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Forecast payout jumps... is the worst over? PAGE 3 DUNG BEETLES

Making pastures productive PAGE 5

NEW OWNERS

Numedic changes hands PAGE 21

JUNE 23, 2020 ISSUE 449 // www.dairynews.co.nz

NEVER WASTE A CRISIS “New Zealand has done a sterling job of minimising the lethal risks of Covid-19 but we now need to consider the type of economy that will emerge on the other side. – Prem Maan, executive chairman Southern Pastures PAGE 4

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

NEWS  // 3

Recovery better than expected SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

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NEWS�������������������������������������������������������3-11 OPINION�����������������������������������������������12-13 AGRIBUSINESS������������������������������������ 14 MANAGEMENT�������������������������������� 15-16 ANIMAL HEALTH�����������������������������17-18 EFFLUENT & WATER������������������20-28 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS��������������������������������������29-30

THE GLOBAL dairy outlook isn’t looking as dire as it was at the height of the Covid-19 crisis. Demand is returning as lockdown restrictions loosen in key markets, prompting at least two banks last week to up their forecast payout for the 2020-21 season. Rabobank is now forecasting a farmgate milk price of $5.95/ kgMS, a jump of 35c. Westpac lifted its forecast payout by 20c to $6.50/kgMS. RaboResearch senior analyst Michael Harvey says government intervention buying and the reopening of the foodservice sector have helped jump start dairy demand across key international markets. “The northern hemisphere experienced a rebound in milk and dairy product prices toward the end of quarter two as a result of government intervention, while we’ve also seen a rebound in cheese prices – particularly in the US – with this largely attributable to the re-opening of the food service sector,” Harvey says. Dairy markets have performed better than expected over recent months and prices should now avoid dropping to the levels anticipated earlier in the year.

“And these factors have helped boost dairy demand and prices have moved back toward, or in some cases above, preCovid levels.” Westpac agri economist Nathan Penny agrees that Covid’s impact on global dairy prices has not been as severe as first feared. Global dairy prices have now stabilised and begun to recover from Covid-driven price falls earlier in the year, he says. Penny notes that whole milk powder prices were effectively flat over May, while June prices have lifted 4.4%, with similar movements in prices overall. “The price stabilisation and improvement have come earlier than we anticipated.” However, both analysts caution that things could easily turn sour and a looming global recession could also hit prices. Harvey said while price rebounds were a sign the global dairy sector was on a path to recovery, the true strength of the current market was difficult to assess and the sector was not yet “out of the woods”. He expects expanding global supply and economic recession across much of the globe to further hinder the speed of the recovery in dairy markets. Penny agrees that a global recession still looms large.

Global dairy prices will soften as the global recession weighs on global dairy demand later in the year. “Indeed, we have factored in for global dairy prices to weaken over the peak NZ production months as the extra dairy volumes combine with softening global demand thus it pays to be prepared. “With that in mind, it pays to note that it is still early days in the season and the uncertainties around the Covid impact through the full dairy season remain large. On this basis, we recommend that farmers approach the season with ‘eyes wide open’.” Michael Harvey, Rabobank


DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

4 //  NEWS

Making good use of a crisis EDUCATE, REWARD FARMERS

SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

ONE OF New Zealand’s largest dairy farmers says the Covid-19 pandemic presents the country an opportunity to rethink its approach to on-farm sustainability. Southern Pastures Ltd believes more legislation isn’t the answer to sustainability challenges facing the sector and farmers should be part of the solution to climate change rather than being labelled as villains. Future generations will have to carry the huge economic burden of Covid-19 recovery. Southern Pastures executive chairman Prem Maan says the last thing we want is to load them with additional climate and environmental costs as well. “I don’t believe more legislation is the answer. The solution is to educate farmers that maintaining nutrients on-farm rather than letting it run off is valuable to them, as well as to local waterways,” he told Dairy News. “That carbon and biology rich soils with deep

SOUTHERN PASTURES want farmers to be educated and rewarded for benefits of improving their credentials around sustainable farming. Instead of punitive regulations, a bold approach would be to educate and reward farmers for the benefits of improving soil carbon sequestration, preserving valuable nutrients on-farm, reducing animal methane emissions to increase animal productivity. “In my view, farming in New Zealand should be driven by the ambition to become, first, carbon neutral and then, ultimately, a net extractor of atmospheric carbon,” says Southern Pastures chairman Prem Maan. “This could form the foundation of a uniquely New Zealand solution, based on farmers being the key troops in the war against climate change. “Not through a reliance on the chessboard manoeuvrings of traded offsets and market schemes – and not through production reductions – but through the actual capture and storage of carbon from the atmosphere into the soil sinks of our farms. This should be practicable and, equally, profitable.”

Southern Pastures Ltd owns 19 dairy farms and one support farm in Waikato and Canterbury. Inset: Prem Maan, Southern Pastures executive chairman.

rooted plants will mitigate droughts...that they can be part of the solution to climate change rather than the villains.” The company owns 19 dairy farms and one support farm in Waikato and Canterbury, producing a total of 7 million kgMS annually. Fonterra collects milk from its Waikato farms and Westland Milk from its Canterbury farms. Southern Pastures also owns 50% of boutique dairy company, Lewis Road Creamery. Maan says resilience is embedded in NZ’s DNA, as shown during the

Covid-19 battle over the last three months. “New Zealand has done a sterling job of minimising the lethal risks of Covid-19 but we now need to consider the type of economy that will emerge on the other side,” Maan says. “This includes ensuring that we don’t burden future generations even more than the already enormous costs of postCovid recovery. “There will be more crises to come in the future. So, we should be asking ourselves, how do we set ourselves to not

only survive long term but to come out of each crisis stronger?” Maan doesn’t believe reducing NZ’s dairy production is the answer to climate change. New Zealand farmers are already the most efficient in the world - our dairying footprint is onethird of the global average. If New Zealand reduces its dairy production and it is replaced by other countries, then it will be “an own goal for the planet”. “It may make us feel virtuous, but it accelerates

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global climate change,” he says. He says the Wall Street Journal reports that some large global businesses are putting their Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) policies on the backburner due to Covid-19. “This is dangerous

short term thinking as climate change or volatility poses a far greater existential threat to humanity.” At the same time, farming in NZ should not use the crisis to go easy on environmental improvements. The better we are managing our environmental and climate footprint, the better the on-farm production, marketing provenance and margins, he says. “We should not pretend to be a volume producer that feeds the world. We can only afford to feed between 30-50 million people sustainably. So, it is imperative that we earn the highest margin – simply increasing volumes is no longer an option. “We absolutely need to make our farms more sustainable – environmentally, economically and socially. Farms that produce more each year with fewer inputs and are resilient to climate volatility

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are in our common interest.” Consumer behaviour is reverting to natural foods, something NZ specialises in producing. A case in point is Lewis Road Creamery. Global analysts expect this back-tobasics trend to continue and consumers choosing nutritious dairy products over alternative plantbased offerings. “Our wholesome milk, butter, cheeses, yoghurts and ice creams provide us with not only the best nutritious but also the most indulgent dairy products in the world,” says Maan. “The industry needs to double down on getting its provenance stories to market and also on opening up new markets, which granted is easier said than done when one can’t travel and there are trade barriers. “But the point is that consumers want our products – when there is an authentic story of the values behind them.”

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

NEWS  // 5

MULTI-TASKING DUNG BEETLES DUNG BEETLES are one of the tools

Lewis Road Creamery grass-fed butter from NZ is one of the most expensive in the world.

NZ grass-fed butter melting US hearts SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

DID YOU know that one of the

world’s most expensive butters is made in New Zealand? Lewis Road Creamery grass-fed butter, sold in the US and Australia, is made from New Zealand milk that meets a stringent ‘10 Star Premium Standard’ that covers grass-fed, free-range, animal welfare, human welfare, environmental sustainability, and climate change mitigation. The grass-fed butter journey starts at Southern Pastures dairy farms in Canterbury. Southern Pastures executive chairman Prem Maan says the 10 Star farming system is designed to deliver healthy products that attract a premium price among consumers. “We set out to create the best butter in the world and we have – in terms of its nutritional analysis. So, when we turned to the export

markets, we led with butter exports under the Lewis Road Creamery brand into the US….that has gone very well and butter is now available throughout Australia as well,” he told Dairy News. In 2019, Southern Pastures bought a 50% stake in Lewis Road Creamery. Maan says his company needed a brand partner to get its 10 Star products to global customers. “We were very fortunate in the timing that Lewis Road Creamery was looking for a cornerstone shareholder. “Peter Cullinane, its founder, had built an amazing domestic brand and we saw an opportunity to grow it into an internatonal dairy brand for our 10 Star premium dairy products.” Lewis Road Creamery says its butter has become the first New Zealand dairy product to be stocked US-wide by American supermarket giant Whole Foods which exclusively sells products free from hydrogentated fats and artificial

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colours, flavours and preservatives. The New Zealand grass-fed butter is now on Whole Foods shelves in 37 states, including in flagship stores in Union Square, New York, and Austin, Texas. At US$6.99 for an 8oz (225grams) pack, the butter now retails as the most expensive grass-fed butter per pound being sold nationally by Whole Foods. Cullinane says products from NZ grass-fed milk are revered in the US. “The things we take for granted our cows living outside, eating fresh grass - are absolutely prized over there, to a degree that’s taken even us by surprise,“ says Cullinane. “It shows that we can put New Zealand butter back on the world stage, not as an export commodity going into other bulk products, but as a stand-out brand in its own right.” Lewis Road Creamery’s grass-fed butter is also sold in 950 Woolworth’s stores in Australia.

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used by corporate farmer, Southern Pastures, to capture carbon on their farms. Southern Pastures executive chairman Prem Maan says on-farm experiments with dung beetles, provided by Dung Beetles Innovation, are ongoing. “Dung beetles are amazing creatures that perform a multitude of tasks – their primary function is to drag the dung down underground and therefore make the pasture more productive,” he told Dairy News. “In the process, they also naturally sequester more carbon and also assist in preventing nitrate runoffs and surface dung from releasing methane – a trifecta of environmental wins really.” Maan believes carbon rich topsoil is very productive and the world needs far more of it, saying “life on this planet is dependent on its thin layer of topsoil,

which has been depleting.” The EU is planning to pay farmers to capture carbon on their farms – storing it in pastures, in trees, in hedgerows, and, critically, in soil. In a rare bipartisan bill, U.S. senators are also tackling climate change through agriculture – to help farmers generate carbon credits from a range of activities including soil carbon sequestration. “There is logic to this as soil has the ability to hold 3.1 times the atmospheric carbon – the amount of carbon in plants and animals is relatively small,” says Maan. “New Zealand could take a similar path and incentivise pastoral farmers to make climate change mitigation central to their farming practices. “The techniques are available and largely uncomplicated.”

