Page 1

DIRA out of date? PAGE 5

RAIN WATCH Managing the wet PAGE 17

SLOPE SCREEN SEPARATOR Effluent Expo preview PAGE 25

NOVEMBER 13, 2018 ISSUE 412 // www.dairynews.co.nz

BOARDROOM BACKLASH Fonterra farmers vote in Leonie Guiney, Peter McBride as directors but reject two board nominees, triggering another election for third director. PAGE 4

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

NEWS – FONTERRA AGM  // 3

Fonterra drops 30b litre target SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

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NEWS������������������������������������������������������ 3-12 AGRIBUSINESS������������������������������������ 13 OPINION���������������������������������������������� 14-15 MANAGEMENT�������������������������������� 16-17 ANIMAL HEALTH����������������������������18-19 EFFLUENT & WATER MANAGEMENT������������������������������� 20-31 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS���������������������������������������32-35

FONTERRA IS dropping a target to achieve 30 billion litres of milk volume by 2025. The announcement by chief executive Miles Hurrell marks a major departure from the V3 strategy implemented by former chief executive Theo Spierings. In 2012, Spierings unveiled its V3 strategy involving “volume, value, and velocity” aimed at increasing milk production volumes to ensure Fonterra maintains its share of the growing dairy market, driving more value from its milk through highervalue products, and doing so at speed. Hurrell told Fonterra’s annual general meeting last week that when he took over a few months ago, he promised to take stock of the business, get the basics right and ensure more realistic forecasting. “We have dropped our volumebased ambition,” he told about 400 farmers at the AGM held at its Lichfield plant in South Waikato. “Our ambition to achieve $35 billion in revenue from 30 billion LMEs (liquid milk equivalent) by 2025 created confusion because it places too much emphasis on volume. “Our co-op is not about being big for the sake of it. “We’re about creating value for our farmers, our unit holders and for

NZ. That doesn’t change.” Hurrell also spoke of the need to maximise the NZ milk pool and not creating volume through farm developments around the world. “When we shifted to talking about off-shore milk pools, we also created confusion. “The concept of global milk pools can sound like we are creat-

ing volume through farm developments around the world. “This is not what we are doing; I think it is important to clarify this.” Hurrell says Fonterra’s approach has always been to generate global demand for its full suite of NZ-made products. Hurrell says Fonterra has longstanding relationships with farmers

New Fonterra director Leonie Guiney and husband Kieran at the co-op’s AGM.

in Australia and Chile. “These allow us to make products locally, meet demand in overseas markets and take advantage of any lower tariffs that may exist. “This continues to be the right approach.” Fonterra’s China farms recorded a direct loss of $9m last year. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews


DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

4 //  NEWS - FONTERRA AGM

Three assets up for review SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

FONTERRA HAS

identified three assets during the first phase of a board-led portfolio review, says chairman John Monaghan. They include the lossmaking investment in Chinese baby food maker Beingmate and two valueadded investments. Monaghan says at this stage nothing is off the table; divestment in full or part. He told the Fonterra AGM in Lichfield last week that a decision and completion of transaction on each investment will be completed this financial year. On Beingmate, Monaghan says Fonterra staff in China took over the management of the Anmum e-commerce

channel from Beingmate in May this year. In that six months Anmum sales grew 43% over the same period last year. The co-op has appointed Goldman Sachs to review its shareholding in Beingmate and changes to the deal involving its Darnum plant in Victoria, Australia. Monaghan says the second phase of the review involves the coop’s full portfolio. “We are taking stock of our co-op, assessing our investments, major assets and partnerships against our strategy and target return on capital.” Monaghan insisted Fonterra was not holding a fire-sale. “We are taking a clinical look across our business. There are no sacred cows and there’s no room for being sentimental.” The third stage of the

New Fonterra director Peter McBride (right) with shareholders Stuart Bay (left) and Dean Fountain.

REDUCE DEBT FONTERRA IS working to reduce its financial year-end debt by at least $800m. Chief executive Miles Hurrell says current expenditure is set at $650m, a reduction of $211m. “We are reviewing all discretionary initiatives in the pipeline and challenging all spending to help us achieve this.”

review will include exiting certain investments no longer core to the co-op’s

strategy, reallocating capital to new or existing ventures or reducing debt.

Monaghan says the board has some tough decisions to make. He assured shareholders that the board would be transparent to them. “We’ll keep you up to date with our progress where it is commercially viable and at all times show respect for your capital that we have invested on your behalf.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

Chuffed with response PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

NEW FONTERRA director Peter McBride says is overwhelmed with the response in the election. “I want farmers to know I will do my very best and I will work hard for them,” he told Dairy News. “It was a good result. I was quite surprised at the outcome

with only two people making it through but I guess that is the system.” He says going into the election he was concerned the farmers may “just see me as a kiwifruit guy”. “But I think when they got to meet me in person and heard what I had to say then they understood I had something to offer”. He says his first priority on the board will be to listen. “When you

go onto boards you have got to be really careful just to take your time,” he says. “My main plan is to try and get my head around the business. It is a very large complex business so my aim is to just to spend time with the senior executive and get as much insight into the business as I possibly can. And just contribute wherever I can. “In the first six months you

have got to do a lot of listening, not a lot of talking.” McBride will step down as chairman of Zespri in February and retire as a Zespri director at the annual general meeting in July next year. Asked if he would be ready for the Fonterra chairmanship if the directors wanted him to, he said it was too premature to even talk about it.

Voting process needs better transparency FONTERRA’S DIRECTOR election process needs better transparency, says Federated Farmers Waikato president Andrew McGiven. Expressing surprise that the co-op only elected two directors last week to fill three board vacancies, McGiven says shareholders are demanding clarification. “There is still a lot of conjecture around this, hence the dissatisfaction among shareholders who nominated the two outside candidates,” he says. “I think the farmer message to the board is that they are accountable to us as shareholders. I don’t know why the other two board nominees were not elected, but I think there is a clear message to the board – and to a certain extent senior management – that they aren’t greater than Fonterra itself, and in the end are accountable to us as shareholders and suppliers.” McGiven says South Canterbury farmer Leonie Guiney’s message “very much centred around this fact”.  Five candidates contested the board elections; the board backed three candidates through the independent nomination process– sitting director Ashley Waugh and new candidates Peter McBride and Jamie Tuuta. Among these three candidates, only McBride achieved the 50% ‘yes’ vote threshold. Guiney and Canterbury farmer John Nicholls self nominated for the election. Guiney, who was successful, says she is thrilled to be back on the board; she served a three-year term that ended in 2017. Guiney and McBride took up their board seats at the co-op’s annual general meeting in Lichfield. The Shareholders Council says another election will be held to elect the third director. McGiven says farmers are surprised that only two directors were elected and a third one didn’t make the 50% threshold.  But he stopped short of calling for a review of the election process. “Personally I don’t think the process needs a review and I like the fact that the independent selection panel takes the ‘beauty factor’ out of the mix, but this process needs better transparency and clarification to the shareholders. “While it appears that [new CEO] Miles Hurrell has identified some of these concerns and started making changes to strategy, the board needs to realise that the culture that it should be setting has evolved away from the values that we as farmers expect from our co-op and [it] has disenfranchised a lot of us as a result.” - Sudesh Kissun

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

NEWS  // 5

DIRA out of date? THE DAIRY Industry Restruc-

turing Act (DIRA) appears to be preventing Fonterra from effectively managing some aspects of its farmers’ environmental performance, says a discussion document from MPI. DIRA may also be no longer fit for purpose, in that it provides access to regulated milk for large dairy processors “for whom it may no longer be necessary”. However, DIRA remains relevant and effective at achieving its core objective of managing Fonterra’s dominance, and was unlikely to be encouraging inefficient industry growth or preventing Fonterra from pursuing a value-add strategy. MPI says those were its preliminary findings after consulting industry stakeholders in the first stage of a major review of DIRA launched in May. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor released the document

Damien O’Connor

at a ceremony on a dairy farm at Outram, Otago, to mark the start of wider public consultation. O’Connor said our biggest and most important export sector must be fit for the future. “It’s timely to take a strategic view of the challenges and opportunities facing the nearly $17 billion dairy sector.”

“A productive and sustainable dairy sector that grows value and protects the natural resources it depends upon is vital to our economic prosperity and the wellbeing of all New Zealanders.” O’Connor said DIRA, which led to the setting up of Fonterra in 2001, regulates the co-op’s dominance in the market to protect the

long-term interests of all farmers, consumers and the wider economy. “The dairy industry was built on the back of the DIRA legislation and it is a significant driver of the industry’s performance. “The review is looking at open entry and exit obligations, the farmgate milk price settings, contestability for farmers’ milk, the risks and costs for the sector, and the incentives or disincentives for dairy to move to sustainable, higher-value production and processing. “We need everyone with an interest in the success of the dairy sector to take part in a frank appraisal of the issues.” Public submissions are invited until February 8, 2019, after which potential legislative changes will be drawn up to go to Parliament. The document says key legislative areas are open entry requirements, access to regulated milk for dairy processors, the base milk price calculation and the DIRA review and expiry provisions.

DAIRY COMPANIES are disappointed at news that

the review of the China-New Zealand FTA is unlikely to result in improvement for dairy access. The Dairy Companies Association of NZ (DCANZ) says this increases the importance of high quality and timely access improvements for dairy from the other trade negotiations currently underway. “Despite the close relationship NZ and China enjoy, NZ dairy exports to China continue to incur over a $100 million in tariffs each year, with the safeguards regularly triggered in early January,” says DCANZ chairman Malcolm Bailey.  “Additionally NZ exporters of milk powder, cheese, and butter will be at a growing tariff disadvantage relative to Australian competitors until these safeguards end in three-five years”.    DCANZ agrees with the assessment that NZ will have the best dairy access into China of any country when dairy safeguards end in 2024.  However, five years will be a long time for NZ dairy exporters to be at a tariff-rate-driven commercial disadvantage.  So it is important for NZ to advance high quality and timely access improvements for other markets. Beyond China, dairy exports remain highly constrained in their access to many markets.  DCANZ estimates that only 12% of global dairy consumption occurs in markets it would classify as open to trade.

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

6 //  NEWS

Rowarth wants better rap for dairy PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

SCIENCE, COMMUNICATION and how dairy

works with the other sectors to ensure New Zealand has a good reputation for sustainability will be a particular focus for Jacqueline Rowarth as one of two new directors of DairyNZ. Rowarth is a farmerelected director and former Wellington City

councillor; Jo Coughlan took a board-appointed position. Rowarth says she has also always been interested in recruitment and how the sector gets good people as it makes money for NZ, she told Dairy News. “It is just ensuring that people understand the good work done by the farmers of NZ, including the dairy sector which frequently gets a bit of a bad

rap,” she says. She thinks the sectors should be working together to ensure all other countries understand our efficiency in producing food. “There are very few countries that can match our lack of subsidies and efficiency of production per unit of greenhouse gas, nitrogen loss and labour hours.” NZ agriculture is leading our productivity data; without the primary

sector we would look dismal, she says. “I am really positive and excited about being in this role and being able to work on what is already good and make it great.” Rowarth was the first chief scientist at the Environmental Protection Authority. Other roles she has held include professor of pastoral agriculture at Massey University and professor of agribusiness at Waikato University. 

