Dairy News 27 April 2021

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$8 opening forecast milk price? PAGE 3


Top custodians of land PAGE 16


Actress backs sheep milk PAGE 22 APRIL 27, 2021 ISSUE 469 // www.dairynews.co.nz

MIGRANTS ADDING VALUE “As a migrant worker you start with no networks, no money and go about achieving your goals in a new country .” – Waikato Farm Manager of the Year, Christopher Vila PAGE 4

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NEWS  // 3

Happy Valley milk plant project underway. PG.10

Using water efficiently. PG.18

Methane-powered tractor coming. PG.30

NEWS ������������������������������������������������������3-13 OPINION ���������������������������������������������� 14-15 AGRIBUSINESS ������������������������������������16 MANAGEMENT ���������������������������������17-18 ANIMAL HEALTH ���������������������������19-20 DAIRY GOATS & SHEEP �������������21-27 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS ��������������������������������������28-30

$8 opening forecast may be on the cards SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

STRONG DAIRY prices point to

a record opening forecast farmgate milk price for the next season. Westpac is forecasting an $8/ kgMS opening forecast and ASB has boosted its opening forecast by 20c to $7.50/kgMS. With five weeks left to run, the 2020-21 season is wrapping up and the next two Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auctions are likely to have

little impact on this season’s farmgate milk price. Last week’s GDT auction saw a 0.4% rise in whole milk powder prices. Dairy prices are holding most of their gains from earlier in the year and remain remarkably high, a good omen for the coming season. Westpac senior agri economist Nathan Penny points out that, if realised, an $8 milk price would be the second highest on record. Penny says he now expects dairy prices to start the 2021-22 season firmly on the front foot.

He points out that in milk price terms, last week’s GDT auction and NZ dollar rate equated to a milk price of over $9/kgMS. Since March, Penny has lowered the bank’s NZD/USD forecasts by around two cents over the season, adding further upward impetus to milk price forecasts in NZ dollar terms. “From the stronger starting point, we have built in a moderation of global dairy prices over the New Zealand dairy season. “Specifically, we forecast for

whole milk powder prices (WMP) to fall by 18% over the season. “In other words, we have built in a supply response to the higher milk price.” Another factor that could keep milk prices high is a very modest supply response to the high milk price by historical standards. “As such we expect that dairy prices will remain stronger for longer,” says Penny. He notes that in New Zealand, dairy supply is constrained for a TO PAGE 5


4 //  NEWS

Migrants adding value to NZ dairy industry

Manager of the Year and ing from the lowest level will be gunning for theby PMH without adequate support sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz national title. and mentorship isn’t easy. A trained vet, he However, Vila believes the alphabet. letters have moved to New Zealand this can be turned into an MIGRANT Three WORKERS nes, and buildtothe grid ago. Starting as a advantage. 13 years add value the words dairy in the farm “As a migrant worker industry and Philippinesd, you will be able to solve the assistant on a 1,200cow farm in Reporoa he you start with no netborn Waikato farm manworked his way up to his works, no money and ager Christopher Vila is a current role seven years go about achieving your prime example. 9 10 LETTER VALUES ago –farm manager on a goals in a new country,” In two weeks, he 13 10 other1regional 2 3 4 5 family 6 7 8 9 he10 340-cow trust farm told Dairy News. joins I at in Ohaupo, outside HamS “For me, personally, it farm manager winners 13 ilton. took the6New Zealand Dairy 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 six years to become F Entering the dairy a farm manager…some Awards national finals in 3 industry as an immigrant people may see this as a Hamilton. 3 7Vila is Waikato’s Farm can be challenging: startdisadvantage. “But I see one advan16 tage… Starting from the bottom motivates you to 16 8 work extra hard, accumulate and master knowlby PMHedge and skills needed, 16 8 think outside the box and catch up with those who 7 he alphabet. Three letters have have a head start.” “For mature 18 16 s, and build the words in the travellers” grid Vila says Filipinos CHATEAU you will• be able to MID-WINTER solve the CHRISTMAS working in the NZ dairy 2 4 days, depart 05 August. Enjoy rail travel industry have made a to National Park,‘Mid-Winter’ Christmas good name, but he has 3 15 dinner at Chateau Tongariro & Wairakei a message for migrant 9 10 Resort plus Taupo & Rotorua sightseeing. LETTER VALUES workers. • SOUTH SLAND WINTER MAGIC 13 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 “I hear from farm6 days, depart 15 August. Experience the I S ers that Filipino staff are TranzAlpine rail journey through the Southern 13 6 11 12 13 14Christmas 15 16dinner 17 at18 19 20hardworking and dediAlps and ‘Mid-Winter’ the 17 9 10 13 13 F 7 14 7 16 Hermitage Hotel, Mount Cook. 3 cated. It is something to • CHATHAM ISLANDS DISCOVERY be celebrated and to be 3 7 8 days, depart 21 October. proud of. A special place for a safe and relaxing “However, there is 16 close-to-home all inclusive holiday. also the other side of the 16 8 • WEST COAST & CENTRAL OTAGO coin: we also hear nega10 days, depart 24 October. Highlights include tive accounts about some the TranzApline rail, Franz Josef, Wanaka, migrant workers leaving heartland Central Otago & Queenstown. LETTER VALUES the industry once they get 16 8 For full details 1 Phone 2 3 0800 4 5 116 607608 9 10 their residency. 7 P I L O W G E S H A “Once they obtain www.travelwiseholidays.co.nz their ‘NZ dream’, they 18 16 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 B X N V F R T U Y C change industry/ careers. 2 “In my humble opin-

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to be exposed and difficult to step out of our comfort zone,” he says. Migrant workers can gain something new by networking with other like-minded workers. “It’s an open field and judging is based on your skills, capability and work ethics,” he says. Vila was encouraged two years ago by an LIC rep to enter the awards. He made up his mind to enter the competition on the very last day. “I didn’t know whether I was up to it. After winning the regional title I still didn’t believe I had won. “It’s the first time I have won any award of any kind. It just shows migrant workers that through hard work and dedication, we can achieve something great in this industry.”

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“I had no money, no DON’T BE SHY mentor to guide me. Without my wife’s support I would have given CHRISTOPHER VILA wants more Filipino farm up workers farming,”toheenter says.the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards. But learning the hard Hean urges them to be an active member of the way has advantage: industry andalearn “This made me well- from other farm managers and sharemilkers in the industry. rounded farmer that can “I know it is common to be uncomfortable adapt to life’s challenges.”



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Cows are fed mostly pasture, some maize is grown on farm and cows also get 3kg DM/day in the form of blended meal in the milking shed. Vila is enjoying working for the family trust farm. When he arrived seven years ago, farm production was 135,000kgMS. In his first year Vila helped the farm achieve 144,000kgMS and is on track for a record 165,000kgMS this season. Vila lives on the farm with wife Jonah and daughter Lily. He works a twelve day on, two day off roster. He thanks his wife for being a pillar of strength during his early years in New Zealand.




ion, migrant workers should strive to stay in the industry and pay back for the opportunity the industry has given to achieve your dreams.” Vila says he remains committed to the industry. “I owe a lot to the dairy industry,” he says. A sharemilking or contract milking position would be the next step up, but Vila is in no rush. “As of now, I’m basically happy. I’m working for a very supportive family.” Vila joined the JA& BE Turnwald Family Trust’s 104ha farm and works under sharemilker Mark Turnwald, whom he considers a mentor.





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Christopher Vila says entering the dairy industry as an immigrant can be challenging.



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NEWS  // 5

Don’t forget us – RWNZ SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz


communities in the proposed national health system, Rural Women New Zealand is telling the Government. RWNZ president Gill Naylor says while they are not averse to having a national health service, they are keen to see the

detail. “RWNZ expects to see a rural health and wellbeing strategy which is fully resourced and funded to ensure rural post codes aren’t in the losing lottery,” says Naylor. Last week the Government announced it will abolish all 20 District Health Boards and create a single health organisation,

RWNZ president Gill Naylor.

in a sweeping plan to centralise New Zealand’s fragmented healthcare

system and end the “postcode lottery” of care. Health Minister Andrew Little announced the creation of a national health organisation, akin to the United Kingdom’s NHS, and also a Māori Health Authority with spending power, and a new Public Health Authority to centralise public health work. “The reforms will mean that, for the first

time, we will have a truly national health system, and the kind of treatment people get will no longer be determined by where they live,” Little said. Naylor says RWNZ wants to see Little’s statement in practice. “It is our expectation that the detail will also include a solid mechanism for including the voice of rural women, children and communities in decision-

making by the new national health service. “At the very least there should be both a rural impact and gender impact analysis done on the impacts of a national health service, before too much further work is done, to test if there will be any adverse impact on rural communities and women and girls in particular. “Our expectation

is that the outcome of these major changes is an equal playing field for the health and wellbeing needs of rural communities alongside that provided for our urban counterparts. “We are looking forward to seeing the detail and hoping that rural women and children will not lose out on the health services,” says Naylor.

Record $8 opening milk price? foot. Keall says that looks to have been a blip, with China returning to its dominant position this auction, particularly for WMP. “The vast majority of product on offer was captured by the ‘North Asia’ region, with other parts of the globe taking lower volumes than at the last auction. “Another bearish sign we saw last time around also reversed itself. At the last auction, not all WMP product was sold, and we noted at the time that this suggested short-term


range of reasons, including environmental constraints, limits on cow numbers, limits on fertiliser usage and higher compliance costs. “As a result, we expect modest production growth next season of 2%. “While this would be in addition to the 1% growth we expect this season, it is modest given the very healthy milk price. Indeed, following the record milk price in 2013/14, production grew a whopping 10% over the season.” Global dairy supply is similarly constrained. Europe and the US are forecasting relatively modest growth over 2021 of 1% and 2%, respectively. “Weighting those production forecasts by export shares sees production in the three major dairy exporters forecast to be up just 1.6% over 2021, compared to the

Soaring dairy prices point to a record opening forecast for the new season. Inset: Nathan Penny.

1.2% increase over 2020,” Penny says. “The constraints that New Zealand farmers are facing are similar to those facing European and American farmers. “However, in the short term, northern farmers are also battling very high grain feed prices. When combined with somewhat subdued milk prices, US and EU farmers have little incentive to increase production beyond what is

currently forecast.” On the demand side, Penny expects robust demand to continue. “As we have noted over recent months, strong Chinese and South-East Asian demand is underpinning the price strength and we expect this to be ongoing through 2021. Notably, we expect the Chinese economy to expand by 10% over 2021.” ASB economist Nat

Keall says last week’s auction saw China retake the driver’s seat after its conspicuous absence last auction. After a string of auctions were marked by aggressive purchases, the April 6th auction saw China recede and other regions take the front

demand is already being met. That development also proved short lived with 99% of product on offer sold this time.” Keall is also confident of prices holding in the new season. “The shape of the contract curve suggests prices maintain momentum heading into next season. “The further-dated contracts (for shipment in August-October) continue to trade at a modest premium over those nearer. The shape continues to suggest it’s not just shortterm supply anxieties that

are fuelling gains at auction. “An uncertain outlook for Northern Hemisphere production and rising global consumption should keep prices supported over the medium term.” But Keall says he will add the caveat that it’s very, very early days. He expects Fonterra to open its own 2021-22 forecast at a wide range. Fonterra is expected to announce its third quarter business update and opening forecast for the new season next month.

