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AUGUST 6, 2019 ISSUE 428 //

BYE BYE FROM GUY “It’s been a helluva of a ride, a blast and I’ve loved every minute of it.” – Nathan Guy PAGE 3

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NEWS  // 3

‘Timing just feels right for me’ PETER BURKE

First carbon neutral plant. PG.13

Managing a biting winter. PG.22

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NEWS������������������������������������������������������ 3-17 OPINION����������������������������������������������18-19 AGRIBUSINESS����������������������������� 20-21 MANAGEMENT�������������������������������22-25 ANIMAL HEALTH���������������������������26-27 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS��������������������������������������������� 28 TRACTORS & MACHINERY����� 29-31

THE TIMING just feels right for me. So says Nathan Guy, National’s former Minister for Primary Industries, who said last week he would not stand in the 2020 election. He says he’s had an amazing time in Parliament since 2005 and has no misgivings about calling it quits. At nearly 50 he feels it’s time to look at doing something else -- likely in the primary sector. “It’s been a big decision but one I only really started thinking seriously about in the last couple of weeks. This is because we National MPs need to go for selection in the electorates we hold and in my electorate, Otaki, that would be September. “So I owe it to my delegates and party members to be upfront and to give them enough time to go find a talented replacement who hopefully can serve Otaki for another 15 years.” Guy is a farmer whose family’s history in local government politics goes back at least a century. Guy himself served on Horowhenua District Council before entering national politics. He has no interest in going back into local government. “I’m fortunate to have been given the opportunities I have, serving as a whip and later as a Cabinet minister. When I came into Parliament I was just 35 and had no grey hairs, but now I am leaving with quite a

few. The journey for me has been was negotiating the Government Industry Agreements on biosecurity fantastic.” Guy says the highlights of his which now have 20 industry groups political career were supporting the signed up. He’s pleased to hand over his primary sector during tough times, portfolios to Todd eg the dairy downturn and many Muller whom he floods and droughts. He rates his knows well and advocacy for water storage and is respects. disappointed that the Government “I will do all has pretty much turned its back on I can to supit, surprising given all the talk about port him and climate change. ensure he hits “A big thing for me was dealing the ground with the criminal blackmail over run1080 [allegedly] going into our infant formula, which ended up being a hoax. The PM asked me to lead the response on that and we worked on it for months with industry and kept our trading partners, particularly China, well informed. When the story finally broke there were no negative impacts on our trade. “That incident could have been disastrous for the dairy industry and had a massive impact on the NZ economy. I am proud of the role I played there which ultimately led to a prosecution.” Nathan Guy Guy says another success

ning. I’m happy that our party is in good shape and [in Muller] we have a champion and supporter of the primary sector.” Guy is not concerned about transitioning from politician into the normal workforce. He says for a former minister responsible for a major economic portfolio the move will not be difficult. Since saying he would quit his phone has run hot with texts and messages on Facebook. “Some colleagues were a bit stunned and a lot didn’t see it coming. But they realise when I talk to them that this a personal decision and they quickly accept it.” On a personal level Guy says he’s been blessed to have such a strong supporter in his wife Erica. He says her rural credentials have been great when talking through ideas. She would have backed him had he gone for another term “but I think deep down she thinks the time is right to go and do something else”, he says. Their children likewise understand his decision to leave politics. They have known him only as an MP. His oldest boy was just four days old when he was selected as the candidate for Otaki. “So on his every birthday Erica and I reflect on our political journey. It’s been a helluva ride, a blast, and I’ve loved every minute of it.”


4 //  NEWS

Muller vows to bat for agri sector

DairyNZ seeks new associate directors


DAIRYNZ IS seeking two associate directors and


culture spokesman Todd Muller is promising to advocate fiercely for the agribusiness sector. Muller last week took over from Nathan Guy, who will retire from politics at the general election next year. The Bay of Plenty MP says if he sees the Government doing something against the interests of agribusiness he will speak out. “I will be a fierce advocate for the agribusiness sector.” Muller, a former executive at Zespri and Fonterra, says it’s a huge privilege to be the agriculture spokesman for National. “I’m very excited about

New National ag spokesman Todd Muller.

the opportunity to contribute to National and to be a voice for the agribusiness sector.” Muller says discussions on the primary sector mostly concern its contribution to the national

economy -- a whopping $45 billion annually. But other stories also need to be told, about farmers doing good work to be more environmentally efficient relative to other countries.


edges Nathan Guy’s contribution to the primary sector, describing him as a pragmatic and knowledgeable minister. President Katie Milne says his door was always open and he was always level headed and considered in his dealings with people. “He had his finger firmly on the rural pulse and I always appreciated that you could have free and frank discussions with him, occasionally by phone when he was out helping weigh and drench

calves. He has real empathy for the sector and for the wellbeing of rural communities.” Milne says when the Land & Water Forum was advocating for what farmers considered overly ambitious rules on stock exclusion, Guy stood firm and was realistic about what would work in practice. Biosecurity was one of his priorities and he began beefing up border security, a task the current government has continued, Milne says.

Opposition Leader Simon Bridges announced that Muller will pick up the agriculture, biosecurity and food safety portfolios. He already has forestry. “Todd is a hard working and high performing MP who deserves promotion. I have no doubt that Todd will hold this Government to account on behalf of rural New Zealand,” he said. Bridges also paid tribute to Guy. “Nathan has been a valued colleague and friend. I wish him all the best for his future career and thank him for the service he has given NZ over 15 years. “Nathan has been a champion for rural NZ. As a farmer and a busi-

nessman he understood more than most what the sector needed and he delivered for them.” Muller’s climate change portfolio has been picked up by Scott Simpson. Meanwhile IrrigationNZ congratulated Muller on his new role and thanked Nathan Guy for his contribution to the primary sector. “IrrigationNZ looks forward to continuing to work with all political parties to help develop pragmatic, fair and future focused freshwater and irrigation policy to ensure all NZers benefit from this precious resource,” said Elizabeth Soal, chief executive of IrrigationNZ. @dairy_news

encourages applications from farmers interested in governance. Each year, DairyNZ’s board adds two associate directors – dairy farmers interested in leadership and contributing to dairy sector governance. Each associate director is appointed for six board meetings in a non-voting role. DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel said the directorships enable farmers to contribute to their industry-good body and participate in discussion and debate. “We introduced the associate director roles in 2013 to achieve greater direct input from our dairy farmers and to enable them to gain experience in how our board operates,” said van der Poel. “Since then we’ve had nine associate directors who have all been hugely valuable, contributing alongside our eight directors.” Last year’s associate directors, Cole Groves and Anne-Marie Wells, each joined the board for six meetings. Wells, of Dunedin, is an owner/operator and director of a 640 cow dairy farm. She and her husband Duncan were the 2015 Dairy Business of the Year supreme winners. She was involved in the Fonterra governance development programme while being an associate director. “It provided the opportunity to put my governance learning into practice in a supportive environment, and I contributed to the sector and gained new insights along the way,” said Wells. “For people interested in governance, getting involved gives you the chance to see high level governance in action.” Cole Groves, of Ashburton, is in a 450 cow equity partnership. Among several sector roles, he has strong ties to New Zealand Young Farmers. “I gained a lot of confidence in my governance ability at a boardroom level, and also got exposure to new policy setting and expanding my networking,” said Groves. To apply, send a covering letter and curriculum vitae to: The company secretary, DairyNZ Inc, Private Bag 3221, Hamilton 3240 or email lynne.

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NEWS  // 5

Methane inhibitor facing hurdles SUDESH KISSUN

FARMERS ARE urging the Government to help register a novel methane inhibitor for cow rumens. Trials have shown that the 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP) feed additive can reduce methane production in cows by 30%. But DSM, the global animal health company seeking to market the product, says it is facing delays in getting the product registered in New Zealand. Federated Farmers vice-president Andrew Hoggard met a visiting DSM group headed by its chief executive Christoph Goppelsroeder. Hoggard says he’s surprised by the “glaring gap” in regulations that’s preventing the registration of 3-NOP. He says there’s nothing to stop DSM selling the product in NZ right now but the company wants it registered. “Farmers also want to know that the product will give them results in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” Hoggard says the issue has been raised with the Prime Minister and some ministers. “We want the Government to get on and create this category: feed supplements for environmental benefits.”

Any sale of an agricultural compound or veterinary medicine (ACVM) in NZ must be authorised under the ACVM Act 1997. But DSM claims it has been unable to register the product in NZ because MPI’s register doesn’t have a category for such a product. Goppelsroeder told Dairy News that DSM has hit a roadblock on how to approve the product for use in NZ. “The regulatory framework in NZ doesn’t have a category for a product whose main benefit is environmental performance. This is surprising given that the country is ready and very sensitive to climate change.” DSM has already filed an application for approval of the feed additive in Europe. Registration of a product there takes on average 12-18 months. Goppelsroeder says a green light from European regulators could come before the end of next year. “If they see this product as a special bullet, approval could come from Europe even faster.” He says there’s “a big risk” that European farmers could leapfrog NZ farmers in mitigating methane emissions. Goppelsroeder hopes MPI will create a new category and approve 3-NOP.

“We will be watching like hawks over the next few weeks.” MPI director of assurance Allan Kinsella rejected assertions that there is no category in MPI’s regulatory framework for 3-NOP. “3-NOP can currently be registered under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act as a ‘feed additive’, and this was communicated to DSM when MPI staff met with them,” he told Dairy News. “Consequently there is no barrier to DSM marketing 3-NOP as an environmental inhibitor in NZ in relation to MPI-administered legislation. However, it may be subject to other legislation such as the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act administered by the Environmental Protection Authority. “Trade name product registration under the ACVM Act can afford up

DSM chief executive Christoph Goppelsroeder with a handful of 3-NOP pellets.

to 10 years of data protection, however as ‘environmental inhibitors’ are not currently within scope of the Act they are not eligible for data protection.” MPI is considering how to effectively and efficiently manage products like 3-NOP as ‘environmental inhibitors’. Issues include their level of risk in respect of trade and residues. Kinsella says there is no “MPI roadblock” to registering 3-NOP and that DSM may decide whether or not it enters the NZ market now. He says MPI will talk to industry and other key stakeholders soon in respect of its work on inhibitors. MPI says it welcomes the effective development and use of emerging technologies to reduce agricultural emissions.  “We also recognise the need to ensure products, such as environmental inhibitors, can be used safely and effectively.”