She has 35 years experience as a soil scientist, with a research focus on managing the productive environment (nutrients and greenhouse gases). In 2011 she invested in a family-run dairy farm in Tirau. Speakers at the DairyNZ annual meeting in Invercargill said sustainable farm systems and the new strategy’s six commitments will be crucial for dairy’s success. Jacqueline Rowarth

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

NEWS  // 7

$50m dryer for sheep milk A NEW milk spray dryer to be built next year in Hamilton will help New Zealand’s advance in infant formula and specialty ingredients, say its investors. The $50 million dollar dryer, at Waikato Innovation Park, will be managed by Food Waikato. It has formed a new company, Melody Dairies Ltd Partnership, of which Pamu Farms (formerly Landcorp) owns 35%. The venture has three other backers: Nu-Mega Ingredients (NZ), owned by Clover Corporation Ltd with a 35% share in Melody Dairies; Dairy Nutraceuticals Ltd (20%); and Food Waikato (NZ Food Innovation Waikato) with a 10% share. The 1.2 tonnes/hour dryer is designed to meet strict infant milk formula manufacturing standards for sheep, goat, cow and specialty ingredients. Pamu chief executive Steve Carden says NZ has plenty of big spray dryers for commodity milk but lacks smaller, speciality dryers that can manufacture small scale, novelty milks. Carden says the investment will support Pamu’s strategy of adding value within and beyond the farmgate. “For the last five years Pamu has been pursuing a strategic approach aimed at future-proofing

the company by diversifying our earnings potential, and helping mitigate the commodity cycle that holds the company hostage to some extent. This investment fits with this strategy, and we expect it to contribute to the growing earnings and financial resilience of Pāmu in the years ahead.” He said the move is also good for NZ’s growing, award winning sheep milk industry, in providing “an additional option for drying the milk from our Spring Sheep joint venture, at a time when capacity for such specialist facilities is severely stretched”. “We will also be able to access our share of capacity in the dryer for processing other specialist milks, such as our pure organic milk powder, which we are about to start selling in China.” Carden says any capacity Pamu or its JV partners do not use can be on-sold to other users. “This is good news for the Waikato region, the centre of our sheep milking and organic milk operations.” Pāmu’s 35% stake in Melody Dairies is being financed through existing balance sheet capacity and is valued at $11 million. Pamu owns 50% of Spring Sheep Milk

CAPACITY BOOSTER CONSTRUCTION OF the spray dryer is expected to start this month for start-up by November 2019. It will be built alongside the existing dryer and will have 2.4 times its capacity. It is expected to earn $129 million in exports a year. The Food Waikato plant opened in May 2012 and the existing open-access development dryer is running at capacity, producing $51 million in export product for the year. The existing dryer will remain available for new businesses and products, with increased capacity available as some clients switch to the new dryer. A director of Innovation Waikato, and former chief executive of Dairy Goat Cooperative, Dave Stanley, says having Pamu as a cornerstone shareholder was critical to the new dryer venture. “As innovators in farming, we value Pamu as a shareholder..”

Co, whose spokesman Michael Ahie welcomed the investment. “Spring Sheep is growing as we see global customers start to recognise

the unique taste and properties of our milk, and the provenance of the product. This investment will help secure the future of Spring Sheep.”

The new dryer will support the growth of NZ’s sheep milk industry.


DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

8 //  NEWS

Going hand-in-hand to s NIGEL MALTHUS

ECONOMIC AND social sustainability must go hand-in-hand with environmental sustainability, says the only farmer member of the recently named Fonterra sustainability advisory panel. “Whenever you see ‘sustainability’ you always think environmental firstly, and probably for good reason,” says South Canterbury’s Michelle Pye. “But you know they’re interlinked; you can’t have one without the others. “Sustainability is about having our business here long-term, for generations to come. And you need financial sustainability, environmental sustainability and social sustainability because you need your licence to operate.”

Pye has been a member of the Fonterra shareholders council for two years. She is joined on the sustainability panel by five experts mostly from business and environmental management and with little prior connection to Fonterra. “It’s an impressive group and I don’t profess to be an expert on sustainability at all but it’s important to have a farmer voice at that table and that’s my role there,” says Pye. “You could loosely describe them as friendly critics. They’re there to challenge what you’re doing. In any industry you’ll get the biggest challenges from outside your industry. So it’s going to be interesting.” Pye and her husband Leighton own and run the Pye Group at Winchester,

across the road from the house where Leighton grew up. The group runs contracting and cartage businesses, and grows potatoes, carrots, cereals and seeds on 2000ha, mostly in the Rakaia area. It expanded into dairying in 2002 and now owns nine dairy farms, mostly south of the Rangitata River, managed by contract milkers. “I am excited to be part of [the panel] because with Pye Group we want to have a sustainable business that’s respected in the community. But you’ve got to earn that respect and I’d like to see Fonterra do the same thing... and respected in New Zealand; what’s good for Fonterra will be good for New Zealand,” says Pye. “I am a strong believer in the co-op model being

The Pye Group’s Michelle Pye (right) with farm manager James Emmett.

what the industry needs. Without a strong co-op at the corner of the dairy industry in New Zealand I think we’d have serious concerns about profitability and sustainability.” Pye says that having

grown on the milk boom the Pye Group is now improving what they’ve got through sustainability, planting, and technology. Their farms have few waterways, but they have done riparian and other

planting where appropriate. A corner of one farm has been set aside as a habitat for native lizards. Technology such as soil moisture probes and flow meters have become general practise in Can-

terbury, she says. “A lot of our sustainability is in the use of water and fertilisers, so in that regard we measure and measure and measure.” The group has bought

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

NEWS  // 9

o sustain good business its own fertiliser spreaders with proof-of-placement technology. They have variable rate irrigation on two farms. “We’d love to have it on every farm but it’s

about $50,000 an irrigator,” she says. “That’s why I keep saying you’ve got to have environmental sustainability with economic sustainability.” Their contracting busi-

ness is a district collection point for a silage wrap recycling scheme. The group has introduced “Pye group values” to ensure farm managers are clear about expec-

tations and get “a huge amount” of support to meet them. “It’s absolutely not acceptable to be noncompliant on any consent; that’s just a big no, and

they know that,” says Pye. They run a program called CSVue which manages all consents, sends alerts when actions are required, and logs effluent and irrigation ponds to

help detect any problems. The group already has close to 40 core staff (excluding farm staff employed by the contractors) but is about to appoint someone just

LIGHTER AND PRODUCTIVE COWS SHOWING DAIRY News around the Pye Group’s Grantlea Dairy No 1 farm, on the tourist route between Rangitata and Geraldine, Michelle Pye explains that all the farms aim for a grass-fed low-input system, with minimal grain and fodder beet supplements. Partly in response to Mycoplamas bovis, and partly in an effort to use genetics to breed a lighter but still high-producing cow, they have moved this season to no-bull mating. Except for the heifers and two farms which still run herringbone sheds, all group farms have automatic drafting

with heat detection cameras in the rotaries. Pye says they are trying to reduce stocking rates without affecting milk production. “The thing we’ve got to be careful of as owners, because these guys are on a contract, is that we don’t make a decision that cuts their income. We’re being a little cautious about it but it’s where we want to be heading.” Grantlea has 850 milking cows at 3.8 cows/ha, 95% grass fed. In previous years contract milker James Emmett has used Hereford bulls as a mark-

er at the end of six weeks of AI, rearing up to 50 beef calves of his own. This season he is forgoing that in the interests of the all-AI breeding. He explains: “We want that cow to milk like a Friesian but eat like a Jersey.” The previous contractors on the property, Joe and Suz Wyborn, were named Canterbury Supreme Winners of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards in 2016, thought to be the first time anyone has won the title on land not their own. The farm takes water from the Rangitata South irrigation

scheme and can store about 30 days worth in an onfarm irrigation pond (at 8.5ha the largest in the group by surface area). The scheme itself has its own large ponds but cannot take water from the river except at times of high flow, and has not been able to take any water yet this season. “We can’t waste this resource,” says Emmett. Michelle Pye adds that she gets “really grumpy” when people say farmers get free water. “It’s a huge cost: capital investment aside it’s roughly 50c/kgMS.”

Genetics are used to breed lighter but high producing cows.

to manage environmental compliance. All group farms either have a farm environment plan or are in the process of formulating a plan.


DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

10 //  NEWS

NZ butter lands in the US PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

THE US states Texas and California are being targeted by Lewis Road Creamery for its specialty butter. Its founder and chief executive Peter Cullinane says the decision to sell butter in the US started about six months ago when they worked with Southern Pastures, a company with many dairy farms in the South Island and the biggest single supplier to Westland Milk Products (WMP). Southern Pastures has developed a

special quality standard called Ten Star Premium Standard (10SPS) and have a joint venture with WMP. Cullinane says working with Southern Pastures and WMP immediately gave Lewis Road a source of quality milk and production ideally suited to producing high quality branded butter for China and the US. “The big opportunity in the States is for grass fed butter. “We take the idea of grass fed butter for granted but in the US they don’t; its valued by discerning consumers who want products from animals that are grass fed and they are prepared to pay

OLD-STYLE CHURNING PETER CULLINANE has strong West Coast connections and the arrangement with WMP fits well with that, as does the way WMP makes his butter. He says they use the Fritz system as opposed to the Amix system used by most companies. “When I was a young lad I had a two-and-sixpenny postage

stamp with a large kauri butter churn on it. The Fritz system is the modern day version of what it was like 100 years ago so there is an added charm to our butter being produced in an artisan-like way,” he says. Cullinane say the Fritz system produces a very soft butter with a velvety texture.

Lewis Road Creamery butter is now available in Texas and California.

a premium for this,” he says. The two markets in the US that Lewis Road is targeting are hubs for Air New Zealand – Houston and Los Angeles. Cullinane says they are putting their product into high-end Texas supermarkets in Houston, Dallas and Austin. In Los Angeles they have done a deal with another high-end supermarket chain called Erewon. When his general manager was in

the US, he identified Erewon as the perfect supermarket for them to sell their butter to. He found out that the owners of the supermarket chain lived next door to the NZ counsul-general in Los Angeles, Maurice Williamson the former politician. “A friend of mine asked Maurice Williamson if there was any chance of us meeting the owners of Erewon and the next day I was sitting down with

them in Maurice’s office and a deal was done. In my view Maurice Williamson is doing a great job,” he says. Cullinane says the first shipment of butter is small in volume by commodity standards but he says they just want to start developing the market in the same way as they did in NZ – starting small and gradually building sales. Cullinane is impressed with the Irish, with their grass fed Kerrygold brand, having developed a stronghold in the market. “They are now number-two in the market in the US and as far as I am concerned anything the Irish can do we can do better,” he says. The Irish have focused on developing a strong brand whereas NZ has remained focused on commodities. Cullinane says in the US market NZ hasn’t really got its heads around added value and especially the value of products produced from grass fed animals. “This attribute is completely underappreciated in NZ,” he says. Cullinane says NZ must get away from feeding PKE to cows and produce high quality milk by cows fed only grass.

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

12 //  NEWS

Slow to move on organics PAM TIPA pamelat@ruralnews.co.nz

NEW ZEALAND dairy

has been slow to move on organics but is now getting on board, says Brendan Hoare, who recently moved on from his position as chief executive of Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ). Open Country declaring its organic status last month is an indication of the change, Hoare told Dairy News. Whereas historically organic dairy was mainly produced by private businesses like BioFarm and Clearwater or local companies, now the bigger organisations are moving

into organics. Fonterra were “a bit wobbly but they got there” and globally you now have Green Valley and Open Country involved, he says. Hoare says NZ is late off the mark but admits he is biased. Big international buyers in organic dairy “just pull their hair out at how slow New Zealand is to meet global demand”. “New Zealand is very well placed to position itself with that strategic approach. People want safer foods, cleaner foods, good for the environment, good for people working on farms.” Hoare says it is not just the dairy sector but

NZ’s strategic perspective; we have to think even beyond organic. “Global markets don’t want more produce that is no good for the environment. There are lots of market pressures and policy pressures. We have got to move and they feel that New Zealand is well placed to position itself to be that kind of champion.” If you are in the dairy game you have to start to demonstrate you have a point of difference and organics does that. “Those businesses wouldn’t venture there unless they had done their homework.” Products need to be both market and product led simultaneously.

