, population 350, as being in a state of shock. One of the boy’s grandfathers, Bryce Thomson, was a former deputy mayor of the district. They were a well respected family on both sides, said Smith. “The Nolans are huge in south Westland, so are the Thomsons.” DairyNZ said the incident was an incredibly sad tragedy. “Our hearts go out to the family,” said DairyNZ people team manager responsible dairy, Jane

Katie Milne

Muir. “We don’t know the circumstances of this tragedy but we know the wider farming community will be doing everything they can to provide support as farming is a closeknit community. “We also know that farmers will all be giving their children an extra

hug at this time. “This tragedy is a reminder of how important it is to keep all people onfarm safe because the consequences can be devastating if we don’t. “We strongly encourage farmers to take time today to check their effluent ponds,” said Muir.

In 2009, Palmerston North coroner Tim Scott called for strict fencing rules on sharemilkers’ accommodation, following his investigation into the death of a three-yearold girl in a dairy effluent pond at Kapuni, Taranaki. However, coroners’ recommendations are not binding, and the indus-

try’s response has been to encourage and educate farmers on voluntary safety measures. An industry leader referred to the many hazards on farms, not just water but animals and machinery. “The normal best practice is to fence the house and yard to a high degree.”

SAFETY FIRST THE DAIRYNZ website has guidelines on securing effluent ponds, although they are recommendations not legal requirements. They include: ■■ Fencing: all effluent ponds should be fenced off with a netting fence to prevent stock and children from accidentally falling into the pond. Locked gates are essential and electric fences can also be used. ■■

Escape ladders: all ponds should have at least one permanently placed ladder or alternative escape means in case a person falls into the pond. Farmers can also have a life buoy available in the area.

■■

Signage: warning signs should be used to keep people out of the area but direct communication with people is important too.

■■

Anchor points: pontoons should have anchor points to improve stability.

■■

Communication: talk with children, farm staff, contractors, visitors and family about effluent pond risks and how to keep safe.

https://www.dairynz.co.nz/environment/effluent/effluent-storage/effluent-pond-safety/

GET SOCIAL Keep up with the latest stories from Dairy News by following us on:

facebook.com/dairynews twitter.com/Dairy_News www.dairynews.co.nz

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

10 //  NEWS

Emissions target had better be right SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

THE GOVERNMENT Labour MP Kiritapu Allan (right) with new MPI deputy director general policy and trade Penny Nelson at the ETS forum.

says it will be important to set the right 2050 target in its Zero Carbon

Bill. Labour MP and primary production committee member Kiritapu Allan says the Government recognises the target has to be “something that everybody can get behind, live

Leave nothing to chance this season

with and work towards achieving together”. Speaking at a New Zealand Institute of Agriculture and Horticultural Science (NIAHS) forum in Wellington this month, Allan said the Government is looking for “an enduring consensus on this target to provide the certainty the sectors have been asking for”. “With this Act we aim to be clear, honest and fair to farmers about what will be expected of them in the future.  “Everybody has a role to play in meeting these future targets. We need to work with farmers and the sectors to share best practice and support farmers through this transition.” By means of the Zero Carbon Act, the Government will also set up an independent climate

change commission in 2019 to advise on climate change issues. An interim climate change committee has been set up as a precursor and this is providing analysis on how surrender obligations could best be arranged if agricultural methane and nitrous oxide emissions enter into the NZ emissions trading scheme (ETS). Allan says the committee will give evidence and analysis of the full range of policy options to reduce emissions from the agriculture sector. “This will include, but is not limited to, the pricing of agricultural emissions in the NZ ETS. “In providing their analysis and recommendations, the committee will consider the Government’s objective for a just transition.”

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LABOUR MP Kiritapu Allan says the Government sees reducing NZs agricultural greenhouse gas emissions as an important and necessary step towards a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy. Achieving this will require a just transition to more sustainable land use, she says. “Farmers are facing demands to lower their greenhouse gas emissions and improve water quality, biodiversity, biosecurity and animal welfare outcomes.” To align these objectives, various approaches and tools, such as a One Farm Plan and Overseer, are being developed and improved. This has opportunities for farmers and producers. “An intensive, volume-driven growth model has created economic and environmental sustainability concerns. “Continuing to grow wealth this way is no longer viable. By focussing instead on proving our strong environmental credentials, we can add value to our products and ensure their premium status. By diversifying and adding value, we can also boost our resilience and lessen exposure to swings from commodity prices.”

IN BRIEF Plants on track CANTERBURY MILK processor Synlait reports its two major capital projects will be completed on time and on budget, despite the builder, Ebert Construction, being put in receivership on August 1. Synlait Pokeno, the firm’s second nutritional powder factory, is due to start for the 2019-2020 season; and a liquid dairy packaging plant at Dunsandel is due to start in early 2019. Ebert was sub-contracted to Tetra Pak, which is Synlait’s only contracted partner for the projects.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

NEWS  // 11

Price slump pressures $6.75 payout pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

THE GLOBAL Dairy Trade had its eighth consecutive fall last week putting more downward pressure on Fonterra’s $6.75/kgMS milk price forecast, says BNZ senior economist Doug Steel. Prices fell for most products, led by a 3.5% drop in cheese, and the overall GDT Price Index fell 1.3%, although this was not quite as negative as expected, Steel told Dairy News. “The GDT price index has not yet

posted an increase in the new season and we are three and a half months in,” he says. While a lower NZ dollar (NZD) is partly offsetting falling international prices, the current GDT prices and currency levels would be more consistent with something in the low $6s, he says. “Anything higher would likely need international prices to rise, or a lower NZD, or better-than-GDT prices being achieved for other sales.” There is some evidence the latter is occurring but “at present the clear risk to milk price forecasts remain downward including to

our own $6.60 view”. “In any case, the season still has a long way to go.” Whole milk powder (WMP) prices fell 1.8% against the possibility of something closer to a 5% drop. Average prices sit at US$2768/t, a touch further below the RBNZ’s medium term view of US$3000/t. RaboResearch dairy analyst Emma Higgins says last week’s result was again not what NZ dairy farmers were hoping for.  The eighth consecutive fall, or flat result, means the average GDT price has lost pace by 19% in that time.  

CHINA COPS MORE TARIFFS THE TRUMP administration has confirmed that a 10% tariff was to have been applied to another $200 billion of Chinese imports from September 24, says Higgins. “Not only was the threat that this tariff could be lifted to 25% by the end of the year left hanging, but the US also warned that if the Chinese were to take retalia-

tory action against US farmers or industries it would ‘immediately pursue phase 3’. “This would involve tariffs on an additional $267b of Chinese goods.”  On other notes Higgins says if Russia is to be self-sufficient in dairy and replace dairy imports lost with the trade sanctions in 2014, the Deputy Prime Minister

The solution to more profit is right under your feet. Investing in a new Tru-Test plate meter has given Otorohanga dairy farmer Carl Watkins an accurate tool to assist his grazing management. Carl is contract milking 450 cows in a family operation and recently bringing two farms together, building a new cow shed and implementing new systems meant he was looking for a way to gather information about pasture covers and feed wedges, and make the right decisions. “It means I can be as strategic as possible in feed allocation and use that information in feed budgets and forecasting how we are tracking, to stick to our spring rotation plan.” Carl purchased a Tru-Test EC-09 Plate Meter about a month ago and has already completed two fortnightly farm walks using his new tool. “It’s certainly given me growth rates. I’m trying to keep covers around 2400 heading into calving, so it’s already proving its weight in gold.” The plate meter means Carl can make decisions about where cows are heading next and feed allocation in terms of dry matter and square meters. Using information collected, he is able to predict average growth rates.

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has suggested Russia will need to increase its milk production by 20-25%. The Russian Minister of Agriculture has previously said Russia needs 6-8 years to achieve full self-sufficiency in milk. These comments come as a project begins with the Vietnamese dairy company TH Milk, now building a dairy plant in Kaluga.

“China is approach“Headline results ing the period when are now at their lowest buyers traditionally look price since October to stock up on dairy in 2016,” says Higgins. order to receive mini“WMP volumes mal tariff rates for a set on offer increased by volume under the NZ20,450 tonnes (+3%) China FTA from Januover the coming 12 ary 1. months (with the extra “Importantly, from product offered over January 1, 2019 the the next few months) first 162,482 tonnes of and with plenty of Emma Higgins, Rabobank imported WMP and milk, ample product and expectations reflecting the choice SMP from NZ will enter China free of available, buyers are remaining on the tariffs (last year the first 154,745MT of product came in at a discounted 0.8% sidelines. “Near-perfect winter and spring tariff rate). Additional production after weather thus far… has provided a the quota will be assigned a 10% tariff solid platform for a robust produc- rate, hence the historical rush to stock tion season ahead, providing a level of up and ensure deliveries for early Jancomfort for buyers that there will be uary.  Watch this space for the coming options aplenty, and capping prices.   GDT Events.” Milk production in Europe is gain“Digging into the numbers a bit more, the C2 (delivery date Novem- ing momentum despite the heatwave ber 2018) weighted average price of that spread across parts of the contiUS$2747/t is at its lowest price since nent. EU milk supply is in positive terAugust 2016... and further highlight- ritory for July 2019 (+1% year on year), ing the lack of procurement urgency.” with German production lifting 2.8%. Interestingly, there were extra vol- Irish production was lower by 3.1% umes of WMP sold to buyers from year-on-year and Netherlands producNorth Asia (China) in this GDT event. tion dropped by 1.2% year on year.

“All I have to do is concentrate on walking the paddock and read the meter at the end – it’s pretty simple. It’s given me an accurate tool for my grazing management…I have no regrets.” Like Carl, using a Tru-Test plate meter allows you to accurately measure and monitor how much grass is growing on your farm at all times, and then act decisively. This simple tool makes the job of measuring and monitoring pasture covers quick and easy – but adds significant value to your bottom line. Our plate meters enable you to monitor pasture growth, calculate pasture and dry matter. This helps you to create effective feed budgets and make decisions on-farm with confidence. Know exactly how much feed you have over your whole farm, calculate the necessary cover levels and see ahead of time when you may be running into a feed deficit or surplus. The ability to clearly see the bigger feed picture on your farm allows you to take action quickly. This means you can make decisions, whether it is offloading stock or buying in feed in a deficit, or taking advantage of an opportunity to purchase and finish extra stock in a surplus.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

12 //  NEWS

Gold for Lichfield SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

THERE’S SOMETHING in the milk pro-

duced in and around South Waikato farms. The team at Fonterra’s New Zealand Milk Products’ (NZMP) Lichfield plant, near Tokotoa, is

able to turn milk into award-winning cheese time and time again. Fonterra Lichfield site has two cheese plants: a dry salt and a brine salt plant. It also has a milk powder dryer. This year’s gold medal win at the International Cheese Awards at Nantwich, UK has cemented

12 AWARDS FONTERRA CHEESES and butter won 12 gold, silver and bronze medals at the International Cheese Awards in the UK. Casey Thomas, who oversees Fonterra NZMP Dairy Foods category, says it was outstanding to have so many Fonterra cheeses recognised. “The results are special for everyone – the sites where the cheeses are made and the teams who market and sell them. Credit also to Fonterra farmers.” Cheeses made at Eltham and Hautapu, butter from the Te Awamutu site and cheeses made at Fonterra’s Wynyard and Stanhope sites in Australia were also recognised for their quality and presentation.