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

6 //  NEWS

Challenges ahead - MPI

IN BRIEF New sharemilker chair TARARUA SHAREMILKER Aaron Passey is the new chairman of Federated Farmers dairy section. He took over last week from Richard McIntyre, who held the role for four years. McIntyre says he really enjoyed the last four years. “I am proud of the way the sharemilking industry has progressed, yet there is still a lot of work to be done and new opportunities to be explored,” he says.

PETER BURKE petertb@ruralnews.co.nz

A MINISTRY of Primary Industries report says the 2020-21 season payout won’t be as high as last season. It says Covid-19 has impacted the dairy sector around logistics and supply channel disruptions. However, it notes that despite the recent fall in commodity prices, dairy companies had contracted a high proportion of milk from last season at good prices and this helped. But the outlook for the coming season is not good with markets signalling a 14% fall in farm gate prices. It says the current range sits between $5.60 and $6.50/kgMS which will be close to, and in some cases below, break-even levels of profitability. “It has the potential to undermine the financial viability of some marginal and highly indebted farm businesses,” says the report. The report flags the potential

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of the drought and shortage of feed as being a factor, but points to concerns around protectionist and subsidised dairying in the US and the European Union. It notes that if there is a flood of subsided dairy products on the global market this could add to the volatility and weakening of the dairy market which will impact on

New Zealand. Overall the report is stating what one might expect in the Covid-19 environment. Uncertainty in many areas and questions being asked about whether some trends, such as consumer preferences, will remain once life returns to whatever normal there will be in the future.

The report flags uncertainty and challenges ahead, mostly related to Covid-19. The good news is that in the past year to the end of June, revenue from primary exports will be up by $1.7 billion on the previous year, helped significantly by dairy exports which were up $512 million from the start of March.

THE GOVERNMENT’S Apprenticeship Support Programme announcement is a win for farm employers and workers, says Federated Farmers employment spokesperson Chris Lewis. The programme provides $380 million for employers to take on and train apprentices under approved apprenticeship programmes, and will be implemented from August 2020. “Covid-19 has unfortunately meant a lot of New Zealanders are looking for work. “Fortunately, the farming sector has been able to continue working through and there is strong demand for workers, particularly given restrictions on immigration. While the industry still needs to hang on to all the experienced staff that we have, including migrants, this extra investment will help Kiwis from other sectors make the move into agriculture,” Lewis says.

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

8 //  NEWS

Southland waits and hopes PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

SOUTHLAND IS on the knife edge as farmers struggle to grow enough feed to get their stock through winter. DairyNZ’s head consulting officer in the South Island, Tony Finch, told Dairy News that farmers have been lucky that autumn and the early days of winter have been kind to them, allowing pastures to partly recover and grow more grass than they expected. But despite this, pasture covers are down for this time of the year. Tony Finch says the countryside looks beau-

tiful at the moment and the milder weather has enabled winter crops to grow, but adds that the slaughter of cull cows is still close to a fortnight behind. “The backlog means those animals are taking feed that would normally be set aside for capital stock. The challenge and knife edge is the fact that we have still not caught up with pasture covers and that winter crops are down as a consequence of the wet season we have had. You hear everything from 10% to 20% down on yield and in some cases, yields are down by 40%,” he says Finch says with the winter just starting the

Tony Finch

effects of these issues are not being felt. He points out that Southland is like the West Coast of the South Island and that inevitably there will be a cold wet storm at some stage and that will be the test of where things are at. “The areas that are

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likely to be worst off are those that were hit by severe flooding, whereas farmers in northern Southland have been able to benefit from a very kind autumn,” he says. Like the rest of NZ, there is little spare baleage in the region and any spare is accounted for in feed budgets, says Finch. “I don’t hear too many people talking about surpluses. Hopefully they will get through, but if we get

cold weather, some farmers will be challenged,” he says. Despite the difficulties farmers in the region are facing, Finch says cow condition is generally speaking good. He says farmers have been focusing on that while at the same time having to feed animals they are waiting to send to the works. Finch says he’s received no reports about cows being underfed and says

body condition scores are good. But he says while conditions in the region have improved, there is no room for complacency. “I want to make sure that people are aware we are not out of the woods yet. We don’t know what the winter will bring and we are at the mercy of the winter. Farmers need to be really vigilant around feed budgeting, doing yield analysis on their

crops and have a clear picture of where they are at in terms of feed,” he says. To help farmers DairyNZ and Beef+LambNZ and other industry groups including the Rural Support Trust have set up special services to help farmers through the winter. These include help-lines including 0800 233 352 for dry stock and 0800 4324 79689 for dairy cows.

Average season on West Coast IT’S BEEN an average season for

dairy farmers on the West Coast of the South Island, according to DairyNZ’s head consulting officer in the South Island Tony Finch. He says it’s been a bit of an upand-down season on the coast and because it’s such a large region with different climatic conditions,

it’s hard to define what an average season is like. Parts of south Westland experienced floods and farmers there were badly affected. He adds there were other places where it was dry. “I think they had a period of very cold weather which had an impact on growth rates for a period,

but they have finished their season and have had to dry off everything because Westland Milk Products are doing a complete shutdown,” he told Dairy News. “Also, a lot of farmers acted a lot earlier to ensure their cows were in good condition for the new season and so body condition scores are good.”


DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

NEWS  // 9

Covid-19 brings no joy to Happy Valley WAIKATO’S NEWEST

milk processor says Covid-19 has slowed progress on the $280 million project. Happy Valley Nutrition (HVN) is now hoping to receive first milk for processing in July 2022. The ASX-listed company is in the process of developing a vertically integrated, nutritional grade milk processing, blending and packaging plant for infant milk formula and other nutritional products in Otorohanga. HVN chief executive Greg Wood says while the global Covid-19 lockdown had understandably slowed the company’s progress, it did serve to highlight a growing demand for the manufacture and supply of safe, secure nutritional ingredients. “New Zealand’s handling of the pandemic and status as a safe and dependable country with first-rate biosecurity has resulted in potential customers assessing their supply chains and looking to New Zealand. “These insights and other evolving market signals have further strengthened the business case for HVN and we are very well-positioned to take advantage.”

HVN still plans to develop a single dryer facility with the site master-planned to allow for the addition of an extra drier as well as a blending and canning plant. “By progressively adding these components we will be well positioned to reach our vision of becoming a trusted business-to-business supplier of consumer ready IMF and other nutritional products derived primarily from A2 and organic milk.” An independent economic report stated that once the plant was operational the Waikato/King Country would see an incremental GDP increase of over $100 million annually, the equivalent of a total of 185 full-time jobs in the area. “HVN is proud to sit at the forefront of a movement which will drive greater business opportunities locally, provide new opportunities for people in the Otorohanga area, and support local services,” Wood said. “We look forward to continuing to work with the community and all stakeholders to create an enduring legacy for all our stakeholders through the production and delivery of safe, nutritious, premium New Zealand milk

IN BRIEF

products to the world. “We’re not just a milk company, we’re a nutrition company and our vision remains to become a trusted supplier of consumer ready IMF and other nutritional products

primarily using A2 and organic milk. “We are tracking well and our team have made meaningful progress towards maintaining the ability for us to achieve first milk from July 2022.”

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Visa issues NATIONAL’S AGRICULTURE spokesperson David Bennett says the Government needs to act fast or dairy farmers will be left short-staffed during the busy calving season as thousands of workers’ migrant visas are set to expire. He says there are currently 588 migrants on level 1 essential skills visas and a further 2566 on level 5 essential skills visas that are set to expire between the beginning of July and the end of September. “This is only counting those currently employed on dairy farms. There are thousands more migrant workers facing visa expiries across New Zealand’s primary industries. “For dairy farmers, these migrant workers are invaluable and farmers need continuity of employment as they head into calving season. They need assurances they won’t be left in the lurch. “Many of these visas expire from the 9th of July, so the Government needs to move quickly to assure dairy farmers they will not be facing a labour shortage during an already difficult season. Migrant workers are a valuable part of New Zealand’s dairy industry and the wider primary sector.”

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

10 //  NEWS

Buck stops with Govt over FTA PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

FORMER TRADE Min-

ister and National MP, Todd McClay, says it’s a bit late for people to be screaming and yelling about the European Union’s initial offer to New Zealand on agricultural access as part of the current Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations. He told Dairy News that no one should be surprised at what has been called a terrible, embarrassing and unacceptable offer. McClay says the EU is like this and says if the NZ ag sector is unhappy with the offer they should be directing their criticism at the Labour Trade Minister, David Parker, who is responsible for the negotiations. About a fortnight ago a document setting out an offer to NZ as part of

Todd McClay

the FTA negotiations with the EU was leaked and it brought howls of protest from the NZ ag sector and from Parker himself. The deal was said to be worse that the current trade arrangements with the EU prompting Parker to pick up the phone and make a call to the EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan to protest at what has been called a shoddy offer. McClay questioned whether Parker has been

taking the negotiations with the EU seriously enough over the past three years. “I hope that the Government hasn’t given away some of the things that the EU wants, for instance, around geographical indicators. I have heard they have moved a long way towards the EU position on that. The thing about trade negotiation is that it’s about both sides wanting

something and having to give some things up, and there was a list of things the EU wanted from NZ. I am really concerned now that David Parker and the negotiators have given too much to the EU, too early,” he says. According to McClay, the FTA was always was going to come down to agricultural access and he says the EU will play hardball when it comes to negotiations.