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6 //  NEWS

Let there be peace in the hills and valleys PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

AFTER MORE than a decade of at times acrimonious wrangling, it seems that peace is breaking out on how to manage the environment in the Manawatu, Whanganui and Rangitikei districts. The infamous One Plan – proposed by Horizons Regional Council – that caused farmers in the region so much angst seems at an end with all parties agreeing to what is called Plan Change 2. The plan is designed to set out how natural resources in the region should be managed. When first pro-

posed, it was seen as an omnibus plan that would bring all those interested in environmental issues together – instead it provoked row after row and court hearings. But a couple of weeks ago, the council signed off on changes to One Plan proposed by a panel of experts. Council chair Rachel Keedwell says this will enable them to return to effective regulation of existing farm land uses through One Plan as soon as possible. “Council’s focus is to now turn to implementation of the Plan Change and to continue to improve water quality

throughout the region,” she says Keedwell says the council acknowledges that this Plan Change process has created uncertainty and stress for landowners, and that their decision is an interim measure with more work needed in this area. “This includes notifying a revised One Plan by 2024,”she says. As part of the process, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers jointly submitted on the plan and both say they are pleased at the outcome. Feds president and Manawatu dairy farmer Andrew Hoggard, who has been involved in discussions on One plan for

Horizons Regional Council chair Rachel Keedwell.

more than decade, says the outcome gives some certainty for farmers who have been in limbo. He says Plan Change 2 is an interim measure, intended to address the pressing issue about the One Plan’s workability, while a more fundamental, region-wide work programme is completed to give effect to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020. “The council’s decision will provide a pathway for consent for intensive farming land uses located in 32 Targeted Catchments, effectively opening the door to farmers shut out from gaining consent as a result of 2017 Environment Court declarations,” says Hoggard. “We are pleased to see council and commissioners have endorsed our approach, moving away from using LUC [Land Use Capability] as a tool for nitrogen allocation. “The decision also provides for a controlled activity pathway for farms that make a considerable 20% reduction in nitrogen loss based on actual farm baselines (with those in the top 25% having to reduce to the 75th percentile for N leaching). “We look forward to working with Horizons to ensure the plan change can be implemented as seamlessly as possible,”

CHECK YOUR CONSENT APPLICATION DAIRYNZ’S MESSAGE to farmers in the Horizons Regional Council jurisdiction is, check if your consent or consent application is a land use consent. You will know it is if there is a nitrogen leaching maximum stipulated (often written as kg/N/ha), and a consent condition requiring the annual reporting of your farm N-loss. If you have this consent then you do not need to do anything, provided your farm has not changed since granting of this consent. The land use consent will have been granted based on your land area at the time you applied for consent. If your land area has changed, DairyNZ suggests you contact either Horizons or the nutrient management consultant you used to prepare the consent application to discuss if a change to your consent is needed. There have been changes to the consenting pathway and documentation since 2017, and you will now have the choice to select from a wider range of options to reduce your N losses. It’s worthwhile dis-

says Hoggard. The new plan change decision will benefit dairy farmers, the environment and local communities, according to DairyNZ’s strategy and investment leader, Dr David Burger. He says version changes to Overseer had unintentionally made it extremely difficult for some farmers in the region to gain con-

cussing these with your advisor to ensure you choose the best option for your farm. Many of the documents you have previously prepared will still be relevant, however it is likely some amendments will be required before these can be submitted to Horizons. Your farm target N-loss number may also be different under the council’s decision. To progress your consent application, you will need to engage a qualified nutrient management consultant. Plan Change 2 is only applicable to farms which are unconsented. The plan change specifies that any farm which is already consented can’t reapply under the new rules. Plan Change 2 is an interim plan change and policy processes to meet the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management need to be underway by 2024. You only need a consent if your farm is located (or has 20% or more of your farm area) within a Horizons target catchment. Horizons One Plan chapter 14 lists the target catchments.

sent to continue farming. “Both pathways will now be available for these farmers to seek consent, while looking after the environment. The first consent pathway put forward by the council is for farmers to achieve a series of nitrogen loss targets – these vary based on land use capability class of the farm. The second option

put forward by DairyNZ and Feds provides a pathway for farms to make a minimum 20% reduction in nitrogen losses from their previous farm baseline numbers,” he says. Burger says the evidence from both organisations showed the new consent pathway provided balanced environmental and economic benefits.


NEWS  // 7

Organic export market dominated by milk JESSICA MARSHALL jessica@ruralnews.co.nz


organic export market has been ‘dominated’ by dairy, according to the latest market sector report released by Organics Aotearoa New Zealand (OANZ). The report, which looks to measure the growth of the organics sector, states that New Zealand’s organic dairy sector has grown by 55% since 2017 to be valued at $153.7 million. The average herd size on an organic dairy farm in New Zealand stands at approximately 300 cows, compared to 440 cows in the average non-organic herd. At a launch event for the report, Fonterra global business manager organics Andrew Henderson said organic dairy producers tended to have a lower stocking rate when compared with conventional farmers. “Overall, I think if you look at it on a per kilo milksolids basis, organic

farms on average are about 20% down and a lot of that’s to do with synthetic fertilisers, but also around that stocking rate as well.” He added that, overall, organic farming was better for the environment, with lower nutrient run off. Henderson said consumer recognition was still a big issue for the organic dairy sector. “We still have a long way to go; a little bit of a journey to continue to educate consumers globally on what organics is,” he said. The report states that China is the largest importer of New Zealand dairy, where other sectors have more of a focus on the United States, the United Kingdom and Europe. “China is also one of the fastest growing markets for organic dairy products in the world,” the report states. Exports to China had reached $81 million in 2020, according to the report. OANZ chief executive Viv Williams said that

the report showed how the organic sector on the whole represented New Zealand. “Ours is a diverse sector ranging from the organic operations of corporate leaders like

Fonterra and Zespri to community initiatives to promote local food security,” Williams said. “We are confident we can do more as we realise our full potential to expand further.”

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8 //  NEWS

State funding to reduce emissions CHINESE-OWNED WESTLAND Dairy Com-

pany is getting $1.7 million from the Government to accelerate plans to reduce carbon emissions produced by its Hokitika factory. The milk processor says the funding from the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Fund will help reduce 116,000 tonnes of annual carbon emissions as part of work to be completed by October next year. Westland Dairy is investing $1.5 million. “This is an important step in our journey towards a low-carbon future,” Westland chief executive Richard Wyeth says. “This co-investment will allow us to reduce our emissions, produced by our boilers, immediately.”

Wyeth says Westland is very conscious of its responsibilities to the region and the role it needs to play in navigating the path towards a low-carbon future. “The West Coast faces particular challenges when it comes to decarbonising our local industries but we look forward to working with the Government to identify future alternative energy sources as we transition to that future.’’ The two stages of work on technology solutions would allow annual carbon emissions produced by the factory to be reduced by 7% - from 116,000 tonnes to 107,560 tonnes. Work has already begun on the project, which involves installing new heat exchangers to recover more heat from coal-fired boilers used

Westland is investing in technology to reducce emissions.

in milk pasteurisation. Heat recovered by the exchangers will be reused for energy consumption, reducing the amount of

coal the factory requires to run its boilers. Energy efficiency projects will be progressed alongside the

installation of the heat exchangers, including projects that will allow combustion air to be preheated, and heat to

be collected from the refrigeration engine room and air compressors to preheat the cold-water feed to the boilers. New control mechanisms to better manage product flow across the heat exchangers will also enable better energy efficiency by reducing the amount of steam produced and therefore lost to evaporation rather than energy reuse. The work will involve the use of local engineering firms as part of the Fund’s guidelines to keep jobs in the region, stimulate the local economy and support local employment as part of the Government’s Covid Response and Recovery Project. In total, 14 companies will receive nearly $23m in co-funding from the GIDI Fund to help their businesses transition away

from fossil fuels. “The decarbonisation fund provides crucial financial support to business and industry to help them switch from boilers run on coal and gas to cleaner electricity and biomass options. This helps create jobs in the clean energy sector, and future-proofs our economy,” says Energy and Resource Minister Megan Woods. “The 14 projects we’re announcing funding for will achieve up to 10% of the gross long lived emission reductions required from the Climate Commission’s first draft carbon budget for the period 2022-2025 - the same as taking 49,000 cars off the road,” Another milk processor Synlait will get $600,000 for installing biomass boiler from the GIDI Fund.

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NEWS  // 9

Fieldays 2021 looking to be bigger and better MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

IT’S A case of fingers, toes and anything else crossed at Mystery Creek, as the National Fieldays Society heads towards its first physical event since 2019. Chief executive Peter Nation says the enforced cancellation in 2020 had been tough on the coffers, as besides National Fieldays, the operation was in the business of running numerous other events that had to be cancelled. “Feedback is telling us that Fieldays 2021 will be bigger and better than ever, with farmers and exhibitors both telling us that they are itching to reconnect in both a social and business sense. Indeed, with the rural sector travelling well and a good-looking milksolid payout, it bodes well for some good business to be done,” says Nation. Scheduled for June 16-19, National Fieldays will be based around its key pillars of innovation, education and globalisation. While the latter will need to be taken care of by the parallel-running Fieldays Online presence, a smattering of countries such as Ireland, the UK and Korea will have a physical presence. The society notes that while there are still a few exhibitors booking sites at this late stage, it looks like it will be a sell-out by the time of the event.

On the education front, Taryn Storey, Fieldays marketing and communications manager, says there will be improvements in many areas including the Health and Wellbeing Exhibit that had over 26,000 visitors in 2019. “The exhibit certainly proved its worth in 2019 where staff picked up eleven malignant melanomas, one case of Type-1 diabetes and numerous issues that warranted a trip to see a GP. It was also encouraging to see a number of wives and partners dragging their staunch other halves into the exhibit for a subtle ‘WOF’.” Likewise, the careers and education hub will be expanded with several new exhibitors and agencies to offer information on a wide range of opportunities in the rural sector and the best course to follow to exploit these. The popular innovations arena has also seen a refocus, to clearly represent the innovation lifecycle, resulting in three award categories: prototype, early stage, and growth & scale. This range of categories is said to allow individuals and companies, big or small, to get the support, recognition, and mentoring they require to take their innovation to the next level. Fieldays innovations event manager, Gail Hendricks, says changing con-

ditions globally makes innovation a “top priority for businesses far and wide, especially for primary industries in terms of providing sustainable and productive solutions


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National Fieldays chief executive Peter Nation says farmers and exhibitors are itching to reconnect in both a social and business sense.

