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Optimism for 2019-20 milk price. PAGE 7 DAIRY WOMAN OF THE YEAR Trish Rankin, Taranaki PAGE 5


Feeding dairy goats PAGE 27

MAY 14, 2019 ISSUE 422 //







CLIMATE TARGET FURY Farmers say reducing livestock numbers would be the only way of coming near the target set in the zero carbon legislation. PAGE 3

Dairy News_256x70_v5(bleed).pdf












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No choice but to cull PAM TIPA

ONLY BY culling cows would New

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NEWS������������������������������������������������������ 3-12 AGRIBUSINESS������������������������������������ 14 OPINION���������������������������������������������� 16-17 MANAGEMENT��������������������������������18-19 ANIMAL HEALTH���������������������������������20 DAIRY GOATS�����������������������������������21-27 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS��������������������������������������28-30

Zealand achieve the methane emission targets set by the Government unless there was a major breakthrough in science, says Federated Farmers national vice-president Andrew Hoggard. A 10% reduction in methane by 2050 would be a much fairer and realistic target – backed by scientists -- than the 10% by 2030 target set by the Government, he says. And the methane reduction of 24-50% by 2050 he describes as “frustratingly cruel”. “The numbers they have picked are far in excess of what we and a whole range of scientists say are needed to be the equivalent of net zero CO2 (carbon dioxide),” he told Dairy News. “A number of papers have come out in the last year that have said that with short-lived gases -- methane in particular -- you don’t need to go to net zero. A 10% reduction (of methane) by 2050, not by,

Farmers believe they will be forced to cull cows to meet targets.

2030 is the often quoted number and definitely not 24-47%. That is just ignoring the latest and most sound understanding of the warming impact of methane. “It is an unnecessary cost and burden to not only the rural economy but the New Zealand economy.” The Government has picked numbers which are completely disassociated from the concept of agriculture not adding to warming. Hoggard says reducing livestock

numbers would be the only way of coming near these targets unless we get some scientific breakthroughs. “From the work that has been done [we know] if everyone was to improve their efficiency to be completely onto it 24/7 365 days a year, then we could maybe get a 5% reduction in methane. “If we want to go beyond that and we aren’t able to use trees to offset the methane emissions then it comes down to the direct relation-

ship between the amount of feed you put into an animal and the gas emitted. You have to put less feed into a ruminant which means less production. You can only support fewer animals. “There is a feed inhibitor coming but it is designed for the northern hemisphere systems.” It is not known if it can be reformulated for NZ or what the costs might be. Some scientific breakthrough may come but the costs of applying it may mean it may be better to retire all land and plant pine trees, Hoggard said. “If we went for 10% by 2050 we could possibly achieve that with the current trajectory we are on with small incremental gains. Why do we need to do more than what we need to achieve to have no warming impact? If you are asking NZ agriculture to go further faster than what it would be to have no additional warming... by pushing that methane down you are actually having agriculture provide a cooling element. “Is the Government going to be giving us incentives to do that? I seriously doubt it.”

Consultation was ‘a farce’ FEDERATED


Waikato president Andrew McGiven believes animal numbers would have to be effectively halved to meet the 2050 target set by the Bill. He says food producers are very worried about the proposed bill. “Even more galling is that no trees that farmers have planted in

the last two decades to improve water quality and help with other environmental outcomes may be used as an ‘offset’ because the [required] methane cuts are [stated] in gross terms. “So the only method is to halve the amount of feed to a ruminant animal, but that will in many cases create animal welfare issues.”

McGiven says the Bill showed him “what a complete farce the recent Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC) consultation was with industry. While farmers are unhappy about the unrealistic targets, environment group Greenpeace is also upset with the Zero Carbon Amendment Bill but for different

reasons. Greenpeace executive director Dr Russel Norman says the Bill grants no ability for enforcing its climate change targets. “What we’ve got here is a reasonably ambitious piece of legislation that’s then had the teeth ripped out of it.” – Sudesh Kissun



Mixed reaction to Govt’s climate change bill “This legislation makes a start on tackling climate change because the alternative is the catastrophic cost of doing nothing.”



is mixed to the Government’s Zero Carbon Amendment Bill introduced into Parliament last week. While most go along with the principle of reducing greenhouses gases, there is some angst about the targets set by the Government in the Bill. The Bill sets a target of reducing all greenhouse gases, except biogenic methane, to net zero by 2050. It also seeks to reduce emissions of biogenic methane to a range of 24% to 47% below 2017 levels by 2050, including reducing these to 10% below 2017 levels by 2050. Also, the Government

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw launching the Bill last weeek.

plans to set up an independent Climate Change Commission which will advise, monitor and review the targets on an ongoing basis.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says climate change is now front and centre of awareness in New Zealand -- the biggest challenge facing NZ.

She says NZer’s have demanded action and the Bill is actioning that call. “This legislation makes a start on tackling climate change because

the alternative is the catastrophic cost of doing

nothing. Agriculture is of course incredibly important to NZ but it also needs to be a part of the solution,” she says. Ardern says in developing the legislation they have listened to the science and the industry and the result is a commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the need to limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst impact of climate change. Climate Change

Minister James Shaw says the Bill makes this target legally binding and says NZ is one of the few countries in the world to do this. At the news conference at Parliament, James Shaw praised opposition leader Simon Bridges and Todd Muller, National’s spokesman on climate change for their support in developing the Bill. He says this means there is an enduring commitment to dealing with climate change.

DEVIL IN THE DETAIL PM JACINDA Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw had much to say about the role technology could play in reducing emissions on farm. But they agreed there is now not one specific piece of technology that offers a ‘silver bullet’ way to reduce emissions onfarm. Given that, clearly the role of the Climate Change Commission will be pivotal in deter-

mining whether the targets set in the Bill are realistic and achievable over time. It will be the commission’s role to see whether the technology is developed or what scientific solutions emerge between now and 2050. “We are saying now that over the next 30 years this is where we want to go,” Shaw said. “Yes it is aspirational and no we don’t have everything today

that we need to get us there, but we do have the things that we need to get us started and that’s across agriculture and most sectors of the economy. “There are already options that help move us in the right direction. We are not yet using them but we have enough to get us started. We need to invest significantly in R&D and in the productive parts of our economy.”

Tim Mackle


intended direction of the Zero Carbon Bill, dairy farmers will rightly be concerned about the 2050 target for the reduction of methane. Chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the target is based on global scenarios that are not grounded in the NZ context. “This range for methane, combined with reducing nitrous oxide to net zero, goes beyond expert scientific advice for what is necessary for NZ agriculture to limit global warming to no more than at 1.5° C. “It is very important to get the range right. If we get this wrong it will have significant impacts on not just the dairy

sector but the economic, social and cultural wellbeing of NZ.” Mackle says DairyNZ will be pushing for the range to be reviewed and aligned with the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment -- a 10-22% reduction in methane. “NZ is already one of the lowest emissions producers of dairy nutrition in the world per kilogram of milksolids and we want to build on that advantage. Climate change is a global issue and it is good for the world if dairy production stays in NZ where we have low emissions for the amount we produce,” he says. – Peter Burke


NEWS  // 5

Caring for people, land helps teacher scoop farm award PAM TIPA

WORKING FOR a Maori corporation with its values of caring for land and people was a big drawcard for 2019 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year Trish Rankin. The environmentalist, mother of four, teacher and farmer is, with her husband Glen, starting a third season sharemilking on a 143ha Parininihi

ki Waitotara (PKW) farm milking 450 cows in South Taranaki. Rankin says working for PKW fits well with their approach to farming. “A big reason we came to work for them was because they care about the people and the land in quite a public way,” she says. Glen and their four boys aged six to 14 are Ngai Tahu and she had a synergy with those values through what she had learned in teaching.

PKW has 15 dairy farms among its primary industry ventures. It has a focus on kaitiakitanga (guardianship of the land), manaakitanga (care of present and future generations), whakapono (adherence to tikanga/value systems) and whanauungatanga/ kotakitanga (belief in collective action with trusted relationships). “We have worked for a number of different farm owners from mum-and-

DIDN’T SEE IT COMING “OVERWHELMED” WAS Trish Rankin’s reaction to being named Dairy Woman of the Year. “I didn’t expect it. I know people generally say that but I genuinely didn’t expect it.” She went to the awards night in borrowed dress and shoes, sat at the back not realising there was a seat reserved at the front and had a carry-on flight ticket which could not fit a trophy and bottle of wine. “It was quite surreal. When Mike Cronin from Fonterra got up and started talking about what Dairy Woman of the Year needed to be and how they had to be across a lot of things, active in the community, passionate about the environment – my sister tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘that’s pretty much what

you do’. I quickly put my shoes back on.” When her name was called “it was amazing and so exciting”. The $20,000 prize towards professional development is “an absolute privilege”. She felt guilty every time she had to take $500-$600 out of the business in the last few years for her Diploma of Agribusiness course fees. “Taking money out of income to pay for study has never been an easy thing because you always have the next tractor that needs repairing or the next cows to be replaced.” When Rankin stops teaching fulltime to do calving she will start making plans for her next round of professional development.

dad farmers through to the corporation…. The value of decisionmaking is really important to us.” Every month a small sub-group of PKW hold kaitaki hui to talk about farm policy and perhaps learn a new karakia. Every quarter a whanau hui is held at a local marae. “You learn all about the marae history, you might learn a new waiata and practice your mihi. I was already pretty good with all that, being a teacher and having lived in the Far North, but it is a great dimension to the job.” Previously the Rankins were sharemilking in Hokianga where they won the region’s 2016 Sharemilker of the Year title. They farmed in a small community in north Hokianga with acitivities which contributed to the boys’ understanding of te reo and tikanga. They wanted to build on those skills. Rankin says the Maori farming sector is working hard on developing the farm business side but is also developing people and land. “That is why it is coming ahead – three strings to the bow.”

Trish Rankin after receiving her award from Fonterra’s Mark Cronin.

Rankin teaches at Opunake Primary School but will be onfarm full time when calving starts in July. She has undertaken the Kellogg Leadership Programme this year with research on ‘how can a circular economy model be developed on a NZ dairy farm’ which she will complete shortly. She is on the NZ Dairy Awards national executive and last year was selected as a NZ Climate Change Ambassador as part of the Dairy Action for Climate Change. As an active Dairy Enviro Leader (DEL) and member of the NZ DEL network, Rankin is also chair of the Taranaki DEL group. She was raised a townie, her father was a policeman and she grew up in Christchurch and then Greymouth. Glen was also a townie but went farming in Canterbury in 2001. She taught

and worked in the business side. There were all kinds of adjustments to farm life: grocery shopping once a week, the amount of laundry, having to plan social life around milking and when on farm fulltime not having 15 other teachers to talk to. “So your husband has to be your best friend but that’s really cool. We like that. I love it now. I could never live back in town. I don’t think my children would be quiet enough to live in town! They are so used to not having any neighbours,” she jokes. Rankin only became actively involved in onfarm work about five years ago but now she is both a farm assistant and chief executive, having learnt to milk, drive tractors, feed stock and do fences and handle the health and safety and human resources tasks.

