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Petition to stop Tip Top’s sale. PAGE 3 CALLING IT QUITS Breeder retires PAGE 22

DECEMBER 11, 2018 ISSUE 414 //

FIGHTING FAKE MILK “Much is said on synthetic milks and milk alternatives but Synlait’s position is to base its decisions on facts and science.” – Leon Clement, Synlait CEO PAGE 6

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NEWS  // 3

Petition to block Tip Top sale SUDESH KISSUN

Petition calls for changes. PG.05

Breeding success with Jerseys. PG.22

New hay, forage range. PG.24


the iconic Tip Top Ice Cream business should be a commercial one, says investment broker Grant Williamson, Hamilton Hindin Greene. He says Tip Top may be a great brand but the question is whether the business fits Fonterra’s strategy in the future. “I can understand it being an iconic brand but... the decision should be in the best interests of its farmer shareholders,” he told Dairy News. Williamson says if Fonterra gets a good offer for the business, it should sell. Fonterra also definitely needs a stronger balance sheet. The co-op is hoping to reduce its debt by $800m this year, by reducing costs and selling assets. Last week, Fonterra chairman John Monaghan announced it was

looking at selling Tip Top. The co-op has appointed FNZC as an external advisor to work with as it considers a range of options. “We want to see Tip Top remain a New Zealand based business and this is being factored into our options. “While performing well, Tip Top is our only ice cream business and has reached maturity as an investment for us. To take it to its next phase successfully will require a level of investment beyond what we are willing to make.” But Fonterra’s announcement triggered angry response on social

media. On twitter, a petition was launched by Taranaki farmer Matthew Herbert to block the sale of Tip Top and 113 people had signed within an hour. The peititon says Fonterra is looking at selling its Tip Top ice cream brand. “Kiwi’s eat more ice cream per person than any other country on earth,” it says. “Tip Top ice cream is one of the big-

gest links between fresh New Zealand milk from Fonterra farmers and people who live in our cities. Sign the petition and help farmers save Tip Top from the chopping block! Lets tell Fonterra to hold onto Tip Top and keep our delicious ice cream going from farm to freezer.” Another twitter user, using the handle blackforestcarole, said that if Tip Top wanted to increase revenue without spending lots of money it should bring back ‘Strawberry Toppa’. “That’ll do it. Best ice cream they ever made,” she said. Another twitter user, DairyManger, blasted Fonterra for thinking about selling Tip Top. “Selling the thing that resonates most positively with the NZ public in a climate where dairy farming is viewed negatively is... not smart. “I suspect Fonterra is severely underestimating the goodwill Tip Top generates with us, with Kiwis.”

GDT RISE UNEXCITING – ECONOMISTS NEWS������������������������������������������������������3-15 OPINION���������������������������������������������� 16-17 AGRIBUSINESS������������������������������18-19 MANAGEMENT������������������������������ 20-22 ANIMAL HEALTH��������������������������������� 23 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS�������������������������������������� 24-25 TRACTORS & MACHINERY������������������������������������������� 26


ting too excited about last week’s 2.2% overall lift in the Global Dairy Trade price index. Anne Boniface, Westpac senior economist, says there was a 2.5% lift in whole milk powder prices, while butter and AMF prices also rose, partially unwinding the big

falls seen in the previous auction. But the lift did not fully unwind the weaker dairy prices through November. “Local conditions for most dairy farmers remain very favourable, and strong momentum in New Zealand milk production likely continued in November.”

Westpac is picking a $6.10/kgMS milk price for the season. “As we’ve noted previously, this forecast continues to assume we see a modest improvement in dairy prices in early 2019, with the risk of a further downward revision if this fails to eventuate in the coming months.” ASB’s senior rural economist

Nathan Penny says the rise snapped a run of seven consecutive falls. “Nonetheless, we are suspicious. First, the rise is similar to falls in the US currency over the past fortnight. In particular, the Chinese yuan has lifted, making the USDpriced products cheaper for Chinese buyers.”


4 //  NEWS

Margins under squeeze PAM TIPA

THE LOWERING of the farmgate milk price will be starting to squeeze the margins a bit, says Federated Farmers national dairy chair Chris Lewis. Average cost of production is in the $5/kgMS range; it has probably crept back up to the mid fives, he told Dairy News. “It does start to squeeze things again, and particularly if on the back of the good payouts you rushed out and bought a tractor and new silage wagon and all the rest of it – things will be a bit tighter. “I think everyone will be watching closely and it will be back to a focus of double checking where farmers are spending their money. “It is still a reasonable payout considering where we were three or four years ago. But the trend is not fantastic and hopefully we see that trend

being arrested and things looking positive for the rest of the season.” The latest GDT was the first one of the season in the right direction so it was expected with the downward pressure on the GDT that the forecast cut would happen. The big unknown for him with where the season is going is how the northern hemisphere production will hold up during winter. “We had that bad drought particularly in Europe during summer so they didn’t make as much supplement as they thought they would and fed out a lot of supplement during summer. “Then they had a good autumn so they caught up to a degree.” But he has heard they are behind where they would normally be. “So if they get a normal winter or tougher than normal winter you could see them needing to pull back on mouths to feed so their production could

was widely anticipated given the trajectory the commodity prices have taken since the beginning of the season. It coincides with Rabobank’s latest forecast, now revised to $6.25/kgMS. “But ultimately we think demand is looking steady. We are still of the opinion that stocks are quite low in key markets, particularly China. “We still see an upside

Emma Higgins, Rabobank.

drop away which could create a bit of positivity in the market for the rest of us. “To me that is the unknown: what is the weather going to do in the northern hemisphere and what is the amount of supplements they have on hand going into that winter?” With the new team at Fonterra it is early days and the proof will be in the pudding, says Lewis.

“There is a lot of water to go under the bridge yet,” he says. “As a farmer I would be keeping an eye on what the decisions are. It is too early to tell and it is hard to tell whether they are making the right calls on a lot of this stuff. “It is wait and see I guess.” Raboresearch dairy analyst Emma Higgins says Fonterra’s decision to revise the milk payout

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to come in commodity prices. Particularly we anticipate that happening as we move through into 2019.” She thinks the market has absorbed a lot of the extra production we have put out. “That has been reflected in weaker prices but now we have moved past the peak I think we see firmer commodity prices particularly as we move into the first half,

or quarter two, of 2019 as global milk supply starts to tighten.” Production in Europe was slack for September and in feed supply there is a challenge to their quantity and quality of feed going into the European winter. “We think that will play out as modest production growth and that will help to underpin stronger commodity prices.”


milk supply forced Fonterra to cut its milk price forecast last week by about 20-25 cents. The season’s farmgate milk price range is now $6 - $6.30/kgMS – down from $6.25 - $6.50/kgMS. The co-op is maintaining its forecast earnings per share range of 25-35 cents. It also confirmed it is negotiating to take back full ownership of the Darnum plant in Australia and is looking at selling Tip Top, although it wants it to remain a New Zealand business. Fonterra chairman John Monaghan says the revision is due to the global milk supply remaining stronger relative to demand, which has driven a downward trend on the GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) index since May. “Since our October milk price update, production from Europe has flattened off the back of dry weather and rising feed costs. US milk volumes are still forecast to be up 1% for the year,” says Monaghan. “Here in NZ we are maintaining our collections forecast of 1550 million kgMS. NIWA is saying it’s likely we will see an abnormal El Nino weather pattern over summer and this could impact our farmers’ milk production. “Demand from China and Asia remains strong. However geopolitical

disruption is impacting demand from countries that traditionally buy a lot of fat products from us.” Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says the latest forecast assumes demand will firm during the balance of the season, in line with predictions by other market commentators. “Unknowns [persist] in the global demand and supply picture and we recommend farmers budget with ongoing caution. Fonterra’s advance rate has been set off a milk price of $6.15/kgMS.” Fonterra’s first quarter gross margin of $646 million is down $14m versus the same period last year and up slightly on a percentage basis from 16.6% to 17%. Revenue of $3.8 billion is down 4% and sales volumes were down 6% to 3.6b liquid milk equivalent (LME). The co-op’s ingredients business, despite lower sales volumes, performed solidly during the first quarter with a gross margin of $273m, up $28m on last year. The consumer business also performed well with a gross margin of $310m, up $10m on last year and volumes were up 5%. Hurrell says the co-op generally makes a smaller proportion of its total annual sales in the first quarter. “This means the results from the first quarter do not give much insight into earnings performance for the full year.”


NEWS  // 5

Petition pleads for immigration law changes PETER BURKE

SOME NEW Zealand dairy farmers go from one year to the next wondering who is going to milk their cows, says the head of Federated Farmers dairy section, Chris Lewis. Lewis joined immigration law and recruitment specialist Ben De’Ath in presenting a 7500 signature petition calling for changes to NZ’s immigration laws to Barbara Kuriger, National MP for Taranaki-King Country at Parliament last week. The problem, says

De’Ath, who organised the petition, is that the present law on ‘low skilled’ workers requires these people to apply for a work visa every year, and if they work for three consecutive years they must return to their own country for one year before they may apply to come to NZ again. “It makes no sense,” says De’Ath. “It’s only after a couple of years that people begin to understand pasture based systems and set down roots in NZ. It’s completely illogical to send them home when they are starting to add value and

become settled.” He says they want a policy which recognises that in some regions there are specific skill shortages, and they want a 36 month visa system to give certainty to employers and employees. They not advocating for wholesale relaxation of immigration laws but a system that deals with specific regional problems. “We want Immigration Minister Iain LeesGalloway to reverse the proposed policy of standing down low-skilled work visa holders.” Lewis says he employs two Filipino farm work-

Migrant petitioners (from left) Chris Lewis, Barbara Kuriger, Ben De’Ath and Wayne Langford on the steps of Parliament with the petition.

ers and is frustrated by the one-year automatic stand-down. In Waikato where he lives there is low unemployment and every young Kiwi who wants to work can get a job. In fact it is hard to attract good young people to work on dairy farms because so

many other job opportunities are available. “If I knew there was certainty about employing [migrants] I would invest in their training and housing and getting their family here, making sure they had a settled life. But as it stands now I

and they go from year to year wondering what will happen.” He says every 12 months the workers must apply for a visa and 60 days may pass before they get an answer. “If the answer is ‘no’ then I have to go and

begin the exhaustive process all over again and at the same time wonder who I can get to the milk the cows because it is so hard to find good people.” Lewis says the problem is bad in the South Island and is worsening in Waikato where he farms.


THE DAIRY and beef

levying bodies must justify their decision on sharing out the eradication costs of Mycoplasma bovis between the two sectors, says Federated Farmers dairy chair Chris Lewis. DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ (BLNZ) have said the industry share of the eradication will be funded by special levies, with dairy contributing 94% and beef 6%.