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Services (AWS) and Gait International. Covid compliance is a must-have, and Fieldays will have extensive log-in facilities and copious sanitiser stations.

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10 //  NEWS

$280m Happy Valley project finally gets off the ground SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz


Waikato’s newest milk processing plant will finally start later this year. A 6ha site is being prepared at Otorohanga for the $280 million Happy Valley Nutrition Ltd plant that will produce highvalue specialty dairy ingredient powders for export markets. The project has been in the pipeline for several years as Happy Valley sought resource consents and funding. Covid-19 has also delayed the project by a few years. In February, Happy Valley announced that

it had taken out a $13m loan and secured $7.4m through secured private placement of convertible notes. The money was used to buy strategic farmland to irrigate wastewater from the plant. The ASX-listed company plans to develop a single dryer facility with the site master-planned to allow for the addition of an extra drier as well as a blending and canning plant. The company says $7 million has been budgeted for earthworks. The factory is expected to be commissioned in 2023. Happy Valley chief executive Greg Wood says

Happy Valley Nutrition says $7 million has been budgeted for site works for the new plant at Otorohanga.

the start of earthworks is a “very notable milestone” for shareholders and investors. “Our earthworks contractors are making solid progress, weather conditions have been favour-

able and critical works are advancing safely,” Wood says. “It is very satisfying to witness this project finally emerging from what was until recently a paddock, and these earthworks are

confirmation that Happy Valley is well into the physical development of what will be one of the most advanced nutritional grade processing facilities in the world.” Site works include

implementing access roads, drainage works, public road realignments and ground improvements for the spray dryer building. “Performing earthworks now enables an

efficient commencement of the construction phase of the facility,” Wood adds. He says the recent funding Happy Valley has secured gives the company the necessary financial flexibility to ensure it meets immediate project delivery milestones. Wood claims the company is also making “excellent progress” with respect to securing customers. “Engagement is advancing with groups locally and from Europe, and Asia, which validates the strong demand for the speciality dairy products Happy Valley is targeting.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews


MOVING DAY Moving Day is a huge day in the farming calendar. The farmers’ checklist will be extensive and include everything from stock transport regulations, to hooking up the power and internet, and more in between. Our special report will cover all aspects that farmers need to ensure their move goes smoothly. If your product or service is on that list, contact us now to advertise.

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


Stephen Pollard .......... Ph 021-963 166


Lisa Wise .................. Ph 027-369 9218


Ron Mackay ............... Ph 021-453 914


Kaye Sutherland ....... Ph 021-221 1994


11 May 2021 28 April 2021 4 May 2021


NEWS  // 11

Mentoring a passion for DWOTY award winner JESSICA MARSHALL jessica@ruralnews.co.nz

THE 2021 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year says that her passion lies in mentoring other people within the industry. Belinda Price, who was named Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year at a gala ceremony in Taupo on 8 April, says she wants to help and give back to the industry. “I really want to help people, continue on my journey to mentor and to guide and to develop people. So, I think that’s where my passion lies and where I’d like to continue to head,” Price told Dairy News. Price has been a sharemilker for 12 years, after she and her husband purchased a dairy farm. After starting in the industry, Price went on to

study agribusiness management, “just so I could get my head around agriculture and…how to run a business within it.” “It’s such an amazing industry and we’ve just grown hugely, and there’s so many opportunities to access,” she says. She says that people in the industry can “get through all sorts of challenges”, adding that agriculture has had some and will continue to do so. “Everyone’s ready for a challenge…if there’s a problem we find a solution so it’s just that kind of industry I guess.” Price says that women wanting to enter the industry should “100 percent do it.” “Don’t let anything hold you back,” she says. “The women in the industry are totally amazing.” She says that some

of the women who have worked on her farm have gone from strength to strength. “We’ve had a lot of women that have come from other industries and they just wanted to be

outside and be with animals and they have gone so well. “From never touching a cow to now…managing farms and things like that in a very short period of time, it’s mind-blowing.”

As the 2021 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year, Price received a $20,000 scholarship to be put toward a development programme, professional and business coaching or learning experience.

Belinda Price






IN THE same ceremony, Donna Griggs (right) was named Dairy Women’s Network’s (DWN) Regional Leader of the Year. The award celebrates the grassroots work performed by DWN Regional Leaders across the country. Griggs, a 50/50 sharemilker based on the Ruawai Flats, said she was humbled to be nominated for the award. “For me, the title means an opportunity to grow in leadership skills and to bring that knowledge forward into the Dairy Women’s Network community, our farming community, and our business,” she said. As the Regional Leader of the Year, Griggs receives registration to the Dare to Lead Programme facilitated by Kaila Colbin from Boma New Zealand.




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12 //  NEWS

Big crowd for final field day PETER BURKE peterb@ruralnews.co.nz

Tunapahore B2A Incorporation chairman Jack Mihaere.

IT’S THREE weeks of waiting for the three finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua trophy for dairy, with the winner being announced next month at a gala dinner in

New Plymouth. All the finalists have staged field days at their respective properties – the last of which was held at Tunapahore B2A Incorporation’s farm at Torere, about half an hour’s drive east of Opotiki. About 200 people

from the Eastern Bay of Plenty came along for the day which began at the Torere Marae where guests were welcomed by local kaumātua and incorporation chairman, Jack Mihaere. They then listened to presentations by the committee of management, advisors


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and farm staff before being then taken by bus a few kilometres down the road to see the actual farm. The farm, the marae and church at Tōrere are all located right on the coast and there are stunning vistas of the sea with Whakaari/White Island in the distance. The hills rise steeply from the narrow coastal strip and are covered in a mix of native trees and commercial forestry; all along the coast there are pockets of kiwifruit which are slowly replacing maize crops. It’s a beautiful setting and drew many positive comments from the farmers, rural professionals, agribusiness leaders and government officials who attended the day. The property consists of 400ha of land but the actual milking platform is 132ha on which are run 385 cows that produce 125,940 kgMS. Other land is leased for maize silage production. In July 2008, a 5.54ha kiwifruit orchard was purchased by the Incorporation and now consists mainly of SunGold G3 and some green Haywards. The orchard consistently produces great fruit and is within the top producers for both EastPack and Zespri. The Incorporation also has shares in Whakatohea Mussels (Opotiki) Limited, Fonterra, Zespri, Ballance, Farmlands and EastPack Limited. During the 1930s–1950s Tunapahore B2 was a dairy and dry stock unit but when the milker died in a car accident, the management decided to

sell the dairy herd, and later the land was leased to surrounding land owners. Later it reverted back to a dairy farm but as Jack Mihaere explains, they struck a crisis in 2018 when their sharemilker left suddenly. “In the space of six weeks we had to buy a herd, find a manager and a milker and all the equipment to run the farm and somehow we managed to do this. We had to buy cows from all around the region but we did this,” he says. However it quickly became evident that they needed to buy in extra feed to keep the cows in good condition and later they found that their empty rate for cows was 31%. “We realised we needed help and we have solved the problem by feeding our cows better. Now we have got the not in-calf rate down to about 12%,”he says. The current farm manager is Janet Poihipi, who has worked for a number of years on the farm under previous sharemilkers. “The farm is my pride and joy. I started off as relief milker in 2005 and then worked my way up to be the 2IC. When the previous sharemilker left, they employed a new manager from the Waikato but he got quite sick and I ended up doing his and my job, which was really quite hard. I love the work and the cows – they are my babies and when they hear my voice they just come, so I don’t need to use the backing gate,” she says.


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JACK MIHAERE says it was a last minute decision to enter the competition. He says he and others from the Incorporation were attending a field day last year at Matapihi for a finalist of the Ahuwhenua Trophy competition for Horticulture. “We were thinking about entering and when we saw what Ngai Tukairangi had done, we decided we would have a go. We only had four days to put in their entry and are very pleased we did,” he says. Mihaere says he had a sleepless night preparing for the field day. But says he was delighted with the large turnout and not surprised at how many people came along. He says the day involved a lot of work by a lot of people and says his sister Repeka was a key person in organising the event.


NEWS  // 13

ENSURE THEY REACH THEIR PEAK POTENTIAL The essential building blocks for optimal health including vitamin B12 in one convenient injection.

Open Country Dairy says milk processing through its factories is above forecast.

Good weather, strong payout keeps milk flowing - OCD SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz

THE COUNTRY’S second largest milk processor says the tail end of the 202021 season is turning out postively for the industry. Open Country Dairy (OCD) chief executive Steve Koekemoer says milk processing through its factories is above forecast. Favourable weather and soaring farmgate milk prices are the main contributors. OCD has processing sites at four locations: Horotiu, Waharoa, Wanganui and Awarua. It has a forecast milk price range of $8.05 to $8.45/kgMS for the February to May period. Koekemoer says the latest Global Dairy Trade, which saw prices remain flat after huge increases in recent months, provided another solid result with market pricing for whole milk powder and other products holding steady. “If this trend continues, we may once again exceed our forecast range but for now will continue to monitor it over the coming weeks,” he says. “The most promising take away from the latest auction was the good demand with reduced reliance on North Asia. “The higher participation from buyers in the Middle East, Oceania and Central America indicates that these markets are prepared to purchase at the higher pricing levels to secure volume.” ASB economist Nat Keall notes that the

last GDT saw Chinese buyers take their foot off the accelerator, but other regions (particularly South East Asia and Oceania) stepped into the breach, keeping prices supported. “The auction suggests aggressive Chinese purchasing is likely to ease further, at least in the near term.” This may result in prices easing a bit over the next auctions. Still, strong postpandemic global demand and softer Northern Hemisphere production should keep prices from falling too far, Keall adds. BNZ senior economist Doug Steel notes that dairy prices initially dipped as the pandemic broke out, but then recovered strongly to be well above average by early 2021. He says demand from China has been instrumental to this rebound, while milk supply growth has been relatively muted. Steel expects prices to ease from current very elevated levels later this year, but still average higher in the year ahead compared to a year prior. “This should see export values push higher over the coming 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. “The general export strength is highly supportive of domestic milk prices.” BNZ is forecasting a 2020/21 milk price is $7.70/kgMS, well north of last season’s $7.14. It is forecasting an opening forecast of $7/kgMS for the next season which builds in some offshore price declines from current levels and a higher effective exchange rate.