She says the life has heaps to offer. “Whether you want to milk and do something practical or do something with your brain in strategic thinking, there is always something you can do.” Being a climate change ambassador has been “awesome”, she says. “We are trying to be a bridge between the dairy sector and the people who run the dairy sector, like DairyNZ and DCANZ and so on. “We have had heaps of information, so much so that climate change is probably as hard to understand now as when I signed up for it two years ago because it is so specific. “The most mind blowing, life changing aspect was that the sentiment is what is important, regardless of the science.” @dairy_news

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Fonterra to support Help for M.bovisfarmers meet target affected farmers




the methane target is very ambitious and will need hefty spending on R&D to give farmers the solutions they need to achieve. Carolyn Mortland, Fonterra’s director of sustainability, who attended the news conference with the Prime Minister and the Climate Change Minister last week, says the co-op believes it is possible to have a prosperous agricultural sector and positive environmen-

Carolyn Mortland, Fonterra.

tal outcomes. But she dodged journalists’ questions on whether Fonterra would support any move to reduce dairy cow numbers to meet the targets of the new legislation. She says change and challenges are a constant

AGRICULTURE MINISTER Damien O’Connor says he’s not surprised at the farming sector’s reaction to the new legislation. He says the provisional target for methane at the top end of the range was always going to cause alarm but it’s not for him to judge where it might finally end up. O’Connor says the initial chal-

for farmers and have been for decades. “When we give farmers the parameters they can operate in they change and adapt. What we are telling farmers to do is recognise that our

lenge for methane reduction of 10% by 2030 continues what has been occurring in farming for the last 15 years. “Even now people are working on things such as plantain and other methods of reducing nitrogen fertilisers and a number of initiatives to keep ahead of climate change impact,” he says.

customers, consumers and communities want sustainable, ethically produced food. “We will support our farmers in all sorts of ways to achieve that,” she says.

ASHBURTON DISTRICT mayor Donna Favel says a

Mortland says the Government targets have given a clear signal to farmers and NZ as to the direction of travel and Fonterra will work hand in hand with farmers to support them in this.


cessor Synlait is throwing its support behind the government’s “bold’ Zero Carbon Bill. The company says the targets in the Bill are aligned with Synlait’s commitment to sustainability announced in June 2018. Synlait has committed to achieve on-farm reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by 35% per kilogram

of milk solids (kgMS) by 2028, including a reduction of methane by 30%. Synlait also has targets for its manufacturing sites and supply chain including reductions of GHGs by 50% per kilogram of finished product by 2028. “We believe we need to play our part and help lead our industry to a low emissions future. We’re making good progress

and exploring new avenues,” says Synlait’s chief executive Leon Clement. “As part of this work we have been investigating methane reduction and are pursuing some encouraging technologies that decouple the correlation between methane generation and herd size,” says Clement. Synlait’s farming programme Lead With Pride was also given a

boost in June 2018 under the new sustainability strategy. Higher incentive payments have led to many more farmers moving towards certification, with Lead With Pride certified milk supply expected to increase 40% by the end of FY19. The programme recognises and rewards Synlait’s milk suppliers who achieve dairy farming best practice.


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new group is being formed to help bring together the council and local agricultural and health authorities in response to MPI’s ‘surge’ in the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme. The group includes representatives from MPI, Dairy NZ, Beef + Lamb NZ, Mid Canterbury Rural Support Trust, Vet Ent and the Canterbury District Health Board. It aims to support affected farmers in the district by opening up lines of communication between them. Favel said MPI’s news of the surge just before Easter gave rise to “concern and speculation” over the Easter break, and surprise that it had not spoken up about it during its recent roadshows. The group plans to help in discussions between MPI and relevant organisations Donna Favel, Ashburton Mayor. “to ensure information is consistently shared in a timely and targeted manner with the district’s farming community”. “M. bovis has inflicted a great deal of stress and uncertainty on our people, and we each recognised that something more needed to be done to help support our farmers during this time of need.” The district is the worst affected in the country, Favel said. The various parties are seeking to better understand the district’s preparedness and understand what the implications are to farmers, service providers, stock and the community. However, Federated Farmers Mid-Canterbury dairy chair Chris Ford has declined to join the group because he will not sign a confidentiality agreement required by MPI. “I can’t advocate for my farmers if I’m under confidentiality and privacy.” Ford said farmers affected by M. bovis need help and support but MPI treats them as guilty parties. “People are truly unaware outside our region what is actually happening in Ashburton and Mid-Canterbury.” Ford called it “embarrassing” for MPI that the surge was announced with no warning when stock was already starting to move for winter. District councillor Peter Reveley, the chairman of the Mid-Canterbury Rural Support Trust, is himself a dairy grazer who has been affected by the disease. He hoped the group would help ease other affected farmers through the eradication process. “All those people who’ve gone before had a reasonably tough time of it. Hopefully we can tell the people there is now a passage.” Reveley said about 1100 farmers nationally are expected to be canvassed in the surge. About a third of them will get a notice of direction and qualify for support from MPI. The rest will be told they’re on active surveillance, but are then on their own with no automatic financial or welfare support. Many of those 600 to 800 farmers are in the Ashburton District and are among those the new group hopes to help. Meanwhile, the surge is starting to show in the official count of affected farms. According to MPI’s latest update, the number of properties under ‘active surveillance’ has jumped from 254 to 299 since the surge was announced on April 18. The number under a notice of direction also rose, from 103 to 113. However, the number of confirmed properties rose by only one over the period, from 166 to 167. – Nigel Malthus


NEWS  // 7

Optimism for the new season PAM TIPA

THE GLOBAL Dairy Trade (GDT) price index rose just 0.4% last week, but positive indicators will maintain market optimism for the new season, says BNZ senior economist Doug Steel. Although now sitting on $6.70/kgMS for the 2019-20 season, he is among several economists predicting over $7/kgMS if current prices and currency levels are maintained. The flat result last week was close to expectations, but it was the 11th

consecutive increase for a cumulative gain of 28.3% since November’s low, Steel told Dairy News. Prices continue to hover around the top of their range since 2014. “Combined with a weaker NZD, this will maintain market optimism for next season’s milk price,” he says. “The number of unsatisfied bidders was high. This probably reflects low volumes (lowest at an auction in six years) more than it does strong demand. Volumes are typically low at this time of year but are especially so at present with a weak finish to the NZ season.

At this point, buyers seem reluctant to bid prices materially higher.” Steel says milk fat prices were stronger than expected, with butter steady despite a large increase in volume compared to previous forecasts. AMF prices rose 1.4%. This speaks to strong milk fat demand. Milk powder prices were mixed with skim milk up 2.8%, while whole milk (WMP) eased 0.5%.

IN BRIEF DWN’s new partner DAIRY WOMENS Network (DWN) has formed a partnership with NZ CA, a national network of chartered accounting firms. DWN chief executive Jules Benton says NZ CA is a powerful source of information and intellect “in tune with the NZ rural economy”. “They will provide valuable insight into good business opportunities and best business practice for our members,” she says. NZ CA has 29 independent member firms with a strong rural presence and good understanding of agribusiness. Benton said NZ CA firms are well respected in their regions and understand challenges faced by farmers. “Twenty-one of the 29 NZ CA member firms specialise in rural accounting and they provide good nationwide coverage,” she says. Alan Hay, executive officer of NZ CA, says they know about sustainable, resilient and profitable agricultural business practice.

Doug Steel


kgMS, but the longer prices hold up the more chance there is that this view gets revised higher. “Equally, there remains enough uncertainty globally to be a little conservative on the price outlook. Our milk price forecast includes a view that international product prices will drift lower (and the NZ dollar remains reasonably steady). “If prices don’t fall

from current levels then the 2019-20 milk price is likely to be higher than we currently forecast. If current prices and currency levels were to persist over the coming season it would equate to a milk price in the mid-$7 area.” Fonterra is due to provide its first forecast for the 2019-20 season just before the end of May. @dairy_news

WMP CONTINUES TO DISAPPOINT WHILE THE GDT price index continues to track upwards, whole milk powder (WMP) continues to disappoint, says ANZ agricultural economist Susan Kilsby. The WMP Price Index softened 0.5%, its third consecutive fall, she says. “However volumes traded at this time of the season are low. Prices remain well supported for the last of the current season’s production

but prices in the later delivery periods have eased. “It is not unusual for weaker pricing to occur when NZ starts to sell its new season production. A lift in export volumes in recent months means most buyers aren’t desperate for product right now hence we aren’t seeing upward pressure on prices. “Milk production in the US and much of Europe is weaker than normal which will sup-

port prices looking forward.” WMP prices are very similar to where they were at this time last year, and in May 2017. “Opening milk prices in the past two seasons were $7/ kgMS (for the 2018-19 season) and $6.50/kgMS for the 201718 season. The weaker NZ dollar should allow Fonterra to deliver an opening milk price above $7 for the new season, although it is most likely we will see them deliver

a price range rather than a single figure.” Kilsby says in Australia competition for milk is hotting up due to falling supply. “The first opening milk prices for Australia have been released earlier than normal as dairy companies look to lock in supply. Burra Foods has opened at AU$6.40 – 6.70/kgMS which is the highest opening price they have ever announced.”