Lewis wants to hear farmer reaction before he makes more substantive comment. But whereas he has been watching the process for a long time from a ‘privileged position’ behind the scenes, the average dairy farmer has only seen media releases coming into his email in-box in the last few days. Dairy farmers would be taking it all in and thinking ‘s**t!’, he said. “It’s something the levy groups BLNZ and

DAIRY TO PAY 94% DAIRYING WILL pay 94% of the industry costs of eradicating Mycoplasma bovis, and beef farmers will pay 6%, under a deal made by the two sectors’ levying bodies. This means dairy farmers will pay $272 million, to be funded by a separate biosecurity levy on milk solids production. Beef farmers will pay about

DairyNZ have put out there and I encourage farmers to get in con-

$17.4m via a separate biosecurity levy at the point of slaughter. Details such as payback period – probably 10 years – and whether levying will be weighted onto the first years or spread evenly across the period, will be determined by each body separately in consultation with their farmers in the new year.

tact with them and talk through it with them. “Feds always likes to

hear members’ thoughts but this has been a DairyNZ and BLNZ deci-

sion, and they need to front it and explain how they got to it.” Dairy farmers will be opening those emails and wondering how they got to that position, said Lewis. Farmers spoken to by Dairy News at a DairyNZ event in Canterbury the day the decision was announced were philosophical about the costs they would have to bear. They pointed out that in regions where the disease was ‘hot’ it

had affected everybody in making them change their practices such as stock movements, winter feeding and mating. Farmers in other areas would be less happy with the levy. Lewis said most people he spoke to still supported eradication of M.bovis. “Some individual farmers have taken a massive hit financially and mentally so I guess we don’t want to re-litigate why we [need to] eradicate it.”

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6 //  NEWS

Milk alternatives not cutting it NIGEL MALTHUS


milk now being promoted in the marketplace are not necessarily better or cleaner than dairy, says Leon Clement, the new chief executive of Synlait Milk, Canterbury. “Some [are positioned] as having the same nutritional vector as milk and being able to deliver it more cleanly. But certainly there are examples where the nutritional profile is nowhere near that of dairy and the environmental footprint is much poorer,” he says. Much is said on synthetic milks and milk alternatives, but Synlait’s position is to base its decisions on facts and science, Clement said. “When anything comes along that matches the nutritional vector of milk in an environmentally

and economically sustainable way, we want to be looking at it carefully and potentially jumping into it, because that’s where our industry has a real [prospect] of being disruptive.”

Synlait’s position is to base its decisions on facts and science. Clearly passionate about the dairy sector, Clement calls milk an amazingly powerful nutritional vector. “Milk’s a great way to get protein and micronutrients and fat and hydration.” Clement has been in the job four months, since Synlait founder John Penno stood aside for a position on the board. He recently took part in

his first company annual meeting, where the company confirmed an excellent financial result and unveiled new pinkthemed branding and a new purpose statement: “Doing milk differently for a healthier world”. “Doing milk differently is in our DNA,” Clement told the meeting. “We have

always brought an innovative and disruptive attitude to our industry and we’ll continue that. ‘For a healthier world’ is about looking after the planet, looking after our people and our communities and continuing to serve life-enhancing milk nutrition.” Clement said pink is the colour of disruption and difference. “Our

PLEASING PROFIT SYNLAIT MILK’S annual meeting in late November confirmed a near doubling of profit in the company’s tenth year of operations. Synlait’s result for the year ending July 31, 2018 (FY18) was a net after-tax profit (NPAT) of $74.6 million -- almost double the NPAT of $39.5m in the same period last year. Synlait’s chairman, Graeme

Milne, said an increase in finished infant formula sales helped to achieve the profit. “This was enabled by a number of investments in blending and consumer packaging, including our second Dunsandel wet-mix kitchen and our Auckland blending and consumer packaging facility. “Both these projects have allowed us to increase our fin-

Leon Clement

ished infant formula capacity, which has helped us to deepen and strengthen the relationships we have with our existing infant formula customers,” he said. However, Milne repeated earlier warnings that its current in-market milk price will probably need adjustment due to downward pressure from declining commodity prices.

new wordmark is friendly and more appropriate for a company working with flowing milk. We think together they work well to tell the world who we are.” Clement has joined Synlait from Fonterra, where he was managing director of Fonterra Brands New Zealand. Born in Lower Hutt and raised in Auckland, Clement describes himself as “very much a Kiwi” although he has spent a lot of time offshore – about eight years of his 16-17 year career with Fonterra. He ran Fonterra’s Vietnam business for four and a half years and Sri Lanka for three and a half years. Trained as an engineer, Clement originally went into consulting with Deloittes, dealing mainly in change management, leadership and strategy on facility rebuilds for Auckland’s three main DHBs. He says he enjoyed consulting but didn’t see the value in it from a career perspective; but he could see it in the NZ food industry. He joined Tip Top Ice Cream, not yet fully owned by Fonterra but soon to become so. His time with Fonterra gave him good exposure

DIRA REVIEW LEON CLEMENT says Synlait will be making a submission to the DIRA review. He believes DIRA has “by and large” done a good job of regulating the industry, but some aspects are out of date and redundant. “The last few years have seen a strong focus on production and output in NZ dairying and that’s perhaps come at a cost to some of the important factors in environment. We are hoping the DIRA review will look to address some of that balance. “It comes to a range of factors on what it does and doesn’t allow Fonterra to do, and its obligations, but I think DIRA prevented the industry developing a more value-added focus.” Clement said Synlait’s strategy has been to get as far up the value chain as possible by going as far down the value chain as possible and differentiating what it does onfarm. He said Synlait’s dealings with its suppliers are among the unique features of its business model. It has a lot to offer, not just to its customers but also to NZ as a whole, Clement says. “We’ve got an agile supply base that is keen to support us, both in improving dairy systems and finding ways to differentiate milk in ways that customers and consumers value.”

to South East Asian culture. “Vietnam was a strong emerging market and it had a strong growth trajectory and we grew the business quickly there.” Fonterra’s Anlene brand became Vietnam’s number-one adult milk brand. Sri Lanka was a different market and a different culture, and the challenge of the 2013 DCD (dicyandiamide) crisis -- when traces of the pasture nitrification inhibitor were found in some products – caused plunging demand and ripples in other markets including China.

“We managed to go through that crisis, recover the organisation and turn it around. I would say that was a challenging part of my career but perhaps one of the highlights,” says Clement. He says he now maintains an excellent relationship with his former colleagues. “I had a great career with Fonterra. NZ needs Fonterra to be successful and so does Synlait. I don’t necessarily see it as jumping ship to a direct competitor. @dairy_news

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NEWS  // 7

Second director vote underway SUDESH KISSUN

FONTERRA BOARD aspirant John Nicholls says the second election is between three candidates: two appear on the ballot and the third is the “unknown candidate” Fonterra’s board will appoint if neither succeeds. Canterbury farmer Nicholls and Maori agribusiness leader Jamie Tuuta are squaring off in the second director election this year. “It’s important that shareholders understand that not voting ‘yes’ for one of the candidates on the ballot is actually a vote for the board to make the appointment,” Nicholls told Dairy News. “Our directors need the skills, capabilities and experience to understand the business and must have the character, values and courage to make decisions that are right for the business long-term.” Nicholls says he’s standing because he cares deeply about the co-op, its future and its performance. “Family values are important to me and are the foundation on which we have built our own busi-

Voting started last seek and runs until December 20; results will be announced later that day.

ness. I believe strongly in always having the courage to be honest and to do what is right. I have the drive, strength and boardroom experience to make a real difference. “We can transform Fonterra into a business that we are all proud of.” Voting is underway for the second director election after the first failed to elect three candidates. Only two of the five candidates – Leonie Guiney and Peter McBride -- got over 50% ‘yes’ votes from farmer shareholders. Fonterra’s shareholders council will decide whether to run another election, but only allowing the three unsuccessful candidates to take part. Former Fonterra director

ROUND ONE RESULTS OUTGOING ZESPRI chairman Peter McBride garnered 80% support among shareholders in the first election held in October. South Canterbury farmer Leonie Guiney got 63%. Both were elected to the board at Fonterra’s annual meeting last month. Te Awamutu farmer and former dairy company executive Ashley Waugh garnered 49% support, just short of the 50% required for selection. John Nicholls got 44.2% and Jamie Tuuta 39.9%.

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Ashley Waugh declined to stand again, leaving Nicholls and Tuuta to fight for the third vacancy. The council says to be successful a candidate must obtain at least 50% support from shareholders who vote. If both candidates get more than 50% support then the candidate with the highest support will be elected. If no candidate gets more than 50% support there will not be a third election; Fonterra’s board may exercise its constitutional power to make a temporary appointment until the 2019 annual meeting but they cannot appoint an unsuccessful candidate. Voting started last week and runs until December 20; results will be announced later that day. Nicholls believes Fonterra has the potential to be the most amazing business but needs more disciplined decisionmaking and execution. “We have to stop letting politics and personalities dominate,” he says. “We must continue to push for better clarity around our pur-

Jamie Tuuta

pose and strategy. “This is an intergenerational business and we should be adopting a long-term vision and strategy, not one that changes every time there is a change in leadership. “We produce a perishable product; our fortunes as dairy farmers are tied to the success of our cooperative in processing and marketing our milk to the world. “We shouldn’t entrust that success to those who are there just to further their own careers or aspirations; we need directors who have our interests at heart.” Nicholls is urging farmers to vote. “This election is between three candidates: two of us appear on the ballot paper while the third is the unknown candidate that the Fonterra board will appoint if we are not successful. It’s important that shareholders understand that not voting ‘yes’ for one of the candidates on the ballot is actually a vote for the board to make the appointment.”