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Catchments not looking good PAM TIPA

WATER WILL be costly

and difficult to fix, says Guy Salmon, executive director of the policy think-tank Ecologic and a driving force behind the Land and Water Forum. The dairy industry itself, in a proactive move early this century, defined a series of five best-practice dairy catchments, Salmon told the ProteinTech19 conference in Auckland last week. The catchments have been monitored, and recently published papers report on the achievements in those catchments. “They got quite a good response from the farmers in terms of their taking up management practices, fencing off their streams, moderating their fertiliser usage, disposing of dairy shed effluent onto land rather than dumping it into waterways, using low rate effluent irrigation -- all kinds of changes were introduced in those catchments. “Seventeen years later [we’re looking] at these studies which measure the results. The streams were pretty degraded at the beginning of this experiment and 17 years later you can’t measure any improvement in the ecological health of these

Lake Brunner, West Coast. Inset: Guy Salmon.

‘LIVESTOCK INDUSTRIES DUCKING FOR COVER’ THE LIVESTOCK industries are in the middle of a big political push to protect themselves long-term under the Zero Carbon Bill legislation, says leading environmentalist Guy Salmon. “They do this at the expense of other New Zealanders who must face pretty tough choices about the cost of upgrading a car, the cost of all kinds of technologies they use in their house -- in home insulation and so on,” he told the ProteinTech confer-

streams.” But there is one exception -- the catchment which drains into Lake Brunner, near Greymouth, West Coast. The catchment has 5m of rainfall, big flushing flows coming down the streams on average every 17 days all summer and winter and it

ence in Auckland last week. “As the pressure comes on it is going to become rather divisive between urban and rural communities as to why farmers aren’t pulling their weight. “We need to have an ethos of ‘all hands to the pumps’ and we need, as part of that, a national land use diversification and transition plan which [imposes on] farmers not just pressure to perform better but also a clear set of tools and research infor-

has lots of native forests. It has only 8% of farming’s catchment and is the kind of place that is more resilient to the impact of dairy farming. The other four monitored catchments don’t look nearly so good, Salmon says.   In the Waitaki catch-

mation -- for them to tap into -- about what new land uses are available on their particular soils and in their climate zone. “[Then they could] continue to live on the land, perhaps changing their business model or using [the information] to diversify into a mixture of livestock and horticulture and trees.” Salmon says the Zero Carbon Bill is proposing “only a reduction of 10%” in methane by 2030.

ment in South Canterbury, 100% of the farmers have fenced off their sections of the stream, planted them and switched from flood irrigation to spray irrigation. A lot of work has been done. But it is still in the worst 25% of New Zealand

catchments in respect of faecal contamination, making it unsuitable for swimming or gathering mahinga kai. Its ecological health hasn’t improved a great deal although there’s been some improvement in clarity. “Importantly, when you talk about what you

could do to make this catchment better still, it all looks pretty expensive. “Converting more irrigators to spray at $700,000 a pop - quite a big hurdle there. “Nitrogen, which is a major contaminant in this stream, is very costly to reduce and the stream has got so choked up with silt from past activities that to restore its ecological health you would have to suck out that silt -- an expensive exercise in a stream of at least 20km.” Looking at the catchments as a whole -- but excluding Lake Brunner -- “they don’t look good from a human health point of view, or an ecological point of view, and it is difficult to know how we can do better as long as we have this level of intensity in those catchments”. “It seems increasingly that some de-intensification of these catchments and some diversification of land use to nonlivestock land use will be an important part of the solution.” Also important would be to introduce a ‘polluter pays’ principle into the agriculture sector “so that land uses compete with each other on a level playing field”. Across New Zealand we have about 2.1 million hectares of better quality land suitable for horticul-

ture, says Salmon. “But the absence of a ‘polluter pays’ principle makes it more difficult for horticulture to get a foothold on a lot of that land where the dairy industry can freely discharge its nitrogen and contaminants into the waterways.” And dairying can get away with paying for none of its methane emissions at the moment and in future 5% of them, he says. “And if we can get more trees into the hill country and more horticulture onto the class 1-3 land -- even small parts of it -- we would have a net plus scenario for rural populations and regional communities.” Another issue is whether to use regulation or economic tools, says Salmon. The Land and Water Forum achieved a consensus on moving away from a strictly regulatory approach and instead putting in price signals applying to the use of water, for discharges into water and for being able to trade water. These are particularly important for new entrants coming into a catchment already heavily committed to a particular land use. But in order to put a price on water we must first settle the claims iwi have on freshwater.



Just 0.04% of global emissions YOU MAY AS WELL EAT SAWDUST



dairy may be a big chunk of this country’s inventory of greenhouse gas emissions -- about 25% -it is relatively small as a component of total global emissions, says Fonterra chief scientist Jeremy Hill. NZ dairy is just 0.04% of global emissions yet our dairy is consumed by one billion people annually. That 0.04% is in “the margin of the margin of our ability to measure these things”, Hill told the ProteinTech19 conference in Auckland last week. “So it has a big impact in the inventory of emissions in NZ but relatively small impact [as a component of] global emissions.”

NOT ALL proteins are created equal and a big difference is the bioavailability of nutrients -- the ability to be digested, Hill says. He says no one has done longitudinal studies on the health impacts of alternative ‘milks’.  Proteins are not a nutrient but a nutrient delivery ‘system’, he says. The nutrients are the individual amino acids and there are 20 of them. About half of those are called indispensable amino acids. We can’t synthesise them, we have to consume them.  “Different proteins have different amino acids in different

We are leading the world in efficiency in greenhouse gases per litre of milk, he says. Ninety five percent of NZ milk is exported. “We produce enough milk to provide the recommended daily intake, which is in the two-three

combinations. They don’t have the same ratios of these indispensable amino acids, nor do they have the same digestibility. “Soy protein, unless you go through some fairly intensive processing, cannot be made digestible.” Work is underway to develop new methodology on bioavailability endorsed by the Food and Agriculture Organisation at the United Nations which originated at the Reddit Institute in New Zealand. The work “is very important for global sustainability,” says Hill.

serves, or 500-750ml, for 100 million people. Our actual dairy products in NZ are consumed by one billion people on average annually.” The global food sector produces about 20-30% of greenhouse gas emissions globally. Dairy globally is

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in the 2-3% range with its contribution to emissions. He points out that all greenhouse gas figures are an estimate. No one is measuring accurately enough to produce definite figures but he is confident of that 20-30% figure for all agriculture.

Jeremy Hill, Fonterra

NZ emissions as a whole are so low you can’t count them in the global perspective. “Whereas agriculture is contributing 50% of NZ’s emissions, NZ as a whole -- and I don’t think this is understood well -- isn’t making a big impact globally. “But we have an

opportunity -- because we need to solve NZ’s inventory contribution -- to do our bit for the world. But in solving NZ’s greenhouse gas emissions we have to solve it for agriculture probably more than anywhere else in the world. “In the OECD the next country would be

Ireland with about 30% of its emissions coming from agriculture. You go [to Australia] and it’s less than 10%. “So we have to solve it for our own inventory reasons. But if we can find solutions that can help -- which will be deployable elsewhere in the world -- we can make a big difference.” Hill says the global food system is “hellishly complex” and it is not sustainable and needs to improve. Reports over the past five years, including the EAT-Lancet report, have looked at how to feed the world’s population a healthy diet using sustainable practices. The report showed that when the world population gets to 9.8 -10 billion, global milk production will need to double to meet the daily recommended intake.



Climate change issues will get much worse – Jager COUNCIL SEEKS MORE DAIRY, RED MEAT REPS


FARMERS MAY think the pressure of climate change today is bad, but it will get much, much worse, says Primary Sector Council chairman Lain Jager. Even so he remains optimistic about New Zealand’s future. Jager says it appears that globally we will not hit the Paris Accord targets for climate change. The aim is to restrict warming to 1.5 degrees, but it appears it will go to 2 degrees and on its way to 3 degrees. “That has enormous implications. Our strategic judgment is the pressure on issues related to environmental sustainability will be unrelenting,” Jager told the ProteinTech19 -- Disruptive Innovations in Food Production conference in Auckland last week. Climate change issues will get much worse, Jager says. “Because as the planet warms through 2 and 3 degrees, we will see impacts of climate change... floods, droughts, falling ground water levels, ocean acidification and pressure on biodiversity. “There is fear in the global population associated with that. That fear is growing, is well founded and not [prompting] just a rational conversation, but a passionate conversation driven by fear. “We have seen that play out in real time in the media every day and the pressure that came on to the sector through the last election. That doesn’t get better, it gets worse.” It is not just in a global context, but a national context, Jager says. “Not just emissions but also

Lain Jager

fresh water, land and soil quality, biodiversity, the wellbeing of our animals and our marine health.” Fifty percent of our emissions come from the food and fibre sector and we are deeply invested in ruminant protein, he says. “Nor is New Zealand particularly good [in relative terms]. We are the fifth highest emitter (per person) in the OECD. “To find a positive way into the future we need to be excellent at farming in an environmentally sustainable way. It is our only viable positioning as a sector. “Our farming systems will have to be resilient [in the face of] climate change. That is because [the global community is] not going to hit the Paris accord.” Natural food production systems will come under enormous pressure. But NZ has a relative advantage in being relatively small and having a temperate climate.

“And we have relatively plentiful rainwater. But if we think we are not going to be impacted by the impacts of climate change on food production systems, that would be a poor judgment.” When Jager talks to farmers about these issues they point out that NZ is responsible for no more than 0.3% of global emissions. The farmers say “whatever we can do isn’t going to make any difference” and that NZ has low population density, exports a tremendous amount of food and has a high level of renewable energy. Farmers ask, what do you want us to do? Dairy farming on the Canterbury plains is said to be problematic but “what else can we farm on this land,” they ask. What land use alternative do we have, farmers ask, pointing to the investment they need to get there. Farmers say they want high quality data, clarity and help to

Get them back on their feet.

achieve this. “That too is a legitimate dialogue with overtones of concern and fear about the future. To make progress we need to reconcile those two dialogues,” said Jager. That requires leadership and clear strategy and policy -- “the people of New Zealand working in partnership about a commonly agreed future”. Jager says he is optimistic about NZ’s future. “This change in values toward putting our environment at the centre of things has been a long time coming. And there is a reason why now is the time: there is enormous urgency about not just emission but our rural environment. “After talking with farmers across the country I can tell you they know that. What’s missing is a well articulated way forward that can give them confidence for the future too.”

