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HERE TO HELP Naki team leader PAGE 16

OCTOBER 1, 2019 ISSUE 432

BACK TO BASICS orld: globa

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go. PAGE 4


In-calf rate helps PAGE 19

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Fonterra chair signals retirement. PAGE 5




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NEWS  // 3

Good re-set in return to basics SUDESH KISSUN

Plan now for 2020 winter. PG.06

Lessons in co-op’s demise. PG.10

Butterfly makes mowing a breeze. PG.21

NEWS�������������������������������������������������������3-11 OPINION�����������������������������������������������12-13 AGRIBUSINESS������������������������������ 14-15 MANAGEMENT��������������������������������16-18 ANIMAL HEALTH���������������������������19-20 HAY & SILAGE����������������������������������21-24 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS���������������������������������������25-27

FONTERRA’S NEW strategy of

going ‘back to basics’ should be well received by farmers, says Federated Farmers dairy vice chairman Wayne Langford. He says while the $605 million loss announced last week wasn’t unexpected, it would disappoint farmers. But he points out that when times are tough farmers go back to the basics. “The fact that Fonterra is going back to the basics will go down well with farmers,” he told Dairy News. Langford says farmers will also take heart from the forecast of a profit and return to dividend at the end of this financial year. “Farmers will be pleased that they won’t have to wait another year for a dividend.” Fonterra chairman John Monaghan acknowledged that the co-op’s performance “is not where it should be”. But he remains confident about the changes to strategy. Monaghan points out that the $6.35/kgMS final payout announced for last season represents the third season of “sustainable payout”. Fonterra is signalling a pullback from global milk pools to concentrate on New Zealand milk. Monaghan says the co-op will no

Fonterra by numbers ■■

Total cash payout for 2018-19 season: $6.35


Farmgate milk price $6.35/kgMS


Dividend of 0 cents per share


New Zealand milk collections: 1523 million kgMS, up 1%


Normalised sales revenue: $20.1 billion, down 2%


Net loss after tax: $605 million versus a loss of $196 m


Normalised EBIT: $819 m, down 9%


Normalised gross margin: 15%, down from 15.4%


Normalised operating expenses: $2311 m, down 7%


Capital expenditure: $600 m, down 30%


Normalised return on capital: 5.8%, down from 6.3%

still supplies 40% of all dairy prod■■ Normalised earnings per share: 17 cents ucts going to China. ■■ Gearing ratio: 48.2%, down 0.2%. The co-op has a $2b food service business there and has longer be “all things to all people”. created a $4b business there during “We are going back to being a the last few years. Fonterra’s $605 million loss NZ based dairy co-op. We will no longer say we are world leading or came mostly via writedowns of the world’s best. Others can say that assets to the tune of $826 m. The gross margin in its largest about us.” He accepts that some bad invest- business, New Zealand Ingredients, ment decisions were made, particu- was $1332 m -- up 3% on last year larly in China with China Farms and due to increased sales and price performance. Beingmate. Foodservice performance also But he pointed out that Fonterra ■■

Free cash flow: $1095 m, up 83%

Wayne Langford

improved on last year, with gross margin up 10%. This was despite lower total sales volumes following a slow start to butter sales in Greater China and Asia. Chief executive Miles Hurrell said the co-op’s normalised annual earnings were 17 cents/share, higher than the most recent 10-15 cent forecast for the year. “But we can’t ignore that we had a number of challenges across the year, including Australia Ingredients, our businesses in Latin America and the consumer businesses in Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and New Zealand,” he says.



New strategy starts from home SUDESH KISSUN

THE DAYS of Fonterra chasing more milk around the world are over. The co-op last week unveiled its new strategy, breaking away from the volume based approach pursued under former chief executive Theo Spierings. Fonterra says its strategy focuses on using NZ milk to meet market needs. “We will create sustainable value for our customers and farmers through innovation, sustainability and efficiency,” the co-op said. The new strategy means Fonterra will offload its offshore milk pools over time. In China

it has 35,000 cows in three farming hubs. These have performed poorly, gobbling up almost $1 billion without returning any profit to the co-op. Two hubs fully owned by Fonterra are under review. Chief executive Miles Hurrell says the new strategy “recognises we are a New Zealand co-op, doing amazing things with New Zealand milk to enhance people’s lives and create value for customers and farmers”. “It’s a strategy that’s rich in innovation, sustainability and efficiency. It unlocks value and sees us focusing on three goals: healthy people, healthy environment and healthy business.” Hurrell believes this is

Fonterra is going back to being a NZ dairy co-op.

the right strategy for Fonterra but it requires hard choices. “We’ve looked at the big opportunities and risks for a New Zealand dairy co-op today. We’ve also got clear on what our strengths are and the hard realities we have to face up to. I’m pleased we now

rationalising our offshore milk pools over time. “Our strategy will see us focus on world class dairy ingredients for our customers around the world, and innovative ingredients that meet nutrition needs right across people’s life stages. We will focus on ingredi-


SIMPLE IS BEST FONTERRA CHAIRMAN John Monaghan says the new strategy sounds simple and the best strategies often are. “Simplicity shouldn’t be confused with a lack of ambition,” he said. Fonterra’s earnings range forecast for 2019-20 starts at 15-25 cents per share. The five year plan is to achieve a target of 50c/share. “Our starting earnings range reflects our change in culture. We will earn the right to make ambitious decisions by first doing the basics right and returning our balance sheet to a position of strength. That will give us options to go for the opportunities which we create in the future.” The board also reviewed the dividend policy guidelines within the context of the new strategy. Monaghan says the new guidelines better reflect the annual perfor-

have a strategy built from the belief that our farmers’ milk here in New Zealand is the best and most precious in the world. “Recognising this, while we will complement our farmer owners’ milk with milk components sourced offshore when required, we will start

This focus on dairy ingredients and foodservice, Hurrell says, will see Fonterra playing to its strengths and driving more value from the parts of business that consistently perform. It will remain in consumer business and will focus on markets throughout Asia Pacific. “The majority of the products we sell in these markets are made from New Zealand milk and are similar to those we sell in ent categories: paediatour ingredients business,” rics, medical and ageing, said Hurrell. sports and active, and “This creates efficiencore dairy.” cies and helps us play to Fonterra also plans to our strengths. create new opportunities “It also means we will in new ways for foodserreduce our consumer vice, building on foodservice success in China and product portfolio to those that create superior developing new markets, particularly in Asia Pacific. value.”

mance and financial strength of the cooperative. “Under the new guidelines, we would expect the dividend payment to be 40-60% of reported net profit after tax, excluding any abnormal gains, from what was previously 6575% of adjusted NPAT over a period of time. An interim dividend will not be more than 40% of the forecast total dividend and no more than net earnings at half year. “In addition to the new percentage of earnings, two additional key principles will guide our board when considering the payment of a dividend. A dividend should not require our co-op to take on more debt, and a dividend should not reduce our coop’s ability to service existing debt. “The distribution of any abnormal gains, such as an asset sale, will be considered separately,” he said.


Miles Hurrell is introducing a new “customer led operating model” as part of the co-op’s new strategy. The co-op is moving from two large central businesses (ingredients, and consumer and foodservice) to three in-market customer facing sales and marketing business units: Asia Pacific (APAC), Greater China (GC), and Africa, Middle East, Europe, North Asia, Americas (AMENA). Judith Swales will head the APAC business and Kelvin Wickham AMENA. Marc Rivers will remain chief financial officer, Deborah Capill managing director people and Mark Cronin managing director cooperative affairs. The chief operating office global

operations, Rob Spurway, will leave the co-op. Hurrell is also creating a new management role of chief operating officer. Recruitment is underway for the China chief executive officer and chief operating officer roles. Hurrell say Fonterra needs an organisational structure that “allows us to live within our means, create better connections with our customers, and create value by focusing on what we are good at and where we can differentiate ourselves. “The structure encourages us to work together as one team. “We are also looking at ways to prioritise activities and increase efficiency for our central support functions, ensuring they add direct value to our co-op.”

Hurrell says Spurway will leave Fonterra after an eight-year stint. “He has been a huge contributor to the ongoing strength and performance of our NZMP Ingredients business and has set the platform for continued success through innovative technologies, a team of highly capable people and significant progress on sustainability across our manufacturing operations -- all central to our strategy.” Over the next few months, Spurway will help transition global operations to the new operating model and will work with the Greater China leadership team to implement a new Greater China regional go-to-market model. @dairy_news

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NEWS  // 5


Fonterra chairman John Monaghan and chief executive Miles Hurrell.

Chair signals retirement FONTERRA CHAIRMAN John Monaghan has signalled he is likely to retire late next year. A farmer elected director, Monaghan is due to retire by rotation at the 2020 annual meeting, normally held in November. In a note to farmer shareholders, Monaghan said he will work with the board next year to facilitate chair succession. “Having seen through the introduction of our new strategy and operating model, and with our divestment and debt reduction efforts well progressed, I will be working with the board in 2020 to facilitate chair succession,” he

wrote. “The timeline for that succession will be agreed by the board nearer to the time.” A chairman designate could be elected by the board early next year, allowing time for a smooth transition before Monaghan retires in November. The chairman is elected by the 11 directors -- seven farmer elected and four independents. Under Fonterra’s constitution only farmer elected directors can hold the chair. Former Zespri chairman Peter McBride was suggested as a future chairman when he became a direc-

tor last year. Among sitting farmer elected directors, Leonie Guiney has four years board experience -- the longest serving farmer director after Monaghan. Guiney had a testy relationship with the former chairman, the late John Wilson, and faced court action initiated by the board. She allegedly spoke to news media about confidential board information. Following Monaghan’s election as chairman the court action was withdrawn and she was reelected to the board. Another contender for the chairmanship could be academic

another former director Nicola Shadbolt, who was blocked by the board from re-contesting the election last year. A director for nine years, she will need to get reelected. The final list of directorship candidates was scheduled for release this Monday. The independent selection panel has confirmed four: sitting directors Andy Macfarlane and Donna Smit, lawyer Cathy Quinn and farmer Philipp Haas. Shareholders can stand for the board in one of two different ways: as independently assessed or as non-assessed candidates.

