A record milk price on the cards? PAGE 4 A TRIBUTE TO DAD
Cattle sale with a difference PAGE 12
Synlait’s first home-branded product PAGE 11 OCTOBER 12, 2021 ISSUE 481 // www.dairynews.co.nz
BACK TO THE BASICS Farmlands’ first female chief executive Tanya Houghton’s plan to keep employees safe and engaged through the pandemic. PAGE 5
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
NEWS // 3
Co-op modest despite payout triumph SUDESH KISSUN firstname.lastname@example.org
Mentors make a difference. PG.06
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Flexible milking works well. PG.26-27
NEWS������������������������������������������������������3-14 AGRIBUSINESS������������������������������������ 15 OPINION���������������������������������������������� 16-17 MANAGEMENT�������������������������������18-20 ANIMAL HEALTH����������������������������21-22 MILK COOLING & QUALITY���� 23-28 MACHINERY & PRODUCTS��������������������������������������29-30
SMALL WAIKATO milk processor Tatua isn’t blowing its own trumpet after blitzing other processors in the milk payout battle last season. The co-operative is remaining modest despite paying $1.50/kgMS more to its farmer shareholders than Fonterra. Tatua chief executive Brendhan Greaney told Dairy News that the co-op isn’t keen to compare payouts. “We are pleased with the result as being reflective of a well-rounded performance in another challenging year,” he says. “We are reluctant to compare our payout with others given there is such a range of business models, ownership structures and supplier entry costs – but nevertheless, we know we have achieved a good result for our shareholders.” Tatua announced a record payout of $10.43/kgMS before retentions for the 2020-21 season. The co-op retains $1.18/kgMS for reinvestment meaning its farmer shareholders get a cash payout of $9.25/kgMS. Fonterra last month announced a final payout of $7.74; milk price of $7.50 and 20c dividend. Synlait announced an average payout of $7.82/kgMS for last season – made up of a base milk price of $7.55 and incentive payment of 27c. Tatua’s 106 shareholder-owned farms had their second highest milk production season on record, supplying 15.65 million kgMS, 3.3%
ahead of the previous year. Greaney says the payout has been well received by farmer shareholders. “We’ve had some very positive feedback – including broad support for retaining some earnings for reinvestment and maintaining a strong balance sheet.” The co-op has retained $18m for reinvestment to improve production capability and sustainability-related projects. “We do have a reasonably weighty capital program planned for the year, including projects with a sustainability focus, as well as others to increase our capacity and capability in the manufacture of our more specialist or value-add products,” says Greaney. In deciding the final payout, Greaney says Tatua sought to balance the needs of shareholder’s farming businesses with the requirement for continued investment in the business to support longer-term sustainability, and “a sensible level” level of debt. The co-op’s gearing (debt divided by debt plus equity) averaged 20.5% last year, which was lower than the previous year average. “We have deliberately reduced our debt levels over the last few years to be in apposition that we now think is about right for the environment we are in,” adds Greaney. He paid tribute to the coop’s workforce, both here and overseas. “Our people have once
again shown real dedication and commitment toward the business through another challenging year. Our financial performance and everything that has been achieved is the reflection of the collaboration and collective efforts of everyone.”
Tatua chief executive Brendhan Greaney says the co-op isn’t keen to compare payouts with other processors.
DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
4 // NEWS
Milk production softens – does this mean a record milk price? SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
AT LEAST one analyst is now predicting an alltime record farmgate milk price this season. Falling milk production in New Zealand and other key dairy producer markets mean weak global supply, and this is expected to keep prices up. Westpac senior agri economist Nathan Penny says it has upgraded its 2021-22 farmgate milk price forecast by 75 cents to $8.50/kgMS. If achieved, this would be a record high, surpassing the previous record
of $8.40/kgMS set back in 2013-14. Fonterra is sticking with a wide ranging milk price forecast – between $7.25 and $8.75/kgMS and a midpoint of $8. Penny says the key catalyst for the forecast revision is the significant downgrade to NZ production forecast for the season. “We now expect New Zealand production to fall this season, and along with soft production in other key dairy producers, we expect weak global supply to underpin global dairy prices at or around current high levels for at least the rest of year.”
He expects NZ milk production to fall by 1% compared to last season, a change from its previous prediction of a 1% rise. “New Zealand production has started the season on the back foot,” says Penny. “Winter and spring so far have been either wet or cold or both in many parts of the country. As a result, production for the first three months of the season is running at 1.8% behind the same stage of last season. “We expect this production softness to continue in the short term.” Meanwhile, dairy production elsewhere is also soft. Weather has also
ASB economist Nat Keall says dairy prices remain well above long-run averages.
impacted European production, with production for the first seven months
of the year down 0.1% compared to the same time a year ago. In addi-
tion, Chinese (domestic) and US production continue to be constrained by very high feed costs and limited feed availability. Last week’s Global Dairy Trade auction recorded a flat result after several rise in prices. Whole milk powder (WMP) prices, used as a benchmark to set the farmgate milk price, have lifted by around 5% since August. ASB economist Nat Keall notes that dairy prices remain well above long-run averages. He says not too much should be read into WMP prices dipping 0.4% last week to US$3,749/metric tonne.
“Given the current strength in prices, anything other than a sharpish decline at each auction continues to imply a solid farmgate price for the season,” he says. ASB is sticking to its forecast milk price of $8.20/kgMS. Keall notes that the overall GDT price index remains up around 30-40% on the same point in the last three dairy seasons. He agrees that milk supply could be tight in the coming months. “Production data is increasingly pointing to tighter supply over the remainder of the season,” he says.
SHAREHOLDERS WELCOME FONTERRA REVAMP Barron noted that the results are largely in line with the three-year targets announced in 2019, and show the co-op can deliver healthy earnings and a strong milk price. He says that the dividend payment of 20c/share is evidence of the improved business performance and notes that debt has significantly reduced and is now at a comfortable level. Barron acknowledged the hard work that Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell and his team had put in to achieve the results, but noted that there was still more work to do around return on capital. He also welcomed longer-term per-
FONTERRA’S FULL-YEAR results and strategy refresh has been well received by shareholders, says Fonterra Co-operative Council chair James Barron. He says farmers are now seeing “a much nimbler business”. “Management was able to fully utilise our co-op’s scale and diversification by shifting milk into the markets, categories and product lines that were the most profitable in the Covid-19 environment.” Fonterra last month anounced a net profit of $599 million and a long-term growth plan that includes pulling out of global milk pools and working on adding value to New Zaland milk.
formance targets included in the longterm strategy update. “Council has been hearing members asking for this forward outlook, and we commend the board and management for responding with it,” Barron says. “We understand from our independent analyst Northington Partners that the level of transparency provided is high and relatively rare in the New Zealand context.” The council’s annual report, out later this month, will contain more detailed analysis and commentary on the co-op’s performance and projections. @dairy_news
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
NEWS // 5
‘Work with us through Covid’ firstname.lastname@example.org
chief executive says she is going back to the basics for the short-term, which includes a focus on keeping employees safe and engaged through the Covid-19 pandemic. Tanya Houghton, who took over the role last month, is the company’s first female chief executive. She says that while she acknowledges the milestone that comes with being a woman in the role, she doesn’t believe it was the reason she was hired. “I think the board focused on my skills and my leadership style in their decision,” she told Dairy News. Previously, Houghton
has worked as the chief executive of Mole Map New Zealand, and has held directorships with The Pet Foundation in Australia and Animates New Zealand. “I’m really thrilled and honoured,” she says. “In the short-term, I want to go back to the basics of the business,” Houghton says of her plans for the company. These include ensuring the company has safe and engaged people, improving customer experience and profitability. This is a circular goal, Houghton explains, adding that safe and engaged employees lead to a good customer experience which will, in turn, lead to further profitability. “I’m coming in with fresh eyes,” she says. In terms of keeping
Farmlands new chief executive Tanya Houghton is the company’s first female chief executive.
those employees safe and engaged, Houghton says it’s something that, amid the current Delta outbreak, Farmlands customers can get involved in. “We really need people to work with us through Covid,” she says. “We
really need our customers to be understanding.” She says that customers specifically need to remember and understand that some of the things the rural supplier requests of its customers are to comply with
because it has been classified as an essential service and is therefore available to customers during Alert Level Three and Four. However, that can only continue if we pay attention to those guidelines. “As we’ve seen the
last couple of days, Covid pops up,” she says, referring to the recent appearance of Covid-19 cases in the Waikato. “Our staff members are on the frontlines and they have families, that’s why it’s really important that you work with us.”
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DAIRY WOMENS Network (DWN) Wilson, Kielee Mathis, Rachel Usmar, says its 2022 conference will celebrate Davinia Harrison, Maria Alvarez and Olivia Byars. the industry’s resilience. The committee are grassroots and The ‘Brighter, Braver, Bolder Conference’ will be held in April in Inver- dairy farming in rural communities around New Zealand, cargill. and bring an underConference chair standing of the needs Rebecca Green says of their fellow farmers the event will feato the planning process ture a programme of – including clear soluinteractive workshops, tions and actions to keynote speakers, a help equip them with breakfast session and the knowledge and tools a gala dinner. for their businesses now It will be designed and in the future. to help attendees equip “I want people to themselves with the DWN National conference chair come to conference resources to create a Rebecca Green. and walk away feeling brighter future. These sessions will fall under one of energised, hopeful, brighter and braver four pillars: Your Farm, Your Business, to face what’s going on,” says Green. The move from regional conferences Your Community and Your Industry – with topics focused on farm practices, back to a national conference will see the business aspect, farm teams and some changes made to the conference personal wellbeing, and the role of dairy format, including the length of the event. in the global market. The two-day conference will fea“I want to celebrate how amazing our industry is, what we have over- ture the gala dinner, at which the 2022 come and achieved, and to know that Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year and we can tackle anything that comes our the Dairy Women’s Network Regional Leader of the Year will be announced. way, together,” Green says. “Great people are what make our The committee is working to create a programme with new lessons and industry what it is. We look forward to tools to help the industry through the honouring the hard work, dedication and success of our North and South different scenarios it is facing. Green is joined by vice chair Nicola Island award nominees, and hosting Bryant, and committee members Aimee an industry-wide celebration,” she says.
the Government’s Covid guidelines. This includes things like remembering to wear a mask when going into the store or to pick something up from stores. She says that Farmlands is “fortunate”
FARMLANDS CHAIR Rob Hewett says Houghton was chosen for her ability to drive change. “Tanya is a passionate Kiwi, committed to creating environments where diversity and equality, environment, social and governance and the concept of kaitiakitanga (guardianship) are pivotal to the corporate agenda,” Hewett said when announcing her appointment. “She will ensure that these concepts are understood and engaged in to deliver sector leadership and enhanced long-term shareholder value.’ Farmlands has more than 1400 staff servicing more than 74,000 shareholders through a network of 82 stores. It has a turnover in excess of $2.5 billion.