Cheese awards line Fonterra Lichfield office wall. Left: Iain O’Donnell.

NZMP and Fonterra Lichfield as making world-ranking cheese. Its Mainland Epicure, matured for 36 months, won the gold medal. Last year, Fonterra Lichfield won a silver medal at Nantwich in the vintage cheddar cheese class for cheese aged at least 18 months. And at the NZ Cheese Awards this year Lichfield’s NZMP Strong Cheddar won the Tetra Pak Champion Cheddar Cheese

Award. Fonterra Lichfield’s head cheesemaker for dry salt cheeses, Iain O’Donnell, says the gold medal win at Nantwich is a big deal. The team also won a silver medal at Nantwich this year. Cheesemakers from about 50 countries vie for top honours. This year about 5600 entries included traditional farmhouse to specialty Scandinavian cheeses. “To be able to make

quality cheese on a large scale of up to 200 tonnes per day and win gold is a great testament to the skills of our cheesemakers,” says O’Donnell. He has worked at Fonterra Lichfield for nine years, looking after recipes, milk ordering and plant maintenance. Lichfield can make 12 different types of cheeses like cheddar, gouda and parmesans, which can be mass produced in 42 specifications or recipes. O’Donnell says high

quality milk from farms with top management practices are essential. Water, fat and protein composition of milk differ day to day depending on weather and feed changes and recipes must be adapted accordingly. “Milk on farms now is for feeding calves so it has high fat and low protein content; once we get the milk we look at standardising it daily. “Because we make so many different types of cheese we check the milk

composition daily; it can change from day milk to night milk, when it’s raining there’s more water in the milk -- it’s definitely a balancing act.” The cheese is cartoned then sent to storage warehouses where maturation is closely monitored. O’Donnell says workers at Lichfield “haven’t seen the medal yet but everyone is feeling great”. A celebration barbecue will be held for all Lichfield staff.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

NEWS  // 13

OCD’s new plant up and running NIGEL MALTHUS

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Dairy’s newest milk processing plant is up and running, having started production on time in the last week of August. Chairman Laurie Margrain said the Horotiu plant is “functioning efficiently and exactly as we expected”. The new plant sits beside the AFFCO meat plant and corporate office at Horotiu, on the west bank of the Waikato River between Hamilton and Ngaruawahia. OCD and AFFCO are both owned by the Talley’s Group. OCD already had one plant servicing Waikato/ Bay of Plenty, at Waharoa. It also has plants at Wanganui servicing Taranaki and Manawatu/Wanganui, and Awarua in Southland servicing the lower third of the South Island.

Margrain would not give details of the new plant’s throughput but said it was producing exactly as expected. “And it had to produce on time because our other Waikato plant would not have had the capability to deal with all the Waikato milk. “We signed up in Waikato all the supply required for that plant many months ago, before the end of February this year. So six months before it began operating we had all the milk required for it,” said Margrain. “We picked a due date 15 months in advance and it opened exactly on that day and it processed its first milk on that day.” Margrain said the plant’s completion was not affected by the August 1 receivership of its builder, Ebert Construction. “We had a few things

to tidy up around the edges but they were largely complete so it didn’t have any material impact on us at all.” The company’s chief executive, Steve Koeke-

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OCD now has two milk processing plants in Waikato.

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SEVEN FARMER candidates will fight for one seat on DairyNZ’s board of directors. The seven candidates are Steve Atkinson, Wardville; Tim Barrett, New Plymouth; Tracy Brown, Matamata; Greg Mitchell, Napier; Mike Montgomerie, Cambridge; Andrew Robb, Greymouth; and Jacqueline Rowarth, Tirau. From October 1, levy-paying dairy farmers will vote for their preferred candidates. Electionz.com returning officer Anthony Morton says farmers will have until October 30 to vote. “This election provides dairy farmers with a chance to vote for the candidates they feel will provide the leadership and direction they’d like to see on the DairyNZ board,” says Morton. “So we encourage levy-paying dairy farmers to look out for the vote pack in the mail from early October, and to take the time to learn more about the candidates and cast their vote.” DairyNZ’s board has five farmer-elected directors and three board-appointed directors. The successful candidate will be announced at DairyNZ’s annual meeting in Invercargill.

moer, said in an August newsletter to suppliers that Awarua started processing milk on August 10, joining Waharoa and Wanganui in “a good start to the season”.

www.adama.com Registered pursuant to the ACVM Act 1997 No. P7241, P8475, P8582, P8169. See www.foodsafety.govt.nz for registration conditions. Approved pursuant to the HSNO Act 1996. Approval numbers HSR000535, HSR100598, HSR100751, HSR000826. See www.epa.govt.nz for approval controls. Adama, Goltix, Ethosat and Rifle are registered trademarks of an Adama Group Company.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

14 //  NEWS

$11m milk study dives into high value products peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

A FIVE year, $11 mil-

lion research project has begun, aimed at producing new high value milk products. Led by Professor Warren McNabb, of the Riddet Institute, Palmerston North, the project will seek better mechanistic understanding of the various milks produced in New Zealand including cow, goat, sheep and deer. A particular aim will be to develop new products for babies, very young children and elderly people in New Zealand

and, especially, for export. Other research partners are Massey, Otago and Auckland universities, AgResearch and Plant and Food Research. And it has the backing of Miraka, Fonterra, Synlait, A2 Milk Company, Maui Milk, Spring Sheep Dairy, NIG Nutritionals, Pamu and the Dairy Goat Cooperative. McNabb says that understanding the mechanistic differences in milk is critical because, while two foods may have similar composition, the nutritional consequences when these are eaten could be quite different. The key point is how the nutrients

are structured within the food. “The idea behind this programme is to look at the way those milks are structured in their raw state as well as when you process them into yogurt, cheese, etc. “If you understand the structure/nutrition relationship you can really affect the way [the consumer] receives important nutrients from any food. Ultimately the aim is to understand how cow, sheep, goat and deer milk release nutrients.” McNabb says once it’s understood how these interactions occur, the researcher can then see

NZ scientists are leading research into milk structure.

what can be done from a processing perspective to improve the nutritional value of milk and milk products. The researchers want to understand how milks are digested and now nutrients are released into the body and what are the consequences for the consumer.

“The industry has a real interest in how to position milk as part of a whole holistic diet. It is not necessarily to find a particular protein in milk with some biological activity and then work out how to link that; it’s more to ask how do you manipulate whole milk into its products to maximise

nutritional value? And how do we position milk in our diet because of its intrinsic health properties?” McNabb says research done in Australia shows that if people had been drinking the recommended 500ml of milk a day, the savings to the health system there would

have been huge. Milk is a complete food containing minerals, trace elements and nutrients not found in another foods, he says. “Milk is one of the animal foods that is concentrated full of nutrients that are important to us.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

CONSUMERS SUSPICIOUS STRONG EVIDENCE is emerging that consumers are suspicious of processed foods, says Professor Warren McNabb. People want fewer processed foods and would prefer foods they view as more natural. They want to know where their food comes from and the effects of food on their health. This is a trend will get bigger and bigger, McNabb says. “People are concerned about the environment, climate change and sustainability and they are starting to add dimensions of that when they think about food. There is a rapidly growing trend towards ‘sustainability nutrition’ from a consumer perspective.” To meet these consumer trends, the researchers hope to better understand the properties of the various milks; they will look at ways of exploiting these by developing ‘co-products’, e.g. two types of milk mixed together possibly with a plant additive. The health factor is intrinsic

Warren McNabb, Riddet Institute.

to developing milk products for export, with particular emphasis on increasing the value but not necessarily the volume. That’s why the research is especially ‘value-add’, McNabb says. “I see NZ as an exporter of agri foods as being a high-end delicatessen. You have to be the best at what you want to do well; it’s no good being second best.

“How can you crack this high end, these high value substantiated foods? If you make a claim, be it an environmental or sustainability or a health claim, that needs to have scientific substantiation. “Given the power of social media and the speed at which information gets around you need to have scientific credibility.”

important time to get nutrition right. “In older people, their processes slow down and they don’t digest food, particularly the more complex food, well as their microbiome changes.” The research will run for five years and McNabb says he hopes that after three years there will be significant interactions with the milk industry on clinical work of direct relevance to them and their markets. Commercial impact is expected

to be real by the conclusion. “One advantage of this programme is that it will bring the NZ milk industries together as one. There is an opportunity for us to be a voice for NZ’s broad dairy industries on what is appropriate and healthy nutrition and to create positive marketing messages to health professionals who can influence consumers. “We have an important role in doing that as well as doing science,” he says.

YOUNG, ELDERLY IDEALLY THE researchers would explore all age groups, but because they cannot afford this they will focus on the very young and the elderly, McNabb says. Many things occur in a newborn human, especially in the first 1000 days of life – in the brain, the gastro antenatal tract and the immune systems. “They lay down a lot of your health and wellbeing for the rest of your life so that is the really

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

NEWS  // 17

Lewis Road releases ‘milk of milks’ PREMIUM MILK trader Lewis Road Creamery is now selling its Gold Top, organic, fresh Jersey milk containing the A2 ß-Casein protein. The new milk, nonhomogenised, is sourced from Jersey Girl Organics, Matamata, which produces milk under its own brand. “We wanted to bring New Zealanders the crème de la crème... the very best milk this country has to offer; Jersey Girl Organics produces that,” says Lewis Road founder Peter Cullinane. Lewis Road will now supply Jersey Girl Organics nationwide. The owner of Jersey Girl Organics, John Vosper, says the deal with Lewis Road enables them to extend the distribution of their Jersey milk NZ-wide. “We are a passionate milking family but until now we’ve only sold our Jersey milk in a limited number of stores. Now we can keep doing more of what we love, while tapping into Lewis Road’s expertise.” Cullinane says his company has

Rebecca Keoghan

COASTER TOP FOR INFLUENCE Gold Top A2 milk from Lewis Road Creamery.

always had a soft spot for Jerseys. “Jerseys produce less volume of milk than the larger Fresians but the milk is higher in butterfat which is why the taste is exquisite.” The Gold Top milk also only contains A2 ß-casein protein,



unlike most other milks that contain both the A1 and A2 proteins. “What’s amazing about Jersey Girl is that we can identify each and every cow -- they are even individually named -- and we know the whole herd’s history.” Lewis Road Creamery Gold Top

Milk is available from supermarkets NZ-wide. It is packaged in an rPET bottle made from recycled plastic that is recyclable. Lewis Road is also releasing limited quantities of Gold Top Milk in glass bottles.