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“WMP powder prices sit at US$3249/t. This remains well above the RBNZ’s medium term view of $3000/t.” Steel says none of this materially alters milk price calculations. “So we are left with our prior view of $6.50/ kgMS for the 2018-19 season (top half of Fonterra’s $6.30 to $6.60 range),” he says. “For 2019-20 we forecast a milk price of $6.70/


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NEWS  // 9

Sharemilkers seizing the day


ing they (the owners) prefer to PETER BURKE retire to nearby towns where they already own property. Some farmers don’t want another sharemilker on their farm and TARANAKI SEEMS to be just want out of the business. bucking the trend in sales of “So leaving the money in dairy farms nationwide, and it the farm was probably the best may be due to sharemilkers. thing,” says Real estate agent McDonald. Peter McDonald says in “Taranaki has traditionally had a “They were the past dairy farms put lot of smaller farms of 60 - 80ha – going to up for sale were usually more affordable and not so much only get 2% or 3% snapped up by the dairy at the bank farmer next door. But in borrowing.” but they the last year or so this were probably going to do better hasn’t happened. Instead the party in most cases.” “In some cases vendors have by leaving their money in the farms are selling to sharemilkleft money in the farm,” says farm. This is an attractive propers buying their first farm. Taranaki dairy farms’ aver- McDonald. Many years ago it was osition for vendor and buyer.” Also, older dairy and sheep age smaller size partly explains not uncommon for vendors to this, says McDonald. A Taranaki leave money in their farms. Now and beef farmers must face farm may sell for $2.6 million to there is hint that this is coming increasing legislation and paper$2.8m, whereas a bigger farm back and many farmers are leav- work. Farmers like to farm, but new and pending compliance elsewhere may cost $7m or more. ing the industry. Farmers spoken to by Dairy issues are too much for many “Taranaki has traditionally had a lot of smaller farms of 60 News say that if their sons or and leaving the industry gets - 80ha – more affordable and not daughters decline to keep farm- them out of this. so much borrowing. “The sharemilkers who bought such farms had been on properties with up to 600 cows and they built up some equity, sold some cows and financed themselves into these farms. And the banks have also come to the

are expected to further advance a free trade agreement (FTA) between New Zealand and the European Union (EU). A large EU delegation and their NZ counterparts are working towards a hoped-for comprehensive and quality FTA by late 2019. An inevitable sticking point will be agricultural tariff rate quotas (TRQs) and geographic indicators (GIs) especially in respect of dairy, e.g. a cheese name such as Gouda referring to its region of origin. When the EU’s commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Phil Hogan, visited NZ in February he told Dairy News of good progress in the negotiations. He was optimistic that a quality deal would be struck. Hogan described GIs as rural intellectual property in the EU and he noted they are well accepted in the NZ wine industry. The FTA talks come as Brexit enters a hiatus: Britain’s departure is now scheduled for October 31 – Halloween, noted for tricks and treats. Meanwhile, in London MPs and officials at the Houses of Parliament at Westminster are suffering a plague of mice running over

Phil Hogan

desks and brazenly eating food on tables in MPs’ cafes. All the while, say commentators, Theresa May must deal with a rat pack of ministers and MPs in House of Commons where Brexit is delayed. Should Britain fail to leave the EU by Halloween and were the Brexit debate to spill over to 2020 it would be perhaps fitting: 2020 if the Chinese year of the rat. – Peter Burke





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10 //  NEWS

NZ organic milk in new Oz formula PAM TIPA

NEW ZEALAND milk will be used for a new certified organic grass-fed infant formula offering by Bubs Australia Ltd. Beingmate will be the distributor in China but in a partnership agreement with Bubs, not Fonterra. Bubs says it will be the first company to offer Australian made certified organic grass-fed infant formula, after entering into a supply agreement with Fonterra Australia to produce Bubs Organic new infant formula range. Fonterra will supply Bubs with organic milk powder, sourced from its organic milk pool in New Zealand, which will be manufactured at its plant in Darnum, Victoria. The conditional supply agreement runs for an initial term until July 31, 2021. The Bubs Organic new range of infant formula will be available in Chemist Warehouse pharmacies throughout Australia within three months. Export to China’s crossborder eCommerce channel will follow shortly afterwards.

Bubs recently bought Australia Deloraine Dairy, an infant formula plant that is approved by CNCA (China’s certifying authority). Pending approval the new range of formula may be physically distributed to China’s Mother and Baby stores. Kristy Carr, Bubs Australia founder and chief executive says in a statement: “Premium product offerings are the fastest growing segment of the infant formula category, and we are now able to offer two nutritional options –

organic and goat, to suit individual dietary needs. This will tap into the global consumer trend towards natural, sustainable and organic food production. “Bubs is a key player in the goat dairy infant formula sector in Australia and has made inroads into China. It can now offer an Australian made certified organic grass-fed infant formula with both prebiotics and probiotics, in addition to Omega-3 DHA and Omega-6 ARA.” Bubs told the Australian stock

exchange that it has agreements with Beingmate, Alibaba’s Tmall and Chemist Warehouse. The joint venture with Beingmate is to distribute and promote Bubs goat and organic cow milk infant formula “throughout Beingmate’s network covering 30,000 Mother and Baby stories in China”. Bubs Australia holds a 49% interest in the joint venture which will run for an initial term of 10 years. @dairy_news

Infant nutrition marketing code launched THE INFANT formula industry has acted “with great responsibility and integrity” by revising its marketing code of practice, says the Infant Nutrition Council (INC) chief executive Jan Carey. The Code of Practice for Marketing of Infant Formula in New Zealand restricts the advertising and marketing of infant formula products for children up to 12 months of age. It was revised after INC applied to the Commerce Commission to extend the restriction that applied to products for children up to six months old. The INC represents most infant formula. Carey says they sought the restriction because they believed the improved health outcomes that would flow from it would outweigh the detriments arising from the lessening of competition between formula makers. “We recognised the importance of aligning the marketing practices of infant formula that is the sole source of nutrition for infants up to six months with breast milk substitutes for infants up to the age of 12 months. “The commission agreed, and their decision underlined exactly what the industry is trying to do – put the health of babies and mothers first. “The industry has acted, in my view, with great responsibility and integrity by revising the code. “Our stance is supported by many public health bodies. It aligns with recent guidance from the World Health Assembly and is consistent with the Ministry of Health’s nutrition guidelines for infants.” The revised code was launched at Parliament on April 30 by Health Minister David Clark and Minister for Food Safety Damien O’Connor. – Pam Tipa

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uct containers in the fridges of European households will cause less harm to the environment. By late 2019, in six countries, Dutch dairy co-op Arla will have made 600 million fresh milk cartons renewable and 560 million yogurt pots recyclable, cutting 7330 tonnes of carbon. “We want to help people live a more sustainable life and feel good about what’s in their fridge,” says Arla’s head of Europe, Peter Giørtz-Carlsen. “Fresh milk and yogurts are consumed daily in most households in our main markets and are key to our retail customers. That’s why these items topped our list of packaging to improve from a sustainability perspective and our pan-European presence enables us to lever-

age our scale and impact several markets simultaneously.” It is the first big move in Arla’s new sustainable packaging strategy. It is targeting a CO2 reduction of 30% by 2030, saying it plans to reduce emissions from its packaging by about 8000 tonnes of CO2 every year until then. The ultimate aim is for its entire portfolio to be carbon net zero by 2050, as announced last month.

The new packaging will be available for consumers in Arla’s six main European markets - Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK. The switch is away from fossil-based plastic to 100% renewable bio-based plastic derived from sugar cane or forest waste for the 600 million milk cartons. They also contribute 25% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than fossil-based plastic

containers. For the yogurt pots, the move to recyclable plastic allows a ‘second life’ if recycling systems in the markets enable this. “This conversion of one billion packaging items, coupled with other smaller initiatives, means we will hit our CO2 savings target for packaging for 2019. And we are developing plans for next year’s reduction,” says Giørtz-Carlsen. Past initiatives have included weight reductions, switching to bio-based plastics, incorporating recycled materials and replacing greenhouse gas intensive materials. Since 2005, Arla has reduced the CO2 impact of its packaging by 25%, equating to 123,000 tonnes of CO2 being diverted from the atmosphere.

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12 //  NEWS

Challenging year for Oz farmers SUDESH KISSUN


farmers are facing one of their most challenging years in decades, says Norco Dairy chairman Greg McNamara. He says weatherrelated issues have made dairying less profitable in many regions. Lack of rain is forcing farmers to buy water to irrigate farms and pay much higher prices for supplementary feeds. Unlike New Zealand farmers with their pasture-based systems, Australian dairy farmers supplement pasture with fodder and grain.

In an interview with Dairy News, McNamara said the 2019 season is the most challenging since the 2002 drought. “Buying water has become expensive and fodder prices have jumped from $250/tonne to around $600/t. “Unlike NZ we have a higher proportion of fodder and grain in diet for cows and buying extra feed impacts cost structures enormously.” While production costs soar, milk price improvements have failed to match those increases. As a result, Australian dairy industry is experiencing a drop in the national milk yield this year. “We understand the

pricing pressures supplements are having on farm profitability in a drought and how this impacts the processing sector as well he says. Norco will pay its 335 farmer shareholders on average A59c/L this year (about A$8/kgMS). It hopes to hold the price for the rest of the season, improving it next year to help farmers recover. Norco is one of the top 10 dairy processors in Australia, the last remaining co-op since the purchase of the once-mighty Murray Goulburn Co-op by Canadian company Saputo 18 months ago. Owned by 335 farmer shareholders, Norco col-


lects milk on a farming belt extending from northern Sydney to Gympie, 160km north of Brisbane, Queensland. Norco chairman Greg McNamara says there is a growing interest among Australian dairy farmers in supplying a co-op. “We have a enquiry list; we haven’t moved supply beyond our traditional supply pool between Gympie in Queensland and north of Sydney. We have farmer listings from southern

Australians love for fresh milk is holding back expansion of the sector. Inset: Greg McNamara.

NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. Yes, we’re even getting calls from Tasmania and South Australia.”

McNamara says Norco is looking at expanding its footprint at the appropriate time; adding value is a

priority and not growing just for the sake of it. @dairy_news

FRESH MILK STALLING GROWTH AUSTRALIANS’ LOVE of fresh milk is restricting the growth of the dairy industry. Australian consumers, like Kiwis, are hooked on the fresh milk philosophy and aren’t big users of UHT milk. To supply the fresh milk market, most Australian farmers split calve to ensure fresh milk supply all year around. Norco Dairy chairman Greg McNamara says the average Australian drinks 300ml of fresh milk daily; this requires a consistent supply of milk yearround. “So you need a pool of milk

to service the fresh milk sector,” he says. Norco is a major player in the Australian fresh milk sector; fresh milk and ice cream make up two-thirds of its business. McNamara believes the fresh milk market must be protected but acknowledges it comes with increased cost structure. “There used to be a theory in Australia that there was always enough milk to supply the whole Australian market. “The problem that theory has is the distance to cart [fresh]milk along the Eastern Seaboard from Melbourne to

Cape York is a long distance for milk to travel and you cannot get fresh milk there easily. “What we need in Australia are pools of milk to supply the market; Victoria, NSW and Queensland have pools to service those markets. “It doesn’t work for Victoria to produce all the milk and truck it to the top end of Australia.” It’s not productive to send trucks of fresh milk daily around the vast country. But for farmers to produce milk year-round for the fresh milk market theirs is a additional cost.