DUMPING COAL Ensure young stock become future high producers through improved health, growth and energy at:

woodchip fuel sources. “We expect this conversion to be completed over the coming months and will start trialling the alternative fuels in the new season.” OCD discontinued installing coalfired boilers in 2015. “Our sustainability programme has ensured investments match our long-term carbon footprint reduction goals, and we are proud of our progress,” Koekemoer says.


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Our Land 2021 – a wake-up call

MILKING IT... It will happen… FILM DIRECTOR James Cameron is adamant that his plans to transform 1,500 hectares of land in South Wairarapa into an organic vegetable farm remain on track. The outspoken critic of animal agriculture is defending his decision to graze hundreds of dairy cattle on the farm. Cameron is a big proponent of plant-based diets and has been outspoken about the need to move away from animal products to improve the environment. So when he decided to graze cattle, some Wairarapa locals accused Cameron of not walking the talk, and hypocrisy, when it comes to being ‘animal-free’. Caught out, Cameron now says Covid has forced them into a holding pattern for over a year and the veggie farm initiative will start soon.

Fonterra’s dilemma

Vegan diets doomed to fail

Our loss, Oz’s gain

THE CHINESE owners of Australia’s biggest and oldest dairy farming business are facing scrutiny from authorities and all eyes are on Fonterra. Milk from the Van Dairy Group, which owns 23 farms in Tasmania is picked up by Fonterra. Now media reports suggest the company could sell 10 farms as it struggles to clean up its act. The Australian Environmental Protection Agency has launched an investigation into alleged animal abuse and overstocking of cattle, which it is alleged is causing effluent systems to fail and damaging nearby waterways. A series of confidential documents, photographs and accounts from employees and locals appeared to show the conditions deteriorated after the 2016 takeover by China’s Moon Lake. The big question is, given the highly competitive raw milk market in Australia, will Fonterra feel pressure to stop collecting milk from the farm until the farm owners tidy up their act?

THE HYPE around veganism has exploded worldwide and many are reportedly flocking to join this trendy ethical and environmental movement. However, if New Zealand farmers and processors that send products to Asia were worried about this, they needn’t. Studies show veganism isn’t widely sustainable within East and Southeast Asia, or among global Asian households. It seems that most who transition, eventually fall back into old ways. Studies have shown that most vegans lapse within a year, and while no official research has specifically been conducted among vegans of Asian heritage, bets are that their long-term statistics are equally, if not more, dismal. After all, can we really expect Hong-Kongers to turn down mum’s roast pork on a Lunar New Year?

WHILE THE Labour government has banned NZ livestock exports, worth up to $500 million annually, their Australian counterparts have no such intentions. The Australian livestock export industry, which generates AU$2 billion-a-year, has distanced itself from the New Zealand industry, which has been banned from exporting livestock by sea, the ban being phased in over two years. The Australian Government says it has no plans to ban livestock exports. New Zealand’s move is expected to help Australian farmers win lucrative trade deals with China, which had been spending big on our dairy breeding heifers. While Australian exporters are sympathetic to the plight of their Kiwi colleagues, and disappointed by the ban, they are looking forward to sending more livestock to buyers overseas, with support from their government that believes animal welfare standards are adequate.

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THE RECENT Our Land 2021 report released by the Government is a wake-up call. In our quest to build houses for a burgeoning population, productive agricultural land is being swallowed up by housing developments. With Auckland’s population set to hit 2 million in the next decade, pressure for both housing and food will rise. New Zealand will have 6.8 million consumers by 2073, the Ministry for Environment (MfE) report says, and food growers will also be responding to overseas demand for New Zealand food exports. While most dairy farms are not affected by the urban sprawl, if productive land was is not available for agriculture, it forces less suitable areas to be used. The report goes on to say that the land used for agriculture has been decreasing since 2002. It says between 2017 and 2019 it fell by 2%. In terms of dairying, the report notes the increase in cow numbers and the greater use of irrigation, especially for dairy farming. Any encroachment of residential living onto productive farmland not only means a loss of that farming land, it also has consequences for those farmers who remain. They face higher land values and consequently higher rates, along with increased council rules and restrictions that fall upon them due to increased amenity expectations of those new urban residents. Export earnings from NZ land-based primary industries shot up 91% - from $23 billion in 2010 to $44 billion in 2019. The MfE report notes the Government wants those earnings to grow by another $44 billion in the next decade to support post-covid economic recovery. Federated Farmers describes this as “a hairy and audacious goal” when you consider that since 2002 nearly 1.9 million hectares has gone out of agriculture and horticulture production. They point out that, even more tellingly, of our most highly productive land (flat, best soils), the amount lost to urban sprawl and lifestyle blocks jumped 54% from 69,920 hectares in 2002 to 107,444 hectares in 2019. NZ farmers are just getting on with driving up production from less land and from management and genetic improvements. But there comes a time when they run up against the limits of nature and efficiency. The time has come for NZ to better manage where we are building houses and stop building on land best suited to growing healthy food for people.

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OPINION  // 15

Restoring our freshwater systems ing this piece, I was sitting in my Kaiapoi office on a sweltering 30-degree summer’s day, and I could hear faint “plops” as youngsters pulled “phat manus” and “bombs” off the bridge into the Kaiapoi River as generations before them have done. Do they know that the river is deemed “unsuitable” for swimming with E. coli levels of up to 2,420 per 100ml? This information is available on LAWA’s website, Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) - Can I swim here? It makes for sobering reading. With levels this high, we should supply these youngsters with full PPE gear to wear over their shorts. The saddest fact is that this story is repeating itself from Cape Reinga to Bluff. We are witnessing the systemic collapse of New Zealand’s freshwater systems as our environment can no longer handle the extreme pressure we have placed on it through decades of urban and rural intensification. We have taken too much from our environment and we must start giving back. Change is coming with a renewed focus on healthy waterways through the National Policy for Freshwater Management (NPS-FM), which the Government announced in August 2020, as well as Plan Change 7 to the Canterbury Land & Water Regional Plan (PC7), which progressed through submissions and a hearing in front of independent hearing commissioners last year. I attended the PC7 hearing in December and it boosted my spirits to observe the passion our community has for improving Waimakari-

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sight, the land remains. • Michael Blackwellis is chair of Waimakariri Water Zone Committee

t e V

Michael Blackwellis, chair of Waimakariri Water Zone Committee.

ly n O

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Pr ola jec t Fle xid ine

WHEN I started writ-

ri’s waterways. I hope the changes that come out of PC7 will be bold and far reaching. The concept of Te Mana o te Wai underpins the NPS-FM and places the highest value on the health of freshwater systems. This philosophy is the new basis for how we, as a society, interact with our environment. The NPS-FM creates a framework for change, but we must also change how we think as council bodies, as communities, as businesses, and as individuals about how our systems/ practices must shift from productive growth mode to sustainability mode, and how we can live within an acceptable environmental footprint. On an individual level, we need to realise how, over the long term, that wet paddock or riverbed block would benefit the planet if it were left to revert to a wetland or a more natural state. This year the Waimakariri Water Zone Committee will focus on priority areas and working with the community to improve our waterways. We will support change through three newlyformed catchment groups – the Sefton Saltwater Creek Catchment Group, the Landcare Working Group, and the Biodiversity Group. We are ahead of the curve in Waimakariri in terms of engaging with farmers, waterway conservation groups and the wider community, but we still have a long journey ahead to restore our rivers and streams. We must work together in a united way to leave our land and water for future generations to inherit in a better state than when we found it. Whatungarongaro te tangata, toitū te whenua As man disappears from

Ba y Ca er C ps op ule pe s r




Producing food for many generations SUDESH KISSUN sudeshk@ruralnews.co.nz


Johan van Ras says his family was shocked to win the Waikato Bal-

lance Farm Environment Awards supreme award this month. He says they were up against other farming businesses that have done some pretty amazing things on their property.

“We were quite shocked to win the supreme award because there were some exceptional finalists. We are humbled and stoked,” he told Dairy News. The Waiorongomai

Valley Farms is a family affair with two generations of the van Ras family: Johan and Kylie and Richard and Truus all living on the land that the family purchased in 2010 after previously leasing

Tatuanui farmer Johan van Ras (right) with his father Richard on their farm.






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the farm for six years. The farm supplies Tatua. The family are proud of the farm they call home and are constantly looking to improve their environmental impact and balance sustainability with profitability. Johan says they have

BFEA included a new award category for Catchment Groups. The 2021 winners of this award are Pūniu River Car (PRC). Established in 2015 to enable local hapū to be involved in the restoration of the Pūniu River

“It is evident that the van Ras family work well as a team and have an excellent succession plan across three generations.” always farmed with the environment and animal health as a priority. “We look after or environment so that we can produce food for future generations to come. “There is a lot more focus on sustainability now and on our farm, we doing the best we can.” The judges said that the van Ras family are good adopters of technology who understand the value of using accurate data to inform good management practice and sustainable business decisions. “It is evident that the van Ras family work well as a team and have an excellent succession plan across three generations. “We believe that this farm business offers many industry leadership opportunities for the van Ras family,” the judges said. As well as receiving this year’s regional supreme award, they also received four other awards, the Ballance AgriNutrients soil management award, DairyNZ sustainability and stewardship award, WaterForce integrated management award and Synlait future leaders award. A field day will be held at Waiorongomai Valley Farms on Friday May 14. This year the Waikato

catchment, PRC works with their rural community, iwi, regional and central government to implement restoration work at scale. A main part of their work is training people from the community to propagate native plants at Mangatoatoa marae which are then planted around rivers, lakes, wetlands and erodible land. The organisation has grown rapidly since its inception and will deliver 500,000 native plants, planted into the Pūniu and Waipa River catchments in May 2021 and has the capacity to deliver in excess of 1 million plants each year in the coming seasons. The nursery and planting operation currently employs more than 30 people and the organisation is committed to building the skills and capability of their team, with a number of young staff members being supported into leadership roles. The BFEA judges were impressed with the engagement of the team at PRC. “It was very evident that the staff believed in the vision of the organisation and looked to be really enjoying their work,” said the judges. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews



Surplus maize? Don’t panic! FROM TIME to time,

I get calls from anxious growers who, for whatever reason, have been unable to sell all their maize. I also get calls from maize silage users who say they have too much maize silage and wonder what to do with it. The reasons for this extra maize can include a buyer changing their mind at late notice, maize grown on spec and no-one wants it or the yields were higher than what was expected (as has been the

and have a surplus, you have two options. You can either meet the market and sell the extra maize at a lower price. Or you can store it in a stack or bunker and sell it when

cess. Once you have sold stacked maize silage, it is relatively easy to move. For more information about moving an existing stack of maize silage go to the Pioneer website (pioneer.co.nz) and search for Technical Insight No. 318 (Moving Maize Silage). Maize silage grower/ users Keeping excess maize silage simply makes sense. There are three key reasons for always having a buffer of maize silage on hand. These are: It is there to use

Fig 1. Effect of days of ensiling on ruminal in vitro starch digestibility.

case in some parts of the country this year). The two questions I get asked are “Do you know of anyone who wants some extra maize silage?” or “What can I do with the extra maize silage I have on hand?” The answer to the first question is easy as it is always a yes or a no. The answer to the second question is a bit more complex. Contract Growers If you are selling maize

you can get the price you want. If maize silage has been well compacted, covered, and sealed, it will last for several years. Low interest rates at present mean the interest cost of storing a crop is relatively low. Unless your cashflow is tight, there is no rush to sell it. When you do sell it remember to factor in harvest costs as well as losses due to the fermentation pro-

straight away if you need it. Pasture production is inherently variable as it is driven mainly by climatic factors such as rain and soil moisture. Maize silage on hand is a great form of risk management. And unlike contracted feed or a grazed crop, if you don’t need it, you don’t have to feed it. You are never in a situation where you are chasing high priced feeds when demand is high.