AGRIBUSINESS LEADER Rebecca Keoghan last week won the Women of Influence award for the rural sector. Keoghan is general manager of Pamu Academy, overseeing health and safety on Pamu (formerly Landcorp) farms, and has been a Westland Milk director since 2015. She has a Bachelor of Medical Science and diplomas in leadership and business management. Keoghan and her husband Nathan own a 200-cow farm at Westport and she was the 2016 Dairy Woman of the Year.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

18 //  NEWS

Oz processor tipped to be broken up SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

A BIG Australian dairy processor may soon be broken up and sold. Kirin Holdings, of Japan, is indicating it may sell the dairy division of Lion, its Australian food and beverage subsidiary. Lion Dairy is a significant player in fresh milk markets in Queensland, NSW and Western Australia. Collecting about 10% of the national milk, it owns prominent brands Pura and Dairy Farmers fresh milk, Yoplait and Dairy Farmers yoghurt and the specialty cheese brand Tasmanian Heritage. Australian dairy analyst Steve Spencer, of FreshAgenda, believes a breakup of the business is likely. “It has effectively been for sale for several years. A breakup is probably

more realistic, as flavoured milk and specialty cheese would be of interest to a few players, but the fresh white milk business is not especially attractive to others,” he told Dairy News. Lion Dairy is not expected to end up owned by either of the two top Australian processors -- Saputo and Fonterra. “Neither is likely to make more major investments in this country until existing assets improve and demonstrate profitability,” Spencer says. Kirin is reviewing its Lion Dairy & Drinks division in Oceania. It would consider selling the unit, which produces and distributes its dairy, soft drinks and juice brands in the region. “Lion Dairy & Drinks has restructured itself and improved its profitability since 2015 through the ‘Turnaround Project’ launched in 2014, and the ‘Kirin Group 2016-2018 Medium-Term Busi-

Lion Dairy owns Dairy Farmers brand fresh milk and yoghurt in Australia.

ness Plan’,” Kirin said. “Having improved its business performance… it is appropriate now to consider the best pathway forward to maximise sustainable growth potential for the future.” All options are being kept open, Kirin said, including an all-out sale. No decision had been made. Kirin first entered Australia’s dairy sector in 2007 when it bought the

local manufacturer National Foods for A$2.8bn; Fonterra, which owned a 19% stake in National Foods in 2007, lost the bidding war to Kirin. A year later Kirin moved to buy another Australian dairy business, Dairy Farmers, for A$910m. In 2009, Kirin snapped up the Australian beverage business Lion Nathan and merged these new assets with National Foods.

Two years later, Kirin renamed the overall Australian arm Lion. In 2015 the  Canadian dairy giant Saputo bought Lion’s ‘everyday’ cheese business for A$137.5m, taking control of the Coon, Cracker Barrel, Mil Lel and Fred Walker brands. Lion retained the ‘specialty’ cheese brands South Cape and King Island Dairy. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

SPECIAL REPORTS

HAY & SILAGE

While the pasture growth is strongest, hay and silage must be made and collected. Equipment must be reliable and productive. To be in this special report contact your advertising representative now to promote your products and/or service to all NZ dairy farmers and sharemilkers. Contact your closest Sales Representative

National Sales Manager Stephen Pollard .... Ph 09-913 9637 Waikato Ted Darley ............ Ph 07-854 6292 Wellington Ron Mackay ......... Ph 04-234 6239 Christchurch Kaye Sutherland ... Ph 03-337 3828

FEATURE:

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

WORLD  // 19

Mandatory code for Oz processors SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

MILK PROCESSORS

in Australia, including Fonterra, could soon be slapped with a mandatory code of practice. Agriculture Minister David Littleproud is backing a call by dairy farmers for a mandatory code to improve farmers’ bargaining powers. The Australian Dairy Farmers (ADF) says its members want protection. “They want to know that if they have a contract dispute with their processor, there will be a mechanism in place to ensure their interests are safeguarded. They want certainty that there will never be another milk price crisis.” A voluntary code of practice has been in place since July last year -- the industry’s response to address the power imbalance between farmers and processors. ADF says before the code was introduced farmers had little protection from practices used by some processors. The Australian dairy industry was rocked in 2016 by the collapse of its largest co-op, Murray Gouburn. Farmers were hit by a retrospective farmgate milk price step down that required them to pay back money they had already absorbed into

their farming businesses. MG has since been sold to Canadian dairy giant Saputo. Australian dairy farmers feel the risk remains the same and don’t want a repeat of the MG fiasco. ADF says if success is to be measured solely by the strength of the code to eliminate risk, the current voluntary code needs strengthening. “Some processors are not signatories to the code and there are no penalties enforced for breaches. How does this prevent a repeat of the milk price crisis? “Farmers can take their business elsewhere if their processor isn’t a signatory to the code. But this is a problem in regions with only one monopoly processor. It is not a viable solution and the risk is that suppliers could once again be forced into hardship should the milk price crash.” Littleproud is commending ADF for its leadership on the issue. “I told them it was time to lead on a mandatory code and the ADF has stepped up. “I know this was a difficult process for them and they’ve shown the courage to take their industry forward. “Now that we have direction from the organisation representing dairy farmers across Australia, we can move forward.

I agree with ADF that a mandatory code must cover the entire industry and improve bargaining power for dairy farmers. “I will work with farm groups to get this code right.”

Oz farmers want a mandatory code of practice.

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AUSTRALIAN DAIRY processors remain opposed to a mandatory code of practice. Australian Dairy Products Federation spokesman Grant Crothers says while the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) recommended the dairy industry introduce a mandatory code of practice, this would cost the industry rather than improve it. He says it would add costs to be borne by participants along a finely balanced supply chain, including cost recovery fees and penalties for non-compliance with ACCC administration requirements. “It will lead to businesses – farm sector and processor – becoming more risk averse, so limiting investment and stifling innovation.” He says the current code of practice provides guidelines for dealing in good faith in milk supply negotiations between processors and farmers.  “We agree the existing code of practice needs to be stronger.”


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

20 //  OPINION RUMINATING

EDITORIAL

Start with the board

MILKING IT... Anyone like more junket? NOT A good look for Fonterra as media report on a junket by 200 European staff to a California resort town. Add to that 100 Chinese staff, media and customers spending a week at a five-star resort to celebrate Anchor’s success. For farmer shareholders reeling from the co-op’s $196m loss the timing couldn’t have been worse. Who approved these junkets? Was it the former chief executive who this month sailed into sunset with last year’s $8m pay cheque?

Build bigger barns

‘We help farmers’

HERE’S A pitch that will have the greenies seeing red. Intensive, high-yielding farming may be the best way to meet rising demand for food while conserving biodiversity, a new study has found. Organic farming has long been considered more environmentally friendly than intensive, conventional farming, but a study led by scientists at the University of Cambridge, UK suggests perhaps not, provided more natural habitat can be “spared the plough”. Nature Sustainability reported that the study had researchers working with 17 organisations in the UK and worldwide, including people in Poland, Brazil, Australia, Mexico and Colombia. They analysed data from 100s of studies of four large food sectors – Asian paddy rice, European wheat, Latin American beef and European dairy.

FISH & GAME took umbrage at a Milking It story on farmer Dean Rabbidge and his tweet. It says contrary to the report, F&G actually worked with Rabbidge on this wetland creation. A F&G field officer visited the site to survey it, again before construction to give advice and again during construction -- all free of charge. F&G says it also offered to help pay for the work, a point “deliberately not acknowledged” by Milking It. The money was to have been paid on project completion, followed by F&G staff visiting to take pictures. “Fish & Game gives farmers significant sums of money every year to create wetlands and ponds.  The article in question creates exactly the opposite impression by claiming Fish & Game does not work with farmers.”

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ISSN 1175-463X

Clink clink THE SOUND of milk bottles is set to return to Marlborough. Milk & More Nelson has been delivering glass bottled milk to businesses and homes around the top of the south since last April. Marlborough deliveries will start early next month. The glass bottles can be collected and re-used, diverting about 6 tonnes of plastic bottles from landfill this year alone. The 1L bottles of pasteurised milk cost $3.20 delivered to the doorstep.

WHY IS Fonterra in a pickle? Is death of democracy and a blob of arrogance in Fonterra to blame for the current crisis? That is really what is being said by the dairy farmer Trevor Hamilton, known as a progressive, innovative farmer and a good businessman. He is recognised and respected for the way he has structured and runs the family business and, yes, he has an independent chairman. His approach to succession planning mirrors that of Maori. And he balances sustainability and profitability So why didn’t he get on the Fonterra board? He thinks outside the square as do others who have tried unsuccessfully to become acolytes in the inner circle of Fonterra directors. We should be excused for thinking Fonterra is something of an old boys’ club where only ‘yes’ men get the call to the inner sanctum -- the board. That is not to say that all the present directors are not good, but the perception points to the reality. Fonterra is a cooperative and it holds to that in some ways, such as making sure all farmers are paid the same price for milk regardless of whether they farm well or, conversely, think nothing of polluting a stream or treating staff badly. So why not have a fair and free election to the board? Does the establishment group on the board not trust farmer shareholders to vote in the right people? That is scary! The Fonterra model for electing directors is akin to the practice in totalitarian jurisdictions. Their version of democracy has long been disregarded by the western world but not, it would seem, by those who inhabit the lavish tower block on Auckland’s trendy Fanshawe Street. Hamilton is right in saying Fonterra needs to change. To do that it must embrace people who can make change happen for the best and the future. Fonterra is bigger than its farmers -- a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. Right now people are correct in not trusting the same old board to make the radical changes necessary to get the cooperative back on its feet. If the present directors can’t see their way clear to bring in new and creative people and make the necessary changes, what is the answer? The possibility of a strong critical shareholder council is probably too big an ask, so must it fall to the Government -- which created Fonterra -- to step in and legislate to compel the cooperative to perform better in the national interest? – Peter Burke