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8 //  NEWS

Is Westland loan WTO compliant? PAM TIPA

TRADE EXPERT Stephen Jacobi

says he would be very surprised if the Government hadn’t made sure that the $9.9 million loan to Westland Milk falls within New Zealand’s World Trade Organisation commitments. “But we need to consider both the letter of the law and the spirit,” he told Dairy News. He knows no details of the loan. “It would be concerning if this were

to undermine New Zealand’s longstanding advocacy for the elimination of trade-distorting subsidies and domestic support,” he says. These were recently reaffirmed at a meeting of the Cairns Group involving NZ and 18 other countries on November 30. The low-interest loan will be made from the Provincial Growth Fund. It has come under attack by Opposition MPs. National’s economic and regional development spokesman Paul Goldsmith says the minister in charge of the Provincial Growth Fund, Shane

Jones, couldn’t tell Parliament what terms he had in mind when he undercut commercial lenders to provide debt funding for a new processing plant. “I wouldn’t blame any business like Westland Milk for accepting a cheap loan from a secure lender. “But that’s no excuse for sloppy process when it comes to taxpayer money. Jones said the full terms of the loan were ‘yet to be settled’ but that it would be for a longer term than its existing private sector bank lenders would offer. “That would be of interest to Westland’s rivals, particularly for milk pools

CAPITAL STRUCTURE REVIEW PENDING WESTLAND’S CAPITAL structure review has attracted a number of proposals from interested parties. At least 25 parties engaged with Westland on the process, shareholders were told at the annual meeting last week. Chairman Pete Morrison told shareholders that on the strength of the indicative proposals, the board will go to the next step of the review process.  It intends to

move forward with a selected number of parties into a detailed due diligence and final proposal process. The next update to shareholders will be in March. The review process is strictly confidential and no further information will be provided until then. Meanwhile Canterbury-based Pat McEvedy was elected to the board. McEvedy has farmed as

a sole trader and in partnerships since 1982. He’s had business interests on the West Coast since 2008 and been with Westland since 2010 through his role as a shareholder of Shooting Creek Dairy, south of Hokitika. He is an independent director of Sicon – an infrastructure and services company – and has been a Selwyn district councillor since 2010.

“There is also potential, in later in Canterbury, and underlines why such proposals need rigorous scrutiny,” says stages of the project, for other segregated products such as grass-fed, pure Goldsmith. Jersey, goat or sheep milk, Westland welcomed the or even plant-based nutriinvestment to help build a tion.” $22m plant at Hokitika. The Brendish says the Prospecifically designed facilivincial Growth Fund ties for made-to-order seginvestment allows the regation of milk types will company to bring forward have wide-ranging benefits development of its segrefor the West Coast region, gation capacity -- bringing Westland says. the benefits back to the The plant will allow company, its shareholders Westland to separately Stephen Jacobi and the regional economy process (segregate) multiple types of special quality milks into far sooner. The new plant will also allow the cohigh value products. Chief executive Toni Brendish says operative to produce high value segresegregated production of specialty gated product even during the peak milks is a key component of Westland’s milk season. “Currently, while we can produce five-year strategy. “Westland needs to reduce its some segregated product on the shouldependency on bulk dairy commodi- ders of the season, at peak our existing ties with their volatile pricing cycles,” plant capacity forces us to process low value bulk commodities just to get the says Brendish. “We’ll do this by expanding our milk volume through.” The plant will be operating in time capacity to produce high value products, differentiated by the special qual- for the 2019-20 season. It will create ities of the milk used to make them. an additional eight to 10 jobs at HokiThis will include A2 milk and our new tika, but the benefits to the West Coast economy will go far beyond that. Ten Star Premium Standard milk.


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NEWS  // 9

Small tweaks won’t fix N problem NIGEL MALTHUS


to look at their fundamental farming systems if they are to meet future nitrogen leaching limits, says DairyNZ science manager Dave McCall. Farmers might not have to move completely away from “the philosophies we all grew up with,” he said, “but we are going to have to dig deeper than a few small tweaks”. McCall was speaking at the launch of a new DairyNZ project -- Meeting a Sustainable Future -- aimed at helping farmers in Canterbury’s Hinds and Selwyn catchments to remain profitable while meeting new nitrogen loss limits under the Canterbury Land and Water Regional Plan (LWRP). Under the LWRP, Selwyn farmers must reduce N losses by 30% by 2022, and in Hinds by 15% by 2025, 25% by 2030 and 36% by 2035. The project was launched at a wellattended field day on the Canlac Holdings farm at Dunsandel, in the Selwyn Catchment, run by sharemilker Tony Coltman. McCall told the gathering he was there to bring confidence that farmers can meet the new limits. He said the first thing to know is that the more nitrogen that comes onto a farm, the more will be leached out. The question is how much nitrogen is converted into product. “The poorest conversion is about 25% of the nitrogen that comes into the farm goes out the gate, and at best -in exceptional circumstances -- you might get over 40-45% of that nitrogen going out the gate. That’s what we’ve got to manage.” Fertiliser and feed are the two biggest nitrogen inputs. “If everyone understands their nitrogen surplus, that’s a good start,” said McCall. DairyNZ aims to recruit about 30 farmers, take the science to them and “co-develop” practi-

cal solutions. Science has some of the knowledge but farmers also have a lot of knowledge, McCall said. “We want to get you to understand what we understand, and then we want to work with you one-on-one to put what we know into the context of what you want to do on your farm.” In return for that oneon-one help, those farmers would then pass their new knowledge on to others, said McCall. “There’s more than one way of skinning the cat here and one size doesn’t fit all. So we want to provide a bunch of examples that other farmers can come along to and listen to on days like this and decide ‘this is how I want to do it’.” There would not be only one solution, said McCall. Talk of too high a stocking rate being the problem or a lower stocking rate being the answer “drives me nuts,” he said. Whether high or low, the solution will be to match feed supply and demand in a way that doesn’t introduce too much nitrogen when it is not wanted. Canlac is one of the benchmark farms used by the Lincoln University Dairy Farm to judge its performance; it consistently comes in among the top 5% in operating profit – even while Coltman has managed to reduce N leaching significantly towards his 2022 target with a variety of measures including revised irrigation and reduced fertiliser use. The farm has also taken part in the Forages for Reduced Nitrate Leaching project, and Coltman has sown plantain in his pastures. Plantain’s lower nitrogen content means less nitrogen in urine, and it has a diuretic effect which further dilutes it. The plant’s roots also appear to have some beneficial effect as a denitrification inhibitor in the soil, which is the subject of further research. The Meeting a Sustainable Future project

is also supported by the Canterbury Dairy Leaders Group, whose chairman Alister Body said it will provide leadership for all farmers on this challenge. “This work is a great way for Selwyn and Hinds

dairy farmers, and others nationally, to watch and learn about the best options to reduce nitrogen losses and meet the future goals,” said Body. “It will be very interesting to follow.”

Sharemilker Tony Coltman, the first farmer signed up for Meeting a Sustainable Future project speaks at the programme launch.


10 //  NEWS

What’s the future for DIRA? MARK DANIEL


-- mostly Fonterra shareholders – and others met recently in Morrinsville to discuss DIRA’s role in milk production in 2018. Annie Hindle, of MPI, chaired. Hindle said legislative changes are likely

to focus on five topics: the DIRA open entry and exit requirements placed on Fonterra, regulated milk supply to large processors, base milk price calculations, regulated milk supply to Goodman Fielder and smaller processors and DIRA expiry provisions. The subject of open entry and exit caused the most discussion, given

that Fonterra is obliged to take any milk offered on the same terms and conditions offered to existing suppliers. Many in the audience said other milk companies should be subject to the same legislation, should it continue. Fonterra had been forced to install a lot of extra processing plant to cope with possible supply,

Fonterra’s share of milk supply is dropping as other processors expand in NZ.

BACKGROUND TO THE ACT Dairy farmers at the DIRA consultation at Morrinsville: (from left) Julie Pirie, Ngatea; Jason Berrow, Matamata; Brent Goldsack, Ngarua.

THE DAIRY Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA) followed the 1999 proposal to form a new co-op out of New Zealand Dairy Group and Kiwi Co-Operative Dairy Co, as happened in 2001. The new co-op was destined to take 96% of NZ’s milk production. DIRA was intended to ensure that the new co-op didn’t use its monopoly position to influence control of prices, and to ensure that milk production and farming systems

could contribute to more value for the industry. Over the ensuing 17 years new processors have entered the market, e.g. Synlait, OCD and Miraka. DIRA is now under review, typically questioning, how effective is the act in achieving its regulatory purpose? Is it still fit for purpose? Is it creating unintended consequences? Does it need to stay in force any longer?

yet its suppliers could freely leave the co-op to supply a competitor, then realise the grass was greener at Fonterra and return with no penalty, placing a direct cost on remaining suppliers. Also discussed at length was the intention of DIRA as giving over-

sight in a market where one entity was dominant. The question arose, when does dominance cease? Is it at the point when Fonterra controls no more than 51% of the market? Because the share will always remain fluid as new companies come and go in the sector.


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The closing discussion on this subject centred on the seeming dysfunction that allows DIRA to kick in when a milk processor fails, so guaranteeing the failed company’s farmersuppliers a backstop in being able to supply Fonterra. Regulations controlling the supply of raw milk also created much discussion. The act dictates that Fonterra is obliged to supply start-up companies with up to 50 million litres of milk at a regulated price. Audience consensus was that this was a positive move allowing new processors to add to employment in rural communities, producing positive news at a time when NZ dairying was getting bad press. But foreign ownership of such companies can cause a bad smell, especially because profits go offshore. The audience was glum about Fonterra having to supply 250 million litres of milk to Goodman Fielder -- dominant in the NZ liquid milk market -which pushed its excess onto the global market. But concern was raised that any move to remove Goodman Fielder’s right to take 250mL might cause negative publicity and cries about a lack of competition.

The consensus on wholesale milk pricing was that the mechanism is robust, open and generally works well. The mechanism is regularly audited by PWC and consistently reviewed by the Commerce Commission, allowing Fonterra to regularly notify milk price, “allow[ing] farmers and the rural community to make informed decisions,” said Brent Goldsack, a dairy farmer and Fonterra director. The question was put whether other dairy processors should also be required to publish their milk prices regularly and openly. Questions remained at the meeting’s close: is DIRA still required? Should the milk supply process become unregulated or should DIRA be rewritten to reflect the fact that Fonterra is now taking only 80% of NZ milk versus 96% when it started? Submissions on these close on February 8, 2019; MPI will collate responses then will pass its recommendations to a multiparty select committee in May or June. This group will decide on any need for legislative change, new legislation will be drafted by late 2019 to pass into law early 2020.