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Don’t panic if, for whatever reason, you have extra maize silage on hand.

Many farmers have made the comment that when there is a feed shortage and everyone is trying to get their hands on feed, processed and imported feed prices only seem to go one way. That is up. With current interest rates at an all-time low and milk price at one of the highest levels ever recorded, many farmers are in a prime position to buy and store extra maize silage and use it later when they need it. Feed quality of maize silage only gets better the longer it is stored. This is particularly the case with starch digestibility. In a review of the changes in starch digestibility over time Dr Limin Kung and his colleagues 1., showed in vitro (test tube) starch digestibility increased by more than 10% if the maize silage was left in the stack for a minimum of 120 days and up to 270 days (Figure 1). In other words, the maize silage quality improved dramatically when it was stored for several months before feeding. In summary, don’t panic if, for whatever reason, you have extra maize silage on hand. Unless you need the

money, keep the silage until you or someone else needs it. Likewise, with a high payout and low interest rates, this is a good year to buy and store extra maize, and then feed

it when you need it. • Ian Williams is a Pioneer forage specialist. Contact him at iwilliams@genetic. co.nz.

chemical, microbial, and organoleptic components of silage, Journal of Dairy Science. Volume 101, Issue 5, Pages 4020-4033,


Kung et al, 2018. Silage


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Efficient water use on a drought-prone farm IN A region increasingly

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and our next meaningful rain was 160ml on June 1, 2020. We had to re-grass a large part of our farm. It was probably our toughest season ever,” says Kevin. This season is looking almost as challenging. The couple never ran out of farm water though, where some other farmers in their district had to ship water in. Kevin says he remembers his grandparents telling him about the drought that hit the region in 1945. One of the lessons was, when looking for a farm, always look for one with a gravel bottom stream as they never run dry in Northland. “We brought in a small amount of feed, dried the herd off early and then concentrated on resowing resilient pasture species to take advantage of our growing seasons.” Kevin says it was also a good opportunity to reboot the pasture species on their farm. They say it’s been hard work.


Michelle Alexander in the milk shed.

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them reducing water use in their farm cow shed by 50%. The project was run in conjunction with the Northland Regional Council and as part of the project water meters were fitted to key water outlets in their cow shed, from washing down to their backing gates and vacuum pumps. Using the water meter

KEVIN ALEXANDER says their Holstein Friesian herd has been described as a commercial herd but they find Holstein Friesians more efficient along with providing better production. “The Holstein Friesian is by far the largest dairy population in the world and because of that, the potential for the rate of change with the genetics is immense. The trick is finding the traits we want and having them made available to us,” says Kevin. We have a clear picture in mind of what we are trying to achieve with our herd. “Genomic testing has huge potential. It could help identify the cattle we should be keeping, not the ones we think we should be keeping.” The couple use genomic sires as well as some proven sires across their herd. They use mainly bulls from ST Genetics, World Wide Sires, CRV and some LIC. Farnear Miami-ET, Edg Rubicon-ET, ST Gen Rubi-Fire 61432-ET, Edg Delta-B52-ET, ST Gen DW Prowler-ET, Delaberge Salt PB, Roylane Bookem Bob 5170-ET and a little bit of Maire FI Golddigger and Maire IG Gauntlet-ET feature recently.

data, they worked out using simple ideas, how to make the most efficient use of their water in their shed. For example, they moved from 42mm hoses to 32mm hoses and made sure staff were using correct procedures when hosing down the shed. They also discovered they were pushing their water driven backing

gates far harder than they were designed to work. “We reduced the volume of water driving the backing gates significantly, so the gates travelled at their designed speeds,” says Kevin. By fitting a three-quarter brass tap worth about $30 to the backing gate, they went from using 180 litres a minute to 15 litres

a minute. “We went from using 23 cubic metres a day to 12, excluding dairy hygiene and stock water.” We improved the efficiency of dealing with our effluent, albeit it was far more concentrated, so we have to be conscious of how we are spreading that over our effluent field, which covers half the dairy farm. Kevin says it also meant they reduced their hours and input into managing their system. “Overall, it’s a win, win.” The couple believe the next three years are going to be very interesting in New Zealand from a farming system perspective. “Over the next three years, with new legislative requirements coming at us, it’s going to be a bit of fun working it all out. I think all the answers are there we just have to actually look at it smarter. Look at the science and technology that’s available to us and look at changing farming patterns that will help us meet our requirements.” On their farm they are looking at maximising fodder growth using the advantages within the Northland climate.



Breed mastitis out of your herd CRV IS encouraging dairy farmers to carefully consider the bulls they select for mating this season to help them address ongoing herd health issues like mastitis and reduce the need for antibiotics. Udder health was the topic of conversation for CRV’s recent podcast featuring DairyNZ senior scientist Dr Jane Lacy-Hulbert and CRV breeding programme manager Aaron Parker. Lacy-Hulbert says mastitis is a costly condition for farmers to manage and its treatment often means using antibiotics. “Farmers are coming under increasing pressure to reduce antibiotic use on farm, particularly because bacteria are developing antimicrobial resistance. “It’s a normal phenomenon, but our problem is that we cannot develop new antibiotics fast enough to keep up with the rate at which they develop resistance. So, it really comes down to us and how we use the existing products we have in a wise and prudent way.” Lacy-Hulbert says farmers worldwide are making changes to the way they use antibiotic products. “We’re looking at ways to try and reduce the amount of antibiotics we

Jane Lacy-Hulbert, DairyNZ.

use, particularly at drying off. This is a time when we’ve traditionally used dry cow products to prevent infections. Now there is a trend towards using more non-antibiotic alternatives, such as the internal teat sealants, to prevent new infections.”

Lacy-Hulbert and the team at DairyNZ have been working to help farmers and vets do things differently. “We’ve been carrying out research over the last few years to give vets more confidence about using internal

teat sealants, give them more information about cow selection, and which cows to reserve the dry cow therapy for. “We’ve also been providing them with more information about hygiene techniques to use when administering the products to help reduce the risk of mastitis infections at that time of the season.” DairyNZ has healthy udder resources available to help farm teams to do a good job at drying off. But Jane says there are other things farmers can do throughout the lactation period to help reduce mastitis. “The classic one is getting teat spraying right and making sure you’re getting a good coverage of spray onto each cow’s teats. “It’s also important during milking time that we’re reducing the likelihood of teat damage by not overmilking.” Lacy-Hulbert says using herd testing data and identifying cows with a high Somatic Cell Count (SCC) can help farmers choose which animals should receive dry cow antibiotics and make wise culling decisions. “A key part of mastitis prevention is actually removing from your herd cows

with high SCCs or those with long-term infections.” She says a lower incidence of mastitis not only means more milk in the vat, but also better animal health. “No one likes to see cows in pain and mastitis is a painful disease. Less mastitis can also lead to better fertility and we have seen the positive impact mastitis prevention can have on reproduction. “It also means less hassle at milking time. Milkings are shorter because farmers have fewer cows to treat and deal with at the end of the milking, which leads to happier milking teams!” Parker says CRV incorporates SCC traits in its breeding programme. “We’ve put emphasis on SCC in our breeding programme to address the issue and that’s exactly what farmers can do as well. Farmers can use their herd testing data to target their high SCC cows and use low SCC bulls as part of their breeding programme to improve that. “Selecting the right bulls to use will absolutely help reduce the incidence of mastitis,” he says. “It’s a slow process, but it is also a permanent one and you never lose the gains you make.”





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Offering more than just high index CRV NEW Zealand says its latest bull team offers more than just high index. Product manager Peter van Elzakker says sustainable dairy farming cannot be achieved by index alone.

“Farmers need to look more broadly than production figures and select genetics that will help them achieve their breeding goals based on the needs of their farm business,” he says.

CRV has introduced a wide range of new sires to its portfolio for 2021, with 22 newly graduated sires and 15 new genomic InSires, in addition to 13 new sires in its global portfolio.

“This year’s bull team reflects the confidence farmers have in using genetic solutions, such as genomic (InSires) sires and sexed semen, when making breeding decisions,” says van Elzakker.

Stress less with your drying off and teatsealing Experienced and highly skilled, our team of professional VetEnt Veterinary Technicians are currently accepting bookings for the drying off and teatsealing season. Trusted for their reliable results and driven by their passion for best practice administration, they truly love what they do and are here to help you. Outsourcing to our Vet Tech team gives you and your staff peace of mind, is cost-effective, helps calm your heifers and protect next season’s milk quality.

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CRV Product manager Peter van Elzakker says sustainable dairy farming cannot be achieved by index alone.

“Improving a herd’s environmental efficiency continues to be a priority for many farmers.” Breeding with CRV sires can also help farmers meet the requirements of dairy company payment programmes, like Fonterra’s new The Co-operative Difference initiative. “LowN Sires is an option many farmers are considering, particularly given our ‘innovative trait’ sires are first and foremost excellent sires in their own right.” NZAEL’s Ranking of Active Sires (RAS) list represents the top-ranking proven sires in New Zealand. The bulls are ranked according to the National Breeding Objective (BW). To qualify they need to have at least 70% reliability. CRV’s top ranking sire is Puketawa King Connacht JG: a member of the LowN team, offering fantastic longevity, low SCC and strong capacity. CRV has a number of top ranking new InSires. In the Crossbred team, Connolly Car Shark offers the full package – exceptional efficiency, excellent longevity (Plus 450 days) and strong capacity. Friesian Alcameno MG Roadster S1F is high on both the Efficiency and Health index, a winner for production as well as being suitable for farmers on

a Once-a-Day milking system. A very efficient and healthy Jersey is Lynbrook Floyd Gibson ET, which will produce long lasting, very capacious and highly productive daughters. The 2021 team features 17 FE sires. Breeding animals with an increased tolerance for FE is a trait offered exclusively by CRV and is key to reducing the impact of sub-clinical FE on a dairy herd. It also offers a team of local and overseas polled sires, meaning all progeny will not grow horns and therefore not require disbudding. New Zealand farmers are using more sexed semen to give them certainty around increasing the number of heifers entering the herd, calves for export, and to decrease the number of bobby calves. CRV says it has a wide team of its highest indexing sires, with semen available as sexed or conventional. The team offers options for high indexing, high production, A2 sires. Farmers looking to condense their calving spread are considering short gestation length sires for later matings. The resulting calves need to be a viable asset to a herd, so the CRV SG sires offer up to 11 days savings with good genetic values.

