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GONGS FOR AGCO

Global recovery on ‘solid ground’. PAGE 5 JERSEY POWER

Top innovations PAGE 23

Bursting the myth PAGE 16

DECEMBER 8, 2020 ISSUE 461

// www.dairynews.co.nz

UDDER PRIDE Veterinarian Steve Cranefield says farmers should take more pride in tackling mastitis. PAGE 4

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

NEWS  // 3

No silver bullets to fix climate woes FARMERS ARE willing to work

Environment plan drives changes. PG.14

Converting grass into more milk. PG.17

Kubotas ROPS tractors arrive. PG.20

NEWS����������������������������������������������������� 3-10 AGRIBUSINESS������������������������������������� 11 OPINION�����������������������������������������������12-13 MANAGEMENT��������������������������������14-16 ANIMAL HEALTH�����������������������������17-18 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS���������������������������������������������� 19 TRACTORS & MACHINERY���� 20-23

with the Government on climate change solutions but warn there are no silver bullets. DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says farmers want the Government to understand that it is about making incremental changes across the whole farm system. “While many solutions are known, some are not, which is why DairyNZ and others are investing heavily in research,” he says. “It is critical the Government supports farmers to make change over a generation and the pace of other regulation recognises the efforts being made by the dairy sector.” Mackle says dairy farmers share the Government’s ambition to reduce climate change emissions and last week’s declaration of a climate emergency further highlights the issue’s importance. He adds that the dairy sector’s climate change commitments and research are geared at supporting farmers to reduce emissions, to help achieve national greenhouse gas targets. “Dairy farmers are taking climate change seriously and the sector is committed to playing our part in tackling climate change and reducing our overall footprint,” says Mackle. Internationally, New Zealand already stacks up well, as one of the most sustainable and emission efficient dairy producers in the world. “If all dairy producers were as

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says it is critical that the government supports farmers to make change over a generation.

efficient as New Zealand, more than half the global emissions from dairy could be removed. “But we know we can be even better and the dairy sector is 100% committed to this.” Mackle says DairyNZ, as dairy farming’s industry good organisation, has a wide range of work underway and is investing dairy farmers’ levy in climate change solutions developed through science. “This includes research into different farm system options, such as feed types and use, improved fertiliser and effluent use, and options for on-farm sequestration of carbon.” DairyNZ is also informing dairy farmers on their greenhouse gas emissions footprint, how to reduce emissions and improve profit-

ability. This is being delivered to farmers through the Step Change programme, which highlights the importance of looking at nutrient loss, emissions and profitability together. Last week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a climate change emergency, joining New Zealand to more than 1800 jurisdictions in 32 countries in avoiding more than 1.5C rise in global warming. However, a group of farmers and scientists set up to present facts on ruminant methane claim the Government is “misleading the public and falsely blaming farmers to concoct an emergency”. The group is challenging the popular claim that 48% of NZ’s emissions that constitute the emergency

come from agriculture. F.A.R.M chairman, Robin Grieve says farms are utilising as much carbon dioxide as they produce when they grow grass and sequester CO2 in the soil. “While the country’s livestock numbers are stable, as they have been for a decade, no additional Methane is entering the atmosphere so no new warming is occurring,” he claims. Grieve says there is a balanced situation, which is being ignored by the politicians. “Methane released by cows and sheep oxidises into CO2 and water vapour in the atmosphere but for those animals to produce that Methane they must eat grass that takes in CO2 – photosynthesis.”


DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

4 //  NEWS

Take more pride in tackling mastitis SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

MASTITIS EXPERT

Steve Cranefield is urging farmers to take more pride in lowering their herd’s somatic cell count. Cranefield made the comments at a Smaller Milk and Supply Herds (SMASH) field day at Tania White’s farm, at Te Aroha, last month. White’s farm recorded an average somatic cell count of 31,180 – the second lowest among Fonterra suppliers’ last season. She was pipped by her parents Graham and Glenys Bell, who farm up the road and recorded an average SCC of 30,050. Cranefield, who spoke at the field day, gave the Bells and White a big tick for handling SCC, produced by a cow to fight mastitis. “They are some of the best in the country,” he told Dairy News. “There’s a huge element of pride involved; they know they produce the cleanest milk in the country.” Cranefield says mastitis remains the biggest animal health issue in the dairy industry and farmers should take more pride in tackling mastitis. He says there are a lot of benefits in keeping

Steve Cranefield, AgriHealth, says mastitis remains the biggest animal health issue in the dairy industry and farmers should take more pride in tackling mastitis.

Tania White’s cows produce one of the cleanest milk in the country.

NO GUESSWORK STEVE CRANEFIELD says a new technology that provides rapid test for mastitis will help farmers improve cure rates. Mastatest lapboxes provide rapid mastitis testing on-farm, with results provided to the farmer and vet within 24 hours.  Cranefield says Mastatest can improve mastitis cure rates in a given herd and enables more targeted use of antibiotics to combat the most prevalent disease in dairying.    “It’s about finding out what we are dealing with: not guessing,” he says. “Through Mastatest you can find out what bug you are dealing with in an individual cow, and then decide what’s the best treatment “Otherwise farmers and vets will all be guessing what we are dealing with,” he adds. “We are all trying to make an assumption based on the season as to which bacteria are in the cows.” Cranefield believes using technology like this is the future.

SCC down in cows – such as production gains and lower vet costs. “Every time you treat cows, it costs you hundreds of dollars … financially it stacks up and production wise there is an element of pride.” Graham Bell told the field day that it’s down to getting the basics right every time. “There’s no secret, it’s just about doing a good job and paying close attention to detail. We

love our stock and want them to be as healthy as possible so we look after them as well as we can,” he says. “Getting the basics right through our hygiene practices, during the calving period and with our testing means we have a consistently low cell count where the milk quality is better and we have healthier cows.” Cranefield says key things done by the Bells and Tania White set the

cows up well for the next season using a combination of dry cow therapy and teat sealant on cows. “Right from day one they are focused on mastitis: they are collecting cows in calves twice a day so freshly calved cows are getting milked straight away,” he explains. “Their focus right at start is on improving teat condition so they put teat spray on the colostrum cows before they milk them and repeat after milking. “Right from start not allowing any spread of infection.”