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OPEN COUNTRY Dairy is the first anchor tenant in the Ports of Auckland (PoAL) regional freight hub that formally opened on April 30 at Northgate Business Park at Horotiu just north of Hamilton. OCD’s Horotiu milk processing plant has been running at full capacity since August 2018. Now it adds a loading area, pallet store and a 7000 sq.m high-stud warehouse. PoAL also has freight hubs in Manawatu, Bay of Plenty and South Auckland. The Horotiu hub is adjacent to the Waikato Expressway and the North Island rail line. The ‘port’ was opened by Transport Minister Phil Twyford, who called the facility “an exciting commitment to the country’s freight supply chain, at the heart of the golden triangle of Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga”. Equidistant from New Zealand’s

two largest ports of Auckland and Tauranga, the 33ha site is expected to benefit from half the economic and population growth in NZ during the next 50 years. Rail sidings will be built there in 24 - 36 months, and overall the site is expected to help reduce freight costs, road deaths and carbon emissions. Tony Gibson, the chief executive of Ports of Auckland said the hub’s location will provide tangible benefits for importers and exporters, not least by optimising container usage and reducing the number of empty containers on NZ roads. Meanwhile, on the eastern side of Hamilton, the Tainui Group Holdings’ slow-moving 48ha Ruakura development (logistics, industrial, commercial, retail and residential) has had its first 6ha levelled and work started on water

infrastructure and drainage. Chief executive Chris Joblin told Rural News Group that the key priority for 2019 will be reaching agreement with local and central government about the costs and timing of the road link between the inland port, Hamilton City centre and the adjacent Waikato Expressway to the east of the site. He said enquiry about industrial space is particularly strong, especially from Auckland, where development space is limited. He said Ruakura will eventually offer about 10% of the industrial space on offer in NZ. He said the business will see a wave of demand for space in the next three to five years, while the fuller exploitation of the vast site will be an inter-generational project taking 30 to 50 years. – Mark Daniel @dairy_news

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Sharemilker takes a strict line on NAIT tracking FOR WAIKATO sharemilker Philip Van Heuven, the farmer-grazier relationship is crucial to his

business. And he keeps a rigorous watch on stock movements via the NAIT

system, reports the agency tasked with this. He says farmers rely on good and healthy stock

to come back from grazing farms. Van Heuven is preparing to move livestock off-

Philip van Heuven

farm for winter grazing. He farms, with his partner Erin, a herd of 340 Friesian-Jerseys on 100ha at Ngahinapouri south of Hamilton. He has been with one grazier for three years. “That’s where our r2’s (heifers) go, and two years with the other grazier (weaner calves until they are moved as yearlings). We keep in good contact with our graziers and regularly check when we can. “It’s very important and crucial to our farming business as we rely on good healthy stock to come back.” Van Heuven, two years into a three year 50:50 sharemilking contract, has one NAIT location to manage. He says preparations for grazing are going well. “The yearlings are due to be moved to next grazing this month, while the two-year olds will be


Gypsum application is a standard practice worldwide for addressing the build up of sodium in soils, including soils receiving waste waters.


Gypsum is one of those rare materials that performs in all categories of soil treatment: an amendment, conditioner and fertiliser.

How Does Gypsum Work?

It is useful in the transition period in dairy cows 2 – 4 weeks pre & post calving, and can be used as an anionic salt to counteract the effects that high potassium & sodium concentrations have on increasing hypocalcemia.

Gypsum is hydrated calcium sulphate. Calcium from gypsum replaces sodium in the soil. The sulphate allows the sodium to be effectively leached out of the soil. The soil then has more ability to flocculate and form stable aggregates to improve drainage and soil quality.

Gypsum, a readily available form of calcium, is 100 times more soluble than lime and is more suitable for the digestive system during this period.

Gypsum in fertilising Soil tests throughout New Zealand shows sulphur deficiency is wide spread. Although often overlooked, sulphur is needed in at least equal quantities to phosphorus. Many responses in crops are sulphur due to the sulphate radical (SO4‑‑). • Readily dissociates into free calcium ions (Ca++) and sulphate ions (SO4‑‑), major elements in plant nutrition • Has an approximately neutral pH and can be used in heavy applications without causing undue alkalinity in soils

Gypsum in water savings • Promotes water infiltration, retention and conservation • Allows water to penetrate the soil without forming puddles or water logging • Conserves water by stretching intervals between irrigations • Tests show that farmland treated with gypsum requires up to 33% less water than soils without recent gypsum application

Na+ Na+ Ca++ leached CaSO4 + Soil Cation Exchange  Soil Cation Exchange + Na2SO4

Gypsum in soil conditioning • Breaks up soils compacted by sodium and clay, and compounded by farm animals and machinery • Reduces cracking and compaction following irrigation and retards soil crusting • Allows soil to dry more quickly after rain or irrigation so that it may be worked sooner • Decreases energy requirements for tillage • Binds organic matter to soil and checks soil erosion • Enhances friendly bacterial action and discourages plant diseases related to poor soil aeration • Conditioned soil allows for deeper, healthier root development and water penetration

Gypsum in amendment • Displaces sodium binding clay soils • Reduces high soil aluminium levels • Suppresses the soil acidification effects of growing crops and the prolonged use of acidifying fertilisers

For more about Natural Gypsum and soil stabilisation visit 00527 - Gyspum - DairyNews June 02.indd 1

coming home. “I generally contact the stock truck and they notify the graziers who confirm the movements in the NAIT online system. “The graziers we use are at Putaruru and Fitzgerald Glade about an hour away from the farm.” Since the farm is not in a movement control area it isn’t required to do TB testing before sending animals away. “But we will get notified when it is our turn by AsureQuality, who manage the TB testing.” Van Heuven exchanges Animal Status Declaration forms with his graziers. “We have a policy of ensuring the dockets are fully completed and go with the stock truck. “That way, there is a record of the NAIT number from my farm and the number at the graziers.

20/06/18 6:21 PM

PHILIP VAN Heuven manages NAIT on farm with visual tags, although he has a scanner. Most of his livestock has at least two or three tags on them, so that works best for his farm. “Our Minda set-up is in synch with the NAIT online system so we avoid duplication when it comes to registering animals. “All our heifer calves get tagged with birth identification tags as soon as they are born. This information is transferred through to the graziers’ NAIT account. “I believe strongly in the value of lifetime traceability, it’s so important that sharemilkers do this, especially for future proofing as diseases can be easily spread.” Van Heuven says NAIT is essential to his business. “It protects your business and livelihood. We need an animal traceability system that is robust and reliable. The ability to trace animals and the farms they’ve been at has been especially important since the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak.” For farmers who haven’t updated their NAIT account, he has a simple message. “You don’t have a choice, it is compulsory and the law. It could also prove to be a costly decision if your herd ends up being identified with M. bovis and perhaps some other nasty livestock disease.”



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Of mice and men

MILKING IT... Goalposts shift THE FARMING sector has engaged in the national effort to draft a credible response to climate change so New Zealand is seen internationally to be doing its bit. However, the reactions of the groups in the consultation suggest the goalposts have been shifted at the last minute, particularly for methane targets. For example, Feds climate change spokesman Andrew Hoggard laments, “the 10% reduction target for methane by 2030 gives us a deadline for going beyond net zero more than 20 years earlier than for any other sector of NZ”. It appears even National’s climate change spokesman Todd Muller was left out of the loop. In fact, Climate Change Minister James Shaw took the highly unusual step of apologising to Muller for “some of the background process here which has not gone as I would have liked nor, in fact, as I intended”. We can only guess what he’s referring to, but it’s clear that politics are going to drive the final outcome more than science.

What about the PCE’s report? ON EMISSIONS targets, dairy farmers are promoting the lower numbers put out last year by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton. Upton said in August that 10-22% cuts to methane would be needed by 2050 to flat-line NZ livestock’s contribution to climate change (which end of the range depended on what other countries did). With those cuts, methane from NZ livestock would continue to make the same contribution to global warming as it is making today, but wouldn’t increase its share of climate damage. But the Government has inflated greatly the methane target. Does this mean they will ignore the recommendation of their own PCE?

Fresh is best

MooFree May

THE SHELF life of fresh milk can be extended up to two months by a technology developed by an Australian company. Queensland firm Naturo says it has patented technology which more than doubles the shelf life of pasteurised milk, making it safe to drink for up to 60 days without “cooking it”. Although exact details of how the milk was treated were being kept under wraps, the company confirmed that it didn’t involve heat. It kills bacteria without destroying vitamins and enzymes. The extended shelf life could be a game-changer for Fonterra. The co-op could send milk by ship to Japan, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia more cheaply than moving it by plane.

UK ACTIVISTS have resumed their attack on the dairy industry. Vegan charity Viva! is urging consumers to ditch dairy as part of a new initiative called ‘MooFree May’ now in its second year. Campaigners hand out vegan cheese and chocolate to consumers. The campaigners have a giant inflatable cow emblazoned with the words Vegan is a State of Kind. They show undercover video footage taken on dairy farms and distribute dairy-free booklets and guides.

GOT SOMETHING ON YOUR MIND? GOT SOMETHING on your mind about the latest issues affecting our dairy industry? Put your pen to paper or your fingers to your keyboard, and let our readers know what you think. Contact us by either post or email. Don’t forget to put your name and address. Note: Letters may be edited. POST TO: LETTER TO THE EDITOR PO BOX 331100, TAKAPUNA, AUCKLAND 0740 OR EMAIL:

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

WHILE THE FTA talks between New Zealand and the European Union continue this week in Wellington, we can be thankful that they are moving in a positive direction. NZ’s hope is that these talks will at least be conducted in a professional manner and that a reasonable deal will somehow be done. But our worry beads are close at hand over Brexit. The shambles in Britain’s House of Commons is unprecedented in that nation’s history. Let’s forget calling it Great Britain now. It seems like a perfect hate party. Tory MP’s hate Theresa May, she probably hates them. Labour MP’s dislike Jeremy Corbyn and he doesn’t like them all that much. And he and Theresa May don’t like each other. To add to this, the British people hate the British Parliament and the country is divided over Brexit. So is there any hope of a deal? It seems while the MP’s have been busy squabbling over Brexit, mice – yes, mice! – are plaguing the Houses of Parliament. When MP’s sit down at their office computers the chances are a mouse – a real one – will be sitting alongside the computer mouse. In their exclusive cafés in the Commons, the mice are waiting to pounce on food scraps. Where is the pied piper? Cats have been suggested but they would fight, breed, run wild and become another plague. Then there’s the human rat pack of MPs on the Government and Opposition benches in the Commons. Theresa May has proved she cannot control or exterminate them and they are of course are unwilling to exercise ‘self control’. Brexit has descended into a farce. Britain’s latest date to leave is October 31 – Halloween – the day children ‘trick and treat’. Will NZ be tricked or treated on this inauspicious day? Will the EU and UK treat us and give us a fair deal on tariff rate quotas and geographic indicators or will they trick us and leave us out in the cold? Or will there be another postponement? If this should happen who would be surprised? 2020 will be the year of the rat. – Peter Burke