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THE PRIMARY Sector Council is a diverse group of 16 but it has underweight representation from dairy and sheep and beef, says the chairman Lain Jager. “That has had implications for the way we go about doing our work. A particular implication is that you haven’t heard much from the council since it came into existence. “Having a vision for the food and fibre sector requires a vision we can coalesce around. We have been ‘underground’ talking with groups of farmers across the country, hiding from the media, talking with the big organisations across the sector including the industry-good organisations. “I haven’t had one bad conversation with farmers of New Zealand. It has been a tremendous engagement.” The whole construct of why we need a vision is challenging, Jager says. “In the context of the challenges ahead of us, which are very material, we are going to have to work together to make progress -- business and government and farmers and urban people. “We have the challenge of a lifetime ahead of us in climate change. So finding common ground and identifying a common objective is hugely important. It calls for alignment through the system.” The council is just an advisory group, Jager says. It was formed in April last year and will be disbanded in April next year. Jager says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor is looking at the challenges ahead for the food and fibre sector and asking, can the sector coalesce around a vision that will balance economic aspirations with the environmental imperatives ahead of us? And importantly, can the sector conduct itself in a way that allows it to be respected as a cornerstone stakeholder in our nation. Jager says the council is “well down the path” of consultation with big business, industry-good organisations and farming communities. They are starting to coalesce around a vision. They intend to remain “deeply underground” for another three or four months.


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12 //  NEWS

Synlait lauds suppliers HIGH PERFORMING

suppliers to Synlait, Canterbury, were honoured at an awards ceremony at the annual supplier conference in Christchurch in July. “This is the fourth Synlait Dairy Honours Awards and the standard of performance increases yearly,” said chief executive Leon Clement. “The awards are open to all Synlait milk suppliers, and many winners are Lead With Pride certified. Each award winner and their team have exceeded requirements to show excellence in dairy. “I congratulate each winner, in particular Kieran McCall of Golden Dairies Ltd who won the ANZ Supreme Lead With Pride Award.” McCall and his wife Erin, who farm near Ashburton, were overseas at the time but were rep-

Synlait’s top milk supplier Kieran McCall (standing second from right) with his team.

resented by his parents Graham and June. The judges were impressed with finalists’ innovative approaches to best practice in their dairy businesses.

The company’s Waikato suppliers will take part in the 2019-20 awards, says Clement. Lead With Pride encourages and financially rewards participating sup-

pliers to adopt best practice in milk quality, animal health and welfare, social responsibility and environmental sustainability. @dairy_news

CALVINGSMART WORKSHOPS LAUNCH THE SEASON DAIRYNZ SAYS its CalvingSmart workshops attracted 1500 farmers NZwide, many with all their staff, over the past two months. The annual workshops help farmers and staff grasp the right knowledge and skills to give calves the best start. CalvingSmart is led by DairyNZ’s animal care team headed by Helen Thoday. Local veterinarians are brought in to address subjects such as facial eczema and lameness. Thoday says there is always new knowledge to gain at the workshops with their relaxed atmosphere and hands-on experience. “In several places we had to add extra workshops to accommodate everyone. “The workshops set up farmers and staff for a successful calving season.  All get to improve, whether they’re starting out in farming or have 20 years experience.” Canterbury farmer Rika West went to the Ashburton workshop. After ten years dairy farming she is now studying for an agribusiness diploma. She says she liked the interactive learning experience in the workshop.

“The demonstration model showing how the calf needs to move through the cow’s birth canal was far better than seeing it on a slideshow. I wish I’d seen such a presentation when I started out dairy farming.” Eion Savage, an Irish potato farmer turned contract milker, liked the learning and company of farmers at the Te Awamutu Golf Club workshop. “It was a fun learning atmosphere with separate sessions at the start for more experienced farmers and another for beginners.  And I left having made good connections.” Savage’s partner Imogen Bryan, a contract milker on another farm, suggested he attend the workshop after having been to one herself a couple of years ago. DairyNZ’s website has a calving season refresher – -- including the Calf Care Toolkit recently launched to help farmers fine tune their calf care. The toolkit asks 12 questions and gives instant, tailored feedback on ways to improve, providing web links for more advice and support. Farmers may then discuss the results with their staff, vet or consultant.

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NEWS  // 13

NZ’s first carbon neutral milk plant NIGEL MALTHUS

FRENCH GLOBAL food company Danone says it will spend NZ$40 million on its Nutricia spray drying plant at Balclutha to achieve net carbon neutrality there by 2021. NZ operations director Cyril Marniquet says it will make the Balclutha plant NZ’s first carbon neutral one of its kind. A NZ$30m biomass boiler will reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by 20,000 tonnes per year – the equivalent, the company says, of removing 60,000 cars from NZ’s roads. And a more efficient waste water treatment plant will meet Danone’s stringent global clean water standards. “[The investment] underscores Danone’s global ‘One Planet. One Health’ vision and the belief that the health of people and planet are interconnected,” said Marniquet. “We share the NZ Government’s ambition for a low emission, climate resilient future.” The company aims to be carbon neutral “across our entire scope” from farm to family by 2050. “By key investments like this one we take a step forward towards reaching this ambition,” Marniquet said.

The Balclutha plant processes raw milk from 18 local farms into powder used as the base for Nutricia’s infant formula brands including Aptamil and Karicare. About 85% of the plant’s energy consumption goes to making steam for drying, currently by a gas powered boiler. The new biomass boiler will burn forestry by-products or residue. Danone says the four commercial forests within a 50km radius will be a reliable source of biofuel and will economically benefit the local forestry industry. The fuel providers participate in NZ’s Forest Stewardship Council certification scheme which guarantees their forests are sustainably managed. Danone will also look at burning urban wood waste. The company says installing the biomass boiler, and switching to renewable sources of electricity by 2020 will, combined, cut the factory’s forecast CO2 emissions by 96%. The remaining 4% will be gas used when the biomass boiler is being maintained. But Danone hopes that by 2021 it will have renewable energy specifically for the maintenance periods, which would make Balclutha the first carbon neutral dairy plant

in NZ. The French water, waste and energy management multinational Veolia will be responsible for designing and managing the boiler construction. The Veolia general

manager for NZ, Alexandre Lagny, said the company is pleased to take on the project as part of its global partnership with Danone. @dairy_news

Danone’s Balclutha plant.

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sion to make its Balclutha milk powder plant carbon neutral. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said it’s encouraging to see that companies are willing to make this kind of investment. “It’s really good to know that there are alternative low emission options for processing in the agriculture sector. This announcement today comes off the back of Fonterra’s decision a few weeks ago to move away from using coal. We’ll commit to working with players like this. “It’s not just farmers who have a role to play, processors are also part of the solution and it’s really heartening to see companies starting to step up and acknowledge the part they need to play in tackling climate change”. Climate Change Minister James Shaw says this is another demonstration of how the Government’s programme of action around climate change is providing the incentives people have been looking for to do what they can to address global warming.


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14 //  NEWS

Farmer support adds to co-op’s profit UNWAVERING FOCUS on supporting

farmers and the evolution of farming led to Ballance Agri-Nutrients’ 4% jump in pre-tax profit to $72.5 million, the cooperative says. It will pay farmers a rebate of $45/tonne for the financial year ended May 31, 2019, returning $57m to its 18,500 farmershareholders. Chairman David Peacocke says a year-on-year lift in performance since 2016 stems from working with partners in New Zealand and suppliers around the world. “Everything we do is geared to ensuring Kiwi

‘GREEN’ HYDROGEN BALLANCE IS exploring a ‘green’ hydrogen and urea project on its Kapuni site -- NZ’s only ammoniaurea plant with a lower carbon footprint than is incurred in making imported product. “This renewable hydrogen hub will [marry] industrial scale renewable energy and hydrogen production,” says chief executive Mark Wynne. “It also provides an example… of

farmers have access to the best nutrients and advice to achieve outstanding agronomic results, stay competitive globally and drive sustainability in their businesses,” Pea-

taking carbon out of an agricultural input by substituting green hydrogen for the natural gas (CH4) we currently use as a feedstock.” Production of green urea alone would reduce the CO2 equivalent of 2600 cars, and the hydrogen fuel could supply about 6000 cars (or 300 buses and trucks) per year. Ballance is looking into this hydrogen project with Hiringa Energy.

cocke says. Sales for the year – including nutrient products, animal feeds and industrial ingredients – were flat versus full year (FY) 2018 at 1.64 million

tonnes. The manufacturing margin was achieved against rising international urea prices -- a key contributor to Ballance’s financial performance this year. Peacocke says increased retentions of $12m will go towards developing digital platforms and services, the co-op’s distribution network, and expanding topdressing to meet demand

Ballance is exploring ‘green’ hydrogen and urea project at its Kapuni plant.

for precision aerial application enabled by Spreadsmart technology. Ballance’s spending of $87m in FY2019 is at least double the typical spend by the co-op. This reflects “sustained investment to evolve our ‘bricks and mortar’ shopfront and our e-commerce capability

and tools for customers,” said chief executive Mark Wynne. Some of the spending was to replace or refurbish infrastructure, Wynne says. This includes a new Reporoa service centre. Farmer feedback and increasing use of self-

service silos has proven this model works for 24/7 supply of products, the co-op says. A new one on the West Coast last month brought the total NZ-wide to six, and five more are planned for 2020. @dairy_news