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

NEWS  // 5

Global recovery on ‘solid ground’ SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

RECOVERY IN global dairy demand is on increasingly solid ground, says Westpac senior agri economist Nathan Penny. In fact, further price increases may be likely during 2021 as the Covid19 vaccine rolls out and in-restaurant demand picks up, he says. His comments came as last week’s Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction recorded a surprisingly solid result, with flagship whole milk powder prices rising 5% to just 3% below the same time a year ago and just 0.4% below the pre-Covid level. Economists and the futures markets were predicting modest price rises. Penny says it is encouraging that the milk fat price recovery is gaining momentum. Butter prices have lifted for five consecutive auctions and rebounded some 20% or so over this period; last week it rose 3.8%. “All up, these moves indicate that the recovery in global dairy demand is on increasingly solid ground,� says Penny. Strong demand from China for New Zealand milk continues to keep prices firms. ASB economist Nat Keall notes that there were broad-based price lifts among all the key commodities, but the rise in WMP prices was particularly marked. He notes that the quantity sold was about

Nathan Penny, Westpac

12% lower than the previous auction. “This is one of the more dramatic price moves we’ve seen at recent auctions. Prices were higher across the contract curve but, interestingly, it was the further-dated contracts that commanded the highest prices,� he says. China has remained the dominant player across recent auctions, and while some buyers there have built up a decent stockpile, demand is continuing to rise, he adds. “Dairy import volumes in China were up across the board in the latest data, with food insecurity a big theme. Although New Zealand faces growing competition from other exporters, we expect solid Chinese demand to help support prices at future auctions.� Keall says it is likely the milk price could finish above the $6.75/kgMS farmgate price it is forecasting. Westpac, which is forecasting a milk price of $7/ kgMS, says the positive

demand backdrop reaffirms its forecast. Keall notes there are still a couple of factors that give them pause for thought when it comes to its milk price forecast. Production is one such factor. Soil moisture data from NIWA suggests that growing conditions as the summer begins might be decent. “Production is up 1.8% season-to-date on last time around, according to Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ), and it might keep the farmgate price from rising too high,� he says. “The other factor is the strength of the kiwi [dollar]. That’s another negative for our overall price forecast, given the impact on any further hedging Fonterra has to do. “Still, the risks to our $6.75 milk price forecast are now firmly skewed towards the upside. We’re keeping an eye on our forecast and will be closely watching the coming auctions for news.�

Solid Chinese demand is expected to help support prices at future auctions.

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

6 //  NEWS

Veteran AB technician clocks up 500,000 inseminations ARTIFICIAL BREEDING (AB) technician Dirk

van den Ven estimates he has inseminated half a million cows in this 40-year career. The 60-year-old is originally from Holland, but has been living in New Zealand with his

wife Mieke since 2012. Based in Winton, he has been named the 2019 CRV Ambreed AB Technician of the Year for the Southland region. The award recognises Dirk’s commitment, competency and excellent cow return rates, meaning his

success at ensuring cows are in calf. Dirk says before he and Mieke moved to New Zealand, they used to travel from Holland every October (starting in 2008) to work for CRV during the New Zealand AB season, which back then typically

Dirk van den Ven says this year has been busy since no AB technicians have flown in from overseas to work.

lasted six to eight weeks. Artificial breeding or artificial insemination in cattle is the process by which semen is collected from a bull, stored in a straw and used by the AB technician to inseminate cows. The AB technician visits the farm every day, normally between October and November. However, Dirk says the seasons are getting longer, lasting 9-12 weeks as less farmers use bulls in the paddock on their herds. “This year we’ve been so busy, because the overseas AB technicians who may have flown into New Zealand to work during the season cannot travel because of border restrictions linked to Covid-19,” says Dirk. Dirk first trained with CRV’s predecessor com-

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pany in Holland as a 21-year-old. “I don’t just work for the money only. I like seeing a good cow and the

them ever since.” Dirk says he has been approached by other companies to work for them, but he prefers to stay with

“In Holland, when I realised I wouldn’t be taking over the family farm, I decided to do the next best thing and learn how to breed good cows. I learnt to do that with CRV, and I have been with them ever since.” only way you get a good cow is by breeding one,” says Dirk. “In Holland, when I realised I wouldn’t be taking over the family farm, I decided to do the next best thing and learn how to breed good cows. I learnt to do that with CRV, and I have been with

CRV, which he says has been a great company to work for. Dirk credits his wife Mieke for his success, who works as his loader on their AB run. Dirk says he couldn’t do his job without her. “She handles all the paperwork, she drives

me, she makes us food, and she helps me cool my heels when it gets stressful, which it can do when you’re working long hours during the peak of the season.” Dirk says the job requires patience, a sense of humour and most importantly, an interest in farming and an interest in caring for animals. In the off-season Dirk also runs a small hoof trimming business from the couple’s base in Winton. In New Zealand, professionally trained AB technicians do the majority of inseminations. They are responsible for the handling and insemination of semen. CRV has more than 200 technicians across the country. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

NEWS  // 7

Sharon Morrell, DairyNZ says only now do farmers feel they are back on top of things and they are getting better quality pasture.

Pasture on steroids PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

A VERY wet warm October/November

has put a damper on milk production in many parts of the North Island, according to DairyNZ. Sharon Morrell, DairyNZ’s acting manager farm performance, says about a month ago things were going spectacularly well following a dry winter and a nice early spring. Then came October and November when she says the high soil temperatures caused the grass to grow like crazy. She says some pasture started to go to seed and became stalkier and the quality of the grass deteriorated, resulting in a fall in milk production. “People struggled to control the pasture and took extra silage while others resorted to topping,” she told Dairy News. “Only now do farmers feel they are back on top of things and they are getting better quality pasture. They have had to scramble through November and milk production is now picking up and is back on par to what it was this time last year,” she says. Morrell says while some farmers have taken extra silage, there is no guarantee that in all cases it will be of the highest quality. She also notes that it appears that less PKE has been contracted. She says the good news about the rain and warm temperatures is some areas that were suffering badly from drought early in

the year have now made a good recovery. An example of a region that has got itself into a better position is the Hauraki Plains. “DairyNZ has done a lot of work with them. Hauraki Plain farmers have managed themselves pretty carefully during the early spring and they grew more pasture during winter than they would normally expect,” she says. The weather has also been kind during calving and the signs are also promising that calving rates for next season will be good. Looking forward over the next few months, Morrell says the meteorological advice is that a La Nina system will prevail, but she says this can be quite variable but for some regions can be very dry. She notes that the winter rains have helped recharge some dry soils, but has been told that the soil profile deeper down is still dry. “So we are saying to farmers make sure you have a summer plan and know how much feed you are going to have to take into winter what is the drop dead reserves you don’t want to use. That will tell you how much you can afford to use and the best time to use it,” she says. Morrell says farmers must make a plan and if they are thinking about switching to lower frequency milking, for example, it is always better to do that when things are looking reasonable rather than once feed is pinched. Sharon Morell says it’s about being proactive with those sorts of summer decisions.


DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

8 //  NEWS

Time to cut the No 8 wire concept PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

SCOTTIE CHAPMAN

says New Zealanders should stop extolling the virtues of the No 8 wire concept. The head of Spring Sheep Dairy says the No 8 wire concept was a success story of our past when, because of travel times, NZ was a long way

“The guardianship and how it all works and without doubt that is of great value to NZ because it is really authentic, is different and it has a mystique about it that is really positive.” from everywhere and we had to find a way to improvise However, Chapman believes the link to

improvisation in the form of the No 8 wire concept – from the past to the way we operate today with modern technology and

transport – is completely wrong. “The No 8 concept was important 150 years ago because it helped get us where we are today,” he told Dairy News. “But now the world is more sophisticated and we are wanting to showcase our innovation and quality of our agricultural systems and products. Gone are the days of selling slabs of

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meat around the world.” Chapman says improvisation isn’t a substitute for innovation and NZ needs to tell good stories about its primary sector. In terms of storytelling, Chapman believes marketing slogans are of no value because they lack authenticity. He says NZ has a good and beautiful authentic story to tell and one that resonates with consumers. He points specifically to the Maori concept of Kaitiaki. “Kaitiaki is authentic NZ and is one thing we can talk about,” Chapman explains. “The guardianship and how it all works and without doubt that is of great value to NZ because it is really authentic, is different and it has a mystique about it that is

really positive.” In terms of the consumer, Chapman says NZ must embrace sustainability, with people who buy our food looking to make sure our products and production systems are sustainable. He believes sustainability is “not an option” for NZ. “It is something we need to do and all it is doing the right thing ... the right thing for the environment, the right thing for animals and doing the right thing for the consumers,” Chapman explains. “There will be a prize for the first to get there, and even if there wasn’t it’s still what we should be doing. I think you’ll find that consumers will more than happily pay for it – even if they don’t is about the social licence to operate.”

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We need to be smarter than just focusing on planting and fencing. MPI supports planting, fencing and “other initiatives to prevent farm runoff ”.


DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

NEWS  // 9

Calling young Maori dairy farmers be announced at the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition awards dinner in May 2021 in New Plymouth.

Kingi Smiler

Does your NAIT tag match your NAIT location? From December 14, there are new rules for managing NAIT tags...

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YOUNG MAORI who work on dairy farms or who are involved in the dairy industry are being encouraged to enter the 2021 award for the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer of the year. The competition is designed to recognise young people who are currently working in the dairy industry or studying a dairy qualification and who have previously worked in the dairy industry. Kingi Smiler, chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee, says this is a great learning opportunity for young Maori involved in dairy to build up their networks and to meet people in the industry who can help them further their careers. He says he’s well aware of many great things young Maori are doing and this is the perfect opportunity for them to show the country what they are doing and how well they are progressing their careers. Smiler is also encouraging employers and training providers to support suitable employees and students by working with them to enter the award.

www.ahuwhenuatrophy. maori.nz/. The finalists will be announced in midMarch and the winner will

– 1 23

peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

He says past winners and finalists of the competition have extolled the benefits of entering the competition, including the knowledge and contacts they have made. Kingi Smiler says the competition is about future proofing the industry for the future by helping young people gain confidence in themselves and experience in a range of facets in the industry. “All have gone on to take leaderships roles in the industry. The Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer alumni is a very impressive group and they give us great comfort that the future is in very capable hands,” he says. A $5,000 prize pool is up for grabs and this includes a special study tour for all the finalists The dairy competition is run every three years – in the other years a competition for the young Maori sheep and beef farmers and the horticultural grower of the year are run. Past winners of the dairy competition include Tangaroa Walker, Wiremu Reid, Jack Raharuhi and Harepaora Ngaheu. Entries for the competition close on the 12th February and details including the entry form are on the Ahuwhenua Trophy website http://

6 – 15

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PETER BURKE

6 – 15

NAIT tags are only usable ...

AT

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IN BRIEF Entries open NOMINATIONS ARE open for the 2021 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year. Dairy women are encouraged to nominate their role models in the industry before February when finalists appear before a judging panel. Nominees need not work for a farm business, but be striving for the future of dairy through leadership in industry organisations. In doing so Jules Benton, Dairy Women’s Network chief executive, hopes that the award will open up to young women who haven’t had the same level of on-farm experience as previous recipients but whose experience is supplemented by a commitment to the industry through other avenues. Fonterra’s group director for Farm Source Richard Allen says no other award in New Zealand specifically recognises and encourages the capability and success of women in the dairy industry.

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

10 //  NEWS

Anchor backs Christmas appeal FONTERRA IS throwing its weight behind a donation appeal that aims to feed 15,000 New Zealanders this Christmas. Anchor milk, part of Fonterra Brands, is partnering with the New Zealand Food Network, a national food charity that will fill and distribute Christmas food hampers to families in need. Anchor has donated $100,000 in product including milk, cream, custard, cheese and butter to kickstart the appeal and is encouraging fellow Kiwis to support the New Zealand Food Network. To help bring the appeal to life, Anchor has reimagined the classic Christmas poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’, swapping the fairytale narrative for a story that aims to shed light on the issue of food poverty for New Zealanders. The poem has been released as an online video with a new set of lyrics that chart the impact donations – big or small – can make this year. Fonterra Brands New Zealand marketing director Mike Boness says the co-op is one of the founding corporate members of New Zealand Food

Anchor has donated $100,000 retail value in dairy products including milk, cream, custard, cheese and butter to kickstart the appeal.

Network. “Our values align with their endeavour to care for all New Zealanders,” he says. “We hope our reimagination of ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ will encourage everyday Kiwis to support the appeal, as well as shine a spotlight on the issue of food poverty in our own backyard.” Food hampers created for the appeal

will include a Christmas spread for a family of four, including a ham, fresh vegetables and fruit, Weet-Bix, fresh milk, cheese, custard and cream, and some sweet treats. The hampers will be delivered to charities across the country from December 21. New Zealand Food Network’s fellow partners – including T&G Fresh, Sani-

tarium, and Griffins – are helping subisdise the cost of the hampers. This means that a $25 donation from the public will help feed a family of four this Christmas with a hamper valued at more than $110. Donations made by New Zealanders to the appeal will go directly to NZ Food Network to help fund the food sourcing, creation, and distribution of

its food hampers. Since its establishment in May 2020, NZ Food Network has made a significant impact: in the first three months, it distributed 532,000kgs of food to its partnering food hubs which is equivalent to 1,520,700 meals delivered to people in need. Boness says Anchor is committed to helping communities across the country prosper. “As a quintessentially Kiwi brand, Anchor hopes to bring Kiwis together in the festive spirit of solidarity.” NZ Food Network chief executive Gavin Findlay says the issue of food poverty in this country is a very real problem – and the onset of COVID-19 has only amplified the issue. “The New Zealand Food Network was founded with the purpose of delivering nutritious food to charities across the country; however, we are facing an unprecedented challenge with Christmas just around the corner. We hope this appeal with Anchor will resonate with everyday New Zealanders, and together we can help thousands of our fellow Kiwis.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

AGRIBUSINESS  // 11

Co-ops have a bright future – Shadbolt JESSICA MARSHALL jessica@ruralnews.co.nz

AGRIBUSINESS EXPERT Professor

Nicola Shadbolt says that New Zealand cooperatives have a bright future ahead of them. Shadbolt, a professor of agribusiness and farm management at Massey University, received the Outstanding Co-operative Contribution Award at the Cooperative Business New Zealand Awards last month. “There is scope to explore co-ops in other sectors and to continue to learn from and share how co-ops and other collective groups work best so we evolve to be stronger still,” Shadbolt told Dairy News. She says that in the current climate, the cooperative ethos and principles resonated with consumers, but that people need to recognise that businesses were cooperatives. “Co-ops in New Zealand need to make much more of the fact they are a cooperative, they are a collective of members. “Collective action is critical when power imbalances exist in markets; farmers are weak sellers and weak buyers by default as our businesses are much smaller than those we transact with,” she said.