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

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OPINION  // 17

Failing to see the wood for the trees ANDREW HOGGARD

AS A general rule, Federated Farmers is not interested in telling anyone how they should use their land.  But there is growing unease -- even anger -about the amount of productive farmland being gobbled up by forestry, and the long-term impacts of that trend on rural communities. All things being equal, owners will base their land use decisions on their family and business circumstances and what they feel will be profitable.  However, three current factors may be skewing the balance as owners of farmland weigh up their future: ■■ Grants available under the Government’s One Billion Trees programme ■■ Carbon credit income as New Zealand looks to offset continued greenhouse gas emissions, and ■■ The relatively less stringent crite-

not even get into the ria overseas buyers arguments about envimust meet when ronmental and road investing in forestry maintenance impacts. vs farmland. School rolls suffer, News media last as do community sermonth reported widevices and club memspread dismay in Wairberships.  In short, said arapa over news that the Beetham, if too much of 1050ha Hadleigh Stathe Wairarapa hill countion, described by the try becomes forest, the province’s Federated surrounding district will Farmers president Wil- Andrew Hoggard be dotted with ghost liam Beetham as “a fantastic sheep and beef property”, had towns. Other farm to forestry converbeen purchased by a firm that specialsions were reported to be happening ises in forestry investments. Beetham pointed out that a sheep in Pongaroa, Lagoon Hills and near and beef farm like that would spend Ngawi.   And that’s just in Wairarapa/ about $500 per hectare every year but Tararua. Changes to the Overseas Investa plantation forest, apart from initial planting and a bit of pruning, offers ment Office rules at the end of 2017 little employment or work flow into introduced a new special forestry test providing the “fastest and most service towns. Land turned into pine forests won’t straightforward pathway for overseas be logged for 25-30 years.    And let’s investors”.   OIO checks are all about

investment being “in the national interest” but does that mean we sacrifice regional interests in the process? It may well be in the national interest for more marginal, erosion-prone land to be converted to growing trees but it’s highly debatable the same can be said when good, productive farmland is swallowed by plantation forestry. Under its One Billion Trees programme, the Government has earmarked $240 million in landowner and partnership grants to help get more planting initiatives across the line.  Let’s be honest, the economics of wood vs livestock will be more crucial as farmers weigh the long-term, but grants like that are akin to putting a finger on the scales. We also have the pressing problem of climate change, and looming deadlines to meet our international commitments on that front.    But as the Parliamentary Commissioner for the

Environment, Simon Upton, argued in his comprehensive ‘Farms, forests and fossil fuels’ report, managing the long-term problem of emissions with a short-term ‘fix’ of sequestering carbon in trees is risky. Carbon dioxide is indisputably the main culprit in global warming, and Upton argued that relying on sequestering this gas in trees merely puts off the urgency for fossil-fuel burning sectors, including transport, to invest in the necessary low- and no-emission technologies we’ll need long term.  If we’re lucky we might meet our international accounting obligations by 2050, but it will be an accounting victory only, he said. We may well need the sort of alternative landscape approach Upton called for but a large scale rush into plantation forestry may be a case of failing to see the wood for the trees. • Andrew Hoggard is Federated Farmers climate change spokesman.


SOIL DAMAGE during winter is a big issue for farmers. It coincides with high stock densities and high soil moisture conditions. Stock wintering systems play a major role in water quality and soil health, because stock are then grazing during a time of much hydrological activity that moves contaminants off land and into nearby waterbodies.  General practice during winter is to graze stock intensively on winter forage crops supplying large quantities of feed in a relatively small area.  Now is the right time for farmers to consider the impact of stock wintering practices. These can impact surface and ground water quality and soil quality due to heavy concentrations of dung and urine, the creation of bare ground and the risk of run-off in wet weather. Many studies have shown that water quality guidelines and standards have been exceeded as a result of intensive agricultural activities.  Here are some stock

wintering options that can achieve good environmental results, are animal-friendly and make economic sense. Feed and stand-off pads protect soil physical structure in wet weather. The feed pad is a dedicated concrete platform where supplementary feeds are brought to the stock. It has higher feed efficiency, reducing wastage to about 5% versus 20% or more when silage is fed in paddocks.  Stand-off pads are a dedicated loafing area for stock. These have a softer, free-draining surface of, say, wood chips. As stock can be withheld from pasture for longer times, the area required per cow has to be bigger, say, about 8m2. Capture of effluent is an important aspect of stand-off pads. It requires the base to be sealed underneath, either with compacted clay or an artificial liner or concrete, and the captured effluent directed to a treatment system.  Animal shelters are gaining popularity. Herd homes are a combination of a feeding platform, stand-off facility and animal shelter. Sheltered feeding areas have con-

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crete floor slats through which cow effluent drops into a concrete-lined bunker. Composting barns are another stock wintering option, with the composting occurring in situ. The cows roam freely in the barn and lie on a mix of wood chips and straw. The beds must be kept dry by adequate ventilation and aeration.  In the past, sacrifice

paddocks have been used when other options were not available to stand animals off or feed supplements when it is very wet. However, there is a risk of soil structure damage and animal health problems such as lameness and mastitis. If soil potassium levels rise too high (potassium is excreted in urine) it may predispose the calving cow to metabolic

problems. These paddocks come with a very high risk of discharges of contaminants to water, so they must be sited well away from waterways, with an area of rank growth to trap any sediment or dung that washes off. Build your wintering structure well away from waterways and allow for solid and liquid waste disposal into your effluent disposal system. Don’t use

supplementary feeds in areas where run-off may reach any waterbody. By planning now and implementing proper stock wintering management practices, you can play an important part in improving water quality and soil health. • Bala Tikkisetty is a sustainable agriculture advisor at Waikato Regional Council. Contact him on 0800 800 401.


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Are your heifers experiencing an autumn hangover? MOST OF New Zealand has just been through yet another long dry spell which has translated to poor feed supply and quality for both the girls in herd and R2’s arriving home. Because of this there is a wide variation in heifer size, condition and capaciousness, it is sometimes difficult to see issues unless absolutely obvious. When it comes to appearance of R2’s, ideally by calving your replacements should be almost as tall as the mature cows in the herd and not looking like yearlings. One giveaway observation is seeing R2’s with a disproportionately bigger heads relative to their frame. So, If you’re not happy

with how your R2’s look, or even just want to ensure you have all bases covered, here are some basic pointers to help get you ‘back on track’ prior to calving. Feed selection – When heifers arrive home in poor condition, the tendency is to throw more concentrated feeds (Meal & PKE) at them with the idea of driving rapid weight gain.

In these situations, don’t make the mistake of not providing effective fibre (mature pasture, silage and hay). Weight gain achieved quickly without attempting to develop the rumen will predispose the heifer to rapid weight loss post calving leading to Ketosis and associated losses post calving Parasites – Autumn/ early winter coincides with peak numbers of infective larvae on the pastures. Younger stock including R2’s have not had sufficient opportunity to develop sufficient immunity to ‘worms’ and as a result are at much higher risk of harbouring infection that reduces growth rates (damaged

Heifers are at the greatest risk of losing weight post calving.

gut from parasites lessens absorption of nutrients and ‘leaks’ protein that could be used for growth). Ensure these animals are treated regularly with products with proven results in dairy

cattle (such as Eprinex) Minerals – Copper is essential for growing Dairy cattle and almost always lacking in animals returning home. Ensure copper, B12 & selenium treatments are adminis-

tered prior to calving Behaviour adaption – Heifers are at the greatest risk of losing weight post calving. In an attempt to minimise this it is best to introduce the heifer to environments (milk-

ing shed/fFeed pad), feeds (Maize silage/meal blends) and animals (Bossy cows) prior to them calving and entering the herd. Remember, if your heifers look disappointing – you still have an opportunity to improve their performance with focus and TLC! Because ‘a stitch in time saves nine’, talk to your animal health professional today if you are concerned and make a plan. • Greg Jarratt is a vet and director of Matamata Veterinary Services. This article is brought to you by


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Dry off... stay on top of what’s down under.

Associate Professor Jackie Benschop.

Leptospirosis: she’ll no longer be right PETER BURKE

TAKING A she’ll-be-right attitude

to leptospirosis is no longer good enough, says an international expert on leptospirosis, Associate Professor Jackie Benschop, of Massey University. She told an international conference on epidemiology in Wellington recently that in today’s world it’s not only important to produce food perfectly, it’s equally important to show that the people who produce the food are also cared for properly. She says safe work strategies are very important and requires linking researchers to communities, doctors and government agencies to ensure a holistic approach to creating safe working environments.

Benschop says her recent research has uncovered a burden of lepto in dairy farmers even though they vaccinate for the disease. “A strain called Tarassovi appears a little more dominant in dairy farmers than it was in the past. It’s one we need to look hard at and we are also looking at it in cattle.” Benschop says extra funding her group at Massey University got from the Health Research Council enables her to talk NZ-wide to district health boards and get a sense of what’s important to them. Good surveillance is discovering that people are getting sick but more detailed information is needed. “The doctors want to be able to tell the patients whether or not they have lepto but [our group] wants to know what strain it is. “In our new case study in North-

land, Te Kuiti and Wairoa we are working closely with doctors there to recruit patients when they are suspected of having the disease. We try to get more samples if the patient consents and go and sample those patients’ animals -- a first for NZ.” A problem in diagnosing whether a person has leptospirosis is that it often presents like flu. Benschop believes this has led to an underreporting of the disease. To confirm whether a person has lepto requires two blood tests about four weeks apart. But she says often people feel better after a week or two and don’t have the second test. She says the strains of disease often vary from region to region which makes the task for researchers tricky.

To assist with this, check out TOP FARMERS KNOW-HOW... where there's access to videos, fact sheets and more, all free to help farmers be at the top of their game. It's part of an investment from MSD Animal Health and comes as another layer of service to our robust technical team deployed nationally.



MORE AT RISK THE EXPANDING and intensifying dairy industry adds to the lepto challenges, says Jackie Benschop. “We have larger herd sizes so there is more infection pressure within herds but potentially fewer people at risk. “But there are more cases amongst dairy farmers and the key question is, how to do we farm intensively and safely while keeping people safe?” she says.

Drying off is the single most important event of the year for managing mastitis in your herd. What you do now by way of dry off management can dramatically affect herd health and milk quality next season.

With larger herds come more workers – some of them migrants, especially from the Philippines. “I wonder about their awareness of infectious diseases and in particular lepto and their ability to get information about that,” she says. While leptospirosis in NZ has in the past been a disease associated with dairy farms and meat works, Benschop says the disease is now being spread by

rodents and anywhere there is food such as PKE, calf feed or even fallen apples in orchards there is chance that lepto can be spread. “The strains of lepto carried by rodents are different from the strains we see in sheep and cattle but they can make people sick. “So it’s possible that people working in orcharding or forestry could be exposed to the disease,” she says.