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NATIONAL SALES MANAGER: Stephen Pollard...................Ph 09-913 9637, 021-963 166 stephenp@ruralnews.co.nz WAIKATO: Ted Darley ............................Ph 07-854 6292, 021-832 505 ted@ruralnews.co.nz WELLINGTON: Ron Mackay .........................Ph 04-234 6239, 021-453 914 ronm@ruralnews.co.nz SOUTH ISLAND: Kaye Sutherland .............. Ph 03-337 3828, 021-221 1994 kayes@ruralnews.co.nz


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

OPINION  // 21

Has Fonterra delivered? MARK TOWNS­ HEND’S article (Dairy

News August 28) raises interesting questions for me, namely what is the value of Fonterra to my dairy business and has it delivered? No doubt Fonterra has challenges and hard questions need to be, and are being, asked, but did it deliver to shareholder suppliers during the awful downturn years between 2014-15 and 2016-17 when the pressure was really on us all? When milk is over $6/ kgMS dairying is gold. It is the downtimes that ‘kill’ you. I have used Dairybase as a source of credible data to determine the value of Fonterra to my business. Looking over the three seasons 201415, 2015-16 and 2016-17, and averaging the performance of the suppliers to the two largest companies -- Fonterra and Open Country Dairy -- one can see that there is a marked difference between the financial performance of these suppliers (see the data above right, available to all people participating in Dairybase). Note that these are average figures on suppliers over three years, as this removes distortions from either early or retrospective payments for milk supplied. There is a risk of bias, i.e. it may be higher performing dairy farmers who enter their

financial data in Dairybase, so be aware that behind every average is a bell-shape performance curve. In short, the difference of $557/ha in operating profit comes from $320/ ha gain from extra milk income and another $237/ ha is attributable to lower operating costs. Analysis of farm working expenses shows that Fonterra farmers were able to reduce costs by 50c/kgMS versus 32c/kgMS for OCD farmers. It would be interesting to know whether this is because of a difference in supply curves – seasonal versus flat? I argue that a 58% difference in operating profit could be the difference between sustainablity or otherwise. Over the three seasons this equates to about $1200/ha or $120,000 on a 100ha farm. Note that the difference in net profit/ha is likely to be larger again as there is on average $272/ ha less debt servicing by the Fonterra shareholders (MS/ha x debt servicing/kg). Fonterra shareholders would need on average another 60c/kgMS to get them to that magic profit of $2000/ha, i.e. a $5.70 milk price or better. OCD suppliers would need a $5.86 milk price or better to achieve the same profit in that same period. The above data has real implications for Fonterra’s capital structure, which must be on the table for discus-

George Moss

sion along with the current ‘purpose and values’ debate. If one uncouples the value added business from milk supply, as some are suggesting, then farmers without access to income stream would have been

potentially $320/ha per year worse off for those three seasons -- about $1000/ha, serious money when times are tough. Separation could lead to a ‘two masters’ scenario in which both try to maximise milk price and dividend and subsequent share value. This is difficult and hugely risky if one wants to have a truly strong cooperative. Fonterra’s purpose has been and always must be to deliver the maximum sustainable amount of cash through it’s shareholder gates; value will

follow after that. Has Fonterra delivered more real value to me than the other processors would have? My gut feel-

ing is an absolute ‘yes’. In doing so it has benefitted every other dairy farmer in the country by setting a milk price benchmark.

Do we need to keep debating the issues? Yes. • George Moss is a Tokoroa farmer and Fonterra supplier.

Fonterra

OCD

Income/kgMS

$5.79

$5.52

+5%

Milk Price/kgMS

$5.19

$4.91

+5.7%

Farm Working Expenses /kgMS

$3.88

$4.12

-6%

Operating Expenses/kgMS

$4.71

$4.91

-4%

Operating Profit per Hectare

$1282

$811

+58%

$1.34

$1.48

-10%

Debt servicing/kgMS

% Difference

Debt/kgMS

$23.10

$22.23

+4%

Debt to assets %

48.9%

60.4%

-23%

Average Interest Cost

5.79%

6.66%

-15%

1186

1258

-6%

%5.22

$5.60

-7%

Milk solids/ha Breakeven $(FWE/kg = DS/kg)

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

22 //  AGRIBUSINESS

BISCUIT TRADED FOR MILK FONTERRA HAS appointed

Brett Henshaw as its managing director Fonterra Brands, New Zealand (FBNZ). Henshaw, currently managing director of Griffin’s Food Company, will start work in early December. Fonterra chief operating officer global consumer and foodservice, Lukas Paravicini, says the co-op applauds Henshaw joining

the business. “He has an extensive 30-year career in FMCG and we are pleased he is coming on board. “Along with his time in New Zealand, Brett has worked in Sydney, Singapore, New York and the UK, and he deeply understands consumers, their needs and how to deliver on those needs. “He has a strong commer-

cial and strategic focus and experience in the supply chain, including manufacturing and operations. He is recognised for mentoring, development, teamwork and open communication.” Henshaw says he likes the opportunity to work on some of New Zealand’s best loved brands. He will replace Leon Clement who has joined Synlait as its new

We get it.

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chief executive. Henshaw has held brand positions with Unilever and senior marketing roles with ColgatePalmolive worldwide including Australasia and Asia, responsible for 11 countries. He became chief marketing officer for Griffin’s in 2015 and managing director in 2016. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

Neil Gamble, CRV Ambreed

Breeding expert retires NEIL GAMBLE (70) says his field consultant role with

CRV Ambreed is the only real job he’s ever had: 20 years of helping dairy farmers increase the value of their herds. Now retirement has come and he’s imparting his breeding expertise as a CRV rep for the last time. Gamble left school at 15 and went straight into contracting onfarm. By 1967 he was leasing a small family dairy farm, adding two more neighbouring farms over the years and sometimes contracting to a local tractor firm. Then in 1997 he sold the farm and took a commissioned consulting role with CRV Ambreed. “I never officially had a full-time job until working with CRV Ambreed. In 2009, the Otago/Southland consultants all got moved from contracting roles into permanent positions, and it was a huge laugh that I finally landed my first job at 64 years old,” he recalls. He started as a breeding consultant just south of Dunedin and eventually took on the broader region from Oamaru to below Balclutha. In recent years he has worked all over the South Island as a locum, filling in when the team needs extra hands. Last year he became the regional sales and services manager for the lower South Island. “I owe a debt of gratitude to CRV Ambreed for giving me the opportunity to work all over the South Island,” he says. “The one constant wherever I have worked is the genuine, hardworking people. It’s been an honour working with them, and they have all gone out of their way to welcome me to their farm.” Herd improvement has changed a lot in 20 years and it has been exciting to see the new innovations and technology coming through, he says. “We started with a small catalogue of bulls and pretty much stuck with that. Today farmers have access to a huge selection of bulls, as well as herd testing, herd recording, AI service, DNA testing, A2 milk testing, and raft of other stuff. “The firm also has the back-up and expertise from Holland.” He’s admired and always been inspired by the passion of his colleagues. “I would’ve retired years ago if CRV didn’t have that sort of passion. Everyone is willing to work 24/7 for their farming clients, because they’re so passionate about what they do.”

IN GOOD HANDS CRV OCEANIA sales and marketing manager Mathew Macfie says Neil Gamble will be missed immensely by the team. The feeling is mutual as Gamble says he’ll miss his workmates, especially the reps in the South Island.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

AGRIBUSINESS  // 23

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS IN MILKING SHEDS MILKING SHEDS have since April

Better deal on farm rail crossings FARMERS ARE happy with KiwiRail’s new policy on private rail crossings. The state-owned company is setting out to make a formal, legal record of all rail crossings; about 1300 private crossings exist along train tracks in New Zealand, with about 700 either undocumented or unauthorised. KiwiRail spokesman David Gordon says it wants to help the public and its employees get home safe each day. “So we need to know where people are cross-

ing our tracks and ensure they are doing it safely. “That requires a formal, legal record of all crossings, and we need to know they are up to standard in the approach, sight lines, signs and formation.” Gordon says the policy follows talks with Federated Farmers and others. He says KiwiRail is seeking only to recover its costs in this project. No set annual fee will be charged, as was proposed two years ago. Instead, most farmers will be charged only the cost of

inspecting crossings on their land -- estimated at $50 to $100 per crossing, with inspections every two years. Farmers will be responsible for the cost of any work needed make sure the crossing is safe to use. This generally includes removing vegetation to give adequate views, paying to maintain the road/track surface, and any other work required to meet safety standards and prevent damage to the track, says Gordon. “The costs for this

work will vary. “We’ve worked hard to develop a policy that is fair, and which is also safe.” Feds president Katie Milne says it appreciates that KiwiRail has listened to its views before setting the charges. “However, there is a concern that some informal rail crossings will be closed because the safety concerns are considered too great. That’s going to be difficult for farmers if that was their only route for accessing parts of their farm,” Milne says.

Young Farmer contest THE FIRST qualifying rounds in

the next FMG Young Farmer of the Year contest begin next month. Twenty district contest and skills days will be held nationally before Christmas to find 56 competitors who will clash in seven FMG Young Farmer of the Year regional finals early next year. The first two district contests will be in Manawatu and Canterbury on October 6. Roshean Woods (27) has

entered several district contests and is looking forward to competing again. “Last year I entered in a pair with another Christchurch City Young Farmers member who wanted to give the contest a go,” she said.   “It was heaps of fun and is a great idea to help boost the confidence of people who had never done it before. I found a lot of the modules were right up my alley and

been more colourful, says GEA, with its FIL Active teat conditioner packaged in ‘vibrant pink’ drums. It’s a sign of the company’s support of the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation. Marketing manager Sarah Buchanan says “breast cancer awareness is a natural fit with our teat and udder health, and allows people to show their support for those affected by cancer in choosing to buy a pink drum”. “From a practical point of view, farmers choosing Active teat conditioner over other products are buying into a better teat care programme.” FIL products are formulated inhouse and designed to restore teat health; they

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this year I want to compete seriously,” she said. The events will test the practical and theoretical skills of contestants.   “The district contests are a great opportunity for members to benchmark themselves,” said NZ Young Farmers’ events manager Bridget Johnston.   “It’s a chance to test their knowledge, make new friends, have a go and enjoy the day.”

