BIGFOOT WINS FANS
Fonterra talks capital structure. PAGE 3 POWER PLAY
No-nonsense features. PAGE 35
DWN leader seeks votes PAGE 9
SEPTEMBER 3, 2019 ISSUE 430 // www.dairynews.co.nz
SHOW ME THE MONEY! Months after culling almost 1000 cows and calves on two farms, Cambridge farmer Henk Smit is still awaiting M. bovis compensation from the Government. PAGE 4
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
NEWS // 3
Co-op starts work on capital structure SUDESH KISSUN firstname.lastname@example.org
First time lucky. PG.20-21
Auto heat detection. PG.23
Clever placement of poo. PG.27
NEWS������������������������������������������������������3-15 OPINION���������������������������������������������� 16-17 AGRIBUSINESS������������������������������18-19 MANAGEMENT������������������������������� 20-21 ANIMAL HEALTH���������������������������22-24 EFFLUENT & WATER������������������ 25-32 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS�������������������������������������� 33-35
GROUNDWORK HAS begun for a review of Fonterra’s capital structure. The directors and management are discussing this and have set up a board sub-committee. Chairman John Monaghan describes the capital restructuring as the “last piece of the jigsaw”. Once the co-op has made fundamental changes to its strategy it must then ensure the capital structure is fit for purpose, he says. He points out that the review doesn’t necessarily mean a major revamp of the capital structure. “We may well find we need not make any changes,” he told Dairy News. “But it’s incumbent on any board to do this as part of due diligence.” Monaghan confirmed that a board sub-committee is discussing this with the management. “We are at the starting point, looking at existing structure, what’s working, what’s not working.” The sub-committee includes directors who support opening some Fonterra shares to the public, and those who are advocates of 100% farmer control and ownership. Fonterra’s capital structure was devised in 2012. While it gives farmer shareholders total control and 100% voting rights, it has been criticised for impeding equity raising and limiting ability to get value from
investments. The co-op has said this year that it will not pay dividends to unit holders, thus prompting outside investors to sell. Its share price on NZX slumped last week to $3.19, a massive drop from the $6.60 price in January last year. Monaghan says that as a farmer he is well aware of the impact, but that the co-op is reducing debt and working towards a return to paying dividends. He says the rating agency Standard & Poor’s is holding the co-op’s credit rating at A-. “They see through the big picture that we are taking the right actions to return our co-op to profitability.” S&P says the dividend suspension indicates the co-op is willing to actively protect the interests of creditors. The co-op will announce its annual results on September 12. It has already forecast a loss of up to $675 million because of writedowns of up to $860m. Monaghan says the full year result will add a bit more colour to earlier announcements. He has hinted at cost cutting across the business but will not confirm job cuts at this stage. “We will provide clarity to farmers on September 12. Farmers will be keen to know what we are doing.” Monaghan admits that not everything has gone right for the co-op in the past few years, pointing to lossmaking China Farms.
But he points out that other issues, eg pressure from Australian banks and climate change and water issues have added to the uncertainty. He says Fonterra has “cleaned the cupboards” at home to return the co-op to profit.
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
4 // NEWS
Five months wait for compensation SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
FIVE MONTHS after
the last cow went to slaughter from Henk Smit’s Cambridge farm he’s still awaiting compensation. Smit has filed loss of income claims for two farms from where 660 cows and 300 heifers and calves were culled. Two claims totaling $220,000 have been sitting with the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI). Another claim of about $80,000 will be filed once the final payout for last season is confirmed by his milk processor Open Country Dairy. The claims relate to 60 days of lost income: M. bovis farms may only restock and milk again 60 days after the last cow has left the farm. Smit says he’s struggling to pay bills and taxes, relying on monthly bridging finance from Westpac Bank to make ends meet. The M. bovis saga has also taken a toll on his staff Smit claims. He says one farm manager tried to commit suicide after weeks of killing calves with a captive bolt gun on the infected farm. The farm manager has since left New Zealand. Smit says the stress of dealing with M. bovis hasn’t been helped by
FARM FOR SALE HENK SMIT has tried to sell his home farm and leave New Zealand after the bitter experience with MPI. He put his home farm on sale but people who responded were worried about M. bovis. Smit operates three farms, one in partnership with his son. On two farms he had to cull 660 cows and 300 calves before restocking after 60 days. On one farm only one milking had tested positive for the disease. On the other farm only one cow was found with M. bovis at the works. He isn’t impressed with the hype about M. bovis. Smit says restocked cows came from over 30 different sources for his two farms. He says finding out the status of the source farms was difficult as MPI did not divulge information due to privacy concerns.
MPI’s delay in compensation. He says claims by MPI that it’s taking on average 24 days to pay compensation are “a load of rubbish”. “I know of several farmers who have gone bankrupt while waiting for compensation,” he told Dairy News. Smit concedes that MPI has gone back to DairyNZ seeking more information on his claims after some discrepancies: the number of cows being milked did not tally with the number of cows moved off the farm. He says that seven or eight cows were dried off as they recovered from thilleria. A farm manager missed calved cows that were therefore not milked.
But Smit says that’s no excuse for MPI to delay paying his compensation claim for five months. Last month he received $40,000 for calves killed on the farm. “It’s a sick system. MPI says it takes them on average 24 days…. Well, bar one claim all my other claims took five to seven months before I got paid.” Smit says he has tried to contact MPI but to no avail. “You can’t just talk to someone and ask ‘when are you going to pay me?’ Other farmers are telling me the same thing.” Smit suggests that every farmer affected by M. bovis should have a liaison officer who can help with compensation claims and make decisions on the spot. “It should be very easy
to work out my income losses, but with these clowns it’s never-ending. “They claim to have 35 lawyers and accountants working in MPI. Every time I file a claim I must submit sworn affidavits stating the information I am providing is correct -- and I would have spent $1500 on affidavits alone. “Until recently, you couldn’t claim M. bovis legal expenses from MPI.” Smit says the Dairy NZ/BLNZ Compensation Assistance Team (DBCAT) has helped him in the claim process, however they have been unable to speed up the process. The rest of DairyNZ has been unhelpful. “Apart from asking me not to comment in the media about M. bovis they haven’t been of much help.” He says the “broken” NAIT system is also making things difficult for farmers. For example, while scanning a truckload of cows leaving Smit’s farm, he says AsureQuality staff found one cow without a NAIT tag. When the truck got to the works 13 cows were missing tags. MPI charged him $30 for every missing NAIT tag. Smit says he has no idea how the tags disappeared; they weren’t in the truck. Smit was ordered by MPI to cull 660 cows on
two of his three farms after they tested positive for M. bovis. On one
farm the disease was only found in the bulk milk and never found in cows:
one cow from the other farm tested positive at the works.
MPI responds MPI’S DIRECTOR of its M. bovis programme, Geoff Gwyn, says that of the 12 claims submitted by Smit (across two entities), 10 have been paid. Meanwhile two, for consequential loss of milk production, are under final review. “While the animals may have been culled over five months ago, the loss cannot be assessed until a claim and all supporting information have been received by MPI. One of these claims was only received last month,” he said. Gwyn says Smit has received “several hundred thousand dollars” in compensation and the two remaining claims mentioned above are expected to be processed within the next two-three weeks. “We remind farmers that help is available to compile and submit claims -- a service available from DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ compensation assistance teams. This free service is supported by MPI and run independently by DairyNZ and BLNZ.” On affidavit expenses, Gwyn says all claims must be signed in the presence of an authorised witness such as a Justice of the Peace, a barrister or solicitor,
because the compensation claim form is a legal document. “Many of these will make their services available at no expense to the farmer.” In some cases (and in the case of some of Smit’s claims), where there is insufficient information to support a claim for loss, MPI may require a sworn affidavit by a farmer to confirm that the claimed events and loss are an accurate representation of what occurred on their farm. “The M. bovis programme has not said that legal expenses cannot be claimed for. If a farmer believes they have suffered a loss as a result of MPI’s exercise of powers, they may submit a claim for this loss and it will be assessed on its merits on a case-by-case basis.” Gwyn denies that MPI took out a court order to gain access to a third Smit farm. “That is incorrect, there is no court order. The farmer involved has refused to allow testing to be conducted on his property. The property is a back-trace and therefore at very low risk of infection. The testing will be carried out when it is safe for our staff to do it. “
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
NEWS // 5
‘Cut the red tape binding Fonterra’ PAM TIPA firstname.lastname@example.org
THE TIME has come to
reduce aspects of Fonterra’s regulatory burden, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Todd Muller says. National opposed the Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment (DIRA) Bill at its first reading. Competitive pressure -- rather than half-baked regulation -- should drive the dairy market forward, Muller says. “National believes it is vital we have an efficient and innovative dairy industry that supports the long term interests of farmers and consumers. This means having a strong Fonterra, strong smaller manufacturers and a robust domestic liquid milk and retail market.” The Government’s Bill goes some way to achieving this, he says. “It makes sense that Fonterra can now build in robust animal welfare and environmental conditions to its supply terms,” he said. “However, we believe the New Zealand market is sufficiently mature for Fonterra to have the ability to treat returning suppliers on different commercial grounds from those who have stayed
with the cooperative. “We’re also opposed to Fonterra having to continue to support scale competitors with startup milk supply. There is a vibrant competitive milk supply landscape in New Zealand, which is only going to increase as global interests eye up our milk pool. We no longer believe Fonterra needs to give these future competitors a hand up. “National supports rural New Zealand and knows the importance of the dairy industry to our country. We want legislation that will help it succeed on the world stage, not constrain it.” Changes proposed to DIRA will keep the open entry and exit provisions which Fonterra had been hoping to shed. Instead, Fonterra would get a limited exception where it could reject an application to become a new shareholding farmer or turn down an existing application for an increased supply if the supplier could not meet Fonterra’s terms of supply, or if the farm had been a conversion to dairying. Those terms could relate to and allow different prices based on farm performance, including animal welfare, food safety, health and safety, employment conditions,
Todd Muller says “we no longer believe Fonterra needs to give these future competitors a hand up.”
environmental, climate change and other sustainability standards. Independent processors with their own supply of 30 million litres or more in a single season would no longer be able ask Fonterra for extra regulated milk. However, the proposals if implemented would raise Fonterra’s obligatory
sales volume of regulated milk to rival Goodman Fielder to 350 million litres per season from 250 million litres, albeit at a higher price. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor welcomed the first reading of the DIRA bill in Parliament on August 27. “The Government’s proposed changes to this
legislation will support our dairy sector to produce and export high value goods in a way that sustains the environment it relies upon,” he said. “One of the 12 priority outcomes of the coalition Government is to build a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy, and the dairy industry is a crucial player in
that journey. It is our largest export sector, contributing nearly $8 billion to New Zealand’s total GDP.” Change is necessary to help get the dairy sector in better shape for the future, says O’Connor. “The DIRA was passed into law in 2001 and saw the creation of Fonterra. It also promotes the effi-
cient operation of dairy markets in New Zealand. “The industry has changed considerably since 2001, and it is important to ensure the regulatory regime puts the sector in the best possible position. “The changes the Government is [proposing would] support our dairy sector to produce and export high value goods in a way that sustains the environment it relies upon. “DIRA drives much of this work and after 17 years it’s the right thing to do to make it fit for the 21st century.” O’Conner says the bill will now move to the primary production select committee. “I encourage people to have their say. I want to make sure we have a law that is going to work for everyone it affects.” Visit www.mpi.govt.nz/ dira-review
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
6 // NEWS
Just keep stock out of waterways NIGEL MALTHUS
Aslan Wright-Stow, DairyNZ.