Israel will retire in November. Singapore-based Israel joined the board in 2013 and is on the co-op’s appointments and remuneration committee. Chairman John Monaghan emailed farmer shareholders, saying “internationally respected directors of Simon’s calibre aren’t easy to come by”. “He has been a real Simon Israel asset on our board over the past six years and I thank Simon for his significant contribution to the board and our cooperative.” Monaghan says succession planning is a priority for the board. “As you would expect, we have open discussions within the board on development and succession. These include professional development plans for all directors, diversity, connection back to the farm, skills and experience on the board, and the appropriate length of term for all independent and farmer directors – including the chairman.”

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6 //  NEWS

Plan now for a successful 2020 winter DAIRY FARMERS

are being told that careful planning in spring is important for successful wintering. It starts with choosing the right paddocks to grow winter crops in, says DairyNZ South Island lead Tony Finch. “Choosing your paddocks is a crucial part of planning for winter. Critical source areas, waterways, shelter, water troughs and preparation for prolonged weather events all need to be taken into account when selecting a paddock,” said Finch. Winter grazing practices in some regions have come under scrutiny. Farmers in Otago and Southland have endured a

campaign by animal right activists, who took photographs of cows in muddy paddocks to highlight poor winter grazing practices. Finch says critical

source areas are low lying parts of a farm such as gullies and swales, where water flows after rain. These areas can transport soil, E.coli and phosphorus into waterways.

Paddocks with multiple slopes and large critical source areas are best avoided for winter crop grazing, as they are time consuming to graze and present an environmen-


“There are a number of things to consider when planning how to fence the paddock and position feed and water troughs. Using portable troughs reduces the amount of walking cows need to do, decreasing soil damage and mud.” Cow lying time is another factor to consider when planning for winter. “Correct lying times, at least eight hours a day, reduce the risk of lameness and stress on the animal. On a winter break fed paddock, consider how your cows will have access to enough dry areas to lie down,” Finch advised.

tal risk. “Strategic grazing and careful management of critical source areas resulted in an 80 - 90% reduction in sediment and phosphorus losses in a 2012-2014 trial at Telford Dairy,” said Finch. “Creating buffer zones or grass strips in and around critical source areas and next to waterways helps slow water flows and trap contaminants. These buffer zones should be left uncultivated and ungrazed to be effective. The faster water flows in a buffer zone, the wider the zone needs to be.

“The South Island can experience periods of extreme winter weather, such as snow and heavy rainfall, so it’s essential to have another grazing option. This could involve moving cows to a sheltered area or leaving an ungrazed area next to a shelter belt for bad weather. “It’s also a good idea to allow a feed buffer in your budget to account for extra feeding on cold, wet or windy days.” Finch says that, alongside other organisations, DairyNZ has run events over the past few weeks for farmers, rural professionals and rural contractors to upskill themselves on good wintering practices. “There’s been a lot of focus on winter grazing practices recently. As a result of this, there has been strong attendance at wintering events as everyone is keen to improve their knowledge. “Successful wintering is good for the cows, the environment and the people involved.” For more advice on winter grazing go to

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Are the water proposals a done deal? MARK DANIEL

THE difference between a dairy heifer and a beef heifer? It depends. Not a lot if you’re changing from a dairy to a beef operation, as it’s not a problem. But a change from beef to dairy heifer rearing is demanding and will likely require resource consent as it’s likely to be considered intensification. This question and many others were raised at an environmental roadshow at Mystery Creek, Waikato to get feedback on the Government’s freshwater proposals. About 750 farmers turned up, describing themselves as angry, mistrusting and fearful. The presentation, led by MfE’s chief water policy advisor Bryan Smith, was to present the key objectives of restoring water quality in both urban and rural situations. Smith said the intention is to put water first and the needs of people second. He used buzzwords like ‘holistic approach’, ‘mountain to sea’, ‘long term vision’ and ‘hierarchy of values’. He said the aim is to reduce nitrates and sediment -- the levels of the former to 1mg/litre or less. And he conceded this might take a generation to achieve. It will become mandatory for every farm to make an environmental plan for freshwater, created with the help of a third-party advisor and subject to ongoing audit. Smith said detailed model-


Farmers at the Mystery Creek meeting on water reforms.

ling had shown that good plans have potential to reduce sediment losses by 50 - 80% on typical hill country farms and 15 - 30% on dairy farms. A proposal to create stock exclusion zones of 5m along waterways over 1m wide got the audience stirred up, as did mention of restrictions on winter grazing practice, already under fire from environmental lobby groups. Feedlots and winter stand-off areas also came in for scrutiny, raising a suggestion of need for Resource Management Act oversight. A long question and answer session showed farmers’ mistrust and frustration. Summarising this was dairy farmer Susan O’Regan, Te Awamutu, who said the common perception in the rural community is that the clear water proposals are intended as a legacy project for Environment Minister David Parker, and that he would likely pay little heed to submissions.

Matamata dairy farmer Wynn Brown questioned the proposals’ timing -- sprung on the industry at a very busy time on the farming calendar. Said Brown, “I feel in my life at present, as a farmer, that the numbers and timeframes the Government is suggesting are like asking me to climb Mount Everest in my Speedos and swimming goggles.” Andrew McGivern, Waikato president of Federated Farmers, summed up the Feds’ mood and tendered apologies from 49 members. He asked, “When were NZ waterways last in ideal condition?” citing 1950s research showing E. coli levels were then significantly higher than now. During the Q+A session, John Penno, the chair of the Fresh Water Leaders Group, reminded the meeting that the discussion was of proposals only, then he addressed the need for certainty and a solution to suit all

parties. He said similar discussions had stalled over the last five or six years and the need now is to commit rather than stonewall again, to avoid more uncertainty. Further points were raised about the scientific studies done to confirm the efficacy of 5m exclusion zones, invasion of those zones by pernicious weed species and the shading of watercourses. In closing, Graeme Gleeson, a sheep and beef farmer in the Freshwater Leaders Group said farmers should take things in their stride and accept that the monitoring of waterways is a good indicator of how environmentally sustainable farming practices now are. Gleeson also noted that the policy recommendations do not compete with existing farm use, and he urged the audience to accept rather than “knee-cap” the suggestions. He also asked the audience to think as NZ Inc and as Team Ag in working together.

Ministers face angry farmers IT WAS standing room only when at least 600 mostly farmers turned out late last week to two meetings in Timaru to learn more about the Government’s proposed freshwater reforms. Both meetings – one at midday and another in the evening – were led by Ministry for Environment principal advisor Bryan Smith who outlined the proposed changes to freshwater rules. The evening meeting also attracted Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Environment Minister David Parker. But both ministers appeared at times overly antagonistic and aggressive in their reactions to concerns raised from the floor. This was despite a call by the meeting facilitator – Wairarapa sheep and beef farmer David Nelson -- for a “respectful process”. O’Connor was at pains to insist the proposals were only a “discussion document” and that the Government is open to making changes – via the submission process. But O’Connor’s self-described “mate” David Parker was not open – not at all – to extending the eight week submission process. This was despite numerous pleas from the floor asking for an extension because of the huge ramifications of the reforms, the amount of information to be waded through, Plan Change 7 proposals, upcoming local body elections and farmers’ busy season with lambing and calving in full swing in the region. South Canterbury Federated Farmers chair Jason Grant was loudly applauded when he called for the submission process to be extended to six months. But Parker dismissed the idea saying, “six weeks was the normal submission timeframe” and the Government had already pushed this out to eight weeks. Smith (MfE) explained that while the proposed reforms are still in consultation phase, there are likely to be major changes to how freshwater policy is managed. In particular, there would be new bottom lines imposed to ensure no further degradation and strong rules on fencing stock – cattle, deer and pigs – from waterways. He added that until the new rules begin in 2025, interim measures will block any more dairy conversions, irrigation, vegetable growing and conversion from forestry to pasture in the region.

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8 //  NEWS

Don’t whinge, embrace opportunities SUCCESSFUL DAIRY farmer Mark Townshend has a message for young New Zealand farmers: don’t feel sorry for yourself, just embrace the changes. He says the opportunities are very good for those resilient enough to take them. “Product prices are good, land and livestock assets are at lower values and interest rates very low. The cash yields for good dairy farmers today are very attractive,” he said. Townshend points out food producers worldwide are coming under societal pressures. “In every decade in which widespread starvation [is seen as having occurred] further back in history, the general population takes food for granted. “While dairy is the big whipping boy in NZ, in other countries it is corn, soy, palm oil, goats, pigs or chicken. “The biggest agri player in any country tends to be the biggest target in that country. Pressures on NZ dairy today are significant, but not rare, in our materialistic world.” He gives examples of challenges faced by previous generations: the great depression of the 1930s was far worse

were faced with interest rates of up to 20% and the restructuring of farming as we knew it as subsidised funding and growth disappeared. “We had a prime minister who, on peak time television, said NZ sheep and dairy farmers were getting what they deserved because they had not diversified into angora goats, deer or kiwifruit. “The young and resilient farmers of that time have been financially very well rewarded for their perseverance and efforts over the last 20-30 years. “Looking back at historic challenges, this does not seem a very good time for NZ dairy farmers to sit back and feel sorry for themselves. Every 20-30 years the dairy industry has hit a stumble, adapted and then thrived”. “The opportunities are very good for those resilient enough to take them. Product prices are good, land and livestock assets are at lower values and interest rates very low. The cash yields for good dairy farmers today are very attractive.” • Townshend’s 10-point advice for young farmers- p13

Ngatea farmer Mark Townshend.

than the pressures of today. Those who managed to keep their farms through the depression, it was so severe, they were damaged for life with regard to taking calculated risks and taking on bank debt. After WW2, he says, farmers struggled on in a glorified subsistence way of

life where milk income had to be supported by gardens and chickens. “With moderate milk revenues and far less sophisticated farming technologies available, this was a challenging period. Many of the farmers of that period were irreparably damaged by war experiences.”

He says through the late 1960s and 70s, NZ dairy farmers were questioning whether they had a future as our traditional market, Britain, was working through joining the EU. NZ dairy was then trading in only half a dozen dairy products with half a dozen countries. And in the late 1980s, NZ farmers



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NEWS  // 9

Global markets firm, NZ flying THE GLOBAL dairy market looks set to remain firm through the coming six months, says Rabobank’s latest global Dairy Quarterly report. The New Zealand season had “got off to a flying start,” says Rabobank dairy analyst Emma Higgins. Rabobank is maintaining its farmgate milk price forecast at $7.15/kgMS. Globally the out-

made for near perfect conditions on farm in many dairying regions in the lead up to the spring peak. “Pasture covers range from good to strong across the country, leading to ample feed reserves and early silage cutting in parts of the North Island,” Higgins said. “And these conditions have helped keep a lid on feed costs.”

says, dairy producers are also facing the challenge posed by proposed new regulations for freshwater recently announced by the Government.