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
6 // NEWS
Mentors can make a huge difference SUDESH KISSUN firstname.lastname@example.org
MENTORS HAVE played an important
role in young Canterbury sharemilker AshLeigh Campbell’s outstanding career. Ash-Leigh was the youngest ever winner of the prestigious Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award in 2020. In August, she completed a three-year term as chair of New Zealand Young Farmers. She was a finalist in the Women of Influence Awards (Rural) in 2019 and the inaugural winner of the NZYF Excellence Award in 2016. Last month, Ash-Leigh was one of four businesswomen to win an emerging director award from the Institute of Directors (IoD) Canterbury Branch. Each recipient receives $1,500 towards governance development courses, a year’s complimentary membership of the Institute, a board internship and mentoring from an experienced director. Ash-Leigh will serve her board internship with health insurance provider UniMed. Chair Jane Huria says the board is very pleased to welcome her as an emerging director. “Ash-Leigh is an outstanding Ngai Tahu woman. She is hard working and strongly values based, and we look forward to having her join our team.” Ash-Leigh names Huria as one of mentors. “Straight away I have half a dozen
mentors of mine that pop into my head – Sam Robinson, Sharon Angus, Catherine McMillian, Traci Houpapa, Carmelle Riley and Jane Huria,” she told Dairy News. “Not sure if it is by accident or on purpose that five out of the six mentors, I’ve had support me on my journey, are female. “I think women are incredibly supportive of supporting others to strive for leadership roles. Mentorship doesn’t need to be formal but knowing you can make a phone call and send an email to someone for support or guidance is what it’s all about.” Ash-Leigh says the IoD award is significantly important. It enables her to sit around a boardroom table with experienced directors and to listen and learn in a safe environment. “The 1:1 mentorship that will also be provided by Jane Huria, the UniMed board chair will be invaluable as well as the $1,500 towards an Institute of Directors (IoD) course which will enable further opportunities to network with others attending the course,” she says. “I haven’t decided what course I will do yet. I have already completed the governance essentials and financial essential courses through IoD,” she says. Ash-Leigh is “pretty relaxed’ about what future director roles come her way. Right now she is focussing on ensuring success as a sharemilker, having gone variable order sharemilking this season with friend Jason DeBoo under their company name “Partners in Cream” Ltd.
BAPTISM BY FIRE CHAIRING NZ Young Farmers for three years was “baptism by fire”, says Ash-Leigh Campbell. ‘My ethos and mentality for the first 12 months were sink or swim, so I just got on with it,” she tells Dairy News. “I thought I had just gotten comfortable around the boardroom table, and then along came Covid-19 and it wreaked havoc causing for the first time ever in history of the competition the cancellation of the 2020 FMG Young Farmer of the Year. “It certainly wasn’t a smooth and easy ride but the experiences and lessons gained from the challenges are invaluable. “I am also thankful to have been able to kick start my exposure and understanding of governance and
strategy at such a young age due to the opportunities NZYF provides. “NZYF plays a key role in developing and nurturing the future leaders of the sector.” Ash-Leigh believes isolation is one of the biggest challenges facing young farmers today. Therefore it is incredibly important for young farmers to be active in their local community, not only for their well-being but for the sense of belonging, she adds. “Being involved in my local Young Farmers Club in Dunsandel enabled me to connect with like mind people, learn a few skills on and off the farm, personal development, a few social shindigs and connection to industry opportunities and employers,” she says.
DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
NEWS // 7
Decline in Southland waterways stopped, but no improvements JESSICA MARSHALL email@example.com
AN ANNUAL update of
river water quality on the LAWA (Land, Air, Water Aotearoa) website reveals that Southland has had little change in its water quality over the past decade. Of 61 sites monitored for E. coli, 10 fall into the A and B band, suggesting they would be suitable for swimming based on the long-term monitoring grade. Macroinvertebrate monitoring shows the lowest scores come in pasture covered land, with 18 out of 57 sites in the D band and none in the A band. For ammonia toxicity
Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips (inset) says Southlanders have done and are continuing to do some great work to improve the environment, but there is still more to do.
and nitrogen, none of the Southland sites fall into the D band, and around half are in the A band for both indicators. Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips says that analysis of the data provides an assessment of the state of
rivers and a national picture. “We can look at the Southland numbers, but can’t use this analysis for a finer scale like a specific catchment or industry,” he told Dairy News. He adds that the most impacted rivers are those
linked to developed farmland and urban areas. “While we can’t attribute these results to an industry, we know that high levels of containments including nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and E. coli are continuing to have an impact.
“Southlanders have done and are continuing to do some great work to improve the environment, but there is still more to do.” He says that Environment Southland is working step-by-step through a planned programme
to stem the worsening of water quality in the region’s lakes, rivers, streams, groundwater, estuaries and coastal waters, and restore them to a resilient state. “As part of this programme, we are supporting improved practice
across our river catchments and have established an Integrated Catchment Management area within council that is focused on water quality and working with the community.” He says the council is drawing together the latest environmental science, regional economic analysis, Ngāi Tahu mātauranga (knowledge) and input from locals to work out how to achieve these goals, and to meet increasing responsibilities set out in legislation and regulations. “Southland needs to make significant change within a generation and we have a plan to focus first, on what we can achieve in the next ten years.”
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
8 // NEWS
Congestion, strike add to global shipping woes PETER BURKE firstname.lastname@example.org
CONGESTION AT the Ports of Auckland and strikes in Australia are adding to supply chain shipping problems around the world, which in turn are affecting the shipment of New Zealand primary products to world markets. The NZ head for the giant shipping line Hamburg Sud – a major carrier of our primary exports – says there are multiple factors in shipping delays caused by Covid19. Simon Edwards says there is also high demand for shipping in the uncertain times. He says his company is fully committed to servicing the NZ market and in the past nine months has increased the number of its vessels calling at our ports, to alleviate some of the supply chain congestion. “As well as investing
Hamburg Sud New Zealand head Simon Edwards says there are multiple factors in shipping delays caused by Covid-19.
in increasing our container pool, we have also invested in ‘extra loaders’ both to evacuate lowgrade containers from Ports of Auckland and alleviate depot congestion, as well as positioning empty reefer and food grade quality containers into the country to
support our agricultural exports,” he says. Edwards says Hamburg Sud will continue to focus on communication with their customers to keep them informed about the current supply chain situation, here in New Zealand and in the Asia Pacific Region. He says
they have also changed the way they implement vessel contingency plans with increased lead time and a higher focus on structural contingencies to empower our customers and enable them to improve their supply chain planning and cargo flows.
He says it’s hard to predict how long the disruptions will continue given the complexity of the global supply system. “But based on the current market dynamics and continued impact from Covid-19, we expect the current situation to last well into 2022.”
O’CONNOR’S OVERSEAS ODYSSEY AGRICULTURE MINISTER
Damien O’Connor continued his overseas odyssey in the past week with multiple meetings in the US, Europe and Ireland – all aimed at sorting out trade issues which in the case of Europe dairy is a major issue. The main purpose of his trip is to engage with the European
Union (EU) with whom NZ is currently endeavouring to negotiate a free trade agreement (FTA). The negotiations have been progressing slowly and as yet the EU has not come up with a better offer than the one former EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan offered a year ago. That offer was widely condemned by NZ pol-
iticians and farming leaders as grossly inadequate and insulting. On his way to Europe, O’Connor stopped off in Washington, D.C. to meet with the US Trade Representative Katherine Tai, becoming the first NZ government minister to visit the US since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Before leaving on his
trip, Minister O’Connor said he’d be talking to US counterparts about how we can work together to keep our bilateral trade and economic relationship on its current growth trajectory. The US is NZ’s third largest trading partner. In the past week, Damien O’Connor has held meetings in Sweden, Ireland and France.
Slow start on the West Coast IT’S BEEN a slow start to the dairy season on the West Coast of the South Island. Westland Milk Products chief executive Richard Wyeth says it’s been quite wet on the coast and it’s too early to say just what the season will look like in the end. He says milk production has been slightly down on normal for this time of the year but the feeling is that this will pick up as the season progresses. Meanwhile, Westland’s new $40 million butter plant is now fully operational. The company recently installed two new state-of-the-art butter churns which will allow them to produce up to 40,000 tonnes of butter for retail markets both overseas and in NZ – doubling the capacity of Westland’s butter production. Wyeth says there have been no significant issues with the new plant – only minor commissioning issues which anyone might expect. “We are very excited about the quality of the butter that’s coming out of the plant and it will certainly help us achieve our long-term goals of doubling out butter for retail sales. The upgrade includes streamline packaging lines which help us make more butter for retail and less consumer bulk product,” he says. Wyeth says currently the plant is heading towards producing about 30,000 tonnes of butter in retail packs. The next three months will be critical times for the primary sector and in particular the dairy sector as it tries to get product to its key markets in the midst of a logistical crisis. He says this is because the milk flow peaks and when large volumes of dairy products are shipped overseas. He says the dairy industry needs to get its product to China at this time of the year to fit in with free trade agreement quotas. Wyeth says the situation was fine during the winter months and says Westland has been able to hit its export targets but as volumes of product increase, the logistical issues start to hit home. “Every week there are shipping delays with vessels skipping ports or simply not arriving at all and that certainly impacts on us and others. What we are also seeing is freight rates going up significantly, whether it’s chilled or dry freight. The costs we are expecting to see into next year are significantly higher than the current season which is going to be challenging for all. Globally that means inflation and in turns it means that consumers will [pay] for that sometime in the future,” he says. – Peter Burke
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
NEWS // 11
Asset sales to fund capital return to shareholders SUDESH KISSUN email@example.com
FONTERRA’S PLAN to return $1 billion to shareholders in three years through the divestments of overseas milk pools is the right move, according to Waikato farmer Andrew McGiven. While the co-operative has used proceeds from previous divestments to reduce debt, this is the first time it has signalled a return of capital to shareholders. The co-op didn’t return any capital to shareholders after the sale of its ill-fated China Farms. Over the years, the co-op invested close to $1 billion dollars in the Chi-
Waikato farmer Andrew McGiven says $1b capital return for Fonterra shareholders in 2024 from asset sales will be a good move.