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

24 //  MANAGEMENT

Make hay while the sun shines rial into the stack comes down to a few simple steps: 1. Cut the grass while quality is still high. Many farmers make the mistake of going for quantity over quality. Silage needs to be harvested at the right time to ensure quality: no later than 35-40 days after the last grazing, or when a maximum of 10% of the ryegrass seed heads have emerged. This requires good communication with your contractor. You want to be first in the queue and not last if the weather goes against you. 2. Wilting to at least 29% dry matter concentrates the plant sugars and reduces the risk of nutrients being lost from the silage stack as leachate. Not leaving it too long to wilt is also very important as grass that is too dry (i.e. over 50% DM) is very hard to compact and difficult to rid of oxygen. 3. Chopping silage bound for the pit to 5-7cm also allows for good consolidation, reducing storage and feedout losses.

4. Add a quality silage inoculant at harvest time to get the right strain of lactic acid-producing bacteria in the right amount for the right ensiling pathway. Quality inoculants are those which come from reputable companies, have label claims as to the number of live bacteria, are backed up by science and are supported by the people selling them. Ideally the bacteria present are crop specific. An example of this is Pioneer 1127 which contains grass-specific bacteria. 1127 reduces ensiling losses and at the same time produces high quality silage, returning a gross margin of

at least $4.75 for every dollar spent on the inoculant. 5. Compact, compact, compact. Get the air out of the stack as quickly as possible to allow the bacteria in the inoculant you are applying to get to work and produce as much lactic acid as possible. High quality silage is always compacted and sealed correctly. For stacked silage, spread material into 100-150mm layers and compact it until the surface is firm. Use a high-quality plastic cover and weigh it down with tyres that are touching. Seal the edges with sand or lime. For baled silage, use high quality wrap and use the recom-

mended stretch factor and number of wraps. The importance of a high-quality pasture silage cannot be overstated, particularly with the predicted El Nino summer ahead of us. Planning now and following the principles outlined above should result in high quality milking feed for this summer. If you need any more information you can go to either the DairyNZ website (www.dairynz.co.nz) or the Pioneer website (www.pioneer.co.nz). • Ian Williams is a Pioneer forage specialist. Contact him at iwilliams@ genetic.co.nz

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MANY REGIONS are experiencing an early spring. The collective sigh of relief is almost audible as we exit a winter and spring very different from last season. We are also hearing that many farmers have shut up silage already and are planning to cut this over the next few weeks. Every year we see huge variation in the quality of grass silage, always for the same reasons: “There was too little sun” or “There was hardly any sugar in the grass” or “There was no guts in the grass”. But every season there are farmers who make great silage despite the weather. So the question needs to be asked: “How come some farmers are able to get it right most seasons, when others struggle?” The reason for the difference comes down to two main factors: the quality of the material ensiled and the ensiling process itself. There is an old saying, “garbage in means garbage out”, and this is no more true than in making silage. Ensuring you get the best quality mate-


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

MANAGEMENT  // 25

Farmers step in to help protect kiwi IIT’S AN early winter morning, dark and chilly, but Northland dairy farmer Jane Hutchings couldn’t be happier. She’s leaning over a fence surrounding a stand of native bush, and completely tuned in to the soundtrack of her favourite music.  With husband Roger, Jane is one of dozens of dairy farmers helping achieve the Kiwi Coast dream of thriving kiwi, roaming freely throughout Northland, nurtured and cared for by local people.  Kiwi Coast got underway five years ago, building on work done by the Landcare Trust when Helen Moodie, who is now DairyNZ’s Northland sustainability specialist, provided guidance to people keen to look after the kiwi that were increasingly appearing in their backyards. “Kiwi Coast recognises that looking after kiwi is not locking them up and throwing away the key,” Moodie says.  “We have kiwi in our productive landscapes here in Northland where they’re eating the worms and other insects that are prolific in our pastures; and through Kiwi Coast we are growing the kiwi popula-

tions by managing their threats.” Kiwi Coast is a joint project by 120 entities, says coordinator Ngaire Tyson.  Community led groups including dairy and other farmers, lifestyle and other land owners, landcare groups, schools, iwi and hapu make up 105 of the initiatives, with the remainder Northland agencies and businesses, including forestry companies. “The 120 entities linked into Kiwi Coast now look after nearly 150,000ha stretching from the Aupouri Peninsula in the north to Mangawhai Heads in the southern region of Northland.  Everyone has a shared vision of creating a corridor of comparative safety for kiwi.” Tyson, who previously worked with Moodie at Landcare Trust, says the recipe is a simple one: landowner engagement, killing pests and controlling dogs. The main predator on kiwi is stoats which kill 95% of kiwi chicks before they reach 12 months. And there are the dogs. Man’s best friend is the biggest threat to adult kiwi and this is why Kiwi Coast and its affiliated

Northland farmer Jane Hutchings with a kiwi on her farm.

The Hutchings THE HUTCHINGS family milks 700 pedigree Ayrshire cows on 282ha. At least 30km of fencing protects a 20ha wetland graded ‘significant’, and 100ha of regenerating-to-mature native bush.   Their environmental care also includes a 22kW solar panel system on their cowshed roof, and they were Northland supreme winners in the 2014 Ballance Farm Environment awards.  Jane Hutchings now chairs the Northland awards committee and manages the Puketotara Landcare group Facebook page.

groups encourage dog owners to control their animals. She says farmers, as landowners, are vital in Northland’s kiwi protection work. “Kiwi Coast has many farmer champions, and when others in the community see farmers are involved they want to help too.  They say ‘we can do this; we can look after our patch’.  Their imagination is captured.”   She says kiwi can do well on farms.  “Many farmers, have fenced bush, wetlands and stream margins to exclude stock, which helps protect kiwi habitat. And farms can be safe places for kiwi because farmers control their dogs to protect their stock.” Jane Hutchings, whose family dairy farm is near

Kerikeri, says having kiwi living and breeding on their farm is inspiring. “We’re blessed that many people in Northland have the same passion to protect kiwi.

“We always knew there were kiwi on our dairy farm, although rarely sighted. The severe drought in 2009 brought kiwi out of the bush foraging for food and water. After seeing six kiwi out in the paddock one night we contacted the Kiwi Foundation to get advice on how to help them, not

only through the drought, but also long term.” The Hutchings soon learnt the big threats to kiwi were pests and uncontrolled dogs. With support from Northland Regional Council (NRC), they pulled together a pest attack group of farming neighbours and others in their immediate area, and so the Puketotara

Landcare group was formed. The group now protects kiwi in an area covering 5000ha from Kerikeri to Puketi Forest. The group is also funded by Kiwis for Kiwis and Fonterra’s Grass Roots initiative. “As well as helping protect kiwi, our work is seeing the surrounding bush flourish.”

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

26 //  MANAGEMENT

A first step makes a huge difference TAKING THE first step to do something challenging can be life changing. For Ravensdown shareholder Sandra Matthews that’s exactly what hap-

pened after she completed the Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) Escalator programme. Sandra and her husband Ian farm together on

Te Kopae Station, 50km northwest of Gisborne. Before becoming involved with AWDT, she felt she had to fit the mould of farmer’s wife

and mother. Today, she sees the world differently. She and Ian are partners in their farming business and Sandra is carving out her own path onfarm,

in her community and nationally. Completing the Escalator programme has propelled Sandra into a national role empower-

Farmer Sandra Matthews.

ing other women around New Zealand. She leads the AWDT regional hub initiative (funded by Beef + Lamb NZ) which supports women who want to continue to connect, learn and contribute after completing AWDT programmes. In 2017 Sandra became a facilitator for Understanding Your Farming Business, another AWDT course. Born out of the need to empower and support women in NZ’s primary sector, AWDT offers women the chance to grow personally and professionally via several programmes. Each year, 14 women are selected to join the Escalator leadership and governance programme, which begins in February and ends in November. Sandra first connected with AWDT in 2014 when she completed the Understanding Your Farming Business and First Steps programmes (now called ‘It’s all about you’). A few years later, she was interested in applying for the Escalator programme, but lacked the confidence to take the next step. “I’d looked at the Escalator programme countless times on the AWDT website but thought, ‘oh I can’t do that’,” she says. A conversation with several Escalator alumni members gave her the confidence to apply. “They made me realise that applying for Escalator was well within my capabilities and I should go ahead. “Undertaking Escalator has given me the con-

fidence to go out there and tackle things I never dreamed I would do prior to the programme. The shift in mindset was subtle during the programme but powerful and enlightening by the year end. It taught me that I have a lot more to contribute to the industry, not only at a grass roots level but sitting at the decisionmaking table. “Also I now view leadership from the perspective of the people I am leading; standing shoulder to shoulder with them to support them step up and find and fulfil their purpose. “The programme taught me a lot about different learning styles and personalities, and what makes people tick. Now I look at people with fresh eyes and think, ‘how can I support them, what do they need and how can I help them achieve their goals?’ ” She says the AWDT courses, in particular Escalator, have had a huge impact on her life. Through her various roles she is empowering other women to come to their own conclusions about what they want. One goal is to help women understand that they bring more value to their farming businesses than they often realise, as business partners, on the farm and supporting in the home. Ravensdown is a strategic partner of AWDT and the Escalator programme. Applications for AWDT Escalator 2019 are now open and close on September 28.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

MANAGEMENT  // 27

How to improve on last year’s mating results DARREN SUTTON

IT IS past mid-September

and as calving draws to a close it is time to ensure mating plans are in place. The recently released LIC statistics on how last spring’s mating went should be all the motivation you need to lift your submission rate and improve your 6 week in-calf rate (ICR). Last year we saw a nationwide lift in average 3-week submission rates of 1%, up to 79%, and average 6 week ICR lifted to 66%, up 1% on the previous year. That was the good news.  The bad news is

the not-in-calf rate fell by 0.5%. Have you thought about what you can do to improve on last year? As a quick refresher, the mating targets you should be aiming for are: ■■ Pre-mating heats of >85% ■■ 3-week submission rate of 90% ■■ 3-week in-calf rate of >60% ■■ 6-week in-calf rate of 78% ■■ 12-week empty rate of <6% These targets may seem high to some, but they are achievable and some farms are even surpassing them. Hopefully you have

STAFF TRAINING SOMETIMES WE assume everyone is on the same page as us and can pick bulling cows. If you have new staff, take them to a training day and go through the farm mating plan. Ensure everyone knows how to pick bulling cows and understands the farm’s systems for recording heats, submitting cows for AB and retail-painting cows.  If you have experienced staff, the time taken to refresh people on what everyone needs to be doing through mating will undoubtedly pay off.  Setting targets and goals with the team over breakfast with a stated reward of attaining realistic but stretch targets in 6 week ICR and empty rates could be what your team needs. Two hours allocated here could pay thousands of dollars in returns.