stock out of waterways arguably gives the “best bang for your buck” for water quality improve-
ments, says DairyNZ Environment and catchment manager Aslan Wright-Stow. Speaking to the recent New Zealand Institute of Primary Industry Management (NZIPIM) con-
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ference in Christchurch, Wright-Stow said there is no doubt that land use affects water quality. It is not uncommon or surprising to find waterways in a pastoral landscape with up to 15 times more E. coli and 10 times more nutrients than in a forestry landscape. “The biggest single predictor of water quality outcomes in a particular catchment is the proportion of upstream land use.” Wright-Stow said farmers have two broad options to reduce contaminant losses. First, changing the farm system itself, such as through feed pads and reducing stock numbers and fertiliser application. Second – the subject of his conference presentation – is what he calls edge-of-field mitigations designed to intercept contaminants before they enter waterways. Farmers can take various practical steps, he said, but simply excluding stock from waterways is very cost effective. It can reduce phosphorus by 20-40%, sediment by 40-60% and E. coli by 50-60%. Riparian buffers (setting a fence back with planting or simply grass buffers) would take stock exclusion to the next level. There is “a good amount of science” suggesting that grass buffers on their own are hugely beneficial, he said. “You’re adding layers and layers of complexity through those flow paths and the more complexity you’ve got, the more you slow down the water, and the more chances you’ve got for interactions with biological processes.” Both international and NZ science suggests that 3-5 m wide rank grass buffers can reduce nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment by 50-70%. The wider the better, particularly for dissolved nutrients, but with diminishing returns beyond 5-10 m, he said. Wright-Stow said planted buffers give extra benefits including aesthetics and habitat biodi-
versity. DairyNZ is doing “a whole bunch of work” on optimising buffer design. A farmer could get 6-7 times better result for the same effort, fencing and planting by changing the buffer width to focus on the critical source areas. “The easiest way to define where these are is to walk around the farm when it’s raining. You’ll see where they are, they provide a disproportionate amount of overland flows.” Wright-Stow said a recent review by NIWA for DairyNZ said wetlands -- engineered or natural -could reduce nitrate concentrations and load by 51-98%. “And they’re very very simple to do.” A farmer could get a strong return on investment just by fencing a natural wetland. A wetland that’s about 2.5% of a catchment area could reduce nitrate by 40%, and a wetland about 5% of its catchment area could reduce it by 60%, he said. Another method is bunds (small dams). They work well in rolling and undulating land and lighter soils, although farmers could run into consenting issues if trying to raise too high a dam in steeper country. During rain, the bund would capture and slow overland flow and allow contaminants to settle. The farmer would pull the plug after about three days to return it to pasture. DairyNZ is also investigating two-stage channels – drainage streams with artificially created “flood plains” either side of the deeper main channel, so that when the water level rises in rain it spreads out over the sides, and slows and allows particulates to settle. Wright-Stow says more and more complex systems are becoming available, eg engineered nitrogen or phosphate filters and bioreactors, but the desired outcome needs keeping in mind. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
NEWS // 7
Don’t shut borrower out of mediation PAM TIPA email@example.com
A COST of $6000 for mediation between an indebted farmer and a bank would be at the lower end of the cost spectrum, says Federated Farmers sharemilkers chairman Richard McIntyre. And the cost of complicated multi party mediation could run to tens of thousands of dollars – just for the mediator, McIntyre told Dairy News. His comments follow a submission by Feds on the Farm Debt Mediation Bill (No 2) now being scrutinised by Parliament’s primary production select committee. The Feds sharemilkers section strongly supports the Bill but would like to see changes to prevent a borrower being shut out of mediation because they could not afford it. The legislation could compel lenders to make funds available to a farmer to pay their share of mediation costs, McIntyre told the committee on August 22. Alternatively, it could compel the lender to fund the mediation, “which we as a sector would no doubt fund indirectly through increased fees,” McIntyre said. The $6000 figure suggested by NZ First MP Mark Patterson at the hearings is “very much the starting point for mediation” and could be
much higher, says McIntyre. In ordinary trading conditions a sharemilker’s $3000 share of that would not be too much and would probably be worth the money. “But if you are under financial pressure from a bank [and risk] going out of business, it is too much money. Four or five years ago when the milk price dropped to $3.85/kgMS, everyone had a cash loss, went to the bank to get an over-
draft and cows had dropped in value by $500. In a situation like that you try to save 50c where you can, let alone shell out $3000 plus for mediation. “We can have legislation that makes mediation mandatory, but it’s the bank which holds the overdraft and essentially holds the purse-strings. They effectively decide whether or not to go ahead with mediation by choosing whether or not to make funds
available for the sharemilker to fund their share. “We suggested to the select committee that they consider either making the banks or lenders pay for the whole thing -- which we argued they could fund indirectly through increased fees -- or make it compulsory for the lender to make funds available by way of overdraft for the farmer or sharemilker to be able to fund their share of mediation. “It is a bit tough going up against an unlimited chequebook especially if [that chequebook owner] controls your chequebook.” McIntyre says he believes the likely outcome will be lenders being compelled to make funds available for mediation. “If the lender or bank funds the entire process there may not be an incentive for the sharemilker or farmer to actively engage to find a solution. They could just keep prolonging the process.” McIntyre says experience showed that the formal dispute resolution process in sharemilking contracts is not always followed due to the financial imbalance that often exists between a farm owner and sharemilker, with the latter unable to afford their share of the cost. “Sadly, the resulting outcome is often less than fair.” @dairy_news
START TALKING MUCH EARLIER THE MEDIATION clause needs to kick in much earlier than is now proposed, says McIntyre. The Bill in its current form says mediation should coincide with the start of enforcement action, but this is much too late, he says. “There were fewer than 20 foreclosures on farms last year. That is very low, but if you take the number of farmers who sold because of pressure from the bank [the number] is far higher. “The bank can control the farmer by the overdraft. Farmers get forced out by unachievable limits. If you have a limit that is significantly lower than you can trade with, you have no choice but to sell up. “We have suggested to the select committee that the mediation needs to kick in essentially as soon as there is an unrealistic or unachievable [overdraft] requirement on the sharemilker or farmer by the lender. “For example, if you needed a $250,000 overdraft for seasonal finance and that gets reduced to $100,000 you couldn’t in all conscience continue to trade and incur debt with various businesses knowing you couldn’t pay them.” If mediation were to start much earlier it reduce stress and provide a much better outcome. “If you reach the point where you are about to be foreclosed on, you have already been under considerable stress and probably will not respond as well as you would if mediation had occurred earlier.” Sharemilkers may be “first cab off the rank” if banks look to rein in their exposure to agricultural debt, McIntyre said. “Sharemilkers are future farm owners, but higher risk. When banks are looking to increase their market share in the dairy industry, they will gladly take on sharemilker debt. However, when they are feeling overexposed and are looking to reduce their level of dairy debt, it’s the sharemilkers who feel it first.” They also tend to have assets that depreciate in value, like motorbikes and tractors, etc and their livestock value fluctuates wildly in value roughly in line with the milk price. “So when the milk price is down their equity has also dropped.” Sharemilkers and contractors are more likely to rely on an overdraft than a term loan so it is easier for banks to put pressure on them. McIntyre says he appreciates this legislation from the Government at a time “when we are not seeing a lot of farmer friendly legislation”. He says the select committee asked very good questions and showed they understood the issue. Federated Farmers’ sharemilkers section and its parent body, Federated Farmers of NZ, want the Bill to proceed but they are seeking changes. They want mediators to be suitably qualified and experienced in both mediation and in the agricultural and rural sectors, provision for multiple parties to any mediation, and provision for an independent party to appoint an appropriate mediator.
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
8 // NEWS
Less stick, more carrot NIGEL MALTHUS
FISH & Game New Zealand should recognise farmers’ good work in cleaning up the environment rather than constantly criticising them, says Federated Farmers environment spokesman Chris Allen. Allen was responding to F&G chief executive Martin Taylor, who accused him of “conveniently” overlooking key facts in saying that stock was being excluded from 97.5% of waterways. That only applies to larger waterways, said Taylor. “A 2017 study by Lincoln University shows that 77% of contaminants come from small streams which are often exempt from fencing requirements.” The study made it clear that other actions were needed than just fencing and planting trees, said Taylor. “Anyone who understands the logic that water flows from smaller streams to more significant streams can understand why pollution from intensive dairying is destroying our waterways.” However, Allen said the reference to 97.5% of dairy farm waterways being
fenced is a “progress report”. “It’s to show that farmers are taking their voluntary commitments seriously. It’s never been put out there as an indication of ‘job done’ and it’s disappointing to see Fish & Game yet again trying to show a positive initiative in a negative light.” The Feds have never claimed that excluding stock from waterways is the sole answer, said Allen. “In our view, it’s been a good start [in seeing] some positive water quality improvement from the work farmers have been doing over the last few years. “More importantly, it’s got rural community ‘buy in’. It has shown that making changes to the way we do things can make a real difference. “It’s unfortunate that organisations like Fish & Game don’t see that recognising the good things happening is a better way of encouraging future change, rather than constant criticism.” Allen said that if it were easy to improve water quality, urban New Zealand would also have jumped in, and the same goes for other big issues like climate change and carbon neutrality.
“These issues take time, commitment and money to fix. Federated Farmers accepts that changes required cannot only be voluntary. However, any rules and regulations need to be fit for purpose, focused on actual issues and work on the ground. “We agree more needs to be done to reduce the adverse effects of land use on water quality. But effort is not just required of farmers and it is not just a rural problem. “Farmers have and will continue to invest in technologies and practices that reduce losses from their farms, including the use of standoff pads
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and temporary housing, and precision application of water and fertiliser. “We are as frustrated as anyone that people out there are letting the side down, but that is the same for all occupations, communities and industries.” Allen said the national leadership of Fish & Game needs to stop their constant farmer bashing and talk to their regional reps working with farming communities and achieving environmental improvements. “Federated Farmers and Fish & Game both support the Landcare Trust. All those trustees, of which Mr Taylor is one, get to see farmer and catchment groups and rural communities pulling together to tackle complex problems. “It would be great if Mr Taylor could start sharing some of his positive learnings from those visits, where he’s seen farmers and communities working together supporting and innovating to make positive change. “In most cases bouquets work more effectively than brickbats.” Taylor said it is clear that the riparian planting has not stopped the decline of water quality. “It’s now time to reduce the pollut-
ants as opposed to planting a barrier to hold them back.” Taylor said Federated Farmers refuses to accept that land use needs to change. “For a generation, Federated Farmers has told Kiwis that voluntary approaches will fix water quality despite the reality that water quality has continued to decline. “We now have significant pollution, which is not just making our rivers unsafe for swimming but is affecting drinking water for urban and rural populations. “The Government’s plan to halt the decline in water quality and improve rivers, lakes and streams is expected to be announced shortly when a new freshwater National Policy Statement and a new National Environmental Standard will be released for consultation. “Kiwis expect to be able to swim, fish and gather food from their rivers, lakes and streams. Federated Farmers needs to stop defending marginal cost increases for poor performers and instead look at the cost of poor water quality for the community as a whole.”
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
NEWS // 9
Farmer leader dips toe into politics PAM TIPA firstname.lastname@example.org
DAIRY WOMENS Network trustee and Waikato dairy farmer Pamela Storey is standing for the Waikato Regional Council. After many executive and governance roles this is her first venture into politics. Originally from the United States, Storey accepted a blind date with a Kiwi dairy farmer and migrated here in 1996, entering the dairy industry. On farm she has mainly been in a support and strategic management role, while pursuing her
own career. Her husband Ian is a fourth generation dairy farmer and they own and operate a 480 cow farm in Te Hoe, north Waikato, farming there since 2001 and merging three farms into one operation. Their focus is on
breeding high BW animals and developing an adaptive approach to farming systems. Embracing the changing societal expectations of modern farming is the key issue the sector faces, Storey says. “Maintaining our social
licence to farm is imperative to our industry and individual businesses. We must adapt and respond to the demands of our communities and markets.” We need effective dialogue and engagement on future ways of food production, she says. She believes in community led change, and has led and participated in such initiatives for 10 years. “With my many years working in and with organisations on water, soil, air, biodiversity and economic development, the Waikato Regional Council is an ideal place for me to apply my unique mix of skills
and experience to local government and our community.” Storey has a bachelor degree in electrical engineering from Washington State University and more recently an MBA from a UK. She has long worked in energy, renewable generation, energy efficiency and environmental organisations, with 18 years in governance roles. She has been a board member of Access HomeHealth, Go Eco, Council for Women in Energy and Environmental Leadership, and most recently Primary ITO. She was a finalist in the 2017 New Zealand Women of Influence Awards.
UNI MERGER IDEA DEAD ANY SUGGESTION of a merger between Lincoln University and the University of Canterbury is now dead in the water following the Minister of Education’s rejection of a partnership proposal by the two institutions. The proposal, for less than a full merger, envisaged a merged governance body and some joint management systems with Lincoln maintaining its own name. But it appears that neither institution particularly wanted it to go ahead. In a letter to the universities last month, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said the cost of the proposal outweighed its potential benefit. “It has also become apparent that neither Canterbury nor Lincoln fully supports the proposal submitted,” he said. In a joint statement, the universities welcomed the minister’s decision and said they would benefit as proposed by working together. “Current examples include the Children’s University Canterbury Partnership, joint academic programmes and discussions on postgraduate collaboration.” A joint working group now set up will better position New Zealand’s land based sector to contribute to a sustainable economy and environmental sustainability via world class teaching and research, they said. – Nigel Malthus
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
10 // NEWS
Giant US dairy an eye-opener NIGEL MALTHUS
A VISIT to a huge fam-
ily-run dairy operation in the American Midwest has been “an eye-opener” for Kiwis on a recent farm tour, says leader Ross Macmillan. It showed how New Zealand dairying cannot be complacent in the face of international competition, he says. Macmillan, of Rangiora, is a career farm consultant who 30 years ago founded his Farm To Farm tour business arranging and leading agribusiness tours in NZ and elsewhere. He recently led a tour of NZ farmers to the
Visitors to the farm can see calves being born.
American Midwest and said one particular business – which “has to be one of the largest family run dairy farms in world” - illustrated what the
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A total of 37,000 cows are milked three times a day at the farm.
NZ dairy industry is up against. The farm is in Indiana where the climate extremes of very cold snowy winters and very hot summers make barn dairying the only practical option. 37,000 cows are housed year-round and milked three times daily in 11 free stall barns. Most of their feed is produced on the 13,300ha property. Cows are fed a daily ration of about 45kg each, made up of 60% maize silage and soybeans, 30% hay and 10% concentrates, minerals and vitamins. Production is 1.5 million L/day (about 41L/ head) valued at about NZ$7.00/kgMS. Macmillan said the business sells its own branded milk products including fresh and spe-
ciality milks, cheese, yoghurt and ice cream, and has a distribution agreement with Coca Cola. It is located in a heavily populated region of the US Midwest with 27 million people living within a radius of 140km, hence a huge potential outlet for their produce. The cows are bedded on sand which, as an inorganic material, helps avoid disease build-up. It is cleaned three times a day by vacuum machines that separate off the manure which is then processed in biodigesters to produce methane to generate electricity and fuel the farm’s vehicles and machinery. “We were told that the business is 98% self-sufficient in energy,” said Macmillan. “A noticeable feature was the absence of the
usual effluent smells associated with dairy farming.” “It was interesting to see how this farming business is endeavouring to bridge the gap between America’s 2% of farmers and the 98% urbanites. “The farm is located adjacent to a busy interstate highway and they have opened the farm for public scrutiny, getting up to 750,000 visitors per year including school kids, the passing public and anyone else interested in where milk comes from. “Associated with this is a birthing barn for public viewing of calves being born, guided bus tours of the facility, a hog finishing enterprise and retail store selling the farm’s dairy products and branded merchandise.” Macmillan identified a number of take-home
messages from the visit: It showed the comparative ease with which American farmers can expand production, based on growing crops on very good soils and feeding to housed cows. The high production achieved under these conditions and the comfortable and relatively hygienic conditions of bedding cows on sand and regularly cleaning off manure to a biodigester. The near 100% retention of energy from the biodigester to support the farm operation was an eye opener. The scope for large farming businesses like this to move their branded added value product up the value chain to a huge, captive and relatively wealthy local market. Opening the farm to
750,000 visitors for public scrutiny in an effort to bridge the gap between urban and rural lifestyles and to show how their cows are farmed and treated and to emphasise where milk comes from. Macmillan said it is a very different scenario from NZ’s pasture based dairying. “This is the type of global competition we are up against. The way forward for NZ dairying must be to differentiate our products, emphasise the advantages of pasture based milk and tell the positive NZ story behind it. “If grass-fed milk is supposed to be nutritionally superior with higher omega3 and all that sort of stuff, we have to shout that from the rooftops and not just be a bulk exporter of a commodity.”