“Remember that cooperatives are not taught in business schools of New Zealand so in the majority of cases they are an unknown construct for the accountants and business managers cooperatives employ or put on their boards.” Nicola Shadbolt says that in the current climate, the cooperative ethos and principles resonated with consumers.

She adds that co-operatives provide farmers with an opportunity to have a more active role in the supply chain. Shadbolt says the cooperative system is often misunderstood by some of the people who wish to change how it works. “Remember that cooperatives are not taught in business schools of New Zealand so in the majority of cases they are an unknown construct for the accountants and business managers cooperatives employ or put on their boards.” She says the instinct in these cases is to change

the model into a corporate model, which weakens cooperatives. Shadbolt says she wants to recognise her postgraduate students for their work in building an understanding of the cooperative business model. “These students are the means by which the cooperative body of knowledge grows,” she said. “My hope is that the learning, and the sharing of that learning, never ends, as that is how the model will best evolve,” she said.

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LEADERS RECOGNISED AGRIBUSINESS LEADERS John Monaghan and Lachie Johnstone also received the Outstanding Co-operative Contribution Award. Johnstone was recognised for his work with the Farmlands Trading Society. He was chairman of Farmlands when it merged with South Island-based CRT Co-operative in 2013. He was then named the first chairman of the new John Monaghan Farmlands Cooperative. “Lachie has been a champion for the co-operative model,” said Roz Henry, chief executive of Cooperative Business New Zealand. Monaghan was recognised for his services to Fonterra and the dairy industry as a whole. Monaghan was an inaugural Fonterra Shareholders councillor before becoming chairman in 2004. He retired from the council in 2007 and was elected to the Fonterra board of directors in 2008, going on to become chairman in 2018. He retired last month. Henry says, “John is to be admired for his determination and commitment to lead Fonterra through a significant period of transition. “It was a hefty responsibility and seeing the co-operative return to a position of profitability is a fantastic way to complete his tenure.”

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

12 //  OPINION RUMINATING

EDITORIAL

Walking the talk

MILKING IT... What emergency?

Dine with a long Water donation spoon FEARS OF a summer

LAST WEEK, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared a “climate emergency” in Parliament. It includes a requirement for government agencies to purchase electric vehicles and reduce the size of their car fleet. We wonder if someone had told the Police Force about this impending announcement because a few days earlier it was announced that the 2000-strong frontline police car fleet will switch to Skodas. The police media release says: “Electric and hybrid vehicles were tested, but limitations including power efficiency and the total cost of ownership meant they were not the preferred option.” Obviously Ardern’s climate emergency doesn’t mean much to one of our key emergency responders!

SOME LEADERS in the New Zealand dairy industry will be keeping an anxious watch on the growing spat between China and Australia. With China slapping hefty tariffs of Aussie exports like wine and barley and its senior government officials trading barbs over trade and political issues, fears are things could turn from bad to worse. Australia has bounced back from its technical recession with solid growth figures and its politicians were quick to point out that they don’t need China for economic growth. However, NZ cannot think like that. Fonterra accounts for 36% of all dairy imports into China. One dairy insider says the Oz/China impasse should give you chills. “Dine with a long spoon when you trade with China. They can turn the tap off for geo-political reasons any old time.”

without a daily swim have been doused in Tangiteroria, near Whangarei, after Fonterra Kauri filled the community pool as a donation. The pool at Tangiteroria School had been empty since the local fire brigade used the water to combat a blaze that destroyed the Tangiteroria Sports Complex in January this year. With the school unable to weather the cost of filling the pool from their bore and then treating the water with expensive chemicals and lacking rainwater in its tanks, the pool had sat empty all winter. On November 6, Fonterra filled the pool with five truckloads of clean water, or roughly 160,000 litres. It took one truck most of a day, going back and forth from Tangiteroria and the Fonterra Kauri plant.

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Friends? AFTER YEARS of fighting over farming, freshwater and sustainability Federated Farmers and Fish & Game are trying to kiss and make up. Six members of the NZ Fish & Game Council recently met with their counterparts from Feds for a “cordial get-together”. The groups discussed issues such as access, catchment groups, wetlands and connecting farmers with fishers and hunters. “We are not breaking out the marshmallows, lighting the campfire and singing Kumbaya together, but we both recognise that an adversarial approach really only benefits lawyers, said Feds president Andrew Hoggard. Watch this space.

LAST WEEK Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern committed the Government and public sector to going carbon-neutral by 2025, as she declared a ‘climate emergency’. New Zealand has joined 32 other nations in formally acknowledging the global crisis. What does this mean for the dairy industry? Not much. As DairyNZ points out, the industry shares the Government’s ambition to reduce climate change emissions and is working on various fronts to reduce emissions. The dairy sector’s climate change commitments and research are geared at supporting farmers to reduce emissions, to help achieve national greenhouse gas targets. DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says farmers are taking climate change seriously and the sector is committed to playing its part in tackling climate change and reducing its overall footprint. But there are no silver bullets; the sector cannot turn to electrical vehicles to make a dent in its emissions profile. It is about making incremental changes across the whole farm system. While many solutions are known, some are not – which is why DairyNZ and others are investing heavily in research. Mackle rightly points out that it is critical the Government supports farmers to make change over a generation and the pace of other regulation recognises the efforts being made by the dairy sector. Internationally, New Zealand already stacks up well, as one of the most sustainable and emission efficient dairy producers in the world. Mackle points out that if all dairy producers were as efficient as New Zealand, more than half the global emissions from dairy could be removed. But the dairy sector knows that it can be even better and is 100% committed to this. The primary sector has joined forces with government and iwi/ Māori in a world-first climate change partnership, He Waka Eke Noa, which aims to support farmers and growers to measure, manage and reduce their emissions. He Waka Eke Noa is a five-year programme giving farmers and growers the information, tools and support to reduce emissions and adapt to a changing climate. The agricultural sector has invested over $60 million over the last decade in developing technologies to reduce agricultural emissions through the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Consortium. Farmers understand that emissions from agriculture account for half of NZ’s total emissions. But our emissions profile is globally unique, and because of this, the way we design climate change policy is also unlike any other country in the world.