Heat detection has to be the top priority and time allocation each day at this time of year. Inset: Darren Sutton.

be the top priority and time allocation each day at this time of year. On a $6 pay-out, each missed heat is worth $190 per cow (excluding the value of more heifer calves). This has been an area of steady decline in NZ herds, partly due to less human contact time with cows as herds and farms have got bigger, and more specialisation of staff to specific jobs. This all means that good systems and staff training are vitally important. The more time spent observing cows in the paddock, the higher your submission rate will be and the higher the chance of a better 6-week in-calf rate.  To maximise your submission rates consider the following: ■■ Do not just rely on reading tail paint or

a written mating action plan of what happens on what dates. It is not surprising to find that farmers who have a detailed and dated mating plan achieve better mating performance than those who don’t. It is vital to involve all staff in this process. Have look at your Fertility Focus Report in Minda to see the main areas you need to improve in. Have you decided on how you will deal with non-cycling cows (cows without a heat >30 days post-calving)?  Use of OAD, bulls and hormone intervention are options, but do you know what works best for your farm?  Have you measured and reviewed results from intervention in past years? Heat detection has to

■■

■■

■■

detection aids in the cowshed. Observe cows as quietly and naturally as possible. Draft any of these suspect cows out prior to the AB technician arriving into the cycling group, and observe behaviour of these uncertain cows.  Will they stand to be ridden or not? Return mated cows to

■■

■■

the herd after insemination to help identify the next day’s cycling cows. This becomes very important in the second round of AB in smaller herds. Tail paint the mated cows again the following milking with a different colour. Minimise the number of people responsible for heat detection, as this minimises excuses

and mistakes. To identify those quiet and short heats, spend 20 minutes 2-3 times a day in the paddock at the following times: ■■ Two hours after cows have had a new break of grass, as activity is often highest then, and ■■ When getting cows out of the paddock before milking. • Darren Sutton is FarmWise consultant

BULL MANAGEMENT IF YOU are using natural mating bulls, take extra care to ensure you source bulls from a farm that fits within your farm’s biosecurity criteria and you have reviewed the details of their movement history. All bulls must be BVD tested and vaccinated.  Yearlings are best with 1 bull per 20 yearlings.  The main herd will require enough bulls to cover no

more than 1.5 cows to service per day (30:1 ratio). You will also need bulls to provide rest and rotation so they don’t become tired or lame.  Every farm differs in required level of cover, but two teams of bulls rotated every 24-48 hours works well. Will your farm be one of the farms that identifies its weakest link in the big repro puzzle and tackles it head on this season? Your move.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

ANIMAL HEALTH  // 29

Farmers to wield the needle from October 2019 PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

FARMERS WILL be

able to administer a local anaesthetic for disbudding or dehorning, if they are trained, when new regulations come into force on October 1, 2019, says NZ Veterinary Association chief veterinary officer Helen Beattie. Pain relief for those procedures will be mandatory from that date. It is part of a package of new animal welfare regulations, most of which take effect on October 1 this year. However the industry has been given more time to prepare new disbudding and dehorning

regulatory requirements. Beattie told Dairy News a lot of work has gone into developing guidelines for not just the effective placement of anaesthetic but also to provide the right training to farmers to make sure when they are using a local that it will do the right job. “The intention is for a local to be authorised on farms; there are a number of different mechanisms that can be used. If a farmer has a veterinarian, and a relationship with that vet, then the farmer may already be getting drugs authorised onto their farm through their annual consultation. “If they have done the training, been shown how

to use a local and ticked off all those things we need to teach them -- like placing the local effectively and using the tools effectively -- then they can have local authorised onto their farm to undertake the disbudding themselves. “The process of getting local on farms per se is not new; it is already allowed for under legislation, and that’s how farmers already have other drugs onfarm, like antibiotics or anti-inflammatories. So that part of the process is not new; having local for this particular task is new.” Beattie says they have been working on an overarching guideline for

the disbudding dehorning process and also a guideline for training and training assessment documents. “It is a guideline so that at least the vets out there training people how to do this have a default starting point. They are welcome to take it and use it as they see fit and tweak it accordingly, but we have covered the key points within that document so we know there’s the same song sheet to sing from.” The training will not involve a formal qualification; it is not a NZQA approved or accredited programme. “It is a comprehensive document that goes to

LIKE A SPEEDING TICKET NEW ANIMAL welfare regulations coming into effect on October 1 this year can be directly enforced with a fine similar to a speeding ticket, says Beattie. “NZVA fully supports the new regulations; it is moving welfare in the right direction,” she says. “They will be useful in being able to be directly enforced. “They are like a speeding ticket. You don’t have to prove that someone intended or didn’t intend to do something. “It was done; here’s your fine. You went faster than the speed

limit; here is your ticket. It is the same sort of scenario.” She says the industry already has some experience in this with bobby calf regulation: there were about 120 infringements during the last year. “While it is not all about the punishment and being punitive -- that is not the goal and we hope nobody gets infringed -the good thing is the immediate capacity to infringe farmers for this lower level of offending. “Previously they would have just had a warning letter or you’d have to raise it to prosecution. There hasn’t really

been a piece in the middle, e.g. ‘hang on a minute, this is not okay, we are not going to prosecute you but it is more than a warning letter’. So there is a real deterrent to doing the behaviour again. “Ultimately this is trying to improve welfare... a little more direct effect if farmers do it wrong; the incentives to change behaviour may be a little stronger.” If there were no infringements issued because no animal welfare had been compromised, that would be a great outcome, she says.

Pain relief for dehorning will be mandatory from October 2019.

the structure, the theory of how nerves work and how to place the local and pro-forma contracts you would draw up between the farmer and the vet as well. “There needs to be a reconciliation process onfarm too, so that we know where the local and all the other drugs are and which animals they have gone to -- an audit trail essentially. “For arguments sake, you could be disbudding tens of thousands of calves or you could be doing 200 or even 40; there is a very wide variation on what that is going to look like. “These documents are set up so you can pick and choose; for each individual situation you can draw that contract up appropriately and according to what each case looks like. “We have provided all of that; it is not a legal requirement per se but it is what we are providing to members to make the job easier and making sure they are ticking off all the right things within their training assessment

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processes.” The use of local, however, will “absolutely” be a legal requirement. “We are providing the support documents for that to make the process as smooth as possible. There is not much point in everybody drawing up their own. “NZVA and the dairy cattle vets have pulled this together as ‘here’s something you will find useful’. We hope they do because we have spent a lot of time on it to facilitate that process and it sets expectations of what we think should be ticked off -- what farmers need to know; it is not just on how to put the local in. “It is about safe needle use and where to store and how to be careful with the smoke and health and safety issues. “More health and safety issues are involved rather than worrying about just where you put the needle in the cow’s head to provide local. “It is a challenging thing. It is very easy forget when you are a veterinarian dealing with needles and syringes and

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injecting animals all the time and it comes as second nature to use. I totally understand it will be challenging for some farmers. “If you are a farmer who doesn’t feel competent enough or you don’t want to or there is a disbudding service in your local area, it may be that you engage another provider to come and do disbudding for you. There are a number of options around how to make sure you can have your animals disbudded inside the law, whether or not it is you or a disbudding provider that comes to do that. “Some people are very squeamish about needles and we need to make sure we have the facilities to help those people. “Some people are already doing this. Because we can already authorise drugs onto farm it is possible now to have access to local and to be using local already to do disbudding. “From October 1 next year this becomes the law but this doesn’t preclude people from doing it now.”


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

30 //  ANIMAL HEALTH

M.bovis spreads NIGEL MALTHUS

THE MINISTRY for Primary Industries says four more farms are confirmed with Mycoplasma bovis, all in Canterbury. Two are drystock farms and two are dairy farms. MPI says all four had received animals from

Don’t let them all go down

already known infected properties. Tracing work from these farms has begun. However, the total number of infected properties (IPs) is the same because in the same week four previously infected properties are clear of the disease, having been depopulated, decontami-

nated and stood down for 60 days. The latest figures from MPI show 37 infected farms – the same as late August -- because farms have come free of controls following decontamination. Of the 37 IPs, 30 are in the South Island and seven in the North; 13 are dairy, 21 are beef and three are listed as “other”. NZ-wide 57 farms are under restricted place notices (including the 37 IPs), 192 are under notices of direction and 200 are “under assessment”. MPI is also reminding farmers that when a farm is placed under an RPN, all animals moved

on or off that farm will be traced, sometimes leading back to farms that have previously been tested for M.bovis. MPI in most of those cases does not require those farms to have more tests. “However, we cull all trace animals and take samples to confirm their disease status. We do this by issuing a notice of direction (NOD) to the stock owner under section 121 of the Biosecurity Act. “Culling trace animals allows MPI to obtain the most accurate samples and limits the risk of spreading the disease further at the same time.”

ONE YEAR ON, FIGHT GOES ON ONE YEAR has now passed since M.bovis was first detected in New Zealand and DairyNZ says its response continues. Forty staff are working NZ-wide with MPI and other agencies. They include farm systems experts and communications people on the ground and at governance level to give farmers practical solutions. “We have three staff working out of MPI’s M. bovis national control centre in Wellington, supporting communications, planning and governance,” DNZ says. “We help MPI to work in the best interests of dairy farmers and give information that is practical and easy to digest. At the governance level, we are helping develop policies and recommendations that will work for farmers.” DairyNZ also has people working directly with farmers affected by M. bovis -- operating out of MPI’s regional field headquarters in Oamaru, Ashburton, Invercargill and Hamilton. They help farmers develop feed budgets, coordinate feed and keep farming under movement restrictions. And they support farmers through the recovery phase as they restock their farms.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

MILK QUALITY  // 31

Efficient cow flow: the ‘thermometer’ of the herd to milk. Identifying the obstacles that prevent them from doing this will help improve cow flow. In particular, look for places

GOOD COW flow is

vital and at the heart of achieving efficient milkings. As a bonus, steady quiet movement of cows through the milking process reduces time in the shed, stock and human stress, and the risk of cows withholding their milk or becoming lame. The expert on cow flow, veterinarian Neil Chesterton, has observed that sheds with good cow flow achieve the following at peak: Ten rounds or rows of cows should take no longer than 1.5h to milk. This is a great starting point and can be improved on by using efficient routines and strategies (see the sessions on

where cows can hurt themselves (e.g. shiny steel work). What does cow flow tell you about the ‘tem-

perature’ in your farm dairy? Are cows and people operating cool and calm or hot and flustered? • Article: DairyNZ