“Not one or the other; they have got to happen together, which in the modern world they call ‘blockchain’. Blockchain goes deeper than a vertical supply chain. Market to consumer understanding, all the way through to product and production, are driven by the digital connection. “People in a supermarket literally scan the barcode on the product to have a look at it and there is a story behind it. A blockchain is about owning that whole digital content. That can determine market preference, brand preference and also what happens in the field so that people don’t over-

Brendan Hoare

supply or undersupply.” The meta-data from a blockchain of significant size becomes very powerful. You can predict behaviours. Amazon for example is creating a platform where they know how product is being sold in real time, he says. Hoare says the biggest chunk of growth in organics in NZ has been in the

wine and kiwifruit sectors. “But watch out, here comes dairy. They are talking to each other which is wonderful, about best practice, best extension -- we talk about moving away from commodity level and into branding. I don’t think many people understand the conversation about what that means. “Horticulture is a great

T CEN U L NS TRAOFING TRANSLUCENT RO ROOFING

example of where they do know.” Hoare will remain involved in the organics sector and OANZ through his company NZ Pure. OANZ is restructuring and is not replacing Hoare but instead administrative, accounting and secretariat support will be provided under a service agreement with Horticulture New Zealand.

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

AGRIBUSINESS  // 13

Orders surge for robotic milker MILKING TECHNOLOGY company DeLa-

val says demand for the new DeLaval VMS milking system V300 is exceeding expectations. DeLaval has increased production capacity to meet this demand: it has employed more production personnel, adjusted supply chain planning and secured deliveries from suppliers. Orders are said to have surged “the moment the new system was launched”. Production line personnel numbers in Sweden have almost doubled and production shifts are now longer. Other production facilities delivering to Sweden have boosted their capacity to cope, says John-Erik Hermanson, executive vice president supply chain. A DeLaval distribution centre opened this year in Germany has more storage with higher efficiency to cut the lead-time to customers, he said. “Consolidating the future of the DeLaval supply chain is key to the collective success of DeLaval, partner dealerships and farmers.” The VMS300 is ideal for farmers facing labour uncertainties or shortages, and the system addresses

animal welfare and food safety needs, the company says. It has been widely tested in Europe and is readily adaptable to New Zealand grass-based production. The VMS 300 achieves 50% faster attachment at a 99.8% attachment rate, and 10% higher capacity, and it can harvest up to 3500kg/day/robot; it has a 99% teat spray hit rate. Running costs are reckoned lower than for previous models and less farmer intervention is needed in the dairy. DeLaval’s new user interface InControl allows data access and control of the system remotely; it delivers data on individual cows – activity, yield and cell count – and allows control of cameras or automated sort gates. Also new is the DeLaval PureFlow, a transparent teat preparation cup designed to stimulate better milk flow, and DeLaval InSight that uses recent vision technology for fast and accurate attachment. Justin Thompson, DeLaval’s Oceania sales manager, told Dairy News earlier this year that the VMS 300 achieves performance increases not seen before by the company.  “The level of data that

TRADE DEAL BRINGS JOY DAIRY COMPANIES are welcoming news that the

Comprehensive and Progressive Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) will be implemented this year, on December 30. Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) chairman Malcolm Bailey says having six countries now ratify CPTPP means that we are now on a short countdown to getting the first set of tariff cuts for dairy access into the CPTPP markets.    For dairy exporters, the timing means also a second round of tariff cuts again -- in January 2019.  “While CPTPP unfortunately does not deliver a high-quality outcome for dairy access in all markets, there are still useful gains to be had, including in key markets such as Japan and Mexico,” says Bailey. “Having a double-hit of tariff cuts in close succession into these CPTPP markets is an important outcome for our dairy industry.  It means our exporters won’t end up at a tariff disadvantage against competitors such as the EU in key markets such as Japan”.

can be gathered from each teat, due to the individual quarter milking and automation, ensures complete milking every time.” The unit uses the DeLaval InService system

to support service, consumables supply and maintenance at a fixed price; it ensures that the plant’s milking performance is at its best for each milking.

De Laval’s V300 robotic milker.

Have your say on NAIT changes We’re proposing changes to the NAIT (National Animal Identification and Tracing) Act and regulations. The changes are based on recommendations from the NAIT Review and lessons from the Mycoplasma bovis response.

Find out more: www.mpi.govt.nz/NAITconsultation


DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

14 //  OPINION RUMINATING

EDITORIAL

No you don’t!

MILKING IT... Stingy

Cuddly cows

THE ORGANISERS of the inaugural two-day Pasture Summit have got it wrong in asking journalists to pay a $380 registration fee. “It’s our first time running the event and we have high startup costs and tight budgets so we can’t offer discounts or free media passes unfortunately,” organisers are telling journalists. With an array of top agribusinesses – who value journalists and their participation – it’s still not too late for a rethink. On social media the organisers have been copping flak for their “shortsighted” decision.

IF YOU’RE stressed and have a couple hundred dollars lying around, why not try cow cuddling? Mountain Horse Farm in upstate New York is offering a 60-minute cow cuddle for US$75. The farm also offers a full Cow And Horse Experience, which lets customers pet, brush and play with cows and horses. The 90-minute session costs US$300. Animals are known to decrease stress in humans: think emotional support dogs. But cows? “Cows’ body temperature is slightly higher than humans’ and their heart rate is lower,” Mountain Horse Farm says on its site. “Cuddling up with a cow, feeling that lower heart rate and higher body temperature, is very relaxing.” “They will pick up on what’s going on inside and sense if you are happy, sad, feel lost, anxious or are excited, and they will respond to that without judgment, ego or agenda.” The session starts with a few breathing exercises for about 15 minutes to “take you out of your head and into your body”. Then it’s cuddle time.

Dwarf breeds impress GOOD THINGS often come in smaller packages and it may soon be true for dairy farmers. Researchers at the University of Western Australia have found that dwarf cattle breeds are better adapted to high temperatures, and say the findings are important for developing climate-ready cattle. Lead researcher Dr Muhammed ElayadethMeethal said the study showed for the first time that dwarf breeds of cattle use different heat tolerance mechanisms than standard cattle breeds, making them better adapted to hotter climates. “Standard size cattle breeds can acclimatise in the short term to higher temperatures but reach their tolerance limit under prevailing tropical conditions, while the dwarf breeds are genetically adapted to the warmer climate,” he said. The study included Vechur cows, which are the smallest breed of cattle, averaging 50 - 130kg and 61 - 90cm respectively. They are valued for the large amount of milk they produce relative to the amount of food required.

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ANOTHER DAY, another ‘milk’ appears on the horizon. A NZ entrepreneur is developing vegan milk brand Milk 2.0, made with base ingredients such as almonds, cashews, poppy seeds and pumpkin seeds. The plan is to launch the brand with almond and cashew based varieties – in a plain and chocolate flavor – then to expand the line to include more inventive blends of seeds and nuts. Poppy seeds have the highest amount of calcium, even higher than dairy milk. The entrepreneur joins a growing list of innovators in the non-dairy industry making plant-based alternatives out of unexpected ingredients, including fellow New Zealand brand WellKit Foods International, which launched a persimmon-based vegan ice cream brand -- My Goodness! -- this month.

FONTERRA FARMERS have delivered a stinging rebuke to the co-op leaders: don’t expect us to rubber stamp your director candidates, was the message in last week’s results. It’s clear from the results that Fonterra farmers voted strategically in the board election. The Fonterra board and shareholders council endorsed three candidates: sitting director Ashley Waugh and two newcomers Peter McBride and Jamie Tuuta. But shareholders had other ideas: they rejected Tuuta and Waugh but endorsed McBride, the outgoing chairman of Zespri. They backed South Canterbury farmer Leonie Guiney, a stunning return by this strongest of critics. Another farmerendorsed candidate, John Nicholls, failed to get elected. Guiney retired from the board in 2017 after her first three year term but her attempt at re-election ended in controversy. She was also at the centre of a court action taken by Fonterra over the alleged release of confidential board information. Guiney campaigned for “a simpler, more disciplined but successful cooperative”. Fonterra needs to cease trying to be what it is not, she said. Farmers liked her message. Last week’s election results also called the election process into question. The co-op’s revised election process, implemented last year, requires farmers to vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ against each candidate. Successful candidates must achieve the 50% ‘yes’ vote threshold. Online voting requires farmers to cast a vote against each candidate -- either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. To win, a candidate must get at least 50% of those voting for him or her, so ‘no’ votes are as essential as ‘yes’ votes. After farmers failed to elect three directors last week, the Fonterra shareholders council has signalled another election to elect the remaining director. It seems Fonterra’s board and the council neither expected anyone to stand outside the independent nomination panel process nor thought through the implications. But farmers have already worked it out and voted strategically. There’s definitely confusion over the Fonterra director election protocol. That’s incredible for an election, throwing up all sorts of interesting combinations and permutations. Fonterra has had a challenging year, and after recording its first net loss last financial year it is promising major changes. Shareholders are watching. For the time being they have put their faith in the new chief executive Miles Hurrell. However, the board has been put on notice: if they don’t shape up, they must ship out.

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

OPINION  // 15

Golden future beckons TEH-HAN CHOW

ASIA IS the ‘hot zone’

for dairy and will be the next dairy goldmine, especially the markets in China, India and some South-East Asian countries. Demand for dairy is already soaring, driven by huge populations and fast-growing regional economies, and buoyed by changing consumer behaviours and tastes. Asian economies are growing rapidly compared to developed mar-

tite for dairy and by 2025 will account for 40% of dairy consumption versus 27% in 2016. The term ‘glocalisation’ was coined to describe the adaptation of globally marketed products and services into local markets. For dairy consumers, global ingredients bring exotic tastes to local products, giving people more chance to taste unfamiliar flavours. Cheese, for example, has benefited from Asian people’s desire to try nontraditional foods. With almost 400K tonnes of

tors, including Starbucks, by meshing trends in China’s tech industry with the coffee shop model. Nine months after its start-up, today it’s worth US$1 billion. Asia has enthusiastically embraced the health and wellness trend. People want to be healthy and fit, look good and

use exercise as a basis for socialising. Dairy protein is increasingly recognised for its nutritional benefits and the yoghurt market is booming. While offering significant opportunity for global dairy players, the challenges of operating in Asian markets are likely to present speed bumps

along the way. However, with a seemingly insatiable appetite for dairy in the region, market growth should continue at full steam for years. • Teh-Han Chow, president Fonterra’s NZMP Greater China, South & East Asia gave this speech at the recent NZX Global Dairy Seminar in Singapore.

Te-Han Chow, Fonterra.

With more money in the region’s collective wallet, Asian markets are now in the ‘take-off zone’ for fast growth in dairy demand. kets such as the US and Europe. There’s a strong correlation between a country’s GDP and dairy consumption, which means that as people become wealthier, they want higher-protein foods and drinks, particularly dairy. With more money in the region’s collective wallet, Asian markets are now in the ‘take-off zone’ for fast growth in dairy demand. Urbanisation plays a big role in the growth of dairy as city dwellers consume more dairy products than their rural counterparts.   About 1% of the population in China seeks a better life in the city each year, which means Chinese cities swell by 13 million new inhabitants every 12 months. With a similar urbanisation rate in India, which is expected to increase its urban population to 40% by 2025, the impact for dairy demand should be massive. A young workforce in Asean countries and India will also propel market growth in the coming decade, as will an expanding middle class. In India, the top two consumer categories – elite and affluent -- will fuel much of the country’s growing appe-

cheese imported in the past five years, the cheese category has risen on average 30%/annum over this period. People also want safe and quality dairy products, and a variety of products to choose from. The internet age has completely changed the market landscape for brands in Asia. E-commerce and social media hugely extends the consumer reach, supported by the logistics system, and lowers the barrier for newcomers to establish a brand. O2O -- online to offline – is connecting traditional business with a modern digital platform, emerging as a new retail channel and a new way of doing business. Hema Fresh has been a pioneer of ‘new retail’ in China. A chain of cashless supermarkets, the stores offer a giant selection of fresh food. Customers use their smartphones to shop and pay for their groceries, which are delivered within the hour for those up to three kilometres away. About 70% of Hema’s sales come from online orders. Another shining example of new retail is Luckin, the dark horse in the Chinese coffee market. It has charged past its competi-

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

16 //  MANAGEMENT

THE 2017 Central Pla-

teau Share Farmers of the Year, Carlos and Bernice Delos Santos, says entering the Dairy Industry Awards was one of the best career decisions they have made. They were also the national runners-up. They say they grew professionally and personally just from entering. “You hear that so often from previous entrants, and the truth is, you really do,” Carlos said. “If we could enter again, we probably would.” The Delos Santos are still share-farming on the farm where they won the regional title and have increased their herd size to 370. “We are about to embark on our next adventure and will be milking more cows.