nese farms – with little or no returns for farmer shareholders. McGiven believes that after the experience with China Farms, most shareholders and milk suppliers will back the sale of the
remaining overseas milk pools. Fonterra believes it has an opportunity to differentiate New Zealand milk further on the world stage, with the aim of getting more value from the
co-op’s milk. As a result, it is reviewing ownership its Chilean and Australian businesses where it still collects and processes milk. McGiven, a former Waikato Federated Farm-
ers president, told Dairy News that selling assets and returning most of the proceeds to shareholders is the right thing to do “if those plants pose a risk of becoming a burden on the balance sheet”. “Since those assets have been paid for over time by the suppliers, then that is where the sales proceeds should go.” He says focusing on NZ milk is a no-brainer. “Especially now that we have with a static milk pool and increasing competition for milk from new processors,” he says. “Fonterra can better monitor the quality of the product and better secure the supply chain so that potential milk contamination issues can’t occur
and also better oversee costs.” Chief executive Miles Hurrell says as the co-op looks out to 2030, the fundamentals of dairy – in particular, New Zealand dairy – look strong. “Put simply, the world wants what we’ve got – sustainably produced, high-quality, nutritious milk,” he says. “This comes at a time when we see total milk supply in New Zealand as likely to decline, and flat at best. On one hand, this requires the right capital structure to help ensure we don’t lose the benefits of what generations of farmers have built – a New Zealand dairy cooperative of scale. “But on the
other hand, it gives us more options to be selective about what we do with our coop’s milk. In doing so, we can increase the value we generate for farmers and New Zealand over the next decade. “To make this happen we have made three strategic choices – continue to focus on New Zealand milk, be a leader in sustainability and be a leader in dairy innovation and science.” Fonterra also plans to boost its annual R&D investment by over 50% to around $160 million per annum in 2030.
SYNLAIT LAUNCHES ‘SWAPPA BOTTLE’ CANTERBURY PROCESSOR
Synlait’s first consumer food product is all about eliminating waste. The Synlait Swappa Bottle, launched last week, is a 1.5-litre reusable stainless steel bottle of homogenised milk, exclusively sourced from the company’s highest performing farms – based on land stewardship, staff care and animal welfare. The company says the Synlait
Swappa Bottle concept is simple – drink, return, repeat. Consumers purchase a Synlait Swappa Bottle then return the empty bottle and lid to the store, reducing waste and eliminating plastic packaging. Synlait director sustainability & brand Hamish Reid says the product is all about reducing plastic waste. “In the things that we choose to eat and drink, we support the
future we want to see. New Zealanders have been telling us for years that they are deeply concerned about plastic waste, but in milk, there haven’t been many options.” Synlait Swappa Bottles are initially being launched in two South Island New World stores, with plans to widen distribution over time. Synlait has signalled its inten-
tion to move closer to the consumer for some time. Its acquisition of Dairyworks in 2019 was the start of this. It says adding a Synlait-branded product strengthens and complements its current business portfolio and expertise. “There’s an opportunity for reusables to play a much bigger role in New Zealanders’ food and beverage future, as they are already in Europe and the US,”
says Reid. “In launching Synlait Swappa Bottle – a refillable, stainless-steel bottle that can be reused time and time again – we’re hoping to trigger change.” The Synlait Swappa Bottle carries the B-Corp stamp representing Synlait’s 2020 certification.
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
12 // NEWS
Cattle sale with a difference INNOVATION, LOSS
and resilience have brought the Singh family to the point where it is poised to honour its patriarch, and to give back to the farming industry through “The Legacy” sale. The fifth generation dairy farming family is well-known in the Waikato for their innovative decision to build a 250m x 40m barn [9,625m2 ] barn to house its 1,000cow Lawwal Holsteins milking herd – by absorbing the best of the North American experience and applying it to their own landscape. The freestall barn innovation was initiated by the late Aman Singh and his wife Daljit, together with their son, Arjun. It became a reality in 2018 when Calder Stewart completed the imposing structure. The barn was fitted out by GEA Farm Technologies and no detail was left untouched. It won Silver in the 2019 New Zealand Commercial Project Awards. The herd’s numbers have since moved from 600 to 1,000head, and the herd’s average production has lifted by almost 30% to this season’s projected 700 kgMS per cow. With mature cows cracking 1043 kgMS, and two-year-olds producing up to 935 kgMS, the decision has been a triumph for its owners. Sadly, Aman did not get a chance to see the best of it. In March 2020, he passed away of a heart
Lawwal Holsteins is housed under a 250m x 40m barn in Waikato.
READY TO SHOW AND TELL
Arjun Singh says the open day planned for next year will be a dedication to his late dad.
attack, aged 49 – leaving his family to continue what he had started. Arjun said that his father’s vision was to showcase an example of “farming for the future” within a sustainable operation at Lawwal. “He wanted an operation that would be compliant, without compromising cow comfort, or great working facilities for our staff,” Arjun said. “While he worked hard, he never underestimated the importance of having a healthy lifestyle, and he encouraged everyone around him to do the same.”
Aman set a great example. He was a member of Crossfit Te Rapa for six years, earning the award for the “Heart of CFTR”. As the family have
worked to rebuild their lives without Aman’s daily presence, guidance and expertise, their thoughts have now turned to honouring his memory.
WITH FOUR years behind them in the barn Arjun’s family is ready to showcase the operation. Their highest producing cow for last season was a Supersire daughter Lawwal Ssire Bailey who produced 1043kg Milk Solids (MS) and 14,350 litres as a six-year-old. Their top two-year-old was Lawwal Montross Casas who produced 943kg MS [11,990 litres]. She will sell fresh in the sale. “Dad and I had many conversations around how we can feed our cows better. “That we were struggling to fully feed the cows enough on grass all year round, especially in the summer,” Arjun explained.
“We started looking around, and we liked the look of the freestall barns. So, Dad went to the US and saw some really good barns, and some really bad barns. “He came back and he sent me down to the South Island to look at barns down there, and when we came back together, we knew this was what we wanted to do. “It was definitely the right call and we’d like to also showcase the TMR (total mixed ration) system. Because TMR has worked very well for us. We grow 70-80% of the daily ration on farm, mainly maize silage and grass silage. “This system has allowed us to increase production.”
LEGACY SALE THE LEGACY sale will sell 50head on April 22, 2022. It will also include a farm open day and fundraiser. The family will donate 10% of its sale proceeds – to the Heart Foundation (5%) and Rural Support Trust (5%). This is an event that has been planned to be all about family, showcasing improved technology for the future,
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great cows, and living a healthy and balanced lifestyle. It is deliberately slated during the school holidays to reflect the emphasis on family. “The whole day is dedicated to Dad,” Arjun, 24, said. “He built the legacy here at our farm and laid the platform for us. We wanted to raise funds for two charities that are close to our hearts. The
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success of this sale for us will be measured through helping others.” This includes the unique decision to offer the pick of its 1,000-cow milking herd. The sale will include inmilk cows, yearlings, calves and the pick of the flush lots. There will be a mix of high production New Zealandbred animals which carry LIC
interest. The international high-type animals come straight from the top shelf. With descendants being offered from four EX97 [including three World Dairy Expo Grand Champions] and three EX96 cows from household North American names like Ferme Jacobs, Ferme Blondin, Ferme Boulet, and Kueffner Holsteins.
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
WORLD NEWS // 13
In the UK, red diesel is the term used for gas oil that is intended for use by farmers and contractors.
UK diesel supply running dry FOLLOWING ON from fuel shortages and panic buying in the UK – said to be inflamed by media hype about a dire shortage of heavy truck drivers – red diesel suppliers are reporting disruption to farm deliveries in some parts of the country that are well into the post-harvest cultivation and planting season. Some contractors in the east of the country have been advised of a three to four week delay in getting deliveries. One operator with four large tractors reports: “It’s a busy time on farms, with lots going on, including spraying, cultivations, drilling and hedge-cutting. We certainly don’t have enough fuel to last until the end of the month,
given that when cultivating, even medium horsepower tractors are easily using up to 100 litres plus each day.” The National Association of Agricultural Contractors said it is aware of issues with deliveries in some areas and is telling its members to plan well ahead. Meanwhile, there are reports that some farmers have been using red diesel off-farm out of necessity because of poor rural supplies of “standard” diesel. Government department DEFRA is warning users that there is no amnesty on its use in non-agricultural vehicles, so getting caught could result in a large fine, plus a calculation of the duty being evaded.
RED OIL IN THE UK, red diesel is the term used for gas oil that is intended for use by farmers and contractors, alongside other off-road vehicle users. It is so named because since 1961 it has been a requirement that it must be marked with a red dye as well as chemical markers to make it easily identifiable. This helps prevent its misuse in road vehicles as it is a lower cost and is subject to a reduced VAT (tax rate) of only 5%.