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She says possible bad weather forecast by NIWA over September and early October had so far failed to eventuate, leading the bank to expect NZ milk production could grow up to 1% to May 31, 2020. “This is our expectation if key dairying regions miss volatile spring weather,” she said. Higgins says based on global commodity prices across the remainder of the 2019-20 season, Rabobank is maintaining its farmgate milk price forecast at $7.15/kgMS. However, she cautions, “some downside risk” is posed by emerging economic headwinds. On the demand side, the Dairy Quarterly says, is a noticeable slowing of global economic activity, consumer confidence is waning and trade tensions remain a logistical headache for dairy exporters. China posted its weakest year-on-year GDP growth in 30 years through Q2 2019 (vs 2018) and Southeast Asian markets have been impacted, the report says. Meanwhile, similar challenges face the EU, as Germany saw its economy contract in Q2 versus last year, and a possible challenging end to Brexit. And the US has also shown concerning data, with the 2-10 year yield curve finally inverting, fuelling speculation of an impending recession. While in NZ, Higgins

from 2020 as part of the aim of the regulations to improve on farm practices such as winter grazing, stock exclusion and reduced nitrogen losses.”

Emma Higgins, Rabobank.

It’s the Yates’ Milking System

“A mild winter made for near perfect conditions on farm in many dairying regions in the lead up to the spring peak.” look for demand growth is more than enough to absorb the modest volumes of increasing milk flows, the report says. Despite higher farmgate milk prices, “dairy farmers in most export regions have struggled to convert improved market conditions to production growth”. Production across the Big 7 exporters (US, EU, NZ, Australia, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay) is expected to increase by just 0.4% in Q4 2019 and 0.8% in early 2020. Several constraints have prevented supply growth, says the report. A warm summer in China and northern Europe is partially to blame. But it is constraints in respective regional markets that have limited -- and will continue to limit -- farm-level expansions and keep the broader market firm. The report cites rising costs of production, lower confidence, capacity restrictions and environmental regulations. For NZ, the report says, the 2019-20 season is shaping up to provide another healthy spring flush and first half production. Higgins says with calving almost complete across NZ, meaningful production volumes will start to appear as the weeks progress. “A mild winter

“While much of the longer term detail and potential cost of the regulation is unclear, the near term certainty is a cost imposed on farmers

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10 //  NEWS

Lessons for all in co-op’s death making sure they have the right governance sitting at the table with the right skill set.” Cooperatives have the THE DEMISE of Westability to survive tough land as a cooperative times and the flexibility contains a lesson for all business, says Roz Henry, to respond to the current the new Cooperative Busi- global disruption across all businesses. ness NZ chief executive. A recent UK study Insufficient money was shows the cooperative is allocated for Westland’s a highly sustainable busifuture and that is well recognised, she told Dairy ness model compared to others, if it survives the News. first five years, Henry “That has been a big says. wake up call for everyAbout 65% of Cooperaone and not just in the tive Business NZ’s memcooperative sector. It is bership is drawn from the a general pattern that is farming or wider rural happening to everyone, sector, including Fonterra. whether in New Zealand A key to cooperatives’ or internationally. sustainability is their “Globally the speed of emphasis on upskilling change is getting faster. and training their people. The challenge is to stay Different skill sets are up with the times and make sure they are invest- needed as people move up the ranks in any business. ing in technology to keep “It is the challenge for up with their competitors. cooperatives to make sure “The other side is PAM TIPA

they are giving the people Westland Milk is now owned sitting on the governance by Chinese company, Yili. boards the right level of education and training to succeed. So that they are asking the right questions of their board.” Agrigate is a classic example of cooperatives taking technology to a new level and recognising the need to invest in the future. Agrigate is a joint venture between LIC and Fonterra. It works with Fonterra members social good to apply the aspect, technology stand them coming out in good of LIC to the stead. best advan“I Co-op Business NZ new tage. believe the chief executive Roz The suscooperaHenry. tainability chaltive model will lenge is obviously hitting be more attractive to the the rural sector hard, younger generations as she says. Key principles time goes on.” underlying the cooperaThere could be a push tive model, including the back against rampant capitalism. The younger generation have access to more information than previous generations and they are worried about climate change, sustainability and how it will affect them. “The older generation aren’t taking this seriously. It will be interesting when the young get into the workforce what their expectations are.” But during her travels around the country after taking on the role a few weeks ago, Henry has seen a passion and drive coming through members’ senior leaders to develop their people.

“An example is ‘To the Core’ run by Farmlands and Silver Fern Farms. It is all about development and leadership and we are very supportive of getting in behind that to make those successful.” The cooperative model supports members to succeed, rather than putting first the interests of hands-off shareholders as can happen with the corporate model. In tough times cooperatives tend to come together. NZ is one of the most cooperative countries in the world but there are numerous significant international cooperatives. Rabobank is one example. Cooperative Business NZ’s membership straddles Asia Pacific and Australasia. Sixteen percent of NZ’s GDP comes from cooperatives, they employ at least 50,000 people and about 1.5 million people benefit from cooperatives. “It is big in New Zealand but internationally it is very big as well. And it

has the legs to grow.” NZ universities do not provide much education about cooperatives as a viable business model. One of her challenges will be to work with them to change that. “I also spend quite a lot of time working with start-ups. I have only been in the role for a month but already I have been talking to three or four different outfits keen to establish themselves as cooperatives. “Or there are organisations moving away from a franchisee model to form a cooperative model. “They are well established businesses so I can see over time more organisations looking to move to this model. They don’t want big brother dictating to them how they do business. They actually want to have a vested interest in the outcomes and ownership.” Cooperatives’ profits remain onshore. “What I love about the rural sector is that individuals

are invested in multiple cooperatives within the regions, which then support those regions to be successful. “With the Westland scenario the profits have gone offshore. In 10 years if those farmers are no longer getting the payout at Fonterra rates what will that look like? I don’t know the answer but it is concerning when you see that.” A key focus in her new role is to help member co-ops add real value for their members. “We need to get into the detail and nitty gritty for senior leaders to see if they can work together, have think tanks and round table discussions so they can learn from each other. And look at how we put that back to the Government so we have a voice at that table. “The model has huge opportunity for the smaller organisations growing but also potentially for businesses that want to transition across.”


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ROZ HENRY is well versed in the rural sector having worked for the NZ Dairy Board before it formed Fonterra and in the team that formed Fonterra. She worked with all the dairy co-ops. She got to understand their needs and how they were set up and structured. And she got a sense that these organisations were all about the individuals and their livelihoods. “Having subsequently worked for a number of corporates, there is quite a different mindset around being a member of a cooperative versus working within a corporate.” Henry was also a management consultant for 15 years, bringing a skill set she believes will help the co-op organisa-

tions move forward. Membership ranges from small to large scale cooperatives such as Fonterra. “I have done consulting into a number of these organisations already so I understand some of their challenges.” While she will not personally consult to them in her new role, she is there to help them solve problems and look at how they might do things differently. She has spent the last five years at Auckland Council’s ATEED (Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development) and built significant relationships in government agencies. In the advocacy part of her role she will talk to government officials and “see how we can better engage”.

“I want to push ahead and see how we can support our members. And make sure we give them value for money.” Henry took a degree course in Bachelor of Consumer and Applied Sciences at the University of Otago. She started out with the NZ Dairy Board in sales and marketing, working for its ingredients group NZ Milk Products. She then headed its business development team in Australia, looking at the value add market for the ingredients part of the business. She returned to NZ and joined the team that formed Fonterra. She moved to the UK in 1999 as the co-op’s supply chain director before moving into management consulting.


NEWS  // 11

Legislation ‘could undo rural NZ’ – farmer PAM TIPA

THE DAIRY farmer

organiser of a Northland protest at the Government’s “attack on rural communities” hopes such events go nationwide and across the agri sector. “They are throwing middle New Zealand under a bus,” said Mark Cameron who organised the Ruawai protest attended by about 100 people, some on tractors and even a helicopter. The two major legislative issues which could “undo rural NZ” are the Zero Carbon Bill and water. “We all came to the same consensus -- that this stuff was being expedited through Parliament pretty quickly,” Cameron told Dairy News, commenting on the protest. “The stuff going through Parliament will have pretty dire effects on NZ as a whole.” All the sectors -- dairy, beef and growers -- need to be concerned, he says. “If we fracture things off to just, say, dairy or beef, then start aligning one against the other [we won’t] really achieve anything.” The Zero Carbon Bill will have massive effect, he says. The Paris Accord

excluded food production, he claims. “The global population is growing and the demand for food is always growing. “Especially here in NZ we produce 18% of the country’s GDP, but economically we are being thrown under a bus on what appears to be nothing more than subsidising of carbon credits for China which is increasing its coal production.” He says the Government is also pushing through the water legislation “with no real understanding of the fiscal or emotional destruction to rural NZ.” A lot of money will be tied up in monitoring and auditing alone, Cameron says. He has heard a figure of $300-$400 million annually but some MPs have told him that is a conservative figure. “There are too many unanswered questions for the eight weeks they have given us for submissions,” he said. “We cannot really in the greater community analyse where it will leave us.” Cameron sees it as a feel good policy with few practical solutions. He wanted to test the mood of the community with the protest and said “they were right behind us”.

“We are hoping the impetus grows. We are trying to get it out there that we need to have the many people affected by this all on the same page [in order] to win anything in Parliament.”

He says dairy and beef must ensure they don’t end up fighting each other. If they are united they will have some sway. “But if we are constantly splitting hairs about who is the better

farmer… we will not achieve anything.” It is a rural issue but also has massive flowon effects, whether on consumer prices or vets or the small businesses which support farming.

National MP Matt King, Northland.