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
12 // COMMENT
Setting Olsen P targets BERT QUIN
A NEW scientific article on the management of soil phosphorus makes fascinating reading. The article is entitled ‘A Global Perspective on Integrated Strategies to Manage Soil Phosphorus Status for Eutrophication Control Without Limiting Land Productivity’, published in Journal of Environmental Quality, July 2019. It was co-written by 15 scientists from several countries, including Lucy Burkitt from Massey University, and Murray Hart, formerly a senior research scientist for SummitQuinphos before moving to Australia. Here are a few direct quotes from the article: ‘Phosphorus losses from agricultural soils are
hard to mitigate because they occur in both dissolved and particulate form, and are transported from highly variable source area…. Managing soils and soil P status represents an important strategy for the mitigation of eutrophication’. ‘Modern agriculture has come to rely on maximising the availability of P in soils through [so-called] insurance application rates of highly soluble P fertilisers to build up soil P fertility and minimise risks to productivity. This makes it harder to manage resulting soil P losses’. ‘Legislation to help reduce (loss-inducing)
New Zealand soils are mildly acidic. Inset: Bert Quin.
threshold soil P test values has been generally slow to implement despite widespread eutrophication problems’. ‘Our analysis spanned three continents and catchments with different ago-hydrochemical func-
tioning. The study areas were expected to represent variable run-off response, soil P response patterns and erosion vulnerability’. ‘All data sets showed a highly significant effect of soil P status on P runoff concentrations’. ‘Future sustainable P management within the
food system must reconsider old philosophies that place undue emphasis on maintaining an artificially high level of P fertility dependent on inputs of highly soluble manufactured fertilisers towards new philosophies that concentrate on precision feeding of the crop not the soil’.
‘Our meta-analysis across three continents suggests agronomic optimum P concentrations need to be in the range of 10-20 Olsen P to match challenging eutrophication control targets being set for freshwaters (around the world)’. In New Zealand, where all our soils are mildly
acidic, we have the enormous advantage that we could maintain high pasture production levels without Olsen P levels needing to be pushed above 20, simply by avoiding the use of soluble P fertilisers such as superphosphate where sustained-release P fertilisers like reactive phosphate rock (RPR) will maintain at least as high production, with much less P run-off and leaching. Dairy farmers, you need to figure this reality out for yourselves soon, before you are forced to destock. Unfortunately, vested interests in a small country like ours prevent the fair and open discussion of scientific knowledge. • Dr Bert Quin is managing director of Quin Environmentals (NZ) Ltd.
SEE SUCCESS IN CIDR TREATMENTS With calving now in full swing it’s time to start thinking ahead to mating. Planning ahead is essential for a successful mating period so we need to start preparing now. One way to tighten calving patterns and get more days in milk is to treat non-cyclers with a CIDR® programme. Treating these cows early provides the best return on investment compared to waiting for them to start cycling on their own, often many weeks later. By tail painting your herd 35 days before mating and recording heats, you can have a very good idea of the number of non-cycling cows in your herd before mating starts. A large scale Waikato trial of reproductive treatments for anoestrus cows has proven the economics of using CIDR® Cattle Inserts to improve herd reproductive performance at the start of the mating period. The trial involved
2,222 non-cycling cows in the Waikato, from 12 herds averaging 510 head that were due to begin mating in early October. Non-cyclers treated with a CIDR® program had significantly higher first service conception rates than untreated non-cyclers and non-cyclers treated with the OvSynch program. CIDR® treatment of non-cyclers has a positive return on investment, and the nett profit increases with higher milk price payouts. This is mainly because a CIDR® program advances the conception date of non-cyclers by 10-16 days, meaning they calve earlier next season, delivering a benefit between $80-$128/ cow before treatment and feed costs. Non-cyclers are best prevented by proactive management of body condition, feed, calving spread and other factors that impact fertility. However, those changes need to be made well
Zoetis New Zealand Limited. Tel: 0800 ZOETIS (963 847). CIDR is a registered trademark of InterAg. ACVM No. A4559.
in advance of mating start date, and some of those factors are difficult to control every year. When you need to treat non-cyclers, evidence shows that CIDR® treatment of non-cyclers before the planned start of mating is the most cost effective option. CIDR® treatment buys you 10-16 days extra milk for next season, improves calving spread and is cost effective even in a low pay-out year. Talk to your vet early about planning your repro programme for this season. For more information download the CIDR® Return on Investment Calculator from the App Store or Google Play or visit www.zoetis.co.nz/ dairywellness/improved-repro to see what this means for your farm.
Decisions Milk plant site made. dispute drags on Made easy. DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
NEWS // 13
HawkEye® by Ravensdown
SYNLAIT MILK’S dispute with a
neighbouring landowner over the status of the land where it is building its new Pokeno milk powder plant continues to drag on. As things stand, the Court of Appeal has upheld old covenants over the land, effectively preventing the site being used for a factory. In June, Synlait applied to the Supreme Court seeking leave to appeal that ruling. In the latest development the Supreme Court has advised the parties that it will conduct an oral hearing into that application. A date has yet to be set. In a statement to the New Zealand Stock Exchange, Synlait chief executive Leon Clement reaffirmed that the company is talking to all parties. “Our plans for the Pokeno site haven’t changed. This is just another step in the legal process. We continue to have conversations with all involved and are hopeful we can seek an outcome that works for everyone.” Synlait says construction at the site continues and remains on track. The plant, which would be the Canterbury company’s second nutri-
HIGH TIDE DAIRY
Leon Clement, Synlait chief executive.
tional powder manufacturing site, is near completion and is supposed to begin production about October. Synlait announced the conditional purchase of the 28ha Pokeno site in February 2018. The land was subject to covenants limiting its use to grazing, lifestyle farming or forestry, but Synlait was confident the covenants were now irrelevant due to the land having been rezoned industrial and the existence of other industrial development in the area including another dairy powder plant. The High Court agreed, removing the covenants in November 2018. The title was transferred to Synlait only after that ruling, although work
was already underway. However, the Court of Appeal then effectively reinstated the covenants in a ruling delivered on May 9 in favour of the beneficiary of the covenants, the adjacent land owner New Zealand Industrial Park Ltd. New Zealand Industrial Park is owned by an Auckland businessman, Qing (Karl) Ye. He also heads Tata Valley Ltd, which has plans to build a large tourism development near Pokeno, and is managing director of GMP Pharmaceuticals, a food nutrition company with a factory in East Tamaki. Its directors include Agribusiness NZ chair and former Federated Famers chief executive Conor English.
Use HawkEye’s map-based software to order nutrients and spreading from your mobile or computer. Track nutrient placement data, streamline record keeping and simplify compliance.
GENETICS FIRM BACKS ENVIRONMENT AWARDS BUILDING A GREAT HERD TE AWAMUTU dairy farmers John Hayward and Susan O’Regan were the BFEA 2016 Waikato Supreme Award winners. Commenting on CRV’s trust partnership, Hayward says genetics has been crucial in helping them to more resilient and productive farming. “Our philosophy is to look ahead five years and build a great producing herd over time with a low nitrogen footprint. “Selecting the right genetics is no longer just for improving the economic value of your herd. Farming today requires genetics that gives farmers options to farm sustainably for profit, the environment and animal welfare.”
keting manager Jon Lee says the partnership with NZFET is a natural fit for CRV Ambreed in its “support of farmers who are striving for environmental excellence on farm”. “More and more, our industry is finding
itself in uncharted territory about its ‘licence to farm’. CRV is working with farmers and industry partners on solutions to protect and enhance the environment.” Lee says CRV recognises farmers who are
making a difference and enables them to influence future generations. NZFET general manager James Ryan says the Ballance awards help promote leadership in the primary sector and give farmers a means to share their stories with peers and a wider audience. “We’re exploring ways to grow our relationships with our partners via a wider range of programmes. “CRV is a good fit for the trust because it is committed to supporting sustainable farming socially, economically and in the environment. “We want to work with organisations that ideally have a network of staff NZ-wide who will support the objectives of the trust at the grassroots. CRV ticks all those boxes.”
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CRV AMBREED is now a strategic partner of the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust (NZFET). The other partners are MPI, Federated Farmers, Rabobank and Horticulture NZ. The trust’s vision is for NZ farmers and growers to be recognised as global leaders in their stewardship of land and water -- balancing the environment, animals, plants and people. The Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) is the trust’s flagship event, held annually to show NZ’s environmentally responsible and profitable farmers and to inform entrants on best management of natural resources. CRV sales and mar-
HIGH TIDE DAIRY
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
14 // NEWS
Infant nutrition helps a2 Milk to record result PAM TIPA email@example.com
INFANT NUTRITION products contributed strongly to a2 Milk’s record results for the year ended June 30, 2019. Sales totalled $1.1 billion for the year – an increase of 46.9%, says Jayne Hrdlicka, managing director and chief executive. This was driven by gains in China and Australia. The liquid milk businesses achieved “pleasing” results particularly in Australia and the US with total fresh milk growth of 22.9% for the year. The company grew sales of other nutritional milk products by 17.3%, driven by milk powders and supported by new product launches. Total revenue was $1304.5 million, an increase of 41.4%. Earnings before tax were up 46.1% to $413.6m and net
“Our core markets, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), Greater China and the US, represent our most significant growth opportunities in the medium term.”
Jayne Hrdlicka, a2 Milk chief executive.
profit after tax was up 47% to $287.7m. “Our core markets, Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), Greater China and the US, represent our most significant growth opportunities in the medium term,” Hrdlicka said. “The growth will come from both our existing product ranges and innovation within these markets. For example, the launch of a2 Smart Nutrition, a fortified milk drink targeting children 4-12 years of age, enables us to
‘migrate’ consumers when they grow out of infant nutrition in China.” Also, new market exploration prompted more consumer research and in-market activity in Vietnam, Korea and Hong Kong city. “Alongside the ongoing work we are doing with Fonterra, the focus continues to be milk powder products in Vietnam, testing a fresh milk presence in Singapore and Korea, and infant formula in the city of Hong Kong.” Hrdlicka says the company has
spent more on building brand value to accelerate brand awareness and trials in China and the US. It spent $135.3m (up 83.7%) on marketing, chiefly on advertising in China and the US. R&D remains a priority, including independent clinical studies. A clinical trial amongst children aged 5-6 in China was published in July 2019. The study analysed results from 75 Chinese children with mild to moderate milk discomfort or lactose intolerance (confirmed via a uri-
nary galactose test) and reported that replacing conventional milk with a2 Milk “reduced gastrointestinal symptoms associated with milk intolerance” in many subjects and led to “corresponding improvements in aspects of cognitive performance”. During the year the company spent more on internal and external capability, Hrdlicka says. In April, Xiao Li joined the company as chief executive of Greater China. The China team now represents at least 20% of the company’s global team. The company now sources direct ingredients from Fonterra, with the supply increasing during the second half of calendar 2019. “The relationship with Fonterra remains strong. Our joint teams are actively working together to commercialise the next wave of opportunities which will come from our partnership. We continue to be encouraged by the potential.”
Announcing a totally new nutrient-balanced organic-based NPKS fertiliser for environmentally-protective dairy farmers!
Dr Bert Quin
SUPORGANIK™ Dairy - 3.5-2.5-2.5-2.5 NPKS (Fresh weight as sold basis)
* SUPORGANIK™ is a unique new fertiliser based on combining chicken litter with inoculated elemental sulphur and reactive phosphate rock. Patent pending.
* If more K is needed to meet the advertised specification, it is added as ‘organicbyproduct’ sulphate of potash (SOP) from the sugar-cane industry.
* The chicken litter is put through a short, high-temperature (50-600C) composting to kill undesirable organisms and weed seeds, without harming benign bacteria.
*SUPORGANIK™ Dairy contains 70% organic matter (35% carbon), enriching your soil’ microbiological diversity and activity, and improving soil aeration, waterholding capacity and drainage. It also has a wide range of trace elements.
* Incorporation of fine elemental S, inoculated with Thiobacillus, increases oxidation of the S to sulphate. This controls the pH of the mix, keeping it under 7.5, which minimises odour and expensive loss of ammonia gas. It also ensures sufficient sulphur nutrient is present. * Addition of RPR also serves two purposes. It ensures sufficient P is present for high-producing dairy farms. It also acts as a pH buffer. As the pH of the compost falls below 6.5, the excess acid is consumed in reacting with the RPR, increasing its rate of dissolution and maintaining a good pH level.
*All nutrients in SUPORGANIK™ Dairy are present in a combination of quick and sustained-release form, minimising nutrient run-off and leaching and gaseous losses of N, while optimising the production of lush nutrient-balanced pasture. * Typical application rates of SUPORGANIK™ Dairy are 1t/ha 3 times a year, or 1.5t/ha twice a year. Individual nutrient contents can be easily customised depending on soil test results and herbage analysis to optimise application of all nutrients. Best applied soon after grazing, and allowing a minimum of 2 weeks before regrazing.
Introductory price $189/t + GST, discounted to only $175/t + GST if you sign up for a ‘QUINPLAN’ Farm Environment Plan in 2020. Available from GrassHopper Groundspreading, Waharoa, ph 07 888 4031 or 027 280 3111 Additional supply depots to be announced IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HEAR MORE ABOUT QUINFERT PRODUCTS, FILL THIS REPLY SLIP OUT AND MAIL TO: Quin Envionmentals (NZ) Ltd, PO BOX 125-122, St Heliers 1740, Auckland, or Scan and email to firstname.lastname@example.org, OR CALL BERT QUIN ON 021 427 572 Name:........................................................................................................................ Phone: ................................................ Mobile: ........................................................... Address: .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Email address: .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Farm type: ........................... Hectares (effective)..................................... Soil tests available:
Used RPR before:
Fertiliser applied: No
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Best time to phone: .................... Best date/time to visit farm: ......................................... What types of fert are you interested in? ............................................................ Are you interested in coming to a talk by Dr Quin in your area?