Good cow flow is vital for efficient milking.

milking skills and building blocks of milking efficiency). It is a rule that can apply equally to a 200cow herd milked through a 20-bail herringbone, or to a 500-cow herd milked on a 50-bail rotary. It doesn’t include the time taken to walk cows to and

from the farm dairy. Cows receive information via their senses just as humans do. But being a prey animal, they process this information differently. Knowing this helps us work out why a cow does what she does. Understanding what

is important for a cow helps us to work with them rather than against them. Giving cows time to find their feet when walking up a race or stepping onto a yard are two such examples. Cows moving steadily and quietly through a farm dairy are a pleasure

WHY TEAT CONDITION IS IMPORTANT HEALTHY TEATS harbour fewer bacteria. It is a myth that teats need to be sprayed as soon as cups come off. Teats can be kept healthy by applying teat spray including emollient to all surfaces of the teat before the cows leave the farm dairy. Both automatic and manual teat sprayers have advantages and disadvantages. The key is to monitor coverage and teat skin condition all season. Damaged teat ends harbour more bacteria. The milking machine uses vacuum to milk the cow, and pulsation to maintain teat health. Teat end damage can be the result of a complex interaction of vacuum, pulsation and liner movement, and over-milking. Settings that help cows to milk faster, such as increasing the pulsation ratio, usually expose the teat to more vacuum, so make changes along with reducing the milking time. Although removing cups early leaves some residual milk, this is harvested more efficiently at the next milking, which saves time and reduces

the risk of teat end damage, and mastitis. The most important point about milking in a herringbone shed is to use the ‘bunny hopping’ method. This is where cows are milked in batches. Milkers should row cows up in groups of 4-6 (depending on location of teat spray droppers), swing the clusters over and attach to the new cows, teat spray the 4-6 cows that have just had their cups removed, then repeat with the next batch. In many cases the next group of cows will have already loaded. Where there are two milkers in the pit, the first milker should start at cluster 1, and the second milker should start at cow 5-7, depending on group size. The second milker should not start at halfway or the back of the pit. The head gate should be released as soon as possible, so the last cows in the row are having their clusters removed and teats sprayed just as they are starting to walk out. The most important point about milking on a

rotary platform is to set a platform speed that is as fast as you can comfortably attach cups. The most efficient platform speed is when 15-20% of cows are going around on a second rotation. This speed means most of the herd finishes closer to the rotary exit.

The sum of the time saved by these cows finishing closer to the exit is greater than the time the go-around cows occupy bails. The platform should be kept moving at all times: do not stop or slow to fill empty bails. • Article: DairyNZ

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

32 //  MILK QUALITY

Cleanliness, milk quality linked THE CLEANLINESS

Bacteria can build up in the plant and contaminate milk.

of the milking system and the dairy is critical, and strict cleaning guidelines are needed to maintain milk quality standards. Cleaning must be done properly so that all resi-

dues are removed and bacteria are destroyed. Bacteria can build up in the plant and contaminate milk. The bacteria affect milk quality by breaking down the components

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in milk. This reduces the shelf life of milk and milk products, and produces ‘off’ flavours in cheeses and milk powders. Bacteria can enter the plant from cows (teat skin and infected udders) and the environment (drawn into the cluster). The milking environment is ideal for bacterial growth. Effective machine cleaning will control the presence of bacteria in the plant. The quality of the water used is very important in achieving a successful clean. Water that is too cool leads to redepositing of the milk residues removed, and water that is too hot denatures protein, breaks down detergents and damages seals and rubberware. Aim for a temperature of 80-85°C as water exits the hot water storage cylinder. Hot water washes should be dumped when wash water temperature falls to below 55°C. Hot water must contact the surface for a minimum of 4 minutes; this should be extended to 7 minutes by re-circulating during an alkali wash. Pre-heating the plant will help achieve at least 5 minutes of contact time at the recommended temperature. For the milking plant, 10L of hot water per cluster is recommended to achieve sufficient contact time. For the bulk milk tank, hot water should

be a minimum of 2% of the bulk milk capacity or 120L for 5700L tanks or smaller. Air injectors and a reservoir of water at the end of the milk line can create a slug formation for cleaning the top of the milk line. Small flushing pulsators used to induce turbulence are largely ineffective and regular brushing or use of a large flushing pulsator/air injector may be required. Milk lines generally require turbulence created via an effective flushing pulsator to fill the line and clean the milk line or some alternate effective cleaning system. Acid detergents remove mineral deposits. They can be used in hot or cold water but are more effective in hot water. Acid sanitisers commonly incorporate chemicals which also kill bacteria. These are intended to stay in the plant after washing to provide extended protection. Acid sanitisers should always be added to the final wash. Alkaline detergents remove fat and protein. If left in the plant, they can cause damage to rubberware so they must be followed with an acid wash to neutralise the alkali and leave the plant sanitised. The alkaline detergent is almost always chlorinated, or chlorine added. • Article: DairyNZ

CLEANING ROUTINES As a minimum the following steps are needed: ■■ Cold water rinse after every milking

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An acid wash after every milking

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An alkali wash at least twice weekly

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An acid rinse after every alkali wash.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

MILK QUALITY  // 33

Is Your Herd in Peak Condition?

In-Shed Feeding Silos and feed bins Mineral dispensers System design

Teat cup liners have a large influence on milking performance.

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Selecting the right milking liners THE TEAT cup liner is the only part of a milking machine that contacts a cow’s teat. It has a large influence on milking performance, udder and teat health. Selecting the right liner and maintenance of teat cup have several benefits: improved animal health, where teats are not damaged leading to issues with mastitis; increased milking efficiency -- the right liners will help the clusters to stay on; cows are not slow to milk; and reduced stress on animals. Ensure the liners are not causing pain, which will lead to cow discomfort and animal handling issues. A good teat cup liner will:

LINERS IN WIDE ARRAY LINERS ARE commonly described as wide, medium or narrow-bore depending on their internal diameter relative to the average teat size for a given herd. A wide-bore liner is at least 1mm larger than the mean teat diameter measured at the mid-point of the teats. A narrow-bore liner is at least

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Provide an airtight seal at both ends of the shell Provide a mouthpiece and barrel of a size that will fit a range of teat shapes and sizes, minimising liner slips and cluster falls and damage that can lead to mastitis Milk out quickly and completely, minimising

2mm smaller than the mean midteat diameter of the herd. Talk to experienced suppliers and technicians to help decide on a size that suits your operation. Most New Zealand liners have a cylindrical barrel, but square, triangular and oval designs are now also on the market.

teat congestion, discomfort, and injury ■■ Be easily cleaned. The choice of a liner is a compromise -- considering the milking machine, its settings and, importantly, the cows. Ultimately, if the proposed liner fits the milking equipment it can be compared in the milking performance of your cows

GOOD CLEANING SYSTEMS A GOOD cleaning system with regular hot alkaline washes is necessary to maintain liner performance. Poor cleaning can result in faster surface deterioration and bacteria growth. Liners should be removed from jetter wash systems after cleaning. Leaving liners on any type of jetter between milkings will not allow the system to dry and can increase bacteria growth. Liners left hanging

on button style jetters can distort the mouth-piece, increasing slip and reducing liner life. Liners should not be re-tensioned by pulling them up to a second tension ring after half of their life; they should be replaced as they are worn out. Re-tensioning will only improve milking for a short time. Over-tensioned liners may lead to teat end damage.

alongside other liners aiming for fast, efficient milking without any ill effects. Even then a better performing liner may warrant some change in equipment. The performance of cup liners is heavily influenced by the design and management of the whole dairy. Liner slip in particular is often not due to a problem with the liner itself. To optimise the milking process, milking machinery should be assessed in its entirety. Liners need to be carefully selected to suit the herd and machinery, and changed regularly. Liners are commonly classified by their barrel size and shape and by the material and/or method of their manufacture. Article source: DairyNZ

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

34 //  MILK QUALITY

Good cluster helps milk efficiency CAREFULLY SELECTED clusters that suit the milking system, the cows, and the milkers will help increaåsse milk efficiency and improve animal health. A complete set of clusters comprises a claw and four fully-assembled cups (that is, four sets of teat shells, liners, short milk tubes, short

pulse tubes, the long milk tube and long pulse tubing). Correctly setting up your clusters will result in the following benefits: ■■ Increased milking efficiency: clusters that are correctly set up will be easy to put on and take off, and will require no inter-

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vention from the milker while a cow is being milked. They will also ensure cows are efficiently milked out. Improved animal health: clusters that are correctly set up will not slip. Cluster slip can compromise teat health, increasing the risk of mastitis.

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Highly suitable for AMS (Robotic Farming Systems) with low milk flows – no risk of freezing the milk. Energy Saving with Packo Ice Builders (PIB’s) – thanks to the ice energy store build-up during night time hours, a smaller refrigeration unit can be installed, plus the potential savings of off-peak power rates.

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Water Saving with PIB’s – bore water pre-cooling is not necessary with the correctly sized PIB. This is ideal for drought prone regions or where water supplies are restricted. Improved Milk quality through Snap Chilling = potentially a higher return adding PROFITS to the farm.

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Healthy teats, better milk MAXIMISING MILKING efficiency need not compro-

mise animal health. In fact, many improvements to milking efficiency also help to improve udder health and milk quality. The bacteria that cause mastitis come from the environment or are spread from other cows via the milking cups. Teat spray is a critical step in mastitis control to kill bacteria and maintain good healthy teats, which removes places for bacteria to grow. When teat spraying, ensure teat spray covers all teat surfaces, as well as the tip, and uses 15-20ml/cow per application. Teats with dry skin or teat end damage are early indicators of problems. Teat scoring 50 cows once a month is practical and achievable, to monitor progress as you make changes to improve milking efficiency. Seek expert help if more than 10% of cows have dry teat skin or 20% have rough teat ends. Damaged teat ends harbour more bacteria. Removing cups early leaves some residual milk, which is harvested more efficiently at the next milking, with less risk of teat end damage and no increase in mastitis. So it’s OK to remove cups in the dribble phase and save time spent waiting for slow milking cows. Apply cup removal techniques that reduce risk of mastitis, e.g. break, twist and release, close to cluster. Teats must be disinfected before any intramammary treatment. If you are using teat wipes, open the wipe out and scrub the teat from underneath using your thumb and moving across the wipe to a progressively cleaner area until the wipe comes away clean. Several wipes per teat may be needed. • Article sourced from DairyNZ

GOOD SIGNS Signs that milking is operating efficiently include: ■■ Time spent waiting for slow cows to finish milking is minimised ■■

Cups are being removed using techniques that reduce risk of mastitis

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Teat spray is applied effectively and efficiently.


DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS  // 35

Precision rollout MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

JOHN DEERE IS rolling out precision ag solutions and updated software for use on more brands and for expanding applications: they are the 4240 Universal Display, AutoTrac Universal 300 guidance solution and updated 18-2 Gen 4 software. The weather-resistant 4240 Universal Display adds to the Gen 4 display family as an affordable, portable, and durable option for many types of farming operations. For users who want to do more with their new display, Section Control and Data Sync with John Deere operations center can be added. The 4240 Universal Display, which replaces

Weather-resistant 4240 Universal Display.

the GreenStar 2 1800, is user-friendly in an easyto-read, high-contrast 213mm touchscreen enclosed in a weatherresistant, IP65-rated shell for ROPS tractors. Other features of the 4240 include video input and ethernet ports, ISOBUS compatibility, a multi-colour display screen and scalable

functionality depending on customer preference: use the display as an implement-only display, or expand display applications to include section control, variable rate applications, wireless data transfer, data sync with John Deere operations center, and remote display access with additional subscriptions.

In addition, John Deere is introducing AutoTrac Universal 300 for use on John Deere and other brands of machines that are not AutoTrac ready, replacing the Universal 200. New features include easy, automatic setup; a smaller, more comfortable steering wheel; and a quieter steering motor in a weather-resistant housing. AutoTrac Universal 300 complements the new 4240 universal display for open station tractors and other equipment, with set-up achieved by pressing ‘start calibration’ – then drive 100m and the AutoTrac Universal 300 will determine the correct settings for the equipment. @dairy_news

GOLDEN EAGLE SOARS THE JEEP legend was born in WWII but it came of age in the 1970s with a Golden Eagle version of the Jeep CJ7. It combined off-road ability with high levels of equipment, making it a sales hit for Jeep. Fast forward to 2018, and Jeep is reviving both the winning formula and the Golden Eagle name for the New Zealand market. This exclusive Jeep Wrangler, limited to 20 units for NZ, has all the off-road ability of the Wrangler, Golden Eagle decals on the exterior and the maker’s U-Connect telematics system inside.

Other eye-catching details include 18-inch bronze-painted aluminium wheels, Body colour fender flares, a 3-piece hard top, bronze accented grille throats and headlamp rings, a black painted 7-slot Jeep grille and rock rails. In the cabin, a 6.5-inch Uconnect touchscreen radio combines with a 7-speaker Alpine premium audio system. The black cloth interior is trimmed with light bronze accent stitching and embroidered Golden Eagle logo on the front seats. Mopar black all-weather slush mats with Jeep’s tyre tread pattern keep things clean underfoot.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

36 //  MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Landboss’ power lets you know who’s in charge MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

WE LOOKED briefly at

the Landboss in October 2017, but more recently spent a week driving the latest version onfarm in Waikato just as spring showed its hand. Marketed in New Zealand by Mojo Motorcycles who also sell the CF Moto brand, the Landboss grabs attention with its power plant -- a naturally aspirated, 3-cylinder, Perkins 400 series diesel. Especially on a singlefuel farm, the main benefit would be the ‘sniffs of

an oily rag’ on which this thrifty beast runs. And although the Landboss only rates about 20hp on paper, it still has plenty of pulling power, lots of go and hits its modest top speed of 50km/h quickly. Service intervals are a very agricultural 500 hours, while a 2-year factory warranty can only serve to enhance the ownership experience. Stepping into the operator station you see a wide bench seat with room enough, and seatbelts, for three large adults. For the driver, an adjustable steering

column makes for a comfortable fit, while electric power steering takes the strain out of manoeuvring. To the drivers left, a conventional handbrake with a warning light sits at the end of the bench, while the gear selector sits to the left of the dashboard. The lever allows the choice of high, low, neutral and reverse, with selection smooth, positive and with little resistance. The Perkins diesel is mated to a Canadian CV Tech transmission that is quiet in operation and builds up speed in a smooth linear manner,

while being complemented by the choice of 2WD, 4WD (with front and rear locking differentials) plus the addition of turf mode that will be a bonus if you decide to take a shortcut across the lawn. The operator station has ‘boot guards’ to keep feet inside the safety zone of the ROPS-certified roll frame, a full windscreen with wash/wipe, composite roof and a 3000lb electric winch mounted under the front bull bar assembly. The driver is well informed by a central digital display for all key

Buy a Kubota M Series or Excavator before December 31st and you could win an action-packed trip for two to Tokyo 2019. Contact your Kubota dealer to find out more. Visit your local Kubota dealer or Kubota.co.nz for full Tokyo 2019 terms and conditions. The promoter is C B Norwood Distributors Limited (NZBN 9429039257772) of 888 Tremaine Avenue, Palmerston North, New Zealand 4414, telephone 06 356 4920.

Landboss has plenty of power.

parameters, although the choice of grey on grey means it is difficult to see in bright sunshine. Stopping the 700kg machine falls to dual discs up front and a single disc at the rear, while suspension takes the form of dual A-arms with coil springs over shocks. Ground clearance is 280mm. The ride is smooth

and comfortable, with the adjustable suspension absorbing most of the bumps on a Waikato dairy farm. As with any vehicle of this type, fetching and carrying is important, so a 400kg capacity for the bed and 680kg at the heavy-duty drawbar looks a workmanlike figure. The load platform has useful dimensions,

with drop-down sides and tailgate adding to the versatility, while a decent overhang beyond the rear pivots allows heavy loads to be tipped manually with ease. Add standard equipment such as mudflaps, a comprehensive lighting package, head restraints and rear-view mirror, then this UTV is worth a closer look.

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS  // 37

Mixer delivering high profile jobs MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE NEW range of Kuhn

Profile double-auger mixers are designed for intensive use, with capacities starting from 18cu.m, ideal in tight spaces, and to 34cu.m for users doing larger jobs. With a range of new features, the Profile range is designed compact for greater volume, with the shape of the hopper allowing up to 4cu.m more capacity than similar machines of the same height now on sale. The range features Kuhn’s ‘Long Life Solutions’ to minimise wear and tear from abrasion and acidity, with K-Nox mixing augers as standard. This sees the whole auger being made of K-Nox (3CR12 stainless steel) from the thread to the central shaft, giving superior resistance to friction and the fatty acids in some fodders. A new, standard weigh-

ing system is installed on all models in the Profile 2 CL range, using four load cells integrated into a cradle located between the axle and the hopper, and another at the drawbar, to minimise fluctuations and interference. This is said to deliver greater accuracy irrespective of whether you’re using a single axle, a bogie axle or even a bogie steering axle, stationary or in motion. The as-standard KDW 341 weighing system manages the feed, in ‘simple’ mode for weighing quantities loaded and distributed, or ‘programmable’ mode for more comprehensive nutrition management; both options offer precise readings to mix large volumes of feed accurately and effectively. For greater ease of use, you can manage weighing operations from the loading station using the KDR 300 display unit. On CL models, feed is distributed on the right

Productive postdriver KINGHITTER POSTDRIVERS are designed and manufactured by Fairbrother Industries, Auckland. Well known in the rural and municipal sectors, the business was set up in 1977 by Jim Fairbrother who, realising the limitations of a tractor-mounted mechanical driver, designed and produced the world’s first hydraulic post driver. Well known in New Zealand and globally, the company’s latest series 5 machines should prove interesting to high-frequency users or contractors. Fairbrother says they’ve had 36 months of design, testing and modification, and are easy to use, stronger than competitors’ gear and should allow an operator more productive days. A simple 180-degree rotation function is operable without the operator leaving the tractor seat, and the optional cabin remote option will be included as standard equipment on the first batch of machines.

and left by a cross conveyor. This outlet can be positioned to the front or rear of the machine. The integrated chassis is oversized, ensuring that it can handle all the tor-

sion effects generated by the hopper on rough terrain, while clever design ensures the whole unit always retains sufficient ground clearance. www.kuhn.co.nz

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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

38 //  MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Bridging the gap between slasher and mulcher MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

THE MAJOR range of Cyclone mowers is designed to do the work of a flail-mower, but the rotary layout is said to require up to 25% less power and so save fuel.

Major 3m Cyclone mower.

EasyCut R Series Mower T h e E a s y Cu t R e a r M o u n t e d Mower is renowned for its s t r e n g t h a n d r e l i a b i l i t y. Fe a t u r e s i n c l u d e t h e d i r e c t drive shaft and SAFECUT protection system for the c u t t e r b a r. Increase your work rates and productivity with this ver y capable machine.

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Available in cutting widths from 2.00 - 5.6m, machines carry from three to eight rotors, each with four blades, with horsepower rating from 50 150hp. The mowers are made from Strenx™ 700 MC high-strength steel throughout -- strong and durable. They are designed specifically for clearing forest margins and for scrubland where ‘sensitive’ environmental work is needed. And they’re good for farm use, easily coping with scrub, saplings, gorse and brush, and ideal for clearing arable stubble such as maize and rape. The undersole discs are made from Hardox® 450, a wear- and abrasion-resistant steel; these carry the four impactresistant, shock absorbing, hardened spring steel blades; these have a cutting height range of 40 - 200mm depending on model, with the aid of a heavy-duty rear roller assembly. Machines can also be optioned with a side shift unit to allow the operator to adjust the mower 30cm left or right. In Bay of Plenty, Tom Grant, of Grant Farms Ltd, says the Cyclone mower ideally suits his

operation’s agricultural and earthmoving operations. “We’ve done agricultural and earthmoving contracting for the last 37 years. We’re managing an area of 400ha in various states of pasture, from rough stuff to good stuff. We plan on making rough stuff into good stuff. “Before, we’d generally just do land clearance with a bulldozer – bulldoze it all into a pile and bury it.” Land management techniques are changing to reduce the impact on surrounding environments. Bulldozing takes lots of time and resources, something farmers and contractors increasingly lack, Grant says. “We’re doing land clearing mulching: it leaves the root system there and it’s eco-friendlier. “The Major Cyclone can knock it down and keep pastures in order. And it can chop pretty massive stuff. Prior to that we would get in a bulldozer with a root rake and just root rake it all.” The Major Cyclone mower range is now available in New Zealand from Case IH dealers. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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Dairy News 25 September 2018  

Dairy News 25 September 2018

Dairy News 25 September 2018  

Dairy News 25 September 2018