AUTOMATE TEAM AUTOMATE OFFERS a team approach to breeding, whereby the specific bulls are selected by the CRV breeding team. The company says the team is selected for more than just high BW. The Automate Crossbred team offers excellent production, good farmer traits, excellent capacity as well as all being A2A2, according to CRV. “The Automate Friesian team has high BW and offers moderate liveweight, good capacity, excellent udders, as well as all sires being A2A2. “The Automate Jersey team has high BW, excellent production, along with fertility, longevity A2A2 and strong Body Condition score breeding values.”



Dairy sheep farms set to boost stock numbers STOCK EXPANSION

and management tweaks are on the cards for a couple of Waikato dairy sheep farmers coming to the end of their milking season. Allan Browne and Paul White were among the first farmers to enter the dairy sheep industry under the Maui Sheep Milk banner in 2020. Allan and Toni Browne set up their family’s Browne Pastoral operating near Cambridge, where they started milking 1,000 ewes using a prototype 70-stall Ultimo Internal Sheep Rotary designed by Waikato Milking Systems. Paul and Dianne White set up Green Park Sheep near Te Awamutu for their sons Brad and Kieran and they also started their dairy sheep venture last year, milking 850 sheep through a 40-aside Agili Rapid Exit plant, also by Waikato Milking Systems. Browne Pastoral’s final day of milking for the first season was on April 16 and Allan Browne said overall milk production had been better than expected. “We’ve produced more than twice the forecast amount of milk we were meant to have made. So we’ve had to change to a larger vat, which I guess is a good problem to have.” Allan said there will be a few tweaks to the

Paul White, at Green Park Sheep, the farm is expanding its milking ewe flock from 850 to 1200, for its second season.

Allan Browne, at Browne Pastoral, says milk production for the first season was better than expected.

farm’s management plan before the start of the new season. “We were reactive rather than proactive to feeding. Pasture went off in quality and we were slow to react to that. “This coming season we’ll introduce a higher

protein feed as the quality of the grass begins to lower.” Allan said the internal rotary milking system performed well. It had good flow once the animals were trained. “We had little in the way of udder health prob-

lems so we can say we are pleased in that respect.” Allan thinks the farm may move up to 1,600 milking eyes for the new season, and possibly 2,000 the following year. “We’re not limited by land but really it’s about how far the sheep can walk to the shed.” He said the family came from a sheep meat and wool farming background and had only moved into dairy cows seven years ago, so dairy sheep was still a new experience. “We’ve used what we would normally do to fatten lambs as the basis to make milk and that’s served us better than any dairy cow type of approach. “They say what makes fat on a lamb’s back makes milk in the vat, and

that seems to be the case for us.” Green Park Sheep dried off its ewes in early April and Paul White said the new venture had met its milk production budget target for the first season. “It’s been a huge learning curve but Brad and Kieran are still enjoying it and that’s the main thing.” The Agili inline milking system was converted from an old herringbone shed and it had performed well for the family during its first season.

“Brad and Kieran were milking about 680 sheep in an hour towards the end of the season, so it was really flying.” Outside of the shed, the family was looking to make changes to its lamb rearing programme in particular. “Lamb rearing was a little bit more challenging than we thought. “We are putting in a new rearing shed because we believe we can manage the animals better that way.” Paul said the rearing shed would allow

the farm to move the lambs off the ewes earlier than last season, and that would give them an extra month of milk production. There were also some tweaks to be made to the farm’s fences which were put to the test by the lambs last year. Green Park Sheep was also looking at expanding the flock to 1,200 milking ewes for next season. Paul said they planned to start lambing in late July 20 and begin milking for the new season in August.

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Actress markets new milk product SHEEP MILK producer Spring Sheep has roped in actress Antonia Prebble to market its new premium Gentle Sheep Toddler Milk Drink. Mum to 20-month-old Freddie, Prebble says she is delighted to be helping introduce New Zealand to a brand-new source of toddler nutrition made with grass-fed New Zealand sheep milk. Prebble says she was drawn to Spring Sheep Milk’s “gentle approach to nutrition for Kiwi toddlers and the rich nutritional and digestive benefits of sheep milk”. “I am really mindful when it comes to what I give Freddie to eat and drink, and working with the team at Spring Sheep, I saw early on that they are just as passionate about what goes into their product. “They have created something pretty wonderful with their tod-

“Among its many benefits, it’s also gentle, super yummy and may be a great alternative for those who struggle with cow’s milk.” dler milk,” Prebble says. “Among its many benefits, it’s also gentle, super yummy and may be a great alternative for those who struggle with cow’s milk. Spring Sheep has opened up my eyes to sheep milk and I can’t wait to share those learnings with my friends. “As a mum, when you discover something so genuinely good you cannot wait to get the word out there and share it with other parents because you know they will love it too.” As part of the Spring Sheep team, Prebble will be sharing her journey with Spring Sheep Milk Co and the toddler drink

Actress Antonia Prebble is helping introduce New Zealand to a brandnew source of toddler nutrition made with grass-fed New Zealand sheep milk.

on social media and will be answering questions from other parents interested in the benefits of Gentle Sheep Toddler Milk Drink and why sheep milk really is nature’s super milk for Kiwi toddlers everywhere. Spring Sheep chief marketing officer Andrea Wilkins says Prebble is a natural fit to the Spring Sheep family. “Antonia shares in our gentle approach to nutrition while valuing our land and animals,” says Wilkins. “We are so excited to have her on board and look forward to bringing the benefits of grass-fed New Zealand sheep milk

to more parents, whilst also creating a new sheep dairying industry for New Zealand.” Gentle Sheep Toddler Milk Drink is specially formulated by experts for one- to three-year-olds whose diets may benefit from supplementation. It is available in select supermarkets and through Spring Sheep’s website. The toddler milk drink is the latest Spring Sheep product to launch in New Zealand, following its Full Cream Sheep Milk Powder. Overseas, Spring Sheep has already earned recognition for its gentle nature, exporting its Gentle Sheep Toddler Milk Drink to Malaysia for two years, where there is a high reported incidence of digestive issues. The product was a finalist in the Nutraingredients Asia Awards for Infant & China Nutrition Initiative of the Year in 2020.


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Goats are at risk from the moment they start to eat grass.

Treating worms in dairy goats WORMS ARE probably the biggest health problem for goat farmers. Goats and sheep share the same internal parasite worms, but goats seem even more susceptible than sheep. They don’t develop age-related immunity as sheep and cattle do, so they remain susceptible throughout their lives, especially if they are stressed for long periods by underfeeding, or cold wet weather, or another disease like Johne’s disease. Goats are at risk from the moment they start to eat grass, and growing kids and weak goats are particularly susceptible. The problem of worm control is complicated in dairy goats by the fact that many anthelmintics remain in the meat and milk for some time after treatment. For this reason, milk from does treated with worm treatments (anthelmintics) shouldn’t be used for human consumption until the ‘with-holding period’ has elapsed. Clinical signs To some extent worms can exist with their hosts causing no problems, but as numbers build up they damage the intestine lining causing fluid and protein loss. The earliest effects, a drop in milk production or a reduction of growth rates can be subtle (subclinical. With increasing worm numbers the signs become more obvious (clinical). The clinical signs of parasitism are ill-thrift, weight loss, diarrhoea and even deaths. The stomach worm Haemonchus can be particularly nasty in dairy goats. It causes scouring, anaemia (pale mucous membranes), weakness (because of internal blood loss), and sometimes bottle jaw (swelling under the jaw because of low protein levels in the blood). It occurs in goats in the northern half of the North

Island. Drench resistance Drench resistance means that some or all of the worms in the goats are not being removed by the drench used. Once you have drench resistant worms in pasture and in livestock on your farm, it is very difficult or impossible to get rid of them, and you must change to an effective drench. To maintain good worm control it is wise to test for drench effectiveness from time to time. About 80% of milking goat herds may already have drench-resistant worms on their pasture and in their goats. On some goat farms, resistance to all three drench families has been recorded. Delay the onset of drench resistance by avoiding excessive or unnecessary drenching. Try to make the interval between drenches as long as possible, using faecal egg counts to give you confidence. The longer the gap, the lower the risk of selecting for resistant worms. Drenching at less than 28-day intervals increases the risk of developing resistance. Don’t under-dose. If you can’t weight individual goats, base the dose volume on the heaviest animal in the mob. If there is a wide amount of variation in body weight, split onto smaller groups and dose to the heaviest in each group. The latest thinking with sheep is that it’s okay to leave the healthiest animals in a mob undrenched. This helps to maintain a reservoir of ‘susceptible’ worms in the population to dilute down any resistant worms. This might be appropriate on your goat farm, but before you leave the most robust goats undrenched, talk to your vet about the pros and cons.



Small Oz dairy goat industry THE AUSTRALIAN

dairy goat industry is relatively small, but there is an increasing consumer demand for healthy and exotic dairy products. In Western Australia there is a niche market for goat milk and cheese, but first small landholders require knowledge in breeding, goat management, milking, animal health and markets. Goat milk can provide

an alternative for people who suffer with cow milk allergies and gastro-intestinal disorders. Although goats are very rewarding animals to work with, they will need to be milked twice a day for the majority of the year. Breeds In Australia there are six main dairy breeds. Three are of Swiss origin – Saanen, Toggen-

burg and British Alpine, two have been recently bred in Australia – Australian Melaan and Australian Brown and one is from the Middle East – the Anglo Nubian. Feed requirements Good quality food and water is essential for good milk production. When determining feed rations, energy and protein are the most important elements to consider.