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12 //  NEWS

Dairy on a winning streak THE DAIRY sector is on a winning

streak, recently collecting a range of coveted awards. From being named the best employers in the primary sector to sustainability superstar, the good work in the industry is being acknowledged, says DairyNZ’s general manager responsible dairy, Jenny Cameron. “We are proud of all of our winners. They are up against hot competition in these awards which celebrate not only business expertise, but also the dedicated environmental work being carried out by so many. “Dairying has also featured strongly as finalists among the various awards, and this is pleasing too.”   Cameron added that media coverage of the wins included last Sunday’s Country Calendar which featured the Rotorua dairy farm that won the 2018 Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori Excellence in Dairy Farming.  The farm is owned by Onuku Maori Lands Trust. In the first-ever MPI Agmardt Primary Industries Good Employer Awards, presented in Wellington late last month, dairy won the top award, the Minister of Agriculture’s award

for Best Primary Sector Employers, and took out two further categories. Woodville dairy farmers Ben and Nicky Allomes were named the Best Primary Sector Employers. The couple, who own Hopelands Dairies, also won the Innovative Employment Practices award.  The Minister, Damien O’Connor, says of them: “They have creatively solved the ageold problem of work-life balance Woodville by investing in a rostering system farmer Ben that allows their workers ownerAllomes (pictured) ship of when they work and what and his wife they do on the ground. They have Nicky were named best also shared this knowledge with primary their community”. sector employers Allomes is also a DairyNZ director. The Maori owned and operated working New Zealanders, and as many Miraka dairy company won the Maori as one in three in some regions. In this year’s NZI Sustainable BusiAgribusiness category. The MPI Agmardt Primary Indus- ness Awards, presented recently in tries Good Employer Awards are set Auckland, dairy won two categories, up to recognise exceptional employers and received the judges’ commendain dairy, seafood, forestry, and horticul- tion in a third. Matamata dairy farmer and chair ture sectors, which collectively employ about 350,000 people – one in seven of the Dairy Environment Leaders’

real futures in AG We’re giving away $10,000 worth of dairy scholarships to people who want a real future in Dairy! If you’ve always dreamed of managing a dairy farm, then the Central North Island Dairy Academy can help make your dream a reality. As well as gaining the Massey University Diploma in Agriculture, you will also receive these benefits and giveaways . . . • FREE food and accommodation

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Forum, Tracy Brown, claimed the Sustainable Superstar award presented to a person who inspires and leads others to make a difference. The judges said: “Tracy is a dairy farmer who has devoted the past 17 years to modelling and promoting sustainable farming. She set up her farm in a sustainable way long before

it became mainstream… She is a human dynamo with great passion, commitment and guts… Sustainable dairying isn’t just Tracy’s job, it’s her life.” The Transforming Food category went to the organic dairy farm Our Land of Milk and Honey, which also produces honey, and has a market garden. The farm is located in the foothills of the Sanctuary Mountain Maungatautari reserve in Waikato. The judges said: “This organic dairy farm is modelling a different way of farming.  Its focus is on carbon reduction and the interface between profit and environmental mitigation.  It shows that farming can benefit the environment, community and economy.” In the Efficiency Champion category the judges commended Fonterra for its plant in Pahiatua.   The NZI Sustainable Business Awards are New Zealand’s longeststanding sustainability awards, established 16 years ago to recognise and celebrate success in sustainability. @dairy_news


NEWS  // 13

New chair for Pamu Farms AGRIBUSINESS LEADER Warren Parker

has been appointed the new chairman of state farmer Pamu Farms (Landcorp). Parker is a former chief executive of Scion (NZ Forest Research Institute) and Landcare Research, and was previously chief operating officer of AgResearch. He chairs the Forestry Ministerial Advisory Group and until recently chaired the New Zealand Conservation Authority.  He is a director of Predator Free 2050 Ltd, Farmlands Cooperative Society and Genomics Aotearoa. Parker has a PhD in animal science and was previously a professor of agribusiness and resource management at Massey

University, where he spent 18 years in various roles, including supervising the 9000 stock unit Riverside Farm in Wairarapa. Finance Minister Grant Robertson says Parker is an experienced expert in NZ’s primary industries a senior in science, education, management and most recently in governance. Robertson applauded Parker’s “experience and ability to take over the chair’s role at Landcorp”. Associate Minister of State Owned Enterprises Shane Jones says Parker’s “experience in a wide range of primary industries will enable him to look at all Landcorp’s work and ensure shareholder value for money

Cow basher takes hit from MPI THE MINISTRY for Primary Industries (MPI) has filed charges against an individual after receiving a video in June this year of a Northland sharemilker hitting cows with a pipe and other objects. MPI’s manager of compliance investigations, Gary Orr, says MPI has done a full investigation. “Six charges have been filed against an individual under the Animal Welfare Act,” says Orr. “As the matter is now before the courts, we will be making no further comment at this time.” Hidden camera video showing cows repeatedly being hit with a pipe, a stick and a steel pipe during milking was supplied in June by the animal advocacy group Farmwatch. At the time, Feds animal welfare spokesman Chris Lewis said the sharemilker should “get the eff out of our industry”. Lewis described the video as “shocking” and said there was no room in the dairy industry for farmers who mistreated their animals. The owners of a Northland farm at the centre of a video also at the time said they were shocked and deeply saddened. The unidentified owners said they would cooperate fully with the formal investigation and the contract milker had been removed from all duties requiring unsupervised contact with stock pending the outcome of due process with regard to contractual obligations. Animal rights group SAFE says it is pleased to see the charges laid but says that without proper regulatory enforcement, animal cruelty will continue to blight New Zealand’s reputation. “The ministry in charge of growing and promoting NZ’s primary industries has a clear conflict of interest with its animal protection responsibilities, and the animals are paying for it with their lives.”

from our investment”. Landcorp is New Zealand’s largest farming business. Its core business is pastoral farming, running 1.5 million

stock units – sheep, deer, beef and dairy cattle – on 126 properties totalling 372,115ha under management.

Warren Parker

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14 //  NEWS

Co-op leading in sustainability tal footprint is of national significance. Fonterra’s director of sustainability Carolyn Mortland says farmers have led the way in excluding cows from waterways but other areas will take longer, like lowering greenhouse gas emissions onfarm and in manufacturing. Fonterra recently appointed an independent sustainability advisory panel, chaired by Sir Rob Fenwick. The Sustainability Report 2018 was prepared using the internationally recognised Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards and has been independently assured. The report is organised into the three pillars of Fonterra’s sustainability framework: nutrition, environment and community. Highlights include:

Since 2003, Fonterra has achieved a 19.3% reduction in energy intensity in NZ manufacturing against a target of 20% by 2020. ■■ At Brightwater the site’s boiler has been converted to co-fire with wood biomass. The conversion cuts carbon emissions at the site by about 2400 tonnes a year – roughly the same as taking 530 cars off the road. ■■ A recent water recycling innovation at Fonterra’s Paihiatua manufacturing site will save about 500,000 litres of water a day this season. ■■ 2018 marked the halfway point of Fonterra’s 10-year Living Water partnership with the Department of Conservation focusing on five freshwater catchments. Fonterra will help restore 50 more catchments as part of its water plan. Working with community groups, these catchments have been identified and action planning is underway. Community ■■

Detention bunds in Northland slow water flows, remove sediment and improves catchment resilience.

Nutrition ■■ Fonterra launched a dedicated medical nutrition division tasked with pioneering dairy nutrition to help people recovering from disease and illness at all stages of life, and to help people age in good health. ■■ 71% of Fonter-


ra’s everyday and advanced nutrition products meet Fonterra’s Food and Nutrition Guidelines, which were endorsed by the New Zealand Nutrition Foundation. This is working towards a target of 75% by 2020 and 100% by 2025. A process that has pre-

viously taken hours can now be done in minutes: 92% of Fonterra’s products are electronically traceable, on the way to a target of 100% by 2020. Environment ■■ Fonterra farmers in NZ are among the world’s lowest in greenhouse gas emissions per litre of milk collected (0.87 per kg CO2-e/kg FPCM). ■■ Fonterra farmers have fenced 99.6% of permanent waterways and installed bridges or culverts at 99.9% of regular crossings.

$10.3 billion was returned to NZ farmers for the 2017-18 season. Fonterra launched its ‘addressing family violence’ initiative in NZ and Australia. 2018 awards included the Deloitte Top 200 Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Award and Top Graduate Employer Award in NZ. Fonterra halved its gender pay gap in NZ from 4% to 2%, against a national average of 9.2%. Fonterra Milk for Schools celebrated its fifth year and delivered its 100 millionth serving of milk for about 140,000 children each school day. The KickStart Breakfast programme – run by Fonterra with Sanitarium and the NZ Government – grew to 976 breakfast clubs and served at least 125,000 breakfasts every school week. 696 community initiatives were supported through the Fonterra Grass Roots Fund in NZ, Australia and Sri Lanka.








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FONTERRA IS leading the industry in some areas of sustainability, says chief executive Miles Hurrell. But there are areas where the cooperative has tried and hasn’t hit the mark yet. The cooperative’s second annual Sustainability Report doesn’t shy away from that, he says. It covers how the cooperative is progressing towards its environmental, social and economic goals. “We have considerable scale and with that comes the opportunity, and the responsibility, to influence for good. That’s exactly what we’re working to do: by producing dairy in a way that cares for people, animals and the land, and brings long-term value to our communities.” The scale of the industry in New Zealand means that dairy’s environmen-

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NEWS  // 15

The big cheese in South Korea IT’S BEEN three years since the free trade agreement (FTA) was signed with South Korea and New Zealand cheese is making a significant impact on their shelves. The country is NZ’s fifth-largest cheese market, and in 2017 was worth NZ$120m a year. NZ’s cheddar exports have more than doubled in value since the FTA was signed, and NZ now accounts for over 60% of South Korea’s cheddar imports. While it’s good news for NZ, the FTA is also good news for our dairy farmers. Fonterra South Korea country manager Jason Murney says the access under the FTA allows Fonterra to invest in product and supply chain innovations and provide higher returns through its value-added products. “We’re seeing some advancements in the Korea/NZ FTA so the future for cheese par-

ticularly is looking very good. This along with our investment in mozzarella cheese at Clandeboye in NZ and Stanhope in Australia, we’re expecting to see Fonterra’s cheese exports double over the next five years. “Since the signing, Fonterra has seen a 40.5% increase in the value of our cheese trade with South Korea,” says Murney. Consumption of dairy products is rising in Korea, as dietary trends follow those of neighbouring Asian countries such as Japan. In 1990 Koreans consumed 43.8kg liquid milk equivalent per capita but by 2017 that had risen to 79.5kg. It’s expected that NZ’s annual duty-free quota of 7600 tonnes of cheese to Korea will increase by three per cent per year. And it’s not all about cheese. Since the FTA was signed, butter imports have increased in value by 125%, with NZ accounting

for about 40% of all South Korea’s butter imports. “The development of the Korean market is in line with Fonterra’s strategy of moving more

milk volumes into higher margin products, thus earning greater returns for our farmer shareholders,” says Murney.

Over 60% of South Korea’s cheddar imports now come from NZ.