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MORALE LOW, SAYS MP NORTHLAND NATIONAL MP Matt King says he has never seen farmer morale so low. “Depressed, under pressure, made to feel ashamed of their profession -- you name it,” he told Dairy News. One farming consultant told him she deals daily with clients who are depressed and unhappy over what is happening and the portrayal of farmers by the media. “Some people are saying it is like never before, like an unprecedented attack on rural NZ,” King said. One older farmer told him it was worse than when farm subsidies were scrapped in the 1980s. “The Paris Agreement has a clause that exempts food production. No other country is even talking about putting agriculture into their emissions trading schemes,” he said. “We are the only one. That will put us at a massive disadvantage if none of our trading partners are doing the same. “In fact many of our trading partners subsidise their farming industry, but we don’t. Not only will we be taxed an additional tax. We also will be competing against others who are subsidised.”

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Taking a leaf from Tatua’s book

MILKING IT... Unlikely supporter FONTERRA’S NEW strategy to salvage the business has received backing from an unlikely ally- Greepeace. Its New Zealand head Russel Norman says he’s been saying it for years! “The Fonterra and Federated Farmers strategy of maximum volume, minimum value and maximum environment harm was a dog. This crisis is a great opportunity for Miles (Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell) to reorient the business towards sustainability and NZ regenerative agriculture,” says Norman.

Plant milk for schools? PARENTS OF vegan kids and anybody else allergic to dairy in the UK are criticising a scheme that gives out free cow milk to under-fives. Children in approved daycare get 160ml of milk a day under a government initiative that dates back to the 1940s. The aim is to give kids a nutritional boost, but most nurseries and schools only provide cow milk free of charge, meaning children who drink plant-based milks are left out. According to the Vegan Society website, parents are speaking up and the society has now written to the Department of Health asking it to provide alternative milks via the scheme. They point out that plant milks are fortified with calcium and that UK’s Eatwell Guide recognises that fortified plant milks are a valuable alternative to cow milk.

Lobbying for milk THE AUSTRALIAN National Party reportedly plans to lobby the Federal Government to prohibit plant based alternative makers from using the terms ‘milk’, ‘meat’ and ‘seafood’ on their packaging. The motion calls for the Coalition to “lead reform” and was passed at National’s federal council meeting, reports ABC. The country’s dairy industry has attempted to reclaim the word ‘milk’ from plant based and vegan options, such as soy milk, almond milk and rice milk. The National Farmers Federation has also called for the traditional definition of milk to be better enforced.  The report says New Zealand’s Federated Farmers has expressed interest in implementing a similar rule change if the motion is succeeds.

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Monster hugs

ISSN 1175-463X

FOR STRESSED humans needing a warm, friendly creature to hug, Bonnie and Bella offer 500kg of affection. They’re not dogs, cats or even horses, but cows — part of the ‘cow cuddling’ experience at Mountain Horse Farm in Naples, New York. It’s received so much attention in recent months that people have been driving for hours for the chance to embrace, brush and talk to the sociable bovines, said owner Suzanne Vullers. She’s been “very surprised” by the big reaction. Vullers doesn’t believe it’s necessarily therapy, but something people can do for their own wellbeing. “People laugh, people cry. There’s a variety of emotions going on there,” Vullers told TODAY about watching guests interact with Bonnie and Bella.

THE SMALL Waikato processor Tatua will this week publish its 2019-20 results. There’s a very good chance it will again be top in the milk payout stakes. For many seasons Tatua has shown other processors, including Fonterra, a clean pair of heels in its payments to farmers for farmgate milk. What makes this small co-op tick? It’s happy being a New Zealand dairy co-op with a limited milk pool but delivering high value products to selected markets. Put simply, Tatua does not seek to be all things to all the world’s people. So it wasn’t surprising last week to see Fonterra take a leaf out of Tatua’s book in unveiling its new strategy. Just 18 months ago Fonterra described itself as a global dairy giant making a difference in the lives of two billion people. But what did it achieve for its 10,000 farmer shareholders? Two years of heavy losses and no dividend for investors and farmers alike this year. Gone are the co-op’s ‘three Vs’ strategy – volume, value and velocity -- pursued by former chief executive Theo Spierings. In briefings to journalists, Fonterra’s chief executive Miles Hurrell stayed away from the 30b milk target by 2020 set by his predecessor. It is clear that Fonterra is keen on making a clean break from Spierings’ strategy. Volume is no longer a buzzword. Hurrell summed it up saying, “I’m pleased that we now have a strategy built from the belief that our farmers’ milk here in New Zealand is the best and most precious in the world. Recognising this, while we will complement our farmer owners’ milk with milk components sourced offshore when required, we will start rationalising our offshore milk pools over time.” Relying on the NZ milk market has its disadvantages: competition for milk is growing as more overseas, especially Chinese, processors gain a foothold in the local market. Fonterra still holds just under 80% of the NZ market. Already some Fonterra farmers will be contemplating moving to rival processors. But Fonterra is hoping that its new strategy will lead to a change in its fortunes. It hopes to return to profit and resume paying a dividend within a year. There’s nothing to suggest the new strategy won’t work. It has worked wonders for Tatua. Tatua does amazing things to NZ milk to create value for its customers and farmer shareholders. There’s no reason why Fonterra cannot do the same.

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OPINION  // 13

Look to today’s young talented people for tomorrow’s solutions significant food production opportunities as well. From a food production perspective, a warmTEN THINGS may help ing climate means subtle transition us through to changes, not necessarily the next generation of disaster. successful dairying and 8. Look back to old food production. technologies which 1.Find the right people might not be fashionaged 30-45 to lead the able but might really add dairy industry for the value at very low cost next 20 years. In my and low risk. An examearly farming years, the ple is the breed of dairy key names were Graham, cow. NZ dairy has gravSpring, McKenzie, Young, itated towards a HolStorey, Calvert, Frampton, stein Friesian / F cross Fraser and Gibson -- all national herd. A national capably leading NZ dairy. herd revertThe founding of ing to 1/3 HF, 1/3 Fonterra brought There are not many crossbred and a complete positives about growing 1/3 Jersey cows changing of the old, but seeing things go will significantly guard. The old increase ecoman of the team in cycles does look more nomic returns, was John Roadexplainable. increase cow ley (age mid 50s) life particularly and the team of related to increased cow of the food scene. It will van der Heyden, Bayliss, fertility, and materially Rattray, Gent and van der have its place. It will be reduce emissions per the preference for some Poel were all early-mid kgMS (about 12% differconsumers. But it will 40s. Do not look to yesence between the breeds) not necessarily be better terday’s people to solve for the global atmosphere through a combination of tomorrow’s issues. more MS/kg feed, lower 2. Work hard to attract and climate or for water required replacement rate quality. Remember how the best human talent and lower carbon footmargarine ate into butwe can to the indusprint from more concentry. We can have the best ter’s market share for 30 trated milk impact on milk, produced more effi- years. Good science and milk transport and milk a desire for natural foods ciently than anywhere in drying. have reversed this trend. the world and produced There are not many If synthetic food were to in a more environmenpositives about growing get to 50% of world food tally and animal friendly old, but seeing things go demand over the next 30 manner. But all of our in cycles does look more years, there would still challenges will be solved explainable. A few years be excellent demand for not by cows, weather or ago agri bankers were milk, but by smart people. the cleanest and greenest dairy product produced in getting bonuses on how Dairying in NZ needs to the world via our NZ pas- much they could shovel attract top quality people funds out of their vaults. toral system. to the industry to meet Today, presumably they 6. Understand that the inevitable challenges. are remunerated for how NZ dairy farmers are not Encourage good people much they can drag back the sole reason for water into farming and direct in. In a year or two, good quality issues or NZ’s poor people out of farmgreenhouse gas emissions, young farmers will have ing. plenty of good bankbut we are part of the 3. Associate with posiing options to fund new challenges. Ensuring we tive people. It is a very high yielding dairy growth over-deliver on our parts challenging period for options. of the solutions is a chaldairy farmers socially. Giving is more satislenge we should take on It is solely your choice fying than taking. The with pride. whether you associyoung and successful have 7. Embrace new techate with people who see a responsibility to take nologies to be both more opportunities amidst the the skills, experiences and productive and more current industry chalcompliant as they become methods they have learnt lenges. Or it is your available. Do not hesitate from others, usually at no choice to be dragged cost, and share them with to work with other smart down by people who the new entrants. This is young people to work cannot adapt to a changwhat makes the NZ dairy out what is a ‘sales pitch’ ing dairy scene in NZ. industry special here at and what is an ‘excit4. Ensure that you home and globally. ing opportunity’ in new are a good ambassaideas and products. Some • Mark Townshend is a dor for our dairy indusfarmer who has dairy farmchange to climate in NZ try. Do not go to town ing interests both in NZ and to buy supplies with cow- will mean some farming practice will require adap- overseas. He is a former muck on your arms or Fonterra board member. tion, but it will also open all over your clothes. Do MARK TOWNSHEND

not employ people on your farms who will not be good ambassadors for your farm. You can always teach good people new and good farming practice. It is difficult to change the character of people with poor life skills. Employing people who are really only looking for a job because a house comes with the job usually leads to disappointment. 5. Accept that synthetic, artificial and animal-free food will be part

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Miraka pioneers farm carbon report MAORI-OWNED MILK

processor Miraka is now reporting carbon emissions for each of its 100plus supplier farms. The Taupo company claims this as a first for New Zealand. The farm-specific reports give detailed understanding of each farm’s greenhouse gas emissions and compare results between farms. Miraka’s general manager of milk supply, Grant Jackson, says many of its farmers know little about their carbon footprint. “Measurement and reporting are the first steps in the journey. Once we’ve identified the biggest impacts on each farm we can start working with our farmers on reduction targets and strategies,” says Jackson. Miraka’s emissions reports are generated using data from Over-


Miraka is located 30km northwest of Taupo.


It uses renewable geothermal energy to generate at least 300 million litres of premium milk products each year.


The company is owned by a group of Māori trusts and sources milk from 100-plus farms in the central North Island. Te Ara Miraka (the Miraka Way) was devised in 2014 and supports a culture of excellence through the Miraka supply chain.


Miraka’s Farming Excellence Programme assesses farms annually against five criteria: people, environment, prosperity, cows and milk.