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
WORLD // 15
Payouts from cashflow, not balance sheet FONTERRA SAYS
its payouts to Australian farmers are being funded by its operations, not propped up from other places in the balance sheet. Fonterra Australia managing director Rene Dedoncker recently toured the major milk regions, talking to suppliers about price forecasts and the company’s position. He has been reassuring suppliers that the prices are sustainable. “I can look any farmer in the eye and say, ‘We can afford this,’ ” Dedoncker said. “Does it have the potential to be better? It does. But do we need to see certain things play out? Certainly. But it’s too early to predict what it could be. “But the price we have put out there has been earned and we are confident in paying.” Fonterra reviews its prices every two months. Asked about differential pricing in different regions, Dedoncker said he had been making the offers “crystal clear”. In northern Victoria, pricing was for a minimum volume and a higher quality standard. “The reason is that with cheese contracts, like at Stanhope, we have to guarantee milk to that product. “The $6.80 farmgate milk price is available to everybody. If you can meet the higher standards you can make a choice. “In other regions we have a variety of different options. In Gippsland there is a premium for A2 conversion, in Tasmania there is an opportunity for growth, and in the West we have agreements for servicing our Woolworths contracts. “The special offers are not for everyone, but we have been clear to suppliers about what they are.” Fonterra said earlier
this year it would be closing its Dennington plant in western Victoria, which raised questions about the future of other factories. But Dedoncker says the Stanhope and Dennington plants are very different. “Dennington is a much older asset and focussed more on commodity powders. At Stanhope we have a plant which is probably the most modern cheese plant in the southern hemisphere. At Stanhope the agility we have built in has really come to the fore. Granted, it’s not running to capacity but we have enormous flexibility.” Fonterra’s recently upgraded Stanhope cheese making facility is not working to capacity but is still generating income for the company, Dedoncker says. The company has ploughed millions of dollars into upgrading the plant but is unable to run at full capacity with milk volumes falling in Victoria. Fonterra has been transferring milk to the factory to keep it running at optimum level. Dedoncker said the factory is playing a part in Fonterra’s successful cheese business in the consumer and food service sectors. “We are the largest cheese player in the country and we have the number one brands. That business has had its best year ever. “Our branded products are doing very well and have had the best year ever. We will make more cheese this year than last year.” Cheese is earning a premium in sales for consumer food service and international ingredients. Dedoncker says Fonterra is maintaining its milk share in Australia. He said the declining volumes through the factories are forcing them to look long and hard at the
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business. “We are proactive about the choices we make,” he said. In the ingredients business, with products like Bellamys organic, and the baby formulas and pow-
ders, Fonterra has been reviewing its arrangements and turning away from non-moneymaking deals. “We are doing less in the tradeable stuff. We are not waiting on this,
we have already made the choices. The good thing is that we have options and we are exercising them.” • This article first appeared in Dairy News Australia. Reproduced with permission.
Fonterra Australia managing director Rene Dedoncker.
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
16 // OPINION RUMINATING
Avoiding the path to insolvency
MILKING IT... Loud un-Kiwi critic
HOW CAN the stateowned Pamu Farms (formerly Landcorp) justify keeping the loudmouth freshwater ecologist Dr Mike Joy, of Victoria University, on its environment reference group? According to Pamu’s website, Joy is one of a six-member committee helping in its “rejuvenation strategy”. Have Pamu directors and managers read Joy’s recent opinion article in The New York Times where he blames dairy for rising nitrate levels in rivers and rubbishes NZ’s claim to a clean green environment? Rightly, dairy industry leaders have labelled Joy’s article “un-Kiwi”. Let’s see if Pamu thinks along the same lines.
WITH THE Government intent on strangling farmers with unachievable emissions targets, abetted by the ‘suits’ at industry-good bodies, we hear a timely reminder from a scientist. In an NZME column, Dr Jacqueline Rowarth said, “New Zealanders need to accept that [proposals for] greenhouse gas reduction will negatively affect the economy and their lifestyles”. She says vital words from the Paris Agreement on climate change are now being lost amidst the calculations, targets and policies forming the emissions debate and NZ’s response. Namely the proposals should not threaten food production”. “Federated Farmers has tried to remind people of this point.” Rural News recently underlined this in pointing the finger at the “quislings” at levy funded groups DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ who some believe are not pushing back hard enough on this issue. “Both industry groups are advocating emission reductions far greater than current technologies can attain.”
COULD A pink seaweed hold the solution to our methane emissions problem? Australian scientists think so. A puffy pink seaweed that can stop cows from burping out methane is being primed for mass farming by researchers at the University of the Sunshine Coast. The scientists believe that if enough of the seaweed were to be grown for every cow in Australia, the country could cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 10%. The particular seaweed species, called Asparagopsis, grows prolifically off the Queensland coast. It was the only seaweed found to have the effect in a study five years ago led by CSIRO. Cows are known to eat seaweed. The researchers are working at the Bribie Island Research Centre, Moreton Bay, to learn more about how to grow the seaweed. They aim to inform a scale-up of production to supplement cow feed on a national or even a global scale.
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Trump tactics KIWI FARMERS are not the only ones nervous about their future as a result of politicians throwing them under the harvester. The first victims of the trade spat between the US and China were farmers, as China retaliated to US tariffs with tariffs on US commodities. President Trump has promised handouts to soften the losses by US farmers, but it won’t be enough. Farmers (and their suppliers) are hurting. Gary Wertish, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, said “Words and Twitters and tweets don’t pay farmers’ bills. That doesn’t solve the problem. This one’s self inflicted by our President, and though we definitely agreed with him at the beginning, it doesn’t appear there’s a plan B.” And Lindsay Greiner, president of the Iowa Soybean Association, said “Short term, stair stepped subsidies are a poor remedy for trade. They stimulate production but not sales and so do little to undo the long term log jam.” Meanwhile, China is not starving, it is simply buying more grain from Brazil and Argentina.
IS FONTERRA sliding towards insolvency? That’s the big question as Fonterra’s share price continues its painful march southwards. The co-op was in trouble even before its shock announcement on August 12 that it expected to incur a reported loss of $590-675 million this year -- a 37-42 cent loss/share from writedowns of up to $860m. On Friday, August 9, Fonterra’s shares were trading at $3.76/share, still far from their heyday of $6.60/share. Last week, the share price had dipped to $3.17/share, wiping millions of dollars off farmer shareholders’ balance sheets. Banks are already putting pressure on farmers. Whether Fonterra is facing similar pressure from its lenders is hard to tell. But it’s not hard to tell that Fonterra is nearly at the edge of the cliff. Despite writing down bad and poor investments it needs to do more. Expect bad news for Fonterra staff when chairman John Monaghan and chief executive Miles Hurrell front up with the co-op’s annual results on September 12. The co-op is set to trim its workforce and drastically cut costs. But whether these are enough to arrest the slide in the share price remains to be seen. What else can Fonterra do? This brings us to the capital structure. In 2012 Fonterra introduced Trading Among Farmers -- an attempt to keep 100% ownership and control with farmer shareholders and at the same time enable access to outside capital. Back then Fonterra farmers were in no mood to put any part of their business with outside investors. But now the co-op’s financial predicament could force farmers to think differently. The co-op has already started capital restructuring talks on a board sub-committee and with management. It’s crucial for Fonterra to get this right. Some directors are eager to float part of the co-op while others remain adamant about 100% ownership and control. The final decision remains with farmers. These are worrying times for Fonterra. Perhaps this is the time to consider a cornerstone investor to bring capital to restore credibility to the balance sheet and confidence among investors. Now is the time for Fonterra shareholders to act. Leaving it too late could take the co-op down the path taken by Westland Milk. That would be disastrous for all.
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
OPINION // 17
Why are NZ cows giving out so much methane? GRAHAM SHEPHERD
WHY ARE New Zealand cows emitting
so much methane? The answer lies in the poor quality of pasture the animal is consuming. Thus there is now a reliance on supplements to fill the shortcomings of the pasture, a limitation that comes at a hefty economic cost to the farmer. Cows by and large are fed nitrate-rich, crude protein-rich pastures that are low in carbohydrates, sugars and starch. The microbes in the rumen therefore lack the energy to efficiently convert the plant material into milk, meat and fibre. Instead, more than 80% is converted to NH3, CH4 and CO2. The production of these gases could be significantly reduced by simply presenting the animal with energy-rich, species diverse pasture. While methane is reported as a major GHG accounting for over 40% of NZ emissions in its global warming potential, it’s a gas that’s rapidly broken down in the atmosphere by hydroxyl radicals photooxidising CH4 and CH3 (methyl, a nonGHG), and CO2. Moist air above pastures in fact photooxidises far more CH4 than is able to be produced by the soil or animals grazing that area. Carbon dioxide should be seen as a critically important resource where its associated C can be sequestered into the soil by promoting the capacity and rate of photosynthesis, the density and length of the root system, and the biomass and activity of soil microbes. We can more than offset all our emissions by simply sequestering sufficient carbon from the atmosphere, but more importantly we need to reduce our overall emissions. Despite commonly held perceptions, this can easily be achieved by simply changing to management practices that address the root cause of our high emissions rather than attempting to mitigate them by applying the many bandaids now developed. This has significant implications for the Zero Carbon Bill now before a parliamentary select committee. Unless we implement those farm management prac-
tices that enable the sequestration of soil carbon by the drawdown of atmospheric CO2 and minimise the emissions of CH4, we will continue to fall short of the emission targets set. Methane is also a necessary requirement of methanotrophic bacteria in the soil which takes up CH4 from the atmosphere as its energy source and oxidises it. Soils act as a major sink for atmospheric methane, converting it to carbon dioxide and moisture. The amount of methane emitted by one cow is equivalent to the amount of methane it methanotrophic bacteria can consume on 3.4 ha of land. In addition, it has been shown that methane emissions can be slashed by more than 80% by adding seaweed (Asparagopsis taxiformis) to the cow’s diet, highlighting the importance of diet in mitigating methane emissions. At a GHG workshop at Massey University a few years ago I asked, “how would improving a cow’s diet affect the emissions of methane?” The answer given was no more than 10%. How wrong they were. Like us the animal responds to what it eats. The real concern with methane is its vast storage and emissions from formerly frozen methane hydrates on many continental shelves. This of course is outside the realm and influence of NZ’s agriculture. We need to use our grey matter more to think about what’s in the dry matter. If we don’t, the public and politicians’ perception that agriculture is destructive to the environment will continue and our markets will turn more towards plant based and synthetic milk and meat products. Unawareness, vested interests and groups that lobby for something similar to the status quo are a concern because they come with a high economic and environmental cost. Because our total emissions have increased 800% since 1990 (Stats NZ) one must ask whether their focus on implementing band-aids to offset our high environmental footprint has worked for us. • Graham Shepherd of BioAgriNomics is a soil scientist and independent farm advisor and author of the Visual Soil Assessment.
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
18 // AGRIBUSINESS
Suppliers needed as milk demand surges PAM TIPA firstname.lastname@example.org
Danone’s new sheep milk baby formula.
MAUI MILK is seeking new suppliers of sheep milk located within two
hours of Hamilton for a new supply agreement with Danone. Milk from free range, grass fed dairy sheep is now supplied by Maui Milk to Danone from its
two farms running 6000 ewes on the western shores of Lake Taupo. The company is offering multi-year contracts to new conversions in greater Waikato with
the aim of doubling milk volume next season. Danone-owned Nutricia, a global leader in specialised nutrition, last month launched Karicare Toddler Sheep Milk formulation, its first such product and a significant step for the New Zealand sheep dairy industry. The Karicare brand is a leader in Australia and New Zealand, says Nutricia. The Maui supplied milk is processed at Innovation Park in Hamilton. Maui Milk chief executive Peter Gatley says there is interest from sheep and beef farms around Taupo, Rotorua and King Country, but mostly from Waikato dairy operations. “Comparison with a typical Waikato dairy farm shows a better return per hectare, especially on smaller farms in the 50-80 ha range,” he said. “The system is all grazing, no barns are required and the lactation is shorter than for cows. A lot of farmers are also attracted because the environmental footprint is similar to traditional sheep and beef farming. “Conversion from dairy cattle is low cost and we are offering multiyear contracts at a payout equivalent to $3/L. We can supply pregnant ewes during winter so a farm can dry off the cows in autumn and be milking sheep in spring.” Maui Milk was formed five years ago to satisfy demand for alternative milks, particularly in Asia where many people find cow milk hard to digest. The company highlights the natural advantages of sheep milk which contains much higher levels of most nutrients than either cow or goat milk. Maui chairman Peter McGilvary explains that whole milk powder sold under the Maui Milk brand was a stepping stone during the establishment phase and an expanded product range was always expected. “The opportunity to supply the early child-
hood nutrition market is exciting,” said McGilvary. “The educated, affluent consumer wants grass fed dairy for their children and they focus strongly on environmental sustainability and animal welfare.” Gatley says the company has made huge strides in farm productivity improvement. “Progress has been spectacular. Until recently it was impossible to breed a modern dairy sheep in NZ because the genetics simply did not exist here. That all changed when we imported semen and embryos from Europe. “Sheep can milk as yearlings and they have multiple offspring. “We’re making 50 years progress in about five years.” McGilvary says the company is working on complementary products to sell under its own brand and is buoyant about the prospects. “Whatever form the product takes, we see grass fed sheep milk as the perfect fit for ‘brand NZ’. It’s what we’re famous for -- grass, sheep and milk.” For Nutricia, its toddler sheep milk product innovation responds to growing demand among consumers in Australia and NZ for toddler formulas based on alternative sources of milk, such as goat and sheep milk. “As consumer preferences continue to evolve it’s important that we, as market leader in Australia and New Zealand, are able to cater accordingly. Also, this launch is an opportunity to serve other consumers with similar tastes in the region, and who value NZ’s renowned agricultural and sheep farming heritage and the country’s natural environment. “Plus, through this launch we’re supporting our local dairy sheep farms,” said John Hoare, sales director at Nutricia ANZ. The milk for the launch of Karicare Toddler Sheep Milk is sourced from Maui’s two farms.