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Feed System Unique WAIKATO AWARDS IN FULL FLIGHT THE WAIKATO Dairy Industry Awards last week held its entrants’ and sponsors’ evening at the LIC Tempero Centre. Awards committee media manager Taylor Bailey said it was a great networking evening. “Entrants found out more detail about the awards from past dairy trainee, manager and share farmer category winners. “Generous regional and national sponsors of the awards were out in force to show their support and the night ended with a quiz.” The Waikato awards dinner will be held at the Don Rowlands Centre, Karapiro, on Monday, March 11. Waikato received 34 entries for the Share Farmer of the Year, the Dairy Manager of the Year and the Dairy Trainee of the Year competition. The regional winners will join winners from the other 10 regions in the national finals in Wellington next May.



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Time to let Tip Top go?

MILKING IT... Taxpayer bank?

‘New’ bid to ban fertiliser

Now it’s tiger nuts

THE GOVERNMENT’S $9.9 million loan to Westland Milk is raising eyebrows. Some on social media are calling it a Government bailout for a struggling dairy co-op. The taxpayer-funded loan will help Westland construct $22m plant for specialty products. One prominent finance commentator says the deal smells bad and wants more details to be made public. He tweeted “Looks like the taxpayer is now a bank.”

GREENPEACE IS pulling no punches in its ‘new’ campaign to ban synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and supposedly save New Zealand’s rivers. It has put up provocative billboards on arterial roads around the country in time for the summer. The no-frills billboards targeting fertiliser co-ops read: ‘Ravensdown and Ballance pollute rivers. #TooManyCows’. Two of the billboards are a stone’s throw from the Ravensdown headquarters in Christchurch and Ballance’s in Mount Maunganui.

A UK man has invented a vegan milk he hopes will be a best seller. Tigermylk is already sold to residents of some suburbs of Bristol. Founder Josh Coppersmith Heaven hopes this is only the beginning for his new beverage made from tiger nuts. He got the idea after sampling a similar drink during his travels in Africa. Josh says the tiger nuts create a creamy texture; he aims to rival vegan milks already on the market including oat and almond.

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Proper cows! MATERNAL AGGRESSION may be behind many attacks on humans by cows, say two overseas animal experts. University of Liverpool researchers Carri Westgarth and Marie McIntyre studied the behaviour of cows following several incidents: in one a retired academic was trampled to death by cattle in Oxford. They searched newspaper reports over two decades and discovered 54 separate attacks -- 24% of them fatal -- by cattle on people out walking. Injuries included fractures from kicking, lacerations, punctured lungs, bruising, black eyes, joint dislocation, nerve damage and unconsciousness.

WHEN FONTERRA said it urgently needed to reduce debt by $800 million this year, hard decisions were inevitable: reducing debt to shore up the balance sheet would be achieved by lowering costs and selling assets. The co-op flagged a review of the disastrous Beingmate investment in China quite early and no one was surprised or upset. After all, Fonterra has had to write down $439 million on its investment in the Chinese infant formula company. In 2015, Fonterra bought an 18.8% stake in Beingmate for about $750m. Its share price has since plummeted, and Fonterra’s stake is now worth at best $400 million less than it paid for it. Selling its stake in Beingmate will be widely welcomed. However, someone last month leaked to Australian media that Tip Top Ice Cream -- a Fonterra subsidiary and one of NZ’s truly iconic brands -- was on the chopping block. The co-op confirmed this last week. The reaction on social media has been swift and negative, and a petition is already underway to try to prevent the sale. Should Fonterra then sell the family jewels? Tip Top is reportedly valued at about $500 million, operating in a very competitive market. Tip Top makes about 41 million litres of ice cream a year, and Fonterra Brands (Tip Top) Ltd has some 400 employees. Tip Top products are exported to Japan, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands. And as a top NZ brand, Tip Top has helped Fonterra cultivate its relationship with the public. Fonterra is looking “at a range of options” for Tip Top. It wants to see it remain a New Zealand-based business and this is being factored into options. While performing well, Tip Top is the co-op’s only ice cream business and has reached maturity as an investment for the co-op, it says. To take it to its next phase successfully will require a level of investment beyond what Fonterra is willing to make. It’s clear that Fonterra doesn’t have the capital Tip Top requires. The co-op’s future returns from Tip Top will be hindered by its inability to invest in new technology. So it might well be the right decision to offload the business and use the money to shore up the balance sheet, ensuring better returns to shareholders in years to come.

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OPINION  // 17

How to feed those extra mouths around the world


land play its vital part in helping feed the world and meeting consumers’ needs, when we, like many other food producing nations, are facing some social and environmental challenges? The answer is sustainable nutrition -- producing some of the high value, sustainable products that the world needs. Let me tell how Fonterra is approaching this, because it’s these two aspects that I believe you can’t compromise on. 1. Produce innovative nutrition For generations, New Zealand has created greattasting, healthy food, helping improve the lives of millions of people around the world. Just like us, many global consumers believe in the power of a variety of nutritious foods, with the likes of vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat helping us live healthier lives. As we move forward, it’s no longer a ‘one size fits all’ world. Consumers needs are varied, and as diets evolve it’s up to us to meet your needs and provide you with choices. We need to: Apply our ingenuity in new, innovative ways. Solving problems with confidence is what we do. By collaborating and fostering partnerships, we can harness our creativity and knowledge to produce new nutritional products which extend the reach of our food. Embrace the unknown. New technologies provide limitless opportunities, including new approaches to food production. Whether to extract and improve natural dairy, create more nutritious choices, or harness algae, cellular or fermentationproduced nutrition, we

need to explore and apply new technologies. Maximise our strengths. Our country has been built on agricultural production, innovation and exports. We know farming, dairy, proteins and manufacturing – and we know how to get our food safely to the world. We need to maximise this to help us build even stronger, healthier and more prosperous communities. 2. Tread lightly with our footprint Our food production system is facing a transformational challenge. There’s a gap between what’s needed and what can be produced using existing methods. Our New Zealand farmers lead the world in many aspects of sustainability – with high productivity and year-round pasture grazing. As we go forward, we know we need to produce more with less. Dairy is one of the best forms of human nutrition – providing some of the best quality protein and overall density of vital nutrients. We want it to continue to be valued for this natural, trusted goodness. To do this, we must be as sustainable as possible. We need to: Retain and harness our uniqueness. Our grassfed model is highly sought after by global consumers. It’s not without its challenges: the biological emissions of our cows need to continue to reduce, while maximising the value of our Kiwi way of farming. Keep raising the bar. Our entire supply chain must meet high, global standards. Well cared for animals are more productive, have better quality milk and reduced emis-

sions. Every day we need to be focused on finding efficiencies, and improving practices and productivity to extend the reach of our food. Work together and invest in breakthrough

technologies. Over the past 10 years, huge progress has been made, however there’s more to be done. Meeting consumers’ needs through sustainable farming, sustainable food production and sustain-

able nutrition is the future. New Zealand has a pivotal and credible role to play in helping feed the world, delivering long-term value to everyone. We’re excited at the opportunity our nation has.

Mark Piper, Fonterra.

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New Zealand produces enough food for 50 million people; pretty impressive for a country of 4.7 million. But with 9 billion mouths to feed by 2050, the world needs to produce more nutrition – 30% more. At the same time, consumer preferences are evolving, with the rise of ‘flexitarians’ and ‘keto’ to name a few. Mark Piper, Fonterra director group research & development, shares how we’re going about this.



Award entries thrill organisers


A TOTAL of 393 entries are in for the 2019 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards. “It’s a great result and we are thrilled with the response,” says Chris Keeping, the awards general manager. “Changing the visa entry criteria has also seen an increase overall in entry numbers in the dairy manager and dairy trainee categories.” The Canterbury-North Otago region fielded the most entries (59); 17 are for Share Farmer of the Year, 30 for Dairy Manager of the Year and 12 for Dairy Trainee of the Year. Nationally, 106 entries were received in the share farmer category, 166 entered the dairy manager category and 121 entered for Dairy Trainee of the Year. Keeping says this means strong competition in each of the 11 regions -- great for the entrants, categories and organisers. The Central Plateau region topped the entry numbers (47), Southland-


2018 Share Farmers of the Year Dan and Gina Duncan.

Otago fielded 46 entries, and Hawkes Bay, West Coast-Top of the South, Auckland-Hauraki and Waikato fielded 38, 37, 36 and 34 entries respectively. Keeping says the regions worked hard to attract entries and she is rapt that all three categories will be contested in all 11 regions. “Previous awards winners continue to make an impact in the industry and many are clear lead-

ers,” she says. “All entrants can give themselves a huge pat on the back as they’ve taken an important step in enhancing their career and farm business just by entering the awards.” Judging will begin in the new year for the 11 regional categories, with winners announced at dinners nationwide in March next year. The 33 winners of those categories will then contest the national finals in Wellington next May.

Australia share many problems in common in their dairy industries, says Professor Yani Garcia from Sydney University. He told Dairy News at the recent Australasian Dairy Science Symposium that both countries face challenges on how to grow their respective industries while facing pressure for suitable land and in meeting new environmental standards. Also challenging is public perception of the dairy industry, he says. “The last 10 years has seen massive change in public interest in the

Yani Garcia

dairy industry; it’s about provenance – where the milk comes from, how well animals are looked after. Many young kids don’t know much about how milk is produced and in that sense there are a lot of similarities between Australia and New Zealand.” Garcia is working on a project called ‘Future Dairy’, trying to forsee

solutions to problems dairy farmers will face, notably how they can run intensive systems but also look after the environment. “The other big part of the project is the use of automation and technology to assist in dairy production, such as how to use robots on farms, how to use automation in all aspects of dairy production and how to make life better for animals and people.” Water is a big issue for the Australian industry but Garcia says research shows scope to treble efficiency for the benefit of farmers and the community. Garcia applauded the Dairy Science Symposium, saying it paves the way for cooperation.



Dairy farmers have to make decisions now for improving their milking system for next season. Many will be considering replacing old equipment or altering their dairy sheds or improve milking efficiency. To be in this special report contact your advertising representative now to promote your products and/or service to all NZ dairy farmers and sharemilkers. Contact your closest Sales Representative

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22 January




Cow numbers were slightly down due to higher empty rates and fewer replacements.