The UK’s largest rural insurer, NFU Mutual is warning of increasing reports about fuel theft from rural properties, urging farmers to be vigilant and to strengthen security. It advises fitting a fuel tank alarm such as remote electronic fuel-level gauges that can set off an audible or monitored
ALWAYS MIX CORRECTLY It’s a fact that 30% of the teat spray used daily on NZ dairy farms may not be mixed correctly. Confused by understanding what mixing 1:6 versus 1:9 means, users mostly make up ‘over strength’ mixtures that cause teat damage and add to unnecessary cost. MixMaker users are amazed by the savings in teat spray from automated dilution every day.
alarm if the fuel level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a defined level. It also suggests that tractors and powered machinery should also be locked up and out of sight from public roads and footpaths when not in use, to prevent thieves draining fuel tanks. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
UK FARMERS SEEKING SPECIAL COVID VISA UK FARMERS are joining organ-
isations from across the food and farming sector in calling for the Government to introduce a 12-month ‘Covid-19 recovery visa’. This follows a report commissioned by food and farming stakeholders that highlights an average vacancy rate of 13% and estimates there are more than 500,000 vacancies across food and drink businesses. The report highlights the impact the pandemic and the UK’s postBrexit immigration policy is having on the sector’s ability to recruit key workers. NFU Vice President Tom Brad-
shaw says for the past 18 months, food and farming businesses have been working hard to keep shelves and fridges full of nutritious and affordable food. But as the new report demonstrates, businesses throughout the supply chain in a wide variety of roles are really feeling the impacts of the workforce shortages. “Farm businesses have done all they can to recruit staff domestically, but even increasingly competitive wages have had little impact because the labour pool is so limited – instead only adding to growing production costs,” says Bradshaw.
“It is simplistic to argue that the end of furlough will see many more people meeting this shortfall. Furloughed workers are concentrated in urban areas and not where many agri-food roles are located. “A solution to this crisis will need the right people with the right skills and training available in rural areas where many roles are based. “A short term Covid-19 Recovery Visa, alongside a permanent Seasonal Workers Scheme, would be an effective and, frankly, vital route to help the pressing needs of the industry today. “ @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
14 // WORLD NEWS
Oz milk co-op fined $11,000 AN AUSTRALIAN farmer co-operative that purchases
Victoria is a leading contributor to Australia’s dairy industry, accounting for 77% of Australia’s dairy exports valued at A$2.1 billion.
Victoria dairy sector leads the nation A NEW report has revealed that in 2020-21 Victorian farmers experienced the best financial returns in more than six years as the sector continues to innovate and excel. Victorian Minister for Agriculture Mary-Anne Thomas released the 2020-21 Dairy Farm Monitor report this month, which shows the hard work and resilience of farmers has paid off after experiencing some difficult years responding to recent dry conditions, low water allocations and market volatility. Agriculture Victoria’s Dairy Farm Monitor project is a collaboration with Dairy Australia to provide critical insight for industry into how the sector is tracking. The annual
report is a comprehensive financial and production analysis of 80 Victorian dairy farm businesses in south-western Victoria, Gippsland and northern Victoria. The quality benchmarking data in the report gives Victorian dairy farmers the ability to make comparisons and identify areas they could change to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of their businesses. While average dairy farm profits were up across most of the state, dairy farmers in Victoria’s north posted the best results, taking advantage of favourable seasonal conditions to record the highest profits this region has seen for 15 years.
Since the last report, farm cashflows have increased from the previous year, with 94% of farms recording a positive return. This financial rebound has enabled farmers to invest back into their businesses by repairing and upgrading infrastructure and machinery and improving pastures. Victoria is a leading contributor to Australia’s dairy industry, accounting for 77% of Australia’s dairy exports valued at A$2.1 billion. The gross value of milk produced in Victoria is worth A$2.7 billion (2018-19). The sector supports almost 10,000 jobs with more than half of these workers located in regional Victoria.
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milk from farmers across the country has been fined $11,000 for breaching the country’s Dairy Code. Dairy Farmers Milk Co-operative Limited (DFMC) has since apologised to its 160 farmer suppliers for failing to comply with its publishing obligations under the Dairy Code. The co-operative collects 185 million litres of milk every year across Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. It has an exclusive agreement to supply milk to one of Australia’s largest processors, Bega Foods. The Dairy Code requires most companies that buy milk from farmers to publish standard form milk supply agreements on their websites by 2pm on 1 June each year. These agreements must cover all the circumstances in which the company intends to purchase milk in the upcoming dairy season, so farmers can compare the minimum prices ACCC deputy chair Mick and contract terms on offer. Keogh says the Dairy Code was introduced to improve The Australian Competition and Conprice transparency in the dairy sumer Commission (ACCC) charged that industry. Dairy Farmers did not publish milk supply agreements for the 2021-22 dairy season on its website by the publication deadline. DFMC has since published all of its milk supply agreements on its website. “The Dairy Code imposes certain obligations on all companies that buy milk from farmers,” ACCC deputy chair Mick Keogh said. “While DFMC doesn’t process milk, it was buying milk from member farmers to supply a processor, and so has the same legal obligations under the code.” “Failing to publish milk supply agreements on time makes it more difficult for farmers to access key information about the milk supply terms on offer. We know that many farmers have to make time-critical supply decisions in June each year,” Keogh said. “The code was introduced to improve price transparency in the dairy industry, so it is essential that processors and co-ops make their milk supply agreements publicly available by the 2.00pm deadline on 1 June.” DFMC says it has worked openly and constructively with ACCC staff to address the issues raised in the infringement notice. “With a small management team, DFMC manages more than 20 different farmgate milk supply agreements and is now undertaking a review of all processes and timelines associated with the requirements of the code, with a view to making the necessary changes to ensure compliance in 2022.”
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
AGRIBUSINESS // 15
Entries now open for refreshed awards ORGANISERS SAY
excitement is high for the refreshed 2022 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA) programme. Entries are now open and all three categories have been refreshed and revamped, after months of consultation, feedback and discussion. Entries can be made online via the awards website www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz. NZDIA general manager Robin Congdon says it’s very important that the awards programme remains relevant and that issues raised in feedback were addressed. The Share Farmer, Dairy Manager and Dairy Trainee categories have been future-proofed to ensure the awards programme provides the best platform for all entrants to learn, connect and grow. This can be seen in the changes to judging in the Dairy Trainee category, with skills day providing an opportunity to learn, not just be judged, he says. Dairy Manager conditions of entry changes include removing the minimum time spent on a New Zealand farm in relation to visa restrictions. Merit awards now
Eketahuna brothers Manoj Kumar (right) and Sumit Kamboj created history by jointly winning the Share Farmer of the Year award last year.
ALWAYS MIX SAFE No more running out of teat spray in the middle of milking.
reflect the evolving New Zealand dairy industry with the powerplay dropped and the emerging talent award replacing the encouragement award Regional merit name changes include the DairyNZ People & Engagement Leadership Award, Environment & Sustainability Award replacing the Leadership Award and the Pasture & Feed Management Award replacing Feed Management Award. “There’s also an exciting opportunity for regional sponsors to claim naming rights to the Planning & Financial Management Award, which hasn’t
“There’s also an exciting opportunity for regional sponsors to claim naming rights to the Planning & Financial Management Award, which hasn’t been available for many years.” been available for many years,” says Congdon. The Share Farmer category has also been under the microscope with changes including an easier entry process, lessening the work load of judges who are all volunteers and to ensure the category is still fit for purpose. “Changes are also
being made to the appraisal process which will help eliminate the potential for it to become or be perceived as a box ticking,” he says. “There’s a real buzz around all the changes and the regional committees are excited to put them into practice.” The New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards
are supported by national sponsors DeLaval, Ecolab, Federated Farmers, Fonterra, Honda, LIC, Meridian Energy and Ravensdown, along with industry partner DairyNZ. The National Awards Dinner will be returning to Christchurch for the first time since May 2008. The dinner will be held at Te Pae on May 14. “We are excited to bring our programme partners, sponsors regional finalists and their supporters for a week of experiences and personal development in and around Christchurch.”
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PYKE TO CHAIR AGMARDT FORMER
of Arable Research (FAR) chief executive Nick Pyke is chair of the AGMARDT Board of Trustees. Pyke, who has been a member of the board for two years, has succeeded Richard Green, who will step down from the board this year after six years as a trustee, the last two as chair. Pyke is a founder and director of Ag Innovate Ltd and Leftfield Innovation Ltd and has extensive governance experience with agricultural businesses, farms and industry good organisations. “Richard understands the industry so well and has done a brilliant job,” says Pyke. “I share his passion for the work that AGMARDT does. Our board is strongly focused on aligning with the AGMARDT
strategy and on continuing to build the fund so that we can invest more in grants back into improving the food and fibre sector through innovation and developing leadership.” Green said it had been a great privilege to serve on the board. “AGMARDT has regularly ‘refreshed its bench’ through bringing in new trustees to ensure diversity of thought and fresh ideas,” he says. “The recent appointment of our new general manager, LeeAnn Marsh, was a logical time for me to also decide to step down as chair. “I am looking forward to my final few months on the board and to supporting Nick and our fellow trustees in continuing the fantastic work that AGMARDT does.”
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
16 // OPINION RUMINATING
Follow the leader
MILKING IT... Efficient cows
On the move
Feeling the heat
NEW DATA from Statistics NZ shows that Canterbury had the biggest fall in agricultural emissions, down 2.7%, mainly due to a decline in livestock numbers. Unsurprisingly, Greenpeace has jumped in, claiming this is clear evidence that lowering cow stocking rates works to cut climate pollution and harping that lowering stocking rates is the simple answer to our climate change woes. However, what the statistics really show is improving efficiency within the dairy industry. Our farmers are milking fewer cows but still producing the same amount of milk, thanks to better genetics and on-farm practices. And over time, with new science and technology and even better genetics, our emissions will be lower. No one is buying the activists’ suggestion to lower stock numbers.
SIX MONTHS after welcoming a new chief executive, Maori-owned milk processor Miraka has had to start a new search for a leader. Grant Watson, who left Fonterra earlier this year to join Miraka has now been poached by troubled processor Synlait. It’s quite unusual for a CEO to leave six months into his new job but the lure of turning around the fortunes of a listed company may have triggered Watson’s move. That’s speculative though as no reason has been given for Watson leaving Miraka. Now all eyes will be on Grant Watson as he tries to move Synlait back into the black after the processor recorded its first trading loss since listing on NZX – following well-publicised trading difficulties.