Scores contribute to each farm’s final milk price, with high scoring farms getting a bigger payout.

seer software developed in NZ to help farmers more effectively monitor and manage nutrient use. Miraka also provides freshwater nutrient reports and detailed environment management plans for its farmers. “At Miraka we believe in the importance of kaitiakitanga -- about making decisions for the long term,” says Murray Hemi,

the company’s kaitiaki and general manager of environmental leadership. “As part of the Paris Agreement, NZ has made a global commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “Emissions from the primary sector are significant, and we all have a role to play in addressing the growing threat of climate change.”

Although Miraka believes future innovation will play a big part in reducing agricultural emissions, the company recommends several things farmers can do now. “Balancing feed to include lower roughage/higher sugar options can help reduce methane emissions, and optimising the application of nitrogen fertilisers also signifi-

Miraka picks milk up from over 100 farms.

cantly reduces emissions. “Improving pasture species and soil quality is another great step our farmers can take,” said Grant Jackson. Miraka’s emissions reporting and environmental management plans put them at the forefront of sustainability in the

ing and environmental management plans we are helping our supplier community take control of the greenhouse gas challenge. “Providing quality information to our farmer whānau enables us to learn, trial and explore together and find solutions,” says Hemi.

dairy sector. “Our goal is to have the lowest carbon footprint of any New Zealand dairy processor and we include our farm supply base in that footprint,” said Hemi. “We are walking this path together. By investing in emissions report-

Announcing a totally new nutrient-balanced organic-based NPKS fertiliser for environmentally-protective dairy farmers!

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*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.

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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, OR CALL BERT QUIN ON 021 427 572 Name:........................................................................................................................ Phone: ................................................ Mobile: ........................................................... Address: .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... Email address: .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Farm type: ........................... Hectares (effective)..................................... Soil tests available:



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Workshops to raise financial confidence DAIRY WOMEN’S Net-

work (DWN) is partnering with ASB to run NZ-wide workshops aimed at building farmers’ financial confidence. Their key focus will be fundamentals of rural banking and finance and the wider industry picture. “Maintaining control of your business and ensuring it is resilient enough to continue to be profitable is paramount,” said DWN chief executive Jules Benton. “ASB Rural wants to build greater knowledge, awareness and understanding of financial management, develop stronger budgeting skills and behaviour and connect customers with tools to help make that process easier.”   There will be 17 workshops for DWN members, in locations including Kaipara and Southland. The first session will be in South Waikato on October 2. “The dairy sector has had a golden run over the

last 20 years or so but we’re seeing more change in the industry than almost ever before,” ASB rural general manager Richard Hegan said. “There is much opportunity, but some tough challenges facing the sector. “The more we can help build financial confidence in our farmers the better prepared they’ll be to position themselves to make the most of the opportunities available.” A 90-minute fundamentals workshop will tell how a bank assesses a dairy business, and what a farmer can do to support a banking relationship. It will cover how some farmers have built greater resilience into their business to withstand dairy downturns. “We believe the fundamentals workshops are important for those just starting out or who have been running their finances for only a few years,” Benton said. “ASB will cover strategies and ideas to give less

experienced dairy farmers information and guidance to build greater financial confidence.” Following that will be ‘bigger picture workshops’ for experienced farmers who already understand

how a bank assesses risk. These will explain how farmers can improve resilience in their businesses. The workshops cover the dairy sector story over the last 20 years and why building resilience in a

Jules Benton, DWN chief executive.

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Synlait Pokeno makes first product SYNLAIT’S NEW nutritional powder plant at Pokeno, north Waikato, has processed its first milk. Commercial manager John Beeby said they were elated when Rua King, packaging and robotics operator, filled and sealed the first bag. “What an emotional moment. We’re all very proud.” “As a team we’ve planned and worked towards this result for months. We’ve been fortunate to have the Dunsandel facility to train on, so the technology and equipment was already familiar to us. It’s exciting to finally be using this world class facility.” Synlait chief executive Leon Clement says Pokeno is a sophisticated facility run by an engaged and capable team backed by top Waikato dairy farmers. “This first milk run is a milestone for our team who are putting Synlait’s newest nutritional spray dryer through its paces. “They bring skills from a variety of backgrounds and industries including engineering, food technology, dairy and infant formula. Nearly half of our manufacturing team live within 15 km of the plant.” Synlait is now recruiting 22 extra staff ready for Pokeno to increase its production capacity. “Our expansion in Waikato is in direct response to increased customer demand and takes risk away from our single site at Dunsandel, Canterbury,” said Clement.

dairy business is paramount. “We need to cover both ends of the experience scale to add real financial value and understanding for members,” Benton said.

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DairyNZ’s new man in Naki DAIRYNZ’S NEW Taranaki

regional leader, Mark Laurence, plans to help the region’s farmers continue adapting to their fast-changing environment. Laurence has 20 years experience in dairy sector and has worked in NZ and elsewhere in hands-on advisory and training and development roles. He will lead four consulting officers who work with dairy farmers in Taranaki. “A big part of our focus is getting to know farmers and ensuring we help build and improve their farm business,” he said. “Initially I’ll be getting to know the team and then adding value for farmers -getting out to meet them and helping them respond to challenges and opportunities.” They will advise farmers on new technology, best practice and good business management.   Laurence started in the

dairy sector in 1999 when he worked part-time for Massey University farms while studying. “I love the dairy sector,” he said. “Working for Massey introduced me to getting up at 4am and milking cows, research and the broader industry interactions. “Of course, you get to deal with good people. I would happily spend all day talking to farmers.” Laurence was most recently an area manager for Fonterra and previously a consulting officer in Northland for DairyNZ’s predecessor Dexcel and manager of a large dairy operation in Manawatu. He ran a training and development farm in Sri Lanka for Fonterra. “New Zealand is in an enviable position. What we’ve got compared to other countries is massive. We have advantages developed by hard work and ingenuity,” he said. His parents live in Waitara.

DairyNZ Taranaki regional leader Mark Laurence.

NEW CIO FOR LIC LIC HAS appointed Andrea Black as its new chief information officer, from January next year. She now works for Genesis Energy as general manager digital solutions and is a key member of the Genesis technology leadership team. She has also worked at Gen-I (Spark), Westpac, Fonterra and at PGG Wrightson for eight years.  Chief executive Wayne McNee says Black joins at a pivotal time for the co-op, to help accelerate its digital transformation “to take full advantage of big data and provide real time insights to customers”. “Andrea will bring strong technology leadership and technical excellence to drive this work.” LIC has a technology team of 110. Black, who lives in Waikato, was brought up on a drystock farm in Taranaki. She sees LIC as modern co-op progressive in its approach to technology.   “LIC stood out as embracing new technologies and platforms with focus on becoming more agile and extracting value for its farmer shareholders,” Black said.

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Dairy goat workers to get industry-specific training NEW DAIRY goat industry training being launched in Waikato is upskilling workers and ensuring consistent standards. The practical training involves the Dairy Goat Cooperative (DGC) and Primary ITO. The course and a review of previous training were enabled by Caprine Innovations NZ (CAPRINZ) -- a fiveyear $29.65 million partnership of Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and DGC, launched in August 2018. DGC chief executive David Hemara says training has always been available for dairy goat industry workers, but it was largely modelled on the bovine dairy industry. “Given the growth of the dairy goat industry, we worked – and continue to work -- with Primary ITO to review available resources,” he said. “We customised where needed and introduced new courses to provide the skills needed for New Zealand to retain

its position as a leading producer of dairy goat milk. “Two training courses have been customised to better suit goat farms, providing skills which are easily and consistently applied on farm. “Targeted, timely training is key for ensuring goats are healthy and able to produce quality milk. Highly skilled staff play a vital role, continuing to improve animal welfare, environment, consistency and use of technology on dairy goat farms.” Hemara says DGC last year, with Primary ITO, reviewed the existing Milk Quality and Food Safety (Stage One) course and then began work on the inaugural Livestock Husbandry – Dairy Goat (Level 3) course now being trialled with 16 students from DGC farms in Waikato. A dairy goat farmer and DGC shareholder, Kerry Averill, helped to review current training and is leading the rollout of the husbandry course.

Dairy goat farmer Kerry Avery is leading the rollout of training.

“I have always had a particular interest in training to ensure consistency across the industry,” Averill said. “As an ex dairy farmer converting to dairy goats 15 years ago I was aware that most of the training elements available to people working in the industry were based on bovine and needed to be tweaked to the dairy goat industry. “The new course is being trialled with DGC suppliers but will eventually be rolled out across the industry, available through Primary ITO. “Current students range from newbies through to people who have worked in the industry for more than eight years but who say even if they learn one new thing it will be an asset they can apply back on farm.” Averill says delivery of course elements is timed to match what’s happening on farm.

“For example, kidding is underway now, so students have been provided with the specific knowledge and skills they need to confidently take care of does and kids on farm. “Training is balanced between classroom and on farm so students get a chance to practically apply the skills they’ve just learned. “This training is designed to provide a consistent standard which will attract and retain people and give our international markets confidence in the quality standards which apply to NZ’s dairy goat industry,” Averill said. Primary ITO chief executive Linda Sissons says the joint work of DGC with Primary ITO people was critical, as capability development is a priority across the industry. “It’s great that the dairy goat industry is so passionate about training as this will clearly advance consistency in milk quality and animal health,” she said.

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LIC ascending into cloud for technology PAM TIPA


Corporation (LIC) is undergoing a digital transformation in the cloud, says chief executive Wayne McNee. It is developing products and services for customers on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. The tailored cloud strategy will markedly shorten the time it takes to analyse the range of data from different sources across a farm. It will provide real time insights via its Minda application to help guide farmers’ decision making. LIC’s breeding programme, including genomic analysis work, will be accelerated as a result. McNee told Dairy News it is a big change. The genomics team is trialling the technology, seeing huge gains on its traditional methods of processing genomics products. That will go into production within the next six months. “That really accelerates the way we can deliver improved breeding programmes,” said McNee. All new products for Minda are now being built on the AWS platform. The main difference LIC’s 11,000 New Zealand farmer customers will see is the speed at which products are developed and put out to the market. Another big change

LIC chief executive Wayne McNee.

will be the insights through Minda into what decisions they should be making. “A farmer now goes on their PC and scrolls through a big report with all the information about each individual cow. And then they will work out what they should do as a result,” McNee said. “The system will now start to push insights to them: ‘These are the decisions you should think about making today -- the things you could be doing with these animals’. “It is still the farmer’s decision as to what they should do, what animals they should be drafting and what animals they should be treating. “But it will provide them better information more quickly and real time on the farm so they don’t have to go home and pull up the report on a PC, print it out and muck around.