AVAILABLE ONLY UNDER VETERINARY AUTHORISATION Schering-Plough Animal Health Ltd. Phone: 0800 800 543. NZ/BOV/0319/0004 ©2019 Intervet International B.V. All Rights Reserved.



Make drying off less stressful DAVID DYMOCK

IN THIS final article on

Drying off a herd is a demanding and tiring job.

dry cow therapy we will cover best practice insertion of dry cow therapy and teat sealants. Being well prepared and taking your time will help to ensure you

don’t start cutting corners and risk the health of your cows, you or your staff. Drying off a herd is a demanding and tiring job but if you follow some simple guidelines you will find the process a lot less stressful. Firstly, milk the cows to be dried off -- strip-

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ping all quarters, drafting off any clinical cases for treatment and marking dry quarters clearly so they don’t accidently get treated. After selecting which cows to treat, send them back to the paddock for a short time or alternatively yard them briefly while you clean up the shed and gather supplies (e.g. gloves, aprons with pockets, Dry Cow Therapy (DCT) +/- teat sealant, teat wipes or cotton balls in 70% alcohol, rubbish bins, tail paint, recording system and teat spray). An experienced person should aim to treat 20-25 cows per hour if just inserting DCT or a teat sealant (eg, a single tube), whereas if you are inserting a DCT and a teat sealant (two tubes), 15 cows an hour is more achievable. Keep things simple to avoid mistakes and use either one product or combination per session. Never warm tubes in water as this can contaminate the tubes with microorganisms and introduce unwanted infections, which can kill cows. If you are warming tubes ensure they stay dry. Ensure that your product is within its expiry date and has been stored correctly, especially if you have left-over product from the previous year. Dry Off Cows Following Best Practice Protocol 1. Assess safety 2.   Clean and dry gloves 3. Begin with front teats: complete cleaning and insertion for one teat at a time 4. Clean teat end thoroughly 5. Uncap and partially insert tube into teat end (< 3mm) 6. Dispense product, discard tube. (Refer to your product label to determine whether or not to massage the product up into the quarter. If using Cepravin Dry Cow on its own do not massage it up, however if using in combination with a teat sealant such as Cepralock, massage the antibiotic up into the quarter before inserting the sealant. Do not massage sealant up into the quarter.) 7.  If using an antibiotic and a sealant together,

modify protocol (60% more time & labour): a. Strip antibiotic up into quarter (including Cepravin) b. Clean teat end again c. Uncap and partially insert (< 3mm) the sealant tube d. Hold off the top of the teat with your fingers while dispensing the sealant into the teat e. Do not massage sealant up into the quarter 8. Repeat steps 1-7 for all four teats  9. Spray teats with teat spray 10.  Mark the cow and record the treatment. When marking cows after treatment it is a good idea that each person uses a different colour of tail paint/marking spray. This encourages people to be careful as they are personally accountable for the cows they treat. It will also identify if further training is required. It is important to remember that even when treated by the most careful and experienced people, cows can develop mastitis following DCT and teat sealants. If they do, make sure you strip the quarter and take a sterile milk sample for culture and discuss with your veterinarian the most appropriate treatment plan for each case. This is especially important for cows that are sick with mastitis. Remember to monitor how dry-off is going for everyone, and ensure everyone has regular breaks to keep fresh. If anyone is getting fatigued or is having a hard time consistently doing this well, let them take a break, review the protocol with them, or get that person to switch jobs with someone pushing up cows or holding tails. For further information see DairyNZ’s SmartSAMM and Healthy Udder guidelines and discuss with your local veterinarian. For helpful videos and fact sheets which expand on the information in this article visit • David Dymock is a livestock technical advisor with MSD Animal Health.



Do all you can to resist Johne’s disease in herds THE IMPORTANCE

of testing, managing and controlling the spread of Johne’s disease (JD) in dairy goats shouldn’t be underestimated. In terms of animal health, JD (and CAE) is a significant concern and a major production-limiting disease of farmed goats world-wide. Estimates from other industries collated from farmer surveys suggest that JD is common and widespread in NZ: 60% of deer herds, 68% of sheep flocks, 31% of beef herds and 60% of dairy cow herds harbour some Johne’s infection. Recently we asked Dr Rory O’Brien, an expert on the control of JD and

Johne’s disease limits production in dairy goats.

the research manager of DRL’s Dunedin testing service, to explain JD and its impact on New Zealand dairy goats. What is Johne’s disease? Sometimes called paratuberculosis, Johne’s

disease is a bacterial infection that leads to inflammation and thickening of the intestines. This results in problems which can include reduced uptake of nutrients, progressive weight loss and death.

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The bacterium which causes JD is called M ​ ycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, also called MAP for short. Often described as an iceberg disease (for every clinically affected animal showing symptoms of dis-

ease, many more will be lurking beneath the surface) JD is chronic, progressive, contagious and widespread. How does JD present in dairy goats? Goats are notably less likely to visibly scour

(have diarrhoea) from JD than other species which means this is an unreliable diagnostic indicator of disease. More often, affected goats will exhibit weight loss and poor body condition scoring yet main-

tain a normal appetite and faecal appearance until the disease is in the very end stages and the animal is near death. Unfortunately, these signs are common to other conditions also so the only way to know for sure is to test. For dairy goats a dropoff in milk production should also be considered an early warning sign; infected goats can appear healthy and live for years without any obvious outward indications while continuing to shed bacteria and contaminate their surroundings. Why are young kids highly susceptible? MAP infection typically occurs following ingestion TO PAGE 22



Resisting Johne’s disease in herds FROM PAGE 21

of MAP bacteria in milk or from contact with teats or other surfaces contaminated with dung and dirty drinking troughs which can contribute to infection risk. Once introduced, the MAP bacteria become established in the small intestine, causing it to

become thickened and reducing the uptake of nutrients across the gut lining and causing the animals to slowly waste away. All the while, huge numbers of MAP bacteria are shed in the faeces into the surrounding environment to continue the infection cycle. How else do MAP bac-

teria survive? Once shed onto pasture, the MAP bacteria are resilient and survive well in damp, shaded areas for at least a year or even longer (they can only multiply inside a host). MAP bacteria also survive well on muddy boots and tyres so it’s important to take biosecurity seri-

ously and pay attention to cleaning, disinfection and sanitation. Although a direct and causal link between MAP bacteria in dairy derived foodstuffs and Crohn’s disease remains unproven, ongoing debate suggests it may be timely and prudent for a burgeoning dairy goat indus-

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Johne’s disease prevention also requires good biosecurity on farms.

try to take early steps to reduce the incidence of JD on farm and to qualify absence of MAP infection

in herds contributing to the production of infant milk formula where competing industries may have missed the boat. What can we do to protect our goats? Identifying shedders for culling and preventing newborns when they are at their most vulnerable from coming into contact with MAP contaminated faeces/milk/colostrum/ feed/water are all good ways of managing the process. Also pay careful attention to sanitation, keep feed up off the ground where it could become contaminated with dung and keep kidding areas as clean and dung free as possible. We recommend removing test-positive does from colostrum pools (pooled or shared colostrum is a big risk factor as MAP bacteria are shed in milk/colostrum) and keeping water sources clean (particularly those

used by kids) and using waterers designed to minimise faecal contamination. JD prevention also requires good biosecurity; if you are lucky enough to be JD free keep it that way as prevention is far preferable to control in the long run. Keep a closed herd where possible. Always test each and every replacement (but if considering animals under one year old, better to test mum) while ideally also considering whole herd test data from the originating herd if available. Importantly, JD is bought and paid for so don’t invite it home by purchasing live animals from a herd of unknown Johne’s status. This is because once it has been introduced JD spreads quickly and is extremely tough -- financially and emotionally -- to be rid of again.

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BCS good pointer to feeding MARJORIE ORR


following a regime of feeding pre-determined levels of feed, dairy goat feeding levels can be adjusted according to body condition score (BCS) or liveweight. Condition scoring is generally a more useful measure because it takes into account varia-

“It’s rare to see fat dairy goats but goats that are too thin are all too common.” tions in size and build. It involves using the fingers to feel the amount of fat and muscle over the ribs, spine, pelvis and rump, and allocating a score to indicate how much tissue there is over the bones at these sites. A common scoring

system used for goats ranges from 1 (emaciated) to 5 (obese). Here is my version of it: Score 1  Emaciated ■■ No fat and minimal muscle cover ■■ Pelvis and spine prominent and sharp

WATER SUPPLY GOATS MUST have water available at all times, especially if they are pregnant or lactating, if it’s very hot or if they are on dry feed. The water supply should allow for 4L per goat each day, and the supply system should be able to provide up to 9L per head daily. When shade is provided, goats drink less water than sheep, but when shade is absent, goats drink more than sheep. Young goats and kids will often play on the rims of troughs and they can slip in and drown. It’s a good idea to cover deep troughs or to place concrete blocks or bricks in them so that any animal that falls in can escape. Troughs should be checked often enough to ensure that daily water supplies are not contaminated, and they should be cleaned regularly.

■■ Ribs outlines visible Score 2 - Minimal fat cover ■■ Pelvis and spine prom-

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Decreased productivity? Low body condition scores? Reduced milk yield? DRL can help. Ask your vet about our expert testing services for Johne’s disease. 03 489 4832

inent but some tissue over them so they feel rounded rather than sharp ■■ Ribs outlines easily felt Score 3 Ideal ■■ Pelvis and spine covered by tissue and bone surfaces not easily felt ■■ Ribs covered by tissue ■■ Rump area almost flat Score 4 Fat ■■ Rump flat

Pelvis, ribs and spine well covered by tissue Score 5 Over-fat ■■ Pelvis, ribs and spine covered by tissue, hard to feel ■■ Rump convex (gutter over spine) Lactating does of the dairy breeds, like lactating dairy cows, tend to be lean, but they shouldn’t be allowed to fall below ■■

score 2. It is rare to see fat dairy goats but dairy goats that are too thin are all too common.  Any goat that is too thin should be given better feed, better husbandry or veterinary attention as appropriate. • Dr Marjorie Orr is a lifestyle farmer and retired veterinarian. This article first appeared in



Four-seasons goat barn THE BUILDING company Aztech Build-

ings says it has grown up with the dairy goat industry in New Zealand, innovating as the industry has matured. “It is our innate knowledge of the sector that enables us to solve the complex design challenges, and the simple ones new entrants to the industry might not even consider,” the company says. The challenge to overcome in dairy goat barn design was the need for a ‘four seasons’ barn. “We have to ensure temperature reduction in the summer, and consistent temperature control in winter to maintain an even temperature barn year-round.” Dairy goats can’t stand rain, cold or extreme heat, and will drop production in tough conditions, often not resuming the production levels achieved before the inclement weather or hot conditions. Aztech says it solves this problem with a combination of clever design and product innovation. An insulated roof, precisely calculated roof pitch and a well thought-out roof ridge ventilation system allows Waikato dairy goat farmer Frans Janssen to trust that a consistent yearround temperature can be achieved. Air in the barn, without any ventilation, will accumulate ammonia, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide. Moisture can be retained and will reduce the life span of the bedding material. Aztech says farmers don’t want a draughty barn. “Again, good design will mitigate this.

