Fonterra’s Chinese New Year bonanza. PAGE 3
CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS
Built for tough stuff PAGE 20
Keeping animals healthy PAGE 19
MARCH 2, 2021 ISSUE 465
FROM GATE TO PLATE Miraka’s new chief executive Grant Watson eyes more global customers who value the Maori-owned company’s approach to sustainability. PAGE 4
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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
NEWS // 3
Fonterra’s Chinese New Year boost SUDESH KISSUN firstname.lastname@example.org
Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists. PG.06
China’s liquid milk boom. PG.08
CHINA’S NEW Year celebrations were almost back on track this year, helping Fonterra record double growth digit growth in its consumer brands sales. Fonterra UHT milk and cream cheese were the star performers, according to the co-op’s chief executive Greater China, Teh-han Chow. Other popular products with Fonterra ingredients included tea macchiato (tea with a dash of cream cheese) and cheese lollipop. Chow says Fonterra food service sales were also strong during the celebrations. He says with last year’s celebrations hit by a complete shutdown
Fonterra China released a “A Taste of New Zealand” themed gifts for the Chinese New Year.
due to Covid, most Chinese people were happy to be able to travel and catch up with families as part of the festivities. However, thanks to Covid, things were a bit different this year prompting Fonterra’s China business to change tack. Chinese New Year celebrations
DIVIDEND RANGE NARROWS Take your pick. PG.23
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FONTERRA HAS narrowed its forecast dividend payout. The co-op expects to pay a dividend of between 25 to 35c for the 2020-21 financial year. Chief executive Miles Hurrell says, while the co-op is still in the process of preparing its interim accounts for release on March 17, it now has enough information to provide more clarity on its fullyear earnings guidance. “That is why we have come out with a narrower forecast earnings range of 25-35 cents per share, which still reflects the usual uncertainties we face over the course of any given year,” he explained. Hurrell says a forecast Farmgate Milk Price range of $6.90$7.50 per kgMS is great for farmers and the New Zealand economy. However, he warns that with dairy prices increasing through the first half of the year, it does put pressure on sales margins and says this will be seen through the second half of the year.
started on the eve of February 12th and continue for several weeks. “Chinese New Year is the most important time for family gatherings. Traditionally, when people visit family and friends, they bring gifts with a major emphasis on food,” Chow told Dairy News. “With Covid-19 having an impact on the ability to visit others, Fonterra’s businesses had to change tack.” For example, Fonterra’s consumer brands team rolled out a Chinese New Year range in early January, themed “A Taste of New Zealand, An Heirloom for the New Year”, to promote Anchor products as New Year’s gifts for family reunions and gatherings. Chow says the range of products suits the needs of all family members at different age, such as the Anlene Chinese New Year package designed as a gift for elderly relatives. He says it was relief for Chinese people to be able to celebrate New Year; last year the country was in a Covid shutdown. But not everyone decided to
travel this year. Chow says between February 11 and 17, a whopping 98 million passenger trips were recorded, this was only 76% of trips recorded in 2019. For some of Fonterra’s ingredients customers, who get products from New Zealand, Chinese New Year sales can make up a quarter of their full-year sales, Chow says. Special themed products are created for the occasion. “This year, one of our ‘snacks’ customers have created a sugarcoated flavour of cheese lollipop. “It was in market for the for Chinese New Year period only, using only dairy ingredients from Fonterra. “Other customers rolled out Chinese New Year gift packs, which needed to be on shelves around midJanuary. It was essential to make sure our supply and delivery of ingredients were in time to produce the Chinese New Year gift packs for our customers. “With supply chain disruptions from Covid-19, our China business had to make detailed supply chain and shipping plans and keep close communications with customers to make sure their products were delivered in a timely manner.” Chow says business outlook in China is optimistic with the that country’s government having a good control on Covid. “The government is quite quick to control the occasional one or two outbreaks we have in the country,” he says.
DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
4 // NEWS
Watson’s ready to lead Miraka SUDESH KISSUN
ON HIS first day as Mira-
ka’s new chief executive, Grant Watson got a clear sense of the Maori-owned business. The morning session on February 3 consisted of a “wonderful” powhiri at the local marae and the afternoon ended with a board meeting. The former Fonterra executive told Dairy News he never experienced anything like that before. “The powhiri gave me a clear sense for the unique culture the whole team at Miraka has – the board, staff, our farmers, strategic partners and the pride and passion they show every day.” Watson is the second chief executive in the company’s 10-year history. He replaces Richard Wyeth who has taken the reins at Westland Milk on the West Coast. A former head of Fonterra’s global food service business, Watson says he’s honoured to be taking over where Wyeth left off.
MIRAKA CHAIRMAN Kingi Smiler says Grant Watson’s appointment marks another chapter in the company’s history. Smiler says Miraka is embarking on expanding consumer products that carry its unique brand stories. “Grant has a strong history of leading the sales and marketing of brands to global markets and for the past sixteen years Grant has held senior executive roles working across the value chain,” Smiler says. He is also a past winner of the New Zealand Young Executive of the Year. Recently he led the significant growth of Fonterra’s global foodservice business, a position he held since 2015 and prior to that was the director of Tip Top and the former chief operating officer for McDonald’s New Zealand. “Grant brings the skills, knowledge and experience that are directly relevant to deliver on the vision and strategy for Miraka,” says Smiler.
“Richard has helped create a strong business with a bright future,” he says. Located in Mokai, 30km northwest of Taupo, Miraka is unique within the dairy industry. Using sustainable and renewable geothermal energy, stateof-the-art manufacturing processes, Miraka specialises in powders and UHT products.
Its farming excellence programme, Te Ara Miraka ensures activities are sustainable and have a minimal impact on the environment, including on the 104 supplying farms located within an 85km radius of the plant. Watson says Miraka is arguably one of the most sustainable dairy businesses in the world and that’s what attracted him
Miraka’s new chief executive Grant Watson (left) meets Miraka workers at the factory in Mokai, near Taupo.
to Taupo. “The strategic horizon of Miraka means it is thinking many generations ahead in terms of the environment,” he says. Miraka has capacity to process 300 million litres of milk every year and there are no immediate plans to expand the milk supply based or production capacity. “Our focus today is how we can add more value to our existing milk base,” says Watson. “That doesn’t mean we
are standing still. My role will continue the momentum and create more value from every drop of milk we receive…Obviously we will be looking at product innovation and developing more strategic partnerships.” Miraka has a strategic partnership with one of its shareholders Vinamilk, a leading dairy business in Vietnam. While some Miraka products are exported to more than 20 countries around the world, China is the biggest market.
Watson sees an opportunity to connect with customers who value Miraka’s approach to sustainability. “Through our Te Ara Miraka programme, we incentivise farmers to adopt industry-leading practices in sustainable land management, animal welfare, and supporting staff. It’s important to us that we are producing quality milk in a way that also supports the land, and that we connect with customers who value this approach.”
Watson says he looks forward to interacting directly with farmer suppliers. “One aspect that attracted me to the role is the ‘from gate to plate’ nature of our operation.” Miraka has announced a forecast milk payout of $7.30/kgMS for this season, 10c higher than Fonterra’s range midpoint and Synlait. The forecast payout includes Te Ara Miraka premiums. While not speculating about the payout, Watson believes strong global demand for dairy is likely to keep upward pressure on prices in the short term. He says Covid remains on the forefront. For Miraka, the focus during the pandemic has been on the health and wellbeing of its workers and farmer suppliers. Security of supply to consumers and customers has also been a priority. Watson says like most companies, Miraka has also faced global supply chain issues. “But we are in good shape,” he says.
WYETH TAKES OVER AT WESTLAND WESTLAND DAIRY Company new
chief executive Richard Wyeth stared his new role last week. Wyeth, the former Miraka chief executive, is looking forward to bringing the strength of a global dairy giant to the opportunities that lie ahead for the West Coast dairy processor. Westland is owned by China’s Yili Group. Wyeth took over from Shiqing
Jian, who was interim chief executive following the resignation of Toni Brendish in August last year. “We hope Richard is as excited as we are about the opportunities that lie ahead for Westland as he takes stewardship of this iconic New Zealand company,’’ Jian said. Wyeth said Westland holds a unique place within the New Zea-
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NEWS // 5
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last week, shows farmers can identify ways to increase efficiency and reduce environmental footprint – but there will be challenges for some. DairyNZ’s Greenhouse Gas Partnership Farms research project worked with farmers to identify and model how their farms might reduce both nitrogen loss and greenhouse gas emissions. “Making these gains will be the first steps as farmers work towards the government’s 2030 climate change targets,” DairyNZ strategy and investment leader Dr Bruce Thorrold says. For some farms, the research identified options that offered lower footprint and higher profit. However, for already highly efficient farms environmental footprint gains tended to come at a cost to profitability. “It is more challenging for farms that are already
efficient,” concedes Thorrold. “For them, it’s about where even the smallest gains can be made. Small improvements on individual farms add up at national level.” The dairy sector is currently working through a process of helping farmers understand their emissions profile numbers, identify options and implement solutions. The Partnership Farms research project highlights that to reduce footprint, all farms had to decrease total feed eaten and nitrogen surplus: findings also underline the need for ongoing research into technology to reduce footprint without lowering feed. Thorrold says these technologies are necessary for dairy farmers to achieve the challenging Climate Change Commission recommendations. He adds that investment in R&D and support from the government will be crucial. The Partnership Farms research is part of DairyNZ’s Dairy Action for Climate Change to
Phill Everest, Ashburton, says the family use technologies and systems on-farm that improve efficiency, resource use and sustainability.
support dairy farmers and the wider sector to address on-farm methane and nitrogen emissions long-term. Six farms in Waikato, Southland and Canterbury were involved in the research. The research has found a strong understanding of the farm, its people and
arm system is important at the beginning. The process involved a Whole Farm Assessment and modelling in Overseer and Farmax. Thorrold says dairy farmers are committed to playing their part in addressing climate change, alongside the
already the most emissions-efficient producer of dairy milk in the world, but it’s important we continue to reduce our emissions and remain the
rest of New Zealand, and there is a wide range of work underway on farms throughout the country to achieve this. “New Zealand is
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the best opportunity. This option relies heavily on reducing the not-in-calf rate and finding an alternative use for additional grass grown on the support block. The modelling on Tokoroa Pastoral also showed cutting imported supplements is the option most likely to reduce GHG. However, this tended to reduce profitability. When this was combined with a reduction in nitrogen fertiliser use, it made the largest decrease in GHG emissions, with a small drop in profitability. Moss says he has taken steps to reduce emissions, including fast forwarding his genetics with sexed semen, using urease inhibitors and managing down his nitrogen surplus. “After farming in Tokoroa for around 30 years, I am now planning ahead for changes expected in the next 30 years,” he says. “As a society, we know greenhouse gases need to reduce from basically all sources – and it will take each and every one of us to do it.”