“They can do it on the phone, they can do it in the dairy shed in real time.” The first of those insights is now in production, he says. “That is information about upcoming herd testing, telling farmers how ready their herd is for herd testing, what changes they need to make to be ready when a herd test comes up so. That is in production now and there will be more and more releases of information into the future.” McNee says the move was made to accelerate the rate of development, and upgrade and update technology.  “Customer farmers want increasingly to access product in real time, they want to see things on their phone. They are getting used to that in other parts of their life so they expect it from us as well. “The other part is speeding up

genomics. We are looking at how we can increase the rate of genetic gain... of dairy cows, and reduce the impact on the environment of things like nitrates and methane. “So our having the tools and the computer power that comes with the platform gives us more chance to speed up those processes. “We have huge research projects looking into the environmental impact of dairy but working together with the platform helps us speed that up.” McNee says they are working with farmers on the development of product in two ways. “Our team goes out and meets with farmers and talks through what sort of innovation they want from us. LIC also runs a Facebook page with 500 farmers on it where they provide their views on what the industry needs and what they want to see next. So we get real time feedback on our products. “If we put something out and they don’t like it we know about it quickly and we fix it quickly. But that doesn’t happen often because they are telling us in the first place what they want. “We are using both the farm network one-on-one, and Facebook, to find out what they want to see from us next.” Farmers have a range of capability in technology. The spectrum runs from those who live on digital data to those who still want to write things down and enter them later.



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THE AWS platform is highly scaleable so has almost infinite capacity to perform tasks previously almost impossible, says Tim Dacombe-Bird, AWS NZ country manager. “LIC can scale up very quickly, run computational demand models and then scale down very quickly. It is also highly resilient and a very secure technology platform.” Dacombe-Bird says LIC’s innovation will provide considerable value for its customers. “The products and services they are using are part of the AWS platform which has been around for 13 years. We continuously innovate and iterate on our platform to provide new capabilities to customers like LIC, and we do that at incredible pace. In 2018 alone we released 1957 new services, features or updates which we can put into the hands of organisations like LIC, to provide great capability and new services.” AWS is focussed on NZ agriculture and was a major sponsor of Fieldays this year. “At AWS, we recognise the importance of the agritech sector to NZ, and LIC is a critical component in the farming ecosystem. “Our broad technology platform is enabling LIC and other agritech organisations to focus on making a difference for their customers. “AWS’ data and analytics services are enabling LIC to activate its large data sets to drive productivity, profitability and sustainability for farmers.” Whatever industry you are in, technology is in your future, he says. “So it is important we take a proactive stance on educating the wider community.” AWS is working hard in New Zealand to build partnerships with educators including agricultural organisations. It is also working with the BNZ Cloud Guild and the Auckland ICT Graduate School and was a strategic partner of Techweek 2019, hosting 20 events across NZ.

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Stephen Sing, dairy farmer and Jersey Advantage member, milks 570 Jersey cows at Tatuanui.

Raising in-calf rate helps cut farm emissions IMPROVING THE reproductive

performance of a herd by getting more cows in-calf is a key way to cut farm emissions says Stephen Sing, Jersey Advantage member. “If farmers can get more cows in-calf year upon year then they can reduce the number of replacements they are bringing through and in turn lower their methane emissions.” From 2012 to 2017 the average not-in-calf rate for the industry ranged from 14 – 17%. “A lot of animals are being culled on pregnancy status alone, that’s before you start culling on performance or management factors,” said Sing. “All those animals need to be replaced in the herd, and that’s driv-

ing higher rates of replacement stock. But the Jersey cow with its superior reproductive performance is well placed to help with that.” On average, Jerseys have superior fertility over their Holstein Friesian and crossbred counterparts. At the last animal evaluation run the average fertility breeding value (BV) for Jerseys was 0.8 versus 0.6 for crossbred and 0.1 for Holstein Friesians. “Jerseys are known for their superior reproductive performance and their higher rate of cycling prior to mating which results in less intervention and improved in-calf rates.” Jersey cows also have superior BVs for somatic cell count, calving difficulty, legs and udder overall.

“Culling due to conformation and management traits is also lower on average with the Jersey cow, which allows for further reduction in replacement numbers.” Figures taken from a sample of herds show that Jerseys can require about a 5% lower replacement rate than Holstein Friesians. “For an average size herd that’s 22 fewer replacements. Each of those replacements will be producing about 22 grams of methane per kilogram of dry matter eaten. So at a conservative estimate you could reduce your methane emissions by about 1.7 tonnes annually just through a lower replacement rate. Not to mention the cost savings of rearing less young stock.”

BVD is a complicated and costly disease which is widespread in NZ. Your ability to identify and prevent BVD within your herd can significantly affect productivity and profitability. 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.

DRILLERS TAKE TO KILLING FIELDS TWO FORMER oil and gas contractors have switched to killing stoats, rats and possums as a career move. Mike Avey and Chris Halcombe, of north Taranaki, were formerly seismic drillers in oil and gas. Now they contract to Towards PredatorFree Taranaki, a region-wide project to help preserve native wildlife and plants. Halcombe farms in Urenui, and Avey farms near Egmont National Park. Since last December they have been helping farmers in rural New Plymouth to use new trapping technology to kill stoats, the first such trial in Taranaki.

Stoats are skilled killers introduced in the 1880s, says Towards Predator-Free Taranaki. Stoats travel large distances to eat baby birds and eggs. The rural trial, on 16,000 ha between New Plymouth and Egmont National Park, is to kill rats, possums and stoats on rural, urban and conservation land. Avey and Halcombe say they are pleased at the positive public reaction to their work. “It was nice to get positive feedback for the work we were doing, especially in Oakura, where it was massive. “People were literally stopping us in the street and thanking us. I

had never experienced that before,” Halcombe said. “It’s great contributing to something that’s making such a positive difference,” Avey said. The men say that in their drilling work they were used to dealing with many land owners one-onone. In this respect the trapping work is similar, Avey says. “It’s amazing how many people say ‘we don’t have any predators at our place’. But then we set the traps and it’s like, ‘hello, they’re there’.” “Once we feed back the results to people and they see the trap catches they’re normally right on board.”

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



BVD and what you can do about it AMANDA KILBY

BVD (BOVINE Viral Diarrhoea) is a viral disease of cattle. It is widespread in New Zealand; about half of dairy and beef herds are “activelyinfected” with BVD at any given time1. Understanding more about the disease will help you develop a farm-specific control plan with your vet. BVD causes pregnancy loss, diarrhoea, milk drop, and reduced growth rates. It also suppresses the immune system, making animals more susceptible to other diseases, such as pneumonia and salmonella. A herd with BVD infection over mating is estimated to cost affected dairy farmers $87 per cow2 and affected beef farmers approximately $50 per cow3. Research in New Zealand and over-

seas shows that it pays to control BVD; it is always more cost-effective to do something than to do nothing4. Moreover, a well-executed BVD control plan will help you achieve other farm goals, like improving animal welfare, reducing antibiotic usage, and improving reproductive performance. BVD is spread by “persistently-infected” or “PI” cattle. PI cattle are those which were infected with the BVD virus before birth, before their immune system had developed sufficiently to differentiate between ‘self’ and ‘other.’ PIs secrete high levels of BVD virus in their blood, saliva, faeces and body tissues for their entire lives. When PIs, or their saliva or faeces, contact cattle which have never seen the virus before, these “naïve”

Amanda Kilby

animals can become transiently infected with BVD for 2-3 weeks. In this way, PIs act as the source of BVD spread. While some PIs are poordoers who self-cull, about half live to be at least 2 years old4, indistinguishable from their herd-

mates, making BVD a hidden menace! The key to BVD control is therefore to find and eliminate PIs from within your herd, then protect your herd from contact with outside PIs. This can be accomplished by: monitoring the herd,

testing individual animals, improving biosecurity, and strategically vaccinating ‘at-risk’ cattle. The remainder of this article will outline monitoring and testing. Next month, we will address biosecurity and vaccination. To determine your

herd’s BVD status, monitor by regularly testing the level of BVD antibodies in pooled blood samples or a bulk milk sample. Herd antibody results are reported as “S:P” ratios. The higher the S:P ratio, the more likely that a PI is in contact with the herd or is in the herd5. Checking your S:P ratio 2-3 times per year will help you track changes in your BVD status. If your S:P ratio is 0.75 or greater, or if it has increased significantly since your last test, find and eliminate PIs by virus testing the blood, ear notches or milk of suspect animals. It’s best to work with your vet to decide how to conduct this “PI hunt,” since every farm has unique BVD risk factors. Virus positive animals are either PIs or have just been infected

with the virus for the first time and haven’t yet cleared the infection. If an animal is confirmed to be a PI, it should be culled immediately. PI hunts are cheapest and easiest if you have several years of BVD monitoring results, records of all recent animal movements onto the farm, and accurate dam-progeny relationship records. Monitoring the herd and testing animals to find and cull PIs will eliminate BVD from your herd. Next month, we will outline the steps necessary to keep BVD out. In the meantime, for more information about BVD, talk with your vet, or visit for BVD videos, fact-sheets and more. • Amanda Kilby is a MSD animal health veterinarian @dairy_news

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HAY & SILAGE  // 21

Simple butterfly makes mowing a breeze MARK DANIEL

TARANAKI CONTRACTOR Jason Holdem’s approach to farm machinery is straightforward: “It’s got to be simple to use and need minimum maintenance.” In 2016 Holdem bought a new Kverneland 3232 mounted mower conditioner designed light yet strong, needing only low horsepower and easy to use. He was happy with his choice and when the time came to upgrade to deal with a larger workload Holdem knew what he wanted. His new KV5087MN butterfly mower conditioner, the first delivered in New Zealand, allows him to operate more efficiently even in small paddocks and it has markedly greater capacity. The KV5087MN weighs only 2.13 kg, has a working width of 8.70m and

“Having one fewer tractor go out the gate saves on a tractor and a man.” can be driven by a modest tractor of about 150hp. On Holdem’s machine the rear butterfly unit is paired with a KV 3632FT front mower. The trio is powered by a New Holland T7.210 tractor. Holdem explains why he upgraded to a rear butterfly set-up: “It offered the same simplicity as the KV3232 with the opportunity to be more efficient”. “Having one fewer tractor go out the gate saves on a tractor and a man. This is important to us, because like most contractors we are struggling to find good reliable staff. The British boys I employed quickly became skilled operators, having never driven a but-

Jason Holdem, Taranaki with son Nixon.

terfly unit before. That says a lot for its simplicity.” The 8.7m working width proved easy to handle in Taranaki, where paddock size can range from 1 - 10 ha. The mower is manoeuvrable and follows contours well on undulating ground. The 3.2m mowing units carry eight round cutting discs and nylon condi-

tioning tines which Holdem had previously praised on the earlier KV3232. The cutter bars use a spring suspension system from the central frame and non-stop break-back protection to help reduce damage and running costs. Two mounting positions on the suspension arm allow an optimal overlap between the front and rear mowers,

while in-cab adjustment via the hydraulic system can be used to adjust ground pressure. Holdem sums up the new arrival simply: “The KV 5087 has the same simplicity as the KV3232 -- we grease it, use it, change the knives and that’s about it.”