Owl Farm flying high MARK DANIEL

OWL FARM, the joint

venture demonstration dairy farm run by St Peters School Cambridge and Lincoln University, uses proven research and good practice and, importantly, encourages young people into the dairy industry. Its Farm Focus Day in mid-November gave visitors an overview of how the 2018-19 season was shaping up compared to the previous year. With 406 cows onfarm, numbers were down on 2017-18 when numbers hit 422, brought about by a higher empty rate, insufficient replacements and a closed-herd policy. The good news is that total production is up about 2% or 1700kg yearto-date, somewhat behind the national season-todate production -- up about 6% on 2017. Having fewer stock on the paddocks has been a challenge to pasture quality, but the production numbers -- whether on a total or per cow basis -- have risen since early September: early November figures are 1.83kgMS/ cow/day. The June - August

Farm manager Tom Buckley.

period showed reduced growth rates: 0.8tonnes/ ha or about 10% less feed grown than in 2017. Similarly, home grown grass eaten is about 1.2t/ ha or 20% lower than last year, with more milk produced to date; aggressive management has seen about 0.6t/ ha more silage being harvested to date. Farm manager Tom Buckley summed up progress, saying “fewer cows, less grown, less harvested, more milk and more silage in the stack”. Buckley also said the cows were generally in better condition, putting fat from their backs into the vat and, having eaten less, showing better feed conversion efficiency.

This is why the farm has used 9.4% less feed for every litre of milk going out the gate. A key change in the Owl Farm system has occurred in the last two years, with widescale pasture replacement and renovation, the introduction of spring sown/summer grazed turnips and the removal of maize from the rotation. The only supplements used are PKE and a small amount of imported forage from a run-off block, meaning the operation is “comfortably better placed” than at the same time last year, with feed reserves available, particularly high quality silage for summer milk production.




Water – an important nutrient IT IS a fact that water makes up over

50% of a dairy cows’ live weight in addition to nearly 90% of the milk she produces in her lifetime. Cows are reported to seek water 2 – 6 times/day depending on their metabolic state and environmental conditions. At peak production, the volume of water intake can easily exceed 100 litres/cow/ day and intake rates when drinking can be as high as 20 litres of water/minute. Because of these significant numbers, it is no surprise that failure to provide a readily available fresh source of water has disastrous effects on both the cows’ wellbeing and production. No wonder there are huge demands on farm water supplies as temperatures climb, pasture becomes dryer and more fibrous and the hyper thermic effect of endophyte takes hold! In December 2017, clinical signs of heat stress in Waikato herds was rife (protruding tongue, excessive salivation, lethargy, milk suppression, increased chance of clinical disease such as mastitis and in extreme cases death). In these sorts of environments, both water quality and quantity is par-

amount. However, not all farms measure up in terms of providing sufficient water as any combination of issues ensue. • Water delivery and access problems Insufficient water flow to the trough or adequate space for cows at the trough seems to be relatively common. This is often the case where herd sizes have increased but farm infrastructure improvements have failed to keep up. Often the problem can be as basic as there not being sufficient numbers of troughs for the group of cows or the water lines are too narrow. In these herds, farmers notice on hot afternoons the less dominant cows heading for the water trough as cows rounded up for milking. Basically from the less dominant cow perspective ‘the bully has left the bar’ allowing them an opportunity to drink without fear of copping a flogging. These less dominant cows failing to maintain adequate water intakes ultimately have lower dry matter intakes and dry themselves off early. • Palatability issues Natural contaminants such as iron

Cows seek water up to six times a day.

in water even at low levels can be sufficient to limit intake. There are many farms where iron taint can be smelt in the water with visual ‘rusting’ around wet areas (including the porcelain in the bathroom). This taint can be suf-

ficient to significantly impact on the cows’ desire to drink. • Bacterial contamination Bacterial contaminants of water have proven detrimental to both animal and human health over time (one high

profile example is the human health issue in Havelock North during 2017). Water drawn from sources at higher risk of bacterial contamination (close proximity to effluent ponds potential run off from stand-off areas) needs to be monitored and managed properly. • Nitrates and sulphate contamination Many of these contaminants can reduce palatability and cause animal health issues including interference with trace mineral absorption, diarrhoea, ill thrift, reproductive failure and in extreme cases increased mortality. In summary, it is pretty simple. Because water is a vital requirement for the maintenance of normal metabolic functions in living cells, we must ensure it is abundant and of the highest quality. Failure to provide sufficient quantities of high quality water will have serious negative consequences on both the welfare of the animal and the ability of the animal to perform at optimum levels. If you are concerned about your situation, seek advice from your Veterinarian, Advisor or Nutritionist. • Greg Jarratt is a vet and director of Matamata Veterinary Service This article is brought to you by

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Let’s not create other issues with our on-farm solutions PETER BURKE

AN IRISH farm systems researcher says any solutions that scientists come up with to solve problems must be simple and not create other problems. Dr Brendan Horan, from Teagasc, the Irish agricultural research organisation at Moorepark, County Cork, says the challenge for dairy and other farmers today is to produce high quality products in a sustainable way. This must take account of environmental and animal welfare issues to produce better quality products for consumers but still retain farm profitability. “The key is finding simple solutions because farms are big and complicated businesses to run and you can’t have solutions that solve one problem but create another. So it has to solve

both run grass based a problem systems. He sees a lot of but still scope for the two counbe totally tries to work together integrated to develop solutions within the that will deliver better production returns to pastoral systems. farmers. “Farm“As a regular visiers are very tor to NZ over many responyears I have learned a sive to lot from farmers and changes on Irish farm systems researcher researchers. It’s a place their farms Dr Brendan Horan speaking at I look to. The excellent but someMassey University last month. research in NZ and Iretimes science supports changes that don’t work land needs integrating and packaging within farmers’ existing systems. So it’s so as to solve problems for farmers.” Getting messages about change to up to scientists to create solutions that ‘hard-to-reach’ farmers is no easy task are easy to adopt.” Horan says Irish and New Zealand and it requires multiple communicafarmers are aware of the challenges tion channels, Horan says. “Farmers are they face and are hungry for solutions; the curators of land. I have never met a their problems are similar given that farmer who didn’t want to improve the

environmental footprint of their systems. It requires a better flow of information from customers right through the supply chain back to farmers. If you look, for example, at Europe, lots of industries there have gone down the road of more cultivation systems to avoid some of the negatives of grasslands. Invariably they found that by trying to solve one problem they have discovered many others.” Horan says grassland provides much benefit via biodiversity, nutrient management and carbon sequestration. Farmers must ‘harvest’ those benefits and try to improve the management systems on those grasslands. “Consumers are now looking to products produced from grass fed animals and they can see the health benefits they offer. A whole benefit area there will benefit farmers in the long term and we have to create value from

grass based industries.” Horan says because grass fed products are nutritionally better for consumers, it’s important that such products command a premium in the market that will translate into better returns to farmers. Profitability and sustainability require equal emphasis, he says. “The good thing for grazing systems -- be it Ireland or NZ -- is that you can have win-wins. You can have things that improve the profitability of dairy farms and are also beneficial in environmental footprints, improving the genetic merit of our animals, incorporating legumes in swards and better management practices. We can achieve these gains while improving farm profitability and that provides great opportunities for farmers,” he says. @dairy_news

CHANGING CLIMATE DEMANDS BETTER WATER STORAGE WATER STORAGE is more important than ever as climate change causes more severe drought forecasts, says IrrigationNZ chief executive Andrew Curtis. It says a recent expert discussion document on drought and climate change highlights the need for national planning to improve water storage and the urgent need to look at options to mitigate the effects of more severe droughts forecast. NIWA projections in the discussion document indicate that droughts are expected to be more severe in most areas and more frequent and severe in already droughtprone regions.

The economic impacts of drought in NZ were estimated at $720 million from 2007 to 2017 in a 2018 report for Treasury; and estimated costs were much higher for drought than for flood related insurance claims in the same period. “More frequent droughts and more variable rainfall will affect urban and rural communities, forcing a rethink of how we manage water in the future,” Curtis says. “For example, with less rainfall forecast over summer in western regions, councils and farmers will demand more water storage to provide a reliable water supply. “To adequately prepare for the

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future NZ needs to capture more of its plentiful water from rain and ice melt. Hopefully the issues highlighted in this document will lead to action to avoid our regions being crippled by future droughts,” says Curtis. The document highlights that having been historically ‘waterrich’, NZ is now not well-prepared to cope with a future of more droughts in many regions. The report says “much of our irrigation in drier areas is on a run-of-river basis -- a model extremely vulnerable to drought given environmental obligations”. @dairy_news

A report calls for better national planning for water storage.

At Deosan we’re committed to helping produce the best milk in the world and being a NZ-owned and operated company, we believe it’s important to be able to relate to farmers. With a growing customer base, we’re expanding our team with our customer in mind.

You will need to have strong communication and interpersonal skills and an ability to build long-term relationships. Being a good problem solver with an open mind and a willingness to listen as well as an ability to grow and develop is essential.

We’re looking for dairy farmers with the ability to talk to other dairy farmers - people who know their way around a milking plant, are able to fix hygiene issues and know the importance of mastitis prevention.

We operate in a variety of locations around the country, so you may be just the person we are looking for!

Knowing the lingo and understanding the joys and frustrations of the industry are a must.

Along with a competitive salary and attractive incentive scheme, we offer a company vehicle and other tools of trade. To be considered for the role you must be legally entitled to work in New Zealand.

We are looking for highly motivated individuals to join our team. Lack of experience in the role is not a problem as you’ll get full training in farm service and how to provide support to our retail partners. And you’ll work with a team of like-minded individuals.

If you have what it takes and want to find out more about Deosan, check us out at To contact us regarding a position, please phone 0800 DEOSAN (33 67 26) or email



Breeding success with a Jersey herd OTOROHANGA FARMERS Michael and

Claire Newson have a passion for the quintessential New Zealand farm and family lifestyle. They met at Massey University, where both gained degrees in agriculture, married and have four young children. “Neither of us grew up on farms but through exposure to the farming life -- from the grandparents’ farm and horses respectively -- the desire to work and own a farm was and still is great,” says Michael. “We have worked our way up from farm workers to share-milkers to now

Claire and Michael Newson with children from left, Thomas, Guy, Lucy and Robert. PHOTO: LAURA TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

equity farm owners, and Jersey cows have been an integral part of the success of our business.”

They went sharemilking on a high -- when herds were selling for $2000/cow. By smart

RAISING CALVES THE NEWSONS pay a lot of attention to rearing the ‘infamous’ Jersey calf. “Pay some attention to doing the basic things well,” he says. “Get them off to a good start and you’re away laughing,” Claire says. “Warm, dry, good colostrum and common sense. Once a day feeding from day dot, do it once, do it well. It’s not rocket science; if it’s cold and raining put them in a shed. A sunny spring day certainly helps. “While the disadvantages of smaller Jersey calves are well documented, what is not recognised well

is the significant saving in pregnancy feed energy with smaller calves.” Pregnancy is one of the least efficient uses of feed energy: 30% of the pregnancy energy requirement is left on the ground in placenta and embryonic solids. “Yes, Jersey calves are harder to rear than bigger calves,” says Michael. “The extra detail required to successfully rear large numbers of Jersey calves is rewarded in the rest of cow life with less lameness, anoestrus, non-pregnancy rate, calving difficulty and mastitis.”

buying and breeding they put together a well typed (slightly motley) aboveaverage herd for $1400/ cow. Within six years sharemilking and rearing 30% instead of the typical 20% replacements they were able to increase the herd breeding worth from 84 in 2012 to 111 in 2018 (when adjusting for BW base shift in 2016 this equates to +77 BW in six years) and recorded ancestry from 76% to 96% today. “With the consistent reproductive success of our Jersey herd we were also able to sell a line of cows every year,” says Claire.