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FLEMINGTON FARM TWO OPTIONS were modelled in the Partnership Farms research at Flemington Farm, near Ashburton. The farm is owned by climate change ambassador Phill Everest and his wife Jos and run with their son Paul. The farm’s milking platform is 221 hectares of flat terrain, milking 750 cows. The first option modelled focused on reducing nitrogen fertiliser use and cropping area, also reducing replacement rate of young stock, while maintaining production. This resulted in reduced nitrogen loss and emissions, and a slight increase in profitability. The second option builds on the first option and aims to reduce nitrogen loss by a further 12% by reducing nitrogen fertiliser and substituting pasture grown with low nitrogen supplements. This resulted in further reductions in nitrogen loss and emissions, but also decreased profitability. Phill Everest said the family use technologies and
best,” he explains. “It’s about doing the right thing as a sector and consumers are also increasingly demanding sustainable products.” DairyNZ’s next step is to work more with farmers to start exploring their own system adaptions through its ‘Step Change’ project. This is designed to help farmers understand the options best suited to their farm and how to improve profitability, water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A series of ‘Step Change’ events will start on March 10 to help farmers explore their options. “Our regional teams are working with farmers to help them understand their starting position and then uncover the opportunities available – some of which are demonstrated through this research,” Thorrold says.
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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
6 // NEWS
Ahuwhenua Trophy finalists named PETER BURKE firstname.lastname@example.org
A HAURAKI Plains dairy farm and two in the eastern Bay of Plenty are the finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Maori Dairy farm of the year. The three finalists were announced, last week, at Parliament by the Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor. About 100 people, including the Minister
for Maori Development, Willie Jackson, other politicians, Maori dignitaries, agribusiness leaders, government officials – as well as whanau of the three finalists – attended the function held in Parliament’s Grand Hall. Representatives of the finalists were flown down to Wellington especially for the occasion and had the opportunity to meet the with other finalists and to be briefed on the various activities which will take place in the
coming months. The finalists are: Pouarua Farms located near the township of Ngatea, on the Hauraki Plains, close to Thames. The 2,200ha platform comprises 10 farms – nine dairy units and one drystock farm and is the largest single dairy platform in the Hauraki region. A total of 4,600 cows are milked across 1,775ha, which produce approximately 1.65 million kgMS. Tataiwhetu Trust - this property is located in the
PRAISE FROM MINISTER AGRICULTURE MINISTER Damien O’Connor presented representatives of each of the finalists with medals, which recognised their achievement in reaching the finals of the competition. He says all the finalists farms are shining examples of the longstanding commitment of Māori farmers to sustainably developing their whenua and te taiao – the land and the environment – for future generations. “They are at the top of their game, providing the inspiration to others to get out and do even better to grow the country.” O’Connor says with more land
being used in more innovative ways, Māori agribusiness is booming. He noted that profits for Māori agribusinesses hit $97 million in 2018, almost double from the year before, according to the latest Statistics NZ figures. Meanwhile, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson says the rise of Māori agribusiness is impressive, especially given its unstinting commitment to all aspects of sustainability. “We are seeing great developments in all productive sectors and a trend of Māori playing an increasingly significant role in producing higher value food and fibre products,” he says.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connnor with the three finalists: from left, Jack Mihaere, chairman, Tunapahore B2A Incorporation, Paki Nikora, chair, Tataiwhetu Trust and Walter Ngamane, Kaumatua Pouarua Farms after the medals presentation.
Ruatoki Valley, south of Whakatane. It runs 432 Kiwi Cross cows and carries 188 replacement stock on two support blocks. Tataiwhetu is an organic dairy farm milking oncea-day and the herd produces 129,000kgMS. Tunapahore B2A Incorporation - consists of 376ha located at Hawai and Torere on the famous State Highway 35, on the
East Coast of the North Island. The nearest main town is Opotiki. The milking platform is 132ha, with 385 cows producing 126,000kgMS. Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Trophy Management Committee, Kingi Smiler says, once again, there are three outstanding finalists in this year’s competition. He says this is despite the fact that the
country and the world is living in challenging and uncertain times. Smiler says farmers, and Maori in particular, have come through adversity in the past and will do so again. “I am full of praise and proud of our Maori farmers for entering the competition this year and showing the determination to showcase their
very successful enterprises,” he says. “This is in the true spirit and legacy of Sir Apirana Ngata and Lord Bledisloe.” Smiler says the good news is that, despite the pandemic, farm gate returns for dairy farmers remain solid and consumers world-wide are looking for the high quality, sustainably products that NZ farmers and processing companies produce. At the end of March, into early April, field days – which are open to the public – will be held at the farms of all the finalists. The first one will on Thursday March 25 at Pouarua Farms, then at Tataiwhetu Trust Thursday on April 1 and finally at Tunapahore B2A Incorporation on Thursday April 8. The winner will be announced at a gala dinner in New Plymouth on Friday 14 May.
A COLOURFUL HISTORY IT IS now 88 years since the Ahuwhenua Trophy was inaugurated by visionary Maori leader Sir Apirana Ngata and the Governor General at the time, Lord Bledisloe. The competition remains as relevant and as prestigious now as it was almost a century ago. The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition was established to encourage skill and proficiency in Maori farming. Sir Apirana Ngata realised
the importance of retaining and improving what remained of Maori land was critical. He led the renaissance of Maori land development, which had been decimated during the colonisation of New Zealand by forced sales and lack of opportunity and access to development capital. While the values
and vision of Sir Apirana and Lord Bledisloe have remained unchanged, but the way the competition is run has moved with the times – especially since its re-launch in 2003. The inaugural 1933 competition was open to individual dairy farmers in the Waiariki Land district and was won by William Swinton from Raukokore, Bay of Plenty.
DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
NEWS // 7
More time for climate change submissions THE CLIMATE Change
Commission is allowing more time for public submissions on its draft advice to the Government. Consultation opened on February 1, with submissions initially due by March 14: deadline has been extended for two weeks now closing on March 28. “We have heard from stakeholders that they need more time to consider our data and develop informed submissions,” Commission chair Dr Rod Carr says. “We needed to balance time needed by stakeholders to consider our data as part of their submissions, with the work evaluating submissions and determining their impact on our draft advice. The board felt two weeks provided this,” he says. Carr expects “a significant number of submissions” for his team to analyse. About 350 submissions were received within the first three weeks. “It is important to us that people are able to contribute to our work which we hope results in a fundamental and lasting change for the direction of climate action in Aotearoa. “We have had a fan-
tastic response so far with more than 350 submissions. People are responding to our work productively and positively. “The Commission is clear that this is draft advice and is committed to true consultation. We are prepared to make changes in light of what we hear,” says Carr. The Commission must deliver its final advice to Government by May 31. It is proposing first three emissions budgets for New Zealand and recommendations on the direction of the country’s first emissions reduction plan, which provides policy guidance to Government on how the emissions budgets could be met. This draft advice explains how NZ can reach net zero emissions for long-lived gases by 2050, as outlined in the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act. The Government then has until December 31 to decide whether to accept recommendations in the advice. DairyNZ will be developing a submission on behalf of its levy paying farmers. DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says the
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Commission’s sciencebased approach is ambitious and challenging for all of New Zealand and farming is no exception. “The short-term 2030 and 2035 methane targets are ambitious, making the
committed to producing sustainable food and remaining the world’s most emissions efficient. So, like every kiwi playing their part in addressing climate change, dairy must play our part too.”
next 10-15 years the most important for adapting farm systems and investment in research and development solutions for agriculture,” says Mackle. “As a sector, we are
Climate Change Commission chairman Rod Carr.