The nature of the leaked deal indicates that the EU is adopting a very strong protectionist philosophy which McClay says is at the core of its agricultural policy, despite denials to the contrary. “I am surprised that David Parker hasn’t been demanding every single day, since he became trade minister, the same treatment the EU gave Canada in their FTA. The Canada deal was a very good deal for Canada and their agriculture. David Parker says he was surprised and angered by this offer to NZ which suggests to me that somebody hadn’t been paying enough attention, because the agricultural community of NZ is not surprised. They have been telling the minister for a long time that things have not been going right with the EU negotiations,” he says.

‘GET ON THE PHONE’ TODD MCCLAY says it’s up to Trade Minister David Parker to salvage the deal and get on the phone and start talking to representatives of all the countries and other appropriate people in the EU. He says the deal is salvageable but that it’s Parkers job to sort it out. McClay says he’s surprised that Minister Parker hasn’t been to Europe every single month he’s been in office, persuading politicians and officials there that they must deliver what they promised – a comprehensive, high quality FTA. “You’ve have got to be shooting for the stars and accept nothing less than what is good for NZ exporters. We should not walk away if the deal is not good enough, rather we should continue negotiating and not accept something that is not in NZ’s interests,” he says. McClay says in the past NZ has negotiated some excellent deals such as the FTA with China, although he says the so-called upgrade of this is “disappointing”. He says if NZ accepts a poor deal with the EU, it will become the benchmark that other countries will use when negotiating FTA’s with us. He points out that negotiations with the USA, South America and India are on the cards at some stage. He also notes that at some stage NZ has to negotiate an FTA with Britain. He says there is a risk that if NZ accepts a low offer from the EU, Britain in turn may offer NZ less than they originally planned.

FREE TRADE PROPOSAL A SLAP IN THE FACE DAIRY COMPANIES Associ-

ation of NZ chairman, Malcolm Bailey has launched a scathing attack on the European Union’s proposed free trade agreement offer saying the present deal is better than the so-called new offer. Bailey says the offer is a slap in the face to New Zealand dairy farmers. He says the reported EU offer, comprised of miniscule quota volumes and high in-quota tariffs, could never credibly form part of a free trade agreement between the economies.   “This falls short of even paying lip-serve to free trade. It is unashamed protectionism from the world’s largest dairy exporter,” he told Dairy News. “The starting cheese quota of 1500 tonnes is less than a rounding error, at just 0.02% of the EU’s nearly nine million tonne cheese market.  The butter offer of 600 tonnes is similarly low at just 0.03% of the domestic market, and each tonne will attract a tariff of Euro 586 per tonne, significantly constraining its usability,” he says. A point of contention right from the start in the FTA negotiations has been the geographical indicators where NZ has been using names for its cheese, which the EU is in effect claiming as its intellectual property.

Malcolm Bailey

Bailey points out that NZ has been using these names such as gruyere, feta and parmesan for over 100 years and now there is an argument. Bailey says NZ should not give way on this issue. “Adding insult to injury, EU dairy producers enjoy among the highest levels of trade distorting subsidies in the world – a practice that significantly disadvantages New Zealand exporters on the world market. This trade

agreement is an opportunity for the EU to take real global leadership and send a positive signal for food trade.  It’s time for action to match words,” he says. Bailey says Covid-19 has seen many countries turn towards protectionism in a bid to save their economies. But he says history tells us that the best way for countries to recover from an economic crisis is to trade their way out, not put up the shutters. – Peter Burke


DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

NEWS  // 11

UK-NZ free trade talks on peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

DAIRY PROCESSORS

say the launch of free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations between New Zealand and the UK is a positive development. Dairy Companies of NZ (DCANZ) chairman Malcolm Bailey says a high-quality and comprehensive FTA between the United Kingdom and New Zealand will further strengthen the historic and close relationship between the two countries. At a time when a number of countries are reverting to trade protectionist policies and subsidies, it is heartening to see like-minded countries like NZ and the UK showing leadership on trade issues, he says. Currently, the UK is only a small market for New Zealand dairy exports, accounting for 0.08% of New Zealand’s dairy exports in 2019. This is despite the fact that the UK is one of the world’s largest importers of dairy products. “The UK’s previous membership of the European Union (EU), one of the most protected dairy markets globally, has severely limited the opportunity for its consumers to purchase high quality NZ dairy products,” says Bailey. “Now that the UK is able to negotiate its own trade arrangements, a UK-NZ FTA will provide important commercial opportunities for dairy sector participants in both countries.” Bailey says the NZ and the UK dairy sectors are complementary, with counter-seasonal production systems and a shared interest in managing price volatility globally.  Both countries also place a high level of importance on food safety, animal welfare and environmental outcomes.  Bailey says the UK dairy industry is also efficient, with a long-his-

tory of competing against highly subsidised dairy exports from across the EU. “An FTA between the UK and New Zealand will ensure that unsubsidised New Zealand dairy products have the same level of market access as has been enjoyed by European dairy products over the past four decades,” he says. Trade Minister David Parker announced the launch of the FTA talks last week, with the first round of negotiations expected to take place by video conference from mid-July. This comes a week after the EU made a poor offer to NZ on agriculture as part of the FTA negotiations between the two jurisdictions. Parker hailed the start of the negotiations saying that as the UK embarks on its next steps postBrexit, NZ is pleased to be among the first countries to negotiate a trade agreement with one of our “oldest friends”. “We look forward to an FTA that opens up more opportunities for small and medium sized businesses, Māori exporters, and our regional communities, consistent with our ‘Trade for All’ objectives,” he says. Parker says NZ and the UK have a close relationship, including strong trade and economic ties, common values and traditions and a shared history. He says an FTA will be an important new milestone in that relationship and adds that in the post Brexit environment, it makes more sense than ever for NZ to be working together to grow this partnership for the future. “As the global economy continues to be severely impacted by the effects of Covid-19, we are more committed than ever to concluding a bilateral FTA capable of delivering significant benefits to the people of both New Zealand and the UK,” he says. Both sides have committed to achieving an

early conclusion to a high quality, comprehensive and inclusive trade agreement, something NZ and the EU are currently struggling to do. Britain

is NZ’s sixth largest trading partner with two-way trade worth almost $6 billion last year. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and British PM Boris Johnson are both keen to secure a free trade deal.

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

12 //  OPINION RUMINATING

EDITORIAL

Farmers have your back NZ

MILKING IT... Virtual AGM?

Govt on a slide? Off the mark

THE NATIONAL Business Review has highlighted a major issue with the possible move to online annual general meetings. As the NBR columnist ‘Shoeshine’ notes, one of the most disagreeable social changes wreaked upon us by Covid-19 is the virtual public meeting – where company management and directors are visible and audible on the screen, while shareholders watch silently from home. Under Covid lockdown, such virtual meetings were a necessity. Not so much now, but the NBR fears directors may get a little bit used to the distance from stakeholders that this meeting format gives them. “Tradition dictates that an AGM or similar public-facing event is the stakeholders’ moment in the sun. They get to eyeball the men and women in charge, to have their voices heard, to eat free sausage rolls. As Shoeshine has found in recent days, digital communication most certainly rules out the latter and severely curtails the former.”

SO THIS Government spends $572,000 on a kids’ playground at Parliament grounds but when it comes to helping drought-stricken farmers in Hawke’s Bay, it can fork out only $500,000. The price tag of the playground has been revealed at $572,000, well over the initial $400,000 budget. The slide ($243,000) was $76,000 over budget and engineering and architect fees were $73,000 over. Nothing against kids having access to a safe and secure playground but surely the Government can offer more assistance for farmers, who have been carrying the can for the country over the past three months. Last month it pledged $500,000 to the Mayoral Drought Relief Fund, set up by four Hawke’s Bay’s mayors and the regional council’s chairman to help affected farmers. Even the Greens are unhappy, describing the playground “effectively a slide and a bunch of logs which is not particularly accessible to kids with certain types of disabilities”.

GREENPEACE IS again on the attack, targeting its favourite enemy – Fonterra. This time the environment lobby group is using a US report to discredit the dairy co-op. According to Greenpeace, a new report by the US-based Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy named Fonterra as one of 13 global dairy companies causing the climate crisis to worsen by expanding into the global markets and pursuing business strategies that caused farmer debt to rise. But hang on Greenpeace...Fonterra’s new strategy is all about selling overseas assets and using its NZ milk pool to provide the world with healthy and quality products. And Fonterra farmers are capable of making their own decisions on personal finance. Sorry Greenpeace, you got it wrong!

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Faces on milk bottles MILK BOTTLES in Australia’s smallest state – ACT – are carrying the faces of missing people. The milk bottle campaign is collaboration between Canberra Milk and the Australian Federal Police (AFP)’s National Missing Persons Coordination Centre. The campaign serves to raise awareness and collate more information about each person’s case, and last year it brought back the ultimate result — one missing person was found. Police hope that people might recognise a face and the information could bring the case closer to being solved. It’s a strategy copied for the United States. Would it be welcomed here?

UNCERTAINTY AND challenges loom but don’t worry New Zealand, farmers have your back. That’s the outlook for the primary sector as it moves into a full year in the Covid-19 environment. The latest report from the Ministry for Primary Industries states that in the past year to the end of June, revenue from primary exports will be up by $1.7 billion on the previous year, helped significantly by dairy exports which were up $512 million from the start of March. Overseas consumers are now more than ever looking for healthy, New Zealand-made food putting farmers and growers in a strong position to help us reboot our economy. The MPI report says along with the sector, the Government is focused on creating more demand, pursuing greater market opportunities to generate higher export returns and growing rural communities with new jobs. But the future is uncertain. Uncertainty is how MPI sees the outlook in the coming year and notes that the full impact of the Coronavirus pandemic is still some time away with the global outlook rapidly deteriorating. It points to changes in consumer behaviours with an emphasis on people cooking at home more – especially in China. This it says means consumers will look for foods that are easier to cook and that these food items may outperform some high value items that dominated the food service sector. But here is some good news, with the authors of the report saying that consumers will be looking for quality healthy food, which is an area of strength for NZ. The report also provides a snapshot of how Covid-19 disrupted New Zealand’s primary industry exports – including logistics issues and more limited air freight options – and demonstrates how the sector and MPI worked together to find ways to operate safely under Covid-19 restrictions. At the start of the Covid crisis, the logistics and supply channels for getting our products to overseas markets was a huge problem, but the report says this now is much less of a worry. However, it makes the point that products that rely on air freight will likely face ongoing disruption because there are fewer passenger flights. Only about 5% of NZ’s exports are air-freighted, but they tend to be high value ones such as seafood, lamb and some horticultural crops – and infant formula. We are by no means out of the woods and the next few years are going to be tough on some sectors as importers and consumers re-evaluate their priorities in the wake of Covid-19. And the primary industries sector is here to help. The strength of New Zealand’s primary sector coupled with the success of our health response to COVID-19 gives us a head-start on the world as we get our economy moving again.