Carlos and Bernice Delos Santos.

“We credit that progression to the awards. We learned it’s a lot easier to deal with bankers and potential farm owners/consultants with the knowledge we gained from the awards.” The couple are this year regional managers in the Central Plateau regional committee, enjoying being able to encourage the next wave of entrants. “This is our way of

giving back to the awards and it is amazing to be involved in a memorable event to future winners,” says Carlos. “We know what it’s like first-hand to start from nothing. We literally worked from the ground up, and we like to share and encourage other entrants to do the same. “We knew just by entering that you got all these goody bags and vouchers and if you do a

bit better then you start getting serious prizes. In the past, we would say ‘we want to own a farm’ but we never really had a plan in place to achieve that ownership. Entering the awards made us put everything in writing and work it out. “We now have a clear path on how we are going to get there, what we need to do now and what we need to do in three years.” The Delos Santos say the awards also made them realise how important their family is, enabling them to prioritise their children and the time they spent on them. “Growing your business is one thing; being able to spend time with our three little children even though we are busy is priceless,” says Bernice. Entries close on November 16.

NOMINATIONS OPEN FOR AWARD NOMINATIONS HAVE opened for ents receiving a scholarship prize up to the 2019 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the $20,000 to pay for a professional/business development programme. Year. Three finalists for the awards will Next year will be the eighth year be selected by a judgof the award that celing panel of repreebrates women who sentatives from Dairy have made outstandWomen’s Network, ing contributions to Fonterra, Global the dairy industry. Women, Ballance AgriDairy Women’s Nutrients and a previNetwork chief execuous recipient. tive Jules Benton says Benton says anyone she is looking forward can nominate a netto 2019 as her first work member for the year of the awards. award. “As the year of Jules Benton, Dairy Women’s “You don’t have to our 20th anniver- Network chief executive. be a member yourself sary comes to a close [we’ve learned] that the role of dairy to nominate someone.... Nominations women has gone from being one of a through our website are encouraged silent force in the background to one from anyone – a neighbour, colleague, where they are leaders, chief executives friend.” Fonterra’s New Zealand industry and board members in their own right.” Benton says 2019’s recipient, who affairs general manager Jo Finer says will be announced at the network’s con- the cooperative is proud to support the ference in May in Christchurch, will be awards and its celebration of high persomeone high-performing and recog- formers in the dairy industry. “Each year we see outstanding nised by her peers as a leader of influwomen nominated, women who are ence in her community and beyond. Human behaviour and leadership passionate about the dairy industry, expert Loshni Manikam was named leaders across the sector and in their 2018’s Fonterra Dairy Woman of the communities and networks, and who Year in recognition of her dedication are contributing to the frameworks that to growing leadership in farming com- will enable the next generation of farmers to succeed.” munities and farmer welfare. Nominations close March 1, 2019 at The award has been sponsored by Fonterra since its inception with recipi- www.dwn.co.nz/dwoty

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

MANAGEMENT  // 17

Rain watch on the Coast peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

A FEW minutes can make all the difference to saving or losing a paddock to pugging on a West Coast dairy farm. Sharemilker Mark van Beek and his wife Debbie farm near Hokitika and when they are grazing stock in paddocks in the winter they have to monitor the paddocks literally by the minute to preserve the pasture from severe damage during heavy rain. According to Mark they can get up to 600mm of rain in a month and although the West Coast land is noted for its ability to deal with water, the management skills of the farmer very much come into play. But Mark was born on a farm about 16km up the valley from where he and Debbie work today so he knows the area well The property on which the couple farm is owned by a Maori trust – the Proprietors of Mawhera Incorporation -- and is called Mawhera Tuatahi, but it’s commonly known as Arahura Farm. It’s one of three farms the Incorporation own. It’s located on the banks

of the Arahura River which is most noted for pounamu or greenstone which is extracted from the river. The farm is about 3km from SH6 and the backdrop to the farm is bush clad Westland hills. The milking platform is 257ha and 500 cows are milked in a modern 44 bail rotary shed. Some Ayrshire genetics have been introduced into the herd to make them a bit more hardy for the conditions. Last year the cows produced 181000kgMS and this in a hard year, but in 2019 the van Beeks are targeting 190000kgMS. All stock are wintered on the farm. High on a hill across the river stands the Mawhera marae which has stunning views of the whole district including looking out down the rugged Westland coastline. Unquestionably the biggest challenge of managing the farm, says Mark, is dealing with the rain and some of the big south-westerlies that can damage infrastructure. He says while the ground can absorb a lot of rain it can get to the point where it requires micro management.

FRIENDLY ADVICE THE VAN Beeks’ journey to the Mawhera farm began of all places in Upper Hutt, north of Wellington. Mark left school and decided to make a career in engineering and that meant going to the Institute of Technology based in Upper Hutt. At the same time Debbie left Nelson to study occupational therapy and that was also taught at the institute. Here they met and eventually married in 1995 and three years later headed overseas to live in London. When they returned the decision was what to do. “Then a few people suggested dairy farming, including Damien O’Connor who Mark knew through the white water rafting industry. I also knew a friend through rugby called Colin van der Geest and when I talked about my interest in dairy farming he asked me if I’d like a job and it started from there,” says Mark. After spending two years with Colin van der Geest, Mark and Debbie moved on to a herd manager position in Reefton for two years and two years later Mark was offered a job as farm manager on the farm they are now on. They also bought an interest in the family drystock farm close to the Mawhera farm. After one year of farm managing they took on the 50/50 sharemilking contract from the existing sharemilkers. The advantages of working on the present farm are great for the van Beeks. Hokitika is a five minute drive away and schooling for their two children is easy.

“You have to be on the ball with pasture management, standing cows off when you need to and being prepared to leave residuals behind that normally you wouldn’t otherwise you would pug the ground and make too much mess. “Sometimes 10 minutes can mean all the difference between the pasture being ok and being absolutely ruined. Normally you would put a mob on grass and leave them and come later and move them. But in our case we will often put a mob on and just do jobs

nearby so that we can monitor what’s happening and be able to take them off quickly if need be. “It can get to the point that to leave the cows on for an hour is ok, but if we left them on for another ten minutes the paddock would be ruined by pugging,” he says. Mark says the last two-and-a-half years have been extremely wet and despite sunshine they have been unable to produce the quality of grass they would like.

The biggest challenge on farm is dealing with high rainfall.

@dairy_news

Mark and Debbie van Beek.

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MAWHERA CONNECTION MARK AND Debbie enjoy working for Mawhera Incorporation – a farm Mark remembers from his childhood days. In those days the land was divided into many small farms and remnants of the old dairy sheds can still be seen, including one next to their own modern dairy shed. They say the incorporation largely leaves them to their own device on the basis that the farm is profitable and tidy – and it is both. “We have a good rapport with them and we get the support we need. We employ a consultant who helps us with feed plans and so on. “He is also able to give us good feedback on how we are performing

in relation to other farms in the district and this either gives us reassurance or sparks us to do something different,” says Mark. This year Mahwera entered the farm in the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition. Mark stated that he liked the format of the awards and the way the judging was done. “We sat around the kitchen table and talked and we were able to get across to the judges the issues we face and what we are doing. This is unlike other awards which tend to be more ticking boxes than having a dialogue.” Mawhera didn’t win the competition but the judges were impressed with the van Beeks.

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

18 //  ANIMAL HEALTH

Genetics the key to more milk THE ABILITY of dairy cows to use feed to produce higher quantities of milk is a genetics issue, says the world’s largest dairy farmer cooperative. World Wide Sires vice-president global sales Scott Ruby said this during his annual visit to New Zealand to talk with farmers. He visited farms in the North and South Island. “I oversee the really important markets around the world where things are happening, and a lot of the dairy world is watching what’s happening in New Zealand,” Ruby said. “Over the last few years I’ve seen a gradual change in onfarm practice with more Kiwi farmers

benefitting from supplementary feeding, enabling them to move from system 1 to 2 or 2 to 3. “Dairy farming is a low margin business and farmers, everywhere around the world tend to be conservative in their approach to taking their farms to a higher cost model. “But, regardless of location and farming system, globally dairy farmers share a common goal – to milk cows which are efficient converters of feed into milk solids.” Most cows in NZ eat 15 - 17kgDM of grass forage per day with additional supplementary feeding taking them to 19 - 21 kgDM total intake per day. Ruby said the genet-

ics programme at World Wide Sires is focused on creating cows that can efficiently convert that dry matter intake into more kgMS while staying healthy, breeding back quickly and living for many lactations. “A few years ago it was common to talk to farmers who, wanting to increase milk production, simply added to the size of their herd/s. That is all changing now – not only in NZ but worldwide. Today more farmers are concerned about the number of cows on their farms and are thinking more about increasing milk production by increasing production per cow instead of total cow numbers.”

Ruby said that on every farm he visited in the North and South Island, “the discussion turned to the environment and environmental policies”. “I have two dairy farms in Oregon that have been under government environmental supervision since 1985 and we discussed a lot of the types of issues that we, as dairy farmers, deal with in managing our cows and being good stewards of the environment. Farmers generally don’t want to do one at the expense of the other so they to need to find a new balance -- a new approach. “Our breeding programme at World Wide Sires has been working to develop blood lines that will create a more

Scott Ruby (left), World Wide Sires, discusses genetics with North Otago farmer Nathan Bayne.

feed efficient animal that is smaller in size and doesn’t require as much energy for maintenance so she can put most of her energy into producing more kilograms of milk solids. “Genomics has been the most positive tool we have had at our disposal in the last 15 years in the US and it has allowed us to increase the rate of genetic progress in producing more feed efficient cows. Today we have bulls developed from multiple generations of genomic

breeding that are light years ahead of where we were 15 years ago. “Genomics is a great tool but it’s only as valuable as the size of the database behind the genomic system. The advantage we have in North America, over New Zealand, is having a huge database made up of really high quality data. The quality of the data going in and the quantity of data we analyse is what makes our program the strongest in the world, and that allows us

to make more rapid and consistent progress. “We are creating a grazing style animal that can be more productive and efficient for New Zealand dairy farmers. She is moderately sized with a huge engine, able to convert DM into more kg of milk. Animals with this ability provide a new range of options for farmers which benefit the environment, the land, the animals and their lifestyles.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

The national in-calf rate target is 78%.

BETTER IN-CALF RATES DAIRYNZ HAS redeveloped and updated a reproduction knowledge course known as the InCalf training programme. InCalf programme manager Samantha Tennent, new in the role, says the course teaches key knowledge in fertility and steps that can improve dairy cows’ reproductive performance. The training is for anyone interested in improving cows’ reproduction, including vets, rural professionals and farmers. “As a sector we need to be working together to help lift the current national average six-week in-calf rate from 66%, closer to the sector target of 78%,” Tennent says. “Many factors influence reproduction and it can be challenging for farmers to do everything they need

to do at the right time to achieve good results. Sometimes they lack of awareness or knowledge, yet we know that people who attend InCalf training know how to identify opportunities for improvement.” Run for the last decade in New Zealand, the programme was originally adapted from Australia for NZ conditions. “DairyNZ has worked with InCalf trainers to modernise the programme, including reducing the number of paper resources,” Tennent says. The new training format is known as InCalf Foundations and is designed to help attendees understand and prioritise drivers of fertility.  Attendees will understand the economic benefits of good reproductive performance in a herd and learn

how to maximise use of the InCalf resources, including interpreting the Fertility Focus Report that is part of the InCalf programme. “The principles of InCalf help raise awareness of a year-round approach to reproduction for good performance, rather than focusing only on the mating period. It’s important not to wait until it’s too late to address issues.” For farmers’ convenience the course has been reduced to two days but participants will get the same amount of instruction. “We are looking forward to delivering the updated programme,” Tennent says. Courses will run in Hamilton on November 20 and 21, and in Ashburton on November 27 and 28. Spaces are limited.


DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

ANIMAL HEALTH  // 19

Copper deficiency’s link to lameness So while it is too late to reduce the risk of copper deficient related fractures in heifers this season, you should review your copper supplementation program in R1’s & R2’s immediately.

EVERY MATING

season, Veterinarians are called to fresh calved heifers presenting with unexplained severe forelimb lameness. Often there is no history of sustaining an injury or signs of obvious trauma with the fractures occurring in heifers spontaneously around the time of bulling. The bone most commonly involved in these situations is the humerus (bone running between the shoulder and elbow joint) and on post mortem these bones can be extensively damaged with severe trauma to the surrounding soft tissues. These animals inevitably end up being euthanased

timber) between structural proteins in bone. If this cross linking is compromised so too is the normal laying down of bone mineral, meaning the strength of the bone is compromised. Unfortunately for the farmer (and more so for the animals themselves) by the time there is a noticeable increase

• Greg Jarratt is a vet and director of Matamata Veterinary Services. This article is brought to you by

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“Often copper supplementation is overlooked in young stock.”

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on humane grounds and therefore represent a significant financial loss to the business in addition to the pain and suffering endured by the animal suffering such a fate. Research conducted approximately 10 years ago at Massey University failed to pin point an exact cause and disease process, however this work did uncover some closely associated risk factors. It appears that copper deficiency is one such risk factor associated with this condition and while not every animal presenting with a fracture was copper deficient at the time of developing lameness, there was definitely an association with copper deficiency in the majority of scenarios. Copper is an important component of an enzyme responsible for strengthening connective tissue (such as bone). This enzyme, called Lysyl oxidase is responsible for forming cross linking (similar to bracing

in fractures there is not much that can be done to immediately rectify the issue. Copper deficiency in cattle occurs due to the fact predominately ryegrass based diets are relatively low in copper. Often copper supplementation is overlooked in young stock because they are out of sight – out of mind. Further because the greater amounts of supplementary feeding in the milking herd, very seldom do we diagnose copper deficiency (PKE has relatively high levels of Copper). The extent of this problem in young stock was investigated several seasons back when our practice conducted some basic surveillance work on rising two year olds returning from grazing looking at Cu levels. What we found was over 80% of R2’s mobs sampled had individual animals deficient in copper (Serum copper levels below 4.5 umol/L) requiring supplementation.

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

20 //  EFFLUENT & WATER

Top quality advice for farmers TIMELY ADVICE from respected experts will feature in regular seminars during the two-day Effluent Expo at Mystery Creek Events Pavilion on November 27 and 28. Nearly 100 exhibitors from across New Zealand have signed up to display most of the products and services available to dairy farmers, who will get to consult with industry experts and accredited system designers.

Doors open from 8.30am to 4pm on both days and attendance is free. A ticket-only social evening from 4.30pm on the first day will allow farmers and exhibitors to mix and enjoy a meal and early evening show by comedy duo The Bitches’ Box. Tickets are $45 via https://www. eventfinda.co.nz/2018/effluent-exponetworking-event/hamilton . Expo organiser Amanda Hodgson

SEMINAR HIGHLIGHTS ■■

Sustainability and the future of Good Management Practice / Farm Environment Plans / Dairying for tomorrow strategy- Charlotte Rutherford, general manager sustainable dairying – Fonterra.

■■

The importance of adequately sized effluent storage and an insight into the Dairy Effluent Storage Calculator (DESC) - Logan Bowler environmental extension specialist – DairyNZ.

■■

Making storage work for you; everyday confidence in effluent application using ReGen’s live dashboard and technology on farm. Joel Hensman, senior strategic business development manager, Regen.

■■

Water efficiency on dairy farms and the importance of water metering,Caleb Higham, Dairy NZ.

Minister for Primary Industries Damien O’Connor will take part in a Q&A session at the Effluent Expo.

says the casual evening event is open to all. The topical seminars on both days will be valuable for farmers wanting to know more about system design and compliance requirements. The seminars will be led by staff

from expo sponsors DairyNZ and Fonterra. Topics include best management practice, effluent storage and system design, and calculating storage size with examples for small herds or larger options. Primary Industries Minister Damien

O’Connor will visit in the afternoon of Tuesday, November 27, and will participate in a 30 minute Q & A session from 3.50pm to 4.20pm with Rabobank dairy analyst Emma Higgins. Food and coffee stalls will open on both days from 8.30am to 4pm.

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

EFFLUENT & WATER  // 21

Council chuffed about upgrades WAIKATO REGIONAL Council

says it is chuffed that dairy farmers are spending money on upgrading their effluent systems. But some systems capable of meeting standards are not doing so because farm staff are not adequately trained, says farming services team leader Stuart Stone. “No matter how experienced they are, new staff should be trained to get the best value out of farm effluent

management systems,” Stone said. “It’s also important for landowners to let us know when they’ve upgraded infrastructure. We’re coming across some who’ve done this great work, made the investment, but we don’t know about it. “That means they’re still on their old risk rating. Notifying us of improvements means we can update our system and, because these statistics are reported nationally, it means

Waikato Regional Council says farmers with insufficient storage are forced to irrigate in unsuitable weather.

farming industry compliance rates will lift too.” The council recently moved to a more risk-based monitoring approach, targeting the 19% of Waikato farms with less than seven days storage based on two milkings per day. The council visits high risk farms and watches from the air using satellite imagery, drones, fixed wing aircraft or helicopters.

IRRIGATION TOPS THE LIST IRRIGATION IS the biggest concern for the regional council, because farmers with insufficient storage are often forced to irrigate in unsuitable weather. This can often result in waterways becoming unnecessarily polluted, Stuart Stone said. Other factors that cause issues with irrigation can include the setup of the irrigator or the irrigator struggling because of poor pump pressure or maintenance. “There are options for farmers. We’ve got experienced staff who’ll be at this year’s Effluent Expo who can discuss storage options with farmers and how they can avoid illegal discharges of dairy effluent.” Stone said the council recognised that accidents can happen. “We get that. But farmers do have a number of ways they can reduce the risk to the environment. “If an accident happens we encourage farmers to call us – we can help with advice to mitigate the risk to the environment. At the very least it is important to ensure the waterways are protected from any effluent related accident,” he said.

Talk to us WAIKATO REGIONAL Council held the first free expo showcasing dairy effluent management systems, equipment and advice in February 2011. Planning for the expo stemmed from repeated enquiries received by the regional council on effluent systems, as well as a survey on what farmers wanted to know about effluent storage. “Effluent management has become a much greater focus for farmers in recent years and it’s exciting to see industry recognise the value of an expo putting on show new technology and systems available to farmers,” said Mark Gasquione, the council’s land management advisory services team lead. “Our expert staff will be available to answer questions farmers might have about everything from permitted activities to resource consents, as well as the proposed plan change for the Waikato and Waipā rivers,” he said. Find Waikato Regional Council at site 30 in the main pavilion at Mystery Creek Events Centre, November 27-28.

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

22 //  EFFLUENT & WATER

Fertiliser in spring BALA TIKKISETTY

GETTING THE biggest

bang for your buck out of fertiliser while protecting economic and environmental bottom lines is a key goal for farmers. As the soil starts warming over the next few weeks, farmers will be

Irrigating effluent to a large area helps nitrate leaching.

preparing to fertilise their paddocks. Finding the balance is critical for farmers and requires advice from fertiliser reps and consultants. That’s because healthy soils are a balance of biological, physical and chemical properties, and are a dynamic mixture of minerals, organic resi-

IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU! YOUR FARM, YOUR FUTURE.

dues and living micro and macro organisms, all of which support farm production and provide various eco-system services. As there are risks when applying fertiliser, and strategies to avoid them, I recommend all farmers have a nutrient budget and management plans for their properties and discuss their situation with their fertiliser rep. It’s also a requirement of our current regional plan to have such a budget and plan if nitrogen (N) use exceeds 60kg/ha per year.  Nutrient budgeting is widely accepted as the appropriate first step in managing nutrient use

many split doses as possible) ■■ irrigating farm dairy effluent to a large area ■■ adjusting fertiliser policy for effluent irrigated areas to account for the nutrient value of effluent ■■ using fenced wetlands and well-managed open drains as nutrient traps. The nutrient phosphorus behaves very differently from N because it binds with the soil and only dissolves slowly in water over time. This means it doesn’t readily leach to groundwater. But it can damage the health of waterways through soil

Soil quality monitoring from around the Waikato points to high fertility and compaction as the major issues on dairy and some drystock farms.

Greg and Carolyn Alexander’s farm, at the base of Mount Taranaki, gets a yearly rainfall of 3193mm. When it came to upgrading their effluent system, typical storage calculations were 1.1 million Litres for their 325 cow farm! When Greg and Carolyn discovered Presco and the Prosump, the Prosump’s deep vertical walls and dished floor immediately reduced that requirement by 156,000 litres. At Presco, we believe in doing something once and doing it right. Intent on the very best solution, we designed the Prosump cover! The cover installed on the Alexander’s Prosump reduced original storage requirements by 27% which meant pumping 1,025,000 Litres less per annum that would otherwise have been extra rainfall captured.

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For us at Presco, it’s all about you, your farm and your future. We provide tailored solutions to meet your specific needs be it a cover in high rainfall areas or 3.6m extra deep Prosump walls to reduce the footprint and fit your Prosump into a tight spot. If you are in a difficult spot or just looking for a storage solution that will last you a lifetime, search the Prosump online, or call us on 0800 77 37 26.

VISIT US AT THE EFFLUENT EXPO: STAND 8 www.prescoinfrastructure.co.nz

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Systems designed to comply with both Dairy Company and Regional Council requirements and the FDE code of practice.

and it’s also the preferred tool for evaluating the environmental impact of farm management practices. Overseer, a computer decision-support model, can be used to advise and support nutrient management decisions and, more recently, green-house gas emissions. Soil quality monitoring from around the Waikato points to high fertility and compaction as the major issues on dairy and some drystock farms.  Nitrate leaching is another more widely talked about issue. Plants need N for healthy leaf growth, but N is an extremely mobile nutrient. If more nitrogenous fertiliser is applied than plants can take up, most of the unused nitrogen ends up leaching through the soil into groundwater. Sometimes N will also be lost to waterways as runoff and some is always released back into the air as gas.  The amount of N leaching from pastures can be reduced by: ■■ timing fertiliser application to avoid periods when plant uptake of N will be low, such as when soils are saturated, during heavy rain, colder periods and times of low soil temperatures ■■ applying N fertiliser in split dressings (as

erosion and surface runoff into water. Farmers can reduce the amount of phosphorus run-off by keeping Olsen P to optimum agronomic levels. Other tips include: ■■ following the NZ Fertiliser Manufacturers’ Research Association Code of Practice for Nutrient Management ■■ applying fertiliser when the grass is in a growing phase ■■ leaving a grassed buffer strip between paddock and waterway; the strip filters the phosphorus before the run off reaches the water ■■ controlling run-off from tracks, races, feed and stand-off pads.  So, a clear assessment of fertiliser requirements will improve economic returns from pasture and help avoid contamination of ground and surface water with nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus.  With Healthy Rivers/ Wai Ora: Waikato Regional Plan Change 1 around the corner, there is increasing pressure on farmers to improve their nutrient management.  • Bala Tikkisetty is a sustainable agriculture advisor at Waikato Regional Council. Contact him on bala.tikkisetty@waikatoregion.govt. nz or 0800 800 401. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews


DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

EFFLUENT & WATER  // 23

Catros+ gets nutrients right down to plant root levels NEW ZEALAND farm-

ers can learn plenty about effluent management from their European counterparts. Northern hemisphere farmers have long valued the nutrient benefits of liquid and solid manures, and the machinery industry has developed plenty of machinery for application on grasslands and crops. For example, selfpropelled machines have resulted from the need to handle high daily outputs within time or season constraints, often because spreading has been forbidden at weekends. Much of the material used in the cropping sector in Europe originates from the pig indus-

try, well known for its problems with odours, prompting cultivation and

seeding specialist Amazone to exploit the opportunity provided by its larger Catros disc cultivators. The 7 - 9m Catros+ machines can be equipped with distribution heads fed by an umbilical connection to incorporate liquid effluent during cultivation, so getting nutri-

ents to the plant root levels, with the added

benefit of minimising odours in sensitive areas. To deal with the corrosive effluents being used, machines are supplied with modified seals on the disc bearing assemblies and extra greasing points throughout the machine frames. Distribution heads are sourced from industry leaders Vogelsang, who

Catros+ machine

can supply their DosiMat or ExaCut heads dependant on the material and quantity being applied.