THE NEWS has gone from bad to worse for a2 Milk – the company Synlait had hitched its wagon to. Once the darling of the stock exchange, the milk processor a2 Milk has been struggling since Covid-19 decimated its infant formula business in China. Now Australian law firm Slater & Gordon says it has filed a claim against a2 Milk in the Supreme Court of Victoria. The claim is in relation to its disclosure over a ninemonth period when it announced four earnings downgrades. The claim is being brought on behalf of shareholders who allegedly suffered losses after acquiring a2 Milk shares on the ASX and NZX between August 19, 2020 and May 9 2021. a2 Milk said it had been notified of the legal action and will vigorously defend the proceeding.
US DAIRY farmers have a new threat to their business – heat waves. The industry is bracing for one factor that could cut production and push production costs higher – rising temperatures. US researchers have found that when temperatures spike, dairy cows may respond by producing less milk, the PBS NewsHour programme reported. And with emissions threatening to make heat waves worse and lengthen warm seasons, that could mean less milk production from cows across the country. With most of those cows housed indoors, farmers will need to run more electric fans to keep cows cool, further pushing up production costs.
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FOR A small milk processor, Tatua has been punching above its weight for many years. Every year, towards the end of September the co-operative comes out with its annual results. And every year it receives applause for showing the rest of New Zealand processors, including the world’s sixth largest milk dairy company Fonterra, a clean pair of heels when it comes to the final milk price for the previous season. This year has been no exception. On September 30th, the Tatua board met to finalise its accounts for 2020-21season. And, as is the tradition, Tatua chair Steve Allen and his board members then rang each shareholder to relay the good news. The numbers are impressive. Tatua had a good year despite challenges posed by the pandemic. Group income topped $395 million, with earnings available for payout of $162 million, equating to a record $10.43/kgMS, before retentions for reinvestment and taxation. This was an improvement on the previous year earnings of $9.96/kgMS. Tatua’s 107 supplying farms recorded their second highest milk production season – supplying 15.65 million kgMS, 3.3% ahead of the previous year. Tatua confirmed a cash payout of $9.25/kgMS, $1.50 more than what Fonterra paid its milk suppliers last season. Tatua’s mission is simple: it’s happy to be a niche player turning its small pool of milk into high quality products, for both export and the local market. This has delivered great results for Tatua, year-in, year-out. In recent years, Fonterra has been transitioning to a similar strategy; its overseas milk pools are being flogged off and attention is turning to adding value to NZ milk. Fonterra says it believes it has an opportunity to differentiate New Zealand milk further on the world stage, with the aim of getting more value from the co-op’s milk. To strengthen the value proposition of its New Zealand milk, the co-op is increasing investment in sustainability and R&D. Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says the world wants what we’ve got – sustainably produced, high-quality, nutritious milk. This is what Tatua has been doing since inception. Its website says, since 1914, they have been “developing and producing dairy products at Tatuanui, in the heart of New Zealand’s largest dairying region – the Waikato. Our mild climate, rich soils and consistent rainfall create a perfect environment for growing grass”. It has proved to be winning formula for Tatua and there’s no reason why it can’t be the same for Fonterra.
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
OPINION // 17
Why should we do more? JIM VAN DER POEL
MANAGING OUR dairy sector’s impacts inevitably attracts a range of views. Should we do more, less or stay the same? We produce the lowest emissions dairy products in the world, so why do more? When it comes to change and regulation, there’s certainly no perfect fit for all, especially with such diverse farm systems and farmers. Ultimately though, we are all challenged by new rules and what they should or shouldn’t be. Our dairy product is the most efficiently produced in the world – we have plenty to be proud of. New Zealand’s agricultural emissions have stabilised and alwaysimproving farm practices means we are 25 percent more emissions efficient at producing dairy than we were in 1990. But, like all high performers, we must continue to evolve. The bar gets ever higher due to increasing competition and evolving consumer and community demands. We are the best place in the world to be dairy farming and DairyNZ research has shown it. We want consumers to have the world’s most sustainable milk. Why the split gas approach matters Industry bodies pushed hard for the split gas approach (managing methane separately from other gases) under the Zero Carbon Act.
This was the culmination of many, many years of advocacy. That advocacy saw the Government listen. The split-gas approach is a science-based target that recognises biogenic methane has a different warming impact to carbon dioxide – its shorter lifespan means net zero is unnecessary. 2050 goals continue to be debated The 2050 target to reduce methane 24-47 percent below 2017 levels is not supported by DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ and Federated Farmers, as in our view they are not science-based targets. This 2050 target will also be reviewed by the Climate Change Commission during five yearly reviews. Meanwhile we support farmers to make initial reductions toward the 2030 target and we continue to challenge government over the 2050 target. We are also advocating hard for regular reviews based on any science, economic or other developments. We are pushing for investment into R&D because, while farm practice changes help, we also need new technologies. On the farm, He Waka Eke Noa will help us. This partnership between the primary sector, Government and Māori will support farmers and growers to measure, manage and reduce emissions. Its design will recognise sequestration, recognise methane’s target and get funds back into the
sector to support change. In the next six months we will present options to farmers on He Waka Eka Noa and seek your feedback. He Waka Eke Noa and programmes like DairyNZ’s Step Change are geared at supporting farmers. Farmers are renowned
Jim van der Poel
for their ability to adapt – and we will again. Changes can be made over time, sensibly and with the right tools. Pushing climate progress down the track would leave us unprepared and at risk. Farming for the future As a sector, we have to accept our emissions, their impact, the need
to reduce, and that farm practices can adapt. Strong international and domestic pressure remains. We also need to maintain our international brand’s credibility and competitive edge. While we continue to push for regular reviews, we also need the Government to deliver a credible
emissions reduction plan for New Zealand – and solid investment in tools and solutions to back up the targets. All gases must do their part in meeting New Zealand’s commitments. That is crucial. • Jim van der Poel is DairyNZ chairman @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
THE SMART CHOICE FOR A
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
18 // MANAGEMENT
Birds causing carnage in rural NZ MARK DANIEL email@example.com
NESTING BIRDS are wreaking havoc when it comes to rural insurance, causing more than $4 million in claims over the last three years, says FMG. The most common claim is tractor fires caused by birds nesting in tractor engines during springtime. Drawn to small dark spaces under the hood, they quickly start building nests of twigs, often near the exhaust manifold, which when the engine is started gets hot, sets the nesting material alight. FMG manager for advice services, Stephen Cantwell, says it’s not uncommon for tractors in these scenarios to quickly go up in flames, especially if the hood is lifted for a closer look, allow-
ing a rush of air to feed the flames, endangering lives and putting buildings and other farm equipment at risk. “Our claims data shows nests have also caused fires in other vehicles including cars, utes, diggers, and quads.” Nests can also be a problem in switchboards of buildings, with the resultant electrical fires alongside major disruption particularly in milking sheds. It’s also important for dairy farmers to keep birds out of the shed as well to protect their milk storage. “FMG receives roughly 25 claims a year from birds getting into vats and spoiling milk,” says Cantwell. With spring now upon us, bringing with it, increased nesting activity, FMG is reminding farmers and contractors to
not forget to Stop & Pop – so before starting any tractors or self-propelled units, to stop, pop the hood and check for any new nests. Likewise, it is also good practise at the end work to get into the habit of leaving the hood raised, as it discourages the birds from starting to build a nest. You can order Stop & Pop reminder stickers for your vehicles at www.fmg. co.nz/advice/sticker-orderform. Cantrell also suggests you put a reminder in your calendar to check the switchboards in your house and other “powered” buildings, while also noting that bird related claims are not just limited to fires, but also carpet stains, pipes blocked by nests or smashed vehicle and building glass. www.fmg.co.nz/advice
The most common rural insurance claim is tractor fires caused by birds nesting in tractor engines during springtime.
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MANAGEMENT // 19
ALWAYS MIX FRESH Iodine and Chlorhexidine should always be mixed and applied fresh each day for maximum benefit.
Scientist Bert Quin (inset)) claims he has developed new fertiliser technology that will help minimise the environmental footprint on many farms.
New fert technology a ‘game changer’ SCIENTIST DR Bert Quin claims he has developed new fertiliser technology that will help minimise the environmental footprint on many farms. Quin says new ‘Allophos’ technology simultaneously reduces phosphate loss and increases soil carbon. While not as environmentally protective as sustained-release reactive phosphate rock (RPR), the new technology does permit safer use of superphosphate and other soluble P fertilisers such as triple superphosphate (TSP), diammonium phosphate (DAP) and monoammonium phosphate (MAP) in what would otherwise be very environmentally risky situations, he says. “It is particularly beneficial on low P-retention soils like peats, podzols, and irrigated shallow and recent soils,” says Quin. “The performance of straight RPR can struggle on typically over-limed peat and other low-mineral, low-CEC soils. Excess undissolved lime in the surface soil reduces the rate of RPR dissolution.” Quin’s new technology is designed to at least match the productivity of
untreated soluble P at any pH and rainfall, but without the losses in leaching and run-off. According to Quin – an ex-government chief scientist for soil fertility with the predecessor of AgResearch – a second benefit of the technology is that allophane has long been proven to increase accumulation and biological activity of soil organic matter, sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the process. “I am very excited about its potential,” says Quin. “With this technology, there is no excuse for any intensive grazing farmer on low-medium P-retention (aka ASC) soils to continue to use unmodified soluble P fertiliser.” The basis of the technology is incubating soluble phosphate-based fertiliser – of any type – with damp subsoil from allophanic or other highly P-retentive soils, which is present in huge areas of the North Island, and also in a few locations in the South Island, Quin says. “Allophane is a very fine clay formed mainly from volcanic ash, but is also found in some high-rainfall areas in the absence of ash.