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

OPINION  // 13 LETTER TO THE EDITOR

DairyNZ levy vote now is the time when all sectors of the agricultural industry need to come together and stop the infighting and start working as a cohesive structure and start using each

other’s products other than imports so that we can all deliver the country from the current and foreseeable financial crisis. Jeremy Talbot Temuka

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cows is seeing many farmers disapproving of the huge amount of time and levy money trying to defend this archaic stance. Despite the science being very clear on this, this information has been kept away from the levy payers due to the various dairy publications refusing to publish anything other than pasture-only work, which has been shown to be flawed and highly selective, under direct orders from senior staff. Based on low farmer support, now is the time for the minister to stand up for the clear majority who do not support the DNZ organisation as it is today and decline the levy order. But it’s not only DNZ who are in this position, it seems that all our levy bodies can no longer deliver a “substantial majority” as required. The time is now right for a rethink on our research and how it is funded. Looking at the UK as an example, they also went down the separatist way as we have, but found, like we now do, that there is a complete lack of co-ordination between disciplines and a lot of work is duplicated and an awful lot is chewed up in administration. I think the time is now right to look at a whole of agriculture structure with one board and chairperson, and all research both applied for and completed, shared openly within all departments of the organisation. In the UK it’s called the AHDB (Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board). Having worked with the preceding bodies, as we currently have, it is now a lot easier and quicker to get better information from a wider view point. With this in mind,

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WITH THE DNZ levy vote just in, it would seem that the minister has a very serious problem on his hands. With just 57% of voters voting and then only 69% voting for the levy, it seems that this has only given a 39% approval for the levy to continue. This cannot be called a substantial approval rating as required under the commodities levy act. So why the low voting turn-out and then why the low approval by those that did vote in these turbulent times? It’s not that they weren’t at home to vote. This surely must reflect on both the board and its chief executive are out of touch with modern farming’s methods stance. If this was a commercial company, we would have seen both the CEO and chairman’s resignations being demanded by the shareholders. The constant and complete denial that it’s the organisation’s cathartic ‘pasture-only stance’ along with its love affair with PKE has seen many farmers, who have adopted mixed diet models, no longer seeing any value in their levy payments, and in fact see it as an unfair tax used to support outdated methods. This is demonstrated very clearly with the Lincoln Dairy Unit. Most don’t realise that it’s not a world’s bestpractice system, it is in fact a pasture-only research centre. With current climatic events showing the need for conserved forages, DNZ it seems has nothing to offer apart from PKE which has left farmers in a serious predicament. The fact that science has shown that the source of the very high nitrates in our waterways comes predominantly from ‘pasture-only’ fed dairy

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

14 //  AGRIBUSINESS

Animal tracing improves THE LATEST National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) data from the first quarter of 2020 shows farmers increasing their engagement with the system and becoming more compliant. OSPRI Committee member Robert Ervine welcomes this, saying farmers have more over-

sight of their NAIT accounts and this is encouraging them to keep it updated. “For example, the system now generates email notifications to alert the farmer to recent activity with livestock and movements in their account. “This helps you stay

on top of what is coming in and whether there are some animals that shouldn’t be in your account. If you’re using a thirdparty provider, this is another way to ensure movements are being synchronised through to NAIT.” Farmers can also now

request or access an animal location history report. Ervine says if farmers are in the market trading animals frequently such as beef farmers, it’s beneficial to know the animals’ whereabouts before buying, and this gives farmers a peace of mind and shows NAIT can offer

them genuine value. “This winter after drying my herd off, I plan to complete a reconciliation of my NAIT account. “This is an audit of all animals past and present and their movements. It’s something all farmers should be considering on an annual basis as

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part of their on-farm biosecurity.” NAIT re-registration is a key project and is vital towards rebuilding the national traceability database. Given the lack of accuracy and engagement historically with the system, this initiative has resonated with the majority of farmers post-M.bovis and there’s a willingness to meet NAIT obligations to reduce the risk of disease spread. For Ervine the change with animal registration is significant. “You’ve got 77% of all registrations being done by farmers now and that is big progress and demonstrates that data held in NAIT can be a truth finder, while playing an integral role towards national biosecurity,” he says. “It’s encouraging to see 75% of farmers recording livestock movements within the recommended 48-hour timeframe, this is helping the Mycoplasma bovis response and we’re really in a better space now for managing future livestock disease outbreaks. “Another development I’ve noticed is farmer

uptake in livestock readers. I believe this technology is helping to improve the integrity of the data held in NAIT and will continue to evolve as more farmers discover the value and convenience of using this tool.” The introduction of NAIT compliance is clearly influencing farmer engagement with the system. Ervine describes NAIT as “a necessary evil and a conversation you’ll hear now at farmer barbecues”. He says there is greater awareness about animal traceability and the implications of not getting on board with NAIT. “I recall a grazier I used had many clients but never recorded movements in NAIT. “I explained to him this was heightening risk of disease spread and was not good practice for any of us - he and his clients now record movements in NAIT. “The reality is some people react to the carrot, others take longer: some ultimately need the stick. The NAIT system and its effectiveness was being compromised and compliance was the logical step to address this.”

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ROBERT ERVINE says ensuring NAIT meets its potential means building more trust and confidence in the system with farmers and wider industry. “You can see the presence in the regions now with NAIT workshops and the regional farmer focus groups helping with design of the new NAIT system. “As a member of the OSPRI farmer committees, we have a strong mandate to influence change and ensure the farmgate voice is being heard in Wellington. OSPRI leaders are probably more visible and approachable now than ever before.” Ervine says there is a real sense of urgency and purpose about the organisation and recognition of the challenges from a farmer perspective. “I think also there is acknowledgment that resolving issues requires a broader approach as farmers and industry have different motivations at any time.”


DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

MANAGEMENT  // 15

Cows need to produce their liveweight in milk solids THE JOB description for cows in Lyn and Deborah Baggott’s herd is simple – the cows need to produce their liveweight in milk solids. The Baggotts are 50/50 sharemilking 880 mixed breed cows on the family owned 235ha dairy farm at Cust, North Canterbury. “I have no breed preference,” Lyn Baggott says. “As long as they are performing, pulling their weight. “I like cows to produce their liveweight in milk solids, so it’s not a breed thing, it’s the performance of each individual animal.” Lyn’s parents moved to Cust from Ruawai 20 years ago. The herd, made

up of Jersey, Ayrshire, crossbreds and Friesian, was originally all Ayrshire. The move south meant her parents had to build up cow numbers so they purchased Friesians and crossbreds – all New Zealand genetics. “I hadn’t been happy with the BW system as we’d been getting cows with poor udders and feet and lots of lameness. When I first bought the herd off my parents I did a simple on-farm exercise where I tagged each cow in order of BW. [For example] the cow with the highest BW received the lowest available herd tag. Within a few years I knew that BW wasn’t reflecting the best per-

Lyn Baggot wants cows to produce their liveweight in milk solids.

forming cows in the herd. “After three or four lactations low ear tag number cows (high BW) were not necessarily the best performing cows in the herd. I felt I was chasing rainbows when

selecting on BW - it was always moving and changing. I wanted something better,” Lyn said.   She decided to focus on important traits like udders, legs, feet, temperament, fertility and, of

course, production. Lameness is an issue on the farm due to walking distance and track surface. Lyn says she needed robust cows with good conformation which

would last multiple lactations. “Changing the source of genetics to overseas enabled me to select from the largest sire line-up in the world and since 2016 I’ve predominantly used World Wide Sires. “One of the drivers for going to World Wide Sires was to improve the strength of the Jerseys. I like the mix of breeds in the herd but the Jerseys were, in comparison to the crossbreds and Friesians, weak and frail. They needed to be able to hold their own in the herd and I wanted genetics which would add stature and strength to the Jerseys. “As soon as the first World Wide Sires’ Jersey

calves hit the ground I could see they were more robust and strong than what I’d had before. They grow on well and now more than hold their own with the other breeds. “Across the herd my heifers come in with good udders which only improve as they move on in the herd. “We’re consistently getting nice udders which sit well between their back legs and don’t impede walking. “I’m getting the animal I want in the herd and am not worried about their BW. I keep good herd records which show the production I achieve and that speaks louder than anything.”

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

16 //  MANAGEMENT

Council demanding better winter grazing practices ENVIRONMENT SOUTHLAND expects

“clear improvements” this year on winter grazing practices in the region. Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips said last year’s

winter grazing practice left a lot to be desired. “It was a problem across Southland and I am hoping to see clear improvements this year off the back of a concerted effort with indus-

try organisations to get all farmers up to speed with good practice.” His comments came as the regional council began its winter grazing aerial compliance inspections. The first flight was con-

ducted last week. Last winter, Environment Southland undertook three aerial inspections resulting in 68 follow up site visits, letters of concern to a further 88 property owners,

six infringements and two prosecution cases. A number of others were referred to Environment Southland’s land sustainability team for advice and support on winter grazing.

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It says the situation compelled both the council chairman Nicol Horrell and Phillips to issue statements last winter highlighting the poor practice. As part of the council’s effort to turn the situation around it initiated hui last year to bring industry organisations together – DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Federated Farmers, MfE and MPI – to formulate a plan to tackle the problem. They have since provided a range of support to farmers. “It’s really good to see the industry stepping up with farmers helping farmers,” says Phillips. “Now more than ever, in these post Covid-19 times of economic recovery, we need our primary sector to be the best it can be if Southland is to continue to thrive, and that includes environmentally.” Phillips says the coun-

cil had worked hard to help farmers lift their winter grazing performance. It initiated hui, provided advice through its land sustainability team, made informational material available, and following Covid-19, worked in conjunction with industry on a solution to streamline access to modify consent conditions for farmers struggling with excess stock due to a slow down at processing plants. “There’s been a sustained, region-wide effort to help farmers improve their wintering practice and I’m looking forward to seeing the results in terms of improvement,” says Phillips. Last week’s flight was a preliminary one to provide in initial estimation on wintering practice in Southland. Further compliance flights will be undertaken later in late July/August.