In operation, delivery pipes take material to a point ahead of the front rows of discs where

it is mixed with the surface levels. A second set of discs further incorporate the effluent to depths

between 3 and 14 cm for effective use. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

WHY GYPSUM? Gypsum application is a standard practice worldwide for addressing the detrimental build up of sodium in soils (including soils receiving wastewaters). The combination of calcium and sulphate effectively address sodium.

Compared to using lime: Calcium release from partially soluble gypsum is faster than lime (calcium carbonate). Lime is also unsuitable in many cases as it increases soil pH, pushing out acid hydrogen rather than sodium from the cation exchange. Although DFW can be acidic, the effect of adding it to the soil can increase soil pH over time, meaning that lime application would simply add to a future issue of overly high soil pH. Compared to using other calcium sources: Calcium nitrate and calcium chloride may provide a fast release of calcium but, at the high levels required, they also deliver increased nitrate leaching and soil salinity to the detriment of plant growth. for more about Natural Gypsum and soil stabilisation visit www.gypsum.co.nz


DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

24 //  EFFLUENT & WATER

Separator shows big savings REID AND Harrison’s effluent expertise dates back at least 50 years, but it gained big traction in the early 1980s with the launch of its Yardmaster pump. At the upcoming Effluent Expo, the Matamata company will show its

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ring in existing pumps -high wear rates, lack of access and damage by foreign objects. The new design addresses wear rates by cleverly ‘capping’ the auger flights of the unit with a 5mm urethane cover to protect the leading and trailing edges of the flights. The resultant ‘squeegee’ effect keeps the screen surface cleaner, meaning fewer blockages and, importantly, this has raised output by about 35% and extends component life by 300%. Combining the capped auger design with a new split-screen layout is said to offer easier maintenance, while a clever removeable shim system allows adjustment as wear occurs. Other detail changes include a new centralised bearing support in the driveline between the motor and the auger screw, said to reduce direct loading on the gearbox, and easily removeable covers that allow quick access to the separator’s key areas. Reid & Harrison chief executive Keith Cooke says the latest version of

the HSS “brings with it the ability to deal with up to 70 cu.m of effluent per hour”. “Using mechanical separation for feed-pad or dairy shed effluent means less downtime unblocking irrigators or pivot systems, while the ‘dry’ material reduces fertiliser use or offers a means of soil conditioning.” Capital costs of separation technology, compared to commonly used weeping wall systems of similar output, also show substantial savings, typically costing 30% less. Also on show will be the company’s stirrer/agitators for ponds or storage tanks; these give maximum agitation to produce a homogenous effluent, using a large propeller running at a relatively low speed for maximum effect and lower power consumption. Installed as an ‘over the wall’ or a submersible unit, the Yardmaster 7.5kw version drives through a reduction gearbox for a prop speed of about 300rpm, reckoned adequate for agitating a 2 million litre pond or tank.

LOW COST SYSTEM WITH PRACTICAL MANAGEMENT The desire to retain the purity of his family swimming and fishing holes drove Lindsay Lewis to develop a method of protecting the natural waters of the Mataura river not just for himself, but for his children and future generations. This protection was also a high priority for his client. During the process of developing an ultra-low distribution system, the concept of environmentally friendly dairy effluent management was born. The Clean Green Effluent System came to fruition initially at an ex neighbour’s farm at Gorge Road in Southland. From that first prototype the system has successfully been employed on dairy farms around New Zealand for 12 years. This unique ultra-low application depth and ultra-low rate application system is based on applying farm dairy effluent at levels that fall well below pasture uptake. The system starts with a unique patented weeping wall encased in a concrete

lined bunker. The weeping wall removes the solids and allows the liquid to flow into a pump chamber. Green water is then pumped to a tank for recycling. External yarding can then be automatically cleaned with greenwater via floodwash or backing gate nozzles, effectively cleaning yards without the use of fresh water. This reduces the water take from the standard 50 to 70lt/cow to 20 to 25lt/cow. The Clean Green Effluent System’s patented automated distribution system allows liquid to be dispersed over large areas at a super low rate of 1/4mm application depth, and effluent can be safely dispersed nearly every day of the year meaning there is no nitrogen leaching and the pasture retains all nutrients provided, thus increasing pasture growth by up to 35%. Recent independent scientific tests have indicated that with this system a lower level of nitrate leaching can be achieved even in the winter; better than most

other systems can achieve during the summer months. Due to the 1/4mm application depth and being able to distribute all year round, no mega ponds need to be constructed and therefore minimal storage is now required. The Clean Green Effluent System utilises as little as two 30,000 litre water tanks to provide storage for greenwash and effluent dispersed. The advantage of the water tanks is they are guaranteed not to leak and have no rainwater catchment. Rainwater catchment in mega ponds equates to doubling the amount of effluent being stored and having to be dispersed by pump to land. Given the current amount of focus on New Zealand’s primary industry needing to improve its reputation, the Clean Green Effluent System is the obvious option for farmers and industry to adopt, to ensure our diary industry continues to thrive; we can remove dairying as an easy scapegoat for the state of our waterways.

BENEFITS OF THE SYSTEM... • SMALL FOOT PRINT • NO STORAGE PONDS • FULLY AUTOMATED • LOW RUNNING COSTS • 0.25MM APPLICATION/24 HOURS • LOW MAN HOURS TO MAINTAIN • 60% FRESH WATER SAVINGS • FULLY PATENTED SYSTEM

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headoffice@cleangreeneffluent.co.nz www.cleangreeneffluent.co.nz


DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

EFFLUENT & WATER  // 25

Yard washing, screening gear on display MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

YARD WASHING, pumping and

effluent screening gear will be on the GEA site at the Effluent Expo at Mystery Creek. The expo will be held on November 27 and 28. At the milking shed, the Flush Valve offers quick and easy washdown using high volumes of fresh water or recycled effluent (‘green water’). This has a 5.5m clearing width and the liquid is delivered in a horizontal plane with little or no splashing vertically. The heart of the system is a valve actuated via a robust airbag system for opening or closing; it requires

only 40psi to achieve a head of 8m. It’s reckoned easy to install and maintain via large access panels. The Agri-Pump, a dual-purpose unit that agitates and pumps, can handle effluents with high fibre or solids content to supply a constant flow of well agitated material. Using a rugged propeller knife and impellor blade system, the beltdriven unit has a pump whose revs are easily adjustable, and a rotating nozzle (optional) deals with crusts or stagnant liquid. The unit mounts on the side of the reception pit and is supported at the base; this siting allows easy maintenance. Its 3-way gearbox drives a propeller and an impellor, to agitate and pump from a common drive

shaft. The cast iron impellor carries four curved blades to pump through a 100mm outlet pipe. In many installations the pump flow might be directed to a GEA Slope Screen that separates the liquid and solid portions of effluent, reducing wear and blockages in pumps, effluent lines and irrigator nozzles. The liquid portion can be held in a storage tank and re-directed for wash-down, saving clean water, while the solid content can be used as a fertiliser or soil conditioner. In operation, the Slope Screen is mounted on a platform above a solids bunker, with a flow of untreated effluent directed to the top of the screen via a regulator valve. As the effluent moves down the screen the liquid passes through to a holding tank while the solids are collected in a loading bunker.

Slope screen separator.

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

26 //  EFFLUENT & WATER

Smart irrigation keeps community, regulators happy Irrigation systems must be efficient.

SMART IRRIGATION is a practical way for irrigators to implement and demonstrate good management practice, says Irrigation NZ. Well managed irrigation is part of the commitment by IrrigationNZ and its members to the good farming practice action plan for water quality adopted in June 2018. Smart irrigation allows irrigators to maintain financial viability while meeting community expectations on sustainable water management. Requirements of smart irrigation are that the irrigation system is efficient, irrigation is scheduled, operators are trained and auditable records are kept. Any new development, upgrade or redevelopment must be consistent with the Irrigation Design and Installation  Codes of Practice and Stan-

Record keeping is key to smart irrigation.

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dards. Using an accredited irrigation design  company is the best way to achieve this. Any new development, upgrade or redevelopment must be commissioned  to show it has achieved its design performance parameters. All irrigation systems must have an annual  performance assessment (a bucket test) to demonstrate they are performing efficiently. Draft Good Management Practice guides for spray and border dyke irrigation: INZ has developed some draft guides to good management practice irrigation. When scheduling irrigation, water use must be compliant with a farm’s consent conditions -- a legal requirement. There are a two ways to schedule irrigation: soil moisture monitoring

and soil-water budgets. Training is key for everyone involved in irrigation and must include health and safety considerations. INZ runs practical irrigation manager  and  irrigation development training days and workshops that enable irrigators to upskill and be safe. INZ has developed resources for irrigators including guides, templates and  checklists, available free to all INZ members, or provided free as part of training. Records are key to smart irrigation. Without evidence you cannot be accountable; records also provide a useful tool for analysis of performance and continual improvement. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews


DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

EFFLUENT & WATER  // 27

Water quality tops politicians’ agenda POLITICIANS ARE

promising to improve water quality within five years. “Clean water is our birthright,” says Environment Minister David Parker. “Rivers and lakes should be clean enough for our children to swim in, and put their head under, without getting crook.” The decline of at-risk catchments will be halted, says Parker. “We’re not going to leave the hard issues for future generations.” He and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor this month released the Government’s blueprint to improve freshwater quality. It also sets out a new

approach to the Māori/ Crown relationship that will acknowledge Māori interests in fair access to water to develop their land. “New Zealanders value rivers and lakes… and they want central and local government, farmers and businesses to do more,” Parker said. New rules in place by 2020 are intended to stop the degradation of freshwater quality. The new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, and a new national environmental standard, will impose controls on the excesses of some intensive land use practices; and remaining wetlands and estuaries will be

GOOD INTENTIONS ■■

Act and invest in at-risk catchments, including getting busy on ‘Good Farming Practice Principles’ and planning for tree planting via the One Billion Trees programme.

■■

Publish a new National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management by 2020, to ensure all aspects of ecosystem health are managed, and address risks by, for example, better directing how to set limits on resource use, and better protecting wetlands and estuaries.

■■

Publish a new National Environmental Standard for Freshwater Management by 2020, to regulate activities that put water quality at risk, such as intensive winter grazing, hill country cropping and feedlots.

■■

Amend the Resource Management Act within the next 12 months to review consents so as to more quickly implement water quality and quantity limits, and to strengthen enforcement tools for improving environmental compliance.

■■

Decide how to manage allocation of nutrient discharges, informed by discussion and engagement with interested parties.

better protected. “We will drive good management practices on farms and in urban areas,” Parker said. “And we are amending the Resource Management Act to enable regional councils to more quickly implement water quality and quantity limits. “We know Māori share the same interests as the rest of New Zealand in improving water quality and ensuring fair access to water resources.”  The Minister for Māori Crown Relations, Te Arawhiti Kelvin Davis, said Māori and the

Environment Minister David Parker.

Crown are committed to Te Mana o te Wai and to “substantive discussion on how to address Maori interests, by taking practical steps to address constraints on Māori land development”. Parker said the Government plans to talk to leading New Zealanders who care about freshwater – environmental NGOs, Māori, farming leaders, scientists, regional council experts and others. 