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8 // NEWS
China’s growing thirst for liquid milk CHINA’S APPETITE
for liquid milk is growing and New Zealand exporters look set to benefit. Rabobank senior dairy analyst Michael Harvey says Chinese consumption of liquid milk rose strongly in 2020 and is expected to continue growing over the coming decade, creating export opportunities for dairy producers here in New Zealand and in other key dairy-production regions. Speaking on a recently-released RaboResearch podcast, Harvey says there has been really strong consumer demand for liquid or ‘white’ milk in China during 2020, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Chinese demand for dairy has plenty of space to grow long-term – largely attributable to long-standing key drivers such as low per-capita consumption and strong private and public investment into the sector due to the health benefits of dairy products,” he says. “And with many of the big dairy companies in China now starting to provide their 2020 full year results, what’s really interesting is we’re seeing that many are reporting rapid revenue growth for ‘white milk’.” Major Chinese dairy players like Yili and Mengnui are reporting double-digit growth in ultra-high-tempera-
ture (UHT) long-life milk sales. The companies are putting this down to the health and wellness benefits their consumers are seeing. Harvey said liquid milk has been a long-standing growth market for a lot of dairy exporters around the world over the past decade with exporters from New Zealand, Australia and the EU the major beneficiaries. “Liquid milk imports into China notched up a couple of major milestones in 2020, with September last year the first time more than 100,000 tonnes of liquid milk have been imported in a calendar month. “Last year was also the
first time that China has imported more than one million tonnes of liquid milk in a calendar year,” he said. “When you compare this to 2008 — when only 8000 tonnes of liquid milk were imported into China — it does give you an indication of how strong growth has been, with this increase representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over this period of around 50%.” Of the big three key liquid milk exporters into China (New Zealand, the European Union and Australia) the EU had recorded the biggest increase in export volumes in 2020. Chinese liquid milk
There has been strong consumer demand for liquid or ‘white’ milk in China during 2020, despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
import volumes from the EU’s 28-member bloc rose 26% last year, and in particular there was really strong growth out of Germany — the largest exporter in the EU bloc — which increased volumes by around 31%. New Zealand liquid milk volumes into China also grew strongly and were up 9% while Australian volumes were flat. Harvey says the strong growth in liquid milk exports out the Euro-
pean Union was primarily down to changes in local market dynamics. “In the EU, there have been a number lockdowns and other measures related to the pandemic which have reduced consumption within the EU bloc. Several of the EU’s major markets in the North Africa region have also had significant Covid19 issues and these, combined with political and civil disruption in this region, has impacted the
flow of exports into these markets,” he says. “And this has resulted in the EU directing an increased volume of liquid milk into China and picking up share in this market.” New Zealand’s proximity to China and the strong trade ties between the two countries placed it in a strong position to further grow liquid milk imports into China, but it would need to be wary of rising EU competition.
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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
NEWS // 9
Uni farm to shed staff NIGEL MALTHUS
THE LINCOLN Univer-
sity Demonstration Dairy Farm (LUDF) is looking to cut staff numbers as it adopts a new “lean” system in an effort to cut costs and maintain its place as a leader of the industry. “We’ve lost a bit of relevance in the industry. We want to be in the top 20% of profitability and we’re
in summer. The farm has already moved to a single herd with a simpler grazing programme. It will seek external support to help with the extra workloads of a demonstration farm around extension, visitors and data-gathering. It would also look to save energy around such things as tractor hours. “One of the motivations of this is that we had a sort of ‘sticky’ cost
“We do have a couple of paddocks which are nudging 190 so we’ll just pull the nitrogen back on those. “It’s a big deal for
farmers and it’s the first bit of legislation that has really dictated from central government how we can farm. Farmers aren’t used to that.”
Ashburton farm consultant Jeremy Savage.
“The challenge has been laid on us by our management group.” not,” says Ashburton farm consultant Jeremy Savage. Savage, the acting head of the South Island Dairying Development Centre, the partnership of Lincoln University and other industry bodies which runs LUDF, told Dairy News that because it has been focused on operational excellence it had been doing “100% of the job on 100% effort.” The challenge now was to see if it could achieve 95% of the result with 50% of the effort. LUDF recently held a summer/autumn focus day at the Balmaghie Farm near Ashburton. Owned by Mark and Pennie Saunders and run by contract milker Joseph Williams, Balmaghie was chosen partly because of its highly efficient operation. “He’s doing 500 kilos of milk a cow with absolutely minimal supplement. He turns the grain feeder off, which most people can’t do,” said Savage. Speaking to the large turnout at the Focus Day, Savage said LUDF manager Peter Hancox’s “fantastic” pasture management had proven the concept of very high per cow production on a grass-based system, but at the cost of running multiple herds and having extra staff. The proposed new lean system would entail just three staff (including manager) instead of four, on a 5+2 roster, with a calf rearer/relief milker used
structure of $4.34, $4.40, which we’ve been struggling to get off,” said Savage. Part of the problem was the age of the farm and its equipment. A shed power board had to be replaced last year at a cost of about $25,000. “The challenge has been laid on us by our management group, our advisory group, to see if we can get a cost structure with a three in front of it.” Savage said LUDF would look to technology to maintain health and safety especially at times when there is only one person on farm, and to ensure no compromise on animal health. “So watch the space and we’ll keep you up to date with what works and what doesn’t.” Of LUDF’s current season performance, he said metrics around cow production, low nitrogen use and environmental footprint remained “really good.” But reproduction rates and production were hit by a viral infection which went through the herd in late December. Symptoms suggested Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) but that could not be confirmed by testing. However, on a day when many speakers’ focus was on how the industry will work with the proposed national cap of 190kg/ha of applied nitrogen, Savage said LUDF was already there, with an average of 170.
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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
10 // NEWS
GDT’s rough ride in 2020 SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
INCOMPLETE DELIVERIES and logistics dis-
ruptions were common issues for the 300 bidders on Global Dairy Trade auctions last year. According to GDT’s 2020 annual report, some manufacturers are still experiencing disruptions to their manufacturing process. The report reflects the impact of Covid on dairy prices last year with 12-month average prices mixed compared to 2019: anhydrous milk fat (AMF) was down 21.9%; butter down 12.2%; and whole milk powder down 4.4%. Only skim milk powder recorded a rise of 5.6%. AMF reached a 48-month low of US$3,742/MT in August 2020.
GDT director Eric Hansen says in 2020 the world was dealing with an unprecedented pandemic. He says Covid-19 highlighted the value of price discovery platforms such as GDT events. “With many countries forced into lockdown and supply-chain and foodservice sectors significantly disrupted, we were fortunate that our online GDT trading platforms continued to attract consistent participation from our bidders and sellers. “GDT events served an essential role in providing price transparency and clarity about international dairy prices, allowing sellers and buyers to continue safely trading core dairy ingredients.” Last year, 25 GDT events were held, resulting in 678,076 MT of products traded.
Average price of butter slipped 12% on GDT last year.
Hansen notes that because of its price discovery role, GDT events was designed for large volumes of the same general trade specifications to be traded repeatedly over time. “Creating a focal point, our trading events attract a large, geographically diverse pool of buyers, with our top traded products SMP, WMP and AMF each attracting over 100 unique bidders annually. “This has provided an
excellent base to withstand the abnormal shocks that have occurred over recent years, such as the Japanese tsunami and nuclear incident in 2011, the Russian ban on dairy imports in 2014, and now of course the Covid-19 pandemic. “Covid-19 has been unusual in that it initially had big impacts on both demand and supply simultaneously, causing great uncertainty for buyers and sellers in trying to
anticipate price shifts, and therefore the best time to trade.” Many businesses were significantly impacted around the globe through challenges such as global supply chain disruptions and decreased foodservice and consumer demand. A recent survey conducted by GDT found that incomplete deliveries was the most common issue encountered along with disruptions with logistics providers.
“Our customers are still experiencing disruptions to their manufacturing process and to offset these impacts in international trade, many businesses have created new local supply relationships,” he says. Hansen says GDT’s underlying purpose is ensuring buyers and sellers can trade with confidence in global and regional dairy markets. “Our vision is to be the world’s preeminent trading platform for global and regionally traded dairy products, delivering highly credible prices on par with the most advanced trading platforms globally.” GDT is run by a 10-member oversights board. Covid prevented the board from meeting in person last year, limiting the discussion of “sub-
stantive matters”, says chairman Bill Shields. “Members agreed that the continuing uncertainty arising from government and corporate responses around the world to Covid-19 makes it undesirable to significantly change its membership at this time, as could occur under the normal timing for the selection process specified by the charter,” says Shields. The board also agreed to extend its term by another 12 months in view of Covid-related disruptions. Apart from Shields the current membership includes three members in each of the buyer, seller and financial groups. Fonterra, which launched GDT 12 years ago, is represented on the board by director central portfolio management Bruce Tanner.
MATING High technology is now employed to assist dairy farmers through cow mating. Make sure your products and services are included in this special feature. To be in this special report contact your advertising representative now to promote your products and/or service to all NZ dairy farmers and sharemilkers. Contact your closest Sales Representative
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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
NEWS // 11
Reducing cow numbers no ‘silver bullet’ for emissions
Tom Pow (below) says standing cows in shelters like HerdHomes reduces risks to the environment.