FEED HELPLINE FARMERS IN many regions are experiencing feed shortages and are encouraged to plan for their stock needs and to seek help if required. Coordinators have been appointed to help connect farmers with available feed and a free phonein feed planning support service is available to any farmers, including lifestylers. These are available by calling: ■■ 0800 BEEFLAMB (0800 23 33 52) ■■ 0800 4 DairyNZ (0800 43 24 79 69) One farmer who’s found the planning support service particularly useful is Kate Luff who farms 10ha in Central Hawke’s Bay. Kate says she used the free feed planning service to decide how to get her stock and business through the winter.

LATEST STORIES EVERY DAY www.ruralnewsgroup.co.nz


DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

ANIMAL HEALTH  // 17

Focus on cow condition pays off A FOCUS on cow condi-

tion helped Jessica Willis almost halve the not-incalf rate on a dairy farm she managed for four years. The 31 year old ran a 48ha farm, milking 150 Holstein Friesians at Opotiki in the Bay of Plenty until May 2020. The flat property was below sea level and got extremely wet during the winter and spring. “It was a constant juggling act to ensure cows didn’t pug paddocks and damage pasture when it was wet,” said Jessica. “Fortunately, the farm didn’t flood. It had pumps to remove excess water, but full drains kept the water table high.” Jessica moved to the farm in June 2016, when it was bought by Alan Baird and Sandie Redpath-Baird. The couple, who own Wai-Moa Holstein Friesians, live in Rotorua, where they milk 380 cows on a 120ha property. “I had worked for Alan and Sandie on and off since I was at high school. It was an amazing opportunity to run my own farm,” said Jessica. She spent the past four seasons increasing production and improving the genetic make-up of the herd. “The herd came from a farm where they were only milked once a day. They were producing 280300kgMS/cow,” she said. Jessica milked the herd twice a day from the start of calving in mid-July until dry off in May. Production climbed

to 60,000kgMS in the 2018-19 season, or 410kgMS/cow. The farm’s target last season was 64,000kgMS. A focus on ensuring cows hit body condition score targets and on feeding overhauled the herd’s reproductive performance. The herd’s not-incalf rate in the 2019-20 season was 11%. It usu-

TIME FOR A CHANGE

The herd was milked twice a day from the start of calving until dry off. Top: Jessica Willis.

ally sat between 18-20%. “It was my best result ever. I was stoked. It was a great feeling to see tweaks in the cows’ feeding start to pay off,” said Jessica. The herd’s important six week in-calf rate, which is the percentage of cows pregnant in the first six weeks of mating, was 76%. The result was just 2% shy of the sector target of 78%, but well above the industry average of 65%. “Our six week in-calf rate usually sat at around 60%,” she said. Jessica attributed the good result to changes in cow management and feeding during the winter and spring months. “Last winter was the first time we split the

dry cows based on their body condition. We had a mob of fats and a mob of lighter cows,” she said. “The heifers calved in better condition than previous years and held that condition longer into the spring.” The farm bought in 100 tonnes of maize silage and 175 tonnes of a palm kernel expeller (PKE) blend annually. Jessica usually fed the maize from March to May to help put condition on cows ahead of dry off and the winter. But in 2019 she kept feeding the maize until the start of mating at the beginning of October. “Continuing to feed the maize through the spring helped the cows keep condition on their

backs after calving and gave them an energy boost,” she said. Jessica milked the herd through a 16-aside herringbone shed. Cows were tail painted when they left the colostrum mob, which enabled her to monitor pre-mating heats. The farm played a crucial role in helping to evaluate the performance of young breeding bulls through CRV Ambreed’s sire proving scheme. Each spring the farm was provided with 100 straws of semen from about 10 new, young unproven bulls. “We could use the straws to inseminate any cow,” said Jessica, who is also a trained artificial insemination technician.

“I enjoyed being part of the programme because it helps highlight the best bulls for the industry.” The 2019-20 season was Jessica’s first year milking the first progeny testing daughters born on the farm. “There were some really good heifers in the group,” she said. She preferred the heifers born as the result of nominated matings. The business started using overseas genetics from World Wide Sires two

IT HAS been six months of change for Jessica Willis. In mid-December last year, she married Andrew Willis, who is an agri-business banker with ANZ. A month earlier they bought a house in Rotorua where Andrew lives. Jessica moved to the geyser city in late May, leaving behind the farm she had called home for the past four years. “We’re keen to start a family, and that’s hard to do if we both lived in different parts of the Bay of Plenty,” she said. Jessica’s still undecided about her next career move, but as a proud member of Holstein Friesian NZ she aspires to one day own her own herd of Holstein Friesians.

years ago. It also sourced semen from other bulls through CRV Ambreed. Jessica and Alan had a goal of breeding capacious cows with strong udders and high milk production. The sires they used included Waihou Thadius Murphy S3F, Lornlace Rupert Dunstan, Maire Mint Geronimo, HSS Mint Rivington, Oakura Oman Overdrive and HSS Format Pascal-ET.

“They produced beautiful daughters, with good, well-attached udders,” she said. Being a sire proving herd meant all two-yearolds were scored for traits other than production (TOP) each spring. About 50 replacement heifer calves were reared each year. Any surplus heifers would end up at Alan and Sandie’s Rotorua dairy farm.

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

18 //  ANIMAL HEALTH

The global AMR battle ADAM FRICKER

ONE OF the greatest threats of our time, potentially on a scale larger than Covid-19, is antimicrobial resistance, or AMR. In a rare case of stars aligning, a research part-

nership between local scientists tackling global microbial resistance and a New Zealand teatspray manufacturer has advanced both the science of sanitizer formulations and mastitis prevention. Otago University Professor Greg Cook’s work has focused on antimicrobial resistance – a world-

wide crisis temporarily overlooked during the Covid-19 pandemic. Professor Cook’s bio demonstrates the breadth of this work in this field: “Research in my laboratory is focused on developing bacterial metabolism and energetics as a new target space for drug development to

combat bacterial pathogens in humans and treat and prevent disease in food animals and plants. The goal of this work is to produce new and fast-acting drugs that will address the issues of antimicrobial resistance and persistence.” His focus is primarily on human health, which

inevitably led to discussions with people in food production and agriculture, particularly around mastitis – a disease with an annual treatment bill of $280 million in New Zealand alone, and in other countries around the world, part of the growing AMR crisis. Cook teamed up with

Kip Bodle

Kiwi-owned agrichemical company, Deosan, to advance the science around teatsprays – essentially, sanitizing products that prevent infections in the first place, reducing the need for antibiotics later on. The compounds in teatsprays that kill the bugs have what Cook describes as broad-spectrum activity – they kill all the microorganisms that cause mastitis. “Deosan invested in seed funding five years ago,” says Cook. “This culminated in a successful research program where, between Otago University, Auckland University and Deosan, we have patented a completely new class of compounds that can be used in sanitizers – this is world leading research and we are now set to support Deosan to commercialise this innovation.” Deosan managing director Kip Bodle says the work with Professor Cook on teatsprays sharpened Deosan’s focus onto what is best for the cow, rather than a marketingled mindset of ‘who’s got the highest level of active ingredient’. What is best for the cow is not formulations loaded with unnecessarily high levels of ‘actives’, it is formulations that enhance the cow’s natural defence mechanisms. “Enhancing rather than hindering its natural defence mechanisms against mastitis is more about skin condition than killing bugs,” says Bodle. “So we started by reviewing our surfactant formulation to maintain a very fast penetration speed into the skin surface, then on emolliency to support skin condition, and then the level of active ingredient to kill mastitis bugs. So in essence, we now have a very fast acting version of TeatX with 30 per cent more emollient

for skin condition.” Bodle says the Draves Wettability test, which measures surface tension and shows how quickly a product can penetrate into the skin, showed TeatX penetrated in less than one second while comparable products took at least 30 times that. “Surfactants are used in advanced formulations like TeatX to ensure the product is stable, but also to transport the active ingredient and emollient into the skin surface. I will give you an example: Water has a surface tension of around 70. TeatX has a surface tension of 30. If you look at your hand you can see all the cracks and grooves on it. Well we are dealing with bugs that are microscopic, so it is essential that the active ingredient gets in contact with the bugs. If we pour water over our hand it will run off – low surface tension makes sure that the ingredients get into the skin surface to do their job.” Bodle says the critical message here is that the performance of a good teatspray is in many ways more about the surfactant formulation than it is about levels of active ingredient or emollient. If it doesn’t get into skin it is probably a waste of money. He says that in the current environment there have been extremely high commodity prices for one of the active ingredients, chlorhexidine, due to the Covid crisis. However, his company has managed to keep pricing comparable with current product, which is obviously good news for farmers. “With the cost savings we achieved in being able to lower the level of chlorhexidine, we then invested in the latest surfactant technology and lifted the level of glycerine,” Bodle says..


DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

EFFLUENT & WATER  // 19

Keeping dairy industry pumping Made in New Zealand is a feature that looks at the wealth of design and manufacturing ability we have in New Zealand, producing productive and cost-effective products for the agricultural sector. This week we take a closer look at Reid & Harrison 1980 Ltd (Yardmaster), catching up with Keith Cooke, Chief Executive. Mark Daniel reports Q- When was the company founded, by whom and why (was it to solve a problem or market a product)? The business dates to 1947, when Ken Reid acquired a general engineering company. The Yardmaster product range was born in 1961 with the patented Yardmaster pump, which was designed specifically for non-clog pumping of dairy effluent for NZ farms. Q-Where are you locatedis it single or multiple sites and how many people are employed? We have always been in Matamata, now on our third evolution of site as the business expanded. Our current site is 1.6 hectares of land with 35 staff. Q-what are your key products and which markets do they serve? Our key products are the Yardmaster range of pumps, stirrers and separators, supported by a comprehensive certified

company in the next three, five and ten years. What changes do you foresee to keep relevant and grow your business? The pandemic has changed the short-term (three year) focus, so for now it’s about being effi-

Businesses MADE IN NZ

A LOOK AT HOME-GROWN COMPANIES

dealer network throughout NZ. Further afield, we export to Australia, Chile, Uruguay, Ireland and USA. Our focus is mainly on dairy effluent, although our pumps and equipment are also used in industries from food processing to waste management – only limited by a user’s imagination. Q- Are your products unique? If so, what are the four key benefits, if not unique what are the four unique selling points? Yes, they are unique in that they are custom designed for effluent use, not as a general- purpose pump. They are designed for NZ effluent and NZ farm systems. Being NZ based, we can deliver customisable solutions on request and when all else fails, we can visit to sort

ing more solutions that help the farmers manage their environmental needs, based around information rather than product. This will mean partnering with a wider skill set to achieve these outcomes.