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

OPINION  // 13

Getting the best return on capital SIMON COUPER

capture production efficiencies and economies of scale. OCD is a good example of aggregation as it only offers a few products – take it or leave it. The Global Dairy Trade auction (GDT) is another example of aggregation. Adaptation is where a firm adapts its offerings to best suit the customer or consumers’ requirement as much as possible. Tatua is an example of adaptation as indicated by its values – where it seeks to exceed customer expectations by “going the extra mile” and “responding with agility and speed”. Fonterra’s “in market” sales teams and research and development facilities are another example of adaptation to make products suit customer and consumer requirements. There are no examples of firms

THIS IS the third of five articles aiming to demonstrate dairy industry strategies in New Zealand and provide a perspective for viewing Fonterra’s strategy. In the last two articles we have looked at the observable strategies of three firms within the NZ dairy market and compared their strategic positions. To recap: Open Country Dairy (OCD) is a cost leader and Tatua leads in customer intimacy, while a2 is a differentiated product Simon Couper leader. We have seen how a disciplined dient leadership. focus in a strategic position has OCD, on the other hand, chooses allowed them to improve their posito aggregate its offerings (fewer than tion as measured by Return on Cap30 products). They have no in market ital Employed (ROCE), market share (offshore) salesman. Adapting to and/or capitalisation. So other things being Greater returns and available different customers needs would lead to processing cost ineffiequal, within a commercial capital will in turn be able to ciencies. Observing the chalstruggle for existence it is lenges Fonterra has with milk the ability of those who can capture more of the NZ milk pools, it is unlikely OCD would adapt to the opportunities supply. engage in arbitrage activity by that are strategically efficient which determines who will earn (at scale) that have successfully investing in foreign geographies. At this stage, a2 is a marketing the best return on capital*. It follows employed all three strategies of Arbithat over time, capital will flow to trage, Aggregation and Adaptation and licensing company with patents. the best return. Greater returns and at the same time, for any length of a2 does not currently collect or proavailable capital will in turn be able to time. The most likely reason is that to cess milk in NZ and therefore its capture more of the NZ milk supply. do all three requires different prod- position within this strategic frameThe aim of this article is to fur- uct focus and operational cultures. work is not observable. a2’s pending ther explore the international strat- Combining them within the same purchase and future operation of egies dairy firms employ to maintain firm leads to confusion, resulting Mataura Valley may indicate how it in decreased performance or loss of intends to position its self within the their competitive advantage. NZ supply market and how it intends There are three basic strategic market share. The choice of international strat- to operate strategically when exportoptions for firms operating at a global level. They are Arbitrage, Aggregation egy a firm employs needs to fit with ing to its customers. Looking forward, what internathe core competitive advantage of or Adaptation. Arbitrage is when a company cost leadership, customer intimacy tional strategic approaches should Fonterra take? takes advantage of the resources or or product leader. Next issue we will look at the core For example, Tatua seeks to difspecific opportunities within another country. A good example of this is the ferentiate its offering by creating the strategic advantages Fonterra has and cheap labour garment sweat shops in best possible service to customers. ask again where is Fonterra’s best fit Bangladesh. Another example is the Its focus is adaptation: it adapts its within the strategic framework we Fonterra milk pools which seek to products and speed of delivery to suit have outlined over the last three provide the ability of sourcing milk its clients’ needs. Trying to aggregate articles. *or perceived future ROCE which from other regions for our customers its products with no variation would and a return for our NZ shareholders. erode value quickly. Likewise, seek- is reflected in share price. Aggregation is where products ing to gain advantage sourcing milk • Simon Couper is a Waipu farmer are standardised across all markets from foreign geographies could easily and former chairman of Fonterra with very few product variations to weaken its claims of specialty ingre- Shareholders Council.

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

14 //  MANAGEMENT

Environment plans driving change A SURVEY of farm-

ers in Aparima, Southland, shows farms achieve better environmental results when they have Farm Environment Plans. Six hundred dairy, sheep and beef farmers work together in the Aparima Community Environment Project, which aims to improve the health of freshwater and reduce environmental footprint. A recent survey of 151 Aparima farmers showed 80% have Farm Environment Plans – an increase of 23% on last year. The survey also highlighted that farmers with environment plans are more likely to implement a range of good farming practices. “These survey results show how serious farmers are about taking care of the environment,” said Otautau dairy farmer

ABOUT THE PROJECT THIS LARGE-SCALE project began in 2018 and involves 600 farmers in the Aparima, Pourakino, Waimatuku and coastal Longwood catchments, who are addressing water quality issues and reducing environmental footprint. Of the 600 farmers – 216 are dairy farmers, 384 are sheep and beef farmers.

Edwin Mabonga, from mid-Aparima. Of the farmers surveyed, 95% have excluded stock from waterways – up 4% on last year. About 87% use nitrogen fertiliser strategically – up 4% (this means using fertiliser only as needed to maximise pasture uptake and only on certain parts of the farm). “Farm Environment Plans identify environmental risks and management options on the farm, and contribute to improving water quality and

other environmental benefits,” said Mabonga. “They are living, breathing documents that help farmers achieve better environmental outcomes.” Plans must include actions to reduce farm sediment and nutrient loss, outline how wintering rules will be implemented, and where to riparian plant and fence. The plans are reviewed annually. Thousands of farms already have a comprehensive Farm Environ-

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erate further improvements. Farmers in the Aparima Community

Environment Project are making significant changes which illustrate the type of innovation

and commitment needed to surpass good management practices and set farmers in good stead for future. Mabonga said his Farm Environment Plan ensures all his team know and understand the way the environment is looked after on the farm. “For us a big benefit is to have everyone on the farm thinking environmentally.” Mabonga and his wife Fungai are equity partners and have been carrying out farm riparian planting for 10 years. All staff are involved in tree planting, which gives them a sense of ownership in the environmental work, he said. The Aparima Community Environment Project is led by farmers and supported by DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Environment Southland and Fonterra.


DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

MANAGEMENT  // 15

Meander ATM Apple-ET S1F Dam of Meander MH Armour-ET S2F Discovery Project Bulls.

Cows with lower carbon footprint, higher milk yield A BREEDING programme, deliv-

ering cows that milk better and are better for the environment, is progressing well. The Discovery Project, a joint initiative between Holstein Friesian New Zealand (HFNZ) and LIC has delivered a total of 61 sires into LIC’s sire proving programme since 2013. Five of these sires have then gone on to graduate into LIC’s Premier Sires teams and been marketed. Running since 2013, the project uses genomic testing to screen and select 300 of New Zealand’s best Holstein Friesian heifers every year. Up to 50 heifers are then chosen to go on and provide eggs that are crossed with specially selected bulls. Any resulting bull calves are then genetically screened for desired traits including the animal’s overall type, milk production potential and the animal’s potential for lowering environmental impacts including greenhouse gas emissions. The aim is to continually improve the genetics of the national Holstein Friesian herd to produce cows that milk better and are better for the environment. South Canterbury farmers Tony

and Keri O’Connor, Tronnoco Farming Co Ltd, were founding participants in the initiative. They bred Tronnoco MH SambaET S2F who has been selected into the LIC Premier Sires Forward Pack team this year, but Tony says the bull would never have existed if not for the programme, because the bull’s dam died as a two-year-old. “Losing an animal is never something you want to happen but because of the programme we had the embryo and as a result we have Samba. That is also why there are not a lot of records for his dam,” says Tony. Samba’s grand dam is creating her own legacy in his herd, however, having produced over 900kgMS three times and still milking in the herd at 10-years-old. She has also produced two daughters that have also produced over 900kgMS, says Tony. Without the programme those genetics would have been lost to the national herd. The latest bull update places Samba as the third highest Holstein Friesian bull for protein BV. Tony says the Discovery Project has proven itself to be the best way to