$24,700 FINE FOR FARM WORKERS TWO FARM workers have been fined $24,700 for breaching effluent management rules. A Opotiki dairy farm manager and senior farm assistant were found guilty of breaching the Resource Management Act after a week-long trial earlier this year. An effluent irrigator failed and discharged waste into a nearby drain. Charges were also laid against the landowner and consent holder, who was previously found guilty and fined $30,000 for the same offences. The failure happened on October 18, 2016, the same day a Bay of Plenty Regional Council compliance officer was doing a dairy inspection at the property. The officer arrived to find the irrigator located within

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spraying distance of a spring-fed drain. He also saw signs of effluent having flowed over the bank and into the drain which flows into the Waiaua River, and on to reach the coast about 10km east of Ōpōtiki.  A water sample taken from the receiving drain on the day of the event found the water had a high faecal coliform reading of 64,000 per 100ml -- 640 times higher than the recommended maximum level for safe stock drinking water. Regulatory compliance manager Alex Miller says it’s well known that effluent irrigators, if not managed properly, can endanger the health of waterways.    “In this case the irrigator was placed close to a waterway, despite conditions in the resource con-

sent prohibiting it. Once the irrigator was turned on, a mechanical failure occurred and, without fail safes on the irrigator, it stayed where it was. This led to the effluent building up and running down the bank into the drain,” says Miller. “While not intentional, this case serves as a reminder that farm staff must be aware of the environmental risks with equipment. They must  take the necessary steps to avoid situations like this, particularly when using outdated equipment,” says Miller. Environment Court Judge David Kirkpatrick noted that the farm worker was “careless to a relatively high degree”.  @dairy_news


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16 //  WORLD

Euro co-op’s profit jumps 19% SUDESH KISSUN

WORLD RENOWNED dairy co-op FrieslandCampina has posted a halfyear operating profit of $354 million. It attributes the 19% jump in oper-

ating profit over the previous half year to changes initiated last year. Chief executive Hein Schumacher says following the launch of its market driven strategy the co-op is seeing a positive momentum. “After a strong finish in 2018, our consumer business experienced con-

PACKAGING 100% RECYCLABLE EUROPEAN DAIRY co-op FrieslandCampina aims to have all packaging 100% recyclable within six years. The move is part of the co-op’s efforts to reduce its environmental impact to achieve a more sustainable, ‘circular’ dairy chain. To help with attain its recycling target it has developed the Respackt software tool. This quickly analyses the environmental burden and recyclability of packaging and then selects the most sustainable options. In Europe, FrieslandCampina uses 100% ‘green’ electricity in making dairy products. It said last week that worldwide the use of green electricity

rose to 94%. Of the electricity consumed by Dutch plants and offices, 62% was generated by member dairy farms. And it continues to reward farmers’ paddock grazing efforts. This year 248 member dairy farmers switched to outdoor grazing. The number of FrieslandCampina member dairy farms in the Netherlands where cows graze pasture increased to 83.3%, well above the sector average of 81.2%. During first half 2019 almost 42,000 dairy farmers in Nigeria, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Pakistan, Romania and Indonesia were trained and advised as part of the FrieslandCampina dairy development programme.

FrieslandCampina rewards farmers for grazing cows.

tinued growth in a challenging market and our market shares and margins improved. “But increasing protein prices put pressure on the development of the result in essentially all business groups. Throughout the entire chain, from grass to glass, our ambition to lead with sustainability is taking further shape and significant progress has

been made.” FrieslandCampina’s revenue stabilised in the first half of 2019 versus the same period last year. Results improved due to an increase in the sale of value added products, mainly cheese. “Our activities in Africa in particular showed strong growth and we showed positive momentum in Asia. Overall the consumer dairy business group’s

branded volumes grew by 4.8%,” Schumacher says. Reduced milk supply in the Netherlands contributed to improved profit due to decreased production of (still loss-making) basic dairy products such as butter and milk powder. Increased protein prices put pressure on overall margins as sales prices continued to lag market input costs. In China volumes stabilised due to challenging market conditions and the constrained supply of a number of key ingredients. Milk supply in the first half of this year dropped 268 million kgMS to 5088m kgMS versus the same period in 2018. This decrease is partly due to members who left the cooperative. Also playing a role were fewer cows as a result of the phosphate related restrictions (phosphate legislation) in the Netherlands, limited feed stocks (silage and other feeds) due to last year’s drought, and higher feed costs. FrieslandCampina has 18,261 farmer shareholders in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. It was the sixthlargest dairy processor in the world last year with $19.5 billion in annual revenues.





WORLD  // 17

Youngsters the key to meet Oz farm labour needs THE AUSTRALIAN

dairy industry will need 800 extra workers on farms by 2023. And youngsters are the key to this, says Dairy Australia managing director Dr David Nation. The workforce statistic aligns with a rise in farms with six or more employees from 4% to 20% by 2025, he says. Attracting skilled labour and career dairy workers is a priority for the industry, but getting and keeping workers on dairy farms is a big challenge. “The evolution of the industry and the trend towards larger farms places greater demand on labour, but also provides opportunities for people interested in agriculture to forge a successful career,” said Nation. “The need for skilled labour is also increasing with the use of technology, the need to monitor farm inputs, animal care, milk quality, managing environmental credentials and other aspects of dairy.” Farmers are clear about needing to attract more young people to dairy, Nation says, commenting on farmers’ feedback on the Austra-

David Nation

lian Dairy Plan, a fiveyear strategic plan for the industry. He says the key to this is getting high schoolers to start thinking about dairy. At least 15,000 high schoolers in regional Australia have seen Dairy Australia’s ‘Cows Create Careers’ presentation on careers in dairy. “It’s important that we show the diversity of career pathways and highlight the opportunity to be successful working in dairy,” said Nation. “And people who choose to develop skills or build on existing skills in dairy can study at TAFEs and with other registered training providers. Dairy Australia contributes to course development.” Courses include milking, farm systems, animal

care, farm management, etc. And when young people have joined the industry they must be kept connected and supported via strong networks and skills building, Nation says. “Over 2,500 young people have been able to connect through the Dairy Australia Young Dairy Network, providing access to training for both the technical and non-technical aspects of dairy,” he says. “People are at the heart of our industry and are what make the industry a great one – attracting people to the industry by presenting the many career pathways and providing opportunity to build skills, is a continued priority.”

GOVT STALLED ON QUAD ROLLERS AUSTRALIAN FARMERS are urging the Federal Government to enforce the fitting of operator protection devices (OPDs) to all new quads within two years. “We are at a loss to understand why the Government won’t introduce this simple change to save lives,” says National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson. NFF says seven people, including children, have died this year in quad crashes. Yet the Government is stalling on enforcing the fitting of OPDs to all new quads within two years. The fitting of OPDs was recom-

mended to the Government in February by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The NFF says the change can be made by the Assistant Treasurer signing a ‘declaration’ without the need to introduce new legislation. But the Government has not yet done this. “Since 2001 at least 230 Australians have died in quad related incidents,” said Simson. Half of these deaths were a result of a quad rollover and crushing or asphyxiation, which OPDs prevent. “Either the Government doesn’t think the many lives lost warrant taking action or there are other factors at play.”




Playing our part

MILKING IT... Not quitting

Cuddle a cow

Unreliable case

NOT EVERYONE is ready to give up on Hokitikabased Westland Milk yet! Little-known political party Social Credit has been seeking financial and legal support to lodge an urgent injunction to prevent the takeover of Westland Milk by the Chinese conglomerate Inner Mongolian Yili. Party Leader Chris Leitch says the party and its lawyers are considering several grounds but have decided not to contest the scheme of arrangement or the High Court decision to approve it. The legal team are now focussing on the Overseas Investment Office decision. Yili executives arrived in New Zealand last week, their first visit since the takeover received the final green light from the High Court.

A NEW ‘cow cuddling’ service is the latest health trend to hit the US, with punters paying per hour to reap the ‘mental health benefits’. The practice is common in the Netherlands, where cow cuddling is offered as part of a movement to connect people with country life. The idea is similar to equine therapy, but while horses tend to stand, cows lie in the grass while chewing their cud, said The Independent online newspaper. This allows humans to get even more up close and personal by joining them on the ground. Sessions are supervised to ensure safety and cost US$75/hour for two people.

A SCOTTISH couple has had a compensation claim rejected after arguing one of their pedigree Highland cows got pregnant to their neighbour’s bull. Bernard and Kathleen Allen, of Great Bernera, Isle of Lewis, sought $24,000, claiming they repeatedly found Ozzy, a Belted Galloway bull, on land where they kept their livestock. The Allens sought $24,000 compensation, says the BBC. But their neighbors, David and Janine Hargreaves, who have since moved, denied they were at fault for the condition of a boundary fence. After hearing the case at Stornoway Sheriff Court in Lewis, a sheriff rejected the compensation claim. Sheriff David Sutherland ruled that the “real nature of the claim was a neighbor dispute”. While he said he did not doubt Mrs Allen was “extremely distressed” by the situation, “this does not excuse coming to court and presenting a case which is, at best, exaggerated and unreliable”.