“The ability to evolve the Yardmaster standard pump, which is a great NZ invention, to still be relevant and trusted in the current market.” problems out, as it’s hard to hide when you’re a local! Q-Looking at an ever-evolving market, what changes have you made over the last few years, or what will you have to do moving forwards (this might have required design or manufacturing changes, reworks to enter new sectors or the incorporation of electronics)? Moving from just specialising in pumps alone, we now offer a full range of effluent equipment such as stirrers and separators. From there, we have added smarts with the Halo products for ease of control, which leads on to more smarts with system design accreditation and WoF capability. We now offer a full, integrated system with backing to meet environmental compliance as required. Q- What has been the com-

pany’s greatest success since its formation? The ability to evolve the Yardmaster standard pump, which is a great NZ invention, to still be relevant and trusted in the current market. Q-In contrast, what has been the biggest “Oh Bugger” moment or the steepest learning curve? Getting involved in the separation business. We eventually realised we couldn’t ‘tinker’ with the ISD designs we acquired and needed to do a fresh greenfield design. Q- If you were approached by someone looking to start a business, what would be your three key pieces of advice? Hire the right people, with the right attitude for your need. Have cash and look after your cash. Always keep learning, you cannot afford to stay still. Q-Where do you see the

LINER SYSTEMS FOR DAIRY EFFLUENT AND IRRIGATION PONDS • Cost competitive • Utilise your existing site • Control contamination and gas • 20 year material warranty • Reliable seam testing • Proven performance • Full QA report Freephone: 0800 454 646 E: info@containment.co.nz W: www.containment.co.nz

cient and looking after our customers. Over five years, we are looking to expanding our products and being the significant supplier of effluent handling products in NZ. Over the 10 year period, we see ourselves develop-

Call the experts. Cnr Robinson & McNally Sts, Ashburton Ph 307 9049 • Email admin@rainer.co.nz www.rainer.co.nz

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Forsi Innovations Ltd | 14 Waihou Street | Matamata | Ph 07 880 9479 | Fax 07 880 9486 | www.forsi.co.nz


DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

20 //  EFFLUENT & WATER

Smelly pond a thing of the past SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

NORTH WAIKATO

farmers Michael and

Rebecca Payne’s investment in a new effluent pond last year turned into a headache when neighbours complained about the smell.

The Waikato Regional Council was on the case and the Paynes were keen to sort the issue out quickly. That’s when the Otaua farmers decided

TIME GENTLEMEN PLEASE

to use BioMagic and its Impact effluent treatment. Today, the council case is closed and there are no complaints about odour from the effluent pond.

Michael and Rebecca Payne.

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The Paynes decided to invest in an effluent pond early last year. With 200 cows on the 71ha farm, they are required under council regulations to have 90-day storage. The new pond was constructed before the start of the 2019-20 milking in July. However, by September complaints were coming in from neighbours. “There was no doubt that the smell was there, even we noticed the smell when the wind blew it towards out house,” Rebecca Payne told Dairy News. “The pond had a thick foamy layer on the surface.” The Paynes then decided to turn to BioMagic, who were very helpful. Following treatment with Biomagic’s Impact, Rebecca says the foamy layer on the effluent pond disappeared and lots of bubbles were forming in the pond. “There was certainly something happening in the pond,” she says. But on Christmas Eve, the family was contacted by the council about fresh complaints from neighbours. Rebecca says they contacted BioMagic again and worked with team to strengthen the dosage of

Impact effluent treatment. This led to the elimination of the smell. “The BioMagic team was great, they worked with us closely and followed up with weekly calls to check on progress,” she says. “We were told that we left the treatment too late and this caused the foamy layer and the bad smell.” Rebecca’s advice is that farmers should BioMagic from day one to be sure about keeping odour away. She says the council has now informed them that the case is closed and there are no complaints from neighbours. She thanked BioMagic for helping them out. “They were a constant support with information and provided the extra strong products to help the situation.” BioMagic says typical effluent ponds are dominated by anaerobic bacteria and its Impact treatment converts the pond into an aerobic state, dominated by aerobic bacteria. These bacteria digest effluent up to 12 times faster. Once digested, the effluent can increase the plant available nitrogen up to 300%, the solids and odour are substantially reduced.

NOW READ IT ONLINE READING THE PAPER ONLINE HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER ■ BREAKING NEWS ■ MACHINERY REVIEWS ■ MARKETS & TRENDS ■ MANAGEMENT STORIES ■ COMPETITIONS ■ AND MUCH MORE...

All the latest stories and more at www.dairynews.co.nz


DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

EFFLUENT & WATER  // 21

Iconic business changes hands NUMEDIC LIMITED,

manufacturer and supplier of a wide range of dairy and agricultural products, has changed ownership after 25 years. The Kiwi success story supplies high quality

development, production, marketing, and general management in a number of engineering, manufacturing and industrial businesses. Marina has a wealth of experience in business administration,

rating a new housing and impeller design. This has been completed in conjunction with researchers from the University of Canterbury and according to Numedic, results in increased pump perfor-

equipment, a range of vertical, horizontal and PTO pumps, stationary and travelling irrigators, stirrers, hydrants, pontoons and booms, drench systems and water saving Hydrofan nozzles.

Numedic’s new owners Andrew and Marina Millar.

Low-depth travelling irrigators from Numedic.

dairy, pumping and effluent equipment to both New Zealand and export customers. Peter and Cathryn Reid are moving back to farming and have handed the business over to Andrew and Marina Millar. Numedic says its new owners are quickly becoming experts in the products and services and are committed to continuing to provide the same high quality products and the excellent level of service that Numedic customers have come to expect over the years. The business has retained all employees to ensure that the capability and knowledge continues. Andrew Millar is a mechanical engineer by trade and has led product

people management, as well as technology startups, sales and marketing. “Numedic’s reputation for innovation, performance and reliability is a credit to the hard work done by Cathryn, Peter and the team here at Numedic,” says Andrew. “The capability to develop and produce market leading solutions is an impressive achievement. We fully intend to continue that and to build on it with new products and services that meet the needs of our customers and markets”. Innovative and robust design combined with an understanding of practical day-to-day requirements of the industry makes Numedic products a sound investment providing reliability and supporting productivity. An example of this is the recently released new generation pump incorpo-

mance of up to 25%. This is fitted to all new pumps but can also be retro fitted to existing pumps to increase performance and efficiency. Upgrading of capacity is also possible since all vertical effluent Numedic pumps use the same heavy duty shaft, bearing and drive assembly. Numedic’s range includes effluent pumping, handling, transfer

Farm Effluent Equipment Full System Design Installation Service 0800 4 EFFLUENT

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

22 //  EFFLUENT & WATER

Spreading muck without much fuss LOCATED NEAR Brest, France, Pichon has been active on the agricultural machinery market since

1970. After initially developing equipment for soil preparation, in 1976, the company turned to the manufacture of slurry tankers and muck spreaders. Tankers range in size from 2,600L to 30,000L capacities, with single, tandem or triaxle variants. The company’s TCI range (Tanker with Chassis Integrated) has been the trademark of

9 to 24 metres, integrating one or two vertical macerators to deal with thick slurry, straw or other solid particles. A range of spreader plates are available. With a simple yet effective design, each spreader plate has its own unique characteristics. Injector systems are available in two versions. The EL8 Trailing Shoe, with 7.5 and 8.8m widths,

The company’s TCI range (Tanker with Chassis Integrated) has been the trademark of Pichon for more than forty-five years, with the exclusive option increasing operational stability. Pichon for more than forty-five years, with the exclusive option increasing operational stability. The construction sees the tank welded directly to the chassis, rather than mounted to an independent frame, offering the lowest centre of gravity on the market. Recessed tankers are offered to enable users to fit axles with big diameter wheels. The rolls and the ends of the tanker vessel are assembled side by side, then welded completely inside and outside using a submerged arc welding process. Tank wall thicknesses vary from 5 to 8 mm according to the diameters, while the steel used is selected according to its mechanical characteristics and its aptitude for galvanization, a process which offers a longer working life to machines. This concept is embraced further, with each tanker equipped with brackets enabling the user to modify their equipment in the future. A range of spreading options include a dribble bar, a fully galvanized structure, mounted on a hydraulic rear linkage, with working widths from

especially designed for grassland applications. The shoes part the grass and the pressure on the shoes makes a shallow furrow into which the slurry is injected. The EL61 with Vibroflex tines, works the soil to a depth of up to 20cm, working widths from 3 to 6m. Square tines can be fitted for harder ground. The Pichon muck spreader range ranges in capacity from 9 to 23 cubic metres, all fully galvanized with recessed heavy-duty square beam axles for improved stability. These machines are designed for farmers and contractors wishing to get an accurate spread pattern, the specific position of the beater frame prevents the product to be spread from being pushed back inside the body thereby reducing power required on PTO. By combining this design and oversized diameter beaters, an accurate spread pattern and highvolume outputs is always maintained. Options include sprung drawbar, hydraulic jack, in-cab electric control box, hydraulic guillotine door and door level indicator. – Mark Daniel


Environmental Effluent Systems FULLY INTEGRATED SYSTEM CUSTOM DESIGNED

ABOVE GROUND EFFLUENT/WATER STORAGE TANKS Combining Westeel’s robust quality steel fabrication and the revolutionary sustainable Layfield Enviro Liners, REL Group has created the strongest above ground effluent storage solution available today. TANKS SIZES: • 250,000 Litres • 500,000 Litres • 750,000 Litres • 1,000,000 Litres • 1,500,000 Litres • 2,000,000 Litres • 4,000,000 Litres