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22 //  HAY & SILAGE

Why make stink silage? CHRIS BALEMI

ON MANY farms the familiar smell of silage is the sickly cloying smell of butyric acid. This smell gets you ordered to take a shower when you come in for breakfast after feeding out. It’s the smell that makes most townies hold their noses. Many farmers naturally associate this smell with silage. It is prevalent on most farms when silage is being fed. Yet good silage shouldn’t smell at all. The

smell signals secondary fermentation is causing butyric acid to form within the silage, and it means the silage has lost some of its nutritional value. Good quality fermentation should be purely based on lactic acid – which has very little smell. What’s going on in the silage? As mentioned, butyric acid forms during secondary fermentation produced by aerobic clostridial bacteria. This fermentation is indicative of




Silage pit

decomposition of the naturally formed (anaerobic) lactic acid. Aerobic fermentation degrades much of the original protein in the grass. Some farmers are naturally con-

fused because butyric acid fermented silage is so common here in New Zealand they inherently associate the butyric acid smell with silage. Added to this dilemma, butyric acid fermented

silage, while still being nutritionally degraded, can be very stable. Its high acidity levels can make it largely immune to moulds and further degradation. But at this point the


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cost has already been paid: this butyric acid fermented silage has lost much of its protein -used up during fermentation. Good silage making is a fine art. Achieving good silage depends on many factors, most notably good timing and good technique. The other factor at play is technology. This one can sometimes turn a substandard crop, or one harvested in less-than-perfect weather conditions, into silage that retains good feed quality. Provided the silage making technique is robust, a combination of high technology harvesting machinery and the use of a quality inoculant can make the difference between good quality silage, ordinary silage or at worst a real disaster. Of course, when everything comes together perfectly, using good technology in the form of a silage inoculant will insure an even better quality end product. New Zealand farmers have the ability to make silage that is as good as anything made on European farms, despite many European farmers treating silage making as a true art form. In a perfect world, silage would be made when a crop was harvested at its nutritional peak, the grass would be

dried down to the perfect drymatter level, it would then be harvested with the best technology equipment available and then compressed into a concrete pit designed to exclude all air with an airtight cover seal. But challenges happen. New Zealand weather conditions make it particularly hard during the harvesting season. Add to this problem the fact that grass grows very fast here and at that time of the year there is often a shortage of available harvesting capacity. The result can be silage that is harvested at a less-thanoptimal time. Weather conditions dictate this and the drymatter level of the ensiled grass may not always be adequate due to crops having to be harvested within very tight weather windows. This is where a high technology inoculant can make all the difference. Bonsilage is a silage inoculant due for launch in New Zealand this year. Developed and made in Germany by Provita GmbH, it has been successfully used in Europe since 2000. Bonsilage uses specifically selected living bacteria strains formulated to produce superior forage quality under varying conditions. • Chris Balemi is managing director of Agvance Nutrition.

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HAY & SILAGE  // 23

Irish mower treads lightly over sward MARK DANIEL

A NEW mower from Irish manufacturer Malone will be of interest as a no-nonsense, heavy duty machine for use in hay or silage production. It has undergone two years of testing in Europe and NZ. The new ProCut 3000 MP has a centre pivot layout and uses hydraulic suspension to ensure it floats over the ground, maintaining a consistent cut and ‘treading lightly’ over the sward to encourage rapid regrowth. Offered in a 3.0m cutting width (2.6m and

3.4m units are in the pipeline) the 3000 MP has seven discs each carrying two 4mm heavy cranked, quick fit blades to deal with heavy crops, forming a swath with the help of swath wheels. Heavy duty transmission components are supplied by industry specialists Comer. The mower bed, carried from a large section support beam, has drive hubs protected by shear bolts that will break if the machine hits buried junk. This prevents shock loading in the driveline and the rear of the tractor and allows easy replacement in the event of an impact.

Following Malone’s mantra of ‘easy to set up and maintain machines’, the new models have easy access to drive shafts, slip clutches and greasing points, with a full width flip-up outer cover.

In the transport position the mower folds beyond vertical to 115 degrees, so pulling the machine within the extremities of the tractor for safe travel at high speed.



Mowing - Tedding - Swathing - Harvesting

Caring for delicate crops KUHN HAS launched two mower-conditioners for use in delicate crops like lucerne or alfalfa, where leaf loss can be a major problem if conditioning is done by traditional flail type designs. The new FC 9530 R and FC 10030 R triple mower conditioners use rollers conditioners combined with FC 3125 RF and FC 3525 RF front models to handle crops gently. The Squareflex rollers enable adaption to the most fragile plants via a profile that ‘pinches’ the crop in a gentle and constant motion to minimise leaf loss. Roller pressure adjustment is simply by a screw adjuster which acts on torsion bars, with a maximum pressure of 500kg per linear metre. The manufacturer says the large roller diameters promote crop flow and reduce the risk of wrapping. The lower roller is driven by two gearboxes and a maintenance-free drive system, while the upper roller is driven by a gear train. Overload protection allows the rollers to open to pass foreign objects picked by the cutting unit, limiting the potential for damage. The new GMD 8730 disc mower’s improved features include a larger cut and changes in the frame geometry to create greater overlap and a flatter cutting angle. Also, left and right mower units can be lifted independently, Flexprotect polyethylene side guards deflect when hitting objects and the machine can be stored vertically.

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24 //  HAY & SILAGE

MF expands fleet MARK DANIEL

MASSEY FERGUSON is further extending

its hay and forage equipment line-up with new front mounted mowers and wider mounted and trailed tedders. These will

be displayed at Agritechnica 2019. The new MF DM FQ front-mounted mowers are equipped with a new six- or seven-disc cutter bed, with a pendulum mounting system incorporating the maker’s TurboLift suspension that effectively ‘pulls’ the





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machine through the crop for optimum ground following. The range of six models offers working widths of 3.12m with six discs, or 3.62m with seven discs, and can be supplied with or without a roller or tine rotor conditioner. A centre pivot with ‘three dimensional’ suspension allows the disc bed to closely follow ground contours from -6° uphill to +15° downwards. To compensate for working across slopes the pendulum enables it to move +/- 13° side to side, with an optional hydraulic side shift facility providing 20cm of movement to steer around obstacles. Three models added to the MF TD X tedder range are based on the well known Lely Lotus. These use the hooked, long- and short-tine tedding action. They come in widths of 7.70, 10.20 and 12.50m (TD 776, TD 1028 and TD 1310, respectively) and are equipped with six, eight and 10 rotors respectively. The smaller models are mounted and the larger units trailed. The key to the MF TD X tedders’ capacity is the rotors, which achieve

optimum speed at just 400-450rpm on the PTO, saving fuel. The hooked tine, working angle and combination of short and long tines are said to produce an exceptional tedding action resulting in faster wilting. In operation the shorter tines travel about 12% slower than the longer ones, meaning they move the lighter, drier material less than the long tines, which in turn throw the wetter, heavier crop further, resulting in it landing on top of the drier material to promote faster drying. With a working width of 10.7m, Massey Ferguson’s new MF TD 1110 DN is the new flagship in its mounted tedder range. With ten rotors, each with six tines, it offers high productivity with a low (120hp) power requirement. The new model is based on the current design which previously came in only 8.6m working width. The new model comes equipped with a new patented swing brake, enhanced hydraulic edge spreading system and a stronger headstock.





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f Single, twin or quad rotor options

f Active float for low fuel consumption

f MAX SPREAD crop flow

f Transport height below 4 m




For your local dealer go to: * Standard CLAAS Financial Services terms, conditions and fees apply. 0% p.a requires 33% deposit followed by 2x6 month repayments in arrears over 12 months. Subject to CLAAS Greenline Category 2 assets only (excludes triple mowers & quad rotor rakes). Offer valid until 30/12/2019.

tinger suggests its front and rear mounted disc mowers minimise forage contamination thanks to their excellent ground tracking and balance. Having developed the “floating cut” back in the 1980s, the Austrian business claims the design of its Novacat models with centre-pivot mounting allows excellent ground tracking, while hydraulic ground pressure cylinders and intelligent geometry help the machine to minimize sward damage and move away from foreign objects. The cutter-bar incorporates Tri-Drive, a feature where larger spur gears with deeper teeth, “mesh” with the next gear, ensuring three teeth are always in contact. The design is said to increase reliability, transmit maximum power and torque from the tractor, while also withstanding shock loads from hidden obstacles. A spring-loaded blade system ensures every blade is always cutting in the optimal position of 90 degrees to the grass swath. This is said to offer cleaner cutting, better quality forage, faster regrowth and rapid change when required. Operating widths run from 2.65m - 4.30m with single mowers or units equipped with ED or Roller conditioners.



Spreading liquid manure to standing crop MARK DANIEL


manures or farmyard effluents to standing crops of forage maize is largely unheard of in New Zealand, but the practice is gaining ground in Europe. Precision drill manufacturer Vaderstad will use the Agritechnica event in November to launch such new technology for its Tempo V6-12 drills to make the practice much easier. Its WideLining system is the world’s first tramlining system which enables farmers and growers to spread liquid manure in a standing crop with-

Vaaderstad WideLining keeps tankers on track.

out compromising yield potential. Rather than shutting off row units to create

tramlines, the system automatically changes the row spacing on the planter hydraulically, to

create two 1050mm tyre tracks, so ensuring all row units plant at full capacity. In the body of the crop,

the row spacing between the tyre tracks will reduce from 750mm to 600mm without compromising plant numbers. Integrated into Vaderstad’s iPad-based, E-Control system, when activated, the machine will calculate the field size and automatically adjust the row units to create tramlines based on the working width of the liquid manure spreader. In practice, when planting silage maize with an eight row planter and intending to use a slurry tanker with a 18m working width, the drill will plant 8.3% more seeds in the field than alternative technologies now available.