PATENTS AND INVESTORS BERT QUIN’S company Quin Environmentals, which trades as Quinfert in the fertiliser market, has applied for patents over the technology, and is looking for investors. Ratios of allophanic subsoil to fertiliser are being investigated, and will likely range from 1 to 1 up to 5:1, depending on the soil’s ASC, summer drought issues and the type of soluble fertiliser used. Quin says that while the inclusion of allophane will obviously increase spreading costs, the benefits of the reduction in maintenance lime requirements over time, greatly improved water quality and drought resistance will outweigh this. “In three year’s time, I think people will be wondering why nobody had thought of it before. I ask myself why I hadn’t. My ideas usually come to me around 2am,
“Its main characteristic is its extraordinary ability to retain plant-available P in non-water-soluble form, which protects it from runoff and leaching losses. For aerial application, the product will be pre-dried with burnt lime. “Soils developed from allophane-rich ash deposits have been known for decades to have much lower losses of P than other soils for this reason,” he says. “There can be 10 metres or more of allophane-rich clay below the root-zone of
and then I can’t sleep.” The products, which will include potash, sulphur and other nutrients, will be marketed under the Quinfert Allophos name. The first blend will be available this spring, initially in the Waikato, from the McPherson’s depot near Te Poi and the Quinfert bagged fertiliser store in Waharoa. Eventually, Quin says, the soil organic carbon sequestering benefits of allophane, both in terms of soil productivity and carbon credits, will see the Allophos technology being used throughout NZ. This is not the first environmentally and financially beneficial fertiliser development by Quin. He developed and brought to market the urease inhibitor-coated granular urea product SustaiN in 2001.
pasture and crops which is just waiting to be put to good use.” Quin says there are many locations in the Waikato and BOP, for example, where old river sand under pasture is being removed for use in construction. In these areas, the topsoil is removed and replaced after sand removal, so pasture production is not affected long-term. “Exactly the same would apply to the excavation of allophanic clay,” he says. “Lime use is
excessive on many shallow, low CEC soils. What they really need is allophane and less lime.” Quin also says the allophane in soil sequesters carbon dioxide as it accumulates highly productive soil organic matter. “It will over time markedly reduce the current massive losses of carbon dioxide that are lost from farmed peat soils – anything up to 5,000kg per hectare annually.” @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
20 // MANAGEMENT
Another way to manage N use A NEW product has been launched that is said to increase soil productivity, improve nitrogen efficiency and in the end, profit per hectare. PermaGreen, launched in July by Blue Pacific Minerals, is described as a nutrient management system which has a natural zeolite core loaded with urea. The material is applied to the soil before crops are planted. The zeolite crystal retains the urea but then slowly releases it once in the ground, ready for plants to uptake. It is said to be able to retain cation nutrients in the soil, reducing nitrogen losses to the air and water. Dave Hill has been leading the research and development of PermaGreen for the company and says a successful series of broadacre trials
Maize was chosen for the trials because it’s a largescale crop hungry for nitrogen to grow.
in 2020 provided the confidence to take the product to market for commercial growers. “We selected soils we thought would suit the functionality of this material, which tend to be those that are prone to leaching nitrogen.” There were two properties in Matamata, one in South Waikato and one in Cambridge, where trial crops were planted into PermaGreen plots for the 2020 growing season.
“We chose maize because it’s really a largescale crop hungry for nitrogen to grow and we know there is pressure on farmers now to reduce nitrogen use.” Those who took part in the trial included contractors who lease ground to grow their own maize and trade it, as well as dairy farmers growing their own supplements. Hill claims that across the trial paddocks, PermaGreen gained on average a
25 increase in dry matter yield, which was better than the 8-15% initially forecast. “The key is the formal attachment of the zeolite and urea – and having this high cation exchange of the zeolite immediately available when ammonium is delivered by urease activity. “If nitrogen is not taken up by the plant in a reasonably short amount of time it may disappear as ammonia gas or leach
in the form of nitrate. “The concept we have here is that the zeolite is very hungry for ammonia/ammonium, so as the urea breaks down the zeolite grabs the ammoniacal nitrogen and holds on to it.” Hill says zeolite’s ability to retain both moisture and nitrogen compounds in the soil was a major benefit to farming. “We believe adding zeolite and urea together before planting give you the best opportunity of wrapping that effect up so you minimise those losses.” Blue Pacific Minerals was happy to share the results of the trial with any growers keen to use PermaGreen for this or future planting seasons. “We’ve now got a bit of a benchmark on previous years where we had used zeolite on its own,”
POTENTIAL TO HELP DAVE HILL says PermaGreen has the potential to help farmers meet their obligations when it comes to reducing nitrogen use on the land. “New Zealand is still going through the process of determining what the level of nitrogen use could be per hectare but we have seen in parts of the country, such as in Canterbury, where a nitrogen cap to cropping has been applied. “In the Waikato, there are recommendations but not a mandate for a cap yet but as time goes forward, nitrogen use is likely to become a sinking-lid process, in our view. “I would say most farmers are looking to the future, how they must manage their nitrogen and fertiliser regime, trying to find better ways to improve efficiency and to stay ahead of the game.”
says Hill. “Delivering the product with urea infused now gives us a new set of data that we can add to in the coming years.” Hill said international scientific research also showed the benefits of
zeolite and urea used in combination in growing crops. “That has also given us the confidence to continue to make this product more effective and efficient for farmers.”
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
ANIMAL HEALTH // 21
New formula for weaning calves this season Alleva Animal Health claims it is a huge leap forward in terms of efficacy and safety in cattle drenches.
THE TEAM at Alleva Animal Health claim to have developed a worldfirst formula specifically designed for weaned calves. The product, Turbo Initial, is an oral drench that the company says provides worm parasite coverage, as well as helping to protect against coccidiosis. Alleva general manager Blair Loveridge says the company is excited with the new product. “We’ve listened to the market and worked with vets to iron out as many pain points of cattle drench options in New Zealand as we can,” he says. “The result is really exciting and a huge leap forward in terms of efficacy and safety in cattle drenches.” Turbo Initial is stage one of the 3-stage drench programme designed by Alleva Animal Health specifically for growing cattle. Due to stress and undeveloped immunity during the weaning transition, calves are very susceptible to parasitism from both gastrointestinal parasites and coccidiosis. The result can have an impact on growth rates during this time while the calf’s immunity to coccidia infection is developing. Providing worm para-
“We’ve listened to the market and worked with vets to iron out as many pain points of cattle drench options in New Zealand as we can. The result is really exciting and a huge leap forward in terms of efficacy and safety in cattle drenches.” site coverage, as well as helping to protect against coccidiosis, is a combination that helps provide protection during the vulnerable period after calves come off coccidiostat-treated meal onto pasture while supporting the development of their natural immunity to coccidiosis.
The second product in the range is also an oral drench named Turbo Advance. This targets cattle in that second stage of growth, where coccidiosis immunity has developed and they are still a safe size to drench orally. It can also be used on cattle under 120kg which
is often not an option with many other drench combinations, allowing for variations in growth rates within mobs. Turbo Pour-on and Injection are alternate treatments for the third stage of growth, suitable for cattle that are too large for an oral drench. Turbo Initial is available exclusively through veterinary practices nationwide and is recommended as the first drench for weaned young stock. Alleva Animal Health is New Zealand owned and operated, which it says ensures products are designed specifically for New Zealand farmers.
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SINGLE DOSE GETS RESULTS CANTERBURY DAIRY farmers Matthew and Trudy Holmes believe in cost effective solutions when it comes to weaning calves. The couple milk 1,200 cows over two farms and rear approximately 320 heifers each year. Coccidiosis has been an issue for them in previous years and required a special treatment during weaning. Initially they selectively dosed calves with a specific coccidiosis product due to the costs involved, but eventually began treating the whole lot to avoid problems – and they admit it’s an expensive process. “Once weaned, they are sent to graze about 35 minutes from the
farm so we don’t want to be driving over every five minutes to treat a couple, but it’s very expensive to do them all,” explains Matthew. Last season, Vetlife Dunsandel suggested trying Turbo Initial oral drench, which has been specifically designed for weaned calves by providing worm parasite coverage along with the added protection against coccidiosis. The couple claim the oral drench worked really well and was a welcomed change from the separate treatment that they’d used previously. “For us it’s about shutting the gate before the horse has bolted,” they say.
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
22 // ANIMAL HEALTH
Spoilt for choice FOR MATAMATA dairy farmers Michelle and Bill Burgess, one cattle breed is ticking all the boxes for their milkers this mating season. Milking 330 Holstein Friesian and Friesian cross cows on 100ha, the couple is moving from a crossbred herd to a
predominantly Holstein Friesian herd. With the high-input herd averaging 600 kgMS+, Michelle and Bill are heavily focused on both fully feeding their herd and using the best genetics available to breed a high-producing, fertile, healthy cow with low
incidence of lameness and mastitis. As a member of the NZAEL Farmer Advisory Panel, Michelle says she’s really come to appreciate the diversity of the Holstein Friesian breed throughout her years farming and studying genetics and breeding.
“In one single herd book you can find genetics ranging from high BW to World Dairy Expo show winners, and everything in between,” she says. “We are spoilt for choice with possibly the biggest range to choose from. “The choice in udder
The Holstein Friesian breed offers incredible diversity, says farmer Michelle Burgess.
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quality is incredible. You can find bulls who will add strength and capacity similar to dual purpose breeds, or correct coarse cows with more femininity and milkiness. You can increase your stature or liveweight, or decrease it to an average crossbred size. You can breed calves who will be born a week early. There are bulls with incredible health traits to offer, or novel traits such as A2 or polled. “If you want, you can even choose a 90% black cow, or a very white one, or perhaps a red or a lineback. “The Holstein Friesian breed offers incredible diversity and the size of the population means that there are plenty of options to avoid the inbreeding nightmares that plague many breeds.” Wendy Harker of Westell Holstein Friesians says the ability to source Holstein Friesian genetics from not only New Zealand but overseas means farmers don’t need to rely on hybrid vigour.
“You can breed the type of animal you want without resorting to crossbreeding,” she says. “There is enough variety of genetics available in the global Holstein Friesian pool to achieve the animal you want within the breed. There is a worldwide population of Holstein Friesians – as well as comprehensive global genetic research to call on.” Holstein Friesian cows are well-known for their high production, giving farmers the option to reduce stocking numbers and therefore, improve their environmental impact. “When production per cow is higher, you not only see higher levels of fat and protein, but you don’t have to sacrifice overall production to see the environmental benefits that come from fewer cows on the land,” Wendy says. “You also require fewer facilities, staff and infrastructure, and there are less cows to manage throughout the season.”