SUDESH KISSUN firstname.lastname@example.org
REDUCING COW numbers isn’t the ‘silver bullet’ to
lowering greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand, says Northland farmer and entrepreneur Tom Pow. With the Government facing calls to slash cow numbers as part of its climate change action plan, Pow, the founder of HerdHomes, says a knee-jerk reaction to reduce cow numbers would be naïve. He suggests looking at other options including reducing the number of hours cows spend in paddocks. “Balanced feed can lead to less greenhouse gasses (GHG) or effectively a smaller herd mis-managed could produce even more GHG,” he told Dairy News. He suggests standing cows somewhere where the effluent is contained, like the HerdHome shelters he makes. “This means it becomes not a risk to the environment or a waste problem but it becomes your fertiliser, readily available on your farm,” says Pow. “If the manure is re-applied at the end of winter before the manure temperature reaches 10 degrees C, then there is effectively no waste of the nitrogen or sulphur that it naturally contained in the effluent. “Natural soil bacteria start to break down manure at this temperature, which is created by nature to coincide with natural spring growth. This way it is not able or likely to penetrate the soil and become a ground water risk. “Cow manure is easier to handle in dry or semi dry form than flushing it away with loads of water. “There are a few dos and don’ts: don’t hold cows on tracks or pads or allow cows to make camp spots in the paddock; always remember solid manure is great, liquid form is more likely to escape the plant root zone.” Another option to reduce GHG on farms is to stop farm wastage, he says. “Wastage can [occur] in so many ways. Just look at the difference in so many farms’ stocking rates and production per hectare. Look at the true potential of your land and region to produce milk or beef. Under-production on valuable land is wasteful at a time that the world’s population is expanding.” Pow urges farmers to look at information supplied by milk processors, scientists and regional councils. He says he has some concerns around the push by lobby groups to target dairy farming. “If we as famers move and change too many things at the start of this period, does this mean that they expect us to climb an even bigger mountain before the end?”
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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
12 // NEWS
Put people first A SERIES of workshops
on putting people first on dairy farms get underway next week. The ‘Make time for your People’ is being run by Dairy Women’s Network. DWN chief executive Jules Benton says putting people first drives a
healthy business. She says farmers must attract and retain talent, and continue to grow the people in the industry. The free workshops are funded by New Zealand dairy farmers through the DairyNZ levy and align with Dairy Tomorrow Strategy commitment
on “building great workplaces for New Zealand’s most talented workforce”. “It does not always require big changes to build a great workplace, but small changes that make a difference,” says Benton. The workshops will provide an overview
of how to be a good employee or employer and the steps each can take. Representatives from No8HR and PaySauce will discuss the legalities of contracts, rosters and farm accommodation, while Rebecca Miller, MilkIQ, will provide insight into the con-
DWN chief executive Jules Benton says putting people first drives a healthy business.
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cept of Farmily and what both employers and employees can do in order to achieve increased staff engagement and retention. “In our own experience we wanted to provide an environment where we were consciously protecting each team member’s physical self, and emotional or psychological self,” says Miller about how the concept was developed. Providing a safe environment for employees and strengthening those relationships has seen multiple benefits for the Millers and their farm outputs. “Farmily is truly life changing as we have a stable environment where we have built trust, low or no turnover of staff, low farm working expenses and highly performing farms.” A series of webinars will follow each workshop and provide attendees with detailed resources for each topic. Attendees can pick and choose what webinars to watch accord-
ing to their interest or level of need. The aim is that the full series will provide employers and employees with the knowledge to achieve their business, team and farm goals. DWN says connection, communication and engagement of people are three vital aspects for the growth of any business. “Building trust with your team is important not only for the people but also for the future and longevity of the industry,” says Benton. “People are at the epicentre of any business, and communication remains an essential tool to develop strong working relations. We would love to see farm managers and owners attending the events with their teams, or utilising the flexibility of the webinars and watching them together.” The first workshop will be held in Matamata on 8th March followed by events in Ashburton, Winton, Whangarei, Dannevirke and Stratford.
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GEA’S IN-LINER Everything system for robotic milking operations has struck gold at Ireland’s Innovations Awards. Going for 38 years, the National Dairy Show is the premier indoor agricultural event in Ireland for the dairy farming community, while the Innovation Awards is a highly respected industry showpiece, though due to the Covid-19 pandemic the two-day event this year was moved online. GEA’s In-Liner Everything performs every step of the operation — stimulation, teat cleaning, forestripping, milk harvest and post‑dipping. This process, all occurring within the teat cup, is key to harvesting excellent quality milk while maximising the number of cow milkings within a robotic milking facility. The system is a unique feature of GEA’s Dairy Robot R9500 which can operate during the relaxed processes in the barn with or without pre-and post-selection to suit the farmer’s needs and farm layout. A working test Dairy Robot R9500 will be among the equipment at GEA’s new solutions centre being built in Cork and slated for release next year.
DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
AGRIBUSINESS // 13
Exciting board role for up and coming farmer PETER BURKE email@example.com
A 50/50 sharemilker at
an award-winning Maori farming enterprise has been selected as one of two associate directors at DairyNZ for the coming year. Carlos Delos Santo works for the Onuku Maori Lands Trust which runs a number of dairy farms near Rotorua as well as a sheep milking operation and other businesses. The other new associate director is Cameron Henderson who farms in Canterbury with his partner Sarah. Delos Santo says
he’s really excited to be selected for this role, as it allows him the chance to gain knowledge on what occurs at DairyNZ board meetings and contribute to important sector discussions. “I want to see what’s happening in DairyNZ and the discussions they are having around the board table. I want to learn from the directors and increase my governance knowledge and understand more about the industry that I am very passionate about,” he says. Delos Santo says during his previous roles he’s tried to use his unique background to bring new perspectives to
Carlos Delos Santo is excited at the chance of sitting through DairyNZ board meetings and contributing to important sector discussions.
discussions and hopes to the same in this new role. His term as an associate director begins in Decem-
ber after which he will attend six board meetings. He came to New Zealand 20 years ago from
the Philippines and has always been in the dairy industry. It’s his passion and over the years he and his wife Bernice have worked their way up through the ranks of the industry. He started off as a farm assistant on a farm at Mangakino and has held various sharemilking roles around the Waikato and Rotorua areas. Along the way he has won several awards in the dairy industry. In 2007 he was named as the sharefarmer of the year for the central plateau and was eventually runner up in the national competition. In 2019 he and wife Bernice moved to take up their present posi-
tion as 50/50 sharemilkers on one of the dairy farms owned by the Onuku Maori Lands Trust. This is the Trusts largest farm and is based at Rerewhakaaitu (meaning “wandering spirits”.) In 2018, Onuku won the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Maori dairy farm. The DairyNZ associate director scheme was established in 2013 and is designed to assist up and coming young dairy farmers to gain skills that will help them achieve leadership roles in the sector. The associate directors can participate in board discussions but do not have voting rights.
DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel says the associate director roles have been providing the DairyNZ board with valuable input and contributions since the roles were established. He says every year the associate directors bring their unique knowledge and opinions which help shape board discussions and decision-making. “It is exciting to have Cameron and Carlos joining us this year, as they both bring their individual strengths and experiences which the board will value having around the table. Their experiences will bring new thinking as the sector progresses,” he says.
SHORT TERM FINANCE PACKAGE FOR FARMERS LIVESTOCK FARMERS can now access short term finance without having to go to a bank. Farmer-owned NZ Farmers Livestock says its short-term finance package is the bridge many livestock farmers need to maintain and grow the vibrancy and profitability of their businesses. NZ Farmers Livestock financial services manager Simon Williams says short term finance had been part of the company’s offering to existing clients for many years. “However, we’ve
now made the facility available to all livestock farmers – regardless of who they trade stock with,” he says. The change in reach for the finance package is, according to Williams, a response to the increasing turbulent and regulatory environment farmers operate in. “The bureaucracy that often accompanies bank finance simply isn’t as responsive, flexible or fast as farmers need to maintain viability in today’s environment. “There’s none of that bureaucracy
in our package. “We know farming. On any day, we are on farm working with farmers to help them maximise and maintain their farm’s profit. More and more farmers have been approaching our agents saying they need a more flexible, easy and fast way to access short term finance – and we’ve now done that.” NZ Farmers Livestock finance is available to all livestock farmers across New Zealand. “The average application for
finance tends to sit between $50,000 and $150,000 but we have provided facilities of much more than that where the need was justified,” he says. “The big difference between us and the banks is the speed of processing. On average, once we’ve received a farmer’s latest financial accounts, we can process an application in a couple of days. “That speed and flexibility is hugely important because it enables farmers, two days out from a sale, to apply for the money they need to buy
additional stock, get approval, attend the sale and bring the stock home. “Our interest rate is higher than the banks but when you look over four to eight months, the additional cost of interest per animal is only one additional bid at the yards, so if farmers look at it on a dollar per head basis, it’s a sound proposition. “The term of the loan is generally 12 months with an option to renew for two years.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
14 // OPINION RUMINATING
The rise and demise of the RMA
MILKING IT... Milk advert banned REMEMBER THAT Meadow Fresh commercial where a little girl rides her bike to buy a gallon of milk from the local dairy? Well, that advert has been banned from television for “condoning an illegal practice” by showing a girl riding her bike on the footpath. A viewer, who first saw the commercial in September last year, lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) out of concern that the footage would encourage children to illegally ride their bike on the footpath. Under the Land Transport (Road User) Rules, cycling on a footpath is illegal unless it is for the purpose of delivering mail or newspapers, or if the bike has a wheel diameter under 355mm, which mostly applies to toddlers’ bikes and tricycles. Meadow Fresh says it stands by the advert but won’t be running it on TV now.
Labour shortage Oat milk sells
NITRATES FROM dairy farms have long been suspected of polluting waterways around New Zealand, now they could be “killing” people, according to Greenpeace. It claims a new report from two NZ universities reinforces known links between intensive dairying, nitrates and bowel cancer. Greenpeace campaigner Steve Abel, next on the Green Party list to replace Ricardo Menendez March should he ever have to leave Parliament, wants the Government to act on the report. Greenpeace loves bagging the dairy industry but in its media release fails to mention urban pollution and how sewage water is contaminating beaches around NZ and high lead levels in our water pipes that could be doing more harm to our people.