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
AGRIBUSINESS // 19
Keep mastitis from milking you dry. Lisa Groen with parents Klaas and Annette.
Boosting the revenue on a smaller farm LOUISE HANLON
LISA GROEN is gradually taking
over the reins of the family farm, near Te Aroha, Waikato, ten years on from starting to learn the ropes. And the family is working to grow the business to support them all. Groen is the second generation on the 65 ha, 225 cow farm, following her parents, Klaas and Annette, who bought it in 2000. “Farming is all I ever grew up with and I enjoy the lifestyle, working from home. It has its challenges for sure. There are days when I think ‘Why am I doing this?’ But I enjoy the challenge. Every day and every season is different dairy farming and it is rewarding.” One challenge is to work out how to increase the farm’s revenue to support all the family members plus an employee. “The farm was a system 1, everything was made on the farm and it was self-contained with Mum and Dad working full-time,” says Groen. “Then I came home and I had to be paid. Our days in milk were limited because we were so reliant on the weather, so we had to change our system. “We put in a meal feeding system rather than a feedpad to add a bit more lifestyle as well as income. The family business is all we’ve got, so we need to look after where our livelihood comes from. “I have always said I never want to go farming by myself, there is more to life than work. I want to be able to step away on my days off to find a balance and what works for the family. “If we had put a feedpad in we would have had to employ a worker to run that. And then you’ve got your machinery and effluent system changes and you’ve got to grow maize or silage. It became too complicated for us so we decided to keep
it simple.” Adding in-shed feeding allowed the Groens to milk an extra 25 cows, which meant they could employ a worker as well. “Last year we employed a milker, so Dad was out of the shed and the milker and I did the milking,” says Groen. “Dad is still involved during the day to help out and do maintenance jobs, and he still milks when the worker and I have time off. It means he can keep an eye on things. “Mum and Dad still want to be involved as they live on the farm as well, making sure I am doing it ok.” Long term they plan to employ extra help over the first few months of the season during calving and mating. “The plan is for Dad to have his last calving this season,” says Groen. “And I don’t want to have to do it by myself, so we need the financials and budget to support that.” Groen appreciates the extra control she can have managing a smaller property. “Smaller herds are easier to manage. On a bigger farm you’ve got a lot more area to keep an eye on management-wise. I couldn’t see myself farming more than 300 cows, because of the one-on-one animal side of things. “Having it simpler, you don’t have the risk. If you have a bigger farm and you get your pasture management wrong it will really hit you. There is a bit of room for error on a smaller farm. Also, nobody works harder than someone who is self employed. Whatever I do is going to impact my future here.” Groen also values getting off farm to learn at industry events – a valuable piece of advice handed down by her father. “Dad said, ‘You are not going to come home and work on the farm unless you go to discussion groups and farming events’.
“It is one way to benchmark and it is how Mum and Dad started off. They didn’t really know too much about New Zealand and farming when they came out, so they progressed by networking and benchmarking themselves against other people. That is how you improve. That’s also why we have started using DairyBase.” There are many events to choose from, but Groen has learned which are the most valuable for her. She gains a lot out of attending SMASH events. “You have to pick and choose the events you go to, depending on the relevance to you and your system. SMASH events relate to me. There is no point in me going to an event for people with 1000 cows. “Being involved with farmers who are also farming smaller systems is more relevant for me as they have the same sort of challenges. “It has been valuable looking at the financials of farms similar to here. We are all in the same boat and it gives you the chance to bounce ideas off each other.” The Groens are planning for a future where farming will be a very different proposition. “It depends on what happens with the whole environmental thing,” says Groen. “Keeping up-to-date, and going to events like the SMASH ones is a bit of an eye opener. It’s important to keep ahead of the game, getting as much information as you can rather than all of a sudden something happening and you don’t know anything about it. “At the moment we’re pushing the limit with the system we’ve got but are looking at the information from Overseer. What does that look like and what can we do to change?” • Louise Hanlon is the executive secretary of Smaller Milk and Supply Herds (SMASH) @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
Mastitis is the most common disease of dairy cattle, so every dairy farmer can benefit from knowing how to best manage mastitis at any time of the year. To assist with this, check out TOP FARMERS KNOW-HOW... where there's access to videos, fact sheets and more, all free to help farmers be at the top of their game. It's part of an investment from MSD Animal Health and comes as another layer of service to our robust technical team deployed nationally.
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
20 // MANAGEMENT
First-time awards contestant Shawn Southee’s first-ever contest entry was in the Dairy Business of the Year awards. Jill Galloway talked to him about his lower North Island dairy business win. SHAWN SOUTHEE
doesn’t blow his own trumpet. In fact he was not keen to enter any awards -- dairy business, company awards or industry awards. But he was pleased he did. Southee, who manages a Hopkins Group farm near Longburn, Manawatu, won this year’s Dairy Business of the Year (DBOY) Best Farm Performance award for the lower North Island. It included Wairarapa and Taranaki. While he did not win the overall final he was
a finalist. The big prize went to a Northland equity partnership with 17 shareholders. He found out in June. “The finals were held in Queenstown,” he said. “It was exciting but I thought I might be out of my league there. “But the others were all average guys and down to earth. The thing we all had in common was not being prepared to sit back and wait for things to happen.” The Hopkins Group was started by John Hopkins, an Englishman who arrived in New Zealand as a young man, with 1
pound in his pocket. He is older now, but still driven, and the company now owns 10 dairy
farms and three run-offs. Southee manages Waihora farm. “Initially I didn’t know about Dairy Business of the Year and I don’t usually like to enter anything, but the chief execu-
Shaun Back, Hopkins Group
EDNA CALENDAR 2020
tive, Shaun Back, told me about it and said he would like to put the farm in,” says Southee. There is a stable workforce and we all compete well against other managers, he says. “And Shaun Back reckoned it wouldn’t mean much extra work for me”, he ■■ said. It did mean ■■ Southee had to ■■ put together a lot of facts and ■■ figures. “Then ■■ 10 days later I found out I was in the finals and it ■■ was a big sur■■ prise to me.” ■■ He says he was not motivated to go ■■ for any awards. “I don’t mind ■■ the farm being judged, but not ■■ me.” Back says the Hopkins Farming ■■ Group felt Shawn Southee would do well and supported ■■ him to go into the DBoY. ■■ “He shouldn’t have
been surprised. We had a lot of confidence in him. He utilises grass really well and does well against other people.” Southee has been
at the farm since 2006. Before coming to the Manawatu Hopkins farm he worked as a manager at Landcorp Farms (now Pamu) at Ngatea.
By the numbers THE FARM has 1000 cows, of which 700 calve in early spring and 300 in autumn. Used to be mainly Friesians, now Kiwi cross. 340 effective hectares. A total of 360 hectares including drains , ponds and the effluents . 5 staff including Southee. A fulltime trainee from Palmerston North Boys High School works 40 hours a week. He lives at home. He is on a Federated Farmers work scheme to see if he is suited and likes dairy farming. Cost of production is $4.37/kgMS. Return on equity is 7.4%. They winter off farm 50% of the autumn calvers and 90% of the spring herd. It takes the pressure off the on farm situation. Heifers graze at a Hawke’s Bay property and come back in top condition. Each farm gets its own heifers back . “We breed them and put effort into them.” The Hopkin’s Group farms all use Jersey bulls for tail-end cows. Southee would like to use beef bulls and have fewer bobby calves. The farm has a 500 cow feed pad and a 60 bail rotary shed. It was built in 2000. Milking at peak in spring takes about 3.5 hours and two people milk. Cows are milked twice a day.
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
MANAGEMENT // 21
made the finals “Originally my wife and I were looking for an equity partnership. There used to be lots around, now there aren’t many. I knew John Hopkins and had several interviews.
bought a lifestyle block at Kairanga. Southee lives there and says it is nice having something of his own. But it is managing the Waihora farm which won
Then I came south as a manager.” There was a shareholding, not in his farm but of all the Hopkin’s properties. He sold his shares and he and his wife
Southee the regional award as part of DBoY. “It made me analyse the business more and in depth.” The judges liked the grass growing ability of
HOPKINS FARMING GROUP THE MASSEY University dairy professor, with fellow judge Michael Lawrence, a director of Naylor Lawrence & Associates in Palmerston North, judged 14 finalist farms. He says they looked at human resources, staff training, labour and staff turnover and health and safety. Donaghy says half the judging was return on capital, 20% was on operating profit and 15% each on the environment and human resources. He says they had all the figures and took into account environmental factors such as
flooding or drought. “”They had to be compliant and we looked at their nitrogen budget, leaching phosphorous and precision irrigation. “We didn’t judge on this, but we trialled greenhouse gases emissions this year, such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.” Donaghy says it was a rigorous process with the awards based on information from the 2017-2018 season. He says the judging, while systematic, was not too difficult. Each farm required a lot of reading but it didn’t take the judges long to rate them.
“People can enter the awards every year. Many farmers enter year after year to help them with figures and benchmarking.” They can only be judged every second year. “People like being benchmarked against their peers. Farmers look at efficiencies and they can take their figures to the bank manager.” Donaghy says they get an upto-date land valuation and look at real figures, often double and triple checking information. “It is fun and work too. I do it as part of my input into the dairy industry.”
Farm manager Shawn Southee
the farm and the increase in milk solids. In 2006 production was 280,000 kgMS/year and in 2018 it was 400,000. “Most of that increase was done through pasture management. “We put a lot of effort into pre and post pasture use.”
It is a mainly grass growing farm but it feeds silage made on the property and palm kernel and maize. “We feed a mix of that in spring. It helped put weight on cows. Once they lose weight it was so harder to put it on.” Southee says cows
calving in autumn provides milk for the winter contract of 420 kgMS/ day and are generally in better condition than the spring calvers. He says they only milk 300 cows through the winter months which enables staff to take time off.
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
22 // ANIMAL HEALTH
Research ‘overdue but welcome’ THE ‘RESILIENT Dairy’ research launched by LIC at National Fieldays in June is an “overdue but welcome initiative” because New Zealand is lagging in dairy genetics, says genetics company World Wide Sires. The seven year programme ‘Resilient Dairy: Innovative Breeding for a Sustainable Future’, is led by LIC with funding and support from MPI and DairyNZ. It is aimed at boosting NZ’s genomic progress. A spokesman for World Wide Sires, Jack Schouten, says that because genomic evaluations is a numbers game, NZ is “hobbled in its ability to keep pace with genetic progress overseas where industries have large base populations to work from”. World Wide Sires says it is the international marketing arm of dairy farmer owned Select Sires. Schouten says US research to improve dairy cow resilience began in 2008. “Select Sires and its sister company Accelerated Genetics initiated similar genomics research in 2008… to improve cow productivity and produce cows with improved health, wellbeing and environmental resilience.” It has delivered “staggering results,” he said. “The first release of genomic data on US Holsteins and Jerseys took place in 2009, but Select Sires had been working with genomic selection to assist with sire
and female selections for a few years prior.” Since the official introduction of genomic evaluations, the US Council of Dairy Cattle Breeding
ations by the US Department of Agriculture in 2009. It wasn’t until we had genomic evaluations that we started to make a quantum leap in genetic
KEY POINTS ■■
World-scale AB cooperative World Wide Sires is applauding the ‘Resilient Dairy’ research programme US research into genomics and resilience began in 2008 Research results to date include improved components, production, fertility, health and wellness Today US ‘open participation’ genomic database (numbering 3 million genomic tested animals) is the world’s largest.
largest genomic database in the world. “Through open participation, North American, Canadian, Italian and UK AB co-ops/companies contribute SNPs which see at least 39,360 bulls and 583,676 heifers genomic tested each year. “The US evaluation database now numbers at least 3 million genomic tested animals. This large database of genotyped animals with performance data leads the world.” Schouten said World Wide Sires’ challenge has been to utilise genomic sire information “so we could diversify our sire line-up to focus on genetics appropriate for the various global management systems”. “NZ’s Resilient Dairy programme aims to deliver, within the next seven years, “new disease management technologies and advancements in genomic science which will improve cow productivity and produce better cows with improved health, wellbeing and environmental resilience”. “The international consortium, of which World Wide Sires is a member, has proven the research works. It’s evident on NZ farms today with robust, highly fertile cows which last in the herd and produce in excess of 500kg per year,” Schouten said.
has recorded the improvements (see table below). Schouten said somatic cell counts (SCC) in US Holsteins have also decreased by at least 50% since 1985. Much of that had been achieved via traditional genetic evaluations for SCC in the mid 1990s which evolved into genomic evaluations in 2009. “We were doing genetic testing for a handful of genetic markers in the mid 2000s. And in 2008 we started doing genomic testing of our bulls, using genomic evaluations to make selection decisions. This eventually led to the public release of genomic evalu-
improvement. “We’ve been making steady improvement for production traits all along. What genomic evaluations made possible was to allow us to make improvements for health and fertility traits at the same time as production improvements. This is difficult because of the genetic antagonism between these traits and is what has accelerated overall genetic improvement. “The ranking of young animals using genomic evaluations has much greater accuracy than ranking by parent average alone, so we are able to use young animals as bull
mothers and sire fathers, which shortens the generation interval and so speeds genetic progress.” Schouten said genomic evaluations that directly address wellness traits have been available since 2016. “We’ve made much progress with improved health and wellness. And the use of antibiotics has reduced and will be able
Preg. Rate %
Days Open (calving date to mating date)
Cow Conc Rate %
Jack Schouten, World Wide Sires.