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MICHELLE BURGESS says as farming evolves, and profitability and potential regulations drive farmers to re-evaluate the cows they milk, there’s more of a push for cow efficiency than ever before – in all farming systems. “Bill and I used to lease a farm milking up to 750 cows on 200ha, all through a very old 20-aside herringbone shed,” she says. “Those years pushed us to try and produce the most milk we could profitably, with the least amount of cows. We achieved 398,000 kgMS with 650 cows on that farm, as the low-payout years forced us to buy less feed and therefore reduce our stocking rate. “As a result, we were able to get debt-free and buy our first farm just nine years into our farming career.” Michelle says in her experience, the Holstein Friesian cow has the engine to consume more feed per cow, and put it straight in the vat without getting too fat. “Here farmers can enjoy all the benefits of having lower stocking rates,” she says.
DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
MILK COOLING & QUALITY // 23
Deciding dry cow management plan Alveolar cells, the cells that synthesise milk, collapse and the number of active alveolar cells declines to a minimum during the early dry period.
AT THE end of lactation,
dairy cows require a dry period that is sufficiently long to allow the udder tissue to repair and rejuvenate. Alveolar cells, the cells that synthesise milk, collapse and the number of active alveolar cells declines to a minimum during the early dry period. New secretory tissue is laid down when cows start to ‘freshen’ ready for calving, so that the total amount of secretory tissue increases from one lactation to the next. A minimum of six weeks (and preferably eight weeks) is recommended between dry off and calving for regeneration of udder tissue. A significant reduction in production has been observed when the dry period is less than 20 days.
In New Zealand, most cows will have a dry period that is longer than 60 days, with many having a dry period longer than 100 days.
Another physiological change occurs at the start of the dry off period – closure of the teat canal with a keratin plug made from the cells lining the teat canal. This is critical for preventing new infections over the remainder of the dry period, More than 20% of quarters do not have a teat plug by six weeks
after dry off. Factors such as the presence of teat end cracks or lesions, the level of milk production before dry off or milk flow rate before dry off have been associated with delayed closure of the teat canal after dry off. Antimicrobial resistance Increasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an issue in human and animal health.
Antimicrobial use for treatment and control of mastitis is the major indication for antibiotic use in New Zealand dairy cows. For herds with a low bulk milk somatic cell count, low incidence rate of clinical mastitis and low culling percentage for mastitis-related problems, it is likely that few cows are truly infected at drying off.
For these herds, routine use of antimicrobials in every quarter of every cow at the end of lactation is not justified. Internal teat sealants should be used in preference to antibiotic dry cow therapy to prevent new infections over the non-lactating period, in those cows unlikely to be infected at drying off. Calculate dry off dates to ensure that all cows get at least a six-week (preferably eight-week) dry period. Accurate expected calving dates are obtained through the combination of artificial breeding and/or natural submis-
sion information and early-aged pregnancy testing (cows tested at 6-16 weeks pregnant). These provide the best estimate of optimal drying-off dates. The optimal dry period length is 6 to 8 weeks. This allows cure of existing intramammary infections and replacement of secretory cells within the mammary gland. Observational studies from North America have found that milk production is maximised with dry period lengths of approximately 40 to 60 days. A systematic review reported that shorter
dry periods were associated with a 4.5% decline in milk production in the subsequent lactation, an improved postpartum negative energy balance and a better body condition score, but no effect on incidence of mastitis, metritis, retained placenta, or displaced abomasum, and variable effects on subsequent reproductive performance. In herds that operate split calving, keeping track of individual cow dry periods can be difficult. Care should be taken to ensure that all cows experience a dry period of at least 6-8 weeks (42-56 days). In New Zealand, most cows will have a dry period that is longer than 60 days, with many having a dry period longer than 100 days. • Article sourced from SmartSAMM Technote 14
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
24 // MILK COOLING & QUALITY
Record, treat mastitis early CLINICAL CASES of mastitis are costly and significantly disrupt the milking routine. Clinical cases that are missed can dramatically increase the bulk milk somatic cell counts (SCC) because they produce very high numbers of somatic cells. Early detection and treatment of clinical mastitis in the calving period reduces the risk of severe cases developing. It also reduces the likelihood of infection being passed to other cows, and the development of chronic infections. By recording cow identity and antibiotics used for all cases, the numbers of clinical cases and responses to treatment can be monitored. A swollen quarter will appear larger than other quarters on the same cow or may cause the cow to appear lame. Cows with suspect udders should have their udders felt, or palpated, to check for hardness, heat and swelling. Fore-
technique. Milk samples can be collected from clinical cases before starting treatments, and stored frozen. A selection of these samples can be sent to laboratory at a later date if: ■ Cows are not responding to treatment e.g. more than 20% of cases are receiving a
second course of treatment. ■ If concerned about the number of clinical cases occurring during calving e.g. exceeding 4 clinical cases in the past 50 calvings. ■ If concerned about the number of clinical cases during lactation. • Articles sourced from SmartSAMM.
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Collect milk samples for culture to identify the bacteria involved.
milk should be stripped and checked for signs of mastitis. Milk containing bacteria can be spread from cow-to-cow when stripping cows. Gloves should always be worn when checking
cows for mastitis, as they are easier than bare hands to rinse and keep clean. A good practice is to disinfect gloved hands after stripping a cow with clinical mastitis e.g. by dipping gloved hands in a 1% iodophor solution or
rubbing with medicated teat wipes. Collect milk samples for culture to identify the bacteria involved. Milk culture samples are recommended to help identify which bacteria are involved, if a herd prob-
lem emerges. The right technique must be used to collect samples, otherwise the samples will be contaminated by bacteria from the outside of the teats. Ask your veterinarian to show you the correct
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ENSURE EACH cow has exceeded her antibiotic dry cow treatment (DCT) minimum dry period before putting her milk in the vat or selling her calf. Ensure that milk from the colostrum period (first eight milkings) is not included in the supply vat. For milk quality reasons, all cows should have their colostrum milk withheld from the vat for at least eight milkings after calving (10 milkings for heifers and induced cows). Different arrangements are in place for farmers that supply colostrum to the dairy company. For cows that have received an antibiotic DCT, a withholding period for milk after calving is specified for each product. Accurate record keeping is critical for withholding period management and preventing DCT residues from causing an inhibitory substance (IS) grade. All DCT products are registered with a specified minimum dry period after treatment. If a cow calves within this time, withholding periods for milk and calf meat may be much longer than in the usual situation. Withhold milk for the recommended number of milkings and ensure udders are completely milked out. At the start of the season, when the number of cows producing milk for the vat is low, cows with undetected clinical mastitis can cause the bulk milk SCC to increase dramatically and may cause a SCC grade. Check all cows with a rapid mastitis test (RMT) before moving them from the colostrum herd to the milk supply herd. High SCC cows (cows with a positive RMT result) should be kept in the colostrum herd for an extra 2-4 milkings to allow the mastitis to self-cure or turn clinical, and reduce the risk of a SCC grade.
A milk test can tell you more than herd production information. Set up for success this season with regular herd testing. Beyond identifying your high producers and helping you understand your herd’s production worth (PW), that drop of milk can check for those underlying issues like Staph aureus and Johne’s disease. It’s the best way to get a complete picture of your herd – so you can make better on-farm management decisions.
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
26 // MILK COOLING & QUALITY
Flexible milking regime NIGEL MALTHUS
A FLEXIBLE milking regime adopted this season on the Lincoln University Demonstration Dairy Farm (LUDF) is going “surprisingly well”, says the farm administra-
tor Jeremy Savage. For the first time, LUDF has adopted variable milking from the start of the season, with a regime of 10 milkings in seven days. Cows are milked at 5.00am and 2.30pm Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays but
only once every other day – mostly 8.30am but 11.30am on Saturdays. Savage, a consultant with Macfarlane Rural Business, Ashburton, is the acting head of the South Island Dairy Development Centre (SIDDC) which oversees the farm’s
operation. He said the regime was adopted largely on the basis of research by DairyNZ. “We set out assumptions strongly based on research,” said Savage. Variable milking should break even financially,
small losses in production being offset by various gains including energy and labour costs. But is also gives better outcomes for the welfare of both staff and cows. “It’s early days but we’re tracking pretty close to what the research sug-
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Jeremy Savage, the acting head of the South Island Dairy Development Centre.
THE IDEAL COW A WHOLE herd performing as well as its few very best cows do currently, is what breeding will deliver in the next 10 years, says veteran breeding advisor Jack Hooper. As an LIC advisor, Hooper has guided LUDF’s breeding strategy since 2002. Now officially retired but working as a contract consultant to LIC, Hooper told the LUDF Spring Focus Day that LUDF’s breeding aim was efficiency of milk solid production. He presented a chart of steady gains since 2005, coupled with a marked drop in liveweight. “Since 2005 the breeding values for that herd have increased by almost 36kgMS – 18kg of protein and 18kg of fat. At the same time, that line going downward is liveweight. So the cows at Lincoln are now 20kg lighter than the cows were at Lincoln back in 2002.” Hooper said hybrid vigour contributed to the LUDF herd. “What I love about hybrid vigour is you’re getting nearly 5% increased production for 2% increase in liveweight.” But it was also important to get the right age structure and management system. “Engine room production is 4-to-8 year olds. So if you’re going to drive production on a farm you’ve got to get as many cows in to that 4-to-8 year age group as possible. “Too many two year olds, too many three year olds lost through wastage means an unrealised opportunity.” Research also suggested an ideal liveweight limit of 500kg, because of a diminishing relationship between liveweight and dry matter intake. Under reduced milking interval systems, traits such as front teat placement, udder conformation and speed of milking, all with heritabilities of 20-25%, increased in importance. Hooper said that milk solid production had increased by almost 50 kg/cow over 10 years, an estimated 40% of those gains a direct result of genetic improvement. However, the way genetics are tracking in New Zealand at the moment, that rate of improvement could double over the next 10 years, said Hooper. “The technology is there to do it, the information pool is there to do it, and it is over to people to capture that possibility.”
DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
MILK COOLING & QUALITY // 27
going well at LUDF
LIC consultant Jack Hooper addresses a Lincoln University Demonstration Dairy Farm spring update fielday.
gests we should do,” said Savage. “And what’s not included in our assumptions to date is some of the gains that we’ve been getting around reproductive performance and getting cows back in calf.” Savage was speaking at LUDF’s recent series of Spring Focus Day updates. Because of Covid restrictions, the farm’s quarterly update went on the road, split between three smaller venues over three days, rather than one large event at LUDF itself.