IF YOU think labour shortage on New Zealand dairy farms is unique to our country, then think again. In the US today, 96% of dairy farms are family operations, with more than 87% of those considered small family farms, made up of both family members as well as hired help. That hired help predominantly comes in the form of migrant worker—approximately 73% of non-owner farm and ranch employees in the nation. Currently farmers are facing a massive labor shortage, and that impact was being largely felt before the COVID-19 pandemic changed the face of nearly every industry in the world This immigrant labour force also helps American consumers by helping to keep the price of dairy products low. According to a study by the Center for North American Studies, without migrant labour within the dairy industry, retail milk prices would go up as much as 90%.
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FAKE MILK works for some. Fashionable Swedish alt-milk brand Oatly is seeking a US stock market listing that could value the business at as much as NZ$13 billion. Malmö-based Oatly is riding high as global demand for plant-based milk alternatives soars. The flotation follows last summer’s sale of a minority stake to a starry group of investors that included US private equity firm Blackstone, Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z. That deal valued the company at US$2bn. Oatly has enjoyed stratospheric growth thanks to the combination of guerrilla marketing and good timing, as more people embrace a vegan or vegetarian diet. Its sales nearly doubled to US$200m in 2019 and were predicted to do the same in 2020.
THE DEMISE of New Zealand’s largest, and arguably most controversial, Acts of Parliament has almost been a non-event. For years political parties of all colours, not to mention farmers and urban business people alike, have been calling for it to be scrapped. But a few weeks ago when Environment Minister David Parker made the official announcement that the RMA was to go, there was hardly a word spoken. It was almost a case of, ‘so what’! When it first became law in October 1991, it was hailed as being the answer to a much fragmented legal approach to planning and managing the environment. To make way for this omnibus piece of legislation a total of 59 Acts or amended Acts of Parliament were, at the stroke of a pen, repealed and replaced by this 800-page monster. It had initially been the brainchild of the Lange government back in 1987, who coincidently initiated some of the biggest reforms in local government in 1989. When Labour lost the 1990 election, the RMA was still going through the parliamentary process of being enacted. It was Simon Upton, the new Minister for the Environment, who finally shepherded the Act into law. It was designed to achieve ‘sustainable management’ and to be fair it has done that. But over time, rural and urban communities alike have found the RMA not to their liking. The slow and cumbersome consenting process alienated some, others felt it didn’t live up to its promises of protecting the environment. Clarity and meaning were sought through the judicial system and it has been amended by parliament eight times in its 30 year history. Unfortunately, so large and complex is the RMA that it didn’t lend itself to ‘tinkering’. It was a bit like trying to convert a Boeing 747 into an Airbus Dreamliner. With the RMA gone, three new Acts will eventually appear, but this won’t happen overnight. That’s probably why those with any interest in the RMA have shown little interest. Some consultants who are on the road to retirement have said they won’t be bothered studying the new laws and it will take years for their implications to felt at the local level in the form of district or now large regional plans. The new Acts will be a marathon, not a sprint, and a lot of political hot air will go under the bridge for a while yet before the replacement Acts are finally implemented. So the much maligned monster of an Act, the RMA has seemingly died quietly and peacefully and almost without an obituary. – Peter Burke
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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
OPINION // 15
Are the days of industrial fertiliser numbered? email@example.com
WE’VE BEEN encour-
aged to grow our own for many years, now researchers at two Sydney universities have found a way of making ‘green’ ammonia and say their discovery could provide a major boost to farmers and speed up a global push to renewable hydrogen fuel. Chemical engineers at the University of New South Wales and University of Sydney say their method of making ammonia (NH3) from air, water and renewable electricity removes the need for high temperatures, high pressure and large infrastructure, currently needed to commercially produce the gas. The new production system, demonstrated in laboratory trials, could potentially provide a solution to the problem of storing and transporting hydrogen energy. So, is the day of reckoning coming for the world’s fertiliser manufacturers? Without doubt, ammonia synthesis was one of the major achievements of the 20th century as a source of nitrogen fertiliser, allowing farmers to quadruple the output of food crops to feed a burgeoning population. On the negative front, since the early 1900’s, when it was first manufactured large-scale using the Haber-Bosch process, ammonia production has been very energy intensive. Additionally, this method also produces more carbon dioxide, than any other chemical making reaction. Dr Emma Lovell, from UNSW’s School of Chemical Engineering, says, “In fact, making ammonia consumes about 2% of the world’s energy and makes 1% of its CO₂ while producing millions of tonnes of ammonia in centralised locations meant large amounts of energy were needed to transport it around the world.” Lovell and her colleagues have been looking at how to produce ammonia cheaply and on a
smaller scale using renewable energy. “The way that we did it does not rely on fossil fuel resources, nor emit CO₂,” Lovell said. “Once the technology is available commercially, it could be used to produce ammonia directly on site and on demand. Farmers could even do this on location to make fertiliser, removing the need for storage and transport.” Convert atmospheric nitrogen (N₂) directly to ammonia using electricity has posed a significant challenge for the last decade due to the inherent stability of N₂ that makes it difficult to dissolve and dissociate. The research teams have conducted proof-ofconcept lab experiments that used plasma (a form of lightning made in a tube) to convert air into an intermediary known among chemists as NOx - either NO₂ (nitrite) or NO₃ (nitrate). The breakthrough of the new technology is said to be in the design of the high-performance plasma reactors coupled with electrochemistry, offering the ability to generate the NOx intermediary at a significant rate and high energy efficiency. Scientia Professor Rose Amal, who is codirector of ARC Training Centre for Global Hydrogen Economy, said the team’s “green” method of ammonia production could solve the problem of storage and transport of hydrogen energy. “Hydrogen is very light, so you need a lot of space to store it, otherwise you have to compress or liquify it,” Professor Amal said. “But liquid ammonia actually stores more hydrogen than liquid hydrogen itself. And so there has been increasing interest in the use of ammonia as a potential energy vector for a carbon-free economy.” Amal said ammonia could potentially be made in large quantities using the new green method ready for export. “We can use electrons from solar farms to make
ammonia and then export our sunshine as ammonia rather than hydrogen. When it arrives in countries like Japan and Germany, they can either split the ammonia and convert it back into hydrogen and
nitrogen, or they can use it as a fuel.” The team now wants to commercialise their breakthrough and is seeking to form a spin-off company to take its technology from laboratory-
scale into the field, while industry supporters are forecasting that by 2050, ammonia could replace fossil fuels “in almost any application”. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
16 // NEWS
Metabolics, a precursor to herd diseases JOE McGRATH
ONE OF the major issues
in New Zealand is the post calving diseases of mastitis and metritis. There can be various
reasons for the occurrence of both, but one of the main reasons is clinical and sub-clinical
Cows with low blood calcium have less chance in resisting infection or fighting current ones.
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Mastitis and metritis are major reasons for cows leaving the herd and costing money. They cost money because we can’t sell the milk and have to treat them, and they leave the herd because the chance of getting in calf is much less, especially in our seasonal systems. milk fever. In New Zealand approximately 40% of the herd will experience either clinical (typically downer or sad cow) or sub clinical milk fever. While cows are rarely culled (outside of deaths) for milk fever itself, they are regularly culled for other reasons that are caused by milk fever. We know that herds with high incidence of metabolics have poor health, but is it really related? In fact, published research has shown that milk fever, clinical or sub clinical, directly increases the incidence of many diseases. In one study early stage mastitis increased the odds ratio by 8.1 and in the case of retained foetal membranes, which lead to metritis the increase was 3.2 (Curtis 1983). Mastitis and metritis are major reasons for cows leaving the herd and costing money. They cost money because we can’t sell the milk and have to treat them, and they leave the herd because the chance of getting in calf is much less, especially in our seasonal systems. However, there are two other major costs that are rarely monitored. The first is the time associated with these diseases. How much time are your staff tending to these diseases? The second is opportunity cost. If the cow leaves within 50 days in milk she has cost you a full lactation worth of milk because you have already wintered her, calved her
and her salvage value was much less than at the end of last season. Why does milk fever increase the risk of these diseases? There are two main reasons. The first is immunity. Recent research has shown that low blood calcium reduces a measure of immunity called neutrophil oxidative burst, which means the ability of neutrophils to destroy pathogens or disease causing cells (Martinez 2014). This basically means that cows with low blood calcium have less chance in resisting infection or fighting current ones. The second reasons is muscle strength. Calcium is critical for muscle strength. Smooth muscles are often the first muscles to lose strength when calcium is deficient. The ones we are concerned about in this case are in the uterus and the teat sphincters. In the first case poor teat sphincter closure means easy access for bugs post milking, a good sign of this in your heard is leaking milk. For the uterus it means the inability to crunch down and expel the placenta cleanly. At the end of the season when you are summarising why cows left your herd during the year and why they are about too because they are empty, think past the initial symptom. Start thinking about the cause. • Dr Joe McGrath is Sollus head nutritionist
DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
NEWS // 17
Changes are afoot THERE HAS been a mixed response by the agriculture sector to the recently released Climate Change Commission’s 2021 draft report. While some farmer groups have raised concerns about the report, most farmers realise that if we are going to sell our products on the world stage for the premiums they currently achieve, we need to be seen to be addressing key issues of concern for our customers….one of these being climate change. The report makes for some fascinating reading. It seeks to set a way forward whereby New Zealand can achieve the goal of reaching net zero emissions of long-lived gases by 2050, and to reducing biogenic (animal) methane emissions by between 24-47% by 2050. The report has three target periods to help the Government measure progress towards the 2050 target, the last one finish-
The report has three target periods to help the Government measure progress towards the 2050 target, the last one finishing in 2035.