MECHANICAL SEPARATOR FOR DAIRY SHEDS Key benefits of effluent separation: • Preservation of nutrients natural fertiliser returned to the land in a controlled manner • Up to 80% reduction in greenhouse gases Off the tank as well as eliminating unpleasant odours • Stable treatment process • Cost effective reduction in fertiliser costs as returned to the land CONTACT YOUR LOCAL DEALER: South Island

Phone

Email

Region

North Island

Phone

Email

Region

On Farm Agri Centre Ltd

03-547 3276

dmfarm@xtra.co.nz

Stoke

Geo. Hutchinson & Co. Ltd

07-889 5202

brendon@hutchies.co.nz

Morrinsville

Thinkwater West Coast

03-768 6993

westcoast@thinkwater.co.nz

West Coast

Thinkwater Taupo

07-377 6344

ryan.wood@thinkwater.co.nz

Taupo

Rakaia Engineering Ltd

03-302 7305

john@relgroup.co.nz

Rakaia

King Farm Services

07-304 9640

service@kingfs.co.nz

Edgecumbe

Canterbury Farm Services Ltd

03-308 8226

shaun@canterburyfs.co.nz

Ashburton

Elite Farm Solutions

06-761 7265

elite.fs@xtra.co.nz

Opunake

Orari Irrigation Ltd

03-971 1979

wayne@orariirrigation.co.nz

Orari

Bromley Dairy & Pumps Ltd

06-323 9660

steve@bromsdp.co.nz

Feilding

Kirk Irrigation Ltd

03-689 8474

admin@kirkirrigation.co.nz

Waimate

Ordish & Stevens (Forwater)

06-370 0700

scott.forbes@ordish-stevens.co.nz

Masterton


DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

24 //  EFFLUENT & WATER

Taranaki welcomes revised water reforms THE TARANAKI

Regional Council is welcoming the Government’s revised stance on freshwater regulation. Council chairman and former Fonterra director David Macleod says the

revised Essential Freshwater reforms unveiled this month validates the serious concerns raised about its original proposals. “We all want our waterways to be healthier – we share that goal with

the Government,” says MacLeod. “However, we had major concerns about the ability of the original proposals to deliver. We told Wellington their initial plans would have brought

unpredictable and likely only marginal environmental benefits, but would have taken a very heavy toll on the social and economic well-being of this region and many others.”

All existing Taranaki Regional Council riparian plan fencing can remain and will be accepted as compliant.

MacLeod says the Government is now moderating its approach and seeking to build a more worthwhile, rational, science-based freshwater regulation regime. “We’re still working though the details. But in general, this change of stance is to be welcomed. The council’s strong and evidence-based sub-

also backed off what would have been harsh constraints on dairying in the Waingongoro catchment, instead progressively targeting freshwater farm plans by which dairy farmers can implement farm-specific management to improve efficiency and reduce off-site effects. Overall, MacLeod says it’s clear the Government

“The council’s strong and evidence-based submissions were substantially agreed with and key changes made.”

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TOPPERS

missions were substantially agreed with and key changes made.” Notably, the Government has delayed any decision on a key nutrient limits pending further analysis of their worth, rather than going ahead with strict limits that one study estimated would cost $100,000 each for up to a third of the region’s farms, threatening their viability. It has also not proceeded with proposals to universally use OverseerFM in water regulations – the council strongly advised the OverseerFM model was not fit for that purpose. “We’re delighted the Government agrees OverseerFM is best used as originally intended - for farmers to review and improve on-farm nutrient management,” MacLeod says. The Government has also eased up on an initial proposal to impose a blanket 5m setback for all riparian fencing, saying now that 3m is the minimum. Importantly for Taranaki, all existing council riparian plan fencing can remain and will be accepted as compliant, which the council strongly advocated for. The Government has

has taken account of many of the points made in the council’s submission. MacLeod says that Government was firmly reminded the Taranaki region has, over time, collectively demonstrated strong commitment to improving freshwater health, taking carefully considered longterm action and spending millions of dollars on interventions of proven effectiveness. “If anything, the original proposals threatened to undo a lot of good work and goodwill and bring hardship and deprivation to communities engaged in productive and sustainable enterprise. We are still working through the amended proposals, but we’re encouraged that the voice of reason appears to have been heard, at least in part. “We all know we have more to do in both our rural and urban areas, but Taranaki people know how to roll up our sleeves and keep moving forward – we’ve consistently led and shown New Zealand that it is not about endlessly changing plans, policies, meetings and paper – it’s on-the-ground actions that change and improve our environment.”


DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

EFFLUENT & WATER  // 25

Data-driven irrigation A WEB-BASED tech-

nology is now available to help farmers better manage their water resources and improve decision-making around irrigation. Predictive Irrigation will integrate with existing farm sensors, including flow meters, soil moisture probes and weather stations. It then provides highly accurate information about future irrigation needs relevant to the unique characteristics of any given site. The new technology is a joint venture between Watermetrics, a trading division of Arthur D Riley & Co Ltd (ADR) and technology provider SWAN Systems. “Leveraging Watermetrics’ considerable investment in next generation IoT networks, our customers now have predic-

tive irrigation software to deliver precision irrigation best practice,� says Watermetrics marketing and development manager Bruce Franks. “When it comes to displaying information from sensors, this technology takes it to the next level.

“It’s predictive, it helps farmers look ahead the next few days when it comes to making irrigation decisions. “They can take into account what the weather forecast looks like, as well as what shape their soil is in, and then use the tech-

nology to make decisions that are highly accurate.�

Watermetrics agronomist Richard Campion says the software’s algorithm calculations are very precise and enable such a high level of accuracy. “Farmers can base their decisions on data that is of the highest integrity, meaning they can irrigate as efficiently as possible while protecting their soil and improving the quality of their pastures and yields.� Watermetrics says adopting the new Predictive Irrigation platform is part of its commitment to the latest technology, enabling customers to

maximise farm efficiency and profitability. “For some time now, we’ve been searching for the right solution in this area,� says Franks. “We found it with SWAN Systems’ software, and we’re excited to offer the Predictive Irrigation solution to our customers.� What this means for Watermetrics customers is an improved method of optimising and managing water and nutrient application. “With Predictive Irrigation, farmers can develop very precise schedules,� says Campion. “They can also analyse

temperatures, evaporation and crop growth factors. This kind of advanced technology is essential in modern farming because it allows farmers to tailor an irrigation plan that takes into account when water is in abundance and when it’s short.� Watermetrics’ says its partnership with SWAN Systems and the introduction of the Predictive Irrigation solution will enable their customers to extract maximum value from their current monitoring systems and streamline management decisions. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

26 //  EFFLUENT & WATER

Call for more water storage projects THE GOVERNMENT’S

plan to invest $37 million in a new water storage site in Northland has been welcomed by Irrigation NZ. However, it wants the same prioritisation in other dry regions, such as Hawke’s Bay. IrrigationNZ chief executive Elizabeth Soal says it’s encouraging to see the Government recognise the importance of water storage. “And I hope we see further investment in this area through the ‘shovelready’, infrastructure upgrade, and Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) allocations,” says Soal. “Having reliable access to water enhances communities’ resilience, climate change responsiveness, social outcomes,

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Irrigators want more water storage schemes.

and unlocks the potential for land use flexibility contributing to our zero carbon targets.” Soal said accelerating the Northland water storage project would create jobs and stability following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and is a great stimulus for economic development. “This could be replicated in other areas throughout New Zealand, and with the right environmental and planning frameworks in place, will lead to shared benefits for iwi, the environment, the community, and the farmer.” “While this announce-

ment on water storage by the Government is positive, IrrigationNZ would Irrigation NZ chief executive welcome a water Elizabeth Soal. strategy to guide this Winston Peters says an critical infrastrucearlier start to constructure investment into the tion would mean more future.” work sooner for contracThe additional $37.5m from the PGF will be used tors and businesses in the region at a time when to accelerate and expand the delivery of the North- Northland is suffering through the fallout from land water storage prothe Covid-19 pandemic. gramme as part of the “Bringing the start date Government’s COVID-19 forward by months would response. also mean an earlier finish Construction on a date, and earlier access water storage site in to a secure and reliable Ngawha could begin in water supply for a region September after months that has been hit hard by of technical assessment. Deputy Prime Minister drought.”

Thinking outside the [tree and fence lined] box SOUTH ISLAND Call Alastair Robertson 027 435 2642 www.cochranes.co.nz

NORTH ISLAND Call Jarred L’Amie 027 203 5022 www.gaz.co.nz

Dung beetles will deliver upon the promise to restore and protect our freshwater while increasing production and drought tolerance. We need to be smarter than just focusing on planting and fencing. MPI supports planting, fencing and “other initiatives to prevent farm runoff ”. Without question that is where dung beetles fit in.

Thinking theproven [tree and fence box is right under our feet There is absolutelyoutside no better scientifically way of reducing overland lined] The solution

Thinking outside the [tree and fence lined] box

flow than dung beetles. They deliver an up to 80% reduction in overland Dung beetles offer a remarkable natural Thiswill results in a upon 97% reduction in sediment, andand equally includes Dungflow. beetles deliver the promise to restore protect our freshwater while increasing sustainable solution to revitalise our soils and reducedand e. coli and phosphorus. production drought tolerance. pastures, and can rehabilitate New Zealand’s We need toSeed be smarter than just focusing on planting and fencing. MPI supports planting, fencing and “other initiatives to prevent farm runoff.” Without question that is where dung beetles fit in. act now. waterways – if we dung beetles to fix the broken nutrient cycle and boost production. There is absolutely no better scientifically proven way of reducing overland flow, fixing the broken nutrient cycle, and boosting production than dung beetles.

Dung beetles will deliver upon the promise to Contact Dung Beetle Innovations restore and protect ourusfreshwater while Shaun 021 040 8685 | shaun@dungbeetles.co.nz increasing production and drought tolerance. For more information or to order online go to www.dungbeetles.co.nz We need to be smarter than just focusing on planting and fencing. MPI supports planting, fencing and “other initiatives to prevent farm runoff ”.