Frans’ barns use a combination of highsided walls and roller doors to manage this. The roof overhang and roof pitch also contribute to maintaining a balance between being well ventilated or draughty. “The bedding area and feed face have been carefully calculated to ensure industry best practice and to maintain goat comfort. A dominant goat can severely impact condition and feed intake of a less dominant goat, so carefully considering feed facing space is a must. “The barn design by way of eaves also offers extra rain protection to help keep bedding material fresh and extend its lifecycle. “We didn’t just design the barn for the goats, we also had the staff in mind. Using our experience of the many barns we’ve built in the past, we know what helps with workflow and efficiencies. We also know that no-one wants to work in a dingy, smelly environment.” One key product innovation used by Aztech comes from its supplier Futura Steel Systems -- a steel box beam and purlin bird-proof roofing system. Bird proofing is essential for helping to reduce contact with disease as the birds aren’t roosting and messing everywhere. This also reduces feed loss to hungry birds. Aztech says it has built enough housing to comfortably accomodate nearly 50,000 dairy goats. “We are specialists in this space and industry leaders like Frans Janssen turn to us for advice on best practice structures.”




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Take the knife to overgrown hooves every six weeks HOOVES can cause a lot of problems in goat herds including stress on joints and bacterial and fungal infections. According to the NZ Dairy Goat Breeders Association website, when goats have sore feet they will not eat properly and can lose vigour. The association recommends that at six-weekly intervals, use shears and a sharp knife to trim the sidewalls of the claws and sole. Put a glove on the hand holding the foot as protection in case the shears or knife slip. Trim after rain or after the goat


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has walked through wet grass, or after scrubbing the hoof with a nail brush and warm water; the hoof will then be softer to cut. You can cut safely until pink starts to shine through the white of the trimmed part; this shows you are getting near the ‘quick’, which will bleed if you cut deeper. This does not show as easily on black-hoofed goats, which usually have softer feet anyway, so go easy on them. Start on a front foot, and then move on to the back ones; the goat

is less likely to play up. If the goat kicks very hard with her back foot, pick it up by putting your hand tightly round the hamstring above the hock, then run your other hand down to the foot, take up your usual grip and get cutting. The hamstring grip immobilises the muscles of the lower leg long enough for you to get a firm grip without hurting the goat, and once she realises you have her she will behave better. @dairy_news


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A NEW goat herd owner must first think about what to do if a goat is not well, goat breeders say. According to the NZ Dairy Goat Breeders Association, “it is important to have found a compassionate vet who is interested in goats before illness strikes. “The normal body temperature of a goat is 39.5 degrees so

it pays to have a thermometer in your first aid kit.” It also warns about diseases that can affect goats in NZ: Johne’s disease and caprine arthritis encephalytis (CAE). “If a goat displays signs of these diseases it can be very distressing for the owner, especially as they may not show up for some time, but will affect the

goat’s general health and wellbeing, and its capacity to breed and produce milk. “When you are buying a goat, it is important to get a guarantee from the vendor that the goat has disease-free status.  If you can, you should get it vet checked before you buy.  A blood test can indicate whether or not the goat is free of disease.”

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Goats need good feed.

Feed goats well Dairy goats, like meat and fibre goats, need good feed. If they are pregnant or lactating or both, they DAIRY GOATS, like meat and fibre need up to three times their basic goats, and possibly more than other maintenance ration. Yet they are fussy eaters and if species of livestock, need good feed, particularly if they are pregnant or they are to be healthy, happy and productive, it’s important to know what lactating or both.  Lactating does of the dairy breeds, to feed them and how much. Pasture is the main source of feed like lactating dairy cows, tend to be lean, but they shouldn’t be allowed for goats in New Zealand, and the to get too thin.  It is rare to see fat general principles of grazing mandairy goats, but dairy goats that are agement for livestock apply: Make efficient use of pasture by too thin are all too common. The myth that goats will eat any- reducing wastage. Improve pasture quality by manthing is totally incorrect.  They like a wide variety of plants and are good at aging pasture growth properly. Some farmers use controlled grazeating down young thistles and dock weeds in pasture (and also expensive ing systems such as break feeding plants and trees!), but they won’t and rotational grazing so that they eat food that isn’t clean and fresh.  can ration pasture to allow all goats Dairy goats need good quality pas- to get their daily feed requirement.  ture and browse and plenty of it all Where the available pasture isn’t enough, appropriate supplementary year round. In winter, goats need supplemen- feed must be provided. tary feed particularly if they are pro- Feed requirements The ‘maintenance ration’ is the ducing milk, and this means hay, silage or concentrates.  Any supple- amount of feed needed by a nonmentary feed must be introduced productive goat to keep it in stable gradually over a period of 7 to 10 body condition.  Goats that are growdays, taking care that individuals ing, lactating or pregnant, thin goats don’t gorge on carbohydrate-rich and all goats in cold conditions need food such as grain or sheep nuts.  more than maintenance rations as And goats must have water available follows: at all times, particularly if they are ■■ Pregnant does need up to three producing milk. times their maintenance ration MARJORIE ORR

in late pregnancy and when they are producing milk. ■■ Growing goats need up to twice maintenance. ■■ When it’s wet, cold and windy, goats’ feed requirements increase markedly so that they can produce more heat to maintain their body temperature. ■■ If thin goats are to put on weight they need up to twice maintenance rations. The energy content of feed is often used as a measure of its quality. It is expressed as megajoules of metabolisable energy (MJME) per kg feed.  In drought conditions or when pasture is sparse, pasture might provide only about 8 MJME/day and 110g protein.    A 50 kg pregnant doe needs about 13 MJME/day of energy and 100g of protein per day. Three times this amount is needed when she is lactating, and this can only be achieved by giving supplementary feed such as concentrate pellets.  A doe might need about 0.5kg pellets each day during pregnancy and up to 1.5kg when lactating.  It’s important also to provide plenty of good quality hay. • Dr Marjorie Orr is a lifestyle farmer and retired veterinarian. This article first appeared in

SUPPLEMENTARY FEED IN WINTER, goats need supplementary feed particularly if they are producing milk, and this means hay, silage or concentrates. Any supplementary feed must be introduced gradually over a period of 7 to 10 days, taking care that individuals don’t gorge on carbohydrate-rich food such as grain or sheep nuts.  Good supervision is needed to make sure no goats are being bullied and kept away from the feed. It’s important to ensure that goats have water available at all

times, particularly if they are on dry supplementary feed and or producing milk. Beware of poisonous garden plants such as rhododendron, yew, laurel and privet, poisonous native plants such as tutu and ngaio. While goats can handle small amounts of ragwort, too much will cause damage to the liver. Selenium supplementation is usually wise for goats, and there are various ways of adding it to the diet, for example in prills on pasture, added to the worming drench or in mineral supplement

added to the food. Many of the treatments available for sheep and cattle are not licensed for use in goats so it’s important to consult a vet to get it right.  Selenium is toxic if too much is given. Goats have a relatively high requirement for iodine, and in some areas iodine supplementation is needed to prevent goitre in kids.  Iodised salt licks may be sufficient in marginal areas, but where soils are deficient your vet can give does iodine injections to prevent deficiency diseases.

Drive efficiency with GEA “One person can easily manage milking 420-500 goats an hour” – Wiebe Smitstra, Matamata Wiebe and Piety Smitstra retrofitted their milking shed with an 80-bail GEA WestfaliaSurge low line double-up herringbone. Doubling the capacity of the milking parlour and adding some simple automation means one person can milk 1,200 goats in 3 hours – shaving 2 hours off their daily milking time. With DairyPlan linked up too, they can see exactly how each animal is performing. And save thousands on herd testing. Want efficiency? Call 0800 GEA FARM.





Over-irrigation forced mers back blitz No mucking Harvest Lab users sensors to automatically measure nutrient values of effluent.

council to take action

around with manure gear MARK DANIEL

JOHN DEERE’S HarvestLab 3000 system has won the company a European Land and Soil Management Award at a Forum for Agriculture event. The system uses sensors to automatically measure the nutrient values of effluent being applied to the paddock. It enables farmers and contractors to improve

the efficacy of effluents used to replace inorganic fertilisers. It calculates N, P and K values then regulates application rates based on nutrient targets or maximum application rates based on kg/ha. The technology prevents under- or overapplication and it can record total volumes applied for future reference. It is compatible with site-specific prescription maps. The award to John Deere is endorsed by the