ing in 2035. All industry will be set reduction targets for each period with each industry focusing on the gases most responsible for global warming. Agriculture is said to be responsible for about half of the country’s total emissions and 18% of the long-lived gas emissions. The key foci for agriculture will be on reducing outputs of both nitrous oxide (a long-lived gas) and methane. However, the strategies to reduce these losses differ by greenhouse gas. Let me explain: Methane Most methane produc-
tion from animals (biogenic) is simply a function of how much food an animal consumes. The more feed eaten the more methane produced. Current targets require biogenic methane emissions to reduce by 10% below 2017 levels by 2030 and between 24-47% by 2050. The key strategies to reduce methane losses include moving to lower input systems, improved animal performance and around a 15% reduction in animal numbers with dairy cow numbers being most affected (see graphs, right). The graphs show that there is an assumption that there will be no loss of production and that the fewer animals
will be expected to be significantly more efficient (e.g. more milksolids/kilogram of liveweight) Nitrous oxide Nitrous oxide, while only contributing to about 5% of our total emissions, is a particularly long lasting greenhouse gas and therefore plays a big role in global warming. Reductions in nitrous oxide from agriculture will be driven by less use of nitrogen fertiliser, standing animals off wet soils and the feeding of low protein feeds to reduce urinary N excre-
tion. Where does maize fit in? Maize silage and maize grain are both low protein feeds that have the effect of reducing dietary protein and therefore urinary nitrogen. Less uri-
nary N means less chance for production of nitrous oxide. Because both of these feeds enable animals to be stood off paddock when the soil is wet, there is also less chance of nitrous oxide being
produced. As I have often written about before, maize silage has three times the N use efficiency of pasture meaning more feed produced for the same amount of N. Both maize silage and maize grain are high energy feeds that can be used to drive higher milk production per cow. Many farmers have cows producing around 100% of liveweight. Maize silage, along with pasture make up the bulk of these high producing cows’ diets. While this all looks pretty rosy, there are some considerations though that we will need to get our heads around as we head into the future. • Ian Williams is a Pioneer forage specialist. Contact him at iwilliams@genetic. co.nz
Dry cow therapy minus antibiotics TARANAKI SHAREMILKER Shaun
Eichstaedt was the first New Zealander to replace traditional antibiotic dry cow therapy (DCT) with a high-strength probiotic. Shaun milks 230 cows on 89 hectares (effective) in a 50/50 sharemilking contract. All the young stock graze off the property after weaning from December 1. They return as rising R2s on May 31 two years later. Shaun has a number of older cows in the herd, and he appreciates that age and multiple lactations makes those herd matriarchs more vulnerable to mastitis, and high somatic cell count (SCC). It makes his dry-off strategy a critical part of his management decisions. “A couple of years ago, we started looking for a fresh approach to drying off,” Shaun says. “We had been noticing that quite a few of the older cows in our herd – aged between nine and twelve years old – had higher SCC, even though they had been treated with antibiotic DCT most of their life. “And, some of those cows were still coming in with mastitis at the start of the next season. We realised that the antibiotic DCT wasn’t doing it for them, so we decided to try something different.” In 2019, he drenched 31 cows with a
SCC of 150,000 or higher for five days before dry-off with probiotic ImmunoMax. It includes a blend of five strains of beneficial bacteria, five digestive enzymes, and a specialised strain of live active yeast. That year the average SCC in that sub-group just before dry-off in the autumn was 556,000. On the first herd test the following spring, he says it dropped by 46%. In 2020, the autumn average SCC on Shaun’s high SCC cows, before they were treated at drying off with probiotics was 678,000. That number dropped by 40% on the first spring herd test. While the response wasn’t immediately as high as it had been with DCT (67%), there were longer-term advantages which Shaun believes has been potentially game-changing to his herd’s udder health, and natural immune function.
Why do we love our cows like they’re family? Because they are family Treating your animals with respect and kindness is vital. To us, it’s how we farm. In fact, we aim to be world leading in animal care. Why? Because we’re dairy farmers and we rise to the challenge. And it’s in these moments we shine.
DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
18 // ANIMAL HEALTH
Lessons from M.bovis outbreak PETER BURKE firstname.lastname@example.org
THE CHAIR of a new committee set up to review the handling of Mycoplasma bovis outbreak says it isn’t a witchhunt. Massey University academic Nicola Shadbolt says the review is about learning from the past and helping us to be stronger for the future. She says it’s about finding out what happened and seeing what might need to be put in place if there a biosecurity outbreak of this nature in the future. Shadbolt, a professor of farm and agribusiness, served as a Fonterra director for nine years and is currently chair of Plant and Food Research. Other members are Dr Roger Paskin who until recently was the chief veterinary officer for the Department of Primary Industries and Regions,
Massey University academic Nicola Shadbolt (inset) says the M. bovis review is about learning from the past and helping us to be stronger for the future.
South Australia where he had technical oversight of all animal disease control, surveillance, traceability and health certification programs, Caroline Saunders, who is professor of trade and environmen-
tal economics at Lincoln University and Tony Cleland a well-known South Island dairy farmer and company director who is also chairman of the rural insurance company FMG. The review commit-
tee was appointed by the M. bovis programme partners, MPI, DairyNZ and Beef+Lamb NZ. DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel says it was best practice to carry out a review of an eradication
programme of this scale and was also a commitment made to farmers at the start of the programme. He says eradicating M. bovis is hard work but with the whole sector working together, we
have made really good progress. “It’s important we capture what we’ve learned and utilise it for anything we might face in the future,” he says.
Beef+Lamb NZ chair Andrew Morrison says his organisation supported the review. He says there’s been a lot of good work by farmers and people involved and we have worked hard to make improvements. “We have a philosophy of continuous improvement and this review is the next step in our journey,” he says. Shadbolt says the committee has a list of key people they want to talk to but are also keen to hear from anyone who has information which could aid her team. She details on how they will engage with the wider farming community are still being worked through. “Generally we want to talk to a broad suite of people,” she says. The review is expected to be completed about the middle of the year.
DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
ANIMAL HEALTH // 19
Good herd health vital SAMANTHA TENNENT is the new gen-
eral manager of WelFarm, XLVets’ assurance programme. WelFarm has been used on-farm since 2014 and is available to all farmers and veterinarians, utilising data collected throughout the season to benchmark farms nationally and regionally. Tennent, who has a background in veterinary technology, says that the programme and others like it is proving vital onfarm. “With the increased scrutiny on our dairy sector to prove our farmers are operating sustainably and to continue our access to export markets, it is even more important we have the evidence that we are looking after our animals to a high standard.
Animal health is a big cost on-farm and good herd health is crucial to optimise performance, says WelFarm general manager Samantha Tennent (inset).
“Animal health is also a big cost on-farm and good herd health is crucial to optimise performance,” she says. She says she looks forward to the opportunity to lead the programme.
“The opportunity to help drive WelFarm intrigued me given my background and passion for dairy and I’m really excited to raise awareness across the sector and get more farmers into the
programme.” Tennent previously worked as an animal developer for DairyNZ, managing their InCalf programme. WelFarm has been used on-farm since 2014
and is available to all farmers and veterinarians, utilising data collected throughout the season to benchmark farms nationally and
regionally. This helps identify areas where farm productivity and animal wellness could be optimally through effecting change. It is also designed to support farmers who are making improvements through goals, showing them whether their efforts are succeeding. “We know small shifts in in-calf rates, reducing somatic cell counts, reducing mastitis and increasing milksolids all have significant impact on performance and profitability, and how we use antibi-
otics and other drugs is continually under the microscope,” says Tennent. She says she encourages farmers to discuss with their vets whether they are already offering the programme and vets to get in touch if they want more information and support to implement it in their clinic. “It’s a great initiative and the only one of its kind in New Zealand. Without the data and benchmarking we don’t know what good actually looks like and whether our efforts to improve are having an effect. WelFarm provides that platform and assurance across the sector and to the consumer with regard to food safety, animal health and well-being.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
Zero Antibiotic use for Mastitis Consider starting with steps 4 at drying-off and 1 at calving
1 Use SuperStart Lead Feed for springers. (Can be used in water troughs) A powerful probiotic for easier calving and reducing calving mastitis. “We used to get up to 30% heifer mastitis. Now we are unlucky if we get 2-4%.” Stewart, Pahiatua
Dean Malcolm with Australian International Dairy Week star Bluechip Hero Marion.
BREEDERS SALE NEW ZEALAND Holstein breeders
are offering their best for the Autumn Harvest Sale at Cambridge Raceway in April. Up to 60 live lots and embryos will sell in an evening sale run by Dean Malcolm of Bluechip Marketing. Malcolm believes there is a huge hole in the registered market for a sale like this. “Things are still moving in this country. I know it can work, and there are many ways to make it work,” he says. “We’re using all independent cowmen – not only breeders – but also a team that have been in this industry all their lives.” The sale will kick off with pre-sale drinks and nibbles, and finish with the raceway’s restaurant opening for diners. Malcolm says lots are coming in from throughout New Zealand and internationally, resulting in a full catalogue. “People know that we can get sales done; we’re targeting all breeds and there will be some strong cow families included from around the world
that aren’t represented in the Southern Hemisphere, let alone in New Zealand.” And he expects the global industry will be watching. “I think it’s important to note that there are cow families that are just as good in New Zealand as internationally. And, with the power of marketing and promotion, we can shine a light on those individuals.” The Australian cowman – who has settled in New Zealand – is a former co-owner of Australia’s well-regarded Bluechip Genetics. Bluechip was Premier Breeder at International Dairy Week nine out of 10 years, during which time it led the way in sale averages, with prices peaking at A$101,000. One of the star Holstein lots will be a Crushabull daughter out of the New Zealand’s Supreme Champion Holstein at the recent New Zealand Dairy Event (NZDE), Te Hau Windbrook Cleo-ET EX. Her Crushabull daughter was also in form at the NZDE, winning the All Breeds Autumn Calf Class. Te Hau’s Tom Bennett said it was a no-brainer for them to get involved.