use modern technologies to genomically test animals and generate animals with the traits the dairy industry needs as quickly as possible. The other Holstein Friesian bull to make an LIC team was Meander MH Armour-ET S2F, who is named in LIC’s, Premier Sires Daughter Proven team. Breeders Robert and Anne Marie Bruin, Otautau, Meander Holsteins, says they have been involved with the Discovery Project from the start because breeding top bulls also means they are breeding top cows and continually improving the genetics of their herd. “They say success is 30 per cent genetics. If you can get the genetics right, you can make huge leaps forward.” LIC livestock selection manager Simon Worth says he is really pleased with the quality of the 17 code bulls coming through (bulls that produced their first semen straws in 2017) and although it was early days with only one round of herd testing and TOP classification from their daughters, he says the two Holstein Friesian bulls were part of a group that were looking really good.

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

16 //  MANAGEMENT

Myth-busting with Jersey herd ROSS AND Kristy

Conder are not milking your typical Southland herd. The successful farming couple 50:50 sharemilk 840 predominantly Jersey cows at Otapiri, near Winton. The sight of a largely Jersey herd is less common in the area and the couple say that they are busting the myth that a bigger, blacker cow is

needed to be profitable in the south. Originally from Auckland, Ross got into farming following a chance encounter with an enthusiastic Primary ITO tutor who encouraged him to consider dairying as a career.  Kristy grew up on a farm and the two did a role reversal for a short period while Kristy stud-

ied in Auckland and Ross worked his way up the farming ladder in Ngatea. In 2016 the couple moved south to begin their sharemilking career for Dairy Farms NZ Limited.  Five seasons on and they run a relatively low input system on the 274 hectare (235 effective) mixed contour farm, feeding approximately 400kg of palm kernel and grain

Sharemilkers Ross and Kristy Conder.

through in-shed feeding. The herd produces around 380kgMS/ cow and around 1380kgMS/ ha. Around 20-30% of the herd is milked once-aday (OAD) in spring and summer with the full herd on OAD from April/May onwards. “We trade off a small amount of production with our milking regime but we make up for that in cow health, condition and fertility,” says Ross. The herd is significantly above the industry average for reproductive performance, averaging between 75-82% over the last five seasons. The herd also averages a 7% empty rate from 12 weeks of mating, but it has been as low as 5%. Even more impressive is the fact that no intervention is used to achieve these results.  “That’s one of the main advantages of Jerseys – they are highly fertile,” says Ross. “We have found that by focusing on cow condition and using OAD as a tool to manage lighter cows or noncyclers, we don’t need any hormonal intervention to achieve strong reproduc-

There is a strong demand and limited supply of Jersey bull calves.

tive performance.” The couple use 100% Jersey bulls for AB and say that they are selecting their genetics with a bigger framed Jersey in mind. They say, over time they have built up a herd of superior type to the typical Southland cow. “It’s a combination that gives us the positive traits of a Jersey animal – such as higher milksolids percentage, superior fertility, easy calving, good feet, and mobility – with a little bit of extra size.”  Equity growth has been a big focus for their business and stock sales have helped to drive this.

“We have a real niche in Southland when it comes to Jersey bull calves. There is a strong demand and limited supply in our area so we have been able to capitalise on that,” says Kristy.  The couple also has an abundance of surplus mixed-age stock to sell annually. Rearing 25% young stock, they aim to bring through around 21-22% as in-calf heifers. This, coupled with their lower empty rate, means that there is surplus stock each season.  “Our stock sales have been an important factor in our business growth and it has allowed us

to get to our herd goals quicker by selling off the higher Friesian-content animals,” says Kristy. The couple have a strong focus on cost control and say that for them it is about getting the basics right, while keeping things simple so that they can grow.  It’s a goal that has seen them purchase a 480-cow farm in equity partnership this year. The couple will contract milk the farm and play a management role across both properties. The couples longer term vision is to purchase more land and move into full ownership.

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

ANIMAL HEALTH  // 17

Feed supplements have a place in the New Zealand grass based diet.

Feeding cows to convert more grass into milk JOE McGRATH

NEW ZEALAND dairy is unique

when it comes to nutrition. Not just because it is largely grass based. We see similar industries in Australia, Chile, Ireland and even parts of Europe and Japan in the summer. The uniqueness stems more from having grass as the most cost effective energy source; plus the fact that the industry tries to maintain a seasonal calving program, but more on this in a later column. Let’s look at grass being the most cost effective energy source. This may be unsurprising, but perhaps it is a surprise that it is not the most cost effective in other countries. With its moderate climate, NZ grows higher energy grass than most countries, but the main reason grass is not the most cost effective energy source in other countries is that grain is so cheap – here it is expensive.

It is clear grass is the most cost effective energy source. But do we know how to best utilise it? Unfortunately when grass is chock full of energy, it is also full of components that reduce the ability of cows to utilise this energy. At Sollus we call them ANF’s or anti-nutritional factors. They can result in cows squirting, excessive passage rates, milk fat depression, acidosis, bloat, the list goes on. All end in the same thing – terrible conversion of grass energy into milk. This is where supplementary feeding comes in. Feed supplements, ranging from straw to maize silage to grains and PKE blends, all have a place in the NZ grass based diet. Their primary role in NZ is considerably different to other countries. In other countries we use them to add energy. In NZ we use them to increase the utilisation of the grass and as a carrier for vitamins and minerals. However, it’s not as easy as pick-

ing a blend or a silage and sticking with it for the season. As grass changes, feeds need to change with it. In early spring we need to add fibre and dry the diet as much as possible so the grass can be utilised and saliva can be produced. Now, coming into summer, cows have peaked and we need to hold that peak as long as possible. The grass is drying out, going to head and finally generating some effective fibre. To reflect this our feeds need higher energy, perhaps some true protein, maybe some ruminally degraded protein, which will help keep cows peak up as the ME drops out of grass. Being a nutritionist in NZ is not about the feed, it is about the grass. Every dairy manager is the nutritionist on their farm. It’s time to feed cows to convert more grass into milk. • Dr Joe McGrath is technical manager ruminants at DSM

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

18 //  ANIMAL HEALTH

Kudos for landmark fertility research RESEARCH AIMS

A GROUND-BREAKING collaborative

research into improving dairy fertility genetics has been recognised in the annual Kudos Awards. The Improving Dairy Fertility Genetics research project has determined new ways to select inherently fertile cows and that genetic selection for cow fertility will improve herd reproduction. The project is part of DairyNZ’s Pillars of a New Dairy System research, which has funding from DairyNZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Additional support comes from AgResearch, LIC, CRV Ambreed and AbacusBio. “The ability of cows to become pregnant each year to calve in a seasonally concentrated period is critical to the profitability and sustainability of New Zealand’s pasturebased systems,” said project co-leader Dr Susanne Meier. “It is tremendous to receive this award recognising the value of the research.” The Kudos Awards recognise eight categories

■■

Address the gap between the current average 6-week in-calf rate of 66% and the industry target of 78%

■■

Improve herd reproduction through better genetics by identifying new traits for cow fertility

■■

Determine the timing and causes of poor conception rates, and identify approaches to improve oocyte quality and embryo survival

■■

Characterise on-farm mortality and culling at different cow life stages in NZ dairy herds

■■

Develop new measures of cow longevity/survival related to good health and robustness, leading to accelerated genetic improvement in this trait

■■

Determine strategies that improve transition cow health by optimising metabolic, mineral or immune status

■■

Identify management solutions that improve reproduction by accelerating recovery of a healthy uterus after calving.