Lack of energy is the most common problem affecting production, and protein is essential for growth, pregnancy and milk production. Feed analysis can be a valuable tool in determining what nutrients your feed may lack. Fresh pasture is a great source of minerals, energy and protein and is a low cost source of feed. Rotational grazing can maximise the supply of pasture and minimise the need for supplementary feeding when pasture is in short supply. Good grazing management is essential. Feed budgeting should be carried out throughout the year and take into account pasture supply and other sources of feed if needed. Surplus pasture can be harvested for future use by cutting for silage or hay. Regular blood and tissue testing of goats is essential to ensure that copper (Cu), selenium (Se) and cobalt (Co) levels are adequate and that Cu and Se, which are toxic, are not over dosed. A month before mating, the doe should be gaining weight so that they are in good condition when mated. It is vital that does are feed a diet that contains adequate energy and minerals, to help them meet the extra demands of the foetus and milk production. A poor diet can lead to hypocalcaemia (milk fever – low levels of calcium in

In Australia there are six main dairy breeds.

the blood) or pregnancy toxaemia (sleepy sickness – glucose deficiency). Breeding It is essential that you plan for kidding. Most does come into season during autumn and winter and have an 18-21 day oestrus cycle. First mating usually occurs when the doe is around 19 months old, however they can be fertile from three months old, so it is important that they are separated from buck kids early. Breeding is very seasonal, so out-of-season breeding can be difficult and costly, requiring the use of hormones and light manipulation. The gestation period for goats is approximately five months. Most does are mated

FENCING FENCES SHOULD be well made and maintained. Goats rarely jump over a fence, they are more likely to climb on the fence, or debris next to the fence, or squeeze through the gaps. Make sure fences are clear of any rocks, fallen timber or stumps. Electric fences are also effective when built and well maintained and are generally cheap and easy to install.

during autumn so that kidding will occur in spring, when there is plenty of green feed available. A doe usually averages two kids per mating. Newborns should be protected from predators (e.g. dogs, foxes) and have plenty of shelter. Milking Goats are generally docile animals, which makes milking them relatively easy. For people

that live on properties too small for cows, keeping dairy goats can be a great alternative. Lactation usually lasts for 300 days, with each doe producing on average 2-3L/day. Commercial enterprises typically milk their herd twice a day, but once a day would be adequate if only a small number of goats are kept. Twice daily milking may be required during peak



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Goats are generally docile animals, which makes milking them relatively easy.

lactation, when does can produce up to 4L/day. Milk supply for goats is seasonal due to breeding cycle. This can make processing and distribution difficult as milk is not easily supplied year round. Flocks can be managed separately and milked in rotation to help even out milk supply throughout the year. However, seasonal production can make management easier and provide some time off. If you plan on running a commercial dairy, specialised equipment will be needed, but hand milking can be carried out on a small herd. Requirements of the milking premises may include: ■■ shed, holding yards, feed bins, feeders ■■ milk storage facilities

(e.g. milk vat) access tracks for large vehicle or tanker ■■ effluent disposal system and ponds. Health Dairy goats are generally healthy with a life span of 15-20 years. One of the major viral diseases of goats is Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) virus. This virus causes chronic arthritis/ synovitis in adult goats and hind leg weakness followed by ascending paralysis, fits and death in kids. However, only 10% of goats infected may ever show signs of the disease. CAE is transmitted through infected colostrum, saliva, urine, faeces and blood and through the multiple use of injection equipment. Another health issue ■■

for dairy goats is mastitis. Mastitis is caused by physical injury or bacteria and can lead to a loss of milk production. Clinical mastitis involves physical changes to the udder (e.g. swollen, hard and painful to touch) and causes the milk to become watery and flaky. Subclinical mastitis is harder to detect as there is no notable change to the udder or milk composition. However, milk yield will decline and scar tissue will develop in the udder. To prevent mastitis make sure good hygiene is maintained. Keep the milking and kidding area free of mud, manure and urine and use teat spray after milking each goat. Any treatment of mastitis should be discussed with your vet.

Goats are also prone to internal parasites and flystrike and will require treatment when infestations occur. Regular faecal egg counts are advisable to determine if parasites are present. Some chemicals will require a withholding period, where milk will be unsaleable, to avoid residues being passed on to consumers. Instructions are printed on labels and should be followed carefully. Goats are susceptible to clostridial diseases such as enterotoxaemia and tetanus, and should be properly vaccinated for these. For advice on all aspects of goat health consult your veterinarian. • Article – Western Australian Department of Agriculture

Converting an obsolete herringbone 36 a-side shed back in June 2020, Rhys and the Darby family have added another string to their bow, with significantly less capital outlay – hoping to pay back their new install in just 3 years. Having built 2 dairy cow sheds with GEA in the past, Rhys says “GEA equipment isn’t the cheapest stuff around, but at least we know it lasts and works really well, with what we want”. Rhys enjoys the quickest and most efficient way of milking sheep, incorporating in-shed feeding and TopFlow S clusters for ultimate cluster alignment and a quick milking-out process. Each milking row is in, and then out in just 5 minutes - with it just taking 30 seconds to exit the stall, thanks to our Rapid Exit Stalling. Need breaking ground technology like Rhys? Watch his video and then call us for your free on-farm consult! Driving dairy efficiencies? We can help.



Potential for goat milk exports NEW ZEALAND’S dairy goat indus- These include FoodWaikato, a gov- However, China is difficult to access yoghurt and ultra-heat treated (UHT) try has the potential to deliver $480 ernment-backed venture helping grow with an expensive and time consum- milk look promising. The interest in million in economic contribution by New Zealand’s food and beverage ing registration process for infant for- goat infant formula suggests an opening exports, and two commercially oper- mula and an unpredictable regulatory for new premium formats that target 2024. toddlers and young children, and there system. A report prepared by the Sheep ated factories. are The report says signifGoat milk is a valuable source of and Goat Dairy Project, a government funded, not-for-profit initiative dedi- nutrition and provides a number of icant financial investcated to growing New Zealand’s sheep essential nutrients for optimal health, ment required makes it less viable for and goat milk industry, notes that emerging busiin 2019 exports of goat milk prodMounting interest in nonnesses. ucts topped $250m. “It would be Mounting interest in non- bovine milks globally provides wise for newer bovine milks globally provides an an opportunity for New businesses opportunity for New Zealand to Zealand to expand its dairy to focus on expand its dairy goat sector and markets that leverage its strengths as a pro- goat sector. are easier to ducer of high-quality dairy prodincluding high quality protein, five B operate in, even though ucts, the report says. At a global level, New Zealand is a vitamins, vitamin A, calcium, phospho- the potential might be small participant producing 4% of the rus and iodine. Goat milk’s nutritional lower. “For example, the volume of milk processed by the main profile can support several consumer exporters of goat dairy products. The health and nutrition propositions such rapidly ageing populareport states that although there is as immune function, brain health and tion and strong conscope to increase milk volumes as the cognition, the provision of energy and sumer interest in health suggest Taiwan and sector expands, New Zealand cannot reduced tiredness. It also contains several nutrients South Korea may offer expect to compete on scale. “The focus must be on how it can that are at times needed in higher promise for nutritional maximise value from the milk it does amounts, for example during preg- powders. “This needs to be nancy and lactation, growth and develproduce.” validated with conIn 2019, New Zealand exports of opment, ageing and sports nutrition. The report says that the retail mar- sumer research. It goat milk products were estimated to be valued at $250 million. Under the kets for goat milk products is small but is worth noting that aside from China, the current model, expanding the industry growing across all categories. Cheese is the main product demand for infant through the production of high-value products such as infant formula, has exported, closely followed by infant formula in many potential to increase the sector’s eco- formula. Infant formula and nutritional developed markets is nomic contribution to $480 million in powders offer the best opportunities falling due to declining birth rates and for New Zealand goat milk. 2024. This is based on market size, pro- public health efforts to “Further gains could be achieved with the adoption of business models jected growth, profit potential and New encourage breast feed- In 2019, New Zealand exports of goat milk products were estimated to be that enable greater value to be extracted Zealand’s strength as a producer of ing. valued at $250 million. “This is also a risk high-quality milk powders, the report from the supply chain.” with high value nutriNew Zealand has a small, well estab- says. Of the five markets studied, China tional powders as wealthier consum- likely to be adults seeking alternatives lished goat milk industry that is concentrated in the central North Island is the most attractive market for infant ers shift towards fresh and/or liquid to cow milk versions, the report states. However, several challenges need to close to industrial scale processing formula and nutritional powders, in formats.” After milk powders, goat-based be overcome before these formats are facilities in Auckland and Hamilton. terms of size and projected growth rate.

feasible, including uncertainties about their profit potential and technical challenges due to goat milk’s instability in high temperatures. Demand for goat butter is minimal although there are signs of potential opportunity in the US. Pet food powders also appear to be an untapped market with China and the USA worth exploring. Although goat cheese is the main format traded internationally and the volumes sold through retail channels in Germany and the USA are substantial and growing steadily, cheese is not seen as an attractive prospect for New Zealand. The market for goat cheese is well established and dominated by European goat cheeses – many of which have Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) status – that are purchased for their provenance and distinct flavours. It would be difficult for New Zealand cheeses to compete in this space without its own provenance value.

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Goats cannot be expected to produce their best when they have to contend with nature’s elements.

Good shelter key to production SHELTER IS one of the

first considerations when contemplating the purchase of a doe, according to the New Zealand Dairy Goat Breeders Association. Goats cannot be expected to produce their best when they have to contend with nature’s elements. Without shelter and good food, it means they have to utilise more of what they eat to keep themselves warm. Housing does not present a problem, as long as it is rain and draughtproof, the simplest of shelters is much appreciated in cold, wet weather. Shelter ranging from an oversized box to the most elaborate of barns can be within the scope of everyone – it is all a matter of taste, economy and/ or pride, says the association. When the doe or buck is tethered, and he or she has to be shifted frequently, a large box or a discarded water tank is the ideal shelter, as it is easily moved from place to place. “Do not forget to place a layer of hay on the bottom of the box to keep [them] warm or dry. If using an old tank, it is much better to make a slatted platform for sleeping on, as any mois-

Ground breaking milking technology

BREEDS IN NZ ANGLO NUBIAN The Anglo Nubian is of Eastern origin. They are alert, sound, and well balanced with a high proud head carriage. They are medium to large, with pronounced nasal bones (Roman nose) and long pendulous ears set low on the head, wide and open. The coat is any colour or combination of colours. BRITISH ALPINE The British Alpine is of Swiss type. They are large in size, graceful, with smoothly blended body, exhibiting attractive dairy type. The colour is black with the same white Swiss markings as for the Toggenburg. SAANEN The Saanen originated in Switzerland. They are medium to large, of attractive dairy type, alert and revealing vigour. The coat colour is white or cream. Ears should be erect and alertly carried, preferably pointed forward. Saanens are the predominant breed in New Zealand. SABLE The Sable originated in New Zealand about 1985. It can be any colour

ture tends to run to the bottom and remain there. Place a block or log either side to prevent the tank from rolling,” it says. If considering a barn, there are one or two points to remember: Ease of cleaning out is of main importance. There is nothing more tiring than having to walk and manoeuvre unnecessarily.

but must not have more than 50% white. The Sable was developed from the Herd Register Saanens which have a colour gene. The milking ability of the Sable is the same as the Saanen. TOGGENBURG The Toggenburg is of Swiss origin, and comes from the Toggenburg Valley in Switzerland. This breed is of medium size, sturdy, vigorous and alert in appearance. The colour is brown, varying from light fawn to dark chocolate. Distinct white Swiss markings are: facial stripes from above the eye to the muzzle, edges and tips of the ears, legs from the knees and hocks down to the hooves and the inside of the legs to the trunk, on the rump and around the tail. NIGERIAN DWARF Recently introduced to New Zealand, the Nigerian Dwarf is a miniature version milking breed developed in the USA from dwarf goats originating in West Africa. The coat is any colour or combination of colours, ears are erect and face dished. Eyes can be any colour.