“We have also had six bulls selected from our ‘Caratacus’ Jersey herd into CRV and LIC respectively with one in each company last season.” The Newsons also smashed production records on their sharemiking job: the Jersey herd went ahead by 7.5% of the previous record and also set their own record at 1218kgMS/ha or 355kgMS/cow. “We believe we have fine-tuned a OAD system where timing and feeding is crucial. Done well, we believe there is no loss in production. “The Jersey cow’s ability to hold the volume of high quality milk in their udder is second to none. We get more days in milk and cows get back in calf more easily. The cows are happy, staff are happy and we have more time for our young family.” With youth unemployment at an all-time low the Newsons say the industry must provide better working conditions for staff. “We need to attract young people to the industry and with less hours in the milking shed OAD is one way to do this,” Claire says.



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Ray Lawrence

TIME TO RETIRE NO ONE is more passionate about breeding better dairy cows than Ray Lawrence, Taranaki. After 40 years working with local dairy farmers to breed healthier, more efficient herds, Lawrence is to retire from his field consultant and artificial insemination (AI) technician roles at CRV Ambreed. He started at CRV Ambreed in 1976 when he trained in AI and began using the firm’s genetics in his own dairy herd. In 1983, Lawrence started working as a Stratford-Etham field consultant and in 1991 took on the broader Taranaki region as area manager. Always passionate about helping farmers breed a healthy, long-lasting herd via pedigree bulls, he says this motivated him to stay at it a long time. “It’s gratifying than to drive around the region each year and see the calves in the paddock that I’ve had a part in creating,” he says. “Still, walking away from the relationships I’ve built with clients will be the hardest part of retiring.” Lawrence applauds the new technologies that have hugely improved the industry. “SireMatch has supported farmers to breed from good cow families and prevent issues like inbreeding and genetic defects have been a real gamechanger,” he says. “I’d like to see the wider industry herd-testing more in the future to make sure we all have access to better data and that we can improve our whole industry.” Sales and marketing manager for CRV Oceania Mathew Macfie says Lawrence’s legacy will be visible on farms in the Taranaki region for many years. “His knowledge of cow families and pedigrees in particular has been called on many times to help build the perfect bull team for many customers,” Macfie says. “On the dairy farms in Taranaki, it is not hard to see the kind of cow or herd that Ray is proud to have been associated with and help build.” The next chapter of Ray Lawrence’s life will centre on family, including wife Joyce, four children, and nine – soon to be 10 -- grandchildren. He also plans to travel and will continue volunteer work with Lake Rotokauri Trust and the Lions club in Etham. Although putting away his AI gloves, he won’t be letting go of his gumboots. “After all these years I can walk away knowing that I’ve done my part. But I’ll still have my finger in farm life doing the odd bit of work on my son’s farm,” he says.



Bull movements need close watch IF YOU’RE selling or leasing bulls

this spring, understand the risks and know the animal’s history of movement and health, says Manawatu beef farmer Richard Morrison. Bulls tend to be moved around a lot, so it is essential all movements are recorded and confirmed by the sender and receiver in the NAIT online system, within 48 hours of the bull relocating. Each time an animal is moved it must carry a completed animal status declaration form (ASD), necessary for evaluating a bull’s TB status and movement history. “Know your customers too -- their NAIT number and their onfarm biosecurity,” says Morrison. He and his brother William recently hosted a bull auction on their property, selling about 250 Hereford bulls to customers nationwide. They assigned stock agents as their PICA delegates who ensured all NAIT transactions were recorded from their property and at the bull’s new location, even if it is only for a couple of months. Their 1430ha Marton property is two beef and sheep farms. They chose to register both farms as one NAIT location as they both fall within a 10km radius circle. “We are aware this decision

exposes both businesses to more neighbouring properties with bigger boundaries to manage, but that’s a risk we’re willing to accept and mitigate.” Bull breeders carry a unique risk profile, being subject to an intense testing regime for bovine TB, theileria, bovis virus diarrhoea (BVD) and parasites. Under regular scrutiny, Richard has no qualms about the importance of livestock traceability. “It comes with the territory. You’re always wary of minimising disease risks particularly in this current climate of Mycoplasma bovis. When sending bulls out, you want to avoid multiplying a potential issue. “We’ve had good clients and friends asking to temporarily lease a bull, but we aren’t willing to act ad hoc and expose ourselves to risk, creating dire implications for everyone.” Farmers could do more when managing bull movements with the uncertainty on bulls being sourced from many locations and stock agents. Bulls sent to dairy farms for mating must be recorded in the NAIT system and movements confirmed by dairy farmers through their NAIT accounts or through information pro-

viders such as Minda and CRV. Even if a dairy farmer is leasing a bull for mating, they become the PICA farmer for that animal and are responsible for confirming movements onto their farm and recording future movements off their property when the animal leaves. Richard says, “There’s a big overlap with beef and dairy farmers when leasing heifer grazers or bulls for mating. I think relations can be better in understanding and knowing the other’s motivations.” Still, the importance of good biosecurity practices onfarm is resonating with most farmers and the key to that is an effective animal traceability system. “I don’t think farmers appreciated NAIT until now. We can see the benefits after the M.bovis outbreak. As food producers and sellers it is in our interests to support the NAIT online system. “It provides a platform to leverage and pitch our products overseas and to the top end of the market. There’s the provenance aspect too -our story unique to New Zealand. We can’t claim to have these values without a traceability system like NAIT.” • For information on temporary livestock movements visit or

Richard Morrison, Manawatu farmer.


on or off your farm, you will need to record this movement in the NAIT system. To record a movement in the NAIT system you will need to know the following; ■■ Your NAIT number ■■ The NAIT number of the sender or receiver

The date the animals moved The individual RFID tag numbers of the animals that have moved To create a movement from your home page follow the below steps: ■■ Log into your NAIT account ■■ From your home page, select “Create Movement” ■■




■■ ■■

Select if you are creating a sending or receiving movement Enter the other NAIT number and the date that the movement took place Select Continue Enter the RFID numbers by either selecting the animals from your list of registered animals or type in the tag details

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MF extends hay, forage range MARK DANIEL


says it will add new products to the MF hay and forage range for farmers and contractors. These will include an upgraded, new-look fixed chamber round baler range and new fixed and variable chamber baler and wrapper combination units. The MF RB 3130F gets a sleek new appearance, with redesigned side panels enhancing ergonomics, and many upgrades under the covers to improve performance and bale quality. Also, the MF RB 3130F Xtracut offers increased versatility by chopping forage for easier feeding and enhanced feed quality.

MF RB 3130F balers use a camless pick-up for high speed feeding with low maintenance. It uses five tine bars with a spacing of 64mm to provide higher capacity and smooth, even feed at high speed. These are positioned close to the rotor to improve crop flow and reduce the risk of blockage. The layout also includes two 25cm diameter feeding augers to direct crop to the centre of the feed channel to help improve bale shape. Eighteen Powergrip rollers form the fixed chamber, while a spiral layout with slightly reduced diameter at the front improves feeding and bale rotation and helps to increase density and net grip when wrapping. Mechanical tail-gate locks with pressure sen-

Massey Ferguson’s new sleek round baler.

sors on both sides help to maintain bale shape, with left/right indication allowing the operator to monitor the outer layers of bale via the in-cab screen. Xtracut models can be equipped with 13, 17 or 25 knives, using a knife design that is longer to ensure all material is cut properly. Xtracut 17 and 25 versions use two sets of hydraulically oper-

ated knife banks, allowing the operator to choose a single knife bank, both knife banks or to disengage all knives for optimum flexibility. Hydroflexcontrol offers a two-stage protection system against crop blockages, using automatic mechanical floor cushioning to clear minor blockages and hydraulically controlled floor lowering

to clear big obstructions. The Varionet net wrapping system has a special net tensioning and spreading device that deals with various widths and types of net for fast wrapping from edge to edge or over the edge. The new MF RB 3130F Protec and MF RB 4160V Protec balers offer the benefits of the MF fixed and variable chamber

balers with the addition of an integrated wrapper. Two active guide plates on both sides of the baler direct the bale to the centre of the wrapper plate. For safety on hillsides, slope transfer mode allows the transfer arm to move more slowly while the wrapper ring is lifted higher to receive the bale. Once transferred to the centre of the wrapping table, a hydraulically driven wrapping ring begins its rotation even before the tailgate is fully closed, completing the cycle well before the next bale is formed. The wrapping table is lowered for unloading, reducing bale rolling speed, and that in turn prevents film damage and maintains bale shape. An optional bale tipper places bales on their ends, pre-

venting them from rolling away and making for easier loading on the trailer. An external control panel on the baler allows control of the tailgate, wrapping ring and table and the film pre-stretchers for easy film roll change, maintenance or cleaning. In the cab, the E-Link Pro monitor uses ISOBUS technology with a large bright screen, giving the operator more information and control of the baler. The MF RB 3130F Protec and RB 4160V Protec can also be controlled via the tractor’s ISOBUS monitor, where fitted. The baler wrapper combination is fitted with a rear-view camera for better control of the wrapper.