The ability of cows to become pregnant each year to calve in a seasonally concentrated period is critical to the profitability and sustainability of New Zealand’s pasture-based systems.

of science excellence for 2020. These apply broadly to all science disciplines and sectors including primary industries, medical, engineering, environmental and education. The project received the primary industries award. The Improving Dairy Fertility Genetics project uses a genetics approach to help achieve herd reproduction targets by increasing the fertil-

ity breeding value’s (BV) accuracy. BV is used to breed dairy cows with superior fertility. The project aims to improve genetic improvement, by identifying a new range of dairy cow attributes that can be measured earlier. This may significantly accelerate the rate of genetic gain in cow fertility. “The first phase of the research was an in-depth

study where we bred 550 heifers with high and low fertility BV. We worked to understand how they’re different and what is unique to each of them – why are some fertile and some not so fertile, and through this process identified new attributes that have potential for use by the industry,” says Meier. “We found the high fertility BV heifers reached puberty earlier

and lighter than low fertility BV heifers. High fertility BV cows also had a greater ability to resume oestrous cycles post-calving, leading to substantially better submission and 6-week in-calf rates. “This meant that the high fertility cows recovered from calving very quickly and were receptive to getting in-calf again quickly.” Once validated on a

larger scale, these new reproductive traits can be used by farmers in the future. The next phase of the research underway now is to seek validation of the traits at a large scale. This involves working with 5000 dairy cows across 54 herds as they go through their first lactation. The work aims to measure the new attributes of puberty and timing of cycling after calving to confirm the conclusions from the first phase of the research. The project is halfway through the validation work. “When we get that

validation, we can recommend the industry use the puberty trait and other novel measures for better fertility. This is exciting work that could make a big difference in herd reproductive performance,” said project coleader Dr Chris Burke.   “The project’s research findings are driving industry change and an increasing appreciation of the value of genetics for improving herd reproduction.” The project is also generating peer-reviewed journal and conference papers, with over 30 published to date.

KEY FINDINGS TO DATE ■■

Inefficiencies currently cost the sector more than $1.5 billion per annum. Through delivery of innovative solutions, it is estimated $550 million can be recovered

■■

Most pregnancy losses occur in the first week after breeding. Pre-mating cycling rates are important. The chance of conception increases by 18% with each cycle before mating and 13% with each extra week before mating

■■

21% of cows are removed from the herd each year. 60-80% of removals are involuntary or avoidable. We are developing a new Functional Survival breeding value that focuses on genetic selection for cows that are less likely to be removed for health-related reasons.

■■

The main reasons cows are removed from the herd often arise from issues during the transition period: 1. Reproduction 37% 2. Udder health 11% 3. Health disorders 31% 4. Low production 8%


DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

MACHINERY & PRODUCTS  // 19

Forester gets a little spark MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

GIVEN THAT we already know already the Subaru Forester is a great SUV – after all it won the 2018 New Zealand Car of the Year Award – we were keen to get to grips with the latest e-Boxer Hybrid. Best described as a mild hybrid, it mates a flat-four, 2-litre petrol engine making 110kW and 196Nm torque, with a 12.3kW/66Nm electric motor. Combined power and torque is slightly less than the conventional 2.5 litre petrol that produces 136kW/239Nm. The key difference claimed by the manufacturer is, of course, lower emissions and a drop in fuel consumption of up to 19%. Like the petrol-only Forester, the Premium spec hybrid has the same DNA, including CVT transmission and Symmetrical All Wheel Drive, meaning Subaru diehards can stop feeling faint and read on. Add in the excellent Eyesight package that delivers the likes of adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, lane keep assist and pre-collision braking and the Forester is right up there

“Having taken the vehicle throughout the Waikato on surfaces ranging from loose gravel to farm tracks and even muddy paddocks, we never felt as if we would have to divert from the plotted course and it never felt like getting stuck.”

with the latest tech. It also has a clever driver monitoring package that uses internal cameras to “watch” the driver for signs of drowsiness and distraction, while also using facial recognition for automated seat, preferred displays and rearview mirror settings. So how does it look, accommodate and drive? Certainly, first impressions are positive, with a proper grown up boxy SUV look, with chrome accents around the head-

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E-Boxer, the revamped version of Subaru Forester.

lights, front grille, lower valance and under the door sills. Wide opening doors offer easy access to plush leather upholstered seats that are yielding, yet supportive, with plenty of adjustment for drivers of all sizes. In the centre of the cabin, a 6.3-inch centre display covers all

key operational aspects such as cameras (reverse, side view and front facing) navigation and the vehicle’s eco credentials. Where the car really comes into its own is handling and grip, offering faultless road holding on the black stuff and unlimited grip on loose or slippery terrain. Having

taken the vehicle throughout the Waikato on surfaces ranging from loose gravel to farm tracks and even muddy paddocks, we never felt as if we would have to divert from the plotted course and it never felt like getting stuck. This Forester also benefits from Dual X-mode that allows sepa-

rate additional settings for snow/dirt or deep snow/ mud. Given the Forester offers plenty of space for occupants and cargo, while delivering industry leading smarts and great capability, it looks like Subaru has followed the mantra, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. So the

only real question to ask is whether the hybrid is worth the $5,000 for a little electric shove. If you want to feel good, while reducing emissions and saving around a fifth on fuel, or if you spend time in urban traffic, go for it. If that doesn’t light your fuse, stick with the 2.5 litre petrol.