ECO FRIENDLY SOLUTION
to be decreased further through selection of animals with greater genetic resistance to disease. This also aligns with consumer demands. “Female fertility has also made a dramatic turnaround since 2009 and our female fertility levels are what they were back in the 1980s with cows producing much more combined fat and
protein kilograms. “With increased feed efficiency we are also able to produce higher volumes of milk and milk solids with fewer inputs, so decreasing the carbon footprint per kg of milk produced.” Schouten says the company’s progress in genetics improvement has been enabled by access to the
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
ANIMAL HEALTH // 23
Auto heat detection erases tailpaint TAILPAINT HAS been
shelved by a King Country farm -- the first in New Zealand to try DeLaval’s automated cow heat detection. Called HeatGate, it has an electronic circuit contained in an adhesive patch. The technology replaces tail paint and manual drafting. The patch is activated once pressure is applied and it then automatically sorts cows at the gate for mating. The system suits any shed and farming system. Robbie van der Poel, whose 400 cow farm at Otorohanga is doing the trial, says he likes the patches’ simplicity. “Anyone can use this in a way that minimises labour. We now have one fewer labour units in the cowshed. “You can do the whole herd in one milking ready
to send out the next day and it’s a one-off cost.” DeLaval says the technology can improve submission and in-calf rates. “The technology enables farmers to lift their profitability and manage the health of their animals without increases in labour,” said Peter Wilson, solution manager herd management at DeLaval. “We’ve seen about 231 more days in milk on our test farm as a result of automating heat detection alone. “In our first mating we had a 7% increase in our 3 week in-calf rate so that basically means more cows in calf earlier, more days in milk, more money in my pocket,” said Van Der Poel. DeLaval HeatGate can be installed and operated in any cow shed and any farming system. It can be
run by a hand-held device, or by a standalone fixture on any gate (no need to connect it to a central data management system) or with a DeLaval Sortgate. “Before using Heat-
The patch contains an electronic circuit.
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Herd genetics not only about money SELECTING THE right genetics is no longer only for improving the economic output of a herd, says CRV Ambreed sales and marketing manager Jon Lee. “Dairy farming requires genetics and data collection to enable farmers to understand their options to farm sustainably for profit, the environment and animal welfare,” said Lee. CRV spends at least 20% of its revenue each year on genetics research -- “identifying teams of bull sires that can help reduce cows’ milk urea nitrogen (MUN), increase facial eczema tolerance, breed hornless calves and breed cows suited to once-a-day milking,” said Lee. CRV says its research into MUN is recognised internationally, notably in an international journal of animal bioscience, Animal. Its article of the month for October is the work of CRV head geneticist Phil Beatson, entitled ‘Genetic variation in milk urea nitrogen concentration of dairy cattle and its implications for reducing urinary nitrogen excretion’. Beatson has been invited to write a blog to summarise the key findings of his work, provide perspectives on the topic and respond to researchers’ questions worldwide. CRV managing director Angus Haslett says such recognition shows international interest in CRV’s proposal that genetics to reduce MUN leads to reduced urinary nitrogen output from cows. “Our LowN Sires are bred to lower MUN in their daughters which are expected to excrete less nitrogen in their urine, thereby reducing the amount of nitrogen leached from grazed cows.”
Gate we used traditional tail paint, as I was taught. But now the cows are automatically drafted out and they’re there waiting for me to deal with after milking,” said van der Poel.
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
24 // ANIMAL HEALTH
Treating clinical mastitis SEAN DALY
MASTITIS IS one of the most
common diseases of New Zealand dairy cattle. Following best-practice guidelines for treating cows with clinical mastitis will maximise the chance of them curing and will ensure that milk entering the food chain is fit for consumption. When you find signs of clinical mastitis, such as clots or flakes in the milk, watery milk, or a swollen, hard or painful quarter, follow MRS T: mark, record, separate then treat1,2. First, mark the cow Sean Daly following the convention on your farm, so it is easy to see that she is being treated for mastitis. For example, spray her legs and udder with red spray paint. Then, record the date, the cow’s tag number and the quarter with mastitis in your permanent animal health records. You may want to also record it temporarily on the whiteboard in the shed so it’s easy to see. Next,
separate the cow by either drafting her into the paddock with the red mob, or put her in a side pen or leave her on the platform until she can join the red mob so that her milk will be diverted away from supply. If the cow is a repeat-offender, if you are having more mastitis than normal, or if you are monitoring mastitis closely on your farm, take a milk sample for bacterial culture before you milk the cow. These samples can be tested right away or be frozen and tested at a later date if the cow does not respond to treatment. The culture results from many samples over time can help you decide on the best mastitis treatments and can help you identify likely sources of new infections. Once the cow has been marked, recorded, separated (and, if appropriate, sampled), she can be milked. After milking, the cow is ready for treatment. You should have a treatment plan discussed with your vet before calving begins about which mas-
titis treatments to use, and when. Depending on how the mastitis presents, age of the cow, previous history of mastitis and how many quarters are affected you may have different treatment protocols. A decisionmaking flow chart is a useful tool that your veterinarian can provide to help you decide which treatments to use, and when. This can be hung on the wall next to the medicine cabinet for easy reference. Hygiene and cleanliness are important. Most cases of clinical mastitis are treated by inserting antibiotic into the affected quarter. These intramammary antibiotics need to be administered cleanly and gently, so new infections are not introduced. First, wear clean and dry gloves. Next, use a new teat wipe or cotton ball soaked in meths to thoroughly clean the teat end. Uncap the tube and partially insert its tip into the teat end, no more than a few millimetres. Gently press the plunger to instil the product into the teat. If the product label says to strip or massage it up into the quarter, then, hold off the end of the teat with your clean fingers and use the forefinger and thumb of
References DairyNZ SmartSAMM. (2012). Lactation Technote 10: Rapidly find, record and treat clinical cases. www.dairynz.co.nz DairyNZ SmartSAMM. (2012). Calving Technote 4: Rapidly find, record and treat clinical mastitis in recently calved cows. www.dairynz.co.nz
your other hand to move the product up. Lastly, spray the cow’s teats with teat spray. It is important to record the treatments you’ve just given next to the cow’s information in your permanent animal health records and, if appropriate, also on the whiteboard. Make sure it’s clear how many more doses of treatment the cow should receive, and when. Double-check that the correct milk and meat with-holding periods are being followed with each case. A few days later, when the cow finishes her course of mastitis treatments, she may still have an abnormal quarter or milk. Sometimes this is because the antibiotic hasn’t cured the infection, but more often, the antibiotic has killed
the bacteria, but the inflammation is still resolving. If you have concerns about whether or not your mastitis treatments are working as well as they should be, discuss this with your veterinarian. These concerns are easiest to investigate if you have good permanent records from clinical cases. Once the cow’s milk and quarter are back to normal and she has cleared her milk-with-hold, mark her to signal she’s okay to go back into the vat and then return her to the milking mob. For more information about mastitis, speak with your vet, consult DairyNZ SmartSAMM resources, or visit www.TopFarmers.co.nz. • Dr Sean Daly is a vet and technical adviser at MSD Animal Health
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
EFFLUENT & WATER // 25
Effluent expo coming! EXTRA SITES, a new
Adcam 750 LD irrigator.
25 years of service NUMEDIC IS now in its 25th year of business under the ownership of Peter and Cathryn Reid. In 1995 they took ownership of a business with one product line -- the Numedic Power Drenching system. Through innovation and their experience as farmers they now have a range of dairy effluent equipment sold New Zealand-wide and exported to several countries. Numedic now has a new shore mounted effluent pump in its popular range of NG pumps. This self priming centrifugal pump handles solids up to 35 mm diameter with a suction lift of up to 8 m. This enables the pump to handle raw effluent. All Numedic pumps range from 7.5 kW to 18.5 kW. An improved version of the company’s Adcam 750 irrigator – the new model is called Adcam 750 LD -- can achieve depths down to 5mm. It still has the short and long boom that spread effluent evenly to achieve maximum grass growth. The Adcam 750 LD irrigator can now be supplied with braid instead of wire rope. Braid suffers no damage if it kinks and it is highly visible in the paddock. Numedic hydrant range now includes models for use with 110 mm OD effluent pipe. These hydrants have a moulded tailpiece that fits snugly inside this larger diameter effluent pipe. This means the range includes hydrants with various size tailpieces and ones with 80 BSP male thread. The company’s water saving Hydrofan washdown nozzles, now well proven, use only about half the water consumed by standard washdown nozzles. These can be fitted on backing gates to reduce water use and are very effective in yard cleaning. Numedic is a Farm Dairy Effluent System accredited designer able to give expert advice on a total effluent system or improvements to existing systems. Tel. 0800 686 334 or email@example.com
strategy and revamped logo will be features of the 2019 Effluent & Environment Expo. The two-day event will run at Mystery Creek Events Centre on November 19 and 20. Organiser Amanda Hodgson says extra sites will accommodate a bigger number of exhibitors than last year. And farmers will be better served with more information on managing their total environmental footprint, including effluent management. “Management of a farm’s total environment is under the spotlight
EXPO more than ever, so farmers want to know more than just how to manage effluent at their dairies or dairy housing systems. “Effluent management is still the expo’s primary
focus for now, but we can see potential to broaden that to offer farmers advice, products and services across the entire farm environment package.”
The event’s new brand and logo is said to “capture the broader focus of the expo and appeal to other livestock farming sectors and the companies that service them”.
A new layout which uses the whole event centre pavilion gives the expo organizers scope for exhibitor numbers to exceed 100, says Hodgson. This year’s expo will be much like the 2018 event. Speakers and seminar topics are near finalized. The expo’s guide will be published on October 15. Entry for farmers is free thanks to sponsors Fonterra FarmSource, Rabobank, DairyNZ, Waikato Regional Council and Mystery Creek Events Centre. Sponsorship opportunities remain open. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
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SLURRY TANKERS enable dairy
farmers to replace inorganic fertilisers with their farm effluents. Enter Giltrap AgriZone’s range of Hi-Spec tankers, made by a family owned business in County Carlow Ireland. They come in a wide range for all types and sizes of operation. At the utility end of the range, the single axle SA-S models have capacities of 3600 to 9500 L, while the SA-R models (6100 to 13,700 L) have axles recessed into the tank and stepped to reduce height and increase stability. For larger farmers and contrac-
tors, the TD-S models (9500 to 18,000 L) are fitted with high speed, commercial grade tandem axles, in some cases with rear axle steering. The complementary TD-R series has recessed wheels to help reduce overall width. The tri-axle TRI-S series (18,000 to 22,500 L) have front and rear passively steered axles, a larger tank diameter to reduce overall length and a 11,000 L/min Jurop vacuum pump. Other features: 6mm British steel throughout, with tank internals including anti-implosion rings and baffles to stop surging. Models over 11,000 L capacity have Auto-Fill systems and are protected by relief valves at the pump
and within the tank. All models have hydraulic braking, wide-angle PTO shafts and exhaust silencers as standard. Dependent on model, the specification can include sprung drawbars. All units have swivel ring hitches. With an eye to improved access and emerging technologies, tankers are supplied with multiple filling points. The dished rear ends have access doors and a modular mounting system for retro fitting dribble bars, trailing shoe units or disc injection systems for more accurate placement of material. www.gaz.co.nz @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
SIMPLE SCRAPER WITH CLEVER FEATURES MANY FAMILIAR,
straightforward items of kit do a good job day in, day out. For example, the Zocon modular rubber scraper from importer Ag-Attachments will suit farmers looking to clean feed pads or collecting yards and to push feed up to barriers. Fitted with a 40 cm rubber blade, with steel reinforcing to improve durability, the scraper is available in 2.7 or 3.0 m working widths. Each end of the scraper blade can be
angled to increase holding capacity, and the whole blade assembly can be angled up to 60 degrees left or right. Heavily galvanised steel in the support frame resists the harsh environment, and a com-
bination headstock offers several user possibilities. Attachment is easy to a conventional threepoint linkage, a frontloader or a telehandler equipped with pallet forks. This means the scraper need not always
be tied to one prime mover. For operators wanting to keep their boots clean an optional hydraulic kit is available to angle the blade from the driver’s seat. www.agattach.co.nz
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
EFFLUENT & WATER // 27
Clever placement makes best use of effluent MARK DANIEL email@example.com
KIWI DAIRY farmers
tend to be lagging behind the northern Europeans in their handling of dairy effluent. The Europeans realised long ago that efficient effluent use would go far in replacing bought-in fertilisers. For ten years the Euro’s have also quit traditional splash-plate application, now instead favouring dribble bar or trailing shoe applicators. These help reduce the amount of nitrogen lost to the atmosphere as ammonia, while also addressing the problems of odour and complaints from neighbours. German specialist Vogelsang, a big player for years, has taken
Vogelsang Blackbird spreader.
another step in placement accuracy, so reducing crop contamination and improving plant uptake of nutrients. New skid technology for its Blackbird trailing shoe linkages embodies a beak-like point said
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to all internal components so that servicing can be done without dismantling the distributor, the outlet cover or the outlet hoses and feed lines. Also, because the rotor runs at lower speed, it needs 50% less power, and exerts less pressure on the cutting blades and inside the distributor, all these factors extending the service life of the unit. Hose layouts are modified to prevent the typical ‘v-shaped’ spread pattern as work begins.
to ensure an even flow of slurry while also penetrating the soil surface more easily. The Blackbird series also uses its maker’s precision distributor/ macerator -- the ExaCut ECQ, located at the centre of the boon structure. Its large internal diameter and oversized distributor plates keep the slurry moving, under control and distributed more accurately. The unit also has a large maintenance port at its heart, allowing access
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
28 // EFFLUENT & WATER
Maelstrom kicks up a storm MARK DANIEL email@example.com
West Maelstrom rear discharge spreader.
A NEW addition to Farmchief ’s extensive range is aimed at using organic waste on farm, notably the West Maelstrom rear discharge manure spreader. Built by the West family business in Shropshire, UK, the machine is available in nominal capacities of 8 or 14 cu.m with corresponding tare
weights of 3.5 or 6.0 tonnes respectively. It comprises a heavy-duty y-shape body with the bed chains -- twin 14 mm items for the model 8 and twin 18 mm for the model 14 -- moving material to twin, vertical rear beaters which rotate at 400 rpm. These have replaceable blades which shred material to a fine consistency for a uniform spread up to 12 m. Overload protection is by a driveline slip clutch with the 1000 rpm
input shaft equipped with a wide angle set-up. The Maelstrom series particularly suits farmyard manures but can be equipped with a hydraulically actuated vertical guillotine style door to handle semi solid material or slurry. LED lights and tractor style tyres are standard on both models and the larger machine has a sprung drawbar. Options include light protectors, onboard weighing systems and GPS telemetry for proof of placement.