“We are working with the primary sector and regional councils in the most at-risk catchments.

I recently visited the Aparima River in Southland where the farming community is leading a

project to get all 600 land managers in the catchment following better farming practices.”

PROTECTING RESOURCES AGRICULTURE MINISTER Damien O’Connor said New Zealanders agree our natural resources must be used wisely.   “Primary sectors are crucial to an environmentally sustainable, highvalue economy…. This is why we must grow a sustainable and productive primary sector within environmental limits.  “Many in the sector are already working hard to protect the natural resources they depend on, and recognise the importance of enhancing our reputation as a trusted producer of the finest food and fibre products.” 

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

28 //  EFFLUENT & WATER

Using your head, doing it right NIGEL MALTHUS

EFFLUENT MANAGED well is a nutri-

ent and a benefit to your farming practice, says Pye Group’s Michelle Pye.

Grantlea farm manager James Emmett.

The recent appointee to the Fonterra sustainability advisory panel says companies are finding as they change their sustainability practices it brings economic and environmental advantages.

Most of the dairy farms in the South Canterbury-based Pye Group run two-pond effluent systems with one settling pond and one aeration. Pye says Canterbury leads the way in such systems because it has had to, with the number of dairy con-

and away from laneways, waterways and structures. That would be his wish list “gold standard”, he says. “We do the best we can with the tools we’ve got.” Eyeing the forecast, Emmett explains that every drain in the dairy

“We don’t want to be forced to apply effluent in wet weather because that’s when you get leaching and nutrient loss.” versions in the region. James Emmett, who runs the Pye Group’s Grantlea Dairy No 1 farm, explains that all effluent from the shed goes into a settling pond. From there it flows to a second pond by way of a slightly upwards-sloping pipe to minimise the amount of solids flowing through. The second pond has a constantly running electric aerator which is moved every couple of days. When the soil moisture is right the water from that pond is fed back to the pasture, he says. Pye says every farm in the group has an effluent management plan, so that staff all know what the consents say, when they can put on effluent and when they can’t, what to do when a pump breaks down and how often they need to check the irrigators. A computer program monitors everything, even down to sending an annual reminder to check the backflow preventers that keep clean water and effluent water separate in the system. Emmett says he would love to have variable rate irrigators to apply the effluent, ensuring it only goes where you want it,

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shed leads into the effluent ponds so they must be managed to ensure they do not get so full that they are forced to pump out at the wrong time. “We don’t want to be forced to apply effluent in wet weather because that’s when you get leaching and nutrient loss. We’ve just had rain. We’ve got a break in the weather and then Saturday we’ll have more rain. So tomorrow’s going to be my day when I target my drier paddocks and apply my effluent to them.” Meanwhile, the solids ponds are also cleaned of sludge every two years, and that too is applied to the pastures, and is also part of each farm’s nutrient budget. Pye says the group likes to do things itself so has bought its own effluent slurry spreader. Emmett says it needs to be measured and monitored so they know exactly what is going back on the pasture. “The best time is probably when you’re looking to re-seed or re-pasture so you can keep stock off it. Simple things like that -good old-fashioned farming practice, use your head, use your gut, do what’s right.”

An electric agitator at work on the second aeration pond.


DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

EFFLUENT & WATER  // 29

Uproar over irrigation consent NIGEL MALTHUS

A CONTROVERSIAL dairy conversion in the Mackenzie Country is now allowed to irrigate, even as Environment Canterbury warns that such intensive farming in the area would not now get approval. Consents from ECan and the Mackenzie District Council are now in place for Simons Pass Station to begin irrigating its land, which straddles SH8 just south of Lake Pukaki. The consents relate to an area in the north of the station (west side of the highway) previously irrigated by a border dyke system, and to two pivots in the south, close to the dairy sheds where the farm’s 840 cows are now being milked in Simons Pass’s first dairying season. Ecan’s Nadeine Dommisse, who chairs the Mackenzie Basin Alignment Programme – the group of five government agencies with statutory powers over land use and water quality in the Mackenzie – said this type of intensive farming land use would not now get consent in that location because the rules had changed. “The rules in the Mackenzie Basin are now are much stricter, particularly since 2015, and are beginning to bite,” said Dommisse. “In fact, two new consent applications for more intensive

The main irrigation pipeline for Simons Pass Station running alongside Lake Pukaki from the Tekapo Canal.

farming have been declined since 2016 due to concerns over landscape values and water quality.” The 9700ha station, owned by Dunedin accountant Murray Valentine, is still primarily a beef and sheep farm, with about 1300 beef cattle and calves, 7000 sheep and 840 dairy cows. Conversion to an irrigated dairy farm has been a long process for Valentine, culminating in an Environment Court appeal decision in 2016. The raft of consents from various bodies include the right to take irrigation water by pipeline from the Tekapo Canal, to build dairy sheds and other farm infrastructure and to farm up to 15,000 cows. Dommisse said the 99 conditions imposed in that decision, and agreed



to by the then appellants, were “probably the most onerous sets of conditions for a farm of this type anywhere in New Zealand”. One condition was that the station is required to spend at least $100,000 a year on restoring indigenous species in a 2500ha designated dryland recovery area. Dommisse said Simons Pass had met all conditions bar one, which related to finalising a baseline survey to protect the DRA. However, ECan was confident there was no risk of irrigation reaching that area and no grounds to pursue enforcement action. “We will be focusing on them completing the baseline survey by the end of the summer,” she said. “We are watching compliance very

closely. Additionally, the station is itself precision farming and measuring and monitoring to a high level.” Meanwhile, Greenpeace says it is “furious” at the decision to let the farm turn on its irrigators before the baseline survey is complete. Greenpeace campaigner Gen Toop says she’s “absolutely livid that ECan is allowing the country’s largest megadairy farm conversion to completely break the rules”. “What’s the point in having rules in place to protect wildlife and rivers when big dairy is allowed to just break them like this?” Toop said the decision is a symptom of the lack of democracy in the region and a failure of central government to set strong legislation to rein in

the dairy industry. ECan, the Mackenzie District Council (Simons Pass area), the Waitaki District Council (southern area of the Mackenzie), DoC, and LINZ are the five government agencies now co-operating in the Mackenzie Basin Alignment Programme. Dommisse said it has brought more environmental oversight through shared information over consent applications and compliance, mapping, pest control and biodiversity programmes that encourage indigenous wildlife. She said the five agencies had been operating under their statutory powers all along but were not always working together as they are today. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

30 //  EFFLUENT & WATER

Tankers, stirrers on show MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

CB NORWOOD Distrib-

Pichon slurry tanker.

utors will be at the Effluent Expo (November 27, 28) with its Pichon slurry tankers and pond stirrers. Pichon’s TCI (tanker with integrated chas-

sis) range has been a key product since 1970, with the integrated chassis design assuring stability, durability and a very low centre of gravity. These come in a range from 2600 - 30,000L with single-, dual- or tri-axle suspension. Inside the tanks, single,

dual or triple baffles maximise stability particularly when partial loads are carried. The design specifies dished heads at each end of the tanks for resistance to vacuum and pressure, and tank wall thicknesses vary from 5 - 8mm depending on tank diameter. This allows Pichon to offer a 5-year warranty on the TCI tank and the chassis, covering any premature strain or distortion during normal use. Tankers are galvanized inside and out for high resistance to corrosion and long service life. Modular design allows customising for various applications, with a range of spreading options including splash plates, dribble bars, disc and tine injectors. Accessories such as

the autofill device remove the need to leave the cab when filling, delivering a clean and safe method of operation. Options include a choice of vacuum pumps, tyres, electro-hydraulic control and flow meters for automated regulation of quantities applied per hectare. Pichon’s range of pond stirrers suit depths from 2.5 - 6.5m. These are designed for easy maintenance and a long life using hot dip galvanized components including the main frame. A screw propeller and counter blades -- rather than simple blades -allow accurate mixing of the pit or pond, and provide uniformity of the slurry to reduce blockages and ensure even spreading.

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

EFFLUENT & WATER  // 31

Cobra hits the spot MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

LAUNCHED IN 2012, the Cobra irrigator, designed and manufactured by Hi-Tech Enviro Solutions, quickly became a farmer favourite for its efficiency and ease of use, says the company’s business manager Rob Johnson. “The routine monitoring of customer experiences led to the development of the K2 King Cobra with innovations in the irrigator’s precision, simplicity and ease of use,” he said. “The original King Cobra was fitted with a wire rope that farmers told us was difficult to pull out, so we replaced this with a synthetic rope, rated to 3 tonnes. “And an additional clutch allows operators to disengage the gearbox,

Scott Johnstone with his K2 King Cobra irrigator.

enabling it to freewheel, so removing the friction previously caused by the King Cobra’s 1000NM gearbox. “The G3, or entry level Cobra, is ideal for land contour of 100 to 150m with slopes to seven degrees, is limited to 63mm drag-hose and has a lighter gearbox that doesn’t need a disengaging clutch.”

Other farmer led innovations for the King Cobra and G3 Cobra (optional) include an anchor which prevents roll-back on hills and a change to the wheel assembly. The anchor faces rearwards, providing farmers with easy and efficient irrigation on hills; it works with the King Cobra’s clutch, engaging the anchor when disengaged, preventing the irri-

gator from rolling back. Johnson says the front wheel assembly now tows on all three wheels, spreading the irrigator’s weight evenly, the cover on the King Cobra is raised and widened to cover the dog clutch, and the outer part of the frame is strengthened by 50% to 3mm. Milton farmer Scott Johnstone, who used

EFFICIENT SYSTEM, PROCESSES VITAL GOOD EFFLUENT management is a combination of a well-designed effluent system and processes for people, says DairyNZ. The processes for people ensure the effluent that the system collects is applied to pasture in the right quantity at the right time. Onfarm benefits of good effluent management include fertiliser savings, improved soil condition, prevention of animal health issues and compliance with council rules or resource consent. The key to good decisionmaking is understanding the soil water

deficit. It is essential to prevent ponding and run-off and to avoid applying effluent to saturated soils. Soil water deficit is the amount of water (effluent) which can be applied to the soil before it reaches field capacity (which refers to the amount of water held in the soil after excess water has drained away). If effluent is added at field capacity it will likely result in ponding, runoff or leaching. The average dairy cow produces about $25 of nutrients annually as farm dairy effluent (FDE). For a 400 cow dairy herd this represents

about $10,000 of nutrients annually. If these FDE nutrients are used effectively then this significantly reduces the fertiliser bill. The DairyNZ Farm Dairy Effluent Spreading Calculator (app or Excel spreadsheet) allows farmers to easily calculate nutrient loadings and application rates for dairy effluent based on a number of customisable inputs. This means that farmers can manage the application of their effluent nutrients with greater precision. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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one of the original King Cobras on his 360ha dairy farm, says “it was difficult pulling the wire rope out because the heavier gearbox created too much friction”. “We worked with HiTech who adapted the irrigator to have a dog clutch and synthetic rope. The upgrade pack fitted to our King Cobra is now much easier to pull the rope out.” Broadlands farmer Mario Arnold says the King Cobra’s low application rate helps keep the nutrients in the root zone to minimise leaching and maximise nutrient uptake by the plants. A 70m spread width results in fewer irrigator shifts, and the auto-stop function at the end of the run helps prevent overapplication of effluent in one spot.