App junks job sheet jumble MARK DANIEL

A NEW task management system allows farmers and agricultural contractors to keep track of job and time records with an app, helping reduce mistakes and saving time. FarmBackup’s app, called Task, allows users to ditch the paper job sheets they use to keep track of daily tasks and times worked. The digital platform collects and collates data to provide the information needed for correct invoicing, machine analysis and calculation of salary. It integrates with the most commonly used account-

ing systems, says FarmBackup’s cofounder Anders Knudsen. “As an administrator, you get a better overview of submitted job sheets and tasks planned for the future, instead of a pile of job sheets to look through and transfer.” The system handles all registered work and payroll digitally, taking advantage of the already high digitalisation in farming and contracting, where everybody uses a smartphone and keeps it close to their side during the working day. FarmBackup in 2018 launched a digital marketplace for agricultural services, making it more transparent who was offering combine har-

vesting, cultivating, drilling, etc. Many contractors and farmers across New Zealand have joined the marketplace, so the arrival of the Task app is sure to be of interest. Development of the Task app saw the developers team up with a group of farmers and contractors who delivered valuable feedback during developing and testing. FarmBackup will continue to develop the app to suit its users in the best ways possible and has already engaged with the first contractors in NZ. @dairy_news

Feed robot boosts yield, saves costs A ROBOTIC feed pusher designed to refresh and

remix feed is running on a South Island dairy farm which reports a resulting increase in production and significant labour savings. The DeLaval OptiDuo remixes and repositions supplementary feed in barns and on feed pads to ensure cows have 24/7 access to refreshed feed. This is helping increase their consumption and reduce waste. “Previously we had been pushing back feed with a tractor-mounted tyre,” said Bruce Eade, who farms pedigree Ayrshires and Holstein Friesians near Gore. “When we started autumn calving and winter milking we decided we could justify buying a robot to give the cows automated access to more palatable feed day and night. “The cows are now getting well-mixed and refreshed feed seven times in 24 hours, giving us a yield increase of almost 1L/cow/day with no other changes.” The old system required a trip to the barn every night after 9pm to push up feed, a job now done by the OptiDuo robot. The machine has a twin-spiral rotating auger which lifts, mixes and aerates the feed then repositions it closer to the feed barrier. And it is versatile, able to handle varying amounts of material and a wide range of feeds including total mixed rations, silage, hay and fresh grass. The OptiDuo runs along an induction line and can be programmed to alter feed times and frequency. “Automated feed mixing and repositioning helps maximise dry matter intake and minimise feed sorting, and it allows cows more time for lying down and ruminating,” said DeLaval’s Katrina Lee. “We’re seeing interest in this technology from dairy goat farmers too.”

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

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



Claas grabs a silver gong equipped with two or three roller feedout modules that can be easily removed to increase the payload, with a torque measurement system available for automatic unloading.


CLAAS WILL take a silver medal in the Agritechnica Innovation Awards in November for its Cemos Auto performance feature. Cemos Auto should be a welcome addition to the Jaguar 900/800 series self-propelled forage harvesters. Aimed at machine optimisation, the Cemos Auto system automatically regulates engine power and driving speed according to harvesting conditions. As load increases, engine power is increased and forward speed is reduced. Conversely, engine power is reduced automatically if the load decreases. The goal is to avoid abrupt load changes whilst maintaining a relatively constant engine speed, resulting in an even crop flow, higher operational reliability, lower fuel consumption and an easier life for the operator. In other news, the third generation, family owned manufacturer has released a new control system to optimise the

performance of its Cargos 9000 and 8000 forage loader wagons when used with any ISOBUS compatible tractor. The TIM speed control system automatically regulates the forward speed of the tractor according to the real-time throughput of the wagon’s pick-up. Torque measurements on the feeder rotor and pickup provide the basis for measuring machine loading, which in turn reduces forward speed during periods of high intake and the opposite during periods of low intake. Initially developed as a cruise pilot function for use with Claas tractors, the system has been reprogrammed to the AEF

TIM standard, meaning it can be used with any ISOBUS-compatible tractor. Available in six models from 30 to 50 cu.m, Cargos 9000 and 8000



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

forage loader wagons are available with several new options for improved safety, efficiency and soil protection. A side-mounted, rein-


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

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

For more information on these offers contact...

06 370 0390

forced compartment cover, operated by a hydraulic ram, secures and protects the loaded forage. Each model can be


Most models can be fitted with 800/45 R 30.5 Alliance 885 radial tyres for increased ground contact, reducing ground pressure and increasing traction and self-cleaning properties.

EASYCUT LIVES UP TO ITS NAME A NEW EasyCut B950 butterfly mower from

German manufacturer Krone looks to have hit the mark with users. The company has sold all its 2020 production and only one unit is destined for New Zealand. Designed for high daily output, the rear-mounted units have shed conditioning elements in favour of auger-based mergers to allow swathes to be delivered in three modes. This can take the form of the output of the rear unit and a complementary front unit being merged into one, or individual swathes behind each unit, or no swath forming, instead laying grass at full width to promote quicker drying. Each 3.6m mower unit is equipped with six discs and two drums, each fitted with two blades. Used with a front mounted unit they offer a 9.45 m cutting width with each pass. Each mower unit is followed by a close-coupled, 45cm diameter, gear-driven merger element that can deliver a central swath up to 1.5 m wide. Individual mower elements are protected from impact damage by the company’s Safeguard protection system. The DuoGrip hydraulic suspension system suspends the mowing units at their centre of gravity, with extra support from lateral control arms. The layout is said to offer good ground following and adaptability, with easy adjustment of ground pressure from the control box, used with an easily read pressure gauge. Lift-out at the headland can be controlled in tandem or individually, with the latter function allowing easy cutting of short ground or irregular shaped paddocks. The B 950 weighs slightly under 3 tonnes and needs 200hp.



New entry level model for Hilux TOYOTA NEW Zealand has broadened its Hilux range with a new entry level twowheel drive, the WorkMate, aimed at buyers looking for affordability and Toyota reliability. Replacing the ‘S’ grade as the entry-level choice, the WorkMate is available in single cab chassis and double cab variants, as a two-wheel drive, this with low body height allowing easier loading. Power is delivered by the proven 2.7L petrol engine producing 122kW /245Nm, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The petrol choice means no road user charges, cheaper registration and lower servicing costs. Standard equipment includes the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) package with a pre-collision system with

autonomous emergency braking for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert and road sign assist. This has netted the vehicle a 2019 five-star ANCAP safety rating. (No other ute now for sale has that 2019 rating.) The WorkMate also has a reversing camera as standard, seven airbags and a 6.1-inch touchscreen audio system. All accessories found on the 2WD diesel are compatible with the WorkMate. Two tray options are available from Toyota for the cabchassis variant. The Toyota genuine alloy tray has high quality galvanised steel bearers and mounts, while the T Custom steel and timber tray is made of heavy duty galvanised steel with a Transtex industrial plywood deck.

Toyota Hilux WorkMate


THE SQUEEZE on plastics should

be a sobering warning to farmers and plastic wrap suppliers says the head of Plasback, New Zealand’s on farm recycler. Plasback manager Chris Hartshorne says the Government is exploring the regulation of farm plastics. “Now that Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage has announced a consultation on a mandatory product stewardship scheme for farm plastics, the time has come for all plastic suppliers to the primary sector to consider their responsibilities,” he said. Hartshorne wants all NZ plastic wrap distributors to get behind the Plasback scheme voluntarily, as any

Plasback stack in Mosgiel.

Government imposed requirements would likely be more costly. Hartshorne cites a December 2018 Colmar Brunton ‘Better Futures’ report saying 72% of Kiwis are worried about the build-up of plastic in the environment. They are more concerned about plastic waste than about the cost of living and the protection of children, which were second and third

in the poll. “The agricultural industry must take note because the public’s attitude towards single-use plastics is yet another issue that can affect our reputation among consumers.” Started 14 years ago, the Plasback recycling scheme has nationwide collectors and depots collecting waste silage wrap and silage sheeting. Volumes have

grown lots since the scheme began: in the 2018-2019 year 2400 tonnes of plastic were collected, and 1100 tonnes were recovered in the first two months of the current year. Plasback collects all brands of silage wrap, with some suppliers getting a free ride by distributing plastic products but not contributing to an accredited product stewardship


AGRI ENERGIZERS Electric Fence Energizer Range

AVAILABLE NOW MAINS POWER | BATTERY | SOLAR Ask for Strainrite at your nearest rural supplies store

Strainrite’s Agri Energizers use of patented Adaptive Power Technology (APT) on selected models ensures maximum power is delivered to the fence while minimising power losses along the fence line. With APT the energizer detects and responds to changing environmental factors, such as weather conditions (wet/dry) and vegetation growth on the fence, and adapts to the changing needs of the fence by maximising fence power and efficiency underneath the point of arcing.


scheme, Hartshorne says. “The ministry has signalled a change in its thinking towards mandatory product stewardship to stop free riders. Farmers are putting pressure on their contractors and asking what they are doing to help recycle the plastics they are putting on farm.” Hartshorne says Donaghys Crop Packaging, which markets the Spanish-made Aspla silage film, has joined the Plasback Recycling initiative. “Every manufacturer and distributor has an obligation to contribute and they should get credit from contractors, farmers, the Government and the public for doing so.” The Plasback scheme and the farm chemical container recycling programme Agrecovery have shown the need for these product stewardship schemes and farmers’ willingness to use them, Hartshorne says.


Profile for Rural News Group

Dairy News 01 October 2019  

Dairy News is the big news in the industry, offering content of interest to every farmer – news, markets, opinion, animal health, management...

Dairy News 01 October 2019  

Dairy News is the big news in the industry, offering content of interest to every farmer – news, markets, opinion, animal health, management...