YARDMASTER HEADS FOR IRELAND REVERSING A longtime flow of gear from Ireland to New Zealand, a Waikato manufacturer is about to start exporting to the land of Guinness. Reid and Harrison, of Matamata, designer and maker of Yardmaster solids handling pumps, will launch in Ireland next month at the Irish Ploughing Event, the country’s premier agricultural show. The company visited the show last year, helped by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. The visitor numbers (300,000 in three days) and quality conversations it had with hands-on farmers were impressive, says chief executive Keith Cooke. “A combination of looking to broaden our sales base outside NZ and the esteem of both
PJ Dore (left) and Yardmaster executive Seaton Dalley.
countries for agriculture led to us deciding Ireland was a good place to do business,” he said. Reid and Harrison has partnered with PJ Dore, of Limerick, with 30 years experience in pumps and irrigation systems, who will distribute the Reid and Harrison products. PJ Dore staff have been in NZ getting familiar with the Kiwi products. The Yardmaster’s
foolproof design and reliability will be popular with Irish farmers, says PJ Dore, and already interest is building in the NZ made multi stage pumps, submersible stirrers and separators, all to be displayed at ‘The Ploughing’. While dairy effluent systems are approached differently in Ireland -- the focus there is on mobile spreading -- they also need to handle
solids, says Cooke, who sees NZ leading in fixed plant systems. “NZ technology is already held in high esteem in Ireland, so we will leverage on this to introduce our products and solve effluent management needs, particularly for those looking to expand farm and herd sizes.” www.yardmaster.co.nz @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
LINER SYSTEMS FOR DAIRY EFFLUENT AND IRRIGATION PONDS • Cost competitive • Utilise your existing site • Control contamination and gas • 20 year material warranty • Reliable seam testing • Proven performance • Full QA report Freephone: 0800 454 646 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.containment.co.nz
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
EFFLUENT & WATER // 29
Spring blasts can rob nutrients WINTER AND early spring are when nutrients are most at risk of getting lost from farms. This can be due to high rainfall, reduced pasture growth, huge urine deposits, soil compaction and pugging. Rivers, streams and wetlands are important natural ecosystems which provide water for productive land use and help clean up the negative impacts of urban and rural pollutants which flow off the land. A farm nutrient budget is a valuable indicator of the status of nutrients in a farm system. It indicates where fertiliser applications are
with high Olsen P levels and on steep to rolling country. The challenge is to develop farming systems that efficiently cycle nutrients. Adoption of good nutrient management practices for all land uses and activities has the potential to bring about large improvements in the
quality of water resources and profits. WRC is working with stakeholders to help farmers adopt good industry approved practices. • Bala Tikkisetty is a sustainable agriculture advisor at Waikato Regional Council. Contact him on 0800 800 401 or bala.tikkisetty@ waikatoregion.govt.nz
Wetlands are an important natural ecosystem.
Due to the high risk of soluble nutrients getting washed out through the soil and lost from the farm systems, do not oversupply the soil with soluble nutrients, especially before and during winter. The high risk winter and early spring period
A farm nutrient budget is a valuable indicator of the status of nutrients in a farm system. inadequate and are leading to a decline in the soil nutrient status. Conversely, a nutrient budget can indicate excessive inputs which result in a nutrient surplus and greater potential for losses to the environment. The aim of nutrient management is to keep nutrients cycling within the farm system and to keep losses to bare a minimum. Most farmers know that some nutrients are more prone to loss than others, depending on the nature of the nutrient, soil type and climatic conditions. Nutrients are always leaving the farm system through various channels such as produce (milk, meat, silage, hay, wool, vegetables and crops), atmospheric loss and leaching. Depending on the production levels, these figures can vary greatly between farms. A nutrient budget will provide all this information. Nutrients such as nitrogen, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur can also be lost by leaching. This occurs when water washes soluble nutrients through the root zone into deeper layers of the soil and become inaccessible to plant roots. The leaching risk depends on, eg soil type, total rainfall and storms, and the quantity of soluble nutrients in the soil.
requires careful planning and understanding of nutrient cycles to reduce the danger of nutrient inefficiencies. A good understanding of the processes (and the terminology) in the nutrient cycles is important for nutrient budgeting and management. For example, in the nitrogen cycle there are two important processes: immobilisation and its opposite -- mineralisation. Soil biology plays an important role here, as these processes are microbially mediated and hence their speed is determined by the microbial activity in the soil. Plants cannot utilise organic nitrogen, so it must be first broken down to mineral nitrogen. Mineralisation occurs as the result of action by non-specific fungi and bacteria but the process of nitrification occurs as the result of two specific bacteria: nitrosomonas and nitrobacter. Generally, nitrate leaching will increase with an increasing rate of nitrogenous fertiliser. This highlights the environmental risk associated with high (ie, over and above agronomic requirement) nitrogen fertiliser use on farms. Phosphorus loss, on the other hand, mainly occurs from erosion and run off. Research has revealed that phosphorus losses will be high in soils
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
30 // EFFLUENT & WATER
Tainui Group Holdings primary industries manager Mark Jackways (left) and Tainui Road Dairy manager Greg Boswell and an effluent storage pond on the farm.
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SEEK EXPERT advice to understand how to meet new effluent management regulations in your region. That’s the advice from Tainui Group Holdings (TGH) primary industries manager Mark Jackways, as the company completes two years of effluent management improvements on three of its Waikato dairy farms. TGH dairy farms in Waikato include Hukanui, Punawai and Tainui Rd. A fourth dairy farm, Mangatea, was already up to spec for effluent management. Hukanui and Tainui Rd had been owned by TGH for 30 years. Mangatea and Punawai had been bought over the past two-three years. All farms supply Fonterra. “All three of our recent upgrades had different systems such as tanks,
lined ponds or unlined/sealed ponds,” said Jackways. “We wanted our effluent systems to meet compliance regulations, to reduce risk on the farms by having larger and safer storage capacity. “We brought in experts to provide advice and help design the best and most cost effective solutions for our dairies,” Jackways said. “An additional benefit is that we’ll save on fertiliser costs, using effluent not fertiliser to irrigate larger areas of each farm.” The Hukanui dairy is 105 ha and has 330 cows producing 120,000 kgMS/year. Improvements included relocating and upgrading the pump and stirrer system, a new gravel trap, an extension to the area that can be irrigated and a new irrigator. Punawai is 85 ha and has 220 cows producing 65,000 kgMS/year. The farm now has a new storage tank replacing the old “geographically
challenging” pond and, like Hukanui, it also has a new gravel trap, pump and stirrer, an extended irrigation area and a new irrigator. Tainui Rd dairy is 250 ha and has 630 cows producing 200,000 kgMS/ year. This has been upgraded with a new sump and gravel trap, new pump and stirrer and a new large, lined effluent pond. All the upgrades were designed, managed and had equipment supplied by Waikato Milking Systems, which is one third owned by TGH. Said Jackways, “It’s been a large combined investment for all the farms, but it’s something we had to do, to be complaint and sustainable in the long term. “We’re a long term player in the dairy industry so it’s better to get it done properly now so we don’t have to revisit the problem later. The final result means our dairies are more efficient, sustainable and environmentally friendly for the future.”
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
EFFLUENT & WATER // 31
Irrigating farmers record better enviro audit grades will keep working with farmers towards this.” The AIC irrigates 28,000ha in the Amuri Basin north of the Hur-
IRRIGATING FARMERS in the Amuri district
in North Canterbury continue to record improved environmental performance. The latest round of Farm Environment Plan audits by the Amuri Irrigation Environmental Collective have given 97% of the farmers collective A or B grades, the remaining 3% a C grade and none a D. That contrasts with 20% rated as C and 6% as D in the first round of collective audits four years ago. The collective consists of 176 farmers, including most larger irrigating farms within the Amuri, Hawarden and Hanmer Springs area. Most are Amuri Irrigation Company (AIC) shareholding
unui River with water taken from the Waiau and Hurunui. It also has a proposal to construct a scheme south of the Hur-
❱❱ Water troughs ❱❱ Feed troughs irrigators but 33 are nonshareholders voluntarily in the collective as their preferred means of environmental assessment. The collective was set up in 2013 and its environmental management strategy (EMS) was first approved by ECan for audited self management in 2014. The EMS specifies the required content of FEPs, which all members must have, and good management practice standards for farm management.
“The collective is pleased with the steady improvement in performance over the four years, with 97% of all farms in the AIC Environmental Collective at either B or A grade. Our members care about the environment and demonstrating sound environmental management practice that leaves a secure legacy for future generations,” said David Croft, chair of AIC. ECan’s Hurunui Waiau zone committee wel-
comed the results, recognising particularly the transition by some farms from lower to higher audit grades. “They are a good demonstration of the effectiveness of Environment Canterbury’s audited self management programme,” said zone manager Andrew Arps. “Amuri Irrigation Collective members should be proud of the result, but there is always further room for improvement, and we
Cleaning Lake Rotorua ROTORUA IS a step closer to
having a cleaner lake, following an interim Environment Court decision on Lake Rotorua nutrient management rules released last week, says Bay of Plenty Regional Council. The council’s chief executive, Fiona McTavish, says the rules (Plan Change 10) are one of several lake clean-up methods in
the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes Programme. This month’s Environment Court decision ruled in favour of the regional council’s nitrogen allocation method, the council says. It also says more needs to be done for Treaty settlement land and it called for more evidence on technical matters to be worked through in stage two processes.
Excess nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, affect lake water quality because they can fuel aquatic plant and algae growth, upsetting natural balance and spoiling the lake for recreational use and food gathering. Nutrient sources include animal waste, fertiliser use, geothermal activity, erosion, storm water run-off and sewage leaks.
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unui, having taken over the now defunct Hurunui Water Project and its water consents at the end of May.
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
32 // EFFLUENT & WATER
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THE BENEFITS OF 100% NATURAL GYPSUM
Gypsum application is a standard practice worldwide for addressing the build up of sodium in soils, including soils receiving waste waters. Gypsum is one of those rare materials that performs in all categories of soil treatment: an amendment, conditioner and fertiliser.
Gypsum, a sustainable and readily available form of calcium, is 100 times more soluble than lime. Gypsum in amendment
• Displaces sodium binding clay soils • Reduces high soil aluminium levels • Suppresses the soil acidification effects of growing crops and the prolonged use of acidifying fertilisers
Gypsum in fertilising Soil tests throughout New Zealand shows sulphur deficiency is wide spread. Although often overlooked, sulphur is needed in at least equal quantities to phosphorus. Many responses in crops are sulphur due to the sulphate radical (SO4--). • Readily dissociates into free calcium ions (Ca++) and sulphate ions (SO4--), major elements in plant nutrition • Has an approximately neutral pH and can be used in heavy applications without causing undue alkalinity in soils
Gypsum in water savings
• Promotes water infiltration, retention and conservation • Allows water to penetrate the soil without forming puddles or water logging • Conserves water by stretching intervals between irrigations • Tests show that farmland treated with gypsum requires up to 33% less water than soils without recent gypsum application
How Does Gypsum Work? Gypsum is hydrated calcium sulphate. Calcium from gypsum replaces sodium in the soil. The sulphate allows the sodium to be effectively leached out of the soil. The soil then has more ability to flocculate and form stable aggregates to improve drainage and soil quality. Na+ Na+ CaSO4 + Soil Cation Exchange
Ca++ Soil Cation ➔ Exchange
Gypsum in soil conditioning
• Breaks up soils compacted by sodium and clay, and compounded by farm animals and machinery • Reduces cracking and compaction following irrigation and retards soil crusting • Allows soil to dry more quickly after rain or irrigation so that it may be worked sooner • Decreases energy requirements for tillage • Binds organic matter to soil and checks soil erosion • Enhances friendly bacterial action and discourages plant diseases related to poor soil aeration • Conditioned soil allows for deeper, healthier root development and water penetration
For more about Natural Gypsum and soil stabilisation visit gypsum.co.nz
and Pro Series spreaders handle liquid manures or slurries, and more solid farmyard manures. Side discharge to the offside of the machines is said to spread material evenly up to 18 m. Ag and Civil says this layout helps reduce environmental damage near watercourses or field boundaries and enables material to be spread up and down inaccessible slopes. Both ranges have broadly similar layout: a tapered, watertight body carrying a full length auger revolves at 13 rpm, bringing material from the front and rear to a central discharge area. Here a guillotine style gate controls the delivery rate to the spreading rotor. The gate, made from Hardox steel, also acts as a shear bar to break up material into small pieces for a more even spread. The spreading rotor rotates in an overshot manner at speeds up to
700 rpm to achieve the required spreading width. The tapered body has an 8 mm thick floor, and heavy duty chain and sprocket drives are individually protected by a shear bolt overload system. The Powerspread Dairy versions, in 7.0 and 7.5 cu.m capacities, are equipped with brakes and road legal lighting kits as standard. The Powerspread Pro models include several extra features -- shear bolts on the auger paddles, a wide angle PTO shaft, hydraulic drop down rotor floor, front and rear slurry canopies and a rear ladder. They come in four sizes. The 1800 and 2300 models (8000 and 10,500 L capacity, respectively) are short wheelbase -- 6.1 m long overall and very manoeuvrable. The larger 2400 and 3200 models (11,000 and 14,500 L respectively) are 7.5 m long and can have optional tandem axles. www.acmd.co.nz
CLEAN WATER FARM AND lifestyle properties getting their household water from a roof, spring or river need top-spec filtration or they risk getting nasty bugs. Water is usually cleaned using a cartridge filter that needs replacing regularly to maintain its efficiency. But there’s a better way, says JdeR, of Auckland, which for 30 years has sold European-made domestic and industrial products for filtering and purifying water in industry. Its Cintropur filters are suitable for food and potable water needs and carry a two year guarantee. The domestic/lifestyle range differs from typical designs in not needing cartridges to be changed often to maintain their efficacy. In practice, water entering the Cintropur unit forms a vortex via a centrifugal vane, throwing the larger particles to the bottom of the filter housing. This debris can be purged by simply opening a drain tap. The other key difference is a patented filter sleeve that performs the second stages of filtration with a range of options that includes 1-micron polypropylene units; 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100-micron polyester disposables; or 150 and 300 micron nylon washable options. Easy inspection of the filter sleeves is aided by a clear filter housing. They are available in 18, 25 and 32mm input/outlet dimensions with average flow rates range from 60 to 110 L/minute and operating pressures up to 16 bar. Individual units have filtration surfaces from 190 to 840 sq.cm. www.jder-cintropur.co.nz
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
MACHINERY & PRODUCTS // 33
In the near white out conditions we encountered, the cabin remained a calm and quiet haven. The car itself remained rock solid and untroubled by the terrible weather, its
AWD system coming into its own on slippery roads, the long and low body and shark’s nose slicing through the torrent. We arrived in Taupo in good shape, the kids
happy with USB chargers in the back and all four passengers warmed by their own heated seat. ‘Management’ noted how smooth the trip had been. Happy wife, happy life.