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

32 //  MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Avataar mans up for farm duties MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

WHEN KLAAS and

Janny Akkersma arrived in New Zealand from Holland in 1998 they brought with them a bucketful of hope and limited funds. Fast forward 20 years and now the industrious Dutch couple farm 114ha south of Lichfield in South Waikato and milk 300 Montbeliarde-cross cows typically found in France. These are larger framed than typical Kiwi crosses: they weigh 700 800kg, keep much better condition through the season, and importantly for Klaas produce at peak level consistently for long periods, typically produc-

ing 620kgMS/year on a diet of 75% grass and 25% maize and PKE. Having used quads for many years, the couple were early adopters of a petrol-powered UTV (side by side) and although impressed by their capabilities were disappointed at the maintenance cost and high fuel cost. Five years later the business took delivery of a new Avatar UTV powered by a 3-cylinder intercooled turbo-diesel engine -- used by Renault -- that delivers 66hp, with142Nm torque at 1890 rpm. Drive is through a 5-speed manual transmission sourced from a 1.5 tonne truck, reaching a top speed of 75km/h. Suited to the rigours of

agriculture, the machine’s powder coated frame and galvanised steel load deck uses double A-arm independent suspension front and rear with adjustable air/spring shocks. Electronic, switchable 4WD offers the choice of 2WD or 4WD, the choice of front and rear differential locks and an electronic park brake. Klaas says the high power/high torque engine combined with the manual transmission “allows us to travel at the desired speed at much lower throttle settings, unlike a CVT-style machine that requires more revs to go faster”. “This makes the job a lot quieter, and the diesel motor is also very eco-

nomical. At the other end of the spectrum, when we are using slow speeds, perhaps when feeding, the machine is very controllable and carries out the task with no fuss.” Typical duties are transport around the farm, but the Avatar comes into its own during the calving season, when a purpose-built crate offers plenty of room for bringing newborns back to the yard. It easily tackles jobs like moving feed trailers and effluent applicators. A load capacity of 500kg and towing capacity of 990kg makes the vehicle very capable; it stays level when heavily loaded and is adaptable, with fold-down panels on

Klaas and Janny Akkersma with their Avataar UTV.

the rear bed to accommodate irregular shaped loads. Although a sizeable unit, the Avatar is said to have the tightest turning in the industry, with electronic power steering, and its operator comforts include a three-person bench seat and front and rear windshields. Klaas also likes the

half-doors at the cabin entry points, noting that these were “initially a bit of a pain, but after a few days we realised they kept the cabin area clean and occupants’ legs safe by preventing them from putting their feet down before the vehicle stops. And after a while opening and closing becomes just an intuitive habit”.

Summing up the change to the Avatar, after nine months of ownership and with about 150 hours on the clock, the purpose-built machine has none of the weaknesses of ATV-derived competitors’ machines and is a valuable part of the farm’s gear. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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phone, email, fax and WhatsApp; the material laboratory testing service is an international database that provides the spreading characteristics for thousands of different fertilisers. CLAAS Harvest Centre product manager Amazone, Blair McAlwee, says “the testing service is open to all customers, wherever they are in the world; simply send in a 5kg fertiliser sample and Amazone will test it, determine the best settings and then add it to the database”. Amazone uses up-todate data processing, simulation and analysis tools to create its spreading charts and

setting recommendations, and the testing hall is used to test the impact of challenging environments, such as windy conditions or undulating terrain, upon lateral and spatial distribution. The size of the test hall allows two spreaders to be tested concurrently and can perform up to 100 separate tests each day. The aim is to simulate field conditions inside, determine the best settings and then validate them in the field. This is said to guarantee not only the effectiveness of the spreaders but the accuracy, consistency and reliability of Amazone’s recommended settings.


MACHINERY & PRODUCTS  // 33

MARK DANIEL

John Deere’s new ZTrak zero-turn mower.

markd@ruralnews.co.nz

JOHN DEERE has introduced the new diesel Z994R Commercial ZTrak zero-turn mower, said to offer more performance and efficiency, and available in New Zealand from early 2019. Customers asked for more options in diesel ZTRs, hence the Z994R diesel ZTrak mower has more power and comfort, allowing operators to be more productive during long days. Its 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine -gross 24.7hp rated power at 3200rpm -- meets Final Tier 4 emission standards. The high-torque, low-emission engine is low in vibration and noise. To increase productivity, the Z994R has a single 43.5L diesel tank holding enough for long mowing days with an easy-to-read fuel gauge. Operator comfort is a focus, with three available seat options, each

Three mower deck options offer 54 inch or 60 inch 7-Iron Pro side-discharge mower decks, while the 60  inch 7-Iron Pro Mulch On Demand mower deck can easily switch from side-discharge mode to mulching mode with a single-move lever.

with adjustable armrests. All seat options also have ComfortGlide fore/aft suspension that provides up to 51mm fore and aft travel to absorb bumps for a good ride. Also, a large open operator station and foot platform with plenty of legroom gives plenty of foot room and comfort.

CAN’T BUY IT? PRINT IT BRITISH company, BuyAnyPart, has launched a service manufacturing rare or obsolete parts using bang-up-todate technologies, dealing with the angst suffered in sourcing replacement parts for older machinery. It starts by modelling the required part on a computer using CAD (computer aided design) software or by scanning the item with a 3-D scanner. Fully functioning parts can be created by 3-D printing, with the additional benefit that you can create as many as you want. The filaments and machines used for the 3-D printing process have evolved enormously over the last few years and are durable, strong and very precise. Depending on the material, the parts can be used as temporary or permanent replacements or as guides/templates for

A

manufacturing actual replacements, perhaps from a designated grade of steel. The company says “the usefulness of an older tractor or machine shouldn’t be determined by the availability of spare parts, so we are happy to offer an alternative to extend their working lives”. www.buyanypart.co.uk

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DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

34 //  MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

When small works fine JASON AND Rowan Turner are fourth-generation farmers who milk 380 Friesian Cross cows near Te Awamutu. Using in-shed feeding and a feed pad, they saw production hit 505kgMS/cow in the 2017-18 season, and the current season looks like hitting their target of 550kgMS. About six months ago, they took delivery of a Kioti NX 6020 ROPS tractor with frontloader; it soon proved a great asset and an integral part of the Turner team. While larger tractors do the heavy tasks, the 60hp, 4-cyl utility Kioti, with a 3-stage hydrostatic transmission, has quickly become the ‘go-to’ tractor for many smaller tasks. Much of its time is spent carrying a transport tray on the rear, invaluable during the calving season and often enduring ground conditions that made travel with a quad near impossible. Collecting calves from the paddock at busy times, the Turners even towed a small trailer behind the transport tray to carry several

AT LEAST half of the exhibitor sites are now sold for

Jason Turner with his new Kioti NX 6020 tractor.

calves in one trip. “We chose the Kioti on the recommendation of Murray Barclay at Power Farming Te Awamutu, who we have dealt with for many years and respect his advice,” said Jason. “The tractor is simple to use with everybody on the farm able to drive it, especially with the pedal operated hydro system. Its manoeuvrable, has 4WD and diff

lock for the sticky stuff and can turn its hand to just about any job.” Now with about 200 hours clocked up, the tractor is kept busy towing a 1000L, 80-teat calfeteria to the young stock and keeps things tidy around the feedpad with a loader-mounted yard scraper. The factory loader up front gets plenty of work handling calf feed

and hay bales and occasionally unloading delivery vehicles. Says Jason: “This tractor has been a real eye-opener for us, as like many we probably used bigger tractors for far too many small jobs. “All we need now is grass growth and a period of dry weather as we plan to use the little Kioti on a conventional baler to knock out hay for the young stock.”

ONE MORE REASON

MORE PROOF THERE ARE MORE REASONS TO CHOOSE A POLARIS There’s a reason Polaris make the world’s number one selling ATV and sideby-side. In fact, there are a million of them – our owners. With over a million Polaris vehicles sold, we’ve learned what our owners need and so are best placed to keep innovating and reinventing what farm vehicles can deliver. Don’t take their word for it, discover it for yourself at your local Polaris dealer. B&PSN0007

Technology a drawcard

polarisnewzealand.com

the South Island Agricultural Field Days, says spokesman Daniel Schat. The biennial event routinely attracts about 30,000 visitors, he says, notably for its focus on technology. “We are proud of our status as the field day with the largest machinery demonstration programme in New Zealand.” The 2019 event will run from Wednesday March 27 to Friday March 29 at the field days’ permanent home near Kirwee, west of Christchurch. Alastair Robinson, the new chair of the SIAFD executive committee, says preparations for the 2019 field days are tracking well and the organising committee is improving infrastructure at the venue. “Sites are selling well, which is important for us because the income from registrations helps us to improve our facilities.” An upgrade of the electrical infrastructure at the Kirwee site will make it easier and safer for exhibitors to set up and clean up afterwards. Robinson acknowledges RX Plastics, Ashburton, for the 150mm pipe used to extend the irrigator; Cresslands Contracting and Porter Group for digging the pipe trench; Tony Redmond, Andrew Walker and Rodney Hadfield for helping lay the pipe, and Orari Nursery for the native plants. www.siafd.co.nz.


DAIRY NEWS NOVEMBER 13, 2018

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS  // 35

Birdproof shed goes up in quick time COROMANDEL BUILDER Richard

Harden says farmers looking at a shelter for cows should take a look at Alpine Buildings. He says the birdproof clearspan sheds, from Alpine are fast and easy to install. The company supplies a large range of high quality structures to farmers and contractors like Harden. Located in the Thames area, Harden specialises in rural construction and

says he does fencing and farm sheds over 90% of the time. In 2018, a client approached him with the idea of building a herd home and covered feed pad to improve his cows’ welfare and adhere to new regulations that were being introduced at the time. Taking only 3 months from initial design to delivery, Alpine Buildings supplied a 22m wide by 60m long structure using their unique birdproof

steel rafter system. “The practical design of two adjoining leantos with overhangs on the ridge and sides gave ample protection from the elements while allowing room for feed-out lanes in the centre and on the sides of the shed. “The new home will hold the cows in all seasons – They can come in off the paddock of their own free will in the summer, and in winter they will mostly be kept off the paddock to reduce

PRECISION POWER MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

PRODUCTION VERSIONS of Yan-

mar’s autonomous tractors are about to hit the market and the company expects to sell about 100 per year. The prospects of unmanned tractors were sure to attract Japanese manufacturers, and Yanmar is a large and notable player globally. Dubbed ‘robot tractors’, the units are designed to “enhance farm management efficiency” and will be introduced as a line of “auto tractors” that will operate with limited human intervention. Operation will be controlled by Yanmar’s ICT (information communications technology) using information drawn from a range of sensor networks to achieve greater production efficiency.

The company says there will be two modes of operation – auto and linear. Auto mode will allow the tractor to automatically travel in forward or reverse directions, stop and do headland turns. The linear mode tractor will have automated forward and reverse movement ideal for cultivation, but manoeuvres will be “by hand”. The operation will be driven from a 10-inch tablet that also allows one ‘driver’ to operate a second tractor in tandem in the same paddock. Positioning of the tractors is based on an RTK signal from GNS satellites and an onfarm base station. Warning lights alert other workers to the tractor’s proximity, and onboard sensors will stop the tractor in the event of a collision; the operator can also instigate an emergency stop from the tablet.

Builder Richard Harden.

pugging. “The feed pad is located close to other infrastructure including the calf shed and milking shed for on-farm efficiencies, and the ground is covered with rubber matting to keep the cows comfortable.” Harden says a key feature of the Alpine design is the birdproof steel rafter system which eliminates the need for centre poles, making access

and cleaning a lot easier. With joist hangers that are pre-welded to the hot dip galvanised steel rafters features include quality control, free delivery direct to the building site and superior aftersales support.  The timber poles used with the Alpine Buildings steel rafter design also eliminate the chance of rust, which is important in areas of high stock effluence. The bird-free

rafter system means that birds do not roost or perch which reduces bird poop on the ground, in turn reducing health hazards in the feed pad environment. Harden says all timber used by Alpine Buildings is stacked and dried before packing into kitsets, making it stronger and lighter. “The quality of the timber was excellent, there was very little dif-

ference in sizes and no bent boards. There’s close to 300 purlins in here and we didn’t have to throw one away. “The obvious standout feature for me is the steel rafter system; quick and easy, just chuck your purlins on the pre-welded cleats, bolt them up and onto the next one. It’s not going anywhere, it’s a very solid structure.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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Dairy News 13 November 2018  

Dairy News 13 November 2018

Dairy News 13 November 2018  

Dairy News 13 November 2018