Access to feeding racks when feeding out hay or greens is another point to bear in mind. It is much easier to feed without having to go into the shed each time, especially when there are several does. Flooring can be concrete, wood, asphalt or earth, but whichever method is used, litter in

some form must be provided. Sprinkling the floor with lime after each clean out will keep the shed smelling clean and sweet, and discourage flies from breeding in the litter. Inside sheds, slatted platforms or boxes with slatted tops, can be used for sleeping, so that droppings can be collected and used for the garden.

Leading the way in dairy sheep milking throughout New Zealand, GEA's market-leading product range gives you the option to cost effectively retrofit an existing shed without breaking ground. Our customised product range is specifically engineered in New Zealand with the added advantage of our global GEA knowledge and expertise customised to suit our milking environment here in NZ. With market leading solutions for retrofit conversions - either double-up or swing-over, we know how to get you more bang, for less buck. Converting to sheep milking doesn't have to mean breaking dirt on a greenfield, if you already have an existing plant, we can help convert it. Call us today to find out more - 0800 GEA FARM. Driving dairy efficiencies? We can help.



Belt without braces keeps nutrition flow on track A travelling sweeper arm pushes off the feed, which falls by gravity into the trough.

MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz

HARRIS FARMING at Kaihere, on the edge of the Hauraki Plains, covers 120ha, with a further 50ha leased nearby. The properties carry around 420 big-framed Friesians, with a sprinkling of Jersey crosses and up to 100 beef animals. Daniel Harris is the third generation to run the farm following the family’s arrival in 1949. Keen to offer home grown supplements during the season, the operation had tried inpaddock feeding but were disappointed by high levels of wastage and

The Combox takes the form of a hopper with a moving floor, filled by a front-end loader.

baulked at the cost of setting up a feed-pad for over 400 animals. This led to the challenge of feeding in the milking shed, with the understanding that while there were solutions for

delivering pellets or meal, there did not appear to be anything suitable for the automated feeding of maize silage. Looking to incorporate a system into the 40-aside herringbone meant that

a conveyor based system was the only option, so the operation were pleased when Richard Morgan, a consultant for ACR Agri, came up with a solution from Canadian manufacturer Valmetal,


Designed to an uncompromising strength standard. You expect strength, quality and performance from your farm machinery, and McIntosh Bale Feeders deliver all three. The McIntosh Bale Feeder is not designed to be the lightest on the market, because with today’s larger bales, faster tractors and less time for maintenance, the need for additional strength has never been more important.

who had extensive experience of such layouts in the home country and throughout Europe. Centred around a 450mm wide, textured polyester belt with a PVC coating, the system features a heavy-duty industrial gearbox driveline and a feeder box that is loaded out of the maize silage clamps, situated about 50 metres from the milking shed. The Combox takes the form of a hopper with a moving floor, filled by a front-end loader, moving the load to twin horizontal beaters that remove any lumps, before it passes to the conveyor system. Daniel Harris says installing the system into the milking shed was very much “a trial and error procedure, taking into consideration a low roof height and the need to

move a few vacuum and water lines”. Now in its second season, the system works well, typically delivering around 2.5kg DM per head, which is easily consumed during the 8 to 10 minutes the animals are typically in the milking shed. Feed is metered from the feeder hopper onto the conveyor lines that run overhead each side of cows, with a travelling sweeper arm pushing off the feed, which falls by gravity into the trough. Those troughs run the length of the shed, modified with higher backs to avoid any spillage. “The system is particularly useful for supplementing the grass throughout the year, especially so at peak times like post-calving or in late summer/early autumn

STANDARD FEEDER (C6 Pinned) • 1 x 6 foot bale • 2m diameter • 15 feed positions • 15 - 30 animals

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when growth stops, as we dry out quite quickly,” says Harris. “We also like the fact that as well as our own feed, we can incorporate minerals and if necessary, deliver bought-in feeds like PKE or soya meal, should we need arise.” Although a little coy about the cost of the system, Harris notes that the investment is substantially less than a new feedpad for the herd, with the only item on the “wishlist” for the future being a weigh system, to monitor intakes more accurately. “The system is easy to use, with a clever yet intuitive overload protection function, alongside being easy to maintain with a few banks of grease nipples and the occasional re-alignment tweak for the belts,” Harris says. www.acragri.co.nz

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



New feeder offers more flexibility THE FLEXI feeder

system is a robust, no nonsense trough system that can be incorporated into feed pads, but is more commonly used in-field, where it can cater to all livestock types including cattle, sheep, deer, pigs and horses Manufactured from UV-stable polyethylene and offered with a range of accessories such a skids and hot wire posts, the general construction offers durability, flexing with the pressure exerted by the animals, but more importantly, eliminates the wastage associated with feeding stock on the ground. Standard Skid Troughs are available in 4m, 6m and 10m trough lengths, effectively offering 1.6, 2.4

Roger Dalrymple and Trailed Flexi Feeder.

and 4 cubic metre capacities respectively. They are said to be suitable for dairy cows, beef animals and horses. The Mini Skid range is offered in 2m, 4m, 6m and 10m variants and features a narrower profile, making it suitable for sheep, deer and

calves. The latest introduction to the range is a wheeled version, developed following feedback from existing users who wanted to convenience of being able to move the feeders easily between blocks. Available in 4m medium

and large formats, or as a 6m Jumbo version, the mobile feeder incorporates a heavy-duty hot-dipped galvanised box section frame, a tow bar equipped with a stowable parking stand and low- profile, ATV style flotation tyres.

Machines to get connected AUSTRIAN AGRICULTURAL

machinery manufacturer Pöttinger offers numerous ways to make work easier, more efficient and convenient – the latest example being the NEXT Machine Management system. As an example, a farmer growing cereal crops, lentils and pumpkins, might use one of the company’s Aerosem 4002 ADD pneumatic seed drill, in combination with a LION 403 power harrow. The seed drill features an electric metering drive, controlled by the CCI 1200 terminal with the Seed Complete package. The latter contains a smart solution, including a communication unit that enables variable rate control of the seed and section control that switches seeding on and off automatically at the headland. The system can also exchange data and communicate with the Agrirouter data exchange platform and Next Farming field indexing software. Using cloud-based plat-

forms, all machine data generated during sowing can be precisely recorded and viewed later for evaluation and documentation purposes. Austrian farmer Gerhard Foster says the CCI 1200 allows all his ISOBUS machines to be operated using one control terminal. “By communicating with the Agrirouter system, all of my machine data, irrespective of brand, can be transmitted to Next Machine Management and Next Farming portals, so I can find all the data I need for documenting my operations information, even over a period of years.” Documentation is easy to create and save intuitively, with jobs created at the control terminal before work begins, processed directly and as soon as the job is finished. The collated data is transferred to the Next Machine Management System using the mobile data network with a WLAN hotspot on a smartphone. www.originagroup.co.nz



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*Offer ends 30th June 2021, while stocks last. Finance with an interest rate of 0% p.a. available on Hire Purchase agreement based on minimum 30% deposit, the GST component repaid after 4 months and monthly repayments in arrears over a 36 month term. Fees and lending conditions apply to approved GST number holders who use the equipment for business purposes. Finance is approved by AGCO Finance Limited. GST number 88-831-861.


A world of experience. Working with you.





Half a century and not out! MARK DANIEL markd@ruralnews.co.nz


Richard Western Trailers has over 50 years’ experience building highend trailers, manure spreaders, chaser bins, drill fillers and vacuum tankers. Imported and distributed in New Zealand by Ashburtonbased NZ Tractors, the RW products are manufactured using formed steel main rails and closely spaced bearers. A recent £1 million+ investment in finishing facilities means all components are shotblasted prior to the application of a two-pack primer coat and a highgrade, twin-pack final paint finish. An integral part of the

NZ Tractors says it have been importing RW trailers for over 27 years.

trailer build sees monoleaf spring suspension,

said to impart better stability, and a braking

system designed to offer over 50% braking

“Designed by a Farmer for Farmers”

efficiency at speeds of up to 60km/h. The trailer range includes bodies for grains, silage, root crops, stone and rubble. Specialised units are also available to haul bales or pallets, offer an easy loading variant for livestock transport and a clever push-ram, powered discharge option.

Grant Reith of NZ Tractors says they have been importing RW trailers for over 27 years. “So, we know they build them properly, usually up to 600+ units each year. “They’re designed properly, then built with high-grade steel of job-specific sizes and profiles to give rigidity,

PHONE 0800 4 AGBITS | 0800 4 242 487 WEBSITE www.agbits.co.nz

www.nztractors.co.nz @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews


New Mobile Feeder

then finished off with an industry leading paint finish. We regularly come across many trailers that we supplied many moons ago that have carted in excess of 150,000 tonnes of material and still do a full day’s work, every day.” NZ Tractors specify trailers for the local market with commercialgrade, 10-stud axles, along with the option of hydraulic, air or combined braking systems and a choice of standard, swivel type or the increasingly popular K80 type ball and spoon hitches. One such trailer was spotted taking a front and centre position at Kirwee, in the form of a 9.8m (32 foot) tandem-axle unit set up for bales, pallets or bins, offering a 14 tonne capacity, with drop-side walkways, rope rails and a rear hydraulic box pusher. General construction sees 6mm formed steel sections running front to rear, deep “U’ section chassis runners and a 4.5mm steel chequer plate platform.

Methane Power tractor, a cornerstone of New Holland’s energy independent farm concept, was presented at the Agritechnica show in 2019. Now New Holland has announced its revolutionary tractor is reaching the final stages of testing for “commercial availability” later in the year. NH brand president Carlo Lambro says the company developed the energy-independent farm model at a farm near Milan, showing how a closed-loop between agricultural production and energy generation can make farming CO2-neutral, or even carbon negative.

“This year we are taking a further step into turning this into a reality, as our methane-powered tractor enters the New Holland range.” With field trails nearing completion, the middle of the year should see production units being delivered to selected customers in Germany, France, Italy, the UK and the Benelux regions, all markets where biogas production is well advanced. The machinery giant has confirmed that the methane-powered tractor will enter the New Holland range by the end of the year and be available to all customers in Europe and other markets around the world.