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

EFFLUENT & WATER  // 27

Queries linger around water plan on behalf of farmers to ensure any new rules are clear. It will also ensure farmers have the support, tools and information they need to respond to new regulations. At a regional level

DAIRYNZ SAYS it is

still working through the details of the Government’s Essential Freshwater package announced late last month. It says there are unanswered questions and it will continue to work

ACHIEVEMENTS TO DATE ■■

Fencing off dairy cattle from 24,249km (98.3%) of significant dairy accord waterways (waterways which are more than one metre wide and more than 30cm deep). That’s the equivalent of nearly 12 road trips from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Excluding stock from waterways is one of the most beneficial ways to improve water quality.

■■

Installing bridges and culverts on 100% of stock crossing points dairy cows use.

■■

Preparing 10,396 nutrient budgets – up from 6,400 budgets in the first year of the Accord. Nutrient budgets allow farmers to carefully plan nutrient applications and manage nutrient losses.

■■

Assessing 100% of Accord farms for effluent management practices – this process checks that farms have appropriate infrastructure and systems in place to manage effluent.

■■

Developing riparian management plans to protect water quality on 52% of Accord farms with waterways.

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some farmers will be impacted more than others. DairyNZ will work at a local level to help farmers through any changes that may be required. DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says sector feedback has resulted in significant change to the Govern-

Tim Mackle

ment’s Essential Freshwater package, but there is still a sting in the tail. “Over the last eight months DairyNZ has advocated for an evidence-based and pragmatic approach to freshwater regulation. “We are pleased to see government has listened and made

significant changes to some of the more controversial elements of their original proposal,” says Mackle. “Like all New Zealanders, dairy farmers share ambitions for healthy waterways and have invested a lot of time and money for over a decade in improved manage-

ment systems, upgrading effluent systems, riparian planting and fencing streams to exclude cattle. “Looking at where the policy has landed, it appears that the Government have taken a better approach in terms of scientific rigour and practicality for farmers on the ground.”

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

28 //  EFFLUENT & WATER

Time to rethink WHAT A start to 2020! A drought and the inability to get killing space due to the impact of Covid19 restrictions on meat processing facilities has meant that many farmers are very short of feed as we move into winter. The need to keep animals on farm for longer

has even affected farmers who either farm irrigated properties or live in areas which have had adequate rainfall. The pressure on feed over the autumn period has meant that many farmers now have little or no stored supplements. Systems that reduce risk

Many farmers I have spoken with recently are looking at systems which reduce risk. While some are considering reducing cow numbers, they are reluctant to do this if they can’t afford reduced milk production and therefore reduced income. They are instead looking to develop

Farmer Brad Burling and his daughter

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resilient systems that can cope with increased risk. Climate is a significant risk to pasturebased dairying. In recent years, extended periods of summer dry conditions seem to have become the new normal. NIWA data indicates that as we move into the later stages of this century, we will need to modify our farming systems to cope with warmer and drier conditions. Resilient farms will: Have some kind of stored feed on hand. Pasture yields have been inherently variable, with some areas recording variations of 6 - 8 tDM/ha/ yr between the best and worst seasons. Having some kind of stored feed that can be used to fill feed gaps simply makes sense. I learnt this early in my career as a young consultant in Northland. I asked a local farmer who had just won the Northland Farmer of the Year competition, “What do you need to do to farm successfully in Northland?” He replied “Get your stocking rate right and always ensure you have a barn of hay and a stack of silage”. The beauty of stored feeds is that you can feed them when you need them and if you don’t need them, don’t feed them. Plant highly water efficient crops to support pasture. As I have often written about in the past, the future of New Zealand agriculture lies in the production of pasture-based animal protein. However, as we warm and dry, we will need crops that have high water use efficiency (e.g. maize) to support our pasture-based systems. Some farmers have been pinning their hopes on the ability to irrigate. However, it is unlikely that many of them will be

able to do this, as in many regions water is already fully allocated and in the few regions where it isn’t, there will be environmental regulations that will limit the uptake of irrigation. Provide a facility to stand animals off pasture I love what Tom Pow, the founder of Herd Homes, talks about when it comes to managing cows. He talks about “Free Range Cows”. His housing systems combined with timed gate latches provide shade and shelter for cows while at the same time giving them freedom to graze pasture while conditions allow. When it gets too hot or too wet, cows can be stood off-paddock but still fed well. Have a dedicated cropping area Having dedicated cropping blocks within dairy farms makes sense for a whole variety of reasons. Effluent can be used to grow crops cost-effectively. Deep rooted plants like maize can decrease the nutrient leaching risk associated with effluent application. More feed can be harvested from every hectare and stored to be fed exactly when it is needed. Maize has a really positive role to play in future dairy farm systems. A large global breeding effort coupled with wide scale local testing means hybrid yields are increasing. Particularly big gains have been made in the yield potential of shorter maturity hybrids which can be harvested early to allow timely regrassing. If you haven’t planted maize before, or haven’t tried it for a while, talk to your local merchant or Pioneer Area Manager. • Ian Williams is a Pioneer forage specialist. Contact him at iwilliams@genetic. co.nz


DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS  // 29

Local heavy metal expo hits the right note MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

ON WHAT should have

been the second and third days of the cancelled National Fieldays, a group of Morrinsville businesses used June 11-12 to launch and run their own event. The Waikato Agri Hub Expo concept came about, like many others, over a glass or two of beer when Richard Clarke, Darrell Russell and Brent Osborne, respectively from Power Farming Morrinsville, Piako Tractors and Power and Earth, came up with an idea. Realising that Fieldays wasn’t going to happen, they wanted to use the gap in the calendar to say thanks to their loyal local customers with a slice of hospitality that included food and drink, and also the chance to take a look at the latest technology that would have been on show at Mystery Creek. Well supported by the brand managers from many of their suppliers, the rest of the

rural machinery industry backed the idea and many of the rural supply towns’ other businesses came on board. This saw Norwood, Peter Glidden Honda, Phil’s Motorcycle Centre and NV Motorcycles opening their doors, in the case of the latter, showcasing their new premises on the western edge of town. Richard Clarke, dealer principal of Power Farm-

ing Morrinsville, says the idea came together very quickly, with the initial plan drawn up on the back of a beer mat. “It quickly got the backing of the local machinery businesses and is just a great way to say thanks to our local supporters, be they farmers, contractors or lifestyle property owners. Having had a couple of months of very strange times it was

Richard Clarke, Power Farming Morrinsville (left) and Len Walling, owner Walling Contracting, Eureka at the Waikato Agri Hub Expo. Below left: The Waikato Agri Hub displayed latest technology that would have been on show at Mystery Creek.

also intended to give rural folk a chance to catch up with friends, relax and, of course, spin a few yarns. “It’s been really easy to do, well received by the visitors and certainly led to several enquiries for us to follow up.” Indeed, having spent a few hours in town on day one, Dairy News can

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its execution and delivery, offering something that could be repeated in many rural towns throughout New Zealand. The idea proved to be so popular, that one out-of-town tractor dealership, which set up, uninvited, on the outskirts of town, was told to move on by the local ‘sheriff’.

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report that the relaxed atmosphere was going down well with the visitors, parking was a breeze and for those looking to hear some noise and see some dust, the tractor pull organised by Power and Earth was hitting the spot. The concept, like most good ideas, was simple in

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DAIRY NEWS JUNE 23, 2020

30 //  MACHINERY & PRODUCTS

Tiny Jimny hits the right note MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

STRONG DEMAND

for the instantly recognised Suzuki Jimny in New Zealand has continued to accelerate with the 1000th retail order recently confirmed and available shipments presold for nine months. Declared the 2019 World Urban Car in New York, named one of the top three finalists in the World Car Design of the Year and named winner of a British game-changer award last year, the diminutive four-wheeldrive Jimny appears to be one of a few cars that has no peers. Independent critics rated the 3.48-metre long Suzuki as fun, innovative and “a fantastic piece of practical design in an era of big and heavy SUVs. Unlike most modern

cars, Jimny has a rigid ladder frame, high ground clearance and part time 4WD system with low range transfer gear. At the heart of the car is a 1.5 litre, 16-valve engine, while the model is available with either a four-stage automatic

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transmission or five speed manual gearbox. Standard equipment includes limited-slip differential traction control, hill hold and hill descent functions, cruise control and speed limiter. Lane departure warning, weaving alert, head-

OVAL FEEDER (S2 Pinned) • 3 x 4 foot bales • 2 x 6 foot bales • 24 feed positions • 24 - 48 animals • 4m long

light high beam assist, autonomous emergency braking and six airbags are also included in Jim-

my’s specification. “There has been no reduction in buyer enthusiasm since the

fourth generation Jimny arrived on our shores a year ago, despite an order bank and customers

having to wait,” said Gary Collins, general manager of automobile marketing for Suzuki New Zealand. “The volume of sales is purely a reflection of our allocation and we could clearly have registered more sales had we been able to secure extra units,” said Collins The Jimny, backed by a five-year warranty package, has already earned a high ranking for strong residual values, and in Britain, leading industry specialists CAP Automotive forecasts the model’s “very slow depreciation and good retained value” offers good peace of mind to owners. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

MATS FOR TOUGH UTES WITH WINTER upon

us, it’s harder to keep the inside of farm utes dry and free of mud, so a set of tailored, hardwearing floor mats has been introduced in New Zealand under the Wildcat brand by automotive accessory supplier, Griffiths Equipment. While floor mats have been around for years, many are available only as universal one-sizefits-all and often they do not fit very well, leaving gaps for mud and moisture to seep out onto the vehicle floor. The latest Wildcat All Weather Mats, available as a full set, are constructed from hard

wearing all-weather material and feature

anti-slip backing to ensure they stay in place.

They are easy to pull out from the vehicle and hose down to keep them clean. They also have a textured pattern to help lift the look of the vehicle interior. Designed to fit the top-selling ute models available in New Zealand, product is available to suit the Ford Ranger (2012-2018), Toyota Hilux Auto (2016-on), Mitsubishi Triton (2017-on), Isuzu D-Max/Colorado (2017on), Mazda BT50 (2016on) and the Nissan Navara (2016-on). The new Wildcat All Weather Mat range is available from automotive stores.

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Dairy News 23 June 2020  

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Dairy News 23 June 2020