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Beating the desert heat THREE TIMES daily in summer the Holstein cows on a dairy farm north of Doha, Qatar, placidly step onto a circular platform to get hooked up to automated milking tubes. Afterward they get sprayed with cool water and go back to one of 40 barns where misting and cooling systems keep the temperature at roughly 28 degrees C, well below the brutal 43 degrees C outside on Qatar’s scrubland. The cows, about 20,000 of them, rest on beds of cooled sand. They do everything but yoga, joked Saba Mohd NM Al Fadala, the farm’s public relations director highlighting the comfortable conditions. Two years ago, none of this was here. Qatar imported all its milk. But then neighbouring Saudi Arabia and its regional allies declared they would blockade Qatar over disputes that included claims that Qatar supported Islamist factions such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

DAIRY FARMERS have made clear to the Government that they don’t support a methane reduction target of 24% to 47% by 2050. Farmers are determined to play their part in the transition to a low emissions economy with the rest of the country. But they need a more realistic target. DairyNZ recently told the parliamentary select committee on the environment that New Zealand is already among the world’s lowest emitting dairy producers. Even so, right now dairying accounts for 22.5% of all NZ’s emissions (sheep and beef 20.8% and transport 19.7%). As it stands, the Government’s Zero Carbon Bill will adopt targets to reduce all greenhouse gases: • Carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions must be reduced to net zero by 2050 • Methane must be reduced to 10% by 2030 and, provisionally, to 24-47% by 2050. But DairyNZ does not support the range targeted for 2050 gross methane emissions, ie a 24-47% reduction below 2017 levels. Instead it proposes that the 2050 methane reduction target be set at up to 24% and regularly reviewed against robust criteria. This position is supported by Fonterra and its Shareholders Council, Miraka, Synlait and Tatua. While the politicians haggle over targets, farmers can act now to prepare for the change, says DairyNZ. The changes won’t be effective immediately but now is the time to prepare. Know your numbers, calculate your on-farm emissions. Overseer can do this. Think about what farm management changes you could make to reduce your emissions. Two things need considering here: improving feed efficiency and reducing nitrogen fertiliser usage. A strong relationship exists between feed intake and methane emissions, so anticipated technological mitigation options are aimed at uncoupling this relationship. These mitigation options -- many now being researched -will include feed additives, vaccines, genetically selected cows, selected plants (eg plantain, forage rape) and genetically modified plants. Such solutions are not yet commercially available and are unlikely to be implementable in typical New Zealand farm systems for five to 20 years. Reducing and improving your use of nitrogen fertiliser is the best way to reduce nitrous oxide emissions. DairyNZ correctly points out that farmers readily acknowledge how important it is for them to move on climate change. But politicians must acknowledge the importance of moving at a pace that doesn’t leave farmers, families and communities behind.

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OPINION  // 19

Keep mastitis from milking you dry. Before riparian planting ask these two questions In Dairy News July 23, Bert Quin supported the use of riparian strips as an effective means of reducing environmental pollution. But he posed two questions that he said must be answered before riparian planting proceeds. RIPARIAN STRIP planting is a

useful way to reduce waterway pollution, especially for its ability to filter out faecal bacteria and sediment before these get into streams. But there is much more to it than this. Two important questions must first be asked and answered: firstly, what management needs to be done to ensure riparian strips do not become overloaded and therefore useless? And secondly, who should pay for this management? Let’s look at the effect of different losses, short and long term, and consider the two ‘elephants in the room’ – the continuing overuse of fertilisers N and soluble P. Bacterial losses Bacteria in run-off water can indeed be filtered out by vegetation in suitably wide and planted riparian strips. The soil in the strip becomes a biologically active zone where bacteria live and die in large numbers. But unlike grazed pasture they do not have the localised huge concentrations of bacteria in excreta sitting on the soil surface. The vegetation cover just needs to be kept dense and healthy. Sediment losses A limitation of riparian strips is their inability to prevent sediment losses in extreme rainfall and runoff. Accumulations of sediment from smaller run-offs can easily be lost in one heavy downpour. So the real answer is, in the first place, to plant the best vegetation on susceptible slopes to minimise slips and sediment loss. This requires planting trees in susceptible catchment areas to stabilise the soil. Particulate P losses This goes hand in hand with sediment loss. The higher the application of soluble P, the greater the accumulation of P adsorbed onto soil parti-

cles near the soil surface. As these concentrations increase with fertiliser use, increasing amounts of particulate P are lost in sediment. This particulate P which accumulates in riparian strips is susceptible to huge losses to waterways in extreme downpours. Once this particulate P enters a waterway and concentrations re-equilibrate, much of the P adsorbed on soil particles (up to 25% in Australian studies) is desorbed back into the water. The only real way to prevent this ‘accumulation and extreme loss’ cycle again is to solve the original problem -- the overuse of fertiliser P. Soluble P losses The concentration of soluble P in run-off water is almost entirely a function of the levels of readily soluble P in the near-surface soil, which in turn is driven almost entirely by the levels of soluble P fertiliser being used. Soluble P that does get filtered out by riparian strips concentrates in the soil in the strips until the point is reached where the ability of the soil to adsorb more P starts to decline markedly. This can happen in as little as 5-10 years. Extreme run-off events will remove much of this soil anyway. Planting the strips with high P uptake vegetation and regularly harvesting it would be impractical in most situations. The real solution is very simple. There is no need to continue using soluble P on developed pasture soils. RPR (reactive phosphate rock) maintains pasture production every bit as well, but is virtually impervious to losses in runoff, as demonstrated in many short and longer term scientific studies from the last 40 years. Unfortunately, in an indication of the extreme influence the superphosphate industry wields over exactly what aspects


The ‘Big 4’ of adverse effects on water quality from agriculture are phosphate, nitrate, sediment and faecal bacteria. These were incorrectly referred to as calcium, magnesium, phosphate and boron during editing of Part 1 article.

of the mitigation of losses of phosphate loss get funded, this fact is not even rated a mention by the Waikato Regional Council. Nitrate losses Quite high percentages of the nitrate that reaches the surface or shallow soil of well-maintained riparian strips (unlike fences) can be denitrified to nitrous oxide or nitrogen gases. It is important to provide a sufficiently high mineralisable carbon level in the soil to ensure that most of the denitrification goes all the way to nitrogen gas. What gets lost as nitrous oxide (the ‘halfway point’ of denitrification) is simply transferring the problem from one of water quality to one of greenhouse gas warming. In any case, much if not most of the nitrate lost from the soil is leached vertically into groundwater and never gets anywhere near a riparian strip. Nitrate is completely soluble in drainage water and is not retained by the soil at all. Most of the leached nitrate comes from cow urine patches. This in turn comes from excessive fertiliser N use and the excess levels in pasture protein this helps produce. The solution to this problem is either to destock, or to develop far more efficient forms of fertiliser N use. • Bert Quin is the managing director of Quin Environmentals.

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Hearty rise in LIC profit R&D projects aimed at driving improvements in the health and wellbeing of the national herd and more sustainable milk production. At least $800,000 was spent on new measures to protect customers from Mycoplasma bovis, including a world-leading daily testing regime for its bulls and important changes to its herd testing operations. The co-op absorbed these


A 139% increase in Livestock Improvement Corporation’s profit to $22.2 million reflects a turnaround in performance and profitability, says chairman Murray King. After-tax profit for the year ending May 31, 2019 was up from $9.3m last year. It follows the co-op reporting a loss in 2016. This is further evidence of LIC’s great financial shape, says King. “It means we are not only able to deliver a solid dividend to shareholders, but the business can also continue its significant investment in R&D and digital transformation, and consider new options and opportunities to deliver innovation-led growth.” Underlying earnings were $19.5m, up 541% from $3m last year. Total revenue was $246.5m, up 4% from $236.4m last year. Setting records in the strength of its balance sheet, operating cashflow and total revenue, the co-op will return $15.6m in dividend to shareholders. This fully imputed

costs to avoid more price increases in 2018-19. LIC also bought 64ha of farm land in Waikato to increase its biosecurity quarantine facilities. The co-op expects underlying earnings to increase to $21-25m in 2019-20, assuming no significant climate event or milk price drop between now and then, nor any major impacts from biosecurity threats such as M. bovis.

LIC chairman Murray King.

dividend equates to 10.98c per share and represents a yield of 12.2% based on the current share price of 90c. This dividend is up from 1.71c last year and is the largest dividend the co-op has paid since 2013. King describes the turnaround as a success story after reporting a loss in 2016. “Our focus has been on delivering what we said we would do to improve the company’s performance. This is important at a time when dairy farm-

ers need certainty and trusted partners to help them navigate the rapidly changing domestic and global industry. “LIC is the DNA of New Zealand’s dairy industry, providing farmers with superior genetics and agritech solutions to continually improve the productivity and profitability of their farms. “We have to ensure that in the data-driven future of global dairy, LIC and our farmers are in a position to be the disruptors, not the

disrupted. That takes financial strength, high performance and a clear focus on the innovations needed to keep our farmers ahead of the game. “The major strategic projects we have completed since 2016 to shape LIC into a modern, progressive co-op have enabled this year’s strong results. Importantly, we believe these results are sustainable and we are confident we will continue to build on them in the coming years.” While 2017-18 was a

year of transformation for the co-op, including capital restructuring and a strategy refresh, 201819 was spent embedding its new innovation-led growth strategy with an ongoing focus on the core NZ dairy industry. LIC’s investment in R&D in 2018-19 was $13.6m, which equates to 5.5% of revenue and is well above the primary sector average of about 1%. The co-op also got extra funding from MBIE and MPI to boost two key

STRONG IN CORE PRODUCTS SALES FROM core products including artificial breeding (AB) and herd testing were strong, with 5.68 million AB straws sold and 10.96 million milk samples processed, LIC reports. Demand for animal health testing was also high, particularly for Johne’s disease testing. International business sales of genetics and automation technology continued to grow, particularly in the UK and Ireland. Genetics sales in NZ showed farmers seeking to raise herd values by extending their AB period. And there was increased uptake of A2A2 genetics and genomic bull teams which provides earlier access to elite new genetics. LIC’s ‘A2 bull team’, introduced in 2018 to meet growing demand for A2 milk, accounted for 10% of AB sales in its debut season, as more farmers look to breed towards an A2A2 herd. During the year LIC continued to improve its Space service and make it available to more farmers NZ-wide. The satellite pasture management service, which offers farmers a free trial period, now has at least 1000 customers registered for the annual subscription.   Previous strategic business acquisitions also made good gains in 2018-19: the farm financial management software provider Figured (2014), the Australian heat detection aid manufacturer Beacon (2015), and the UK business NMR (2017).