Use BioRumen DFM (Direct Fed Microbial) to milkers Improved feed conversion, noticeably better fibre digestion and reduced acidosis. Improves cows base immunity so that results of treating cows for mastitis with probiotics are improved.
Treat clinical mastitis with ImmunoMax – 5 days “Last season I treated 25 cows. One had to be treated twice so we culled her.” John, Kaponga
Trough treat high SCC cows with Bovine Boost for 5 days after drying-off. Helps populate the udder with mastitis inhibiting bacteria. “I’ve treated high SCC cows for 2 years and to me it is just as effective as dry cow therapy. Very few treated cows have to be culled during the season.” Shaun, Ingelwood
Continue to use other proven management practices to prevent mastitis and boost herd immunity: Supplement with minerals, including minerals that are vital to the immune system such as Selenium and Zinc. Ensure milking machines are running efficiently. Teat spraying milkers. Cull clinical cases that don’t respond to treatment.
Call us to discuss how we can transition your herd towards zero antibiotic use
Call us to discuss how we
027 459 1061
021 234 1713
DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
20 // FARM BIKES & ATV’S
Bigfoot comes up trumps MARK DANIEL email@example.com
CALL THEM what you will, but UTVs, or side-bysides, have certainly found a place in much of New Zealand’s rural sector. With a range of engine sizes from 400 to 1000cc and a myriad of specifications, many farmers are finding the genre much more useful than a basic quad or ATV. Kawasaki reports that its Mule SX-XC Bigfoot is finding favour with many dairy operations around the country for its nononsense specifications, ease of use and economy of operation, so we decided to test one to find out more. Revamped in 2017 and taking some design detail from the larger Pro Series, the SX centres around a tubular, ladder style chassis said to offer rigidity and comfortable ride. That ride quality has also been improved by increasing the pre-load on the springs up front for a more level ride, with a softening of the rear to improve user comfort. At the rear of the machine, the swingarm carries the engine and rear wheels on a separate subframe/ cradle, pivoted centrally to remove vibration. Power comes from a 400cc single cylinder, aircooled unit with stan-
KODIAK BUILT FOR THE TOUGH STUFF WHILE THE stranglehold of ATV’s on the off-road market has been tempered by the arrival of side by sides or UTV’s, the sector is still strong, particularly on narrow tracks or areas of difficult terrain. For those looking for an ATV to take on heavy loads or tough conditions, it would be difficult to come across a more capable machine than the Yamaha Kodiak 700 EPS. Shod on heavy-duty, 25-inch diameter Maxxis tyres, carried on 12-inch steel wheels, and weighing 307kg, the 700 is certainly a large machine, but its physical attributes mean it’s good for 600kg at the tow-bar and a useful 140kg spread between the front and rear racks. Out on the farm, the Kodiak – despite its weight – is easy to point in the required direction thanks to the electronic steering system that keeps effort light and offers good feedback over changing surfaces or terrain. The SOHC 4-valve 686cc single-cylinder, fuel-injected engine starts easily and quickly settles to a steady tick-over. Hitting the throttle results in smooth, rapid progress, aided by Yamaha’s Ultramatic CVT system, which has a toothed drive belt kept under constant tension. This gives excellent downhill retardation, with all wheel braking
Kawasaki reports that its Mule SX-XC Bigfoot is finding favour with many dairy operations around the country.
The front axle incorporates a limited slip differential, while the rear utilises a lock up unit activated by the dashboard control and aimed at pushing through tough conditions. Bigfoot is easy to live with, offering easy access by the slightly higher stance created by 26 inch rubber mounted on 12 inch rims. This set-up also helps deliver a big tyre footprint, offering improved stability, greater traction and increased ground clearance. Weighing in at 90kg, it can tow up to 500kg at the trailer hitch, while the well laid out cargo tray has a capacity of 180kg. Equipped with a dropdown tailgate, the tipping
dard carburation and whilst not offering stunning power delivery, is certainly enough for the normal fetch, carry and move on a typical dairy farm. In use, the engine starts and comes to a constant idle quickly, before selecting the choice of High, Low, Neutral or Reverse via the central dash-mounted lever. Drive is taken from the engine by the belt-driven automatic unit, with a heavyduty transfer case taking care of 2 or 4-wheel drive selection. Maximum speed is limited to 40km/h and its interesting to note that the machine can be started in-gear, if the brake pedal is depressed.
tray incorporates a 1.5mm diamond plate floor for strength and a 25mm tie-down rail around its upper edge. Dual seats with inertia reel seat belts offer comfort and safety, while the dashboard offers comprehensive information, accompanied by easily understood controls for gearshift, 4WD and difflock selection. Rack and pinion steering is precise with low effort, with the machine also being very manoeuvrable with a tight 3.6m turning radius. Bringing things to a stop is the job of drum brakes on all four wheels, each protected from ingress of water and mud by triple-lipped labyrinth seals.
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delivered by the one-way sprag clutch set up. Sitting on the machine, the wide, long seat accommodates all sizes of riders, while full length footboards give a sense of safety and stop seasoned bikers from “putting their feet down” before the vehicle comes to a stop. Countering the turn of speed, disc brakes all round bring things to a controlled stop, with the right hand lever controlling the twin discs at the front and the left lever or the right foot pedal actuating the rear single disc. On the farm race, the ride quality feels very pliable, edging towards soft, but certainly leads to a very comfortable ride. A double wishbone, A-arm set up utilises specially designed KYB shock absorbers, offering 180mm of travel at the bow and 230mm at the stern. Pulling an 80-teat calfeteria loaded with 500 litres of milk along the main farm race and through muddy gateways was certainly taken in its stride, with 4WD only engaged to stop the front tyres washing out on turns. The flat contours of the central Waikato meant there was never any need to hit the difflock button. A couple of weeks with the 700 suggests it would be easy to live with and maintain. – Mark Daniel
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DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
FARM BIKES & ATV’S // 21
Preventing vehicle fatalities AL McCONE
LIGHT VEHICLES –
two wheelers, quads, and LUVs or side by sides – are essential tools on New Zealand farms. Unfortunately they also account for up to half the deaths on farms every year. Some farmers might think health and safety on farms is all a matter of ‘common sense’, or that young ‘ignorant’ people are the ones getting hurt, while experienced farmers know what they are doing and are safer as a result. The thing with ‘common sense’ is that it can’t be relied on as a measure and method of good health and safety between people. Many people being killed when using light vehicles are experienced farmers over the age of 55,
who will claim they know what they’re doing on their own land, often on dairy farms. The way we farm creates an environment where we have a long list of things to do and only just enough resource (including people and time) to do it. This is important – the reality is that anyone who works in the manner and environments that farmers do, could make errors of judgement and end up in a situation that can harm them. Experienced people who have really good practices and procedures make mistakes too. And those mistakes can kill them. So how can farmers manage risk in a way that isn’t reliant on judgement, where fatigue or stress can’t affect decision-making?
If you ride a quad, put a crush protection device on it, says Worksafe New Zealand.
You upgrade to safer ways of doing things or put in place something that stops the human being harmed when an incident occurs. Think about questions like ‘what is the safest vehicle for me to use so an incident doesn’t occur?’, or ‘what vehicle can I use so if something happens, it offers me
more protection?’ This might mean using an electric mountain bike – light, agile, unlikely to break a leg if you fall under it – instead of a standard two-wheeler, side-by-side or quadbike. Or it might mean using a low-seat two wheeler that you can put both feet flat on the ground to stabilise as you watch stock.
Choosing the right vehicle is one of the most important safety decisions you can make. And then you can also use equipment to make your vehicles even safer to protect you, your workers, and anyone else who might use them. If it’s likely you might smack your head on something, wear a helmet.
All the research for pushbikes, motorbikes and ATVs and LUVs show a good helmet can prevent brain injury. WorkSafe did a detailed analysis of reports for 355 incidents involving quads which showed head injuries resulted in 21% of incidents. Head injuries were present in 40% of fatal farm quad-bike incidents. Nobody who was wearing a helmet died from head injuries. If you ride a quad, put a crush protection device on it. Peer reviewed research from Australia shows you are less likely to be seriously injured when using a crush protection device, and there are loads of people willing to tell you about how fitting one has saved their skin. If you’re in a vehicle with a roll cage such
as LUV, ute, light truck, or tractor, put your seatbelt on. Our look at NZ farm fatalities show that 90% of fatalities where a seat belt was relevant could have been prevented if the person was wearing that seatbelt. Looking at people who survived – if you’re wearing a seatbelt, your injuries are significantly less serious than if you are thrown from the vehicle. Our death toll on farms could be halved by doing just two things. Put a CPD on your quad and wear your seat belt. That’s real common sense – accept you’re going to make mistakes and do what the data shows us will help prevent harm when you do. • Al McCone is Engagement Lead at Worksafe New Zealand
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Terms & conditions: $600 minimum trade includes GST and applies to new Suzuki DR200SE only when you bring in your old farm or road motorcycle, going or not. Price excludes GST after minimum trade in. Offer not available in conjunction with any other promotion. Promotion period runs from 20 January – 30 April 2021 or while stocks last.
DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
22 // MACHINERY & PRODUCTS
Fert spreader controls easy, at your fingertips MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
GILTRAP ENGINEERING’S new WideTrac is
said to be a cost-effective, easy-to-use fertiliser spreader that eliminates the need for manual adjustment. Using an automatic electronic control system, the need for a specific forward speed and a specific hopper door opening height are removed. Set up requires a few steps with two control buttons, with operators only needing to input required spread rate, fertiliser density and spread width. Once inputted to
the panel on the front of the hopper, the control system calculates the best belt speed and rear door opening to meet the spread targets. As speed changes because of terrain or load, it makes on-themove adjustments automatically. WideTrac spreaders are available with capacities of 4, 6 or 8 tonnes, with all models having the option of tandem or single axle layouts. A key feature is a lightweight, yet durable, low density plastic (LDPE) body, said to offer flexibility and impact resistance. The bin has inner and outer walls, both 8mm thick, with the air gap
Giltrap’s new WideTrac is a cost-effective, easy-to-use fertiliser spreader that eliminates the need for manual adjustment.
between allowing a fully galvanised steel frame, that has no direct contact with any fertiliser. In the forward bulkhead, a large viewing panel allow operator vis-
ibility to the interior of the hopper. The construction is modular, featuring several panels, so if one is ever damaged, it can be easily replaced without the need to replace the entire bin. In the base of the hopper, the rubber floor belt is 780mm wide, 8mm thick, and constructed with 5mm high cleats. The belt is riveted to the galvanised chain and slat
assembly with high-tensile stainless mono-bolts. At the business end of the spreader, the rear door is galvanised, while the spinners are stainless steel. The spinner discs can work at speeds up to 1000 rpm. They produce an even spread at widths up to 24m with granulated fertilisers. Giltrap Engineering North Island area manager Eric Crosby says
the spreading system is hydraulically-driven, so there is no threat of wheel slip disrupting spreading, which can happen with ground drive systems that use a jockey wheel. “With its wide belt, the WideTrac can spread virtually any product, from superphosphate to urea or lime, handle organic products such as poultry manure or compost and offer spreading rates
extend from 40 to 5000 kg/ha. “While the frame is hot dip galvanised, all other metal parts are galvanised or stainless steel (including the belt chains) for excellent corrosion resistance. Operator control is achieved via a hand-held remote, with a red button to stop spreading and a green to resume operations.” Eric says, “with accurate fertiliser spreading being a topical subject, we believe it will come in for more attention over the next few years as regional authorities increase compliance requirements. The WideTrac is a unique spreader that provides a simple, affordable way for farmers to apply fertiliser accurately so they can meet those compliance regulations.” www.giltrapag.co.nz @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
FREE DE UPGRA T R MA RUBBE -BAR W OR
Land Rover plans to release six pure electric variants through its Range Rover, Discovery and Defender families.
LAND ROVER RANGE GOING ELECTRIC JAGUAR LAND Rover has announced a new global strategy that will see the Land Rover brand release six pure electric variants through its Range Rover, Discovery and Defender families, with the first all-electric variant arriving in 2024. The British car giant’s “Reimagine” strategy will also see the reimagination of Jaguar as an “allelectric luxury brand” from 2025. The plan will also see “all Jaguar
and Land Rover nameplates to be available in pure electric form by the end of the decade”, leading the move to become a net zero carbon business by 2039. As part of this ambition, the company is preparing for the expected adoption of clean fuelcell power in line with a maturing of the hydrogen economy. Jaguar and Land Rover will offer pure electric power, nameplate by nameplate, by 2030. By
this time, in addition to 100% of Jaguar sales, the firm anticipates that around 60% of Land Rovers sold will be equipped with zero tailpipe powertrains. With a focus on sustainability under Reimagine, Jaguar Land Rover says it aims to build on innovations in materiality, engineering, manufacturing, services and circular economy investments. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
DAIRY NEWS MARCH 2, 2021
MACHINERY & PRODUCTS // 23
Polaris’s flagship models: the Ranger 1000 EPS, the Ranger 1000 HD-EPS and the Ranger Diesel HD-EPS.
Pick one from this rugged trio MARK DANIEL email@example.com
ON-FARM TRANSPORT was revolutionised
with the arrival of quads, but really came of age with side-by-sides. Polaris has carved a
name for itself with the latter, particularly with its Ranger series, that first saw the light around two decades ago with the concept of making an ATV with side by side seats for a driver and passenger. The first Ranger was a 6x6 that over the years
evolved into a 4x4, along the way picking up more power, better suspension, more comfort and more seats. Dairy News recently took a closer look at three of Polaris’s flagship models: the Ranger 1000 EPS, the Ranger 1000
DUAL PURPOSE TRAILER NORTHERN IRISH manufacturer
SlurryKat, distributed in New Zealand by Brownrigg Agri Gear, has developed a multi-purpose trailer, designed to be a 22 tonne, half-pipe dumper, but with the addition of a kit, easily switched to silaging operations. Called SDT (silage dump trailer), the chassis and main components are made from S355 high-tensile steel, while the body is manufactured from Hardox S700 steel. This allows the use of 5mm steel, making the trailer lighter, but retaining the structural strength required for intensive hauling operations. A retrofit silage kit can be quickly installed or removed as one-piece,
including the hydraulic door. When installed, the original dump trailer door drops down to allow a flat floor for easy material discharge. At the front of the silage body a forward sloping front panel, is said to allow easier filling when paddocks are opened up, either when being towed by the harvester, or “firing” over the roof of a towing tractor. The combined capacity when the silage kit is added is around 34 cubic metres, carried on a pendulum bogie axle system that utilises 710-40R22.5 tyre equipment. Interestingly, all paintwork is covered by a five-year guarantee as standard. www.brownriggagrigear.co.nz
HD-EPS and the Ranger Diesel HD-EPS. All three feature a robust chassis with double A-arm suspension at each corner, offering excellent ground following characteristics, shock absorption and good ground clearance. The Ranger 1000 EPS is fitted with a SOHC twin-cylinder, fuel injected engine delivering 61hp, mated to the Polaris PRO-PVT transmission, a variable belt drive layout, with shaft final drives. As more throttle is applied, take up is smooth and the vehicle is easy to control, particularly at low speeds. Drive selections are controlled via a large, dash-mounted shift lever, with high/low/neutral/ reverse and park options, while 2WD, 4WD and Turf Mode choices are via a rocker switch, also in a central location. Trialled in mixed conditions, including flat pasture,
rugged bush and soft riverbanks, the vehicles handled everything with ease, with power delivery, smooth, linear and easy to control. Moving onto the bigger, petrol brother, the Ranger 1000 HD-EPS, which carries over many of the mechanical functions from the more basic machine, was packed with useful extras to make it a standout in this very competitive sector. You get five inches more cabin room and more comfortable cushioned seats with adjustable slides. Also, the six cup holders, two drinks holders and numerous stowage areas in the dashboard and under the flip-up passenger seats make the HD very practical to live with. Power is provided by a DOHC 82hp fuel injected unit that is never wanting in any task and is particularly suited to towing heavy loads, up to 1134kg
in difficult terrain. Add in a load bed capacity of 454kg and you can see this vehicle is a workhorse. A dash mounted rocker switch offers three engine modes, with power, work and standard on tap. Our test vehicle had the optional Farm Pack, which includes a windscreen, surely a must-have in Performance mode, as nailing the throttle certainly makes your eyes water. Third machine off the rank, the Diesel HD, will certainly find followers in the rural community for its frugal fuel use. Although a little noisier than its petrol-powered cousins, this is no slouch, quickly building revs and topping out at 65km/h. Power is provided by a 900cc, three-cylinder Kubota engine with mechanical injection that pushes out around 25hp. A standout during our test drive was the low-down torque that meant shifting heavy loads and tackling
inclines was a breeze, and tackling descents with heavy loads behind was very controlled with good engine braking. Indeed, all three models showed excellent retardation on downhill sections, which could be accentuated by using the Active Descent Control Function, selected by rocker switch, that made things feel particularly safe. Complimented by disc brakes all round, stopping should never be a worry, while using high speeds, when safe to do so, is helped by a progressive suspension set-up, with difficult terrain handled with ease, aided by the ground clearance of around 28cm. In summary, if you need to move three people safely around a property, these three machines certainly warrant a closer look. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
XCEL 1250 MUCK SPREADER www.hispec.net.nz The XCEL 1250 rear discharge spreader provides precision manure spreading management. Unique technology of the shredding rotor and spinning discs provides a precise application of manure.
SOUTH ISLAND Call Alastair Robertson 027 435 2642 www.cochranes.co.nz
NORTH ISLAND Product Specialist 027 203 5022 www.gaz.co.nz
Your rd 3 hand Protrack® Draft makes light work of drafting. With Protrack’s software, you have control over the drafting no matter where you are from your mobile device. You can set it to draft automatically or use the remote to draft manually. It really is like having an extra hand in the shed. Designed to work seamlessly with MINDA® LIVE and integrate with other Protrack Modules, it’s simple to stay on top of your milking performance and herd management.
If you haven’t got Protrack Draft in your herringbone or rotary, talk to an Automation Solutions Manager about a demonstration. There’s bound to be a farm close by enjoying an extra hand.
There's always room for improvement
Dairy News March 2 2021