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

20 //  TRACTORS & MACHINERY

Kubota ROPS tractors here in New Zealand, so the release of the M5-1 ROPS models in Standard and Narrow configuration will give Kiwi farmers more horsepower choices, more versatility and a wide

array of options. “We’re excited to bring the M5-1 ROPS model to New Zealand. Its simplicity allows for easy movement and low height increases its practicality,

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while also allowing the operator to stay in contact with other workers around the tractor while remaining seated,” Monteith said. “With redesigned engine technology to give maximum horsepower at a lower engine speed of 2400rpm, the M5-1 ROPS also means greater fuel efficiency and will ensure it gets the operator through a long day of work.” The new M5-1 ROPS line-up, including the M5091, M5111 Standard and the M5091 and M5101 Narrow, fits between the M40 Series ROPS and Cabin and the M5-1 Cabin models. Like the cabin models, the ROPS models feature the Kubota V3800 CR Tier 4i, four-cylinder engines of 92 or 103hp, 3.8 litre displacement, turbocharging, common rail and a particulate filter. The M5-1 Standard

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ROPS transmissions have been kept simple with 18 gears while still delivering the operator plenty of choice. In the Standard models, six synchronised gears and three ranges team up with a smooth power shuttle to cover speeds from slow creep tillage and PTO to fast transport work. The transmission of the M5-1 Narrow feature dual speed splitters to offer 36 speeds for a multitude of applications in orchards and vineyards. The Kubota X46 front loader is designed to suit the M5-1 Standard ROPS models, with a specific hydraulic kit to suit the open workstation layout. The M51 Standard ROPS are available now, while the M5-1 Narrow models will be arriving for delivery from January 2021. www.kubota.com.au

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KUBOTA NEW Zealand product specialist Shaun Monteith says Rollover Protective Structure (ROPS) tractors make up 30% of all tractors in their horsepower category

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

TRACTORS & MACHINERY  // 21

All-electric Loadall breaks cover JCB HAS released its first 100% electrical Loadall telehandler, the 525-60E, with similar cycle times and no loss of performance compared to a diesel engine version. Looking much like its internal combustion engine sibling, under the skin the normal “engine bay” is fitted with a 96v lithium-ion battery pack, which in turn powers two electric motors. A 17kW tractor motor sends drive through a permanent 4WD drop box to the machines’ axles, which incorporate a regenerative braking function, in lieu of conventional brakes, topping up the battery in the process. The second motor makes 22kW and powers the hydraulic system, using a fixed displacement gear pump to deliver 80l/min flow. Eventual control falls to a proportional joystick acting on an electro-hydraulic valve block, while an integral regeneration system once again tops up the battery during boom lowering and retraction movements. Fitted with a plug-in charger, the battery can be fully charged in around eight hours via a standard 240V, 16A electrical supply. An optional rapid charger can complete the task in as little as 35 minutes. The makers estimate that battery life is around 5000 recharging cycles, said to be the equivalent of 10,000 operating hours.

JCB has released its first 100% electrical Loadall telehandler.

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

22 //  TRACTORS & MACHINERY

Cultivation means Kverneland MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

TWENTY YEARS ago, a

land agent told Bill Davey, “you’ll never buy a better bit of land than this!”

Back then he suspected land agent spiel, but now Bill admits the agent was right. Springdale Farm, Somerton, is 487ha of predominantly Barrhill Sandy Silt Loam, which Bill says

might need the insurance of irrigation, but “we’ve got good soil that holds the moisture, so we get some excellent crop yields”. Over the last two decades, Bill and son

Nick have diversified and created great synergy between the strands of their business and the dairy industry. Initially an arable operation with lamb finishing, Nick now runs a contracting busi-

Bill Davey says that despite its size, the plough is very versatile.

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and, with the addition of maize skimmers, can bury crop residues completely, thereby improving the soil’s biodiversity. Another piece of the armoury in Bill and Nick’s business is the Kverneland Qualidisc cultivator, used to break down the tough residues left by winter-fed brassicas, which clogged conventional tined implements. Comprising closespaced 600mm discs, a reduced concave design and the work angle of the discs ensure excellent penetration, incorporation and soil cultivation. Lateral deflectors retain soil flow within the working width, finger harrows regulate the soil flow, ensuring fines stay on top for improved germination, while a solid serrated Actipaker roller provides a firm, level finish. Pulling the trailed 6m machine using a 200HP tractor at speeds between 12 to 15km/h, Bill says it “seems to make a better job the faster it’s travelling”. “Depth control is simple to adjust using the hydraulic ram and nylon shims, with easy adjustment of pressure of the rear packer/roller assembly.”

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ness, supplying local dairy farms with high-quality forage, a portion of which is grown on Springdale properties. To add further diversity to their arable operation, Bill and Nick winter graze dairy cows on kale for local dairy farmers, which offer the benefits of increased soil fertility from plant and animal residues. Previously farming in Lincolnshire, England and used to abrasive soils and heavy wear, Bill bought a Kverneland 7-furrow RG100 reversible that was eventually replaced in 2017 with an 8-furrow, semi-mounted KV PG100 reversible, with breakback legs, from Power Farming, Ashburton. The break-back system offers protection to the plough when off-farm contracting, with individual furrow legs rising out of the ground, bypassing foreign objects and returning to work. “Once the plough is set up correctly it is very user friendly,” says Bill. The ploughman can alter the furrow width hydraulically while on the move, depending on the conditions, headland finishes and crop residue. Bill says that despite its size, the plough is very versatile, able to plough into tight corners

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DAIRY NEWS DECEMBER 8, 2020

TRACTORS & MACHINERY  // 23

Agco collects swag of gongs AGCO HAS picked up eight AE50 Awards from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, who each year choose 50 products deemed to be the most outstanding innovations in engineering and technology in agriculture. Of the innovations chosen, tractors feature highly, with the latest sixth-generation Fendt 700 picked out for its redesigned operator station, featuring the FendtOne interface. A 30cm primary screen mounted on the operator armrest can be further optioned with another 30cm drop down screen fitted into the roof lining, or a 25cm digital dashboard on the steering column. Both 30cm displays work in unison, offering up to 12 panes of information for the operator across two screens. The Fendt 700 series is available in six models from 144 to 237hp. The latest Fendt 1100 Vario MT Series is a tracked machine featuring the Fendt iD powertrain, debuted on the 1000 series, using a high torque-low engine speed concept through the VarioDrive continuously variable transmission. All machine functions including CVT, PTO, cooling and hydraulic functions are optimised to work within engine speeds of 1100-1500rpm, said to result in low fuel consumption, reduced engine and component wear and quiet operation. Designed to reduce operator workload and improve infield precision, the Fendt Teach-In Headland Turn Assistant, as the name suggests, delivers hands-free turns at the headland for the tractor and implement. Offering a traditional U-turn mode, the unit can also perform a Part-Field Function that allows bouts to be “skipped”, as an example, during deep ripping or cultivation.

Be cyber secure FMG IS encouraging farmers and growers to be aware of their responsibility under the new privacy laws and to understand how being cyber secure can help achieve this. If you or your business holds the private information of other people or organisations, from December 1, the bar was lifted on what you need to do to keep that information safe, to prevent a person from experiencing ‘serious harm’ like loss, damage or disadvantage from their information being exposed. Any serious privacy breaches will also need to be reported to the Privacy Commission and to those impacted, with failure to do so potentially resulting in a fine of up to $10,000. While there are many ways privacy breaches can occur, one to be particularly vigilant of at this time of the year are cyberattacks, as Kiwis head online to do their Christmas shopping.

The Fendt 700 series tractors were picked out for its redesigned operator station, featuring the FendtOne interface.

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Profile for Rural News Group

Dairy News 8 December 2020