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Miraka success story continues to grow MAORI-OWNED MILK

processor Miraka says it is experiencing growth in all international markets. “There is a real demand for premium dairy products with a low carbon footprint,” said Grant Jackson, Miraka’s general manager of milk supply. Te Ara Miraka (the Miraka Way) was introduced in 2014 and supports a culture of excellence through the Miraka supply chain. The farming excellence programme assesses farms annually on five pillars: nga tangata (people), te taiao (environment), taurikura (prosperity), nga kau (cows) and miraka (milk). Scores contribute to the final milk price, with high scoring farms getting extra financial incentive. By participating in Te Ara Miraka, farmers benefit through building on farm efficiencies and developing increased resilience to regulation changes and market fluctuations. The company sees big challenges ahead for the agricultural sector

in responding to zero carbon, climate change and freshwater quality. “The Miraka Way is laying down the pathway for sustainable and successful dairy business,” it says. Recently Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern visited the Miraka plant in Taupo. Murray Hemi, Miraka’s kaitiaki and general manager of environmental leadership says the company was honoured to host Arden “and to share our Miraka story with her”. “We’re always valuing kaitiakitanga and making decisions with a long term view. “Miraka is leading the way in New Zealand dairying with our focus on animal welfare, sustainable land management and actively supporting farming best practice. “We’re producing world class dairy products, successfully living our values while thinking about our life and community in 100 years. “We’d like our children and our children’s

SYNLAIT EXECUTIVE TO LEAVE CANTERBURY MILK processor Synlait has announced that its director of operations Neil Betteridge has resigned. The company says Betteridge wishes to pursue career opportunities outside the company. Synlait chief executive Leon Clement said Betteridge would assist with the transition. He thanked Betteridge for his long-term service and commitment to the company and wished him well for the future. “Neil was one of the first employees appointed when Synlait was founded more than a decade ago and he’s made a key contribution to the company during a period of strong growth and development,” Clement said. “We now have expertise across the company and there will be no change to existing commercial arrangements or operations. We will continue to invest for future growth. We have made alternative operational arrangements until we have found a replacement for Neil. This recruitment process will start shortly.” General manager supply chain, rob stowell and general manager manufacturing, Antony Moess will report to Clement while commercial manager projects, Phil O’Malley will to report to general manager strategic projects, Matthew Foster.

children to be proud of us and the actions we are taking today” says Hemi. Miaraka says the PM was impressed with Miraka’s operations. “It’s a real honour to be able to visit Miraka,”

said Ardern. “It’s a message of hope for NZ that we can do things differently, that we can create successful companies that also support the people who supply them. “Telling the story of

why it’s so important to look after our land, our animals and our people. NZ can be the best food producer in the world and Miraka is a great example of how that’s possible,” says Arden.

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern on a tour of Miraka with director Steve Murray and guests.

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Over-irrigation forced mers back blitz Managing the biting council to take action

reality of winter

DairyNZ talked to two Canterbury dairy farmers about how they look after their cows and the environment during the challenging winter. RAIN AND cold make

winter the worst of challenges – wet underfoot and hard on humans and animals. Caring for dairy cows and managing mud then becomes a key priority for all farmers grazing cows. As Ashburton dairy farmer Mark Slee pulls his truck up alongside one of his paddocks, his cows wander over to see what he’s up to. They’re full and content, with bright eyes and

glossy coats, but they’re curious to see if he’s got something for them. But Slee and his wife Devon, like most dairy farmers, are prepared. They’ve spent the last year growing extra feed and planning how best to manage their paddocks. In the South Island, most dairy farmers feed out fodder beet, kale and swede to keep their cows in best condition when grass is scarce. But when the crops are eaten the

THE CASE against Pollock Farms was taken by Waikato Regional Council following inspections where over-irrigation of effluent was evident. Effluent from an underpass to an adjoining property was also being pumped directly to land in large volumes.  Both practices pose a real risk of effluent contaminating groundwater. Similar breaches had been found by the council in 2016 and 2017. Formal warnings and infringement notices had been issued for those breaches and an abatement notice Most farmers feed out fodder beet, kale and swede to had been served on the keep the cows in best condition during winter. farming company in Sep2016 to cease the soil is left bare and at risk tember niques for keeping mud ensure of turning into mud if not illegal to a minimum “This farmer is undermanaged carefully. their cows can move mining all ofa the Slee outlines techfreely, have dry posisurface tive being by to liework down and done reduce the the wider impactfarming on the indusenvitry and community to ronment. These include improve our environback fencing, portable ment,” investroughssaid andcouncil extra feed tigations manager Patrick such as hay or baleage. Lynch. “We love our cows, “Thisour farm has posed they’re biggest asset,

Effluent sump overflowing on the farm.

an ongoing risk to the environment for years. There has been woefully inadequate infrastructure on this farm since Mr Pollock firstand appeared a swede takes abefore few the courts in the 1990s. bites. It’s ok. Quite he has Onsimply, crops, the cows ignored all ofrequired the actions can eat their taken by the council nutrients in three to to four date, as The all ofcrops’ the hours,ashewell says. messaging fromare hissuch own nutrient levels industry improve.” that eachtoday he need WRC spendestablished only a shortthat time from 2010 to 2016 supplementing thethe cows’ company feed with purchased hay or bale-a neighbouring farmfull andand age to keep them

virtually doubled their herd size, from 380 to 700 cows, with no expansion of dairy effluent infrastructure. “Every dairyaway farmat farm one hour should have Hororata, thesufficient cows perk storage ableallocato safely up with to thebedaily store tion ofeffluent fodderthrough beet. wet andWhen busy periods, the idea farm assistant being when brings weather Beccy that Cochrane and themcircumstances in from their pasallow, this clear effluent ture, they the can gate then be irrigated to padinto the fodder beet land fertiliser ana jog dock as then break in into environmentally and to a spot in frontsafe of the economically break fence. prudent,

manner,” says Lynch. “On this particular farm the storage was only sufficient for a single day. It should have been November, provides up to 100 times larger 25tDM/ha feed for the than that. With virtually winter months. And Jones no this means hasstorage, extra grazing at a there have been regunearbywill property. lar and frequent Minimising mudunlawful discharges of dairy effluJones says minimisent into the ing mud is aenvironment big focus for for years. animal welfare and envi“We would have ronmental reasons. expected MrisPollock to “Winter a real chalhave his praclenge,changed particularly with tices following his you’re first fodder beet when prosecution. Unforfeeding a smaller area tunately, it has because of the taken high yield numerous enforcement per hectare. When conactions, including ditions get wet wethree move prosecutions andmore finally the break fence fre-a court order, fortothat quently, three fourfarm to ultimately getthe to cows a good times a day, so place. can eat under the wire to “This is a feed, very sigfully use the and we nificant It isand a clear use backfine. fences pormessage to those poor table troughs so they’re performers theand dairy not walking in back industry thatthe they need forth across paddock.” to change their In severe rainbehaviour, or snow as themove courts, public they thethe cows off and even induscrops andtheir ontoown a grass try has lost patience with paddock to minimise them,” Lynch damage to soilsaid. and pro-

vide more shelter. Once they’re lined warm and to ensure a balso looking after them is “Cows walking through up, all you can hear is anced diet. a MANAGING top priority for us no POO mud all day takes a lot of While cows are “pretty the sound of contented matter what season,” he energy out of them. It’s resilient” and grow “thick munching. Within half says. ALL DAIRY farmers have a of effluent non-compliance. effluent management requirenot good for them and an hour they’ve devoured winter coats”, in very bad Regular monitoring responsibility to manage the All farmers need to be aware ments and how to meet them. to it’s not something we like them the lot. “It’s like sugar Slee, who feeds swede, weather Slee moves effluent from their cows and this of, understand and adhere to DairyNZ resources available to see so we try to minithem, they love it,” says kale and fodder beet over to sheltered paddocks is taken seriously by the vast permitted activity rules. to all dairy farmers include a mise it.” Jones. and offers extra straw to winter, regularly checks majority of dairy farmers. For farmers who haven’t yet Dairy Effluent Storage CalculaAnGuide onlineto video They’re now being fed increase their comfort. that his cows have enough Most dairy farmers are undertaken the work needed to tor, A Farmer’s Building depicts Slee and Jones only a small amount as “But the best thing is feed and are content, and investing in reliable, sustainable meet their obligations, advice is a New Effluent Storage Pond explaining more about they’re transitioning onto keeping conditions underthat the condition of padfarm systems. available from dairy companies and a certification scheme for their wintersystem farming. crop and getting used to foot as dry and as possible docksWell-designed is acceptable. and conregional councils. DairyNZ accredited effluent structed effluent storage proalso has an environmental designers. Farmers looking for the rich feed. This takes a have somewhere During DairyNZ’s visit, so vides a lot of benefits specialist support intering establishing efflufewwhose weeks. role to lie downextension and they get Slee is moving some of – better for irrigation, better farmers, infrastructure canfirst visitappeared the • This article But planning forent winter extra feed.”includes working with hisflexibility rising two-year-old environmental management, professionals and others DairyNZ website – www.dairynz. on DairyNZ’s website and started at least 12 months Feeding onrural fodder beet bulls onto swede and he peace of mind and reduced risk to help farmers understand their has been reproduced with ago. Meanwhile, on Glenn checks on them in the permission. The crop, sown in afternoon. He cracks open and Sarah Jones’ dairy

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OAD milking offers labour solution PETER BURKE

ONCE-A-DAY (OAD) milking could

open a whole new labour market for dairy farmers, says a DairyNZ Wairarapa Tararua consulting officer Gray Beagley. He says OAD farmers can choose what time they milk, so a later milking time may attract workers who find early mornings hard, and people getting young children off to school. About 9% of dairy herds nationwide are on full season OAD, but Beagley says this is just an average. In Northland about 25% of all herds are OAD. This variation is partly, but not exclusively, due to the weather. “In many cases it’s about the lower milk yield per cow in the region,” he says. “We know that switching to OAD will result in 2% to 16% lower production. If a farmer was doing 300kgMS, already the potential loss would be a lot less than if he was doing 400kgMS/cow. “So the people who are on twice a day (TAD) are probably only going to

About 9% of dairy herds nationwide are on full season once-a-day milking. Inset: Gray Beagley.

see a 2% drop in production.” Beagley says farmers are turning to OAD for various reasons, but he notices that with new regulations and changes in the pipeline for dairy farmers, milking OAD has attractions. The lower OAD milking workload allows more time for animal and people welfare and there is less stress overall. Beagley says there won’t be a OAD conference this year for various reasons but there will be one next year.


The organisers want to allow more time for new science about OAD to come through. With an annual conference the risk is that old science simply gets regurgitated. Beagley says he’s now putting the onus on OAD farmers to tell him what information they need and he’s working on a 12 month plan to get information to them. His role is to facilitate getting them the information they need.