DairyNZ senior scientist Dr Paul Edwards said the advent of Fonterra vat telemetry last season has given researchers vastly more data than before on milking regimes. Various combinations of twice a day, 3-in-2, and once a day are now more common, with only 37% of farms now using twice a day exclusively throughout the season. That figure would have been more like 50% just three seasons ago, he said. Edwards presented results of trials which concluded that cows will
drop 5% in production from the time variable milking is introduced, whether it’s the start of lactation or later dates. That relationship was linear. However, the drop came mostly in the form of protein production, which meant a corresponding improvement in cow condition score – up to 0.25 condition score (CS) better by the end of the season if variable milking was used throughout. One question was whether it was the
number of milkings over a week or the intervals between milkings that had the greatest impact on production, but research last season showed no significant difference between different timings, which meant farmers could have some flexibility in scheduling milkings to suit staff rosters. However Edwards said they do “have to be careful” with that result as the effects may have been too small to detect on that small sample size. Other research suggested slight decreases in production with longer milking intervals. But if the main driver is about people, the payoff is in staff time, he said. “Even if you don’t
want to go to a 3-in-2, 10-in-7, once-a-day type system, even within twicea-day, there are options there about making those milking intervals more attractive, for example using an 8 and 16 hour interval compared to our traditional 10 and 14.” Edwards also outlined a small study that fitted staff of three adjacent farms with sleep rings to detect their sleeping patterns. There was no difference in sleep times prior to calving but once milking was fully underway, those working on variable milking systems recorded an average of 27 minutes a night better sleep. Savage told the focus day that under variable
milking LUDF expected a 25% decrease in motorbike running and maintenance, 13% decrease in power consumption in running the shed, and a 25% decrease in the cost of cleaning the shed and plant. Projected gains include winter feed requirements dropping by $1.80 per cow per week because of the expected improvement in condition at the end of milking, which should also improve or negate the impact on CS of the following mating. A decrease in lameness, largely due to cows walking less to and from the shed, is projected to save $4.80 per cow in animal health spending. @dairy_news facebook.com/dairynews
Participants at the Lincoln University Demonstration Dairy Farm spring update fielday last week.
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
28 // MILK COOLING & QUALITY
Interaction between bacteria, milking shed and the cow MASTITIS IS the
result of complex interaction between bacteria, the farmer, the milking machine and the cow. Once bacteria enter the udder, the cow’s immune system fights infection by producing white blood cells, measured as somatic cell count (SCC). Depending on the degree of inflammation you may see changes in the milk (clinical mastitis), or no changes in the milk (subclinical mastitis). Clinical mastitis means cows show symptoms, there is change in milk e.g. clots, watery, blood, heat and/or swelling in udder, reduced milk yield and the cow is off-colour. Acute chronic infec-
Keeping it away ■
Maintain clean yards/raceways/paddock entrances • Ensure milking machine is working correctly and not causing damage to teats
Breeding of cows like udder conformation
Teat spraying after milking
Milking technique and management
Use of dry cow therapy and teatseal at dry off day in cows
Use teatseal in heifers 4-6 weeks prior to the planned start of calving.
tion appears suddenly and is usually relatively shortterm infection; there are no symptoms in cow, but high somatic cell count (SCC), or reaction to
Once bacteria enter the udder, the cow’s immune system fights infection by producing white blood cells, measured as somatic cell count (SCC).
Teat spraying after milking is one way to keep mastitis at bay.
rapid mastitis test (RMT), and often reduced milk yield. How does mastitis spread? Mud and muck gets onto teats and causes mastitis, often in spring and is generally caused by streptococcus bacteria. There can also be cowto-cow spread: bacteria in the milk of an infected cow will contaminate
the cups for the next five cows milked with that cluster. This is commonly caused by staphylococcus bacteria. There are several ways you can treatment: Clean the teat end, before taking a milk sample or treating the cow. 2. Collect initial milk sample, then either
submit to lab for culturing bacteria, or freeze for later. 3. Treat with antibiotics as per veterinary authorisation. 4. Anti-inflammatory treatment will provide pain relief, reduce fever and swelling. 5. If the cow is very unwell, seek veterinary advice.
FOUR MAIN BUGS SO WHAT are the bugs that cause mastitis in dairy cows? While there are a huge range of bugs that can cause mastitis, there are four main groups of bacteria responsible for the majority of cases. ■ Strep uberis and other Streptococcus species: These are environmental bacteria commonly picked up at or around calving or as cows lie down on the pasture. ■
CNS Staph: These bacteria live on the cow’s skin.
Staph aureus: This bacteria is spread from cow to cow during the milking process. Often the infections are sub-clinical causing chronically high cell counts but no clinical signs of mastitis.
Coliforms (e.g. E coli): These bacteria are found in cow faeces. Many cows will self-cure without showing clinical signs, whilst some animals will become systemically sick and potentially die.
DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
MACHINERY & PRODUCTS // 29
Fert spreaders get a revamp MARK DANIEL firstname.lastname@example.org
KUHN HAS updated its MDS range of fertiliser spreaders, giving farmers more options to upgrade machines as situations change, rather than having to change to a new machine. Offered as four base twin-disc machines, the MDS 8.2, 14.2, 18.2 and 20.2 have maximum capacities of 800, 1400, 1800 and 2000 litres respectively. The MDS 8.2 and 14.2 feature a slim profile with respective overall widths of 1.08m and 1.40m, making them ideal for vineyard or orchard applications, or for any
crops planted at narrow row spacing. The larger 18.2 and 20.2 models are intended for livestock or arable operations, utilising a flexible hopper extension system to achieve high load capacities that in turn help increase daily outputs and reduce empty travel for refilling. In the K and D versions, the individual outlet slides are operated using single or dualacting hydraulics remote valves from the tractor. For enhanced control, the electric metering outlet control option sees one actuator for each outlet, to offer more reliability and precision, controlled via the simple E-Click switch box.
For optimal control, the Quantron A terminal electronically adjusts the metering outlets to maintain a consistent flow rate irrespective of ground speed, meaning a target rate is always dialled in and maintained. During spreading, the system also allows operators to modify the application rate, simultaneously close either discharge shutter with a simple button and Varispread 8 comes as standard, with section control with eight sections-four on each side, controlled manually or by GPS. www.kuhn.co.nz
Kuhn’s upgraded range of fertiliser spreaders give farmers more options to improve their machines as situations change.
New owner for stoll GERMAN COMPANY Stoll,
the well-known manufacturer of tractor front loaders and attachments that claims to be the second largest producer in the world, has been bought by Czech company Agrostroj Pelhřimov. Headquartered in Lengede, close to Hanover, Stoll has production facilities in Germany, Poland and the US, with around 600 employees and a global sales and distribution network that runs to around 5,000 dealers.
Worldwide production is said to be 22,000 units, delivering an annual turnover of €120m.
Claiming to be the leading agricultural machinery manufacturer in Czechoslovakia, the
family-owned Agrostroj Group is best known for its drum mowers, while also manufacturing components and machines for the likes of DAF, Scania and Volvo as well as Fendt, John Deere, Krone, Kuhn and Kverneland. For 2021, the company was aiming for a turnover of around €250m delivered by 2,700 employees before the purchase of Stoll, so together, the two operations are expected to deliver a combined turnover of around €400m.
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Cling Tint adds a protective layer to the windows of your tractor, harvester or other self-propelled units, to help keep out harmful UV rays and heat, without expensive professional tinting. Allowing only 5% of visible light to be transmitted means the windows appear almost black from the outside, yet occupants still have a great view out. The Static Cling Tint also prevents the sun from fading and damaging the vehicle interior and dashboard. By reducing the heat inside the vehicle, the cabin is cooler and more comfortable on hot summer days, which is said to make for safer and more relaxed driving and a major reduction in glare. Easy to install as it contains no glue, the process doesn’t require any specialist tools, although it is very important that the surface of the glass is completely free from dirt or dust. The film is rolled roll onto the glass and smoothed out, before cutting away excess. Supplied in a roll measuring 510mm x 1800mm, one of the advantages of static cling tint is that it’s very easy to remove when no longer needed, doesn’t leave any residue on the glass and once removed can be reused on another glass surface.
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DAIRY NEWS OCTOBER 12, 2021
30 // MACHINERY & PRODUCTS
ATV kit offers speed control, geofencing MARK DANIEL email@example.com
OFF-ROAD SPECIALISTS Polaris has
launched a new speedcontrol and geofencing kit, aimed at keeping operators and workplaces safer by allowing users to set maximum speed limits and limit speeds in geofenced areas. The maximum speed limit can be controlled using a passcode-protected, new dashboard, or remotely via the Polaris Ride Command app, that is also required to set geofence parameters. After downloading the
app to a smart device from the App Store or Google Play, users can create an account, then set maximum speed limits and add geofence parameters to be ‘pushed’ to their vehicle. The ‘virtual’ geofence allows those with access to specify vehicle speeds for inside and outside a defined area. Both speeds can be set individually from 9.7km/h to 88.9km/h in approximately 3.2km/h increments. A geofence will not stop the vehicle but will slow the unit to the pre-programmed speed limit, as determined by management. Users can
The speed control & geofencing kit keeps vehicle operators safe by controlling maximum speed in operating areas.
The new accessory kit fits 2020 and 2021 Ranger 1000 models.
store up to three geofences in the Ride Command app, but only one geofence can be enabled
at a time. The kits are available for 2020 and 2021 Ranger, Ranger Premium, Ranger EPS 1000
and Ranger Crew models at $575 from certified Polaris dealers. Alan Collins, manag-
ing director for Polaris Australia & New Zealand, says farmers and commercial operators alike will find the benefits of speed control and geofencing extremely useful as it enables them to take control of the safety of their workers. “This is achieved by
controlling ride boundaries due to unsafe conditions or high traffic areas, limiting speed due to challenging terrain or ensuring operators are riding at the appropriate speed for their experience level.” www.polarisnewzealand.com
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Dairy News 12 October 2021