manner,” says Lynch. THE CASE against Pol“On this particulock Farms was taken by lar farm the storage was Waikato Regional Counonly sufficient for a single cil following inspections day. It should have been where over-irrigation of up to 100 times larger effluent was evident.  than that. With virtually Effluent from an no storage, this means underpass to an adjoining there will have been reguproperty was also being lar and frequent unlawful directly to land European Union in asso- pumped related equipment includdischarges of dairy effluining large volumes.  Both ciation with the Univera system to analyse ent into the environment posecontent a real risk sity of National Resources practices the nutrient of for years. effluent contaminating and Life Sciences (BOKU) ofmanures. “We would have groundwater. in Vienna. The companies say the expected Mr Pollock to Similar breaches hadin Meanwhile, the two merger will add value have changed his pracfound by theproduccouncil Netherlands effluent gear been marketing, sales, Effluent farm. involved after the tices following intion 2016 and 2017. Formal manufacturers Schuitename. Manure his andfirst effluremain 2018,sump The overflowing regional on the and product support. ber prosecution. warnings and infringemaker and Veenhuis say ent machinesUnforwill be merger. investment company Schuitemaker, based tunately, has taken virtually doubled ongoingisrisk to the ment notices had been they will merge later in colouredityellow and carry Eventually all their feeding Wadinko believed in Rijssen, employs about an enforcement herd size, from 380painted to 700 numerous environment for36.25% years. issued for those 2019. the Veenhuis brand. machines will be to have owned 140 people whilebreaches Veenactions, including three cows, with no expansion has been woefully and anatabatement @dairy_news Schuitemaker is well red and yellow and will of Schuitemaker since huis, Raalte, hasnotice about There prosecutions and finally a of dairythe effluent infrainadequate had been served onNovemthe known for its heavycarry Schuitemaker November infrastructure 2018. It will 40 workers. Since court order, for that farm on this farm since Mr Pol- structure. farming company in Sepduty, self-loading silage to ultimately get to a good “Every dairy farm lock first appeared before tember 2016 to cease the wagons, manure spreadplace. should have sufficient the courts in the 1990s. illegal practices. ers and vacuum tankers, “This is a very sigstorage to be able to safely Quite simply, he has “This farmer is underand Veenhuis specialstore effluent through wet nificant fine. It is a clear ignored all of the actions ises in slurry tankers and mining all of the posiand busy periods, the idea message to those poor taken by the council to tive work being done by performers in the dairy being that when weather theITS wider farming indusNOT only the rural date, as well as all of the industry that they need and circumstances messaging from his own trysector and community to coming under to change their behaviour, allow, this effluent can improve ourtoenvironpressure clean up its industry to improve.” as the courts, the public then be irrigated to ment,” said council inves- WRC established that environmental footprint. and even their own indusland as fertiliser in an tigations Patrick Alsomanager busy at it is the from 2010 to 2016 the try has lost patience with environmentally safe and Lynch. tyre manufacturer Trel- company purchased a them,” Lynch said. economically prudent, neighbouring farm and “This farm has posed leborg, working on its factories to meet the challenges of climate POO MANAGING change. For example, it is ALL DAIRY re-engineerfarmers have a of effluent non-compliance. effluent management requirecompletely responsibility tofacmanage the All farmers need to be aware ments and how to meet them. ing its Sri Lanka effluent from their cows and this of, understand and adhere to DairyNZ resources available tory’s steam raising is taken seriously by the vast permitted activity rules. to all dairy farmers include a The work is an aspect tries, and pneumatic fired boiler will cut the plant by installing an majority of dairy farmers. For farmers who haven’t yet Dairy Effluent Storage Calculaof Trelleborg’s Blue tyres for light farming plant’s CO2 emission to advanced biomass boiler. Most dairy farmers are undertaken the work needed to tor, A Farmer’s Guide to Building Dimension approach applications. 1000t of CO2 . It will Steam is essential in investing in reliable, sustainable meet their obligations, advice is a New Effluent Storage Pondto sustainability, combinBiomass for the boiler be commissioned next tyre curing, but the trafarm systems. available from dairy companies and a certification scheme for ing environmental will be supplied by local month. ditional oil-fired boiler Well-designed and conand regional councils. DairyNZ accredited effluent systembenefitsFarmers with benefits forfor the producers, so shortenburns 3.5 million structed effluentlitres storage pro-The plant alsonear has an environmental designers. looking vides a lot of benefits – better specialist role line,support in establishing customers sucheffluas higher ingwhose the supply furColombo extension employs 850 of oil annually and emits flexibility for irrigation, includes working with farmers, the carbon ent infrastructure the efficiency can and visit productivther reducing people and makes solid 11,000 tonnes of CO2 better environmental management, rural professionals and others DairyNZ website – www.dairynz. ity. – Mark Daniel footprint and supporting tyres for the materials equivalents. peace of mind biomassand reducedhandling risk to help their the local economy. and portfarmers indus- understand Trelleborg’s

Tyres turning green

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Aerator helps repair pugged paddocks MARK DANIEL


tor enables farmers and contractors to get better pasture growth by aerating the upper levels of paddocks, says the national distributor, the Duncan division of Giltrap Engineering. Three versions are available: two trailed models of 2.5m or 3m working widths, and a 3m, three-point linkage model. A unique blade design,

working with a weight transfer system, shatters hard pan to a depth of 300mm with minimal surface disturbance. The blades are set almost perpendicular to the direction of travel but at a slight angle, which adds a twisting motion that helps break soil pan. The weight of the roller is concentrated on each blade as it enters the soil. Working speeds up to 20km/h also help to shock and fracture the soil. Duncan chief execu-

Duncan Alstrong Aerator. Left: The Aerator has a unique blade system.

tive Craig Mulgrew says aerating pasture “reduces the effects of compaction by stock and equipment, helps increase tolerance to drought, releases

nitrogen in the soil and improves surface drainage”. Marlborough dairy farmer Nigel Morrison, who milks 240 cows on

84ha (eff), bought an Alstrong Aerator a year ago to deal with pugging in his paddocks after a wet winter. “We get a bit of pugging through the winter and wanted to open the soil up and let a bit of air through,” Morrison says. “We were looking for a big roller but when we saw the Alstrong we realised we could do two things with one machine.” Working trial and

error, he discovered what speed was needed to work different soil conditions and leave the best finish. “We treat paddocks that look like the water is laying on them,” he says. “The aerator certainly improved the ability of the ground to drain off surface water. It appears to produce better drainage. “We use it for pasture, mainly in the spring to try to get some aeration after

winter. We also use heavy discs to work up paddocks for cropping and have used the aerator behind the discs to break the soil up more.” Morrison also winter grazes cows on 14ha for about 40 days, where the grass takes a fair hiding, particularly when it’s wet. The aerator helped renovate that area. It has worked 30ha of the farm during the growing season.

KEEPING IT SHORT AND SHARP HARVESTING grass silage, farmers and contractors strive to get the highest possible forage quality to increase profits. A key influence on feed quality is the theoretical chopped length, whether by forage harvester, loader wagon or round baler. Short-chopped forage leads to a faster pH reduction, reducing the risk of fermentation failure. And it has a positive effect on the stability of the grass silage and on livestock health and performance. Cattle have incisors only in the lower jaw, with the upper jaw consisting of a horn plate. So they swallow grass almost without having chewed it. When grass is short chopped, the forage has a larger surface area and more energy is


absorbed. And it stimulates saliva flow, which in turn has a positive effect on rumination. The optimum chopped length is about 20 - 60mm. The higher the proportion of short particles in the segment up to 60mm, the better the performance of the ruminant Austrian machinery maker Pöttinger says it focuses on this requirement when developing its machines. Its Impress round balers achieve a theoretical 36mm length from 32 knives, while the Torro and Jumbo loader wagons achieve a 34mm theoretical length of cut. A recent study by the noted Austrian research institute JR Josephinum Research Wieselburg showed the distribution frequency of particle lengths with the Torro and

Jumbo loader wagons is 86% at <40mm and for particle lengths of 40 – 80mm only 11%. Sharp knives can guarantee optimum chopping quality, lower power consumption and help increase output. As the sharpness of the knives deteriorates during the working day, Pottingers’s Twinblade reversible blades can be turned without the need for tools, ensuring that the crop is presented to sharp knives during a long working day. Optional Autocut automated sharpening on the loader wagons guarantees the knives are always sharp during operation, helping reduce power and fuel consumption by up to 20% and reducing daily maintenance by 45 minutes. – Mark Daniel

The knives automatically remain sharp during operation.

INCREASE PRODUCTION AND PERFORMANCE Hundreds of users of HerdHomes® shelters agree, an investment in HerdHomes® Shelters is an investment in the on going productivity of your farm The future of productive farming M + 64 27 499 0123 P + 64 7 857 0528

NZ Patent Numbers: 521150, 544190, 550635, 545042. Further patents pending. International Patent Numbers: 2003267874, 03748807.9. Further patents pending



New Holland takes home medium-tractor award NEW HOLLAND’S T5 Auto Command tractor range has won ‘Machine of the Year 2019’ in the medium tractor category at the recent SIMA 2019 show. Winners are chosen by journalists from European farming publications in partnership with DLV. The award was first made in 1997 and is given every two years at Agritechnica in Germany and the SIMA exhibition in France. The T5 Auto Command offers best-in-class cab space and ultimate comfort, resulting in “premium driving pleasure combined with industry leading performance and power ratings”. The multi award-win-

Jana Hocken and Gemma Adams, Vizlink. New Holland’s T5 Auto Command tractor.

ning Auto Command continuously variable

transmission delivers the versatile T5’s all-

Variable transmission in T5.



Based on term of 36 monthly payments with 4.85% interest rate. Inclusive of GST. Valid until 31st December 2019 for delivery prior to*.

round performance in jobs where exact speeds are critical, making these tractors ideal for loader work. The tractors have the ideal features for increased versatility in grassland operations, arable farming, transport, cultivation and municipal work. “These awards recognise New Holland’s approach to innovative technology that...

OR FROM 2 % INTEREST The 2% interest rate is based on a term of 12 equal monthly payments with 25% deposit. Alternate rates and terms are available. Inclusive of GST. Valid until 31st December 2019 for delivery prior to*.

For more information on these offers contact...

06 370 0390


* Te r m s , c o n d i t i o n s & l e n d i n g c r i t e r i a a p p l y.

improves farmers’ efficiency and helps operators work more productively, safely and comfortably,” said Carlo Lambro, brand president of New Holland Agriculture. “They are testament to the expertise and grounded approach to innovation of New Holland’s team in the Modena, Zedelgem and Jesi plants.”



A WHITEBOARD messaging system developed by a young newcomer to dairy farming has blossomed into a standalone business. Gemma Adams, formerly a graphic designer, took to dairying with her husband Terry on their Taranaki. She found herself struggling to understand procedures and instructions in the cowshed. So she developed a whiteboard that worked well for her -- and her friends. Requests turned into orders, so in 2015 she launched VizLink, using her experience in design and day-to-day farming to help others in the rural sector. A visual learner, Adams developed whiteboards, checklists, signs and maps designed to communicate with staff, provide instruction and better organise the working day. The tools help improve productivity and farm safety and they raise confidence in farm staff teams, she says.  She says many people are more efficient when they can visualise tasks and procedures, particularly if verbal instructions are difficult to understand. Today, VizLink products are used in farm offices and sheds New Zealand-wide. They are used in dairy, equine, sheep and beef and other businesses. Adams uses the skills of graphic designers and GPS surveyors who use drone and satellite mapping. Products include farm maps, and durable documents in a range of sizes, including books of maps for farm staff or visitors. The firm’s whiteboards can include farm maps, dairy management and calving data or horse breeding and movement details. Adams says “the biggest reward for us is knowing that we’re helping teams see improvements in their daily workload”. “We help raise awareness of the layout of an individual farm and identify potential hazards. Most importantly we help people feel more confident in their work.” Adams recently lent her expertise to Jana Hocken, in the making of ‘The Lean Dairy Farm’, a guide to creating a more productive, profitable and higher quality farm using Lean management principles. In this Hocken outlines 10 key steps to better farming.



Improve animal traceability and support disease management: • Confirm or update your NAIT account and register the land parcels you manage NAIT animals on • When moving livestock complete an animal status declaration (ASD) form and provide to the receiving farmer • Ensure that animals moved from a TBfree Movement Control Area have had a TB test within 60 days of moving.

Profile for Rural News Group

Dairy News 14 May 2019  

Dairy News 14 May 2019

Dairy News 14 May 2019  

Dairy News 14 May 2019