New Holden Tourer.
The huge boot with electric tailgate easily swallowed the usual bags and bits a family takes away for a long weekend. And the 3.6L V6 moderated the fuel bill by drink-
ing at an acceptable rate of 8.9L/100km. Working through a 9-speed gearbox the 235kW engine kicks this big car along nicely and sounds okay too. It has enough torque (381Nm peak) to cruise on without having to drop down through the ratios all the time. Being a Calais-V the amount of standard equipment is impressive. LED matrix headlights, full length sunroof, leather, Apple Car Play, sat-nav, Bose stereo, the list goes on and on. The active safety features were a welcome addition. Lane keep assist can seem a bit nannying at first, gently turning the wheel if you get too close to a white line. But on a long trip it will help avoid that drift to the verge that too often can result Yin
E NG R I CI W N E a panic overcorrect fol-
EGA N IA LIOC RD
T N E C U G L N NS FI A R OO T
A R XT
GN I R EPI PN ETTUG WOD &
FOR THREE hours the torrential rain didn’t let up. Not the ideal start for a family trip to Taupo but perfect conditions to test the mettle of the all wheel drive Holden Tourer. In an SUV obsessed world you don’t see too many of these on the roads. It’s a Commodore with some cosmetic nods to off-road styling and a 20mm lift to ride height. This hasn’t tempted many Kiwis out of their high riding family wagons. That’s a shame because the Tourer is a big luxury family wagon that can handle the full range of roads, short of a true offroad trail, transporting a family and heaps of luggage safely and comfortably.
REB GN I C M I T NE F
Tourer – a practical family car B
lowed by a head-on. Active cruise control allows you to set and forget your following distance, handy in heavy holiday traffic, and the collision avoidance system also earned its keep. These safety features have been steadily refined since finding their way into mainstream vehicles and the more cars they are fitted to in the national fleet, the safer we’ll all be. So the Tourer is safe, comfortable and with AWD capable enough to take Kiwi families on adventures to most of the places they’d realistically ever want to go. The lack of ground clearance and approach/ departure angles prevent real off-roading, but the need for these things is usually more imagined than real.
S E AT
WE’VE GOT LLAW
B AL S E TERCN O
ERIW GN I C NE F
YA B A RTX E
TNEC ULSN GN I F AR T OOR
G E W N A I IP B L R P A A T R E EN XT N C E IR T WN Y U R L W A S R T O N E B E RTRA FING U D T EN TTERING U L E G G R O EAN T N C F O U L S N A O T R R G& L T R I NXG I IN & DO W N PI P ERO DO TY R O O F IE W A N B E NC C E EXTRA B L RUA G F S T G UTTERING N G UG T N N E G T TUETRTING C N X U N L A FI L U C E N T ER ANS I TNRG RI RE E K E PE ANS N R RI A T E T T T T I DOWNPI T U G T T EDR E G P P WPA& OO N TOPW PI I NN F N O N O R I TRANSLUCENT P D U &OW E R G W E E N P I F I P KO O G D N O W R O & D C UTTERING YI N G AF OO UG & AN T R A N SL U C E N TE XTRARB L YE N T LU AC N SB A A R R G T T X S E E T P PI N N I & DO W NR O O F EXTRA B TMABNEKR A G G UTTRERING N I F T ING O N O E R C U F L TRANS E TA N K P R I N G TR OO PI E N EER W T E T O U G K D N A T N CING & R NG ANSLUCENT R WAATE R OOFTIR R E L E L G P O R N PI I N R W E O T T ETE T N K & DG U G E C R G N U I L F S O Y N E O N A A R B R XT T C NAP ERXATR BA K LLER AY T TAW OOR NIPI ON ABON D TOEWRR PNEE A D & W C G R I N S O I Y F A O B R O E P R R E L C E XATTERA WIRSE KABTE OO AN R TT TT WN IWM D S G U BIANYG EC AN E RE O X TFT E R E L L O T R G K G N D N A I T C N AE TE FRE R BNEGRR & R O L L E R R OLLER G R M I T O R E K O C N O D A L L ER DOOR R T B I WATEG OR ALL ON O NG D I C C N E M W R F C E R E D R N N EI OOR ROLL B NG NAL LE R I RI IP T E R L C E ESLL N TE NP F TR O O D E RO OO LLER O N R T W I R EF I A WA K T W D G N G OLLE OR A RL DOR EENC G AL F DO DRAI NAGER TA S IN N T A N G I R E R L I L R O R O O D E E AL W AL L A CO C O IALT TRN N TE I N R R O O D I W R D E L L AT E S LL OR AG O GE GE A N E SE S LAB GATES ATET GCR W DRAI GER DO ON CW AL W AL L RN TE N I L L AL L ON CR ET C AL W A R AL L I RN AL O L C RN TE N TE N N A I G I E I N RIAN OIL R A I N A GE MB D C I D ER C N T E T E RN AL W AL L COIL NT F I I N T E R N A LINW A L L S E T A G GATright ES Talk to our team for professional advice onL the shed Afor you. TE S L AL W AL INTERN N A GE S ON C RE T EC G CONCRE L your requirements. W ALto LI N A GEWe can supply kit sets or help you design RN ALbuild RIA INTEand GTAETSELSACBON CR E C ON COIL E INTERNAL W ALL G BA RNS • STO R AGE SH EDS • STA BLES • SECU RE LO CK- U PS • WO RKSH O PS • C A R P O RTS WI NTERI N G SH EDS • H AAY IN L RA COI
www.placemakers.co.nz | 0800 PLACEMAKERS
DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
34 // MACHINERY & PRODUCTS
Lomac’s gateway hinge.
Facelift for Novadisc
MARINE GRADE FENCE TAPE HINGE IN FOR THE LONG RUN MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
AFTER FORTY years working as an PÖTTINGER HAS rede-
signed its Novadisc rear mounted mowers. The new model has a low power requirement and lightweight construction, making it well suited to work on sidling land or rougher terrain. Models 222, 262, 302 and 352 have working widths from 2.2 and 3.46 m, and power requirements from 40 hp upwards. The mower folds through 102 degrees to the transport position,
making it compact and allowing a clear rear view. A lower transport height can also be achieved by fitting the optional, hydraulic actuated folding side guard. And to save space, while stored the mower can be parked vertically using a new, optional parking stand. Novadisc rear mowers offer a wide + 22 to – 30 degree arc of movement to enable easy mowing on rough ground and side lands and can be
used for mowing up to + 45 degrees by lifting the interlock latch for short periods. In operation, the lifting system lowers the mower so that the outer end of the cutter bar contacts the ground first, while at the headland the inside end is lifted first, protecting the sward. A mechanical collision safety device enables a swing-out angle of about 12 degrees to prevent damage to the mower in the event of collision
with any foreign objects. Resetting the mechanism is by simply reversing the machine a short distance on the ground to reengage the cutter bar. Twin suspension springs control the ground pressure applied by the cutter bar, adjustable over three stages without tools. Clever kinematics ensures that the same pressure is applied over the entire width, keeping wear and power consumption to a minimum.
AI technician for Livestock Improvement Co, Alex Macmillan (81) now farms beef cattle at Pipiwai, Northland. He got frustrated with the quality of plastic spring loaded handles used to set electric fence tapes across gateways and farm races, so he decided to come up with something better -- the Lomacs gateway hinge spring launched at National Fieldays. Alex’s son, Michael Macmillan, says the product is “unlike anything else on the market”. “We have lots of interest from farmers in coastal areas who are tired of replacing their gate components every couple of years because of rust. We’ve
EasyCut R Series Mower T h e E a s y Cu t R e a r M o u n t e d Mower is renowned for its s t r e n g t h a n d r e l i a b i l i t y. Fe a t u r e s i n c l u d e t h e d i r e c t drive shaft and SAFECUT protection system for the c u t t e r b a r. Increase your work rates and productivity with this ver y capable machine.
* Te r m s , c o n d i t i o n s & lending criteria a p p l y.
also had interest from Tasmania and Victoria,” he said. The unit has a 316 marine grade stainless steel body holding the spring mechanism, protecting it from dirt, dung and other contaminants. The mechanism keeps the tape under constant tension, with the added benefit of allowing it to swivel in response to deflection by animals. The insulated mounting is fastened securely to the post by four screws or nails. It has a pivot bolt to which the electrical feed can be secured. The unit’s high-grade components prevent rust to it outlives less expensive plastic items by many years. And whereas the plastic ones deteriorate in UV light, these don’t. Neither do they get smashed by cattle, people and vehicles. Price $32. www.lomacs.nz
Are you hitting your target market? Contact your local sales representative for more information Auckland
Stephen Pollard ....... Ph 09-913 9637
Ted Darley ................ Ph 07-854 6292
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DAIRY NEWS SEPTEMBER 3, 2019
MACHINERY & PRODUCTS // 35
Bigfoot comes up trumps MARK DANIEL email@example.com
CALL THEM what you will, but UTVs, side x sides or ROVs have found a place in much of rural New Zealand. With engine ranging from 400 to 1000 cc and lots of specifications, they suit many farmers much better than a basic quads. Kawasaki reports its Mule SX-XC Bigfoot is finding favour with many dairy farmers for its no-nonsense specifications, ease of use and operating economy so we tested one to find out more. Revamped in 2017 and taking some design detail from the larger Pro series, the SX has a tubular, ladder style chassis said to offer rigidity and a comfortable ride. That
ride quality is better with a greater pre-load on the springs up front for a more level ride, and softer in the rear to improve user comfort. The rear swing arm carries the engine and rear wheels on a separate subframe/cradle, pivoted centrally to remove vibration. Power comes from a 400 cc single cylinder, air cooled engine with standard carburation and although the power is not stunning it’s enough for normal fetch, carry and move on a typical dairy farm. The engine starts and reaches constant idling quickly, then the driver selects high, low, neutral or reverse with a central dash mounted lever. Drive is taken from the engine by a belt driven automatic unit, and a heavy duty
Kawasaki Mule SX-XC Bigfoot.
tough conditions. Out on a sodden Waikato farm the Bigfoot was easy to live with, allowing the driver easy access with its slightly higher stance because of 26 inch tyres mounted on 12-inch rims. This set-up also gives a big tyre footprint offering good stability, great traction and ample ground clearance. Towing capacity is 500 kg at the trailer hitch the well laid out cargo tray holds 180kg. The machines weigh 90 kg. The tipping tray, equipped with a dropdown tailgate, has a 1.5 mm diamond plate floor for strength and a 25 mm tie down rail around its upper edge. Dual seats with inertia reel seatbelts offer comfort and safety. Ahead of the driver the
transfer case has 2- or 4-wheel drive selection. It’s interesting to note that the machine can be started in gear if the
THE NEW 4 CYLINDER
brake pedal is depressed. Maximum speed is 40km/h. The front axle incorporates a limited
slip differential, while the rear uses a lock up unit activated by the dashboard control and aimed at pushing through
dashboard presents full information and easily understood controls for gearshift, 4WD and diff lock selection The rack and pinion steering is precise with low effort, making the machine very manoeuvrable with a tight 3.6 m turning radius. Drum brakes are fitted to all four wheels, each protected from ingress of water and mud by triple lipped labyrinth seals. Creature comforts include a glovebox, radio mount, halogen headlights, DC power socket and a pair of cupholders. Add to that the current special offer of a glass windscreen with wiper and a moulded roof, then Bigfoot will have minimal effect on your back pocket. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
OR F N IO T P O E T A IM T L U THE
S R E M R A F L A N IO S S E F PRO
Be as impressed as we are and see for yourself why this tractor is set to change the heavy-duty 4-cylinder tractor market.
T MODE TTV AND POWERSHIF
Deutz Fahr NZ Phone 0800 801 888 | deutztractors.co.nz | powerfarming.co.nz FA5161DN
• All new heavy-duty four cylinder tractor range • Industry leading 120 L/min CCLS hydraulic system • Front and cab suspension provides premium driving experience • TTV or Powershift transmission options to cater for the most demanding applications • 60 x 60 transmission with 17 core gears across key working speeds ensures you’re always in the right gear for the application • Long wheel base and true 4WD braking gives excellent stability and traction • Electronic remotes – flow and time control for ease of use when working
Normal lending criteria applies. Terms and conditions apply. Offer ends 31/10/2019. Contact your local dealership for more information. * Requires 30% deposit and full GST in month three, 2.95% interest for 36 monthly payments. ** Terms and conditions apply. Go to deutztractors.co.nz/trydeutz for detailed terms and conditions.
TRUE 4-WHEEL BRAKING
BUYING CALVES? Record and confirm the movement on-farm within 48 hours Check the calves are correctly tagged
Ensure the calves are registered online in NAIT
Expect an animal status declaration (ASD) form from the seller or sender.
Support disease management and help build lifetime animal traceability NAIT is an OSPRI programme
Need help? 0800 482 463 7amâ€“6pm (Mon-Fri)
Dairy News 03 September 2019