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Winter grazing: moving away from PETER BURKE



Ben Allomes says farmers need to change with the times and adopt practices that are good for their animals and the environment. He was responding to Greenpeace criticising ‘mud-bound cows’ in Southland, pictured in a paddock being fed winter crops. Greenpeace says it’s frustrated at farming leaders failing to take responsibility for such occurrences. Allomes says if farmer in 2019 think they can farm for the next 10 to 15 years without any change to their systems then they are kidding themselves. “They must hold up a mirror and say, ‘hang on a minute, change has always

FEDERATED FARMERS president Katie Milne says while the concept of feeding crops to cows is fine, it must be managed. But change is inevitable and what was acceptable 20 ago is not going to be acceptable in future. Crops are good for feeding cows well during winter, but not at the expense of the environment. Milne urges looking hard at farming best practice. Some practices from the past will not be appropriate for the future. “We have to farm under new rules as part of our way forward and we have to accept that change is going

come and I have to keep changing with it’. There is no status quo.” Many farming practices are not fit for purpose in the environment in which they are occurring, he says. Each farmer needs to understand their particular property

to come at us. We need to look for and get the best systems we can.” Milne says if farmers are going to grow winter forage crops they need to look carefully over their farm to determine the best place to put these to feed the cows with minimal environmental impact. “There are many ways of farming a farm and every individual has to look at what their own system is and what can they can do to get their animals fed to the right level.” Perception is the reality and an individual’s licence to farm is there for everyone to see.

and manage their resources so as not to harm the animals or the environment. “There is no silver bullet for dealing with this and that’s what makes it such a challenging topic. “Let’s face it, some farmers get it wrong

or are victims of circumstances beyond their control such as serious floods, storms or being let down by others. So let’s not throw them under the bus, but rather work with each other for better outcomes.” Allomes says winter

Cows in a muddy paddock in Southland. PHOTO: ANGUS ROBSON

grazing, overall, is not a major problem in New Zealand, but in certain

key regions and even catchments there can be problems if farmers

don’t properly plan their winter grazing. Not only catchments

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muddy cows

but also soil types can make a huge difference and this demands farmer

awareness. Farmers need to have a good plan and contingency plans to deal with unforeseen events, Allomes says. They must get it right. Getting it wrong will be costly to them and the environment. “Farmers must challenge themselves as to whether they are doing the wrong thing better or actually doing the right thing. If they are doing the wrong thing, no matter how well they do this it’s going to be wrong. But if they are doing the right thing and managing it poorly, a bit of upskilling will probably get it right. “It is a matter of weighing up the natural resources of their farm and assessing the impacts of winter grazing.” Allomes refers to a lot of work being done

to design better farming systems to avoid some of the problems highlighted recently. Farmers are innovative and open to change, making farming an exciting industry to be a part of, he says. Innovation will create great farms and attract great people for the future.

A cow calves in a muddy paddock. PHOTO: ANGUS ROBSON

CROPPING’S SERIOUS HARM AN AGRESEARCH scientist has weighed in on the value of farmers grazing winter forage crops, saying this seriously harms the environment. Professor Richard McDowell says 20% to 40% of agricultural contaminants come from forage crop areas despite their occupying only 10% to 15% of the average farm. About a third of contaminant losses from winter grazing of forage crops can be mitigated by a range of strategies. “These include restricting grazing by only allowing stock on the crop for three or four hours before they go to an area where all effluent and urine can be captured rather than deposited on the paddock. “Also by ensuring that where possible cows are kept off the remainder of the paddock by using back fencing. “Another option is to apply alum (aluminium sulphate) to forage crop areas after animals have grazed to decrease phosphorous losses to surface run-off,” he says. McDowell says where fodder crop is grown on a sloping area, animals should be fed at the top, working down to the lower areas. This will minimise the time the cows spend on muddy areas. And in some areas prone to being wet, an option is to cut and carry to a feed pad where dung and urine can be contained. Winter cropping has been developed because of the economics and simplicity of it, McDowell says. “Another alternative is the herd home, which stacks up environmentally and with the right economics.” Anecdotal evidence suggests farmers are taking up the options he has presented.

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Preventing mastitis over calving MASTITIS IS the most

common disease of dairy cattle and is a significant cause of losses on the dairy farm. These losses aren’t just associated with lost milk, treatments, increased culling and time1,2 but cows affected by mastitis also have reduced milk production compared to uninfected herd-mates3. Mastitis is inflammation of the udder tissue and is most commonly caused by bacteria entering the udder through open teat ends. Calving is a critical time when cows are more prone to developing mastitis. It is important to have good management for prevention, rapid diagnosis and

effective treatment of mastitis around calving. Keeping the udder and teat ends clean is important in the lead up to calving as cows “spring up”. Cows close to calving are naturally immunosuppressed, and if they are lying in dirt and muck, their full udders are exposed to mastitiscausing bacteria in the

After calving, cows will be in the ‘colostrum mob’ for the first eight milkings before entering the milking herd.

environment. Clean and relatively dry springer breaks will help prevent mastitis, as will keeping springers off paddocks where effluent has been spread, even in the previous season. If required, shift springer breaks more regularly. Any springers that are leaking milk should be milked, as this means that their teat ends are open and they are prone to infection4. Whether it’s springers, colostrums, or milkers that you’re milking, it’s important to only put cups on clean, dry teats. When droplets of dirty water or muck hit open teat ends, the risk of mastitis goes up. So, if cows come in for milking with dirty teats, give them a quick clean with a dry paper towel. Don’t hose udders. If teats are wet, it’s best to dry them before cupping them up. After calving, cows will be in the “colostrum mob” for their first eight milkings before entering the milking herd. To check for clinical mastitis, strip all colostrum cows at every milking5. It’s normal for colostrum cows to have swollen, sensitive udders, and for their milk to be thicker and more yellow than store-bought milk, but clots, flakes, or watery milk are the first signs of clinical mastitis6. If you

Cows close to calving are naturally immunosuppressed, and if they are lying in dirt and muck, their full udders are exposed to mastitis-causing bacteria in the environment. Clean and relatively dry springer breaks will help prevent mastitis, as will keeping springers off paddocks where effluent has been spread, even in the previous season.

find a colostrum cow with clinical mastitis, mark, record, separate and treat her following your farm’s mastitis treatment protocols. Keep these cows in the colostrum mob until the signs of mastitis resolve and any withholding periods from treatment are complete. A helpful tool to identify cows with elevated somatic cell counts with no clinical signs of mastitis, otherwise known as sub clinical mastitis, is the Rapid Mastitis Test or RMT. RMT all colostrum cows at their eighth milking, before drafting them into the milking herd. It’s normal for some cows to be RMT positive around calving time, so keep these cows in the mastitis mob until they are RMT negative. If you have a

cow test RMT-positive for several milkings beyond eight, you should discuss further diagnostics and treatment with your veterinarian. A final important check before drafting colostrum cows into the milkers is to make sure that you have followed all withholding periods for dry cow therapy, to ensure that milk entering the vat is fit for sale. For all cows, effective teat spraying is the single biggest step you can take to prevent mastitis7. Cows should be teat sprayed with a commercial product, mixed and applied following the manufacturer’s recommendations, every time that they go through the shed. Also, after milking, give all cows immediate access to feed to encourage them to stay

standing while their teat ends close. DairyNZ’s SmartSAMM states that over calving, if you have more than 8 clinical cases per 100 mixed age cows that calve each month, or more than 16 clinical cases per 100 heifers that calve each month, you should seek out some help from your vet or milk quality consultant8. • For more information about mastitis, speak with your vet, consult DairyNZ SmartSAMM resources, or visit 1 National Mastitis Advisory Committee (2006). The cost of mastitis. Dairy Insight Research Report 2005/2006. Final Report. 2 DairyNZ (2016) Quick Stats about dairying— New Zealand https:// media/1357994/quickstatsnew-zealand.pdf 3 https://www.dairynz. mastitis/tools-andresources/smartsammgap-calculator 4 Dairy NZ SmartSAMM Technote 1 5 Dairy NZ SmartSAMM Technote 3 6 Dairy NZ SmartSAMM Technote 5 7 Dairy NZ SmartSAMM Technote 7 8 Dairy NZ SmartSAMM Technote 10 • Dr Sean Daly is a vet and technical adviser at MSD Animal Health.



Easing cows into winter crops SUCCESSFUL GRAZING of crop paddocks is

achieved by good management of people, cows and the environment, says DairyNZ. Soil loss risk increases markedly with the grazing of crop. This is due to the combined effect of having no vegetation to filter overland flow, and grazing related soil damage reducing the soil’s ability to absorb water. Grazing near waterways and carefully managing critical source areas (CSAs) can reduce losses of sediment and phosphorus from the paddock by 80-90%. Buffer zones or grass strips in and around CSAs and next to waterways act as filters by slowing overland flow to trap suspended contaminants. Where possible, graze the paddock towards the CSA, leaving an ungrazed buffer to filter runoff. If this is not possible, leave a buffer around the CSA and graze this buffer last in fine weather. The faster the water is flowing into a buffer zone (ie. the greater the slope of the paddock) the wider the buffer zone will need to be to provide time for effective filtering and infiltration. P21 Project trial work at Telford Research Farm showed protection of CSAs and correct management reduced soil and phosphorus losses by 80-90%. If the soil is undamaged in a buffer zone this will allow the water to soak in (infiltrate) and therefore decrease the amount of water available for overland flow. Reduce soil damage by using a back fence to reduce the herd’s walk-

ing and so reduce the soil damage caused by treading. Treading damage seals the soil surface, resulting in more water moving across the soil (runoff), which increases the loss of soil and nutrients. Cows must have access to fresh water every day. The use and regular shifting of portable water troughs together with back fencing will reduce soil treading damage. If it is not possible to use a portable trough, set up a back fence at the permanent trough. Cows must be transitioned onto winter crops to allow their gut bacteria to adjust to a new feed source. Transitioning onto brassicas (kale, swede, turnips and rape) will not take as long as onto fodder beet. Poorly managed transition can result in sick or dead cows. Cows must be allocated enough feed to achieve their body condition score targets. Feed utilisation rates on crop based diets are often lower than grazed pasture diets and must be taken into account when determining appropriate allocations. Feed utilisation rate can be influenced by grazing management. Reduce trampling wastage by moving the fence once or twice a day rather than offering a few days feed at a time. Crop is utilised more efficiently when long, narrow breaks -- rather than wide breaks -- are offered, as less of the crop is trampled. Ensure all cows have access to the crop by providing 0.7m of feed face per cow. If the paddock has a short feeding face, consider

splitting the herd by condition score, and feeding both ends at the same time, rather than running the animals in one larger herd. Downhill grazing

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Pajero Sport refreshed for 2020 MITSUBISHI HAS

released details of its new Pajero Sport SUV scheduled to arrive here late in 2019. This is an important part of the company’s offering, scoring 77,000 sales globally in 2018. The new unit looks better inside and outside – “a sculptured and powerful appearance” -- and it’s more comfortable. The signature Dynamic Shield frontal aspect has evolved on the new vehicle to allow better visibility, a wider stance and a deeper front face accentuated with the use of more chrome. Inside the Pajero Sport, an easy to read 8-inch colour LCD meter combines with an 8-inch smartphone link display and audio system.