HILUX MARKS MILESTONE WITH ATTITUDE INJECTION TOYOTA HAS restyled the 14 wide-bodied variants of its 21-model Hilux ute range, as the maker celebrates the iconic workhorse’s 50th anniversary globally. The SR and SR5 extra and double cab variants come with a similar tough looking stance first seen on the range topping SR5 Cruiser earlier this year. The front-end design includes a bold new honeycomb grille with a chrome surround, redesigned front bumper, black bonnet garnish and chrome fog light garnish, and the SR variants get halogen fog lights. The SR5 Cruiser variants will change to Dunlop Grandtrek AT25 tyres with white lettering to further enhance their looks. The Hilux was introduced to the Japanese market in 1968 and exports began the following year, with the first Hilux arriving in New Zealand in 1976. Now in its eighth generation, its sales have numbered at least 18 million in 170 countries. The Hilux was assembled at Toyota NZ’s Christchurch plant between 1983 and 1995. Today it is imported from Toyota’s Thailand plant. Since 1976 at least 130,000 Hilux have been bought, making it NZ’s most popular one tonne ute over the last 42 years. Sales in Australia have exceeded one million. All variants come with an improved diesel particulate filter

Toyota Hilux

(DPF) system, with a DPF switch to manually initiate a burn, said to offer greater efficiency and tailored for NZ conditions. SR variants come with a choice of six speed manual -- excluding the PreRunner and 4WD Extra Cab ute -- or an automatic transmission, 17-inch steel wheels, side steps, PVC floor covering, rear differential lock, cruise control, seven air bags, reversing camera, dot type multi-information display, halogen headlights and daytime running lights, hill-start assist control and trailer sway control The SR5 variants also get 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, DRLs and front fog lights, a 220V power outlet, smart key entry and push button start, satellite navigation with SUNA traffic channel, climate control air conditioning with rear air vents, carpet flooring and

a colour multi-information display. The SR5 manual variants get intelligent manual transmission (i-MT). All four-wheel drive variants include all-terrain tyres, automatic disconnecting differential and 4WD switch knob to activate the fourwheel drive transmission with active traction control (A-TRC). The double cab automatic’s get downhill assist control (DAC). The Pre-Runners also have all-terrain tyres. The SR5 Cruiser variants also have 18-inch black alloy wheels, leather accented upholstery, driver’s seat power adjustment, front seat heaters and black coloured exterior mirrors, steering wheel accent, door and tailgate handles. The 2WD S grade variants and the 4WD SR single cab variants will continue with the current front-end design. – Mark Daniel



Inverter brings more power temperature, fault and overload protections to protect appliances, electrical systems


electrical gear on vehicles and boats raises the demand for power. The key to this is a good inverter, e.g. Projecta’s new IP3000-24 (one of its Intelliwave units), reckoned ideal on larger vehicles with 24V electrics. Computers, displays and even drones brings high load demand, and the IP3000-24 is up to the task -- 6000W of peak power for up to 3 seconds and 4500W for up to 10 seconds. It will provide 2400W/10A of continuous power via its 240V AC socket and 3000W/13A when hardwired via the included wiring kit. The new inverter can also be wired for remote activation via the

switch node, which allows it to be installed out of sight for OEM applications. A selectable ‘eco mode’ allows the inverter to shut off output if load value drops below 50VA, preserving power. Safety features include voltage,

and batteries. The inverter is isolated and meets the latest AS/NZS 4763 standards. Fault code LED indicators ensure easy error diagnosis and an audio alarm warns of faults. A two-year warranty applies.

CAMERA PICKS OUT CLOVER A NEW sward scanner soon to be

launched by Agrointelli (a spin-off from Kongskilde) produces data usable in variable-rate fertiliser plans. The Clover Cam camera fits any tractor, attaching about 1m above the crop. There it differentiates between clover, grass and weeds during paddock surveys – the key to variablerate fertiliser plans whereby products are applied selectively rather than ‘blanketed’ over the ground. The main benefit is increased grass yields. Control is via a cab-mounted box; the mapping software is supplied by the developer. Ten units are now in final testing, pending commercial launch, the company says. Meanwhile Kongskilde’s Robotti multipurpose autonomous tool carrier is available in 1.5m and 3m working widths, fitting most 3m

Clover cam

implements on the market without modification. Capable of drilling, weeding and spraying, the Robotti operates using a RTK signal from any GPS software; this is defined as ‘supervised autonomy’, whereby once a paddock is mapped the navigation planner will work out the most efficient route to do the job.



The user can still control the unit via a tablet and drive it manually for loading on trailers for transport. Power comes from two 24hp Kubota 3-cylinder engines mounted on either wing, with the option of electric power in the wings for the future. @dairy_news

Triple success for tractor maker NEW HOLLAND Agriculture last month won three awards in the technical innovation contest at the 2018 EIMA International farm machinery show in Bologna, Italy. NH won a Technical Innovation Award for the IntelliSense system on its CR Revelation combine harvester, got a special mention for its latest T5 Auto Command tractor series with continuously variable transmission (CVT)and Stage V engine, and got a special mention for its intelligent trailer braking. The new T5 Auto Command tractor series, which was unveiled at EIMA 2018, has CVT said to be ideal for livestock and mixed farming. It is powered by a specially developed FPT industrial NEF stage V 4.5L engine. The judges especially liked the machine’s fully under-hood HI-eSCR2 life-long exhaust gas after-treatment system. This improves visibility and

manoeuvrability, increases operating versatility and raises the level of operator safety during inter-row and grassland operations, thanks to the increased ground clearance. Rated power on these tractors is from 110 to 140hp, which means up to 20hp more is available than on the current T5.120 Electro Command model. NH also got a special mention for its patented intelligent trailer braking system which improves tractor stability during deceleration when towing a trailer, resulting in increased safety during transport operations. The system acts by detecting the reduction in tractor speed and calculating the deceleration force.   An electronically controlled trailer brake valve then automatically applies the trailer brakes so that the deceleration rate of the trailer matches that of the tractor.




RELIABILITY & LONG SERVICE LIFE | Call Jarred L’Amie | 07 823 3765 | 027 203 5022 CAMBRIDGE | OTOROHANGA | ROTORUA

AG Traction | Taranaki (New Plymouth) Trent Hall 027 231 1797 | 06 759 8432 Country Machinery (Palmerston North) Dean Booth 027 550 7986 | 0508 762 574





A guide to the right tyre choice MARK DANIEL


Pottinger Torro Combiline.





specialist Pottinger has updated its guide to tyre choice and use for agricultural implements, including its own balers and forage wagons. This shows the effect of tyre size and inflation pressure on resultant ground pressure and hence the extent to which the soil may be damaged, a spokesman says. “For the maintenance of soil fertility and performance, vehicle weight must be kept as low as possible and the largestpossible tyres (diameterwise) are shown for each model.” Of course, this helps distribute the load evenly, while the larger ‘contact patch’ helps retain soil structure. For example, on a Pottinger Torro Combiline with an axle load of 10 tonnes and fitted with 800/45 R26.5 tyres inflated to 1.6 bar for road use, the resultant ground pressure in the paddock would be 1.66kg/ cm². When shod with smaller 710/45 R22.5 tyres, these figures increase to

2.6 bar pressure on the road and 2.2kg/cm² in the paddock. Drawing on data provided by the Southwest Falia Agricultural College in Soest, Germany, the company also notes that creating a 1cm-deep wheel-mark in the paddock can consume up to 10% more diesel, due to the increased rolling resistance. Pottinger claims compaction damage can even result in fertiliser costs rising by up to 20%. Other benefits include a smoother ride for the operator and the machine, with the latter suffering less strain and metal fatigue when optioned with the correct tyres inflated to the ideal pressure. The manufacturer warns that for safety reasons the tyres should not be over-sized, as this might adversely affect the efficiency of the brakes and handling while cornering. @dairy_news

• Based on new MF 4160V or MF 3130F variable or fixed chamber balers with 13/17/25 knife cutter • Short and efficient baler transfer with lateral support for increased bale stability on steep slopes • Moveable wrapping ring and table with twin dispensers produce fast and consistent results • Wrapping table folds almost vertical for short transport length and reduced tail-swing

MF ULTRA HD BALERS • Ultra density 120cm x 90cm bales • Unique Ultra™ Gearbox developed specifically to handle the load • OptiFlow™ Pick-up increases feedback capacity • 50% faster flywheel maintains momentum • Light, hard-wearing polyproplene wrapper bands • Straightforward starting


2.25m or 2.40m 5 bar camless pick-up for whistle-clean fields ISOBUS compatible with E-Link or E-Link Pro terminals HydroFlex rotor floor for maximum crop flow Easy Load System for quick and simple net roll changes Opti-clean rubber rollers and 4 durable belts for extended lifetime of operation


A world of experience. Working with you for 60 years.

A world of experience. Working with you for 60 years.

BUILT LIKE A TANK SOME TRACTORS never die, and look at this

Israel-made mixer wagon in Germany, churning out feed to suit the farmer’s typically intensive European dairy production. The RMH wagon, supplied in 2004 by Stovelaar Machinery, is a self-propelled VS-18 model that has clocked up an impressive 33,675 hours. The 18cu.m machine, with one auger, has spent 6 - 7 hours daily for 14 years producing a TMR ration for 1200 cows. It’s obviously well-built, and the company says its longevity results from regular service and maintenance. It has twice had a new Deutz engine and new hydraulic pumps; its vertical mixing auger has been replaced four times. Otherwise parts replacement has been limited to normal wear and tear. – Mark Daniel

Mycoplasma bovis : December update The Mycoplasma bovis team is continuing to test properties across New Zealand, as part of the government and sector’s plan to eradicate the disease.

Spring bulk milk testing – preliminary results We are three-quarters of the way through the fifth round of testing, and half-way through the final round of the spring bulk milk testing surveillance programme. Only three properties have had a positive result detected and all of them are connected to other infected properties through tracing.

11,200 approximately

Dairy properties tested

Calf rearers survey – initial results 112 calf rearing properties out of 153 properties have had their tests completed as part of the survey. No properties have tested positive so far. These results are a positive sign that nothing has been found outside of our known networks, indicating that the disease is not endemic to New Zealand.

Top tips for farmers from farmers directly involved in the Mycoplasma bovis response These have been developed with input from farmers, industry representatives and officials. • Put your compensation claims in as quickly as possible with full documentation. You can get help from the DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand Compensation Assistance Team (DBCAT) for help with your claim on 0800 322 281.


• Reach out to friends and family and/or the Rural Support Trust for support. If your farm is caught up in a biosecurity response, it’s normal to find this stressful. Nobody should be expected to handle this alone. There is support to help you with the process.

For more information on Mycoplasma bovis, visit

3 Properties infected

• Update and maintain accurate NAIT records, and give MPI response officials all of the information they ask for. Poor records can really slow down getting your property through the testing process and movement controls lifted. You can find these and other top tips for farmers on our website. You have until December 19th 2018 to give feedback on proposed changes to the NAIT Act and regulations. Further information, including the consultation document and submission form, is available on the MPI website:

Christmas operating details Over the Christmas period, the Mycoplasma bovis directorate will be operating close to business as usual. If you need to contact anyone, please call 0800 008 333. Please note that our offices will be closed on the statutory days.

We wish you and your family a safe and fun Christmas, and a happy New Year.

Dairy News 11 December 2018  

Dairy News 11 December 2018

Dairy News 11 December 2018  

Dairy News 11 December 2018