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Perfect swaths at 20km/h PURPOSE-MADE SWATHERS are coming to

the fore. Kuhn NZ has this year been showing its Merge Maxx 950 belt merger that uses twin pick-ups and belt conveyors to form the required swath. And now the Dutch company Ploeger, with an eye on contractors, has developed a self-propelled swather, the CM4240 Merger, due for launching at Agritechnica in November. It will have a working width adjustable between 10 and 12m,

and pick-up technology from Reiter, well known in Europe for its front- and rear-mounted

mergers/swath formers. Several Ploeger designs are seen in the machines, including


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launched the Vario Volume, a clever variable-volume extension as an option for most of its trailed models. It uses a plastic curtain that can be raised 30cm hydraulically, from the operator’s seat, to effectively increase a twin-auger machine’s capacity by up to 3.5 cu.m. It’s particularly useful for mixing high dry-matter or fibrous materials like hay or straw bales that can be prone to spilling out over the sides of a mixer wagon when they are first added. Once feed is mixed and chopped to the required consistency and the volume is reduced, the extension can be lowered to reduce the machine’s overall height -- useful for feeding inside or under structures with limited headroom. BvL (Bernard van Maschinenfabrik) has been in the business nearly 160 years. It started with root cutters and ploughs but now specialises in mixer wagons. The first was made in 1978. – Mark Daniel

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Simple gear, good specs MARK DANIEL


ROPS: still a viable option MANY DAIRY farmers may once have favoured a ROPS

tractor for its easy access and dismounting to open gates or take down hot wires. But demand for ROPS machines has recently waned, probably because the customary 75-85hp ROPS tractor may no longer be up to handling the larger feeder wagons now commonly used. Massey Ferguson’s 5700ES and 6700ES Global series tractors can deal with that problem. They come in a range 92-132hp in a straightforward, heavy-duty package with five models. The MF 5700 series tractors have a 2430mm wheelbase, 3700kg tare weight and 4.3 tonne linkage capacity. The 5709 and 5710 deliver 92 and 102hp, respectively. The slightly larger MF 6700 series has three models -- the 6711, 6712 and 6713 delivering 112, 122 and 132hp, respectively. The wheelbase is longer at 2500mm, the tare weight 3900kg and lift capacity 5200kg. These specs make them ideal loader tractors, capable of handling heavy loads in livestock and mixed farming enterprises, or as second or third main tractors on arable farms. Power comes from AGCO Power 4.4L, 4-cylinder mechanical injection engines said to have excellent power and torque ratings of up to 540Nm at 1500rpm (MF 6713), with low maintenance and running costs. All models are equipped with a 12 x 12 synchro mechanical transmission with six synchronised speeds in two synchronised ranges. Top speed is 40km/h. Forward/reverse changes are by a standard power shuttle which allows fingertip shifts without using the clutch, or with the de-clutch button on the gear lever. A high pressure gear pump supplies 57L/min hydraulic flow for the rear linkage. A second 41L/min pump is dedicated to the auxiliary spool valves. A separate pump delivers 27L/min for auxiliary circuits including the steering, 4WD, diff-lock engagement and PTO control. When extra flow is required, perhaps when using a frontloader, the primary and secondary pumps can combine their outputs to provide 98L/min to the auxiliary system. Two double acting spool valves with float are fitted as standard and a third spool valve with flow divider is optional. Massey Ferguson’s electronic hitch control (ELC) system provides accurate position and draft control. PTO choice on the 5700 series is 540 or 540E, and 540/540E at 1000 rpm on the 6700 units. Both tractor series, dubbed the Essential Variant, have a semi-platform with side mounted gearshift levers, and pendant pedals controlling the oil-immersed disc brakes. A tilt steering column offers good operator ergonomics, and ease of use is helped with external linkage controls on the rear nearside fender. All models have 4WD, with a semi-automatic, electrohydraulic diff lock on the front and rear axles helping to tackle difficult conditions. A 55-degree steering angle helps with tight turns or yard duties, reinforcing the models’ suitability for frontloader work. – Mark Daniel

livestock and smaller mixed farms, the new New Holland T4-S tractors distributed by Norwood are available with 55, 65 and 75hp outputs. They meet smaller farms’ preferences for mechanical simplicity, good standard specification and above all versatility, These ‘Kiwi spec’ models mate a 2.9L 3-cylinder S8000 Tier III engine to a 12 x 12 transmission enhanced with a hydraulic shuttle operated via a steering column mounted lever. This makes the T4-S models particularly suitable for loader work, and an optional creep setting allows speeds from 100m/hour for specialist

jobs like precision vegetable planting. A new four-post cabin is said to offer roominess and visibility, and the opening roof panel gives an extra sightline when

working with a raised frontloader. A flat floor gives easy access and plenty of space, and a powerful heating and air conditioning package increases operator

comfort and helps reduce fatigue. Rear lift capacity is rated at 3000kg with two external assist rams. Up to three hydraulic remotes are available and a standard flow rate up to 48L/min. All models have a two-speed 540/540E PTO engaged via a servo assisted

lever, and a soft-start function modulates engagement to protect the tractor and implements. The wheelbase is compact at 2130mm long, overall height is 2520mm and operating width depends on tyre widths and track settings of 1440-1950mm. This makes for a versatile small tractor. Its ability is enhanced by its FL 3.15 Master, factory fitted loader made in Turkey. It has an integrated joystick, can lift to 3m and holds 1720kg. It is supplied as standard with a 1.8m rehandling bucket. www. newholland.

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Deutz Fahr 5G gets a refresh MARK DANIEL

DEUTZ FAHR 5G series

tractors have recently been updated. This move broadly synchronises the specification of the two models which will be joined by a third, more powerful tractor by the end of the year. The 5105.4G and 5115.4G, achieve maximum outputs of 102 and 109 hp respectively. They are powered by SDF’s own FARMotion 3.8L, 4-cylinder engine which meets Tier 3 emission

regulations without additives or filter regeneration. The transmissions are a 40F/40R with 2-stage powershift on the 5105.4G and a 60F/60R with 3-stage powershift fitted to the 5115.4G. Both models have a Comfort Clutch button allowing speed shift without needing to use the clutch pedal, 5-stage shuttle and a stop/go function which allows the operator to disengage drive by pressing the brake pedal -- no need to use the clutch pedal. Also, the 5115.4 has a quick-steer function

Deutz Fahr 5G Series have got a facelift.

which halves the required turns of the steering wheel from full lock to full lock, making the tractor particularly suitable for loader work or tight confines.

The 5105.4G now has the same heavy duty front axle as the 5115.4G for greater strength and durability, particularly when fitted with a frontloader work. And at

the rear end, a heavier transmission assembly has raised the lifting capacity to 3600kg. The tractor now has three sets of rear remote valves with kick out,

detent and float functions. The 5105.4G is fitted with 480/65 R24 front and 540/65 R34 rear tyres mounted on ‘waffle’ rims to allow wheel track adjustment without loss

of strength or durability. Later in the year, the range will be enhanced with the arrival of the 5125.4G delivering a maximum output of 127hp. It will have a larger intercooler and cooling package to deal with the increased power. The range’s largest tractor has many of the features of the two smaller models, plus a 60F/60R 3-stage powershift, greater linkage (5410kg), a larger hydraulic pump delivering flows of up to 90L/min and the maker’s hydroblock cab suspension for more operator comfort.

TRACTOR SURE TO SUIT THE TECH-SHY TECH-SHY COCKIES or stockies wanting a simple, good value tractor should see the Super DT 8860 from Italian manufacturer Landini. Here’s a simple main tractor or a proficient second unit for a larger farm. Offered only with a ROPS, it pushes out 84hp from a four-cylinder Perkins engine at about 300Nn torque. For transmission, a dual 12-inch dry clutch works with 12 forward and 12 reverse speeds and a straightforward synchro shuttle for direction changes. At rear, a two speed PTO gives choices of 540 or 750rpm, with the latter saving fuel or cutting throttle set-

tings on lighter tasks. Also simple, the Cat 2 rear linkage lifts 3000kg, controlled by simple mechanical levers on the quadrant to the right of the operator seat. Hydraulic output is via a 53L/min main pump and a secondary unit for steering and transmission lubrication, capped off by two single/double acting rear remotes. Other details include a flat platform, a spring seat with control levers on each side, a two-post ROPS frame, 380-R24 front and 80-R34 radial tyre equipment and a two year/2000 hour warranty.




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MF 5700 SERIES ROPS & CAB 92 – 102 HP • • • •

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*Offer ends 30 September 2019, while stocks last. Image used for illustration purposes only and available unit may differ in specification. Finance with an interest rate of 2.99% p.a. available on Hire Purchase agreement based on minimum 30% deposit, the GST component repaid after 4 months and monthly repayments in arrears over a 36 month term. Fees and lending conditions apply to approved GST number holders who use the equipment for business purposes. Finance is approved by AGCO Finance Limited GST 88-831-861.

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Profile for Rural News Group

Dairy News 6 August 2019  

Dairy News 6 August 2019

Dairy News 6 August 2019  

Dairy News 6 August 2019